One of the things that impressed me the most when I saw my first demo of Marketo 6 years ago was the ability to create my own landing pages without needing my web development team. The ability to become self-sufficient was really exciting to me since I came from IBM where making a landing page took literally 2 weeks... if I was lucky.

 

This post is dedicated to everything you need to know about Marketo landing pages.

Free Form vs. Guided
The first thing you need to start with is whether you want to make a free-form or a guided landing page. IMO guided is the only way to go, because Free-form pages are tough to make responsive. They are nice in the sense that you can literally drag and drop anything you want, but with that comes the tricky bit of making everything line up which can also be a bit of a pain. Anyone who has tried to make a pixel-perfect landing page with the free-form editor knows what I'm talking about. It's a lot of nudging and going into the details to set the alignment. At one point this was all we had and we made them responsive using some fancy javascript hacks, but it was not super intuitive and was easy to break.

 

The Guided editor is much more flexible. The variable functionality provided Marketers with a lot of flexibility in adding or removing sections, changing colours on a mass scale and making things look really good (assuming you start with a good template). It still requires some code to make the base template, but once you have that you're off to the races. IMO this is the only way to make pages now.

 

Advantages of using native Marketo Landing Pages

Does Marketo have the most advanced or sophisticated landing page editor out there? No. There are some amazing landing page editors by some really cool vendors. However, what Marketo does have with their editor that no one else has is the following:

 

  1. Native Marketo Forms
    I can't stress enough about the importance of using native Marketo forms. You have automatic form pre-fill for all your cookied users, which may be your single biggest conversion rate optimizer right there. You get the inferred data, you have easy access to trigger or filter based on the form submissions, and you don't need to setup any complicated API calls or new subdomains.
  2. Dynamic Content
    Using native Marketo landing page you can take advantage of one of Marketo's most powerful features, which is dynamic content. This allows you to segment your known universe by any data you have on them and show them images, messages or content that is specifically tailored to them. The only way to truly take advantage of this is by using native Marketo landing pages.
  3. Tokens
    This is a major lifesaver for marketers who can seriously improve the efficiency of their campaign builds. Using program tokens or lead tokens on your landing pages is something that is only available if your pages are... you guessed it, in Marketo!
  4. Reporting
    Having your landing pages live in Marketo makes it easier for you to get an overall picture of how your campaign is performing. In your program you can see how its performing overall looking at the program statuses, and then dive deeper to see the bigger picture by looking at the total views and conversion rate of your landing page. If you page lives in another system, you are not going to get a full 360 degree view without leaving Marketo and going somewhere else.

 

Custom Fonts
Yes it is entirely possible to use custom fonts on Marketo landing pages. It takes a bit of coding but you can apply them just like you would on any other page.

 

Lightbox Forms

It is also possible to do lightbox forms in Marketo landing pages using a bit of javascript code. You can still use native Marketo forms and don't need any third party software to accomplish this.

 

Video Backgrounds

It is also possible to do video backgrounds on Marketo landing pages. We recently published a landing page template where Marketers can grab video backgrounds off of www.coverr.co and paste them in variables that take each version of the file necessary to do a video background.

 

A/B Testing
Marketo has some seriously awesome A/B testing capabilities built right into their platform. You can test many pages against each other and Marketo will take care of pushing an equal amount of traffic to each page.

 

The Verdict
Marketo landing pages are an essential part of the overall Marketing Platform. There are many advantages of having your landing pages in Marketo, and although Marketo's landing page editor may not be the most sophisticated, with the right template the landing page editor provides all the flexibility that a Marketer would need to customize their page accordingly. The loss of functionality and reporting having your pages in another system is a major gap that Marketers need to be aware of.

 

What do you guys think? Do you keep your pages in Marketo or put them in another system?