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It’s supposed to be simple! All you want is to update your website, create a landing page and a marketing funnel so that you can start attracting a flood of new customers and making money.
But that’s not how it works.
You know this because you searched on “Best Landing Page Builders” and “Landing Page Software Reviews” and who knows what else and all you got was
pissed off CONFUSED.
Good thing you found this article. Even if you’re reading this a couple of years from now and the tools and technologies have changed, these tried and true principles aren’t going to change.
WARNING It’s all about tradeoffs
Before we get our party started, I have to say that this entire process is all about tradeoffs. Don’t believe anything you hear. Choosing one of these platforms is a lot like looking for your dream home. When it comes down to weighing price versus?ease versus features, choosing the right platform becomes downright difficult.
But I’m going to do my best to layout the pitfalls based on my own experience, and the experience of folks close to me.
Just to be clear — I’m NOT being paid in any way shape or form (not even affiliate links in this post) for any of my comments.
What are you selling?
This might SEEM obvious but it isn’t always obvious. BELIEVE me when I tell you. Sometimes you?think?you know what you’re selling, but you really don’t.
For the sake of choosing one of these platforms, let’s keep it really simple.
- What are you selling? Keep it pretty simple; product, service, information. Think about an actual deliverable – no fancy marketing stuff like “solutions”. Save that for later.
- How do you want to sell it? Are you selling online or offline?
- How do people find out about this thing that you’re selling?
- What’s important to them when they are buying what you’re selling? How much information do they need? Is this a high-involvement purchase? Is it expensive? Is it complicated? Do they need education of any kind?
- How are you going to deliver what you’re selling? Is it shipped, downloaded or delivered face-to-face?
- How many unique products or services are you selling? Do you just have a single book or 3 types of coaching or consulting packages or do you have dozens of products?
If you’re not quite sure or if you’re just starting out – you’ll want to keep it fairly simple.
How much do you like playing with online tools?
This is more important than you can imagine. Every tool that we’re covering is fairly straightforward and “easy-to-use” but it won’t sing and dance and design your landing pages?with “one finger” like you can with this washer and dryer from Lowe’s:
How to Test Drive Your Landing Page Builder
My recommendation is to give yourself a solid weekend. You will need about 10-20 hours of uninterrupted time playing with and learning the platform. Whether you get a free trial or a refund after a certain time, decide to create a landing page or recreate a page design that you have or like using these tools.
Be patient with yourself and breathe.
It’s going to be fine. You will figure it out and at the end of the weekend, you’ll have a cool landing page or web site. Either way you will know what you like, what you don’t like and finally you will make a choice.
More Good News – You can’t screw up!
Every platform I share with you here today is PERFECTLY wonderful. There is no bad decision. You can choose any of the ones I’m reviewing here — OR — you can use what I’ve shared with you here to choose something completely different. Your opinion is the only one that matters.
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This might seem nuts to say, but these days, not everyone needs a full blown website, What if you have specific products or services that you want to sell and promote?Then, the most important thing for you is to create landing pages and funnels that drive people to purchase your product or service. Honestly, there’s no reason to waste time and money on designs, templates and writing a ton of blog posts if all you want to do is drive traffic to a specific landing page and product.
LeadPages is ideal for beginners and marketers who want to build a professional-looking landing page in a hurry.
You can use LeadPages as a hosted solution or you can download the WordPress plugin for your site. You don’t need to have a web site to run it and it’s ideal if you want to get something up and running very quickly. You do’t even need to have an email marketing system (although it helps). But if you want to make some money and start selling FAST — this is the best way to do it.
It includes a feature which allows you to search templates based on real-world conversion rates. Has over 70 templates to choose from.
The templates provided can be inflexible, such as not allowing your logo or fonts at the top of the page to be larger. Support can sometimes be lacking.
Standard pricing is $25 per month.
One of most popular lead generators, UnBounce is great for intermediate and advanced marketers.Choose Unbounce if you want to do some serious A/B testing. This is a platform for the slightly more sophisticated marketer who is looking to optimize their landing pages and figure out what works.
Unbounce is an ideal “sandbox” or place to test out designs and landing pages to achieve the highest conversions — before doing any website design. Again, you don’t need a site to run this.
Has an easy drag and drop interface, fast load times, and a wide selection of templates.
It can be overwhelming for beginners.
You can get up and running for $49 per month.
If LeadPages is a landing page platform that supports email — GetResponse is an email platform that helps you create landing pages. Use LeadPages if you want the landing page to do the heavy lifting.
GetResponse bills itself as the “World’s Easiest Email Marketing Platform.” It enables you to create marketing lists of prospects, partner and clients, and more.
Use GetResponse if the bulk of your sale is happening via email.
GetResponse comes with an effective landing page creator, while its split testing features are very strong.
GetResponse templates are somewhat dated, while the drag & drop interface for designing emails can be tricky.
The pro version costs $49 per month.
[thrive_headline_focus title=”When You Want a Full Website- But Don’t Want to Manage It” orientation=”left”]
ClickFunnels is different than many competitor products which allow you to create one standalone page. Instead, ClickFunnels allows you to build different marketing funnels. In other words, you can build a full-blown online selling machine.
Use ClickFunnels to drive sales and traffic to very specific offers. Remember, ClickFunnels is a HOSTED platform. That means that all of your content will live on THEIR site and if you cancel your subscription, it will be difficult to easily transfer your content to another platform.
ClickFunnels is a great choice for someone who wants to stay focused on the sales and marketing of their product or service and isn’t concerned with Google rankings or website traffic that doesn’t lead to sales.
ClickFunnels makes it easy to create funnel workflows with an editor function that balances that ease of use with flexibility. It integrates nicely with major email and payment providers.
ClickFunnels limits the number of funnels and pages you can create. Its split testing function is very basic.
ClickFunnels has an offer available of 14 days free and then $97 per month.
[thrive_headline_focus title=”When You Want it ALL; DIY Website, Landing Pages and Google Rankings” orientation=”left”]
These next two platforms are ideal for folks who are running a content marketing strategy. In other words, you have a website a blog and you sell stuff online. These are for YOU.
I happen to use BOTH of these platforms. In fact, you see them in action here on DIYMarketers.
OptimizePress is great for WordPress users who desire options and flexibility in creating a branded look. You can create landing and sales pages, and memberships portals – among other features.
Its ease of creating landing pages that have the same look and feel of your web page and social media sites.
It can take more time to navigate and set up a page. There is also no drag and drop feature.
OptimizePress has a one-time fee option starting at $97.
I absolutely LOVE OptimizePress and find that it’s really easy to use. One shortfall of OptimizePress is that it hasn’t really updated some of its design features (such as mouseover color changes, etc) but what it lacks in zing, it more than makes up for in the sheer ease-of-use and certain features such as the ability to superimpose a video over an image.
If you want options, then ThriveThemes is for you. After all, they offer over 100 landing page templates.
ThriveThemes has been the darling of several online marketing groups I’ve been a part of. I had to get on the bandwagon just so I could see what the buzz was all about. I find that some of the design elements are really progressive, but there are a few elements that are a bit clunky.
I love both OptimizePress and ThriveThemes so much that I actually use them both. The DIYMarketers blog is on RISE themes while the DIYMarketers membership site is on OptimizePress. You really can’t tell the difference unless you’ve gotten your hands dirty with both.
Ease of use enables you to create pages in as little as 10 minutes. Integrates with any email service.
There’s a learning curve to its page builder.
A single license costs $59.
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Finally I want to share this last little bonus platform. SumoMe.
SumoMe is a WordPress plugin that makes it easy to get social media shares of your blog or website.This platform is targeted to folks who already have a blog and a website and who want a super easy way to add cool features like pop up opt-in forms, analytical tools and more.
My favorite FREE feature is the heat-mapping tool. It’s easy to install and will provide exceptional information that will help you optimize the design of your website.
Its incredibly easy to use and you can be up and running in 15 minutes.
If you download all of the available options, your site will perform slower.
Its “Starter” version can be had for $10 per month.