Evaluating Landing Page Software Options
Whether you work in a startup or a corporate setting, landing pages are a key part of what you need to use to get your message out into the world. And that's when you start hearing about WordPress and all the other landing page software alternatives. You've likely heard of products like
There are tons of benefits that those products bring to the table:
- They come with pre-existing templates so you don't have to be a designer
- They come with pre-existing graphics so you don't have to be an artist
- The drag and drop interfaces eliminate technical coding, so you don't have to be a developer
- They integrate with your email systems (MailChimp, ConvertKit, ActiveCampaign, etc)
- You can map a specific domain to the page
That last item is pretty powerful. Follow me on this….
Example One: The Blogger, Speaker & Book Author
My buddy Carey is a blogger, public speaker, and book author. And every time he writes a new book, and gets ready to publish it, he creates a dedicated landing page to announce the book. The landing page is similar to a lot of other single page websites that offer different bonuses if you pre-order different quantities of the book. Trust me on this, Carey isn't the first or last one to do this.
And what Carey does, every time he publishes a book, is purchase a dedicated domain to go with the book. That latest was this domain – http://didntseeitcomingbook.com/
And the cool thing about this approach is that he could create the page as a pre-order landing page until the launch, and then later redirect the domain to his main book page on the main site. Of course, the challenge is that if you've created the page using one of these landing page software products, you have to recreate the page that was built on Unbounce or Clickfunnels back on WordPress later. (I'll tell you a trick about this later.)
Example Two: A Marketing Campaign
This other example for using dedicated domains comes from the world of marketing campaigns. Imagine you want to bring traffic to a specific product or draw a crowd for a specific holiday. I had a client do that for Valentine's day. So they bought a very specific lipstick-oriented valentine's day domain name. Then they built a single page website using Leadpages and mapped the domain to it. And it worked great.
You knew there was going to be more to the story, right? It worked so well that the following year they bought four or five domains and created four or five dedicated single page microsites to sell specific products.
And then one of the executives wanted to know things about traffic patterns. Now to be clear, I'm sure there's a way to plan ahead and manage these issues. But those hadn't been set up. So, as a result, the questions about how many people had made purchases after visiting multiple pages went unanswered.
Because most landing page software products are designed to work in isolation. Pages are designed to drive clicks, capture emails, or sell things. But not always designed in the context of navigating between them.
The WordPress Plugins that Solve the Landing Page Software Challenge
There are four WordPress products that deliver pretty much everything you get when you're paying monthly for other landing page software.
The Page Builder
The first is a product called Beaver Builder that gives you the drag and drop interface to create all sorts of landing pages. There are other page builders out there, and I've tried most of them, and every time I keep coming back to this product. Not only is it really easy to use, and easy to use for my clients, but it is extensible – which is why you see the massive ecosystem that has been built around the product.
The Pre-Made Designs
Once you've bought Beaver Builder, you may want hundreds of pre-made designs – rows and templates that help you create pages as if you were a grade-A designer (even though most of us aren't). That's where Beaver Builder Ultimate Add-Ons and their 300+ Templates come in. How much would you pay for a designer to create all of this for you? Far more than you would pay one of the SaaS landing page solutions. And with Ultimate Add Ons you get it for $69.
By the way, the trick I mentioned above was this – I created the page on WordPress using Beaver Builder and Ultimate Add-ons and then copied the resulting HTML and pasted it into the other platform so that I didn't have to create it twice.
The Form Builder
Every landing page you build will likely need a form and a solution that integrates with your email systems. My favorite form builder of all of them is Ninja Forms. It's not only easy and good looking – but it integrates with more systems than any other form builder in the WordPress ecosystem. And that's important when you're trying to integrate to systems that you personally use. The plugin is free, but you'll need to pay for the specific integration you need. Check out their integrations list.
The Domain Landing Page Kit
Until this past week, if you had asked me how to manage the multiple domains pointed to different pages on my main site – which is a different approach than building tons of microsite one-pagers using SaaS products with a monthly fee – I would have told you I didn't have a good answer. But everything changed this week. Long known in the WordPress ecosystem, Jason Schuller is one of those design-oriented guys who is constantly innovating. And he just released this new WordPress plugin called WP Landing Kit.
What this means is that those two examples at the start are no longer difficult to handle on a single website. One site. Tons of domains redirecting / resolving to a single WordPress site.
The way it works is that you register all the domains in the plugin interface and then map them to different posts or pages. Now you create the landing page using the other tools listed here, and point a domain to it, and you're done. No re-pointing at launch. No re-creating the pages on two platforms. No trouble with analytics. And no need for a bunch of websites that only have a single page (or using WordPress multisite).
Until this week, all of the other tools have been available options. But what was missing the whole time was this last piece that Jason created. I've never spent $59 so quickly!