Creating templates is a team effort.
It really is. Rare is the person that can code, design and write copy for a template. Since those people are few and far between, the creation of a template generally goes through at least two people (if not more).
Today, we want to highlight a silent force in the LeadPages Marketplace. Sarah Chaussee — creator of the Unsubscribe Recapture Template — has helped design nine different templates in the Marketplace. Her design and UX/UI contributions have accounted for 370 overall template sales between the nine templates, second only to Travis Moore in terms of templates sold.
This week, Sarah shares with us the most revealing behind-the-scenes process for template creation we’ve ever seen, template design secrets for success and the potential future of a hot web design trend in the Marketplace.
Enjoy this new edition of the Author Spotlight!
1) Why did you decide to create a template for the LeadPages Marketplace?
I wanted to create designs for LeadPages customers that were different from the ones that were currently offered, and of course, earn extra money.
2) You collaborate with multiple teams to help design templates. What are some of those templates and why did you help create them?
Real Estate Landing Page and Home Page Templates: I partnered with Kayla Sawtelle and Jeff Wenberg to create pages specific to the Real Estate industry. We saw an opportunity to supply niche templates to a large part of LeadPages customer base.
Agency Minisite Template: I partnered with Scott Silvi to create a page that other template authors or agencies could use to market their LeadPages Templates they have for sale. It was designed to be versatile, with several differently laid out sections that a variety of people could use to meet their specific content needs. Again, we saw a need for a template like this. And it also helps make it easier for more authors to have success selling their templates in the Marketplace.
Unsubscribe Recapture Template: I created the Unsubscribe Recapture Template because I once saw a blog using a similar page, and it really struck me as a friendly was to prompt the user to not unsubscribe completely. Maybe the user’s inbox is flooded and they don’t need another email newsletter, but they like to see updates from you in their Facebook feed.
This is one way to continue to reach your audience if they decide an email newsletter is not right for them. And it’s such an easy page to add to your website, you can even ask them to adjust their email frequency (something that is easy to integrate in from your Email Service Provider).
3) How did you create your template? Did you collaborate with any designers or coders?
I have created templates on my own, from concept through to development, but I’ve found that some of the best selling templates come from working with a team of people.
When working with a team, I would first connect with some marketing experts and discuss what kind of templates are missing from the LeadPages platform, what kind of customers are not being catered to, and where gaps in the template offerings are. Once the target audience was determined, we would narrow down what kind of template would be most appealing and beneficial to them.
The next step was to figure out what content we wanted in the template. Figuring out what content will be there dictates a lot for the design process and should be the first step before laying anything out. From there the fun begins. I would look around at current design trends, what was working in the world of designing for conversion (the LeadPages™ Blog is a great place to find info on what get’s users to convert), what designs are characteristic of the target audience’s industry, and what design choices would set the template apart in the marketplace. Then I would design a template that was functional, easy to use, and looked sharp.
The next step was to develop the template, this sometimes brought in a third member to the team. The developer would work their magic and develop the template to load fast, be easy to customize, and work well across all browsers and devices. Once the template was thoroughly tested, it would be uploaded the Marketplace. We watched to see how customers reacted to it, if they liked it, asked for further enhancements, or just plain ignored it.
It is important to not stop there. We would blog, tweet, and post about our template. We sometimes would create a video showing customers how they could use it. We would answer every question in the comments section, and continue to monitor the comments and tweak the template according to feedback. We figured the template was a success when we came across people using it in the wild, and the pages looked fantastic! Even when people were able to use it for a completely different purpose than we intended, and it still looked amazing. And with LeadPages™ measuring the conversion rate of the template, we could also see that the template was generating new leads and business for the people using it.
4) What are some ways marketers can use your template(s)? Any “special features” first time users should be sure to take advantage of?
One of the templates I designed was the first to include a map embed feature, perfect for highlighting the location of a business or real estate listing. Another template added descriptions animation hover states. In another one, we figured out how to integrate purchase buttons with Paypal. There are more feature ideas in the works and I’m excited to try them out on the next templates.
5) What are the best pieces of advice you could give to someone thinking about creating a template?
I’ve got two bits of advice. First, do research and find the audience you want to reach before doing anything else. Find the gap in the template offerings and provide something that isn’t there yet.
Second, don’t be afraid to partner up with others to create and build a template. You don’t have to have the skills of a marketer, designer, AND developer to be part of the LeadPages™ Marketplace.
6) What’s one kind of template you’re dying to see added to the Marketplace?
I’m dying to see more and more complex templates in the marketplace. Ones that have moving parts, parallax, animations, and mobile optimized features. Things that push the boundaries of what the LeadPages™ builder is able to do.
7) Do you have any other Marketplace template ideas in the works?
Oh yes. There’s a spreadsheet 🙂
8) Are you using LeadPages in your business right now? If so, how are you using it?
My own Unsubscribe Recapture template. I set up a LeadPage™ using it to offer a download with additional social media icons people could use with the template.
9) And finally, what kind of success have you seen from selling templates in the Marketplace?
It’s been great having a steady trickle of extra income continually coming in. All in all, I’ve been a part of 370 total template sales (as of this writing). It’s not enough to quit my day job and go live on the beach (yet), but the effort to create the templates has definitely been worth it.
And that wraps up this edition of the Author Spotlight! Don’t forget to check out Sarah’s Marketplace template:
To see the nine templates she’s designed for, click on the author collections below:
If you want to see more templates like these, be sure to visit the entire LeadPages™ Marketplace for some of the best landing pages templates you’ll ever see. Check back on the blog every Wednesday for more posts from the Marketplace, as we’ll be featuring more interviews, templates and a few other surprises.