Here's an article I wrote...Waaaaaaay back in the day. But it's still as relevant as ever.
If you are using traffic exchanges, the best thing you can do for any online campaign is to create a splash page, tailor made for the specific product or program. Let's face it, splash pages work and get great results, but out of a dozen splash pages I see while surfing, only about 4 to 5 of them really grab my attention.
The following is a small tutorial on what I consider to be key points to building very effective pages.
Rule number 1 - You need to grab the viewers attention immediately! There is only a few seconds that your page has to make a lasting impressions and to get the most attention, you need to capture the viewer's eyes right away. This is done by two ways, the first is a 'stop them dead in the their tracks' headline. It can be funny, it can be bold but the important thing is that it's memorable. The next thing to add is an eye catching graphic. Whether it be a logo or a funny graphic you found online, this needs to go hand in hand with your headline. Let them both feed off each other to create an intro so powerful, people have to stop and look.
Rule number 2 - Do not bore your readers to death! Keep your splash page's ad copy to the MAXIMUM of one paragraph. What should you put in these 3 to 4 sentences? Simple, to the point copy that creates curiosity and outlines major features of the site you wish to promote. Again, the idea behind splash pages is to get people interested, DON'T TRY TO SELL THEM! This is very important, because if you try to sell your viewer, trust me, 15 seconds is not enough time to do so. Get them curious about your site and then let your ad copy on the main site do the selling. Rule of thumb, splash pages are to get people interested, not to do the selling.
And finally Rule number 3 - Always request an action! It does not matter how impressive your headline, graphic and copy are, without telling your viewer exactly what you want them to do, you have wasted an otherwise perfect splash page. Whether it be to click and open a new window, fill out a form (e-mail capture) or bookmark a site, you must tell the viewer exactly what you want them to do. Keep it simple, and right to the point!
Those are my three rules for the perfect splash page. I call them the A.C.A.'s of splash page design. Grab their 'Attention', create 'Curiosity' and then request 'Action'!