What is it?
Launch Effect: A free WordPress theme anyone can use to quickly create a professional looking, virally inclined pre-launch page for your upcoming product website, app, service, etc.).
Who makes it?
Why is it the killerest?
First let me state that I'm saving you some trouble, because I did this the hard way first. For my latest venture I started by building a pre-launch site from scratch. It's a couple pages, right? How hard can it be? Well - to do well, actually - kinda hard. Or, time consuming anyway. Consuming of time you should be spending building your New Thing.
1. It's very easy to set up - virtually anyone can do it.
I'm no WordPress guru, but I went from nothing to a fully launched site in just a few hours. First, I fired up a super cheap hosting account with my registrar NameCheap. Once my account was set up, I logged in, installed WordPress (literally a few mouse clicks), then downloaded the Launch Effect theme, uploaded and installed it in my WordPress, made a few tweaks, and my site was ready to go.
2. It's got built in social-sharing tools and viral spreading motivation
This is perhaps the nicest feature and something you likely wouldn't have time to build yourself. And it's all baked in, and very easy to configure.
How it works: After someone gives you their email address, they're presented with a thank you message, and a panel of social icons they can click to share.
Subscribers are also given a unique tracking link. When they use that link (or any of the icons) to share, you and they will both be able to see how many folks they've sent to the site, and how many signed up themselves.
Additionally, you can give them an incentive to share. On mine, I'm giving away a free lifetime account to someone who shares and leads someone else to sign up.
3. It's got great built in tracking
As mentioned above, each person who signs up will show up in your admin panel, along with the number of clicks they've sent you, and how many of those have also signed up (plus conversion rate). Both you, and they can see these stats at any time.
What could be improved?
Tracking your referrals is too confusing for visitors.
When a visitor shares, they have access to their referral, and conversion stats, but in order to see that information, they have to re-submit their email address into the signup form. Clever - but how on earth are they supposed to know that? There's really no good way to communicate that to them at this point.
First, it's very easy to export your signups in a CSV and import them into MailChimp - which, if you're only going to do that once, is no big deal. But ideally, you'd like to get an auto-response email to your signups. This would allow you to tell them about the referral stuff noted in my last complaint, as well as a few other bells and whistles that MailChimp offers.
It's a bit hard to fully customize without touching the code.
Out of the box, it probably does most everything you need, and you can certainly make a perfectly good-enough site without customization. But if what you want to do isn't exactly what the theme expects you to do, you'll need to dive into the css and/or php files. This is a minor niggle though, it has very solid customization constructs.
It has only a small subset of the available Google Fonts to work with.
That said, they do natively support TypeKit and MonoType.
And I note, they're working improving it. This roadmap looks great.
How much does it cost?
Nothing (it's free)
Reviewed by Carson McComas
p.s. Here's the one I set up. If you make one, please share it in the comments below.
Nice work! We are putting the finishing touches on a tutorial just like this. Love this plugin, will have to recommend it and write up a tutorial for this too. It's great to have the viral aspect built in!
Posted by: Jason | Nov 4, 2011 11:01:34 AM
Hi my name is yogesh kumar. I like this blog website. I say thanks to that person who made this
Posted by: Yogesh Kumar | Nov 18, 2011 3:35:07 AM
Thanks for giving us this tips and giving us more information about the topic.
Posted by: bridge builder | Dec 19, 2011 3:02:53 AM
The topic is really very interesting. Thanks for the useful information. I'll definitely use your tips!
Posted by: Laura Storage | Feb 1, 2012 7:06:33 AM