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If you’re looking for the best landing page creator for 2017 then you’ve come to the right place and here is my monster Instapage review.
For the last few weeks I’ve been researching the best hosted landing page solution and I’ve come across many platforms including, Instapage, Leadpages, Clickfunnels, Pagewiz, Unbounce, Ontrapages, Landingi and Getresponse.
Trust me when I say I’ve spent hours reviewing these landing page tools and over the next few weeks will be sharing my review on all of them. This isn’t going to be like 90% of the other Instapage reviews on the first page of Google as I’m actually going to create pages as I complete the review.
If you’re ready? Let’s get started.
Instapage Review For 2017
Instapage offers a free 14 day trial to test out their service and requires no credit card to signup either. This seems to be quite common now with only Unbounce requiring a credit card to start a free trial.
When I initially signed up for Instapage the price was $29 per month if billed yearly or $39 monthly but as of August 1st 2017 they’ve nearly doubled their minimum plan up to a whopping $67 per month if paid yearly or $76 on a month to month plan.
Instapage was once an entry level solution for marketers such as myself whom don’t need the fancy features that 7 figure marketers might need (We’ll get to that later).
Instapage works well as a lead capture service in it’s own right but to take full advantage of the service you’ll want to integrate this with your mail provider. I recommend Aweber and all my mailing lists are hosted with them (Grab a 30 day $1 trial here). Aside from Aweber there are 15+ integrations with other companies.
Now you’re ready to see how it all works.
Once you’ve logged in you’ll be able to see any pages you’ve created and create new ones.
You can create a group of landing pages or just create a new page, so let’s do that.
You’ll be greeted with 3 options to choose from
Pick a Template – You’ll be able to sort through over 130 pre made templates and choose one to customize for your landing page. These templates are free of charge and there is no marketplace for upsell themes like Clickfunnels or Leadpages.
Import a Page – You can import a landing page that you’ve created using another tool or that you have rights too. This feature is required to be done by the site administrators and you can’t simply add a Leadpages url and move it yourself but they can do this for you. Unsure why this option is required on this screen.
Upload .Instapage File – There is a growing community of third party theme creators out there with the biggest collection on Themeforest. If you purchase a third party theme such as the one I bought during my testing for $18 you simply upload the .Instapage file here.
For this review I’ll create a new page from a template.
You’ll now have access to many templates.
You can scroll down and from the top you’ll see the newest templates such as these,
There is many categories you can search by too including lead generation, webinar, click thru, ebook download, mobile and thank you pages.
I’d recommend browsing through all the templates at first as some are in the wrong categories. You can also use some templates for other purposes using basic customization.
You can preview each landing page by clicking ‘Preview’ – I find right clicking to open in a new tab is the best option.
Creating Instapage Landing Pages
Once you’ve found the landing page you’d like to use you simply click on the theme and this will open up asking you to create a page name.
This is the SEO title of your page as well (as I found out) so don’t call it something like Test Page.
Across the top you’ll now have some options such as this,
You’ll be able to work on your landing page in both Desktop and Mobile modes. You can in effect create two completely different landing pages should you wish or use the pre-defined template for your landing page.
You can also create A/B split testing, so two landing pages and rotate them to different visitors and see which is the best converting.
You’ll be able to click anywhere on the screen and make adjustments to current text or images. You can also click on ‘Add New’ to add new components.
If you’ve ever used a drag and drop editor or a similar landing page software such as Leadpages you’ll quickly see how responsive and instant the web based interface actually is. After testing 7 different hosting platforms the Instapage interface was definitely the fastest and most agile.
You can double click on the text and make changes, here’s what I’ve done so far.
As you can see the landing pages do look awesome and within a few minutes you’re half way to creating a brand new landing page.
To change the Youtube video you just double click and choose ‘Edit’ and paste the video URL. Simple as that.
The ‘Start Course button’ has a funky pop-up. If you double click and choose ‘Click Event’ and then ‘Popup’ you’ll see another section you can edit.
You will then be able to change this lead capture. A new bar across the top appears.
If you double click on ‘Start Your First Lesson’ you can then see the following menu and click ‘Integrations’ and integrate with your mailing list company.
For example I opted for Aweber and was then asked to go to Aweber’s website, enter my login credentials and then when I came back to Instapage I could choose a list to add my leads too. Rather than bore you with another 10 screenshots on the process, you’ll work it out should you end up using Instapage.
You’ll want to go through and complete the rest of your landing page.
There’s a section a long the top called ‘Settings’ which reveals quite a few different advanced options.
SEO – You can add SEO elements to your page which is perfect if you’re planning on creating a mini site or promoting your page through natural traffic such as Google search results. Without adding SEO tags you can kiss goodbye to any traffic coming from Google. Until recently the entry level plan didn’t include these settings but since the price rise it’s now standard.
Social Info – Here you can customize the messages that will default appear if someone shares your page to Facebook, Linkedin, Google or Twitter.
Con Goals – If you’re a basic user like myself then you might not need to do anything here but if you want to track conversions or click throughs based on certain actions then you’ll need to edit these settings here.
Analytics – You can add your Google analytics ID here so you can track your traffic. You can also use the HTML/CSS option to add these codes.
Make sure you click ‘Mobile’ once you’re done and ensure you’ve customized the page there too.
Once you’ve checked everything lines up and fits within the markers, you’re ready to publish your page.
You’ll need to choose the ‘Publish’ button in the top right.
Publishing Your Landing Page
When you publish a page, if everything is correctly entered you’ll be presented with 5 different options.
Custom Domain – You can place your page on a domain name such as ‘AutomateShopifyStore.com’
WordPress – Probably the best option to integrate with existing WordPress sites. You simply install the Instapage plugin and login to your account and you can then select any published pages. Make sure you update your site each time you update your landing page as it’s not updated in real time.
Drupal – I’ve never used this integration but it works similar to WordPress but for the Drupal platform.
Facebook – You can use Instapage to publish your landing page to a Facebook tab.
Demo Page – For viewing your landing page without doing anything. Maybe for clients.
You can then view your page,
How long did it take to create a new landing page>? About 15 minutes.
Using The Dashboard/Analytics
From your Insta dashboard you can quickly edit existing pages and view analytics for each page. You’ll be able to checkout the page stats which includes visitors and any submissions. If a user submits a form, it will be stored in the page stats as well as your email provider such as Aweber.
Stats are broken down into mobile and desktop view so you can see them separately. This is a good feature for optimizing your landing pages depending on the majority of your traffic.
You can extract all your stats to CSV and Excel format.
Should you wish you can set email notifications to your own email address if someone signs up to one of your forms.
Instapage offers a rather detailed guides section on their website with pages such as ‘What is A/B testing?’ and ‘How To Create a Landing Page.’ This is a good place to start if you’re looking for assistance using their software.
On top of this is a series of case studies where they discuss real world examples of businesses using Instapages in their marketing efforts. The case study that was most impressive to me was the San Francisco SPCA on how they increased event attendance with new landing pages.
Aside from the guides and case studies there is also ebooks, webinars and podcasts to help you get started too.
If you do need to speak to a real person you’ll be out of luck as they only offer live chat and email support. I haven’t had to use their live chat facility so I can’t say how quickly they respond but reading other reviews online it seems to be a few hours.
After testing over 7 other platforms Instapage was definitely the most versatile and quick platform for making edits to landing pages.
They offer a wealth of free information including start up tutorials, guides, blog posts, webinars and case studies which makes learning the system straight forward.
They offer a high number of templates and most are easy to edit. It’s a shame there isn’t many sales page templates that you would find with providers such as Leadpages or Unbounce but Instapage is focused on landing pages which aren’t super long.
You’ll find there is a large number of third party templates that can be purchased from Themeforest for about $16-$18 each which gives you even more templates.
Instapage is missing pricing tables out of the box but by following some online guides you can quickly create your own however it would be much quicker if they had a ‘pricing table option’ in the ‘Add’ section.
I liked the fact you could import pages from other platforms but didn’t like that it redirected you to the homepage of the site asking you to contact them. They could make it more obvious as to what the process is?
I liked the 14 day trial but didn’t like the fact they doubled the price during my trial period. They added a bunch of features such as Hotspotting which are far too advanced for basic users such as myself. If you feel the need to get such services then you’d feel $76 is a perfect entry level price.
Unfortunately there is many free and freemium (entry level plan is free with upgrade) resources out there for hotspotting that could be added to the landing pages through the HTML section.
I’ve read other reviews on Instapage and it’s disappointing to see they are focused on signing you up for a year and then hiking the price every now and then which unfortunately ties you in as moving landing pages can be very tricky!