You may have heard the term “splash page” before. But what exactly does it mean?
That’s what we are going to discuss today:
- What is a splash page?
- When should you use a splash page?
- What is the difference between splash pages and other types of pages (homepages, landing pages, squeeze pages, etc.)?
Ready to learn more about splash pages?
What Is a Splash Page?
A splash page is a page that is shown to the visitor before they enter your website.
They tend to have one of these two purposes:
- Improving the user experience.
- Generating leads.
It’s important to note that splash pages are often perceived as obstacles by site visitors and therefore might be counter-productive to growing an online business.
When Should You Use a Splash Page?
Here are three situations in which you should consider using a splash page:
Your Website Offers Age-Restricted Content
You may be legally obliged to ask visitors to verify their age before allowing them to enter your website.
However, even if you aren’t legally required to do so, it may still make sense to make an effort to deter minors from accessing your content.
Businesses that sell alcohol often have splash pages where they ask visitors to provide their dates of birth.
Check out this Carlsberg splash page:
Note that there’s also a helpful “Remember me on this device (don’t tick if this is a shared computer)” option that allows you to tick a box so that you wouldn’t need to enter the same information every time you visit this website.
Your Website Offers Content in Multiple Languages
While English has become the lingua franca of our times, you don’t want to risk alienating potential customers who don’t know it.
But how can you set up your website in a way that caters to people who speak different languages?
However, people might land on your homepage, see content in a language that they don’t understand, and leave without realizing that they can change the language settings.
Another way to do address this issue is by automatically displaying the content in the language of the country that the visitor is connecting from.
However, the flaw of this approach is that it fails to account for people who are connecting from a foreign country.
Say, a British tourist on a vacation in Spain may not speak Spanish, but your website would be shown to them in that language.
That’s why you may want to consider allowing people to choose a preferred language themselves before they enter your website.
That way, you won’t need a complicated technical setup, plus you will be sure that the content is displayed in a language that the visitor understands.
Here’s the splash page of the Zara clothing brand:
- The country option field displays the country name both in Lithuanian and in English.
- The language option field is set to English by default.
This makes sense when you consider that someone connecting from Lithuania may not necessarily speak Lithuanian.
Imagine that someone who doesn’t speak Lithuanian went to Zara’s website and only saw “Lietuva” and “Lietuvių” in the option fields. They might not recognize these words.
Situations like that are worth considering when you are creating a splash page for language settings.
You Want To Grow Your Email List
Adding a splash page where you ask site visitors to provide their email addresses in exchange for a lead magnet can help you increase the size of your email list.
However, it’s important to understand that when it comes to lead generation, there’s always a trade-off between lead quality and lead quantity.
Using a splash page to generate leads is likely to increase the number of your email subscribers, but it may also decrease the quality of your email list. Why?
Sure, you can get them to give you their email address if you offer a lead magnet that is enticing enough, but the decision to subscribe to your email list will likely be a completely impulsive one.
That means that this person is not yet convinced of the value that your emails might provide, so they may not be that interested in them. Don’t be surprised if they don’t open your emails at all.
And then there’s also the fact that everybody hates pop-ups. There’s no doubt that they interfere with user experience. Still, there’s also no denying that they work, which is why online businesses use them despite them being universally detested.
All that being said, using a lead generation splash page may still make sense, but you need to be smart about it.
As you can see, it’s a $60 discount offer that you can either reject or accept, with a timer set to expire in 20-minutes which helps to add an element of scarcity.
When you click the “Get $60 Off” button, you are taken to a page where you can set up your Blue Apron account:
As you can see, instead of simply collecting email addresses, the company uses the $60 discount to encourage the visitor to set up an account.
Presumably, this results in higher lead quality, since a person who is interested in a $60 discount and is willing to create an account to get that discount is probably highly likely to buy. Otherwise, why go through all that trouble?
Attention: Always Provide a Way Out!
Have you ever had this experience:
- You click a link.
- You are presented with a splash page.
- You can’t figure out how to close that splash page and continue to the website.
If this has happened to you, then you know how infuriating it can be.
Some companies assume that not allowing the visitor to access their website until they have provided their email address will help build their email lists faster.
However, this tactic is sleazy, manipulative, and annoying, so the visitor is likely to leave and never come back. They might even go on to vent their frustration on social media. That can do serious damage to your brand image.
Don’t ever do this. Always provide the visitor with the option to close the splash page and proceed to your website.
What Is the Difference Between a Splash Page and a Homepage?
Homepages are often mistaken for splash pages.
But there’s a difference between a homepage and a splash page:
- A homepage serves as the central hub of your website. It has a navigation that links to its most important pages (this can include pages like “About”, “Features”, “Pricing”, etc.).
- A splash page is shown to the visitor before they access the homepage. Its purpose is to get the visitor to take the desired action (verify their age, choose a language, subscribe to your email list, etc.). It doesn’t have any navigation besides the option to proceed to the website in the case of a lead generation splash page.
Keep in mind that just because the homepage of a website is minimalistic it doesn’t mean that it’s a splash page.
Take a look at this one-page website of the web designer and web developer Marc Thomas. Is it a splash page?
As you can see, this website features five links:
- A link to the InVision website.
- A link to Marc’s Twitter profile.
- A link to Marc’s Instagram profile.
- A link to Marc’s Github profile.
- A button that opens an email app so that you could send Marc an email.
By the way, the logo is also clickable, but the link is to this same page, so if you click it you don’t go anywhere.
When you examine the links on this page, it becomes clear that this is Marc’s homepage, not his splash page. You can’t click through to his website. This is his website. Don’t be fooled into thinking that this is a splash page just because it’s a one-page website.
Also, keep in mind that since a splash page is shown to the visitor before they access the homepage, a splash page and a homepage cannot be the same thing by definition.
What Is the Difference Between a Splash Page and a Landing Page?
Another point of confusion is the difference between a landing page and a splash page. And that’s understandable since this one is a bit tricky.
You see, traditionally, a landing page was a standalone page with a single conversion goal, say, to get the visitor’s email address.
However, with the increasing popularity of pop-ups, some marketers started referring to pop-ups as landing pages as well (e.g. a squeeze page is considered to be a type of landing page even though squeeze pages are often displayed as pop-ups )
So if you go by the traditional definition of a landing page, then a splash page and a landing page are two different types of pages.
Meanwhile, if you go by the more recent, broader definition of a landing page, then a splash page is a type of landing page.
That being said, if someone is using the term “landing page”, they probably mean it in the traditional sense. Don’t assume that they are talking about splash pages if they haven’t specified it.
What Is the Difference Between a Splash Page and a Squeeze Page?
Okay, so what’s up with squeeze pages then, are they the same thing as splash pages?
A squeeze page is a type of landing page that is designed to get the visitor to provide their email address, usually in exchange for a lead magnet.
Squeeze pages can be separate pages as well as pop-ups.
In the case of the latter, a squeeze page can be a splash page if it is shown to the visitor before the visitor accesses the homepage.
However, if the squeeze page is shown to the visitor at any other time (e.g. as they are browsing the content, as they are about to leave the site, etc.), then it is not a splash page.
What Is the Difference Between a Splash Page and a Pop-Up?
So what’s the difference between a splash page and a pop-up, then?
Just like squeeze pages, splash pages can be separate pages as well as pop-ups.
However, it’s important to understand that “pop-up” is a category, since there are several types of pop-ups:
- Welcome pop-ups. These pop-ups are shown to the visitor before the visitor accesses the homepage. In other words, they are splash pages.
- Timed pop-ups. These pop-ups are shown to the visitor after they have spent a certain amount of time on the website (e.g. 2 minutes).
- Exit-intent pop-ups. These pop-ups are shown to the visitor when they are about to leave the website.
However, out of all these pop-up types, only welcome pop-ups are splash pages.
There’s a lot of confusion out there when it comes to splash pages.
Fortunately, now you know exactly what splash pages are, when to use them, and how they differ from other types of pages.