Landing Page Software: LeadPages Versus Unbounce

Landing Page software Do you use landing page software to create highly effective converting pages on your website?

If you don’t you really should consider it, because it can make a huge difference to your conversion rates and sales.

We have written a few posts on this site about how to drive relevant traffic to your website, but once you get people there you need to consider how you are going to convert those that are relevant to your business.

If you don’t have a lot of traffic, you have a traffic problem not a conversion problem. However, if you do have a lot of traffic but you want to improve your conversions, then landing page software will help.

 

What are the important things I need to know about landing pages?

  • A landing page is a page you drive visitors to on your website to convert them (persuade them to sign up to your email list, buy products etc.)
  • Split testing is the process of sending people to different landing pages to test out which achieves the best conversion rates.
  • If you build your own landing page, you will generally not achieve the rates of conversion that you could achieve by using landing page templates that have proven to to work.
  • A ‘squeeze page’ is a landing page typically used to collect marketing information (yes, it’s just a landing page).
  • Your CTA (call to action) is one of the most important elements on the Landing page.  You have to clearly inform people of what you want them to do.
  • Value proposition – This is the primary reason why visitors will hand over their details (i.e. what’s in it for them)

In this post, we take a look at two leading providers of landing page software – LeadPages and Unbounce.

LeadPages

LeadPages is a well known piece of landing page software that is very simple to use, so you can have landing pages up and running in minutes.

They have a suite of landing page templates that you can use that will achieve good conversions.  The reason you know that they’ll achieve good conversions is that they get information from all their customers about their landing page conversion rates, and they aggregate this information.  You can then sort the landing page options based on the highest converting template.

So why reinvent the wheel?

re-inventing-the-wheel

 

Features

  • Templates – 54 mobile-optimized templates to choose from.  These templates are for different scenarios, e.g. for pages for downloading an ebook, signing up for a webinar, joining a mailing list etc.
  • Conversion – They aggregate all the conversion information from all their templates from all their customers and you can sort the options based on what has achieved the best conversion rates.
  • Easy publishing – You can grab some code and add it to your website, a WordPress site or a Facebook page.  It only takes 4 clicks to publish to a Facebook page so it’s very easy!
  • Split test – Easily set up split testing and measure conversion on each page.
  • Analytics –   You can use your normal analytics programs (e.g. Google Analytics) to view performance or you can use a very simplified version within Leadpages.  This will show you views, unique views and conversions, and this is essentially all you really want to know!
  • Integration with a wide variety of providers that specialize in email marketing or provide email as part of their platform – Aweber, Mailchimp, ConstantContact, Ontraport (ex-Office AutoPilot), Infusionsoft, SendReach, iContact, GetResponse, GetResponse360, 1ShoppingCart, MadMimi and Interspire.

 

How it works

Before you select your template, you should go to the admin section and connect your email service provider to LeadPages as it’s likely you’ll be collecting email addresses at some stage.

You start off by selecting one of the landing pages as a template.  There are 65 templates to choose from, and these are broken down into various categories (e.g. sales pages, opt-in pages etc).

 

landing templates

65 templates to choose from

 

Once you select your landing page template you are asked what industry you are in.  This is only used by LeadPages to figure out the best performing landing pages for your niche. You can then update the template.

To update any element in the template you just click on it and then change it on the left hand side.  For example, if I click on the download text you’ll see this text appear on the left hand side.

 

leadpages updating template

Click on any element to update

 

You can also replace images, change the colors of each element, change fonts and hide elements on the page.  You can’t move the position of sections on the page or add new elements to it.

For some of the pages you can add additional fields to the forms.  For example, if you have a form with e-mail on it you may be able to add contact details to this, but it depends on the form you are using. Although this is restrictive, if you know the template performs really well already then you don’t want to try to create new landing pages that you think might work, based on guesswork. These are landing pages that do work!  We’re always so tempted to make changes but, if you’re not an optimization expert, stick to the proven templates.

As well as configuring the content, there are some other settings for the template:

  • Opt-in form integration – If you are collecting email addresses, you need to connect the form to the relevant email providers
  • SEO settings – configure the basic SEO settings for the page e.g. the title, description and keywords (don’t worry about configuring keywords because Google will ignore them)
  • Tracking code – You can add any tracking code you want for whichever analytics provider you use
  • Style settings – Specify the colors for any elements on the page
  • Exit popup – If you want, you can configure a popup to appear when web visitors are exiting the page.  You can also set up a redirect website address where the user is redirected to if they stay on the page.

If you want to split test you can just copy the original template, update the new template and that’s it.  When you’re ready you can preview the page and the click ‘publish’ when you’re ready to launch it.

You can launch it immediately on a section of the LeadPages site or you can add it to your site.  If you have a WordPress site you should install the LeadPages plugin which then makes it very easy to launch landing pages.

Price

The starting price for leadpages is $37 per month, which rises to $67 per month with extra features.

Summary

LeadPages is very easy to use and provides you with 65 landing page templates that are proven to convert well.  Why build landing pages yourself if you’re not an expert in conversion?  Why not use templates that are proven to be effective?

The disadvantage with LeadPages is that you don’t have the flexibility that some other pieces of landing page software offer, but the major advantage is that you have a broad range of templates that will convert very well for you, and you’ll have them up and running quickly.

It’s surprising how often you need to build landing pages and the worst thing to do is ask a developer to build a landing page if they don’t have strong expertise in building high converting pages.

2.  Unbounce

Unbounce is a well-known tool that provides a broad range of templates and very flexible configuration options for each of the landing pages.  Similar to LeadPages, you can have your landing page up and running very quickly.

Features

  • Templates – 83 templates to choose from.
  • Drag and drop – You can pick elements you want to add or remove from your pages using a simple drag-and-drop interface.
  • Multi-user features – You can have multiple users on your account, to help with creating, updating or viewing your landing pages (you can set the permissions for different people).
  • Integration with a variety of providers – Aweber, Hubspot, Mailchimp, CampaignMonitor, ConstantContact, ActiveCampaign, Spark2Leads, Zoho CRM, Salesforce and Infusionsoft.
  • Client management – You can manage multiple clients within one account.
  • CSS3 support – To get your own code so you can do what you like with the landing page.
  • Split test – You can serve up different variations of your landing page and see which works best.

 

How it works

You start of by selecting one of the templates, or you can start with a blank canvas (note: you can click on the image below to enlarge it).

 

unbounce canvas
This is where you edit your landing pages

 

The first thing I notice with Unbounce is that it provides  a lot more options for customization of your landing page than LeadPages does.  Of course, this flexibility means it is more complex and you have more to think about, but it does allow you to create a landing page in any way you want, which will suit a lot of people.

One thing you need to be careful of is that with this flexibility it might be tempting to take the template and customize so much that you end up with a poorly converting page. Obviously you need to avoid this!

On the left-hand side of the Unbounce interface I can drag and drop elements on the page – text box, video, images, buttons, custom HTML etc. On the right hand side I can modify existing elements on the page – size, margins, background colors.

When you want to create a split test, you simply specify that you want to set up a new variant; this can be a copy of your existing template or a brand new page.  You can then specify what percentage of traffic should go to each variant.

 

unbounce split test

Setting up split testing is very easy!

Similarly to LeadPages, when you launch your page it is live immediately on Unbounce, or you can copy some code to include it on your own site.

Price

Prices start at $49 per month, rising up to $199 per month.  At the higher end of the pricing, you’ll probably be working or a larger company with multiple users working on your landing pages.

Summary

Unbounce is a powerful tool for creating landing pages that gives you great flexibility.  However, while this flexibility is useful, you need to be careful not to customize too much or you might end up with a poorly converting page. Unbounce also gives you some useful features that will be of particular interest to teams.

Which tool should I pick?

Both tools are high quality with good functionality.

If you don’t have a lot of knowledge about landing pages and you want to get high converting pages up and running quickly, then pick LeadPages. Whereas if you want more flexibility when you are building high converting landing pages, or if there is a team of people involved, then Unbounce is a good alternative.

We have decided to use LeadPages because we just want to use what works, and having too much flexibility in landing page configuration means we’re tempted to add new elements, change around screen design etc., and this will result in us not achieving the same level of conversion.

What’s next?

Here’s your next steps!

1.  Try out the software.  You can open a free account with Unbounce or you can open up a fully paid account with LeadPages but if you cancel within 30 days you can get your money back.

2. Share this post – We would love it you share this post with your friends.

3.  Comment below – We love to hear your feedback.  Even if it is just to say you liked the post!

Thanks for your attention!!!

Ian

 

  • http://www.peterbillingham.com/ Peter Billingham

    Hi Ian – what a comprehensive post! I have been looking at Leadpages and it seems a great product for where I am now. It was useful to have something to compare it with and understand a bit more the functionality. Really helpful post!

    • http://www.razorsocial.com/ Ian Cleary

      Thank you so much Peter, delighted it was useful for you!

  • http://soulati.com/blog Soulati

    OK, Ian. This has to be the most #RockHot content I have ever read ever. Why? Because this is not my subject matter expertise; it is a thorn poking my side every day. This primer is huge, and I’ll be promoting this ad nauseum to anyone and everyone. Thank you for taking the time to develop this and share. You have no idea how valuable it is.

    • http://www.razorsocial.com/ Ian Cleary

      Hi Jayme, thank you so much for your great feedback. Delighted that the post is useful to you! Ian

  • vniven

    Great comparison (as usual), Ian.

    We’ve used Unbounce quite a bit. It’s a great tool, with simple but powerful A/B testing features (mandatory for any serious campaign).

    I don’t like the extra monthly fee for each new domain, however.

    I’d also like to see responsive landing page templates. With Google AdWords no longer supporting clean traffic segmentation by device type, it’s not possible to drive every click to the right format. Responsive LPs would alleviate this – although I’d imagine designing a landing page that works in several formats is a bit of a trick to pull off.

    • http://www.razorsocial.com/ Ian Cleary

      Thanks Vernon, yes if you’ve got a few domains it gets expensive!
      Leadpages are responsive design.

      • vniven

        Cool – I’ll check them out.

    • http://tiakelly.ca/ Tia K

      Hi Vernon,

      Thanks for the kind words and feedback about Unbounce! Good news: we are working hard on getting responsive out of the gate. Our Director of Product, Carter, just wrote a post about our progress here. You’re right—there are a number of challenges involved when designing for responsive, but it’s a high priority on our list.

      As for your concern with the fees per new domain, it has come up before and we’ve had discussions around how we might change our add-on structure, but nothing is set in stone yet. We do take all feedback requests like this seriously, though! It’s the suggestions from customers that help shape our product.

      If there’s anything else you’d like to see please let me know :)

      Tia
      Social Strategist, Unbounce

  • Pioneer Outfitters

    Ian,
    So I use this (LeadPages) and can add it to my Word Press site? So I would use this instead of Gravity pages or Jetpack? (Do you know?)

    • http://www.razorsocial.com/ Ian Cleary

      Yes. You just pick off a template and add it.

    • http://bloggingwizard.com/ Adam Connell

      Quick note: Gravity Forms and Jetpack both provide contact forms. The tools Ian mentioned are specifically for deploying landing pages to build your email list and generate leads.

  • http://ideagirlmedia.com/ Keri at Idea Girl Media

    Ian,

    Perfect timing on a topic just discussing. I’ll be pointing people to this post as a resource.

    Thanks for your awesomeness!

    ~Keri

    • http://www.razorsocial.com/ Ian Cleary

      Hey Keri, thank you so much, glad it came at the right! You are awesome in so many ways!!

  • venkyiyer58

    Any free options, Ian?

    • http://www.razorsocial.com/ Ian Cleary

      Yes, you’ll have to build your own landing pages in WordPress!!

      • venkyiyer58

        Yeah, ok, Ian. Please refer to my comment in response to Antonio Calero.

    • http://antoniocalero.com/ Antonio Calero

      I’ve been building LP for some clients using WordPress, and it’s not a difficult task BUT it could be annoying and generally it’s not as powerful as using these tools. However I hear and share your concerns with the price….

      • venkyiyer58

        I would rather build my own landing page. I will hardly need more than two or max three in the foreseeable future.

  • http://bloggingwizard.com/ Adam Connell

    Great comparison, Ian. – Both 2 great platforms.

    Have you taken Optimize Press for a spin yet?

    • http://www.razorsocial.com/ Ian Cleary

      Hey Adam, no not yet. What do you think of it?

      • http://bloggingwizard.com/ Adam Connell

        It’s been working great for me so far.

        The upfront cost is higher but no monthly payments unless you want to subscribe to monthly templates.

        The interface is really good – lots of useful elements and it’s drag&drop so lots of room to create what you want.

        The downside is that everything is hosted directly on your blog but Optimize Press does come as a theme & plugin. And there’s a membership plugin thrown in too.

        • http://www.razorsocial.com/ Ian Cleary

          Cool, I’ll have to test it out!

          • http://www.postplanner.com/ Scott Ayres

            Optimize Press is great and simple to use as well.

  • Kevin

    Ian! Absolutely great analysis of the landing page software space. Really great article. Thanks for writing. If you ever need anything let me know.
    Kevin Raheja, Business Development. kevin@ave81.com
    The LeadPages Team

    • http://www.razorsocial.com/ Ian Cleary

      Thank you so much Kevin!

  • Jeff Wenberg

    Ian, excellent comparison of a couple great tools for building landing pages! Very thorough and well put together. This should be a must read for anyone getting their business started online. Thanks for the honest comparison!
    Jeff Wenberg – Content Marketer @ LeadPages

    • http://www.razorsocial.com/ Ian Cleary

      Hey Jeff, thanks so much for the feedback. You’re welcome to send any customers that are wondering if lead pages is the right solution for them! Ian

      • Jeff Wenberg

        Will do Ian, thanks again!

  • Kat Von Rohr

    Love the comparison here. Thanks for the fantastic breakdown of the entire landing page space. – Kat Von Rohr, Blog Editor @ LeadPages

    • http://www.razorsocial.com/ Ian Cleary

      Thank you so much Kat, I really appreciate the feedback. Ian

  • http://www.LeadPages.net/ Kaitlyn Aliano

    This is an awesome overview of both LeadPages and Unbounce. Thanks, Ian! You and Colette are always providing so much value here on the RazorSocial blog. What a resource! :-) – Kaitlyn Aliano, Marketing Project Manager @ LeadPages

    • http://www.razorsocial.com/ Ian Cleary

      Thank you so much Kaitlyn! I really like leadpages.

  • http://antoniocalero.com/ Antonio Calero

    Great comparative article. I am slightly familiar with LeadPages, but will consider Unbounce. The only problem I see on both is pricing for companies starting, so most of the newbies I know prefer to build their own LP, which as you mention could be a difficult task.

    • http://www.razorsocial.com/ Ian Cleary

      HI Antonio, yes the problem building you own landing pages is that you end up with poor converting pages unless you really know what you’re doing! Ian

  • http://www.postplanner.com/ Scott Ayres

    Seeing lots of people using Leadpages lately.

    • http://www.razorsocial.com/ Ian Cleary

      Yes, they are doing well alright! Lets discuss it over a drink in San Diego :-)

  • http://tiakelly.ca/ Tia K

    Hey Ian,

    Thanks for putting up this review and being an advocate for the power of using landing pages. Just wanted to clarify some things, and get additional feedback for Unbounce (we’re always learning!)

    Fair enough that you prefer LeadPages for your use cases (and I agree on this point: don’t reinvent the wheel when there are high-converting templates out there) but I’m wondering ​if you could expand on ​why the​ flexibility of the Unbounce builder is a negative for you​?

    ​Marketers can choose from our 80+ templates (designed to convert) ​without making many changes at all. Plus, our Customer Success team ​(some of the nicest folks around)​ is​ always on hand to help out if you want or need to do something a little more custom.​

    ​Our blog also has some of the best landing page, A/B testing and conversion rate optimization advice online.​

    Ian or anyone else, if you have suggestions for us, we’d love to hear them :)

    Also—good news: as I mentioned to Vernon, ​responsive pages are​ a high priority for us​ and you can read about our progress in this post by our Director of Product, Carter.

    Thank you again Ian for bringing attention to landing page tools, which go a long way in making marketers’ lives easier​. If there are any additional questions about Unbounce, please don’t hesitate to ask!

    Tia
    Social Strategist, Unbounce

    • http://www.razorsocial.com/ Ian Cleary

      Thanks Tia. I think the flexibility is great but if you’re not experience building landing pages you will end up putting in too many changes and this means your conversion will probably end up lower.

      If you want and need the flexibility then unbounce is certainly a better option.

  • Gary Shouldis

    I used LeadPages for a few months, but decided to switch to Unbounce. Lead Pages is great and the support was terrific, but it was too limited in features for what I needed it for. The lack of a simple contact form integration in Lead Pages (beyond an email sign up form) makes it difficult to use for businesses that need to grab additional information like a phone number or address. They have a workaround, but it’s not a good one. Also, you only get A/B split testing if you sign up for the $67 a month plan. All in all, both are great services, but I chose Unbounce for the flexibility and advanced customization it offers.

    • http://www.razorsocial.com/ Ian Cleary

      Thanks Gary, yes leadpages is restrictive. Unbounce certainly provides more flexibility! Ian

    • Nilesh Patel

      I represent LeadSquared, so my comments are going to be little biased here. As Ian mentioned both are great tools and each has its own advantages. LeadSquared is a marketing software with a very powerful landing page module – you can design the pages the way you want, add any kinds of fields on the form and also setup form submission actions – autoresponders, document download, etc. The reports gives you analysis of the conversion performance by lead source and keywords which bring traffic to the page for ppc traffic. If you want to look beyond Lead Pages and Unbounce then give LeadSquared a spin.

      • http://www.razorsocial.com/ Ian Cleary

        Thank you Nitesh, we always like hearing of other tools! Ian

  • http://goodlookingdigital.com Phil Turpin

    Hey Ian, thanks for the comparison (first time visitor to your site). It’s helped give me some perspective.

    I’m an Unbounce customer and agree with what you say about the possibility to overindulge in the design. The biggest problem for me is that I’m *really* not a designer so Leadpages would help me out in that respect.

    However, based on Tia K’s replies, I’m also going to have a play with Unbounce’s stock templates – in fact I’m trying to remember why in the heck I haven’t done that before?!

    One thing of note is that Unbounce now have their own template category on themeforest.net

    • http://www.razorsocial.com/ Ian Cleary

      Hi Phil, thanks so much. Yes I seen they have their templates on themeforest, smart move! They have a lot of good templates. I know that when I have options to change I end up changing but that doesn’t always help with conversion!! Ian

  • Narvita

    Ian, we simply use Pagewiz, it’s cheaper and better

  • Tyson Quick

    What about http://Instapage.com? I believe that this tool is better than both of these.

    • http://www.razorsocial.com/ Ian Cleary

      Hi Tyson, I’ll check it out, thanks!

      • Tyson Quick

        Awesome! if you like it, that would be awesome if you could do a comparison review like this!

  • http://www.SM4Results.com/ Joe Estes

    Great post Ian. Some really good valuable content. I’ve been wrestling with what to do for landing pages and it has been on my TODO list. This input really Helps ! Thanks again. I will share this post on my biz site too.

    • http://www.razorsocial.com/ Ian Cleary

      Cool, thank you so much Joe. Glad it helped! Ian

      • http://www.SM4Results.com/ Joe Estes

        Thanks Ian for your reply !

  • Dr. Jones

    This is a fantastic post! Thank you!!! :)

    • http://www.razorsocial.com/ Ian Cleary

      Thank you.

  • http://www.wordpressfamily.com/ Tim Tom

    Use Unbounce for some projects. Works well.
    http://weelii.com/unbounce-landing-pages/

  • Tyson Quick

    I’m the CEO of Instapage.com and would love to see a comparison of our product. We offer all the features of both of these other great platforms and more.

    We believe we’ve built the easiest to use builder that still allows user to create super custom pages. Oh and we cost way less ;)

    Give it a try, I promise you won’t be disappointed

    • http://www.razorsocial.com/ Ian Cleary

      Hi Tyson, I’ll certainly check it out, thanks for your feedback. Ian

  • Antonio

    I’ve used a different online tool, which worked great for me, and was also cheaper.. http://www.pagewiz.com/