3 Years Later: A Look at Where We’ve Come & What’s Next (Plus an Apology from Our CEO)

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Editor’s Note: The Early Adopter program for our new product, Center, is now closed, but click here to learn more about what we’ll be releasing in 2016.

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This is Part 1 of a series of posts I’ve wanted to write since we started LeadPages.

Right now, LeadPages is gearing up to release something that I’ve been dreaming about since 2013. It’s taken 3 years to get to here, and I’m feeling a mixture of restlessness and excitement.

More about that later. First …

An Apology for Being Off the Grid for So Long

A lifetime.

It feels like it’s been that long since I last posted to this blog in May of 2013.

May of 2013 was quite possibly the last month of sanity before the rocket ship of our growth took us all on an unanticipated high-velocity journey.

Back then, LeadPages was about 15 people strong and had about 7,000 customers. (Now we’re 164 strong with over 40,000 customers.) Much like the company itself, my role at LeadPages has changed dramatically since we’ve started.

I quit blogging (unintentionally) after that. Our marketing/content team had it covered. Also, I told myself that creating content wasn’t the best use of my time and that my main mode of expression was through the products and practices of the company that Tracy and I had founded. Not through blog posts and writing thought pieces.

So I left this blog cold turkey; I’m sorry for that.

So why am I back?

I’m back 2 years later because after all this time I’ve got something truly new to blog about … and I want to tell you the story of LeadPages.

I’m back because I finally have something to say again.


Click here to See LeadPages' Newest Product

If you have LeadPages™, you don’t need to download this template – it’s already available to you inside your LeadPages account. Just log in and you’ll see how super easy it is to customize this page in seconds with no technical knowledge or skills, make it mobile responsive, integrate it with your email service provider or CRM, run A/B split tests, and publish it to Facebook, WordPress, or your own server.

More about that later. First, let’s take stock of …

Where We’ve Come Over the Last 3 Years

Before we started LeadPages, Tracy (my cofounder) and I created and sold information products.

And when we first created LeadPages, we realized that we could do so much more education and teaching through tools than through courses. At the end of the day, LeadPages® was an online course disguised as software.

We had a lot of things to say about conversion, lead generation, and persuasive design, and we thought software was the best way to say it.

There’s a good Buckminster Fuller quote that describes exactly why we created LeadPages:

“If you want to teach people a new way of thinking, don’t bother trying to teach them. Instead, give them a tool, the use of which will lead to new ways of thinking.”

We also launched LeadPages because we had a philosophy about how marketing software should work. (That is: we think marketing software should be simple, empowering, lightweight, and easy to use; we also think it should inspire marketers to take on and achieve more than they ever thought possible.)

What Happened After We Launched (And What Has Happened Since) Still Blows My Mind

There’s not enough space here to give a play-by-play of what’s happened since LeadPages launched. Maybe I’ll write that blog post one day. But suffice it to say that I wake up nearly every day, pinch myself, and stand in awe of what our team has accomplished (although we still have so, so far to go; we’re maybe 1/20 of the way there).

Here Are Some Stats on LeadPages as a Platform and Business …

  • We have 40,000+ paying customers.
  • We’ve served well over 1 billion page views.
  • Our users have created 1,456,097 total pages.
  • We’ve spent over 4,000 hours interviewing applicants on our way to building a team of 164+ people, 100 of whom have been hired since January.
  • Our amazing customer support team has logged over 89,000 hours serving our users.
  • We’ve created more than 500 videos, delivered over 1,000 hours of live training, and published over 1 million words to our blog—all with the goal of educating marketers and entrepreneurs across the world.

Once in a while our industry also notices what we’ve accomplished: when this year’s Inc. 500 list came out, we were on it (note: revenue figures are for 2014, so it’s a little behind). The year before that, Mattermark named us the fastest growing company in Minnesota. We’ve also received some nice press from Forbes (we’re #40 on their list of the hottest startups of 2015), Huffington Post, TechCrunch, and Inc. Magazine.

It’s nice for us to occasionally get recognized like this (certainly it helps with PR and recruiting), but what I’m most proud of is how LeadPages changed our industry.

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Growth Has Led Us from Me Sitting in Front of My Home Staircase Making Videos for This Blog (See Above) to Being the Biggest Player in Our Space

For example, since starting LeadPages . . .

  • We’ve developed the largest paying-customer base in our space.
  • We’ve raised most funding support in our space ($38M).
  • We have the highest cash flow in our space.
  • We have the largest team in our space (164 people).
  • And we’re having the most fun in our space. 🙂

But More Important Than Everything Above, I’m Proud of How We Changed The Industry, Set New Standards, and Made a Difference in the Lives of Tens of Thousands of Entrepreneurs

LeadPages changed digital marketing by making high-converting, mobile-responsive landing pages easy to create, integrate, and publish. We made conversion accessible to everyone. (We’re still very much committed to that, and there are ≈15 people working on our new drag-and-drop landing page builder that’s coming out next month.)

It’s easy to forget that innovations like 2-step opt-ins, LeadBoxes®, and lead magnet delivery weren’t always standard options with landing page solutions.

No business or innovation exists in a vacuum, and no one company or person can take 100% credit. But here’s a list of areas where I feel we’ve made a solid (and in many cases pervasively influential) contribution to the industry …

2-Step Opt-Ins: The 2-step opt-in process became popular after we first started talking about it in 2012 and 2013. We’ve proven that a 2-step opt-in process boosts conversion an average of 30%.

LeadBoxes®: The popularity of the 2-step opt-in prompted the release and widespread adoption of LeadBoxes®. If you noticed forms moving off the page and into modal windows, then you were seeing the influence of LeadBoxes®.

Page-Level Lead Magnet Delivery:
We’re not claiming to have invented lead magnet delivery, but we were the first to offer this at the page level. By setting up lead magnet delivery at the LeadPage or LeadBox™ level, you can give away as many different content bribes as you want on multiple opt-in pages and still drive your new subscribers to the same email list.

Landing Page Design Innovations:
If you’ve ever seen a webinar registration page that looked like this, then you’ve probably seen the influence of our landing page design. The last time I checked, every single landing page platform out there had a near-exact replica of at least one LeadPages® template. (Sometimes they even forget to remove our copy, copyrights, and images.)

Sorting Templates by Conversion Rate:
Inside LeadPages®, you can sort through all the landing page templates not just by name, but by their average opt-in rate. This will instantly show you the highest-converting templates across all of our customers, ranked first to last. When you sort by opt-in rate, you can easily see the highest-converting landing pages in existence today (either for all templates or by category). We were the first to provide this.

Anyway, after accomplishing some of our initial goals, we found ourselves at a fork in the road …

We Had to Look Deep Inside and Figure Out How Large Our Aspirations Were … And This Forced Us to Face Our Most Difficult Decision Yet

Since launching LeadPages, our desire to make a huge impact had grown substantially. We’d come very far, but from Day 1 we’ve set our sights on going so much further.

I realized this a while back when responding to a post in an online forum.

In response to a feature announcement, someone had written: “Looks like LeadPages is trying to compete with [a niche software product for marketers].”

I thought about it for a second and responded with …

“Thanks for your comment. We don’t consider ourselves to be competing with them. We’ve got 40K+ customers and going after larger markets (and bringing landing pages and conversion design to the broader mainstream small business market) is much more interesting. Wix has 40 million customers. GoDaddy.com has 13 million customers. MailChimp has 3 million+ customers. This is real inspiration for competition . . . and much more interesting than competing with niche solutions in the ‘business opportunity’ market.”

That’s illustrative of our mindset and our desire for impact. That’s where our sights are set.

Anyway, Here’s the Decision We Had to Make …

Let me set some context: most companies stop growing because structural limitations prevent them from scaling.

In most businesses (that are doing more than $5M per year), growth doesn’t stop because you haven’t figured out how to write a killer headline, or do automated webinars, or haven’t explored some SEO loophole, or because you haven’t mastered Facebook ads or retargeting. The curtailing of growth happens on a much more foundational and structural level.

Here are some common examples of how structural limitations stop growth in the marketing technology space:

  • A startup might be good at selling to opportunity seekers looking to “get started online” but can’t seem to go “upmarket” and sell to small and medium-size businesses.
  • A startup might find that its stock/ownership structure is messy and complicated and doesn’t properly incentivize the right people.
  • A startup might find that it has problematic intellectual property and ownership issues. Or its code base contains GPL code (making the entire code base GPL). Or one of the founders owns part of the intellectual property and makes an acquisition, IPO, or venture capital financing round impossible.
  • A startup might be good at selling direct via its website but can’t build out the sophisticated sales team required for larger 6-figure deals.
  • A startup might be able to get some initial traction with an early version of its product, but 3–5 years later be unable to keep up when larger companies with seemingly unlimited engineering budgets get involved.
  • A startup might find that its initial success was heavily dependent on founders and that the next generation of true product, revenue, operational and engineering leaders isn’t in place to pick up the slack when founders leave or burn out.
  • A startup might develop a monolithic code base and create too much technical debt to maintain product innovation and velocity. Little by little it becomes harder to release new innovations.
  • After creating a new market, a startup might find that competition has heated up to the point that profits are competed away (and be left without funding or backing to weather the storm).
  • A startup might find that it simply doesn’t have the resources to recruit world-class talent, maintain a good culture, deal with problematic employees, and maintain high-output management practices.
  • A startup might find that its monthly retention rate is just too low to continue growing. When a startup is small and has 1,000 customers, a 5% monthly loss in customers (i.e. 50 customers) is easily replaced. But when you have 20,000 customers, that same 5% monthly customer loss now means that 1,000 new customers need to be generated in order to prevent business decline.
  • A startup might find that it doesn’t have enough good customer and business data available to make important pricing, retention, and strategy decisions.

Anyway, during the end of 2014 we saw that unless we implemented some structural changes to our product, brand, and architecture in 2015, we’d run into structural limitations near the middle of 2016 that would have serious implications on how large we could scale.

Every growing business runs into structural limitations at one point or another. It’s how you decide to address them that makes all the difference (and the faster you’re growing, the faster you’ll run into structural limitations).

The things that get you from 0 to 40,000 customers are not the same things you do to get you to 100,000+ customers. And those things aren’t the things that take you to 1 million+ customers.

So we had to choose.

We could: (1) plow ahead on the trajectory we were on, or (2) bite the bullet and start rebuilding some key parts of our app and business from the ground up.

We chose the latter approach, and 2015 has been all about one thing—scaling up for something big and doubling revenue again.

We decided to build the infrastructure and architecture necessary to support millions of customers.

Not just in terms of technology, product and engineering, but also with regard to people, processes, systems, marketing, sales, services, etc.

For example . . .

  • We decided to rebuild parts of our app from the ground up for scalability.
  • We decided to build out a true product-management department.
  • We decided to really invest in our office space and exclusively hiring locally.
  • We decided to create an enterprise sales force that can work on large deals.
  • We decided to build out a services function.
  • We decided to build out a data and analysis platform.
  • We raised $38M in venture capital (see here and here).
  • We built our product and engineering teams up to 72 people.
  • We started a project to rebrand the company.

Even though the core functionality of LeadPages® (as you’re using it today) was essentially built by a team of 5 engineers, we now have 57 amazing full-time engineers on staff.

Obviously, you don’t do these things if your aspirations stop at creating a landing page product (although we’ve got a killer new landing page builder ready to release next month).

Our vision has been to build something much more immense.

And next week we’re going to reveal the beginnings of what we’re creating.

So Now We’re Restless

In 2015 our revenue doubled, but we also spent much of 2015 building things that we haven’t shown you yet, and we’re all excited for the upcoming releases of several large updates.

But the important thing to note is that …

On December 29th, We’ll Show You How We’ll Change the Game Again

When LeadPages® first came out, we made high-converting landing page creation accessible to everyone for the first time.

And on December 29th we’ll have something entirely new to show you that we believe is another first in our industry.

We’re on the verge of releasing the next version of everything around here (our landing page builder, our integration system, our brand) … but that’s not what I’m talking about here. Those changes are evolutionary.

What we reveal this Tuesday will be revolutionary.

Mark your calendars for December 29th.

If you’re interested in learning more, please opt in below.

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Warm regards,
Clay

  • I’m looking forward to the announcement, Clay. Congrats on how far you’ve come, and godspeed to where you’re going!

    • Thanks so much @MastermindJam:disqus! We’re looking to listening to you and your feedback on new releases.

      • Bryon

        I hope your building a competitive solution to confusionsoft. I’ve never been more frustrated with a product in my life. And all the startups in this space are light years behind. Or you should acquire Autopiliot and deeply integrate them. Hire me I’ll handle your biz Dev and grow you. I’ve got a ton of ideas.
        B

  • Kim Scott

    THANK YOU!! While I have loved some of the capability of LeadPages, I have actually steered my clients away from it due to the cookie-cutter-templates that I really despise. It just didn’t allow for creativity and left me screaming at the computer. lol This will make it much closer to perfect. (Hmm…maybe even perfect!) I hope this option will be what they get with the base subscription?

    • Hi @disqus_y8oh8n3fsX:disqus! Well, one of the things we’re releasing next month is the new 100% redone landing page builder: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R1UAGHObuQE (and we’re really excited about that) . . . but we’re also releasing an entirely new product and creating a new category of marketing software. Excited to reveal it.

      • Kim Scott

        Yes, its that video that shows what I’m excited about! Woo hoo!! 🙂

  • Welcome back, Clay. Your voice has been missed. Congrats on a great 2015 and here’s to an exciting year-end finale to launch you into 2016.

    • Thanks, Adam. Great to hear from you here. I’m in CA right now and look forward to talking when I get back. Happy Holidays!

  • Perhaps I missed it but I didn’t read anything specifically about what was going to be released? All I saw was that something revolutionary and not evolutionary was being released but no details on what to expect other than it will allow LP to scale to support millions of customers.

    • Thanks, @disqus_00B8ZsQKOJ:disqus. This is part 1 of a three part blog series on our future direction. In this post were setting the stage and creating context. In the next post you’ll learn a lot more. And then on Tuesday we’re going to making our biggest announcement since the initial launch of LeadPages.

  • Saweet, thanks for being awesome Clay and the Leadpages team.

    • Thanks for the kind words, Bobby! And thank your for being awesome.

  • Michael Form

    your headline says “A Look…At What We’re Revealing on December 29th” but i read all the way to the bottom and all you say is you’ll reveal on dec 29th. what a let down. clay, i’m disappointed in your misleading headline. if you weren’t planning to truly give anyone a look, then write a different headline (e.g. “why we’re excited about what we’re revealing on dec 29th”). you blew some trust points.

    • This is part 1 of a three part blog series on our future direction. In this post were setting the stage and creating context. In the next post you’ll learn a lot more. And then on Tuesday we’re going to making our biggest announcement since the initial launch of LeadPages.

  • Look forward to what is coming. The market is ripe for innovation that is done well. Go Get’um

    • Thanks, Jonathan! I agree that this space is ripe for disruption. All the small players seem to be competing with each other, meanwhile SalesForce is doing a few billion in revenue per quarter, and HubSpot and Marketo are around $2B in valuation each. This is the real competition.

      • I know that most people dislike that they have to have 10+ pieces of software that have to “talk” to one another and in the end do not provide the actionable insights and then ability to execute.
        My hunch is that the company/product that solves this will win the lions share of the market…

        • I think you might be onto something there 🙂

          • Whoop very excited for you guys and love that you’ve always had a big vision. Good to see you back on the blog again too Clay. Miss those stairwell videos 🙂

  • Can’t wait! WooHoo!

  • Brian Madden

    Keep ROCKIN’ Clay and Leadpages… Glad to be on the ride with you!!

    • Thanks, @Brian Madden:disqus! We’re glad you’re with us.

  • One of the problems with reading a piece from a company that sells landing pages for selling products is that it’s hard to read the authenticity. I kept thinking, so are they testing ‘long sell’ language for getting me to want to buy this new product? If I click the yellow box, am I going to be segmented in a different mailing list? Maybe I’m reading too much into it. I do hope the product changes prompt us to use the tool more, and I do look forward to the announcement.

    • Thanks, @Kristy Dalton:disqus. Your note was funny, but on a more serious note, I hope you felt the authenticity coming through. We care A LOT about our customers, this market, and all the small, medium, and large businesses trying to get ahead. I believe that’s manifested in the quality of our technical support and care we put into that.

  • Roman Bourquin

    it has been quite a time I have not read a blog post…
    This one was worth it, thank you Clay. let see what you have under the tree for us 😉

    • Thanks @romanbourquin:disqus ! I miss blogging and I appreciate the time and effort that you put into reading this.

  • Jerry Roberts

    I’ll be interested to see your new reveal because, frankly, I’ve been looking at leaving. I upgraded to get a couple of key features, paying in advance for things that weren’t ready to be rolled out such as the template importer and the texting module. I haven’t been able to get much value from either so the upgrade wasn’t to my advantage. In any case your team certainly does a great job selling. Best wishes for your transformation.

    • Hi Jerry! I’m sorry that you’re having some frustrations. LeadDigits is fully operational and working well and people are having a lot of success with it. If you don’t quite yet know how to use it I’d encourage you to contact customer support. The template importer is also operational, but it can’t import every single page (for example if the page has a ton of Flash or Javascript it becomes harder). I’d love it if you contacted support to get some advice on using LeadDigits.
      —————-
      We have a ton of great resources to help get you started using Leadpages, including a fantastic introductory video series which is broken up into parts so you can rewatch sections easily which you can find right here: https://lp.leadpages.net/new-customer-onboarding/

      We also have a whole webinar dedicated to our newer customers to help them get started. This is the “deep dive” version of the video I linked above as we really teach you a ton about how to use the tools available! We run them twice a week so you can attend which ever suits your schedule better. You can sign up to attend those webinars here: https://lptraining.leadpages.net/leadpages-launchpad-2date/

      As for articles, we also have quite a few knowledge base articles that help get you started using Leadpages, which you can view here: https://support.leadpages.net/hc/en-us but we have a quick start guide which is specifically designed for getting your first page up and running which is right here: https://support.leadpages.net/hc/en-us/articles/203522330

      • Jerry Roberts

        Thanks for the reply, Clay. The real issue was paying and then being told the services weren’t ready yet.

        Re: LeadDigits, when it was finally available I engaged your support and they couldn’t get it to work for me.

        I had seen it as a great add-on to a podcast. Just didn’t work out.

        • Hum… why didn’t it work? It works for us every week and we have thousands of customers using it. Can you provide more info than “it just didn’t work out”?

          • Jerry Roberts

            I’ll have to dig up the emails. I went back and forth with your support and it didn’t pan out. I don’t live in the 50 states but am under the 1+ dialing as you are, so they said it should work. We left it that there was no solution.

        • P.S. We were really upfront that the early adopter program was for a presell. We spelled out exactly when LeadDigits was coming and we delivered it on time. So we were above board on the delivery date.

      • KiaOra

        The on boarding webinars run at 3am on this side of the planet
        No replay or other schedule is a pain.

        • Kat Von Rohr

          Hi KiaOra, Thanks for reaching out about this. To clarify: If you sign up for any of our onboarding trainings, you will receive a replay once it’s finished that you can watch at your convenience. You can register for our onboarding trainings now at http://www.leadpages.net/launchpad. Hope that helps!

  • Very exciting! However, I’ll settle for an “undo” button 😉

    Snark aside, you guys are great, looking forward to the big reveal and best wishes on your run for the billion dollar club.

    ( I know, I know, submit it as a feature request…..)

  • Diane Holmes

    Yes, yes, YES!! I’m so jazzed by LeadPages as a” company I want to emulate,” and I’m quite serious about this. Thank you, Clay, for sharing your thought process around the specific types of problems startups face when scaling up. That was a mini-course in the kind of thinking you need to have as chief innovator, vision-keeper, and ringleader. 🙂

    I’m sharing this page with some folks in my Master Mind group for that very reason.

    Also, the insight that you’re really an education company built around a tool, made me laugh. I could actually see that once you said it. Made total sense, and I’m thinking over how that can influence my own company.

    And… how can I NOT be excited about what you’re doing? First, builder = oh, thank, gawd. 😉 But I want to see what you’re building because it’s good to see people (and companies) leap. It’s inspiring. And I bet it will help my business.

  • J.R. Fisher

    Don’t make the mistake of getting too far removed from your business. It seems you built your business and then disappeared. This blog is probably more important than you think. STAY CONNECTED. Look at Digitalmarketer.com and watch how Ryan is always involved. Just a suggestion..

    • Thanks @J.R. Fisher:disqus! This is kind of a complicated issue. If you look at the CEOs of companies doing $30M or more in revenue, it’s next to impossible to find one blogging on a regular basis. Next to impossible. InfusionSoft, HubSpot, Marketo, SalesForce, SquareSpace, Wix, Weebly, GoDaddy, etc. These folks aren’t blogging. Leverage is the most important thing… on any given week I need to ask myself whether the highest value can be brought to customers though me being a thought leader, or though building out other things in the business. In most weeks the best way to serve you isn’t through writing here. That said, I’m going to try and be here a lot more often. I enjoy doing this and miss it.

      • J.R. Fisher

        I understand and get what you mean. Great job o building this company and I enjoy your products and wish you the best in your growth..

  • David

    As one of your early-adopters, I look forward to seeing what you will unveil on the 29th! :0)

    • Thanks @David:disqus! And we look forward to hearing your input!

  • Steve

    I’ll just be as honest as some of the previous commenters. I’ve signed up to leadpages a bit longer than a year ago. Back then I bought into the hype of all the internet marketing gurus (and that’s just the background go Clay Collins in the documentary ‘Add to cart’). It’s been a good tool and easy to use. It has even helped me get my first thousand leads. And I signed up for the yearly account after being annoyed about paying outrageous monthly fees. Anyway, I evolved and will not renew my account, no matter what will be revealed on the 29th December. I realised that there are tools out there that are much better and not as rigid as leadpages. I’m pretty disappointed by literally every single big, hypey announcement that was made this year. Sure it sells well (congrats on the 40k buyers), but come on. The product isn’t as good as the hype you make of it. And it some point it gets annoying to serious business people as opposed to the ‘I want to get rich on the internet crowd’ who leadpages was initially geared towards, and who’ll never make a single penny online. Cause these guys will never realise they’ve been told a bunch of lies. And I do know I’ve been one of them at some point and I bought into the hype. Now the view has changed. Thanks for helping me along the way 🙂

  • Hey Clay, I’m so glad that I got in when I did, you and Pat Flynn have been an amazing resource. I really prescient you guys. I’m also glad to hear that you’re coming back to the blogosphere as you’ve been messed, thanks for creating and sustaining such a wonderful company.

    • @gregsavage:disqus Thanks, Greg! Pat Flynn is amazing and has been good to us. It’s good to be back here.

  • Now THIS is exciting! Can’t wait to see the new platform! The new builder is exactly what it needs to allow more flexibility. Great work guys and gals!

    • Thanks Chris! It’s great to see you here by the way. It’s been a while.

  • Derrick Horvath

    I have found myself using LP less and less. Just don’t think it does anything more than thrive theme membership and its 3x the cost. It’s starting to get to the point where thrive is no longer following LP but leading it in innovation. Page builder being a perfect example. If the goal is to make another rainmaker, hubspot, marketo platform I see problems there too. Most people have a hard time trusting their entire business to one solution. Good luck on the new line of business though.

    • @Derrick Horvath:disqus thanks for the kind words. 2015 was all about doing foundational work. It’s easy to innovate quickly when you first come out with a new product. Easy. There’s no technical debt, no infrastructure issues, etc. At some point you need to rebuild, take a hit on velocity of features, and create a clean slate to move very very fast again. We did not move fast in 2015, but we laid down tracks for a superfast bullet train and I believe you’ll see the results of this in 2016. Like most companies, we’re not perfect. We have a long way to go. I’m still proud of how far we’ve come and I’ll let our actions in 2016 settle this for us, rather than my words here.

  • Clay, big fan of You, Your Writing, Hustling and above all the Your Grandpa’s Biceps 🙂

    Looking forward to what is in store.

    More power to you and your dreams!

    Keep going.

    Happy Holidays 🙂

    • Thanks @mohitpawar:disqus. Awesome that you remember my grandpa’s biceps. Can’t believe that post is still around.

      • Yes it’s been a long time. I used to go back to that page often for inspiration.

  • Great post. Thanks for taking the time to write it. Great hearing your vision. Looking forward to checking out the future of LP. Nice video of the builder too. that was needed. thnx for that.

    • Thanks @Matthew Miller:disqus yeah, the new builder is a long time coming. Our aim is to provide something easier to use than Wix/Weebly/SquareSpace, but with a conversion-first approach. I do think this new builder will be 2-3 years ahead of everyone else. And I’m excited for you to see it and start using it.

  • Silverborn

    The old Marketing Show under the stairs videos were the best! Awesome giveaways. Tons of learning. I finally (after all these years) just built my first landing page campaign with an email drip course behind it and am at the testing traffic stage but I didn’t use Leadpages. 🙁 I wish you guys had a free entry level version but, of course, how you price depends on your goals and the markets you are targeting. Wish you the best going forward, @claycollins:disqus , because I got a TON of value watching the Marketing Show!

    • Thanks for the note, @Silverborn:disqus. Just out of curiosity, what did you use to create your landing pages? What services do you use?

      • Silverborn

        I built the landing page with unbounce. They have a free version and the only feature I really miss is using a custom domain. The project is for a friends dating profile writing service for women – DatingProfilePro. landingpage is here: http://bit.ly/220rSUK Using ActiveCampaign for the email collection and drip automation. I also have an instapage 6 mth trial via Appsumo I’ll be testing soon as well. Two more projects in the wings. ActiveCampaign isn’t free but gave me a very extended trial which I needed.

  • Clay going all Force Awakens on us LOL sent you a dm over on twitter

    • Haha… thanks @Darren Scott Monroe:disqus ! Will go look for your tweets now.

  • Eric

    KUDOS Clay! Congratulations on your success and growth and exciting future! I love LeadPages and would be glad to share some cool business strategies, for medium-sized companies like yours, that are used by Fortune 1000 companies. Just text the word NETWORKING to 33444 😉 Look forward to the announcement on the 29th!

    • LOVE your use of LeadDigits here. Thank you so much.

      • Eric

        Thanks! LeadDigits is mainly why I signed up, and the new marketing library is AMAZING and will be helpful on creating my funnels and campaigns.

        Is there a way to make the LeadDigit reply not require an email? Say I just wanted to capture a phone number or any other text. Right now I get “LeadDigit indentifier not recognized!” if an email is not entered. Any way I can get more than 60 LeadDigits (main account+5 subs) ?

        ROCK ON!

  • stew

    Still remember May 17th, 2012 getting the email “LeadBrite Early Adopter Program is Open” 🙂 Glad to see how far you’ve come since.

    • Holy crap that was a long time ago. We’re still at it. Thanks for bringing back good memories.

  • This sounds fantastic Clay! Can’t wait to see what you bring to us on the 29th. Excited for you and the company! Major achievement! Go get’em Clay!

    • @drivenmavens:disqus can’t wait to hear your comments, feedback, and questions.

  • Your business + philosophy writing style always reminds me of Derek Sivers. Compliment delivered, no opt in required 🙂

    • @bendonahower:disqus that’s a huge compliment. Thank you. He’s perhaps my favorite blogger of all time so I imagine his writing has had an influence 🙂

  • George

    Awesome job! I love LeadPages and want you to beat out ClickFunnels. Tired of CF people saying they have the best platform when they are constantly offline and have tons of technical issues. Go Team LeadPages!

    • Thanks @disqus_cbTvBqruyF:disqus I’d say that according to just about every metric we’re the top player in the space. We’ve got more paid customers, more funding, more cash, more engineering talent, the largest team, etc. Anyway, thank you for the kind words. We’re just about at 1/20th of the journey and have a long long way to go, so we’re by no means perfect and by no means “there yet.”

  • Great read Clay. It’s nice to see your thought process and review all the amazing innovations you have give the industry over the years. It’s impossible to understand the impact of all those things you guys have given us. Keep up the great work and have a wonderful holiday.

    • @geoffronning:disqus what you’ve done with StealthSeminar has been a huge inspiration. You’ve had a similar impact and its an honor to see you commenting here.

  • Great stuff Clay! We’ve started referring LeadPages to many of our coaching clients… Please have somone reach out to me on this. 🙂

    Can’t wait to see what’s next!

    • Thank for sending people our way @michael_hellickson:disqus! I’ll ask someone to reach out to you.

  • Congrats on growing to such heights without getting too big for your britches. Love the way you keep it real, Clay.

    • Thanks @carolerusticartistrycom:disqus well, my britches are getting a little tight. I think I need to go on a diet. Hopefully I don’t need to go on an ego diet also.

  • Fabulous news! I’m new to LeadPages, but have been struggling with the fixed state of the templates. Am looking forward to all the newness–and to sharing it with others–in the New Year!

    • Awesome. I think you’ll find that our new builder is 5 years ahead of everyone else. It was build with technology that wasn’t even available 12 months ago. We’re looking forward to putting this in your hands.

  • Luke Aikman

    Really glad to hear the new builder is coming. It’s now a competitive space with strong peers; good luck taking the market by the balls (again).

    • Awesome. I think you’ll find that our new builder is 5 years ahead of everyone else. It was build with technology that wasn’t even available 12 months ago. We’re looking forward to putting this in your hands. Like I said before, we want to give you something that’s easier to user than SquareSpace, Wix, and Weebly, but with conversion-first design.

  • It saddens me that such a wonderfully designed platform is only web based, with no possibility to download software and be independent over time of agreements and possibilities of deleterious company changes. What ever happened to the good old days of software downloads?

    • Hi @donkarp:disqus. Thanks for the note. I don’t see any deleterious company changes. And things will be improving and the pace of innovation increasing.

  • Will Leadpages still use templates? I want to get into selling/designing templates for Leadpages but the new builder looks like it will make much of them obsolete. How’s that going to look like in the future?

    Anyway, congrats on all the success. You’re building one hell of a company.

    • Hi @robingeuens:disqus! Thanks for the note. The marketplace will continue on and be more relevant than ever. And I wouldn’t suggest holding back on new templates. You’ll still be able to sell them and I don’t believe that the new builder will at all make them obsolete. In fact, I believe the new builder will all more value to the tempaltes you’re selling and increase their value (as the value of the entire platform increases).

  • Kevin Cheng

    Clay – You’ve also done an excellent job in hiring some great people into LeadPages. Tim Paige (best webinar presenter out there, high integrity and never salesy), Bob Jenkins (I refer to the well-done courses by Bob regularly), Chris Davis (some of the clearest explanations on what to do in marketing automation) – they are not only highly knowledgeable in their respective areas, but they all know how to teach – and make concepts that can seem very complex simple. So, Clay, it’s not surprising to me that with awesome folks like these, you guys have grown so much so quickly. At some point, would you consider writing a post on how you recruit great employees, as that is something that currently I know so little about. Thanks, and best of luck on achieving your next milestones! And Happy Holidays!

    • Thanks for the kind words, Kevin. I think recruiting is pretty complex and multifaceted and I’m probably not that qualified to write a blog post about it. But there are plenty of people here who are. Factors include: (1) having an awesome vision to believe in, (2) being able to offer competitive compensation, (2) having a good culture and being a company that hires full-time employees (with benefits like insurance, etc.) (3) awesome coworkers to collaborate with, etc. I think the fundamentals are simple (but by no means easy). I agree with your kind words about our team. Our team is why we’ve grown so quickly. We’ve got the best in the business.

  • Jannie Langeveld

    Didn’t realize it is that long since you last appeared on the blog, but it is good to have you back, Clay. The impact LP had on my business has been amazing and my team and I are looking forward to experience the new direction. It has long been one of my motivations to empower people to do more than they think they can, and by providing a tool to provide a stimulus for new thinking and creativity is key. Thank you for not “muddling” with competing but setting and realizing your own life goals. Looking forward to the more… Blessings in all you do and a Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones.

    • @jannie @disqus_GYIAYTGrMD:disqus this comment really made my day (on Christmas no less). “Empowering people to do more than they think they can” is at the very heart of what we try to do so that means a lot to me. Thank you.

  • Tanner Clark Maxson

    Sounds like fun. I have some implementation time heading my way. Hope this new update is my new winter toy.

    • @tannerclarkmaxson:disqus I hope it’s your new winters toy also :-).

  • Warm holiday wishes Clay, and congrats on your awesome journey and continued success. Looking forward to the new drag and drop landing page builder, and most interested in the ability to add custom forms to collect secure data, and hopefully have the ability to log in and retrieve the data without having to use 3rd party apps like Survey Monkey or JotForm. Not talking about autoresponder connectivity for opt-ins, but more robust and customization data collection tools, perhaps even the ability to drop in an e-commerce “shopping cart” at some point. Yeah, another vote for ONE software to do the work of 10 others!

    • Lou! I think you’ll find that you’re data needs will be address. Probably not all of your needs addressed immediately. But many (if not all) addressed in the first half of the year. I really appreciate your feedback here. Please keep it coming.

  • Can’t wait and have so enjoyed the enhancements over the years. Have loved the journey since the Marketing show to today and can’t wait to see where you’ll be in 5 years.

    All the best and entrepreneurial successes ~ Mike

    • @SocialQuant:disqus thank you sincerely, Mike. Glad that you’ve enjoyed the product enhancements over the years. I believe we’ve laid down railroad tracks for 5Xing the rate of innovation and feature releases and I believe you’ll really enjoy what comes in 2016.

  • Ron Giunco

    YES! YES! YES!!! I can’t wait to use it – thank you very much! I just waited for this feature! 🙂

  • Due to many reasons, I’ve dropped the ball with Leadpages. But now looking forward to picking that ball back up. Thank you Clay. I always enjoyed your videos and inspirations.

    • Will be glad you see you back then, @disqus_mmAMDtJ2CI:disqus. We’re here to help.

  • I can’t wait to see what LeadPages has in store for 2016!

    Also, I’m so glad this is a Minneapolis-based company — the tech scene definitely benefits from LP’s presence!

    • @maplethorpej:disqus we miss you around here. Please come back and visit often.

  • Roman Bourquin

    “We decided to really invest in our office space and exclusively hiring locally.”

    could you detail this briefly, why locally? what are the direct benefits?

    • Higher bandwidth communication, mostly. Also, when you’re working THIS hard on something as a team, it’s difficult to have a situation where you spend much of your day (maybe 10+ hours/day) communicating with people virtually. It’s nice to have an in-person connection. It’s also important for culture and community. I think if you’ve got less than 50 people in your company it’s less important.

  • GreatSpeech.Co

    Congrats to you and the team, Clay.

    I’m just a London based solopreneur (with big dreams) and only really figured out the power of mailing list building this year. Yet everywhere I read or listened I was hearing about you guys. Ever since I took the time to properly get to grips with your product, I’ve loved it, and then the support, and education you provide on top is first class.

    My personal test for a business I buy into is actually not how great the product is, but how they respond to a problem or request for help. When I had trouble with a lead page with a bug on it, you guys responded really proactively and quickly.

    So, guess who is Number 1 app on my list of books, apps, blogs, videos every entrepreneur should know https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/15-books-11-apps-6-tips-3-podcasts-2-blogs-1-video-every-sonaike-6066746154337525760

    Look forward to the announcement.

    Onwards!

    • @greatspeechco:disqus oh hell yeah re: your LinkedIn article. Thanks so much for the shout out. Also, I’m so glad that email marketing is working out for you.

      • GreatSpeech.Co

        Thanks to you guys. Look forward to the announcement

  • Amy Fortney Parks

    I really wish I could get a hint! I just made an investment in a customer management system that I still have to use LeadPages with – I want everything to happen in/with my LeadPages since they are so gorgeous! I am very confused by my new system – which, although promoted as designed for small business – requires the work of at least 6 – 8 brains (outside of my small business) to get up and running! No fun! I am anxiously waiting for Part 2 and Part 3 of your blog series, Clay!

    • Thanks @amyfortneyparks:disqus ! I can’t wait to show you what we’ve been working on and hear your feedback.

  • Fresh, new, and innovative is surely a great start for the New Year & always a good thing for business.