Which is the best landing page creator? A look at the current landing page tools climate
Data on the top 1M Alexa websites as per Datanyze shows that at 37.9% Optimizely is the technology preferred by most websites. It is at the number 1 position in the testing and optimization category based on all websites in the Datanyze universe.
More precisely, let’s compare the landing page tools we’ll be looking at in our article.
Leadpages is at the number 6 spot. Here’s how its numbers compare with Optimizely.
Clickfunnels stands at number 11. Here’s how its user base compares with Optimizely.
Lastly, here’s Optimizely vs. Unbounce (spot #15).
Market share doesn’t necessarily indicate the ease of use and specific conditions where the tool might be useful.
So now we explore these four tools one-by-one with insights from Harry Luk (a media buyer here at Native Ads with expertise in creating landing pages using these tools).
Unbounce is a leading landing page creation tool that offers drag and drop functionality with any element (video, image, button and text). Their value proposition reads “Build, Publish & A/B Test Landing Pages Without I.T.”
1. They offer mobile responsive templates across different categories. You can choose one for running various types of marketing campaigns.
For choosing from a range of different industries.
Or even choose a template with special features.
2. You can integrate Unbounce with a range of tools including Mailchimp, Aweber, Salesforce, Google, Facebook and Infusionsoft.
And use its webhooks to send the data to other Google Doc Rows, Infusionsoft and other web services.
4. It has a stellar split testing and analytics system. You can easily keep track of your conversions on landing pages in real-time without the need to run a report query.
Suppose you get the following results at the end of the test.
Now as the landing page A is winning we can choose to completely discard page B or preserve it, for tracking what worked.
1. You cannot simply abandon Unbounce because they are a hosted service and don’t allow you to copy the landing pages to your own server.
So if you dream of building hundreds of landing pages for different traffic sources and conversion funnels, then you cannot exit their ecosystem. You’ll need an immense amount of time and money for replicating all your landing pages sans the ownership.
2. The backend of Unbounce is slow. And this slowness in creation also extends to the visitors. You’ll not only require more time to create a landing page, but even lose conversions due to slow loading speed.
Harry feels that the design functionalities inside Unbounce are limited and not flexible compared to the other landing page tools we look at later.
3. At $99 per month for under 25,000 visits, the tool is expensive.
4. Although you get elegant and professional looking variety of 85+ templates to choose from, they don’t convert well. A quick fix is buying templates designed for Unbounce.
And most of them aren’t in a ready state to directly start driving traffic. You’ll need to spend time customizing them.
Leadpages is a quick and simple-to-use tool. You can publish a sales page in just 5 minutes and run a PPC/Facebook ad to drive traffic to it.
1. You can sort the landing pages based on their past conversion rates. Although there’s no guarantee that you’ll get similar conversion rates (it depends on your niche, audience and offer among other factors) – it’s good to get such a template selection used by seasoned marketers.
You won’t need to design a landing page from scratch worrying about the headline, font size, CTA and the like. You can set up a campaign real quick with Leadpages.
You can also bookmark templates that you like so that you can come back later and edit them.
2. It is cloud based with fast loading times and great customer support. Many marketers use the tool’s fast hosting to directly advertise on Facebook.
If you get stuck, there are short and easy to digest video tutorials to walk you along.
3. You can use the tool on unlimited websites with unlimited traffic. It can be a huge money saver over other tools if you run more than one website.
4. It easily integrates with a range of services.
On WordPress, it has features like leadboxes and the ability to send traffic from 404 pages to a Leadpage. You can even set up a welcome gate for your homepage.
5. The pro and advanced plans also offer leadlinks that allow you to put a link in your email and instantly register your audience with a single click. Note that if you’re on Aweber then this feature won’t work as it violates their terms of service.
6. Two-step optins were found to have a 30% higher conversion rate than one-step. So Leadpages introduced leadboxes – when you first click, and then you optin. It’s a handy feature to create a clickable link anywhere on your website.
Update: Earlier the editing functionalities inside Leadpages were limitedwithout drag and drop. And being fairly popular, marketers ended up using the same Leadpages templates accustoming the customer to them and making them ineffective.
In March, 2016 Leadpages launched their new drag and drop page builder. Soon they will make all their classic templates available for customizing with this editor and reduce the saturation occurring with similar landing pages.
1. The conversion analytics dashboard is confusing.
You also don’t have control over driving traffic in the proportion you want to while testing.
2. The standard plan doesn’t give you split testing, leadboxes and leadlinks. You’ll need to buy at least the “Pro” plan for getting access to these special features.
3. The WordPress plugin can get buggy and you won’t know if you’re sending your precious traffic to a blank page.
4. You need to set up links to the Thank You page every time. If you forget to do so and send traffic from ads to your landing page, you’ll flush a lot of money.
Want a ready-made webinar funnel (or any other sales funnel) builder without involving designers/coders?
Then this is the tool of your dreams.
Harry ranks Clickfunnels as the best landing page tool he has used. It’s totally beginner friendly with a cool editor, and does so much more than simply creating a landing page.
Here are the integrations and expenses you can choose to ignore if you choose Clickfunnels. It is a tool made by “marketers for marketers.”
1. Drag and drop functionality, an easy to use interface with a variety of pre-defined template selections. With its editor, you can customize and style your landing pages in a snap without any hassle. Here are the variety of elements you can add at the click of a button –
You can also use custom CSS (if required) to make your landing pages look way cooler.
Even if you face problems while building….
2. They have an excellent and quick support team along with tutorials and documents to answer all your queries.
3. You can easily integrate it with payment systems, email responders and build complete marketing funnels (mind you, I am not just talking about landing pages).
You can even use it to build a membership website for your recurring subscription products, using their pages as checkouts. You can also perform email messaging, click tracking, and funnel sharing.
4. It also allows you to share your funnels and high-converting landing pages with other members.
5. It has handy analytics to see the funnel percentage click through layout and find out where your funnel is leaking as well as which ones are working in the first place.
1. With the plethora of options inside for customizing your landing page, initially you might have a hard time getting around the tool. It’s not the most intuitive tool on the list.
2. At $97/month for 20k monthly visitors for building 100 pages, the tool is a tad costly for most small businesses that are starting out with landing pages. Leadpages gives you unlimited visitors and unlimited pages at $67.
3. The deliverability of transactional emails is questionable. You’ll need to ensure that such emails are sent from your own service provider or CRM.
Also, they host all the landing pages on their server by loading a generic CSS for every page, which can mean a slow loading speed. For the particular page you use, you’ll only need a part of CSS. But there’s no easy workaround for selectively loading scripts/loading CSS that you need.
4. Although you can test multiple pages, every page has a limitation of 3 variations. Also, once you’re done with a split test, there’s no easy way to archive it. It will be a nice to have feature as you get to see what’s working at each step.
Overall Clickfunnels works well for building webinars, email optins and other sales funnels.
But it is not suitable for testing your existing website.
Which brings us to the last tool on the list…
This is an advanced tool you can use if you don’t want to change your CMS (works on WordPress, Drupal and the like).
Harry feels this is a tool to play with for slightly more advanced marketers (modifying code is necessary in Optimizely)
You can test the changes to your website design (footer, sidebar, email optin and the like) or host pages on your own server leveraging its powerful functionalities.
Its value proposition sums up its resourcefulness aptly: “Optimize the digital experiences of your customers.”
1. You can track multiple variables and test changes to multiple pages. Then use the incredible insights to improve your business results.
Paul Olyslager had a field day with various website elements to improve his blog conversions using Optimizely. Here are a couple of results he achieved.
i. He found the ‘continue reading’ link format that increases his circulation traffic.
ii. He increased the clicks on his affiliate links and found that the word “popular” works really well for his audience.
2. You can quickly set up multiple page/funnel variations and allocate traffic to them for performing multivariate, multipage and A/B testing in real-time. Marketers, product managers, and designers can also use its WYSIWYG editor to make simple UI changes.
It also has advanced segmenting and personalization features (based on location, browser, medium and more). So even if you receive insignificant results overall as in the example below,
You can segment the data by device to find winning variations. In our example, the variation saw a 10% increase in conversions with 97% significance.
3. They have a free starter plan along with email support. Although for personalization and accessing advanced features, you’ll need an enterprise plan with steep pricing (customized for your business).
1. Optimizely scripts can occasionally be buggy and slow your loading speed. Previewing can also take time because of slow caching.
Small design changes by beginners might add a lot of overhead on code execution. For instance, the H2 title is repositioned 4 times below.
You’ll need to manually remove the excess code from the <edit code> tab.
2. The reports aren’t easy-to-understand and as robust as a beginner would like. You also don’t get access to past tests and reports. So you’ll have to separately maintain reports offline.
3. It’s not a good tool if you want to design from scratch. You’ll need to have passable landing pages and create your own split tests from the onset.
As you might have noticed, all the four landing page tools have different sets of functionalities that would be effective in different marketing situations. Yes, there are overlaps, but in most cases it’s like comparing apples to oranges.
For Harry, Clickfunnels stands out followed by Optimizely. I recommend you start with a free trial with the tool that fits your business requirements. Keep the a/b testing best practices in mind when running your first A/B test.
Have you had success with any of the above four landing page tools? Are there any other landing page tools that are part of your marketing arsenal?