November 16th, 2016/Landing Pages/By /

Landing Pages: How To Build Killer Landing Pages with Software (Even If You Can’t Code)

Some affiliate marketers know how to code.

Others don’t know the first thing about HTML or CSS and rely on landing page software.

And here’s the thing: you really should learn how to code. I’m not the best programmer, but I know the basics. Check out CodeAcademy if you wanna learn the basics for free, and then start working on your own landers.

Landing page software – like the kind I’ll show you below – all have weaknesses. You’ll never have full control over your campaigns if you can’t do your own coding.

And if you want to outsource your designs? Good luck. A coder knows when they’re speaking to a non-coder. They WILL overcharge you when they find out you can’t tell JavaScript from Java.

If this is going to be your business, you need to know about coding and internet languages.

But I get it. You’re busy. You want to get rolling now, and the schedule you’ve set  involves profiting now – not spending weeks buried in complex code.

If you want to create high-quality landing pages – all without learning how to code – you aren’t alone. I seriously encourage you to invest time into learning code, but I’m also going to give you the tools you need to get up and running quickly.

Protip: If you know the basics of coding, then you’ll be able to recognize any malicious code in landing pages you ripped.

Fast and Efficient is the Name of the Game

landing page software

When I first got started in affiliate marketing, I suffered from a serious case of analysis paralysis. Everything had to be exactly right before I published a new landing page or rolled out a new offer.

And while this gave me the opportunity to learn a lot about myself and how to run a successful affiliate marketing business, it also cost me a ton of time and money.

Fast-forward to today, and it’s easy for me to see just how much things have changed.

Do I still want everything to be perfect?

Of course.

But I’ve realized that speed is king in affiliate marketing.

When you’re onto something good – whether it’s a good affiliate offer or a great chance to reach a new audience – you have to act fast. Not only do you want to beat the competition to market, you want the chance to make big money from day one.

What Landing Page Tools Should You Use for Affiliate Campaigns?

I don’t recommend using any tools for affiliate marketing campaigns. I know, I know, you want that magical tool that can drag and drop landing pages for you.

However, there’s a big problem.

Speed is everything. You want your landing pages to be as small as possible.

Dreamweaver, Adobe Muse, etc. can add in extra code that slows down your sites. More code means your site loads slower, and it means you profit less.

This is especially true if you’re doing mobile marketing. Every second counts.

So what can you do if you wanna create an original landing page?

1. I wireframe / sketch out a design on graph paper
2. I send it over to a designer, with some instructions
3. We send it to a programmer who codes it, makes it mobile responsive, and makes the file size small.

The whole thing takes 1-3 days, and costs maybe $60 depending on how detailed the page is.

If you REALLY want a tool for affiliate campaigns, then I know AdsBridge has a landing page builder.

However, I know that some of you guys out there aren’t doing affiliate marketing campaigns. Maybe you want to use tools for email opt-ins, e-commerce, or you’re straight up desperate for a solution.

If that’s the case then I have a few recommendations for you.

Landing Page Software for Internet Marketers

Get ready to meet your new best friends.

A few years ago, I put together a list of landing page tools. A lot has changed since then. To get you up-to-speed, here are four new recommendations, plus one landing page builder that still deserves your attention.

I should also note that this list isn’t comprehensive. A lot of affiliate marketers love tools like Click Funnels (which isn’t exactly budget-friendly) or Instabuilder (which comes with fewer features, but no monthly fee).

As I mentioned before, I don’t think these tools are appropriate for affiliate marketers because of our insistence on speed. This article is for everyone else that uses landing pages: internet marketer collecting opt-ins, e-commerce sites, SAAS software, etc. 

1. Lander

Looking for a simple to use, extremely powerful landing page creator?

Lander isn’t going to overwhelm you with features, but it can get the job done. Whether you upload your own design or use one of their available templates, it’s pretty easy to get started with the program’s visual editing and drag and drop tools.
lander software review

Watch the fine print though. Lander offers many of the same services as Instapage – which I’ll cover below – but at a bargain basement package that only costs $29 per month (it even comes with A/B testing at this price).

Unfortunately, this package limits you to only three thousand site visitors a month, which is not going to cut it for any serious sites.

Alternatively, the site offers a $99 per month model, but because it doesn’t come with dynamic text replacement, it’s not as good of a deal as the similar deal with Unbounce.

The only time I’d recommend this software would be to test a lander style quickly (read: a couple of minutes to set up), but it’s cheap which is a plus.

2. Landingi

Landingi isn’t as well known as the other programs on this list, but it’s still worth a look, thanks to its library of ready-to-use templates.

Not only are there hundreds of templates to choose from, they’re broken down by category. For example, if you need a landing page for a mobile app, you’ve got options like this:

landingi software review

Other reasons internet marketers like Landingi:

  • The ability to use both the “pull and drop” functionality as well as HTML if you know the basics
  • Fully adjustable forms to match the appearance of your website
  • Comprehensive tools for running A/B tests

The fact that it isn’t as big as the other tools on this list means that Landingi isn’t updated as frequently as other programs (LeadPages gets high marks from online marketers for its ongoing improvements). Your call if that’s a deal-breaker or not.

3. Instapage

The name of this landing page creator says it all: it allows you to instantly create quality landing pages.

It doesn’t offer all the front-end design widgets you’d be able to use if you were hand-coding your pages, but here are a few of the reasons it’s still a good solution:

  • A simple four-step process for getting started: build, integrate, deploy, and improve
  • A large list of prebuilt templates with the idea that you’re interested in both high-quality design and conversions
  • Access to a variety of widgets such as: CTA buttons, countdown timers, and video

Instapage claims to have the industry’s best landing page builder, but they all say that. It’s easy to use and geared towards being conversion-friendly, users also have access to tens of millions of images and more than 5,000 fonts.

They’ve got some good lead gen templates like this one:

instapage software review

The lowest-cost tiers don’t include A/B testing – something kinda crucial in a landing page builder. 

4. Unbounce

I mentioned Unbounce back in my 2013 post, but it still deserves a spot here.

In the world of online marketing, Unbounce has a lot to offer. 

Unbounce was built on the idea that affiliate marketers need to be able to do the following:

  • Reduce costs associated with creating landing pages
  • Free up time for developers to work on other projects
  • Create landing pages that convert

Here’s what you can expect from the Unbounce drag and drop landing page builder:

unbounce software review

The downside to Unbounce, though, is its cost.

The most basic plan that Unbounce offers comes in at $49 a month, but this tier doesn’t come with dynamic text replacement or many of the program’s other key analytics features.

If you want these tools, you’ll be paying at least $99 a month, which may be a lot if you’re just starting.

I’ve also heard some marketers complain that, everything you can do in Unbounce, you can do in Instapage, just faster, but I’ll leave it up to you. They’re both great programs. Give them a try and see which one you like better.

5. Leadpages

Everyone has their own opinion as to which landing page builder is best, but there are plenty of affiliate marketers who consider Leadpages to be the best starting place for newbies.

If you’ve ever RSVP’d to any of my events or parties, you’ll see this is the software I use.

You can create unique landing pages for the web, for email, for social media, and even for text messages.

One downside, however, is that while LeadPages offers more than 350 templates to choose from, it’s difficult to change the overall layouts of each template. Most customization within the program is limited to editing text or hiding/showing elements. 

leadpages software review

Laying Out Your Landing Page

So once you’ve chosen your preferred page builder; what elements should you prioritize on your landing page?

Should you just use the designer’s templates as-is, or should you start from the ground-up and build your own variation?

The data-driven marketer in me wants to say, “A/B test it!” But if you’re new to online marketing, it’s not a bad idea to start with preset options that have been proven successful by the landing page design tool.

I know Leadpages allows you to sort templates by “Highest Converting”. This could be a good place to start.

If you can’t stand stock designs you’ll still want to follow some basic landing page principles.

If you’re an experienced marketer, skip this section and get to work with the landing page builder of your choice. But if you’re totally new to the game and you want to know what makes a landing page work, read on…

What Makes A Good Landing Page?

When it comes to landing page design and style, the most important thing is CLARITY.

You’ve got a few seconds to tell someone what you can offer.

Any confusion and they’ll leave – people are impatient online.

Think of your landing page as a guide that points visitors towards your offer. Basically, you need to give them ONLY what they need to click through.

landing page layout

There’s no single “right” way to lay out your landing page. But there are some elements that 95% of landing pages need to convert well.

These are:

  • A big, compelling headline that engages your audience and gets them to want to know more
  • Answer the question:  “What’s in it for me?”
  • A big image that, if possible, shows the product in action (or someone enjoying its benefits)

These three elements are ESSENTIAL for any landing page, no matter what you’re selling (though you’ll want to arrange them differently depending on what you’re advertising and what price point you’re trying to sell).

Use big, easily-readable text so that your site visitors take in your message without even having to actively pay attention to it. A single glance should tell them what your product is and what its key benefits are.

Then, as they look further down the landing page, they’ll see more details.

landing page structure

Next, include a more detailed description of what the product does and what it offers.

Include customer testimonials if they’re available. Offering social proof that shows how popular the product is that the reader is missing out.

Split test incorporating more images than this if they’re available – additional pictures should be smaller and should be arranged to help the reader’s eye move from one box of text to the next.

In terms of size, start big at the top, then gradually make elements smaller to fit in more information as visitors move down the page. This way, you’ll grab your audience’s attention and hold it as you give them more details about your product.

All the information your audience needs to buy the product will appear in some form on the landing page. 

This example shows the benefit (reduce debt payments), it has a clear CTA (but it could be improved), and addresses rebuttals (private, online, no extra charges).

landing page template

Finally, the absolute most important element on your landing page is your CALL TO ACTION.

This is what puts the nail in the coffin. There should be a CTA above the fold, but higher ticket items will have multiple CTAs throughout the copy. This is because different people are ready to buy at different stages.

Don’t be Scared of Landing Pages

Whether you’re a new affiliate marketer or a veteran who’s spent years trolling STM, landing pages are something we can all improve on.

Tools can make it easier if you don’t know how to code or you can’t afford to outsource, but they’re a band-aid solution.

If you’re serious about becoming an internet marketer, learning some basic coding goes a long way. Sure there are guys like Tim Ferriss who’ve become legends without doing any coding, but they are outliers.

It’s the digital age – don’t be lazy, learn how to code.

Do you use one of these five tools? Have any other tips for building landing pages or other good resources for learning how to code?

Let me know in the comments!