This is the first on a new series of posts where we will be reviewing landing page tools: builders, optimizers, A/B testers, and more, for all of you to make better informed decisions when it comes to creating, optimizing or testing your own landing pages.
Our first tool of choice for this series is a well-known, referential site when it comes to landing page building and resources: Unbounce. Their unique selling proposition? They promise you can build your own custom landing page without the need of any design or IT teams. The power is all yours.
Let's go take a glance at some of their top features.
Unbounce's list of features is anything but short, with progressive benefits once you start climbing up the ladder throughout its three levels of membership:
- Starter: for new businesses & entrepreneurs,
- Pro 99: for consultants & small businesses, and
- Pro 199: for agencies & marketing teams.
However, even the Starter level comes with a full-fledged set of features, sharing most of the tools of the other two plans when it comes to design features and templates, the WYSIWYG editor, the lead generation system, and optimization tools. We'll get into more details later.
Unbounce's top list of features and benefits is as follows:
- Drag & drop design
- Advance design capabilities
- Customizable responsive design templates
- Lead generation tools
All of which are rounded up with some more technical goodies such as:
- Dynamic text replacement for swapping out keywords
- Script manager for analytics
- A/B testing
- Real time stats
- Integration with widely used email, CRM, marketing automation, and analytics tools
- Multiple clients management
- Custom domains
- New leads notification via email
Templates For All
In today's world and age one does not simply publish a landing page, or any other website, without responsive design. Unbounce makes sure your page is mobile friendly by giving you more than 60 fully customizable templates.
These templates are even arranged by purpose: you have responsive designs for SAAS products, consultancy services, lead generation, click-through pages, and mobile apps. There's also a whole category for industry specific landing pages: not-for-profits, travel agencies, real estate, software products, health & wellness, law firms, and education sites. So you can bet that whatever your niche, Unbounce has you covered.
Integrate to Dominate
Unbounce boasts an impressive array of integration with third-party apps and services which extend the reach of its landing page builder, what they call their "Conversion Ecosystem."
As with the templates categories mentioned above, there are quite a few integration tool categories to choose from: analytics, content & copywriting, CRM, design, email, optimization & testing, PPC, social, user feedback, video, voice, ecommerce, marketing automation, and mobile.
Among the featured integration partners that you can select to enhance Unbounce's functionalities you have big names such as Themeforest, Moz, Zoho CRM, Salesforce, MailChimp, and Hubspot, just to name a few.
Trying It Out
Signing up for Unbounce
Being the good guys they are, the folks at Unbounce let you try out any of their three plans for free for a month—just head for the Pricing page and choose your plan. But, hey! You still have to enter your credit card info there if you want the free trial... so, what if you don't want to give them that info yet? If you scroll down past the pricing table you'll see the option to sign up for free, which lets you "explore core Unbounce features, no credit card required."
For this review, we'll be using this free option. It's all in the name of information, not because we're cheap. We promise. Let's go.
Creating your first landing page with Unbounce
The app page looks pretty user-friendly and comprehensive at the same time, which makes for an inviting user experience. You get a central area with a welcoming get-started video and sidebars left and right for options, features, and tools.
To start creating your landing page, just click on the green "Create New Page" button and you'll be presented with 62 templates (at the time of writing) to choose from. For those of us with option paralysis the templates can be narrowed down by category: Lead Generation or Click Through landing pages. For the truly brave, there's an option to start with a blank page. Yeah!
Once you select your template and give your landing page a name, you will enter into the vaguely-Photoshoppy-looking page builder, where the action really takes place. Now, bear in mind that some users might find this crucial part of the webapp not as user-friendly as the above-mentioned app page. Those of you with an experience in design applications will find it straightforward enough to start working right away, but those without such an experience might find it a little bit intimidating at first sight.
Whichever the case, Unbounce's page builder offers a granular control level over pretty much all the elements of your landing page, with three main panes: Page Contents, Main Page, and a third pane with three tabs for Item Properties, Page Properties, and Conversion Goals.
On top of these panes you get a toolbar with the standard type of editing tools you'd expect from an app like this: Save, Preview, Undo/Redo, Move Up/Down, Bring Forward, Send Backward, Copy, Paste, Duplicate, and Delete.
Every editable item can be selected from either the Page Contents pane or by double-clicking on top of the item itself. In the case of text elements (copy), once you double-click on them, a full-fledged text editor shows up on the lower half of the Main Page pane. Neat.
Other types of items, such as boxes and containers are editable on the Properties pane with settings for properties like geometries, borders, backgrounds, and even element metadata where you can change HTML id's and classes.
Double-clicking on an image element opens up an image selector window from where you can upload your own images or select from any of the 1197 (!) public Unbounce images (although remember, using stock images might be detrimental to the authenticity of your landing page).
Forms can also be fine-tuned: double-clicking on them allows you to add custom fields or edit the pre-defined ones. You can add and edit text fields, checkboxes, radio buttons, drop-down menus, even hidden fields.
From the Main Page pane you can also drag and drop additional elements for your landing page design: page sections, boxes, text, images, buttons, forms, embedded video, custom HTML, and social widgets.
As stated above, each one of these elements can be edited in detail in the Properties pane. As an example, take a look at the properties of the social widget element:
How about a responsive landing page? Unbounce has you covered. From the Main Page pane you can readily access the Mobile view, where elements are conveniently resized and optimized for smaller display sizes. Of course, predefined templates already have their corresponding responsive versions, but if you're working from a blank design, you have all the tools to adapt your page to mobile dimensions.
However, take into account that you can also add scripts to be used across several pages and domains if you use Unbounce to manage more than one landing page. You can achieve this by means of the Script Manager feature in the main app page, under Settings. From here you can also configure integrations with 3rd party apps, set up IP filters to exclude traffic from specific IP adddresses, and enable experimental "Labs" features (so far one is showing: "Hyperspace Publishing", an animated loading screen which is "useless but fun" according to themselves).
There is so much more to explore in detail in the app and builder, so we encourage you to sign up for free and try it out for yourself. We're sure you'll be amazed at just how fully featured this web app is.
How About The Price?
Unbounce's pricing plan is divided into three memberhip levels:
- Starter, for new businesses and entrepreneurs, at USD 49 a month and a 5,000 unique visitor traffic limit, with some feature restrictions.
- Pro 99, for consultants and small businesses, and which, as the name implies, has a monthly price of USD 99, and a 25,000 unique visitor traffic limit.
- Pro 199, for agencies and marketing teams, the top-level plan at USD 199 per month, and a 100,000 unique visitor traffic limit.
So what is this "unique visitor traffic limit" thing anyway? This is duly defined as:
"Every time a new visitor comes to your landing page, we cookie them to ensure that they see the same variant next time they return. This is a Unique Visitor and they will only count once against your traffic limits each month."
Good stuff. And what if you plan to have more than 100,000 unique visitors? Just contact them and they'll work it out for you—after all, companies like Amazon and LinkedIn have used Unbounce's services.
By the way, you might want to know about those "features restrictions" mentioned above for the Starter plan. Well, with this plan you get pretty much everything, except the following: no Dynamic Text Replacement, certified AdWords PPC support, CRM & Marketing Automation tools integration, and none of the user & client management features. Are all these extra benefits worth the additional fifty bucks? It's all up to you!
The Verdict Is...
As we stated above, this app is fully featured, with pretty much everything you need to design your landing pages contained within your browser, no need to install any software on your desktop computer. And as featured as it is, we believe it largely depends on your web design skills and background whether you feel Unbounce is overwhelming or not to use.
If you already are a designer and know your way around creating websites, you can approach Unbounce as a specialized tool to work more efficiently, completely focused on the goal of churning out landing pages optimized for conversion.
If you don't have a clue about page design (which we're pretty sure is not the case, even if you're not a designer) you can make good use of the predefined templates and start customizing from there. Once again, we encourage you to give it a ride and play around with its features. We're sure that, with a little practice, you'll be pumping out landing pages in practically no time.
Remember, you can always sign up for free and then opt for the full access, 30-day trial, which will give you even more functionalities. After all, given the quality of the product that Unbounce offers, the price plans really look like a deal from here.
Also, please don't forget to check out Unbounce's hugely useful, content-loaded, Resources page. There you will find a wealth of marketing courses, guides, infographics, glossaries, and toolkits that will undoubtedly power up your landing page creation and optimization skills. Don't miss it!
What Say You?
Have you had any experiences with Unbounce? Let us know in the comments!