Are you currently trying to sell stuff online?
I’m sure you will agree that converting your visitors into revenue is hard.
And getting yourself profitable? That’s even tougher.
There is a simple secret to raising the value of each customer you sell to:
Sales funnels. Clickfunnels And Shipstation
By producing a well-designed sales funnel, you can dramatically increase your sales and provide more value to your customers.
In this post, I’m going to present you to ClickFunnels, the software I am using to create sales funnels for my business.
You do not need any technical know-how to utilize this, and it will truly change the way you run your business.
If you’re prepared to throw yourself into the ClickFunnels world, it has one of the best affiliate programs on the market. 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 into a $100 million a year business and they just crossed over 65,000 active members as of August 2018.
In its core, ClickFunnels is an application for constructing sales funnels. With a lot of added bells and whistles.
You can use it to build:
– Landing pages
– Squeeze pages
– Membership sites
– Every kind of sales funnel you can think of, complete with order bumps, upsells and downsells
Additionally, with the highest end Etison Suite package you will even have the ability to start your own affiliate program (Backpack) and change out your email service with (Actionetics MD).
Essentially, you’re getting everything you need to advertise and sell your products online, without having to hire expensive programmers.
And people 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 utilizing ClickFunnels.
That’s amazing.Clickfunnels And Shipstation
What are the best parts 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 different forms of funnels that he has used successfully in his own business.
The funnel forms 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 as well.
They include simple funnels such as 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 with Order Form bumps, and One Click upsells or Downsells.
In addition, every funnel type has its own set 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. Clickfunnels And Shipstation
Best Feature #2: Good Visual Drag and Drop Editor
While ClickFunnels provides you a wonderful starting point with its funnel and page templates, the ClickFunnels editor is the place you can actually make each page in your funnel your own.
Pages in ClickFunnels are laid out using sections that can have any number of columns and rows. After that you can use your mouse to drag elements around and put them where you need them.
While not as flexible as Instapage’s landing page editor, it is still very nice and it can be used to achieve just about any design you want.
What I like is that the editor is very intuitive to use.
Selecting elements on the page and moving them where you want is quite seamless.
Text elements can be edited inline, and changing any element’s properties can be done through the fly-out sidebar.
And contrary to other editors on the market, everything is organized in a logical way. You are not spending a lot of time hunting for what you want to do.
The main thing is that no coding is required. So you don’t need to spend time studying HTML or CSS or any technical things like that.
Best Feature #3: Nice Selection of Page Elements
Elements (or widgets) are essential for providing you the flexibility to design the exact pages you want and ClickFunnels gives you a large variety of them to use.
Fundamental elements include Headline, Photo, Text, Button, Input types and Video widgets. These are the fundamental building blocks for any landing page that you construct in the software.
ClickFunnels also includes a number of advanced components like:
– SMS Signup
– Pricing Tables
– Progress Bars
– Facebook Comments
– FAQ Blocks
– Countdown Timers
– Custom HTML
Plus, there are specialized elements like Membership elements for your own 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 alter common properties such as background colors, margins, fonts, and orientation.
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 no doubt in my mind that ClickFunnels has the best, legitimate affiliate marketing program that you can be a part of.
First the Fundamentals:
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 once you reach 100 active referrals.
On top of that, they offer 5%, 2-tier commissions for referring people to the ClickFunnels affiliate program.
In addition you earn 40% commissions by promoting any product in the ClickFunnel’s ecosystem including DotCom Secrets, Expert Secrets or even the Software Secrets books.
And thanks to the ClickFunnel’s sticky cookie, you will also earn commissions on any upsells that your referrals purchase as they go through their specific funnels too.
That’s not all:
ClickFunnels also has another excellent feature for affiliates known as share funnels.
Inside 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 and then get your funnel added to their accounts.
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.
What I don’t like about ClickFunnels?
Bad Part #1: Why is adding a funnel so slow?
After choosing your funnel type and template, it needs to get added to your account.
For some reason, this process appears to take approximately 8-10 seconds every time.
While I don’t understand what’s really going on behind the scenes, it does not make sense to me why this could take so long. It’s somewhat annoying, although only a minor annoyance.
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 cheapest plan. I am not a fan of software products which restrict you in this manner.
If you’re just building sales funnels for yourself, these limitations are most likely okay.
But you may get more annoyed at these constraints if you’re doing client work, creating funnels for multiple customers or promoting ClickFunnels as an affiliate with share funnels.
You will want to upgrade to the Etison Suite plan if you want to build 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 fairely well designed for the most part and once you’ve assembled a few funnels yourself, the whole process does get easier over time.
Over time, ClickFunnels has evolved their pricing plans. Initially, they had 3 different pricing tiers, but they have now been merged into 2 separate plans.
So how much is ClickFunnels now?
Currently, 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 create your own affiliate program.
To gain access to that, you’ll need to go with the Etison Suite plan. It features everything, plus 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. However, you can purchase Funnel Hacks for $997 which provides you 6 months of Etison Suite for free plus some additional bonuses. This brings down the cost to $166.16 a month.
ClickFunnels does make it easy for you to demo their service with their free, 14-day free trial. It’s not constrained whatsoever which lets you give the software a complete evaluation before you fully commit.
If $97 or $297 a month sounds like too big a commitment for your current budget, there is also a semi-secret, unadvertised Share Funnel plan that you can also have access to for only $19 a month. You can only produce 3 funnels and 10 pages with this plan, but it’s a great way to test out ClickFunnels on a budget.
Everything else you should know about ClickFunnels
How is their support?
ClickFunnels support is quite good in my experience, although they can be somewhat slow in responding. They use 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 queries.
Do I need my own domain name? Clickfunnels And Shipstation
You do not necessarily need your own domain name to launch a funnel, although I would advise it. If you don’t have one then your funnel URL will look something like http://username.clickfunnels.com.
One nice bonus I didn’t know about is that ClickFunnels will get you your first domain name for free and even set up SSL on it for you. You can learn how to do this from the first game in the onboarding training.
Do they have an active community?
ClickFunnels has an enormous community. There’s the official group on FB with over 100k members as well as the ClickFunnels Avengers FB group (for affiliates) that has over 30k members.
Both groups are extremely active and it’s a great place to get opinions on your own sales funnels and answer any questions that you might have.
Additionally, there are other FB groups run by ClickFunnels affiliates that are also very active. The main one I suggest joining is Automation Nation. It is run by Spencer Mecham who is ClickFunnel’s top affiliate.
What integrations do they offer?
Even though ClickFunnels has its own email service provider via Actionetics, it also integrates directly with the best email marketing software on the market.
For payment gateways, ClickFunnels integrates with Stripe, Paypal, Clickbank, Infusionsoft, Authorize.net, and a couple of others. The one limitation with using Paypal though is that it does not support One Click Upsells or One Time Offers. That is the reason why I would strongly suggest going with Stripe if you can.
What is the Funnel Hacks system?
If you’re looking to get the $297/mo. Etison Suite plan, then it is definitely well worth it to sign up 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’ll 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 think ClickFunnels has some negative buzz around it due to all of the affiliates who are trying to market it.
But 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 is a software with an amazing affiliate opportunity. So many people are using ClickFunnels to construct 6 and 7 figure companies.
When people ask, “How do I create a sales funnel”, ClickFunnels is the #1 response hands down. There is no other software that can do everything that ClickFunnels does at the moment.
What else is ClickFunnels used for?
Besides creating standard sales funnels, there are plenty of ways marketers are using ClickFunnels right now in their business.
It is terrific for creating opt-in funnels that will help you generate more leads and build your email list.
You can create webinar funnels to help you grow your brand and sell your products and services.
And you can use it to create membership sites where you can gate your premium content so that it’s accessible only to subscribers.
How can you make ClickFunnels work for you? Clickfunnels And Shipstation
First of all, you need to have a product or service to sell. If you don’t have something to sell, then do not even bother looking into ClickFunnels before you do. Unless you only want to market it as an affiliate.
Next, you have to be ready to invest time and money into creating your value ladder and building out your entire sales funnel.
That means creating a lead magnet or low-cost tripwire product to get clients or customers into your funnel. And then coming up with proper upsells, order bumps and other OTOs that match or enhance your principal product offering.
If you’re unclear how to start, I’d have a look at Russell’s own multi-million dollar sales funnels to give you inspiration. Read his book DotComSecrets where he explains exactly the why and how of building sales funnels and how to tell stories to marketing your services and products.
And as you go through his own sales funnels 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 much more.
As soon as you’ve gone through his funnels, then you can take the components that apply to your own company and create a strategy for your sales funnel. As soon as you have that in place, you’ll be ready 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 really popular tool in its own right.
It also recently added the capability to sell products directly on their pages using its new Checkout widget
Each product features a huge selection of nice looking templates. Both have drag and drop editors which make it effortless for you to create the designs you want. And both integrate with the popular email service providers.
But, Leadpages is significantly more limited in scope compared to ClickFunnels. You use it to create landing pages that can help you collect leads. This is not a terrible thing because LeadPages really shines for building landing pages quickly.
At this time, one of the best strategies for developing your email list is using content upgrades. By producing targeted lead magnets into your most popular articles you can acquire opt-in conversion rates that far exceed your standard pop-up.
LeadPages is the very best service for implementing this approach with its LeadBoxes, 2 step opt-ins, and automatic lead magnet delivery which is why they are the most popular popup you will see now.
So if you’re primarily focused 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 choice. While it comes with a higher learning curve than Leadpages, once you master the instrument, you can definitely explode your earnings as soon as you begin generating sales funnels for all your products.
ClickFunnels vs SamCart
SamCart is a product that allows users to build beautiful, high converting checkout pages. Which gives it a lot in common with ClickFunnels.
SamCart is targeted towards getting set up and selling quickly. It supports both Stripe and Paypal and it includes 17 distinct checkout page templates that you may customize.
In terms of flexibility, there’s absolutely no 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 such as ClickFunnels does. You can also easily create coupons for your products which is just another great way to increase conversions.
But where Samcart is lacking, is the ability to capture leads and build complete sales funnels. The products come in at the exact same $97 a 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
– Amazing looking templates for every kind of funnel
– Great on-boarding procedure for learning the program
– 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
– Limits on the number of funnels, pages, and visitors with the standard plan
– Lots of things to understand, a steep learning curve
– Split testing is pretty basic
Final Thoughts Clickfunnels And Shipstation
Which application you go with depends on your requirements and the quantity of work you’re willing to invest in your business.
Although a lot of you are selling standalone products, are you ready to put in the effort necessary to create a high converting sales funnel?
Otherwise, ClickFunnels might be overkill for you. You can collect leads or market your front end product more cheaply using alternative services.
But if increasing the average lifetime value of your clients is important to you, then I really recommend giving ClickFunnels a try.
Not only to access the software but also because the coaching that you get will probably be both inspirational and enlightening.
Take advantage of the ClickFunnels 14-day free trial, and see whether you can use it to increase your business now.