How To Create the Next Best-Selling Template in the LeadPages Marketplace

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(NOTE: If you aren’t a LeadPages™ Marketplace author yet and you stumbled onto this page, click here to check out all the benefits of selling your landing page templates in the LeadPages™ Marketplace.)

At LeadPages™, we like template authors. We like them so much, we give them 100% of the revenue their template generates.

I know you may have double-taked at that last sentence, but it’s the truth. No one else does this, and we’re sure you want to take advantage of this and sell as many templates as humanly possible.

With over 30,000 customers and the explosive demand for landing pages growing day by day, my inbox has overflowed with questions on how people can become a best-selling author in the Marketplace.

While we haven’t released any specific numbers around the number of sales we’ve already generated in such a short time, I CAN say this:

Wow.

The demand is ridiculously high, and authors who are getting in early on the Marketplace are definitely grinning from ear to ear with the success they’re seeing.

So how do you sell LeadPages™ Marketplace templates like funnel cakes at a state fair? More importantly, how do you make a template that stands out from the numerous templates submitted daily?

Well, who better to tell you how to succeed in the LeadPages™ Marketplace than…well…us.

After creating some of the highest-converting landing pages in the industry, we want to share with you all the insights we’ve gathered as template authors. We’ll share with you:

  • How to identify niches and create templates for specific needs
  • The 7 design and copywriting best practices you can’t ignore
  • How to drive buyers to your template (we even give you pre-written swipe copy and graphics to use right away!)

Ready? Let’s get to it.

3 Steps to Picking a Profitable Niche for Your Marketplace Template

To quote early ’90s self-help books, “So you want to design a template…”

You don’t know what you want to make yet, but by golly you know you want to make it!

Yet, coming up with a concrete idea is tough. When you sit down and think about alllll the possible industries and templates you could cater to, it becomes a bit overwhelming.

So let’s reel in that grandiose thinking and get down to a specific, actionable process you can use to come up with the next best-selling LeadPages Marketplace template.

1) Research Digital Marketing Needs of Real Businesses

One of the first things you should do when brainstorming a template is to have an industry in mind.

Think about it: a template for an insurance-based company will look drastically different than one for an app about crushing some candy, for example. The insurance template will be a bit subdued in colors and more serious, while the app template could have an explosion of colors with a light-hearted feel.

If you have the industry you’re targeting in mind, it makes the design brainstorming process exponentially easier.

When you undergo your research to find the right industry, look around and see what businesses conduct most of their transactions online. Some of the biggest industries that use the landing pages we create at LeadPages™ are:

  • Marketing
  • Health and Fitness
  • Coaches/Consultants
  • Real Estate
  • Software/Technology
  • Authors
  • Retail
  • Beauty/Appearance
  • Sports
  • Financial
  • Social Media

But that’s not to say there aren’t more than that. On the contrary, the list goes on and on, and branches out into even more specialized niche markets (Gardening, Security, Pets, Art, Parental Advice, etc).

This is where you make a judgement call. You can make a template that targets the big industries, or you can make a template that focuses on a smaller, more specific niche.

What you shouldn’t do is create a general template for a general business. When customers look for templates, they want specificity. It’s far easier for them to picture a specific template in their mind as opposed to a general one.

For example, which one of these templates can you better visualize in your head:

  • Political Email Opt In Page
  • Email Opt-In Page

That email opt-in page could be anything. The more industry-specific political email opt-in page, however, instantly gives you specific ideas of what it might look like: big photo of the candidate, their big stances, red and blue colors, etc. If you’re visualizing it in your mind, you’ve already broken down one of the first barriers of selling.

Here’s the funny thing — specificity actually works in your benefit when attracting customers outside your template’s niche. We see our users take niche templates and mold them for their purposes all the time. Demonstrating a specific use case in one industry can often help users visualize how the template would work in their industry, even if it’s different.

Do your analysis and think of the industry you want to cater to. Once you do that…

2) See What Works

You’ve got your industry in mind. Now you need to figure out what kind of template you want to create.

There are so many different types of templates to emulate. But while some may look stunning, they might not convert for one reason or another.

Luckily, you can do some market research to see which templates work best. Check out our ultimate list of landing page templates to see the variety of templates we’ve created over the years.

Our templates (and most others) fall into seven specific classifications:

  • Sales Pages – These are generally longer pages that aim to, surprise surprise, sell something. Be it a product or service, the main goal is to convince the visitor to become a customer.
  • Opt-In Pages – These templates are designed to capture email addresses. Every call to action prompts visitors to join your email list.
  • Webinar Pages – Webinar templates are designed to drive webinar registrations. These pages usually include pictures of the presenters, webinar information and a timer counting down to the webinar’s start time.
  • Thank You Pages – These pages appear after a visitor has opted-in/purchased on your site.
  • Upsell Pages – These pages appear before a customer buys their product. An upsell page adds an upgraded service or product to the customer’s purchase.
  • Launch Pages – A launch page acts as the gate to your unreleased product. Implementing this page generates hype for the product, and visitors can subscribe to a list that notifies them when the product is released.
  • Pre-Cart Pages – These pages are similar to the upsell page, with the most notable difference being a pre-cart page doesn’t add a service (usually) to a product. It’s more often used for special offers that are unrelated to any one specific product.

But this list keeps growing by the day. As internet marketing evolves, design trends and UX/UI best practices change, too. For example, there is a growing need for one-page mini-sites like this best-selling template from Jeff Wenberg:

See the full "Business Landing Page" template by clicking here.
See the full “Business Landing Page” template by clicking here.

Simply browsing the templates inside each of these categories is useful, but here’s where LeadPages™ gives you an unfair advantage…

With our exclusive “Sort by Conversion Rate” tool, you can see which templates have the highest average conversion rate right now in any category.

Sort By Conversion

I need to write that again, just because it’s so important for your research purposes.

When you check this box inside LeadPages™, the most successful templates will automatically appear at the top. Study those templates, decide which one would best suit your industry, and commit to memory the features that work well for it.

3) Analyze the Competition

Finally, you need to analyze the templates that are currently on the market. This will help you create a truly unique template. You’ll be able to see which features are being over- or under-used, so you can create a template that meets 100% of your prospects’ needs.

First, take a look at the templates in the Marketplace. See what other authors are already offering. Is there a niche that hasn’t been covered? Is there a category of template that you can innovate? Is one type of template already strongly represented? Ask yourself these questions to determine what your competition will be.

Then, look at templates on different sites. This will help you visualize what features are out there and what features are potentially needed. You’ll be able to get a feel for the industry and what templates are or aren’t successful on those venues.

Once you’ve done all this, you should have a clear idea of what industry you want to design for and what your template will be. Which leads us to…

The Perfect Template: Design and Copywriting Best Practices

Execution matters.

You may have found the niche that no one has covered. You may have an idea for a template that will shake the very foundation of the landing page industry.

You may have all those things. But if you overlook the design and copy on your page, your template will be at a disadvantage from the get-go.

Creating a successful landing page takes a blend of art and science. The art comes from the imagery you use and the words you choose. The science comes from tried and true techniques that flat-out work. Combine the two, and you can have the next best-selling template.

To help you on your way, we want to share with you six best practices and six invaluable resources for creating landing pages that people are absolutely compelled to buy.

1) The Best Templates Are Real Pages Designed for Real Businesses

The more real the template feels, the better your odds of selling it.

So why not have the realest template on the marketplace by creating a template for an actual company?

We’ve seen this happen before. A designer will:

  • Reach out to a business
  • Design a landing page for that business (and make money)
  • Retain the template rights and sell it on the LeadPages Marketplace
  • Make money from the template (again)

Double money is nice, right? What’s also nice is having a template with genuinely real copy and a track record of success. Visualizing the possibilities as a customer becomes a cake walk when you can see what actually worked with that specific template.

As our CEO, Clay Collins, says:

Hypothetical businesses don’t buy hypothetical templates. Real businesses buy real templates.

Basically, it’s all about making the template as real as it can be. Going this route can only help your chances of creating a bestseller.

2) Don’t Use Lorem Ipsum Text

This is a big one, and an aspect that is quite contrarian to the general perception.

However, when templates use lorem ipsum text (or any other garbled placeholder text), we see sales dip by quite a bit.

This occurs because of that word we talked about before — visualization. It is so important to make the potential customer see the real application of your template. When they’re evaluating your template, they’re actually reading it as if they were a customer. If you sell them on whatever the “product” is in your template, then you’ve sold them on the template.

Lorem ipsum just doesn’t accomplish this. It takes the potential customer out of the “customer” mindset and puts them into the “critical” mindset. They suddenly have to expend much more cognitive energy trying to imagine what they could insert into your content areas.

That’s extremely hard to do. Customers want to see what works, so show them what the intent and purpose of your fully imagined template is with your copy.

As a matter of fact, this point really illustrates the advantage of the next point…

3) Your Template Name Matters

I want you to remember this one phrase when you name your template:

“Enticingly Straightforward”

Yes, you want your template to stand out. Naming it “Super Awesome Template For All The Conversions” would indeed make your template stand out.

But people won’t click on it. You need to be enticing AND straightforward.

Your template title needs to tell visitors what the template specifically is. When they’re scrolling through the sea of templates, they are generally looking for something specific — be it a webinar page, sales page, etc. If you can catch their eye with specificity, then you’ve already stood out.

If anything, err on the side of straightforward. For example, here are the names of some of our most popular templates in our LeadPages app:

  • Webinar 3.0 Page (Two Hosts and High CTA Button)
  • Co-Hosted Webinar Registration Page
  • Basic Squeeze Page
  • Social Proof Giveaway Page
  • Thank You/Webinar Page
  • Basic Squeeze Page

You get the idea.

These are about as straightforward as they come, but that’s the point. We want people to know exactly what they’re getting when they look at the title. The template will demonstrate the features and all that great stuff, but the title needs to be clear and communicate the essence of the template.

4) Design for Direction

“Movement makes a good composition. Directing users with graphics in a design is important for conversions.”

That’s from LeadPages designer Sarah Chaussee. In layman’s terms, it means design where you want visitors to look.

Here’s a very literal example of that method in action:

Direction-Design
Our “New Basic Squeeze Page” template.

Two strong design elements are in play here:

  • The very noticeable woman looking directly at the signup form. Since there’s white space all around her you’re drawn back to her face, where her eyes guide you back to the signup form.
  • There is nothing else on the template to distract you. The simplicity of the template ensures your eye stays focused on the opt-in area.

We’ve also seen the importance of designing for direction in our own LeadPages™ templates. Take this split test that LeadPages™ Conversion Educator Tim Paige ran on a LeadBox™ for a Gumroad case study:

In the control for this split test, Tim used the Gumroad logo on his LeadBox to reinforce the Gumroad brand.
In the control for this split test, Tim used the Gumroad logo on his LeadBox to reinforce the Gumroad brand.

In the control for this split test, Tim used the Gumroad logo on his LeadBox™ to reinforce the Gumroad brand.

Here’s what he tested against:

In the variation, Tim used a ConversionCast-branded arrow that points to the email field.
In the variation, Tim used a ConversionCast-branded arrow that points to the email field.

In the variation, Tim used a ConversionCast-branded arrow that points to the email field.

Clearly, he was designing for direction with this second option.

The result? This simple change increased opt ins by 99%.

Leading your customer’s eye via design is a powerful way to control the sales flow of your template. Concentrate your imagery around one call to action on your page for effective results.

5) Make The First Fold Brilliant

First impressions matter.

In web design, so much time is spent on the first fold. The first fold is everything the user can see in their browser without scrolling. Everything in this fold will determine if a visitor will continue down your template. From imagery and copy to placement and color, the tone you set in that first fold will affect how the rest of your template is perceived.

Not only do snap decisions occur in the first fold, but attention drastically diminishes the farther down a page you travel. Look at this heatmap image:

Heat-Map

This image shows what sections visitors spent the most time on. Bright colors (white, yellow, orange) mean more time was spent in a section. Cool colors (green, purple, blue) mean less time was spent in a section.

As you can see, visitors start to drop off farther down the page. That’s important to note because it means you’ll want to put as much opportunity to opt-in in the first two folds as possible. Understand that only dedicated visitors will make it all the way down the page, so you need to focus on making your first fold stellar.

6) Design For Mobile

In January of 2014, 55% of internet usage was conducted from a mobile device. That’s the first time ever that mobile overtook desktop in internet usage.

If you want the highest conversion rate possible, you’ll need to make your landing page mobile-responsive. Images, text and buttons should all scale to mobile. If you have a feature that may not be supported by any and all phones, perhaps consider a way to scale it to work on mobile.

7) Consult These Resources

Over on our blog, we’ve written a ton of pieces on how to create the best landing page possible. Since you want your template to feel real, we highly encourage you to check out some of these resources:

How To Tell The World About Your Template

You’ve done it all.

Your template is designed. You uploaded it, and it was approved. You feng-shuied your carpet to face East for maximum conversions. The template is in the marketplace, so now you kick back and let the money flow in.

Hold on a second. There’s still some work to be done.

You’ve got to market that beautiful creation of yours. On our end, we’ll tweet, post and share it through our social media methods, but you’ll need to do some legwork if you want to see some big success.

Since you’ve taken the time to create a template for the Marketplace, we want to give you a gift that will help TREMENDOUSLY with your marketing efforts.

We made you some swipe copy.

That’s right. We’ve created pre-made tweets, Facebook posts, emails and downloadable banners, blog posts and even official seals for you to use. You can customize these as you please, but what we’re providing you is a way to market your template and boost your sales in a fraction of the time.

>> CLICK HERE FOR THE SWIPE COPY <<

Additionally, here are a few other things to keep in mind when marketing your template:

  • Respond to Template Comments: Check your template constantly to respond to comments visitors may have. You can catch every comment by subscribing to your template’s thread (click on the “Subscribe” button on the bottom right corner of the comment thread). A happy visitor will sing your praises on social media.
  • Stay Informed: Sign up for our newsletter to stay up-to-date on all the newest things we’re offering in the Marketplace.

And that’s it! Hopefully this guide helps you in your quest to become the next best-selling LeadPages™ Marketplace author. If you have any other questions as you’re starting out, just drop a comment below and we’ll help you out.

  • That’s nice that you all have now opened up your marketplace, but it still seems rather cumbersome to get a custom template designed. Wouldn’t it be easier if there was some sort of a drag and drop editor of some of the most popular elements on current LeadPage templates that we could add/edit/drag around and customize…and then publish those to the marketplace?

    • Lee Shadle

      Hi IMSource. I am a certified template author and I’ve created and sold 5 templates. Here is and example of my best seller, Background Photo Template:

      https://marketplace.leadpages.net/leeshadle/background-photo/

      That being said if you are a web developer LeadPages has made it very simple for you to create and sell custom templates in their marketplace. They have great documentation you can find here:

      http://docs.leadpages.net/

      Not only do they offer extensive documentation, but when you submit a template for approval the support team is AMAZING! They’ve sent me multiple screencasts in helping me improve and launch my template.

    • Sean Bestor

      Hey IMSource,

      Thanks for taking time to read the blog! The Marketplace is always growing, and your idea is something that I can definitely forward on to the dev team! The cool part right now, though, is that we’ve got awesome people like Lee and other great designers and developers that can make the process a breeze (and help you get on your way to making that unprecedented 100% commissions).

  • Steve

    What the best tool to edit/create leadpages?

    • Sean Bestor

      Hey Steve,

      If you’re talking about creating templates for the Marketplace, then the Adobe Suite of products will help make the visual component of the template. In terms of coding and developing the template, there are a couple of solid code-building applications out there. If those aren’t up your alley, then there are agencies like LeadPage Ninja who can design the templates for you!

      If you’re talking about taking these Marketplace templates and using them for your own purpose, then we’ve got a really easy-to-use interface to edit these templates and publish them. Once you become a customer, you can edit and publish these templates for your own use!