When you’re launching a new product/service or announcing a new offer, it’s important to give customers the information they need to close the loop – and it doesn’t hurt to look good while doing so. That’s where landing pages come in – by definition, they’re attractive, concise, to the point and present customers with a way to opt in to whatever it you’re selling. So how do you create an absolute deal-clincher of a landing page?
Lander might be a good place to start. The app allows you to build landing pages using a simple interface with powerful features, publish them and analyze your conversions as they happen. Could this be the new secret weapon in your arsenal of marketing tools? Let’s put a page together and find out.
Whether you’re generating leads for your business, promoting a new app or launching a newsletter, a landing page is a great way to close the loop in your marketing campaign. Lander guides you through the process of building landing pages while keeping things simple – you don’t need to know any HTML or CSS to use it and can publish your page in a matter of minutes.
To begin using Lander, you’ll need to sign up for an account and can select from a variety of paid plans or start with a free plan, which scores you unlimited landing pages, Google Analytics, social sharing widgets, email/phone support and up to 500 visitors/month. Paid plans start at US$25/month for 1,500 visitors/month and go up to US$260/month for 30,000 monthly visitors with email and CRM integration.
When you login, you’ll be greeted by a dashboard with a clean UI and friendly copy that guides you on how to create your first landing page. After you’ve named and tagged your page, you can select a template (from a range of eight, suitable for collecting leads, subscriptions, and displaying calls to action) or choose to build your page from scratch.
Building a landing page
Lander has a nifty WYSIWYG editor that allows you to edit templates and create pages as you need to. There are image placeholders for logos (with dimensions specified), text boxes, customizable forms (for collecting user information) and social media sharing widgets to work with. Each template has a combination of these elements in place, ready for you to play around with.
The editor is easy enough to use and comes with the standard controls for laying out and adjusting text, images and backgrounds. Apart from these, you can also easily add lines, buttons, and videos by merely dragging the elements onto your page. You can also add custom HTML wherever you want, which is great for when you want to add widgets and media from other sites/apps.
To try out Lander, I created a few sample pages including this one meant to allow users to subscribe to our newsletter. Setting it up with a custom logo and background, modifying text, adding social sharing buttons and even a slideshow from SlideMyPics only took a few minutes. The image uploader is pretty clunky and a few of the tools in the editor look positively Jurassic, but they get the job done.
The result is less than beautiful but it works really well. Besides presenting my visitors with a decent-looking page (which will look as good as your design/HTML/CSS skills will allow, really), I was also able to download the leads I generated as a CSV and could opt to receive notifications of new leads via email. You can also set up Google Analytics quickly by entering your tracking code.
Tracking your page’s performance
Lander’s comprehensive dashboard allows you to get an overview of how your page is doing at a glance. Towards the top, you can see your conversion rate as well as the numbers of visitors and conversions (and even view this on a chart). You can also create variants of your page to carry out A/B testing with (either by duplicating and modifying your existing page or starting from scratch) and compare their performance side by side.
You can also launch a mobile version of your page and integrate other apps for email and CRM – free plans support plain-jane email lead forwards and Google Analytics, while paid plans allow you to also add Doppler, Mailchimp, Hubspot, aWeber, Constant Contact and Salesforce services. Another cool feature is the ability to send out welcome emails to your new leads automatically when they sign up.
Lander vs. Unbounce
We covered another major landing page creation app at the beginning of 2012 called Unbounce and were blown away by the app’s features and the quality of the user experience. Lander seems to be playing catch-up and is pretty good at it too, but could improve on a few things and be more than just the new kid on the block. For example, the outdated WYSIWYG editor components are a real turn-off and could easily be swapped out for modern options.
Lander also loses out in the template round, as Unbounce offers a huge variety of templates to suit various needs, from simple forms to full-blown app intro pages. Unbounce also has a few additional innovative features such as automated HTML cleanup and form field mapping, which aren’t found in Lander.
Lander works very well for marketers who’re looking to get landing pages off the ground (see what I did there?) without involving a team of designers and developers – and the available tools actually make it suitable even for experienced webmasters who want a unified solution for deploying and tracking multiple landing pages.
The price is very similar to that of its main competition Unbounce and works almost just as well – it’s only shy of a few power user features and templates. If you’re looking for an app to create quality landing pages without any hassle, give Lander a try – hopefully your page will be such a hit you’ll have to go for a paid plan!