Let’s be honest: creating traditional landing pages can be an enormous pain in the ass.
Building lengthier forms that don’t look like they were created in Microsoft Paint on a Windows 95 computer isn’t particularly easy either (looking at you, Google Forms).
The simple fact is, landing pages and forms are, traditionally, not easy to create, difficult to match to company branding, and not always easy for customers to navigate.
And even though it seems like there should be overlap between the two, you usually have to use different products to create landing pages and forms.
This is perplexing.
There are times when you want a landing page to function more as a form, and vice versa. Why not have a single product that brings the two together instead of trying using clunky landing page builders and creating forms that look like something straight out of MySpace?
But we’re getting ahead of ourselves a bit. Before we explain just how Paperform works, let’s take a stroll down the dark alley of landing page and form builders.
There’s no shortage of landing page builders out there. There’s Unbounce and Instapage and LeadPages and Hubspot and Thrive Leads and dozens of others. It’s a buffet of sorts.
But just like eating at a buffet leaves you queasy, unsatisfied, and questioning the general direction of your life, using landing page builders is often an unpleasant experience. There are a number of reasons for this.
Landing pages are designed to get people to perform a single action, whether that’s entering their email address, clicking on an offer, or sending money to a deported Saudi Arabian prince who wants to share his fortune (hint: never do this).
In light of this, trying to create landing pages that can do more than a single function is usually pretty difficult.
In fact, this is why many people end up using complex combinations of landing pages, form builders, payment gateways, and integration software like Zapier to make everything work together. The reductionist simplicity of landing page builders forces them to build elaborate, overly complex, digital Rube Goldberg machines.
Most landing page builders feature drag-and-drop editors which, in theory, let you easily place whatever objects you want on your landing page. Except that they often don’t work very well.
You try to drop a Call-To-Action button at the bottom of the page and, for some inexplicable reason, it ends up in the right sidebar. You try to add a photo of yourself and it ends up getting squished to the point where it looks like you’ve contracted a strange, flesh-eating disease. Or you try to add in a header after you’ve laid out most of the page, and suddenly all the other page elements are different colors or sizes.
No matter how many templates landing page builders offer, there’s no escaping the fact that they’re still really time consuming to use. You have to endlessly fiddle around with colors to ensure they match your brand, replace all the bland stock photos, change the copy from promoting a networking event for cowboys to your actual offer, and add and remove elements you don’t need.
While this in and of itself may not be a huge issue, when you combine this with the clumsiness of the back-end editors, you can spend hours trying to create the simplest of landing pages. You’ve got better things to spend your time on.
Depending on the complexity of what you’re trying to accomplish, you often need a degree of technical knowledge when setting up landing pages. You have to figure out how to integrate the page with your email provider, the best way to connect your website and the landing page, how to get the information from the landing page service into spreadsheets, etc.
You also may need to know HTML to fully customize the design and layout of the page.
Unless you have significant experience setting up landing pages, trying to make it all work can be incredibly intimidating and extremely frustrating. Instead of working on what matters, you end up spending hours trying to sort out the technical details of getting everything connected and designed properly.
Now that we’ve demonstrated why getting a colonoscopy is often preferable to using landing page software, let’s move on to the problems of traditional form builders.
Most form builders produce forms that look like they just got back from a hard night of drinking. They don’t match your branding, can be difficult for users to complete, and don’t usually offer the customization you need.
The end results are:
As you probably know, information security is a pretty big deal these days. With data breaches and user privacy violations constantly making headlines, people want to be sure that information entered into a form is secure and won’t be used for nefarious purposes.
Forms that look bad don’t match your company branding, are difficult to complete, and feel anything but secure. They make the user feel like he’s handing his wallet to a guy on the street selling watches from the trunk of his car.
You want your website visitors to feel confident that any information they enter is both private and secure, and most form builders make it difficult to create this feel.
Most form creation tools are only about collecting information. You enter your name, email address, blood type, name of your first born son, account numbers of your offshore bank accounts, and DNA type, and then...nothing.
You get sent to a generic, “Thanks for filling out the form, don’t call us, we’ll call you,” web page. We’ve all had this experience, and we walk away hoping that somebody, somewhere received the information and will respond appropriately.
The bottom line is that when there are no interactive elements in a form, the user is left feeling:
Obviously, not the best look for a company.
Can we all agree that things shouldn’t be this difficult? We are on the verge of driverless cars, drones delivering Amazon packages, and voice recognition devices that do everything but cook gourmet meals for us. It shouldn’t be so challenging to create landing pages, forms, or any combination of the two.
That’s why we’ve worked tirelessly to create what we like to call “Landing Forms”. From the beginning, our goal has been to create a software that brings together the best of both landing pages and forms, whilst also shedding all the off-putting things we mentioned above.
Instead of navigating clunky back-end editors, you can create landing forms like you would a document: by simply inserting text, questions, buttons, polls, and other media WHEREVER you want.
Instead of using drag-and-drop editors, which, as we mentioned, can be a glitchy nightmare, our form builder is free text (like a document). This makes it so much faster to create a page that meets your exact specifications. It also means you get a clear visual of what you're creating without having to select "preview" constantly... again, much faster.
Instead of sending people away from your website to complete forms, you can embed forms directly into any page of your website (yes, even as a pop-up) or even embed them to things like Medium articles; imagine writing a kick-ass post and including a payment option for your customer IN the article itself.
Additionally, Paperform makes it really simple to create a form or landing page with a strong company narrative. You can easily tell your company story through text, video, images, branded colors, and a number of other ways.
We wanted to make it dead-simple to tell your story, your way, using media that matches your brand. It shouldn’t take a degree in computer science to design a landing page that matches your brand.
We’ve also focused heavily on making it simple to create truly beautiful forms that are a pleasure (if we can use that word) to interact with. It shouldn’t take you hours to create forms that don’t make your customers want to set their computers on fire. You should be able to easily build a form that fits your company aesthetic while also being easy for people to complete.
Are you a photographer who wants to set up photo sessions, take payments, as well as display a gallery of your favorite photos all on the same page? Not a problem.
Are you a real estate agent who wants to generate leads by gathering property information? You can do that too.
Or maybe you’re an eCommerce seller who wants to sell products and also include video reviews of those products on the same page. That’s easy with Paperform.
Are you starting to get the picture?
We simply believe that things shouldn’t be so hard. Creating beautiful forms, landing pages, and combinations of the two shouldn’t be a time-consuming, infinitely frustrating process.
You should be able to do it quickly so that you can get back to focusing on actually running your business.
So stop doing things the old-fashioned way. Stop trying to work with clunky landing page editors and form builders that make you want get out of business altogether and join a convent.
It’s time for a new paradigm, where landing pages and form builders are on the same team. Paperform is proud to lead the way.
Start creating landing forms: Try Paperform free for 14 days—no CC required.