If you search for Leadpages reviews, you will find many sugar-coated reviews. This is not one of them. We went into writing our Leadpages review expecting a top landing page builder. What we found surprised us.
What is Leadpages?
First some background.
We can guarantee almost all of you have encountered a Leadpages landing page or pop-up before (probably without knowing it). They are the ones with the animated progress bar always at 50%, urging you on with “Almost There!”
Leadpages is a major player in landing page builders (they say “The #1 Landing Page Builder”). Leadpages are ubiquitous. They also have other lead-capturing tools like SMS opt-in which we will cover.
What is a landing page? A landing page is a webpage with a singular focus. The goal is usually to capture a visitor’s email address in exchange for an item like a webinar or e-book. Since you are probably familiar with the Internet, let’s move on.
Now, the engine of any landing page tool is the builder (also called an editor). This is where you transform a generic template into your personalized landing page. Unfortunately, we had major challenges and frustrations with this aspect of Leadpages. It is a shame because they do have some nice other features. But if the engine (or editor in this case) isn’t acceptable, the car isn’t an option.
One thing to note is that Leadpages (the company) is very much in transition as we speak. They released their new drag and drop editor in March. This is a major paradigm shift for them. In July, Leadpages acquired Drip, a lightweight SMB marketing automation tool. Weeks later, Leadpages laid off 12% of its staff (due to reorganization not financial difficulties). Maybe all this turbulence is starting to affect the product.
So we can cut them some slack, but all of this is irrelevant to what tool you buy.
It’s hard to feel bad for Leadpages. They are the largest SaaS landing page tool. Over 43,000 customers use the tool. They received $27 million in funding last year. Leadpages isn’t going anywhere.
But being #1 in size does not mean having the best product. There are so many landing page builders out now. Many are a fraction of Leadpages pricing. Leadpages is in a competitive field without a stellar offering.
But being #1 in size does not mean having the best product.
Leadpages owes a lot to their fantastic marketing. You should check out their engaging podcast, free marketing courses, and several other resources. They also have a powerful affiliate program including big name members like Amy Porterfield and Pat Flynn.
But we kept going back to the disappointing editors throughout our Leadpages review. While we know Leadpages Drag and Drop Editor is in ‘early access’, we believe the tool will be far behind competitors for some time. As mentioned, outside of the two editors we like some Leadpages features like Leadlinks. But these are secondary.
Most are better off with other solutions, even those with little to no technical-savvy
Leadpages scored a 7.25 out of 10 ranking them #12 versus other landing page builders. MarTech Wiz analyzed over 15 landing page tools on 50 different factors. You can find the breakdown of this score below to see exactly how we came to this number.
Coming up in this Leadpages review we will cover Leadpages pricing, features, integrations and much more.
Leadpages Features: What does Leadpages do?
Landing Page Templates
Leadpages’ templates come in categories like thank you page, opt-in and webinar. All Leadpages templates are mobile-responsive so they adjust to any device size.
Leadpages templates are built for and can only be used in one of their two editors. Standard templates can NOT be converted for use in the drag and drop editor and vice versa.
Standard templates can NOT be converted for use in the drag and drop editor and vice versa.
Users can access over 500 templates. Leadpages has ~200 free templates and over 300 premium templates for sale by third parties on the site. In fact, many of the highest converting pages were not designed by Leadpages but by these third parties. Of the free templates, 132 are for the standard builder and 76 for the new Leadpages drag and drop editor. Here is a breakdown:
Leadpages Templates by the Numbers
|Standard Editor Templates||Drag & Drop Templates||All|
People love that they can sort landing page templates by conversion rate. How? Leadpages has tons of data from 43,000+ customers using their Leadpages templates for years. They analyze this data to determine which templates lead to the most conversions. That’s powerful and helpful information to provide to customers.
As we dove deeper into Leadpages, we wanted to know more about the conversion rates. Leadpages doesn’t provide the conversion rate %, the variance of conversion rates or how long the template has been active. We are not expecting this level of detail necessarily but it would give us more confidence in the conversion claims.
Also we don’t know if these convert any better than landing pages from competitors. After everyone customizes their templates with new copy, images and other styling, they are much different pages so it’s hard to lump them all together in the same bucket. Also, the page that captures the most emails may not be the page that leads the most paying customers in the end.
We started looking more closely at conversion rates after first seeing the highest converting free template. It is pretty ugly. The template looks outdated, cluttered and borderline tacky. Maybe the best-looking pages are not necessarily the highest-converting. Would you use an unattractive page that is high-converting to represent your brand? Most would not.
Many free standard Leadpages templates look dated. Partially because they suffer from overexposure – you see the same templates and Leadboxes everywhere. These templates range in style from decent looking to too cluttered, some hideous. This is a subjective view but we feel it is validated by the fact that the newest Leadpages templates and the best premium ones are more clean and modern. Anyway, we will let you decide – here are the top standard templates:
Then we found the premium Leadpages templates. Much better. These are Leadpages templates users can sell on Leadpages. The best premium templates are more modern and generally pleasing. They often feature full image backgrounds and a simpler design. Premium templates can also be ranked by conversion rate. Eight out of the top ten standard editor templates are premium and look cleaner and more modern. Like this one:
Also, the newest templates created for the new Leadpages drag & drop editor are also of the simpler aethetic. But if some of the busy, cluttered templates converted best, why not make a drag & drop version of those first?
Landing Page editor
The editor (or builder) is where you edit the template to make it your own. Here you make all the style changes like button color, images and headline copy. Leadpages has two editors! This is important to understand for this review as well as your purchasing decision. So bear with us…
The standard editor (the only editor until March 2016) is their original and main editor. This editor offers few customization options which makes it easy to use but limiting. Some say it is so people can’t alter the templates that are laid out to convert – we are not so sure.
We know that the main complaint of Leadpages customers is inflexibility. To offer a more customizable editor they recently launched a drag-and-drop editor.
Both of Leadpages’ landing page editors disappointed us. And since those are the heart and soul of the software, we can’t recommend Leadpages in this review.
Next, our Leadpages review will cover the Standard, or classic editor. Leadpages’ classic editor is what users typically use with Leadpages. The majority of templates are for the standard editor and only the standard editor.
Yes, it is quick and easy but at a significant cost in flexibility and power. It doesn’t achieve the right balance of ease of use and power. Others thought the same as Leadpages is building a second one from the ground up.
Yes, it is quick and easy but at a significant cost in flexibility and power.
The editor severely limits styling options. We knew this going into our Leadpages Review but were still shocked at the extent of the limitations. There are few options to make even basic changes. You can’t move or add new elements, or widgets. Elements include items like headlines, Leadboxes, maps and countdown timers (anything you might add to the page). So if you like a template but want to add a timer, you are out of luck. Examples of frustrations: can’t replace a video with an image, no undo button, can’t remove 3D shadow from text. You can only hide elements (which may leave a gaping hole in your page).
The bigger problem is it makes it hard to match branding. Sometimes a Leadpage will seem so disconnected from the rest of a site it is jarring and confusing.
Drag & Drop
Next we tried the new Leadpages drag & drop editor. We thought “well, the standard editor is lame but the drag & drop editor will make up for it”. Not at all.
Leadpages describes the drag & drop editor as an editor “for those who want maximum flexibility to customize their page design. It will let you add more elements (text, images, functions) and move them around instead of just hiding them.”
Yes, the new drag & drop editor is more flexible. You can add and move elements. It has more customization options. But it seems half-baked. At times it was painful to use – especially after using better tools. The clunky and unintuitive interface was frustrating. We don’t see it getting close to the better builder/editors for years not months. We expected better since Leadpages has been successful for a while now and are well funded. Drag & drop is not an insurmountable task or new innovation that came out of nowhere. Others have had drag & drop for years. Leadpages pricing is at a premium level and the builder should reflect that.
The clunky and unintuitive interface was frustrating.
The problem is a lack of smoothness, accuracy and predictability. It is not really drag & drop. If you drag an element to a point on the template, it will snap it to the closest open spot. 9 out of 10 times that spot it is not the place you dropped it at or where you want the element (March 2017 update: Leadpages have since made improvements to the drop zone placement). So it’s more like drag, drop and watch something unexpected happen. Elements suddenly change sizes depending on where they are. Sizing elements isn’t even an option. There is no corner to drag to size. Easiest to see this on the video.
There are others things not quite ready. To us, these are more acceptable in an early release. There is no A/B testing yet and not all integrations are available. There are upsides like an icon library, ability to style the countdown timer and customizable Leadboxes to name a few. More specifics on what you can and cannot do are in the “How Leadpages Works” section and video.
So its got a ways to go before getting catching up to competitors. But worse, nothing is better or more innovative than others out of the market. If it reaches parity from a usability standpoint, we see no major differentiator to use it.
Pro subscribers have the option of A/B testing (or split testing) their landing pages or Leadboxes. This feature allows you to create alternate page versions which appear randomly to visitors. The version that performs the best is the winner. A/B testing is currently only available in the standard templates/editor, not in drag & drop. So what you can test is limited. A/B tests usually involve changes in copy, images, and button styles which can all be done in the standard editor.
It seems to be a perfectly fine tool that is like others we have seen in landing page builders.
Leadboxes are pop-up boxes. They are triggered by a button click on a landing page (two-step opt-in), time on page or exit intent as a standalone pop-up. We really liked Leadboxes setup. It achieved the right mix of power and ease of use. You can do several things in a Leadbox such as send a lead magnet, pick a sub-list to send leads to and sign up webinar attendees. All this can be done in the settings so you see the changes live without leaving the Leadbox.
We would like more styling options as we mentioned several times in this Leadpages Review.
But what is surprising to us is there is only one type of Leadbox style. We don’t need a 100 but 3 to 5 would be nice? The animated progress bar was novel when it came out. But it hasn’t seen much of an update since then and is becoming outdated. Fortunately, you now can customize Leadboxes in the drag & drop editor.
One of the more original aspects of Leadpages is Leaddigits. This captures emails through SMS text messaging. Customers can opt-in to your list by texting a phrase to a 5-digit phone number (for example, text PASTRIES to 35544). Leadpages texts them back to ask for their email which people need to text back. It can automatically capture the phone number of the prospect also.
This is great for certain unique situations including:
- a speaker at a conferences can provide the audience a phrase/number to text in order to get the slides
- a restaurant owner can put a Leaddigit on the menu (or any signage) to get sign-ups for a newsletter
Only a subset of customers will need Leaddigits but for them it may be invaluable. We wonder how effective this method is with conversions rates. It is much harder to track since these appear ‘in the real world’. Many are hesitant to opt-in via test as they might fear getting commercial texts or calls to their phone.
We also question how widespread the need is. Leadpages mentions it is for when you are away from your computer or web browser. This is almost never since we have smart phones. And if you are away from your phone, then you can’t use Leaddigits anyway.
Lead Magnet Management
Many opt-ins are for lead magnets – gated information products like an e-book. Leadpages stores the lead magnet file so you don’t have to link to it, connect to another system or your servers. This is very convenient. Not unique to Leadpages but a good feature. Basically it allows a lead magnet to be automatically sent to a subscriber. You can choose single or double opt-in (which requires email confirmation).
Analytics to understand how your pages are converting. Very basic but sufficient for most customers. It shows visitors, unique visitors, opt-ins and conversion rate.
Leadlinks (Pro and up)
Leadlinks are very powerful. They are a special link that you can paste into a broadcast email. When someone clicks on the link (say to register for a webinar), they are automatically registered with no additional action needed. You can even add them to a sub-list and deliver a digital asset via email.
Leadlinks don’t work with AWeber and 1ShoppingCart due to their terms of service
Leadpages Benefits: Why use Leadpages?
Save Time Money and Effort
Like all landing page builders, Leadpages can generate landing pages for various purposes quickly and easily. Maybe even more quickly than others due to its simplified editor. It is very easy to use but that comes at a cost of power and flexibility.
Regarding speed, a new landing page can take a little as a few minutes to set up once you are familiar with the tool. Specialized resources like designers or developers are not needed.
Other tools like Leadlinks and Leadboxes can make your marketing more efficient. Potentially saving additional time, money and effort by performing multiple automated actions with little overview needed.
Improve Conversion Rates/Lead Generation
We talked about this at length in the template section of our Leadpages review above. Let’s quickly summarize. Leadpages has tons of conversion data on their templates’ conversion rates through many customers over the years. You can use this to sort templates by conversion. This is powerful information and a great feature.
You can also test if tools like Leaddigits or Leadlinks (Pro and up) increase conversion. Maybe a different approach could lead to a lot more conversions.
Optimize Design through A/B testing (Pro and up)
We have all heard stories of a marketer changing the color of a button which increased traffic by some crazy number. This is determined through A/B or split testing. A/B Testing is available in Pro plans and up in the standard editor only (not drag & drop). A/B Testing compares alternative variants of a page that are shown randomly to site visitors. It calculates the difference in performance so you can pick a winner. Using split testing, you can continuously improve the design, copy and performance of your landing pages.
How does Leadpages work?
Sign up for Leadpages Account
Create a paid account to log in and get access to Leadpages. Unfortunately, there is no Leadpages free trial or free plan. They do have a 30-day money back guarantee.
If you are a WordPress user, you can install and download the plugin (from Leadpages.net not wordpress.org). More on that below.
For onboarding information, see the support/training section below
You will be asked to choose a subdomain name. Typically, company name is used. For example, ours is “martechwiz.leadpages.co.” This will be used as the url if you chose to publish the page via Leadpages servers. We mention more publishing options below.
Connect your Leadpages Integrations
This is the best time to set up your main integrations like email autoresponder and webinar service, if applicable. Connect your accounts by providing credentials or API key from your service providers. If a tool is not officially integrated, you may be able to finagle connectivity using HTML. More information about integrations is below.
Choose template (and in turn editor)
Now take a look through the templates to find your preferred design. You have an important decision: standard templates versus drag & drop. Standard templates will only work in the standard editor, which is limited in customization options. Leadpages drag & drop templates will only work in the drag & drop editor. You can’t use a standard template in the drag & drop editor or vice versa.
We would recommend checking out the premium templates as well. Go to the “Filter By: All Template Dropdown” and toggle “Show Premium” to On. 8 out of the top 10 highest converting templates are premium including the top 6. Most are between $9 and $19.
We will now walk through both page editors in the next segment of this Leadpages review.
Option 1: Edit with Standard Editor
Let’s start with the standard builder. This is where the majority of the Leadpages templates reside. The editor is easy to use. Yet it lacks important customization options that are in Leadpages drag & drop editor.
- Choose template from the standard tab (either free or premium)
- Click “Use Template” and the standard editor will load
- After naming your page, you are taken inside the editor
- Make desired changes to the template.
You are limited to basic changes like:
- Change text and text style
- Change colors of elements
- Swap images
- Embed video
- Change background image
- Hiding elements
- Hyperlink text to web or opt-in form
Note: in the standard editor, you can’t:
- Add elements
- Move elements around
- Swap in a different elements (say swap an image element for a video)
- Use Google Fonts
Option 2: Edit in Drag & Drop Editor
The Leadpages drag & drop editor has less templates because it was just recently launched. It has more customization options but a less stable user interface since it is new.
- Under templates, choose Drag & Drop to view template options. All are free now. There are no premium templates.
- Click “Use Template” and the Drag & Drop editor will load
- After naming your page, you are taken inside the editor
You can perform these actions:
- Perform all editing options available in the standard editor plus
- Add Widget (Headline, Text, Button, Countdown, Image, Video, Line, Space, HTML, Form, Social Share, Comments, Social Like, Progress Bar, Icon, Image + Text and Calendar + Text)
- Move Widget (or element as we say)
- Use Icon library
- Access several pre-loaded Google Fonts
- Input Alt text for images (good for SEO)
- Style the countdown timer (Update: new personalization options like restart each day)
- Undo changes
- Set Color overlay for background image
- Create new sections
- Duplicate sections
- Customize Leadboxes
- Update: Customize favicon
You have the follow limitations:
- No A/B Testing
- No ability to size widgets in most cases
- No overlapping widgets
- No parallax background effect
- No setting headline tags like H1, H2
- No image library (free or paid) *
- No uploading additional Google fonts
- No group or alignment of widgets
- No advanced fields – only name, email, address and phone number (yet autoresponder might provide additional fields)
- Fewer Integrations than standard editor (outlined below in integrations section)
*Leadpages emailed a large image pack to us a few days after sign up
Create a Leadbox
A Leadbox is a pop-up box containing an opt-in form. Form submission can trigger several actions.
Standard Editor – Leadboxes
- Go to the Leadboxes section and click “Create New Leadbox”
- First, integrate with your email autoresponder
- Choose “Customize This Form”
- To “Send An Email After Someone Opts-in On This Leadbox”
- Toggle the switch to “On”
- Select a lead magnet to email out
- Customize the email message they are sent
- Add specific sub list people will be added to
- Select webinar leads will be registered for
- Name the Leadbox in the top left
There are limited style options as expected
- Can only change text, images, and style like color button.
- Can only add address fields and a comment (you can remove)
- Only basic text fields in editor as default, but can add fields like drop-down, checkbox, etc if in your autoresponder form
Finish up and publish
- You can add tracking code for a third-party analytics app but it is not supported by Leadpages
- Choose the Thank You page users are sent to after opting in
- You can A/B Test the Leadbox versus other styles
- There are three different use cases for Leadboxes
- Standard (stand-alone link or button)
- Timed popup (can’t be activated on scroll)
- Exit popup
- Publish externally using the HTML Code or through WordPress plugin
Drag & Drop – Leadboxes
- First click on the link or button you want the Leadbox to be connected with
- Hit the link icon (the chain)
- Click View/Edit under your Leadbox name
- From there you can make your style changes
- Click on the button in the Leadbox and an “Edit Your Form” menu will appear on the right
- From the menu, you can choose autoresponder integration and form fields
- Click Next-Follow Up
- Now you can choose where user will be sent email after they fill out the form
- You can also choose a lead magnet file to send
Create a Leadlink (Pro and up)
Leadlinks are links you can embed in an email for one-click opt-ins
- From main screen choose Leadlinks
- Choose “Create New Leadlink”
- Name the Leadlink in the top left of the screen
- Choose the autoresponder to send the email/Leadlink with. Leadlinks can only be used inside broadcast emails.
- Choose “Customize this Link” on the left
- Pick a Lead Magnet to send user via email
- Choose if you want to leads to be able to register to a webinar
- Determine which sub-list you will send them to
- Choose “Customize this Email” to personalize the second email the user will be sent
- Choose Thank You Page to be seen after Leadlink clicked
- Copy the Leadlink at the bottom of the screen and paste into your broadcast email
- You can even send the Leadlink to others (such as affiliates) to capture leads on your behalf
Create a Leaddigit (Pro and up)
Leaddigits are a combination code phrase/phone number that leads can text to opt-in
- From Main Screen choose Leaddigits
- Click “Create New Leaddigit”
- Choose country and phone number
- Select the code phrase customers will text to the Leaddigit number (It must be currently in use by others so not all phrases are available)
- Customize your opt-in message (optional)
Next, our Leadpages Review will show you four ways to publish your Leadpage.
Option 1: Leadpages subdomain
If you publish on Leadpages servers, your page will be stored on the subdomain you set up. This is the easiest option. Once you are happy with your page, hit “Publish”. Your page will be available at that link (subdomain.leadpages.co/page-name). However, many will not want to have lead pages in their url.
Option 2: WordPress Plugin
If you use the WordPress plugin you can publish from your dashboard. This option uses your domain and the url of your choice without any Leadpages mention.
The WordPress plugin is not located in the main wordpress.org plugin directory. This is aggravating. You have to download the plugin from Leadpages website as a zip. Then manually install it by uploading the zip folder to your plugin console. Sign into Leadpages from the WordPress dashboard. We were surprised to not find our Leadpages listed. You have to go to “Add New” then “Select Leadpage” and click “Publish” (there is no preview option).
The plugin is not impressive (March 2017 update: Leadpages launched a new plugin recently (we haven’t tested it)). Publishing the Leadpage up was a bit of a hassle. It was harder than it should have been especially when paying premium Leadpages pricing. Leadpages Integration with WordPress should be much smoother. We have seen much better user experiences in free plugins. There are some other quirks to be aware. Make sure you read the support information on Leadpages.
Option 3: Your own server
Option 4: Facebook Page
You can publish your Leadpage to Facebook as a Facebook page. We are not proponents of this Leadpages integration. It is difficult to set up and manage. Also the distractions inherent to Facebook could hurt conversion.
- In publishing options, click “Add to Facebook”
- Connect the Leadpages app to your Facebook account
- A new tab called “Leadpages” is created on your page
- Click on it and your Leadpage appears in the center of the screen, not full screen.
Leadboxes are active as in regular Leadpages.
It was not easy at all to delete the page. Not sure if the fault was Facebook or Leadpages.
Only one Leadpage is allowed to be published to Facebook at a time (due to a Facebook limitation). Worse, you have to delete the app and reconnect with Facebook to upload a new landing page.
What do users typically say about Leadpages?
Leadpages Pricing and Plans: How much does Leadpages Cost?
Leadpages pricing for the Standard plan is $37/month ( or $25 or $17/month if you commit to 1-year or 2-year plan)
The Pro plan which includes AB testing, Leaddigits and Leadlinks is $79/month (or $49 or $24/month if you commit to 1-year or 2-year plan)
“For marketing teams and agencies”, Advanced plan Leadpages pricing is either $159 for a 2-year commitment and $199/month for an annual plan. No monthly plans are available at this tier.
All plans include unlimited use of Leadpages and Leadboxes.
Refund/guarantee: 30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
Does Leadpages have a free trial and/or totally free plan?
- No Leadpages Free trial
- No Leadpages Free plan available
- There is a 30-day money back guarantee
Support/Training/Onboarding: How is Leadpages’ customer service and customer support
- Standard: E-mail
- Pro: Priority e-mail and chat
- Advanced: Priority e-mail, chat, and phone
We received good support over chat. The specialist answered several detailed questions quickly.
In the tool, website and follow up emails, you will be given ample opportunity to learn the Leadpages platform.
- Leadpages has brief, helpful onboarding videos in the tool to get you familiarized quickly
- They invite you to a live onboarding webinar. Its mid-week so it may take a few days to join but that will give you a chance to have a list of question ready.
- There is also a Leadpages Launchpad Course with 10 segments you can access straightaway
- You will be sent a series of emails after you sign up on various topics
- We also found a lot of Leadpages-developed training on YouTube
You have access to the knowledge base which is comprehensive. Yet we found it hard to find information when searching for specific topics sometimes.
Many of the trainings will also bolster your marketing know-how in general not only about Leadpages.
These services work with the Standard Editor, standalone Leadboxes, Leadlinks, and Leaddigits:
- Constant Contact
- Mad Mimi
The Drag & Drop Editor Integrates only with:
- Constant Contact
Implementing Leadpages: Installing in Drupal, Joomla, Shopify, BigCommerce, Magento, Prestashop, etc.
There is no official Leadpages integration with Drupal but you can upload the manual source code file to the Drupal CMS.
There are ways to add Leadpages to Joomla but it seems to involve adding it a new item to the navigation bar which is not ideal.
Leadpages unofficially can be integrated with Shopify by using the HTML container in the drag & drop builder.
No examples of connections between Prestashop and Leadpages were found.
What is Leadpages Center?
Leadpages Center is a marketing automation add-on for Leadpages by Leadpages. It’s not clear how Drip and Center will coincide in the future.
Leadpages Center automates rule-based operations.
For example, add visitors who watched a sales video for more than 1 minute to a sub-list in your autoresponder.
Another example, add early bird event registrants to a sub-list. If they register between November 1 and November 16, they get bonus material emailed to them
Leadpages Ranking and Score Details
Leadpages Market Share (est. %)
Leadpages Drop Off Rate (est. %)
The percentage of users who stop using the product