In case you don’t have a website and haven’t purchased a domain name yet, you can still build your audience list for free using tools such as Instapage.
Its free version only allows one landing page and a maximum of 100 visitors per month but that should be sufficient to get you started until you launch your own website.
Here are below the instructions to create your first landing page for free with Instapage.
[Tweet “Don’t wait until you have a website to build your list. You can start with a simple landing page.”]
Create your account
From the home page of Instapage, sign up to the service using the button “Build My Page Now”. You can also create your account from the login page by clicking on the link “Sign Up” located at the bottom of the login form.
Create your Instapage account by entering your email address and password, or sign up directly using your Facebook or Google+ credentials. Create your account by clicking on the button “Go”.
Select a template to create your landing page
Once your account is created, Instapage presents you with a list of templates to create your first landing page. You can also start from a blank page.
You can filter the templates using the following page categories:
- Lead Generation
- Click Through
- Webinar Pages
- Mobile App
- Thank You Page
For this tutorial, we have selected the Lead Generation category and used the template “Sky Theme” with the sunset background.
Enter the name of your landing page. With a paid account, you can create unlimited pages and will use that name to find your page.
For this example, we will name the page Coming Soon:
Edit your page
Once you have entered the name of the page, click on the button “Continue” to edit it.
The first time you launch the edition interface, Instapage will show you the different features they offer, such as SEO and Analytics configurations. Some of those features will require a paid subscription. Click on the button “Next” to navigate through the introduction guide.
Depending on your template, your page will be composed of a specific number of horizontal sections.
Use the icons on the left side of a section to either delete or edit it.
For example, to modify the background of the top section that displays the Sky Theme logo, click on the pen icon to edit that section.
Click on the Background Color option to replace the default background with your new color. You can also add a background image.
Once you are done, click the green icon to validate your changes.
Below is how the background looks like after changing it to a grey color. Replace the default theme logo with your own logo.
To edit other sections, proceed the same way by clicking the pen icon and select the elements you would like to change, such as a text area. In this example, we will replace the default text with a Coming Soon message.
You can resize or change the position of each area.
Modify the default form of your landing page by:
- Adding new fields
- Deleting the default fields you don’t need
- Editing fields
In this example, the name and password were deleted to only keep the email address.
Optional: Integration with your email marketing service
By default, you can access the data that your visitors submit, directly with Instapage. You can also integrate your landing page with your email marketing service, such as MailChimp or AWeber.
To link a form to your email marketing service, select the button of your form and edit it to display the Integration icon:
After you click on the Integration icon, you will be presented with a list of services that are integrated with Instapage. If you select Mail Chimp, you will be asked to provide the information to connect both services together.
Create variations to test your landing page
On the top left corner of your Edit interface, you will see the item “Variation A”.
This is where you can create variations of your landing page to test the best version to convert your visitors into subscribers.
Instead of creating a whole new page, you can duplicate your current page and modify the second version to test your landing page. Select “Variation A” and click on “Duplicate” to create a copy of your landing page.
You will now have a second version of your landing page named “Variation B”.
Save and preview your modifications
Make sure that you save, from time to time, your changes using the save icon located at the top right corner of your interface. The preview icon is represented by an eye and will show you a preview of the page you are building.
You can also use the Home icon to access your Instapage dashboard that lists all the landing pages that you have created.
The free version of Instapage only allows you one landing page. The grey circle, associated to the name of your landing page, indicates that the page has not been published yet.
You can return to the edit mode of your page by clicking on the edit icon represented by a pen.
Publish your landing page
After you finish editing your page, use the button “Publish” on the top right corner of your edit page to publish your landing page.
You might see a warning message regarding your SEO settings: those are not included in your free version. Click on the button “Continue Anyway”.
Select the Instapage icon to publish your page on Instapage. The free version does not allow you to link your page to a custom domain if you have one.
Enter the URL of your landing page that will end with the Instapage domain.
For this example, we will enter the word “comingsoon”. Once you click on “Continue”, you will see a green circle that indicates that your page is published and accessible via the URL that you have created.
Access statistics and submissions
Once your page is published and shared with your audience, from the dashboard, you can access your page statistics and the data submitted by your visitors.
For the Page Statistics, click the stats icon to view the conversions associated to each variation of your landing page.
If you haven’t integrated your account to an email marketing service, the envelop icon represents the submissions to your landing page. From that page, you will be able to download the information submitted by the visitors who have filled your form.
As you can see, the free version of Instapage is limited but it allows you to build your list until you launch your website.