The story begins…
It started out like any other day. I was sitting at my desk reading reports of a series of forms that had gone amok when she stepped into my P.I. (that’s Pardot Investigator) office a tall and skilled marketer. You could tell her confidence glowed with her holding a thin silver MacBook in her arm and in the her hand clung an iced coffee which left her fingers with an effect of dampness. Her eyes were red and not all the tears had not cleared totally away. I knew she was in trouble and before she could speak I said:
“Let me guess, landing page troubles?”
She said “Yes, I need to create a new landing page quickly or my job will be in jeopardy…but I don’t know any HTML”…
Here is what I told her.
Build Landing Pages inside Pardot…
A new editor was released when Pardot for Lightning was rolled out. This new editor was a total revamp of the prior landing page editor. No longer did you need to have any HTML skills or build out landing page layouts. You can know drag images, html blocks, rich text and buttons onto a landing page and edit it with a new WYSIWYG editor. On the surface, this seems to have solved out all the problems from the prior editor. However, the new editor lack the following features:
- You were unable to add any brand standard. That means if you have specific css styles you used on your website, you can’t just setup the editor to use them. The result is the landing pages tend to look very generic and boring.
- There are no prebuilt templates to pick from. So if you have never built a landing page before, you are expected to build everything from scratch.
- The editor does not integrate with any landing page created with the old editor. Thus, you would have to rebuild by hand every landing page you had in the past in Pardot.
- You can’t use external libraries like Bootstrap, JQuery to override the standard page setup.
- The mobile responsive design is also locked down so you have no control how the page will render on mobile/tablets.
These limitations make it a poor choice. Either you use the old overly complicated old editor or go with the too generic styled new editor in Pardot. Its like Pardot gives you the only choice of “It’s Drag and Drop Dead”…
Build Landing Pages outside of Pardot…
It is rare for me to suggest using external tools, but there are quite a few editors that make building landing pages easy. If you don’t know HTML, these three platforms might be the better route to take.
Unbounce is one of the easiest platforms to create landing pages. Designed to work with PPC, you can create your own landing pages from scratch or pick from over 100 prebuilt templates to get you started. This system uses a drag and drop editor and allows you to add/drop/modify your landing page layout with ease. Features like integration with Google Fonts makes it fast and easy to customize the pages to fit your branding guidelines. Unbounce also works with tray.io and zapier so you can push your captured leads into Pardot or Salesforce.
When you think about landing pages, you might consider what the purpose of the landing page is for. If your pages are tied to online or in-person events, then you should consider Bizzabo. Bizzabo is an event marketing platform that features one of the best landing page editors out there. You can quickly create high quality designs using their drag and drop editor. Bizzabo also has connectors to tray.io and zapier so you can get your event registrations over to Pardot or Salesforce.
Lead pages is one of the few landing page platforms that offers a huge library of templates. They also provide free hosting, WordPress integration or publish landing pages on third-party domain/website. I found this platform not as easy as Bizzabo or Unbounce, but it did offer more flexibility when you need to have landing pages hosted on your own website. Leadpages also has connectors to tray.io and zapier making data transfer easy to Pardot or Salesforce.
The story concludes…
When I finished talking, she looked up and she had a small glint in her eye. She had been taking notes while I wasn’t looking. Her tears quickly disappeared and she gave me the stare cold like the ice coffee she finished.
She said “Thanks a bunch P.I., this is exactly what I needed to finish this campaign. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your help, but I got to the airport and take a flight out to Tahiti.”
Before I could utter a sound, she had turned and left my office. I missed my chance to get my fee and ask her what her name. The only thing I had left was her ice coffee. It was the smell that dreams are made of…