In case you haven’t heard, VerticalResponse has just launched one of its most exciting new features: the ability to easily create and publish landing pages to help your business generate leads and sales. Much as we did with our inside look at our easy-to-use email editor, we’re pulling back the curtain with a behind-the-scenes look at the development of VerticalResponse’s Landing Page creator, from vision to launch. We talked to Associate Product Manager Allison Arnold to get the inside scoop on how Landing Pages came to be.
Q. Tell us a little bit about what it means to be a product manager at VerticalResponse.
A. Product managers strive to gain a deep customer understanding and apply technology to solve customer problems at the right time. We manage how new releases are rolled out. Once a feature is decided on, we set the scope and determine where it fits in the greater roadmap of the product. Then we work with engineers who build and test the latest features. Once a release happens, we work with our support team to gain customer feedback and measure how the product performs. Then we start the process all over again.
Q. Why add Landing Pages to VerticalResponse? Had customers been asking for it?
A. From talking to customers, I learned that one of the harder things to do in VerticalResponse is build a list. It’s easy to jump into VerticalResponse and start sending email campaigns or automated email series if you already have a list. But what if you don’t? We already provided signup forms that can be hosted or embedded into a website as the first way to grow a list. Landing pages are the second addition to a continuing line of tools to make it easier to capture leads and grow a contact list.
What’s great about Landing Pages is that the leads that are captured go straight into a contact list in the VerticalResponse app. Users can set up an autoresponder or automated email series before a Landing Page goes live, so those leads go into the marketing funnel the moment they’re captured.
Q. Why would a customer want to create Landing Pages?
A. More leads equal more growth opportunities for businesses. Landing Pages are a great way to build those leads. After spending 15 minutes creating a Landing Page, send some traffic to it with an email campaign or social media, and/or put a link on your website, and capture leads to grow your list. The larger your list, the more people you can reach, and the greater your chances of generating interest and sales. Users who are taking advantage of paid search ads can also direct people to their Landing Pages and collect leads that way, too.
Q. What are the benefits of Landing Pages for VerticalResponse users?
A. Landing Pages have lots of advantages for our users:
- Build Landing Pages with the same editor you use to build emails, so it’s super simple, easy and fast to create one.
- We offer free templates to start with, and many different content blocks to choose from, so your Landing Pages can be customized exactly the way you want.
- You can add a custom domain to your Landing Pages, so they’re an extension of your own website.
- You can adjust the search engine optimization (SEO) settings to make your Landing Pages more relevant in search engines.
- Landing Pages make it easy for leads to flow directly into a contact list, without any integrations or .xls/.csv file uploads necessary.
- Users can set up an email automation series, or an autoresponder, to engage new leads instantly or at timed intervals.
- Best of all, Landing Pages are included in customers’ current packages at no additional cost.
Q. How did you determine what features to include in Landing Pages? How did customer feedback shape your process?
A. The idea behind offering more lead generation tools came from customers struggling with list building. So I researched what is offered in the landing page space, and I built a bunch of them to see how they worked and what could be improved. Then I determined what were the core necessities of a landing page.
Additionally, I wanted to make the editing experience the same as creating an email so users don’t have to learn anything new; they can just jump in and build one! And I thought about what people do with the leads they capture from a landing page and how VerticalResponse can do it better. That is, we simply put the leads directly into a contact list for you!
Q. What is the testing process like for a feature such as Landing Pages?
A. For each feature that we build, our team tests all of the potential use cases. Some pieces are easier to test than others. Examples of things we test are validation on each user’s landing page — if it has a name, a URL, etc. Another example is how images on landing pages appear in the editor, on different devices and across browsers. This can be very time consuming. Those are just two of many, many things our team tests. They are essential to launching a good product! Additionally, since we offer VerticalResponse in both English and Spanish, that takes some additional testing.
Q. What aspect of Landing Pages do you think customers will be most excited about? What aspect are you most excited about?
A. I think customers will be most excited that they can easily build a landing page to generate leads, and that they can publish one Landing Page for free. Basic and Pro plan users can publish multiple Landing Pages. Additionally, customers can customize SEO settings like page title, description and keywords to maximize their relevance on search engines like Google.
Personally, I’m most excited about the custom domain feature. Users have the ability to change the URL of their Landing Pages so they’re extensions of their websites. VerticalResponse offers hosted pages for free and custom domains are included in our paid plans.
Q. How long did Landing Pages take to develop? Were there any unforeseen challenges along the way?
A. It took about four months to develop and test Landing Pages. One of the harder parts was deciding what we could include in the first phase and what should be saved for later. Sometimes it’s best not to do everything all at once. That way, a new product isn’t overwhelming to our users and is easier to use right out of the gate. Once it gains traction, then we can add more advanced features as well as take feature requests from customers.
Q. What’s next for VerticalResponse?
A. We’re planning a number of enhancements for phase 2 of Landing Pages. And seeing Landing Pages in use will influence how we improve it even more.
Other than Landing Pages, we have other lead-generation tools coming soon. These will help users grow lists even more, and use automation to reach their audiences more effectively. There’s a lot of exciting stuff going on!
Start building your first Landing Page today. It’s fast and easy, and makes lead generation a snap.
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© 2017, John Habib. All rights reserved.
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