Making Landing Pages is Frustrating!
So… I have an interesting relationship with LeadPages that spans many years.
You ever notice how when people use the word “interesting” to describe something, it's usually thinly masking their hatred for said topic?
Well, I will spare you the drama. I love LeadPages.
But it didn't always start that way.
Somewhere around 2013 I took the hook, line and sinker and signed up for a LeadPages Pro annual account. Everyone was talking about how great their service was.
How it changed their lives.
How it made their business.
How it made everything better.
When I got into the platform, I was like WTF is this?
And then I got an email from a guy named Clay. It turns out Clay was an avid read of the Jeffalytics newsletter, and when I posted in my Newsletter that I had quit my job to pursue entrepreneurship, he wanted to talk.
That is where things got “interesting” once again.
Clay was looking for a VP of marketing for his recently funded company that was growing gangbusters, and before long I was emerging as the only candidate.
But I didn't even use LeadPages and it confused the hell out of me! How could I be their marketing VP?
Clay told me about his vision (tremendous), his development pipeline (awe inspiring) and his plans for domination.
So how did it work out?
You'll have to keep reading to find out.
LeadPages is a Juggernaut for Online Entrepreneurs
LeadPages has grown significantly since Clay first reached out to me. Today, LeadPages a self-proclaimed dynamic software company that creates simple, beautiful software and web apps that allow businesses to grow large and devoted audiences.”
Simply put, LeadPages is a lead generation platform designed to increase web and mobile conversions through a number of unique product offerings.
Since 2012, LeadPages has generated 40 million leads and grown to more than 100 employees, located in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
With an impressive customer base (40,000 and growing), LeadPages isn't just a hot new tech startup. Clay and company recently closed a Series B round of funding at $27 million. LeadPages is here to stay.
While my start with LeadPages wasn't exactly smooth, that too has changed. Converting leads has never been easier.
Lets take a look at how to get started to with LeadPages
After signing up with LeadPages you will first need to select a subdomain. While your subdomain can be changed down the road, it is difficult to update all existing pages, so select something you can live with now and in the future. As an example, I could use jeffaltics.leadpages.net. As you can see I use digitalmantis.leadpages.co which works across all of my web properties.
Next, you will need to integrate with your email service provider. There are alternatives if you do not use an email service provider, but for this example I show integrations that are available in LeadPages. Start by selecting the Integrations tab in the My Account drop down.
Select your email or webinar service provider from the list. If your email or webinar service provider is not listed it may still be possible to integrate with LeadPages, but you will need to work with their support to process the integration.
After selecting the correct provider enter your API key. Since my MailChimp account was previously integrated I do not need to reenter an API key. In the lower right corner you will notice a LeadPages support popup. Click on the image if you get stuck with any integrations.
Once the integration is complete it's time to build you first page. Start by clicking on the templates in the top nav.
Use the Conversion Rate selector to sort by highest converting pages. LeadPages collects aggregate data on all pages allowing users to take the guesswork out of page selection, a feature that is unique to LeadPages.
In addition to Conversion Rate, You can select pages based on page type such as Sales, Webinar, Thank You pages and more.
After selecting the best template begin editing the page in the Template Editor. The editor allows you to customize page elements such as copy, font, images and colors. All editable elements can be found in the left column or you can select items within the template by clicking on each element.
After completing your copy and design elements select where you want to link the CTA button. Selecting Show Opt-in Form is the most popular option, which triggers a LeadBox opt-in form without leaving the page.
Next, you have the option to select which email list you want the leads added to and the number and type of fields you would like to collect on each form. All editable items are listed in the left column or you can select an item within the form to edit by clicking each element.
After building your form select how you would like the Thank You page to appear. Choose from a custom page, a default page or, if offering a lead magnet, use the lead magnet delivery option. LeadPages makes lead magnet delivery super simple using their tool. Delivering a lead magnet is quick and easy, but for this review I'll focus on building your first page.
Once you've built the page you can preview the design on a mobile phone, tablet and a responsive screen by toggling between buttons in the top left corner.
If you're satisfied with all elements, click the publish tab and select where you would like to publish the page. If you not have a website use the provided LeadPages link. When connecting LeadPages to WordPress use the simple 4-step plugin process.
And that's it. Much simpler than it used to be. Most individuals can start converting in as little as 10 minutes. I would also recommend watching one of LeadPages getting started videos if you need more help.
Act 2 – Features and Tools
My conversion rates for raw traffic on Jeffalytics were quite small. A rounding error. But most importantly, they are NORMAL.
Normal for a business with no aim, a website that hasn't found its way.
Typical results with no focus, but when I decided to focus? Things changed overnight.
And it all comes from using a little known feature in LeadPages.
LeadPages isn't the most feature rich or customizable landing page tool on the market. Clay built this tool to convert traffic to leads and leads to customers.
A simple formula to increase conversions includes simplifying the process and providing value to your visitors. LeadPages does just that with each of it's product features.
The LeadPages platform consists of 5 main tools, LeadPages, LeadBoxes, LeadDigits, LeadLinks and brand new offering called Center by LeadPages (more on that later).
Here's what you can expect from each tool:
LeadPages – A simple powerful landing page tool. Built on templated designs, no coding is needed to create these beautiful pages. Choose from 100's of designs using the landing page editor tool to make a page that fits your needs. In addition to the free templates, LeadPages offers a marketplace where you can purchase user designed pages. It is easy to integrate your pages with a number of email service providers and webinar hosts including:
- Constant Contact
- Mad Mimi
- Microsoft Dynamics
The responsive designs make this tool great for mobile conversion and the easy integration and hosting options make LeadPages one of the quickest tools on the market.
LeadBoxes – Is an elegant popup window that appears when a visitor clicks on a designated link, image, button or piece of text. In addition to click actions, the windows can also appear after a specific amount of time or when a visitor is about to leave your site. LeadBoxes has the same customizable options as LeadPages.
LeadLinks – The easiest and quickest way to get existing leads to opt-in to your offer. LeadLinks consists of a single click link that instantly registers existing contacts in your database without the need of a form fill. Think of this as a one-click checkout like Amazon uses, only for leads. This is a powerful tool for lead nurturing as it removes almost all friction points in the registration process.
LeadDigits – Converting offline leads has always proven to be a challenge. LeadDigits is a solution that allows you to utilize SMS text messaging to collect emails and phone numbers. This tool is great for mobile conversions during a podcast, at a retail location, and for audience members at speaking gigs or other large events. Setup is done in less than 1 minute allowing you to customize the number, opt-in instructions, text identifiers and the backend support and fulfillment.
Utilizing these tools is the first step in increasing your conversions. But conversion tools wouldn't be complete without built in conversion stats, analytics and A/B split testing. Thankfully, LeadPages delivers again.
The analytics platform is simple and easy to use. Built into LeadPages, LeadBoxes, LeadDigits and LeadLinks all data can be accessed through a simple analytics button on each individual build. Performance metrics include conversion rate, total visitors, unique visitors and opt-ins.
A/B split testing is a simple way to compare small nuances on like pages. The simple replication tool makes testing as easy and quick as possible allowing you to randomly split a set percentage traffic between test pages.
Below you can see the results from one of my recent tests. This simple analytics view allowed me to quickly weed out the losers and convert more traffic.
LeadPages rounds out its offering with a number of expected features including page hosting, lead magnet delivery and quick redirects of closed offer pages.
Still not sold? Use LeadPage's landing page grader to see how your current pages stack up against data LeadPages has uncovered generating those 40 million leads. The grader is a simple tool that generates a landing page SEO score, analytics score, responsive score, navigation score, page load score and form score, giving you a total baseline grade.
Act 3 – People, Support and Education
I have a friend named Josh. We are contemporaries. We have a mutual admiration for one another and a passion for marketing.
For years I knew Josh as the most passionate person I have ever met about online marketing. This guy couldn't stop talking about SEO, analytics and conversions every time we met. I tried to hire him at one point.
But he was too comfortable in his role. We presented together on stage one time. We served on the board of MIMA together. We served on the board of MnSearch together as well.
Josh is one of my best friends in the business.
Guess where he works now?
He is the Director of Conversion Marketing at LeadPages.
Josh is one of many passionate digital marketers that makeup the LeadPages team. LeadPages focuses on building a talented team that is supported by an amazing culture. They hired more than 100 people in 2015, tripling the size of their staff.
Some of the most familiar faces, outside of Clay, are Tim Paige and Bob Jenkins, the voices behind most of LeadPages educational webinars and videos. These guys live and breath conversions. If you're just getting started be sure to register for one of their weekly webinars.
As you begin your journey with LeadPages get familiar with the Marketing Library, which is full of templates, ebooks, images (yes they even provide a number of royalty free images), courses and more.
If you're like me and want to take a more mobile learning approach check out ConversionCast, LeadPages podcast that gets to the core of all things conversion by discussing real-life case studies on metrics and tactics that lead to improving results.
LeadPages searchable Knowledge Base, an educational center, offer self-driven support even if the support staff is offline. Be sure to check out The Email List Building and Webinar Funnel System courses when you get started.
I recommend spending a decent amount of time in the Knowledge Base as well as attending the LeadPages LaunchPad Onboard Webinar. This will help prevent situations like I first experienced when I was new to LeadPages. In addition, there are a number of video tutorials that can help you get up and running. The frequently asked questions are spot on as I often find my question displayed in that section.
Act 4 – LeadPages Plans
My most successful strategy is simply taking pages that rank well in search and giving a lead magnet to capture interested parties.
One page gets me 10 extra leads a day. An entire site is worth hundreds.
LeadPages is one of those tools that almost immediately pays for itself. There are a number of different plan and payment options. I purchased the annual Pro plan due to the added A/B split testing capabilities. This feature alone has recouped the added expense.
The Pro plan starts at $79 a month if you select the month-by-month membership option. You can save money by prepaying annually ($49 per month) or every two years ($42 per month). If you run an online business, the annual payment plan is a no brainer.
In addition to the Pro plan, LeadPages offers Standard and Advanced plans. The Standard plan starts at $37 a month when paying month-by-month. Again you have the option to save money by paying annually ($25 per month) or paying every two years ($17 per month).
The Advanced plan is only available in annual payments ($199 per month) and two year payments ($159 per month).
One important point to note, when you purchase LeadPages you are locked in at that price for life. This means that if LeadPages raises it's prices, your price will stay the same. I recommend starting with the Pro plan for this reason. It's a bargain for the feature set and locking in a low price will be worth it as LeadPages continues to grow and prices will continue to rise.
Here are how the features stack up per plan:
- Unlimited landing pages and domains
- Access to all free page templates and LeadBoxes
- WordPress and Facebook integration
- Downloadable designs to embed in an existing site
- Advanced HTML support
- Support method is email only
- All features in the Standard plan
- A/B split testing
- Access to affiliate program
- Template upload capabilities
- Partner discounts on 3rd party marketing tools
- Support method is priority email and live chat
- All features in Standard and Pro plans
- 5 sub accounts available
- Implementation coaching program (weekly office hours and 1-on-1 coaching)
- Support method is priority email, live chat and phone
- Additional integrations include HubSpot, Marketo and Salesforce
So you might be asking which plan is best for your needs. It is hard to argue against the price of the Standard plan, but if you're in need of a landing page tool I argue the Pro plan is the only option you should be considering. The addition of A/B split testing will easily make up the add monthly expense by allowing you to test and increase your conversion rates. Add in access to LeadLinks and LeadDigits and the pro plan is an easy choice. You can utilize LeadPages 30-day money back guarantee to see the instant value you get at the Pro level.
Should you choose the Pro plan you also get to be a part of LeadPages affiliate program. If you run any type of business where it makes sense to promote your success with LeadPages, you can add an additional revenue stream of 30% recurring commissions on each LeadPages sale using your affiliate link.
LeadPages has quickly become an industry leader and rightfully so. Clay built the LeadPages infrastructure and architecture necessary to help web based entrepreneurs grow. He knew that scaling up was an important element for LeadPages users.
LeadPages is built on extremely fast servers and with no number of domains and traffic volume restrictions. This is unique in the landing page space as many of LeadPages competitors do place limits on these items due to server resources.
LeadPages feature set is unmatched, yet simple. Clay aims to make marketing software that is simple, empowering, lightweight, and easy to use while inspiring marketers to take on and achieve more than they ever thought possible. LeadPages has truly accomplished all of these things. If you're looking for an easy and fast solution to converting more traffic, it is the tool for you.
LeadPages falls a bit short in it's customization capabilities. As mentioned above, the templates are editable however users are restricted to the elements within the template and the preexisting location of those elements. You can easily remove most pieces on a page, but adding new elements requires custom development work.
LeadPages recently announced their brand new drag-and-drop landing page builder. This new feature looks to solve many of the complaints users have been asking for.
With the announcement of the drag-and-drop landing page builder you will start to see more customized pages, which also means less saturation of templates. This is another great and needed improvement as some LeadPages user are frustrated with the number of similar published landing pages.
Hosting on LeadPages super fast and secure servers is great for accuracy and speed but it does limit your ability to move your business elsewhere. If you decide to switch landing page providers you will not be able to take existing templates with you. I don't see this as a huge issue given the ease of creation within LeadPages meaning that you are unlikely giving up custom development work. Should LeadPages begin to offer more and more customizable solutions, this may become a larger issue.
Since my start with LeadPages, I've received a number of different questions. I am adding them here in hopes of answering some lingering questions you may have, but I am happy to address any others I may have missed, in the comments below. Here are the most frequently asked questions and answers:
1. Who owns the leads generated when using LeadPages?
Because LeadPages integrates with your email service provider your leads will be collected within that platform. As a result, you own all of the leads and are the only one that has access to those leads. You should be able to export those leads from any of the providers listed in the integrations portion of LeadPages.
2. Does LeadPages offer a free trial?
LeadPages does not offer a free trial, but they do offer a 30-day money back guarantee. I'd recommend trying LeadPages and if you are not seeing results you can get your money back.
3. What is the best way to get started with LeadPages?
Signing up for LeadPages is pretty easy. Join LeadPages today and then spend the time watching the LeadPages Onboarding Webinar. It's a great overview and will get you up-to-speed in less than an hour.
4. Does LeadPages offer any type of discount?
LeadPages does offer discounts when you subscribe to an annual or longer membership. An annual membership can save you 40% on the monthly price. Again, my opinion is that the Pro plan is the best value and even if you sign up for the annual membership, you have the 30-day money back option if you're not loving it.
Act 5 – My LeadPages Ending
So how did things end up with LeadPages and me? I didn't get the job. But I did gain a friend, and I do have a preferred landing page system.
I recommend LeadPages.
LeadPages continues to change the way marketing software helps our industry. Earlier I mentioned a new product called Center by LeadPages. Clay recently announced LeadPages new product, which is essentially a marketing command center that sits on top of your entire marketing stack. Over the past couple years LeadPages worked with a ton of customers and ton of marketing software products and they realized one thing – the all-in-one marketing software platform is dying a slow death.
Trying to explain all the features of Center would be nearly impossible. Check out the announcement of Center at the Converted 2015 conference.
Needless to say, I believe LeadPages will continue to push the envelope when it comes to marketing technology.
If this article helped you decide to start using LeadPage, please consider using my referral link when signing up for LeadPages. These referrals are important so that I can continue to provide these types of guides for free.
If you choose to start using LeadPages, I'd love to hear about your experience. Let me know what is working for you and what can be improved on in the comments below. I'd also like to hear what other tools you've been considering so I can focus more time on reviewing relevant tools.