post

Building An Opt-In Landing Page Without Breaking The Bank

Landing PageWhen it comes to building landing pages, I’ve looked at a couple of solutions now.

I nearly broke the bank trying out LeadPages. It’s just too expensive at this stage. I thought about buying OptimizePress but that’s maybe something for the future.

Sure, you need to invest in these sorts of things to progress but there’s no point in bankrupting yourself in the process, right?

So, I started thinking about what I could use out of my box of tricks that I already own to put up an opt-in landing page. That left two possibilities.

  • Hybrid Connect, or;
  • Premise and Magic Action Box.

Solution 1 – Hybrid Connect

Hybrid Connect (aff link) is a versatile beast of a plugin. If you thought it was just for adding pre-designed opt-in forms to your WordPress site, you’d be wrong.

It does do that but another thing it can do is help you build landing pages. You can let your imagination go wild with the easy to use form builder or you can use a pre-designed template if you prefer.

The other great thing about Hybrid Connect is that you can split test multiple versions of the landing pages you build. That way you’ll know what converts well and what doesn’t.

These split tests automatically remove any versions that don’t perform well to leave only the best-converting one.

For the purposes of setting up my opt-in landing page though I decided to go down a different route.

Solution 2 – Premise & Magic Action Box

As I mentioned in my last post about my About Me Page, I bought Premise before Copyblogger decided to remove it from the market. It’s a landing page and membership site tool.

There is an opt-in landing page design that comes with Premise and it integrates well with my email marketing provider. However, I decided I’d use the sales page template in this case.

The reason being is that I wanted to use one of the pre-designed templates in Magic Action Box (aff link) to set up the opt-in form using shortcode.

I wanted to achieve something like LeadPages can offer but for a fraction of the price.

What I didn’t want was to just use my blog template though. The Genesis Framework (aff link) has some great in-built functionality to change templates so I could have just used a full-page but that would still contain the header and menus.

That’s not really what I wanted to achieve from a landing page because it contains other distractions. As I have Premise installed, it’s easy just to turn off the header and footer and achieve a distraction-free page.

Don’t Be Afraid Of CSS

I’ve been tweaking things on my site with CSS now for quite a while. It helps me to change things I ordinarily wouldn’t be able to in WordPress.

In order to achieve the design I wanted for the opt-in page with Magic Action Box (aff link), I did need to change a few things using CSS, however, it wasn’t rocket science.

Magic Action Box has a Custom CSS section on each box you create so you can add your own stamp on things. All it took was three simple CSS instructions to get things where I wanted them on the page.

Don’t forget to check out how your page looks on different browsers though because I had to make a change with CSS to get things to look right in Internet Explorer.

If you’re interested in learning some CSS basics, then check out my post, CSS For Beginners: Where Do You Start?. Just following one of the free courses mentioned in that post has allowed me to start working with CSS.

Start Building An Opt-in Landing Page Today

My landing page isn’t perfect and more than likely not the final version but it’s out there and waiting for people to subscribe! That’s much better than not having one at all :-).

Having a dedicated landing page for your email opt-ins, as I mentioned above, removes other distractions like headers and navigation and keeps your visitor’s full attention on one thing, subscribing.

You’ll need email marketing service if you don’t have one. That will allow you to collect subscriber details such as name and email, I’d recommend GetResponse (aff link) or for a lower cost option take a look at INInbox (aff link). Both of those services will work with Hybrid Connect, Premise and Magic Action Box.

You don’t necessarily need to use any of the tools I’ve mentioned though. There are lots of alternatives out there that you may already own and haven’t used to their full potential!

So what are you waiting for? :-)

Photo Credit: Mukumbura via Compfight cc

  • http://zurichwebdesign.ch Ashley

    Hey Tim
    Hope you are enjoying your break
    Looks like you have tried a few landing page options, there certainly are a lot out there and I am using leadpages a lot these days.
    It is expensive, but if you need to build a lot of them then it is worth it.
    Otherwise, I used to love hybrid connect. Although I had some issues with them, they were pretty good compared to most
    have a good one
    ashley

    • http://tim-bonner.com Tim Bonner

      Hey Ashley

      It’s slow going with everyone at home but I’m enjoying having them here. We go down to my parents in England on Friday for a few days.

      I enjoyed using LeadPages and if I were earning more money I’d stick with them but I just couldn’t justify the expense.

      I know you’re offering a service to help with setting things up on LeadPages so it makes sense that you need to build them!

      I haven’t been using Hybrid Connect on this blog for a while because of a plugin conflict but it’s still a great plugin to have. One day I hope it might reappear.

  • http://www.beamoneyblogger.com/ Muba Mi

    Hi Tim
    It is a wonderful review of several products of building email list and doing email marketing.
    You very impartially narrated the benefits of each and also pointed there are several other options as well.
    This shows your professionalism as internet marketer who focuses more on benefitting the readers and not earning the commission.
    Thanks a lot for sharing this wonderful post.

    • http://tim-bonner.com Tim Bonner

      Hi Muba

      I wanted to concentrate on the products I own and know that work but I know there’s many more solutions out there :-).

      Thank you for your kind words!

  • http://www.bloggingfromparadise.com/ Ryan Biddulph

    Hi Tim,

    I like your tips here. Landing pages are critical aspects of any internet marketing or blogging campaign.

    Like you noted, no need to break the bank. Do a bit of CSS coding – simple stuff – to tailor appropriately. I’ve been able to edit my stylesheet quite a bit using html knowledge I picked up 13 years ago in tech school.

    Sure, some things have changed but many of the html fundamentals, are the same, and knowing the basics can help you gussy up your landing page quickly, without having to hire someone or buy a new product to do it for you.

    Thanks Tim, smart share here.

    Ryan

    • http://tim-bonner.com Tim Bonner

      Thanks Ryan.

      I enjoy dabbling with CSS although I wish I had time to study it a little more. From what I’ve learnt so far just doing a free course online I’ve been able to pick a lot of things up though.

      I’m eventually going to set up some content landing pages as well. At the moment my wife and kids are off school for the summer break so things are going pretty slowly as you can imagine!

  • http://www.adriennesmith.net/ Adrienne

    Hey Tim,

    Ah, I see you changed to Disqus… I don’t think you had it when I was by last so I hope you like it.

    I bought Optimize Press because the program I had before was too difficult for me to figure out. This one comes with a plugin as well for building quick and easy landing pages so my problem was solved without me even knowing it. LOL!!!

    I’ve got to go read your post on CSS coding because I really would like to learn a little more. I prefer to do some things myself to be honest with you. Just so I’ll know what it takes and understand how it’s done. I know when I want to change something this would come in very handy.

    Thanks for sharing these, I didn’t realize Hybrid Connect could do landing pages too. Nice!

    Hope you’re having a great week Tim.

    ~Adrienne

    • http://tim-bonner.com Tim Bonner

      Hey Adrienne

      I was getting an absolute tonne of spam and broken links behind the scenes so I decided I’d give Disqus a try. I’ve never used it before so I thought I can’t really make a judgement on it until I try it, right?

      I may eventually revert to just the WordPress system but CommentLuv has gone I’m afraid. I did really love the plugin but I also managed to get rid of 5 plugins in total just by removing it.

      I’m definitely thinking of OptimizePress for the future but for now if I can do things with what I have bought already then that’s what I need to do. OptimizePress sounds perfect for what I want to do as well though so I’ll no doubt be asking for your advice on it at some point :-).

      I was surprised at how easily I picked up some CSS knowledge. I just did a very basic CSS course on Codecademy which was free and it seemed to stick. I would recommend them as I found the interactive course really helped me to understand. You do exercises in real time so you can test what you’re learning to make sure you’ve understood.

      Yes, Hybrid Connect can also do landing pages. It’s a pretty versatile plugin, huh? I haven’t been using it on my blog for a while because of a plugin conflict but I keep going back to it every now and again to see if that conflict still exists. Once it doesn’t I reckon it’ll be back on here like a shot!

      Have a great week too Adrienne. I appreciate you stopping by and leaving a comment.

  • http://www.ReginaldChan.net/ Reginald Chan Xin Yon

    Hey Tim,

    Premise is good but yeah, CB brought it down. OptimizePress 2 is a good choice if you are looking for some simple ones.

    Alternatives are Hybrid Connect (one off payment) or GetResponse (15 bucks a month). Instapage also provide 3 free ones if i’m not wrong.

    Competition is getting tougher but better for us!

    Thanks man for sharing.

    • http://tim-bonner.com Tim Bonner

      Hey Reginald

      I agree. Competition can only be a good thing when it comes to these sorts of things! At least for us anyway :-).

      I mentioned Hybrid Connect in my post. I’ve used it on and off depending on whether it conflicts with any plugins I have installed at the time.

      I also tried GetResponse as well a while back but I didn’t want the pages to be hosted elsewhere.

      I think eventually I will go for OptimizePress but for now, I’m happy using what I’ve got.

  • Tyson_Q

    Hey everyone, I’m the CEO of Instapage and I just wanted to stop by to let you know that we offer both a free version + the lowest pricing in the industry on our paid plans for the features that we provide.

    I dare you to try it – http://Instapage.com/landing-pages ;)

    @nicregi:disqus Thank you for the shout out.

    • http://tim-bonner.com Tim Bonner

      Hey @Tyson_Q:disqus
      Thank you for stopping by and joining in the conversation.
      It’s good to hear about what Instapage has to offer. I’ll certainly take a look when I return to Scotland in a few days.

  • http://www.slymarketing.com Jens P. Berget

    Hi Tim,

    I’m back from Greece and just started working again. I see that you’ve switched to Disqus, it feels like I haven’t been to your blog in years. How’s that system working for you. I’ve been thinking of switching myself, awhile ago. But, I’ve been staying with CommentLuv Premium.

    I’m using LeadPages, and like you said, it’s expensive, but it works great. That’s my experience.

    • http://tim-bonner.com Tim Bonner

      Hi Jens

      I hope you had a great time in Greece.

      I’m down in England at the moment staying with my parents and the weather has been glorious! We’re going back to Scotland tomorrow.

      With regard to CommentLuv, I decided I’d had enough of spam, broken links and the quality of comments was getting poorer. So, CommentLuv had to go.

      I was going to stick with the native WordPress commenting system but spam was still a problem so I decided to give Disqus a go as I’ve never had in installed before.

      Since I’ve switched to Disqus, I’ve not had any spam or broken links. The comment quality is much better overall because I don’t have people dropping comments just for a backlink.

      I really liked LeadPages but couldn’t justify the cost at the moment Jens. It does work great though. I thiink I’ll probably end up with OptimizePress though because it’s more reasonably-priced.

      • http://www.slymarketing.com Jens P. Berget

        Sounds like you’re having a great time Tim.

        I have just switched to Disqus as well, after I tested it on your blog and I was having the same problems as you. I have no idea how it’ll work, but I was getting tired of all the broken links and the spam issues.

        I’m testing a new feature on my blog, it’s LeadPages, just click on one of the banners in the sidebar or the top, and see what you think.

        • http://tim-bonner.com Tim Bonner

          That’s cool Jens. I hope you like it!

          I’ll check out the sidebars on your blog when I get back to Scotland tomorrow.