The landing page software space has gotten extremely competitive in the last couple years – and it is now a much more complicated affair to choose which solution to use to make squeeze pages.
LeadPages has been the market leader. But, is it any good? What are its real strengths and weaknesses?
In this episode, I talk some “real talk” about what’s good – and bad – about LeadPages. And he compares it to other solutions like OptimizePress, ClickFunnels and Ten Minute Funnels. If you’re in the market, this is an important episode to listen to.
So once again, David here… 🙂 Welcome to another episode of Coffee Break Blogging.
Today we are going to be doing another tools episode. In the last Episode 75, we talked about various plug-ins to allow you to do nice looking opt-in forms and various types of opt-in forms on your blog. Today we are going to be talking about tools that enable you to create squeeze pages because we did talk about squeeze pages back in Episode 74.
Now the big thing about this space is like the plug-in space when it comes to opt-in forms, is also a fairly competitive space and there are a lot of options that you have to look at when you are evaluating these things. And there is also WordPress plug-ins that will do squeeze pages and stuff like that; one of which I am going to mention here in the episode and you have probably seen before, as well.
But there is a lot of feature overlap so it can be a confusing thing to do your research and figure out which tool to use and it can actually lead you down to a paralysis where you end up just not getting anything because you just do not know what to do. And so I am hoping that I can guide you a little bit in this episode on some of the top squeeze page tools.
Now in this episode I am going to mention 4 specific tools. There are other ones out, like I said there is also the WordPress options, beyond the ones I am going to mention here but again, these are the big 4 and we are going to start off with one that you probably heard a lot about if you are paying much attention to the online marketing space, and that is Lead Pages.
So what is the big deal about Lead Pages?
Here’s the thing about Lead Pages… It’s easy. I’m not going to lie. It is an easy platform to use. So what Lead Pages does is it allows you to create squeeze pages; just basically landing pages. It will do squeeze pages but it will also do sales pages, webinar registration pages, things like that. And you could also put together Thank You pages with them. You can link one page to the next so you can say, “Well after I fill out this page, go on to the next” you can do that stuff.
The beauty of Lead Pages is that it is really easy to use. You basically have fill-in-the-blank type design. You pick up the design you want and then you have the option to change some colors, change some fonts and change the text on the screen. And then in terms of the different elements that are on the page, you can either have them turned on or turned off. But aside from that, that is pretty much the level of customization that you are going to get. So the flip-side; of the fact that it is great because it is simple is the fact that it is also not very flexible.
I’ll be honest with you… Pretty much every time that I have gone to use Lead Pages to create a landing page, I find myself getting pissed off at it and I end up not using it. Right now, the only reason I have a Lead Pages account is for Lead Boxes. And there are other options besides that. So I see a cancellation of Lead Pages in my future.
I do not take anything away from Lead Pages. I think they have got a lot of great things going for them and I can see why they’ve stuck so hard to this inflexibility of their platform because it does make it really easy to use. But I also think that Lead Pages has done a fantastic job with their marketing so I think that you got a lot of people out there talking about Lead Pages and how great it is and they really have not compared it to the other options or some of them maybe are not “advanced enough” marketers to really need some of the other features that are in some of these other systems and so Lead Pages is fine for them, but I personally think that you might be a little better served going elsewhere.
The one caveat would be that if you really have just no technical background whatsoever, it is really hard to go wrong with Lead Pages because it is really easy, you will be able to create a page and you will be able to do it quickly, it will look good, it will work, it will be dependable and it is what it is! It is just that you are not going to have a lot of flexibility with the pages that you make.
So Lead Pages starts at $37 a month and then if you want some of the more pro features you are going to go up to $67 a month. And at least, as of this recording, there is no opportunity for trials. I guess they just do not like trials. I do not know why that is the case because most of the other guys that is their direct competitors have a trial; Lead Pages doesn’t.
I think Lead Pages had a good first move for advantage in this particular market, but I think they are losing it because other guys are coming up that are just better than Lead Pages and as long as they can get their marketing in line and compete with Lead Pages on that front, I think that they have got the capacity to really overshadow Lead Pages if they does not play “catch up” and start catering to some of these more advanced people. But again, maybe it is because Lead Pages is really catering to the people who do not know that much and cannot customize anything and that works! It really works. They have done a great job there. So anyway, that is Lead Pages.
The second option is Optimize Press. Now Optimize Press is WordPress specific and it is available as a theme or as a plug-in but essentially they do the same thing. So you can create beautiful landing pages and you can do it all right from inside the WordPress dashboard. So just the same place you go to write your blog post and everything, you can create your landing pages. Now, I am using Optimize Press quite a bit. I really like Optimize Press. It is a very flexible in all the ways that Lead Pages really hold you back because it is so un-flexible, Optimize Press is very much the exact opposite in the fact that you can do almost anything you want with Optimize Press.
But a couple of caveats, here… One is that it is slower to use because of the way that it works. And secondly, it requires some “geekiness” because the way that Optimize Press works, it is different. You have got the Live Editor built in to it. The Live Editor is what you are going to be using to actually build your pages. Now you can use one of their started templates to kind of get the ball rolling on a page, but essentially, you are looking at a framework that you have to build the page element by element. And it goes in this grid like fashion right on down the page so you have to add these elements to the page and then you add these different components to it.
Basically, the long story short is it takes a lot longer to make a page with Optimize Press. There is a lot clicking involved and the interface can be a little clunky to use, but at the same time I like it because it is extremely flexible. I can make almost any kind of landing page I want. I find that they are very nicely designed, I think they look good. To me they look a lot better than Lead Pages and if you do not like recurring fees, you are going to like that, too because it is $97, at least as of this recording; one time and you own it and you are good to go. So at least, in terms of this particular space in the world of creating squeeze pages and landing pages, I think that Optimize Press is by far your biggest bang for your buck. You get a lot for your money and you can buy it once and you can use it, do a lot with it… It is just a really, really fantastic platform.
But just be aware, there is a little bit of a learning curve at the beginning and once you get through that, you are going to be good to go. But you got to get off that learning curve of actually learning how to use it. And perhaps, at the Blog Marketing Academy, I will do a few videos coming up soon that go in that; the basic framework of Optimize Press beyond what they already have on their website because I really do like the tool.
This one I haven’t used personally but a lot of people have been talking about it and it looks really, really killer; and that is called Click Funnels at clickfunnels.com. The thing about Click Funnels is that it is a lot more flexible than Lead Pages and it is easier to use than Optimize Press. The thing about Click Funnels is, you can tell by the name; it does full-on sales funnels so we are going way beyond squeeze pages here to everything that happens after the squeeze page. You can do opt-in pages with Click Funnels, you can do sales pages, you can do webinar registration pages, you can do full-on membership sites, and you can do just very, very intricate funnels and you can do it from all inside the platform.
The cool thing about Click Funnels, too is that it is actually put together by people who do marketing. They have got all the conversion tracking built right into it. We are not just talking about single page conversions. We are talking about through the entire funnel. So when it comes down to creating really good sales funnels for your business, Click Funnels is going to give you pretty much everything you need to do it. You can customize the pages.
So again, in all the ways that Lead Pages holds you back and basically is all you can do is change what they give you and that is pretty much it; with Click Funnels you can actually add things to the pages, you can remove things from the pages; you have that flexibility that you do not have with Lead Pages. And that to me is the biggest pain point, to be honest with you, with Lead Pages. And that is the one thing that I personally think that they have got to loosen up on and give you more capability with Lead Pages and Click Funnels does all this.
As I mentioned, you can also full-on membership sites with Click Funnels including drip content and a lot of the standard features that you would see in full featured membership site software, you can do that with Click Funnels. You can also design sales funnels and share them so you can actually design really nice funnels and you can share them with other people who have Click Funnels account so they can import them and use them. And that is a pretty cool thing.
Now another thing that makes them stand apart is the fact that they have got a free trial option. I think it is a two-week free trial. Again, as I mentioned earlier, Lead Pages does not have a free trial and I don’t know why because you do not know if the platform is going to be good for you unless you tried it. The only way to do that with Lead Pages is to outright pay them and I think, in this day and age, that is kind of stupid but I don’t know…
Maybe they have tested it and that works better for them but I like free trials for stuff like that. So Click Funnels has a free trial but then from there, you need to be aware that they does go up in price pretty quickly. They do have a starter level of account which is on par with Lead Pages in terms of pricing. I think it was $37 a month but it basically only allows you to do opt-in funnels so it is kind of limited. If you want all the other stuff, it goes up to $97 a month which is more expensive than Lead Pages, but again, it does a helluva lot more than Lead Pages so I think it will be worth it.
So that is Click Funnels. I say, by the way, I think… because the next solution I’m going to mention here also does funnels, I think that Lead Pages has to do this too. I think they have got to get in to the funnel business. I know that you can select a Thank You page for, say, an opt-in and registration and something like that but it is not enough. And the world is moving past this. Look out for Lead Funnels. I wonder if Lead Funnels is going to happen. Just remember, if they come up with Lead Funnels, you heard it here first.
Ten Minute Funnels
The fourth and final option that I am going to mention in this podcast is called “Ten Minute Funnels.” Ten Minute Funnels was put out by a good friend of mine, Kyle Graham so I know of some of the inner workings. And so I think it is a really good contender. It competes with Lead Pages because it is in the same ball park but it is actually more of a direct contender with Click Funnels because the Ten Minute Funnels will actually give you all the flexibility that Click Funnels does. It does membership sites, it does the funnels; in fact, if you are familiar with some of the fancier options like InfusionSoft for the CRM, you have got full drag and drop funnel design capability just like the Campaign Builder (I think is what they call it inside of InfusionSoft) You basically have a campaign builder inside of Ten Minute Funnels and it is really impressive the way that it works. You literally just design, you drag the different pages, tack them all to each other then it automatically connects the dots and then you just click on each one and design the page the way you want it to look. But a lot of these are taken care of automatically by Ten Minute Funnels.
So again, it does full funnels, has full drag and drop capability on those funnels which is really cool. You can have full page customization, which again I think Lead Pages is just dropping the ball, that they do not have full page customization does, but Ten Minute Funnels does. And like Click Funnels, Ten Minute Funnels also has a 14 day trial so you can test it out and see how it works for you.
So those are the 4 options I wanted to bring to your attention for building highly effective squeeze pages. But again, these are full feature tools and any developed marketing plan is going to have a lot more than squeeze pages. So for that reason you are going to find that each of these 4 platforms can do more things than just squeeze pages and that is an important thing because squeeze pages is just one arsenal in a much larger tool set that we need to have.
So we mentioned Lead Pages, we mentioned Optimize Press, we talked about Click Funnels and we talked about Ten Minute Funnels. I recommend you check them out when the time comes that you are ready for a solution like this and see which one is best for you. Okay?
With that, I will see you on the next episode where we are going to get out of talking about different tools and we are going to jump right in to some more tactical stuff… We are going to talk about the Perfect Confirmation Page for building your list.
I’ll see you then! 😉