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Mailchimp recently launched a landing page builder!
I love the original Mailchimp email marketing product so much, I decided to take it for a spin.
Background on Mailchimp
Mailchimp is an 18 year old company, with 16 million customers and over 700 employees. They have offices in Atlanta, New York and Oakland, Ca.
I’ve used Mailchimp email marketing software for over 5 years. I still consider it the easiest email marketing tool for internet novices. It’s intuitive, effective at converting users to paying customers and not too expensive.
In fact, we use Mailchimp for our emails on this blog, Growth Marketing Pro!
Even if you haven’t used Mailchimp, you may recognize the name from the kitschy billboards they’ve placed around major cities or their sponsorship of the Serial podcast’s inaugural season.
Mailchimp recently announced the launch of a landing page builder feature.
I’ve reviewed nearly every landing page builder software on the market. See my top 10 list here.
What is a Landing Page Builder?
As the name implies, a landing page builder is software used to build landing pages on the internet.
What makes it different than conventional code-based programming, is that landing page builders make it extremely easy to spin up landing pages in a matter of minutes, rather than the hours it would take a developer to build the same thing.
The best landing page builders have:
- A slick, clean user interface
- Drag-and-drop editor (no coding required)
- Integrations with big tools like Salesforce, Marketo, Zapier, and more
- The ability to create mobile-friendly pages
The best landing page builders should allow you to showcase your product offering or service. Plus, they should allow you to capture and convert more leads for your business!
Today, I use landing page builders for everything.
On this blog alone, we use landing pages to advertise our personal brands, capture leads and to sell software products. An example of each in the screenshots below:
For the most part, I use a tool called Instapage for my landing page needs.
I find it to be the most intuitive, customizable and affordable tool for making landing pages.
But I like to know my options. I couldn’t find much information on the new Mailchimp landing page builder product, so I tried it out for myself!
The Mailchimp Landing Page Builder
As I said, Mailchimp’s core product is their email marketing software — which enables you to make beautiful emails and send them to thousands (or even millions) of customers who register to receive your communications.
I’m not surprised Mailchimp added the landing page builder feature. It’s a pretty natural fit.
Today, I use Instapage to capture leads and then use the built-in Instapage –> Mailchimp plugin to easily pass them to my lists in Mailchimp.
In theory, Mailchimp landing page builder would streamline this process even more — it should enable you to capture leads on Mailchimp landing pages and email those leads with the Mailchimp email tool.
To get going, you simply sign up for Mailchimp.
Then “create a campaign.”
Up until recently, there was only one type of “campaign” — email.
Now, they have a host of options to choose from. Choose “landing page.”
From there, I was prompted to choose between:
- “A signup landing page”: one that captures leads and sends that information to Mailchimp or
- “A product landing page”: one that pulls in your ecommerce merchandise, should you be feeding this data to Mailchimp
When you choose a “signup landing page,” you’re prompted to choose a Mailchimp list. The leads you capture on the landing page will be sent to this list in Mailchimp.
Creating a Landing Page with Mailchimp
I love the process of editing a custom landing page in Instapage.
In a past life, I think I was a designer. In this life, I’m a very mediocre designer who gets some kicks out of emulating the best landing pages I find on the internet in drag-and-drop builders like Instapage.
So I was excited to see the Mailchimp landing page builder editor!
The anticipation builds….
Unfortunately, I was really disappointed 🙁
The editor looks exactly like the Mailchimp email template editor. While that’s not necessarily a bad thing in and of itself, the feature set is very limited as far as landing page software is concerned.
The only features that exist are:
- Add text
- Social sharing buttons
- Promo codes
As far as I can tell, there are no templates either. So you have to build every page from scratch. If you’re not design inclined, this is problematic.
Below are just a few of the hundreds of templates Instapage has.
Compare that to the Mailchimp landing page I made.
Okay fine, I only spent a few minutes making this page, but the contrast is stark.
I couldn’t figure out how to stretch the background across the full width of the page and I couldn’t discern how to make it mobile friendly.
All in all, I created something that looked much more like a website from the late 90’s.
The price is the best part of the Mailchimp landing page builder.
It’s technically free until you start collecting and emailing leads. Once you collect leads, pricing starts at $10 and rapidly climbs. For instance, if you have over 10,000 emails, you will pay nearly $1,000 per year.
But if you have just a few leads to begin with, you’re in the free pricing tier! The only cost to be aware of is if you want to publish pages to your own domain. They charge $99/year for this.
If you don’t pay to connect pages to your domain, your pages will be hosted on https://mailchi.mp/blahblahblah.com. Personally, I think customers will be a bit suspicious of a landing page hosted on “mailchi.mp.”
Don’t get me wrong, I love the Mailchimp email marketing solution. I still think it’s the easiest way to start emailing customers.
However, Mailchimp’s landing page builder looks rather amateurish and lacks the features that enable you to really convert users. Read more about Mailchimp alternatives here.
Mailchimp’s landing page solution doesn’t have some of the more sophisticated features like great designs, forms, integrations with CRM and other tools, etc.
If all you want to do is play around and capture some leads, it is totally serviceable for that.
But if you’re looking to run Facebook or Google Ads campaigns, or do any sort of sophisticated marketing, you’re much better off with a tool like Instapage.