Unbounce Review: Top-converting landing pages, optimised by AI

17th June 2020

TL;DR

Drag-and-drop your way to beautiful landing pages with Unbounce. With good-looking templates (for every conceivable type of campaign) and AI optimisation, this no-code solution makes it easy to create high-converting destinations for your campaigns. All you need to do is provide the traffic.



Loved

  • Drag-and-drop builder
  • Range of templates
  • Optimisation AI
  • The conversion experts
  • Up-and-running in minutes

Loathed

  • Occasionally desktop/mobile disconnect
  • Not the cheapest (still good value)
  • Some key integrations missing

The Story

What is Unbounce?

Unbounce is a fast landing page maker that majors in style, ease and optimisation. Pick a template, make it your own, and see your conversion shoot up.

An antidote to ‘one-size-fits-all’ landing pages, Unbounce can create multiple versions to run at the same time, making your product launches, PPC campaigns and email marketing work harder. Once your campaign is live, Unbounce’s AI magically tailors landing page content to user intent, creating a personal experience more likely to lead to a sale. All without the need for designers, developers or code.

Oh, they also do super-smart popups and sticky bars too!


Meet the Maker:
Ty Lingley

Unbounce started in 2009 when “landing pages” were barely on a marketer’s radar. As a designer, Unbounce’s CEO and Co-Founder, Rick Perreault, experienced firsthand the pain marketer’s would encounter when trying to get any changes made to a company’s website. This hunch was validated by a quick survey among marketers and got to work bootstrapping an easy-to-make landing page builder.

We spoke to Unbounce’s Partnership Marketing Manager, Tyrone Lingley, to pick up Unbounce’s present day story. He shared his secrets for a winning campaign, the importance of testing and the rise of conversion automation.

Read the interview

The Product

How we tested Unbounce

Let’s start with why: designing and developing multiple landing pages is a pain.

Essentially, they’d either not be made or would drag me or development resource away from other tasks. Then when in situ they’d be the subject of long A/B tests, which would lead to the odd tweak here and there. In short: a fraction of what they should be.

As a non-technical Marketer, Unbounce is aimed squarely at me. It was about time I put it to the test.

I did so via the free trial, creating a mock landing page utilising the full depth of Unbounce’s features: its landing-page builder, templates, conversion automation and pop-ups. I also connected Unbounce to some of my favourite Marketing and CRM apps, including Mailchimp, HubSpot, Zapier and Slack, keen to see how it would feed leads into my funnel and alert me to potential deals. And to really put the squeeze on the ‘easy-to-make’ claims of its drag-and-drop builder I gave myself a time-limit of three hours to do so. Here’s what I found…


Getting started with Unbounce

Make sure you get your free trial and 25% discount on your first 3 paid months with Surges.co

Once you’ve got the keys to your Unbounce account a welcome video gives you the tour. It takes you through the main components of the drag-and-drop landing page builder points you in the direction of a training template.

Unbounce   template editor   Surges review

This step-by-step guide is a great hands-on lesson in Unbounce and how to make a template your own, covering things such as editing text and forms, creating testimonials, setting page goals, adding your branding and optimising page elements. There won’t be much you can’t do after 10-15 minutes.

Of course, there’s lots more needed in the background to get your campaign in tiptop shape. The landing page pre-launch checklist also includes: setting up domain, URLs and tracking; adding scripts like Google Analytics and Facebook Pixel; and how to test it all before you go live. Anybody in need of a bit more hand-holding can also watch a daily 30-minute webinar from Unbounce’s onboarders’ tips and tricks to get your pages up and running.

Unbounce covers all bases here so you’ll be fully flying in a couple of hours max.

Features you’ll love

  • 🖱️ Drag-and-drop builder

    Your new landing page is only a few clicks away.

    Its templates offer a huge headstart – they’re stunning, responsive and modelled on Unbounce’s conversion know how. All you need to do is pick one and make it work for you.

    A lot of SaaS companies will claim they’re user-friendly but are actually a swamp of confusing features – not so Unbounce. What you see is what you get with the builder, so you can preview edits as you intuitively create what’s in your head. There’s the easy stuff (e.g. adding and arranging videos, copy, branding, buttons and testimonials) but also a load of advanced options (e.g. video backgrounds, visitor-triggered lightboxes and parallax scrolling). You can also easily duplicate pages, create variations and assign it a custom URL.

    It’s highly unlikely your existing CMS will be able to this without the need for custom development, meaning Unbounce is the quickest possible way to get your landing page published.

  • 🎨 Templates for every occasion

    Your shortcut to sexy landing pages. Unbounce’s free collection of 100+ best-practice templates have you back for every type of campaign, from lead generation for B2B SaaS, demo pages, Shopify presales, magazine subscriptions, ebooks and more. You can customise them till your heart’s content without being constrained by rulers, grids or bad stock photography (thanks to Unsplash!).

    All their templates work with Wordpress and extend to popups, sticky bars and AMP pages too. And if any of the Unbounce templates don’t do it for you, you can also purchase them from partners such as Themeforest from around the $20 mark.

    Unbounce may pitch its easy-to-use builder as its best feature, but for me it’s beauty and range of their templates that steals the show.

  • 🛒 Best chance of a conversion

    You’ve set yourself up for success with a great looking land page, now finish the job.

    All plans include unlimited A/B testing and access to Unbounce’s AI anticipation and optimisation engines - Smart Traffic and Dynamic Text Replacement.

    Dynamic Text Replacement is Unbounce’s answer to landing page personalisation. The feature replicates the copy on your landing page, based on the keywords users type in before clicking on your PPC ads. It doesn’t take a genius to know added relevance equals better conversion. Why settle for a single version of your landing page, when Unbounce can automate testing for you!

    Unbounce’s Smart Traffic is an optimisation algorithm that serves up the best variation to each visitor, based on other attributes than the ad they’ve seen. This context-rich feature looks at attributes like user location, browser behavior and their device to determine which variation of your landing page and offer will land best.

    They do traditional A/B testing too. Take any landing page, duplicate it, and experiment with headlines, messaging, design and call to actions to discover what drives actually conversion.

  • 💨 Little details limit load time

    The worry with any plugin is that it slows down your site. There’s a compromise, no doubt, but what mitigations does Unbounce make?

    I’m pleased to report Unbounce automatically optimises images so you don’t have to. There’s an Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) option that load up to 85% faster than standard mobile pages. Plus they present SVG images with their tiny file sizes. And lots more. Load time is all too often an afterthought so it’s refreshing to see it properly addressed.

  • 🖇️ Do even more with integrations

    I’ve talked a lot about landing pages and conversion, but what happens after someone has signalled an interest?

    Enter Unbounce’s many integrations. In short, they allow you to seamlessly hand a contact over to marketing and CRM apps.

    You’ve be granted a treasured spot in your lead’s inbox, follow-up accordingly with Mailchimp, Salesforce or HubSpot. Perhaps a live chat could help. Or a form submissions posted to a Slack channel could alert your sales team. Or maybe a Shopify buy button is in order.

    Unbounce integrations make all of these a possibility and a hell of a lot more.

  • 👋 Say 'hi' with popups and stickies

    It takes mere minutes to add popups and sticky bars to any page on your website – from pricing pages, to blog posts, to homepages. Effortlessly nudge them towards your goal.

    Unbounce allows you to create custom forms and unique targeting and triggers, such as scroll delays, source or frequencies of visits. Test new promotions, run discount codes, time-limited offers and pre-orders. Unbounce really has thought of it all!

  • 🔐 Tempt with gated content

    Lead magnets are a great way to entice new leads. Put your killer content – be it a one-page PDF, eBook, video or webinar - behind a form, so it can be unlocked with an email address.

    If you’re serious about growing your email list or want to pre-qualify leads, this is a winning feature.

Things to consider

  • Join the Unbounce Community

    You don’t have to go it alone. Unleash your full conversion potential by getting active in the Unbounce community. The forum is a treasure trove of advice and industry best practice from the brains of Unbounce Pros and conversion obsessives.

    Unbounce also undertakes seminal research on conversion rates and strategies for the benefit of all marketers, and you’ll be the first to hear about it here. The recent Conversion Benchmark Report is a must-read and can finally answer ‘What’s a good conversion rate for my landing page?’

  • Free landing page analyser

    Unbounce’s own lead magnet is a free analysis of your landing page’s effectiveness. Filling out the short form gives your test results in the form of scores for copy analysis, conversion centred design, SEO, message match, mobile friendliness and more - all compared to industry standards. You also get a handy list of quick actions for improving your page.

  • Tackle PPC leakage

    The cost of PPC ads has tripled in recent years and is only ever going up. Instead of sending traffic to your website at large, Unbounce allows you to pair every ad with a laser-focused landing page designed to convert. This includes the Dynamic Text Replacement I mentioned earlier that personalises the experience for every individual user. Unbounce claim their own tests show an increase in conversion by 65% when following this advice, which in turn improves your Ad Quality Score and cost-per-acquisition. If you’re finding your Google Ads aren’t working as well as they used to, maybe its your landing pages that’s really to blame.

Unbounce Pricing

from $79 per month

Essential plan - 75 Landing Pages

Higher pricing tiers ups your landing pages and popups limits and opens up more features, including AMP landing pages, launch scheduling, priority support and some of the advanced popup targeting settings. There’s also some technical features reserved for the Enterprise plan, such as audit logs, dedicated support and page migration. However, most features remain in place across all plans and a sizeable 500,000 page view limit, so you’re getting a lot of bang for your $79 a month.

All plans include a 30-day free trial. Annual subscriptions get a 20% discount.

20% off

14-day free trial + 20% off first 3 months


Unbounce Alternatives

Anyone upgrading from DIY landing pages will be shocked just how much time they’ll save compared going it alone. In today’s day and age there’s absolutely no need to fight for development resource to get landing pages up and then having to compromise on features. Unbounce offers a quick fix to both these issues.

When it comes to other landing page builders, the likes of Instapage and Landingi all offer easy-to-use visual builders, beautiful templates, and in-built testing and optimisation. However, it’s probably HubSpot that offers marketers most, given it sits on top of its free CRM. Not only can HubSpot landing pages show dynamic content based on a visitor’s attributes, but it can also do so based on the data stored in your CRM. HubSpot integrates with Unbounce, however with HubSpot landing pages costing only £33.60 month you may be willing sacrifice a few features to save a little money.

Unbounce Support   👍  or   👎

Getting in touch with Support is easy. Simply click on the Question Mark in the top right corner of Unbounce and if the Answerbot can’t help, you’ll have the option to submit a question to a real person.

Unbounce’s response to my query came back within 3 hours with a pinpoint answer – not bad given it was submitted at 4pm on a Sunday (UK time)! Enterprise customers also get access to a dedicated onboarding trainer and their own Customer Success Manager, who is on hand for more strategic support.

It’s a bit tucked away but I also liked the open feedback Unbounce encourages in its community forum, asking customers what they think of individual features and how they can be improved. Always a promising sign that a company puts its customers first.

The Verdict

Surges score

92%

Unbounce easily passed my 3 hour test for getting a landing page live. Beating all expectations, my dummy page was up-and-converting within the hour!

I know I’m not the only marketing that’s up against crazy workloads and rising development costs, so the ability to create beautiful landing pages in record time really is a godsend. The pre-built templates look great out of the box and only require minimal tweaking to prepare them to go live. I’d even go as far as saying it’s one of the easiest drag-and-drop builder I’ve used in any marketing tool – the only points deduction is because of changes to the desktop templates didn’t always automatically carry across to the mobile view.

Being fast isn’t everything of course and the speed-of-use of Unbounce prides itself on is coupled with a wealth of optimisation features that shouldn’t be underestimated. You can quickly create variants for testing, let AI work its magic on personalising the experience for every visitor, and be safe in the knowledge Unbounce cares about load time as much as Google does.

Finally, I find it incredibly reassuring to know that the anatomy of its landing pages are based on the conversion learnings of all other Unbounce customers. The end product is proven to work and removes any rookie mistakes.

The result of all this is ultimately better conversion rates on the main lead generation pages of your website. Whether you’re trying to encourage a visitor hand over contact details, download a piece of content or hit the ‘buy’ button, Unbounce gives your campaign a better chance of success.

Find out for yourself with a 30-day free trial and an exclusive 20% discount on paid subscriptions via Surges.

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