Hello and welcome to another edition in our series of landing page builders reviews. In this opportunity we are going to be trying out a fully-featured tool from one of the top players in the inbound marketing industry: HubSpot.

HubSpot Landing Pages is just one part of the complete suite of inbound marketing and sales software offered by the company, which, in its most basic form, also includes tools for blogging, social media, SEO, CTAs, lead management, email marketing, analytics, a marketplace feature, mobile, and a wealth of educational and training resources in the form of the "HubSpot Academy".

For now, we'll focus on the landing page builder tool, which is what brought us here in the first place!

Top Features

HubSpot's focus is clearly directed to four main features:

  • Ease of use
  • "Smart content"
  • Calendar
  • A/B testing

Build it easy

As is the case with the previous tools we've covered, HubSpot keeps a focus on ease of use. They propose you can create your landing pages in seconds, with no need to get your hands dirty with code. We're not so sure about the "creating pages in seconds" claim, but the presence of a drag-and-drop, WYSIWYG editor and predesigned templates certainly helps when building landing pages quickly.

Of course, if you've got coding skills, you can still tweak your HTML and CSS the way you want and add that extra level of customization, which, under the right circumstances, is even preferable to settling for ready-made templates.

Forms can also be easily and quickly set up by dragging and dropping elements in a highly customizable editor. We'll give it a closer look later on.

Adaptive and smart

HubSpot's "adaptive landing pages" feature lets you customize your pages' content depending on factors such as visitor's nature (lead or customer), device, country, and traffic source, so you can serve different landing pages to different visitors.

Personalization tokens are another nice feature, and one that you might have experienced yourself if you've ever downloaded anything from HubSpot's massive marketing resources library: every time you download an ebook or template you get customized response emails. Plus, you don't have to fill the same info time and again on their forms every time you download new content. Time savers are always welcome.

A calendar to rule them all

HubSpot Landing Pages also offers a calendar as an integral part of their product, which allows you to schedule content, campaigns and tasks, eliminating the hassle of having to use a third-party calendar application or even a spreadsheet to plan your content and organize your marketing campaigns in time.

Test anything and everything

No landing page builder would be complete without A/B testing functionality and HubSpot Landing Pages is no exception. Everything can be tested on your page: from headlines to CTA's, and, additionally, you can preview every option before publishing.

Hands-On

Signing up

The sign-up process for HubSpot Landing Pages follows the same easy approach we've talked about so far: just enter your basic data and off you go on a 30-day free trial, no credit card required.

Once the 30 days of the free trial are over and, if you liked the app well enough, you can choose the plan that suits you best: Basic, Professional, or Enterprise (more on these later).

By the way, if you've signed up for any of HubSpot's inbound marketing newsletters before, or have downloaded anything from their library, the sign-up form is already filled out for you. There's no need to enter any additional information.

Build it and they'll land

Once you've completed your ultra-easy and quick signup process, you're ready to start cranking out landing pages, no extra work needed. Below you can see HubSpot Landing Pages's dashboard, which comes with a predesigned sample that you can use to start getting familiar with HubSpot's methodology.

From that same page you can also create new designs by clicking on that big blue "Create a new page" button that you can see on the screenshot above and which, in turn, takes you to the "Create a New Landing Page" section:

Hubspot offers 14 predesigned templates to start working from, plus 23 example templates which are more barebones, just containing basic blocks of text and forms to start with. Besides these, the Marketplace offers a many more paid templates—we counted 190 of them.

The main editor window looks different to other builders we've previously covered such as Unbounce and Lander, with their more traditional and toolbar-infused graphic editor appearance (think Photoshop and the like). HubSpot, instead, features a two-pane approach with an adjustable-width editor on the left and a live preview window on the right.

The editor allows you to work on your content, configure additional options, add custom styling, and set up your publishing date and times.

Within the Content tab you can specify data such as the landing page's name, browser title, URL, page title, set up your forms, and generally edit the page's modules. The example page you can see here has actually got two modules besides the "Sidebar Form": Left Column and Center Column.

On the screenshot below you can see part of the different modules you can add by clicking on the "Add module" buttons included on every module you add:

In total there are 27 different types of modules which cover all you might need to build a successful landing page.

Inside the live preview pane you can also arrange, edit, and delete items—although, strictly speaking, editing always takes place on the left-pane editor, but you can always select the item on the preview pane if you have a landing page design with lots of different items.

Blocks of copy like the one selected on the screenshot above can be edited with a fully-featured rich text editor. In fact, the module in the example above is a "Rich Text" one. There are laso modules for one-liners, headers, and footers. Below, you can take a look at the rich text editor:

Moving on to the Options tab, you can add campaign names, as well as meta descriptions and HTML, javascript, or other code snippets to your headers and footers. A checkbox also lets you set up a password for those special cases when you need a password-protected landing page.

The next tab on the editor is the Style one, which features options to add custom styling to individual elements or modules of the page, as well as include additional stylesheets for advanced customization. Once you pick an module for styling, a pop-up window shows up where you can tweak text, spacing, backgrounds, and borders (of course, purely graphical items such as logos don't include the "Text" tab):

Scrolling further down this Style tab you'll find the Attached Stylesheets (Advanced) section where, as it name implies, you can do some serious customization to your landing pages by including additional CSS files:

Finally, on the Publishing tab you can set forth dates and times to publish your page, including scheduled publishing, expirations and redirects if needed:

But wait, there's more

Outside of the editor there are more features that you can use to add extra functionality and customization to your designs.

For example, there's the Design Manager/Template Builder, where you can fine-tune existing templates or create completely new ones. Just drag-and-drop modules around and edit their options to your heart's content.

Another option that comes in handy is the File Manager, which you can use to store your own files (normally images) even though it comes with a bunch of free stock photos, courtesy of HubSpot.

Aside from these two features mentioned above, there are two other crucial elements of every landing page and which HubSpot has deemed worthy enough—not without reason—to get their own setup pages: Forms and CTA's.

When it comes to forms, theres is no shortage of fields you can add and configure to create effective, conversion-friendly forms for your landing page. Every type of field has its own set of configurable options. Below you can see the drag-and-drop forms editor:

Calls-to-action buttons also have their own editor where you can change styles, set up colors, sizing, microcopy, CSS, and more as you can see in the following screenshote:

A final, important feature is the "Content Settings" page, which allows you to optimize a series of content options related to publishing, URL mappings, sitemaps, menus, blogs, email options, and colors and fonts.

Every one of these features have, in turn, many more options that can be configured for pretty much granular control over your landing page and overall content. Below is just one example of the many things you can tinker with, just for your emails!

The Price Spot

Unlike other landing page builders, HubSpot's pricing scheme is rather straightforward, with just three plans: Basic at $200/mo, Pro at $800/mo, and Enterprise at $2,400/mo. The main difference across plans is the number of contacts, i.e., how many people you've got on your contacts database, not visitors to your page. The respective tiers for each plan are 100, 1,000, and 10,000 contacts.

However, plans can be "customized", which basically mean adding more contacts (at $100 per 1,000 extra ones) and the option to include the HubSpot CMS called "Sites", whose Basic package costs $50/mo with a 3,000 visits limit, while the normal package goes for $2,000/mo and unlimited visits.

You also need to add a required "Onboarding" which is a one-time fee of $600 and includes training on how to set up your account and launch your campaigns. So, to give you an example, a Basic plan with 2,000 contacts, the Basic Sites CMS and Basic Onboarding would set you back $7,800 to get started (after that, it'd be $600/mo).

Of course, there are many more differences between plans than just contact counts, and with HubSpot offering such a wide array of products and features within its inbound marketing suite, you'd better take a look at their price comparison chart to see the whole picture.

Is HubSpot For You?

HubSpot's pricing might seem a little too high at first glance for just building landing pages, but then again, landing pages are just a fraction of the whole inbound marketing package that you get when you sign up, so take that into account when you make your decision.

However, we just tried the landing page editor and the experience was generally positive. The interface might seem a little too simple (as in "unfeatured") when you first look at it, especially if you've worked with other landing page builders before, but, in no time, you'll get the hang of it and will start building and customizing your own great pages. Front-end devs will always make the most out of the more advanced features of tools like these, and HubSpot is no exception, so make sure your HTML, CSS and Javascript skills are up-to-date.

To summarize, if you want to have a complete solution for your content and inbound marketing needs, HubSpot is definitely a go-to option. If you just want something to create and publish landing pages, perhaps the price might be to high, plus you would end up with a bunch of features you wouldn't use, so make your choice wisely.

What's Next?

Trying out HubSpot Landing Pages for yourself surely won't hurt as the free trial mode actually gives you access to all of the features of the Professional plan, so you can test everything and decide what's best for you.

Additionally, HubSpot offers a wealth of information in its blogs, so make sure you check them out. We bet you'll find something interesting, informative, and/or educational in them.

And hey, once you try it (or if you've already done it), please share your thoughts with us in the comments! Till the next post!