Back in January 2015, Marketo released the feature to create mobile friendly landing pages. This feature offered the option to auto-generate mobile-friendly versions of your existing landing pages. With May 2015 release, Marketo has upgraded this feature to a more robust and flexible version. Marketo has released a new landing page editor mode and template syntax, which offers a structured editing experience for fully responsive landing pages.
The New Guided Landing Page Templates
In this release, Marketo allows users to create guided landing page templates.
To start building a new guided LP template, you will have to define all the page elements within the template. The coding of the template can be done only by a developer who is well versed with HTML and Bootstrap. Every element that you want to see on your responsive landing page needs to be included in the template and then edited with the LP. Unlike the free-form editor, you cannot drag and drop new elements in the landing page.
Additionally, the new editor allows you to add variables within the template for any element. You have a special syntax that is used to define the customizable objects and where content will end up on each landing page built from your template. Only the variables (string, color and boolean) you specify as editable will be available for customization within the “guided” landing page editor.
The two ways to declare the editable objects on your page – you can either acknowledge an object as an “element” so that the landing page creator is able to add images, text, and Marketo assets into those specified regions or acknowledge a string as a “variable” so that the landing page creator is able to replace that variable with a string, color, or boolean state from a true/false lever. This would help you edit colors and content in the landing page editor before you publish a page.
Here are some FAQ’s that might be helpful before you start building guided templates:
- Is there a way to convert an existing free-form template to the guided template?
No, you will have to build the guided template from the scratch. You would need support from a developer to do so.
- Are guided templates complex to use?
Guided templates coding can be complex depending on the design of the landing page. However, once you have created landing page using guided template, it is fairly easy to edit that unlike free-form editor for responsive landing pages. All element variables can be easily customized with guided template editor.
- Can I add any new elements for a specific landing page built using guided templates?
No, you cannot add any element in the landing page editor. If you need a new element, you will have to create a separate template or edit an existing template. We would not recommend editing existing template, since you will have to go back and approve all landing pages using that template.
- What are the Editable Elements in the landing page?
Editable elements include text boxes, images, forms, video, referrals, sweepstakes, and HTML script. You need to define the elements that you want to use in your landing page at template level. There is no way to add them directly on the landing page.
- What are editable variables in the landing page?
Editable variables allow marketing users who don’t have to be a developer, to customize their landing page. Currently, there are three types of editable variables – string, boolean and color.
- How can I use editable variables on my landing page?
- Color: You can ask your developer to add color variable to different elements on your landing page. This may include background color, text color or button color etc. In the LP, you have the freedom to select an element and add a new six digit hex color code to modify it.
- Boolean: It’s like a knob to turn on or off elements. With boolean variable, you have the power to hide or display any existing element on your page. So, if you have elements in the footer like testimonials or logos, and you want to hide them, you can simply hide them on the LP using variables.
- String: The most powerful variable when building the landing page. It is like a script token, which you can add on your landing page. As an example, if you want to add Adwords Conversion Code on your landing page, you can simply edit this variable and add the code.
- Do we need to create more landing page templates to build different landing pages?
Yes. With free-form editor, you had the flexibility to build a single template, and then use it to create registration pages, thanks pages, and other content pages. But, with guided template, you will have to create a separate set of templates for each type of landing page you want to build.
- Do I need a developer for building guided templates and maintaining them?
Yes. You would need a developer to build guided templates. Also, at a later stage, if you want to add new elements, you would need a developer who can edit them and update as per your requirement.
- What if I decide to keep using old free-form landing page editor?Marketo has not said anything about removal of free-form editor yet. You can continue to keep using Free-form editor. The biggest disadvantage of using free-form editor for responsive landing pages is its non-user-friendly editor mode for making changes in your responsive landing page. However, with free-form editor, all your landing pages will use a single template, you don’t have to worry about creating multiple templates and maintain them.
- How many guided landing page templates is Marketo offering?Currently, Marketo is offering 6 guided landing page templates here. It plans to offer more in coming few weeks. If you still need to get a responsive guided landing page to match your web branding scheme, you will have to code them from scratch and these pre-built templates would not be of much help.
To summarize, Marketo has taken a big step by introducing guided template editor. This would certainly make it easier for marketers to edit responsive landing pages. However, you would still need developer support to build them and maintain them. Responsive layout using the new guided template or free-form editor remains the same for landing pages. Feel free to reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org to know more about custom guided landing page templates.