The no. 1 way to build an email list is through your landing pages, right?
Now at my last count there were over 20 landing page builders including free and premium WordPress plugins.
And since their launch in 2012, Leadpages has become one of the most popular landing page builders.
Leadpages claims to be the No.1 landing page builder. And has certainly become synonymous with landing pages.
To the extent many people refer to landing pages as ‘leadpages’.
But is Leadpages worthy of the hype in this increasingly competitive landscape?
In this post I take an in-depth look at the most popular landing page builder, explore some of the coolest and newest features and share a step-by-step tutorial of how to create the perfect landing page funnel with Leadpages.
In this post I will cover:
- What is a landing page?
- What is Leadpages?
- What are some of the coolest features?
- How does it work?
- The backwards formula for creating the perfect landing page funnel with Leadpages
- How is their support handled?
- What doesn’t it do so well?
- Who else uses it
- My opinion
Let’s dive in:
Disclaimer: some of the links below are affiliate links, which means that if you choose to click through and purchase, I will make a commission. This commission does not come at an additional cost to you.
Many people refer to the term landing page to refer to any page on a website – because they’re all pages on which you might land.
However many marketers, prefer to differentiate landing pages a little bit more than that.
Instead, a landing page is any page on the web on which one might land that a) has a form and b) exists solely to capture a visitor’s contact information.
In other words, all landing pages are web pages, but not all web pages are landing pages.
Landing pages are where you send traffic to for example from paid traffic sources such as paid advertising.
At it’s core Leadpages is a landing page builder. That enables you to build high-converting landing pages, timed and exit intent pop-ups and a whole bunch of other marketing pages.
Leadpages also includes:
Leadboxes – An opt-in form that can be used to create timed pop-ups, exit intent pop-ups and two-step optin forms that are triggered when a visitor clicks on a text link, image link or button.
Leaddigits – allows you to capture leads from your prospects when they’re not online by promoting a specific shortcode.
Leadlinks – which allows existing subscribers to sign up to your offers, change their email preferences or register for webinars, from one click.
Built in payment forms – create high-converting checkout pages and easily accept payments right from your own website.
Facebook ad creation – Leadpages now integrates directly with Facebook so you can easily place pixels, select targeting and create compelling ads by pulling content straight from your landing pages.
Checkout the full range of Leadpages features here.
Cool feature no. 1 Evergreen countdown timers
Countdown timers have always been available in the standard builder and drag and drop builder.
But until a couple of months ago you could only add date based countdown timers, which were great if you were running date based launches or time limited time only offers.
If you ran any kind of evergreen offer or sales funnel you would have had to have purchased a third party app, something like Deadline Funnel.
What an evergreen countdown allows you to do is set a time based deadline for every subscriber irrespective of when they opt-in.
You could offer your subscribers a time-limited offer of a discounted product or service on the thank you page, provided they purchase within 30 minutes of subscribing.
That deadline is specific for each subscriber irrespective of whether they subscriber on monday tuesday or friday, everyone gets the same time deadline.
Leadpages evergreen countdown timers work by placing a cookie in the visitors browser history, denoting they’ve perviously visited.
Note: Deadline Funnels countdown timers work on both cookies, IP address and email addresses.
What do you when the time runs out?
A number of things – you could redirect them to another page, maybe the same product but at a reduced discount.
You could choose to show or hide specific sections on your existing page. More on that later.
You could choose to show an ‘oops you missed it’ page.
Cool feature no.2 Dynamic sections
Leadpages are made up of one or more sections, within each section you have columns and rows into which you place widgets.
You can duplicate entire sections, delete them and even hide them whilst you’re working on others.
AND NOW, you can now delay a section appearing until after a specific time.
You could delay your add-to-cart button displaying until after a teaser video has reached a specific point.
You can also choose to show/hide specific sections depending upon the device your prospect is reading your page in.
So you can create mobile and tablet specific versions of your page.
Cool feature no.3 drag & drop Leadboxes
Until the latest release, stand alone Leadboxes were only available in the STD builder which was fairly limited – no drag and drop.
And it sucked, this lack of customisation really limited your ability to use Leadboxes to their full potential.
And could be why you see a lot of Leadpages customers use alternative pop-up plugins such as Sumo and OptinMonster, because you’ve great flexibility with the forms you can build within those list building plugins.
Not any more.
With the Leadbox drag and drop builder you can pretty much create any kind of form. And use dynamic sections to to create mobile specific version of your form.
Ok so it’s still pretty basic but you get the idea.
Cool feature no. 4 checkout pages
Before Leadpages introduced built-in payments you would have had to send customers to a PayPal page or embed some code from your Stripe account to add a Stripe pop-up form.
Now with built-in payments you can create high-converting checkout pages with Leadpages or accept payments from a pop-up Leadbox.
Worth a Mention:
Because I know you haven’t had enough of GDPR yet! Leadpages has also create opt-in consent box to ensure your Leadpages and Leadboxes are GDPR compliant.
There are 5 main areas within the drag and drop builder.
No. 1 grid system:
The grid system is the main what you see is what you get (WYSIWYG) editor.
In it you can drag widgets around your page, duplicate them, edit styles and delete them.
I had found it pretty slow and full of bugs until the last release. But it seems to work real well now.
No. 2 Widgets:
With your page open, widgets are the first menu item down the left hand side menu.
Widgets are the main visual elements that you’ll create your page with, each one has an icon and a text based description, so it’s fairly obvious what each of them does.
To use a widget, click hold and drag it into a column on your page. Each column will highlight blue when you hold a widget over it to indicate the position your widget will be placed.
You can edit various styles of each widget depending upon the widget.
No. 3 Sections.
Sections are the container that hold rows and columns.
You can include multiple rows within a section, and up-to 6 columns within a row.
Section and columns also have their own independent settings. You can add background colours, images, edit margins and padding.
And as explained above with section settings you can control which device each section will display on – if not all of them.
No. 4 Styles
Styles are pretty neat. This is the first area I go to when I build a new page.
You can edit the global page fonts, colours add a favicon image and also add custom css.
Note: I have not tested this feature – and hope I never have to 😉
No. 5 Tracking
Enter SEO metadata, Facebook title, description and image for when your image is shared on social media and add various tracking codes and pixels to your pages.
No. 6 Form settings
To get into the form settings you’ll need to click on any CTA select view/edit for the Leadbox and then click in side any form field.
This is where you set up integrations with the email service provider, edit your form fields and determine the follow up sequence i.e. what happens once someone fills out your form.
You can also send a file to a lead via the lead magnet delivery feature.
Note: this works outside of your email service provider.
How a landing page works:
The diagram below describes a typical landing page signup process.
- Visitor Clicks a CTA on your blog sidebar, social media post or online ad i.e. a traffic source
- User is taken to your landing page.
- User fills out your form and completes signup.
- User directed to a thank you page where they can download content.
- User receives kick-back email with an additional link to download content.
This is a basic landing page funnel.
This process is the minimum you should be doing once someone subscribes to your blog.
Let me explain.
To keep your subscribers engaged you should continue to send your subscribers even more value immediately after they opt-in.
Because that’s when they’re most excited about your product.
So, what can you send them?
You could send them a welcome email series of 3 or more emails to indoctrinate people on what you do and why you do it.
You could introduce them to discounted or lower priced products or services as part of a sales funnel
You could add them to your weekly newsletter or blog updates.
Now, you might be wondering, why the backwards formula?
Here’s what I mean:
let’s say you start with creating the CTA that links out to your landing page. This could be a clickable image that you add to your homepage or blog sidebar.
You create the image, upload it to your wordpress media library, add a text widget to your blog sidebar – then start to add the necessary html which needs to include the URL to link to your landing page.
See the problem yet?
Your can’t add the URL to your page because you haven’t created and published the page yet.
And that’s just step 1.
So you end up going back and forth between apps or browser tabs.
By creating everything in reverse order, you’ll have everything to hand exactly when you need it.
It will prevent you getting confused, forgetting steps and flicking back and forth between apps.
The backwards formula for creating the perfect landing page funnel with leadpages
This is the basic process I’ll cover:
- Write your welcome email and create the automation.
- Create and publish your thank you page.
- Create and publish your landing page.
- Create a CTA and add it to your website.
One thing you must do before you get started.
This process assumes you have already crafted your offer and created your lead magnet, free giveaway or opt-in bribe – whatever you choose to call it.
For the purpose of this blog I’m going to assume that is a PDF or other digital file.
To give your lead magnet away you will need to create a link that enables your subscribers to click to download your PDF.
You can’t add attachments in your emails, because they’ll be seen as spam, beside I don’t know of any email service provider that allows you to add attachments.
Log into WordPress, click on ‘Media’ to open your WordPress media library.
Upload your lead magnet.
Once it’s uploaded, click on the thumbnail image, click in the URL field and copy the URL EXACTLY.
Now paste it into a web browser – your lead-magnet should download/ open in your web browser.
Paste the URL into a text editor, you’ll need it later.
If you’ve already signed up to Leadpages there’s a good chance you will have already integrated your Leadpages account with your email service provider.
If you haven’t just follow these steps.
Login into your leadpages account select your name in the top right hand corner. Click on ‘Integrations’ and choose your email service provider (ESP).
This will tell you what you need to go get from your ESP. You may need to look through your ESP’s knowledge base to work out how to access it.
For example I use Active Campaign the Active Campaign API key is made up of a URL and an API key.
To access your API information, select your account name from the top right hand corner of your account, select ‘settings’ and then select ‘developer’
If you’re using MailChimp click on your account name, click on ‘Account’ from the drop down menu then click ‘Extras’ (not integrations) and ‘API Keys’ scroll down to get your API key.
Then log back into Leadpages, paste in your API key and click ‘Connect’.
2 Write your thank you (kick back) email
The purpose of your thank you email is two fold. First it’s there to confirm to your new subscriber that the action they took on your website was successful and second to deliver the offer you promised on your thank you page.
Note: you can also include a link to your lead magnet on your thank you page, which some may argue provides a better user experience. Because your subscriber doesn’t have to wait to receive it in an email.
I prefer to just add it in the email as it gets subscribers used to receiving email from you.
It also means if by chance it does end up in their spam folder. They can go and move it into their inbox.
Your thank you email is an automated email that’s sent, once someone opts-in on your landing page.
That action is called a ‘trigger’ which you use to send the email.
To send an automated email you’ll need to work out how to setup automations, drip campaigns workflows in your email service provider.
For this example I’m going to be using Active Campaign. But whatever you use the process is very similar.
Select ‘Automations’ Click on ‘New Automation’ ‘Start from Scratch’ and ‘Create’.
You’ll need to select how a contact enters this automation. The trigger!
Choose ‘Submits a form’ you could choose ‘Subscribes’ but I prefer to use ‘Submits a form’ with Leadpages.
And select the form you want to use. You will of course have to create one if this is the first time you’ve set this up.
Click ‘Add start’ which will take you to the automation workflow.
Click the + symbol. Then click ‘Send email’. Select ‘Create email’ give it a name.
Click ‘Create’ now you’ll have to choose a template to create your email from. If you’ve not created any choose ‘Build from scratch’.
Choose ‘Newsletter’ and ok, give the email a subject something along the lines of: Here’s your free gift as promised.
Then write and format your email.
I prefer to send plain text emails (with links) and If you’re stuck with what to write, start with this as a minimum.
Subject: Here’s your gift as promised.
Hi [First name] personalise first name using first name merge tag
Thanks so much for your interest in Your Blog Name. Here’s instant access to your guide anytime 10 Things You Need to Know Before Purchasing XXXX.
Thanks again for your interest in Your Blog Name, and I hope you find this valuable.
Now go grab the URL of your lead magnet from your text editor or notepad. Click on the add link icon and paste in your URL.
When you’ve finished, Click ‘Next’ ALWAYS send a test to a personal email account to check that it looks ok and when you click on the link your lead magnet downloads.
Once you’re happy with the email, click on ‘Finish’ You automation is now active.
3 Create your thank you page
Login to Leadpages, select ‘Create new page’ under ‘Filter by’ select ‘Thank-you’ to sort all thank you pages.
I’m going to choose a really simple thank you page for this exercise. But you can also use your thank you page to introduce additional content and offers. Such as a webinar registration page or additional content.
If you do this, make sure the topic is related to the topic your visitor first opted in to receive.
Pick a template, give it a name and edit your landing page as appropriate.
Click on ‘Publish’ to publish your page.
There are a number of ways you can publish pages with Leadpages – using their servers (method used in this tutorial) using a wordpress plugin, using your own subdomain or by uploading the page via HTML.
If you choose the wordpress route, copy the URL or the thankyou page.
Add it to your text editor.
4 Create your landing page (and test it)
Log back into Leadpages to create a new landing page, pick a template to base your page on.
Edit, fonts, colours and copy to suite.
Next move your cursor over the CTA button, and select ‘edit leadbox’, Click in the email field and ‘integrations’ select your ESP and then choose the form you used as the trigger for your email automation.
Select ‘Next Fields’ choose the form fields you want to capture such as first name and email address.
Then select ‘Next Follow-up’ directly under where it says ‘Send visitor to’ select choose the second radio button down ‘Leadpage’ and choose the thank you page you created in the previous step.
Save and publish the page.
Then test that EVERYTHING works.
What can you create with it?
Any kind of webpage you can imagine.
I have personally built landing pages, tripwire pages, sales pages, thank you pages and home pages and a whole bunch of other marketing pages in between.
Leadpages support includes an extensive knowledge base, email ticket system accessed through your account and chat – depending upon your plan.
Leadages also has a fairly large community (17k+ members) Facebook group (this is also used for Drip customers)
Their support staff have always been incredibly friendly and helpful often going beyond their scope to solve my problems that have been more user error ;( or related to other platforms.
Since their early days Leadpages has always excelled at providing training through courses, webinars and other marketing resources on topics such as conversion rate optimisation, email marketing and list building to name a few.
For example check out this free guide: 250 Facebook Ad Examples
Leadpages also provide a couple of premium trainings and certifications, conversion marketing certification and interactive offer 2.0
Whilst the way in which you add, move and manipulate widgets within the page builder works great for the most part.
There are a number of limitations which could lead to frustrations.
Frustration no.1 resizing images.
There are two ways to resize images you place in a widget
1. grab the ‘grab’ handles around the widget to increase or decrease the size of the image. Whilst this works pretty well it is VERY limiting in terms of the increments available for resizing your image.
2. within ‘layout’ and ‘column settings’ adjust the padding around the image. Meh! Yer this gives you a bit more control but if I want to evenly resize an image I’ve got to adjust 4 settings.
This only works if your image is in a column by itself, if you have two images in widgets next to each other, you’re going to find resizing difficult.
I have lost count of the amount of times I’ve had to recreate an image in photoshop the EXACT size to get it looking just right.
Another issue I have with this is that unless you’ve already got the layout section open it’s a lot of clicks just to get to resize one image. Why not just have one slider within the widget itself that allows you to increase or decrease the size of the image! Maybe one for the ideas portal!
Frustration no.3 positioning of images.
Ok well I guess if you can’t resize images easily why should you be able to position images any better! Why can’t you align image to the top, left, right or bottom within the widget itself? arrgghhh
Frustration no.2 adjust size of spacing.
So there’s is a spacing widget. Awesome!
Not so fast!
You see, you can’t adjust the size of spacing.
When I reached out to support about this, this was the response I received:
Me: How I can adjust the size of the spacing widget?
Support: “they way you resize a spacing widget is by adjust the grabble handles on an adjacent row or column!”
Me: “Wait what! So to resize a spacing widget I have to resize something else?”
Me: Shoot me!
Ok enough – suggestions submitted.
Frustration no.3 form integrations
The first time you add an integration within the builder, you select your email service provider, select the appropriate form, but then what?
The image below shows the screen you’ll be presented with.
So I’ll ask you – what’s the obvious next step here? To click ‘’Next Fields’ or ‘Done’?
For a whilst I kept selecting ‘Next Fields’ and wondering why the integration wasn’t working.
The correct answer is ‘Done’ and then ‘Next Fields’
Look it’s not a biggy, but I’m just not sure why there’s two options, why not just have ‘Next Fields’ or make the steps more obvious.
Leadpages boasts a large customer base (40k+ customers) with a number of influencers quick to jump in.
Off the top of my head I can name a dozen or so influencers that I follow who use Leadpages including:
Amy Porterfield, Derek Halpern, Bryan Harris, David Siteman-Garland, Kimra Luna, Jill and Josh Stanton Screw the Nine to Fine, Mariah Coz, Jon Morrow, Pat Flynn, Melyssa Griffin, Mari Smith, James Wedmore and Rick Mulready.
- Visually intuitive widget based drag & drop builder
- Broad list of drag & drop templates
- Blank template
- Facebook open-graph support
- Global page styles
- Dynamic sections
- Evergreen countdown timers
Aside from a few minor annoyances the Leadpages drag and drop builder is very intuitive and easy to learn.
Whether I choose to build a page from scratch or pick an existing template to customise. I am able to very quickly build and publish pages.
The not so good:
You already know I’m a Leadpages customer I have been for a couple of years now. And probably also figure I wouldn’t be using it if it I didn’t like it.
As far as a drag and drop page builders go, it is by no means complete, there are shortcomings that I’ve mentioned above, more widgets that could be added and a little funky UI that could do with be fixed.
But from what I can see, Leadpages seems to be putting a lot of focus on the drag and drop builder.
Using the STD builder previously I can’t remember anywhere near as many updates as there have been in the past 12 months since it was released.
I’ve used a lot of drag and drop builders outside of landing page builders and the only one that comes close for ease-of-use, is Instapage.
Start creating high-converting landing pages, exit intent popups, scroll boxes, welcome gates and more today.
If you have any further questions you’d like me to answer, please let me know in the comments: