If you want more email subscribers, leads and sales – you’re going to need to build conversion-focused landing pages.
You could just slap a form on any regular web page but that’s not going to deliver the sort of conversion rates you need to grow your business.
The solution is a dedicated landing page builder.
But what is the best landing page software?
Now, the answer to that question depends on your needs (e.g. budget, functionality, integrations, complexity, etc.)
In this post, I’m going to share my favourite landing page tools and some insights to help you decide which tool is best for your circumstances.
Let’s dive straight in:
The best landing page software tools compared
First, let’s take a look at the best landing page software:
Leadpages is more than landing page software – it’s a lead generation platform.
Not only can you create high converting landing pages with a simple drag & drop editor, you can also build entire conversion-focused websites.
You also get access to lead generation functionality such as the creation of alert bars and popovers. There are also Leadlinks which allow people to sign up with the click of a link, and Leaddigits which are pretty much SMS campaigns to build your email list.
… All of which is hosted for you.
Combine that with no limitations on traffic, leads, number of landing pages, plenty of integrations, etc. And you’ve got yourself quite a potent lead generation solution.
In fact, you don’t actually need a website to deploy landing pages because you can simply host everything on a Leadpages URL (note: annual plans come with a free domain name).
And if you use WordPress, you can pull your landing pages in with a few clicks via their own plugin. The added benefit here is that Leadpages hosts everything for you, so while pages appear on your domain, your web host wouldn’t be impacted.
They’ve got 200+ templates, some of which include checkout pages that integrate with Stripe which is awesome if you’re looking to build entire sales funnels.
However, it would be nice if templates were arranged in sets like Thrive Optimize but it’s extremely rare to find this in any tool. It’s also worth noting that they don’t have many website templates yet, although that’s a new feature so they’ll likely be adding more soon.
Leadpages stand-out features:
- No limits on traffic & leads – Unlike some platforms, Leadpages don’t limit you based on traffic or leads. The same goes for the number of landing pages, alert bars, and popovers you can build.
- Host and build your entire website – The website builder is fairly simple and doesn’t have the flexibility of WordPress, but sometimes simple is what you need.
- WordPress integration – Pull your landing pages into WordPress with a few clicks.
- Facebook and Instagram ad builder – Create ads directly within Leadpages.
- Unlimited A/B split-testing – While split-testing isn’t available on the lowest plan, there are no limitations on traffic or the number of tests you can run.
- Checkout widgets and pages that integrate with Stripe – Want to build checkout pages that integrate with Stripe? You can! A number of templates are included, but you can add the widget to any page or popover.
- Lead magnet hosting + delivery – Want to build your email list using lead magnets or content upgrades? You can take care of all of that within Leadpages.
Plans start from $27/month (paid annually) for a standard plan. However to get split-testing you’ll need a pro plan or above. I’d highly recommend shelling out the extra and getting split-testing – it’s a critical feature for landing page optimization.
2. Thrive Optimize (WordPress Only)
Thrive Optimize is technically two plugins: Thrive Architect and a split-testing addon.
I’ve used (and written about) WordPress page builders extensively over the years and Thrive Optimize is the best overall solution I’ve come across so far.
True, there are plenty of other page builders that can sort of do landing pages, but the development of this plugin is driven by a team who have a strong focus on conversions – not just making things look pretty.
You get a full-featured drag & drop visual editor to create your own custom landing pages. We’re talking about a true front-end editor with a lot of flexibility and design elements. It doesn’t hang while loading so you can work fast.
There’s a large library of templates that feature marketing focused pages. Lead generation pages, product launch pages, sales pages, webinar pages, etc.
One of the things I like about how the templates are designed is that they’re organised into sets. So you can build your entire sales funnel with matching pages.
What about API integrations with email marketing tools, etc? Thrive Optimize has more integrations than I see in most SaaS platforms.
And that split-testing addon I mentioned is incredibly easy to use so there’s no need to get tangled up in integrating a third-party tool. If you want to improve your conversions, you’ll need to be running split-tests (best practice is only a starting point).
Since Thrive Optimize is a WordPress plugin, you have no traffic limits or page limits. Create as many pages as you like, and serve those pages to as much traffic as your web host can handle. The same goes for split-testing – this can be incredibly cost-effective when compared to some SaaS alternatives (I’ll talk about those in a moment).
Note: If you want to use this landing page tool and don’t use WordPress, you could setup WordPress on a separate subfolder or subdomain.
Thrive Optimize stand-out features:
- One of the best drag & drop editors I’ve used – It may not be the simplest but it offers incredible customisation potential. You get full front-end editing, and advanced functionality like the ability to hide certain elements on mobile. Oh, and it’s damn fast too!
- Incredibly simple A/B split-testing functionality – Split-testing should be easy and that’s what we have with Thrive Optimize. This means you’ll be far more likely to use it. However, won’t find advanced functionality like CDN integration, geo-targeting or click-tracking.
- Deep integration with other Thrive Themes products – When you have other products like Thrive Leads (opt-in forms), Thrive Ovation (testimonials), and Thrive Quiz Builder (viral quizzes) installed – you unlock extra elements to drop into your landing pages.
Thrive Optimize pricing:
Available as part of Thrive Suite which costs $19/month (billed annually). Includes access to all other products including Thrive Leads, Thrive Ultimatum, Thrive Theme Builder, and more.
Instapage is 100% focused on landing page creation and optimization.
As such, you can expect an extremely robust and well-refined builder. Where most builders are limited to a block-style layout, Instapage has a similar feel to what you might expect when designing & aligning images with a tool like Canva or Photoshop.
On top of that, you get CRO functionality that you’d usually need to shell out money on other tools for. For example, heatmaps to track where visitors are clicking (or not clicking), and dynamic text replacement.
Inclusive are conversion analytics, unlimited A/B testing, and a platform designed for collaboration – sub accounts & team member accounts are included.
While Instapage is an incredibly powerful platform, their Core plan is heavily limited in terms of the number of pages – they only allow 30 published landing pages.
Instapage stand-out features:
- Extremely flexible visual editor – Add conversion-focused elements, exactly where you want them.
- Heatmap tracking – Being able to track clicks, scroll depth, and mouse movement can uncover UX/CRO issues. This is great for your bottom line, and for your users.
- Dynamic text replacement – Use URL parameters to show personalised versions of your landing pages to visitors. Great for matching landing page and ad copy for higher conversions.
Pricing starts at $149/month (when paid annually). Enterprise accounts available which unlock features such as AMP pages, audit logs, and more.
4. OptimizePress 3 (WordPress Only)
OptimizePress is a purpose-built landing page builder for WordPress.
The old version has been replaced with a new plugin that has been built from the ground up.
If you’re looking for a landing page solution with less of a learning curve – this is a solid option.
While the visual editor doesn’t allow for quite the same level of customization as Thrive Architect/Optimize, it’s quicker to find your way around.
The plugin comes with a solid number of email integrations including popular tools such as ActiveCampaign, ConvertKit, Drip, and Mailerlite.
You can choose to build pages from scratch or start with one of over 50 premium landing page templates.
One feature I especially like is the ability to add conversion optimized sections. For example, if you want to add a testimonial block – you can add a pre-built section. You can customize a few things and tailor it to your page quickly.
On all plans you get access to the landing page builder, and a WordPress theme that’s optimized for building your email list.
On higher plans you get access to bonuses such as OptimizeLeads – a standalone lead generation platform and a funnel builder with A/B testing & analytics. Their new checkouts add-on allows you to build checkout pages, boost sales with bump offers, integrate payment gateways (e.g. Stripe/PayPal) and deliver digital products.
OptimizePress 3 stand-out features:
- A great visual editor that’s easy to use – The “Lightning Editor” makes it easy to build and customize landing pages with a smaller learning curve than other tools.
- 50+ premium landing page templates – While other tools have a larger selection of templates, OptimizePress have a great set of templates that they’ll be expanding upon. Some are designed in sets to make it easier for you to build your sales funnel.
- Speed up design with sections – You can build your pages faster by adding pre-built page sections. This includes hero area’s, CTA’s, testimonial blocks, and more.
- Personal template cloud – You can export sections and templates that you’ve built on website and access them across your other domains.
- Funnel builder with A/B testing & analytics – Build entire sales funnels, A/B test your pages, and view detailed analytics.
- Checkout builder – Build checkouts and integrate directly with payment providers such as Stripe and PayPal.
- Includes access to a standalone lead generation platform – OptimizeLeads makes it easy to add all sorts of opt-in forms to your website.
OptimizePress 3 pricing:
Pricing starts at $99/year for the landing page builder (includes WordPress theme). Get all additional plugins on their Suite plan which is $199/year.
While GetResponse are best known for their industry-leading email marketing platform, they also handle landing page creation.
A lot of email marketing tools offer landing page functionality but it’s typically an afterthought and as such won’t compete with a dedicated landing page builder.
… That isn’t the case here!
They have a robust drag & drop editor that’s flexible and a large library of templates. A number of templates are looking dated, but GetResponse have done a good job at rolling out more modern templates.
And like other builders on this list, templates cover opt-in pages, sales pages, webinar pages, thank you pages, etc. All the marketing focused pages you’d expect.
You get built-in A/B testing along with the ability to deploy pages on your own domain, or a GetResponse sub-domain.
Here’s the best part:
This tool now includes a feature called Autofunnel, which allows you to build entire sales funnels extremely quickly.
You get to choose from various predefined scenarios and the type of funnel (e.g. sales/lead capture/webinar).
Then, Autofunnel builds out the entire sales funnel including your landing page, thank-you/confirmation pages, email automation, exit-intent popovers, order pages, etc. You can then go in and customise as needed.
Once your sales funnel is built, you can use their drag & drop page editor to customize as needed.
Data is visualised as the flow of a funnel so you can easily see failure points.
Now, since GetResponse is primarily an email marketing platform, it makes the most sense to use it for email, landing pages, building your funnel, and selling products.
Think of this tool as an all-in-one marketing solution.
Getresponse stand-out features:
- Integrations with popular platforms – Over 150 integrations are available. Including; WordPress, Shopify, WooCommerce, Magento, and Zapier.
- No limits on visitors or the number of landing pages – Like Leadpages, GetResponse doesn’t limit you based on visitors or pages.
- Email marketing & automation included – You get the added convenience of having email, landing pages, funnel building and a bunch of other features in a single tool.
- Autofunnel makes it incredibly easy to build an entire funnel – Everything you need to build your entire funnel is in one place, and can be deployed quickly. It’s slick!
- Ecommerce built-in – I’m guessing you are going to be using landing pages to eventually sell some sort of product. GetResponse takes care of this for you with a bunch of e-commerce tools. You can add products, handle digital delivery, integrate with payment gateways, and even handle abandoned orders.
Pricing is based on the number of contacts you have, and the features you need. The Basic plan starts at $15/month. Autofunnel is available on the $49/month plan.
Unbounce has been helping people build landing pages longer than any other company in this list.
As such, you can expect a well-refined and robust visual editor, with core functionality such as A/B split-testing, and more advanced functionality such as dynamic text replacement.
In terms of where you can place objects, the editor works in a similar way to Instapage in that you can align via a grid & with other elements, but also place elements exactly where you want.
Included are 100+ templates:
While some templates look slightly outdated, you can modernise them fairly quickly with their visual editor. And, if you need more landing pages you can find more from third-party designers on Themeforest.
Aside from landing pages, Unbounce now offers popups and sticky bars with a bunch of great looking templates.
There are some other nice features such as auto optimizing of images, support for SVG images, Google Fonts, and more.
You’ll find integrations for WordPress, and plenty of email marketing tools. Although, I was surprised to see no direct integration for ConvertKit. That said, Zapier can be used to take care of that.
The only gripe I have with Unbounce, similar to Instapage, is that they limit you on the number of landing pages, sticky bars, and popups you can create. On the lowest plan, you can build 75 pages and 8 popups/sticky bars.
Unbounce stand-out features:
- Extremely flexible visual editor – Add conversion-focused elements, exactly where you want them.
- Dynamic text replacement – Personalise your landing pages based on the text in your ad. Aligning your landing page copy, and ad copy can improve conversions.
- More landing page templates available via Themeforest – They’re not free, but it’s nice to have the option.
Pricing starts from $81/month (paid annually). All plans include unlimited landing pages, popups and sticky bars.
Higher plans unlock extra integrations and increase conversion and visitors limits.
ShortStack is best known as a social media contest tool but they have great landing page software too.
You can create landing pages for all sorts of marketing campaigns – voting contests, email sign ups, giveaways, quizzes, photo contests, YouTube, Instagram, etc.
While the selection of lead generation landing page templates is somewhat limited, you can access functionality you simply don’t get access to in other tools on this list. And the landing page builder offers good flexibility.
Most landing page builders are focused on pages with opt-in forms or a simple button. ShortStack allows you to do so much more. Having the quiz and contest functionality baked in is awesome.
What if you’re not using quizzes or contests in your business? I’d highly recommend you give it a try. Back in my marketing agency days, I used them frequently for clients because they were extremely effective at driving engagement & generating leads.
No other tactics allowed me to provide the same results so fast.
There are a few limitations however – A/B split-testing isn’t available so you’d need to use an external tool. There aren’t many email integrations either, but you can use a tool like Zapier if your email tool isn’t supported.
ShortStack stand-out features:
- Create marketing pages you can’t build with any other landing page builder – Giveaways, contests, and quizzes can all be managed with all the functionality you’d expect. This includes importing comments, contest fraud detection, automatic winner selection and various contest types.
- Email automation built-in – This isn’t a complete alternative to a regular email marketing service provider, but you can set up basic automation for your contests, then push subscribers to your email provider. There aren’t too many integrations, but you can integrate with additional tools via a webhook.
- Unlimited campaigns and emails – You’re not limited by the number of campaigns (e.g. number of landing pages), or the emails you want to send.
A free trial is available and gives you access to all Business plan features. Paid plans unlock more features (e.g. extra contest types) and more entries/pageviews.
Sendinblue is best known as an email marketing service provider. What a lot of people don’t know is that the tool features incredibly powerful landing page software as well.
I’ve tested a lot of landing page tools on the market, and Sendinblue is able to keep up with most of them in terms of their builder. But similar to ShortStack, however, it doesn’t offer A/B split-testing.
Sendinblue manages to cram a crazy amount of features in a single tool. You’ve got their core email marketing functionality, visual automation, CRM, live chat, SMS campaigns, FB ads, and retargeting ads.
On the subject of emails, most tools like ActiveCampaign or GetResponse offer marketing emails only. But, Sendinblue goes a step further to offer transactional emails. These are the sorts of emails that people need as part of a purchase, for example, dispatch notifications, etc.
Sendinblue stand-out features:
- Inclusive email marketing and automation builder – With Sendinblue, you can replace your existing email marketing service to have a single tool that does both email & landing pages.
- Transactional emails & SMS – You get marketing emails and transactional emails in a single platform. This is especially good for those who use WordPress to send out important emails for customers.
- Live chat and CRM is included – Communicate with your customers and close sales without using any more tools. Having everything in one place means each part of your marketing stack can work together in perfect harmony.
While Sendinblue offer a free plan, the landing page functionality is available on the Premium plan which starts at $65/month. This plan also unlocks all the other premium features such as visual automation, live chat, CRM, and more.
Finding the best landing page software for you
As I alluded to at the beginning of this post, the best landing page software depends on your exact needs.
For example, are you a solopreneur running on a tight budget? Or are you an agency marketer that needs a landing page solution for your clients? The answer is very different.
Below, I’m going to give you recommendations for specific use-cases.
What is the cheapest landing page tool?
With a starting price of $79/year, OptimizePress offers incredible value.
The Thrive Architect + Thrive Optimize bundle also offers quite good value. While it is a bit more expensive than OptimizePress initially, for a price of $127 you get lifetime updates. After that, you pay a bit extra for a support plan which is a lot cheaper as you don’t have to buy the plugin again.
And there are no limits on traffic or numbers of landing pages with either of these options.
You can alternatively go for the Thrive Membership plan which is $19/month (paid annually) for access to all of their products for use on 25 sites. What about if you have clients? You can get an agency plan for $49/month (paid annually).
If you don’t use WordPress, you could potentially install WordPress to a subfolder or subdomain to save on the cost of a SaaS landing page builder.
Which landing page builder is the easiest to use?
This is difficult to answer because it comes down to personal preference mainly.
When choosing a landing page builder, you need to balance flexibility with ease of use.
Thrive Optimize/Architect has a very flexible visual editor but there is a learning curve involved. On the other hand, I’ve found Leadpages to be slightly more limited, but it far easier to use. OptimizePress offers a nice balance between the two.
Then there’s Instapage – it has one of the best visual builders I’ve come across in terms of flexibility, but I still find it quicker to build pages with Leadpages and OptimizePress.
Which landing page builder has the strongest core landing page functionality?
Leadpages has been my go-to landing page builder for years and it keeps getting better. They now offer the ability to make checkout pages, add lead generation forms, and build entire lead generation websites.
Despite all these extra features, they’ve continued to improve their landing page functionality. The editor is easy to use, and you can run split-tests extremely quick.
Instapage is another favourite. They’ve taken a slightly different direction by doubling down on landing pages, and adding CRO functionality like heatmap tracking and dynamic text replacement. Their visual editor is extremely good, but their core plan limits you to 30 pages and for higher plans, you need to talk to sales.
Unbounce is another strong contender as they allow you to have more landing pages, and traffic at a slightly cheaper price than Instapage – but they don’t offer heatmap tracking.
What is the best landing page tool in terms of overall marketing functionality?
When choosing a landing page builder, it’s also worth considering all-in-one tools so you can cut costs by doing away with other tools.
GetResponse is a great choice here. You get email marketing, visual automation, landing pages, sales funnels, webinars, and more in a single tool. And what’s more is that their landing page functionality isn’t an afterthought – it can go toe-to-toe with dedicated landing page platforms too.
That said, don’t count Sendinblue out. While they don’t have the webinar functionality, and the Autofunnel feature – they offer a lot of other features such as live chat, SMS campaigns, transactional emails/SMS, etc. Although, their landing page builder isn’t as functional and there are fewer templates.
Which landing page platform is best for social media contests and quizzes?
Social media contests and viral quizzes require specialist functionality that other landing page builders don’t have. Sure, you could use a third-party tool and embed a widget on a landing page but it’s not always so simple.
In this case, a platform like ShortStack is ideal.
While it doesn’t have quite the same core landing page functionality as dedicated builders, it’s incredible for contests, giveaways, and quizzes.
Should I consider a SaaS tool when I use WordPress?
This completely depends on what’s most important to you.
I use WordPress so I don’t really need to use a more expensive SaaS tool like Leadpages. I could stick with a plugin which is cheaper (and for some sites, that’s what I use).
What I like about tools like Leadpages is that the convenience. I can launch landing pages for temporary campaigns or I can use a WordPress plugin for more permanent campaigns – either way, Leadpages hosts them for me so it’s less work for my server to do.
And I like to be able to see all of my landing pages for all of my sites in a single dashboard. It makes it far easier to keep tabs on them all. If you’ve just got one site, this won’t be a factor at all.
Ultimately, you need to be able to justify the cost of a tool like Leadpages. Given the extra features it has such as a website builder, etc, that’s easier to do than in the past.
Nobody can answer this question for you – it’s all about what matters most to you.
Wrapping it up
If you want to build your email list, generate leads or sell digital products – you’ll need some sort of landing page builder software.
All of the software tools on this list have the capability to empower you to create all sorts of marketing pages. Sales pages, squeeze pages, click-through pages, webinar pages, pricing pages, thank-you pages, and so much more.
Now, a lot of these landing page tools have free trials so I highly recommend checking them out for yourself. Because, after all, it’s your opinion that matters most.
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