It’s happened to all of us: you’re standing in the shower, and all the sudden get a great idea for a new site, book, app, or anything else. You hurry getting ready for the day, thinking of everything you’ll need for the project. Then it hits you: you should see if people are really going to be interested in your project or not. It’d be a great idea to make a quick site with a description of your project, perhaps updates about it or links to your other sites, and a way to let visitors sign up for updates.
So you’ve got several options. You could install WordPress on your server, grab one of the many landing page or “coming soon” themes available, then set it up like you want. Or you could whip out your text editor and hand code an HTML page and FTP it to your server. Only problem is, each of these options will take a fair bit of time, and you’ve still got to eat breakfast before you head out to work.
That’s why landing page creators can be such a help. In a few moments, you can crank out a quick site to validate your idea and start getting users excited before you’ve even started writing your book or coding your app. Or, you can create a new page quickly to market your existing products to a specific group, to take advantage of current events, online memes, and more. Formstack is a popular online form creator we use across the Envato network of sites, and they’ve recently made a nice landing page creator to help you do just that. It brings the best of their form tools into a simple landing page creator that lets you create a quick landing page with forms, dynamic content, and more in only a few minutes. After the break, we’ll see how you can put Formstack landing pages to use for your ideas.
Great Forms Meet Simple Landing Pages
If you’ve already been using Formstack to create forms, then you’re all ready to start making landing pages right in your Formstack account. All forms accounts come with one free landing page, but if you want to use more landing pages, you can purchase a Formstack Landing Pages subscription starting at $19/month. You can then create simple contact forms directly in your landing pages with your account, or if you have a Forms account, you can create rich forms with a variety of elements and integrate them into your landing pages.
Formstack made it easy to get started creating a landing page, but left enough choices to give your page personality and make it more versatile. You start by picking from one of 8 layouts, including multi-column designs with headers and footers, or a simple single column design like most landing page creators offer.
You’ll then be presented with a sectioned layout ready for you to add your content. Each column shows its width, and the overall page is designed to be 940px wide. You can change your layout from the bottom menu if you decide a different style would fit your content better. Otherwise, you can click the Add Content button to start designing your site, or click Edit Style on individual sections or in the bottom menu to edit the style of the part of the page or the whole overall page, respectively.
From the style box, you can quickly specify your page background, content background, link color, and main font styles. This way, you can quickly get your landing page to match your branding or fit the style of the new site you’d like to design. For more control, you can switch to the Advanced tab and edit the page CSS directly.
Adding content to your page is simple as well. You can insert rich text, including formatted text with headings, images and more. Or, you can embed code to add a video or other dynamic content, or add your RSS feed to show updates from your company or project. Best of all, you can insert a Formstack form, or create a new basic contact form directly in the landing page creator.
You can add as many content sections in each page section as you’d like. This way, you could include rich text and a form in your main content section, or add multiple RSS feeds in the same column. Then, you can drag and drop the sections to rearrange your page as you want. You’ll see the basic content right there, which gives you a rough idea of how your site will look. But don’t worry too much about the details; Formstack is designed to make creating landing pages simpler, so you’ll have more time to devote to your more important projects.
Once you’re finished, you can preview the page, or go ahead and publish it with a live URL. Even if you’ve published the page, you can always come back and change anything you want, so don’t worry rushing to publish your page. Your new landing page with have a unique address in the format formstack.com/landing/xxxxx, and you can share it with your audience or include it in your newsletters and more to get traffic to your new landing page. Alternately, you can add your own domain to your Formstack account to keep your landing pages promoting your brand.
Learning From Your Landing Pages
As visitors reach your landing page and leave contact info or other form info, you can view it from your Admin dashboard. You’ll be able to get quick info about the traffic your landing pages are seeing. Then, the next time you need to create a landing page, it’ll be even easier than before. You can simply duplicate your old landing page, and make the tweaks you need for your new campaign. Or, if you want, you could try making changes to your page and A/B test them.
One of the nicest features Formstack includes that takes it beyond the standard landing page creator is the option to create an A/B test. You can add 2 or more form styles to your test, then you’ll get a unique tracking code to add to your conversion page that you direct readers to after they’ve visited your landing page. You can then compare how the different pages performed, and tweak your marketing campaign accordingly. There are many different ways to do this, but having it built in is a nice touch that will make it a great tool for businesses wanting to make landing pages to take advantage of current trends and more.
Whether you’re always coming up with new ideas you want to verify with your followers, or want to promote your products with customized pages that are simple to create, Formstack landing pages is a great option. It really does turn the process of creating a landing page into a 5 minute process, and the integration of forms makes it even simpler to use than many other similar products. I’d love to see them add high quality designed themes in the future that would make it easier to create nicer looking landing pages. For now, though, it’s flexible enough to use however you need, without wasting time trying to figure out how to get your layout to work.