As I’ve talked about in many of my recent posts, building your email list is critical and should be the #1 task for your business.
There are many ways to build your list, but two of the most popular methods today are using landing pages and popups.
If you were to try and construct these types of optin forms by hand, I’m guessing you would have a very difficult time. That’s because creating them requires the ability to code, having good design skills, and countless hours testing.
I’m betting that not many business owners around have this type of skillset.
Last updated: Feb 6, 2017
First Published on: Nov 27, 2015
Fortunately, there are several products available that can help you construct these types of landing pages and popups quite easily. And the most popular of these hands down is LeadPages.
I’ve been extensively testing LeadPages on many of my websites for several months now. I’ve been seeing some great results with it so I thought it was time to finally write a comprehensive LeadPages review.
What is LeadPages?
LeadPages is a web based app for creating both landing pages and popups, both specifically designed to collect email addresses.
By signing up with LeadPages you get:
- Access to 144 and counting professionally designed standard templates plus 90 drag and drop templates
- A simple point and click editor to customize templates to match your specifications.
- The ability to split test your landing pages and popups to maximize your conversions.
- Create timed, exit intent and 2-step optin LeadBox popups.
Also, everything you create in LeadPages is mobile responsive so your pages and popups will function and look great on any device.
It’s hard to visit any popular blog online and not notice that many of them are using LeadPages in some form or another.
In fact, LeadBoxes have emerged as the most trendy way to show a traditional popup optins now.
Where I first started paying attention to LeadPages was when I saw it being used extensively by Brian Dean from Backlinko. He had started using the content upgrade strategy on many of his most popular posts and I saw he was implementing the optin step using LeadBoxes.
The fact that he was getting a 785% increase in his conversions made me want to try it out for myself.
Creating Your Landing Pages
What makes LeadPages special is that it enables anyone to create great looking landing pages.
You don’t need to have any design skills at all, because you’re starting from tested, proven high converting templates.
Leadpages now has two different landing page editors. The original point and click editor which allows you to make simple edits to various elements on the template and change basic properties like colors, images and fonts very quickly.
Then there is the newer drag and drop editor which gives you the full ability to re-arrange, delete and add elements on the page.
Which editor you use depends on the requirements of your landing page. If you just want to get up and running very quickly, then you can use the standard editor. While you are basically bound to your chosen template’s overall design, it’s not a stretch to say that you can be launch a new landing page with LeadPages in under 10 minutes.
If you want more flexibility though, then the drag and drop editor is the way to go. It’s much more powerful and will allow you full control of designing your landing page. You also get access to some cool widgets like the Countdown timer which allows you to add scarcity to your pages.
The only downside with the drag and drop editor is that you can split test these landing pages.
What makes LeadPages standout from the competition is the pure number of templates to pick from. And the number of templates being added is expanding every month. Basically, they have templates for almost any situation you can think of including:
- Webinar Pages
- Thank You Pages
- Upsell Pages
- Launch Pages
- 404 Pages
Then there are more specialized pages for setting up Podcasts, Contest pages, About me pages, FB landing pages and more.
These are just the free templates available. LeadPages also has a growing eco-system of paid templates available ranging from $7 to $39 which you can pay to use. You can find them over at http://market.leadpages.net.
So if you have some design skills, you could try your hand at selling your own LeadPages templates on the marketplace to make some extra cash.
There are a lot of products that can help you add popup optins on your site, but I would have to say that using Leadboxes is the easiest to get up and running quickly.
There are many ways to use LeadBoxes. You can have them popup after a certain amount of time or a specific number of page views. You can also create LeadBoxes that popup whenever it looks like your visitor is about to leave the page.
However the most popular way to launch a LeadBox is via the 2-step optin. This is where your visitor has to click on a link or button before the popup box will appear.
This demonstration of micro-commitments has been proven to improve conversions which is why we’re starting to see it all over the place.
LeadBoxes used to be customized in the same way as standard landing pages. Which was became a downside because most LeadBoxes ended up looking pretty similar.
However, a great new feature is the new drag and drop Leadboxes editor. Now you can full control to design Leadboxes how you want them, and take advantage of things like countdown timers or videos to really boost your conversion rate.
Content upgrades are where LeadBoxes really show their power. Combined with LeadPages’ lead magnet automatic delivery mechanism you have the perfect combo for creating your content upgrades fast.
In fact, pretty much all bloggers I’ve seen who have incorporated content upgrades are using LeadPages to implement them.
Integrating LeadPages & 3rd Party Support
LeadPages gives you a few options for integrating with your site.
If you use WordPress, then you can install the LeadPages connector plugin. The plugin lets you access the various landing pages and LeadBoxes you have created on your account from within your WordPress control panel.
With it, you can set one of your landing pages as a normal WordPress page (with it’s own custom url) on your site. Or you can even choose to make a landing page your home page.
For LeadBoxes the plugin will link any LeadBox you have created. Then you can choose to make it a timed popup or use exit intent and change the specific settings for each.
Non-Wordpress users can also integrate their sites with LeadPages. Say you have a plain HTML based site. Then you can also just get the HTML code for your landing page directly from your account and copy it over to your site.
And lastly, you can always host your landing pages on LeadPages itself. Although the downside of this approach is that you will be using a LeadPages url and not your own.
To collect leads with LeadPages you will of course need some sort of email service provider to actually store your leads. LeadPages supports all the major email service providers including ActiveCampaign, Drip, ConvertKit, and MailChimp
While landing pages and LeadBoxes are probably the two primary reasons to sign up for Lead Pages, there are a couple of other cool benefits of being a Lead Pages member as well.
LeadDigits is a neat feature that allows you to collect emails via text message.
Lets say you’re at a conference and you’re meeting potential customers. It’s not very convenient while chatting in person to ask them to go to your website and put their email into an optin form.
Instead, you can have them text in a keyword to your LeadDigits number. They will immediately receive a text back asking them to join your list.
It’s a awesome alternative way to get people to join your list. Not only is it great for offline situations, but it’s also effective in other situations where you can embed your LeadDigits number in places like Youtube videos or whitepapers.
LeadPages also offers one of the most best affiliate programs out there. It pays out 30% recurring commissions on all sales you make.
Take a look at Pat Flynn, who makes $8k+ a month promoting LeadPages.
It’s very easy to promote because there’s a lot of social proof of people using the product. Plus it’s backed by $38 million in VC funding, so you know that LeadPages will be around for awhile and it’s not some fly by night operation.
LeadPages does have a somewhat complicated pricing structure, where specific features are only available at certain pricing tiers. So definitely check out the pricing page first and make sure you know what you are getting before signing up.
The Standard pricing tier starts out at $37 a month. Here you get access to the LeadPages landing pages and Leadboxes. However extra features like split testing, Lead Digits and access to the lucrative Leadpages affiliate program are not available.
The Pro pricing tier, which is what I have, gives you access to all these extra features for $79 a month.
Finally, there is the Advanced Annual Tier which gives you sub accounts and the template importer feature for $199 a month (but pre-paid annually).
Keep in mind that if you pre-pay for 1 or 2 years, you will save an additional 38% off over choosing the pay by month option.
Comparison to other products
I mentioned early on that there are quite a few competitors in this landing page and popup email optin space.
LeadPages vs ClickFunnels
One of these is ClickFunnels which I’ve reviewed previously on this site. There is some overlap in features so it often gets compared to LeadPages.
Which one is better?
Both have their strengths, but honestly, it really depends on what you really need for your business.
ClickFunnels is pretty much capable of doing everything that LeadPages can do and more.
Not only can you create landing pages and popups with ClickFunnels, but you can build entire multi-step sales funnels. These funnels can integrate with payment processors like Stripe so your customers can pay you directly.
It’s all very powerful.
But with all these extra capabilities, there’s also a much higher learning curve. If you’re not technically savvy, I think you will find ClickFunnels a bit harder to get a handle on.
You will also pay quite a bit more for ClickFunnels at $97 a month for the core features and $297 for Actionetics/Backpack.
If you are purely interested in a product for helping you collect more emails, then I still think LeadPages is the way to go.
LeadPages vs ThriveLeads
Thrive Leads is also another up and coming alternative to LeadPages.
It’s actually a WordPress plugin instead of a software as a service like LeadPages or ClickFunnels.
Thrive Leads is primarily focused on adding optin-forms to your site, via popups or inline on your site. With Thrive Leads, you can make your own LeadBox type popup very easily. You can even add the progress bar that LeadBoxes are known for. And they just added automated digital asset delivery as well.
Thrive Leads also has several form options like Slide In forms, Scroll Mat and Ribbon optins that LeadPages can’t do. Its split testing capabilities are also much more powerful than LeadPages.
Lastly, Thrive Leads forms are extremely customizable. The editor is very flexible and you can move different elements around and change them the way you like.
For the DIY power user, Thrive Leads is an excellent product.
Still, LeadPages shines in two main areas over both these products.
First, it has the lowest learning curve. And second, is the sheer number of templates currently available (plus the ones that will be added in the future).
Currently, LeadPages is one of my go to products in my marketing toolbox.
It’s especially essential for implementing the content upgrade strategy.
And it’s great for testing out various landing pages because I can pump them out so fast.
While there are some people that may shy way from LeadPages because of the recurring subscription price, first consider how much email marketing can add to your bottom line.
Make email marketing a focus of your business strategy, and LeadPages certainly becomes a worthwhile investment.