LeadPages Swiftly Evolves its Lead-Generation Platform with Google App Engine
Founded in 2013, LeadPages helps businesses add lead-generation tools to their websites to increase sales. The simple software has helped businesses grow large and devoted audiences by creating landing pages, pop-up windows and subscriber opt-in links.
The LeadPages team needed a platform to build its software and apps that was high quality and cost effective, without requiring them to manage servers or invest in IT staff dedicating to managing the data. LeadPages used to store its data across a number of data storage mechanisms, but recognized the need to store billions of data points in a more organized, central way. The team also wanted to pull metrics from the billions of data points, including customers’ webpages, images, embed scripts, videos and other assets, from tens of thousands of customers.
After evaluating multiple cloud platforms, the team chose Google App Engine and Google Cloud Storage, finding both had more efficient cost and better features. LeadPages launched its software after only two months of development due to App Engine’s ease of use and speed. Initially, when LeadPages had about 10,000 users, their monthly App Engine bill was less than a quarter of what it would have been with a different solution. And, the team didn’t need to hire a DevOps employee with a six-figure salary to manage their infrastructure.
“We had billions of dollars’ worth of Google infrastructure at our fingertips at a very minimal cost,” said Clay Collins, CEO of LeadPages.
LeadPages harnesses insights from data to, for example, compare success rates across different types of lead-generation tools. One way the company uses data-driven insights is by helping their customer, a real estate agency, discover which webinar signup pages outperform others in the industry by tapping into insights from thousands of other businesses.
LeadPage’s customers really care about the performance of their landing pages-- in fact, slow performance can hurt conversion rates. When you can speed up a page load by just one second, conversion rates go up by 7%. LeadPages saw speeds increase by as much as 56% when using Google, even before conducting any optimization of their servers.
“With LeadPages hosted on the same infrastructure that Google uses for its own websites and network, our customers don’t worry about our reliability,” Collins said.
When customers request new features, the LeadPages team must test the features before rolling them out. This process would ordinarily require extensive setup, but with App Engine, the setup is taken care of, enabling the team to focus on testing and delivering better features.
In addition to App Engine, LeadPages uses Google Cloud Storage extensively. With Cloud Storage, the team can affordably store data that might help guide their customers in future lead generation efforts. LeadPages stores about 11GB of data every week, which can increase demand on infrastructure. Not only does Cloud Storage scale to meet their storage needs, it also provides great options on how to store and distribute these files – including page revision history and image storage. Instead of just storing the changes a customer makes to a page, LeadPages stores revisions of those pages. This enables their users to look through their history and pull up older copy and campaigns they ran in the past.
Additionally, customers can create templates for landing pages and sell them in LeadPages’ marketplace, which multiplies the customers’ storage needs. Each customer is sharing an exponential amount of variations for each page, and LeadPages must keep track of each page variation to provide statistics on the usage. For example, if a customer makes 5 pages, saves each one 5 times and split-tests 5 variations, that means LeadPages is saving 125 versions. “Being a startup and using App Engine lets us focus on getting the marketplace feature out the door instead of worrying about how much money we have to spend upfront to support this feature during launch,” Collins said.
App Engine and Cloud Storage give the LeadPages team the speed that leads to an increase in conversion rates and the ease of use to improve the customer experience and scale as the business grows.