Not everyone get into our website from direct hits (typing URL at address bar). Some of them may be invited by your ad banner or blasted newsletter. Directing them to the home page could be a good idea. But there’s a better idea. Give them a landing page first.
Landing page is a page built specially to welcome visitors that are directed from promotional tool. Landing page should have more strength than home page when it comes to convincing visitor to stay. When people read a good landing page they will think “This site is trustworthy. It’s the right place and I wanna know more.”
We need to work on several things to get people thinking like this. First, the basic rule: keep it simple. Always keep everything as simple as we can. Whatever appears in the landing page is only important element. This is not your homepage where you should show everything briefly.
Also match the design of the landing page with the one on the promotional tool (ad banner / newsletter). This will make user think they’ve come to the right place and not redirected to some irrelevant page.
Mind the layout. Direct user’s eye along the page with large copy and graphic. Place important stuff in the middle and never distract them from that main point. No unneeded but interesting sidebar allowed.
If you want user to fill out form on the landing page. Make it as simple as possible. People hate long registration process. Name, Email, and Password is more than enough.