This post contains affiliate links that I could make commission off of. All opinions are my own.
If you’ve been in the blogging world for any amount of time, you know Leadpages is a big friggen’ deal. But it’s got an equally big friggen’ cost to it.
And really, when your blog is just a hobby or isn’t quite making money yet, who can afford $37 per month just on one program? Ain’t nobody got money for that!
So I was super pumped to discover that the lovely Marianne of Design Your Own (Lovely) Blog came up with a FREE way to create fake Leadpages! The only downside: you had to use ConvertKit to get the Leadpage-esque popups. At $29 per month, ConvertKit isn’t exactly in my budget either.
Luckily, after some research, I found out how to create similar popups for a whopping $21 total. That’s a one-time payment of $21 to create infinite fake Leadpages landing pages, popups, and thank you pages, as opposed to $37 for one month’s worth. Yes please!
Want to find out how? Let’s get started!
Project 1: Fake Leadpages Thank You Page
It seems weird to start with the last page they’ll see, right? But it makes sense, trust me.
For the tutorial on the thank you pages using the Parallax Gravity plugin, head over to Design Your Own (Lovely) Blog, where Marianne will hook you up!
Then come back for the Mailchimp portion. I’ll wait.
cue Jeopardy music
Done? Great! Let’s make a popup for Mailchimp.
Project 2: Popup Email Subscription Boxes
So far so good, right? Free plugin, relatively easy setup.
Now we have to spend a little bit of money. Let’s get to it!
Step 1: Purchase, Download, & Install Layered Popups for WordPress
You’ll want to head over to CodeCanyon and download the Layered Popups for WordPress Plugin. It’s $19, but unless you have Envato Market credits ($20 increments), there’s a $2 service charge. So you can either make a deposit of $20 into your account and have $1 to spend later, or you can pay $21 on Paypal and not have the $1 looming over you.
Totally up to you.
Note: DO NOT PURCHASE the $15 Layered Popups option. It seems super tempting to save $4, but it’s not configured as a WordPress Plugin. Only purchase the $19 Layered Popups for WordPress Plugin.
Once you purchase it, you’ll be able to download the file. Don’t unzip it—simply go to your WordPress Dashboard and navigate Plugins > Add New > Upload Plugin (in the top left of the Add New page). Here is where you’ll upload the .zip file you downloaded from CodeCanyon.
Once it’s uploaded, activate it and we’ll be good to go!
Another Note: If you plan on having a lot of popups (I have 59 and counting…), go to Layered Popups > Settings and scroll down to the Misc. section. You’ll want to check the “Do not pre-load popups” box, otherwise the plugin may slow down your website.
Step 2: Design Your Fake Leadpages Popup
After it’s activated, you’ll see a new option on the left side of your WordPress backend called Layered Popups (it’s got a gear icon next to it).
Click on it and go to the Popups page. You’ll see a slew of popup options that are all marked as “BLOCKED.” That’s just to prevent 50 different popups from appearing on your homepage at once. To preview the popup, click on the first icon in the righthand column.
I recommend sticking with the Subscription Form Popup options, because that’s what we want included in our popup.
If you see one you like, great! Click on the second icon to edit it. Otherwise, you’re welcome to create one from scratch (which is what I did).
One of the main selling points of Layered Popups is the animation capabilities, meaning different elements can “swoop” in on the page. I wanted fake Leadpages, though, and they don’t have animation. I just wanted everything to appear at once, so I made sure to change all of the Animation settings to:
Animation: Fade In
Duration: 0 ms
Start delay: 0ms
P.S. Want to get all of the settings you’ll need to use to make your popup look like Leadpages? Download the cheat sheet below!
Step 3: Configure Your Fake Leadpages Popup
Once you’ve got your popup looking like you want it, we’ll have to configure it correctly.
On the same page as your popup preview, scroll down until you find Redirect URL:. It’s one of the very last setting options at the bottom of the page.
This is where you’ll paste in your thank you page for your content upgrade that you made with Marianne. (That’s why you make it first! Then you’ve got the link good to go.)
Next you’ll go to the top of the page and go to Integration. Here’s where you’ll link the popup to your Mailchimp account.
Check the box saying you want to submit the contact details to Mailchimp so it all goes seamlessly into your account. No manual imports or exports required!
You’ll then need to get your API Key from Mailchimp. Simply go to your profile, then navigate to Extras > API Keys.
On the API Keys page, simply click “Create a Key” and copy and paste the code into the Mailchimp API Key space in Layered Popups. I also recommend labeling the API Key in Mailchimp so everything stays organized.
Once you enter your API Key, choose the appropriate email list from the drop-down menu.Don't have the budget for Leadpages? No problem! Here's how to create fake ones!Click To Tweet
Step 4: Deliver the Content Upgrade
The next step can be done a few different ways, depending on how your Mailchimp account is set up. I pay $9/mo for automation, so I use Groups within my list to trigger emails with the content upgrades in them. But that’s another topic for another day.
Conversely, if you didn’t want to pay for automation (I hear ya!), you could simply have them join your email list and include a link to the content upgrade on your thank you page. They’ll be redirected to the page anyway, so you could easily include a link to the content upgrade right from there. Easy peasy!
Depending on what you do, set up your Mailchimp integration appropriately. I check the corresponding Groups box, but you might not have to depending on how you choose to deliver your content upgrade. (See how I deliver my content upgrades in this tutorial!)
Once you’re done, click Save Popup Details at the bottom of the page!
Step 5: Link to the Fake Leadpages Popup in Your Post
Now that we’ve got your popup all set, it’s time to link to it in your post!
There are two main ways you could do this: create a button with HTML or link an image. I personally like linking an image, because I want to show off the content upgrade they’ll be getting if they subscribe. It’s more enticing that way!
No matter which way you set it up, you’ll want to link to the popup. To do this, simply link to #ulp-POPUPID (yes, you want to include the hashtag at the beginning). To find your popup ID, go to the Popups page of the plugin. It’s the jumbled mess of letters and numbers in the ID column.
Once you create that link, hit save / publish and you’re good to go!
Project 3: Fake Leadpages Landing Page
Conversely, if you don’t want to link to the content upgrade in a blog post, you can create a landing page for your optin. (You could also do both if you wanted!)
For the full tutorial on how to create a landing page, go back to Marianne’s tutorial and she’ll walk you through it!
Just remember, instead of using ConvertKit for the button link, use the Layered Popups link of #ulp-POPUPID!
Whew, that was a big tutorial. Are you excited? Get cracking on those fake Leadpages!
And don’t forget to pick up the cheat sheet with all of the settings to make your popup look just like Leadpages!
Hey—want some one-on-one help getting this set up? Book a 20-minute consultation and we can work through it via video chat!