Instapage is a premium advertising service that offers a host of advertising and marketing tools to help you increase conversions.
Instapage is a premium advertising service that offers a host of advertising and marketing tools to help you increase conversions.
Will help you transform your advertising and marketing campaigns
Landing page designer is easy to use and has a fantastic selection of pre-made templates and blocks
Creating split tests and other experiments is simple
No budget plans available for small business owners
Useful features such as audit logs and global blocks are not available in the Instapage business plan
WordPress plugin is not user-friendly
Instapage is an online marketing solution that offers a host of conversion tools for advertisers and marketers.
The company is well-known for its advanced landing page builder, however it is clear that Instapage wants the world to know that it offers so much more.
Instapage calls their marketing suite an “Advertising Conversion Cloud”.
In addition to a feature-rich landing page builder, Instapage offers a host of personalization and experimentation options for advertisements. Their AdMap tool can also help you visualize the journey that visitors take.
The key selling point of Instapage is conversions.
On their about page, Instapage notes that only 4% of clicks on the internet actually turn into conversions.
In contrast, the average customer conversion rate for Instapage users is 16%.
Let’s take a closer look at what Instapage offers and see whether it can add value to your business.
The Advertising Conversion Cloud
Instapage’s tools help you automate the advertising funnel that customers go through after signing up to your email list or clicking on one of your advertisements.
It all starts with Instapage’s landing page builder.
The landing page builder was designed so that you can create beautiful landing pages in just a few minutes. There are hundreds of pre-made landing page templates to choose from, and the page builder features a block system for customizing your layouts.
There are a ton of personalization options within Instapage to help you change the funnel that visitors are sent through, depending on who they are and where they came from.
This close optimization of the advertising funnel should lead to significantly higher conversions, however you are not operating blind.
Instapage provides you with detailed analytics about every aspect of your campaigns, and you can use A/B split tests and heat maps to analyze conversions.
AdMap takes this further by allowing you to import advertising setups into Instapage so that you can personalize post-click landing pages even more.
Instapage has created their whole suite of marketing tools with teams in mind.
Teams can collaborate throughout the whole process of creating and managing campaigns by reviewing and approving important steps.
Real-time editing and instant feedback simplify this process, and you can share campaigns with clients securely.
As you would expect, the practicality of a service such as Instapage is dependant on the services and tools that it supports.
Thankfully, dozens of services can be integrated with Instapage, including:
- Advertising – Google Ads, Facebook Ads, MarinOne, Taboola, AdRoll, RollWorks, Twitter Ads, LinkedIn Ads, Microsoft Ads, BrightRoll, Perfect Audience
- Analytics – Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager, Mixpanel, Heap, KISSmetrics
- Call Tracking – CallRail, DialogTech, Retreaver, TrackDrive, Matelso
- CRM – Salesforce, Zoho, Infusionsoft, ActiveCampaign
- E-commerce – Outgrow, Shopify, Kenshoo, Stripe, PayPal, Venmo
- Email Marketing – MailChimp, Campaign Monitor, AWeber, Constant Contact, GetResponse, Mad Mimi, E-goi, ConvertKit
- Exit Intent & Pop-ups – OptiMonk, OptinMonster, Hello Bar, Sumo, Aiva Labs
- Live Chat – Intercom, LiveChat, Olark, Zendesk, Cliengo, Apex Chat
- Marketing Automation – Pardot, Marketo, HubSpot, Autopilot, ConvertKit, Infusionsoft, ActiveCampaign, Critical Impact, Capture
- More – Zapier, Webhooks, WordPress, Drupal, Trustpilot, Typekit, Iterable, Google Fonts, Verb Tech, Fomo, GoToWebinar
All the functionality available in Instapage was designed to complement your existing marketing setup. You will, therefore, gain more value from Instapage if your business relies on any of the above services.
The Instapage Free Trial
Instapage offers you a 14-day free trial to help you test their service.
You need to enter your credit card details to take advantage of this offer.
Whilst I understand why businesses such as Instapage request payment details upfront, as a website owner, I also know that this is something that can discourage you from testing a service.
I would like to share the steps involved in creating an Instapage account, so you do not face any surprises.
To get started, all you have to do is enter your name, email address, and your desired password.
You are also asked what you want to increase conversions for: your own business, your marketing team, your agency clients, or other.
Next, you will be asked to enter your company name, your role in the company, and the industry that you are in.
The free trial is limited to 2,500 visitors, and if you exceed this limit you will be automatically upgraded to a premium plan.
I would, therefore, advise you to be careful when integrating Instapage into a live website during the free trial stage as you run the risk of exceeding the 2,500 visitor limit.
Once you have entered your credit card details, you will be taken to the Instapage dashboard.
Your subscription can be viewed in the admin area, which can be found in the lower half of the main admin menu.
When I initially checked this page, there was no option to cancel my account. Thankfully, the cancel button appeared around 30 minutes after signing up.
Signing up to Instapage only takes a few minutes.
The whole process is straightforward, however I do strongly recommend making a note of your first billing date so that you have plenty of time to evaluate Instapage and decide whether you want to continue using the service.
The Instapage Dashboard
After signing up to Instapage, you will be taken to the Instapage dashboard.
The lack of colors does make the Instpage user interface feel a little dull, however the main menu at the left-hand side of the page links to all major tools and features.
The top half of the main menu links to the five major features of Instapage: AdMap, Landing Pages, Personalization, Experiments, and Analytics.
The bottom half links to your workspace inbox, admin area, settings area, and current project.
If you connect to your Google Ads account, Instapage will import all of your ads and calculate your PostClick score.
This is the ratio between your total number of ads and your total number of personalized experiences.
The PostClick score will be displayed on the Instapage dashboard page once it has been calculated.
The account admin area displays your profile, subscription status, and upgrade options.
The domain access page can be used to grant or revoke access to specific domains, however you will need to go to the domains page in the settings area to manage domains.
The main settings area displays an audit log of every modification you have made on your account. Whether you integrate a new service or rename a project, it will be listed in the audit log.
This area is also where you can view the leads you have generated and add new team members to your account.
One of the most important pages in the main settings area when you are getting started is the integrations page.
Many third-party services will take you to an authorization page where you will need to grant Instapage access to your account. Other services require you to copy and paste your account API key.
Any services you connect to Instapage will be listed at the top of the integrations page.
Given how many advanced features are available in Instapage, I was impressed by how simple it is to navigate around their marketing suite.
The Instapage User Experience
AdMap allows you to manage your Google Ads campaigns from inside Instapage.
Google Ads offers campaign types such as display, shopping, and video, however only search ad types are supported by AdMap. This explains why the four video ad campaigns I had previously launched were not being shown in Instapage.
To help me test AdMap, I created a new search advertisement in Google Ads, and it was instantly shown on Instapage.
Ad groups and associated ads are displayed for each of your campaigns.
For each Google ad, you can create a unique experience by assigning the ad to a group and displaying specific landing pages for it.
In other words, you can control exactly what ad visitors see and where they go.
Unfortunately, as I am not actively running any Google Ads advertisement campaigns at the moment, I was not able to test AdMap as much as I would have liked, however it is clear that Instapage gives you more control over visitors who come from ad campaigns.
Landing Pages are at the heart of the Instapage service.
When you create a new landing page, you are presented with three options: Standard landing page, AMP landing page, and Instapage file.
The latter two options are only available in Enterprise plans, so they were not available to me during my free trial.
You can create a template from scratch or select from hundreds of pre-made landing page template designs. The overall quality of designs is high, with images, videos, and boxes being displayed throughout them.
Designs can be filtered by dozens of categories such as case study, webinar registration, trial signup, product launch, and thank you pages.
Be sure to preview landing page templates before you select them.
Once you have selected a template, you will be taken back to the landing pages home page.
For each template, you can see the number of experiments that the landing page is associated with and the conversion rate.
You can also check the leads, analytics, and heatmap for each landing page.
A number of options are available when you select a landing page.
There are options to integrate the landing page with connected services, enable GDPR compliance, and add scripts for your header, body, and footer. Search engine and social media settings can also be defined.
Comment mode and heatmap mode can be enabled when you are previewing your landing page for desktops and mobile devices.
Comment mode is fantastic. You can click on any part of the landing page template and start a conversation with your team about it.
Heatmap mode will darken the page to highlight where users are clicking on the page. It also shows scroll depth and mouse movement.
Instapage’s landing page editor is a joy to use.
Your landing page can be viewed in the center of the page.
At the top of the editor, you will see buttons to create an A/B test and switch from desktop mode to mobile mode. There are also buttons to undo, redo, save, comment, preview, and update. Keyboard shortcuts can also be viewed via the help icon in this area.
The left-hand side displays the blocks that can be inserted into your landing page.
The top icon opens the Instablocks list, but selecting any other blocks will instantly add them to your page.
The available blocks are Headline, Paragraph, Form, Button, Image, Video, Box, and Circle.
When you hover over any block, you will see options to delete, duplicate, arrange, edit CSS styles, and edit the block’s main settings.
At the right-hand side of the editor, you will see a settings area.
This displays options for integrating Analytics services such as Google Analytics, adjusting your page background, changing fonts settings, and defining conversion goals.
When you select to edit a block, the sidebar settings box is replaced with block settings.
The options that are displayed there depend on the block that is selected.
For example, image and video blocks allow you to define the background image and change the corner radius.
When you select to edit a paragraph or headline, no options are displayed at the right-hand side of the page.
Instead, the block buttons are extended to reveal text formatting options.
Instablocks are Instapage’s selection of pre-made landing page blocks. These blocks greatly reduce the time it takes to construct professional landing pages.
Hundreds of blocks are available across dozens of categories. There are blocks for text, headers, teams, events, lead generation, testimonials, eBook downloads, and more.
Blocks can be customized and saved for use later, however you will need to upgrade to the Enterprise plan to unlock global blocks. These are useful when you want to update blocks on all landing pages they appear.
Once you are happy with the design of your landing page, you can go back to the main landing page index and choose to publish the page.
Pages can also be published to a demo page using the pagedemo.co domain. This is the option I chose as it allowed me to quickly preview the landing page. However, I would obviously choose one of the other options if I was publishing the landing page on a live website.
Personalized experiences is not a feature I was able to test during my free trial as it is only available to Enterprise customers.
This feature is used when you have different audiences in your target market and want to cater advertisements for each group.
Parameters can be defined to set exactly who should see a particular advertisement.
For example, you could only show a landing page to those who came from a Facebook banner ad using a specific keyword.
Instapage displays a “Create A/B Tests” button at the top of the landing page editor.
This functionality has now been moved to the Experiments page.
Experiments can be created for any landing page and landing page experience you create.
In your experiment, you can create as many variations of your landing page as you like.
You can edit the design for each landing page variation you add and define how often those variations should be displayed.
Over time, your experiment will help you see which variations of your landing page are performing best.
The Analytics page shows data for all of your projects, groups, pages, and page experiences.
It highlights performance, cost, conversion rate, and blended cost per lead.
Analytics can be filtered by date, visitor type, device, and traffic.
If you are unsure about any of the features I have covered, I recommend checking out the Instapage help area.
It hosts dozens of tutorials that walk you through how you use Instapage.
The Instapage WordPress Plugin
The Instapage WordPress plugin can be downloaded from WordPress.org or the WordPress admin area.
Unfortunately, connecting your WordPress website to Instapage is not as straightforward as other WordPress plugins.
You first need to connect your domain to Instapage. This involves creating a subdomain for your website which connects to secure.pageserve.co.
It can take a few hours for the connection to be successfully made.
You can check the status of your domain connection at any time from the main Instapage domain settings page.
As I use Cloudflare, my subdomain was active almost immediately and an Instapage 404 page was displayed on my subdomain.
Despite being connected, the Instapage domains page still displayed the connection status for my domain as “Waiting for SSL” and the SSL status as “Pending”.
The Instapage WordPress troubleshooting guide confirmed that this is because the SSL certificate is added on the WordPress end.
To use the Instapage WordPress plugin, you need to select to publish your landing page on Instapage and then click the “NOT THE WORDPRESS ADMIN?” button.
You will then be provided with a WordPress CMS token.
This token can also be viewed at any time from the integrations page within the main settings area.
Once you have activated the Instapage WordPress plugin on your website, you should go to the Instapage plugin settings page to log into your account and connect to Instapage using the token you generated.
Several other configuration options are available on the plugin settings page.
You may need to go back and review these settings if your connection to Instapage is not operating correctly.
When you have successfully connected your WordPress website to Instapage, you need to go back to your landing page on the Instapage website and choose to publish it via WordPress.
Once you have done this, your landing page will be listed on the “Add Page” page on your WordPress website.
When you add a page, you simply need to specify a URL for your landing page and hit the publish button.
A short summary of stats will be displayed for every landing page you add to your WordPress website. You can see visits, conversions, and the corresponding conversion rate.
These figures only relate to views on your WordPress landing page, so views from a custom domain or demo page will not be included.
Overall, the way that Instapage has designed their WordPress page is frustrating.
The whole setup process has more steps than necessary, but a bigger issue is that many WordPress websites cannot work with it.
The Instapage WordPress plugin will only work if you use the post name (%postname%) permalink structure in WordPress. This means that if your WordPress website uses another permalink structure, such as date or numeric, you cannot use the Instapage WordPress plugin.
Hopefully, Instapage can remove this restriction in the future and simplify the connection process so that WordPress users only have to install the Instapage WordPress plugin and log into their account.
Essential Instapage features and functionality are included in their business plan.
The business plan allows 30,000 unique visitors per month, 30 published landing pages, five workspaces, and five team members.
This plan is available at an effective rate of $149 per month if you pay annually, however the price is $199 if you choose to pay monthly.
The cost of upgrading to the Instapage enterprise plan depends on the features you require.
You will need to upgrade to Enterprise if you want 1:1 ad-to-page personalization, editable global blocks, audit logs, and ad spend conversion attribution.
Instapage can be tested for two weeks free of charge, but as noted earlier, you do need to enter your credit card details and you will be charged if your landing pages are viewed by more than 2,500 visitors.
I hope you have enjoyed this look at Instapage.
Whilst I was not able to use Instapage on a live website, I did spend a few days with the service in order to familiarize myself with all of the features and functionality on offer.
I was incredibly impressed by the Instapage landing page builder. The builder is a pleasure to use, and it simplifies the task of creating professional landing pages due to its selection of pre-made templates and blocks.
In comparison to other landing page builders, however, there is not a large selection of blocks. I would love to see more styling options and additional blocks for tables, galleries, and more.
Many reviews of Instapage still refer to the service as a landing page designer, however I believe that misrepresents what Instapage is actually for.
There are many cheaper landing page solutions on the market that allow you to create landing pages.
Where Instapage stands out is conversions.
Landing pages are used as a tool in Instapage to perform split-tests and analyze advertising traffic. This allows you to tweak your ad campaigns and email marketing campaigns effectively to increase conversions.
I do hope, however, that Instapage will review the connection method for their WordPress plugin as the current process is not user-friendly.
At an effective monthly rate of $149 per month, Instapage’s pricing will scare off bloggers and small business owners. If your company is spending thousands of dollars per month on ad campaigns, however, Instapage could prove to be highly profitable for you.
Thanks for reading.