Landing pages are the perfect example of marketing in its purest form. The landing page drives visitors to one, specific desirable action that allows you to collect valuable information (e.g. emails) or, potentially, a direct sale. But the world of landing pages can be confusing to navigate, especially considering the exploding industry of landing page tools and builders.
This article is my attempt to clarify the options out there depending on your needs or preferences. As a landing page copywriter, I have some insights on what options work best for different businesses.
Forewarning: Crass jokes, bad puns, and British slang ahead. Proceed with caution.
So, without further ado…
Looking for something your granny could use?
Look. You don’t have the time to fiddle around with code or design or anything time-consuming like that. You just want a working landing page up and running for your business. Here are my top two picks that your granny might actually be able to use (you may have to repeat everything. Ten times).
The self-proclaimed “most powerful landing page platform”, Instapage certainly lives up to the hype. But from my personal experience, it isn’t how powerful the tool is that sets it apart. It’s how easy it is to use. Instapage provides beautiful templates that can be completely customised with zero design experience.
Price: $68 / $113 / $203 per Month
Super flexible — With hundreds of templates and the ability to easily customize just about every element of your landing page, Instapage is perfect for both design newbies and seasoned veterans.
Seamless split-testing — You can set up multiple variations of your pages in minutes, allowing you to continually improve the performance of your landing pages. With a sophisticated analytics dashboard, heatmaps, and pixel tracking, Instapage supplies you with actionable data about your campaign.
Multiple integrations — Fit Instapage into your existingsales funnel and connect it with dozens of external tools. Integrate it with your ads (Adwords and Facebook), CRM (Salesforce and Infusionsoft) and mailing sequences (Mailchimp, Campaign monitor). See a full list of integrations here.
Overwhelming choice — While it’s an intuitive tool, beginners or those looking for a simpler solution might be left feeling overwhelmed or guilty for not taking full advantage of your $68 worth.
Lack of phone support — If you pay for the first two packages (Core and Optimizer) you’ll miss out on phone support, exclusive only to the Team & Agency / Enterprise packages. Not a big deal, but it might be for some.
Hard to cancel — It’s so good you just can’t bring yourself to do it! In all seriousness though, to cancel your subscription, Instapage makes it a little difficult — you have to contact customer services. This is a tiny ‘con’, but some users have reported being frustrated by this.
There’s a new pride on the block, and they’re roaring their challenge with the smoothest drag and drop’ customization around. While they offer comparable features to the industry’s frontrunners, being a younger company Landing Lion are hungry to make an impact — offering an unlimited free trial and more affordable pricing.
Price: Free (Unlimited) / $99 per month
Build in minutes — You need zero tech skills to build a powerful landing page with Landing Lion. It’s highly-intuitive, and perfect for marketers who don’t have the time to mess around with code and design — but still want pages that look like they were built by a team of experts.
Limitless pages — Make as many as you want. No matter your pricing model, even free users can create dozens of landing pages for different campaigns, giving you infinite flexibility. Landing Lion is great for marketers or business owners with many audience segments or campaigns.
Watch your visitors — Sound voyeuristic? It kinda is. An interesting feature offered is the ability to replay user sessions. Watch how they interact with your website second-by-second. Added with the usual in-built analytics and A/B testing, you can gain an in-depth understanding of your user’s experience and journey with Landing Lion.
Free version is limited — An endless free trial surely is unique and appealing. However, Landing Lion limit your visitors to 100 per landing page, making it less than ideal. I can’t exactly grope or whine too much about this, but it essentially reduces the ‘free’ option to a taster trial for 95% of users.
Slightly limited integrations — Compared to the established competition, Landing Lion don’t have quite the same extensive integration portfolio. However, they’re constantly adding to their arsenal. Their team are very receptive to suggestions according to existing users.
Less templates — Similarly with the integrations, Landing Lion has fewer templates than the competition. But with dozens already, this may not be a serious issue for most users.
Looking for the bargain that’d make Scrooge go green?
$16 for a few large skinny soy lattes (whatever hipsters are drinking these days), or a powerful, intuitive landing page builder to rake in the profits? Lander App offers the most essential features in return for insanely low prices. It’s perfect for the average business owner.
Price: $16 / $54 / $149 per month
Simple as can be — As intuitive as the competition, Lander also focuses on the core features you need to make your landing page building experience seamless and stress-free.
Cheap as chips! — Get the full host of features necessary for your marketing campaign — starting at just $16 a month. This price is ridiculous, so naturally it deserved its own bullet point.
Custom design — Need a specific design or layout, but don’t have the skills? You can contact Lander’s support team and they’ll discuss a custom design option with you. How’s that for service?
Limited visitors — For some, the $16 a month price tag will be bittersweet. Their cheapest package allows only one custom domain and a maximum of 3,000 visitors a month. Good for trial projects or smaller campaigns, but far from ideal for larger scale ventures.
Limited templates — With just a handful of templates, Lander might be less appealing to those looking for an instant yet personalized option.
Lacking A/B testing — While they do offer A/B testing options, you can only create three variations of each page, meaning more complex multivariate endeavours might be limited.
Start by paying $10~ a month for hosting. It’s perfect for the budget-conscious, the control freaks and the digital polymaths amongst us. However, be prepared to spend more time invested in building your own landing page — whether it’s from complete scratch or using CMS tools like Wordpress.
Complete control — While the options might seem daunting to some, you can alter every single element of your DIY landing page without the usual constraints of a builder tool.
Own it — Because it’s hosted by yourself, don’t worry about indefinitely having to pay a large monthly fee or the fate of your page being in the hands of another company. Your self-built landing page is 100% your property.
Potentially complex — For those lacking the right skills, DIY landing pages could be complex or confusing. Don’t know HMTL/CSS? Want something more complex like an animation? You might need to call an expert which defeats the purpose of affordability.
Takes more time — With most landing page builders, you can start building your page in minutes. By starting from scratch, you’ll likely need to invest more time into building and designing your page.
Looking for all the widgets, gizmos, and thingimajigs?
Whether you’re a control freak or your campaign requires more advanced features and integration for your landing page, here are two choices that’ll leave you completely spoilt for choice!
As one of the older and larger companies targeting online marketers, Unbounce have a firm hold on the landing page market. While the user experience they offer isn’t as straightforward as, say, Instapage, Unbounce definitely offer one of the most powerful tools to build and customise landing pages.
Price: $99 / $199 / $499+ per month
Amazing customizability — With complete freedom in a drag-and-drop editor and well over 100 landing page templates, Unbounce is the king of customization.
Perfect for campaigns — Dynamic Text Replacement (DTR) and full integration with a huge host of third-party tools, along with advanced A/B testing and analytics, Unbounce is great for experts and marketing teams.
Manage your clients — For those who do client work, this feature is a godsend. Organise your campaigns and landing pages by client and restrict or allow viewing access. Most competitors don’t offer this.
A bit slow — Because of the power of Unbounce, users have reported that site loading speeds are a little slower than the competition.
Slightly complex — This is natural for such a customisable tool. The editor can be slightly less intuitive than comparable tools (e.g. Instapage) because of the amount of options. But for some, the learning curve is worth it.
Although offering a powerful landing page builder, LeadPages’ secret weapon is in its ecosystem of market tools. With built-in payments, lead capture popups and even SMS opt-ins, LeadPages offers a ridiculous amount of flexibility.
Price: $25 / $48 / $199 per month
Pick from the best — Leadpages sorts their landing page templates by conversion rate, allowing you to pick the designs that’ll work best for your industry.
Integrates with Wordpress — Not only does Leadpages allow for dozens of third party tool integrations, you can quickly import landing pages into your Wordpress site.
A sales ecosystem — Use LeadBoxes and LeadDigits to create powerful popups and capture information via SMS. Leadpages isn’t just a landing page builder — it’s an ecosystem of tools to improve your sales funnel.
Inflexible editing — While Leadpages does come with hundreds of free templates, you can’t completely redesign these. This might not be a problem if you just need a nice-looking template that works.
Limited chat support — Users with a basic account won’t have chat support available.
Slightly clunky — The drag-and-drop editor is a little slow and unresponsive compared to some of the competition.
Your project is vastly different from the next person’s. Picking the right tools can make a huge difference in the success of your campaign. Hopefully the above has given you a solid starting point in building the landing page of your dreams!
Note: If you need an expert copywriter to review your landing page (design + content), post your link here! I’d be happy to annotate my comments on a screenshot 😊