How Basecamp's focus results in thousands of weekly signups

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Looking at the Basecamp homepage, they got 3k+ teams last week to try their product. Their pricing is $99/mo.

Mindblowing... 🀯

37signals was formed 20+ years ago by 3 entrepreneurs, and since then has rebranded to Basecamp to focus most of their efforts on the project management software by the same name.

You'll see plenty on their homepage about the product, but the one thing you won't find is a typical navbar full of dropdowns and links. Instead, you'll notice just a few carefully curated pages: How it works, Before and after, Got clients?, Pricing and Support.

Each page has a wall of text and images designed and optimized to do one thing well: get you to try the product.

Even the support page does the same thing, but differently: notifies you of the friendliest support (always humans πŸ¦Έβ€β™€οΈ, never bots πŸ€–) and leaves you feeling warm and fuzzy inside.

Perhaps the more impressive tactic that seems to be working for Basecamp is that a lot of typical stuff is missing.

There are no individual feature breakdown pages, no generic resources dropdown, no bloated alternatives comparison, no customer chat widget to interrupt their sales pitch.

Everything is aligned for the user to do only one thing -- signup. They're not alone in guiding people this way:

  • Flodesk, an email marketing company that's achieved $5M ARR in one year, has a long-text homepage and a pricing page. That's it. There are a few links in the footer in case you need more convincing.

  • Chimp Essentials, a course that teaches you how to be a pro at Mailchimp, does even better: only a "Student Login" link in the header. If you want more, you'll have to first scroll thru the carefully edited copy that makes up the whole website.

  • Amazon was one of the first to notice and make use of this pattern. When you're going through the checkout process, there's a reason you can't click on the Amazon logo to go back to the main website: fewer chances you'll get distracted and abandon the cart.

These companies are doing their users a favor: they're taking them by the hand and resolving mental objections.

All the hard work is done for you: 1) here are your problems 2) this is how we are going to solve them 3) this is what you need to do next.

Simple + frictionless.


Action Steps:

  • What is the one reason your homepage or landing page exists? Now, what pages or sections don't serve that purpose?

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