Are you trying to sell stuff online?
Then I am sure you will agree that converting your visitors into sales is hard.
And getting yourself profitable? That’s even harder.
There is a simple secret to increasing the value of every customer you market to:
Sales funnels. Click Funnels For Beginners
By creating a well-designed sales funnel, you can dramatically boost your earnings and provide more value to your customers.
In this article, I’m going to introduce you to ClickFunnels, the application I am using to create sales funnels for my business.
You don’t need any technical know-how to use it, and it will truly change how you run your business.
If you are ready to throw yourself into the ClickFunnels world, it has one of the best affiliate programs out there. I will be speaking about that too later on.
What is ClickFunnels?
ClickFunnels was created back in 2014 by Russell Brunson and his group. Since that time, Russell has turned ClickFunnels to a $100 million per year company and they just crossed over 65,000 active members as of August 2018.
At its core, ClickFunnels is an application for building sales funnels. With a lot of additional bells and whistles.
You can use it to construct:
– Landing pages
– Squeeze pages
– Membership websites
– Every type of sales funnel you can think of, complete with order bumps, upsells and downsells
Basically, you’re getting all you need to market and sell your products online, without having to hire expensive developers.
And individuals are utilizing ClickFunnels with great success.
If you check out their 2 Comma Club website, you can see that almost 300 entrepreneurs have already created 1 million dollar funnels using ClickFunnels.
That is amazing.Click Funnels For Beginners
What are the best features of ClickFunnels?
Best Feature #1: Funnel template blueprints
In case you’ve never created a sales funnel before then ClickFunnels has you covered.
Russell has identified 22 distinct types of funnels that he has employed successfully in his own business.
The funnel types fall into 3 main classes: Lead Capture Funnels, Sales Page Funnels, and Event Funnels. But there are some other special funnels like Membership funnels you can create too.
They include simple funnels like the Squeeze Page Funnel which gathers a visitor’s email address and then sends them to a Thank you page when signing up.
Or to more sophisticated sales funnels such as the 2-Step TripWire Funnel which sells a low ticket front-end product (your tripwire) and then upsells them to your more expensive products using Order Form bumps, and One Click upsells or Downsells.
In addition, each funnel type has its own group of free templates and paid templates. So even if you don’t have any design skills, your funnel pages will all have a consistent, professional design.
Here’s a high-level summary of how to create your first sales funnel:
- Choose a funnel type.
- Select a template.
- Customize each page to fit your business.
- Add your products and ensure all your email and payment integrations are set up.
- Set a domain name for your new funnel.
- Save your funnel.
Your sales funnel is now live and you can start sending traffic to it. Click Funnels For Beginners
Best Feature #2: Good Visual Drag and Drop Editor
While ClickFunnels provides you a great starting point with its funnel and page templates, the ClickFunnels editor is the place you can truly make each page in your funnel your own.
Pages in ClickFunnels are laid out with sections that can have any number of columns and rows. You can then use your mouse to drag elements around and place them where you want them.
While not as adaptable as Instapage’s landing page editor, it is still quite nice and it can be used to achieve pretty much any design you desire.
What I like is that the editor is very intuitive to use.
Selecting elements on the page and transferring them where you want is quite seamless.
Text elements can be edited inline, and changing any element’s properties can be done via the fly-out sidebar.
And contrary to other editors on the market, everything is organized in a logical manner. You are not spending a great deal of time hunting for what you want to do.
The important thing is that no programming is needed. So you don’t need to spend time learning HTML or CSS or any technical things like that.
Best Feature #3: Nice Selection of Page Elements
Elements (or widgets) are all essential for providing you the flexibility to design the specific pages you woud like and ClickFunnels provides you a large array of them to use.
Fundamental elements comprise of Headline, Photo, Text, Button, Input forms and Video widgets. These are the fundamental building blocks for any landing page you build in the software.
ClickFunnels also includes a number of advanced components such as:
– SMS Signup
– Pricing Tables
– Progress Bars
– Facebook Comments
– FAQ Blocks
– Countdown Timers
– Custom HTML
Plus, there are specialized elements like Membership elements for your membership pages and order and shipping form elements for your order pages.
Each element can be easily customized from the editor sidebar. With most elements, you can change common properties such as background colors, margins, fonts, and alignment.
Then there are element specific properties like the image URL for the Image element or the Button text of your button.
Best Feature #4: The ClickFunnels Affiliate program is awesome
There is little doubt in my mind that ClickFunnels has the very best, legitimate affiliate marketing program which you can be a part of.
First the basics:
The ClickFunnels affiliate program pays out 40% recurring commissions for each referral you make and you can win cool prizes like $500 towards your very own dream car as soon as you reach 100 active referrals.
In addition to that, they offer 5%, 2-tier commissions for referring people to the ClickFunnels affiliate program.
And thanks to the ClickFunnel’s sticky cookie, you’ll also earn commissions on any upsells your referrals purchase as they go through their specific funnels too.
But that is not all:
ClickFunnels also has another excellent feature for affiliates called share funnels.
Within the Settings tab of any of your funnels, you can grab your Share Funnel URL.
Whenever someone visits this URL, they will be able to add this funnel directly into their account if they’re an existing ClickFunnels member. If they are not a member yet, they can sign up for the ClickFunnels 14-day free trial then get your funnel added to their account.
What’s really amazing is that this share URL also acts as your affiliate link, and you’ll get a recurring commission if this new user ends up staying on.
What I do not like about ClickFunnels?
Bad Part #1: Why is adding a funnel so slow?
After picking your funnel type and template, it needs to get added to your account.
For some reason, this procedure appears to take around 8-10 seconds each time.
While I really don’t know what is really going on behind the scenes, it does not make sense to me why this could take a long time. It is a bit annoying, although only a minor inconvenience.
Bad Part #2: Limits on funnels you can create and visitors
ClickFunnels limits you to 20 funnels, 100 pages, and 20,000 visitors in their lowest plan. I’m not a fan of software products that limit you in this manner.
If you’re just building sales funnels for yourself, these limitations are most likely okay.
However you may get more annoyed at such constraints if you’re doing client work, creating funnels for multiple customers or promoting ClickFunnels as an affiliate using share funnels.
You’ll need to upgrade to the Etison Suite plan if you want to develop infinite funnels.
Bad Part #3: Fairly High learning curve
The range of what ClickFunnels can do is pretty huge, and it can certainly be intimidating to some.
That’s why ClickFunnels put so much work into the onboarding process to help ease you into the program. The ClickFunnels interface is pretty well designed for the most part and once you’ve built a couple funnels yourself, the whole procedure does get easier over time.
Over time, ClickFunnels has evolved their pricing plans. In the beginning, they had 3 different pricing tiers, but they’ve now been consolidated into 2 separate plans.
How much is ClickFunnels now?
At the moment, the lowest priced ClickFunnels plan is $97 a month. On this plan, you get access to all of the funnel creation tools, but you are restricted to generating 20 funnels, 100 pages, and 20,000 visitors. You also don’t get access to Actionetics, their built-in email service provider and Backpack, which lets you make your own affiliate program.
To get access to that, you’ll need to go with the Etison Suite plan. It includes everything, and you receive unlimited funnels, pages, and visitors. However, this will run you $297 a month.
As far as I can tell, there aren’t any ClickFunnels coupon codes available. But, you can buy Funnel Hacks for $997 which provides you 6 months of Etison Suite for free and some additional bonuses. This brings the cost down to $166.16 a month.
ClickFunnels does make it easy for you to demo their service with their free, 14-day free trial. It is not limited in any way which lets you give the software a full test before you fully commit.
If $97 or $297 a month seems like too big a commitment for your present budget, there is also a semi-secret, unadvertised Share Funnel plan which you can also have access to for just $19 a month. You can only create 3 funnels and 10 pages with this plan, but it’s a great way to test out ClickFunnels on a budget.
Everything else you need to know about ClickFunnels
How is their support?
ClickFunnels support is quite good in my experience, although they can be a little slow in responding. They utilize Intercom, so you may immediately ask questions in the live chat box. Support requests are usually answered in a few hours and I found the staff to fairly helpful to all my questions.
Do I need my own domain? Click Funnels For Beginners
You do not necessarily need your own domain name to launch a funnel, although I would recommend it. If you do not have one then your funnel URL will look something similar to http://username.clickfunnels.com.
One nice bonus that I didn’t know about is that ClickFunnels will buy you your first domain name for free and even install SSL on it for you. You can learn how to do this from the very first game in the onboarding training.
Do they have an active community?
Both groups are extremely active and it is an excellent place to get feedback on your own sales funnels and answer any questions you may have.
There are also several other FB groups run by ClickFunnels affiliates which are also quite active. The main one I recommend joining is Automation Nation. It’s run by Spencer Mecham who is ClickFunnel’s top affiliate.
What integrations do they provide?
Even though ClickFunnels has its own email service provider via Actionetics, it also integrates directly with the best email marketing software out there.
For payment gateways, ClickFunnels integrates with Stripe, Paypal, Clickbank, Infusionsoft, Authorize.net, and a couple of others. The one constraint with using Paypal though is that it does not support One Click Upsells or One Time Offers. That is the reason why I would highly recommend going with Stripe if you’re able to.
What’s the Funnel Hacks system?
If you are looking to get the $297/mo. Etison Suite plan, then it is definitely worth it to join with Funnel Hacks instead to save some additional money. For $997, you’ll get six months of the Etison Suite plan which is $1,782 in value.
You will also get a lot of additional bonuses and training that include:
– 6 Week Funnel Hacks Master Class ($2,997 value)
– Instant Traffic Hacks ($1,997 value)
– Inception Secrets ($1,997 value)
– SOAP & Seinfeld Email Sequences ($997 value)
Is ClickFunnels a scam?
I believe ClickFunnels gets some negative buzz around it due to all the affiliates that are making an effort to promote it.
However, no, ClickFunnels isn’t a scam. It is certainly the real deal.
It’s a great software with an amazing affiliate opportunity. So many people are using ClickFunnels to build 6 and 7 figure businesses.
It’s a fantastic software with an amazing affiliate opportunity. So many people are utilizing ClickFunnels to build 6 and 7 figure companies.
When people ask, “How do I create a sales funnel”, ClickFunnels is the #1 answer hands down. There is no other software that can do every thing that ClickFunnels does at the moment.
What else is ClickFunnels used for?
Besides building standard sales funnels, there are many ways marketers are using ClickFunnels at the moment in their business.
It is terrific for creating opt-in funnels to help you generate more prospects and build your email list.
You are able to produce webinar funnels to help you develop your brand and promote your products and services.
And you can use it to create membership sites where you can gate your premium content so that it is accessible only to subscribers.
How can you make ClickFunnels work for you? Click Funnels For Beginners
To start with, you need to have a product or service to market. If you don’t have something to market, then don’t even bother looking into ClickFunnels before you do. Unless you just want to promote it as an affiliate.
Next, you need to be willing to commit time and money into creating your value ladder and constructing your entire sales funnel.
That means at least creating a lead magnet or low-cost tripwire product to get customers or clients into your funnel. And coming up with appropriate upsells, order bumps and other OTOs that match or enhance your main product offering.
If you’re unclear how to being, I’d take a look at Russell’s very own multi-million dollar sales funnels to provide you with inspiration. Read his book DotComSecrets where he describes precisely the why and how of creating sales funnels and how to tell stories to marketing your services and products.
And as you go through his own sales funnels yourself you can see how he goes from low-cost tripwire (DotComSecrets) into promoting his flagship product (ClickFunnels).
By creating his very own community of raving fans he can then upsell his various different products and events like Funnel Scripts, Funnel Hackers Live, and more.
As soon as you’ve gone through his funnels, then you can take the parts that are applicable to your own company and create a strategy for your sales funnel. As soon as you have that in place, you will be prepared to start making money with ClickFunnels.
ClickFunnels versus the competition
There are a couple of ClickFunnels alternatives out there which share some of the same capabilities as ClickFunnels. Two that I use myself are LeadPages and SamCart.
ClickFunnels vs LeadPages
Today, LeadPages is one of the market leaders in the landing page builder space and it’s a very popular tool in its own right.
It also recently introduced the capability to sell products directly on their pages with its new Checkout widget
Each product features a large selection of nice looking templates. Both have drag and drop editors that make it easy for you to build the designs you desire. And both integrate with the popular email service providers.
Leadpages is more limited in scope than ClickFunnels. You use it to create landing pages that can allow you to collect prospects. This is not a terrible thing since LeadPages really shines for building landing pages fast.
Right now, one of the most effective strategies for growing your email list is using content upgrades. By producing targeted lead magnets into your most well-known articles you can get opt-in conversion rates that far exceed your standard pop-up.
LeadPages is the best service for implementing this strategy with its LeadBoxes, 2 step opt-ins, and automated lead magnet delivery which is why they are the most popular popup you’ll see now.
Therefore, if you’re primarily concentrated on lead generation, I’d definitely suggest trying out LeadPages.
However, if you are selling a product or service, then ClickFunnels is the better choice. While it comes with a higher learning curve than Leadpages, once you master the tool, you can really explode your sales once you start creating sales funnels for each of your products.
However, if you’re selling a product or service, then ClickFunnels is the better alternative . While it comes with a higher learning curve than Leadpages, once you master the tool, you can definitely explode your earnings once you start generating sales funnels for each of your products.
ClickFunnels vs SamCart
SamCart is a product that lets users create beautiful, high converting checkout pages. Which gives it a whole lot in common with ClickFunnels.
SamCart is targeted towards getting set up and selling fast. It supports both Stripe and Paypal and it includes 17 different checkout page templates that you can customize.
In terms of flexibility, there’s absolutely not any comparison between ClickFunnel’s drag and drop editor and SamCart’s.
ClickFunnels is infinitely more powerful in that you’ll be able to design any checkout page you can dream about. SamCart only allows for some basic customizations to its pre-made templates.
SamCart does allow you to add order bumps, upsells and downsells like ClickFunnels does. You can also quickly create coupons for your products which is another great way to increase conversions.
However, where Samcart is lacking, is the capability to capture leads and build complete sales funnels. The products come in at the same $97 per month price point, and I find ClickFunnels to be quite a bit more flexible and more powerful compared to Samcart.
– Best software for creating marketing and sales funnels
– Editor balances ease of use with flexibility
– Integrates with all major email and payment providers
– Beautiful looking templates for each type of funnel
– Great on-boarding procedure for learning the software
– Software continues to get better after every update
– Readily share any funnels you create and automatically earn affiliate commissions
– 2-tier affiliate program
– Free domain name with SSL set up
– 14-day free trial
– Limitations on the number of funnels, pages, and visitors with the standard plan
– Lots of things to learn, a steep learning curve
– Split testing is pretty basic
Final Thoughts Click Funnels For Beginners
Which application you go with depends on your requirements and the amount of work you’re willing to invest in your enterprise.
Although a lot of you are selling standalone products, are you willing to put in the effort necessary to make a high converting sales funnel?
Otherwise, ClickFunnels might be overkill for you. You can collect leads or market your front end product more cheaply with alternative services.
But if raising the average lifetime value of your customers is important to you, then I truly suggest giving ClickFunnels a try.
Not just to get access to the software but also since the coaching you get will probably be both inspiring and enlightening.
Take advantage of the ClickFunnels 14-day free trial, and see if you can use it to increase your business today.