Latest posts by Mark Spera (see all)
- Instapage vs Leadpages vs Unbounce vs Clickfunnels - November 22, 2021
- The 11 Best Landing Page Builder Software Tools - November 15, 2021
- What is Growth Marketing? Why’s it so Popular? - November 5, 2021
I don’t care what you’re selling or building on the internet. You need landing pages that convert visitors into subscribers, users and customers.
To stay ahead of the competition, your landing pages need to be engaging, catchy, creative and optimized… like Drake.
Fortunately, landing page builder software makes it possible to create beautiful landing pages from scratch — usually without any code. Instapage, Unbounce, Leadpages and Clickfunnels are the big four when it comes to landing page builders. But choosing one isn’t that easy.
Table of Contents
A Little Background…
It put the power of creating webpages in the hands of marketers. No code or design background necessary.
Landing page builders are incredible. I couldn’t get enough of them and I began testing every single one. They’re perfect for marketers who want to:
- Make simple pages to optimize for conversions.
- Improve advertising quality scores, which lowers your cost per click to make ad budgets go further.
- MVP test products or offerings by spinning up fast pages.
- Integrate pages and forms with tools like Mailchimp, Salesforce, HubSpot and Zapier.
- Read analytics and A/B test.
In my opinion, Unbounce is the software with the perfect combination of easy to use, complete functionality and useful integrations, but if you’re still weighing Instapage, Leadpages or ClickFunnels, have a read.
By the way, we negotiated 20% off promo code with them…
Here’s a brief overview of the features of Unbounce, Leadpages, Instapage and Clickfunnels. After that, I’ll get into my more detailed ratings plus personal commentary (yup, I’ve used every one of these tools!).
|Pros||– Sleek drag-and-drop editor|
– AI generated landing pages
– 200+ templates
– WordPress plugin
|– Countdown timer, alert bars, email captures|
– WordPress plugin
– “Lead meter” to predict page performance
|– Easy drag-and-drop editor|
– Great analytics
– Beautiful templates
– Best enterprise features
|– Full website builder|
– Additional tools, including email marketing, triggered emails, upsells, etc.
|Cons||– Poor mobile experience||– Editor is more difficult than other options||– Enterprise pricing|
– Dismal customer support
|– Price is on the high end|
– Pages aren’t as beautiful as other options
|Customers||Thinkific, Zola, Indochino, Sundae, Later||NA||Vimeo, Honey, Ebay, Udacity||NA|
Unbounce was the first landing page software out there. In the world of Instapage vs Unbounce, Unbounce had one key feature that made it the platform of choice for PPC marketers: dynamic text replacement. This made scaling huge Google Ads accounts possible.
The Unbounce Builder allows you to design custom webpages with lead capture forms, buttons, videos and a whole lot more — and the pages are beautiful!
See my full review plus reader reviews of Unbounce here.
The Unbounce Builder is drag-and-drop. You can add:
- Form builder to collect leads
- Downloadable files (eBooks and other content)
- It also allows you to put your social media on page
- Images, text, video, and maps into the page
Unbounce also lets you create sticky bars for your site. These bright forms draw attention to the offers and help to get more conversions without paying for more traffic. The editor allows you to add pop-up windows (which are called overlays here) on exit, on arrival, after a delay, on a scroll, or on click. There are plenty of pop-up templates to choose from, and you may also customize them. This feature is not available with Instapage.
Unbounce landing pages and pop-ups may be integrated with the most popular email, CRM and analytics tools, such as MailChimp, WordPress, AWeber etc.
There is also Google Analytics integration in case you are not satisfied with the built-in tool for measuring visitor stats and tracking conversion rates. It’s also handy that you can export your leads list to a CSV for easy parsing and analysis.
As with Instapage, marketers can also use A/B testing to split traffic between two variations of the same landing page and then to see which version performs better.
Finally, I love Unbounce’s new AI landing page content generation feature. It enables users to enter a little information about their product offering and Unbounce spits out headline and other content ideas — which means an easier process for building your pages.
- Great flexibility in setting up the pages
- Dynamic text replacement for PPC campaigns
- Handy WordPress integration
- Automated A/B testing
- Good analytics suite
- 200+ profession looking templates
- Limited number of pages that can be published at one time
- The mobile editor is not always in perfect harmony with the desktop editor, meaning you need to make changes to both versions sometimes
- I haven’t figured out a way to put more than one lead capture form on a page
Price Plans start from $80/month for the Essential plan. The Optimize plan is $120/month and the Accelerate plans and Scale plans are $200 and $300 respectively. If you’re an entrepreneur or company with under $100,000/month in marketing spend, the Essential plan is great. Higher tiers offer template migration service, more domains, more sub-accounts, AMP pages, and so on.
Best for Entrepreneurs and digital marketers who want a powerful tool at a reasonable price. Unbounce has all the features you want from sophisticated landing page software, without the high price tag.
Use my link below for a 20% promo code for Unbounce!
Leadpages offers unlimited pages creation as well as unlimited traffic and leads even on the most inexpensive plan.
Like Instapage and Unbounce, Leadpages landing pages are drag-and-drop, mobile friendly and feature a reasonable suite of integrations.
The tool offers some pretty cool templates that make your life easy. There are special templates for the webinar promoting, upsells, prelaunch sales, 404 pages, checkout pages, Facebook pages, and so on. And if you are unsure which one is better you may try sorting by conversion.
You can build landing pages with preloaded elements, photos, videos, testimonials, partner lists, social sites integration, links, maps, pop-up windows and other interactive content.
Leadpages stands alone vs Instapage and Unbounce in one unique way.
It offers two different landing page editors — one for novices that has only basic customization and another more advanced version. With the advanced editor’s complete drag-and-drop support, you have the full ability to re-arrange, delete, and add elements on the page easily.
Another thing Leadpages does is create popup window modals to get users’ attention. You can use it on any page, not just ones you create with Leadpages. You can set up the popup you can specify when the user will see it, e.g. when he/she wants to leave the page, when he/she clicks the link, moves the cursor on the active element, etc. Finally, I love the “lead meter” feature, which predicts how optimized your landing page will be.
While there are a lot of free templates available, Leadpages also has a growing ecosystem of paid templates in their marketplace — some of which are absolutely stunning.
In my opinion, Leadpages is the second best choice after Unbounce, given the price and quickly improving design of template pages — they seem to be investing a lot in improving features across the board.
- Love the countdown timer, alert bars, text opt-in texts, and progress bar widgets — all conversion-oriented features the other tools don’t have
- Leadlinks feature lets the customers join events by clicking the link from their inbox
- Popups may be created anywhere on any page you own
- Autosave doesn’t always work well
- Limited customization
- The editor is a little clunkier than Instapage and Unbounce
Price Plans start from $27 per month for the Standard plan. There is also Pro plan for $59 per month that includes A/B Testing and taking payments with checkouts, and Advanced plan for $239 per month that adds advanced integration with Hubspot, Mailchimp, and more.
Best for Entrepreneurs and digital marketers who want a flexible landing page builder at a reasonable price paid marketing and landing page software. Leadpages is really affordable, but there are some limitations to its page design power.
Instapage is a straightforward landing page software with a whole suite of useful features — A/B testing, lead capture forms, completely editable templates and easy integrations with Mailchimp, Salesforce and more.
See my full Instapage review here.
I love it because it’s impossibly easy and intuitive. It feels like the “Apple” of landing page software. The Instapage editor is simple, beautiful and completely drag-and-drop!
Plus, setup is really easy. As with most landing page software tools, it takes just a flip a switch in your domain settings to host Instapages on your site. Or if you have WordPress, there is a one-click integration.
To make a page, I usually start with one of their 200+ out-of-the-box templates.
Templates look beautiful on any device and are completely adjustable via the Instapage drag-and-drop editor. You can match the font, color and design of your existing website. If you’re super sophisticated, Instapage also offers AMP-optimized pages.
Instapage allows you to add components to your site like:
- Shapes, images, videos and buttons
- Social media logos/links
- Basically any other feature or element you might put on a webpage
- Lead capture forms
- There is also an A/B testing option that is very handy if you want to find out what page design/copy works best
Instapage has built-in analytics. The analytics dashboards allows you to select date ranges, view conversion rates over time and compare A/B test performance. Another cool feature is Instapage Heatmaps (note: only available with premium plans).
Heatmaps make it easy to track your visitors’ behavior (e.g. how far down the page your visitors have scrolled, on which elements your visitors have clicked, where on your landing page the visitors spend the most time) and to improve your element placement accordingly.
If you’re using Instapage to capture leads using forms, you can export a CSV file of the leads you capture.
Or, if your needs are more complex, you can send your lead capture data to tools like Mailchimp, Salesforce, Hubspot, Autopilot, Marketo, Adwords, WordPress and Drupal.
Hosting your landing page masterpieces on your WordPress or Drupal website is as simple as downloading a plugin. To host on any other site is as easy as a simple change in your web hosting settings.
- No traffic limitations
- Integration with many other softwares
- Built-in analytics tool
- More than 200 editable templates
- Best user interface and easiest to use
- The best page designs and templates
- Direct WordPress integration
- Dynamic text replacement for PPC campaigns
- There are few built-in images/icons/shapes — you will need to find images you want in Google search and upload them as images
- The price — it’s the most expensive tool on the market
- Customer support: unfortunately, we’ve had many poor experiences with their customer support
Price Plans start from $299 per month for the core plan, which is totally great and really accomplishes most of your landing pages dreams. With that you get branded lead notifications, 15 sub-accounts, and more.
Best for Digital marketers who want the most powerful landing page software. Instapage has a whole suite of features the average entrepreneur may not use, but agencies and high budget marketers may.
Use my link below for a 14-day free Instapage trial.
ClickFunnels works differently than other software in this review. It’s a bit more complex. It’s basically a website and marketing flow in a box. While Instapage, Unbounce and Leadpages allow users to create single landing pages, ClickFunnels lets you build different types of marketing funnels — ones containing lead capture forms, email campaigns, etc.
With ClickFunnels you create a series of landing pages your visitors will go through to reach a certain goal. It usually consists of opt-in pages, an email autoresponder, sales pages, order forms, etc.
When you are building your funnel with ClickFunnels you don’t need to think what page to add next. The ClickFunnels builder takes you through setup.
With ClickFunnels, you may create optin/lead capture funnels, sales page funnels, webinar funnels, membership sites, and so on. The tool allows for upsells and downsells and processes payments for your sales pages digitally (there is integration with Stripe, Recurly, NMI and more.)
The templates are fresh and diverse, but you can work with them further in the editor to get them to look pretty professional. All sections of the page are customizable. You can move or remove taglines, videos, footer and testimonials sections.
ClickFunnels also has the integrated email service provider. It’s easy to design nice looking emails, to create autoresponders which help to convert your subscribers into the customers and also to track the leads stats.
There is also an integrated affiliate platform to help you with product promoting. So, this service would be the best choice for entrepreneurs who prefer having all their tools in the one place. However, ClickFunnels allows integration with a dozen of popular email services, so it’s possible to use only the landing page creation software and third-party services.
Another huge benefit of ClickFunnels are the numerous tutorials that are available for the members. They offer free educational content for the members and build the marketers community around the product. Being the part of this community it’s very easy to get a new knowledge constantly, to improve your skills and thereby, increase your profits!
- Building marketing funnels, not just the pages
- Direct support of the Backpack CRM, InfusionSoft and Clickbank
- Sharing the funnel with other members
- Customizable, eye-popping pages
- The standard plan limits the number of funnels, pages, and visitors
- Split testing is very basic
Price Basic paid plan costs $97 and includes 100 landing pages, 20,000 visitors, and three custom domains. There is also a $297 per month plan that includes unlimited pages, funnels, custom domain and visitors, as well as additional mailing and affiliate program features.
Best for The standard use case for ClickFunnels is a high ticket sale. If you’re an entrepreneur selling a special product or service at a premium price point, ClickFunnels may be for you. Plus, ClickFunnels is easy enough that beginners can get used to it fast.
What is a Landing Page?
I’ll bet your website isn’t optimized for conversions.
That’s okay. Most sites have lots of pretty pictures, value propositions, press mentions, and paragraphs of information.
But when you’re running paid marketing campaigns (Google Ads, Facebook Ads, LinkedIn ads, etc.) you need pages that convert — get a user to take action. In general, a landing page is shorter than a normal web page and highlights a call-to-action, driving the user to take action.
Here are two landing pages from HubSpot and Noom….
Note, both of these pages have clear CTAs, very little clutter and just enough information for a user to click.
If you’re running performance marketing campaigns or selling something on the web, you need a landing page builder!
Tips for great landing pages
Simply implementing a landing page builder doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll capture more leads and increase your conversion rate. There are best practices that you should follow to get the most out of your landing page builder:
- Catchy headlines: Your landing page should lead with value-based copy and your headline should never be ambiguous or vague. It should capture your readers’ attention and give them a reason to keep scrolling. As I’m thinking about headline copy, I like to channel one of the best business books I’ve read, Play Bigger: your copy should make you a category leader. Even if your product isn’t a category leader, think of a way to position yourself as the #1 in some category. Maybe you’re not the #1 SEO tool, but perhaps you’re the #1 SEO tool for fashion bloggers. Figure out a way to “own” a category via your headline copy.
- Trust signals: Humans like social proof. We’re more apt to buy when we see logos and customer testimonials on a website. I’ve found that using press badges above the fold on my landing pages increases conversion rate 10% or more. Press badges lend credibility to your product and make users more likely to continue reading. Similarly, customer testimonials enable users to envision themselves using your product, which will increase conversion rates.
- Images: Think about how often you read every word on a webpage… not often. Visually appealing images work in keeping users on page and illustrating your product offering. Hint: human faces keep people on page — when in doubt, use a stock photo with people in it.
- A/B test: Particularly if you’re sending paid traffic to your landing page, you should A/B test. It’s the financially smart thing to do. And if you’re going to A/B test anything, make sure to first experiment with your headline. Since the headline is the first thing users see when they hit your page and only 20% of users will read past your headline copy, it’s the most impactful place to A/B test.
- Mobile: Mobile traffic accounts for 54.8% of total web traffic, so make sure your landing pages are pixel-perfect on mobile as well. The good news is that the best landing page builders have mobile and desktop views, so that you can see your page in both formats before publishing.
Which landing page software should you pick?
Instapage, Unbounce, Leadpages and ClickFunnels are all perfectly awesome products. All of them will give you custom landing pages without programming knowledge.
So your choice will depend on your needs and experience.
Here are some things you should take into consideration while weighing your options:
- How big is your business? If you’re a large company with any sort of budget, you should definitely use Instapage or Unbounce. The few extra dollars gets you a whole lot more functionality and much more polished-looking landing pages.
- Do you value sleek design? If you’re trying to make beautiful pages, you should use Instapage or Unbounce.
- Do you want an all-in-one solution? If you want a tool to make landing pages, checkout flows and even do email marketing, you should look at ClickFunnels.
- PPC expert or digital marketer? Instapage or Unbounce is your solution.
- On a budget? The price of Leadpages is the lowest, followed by Unbounce, ClickFunnels, and finally, Instapage.
Use my link below for 20% off your first 3 months of Unbounce.
See User Reviews: