Are you trying to sell stuff online?
Then I’m confident you will agree that converting your visitors into sales is hard.
And getting yourself profitable? That’s even harder.
But there’s a simple secret to raising the value of every customer you sell to:
Sales funnels. Clickfunnels And Thinkific
By creating a well-designed sales funnel, you can dramatically increase your sales and provide more value for your clients.
In this post, I’m going to present you to ClickFunnels, the application I am using to create sales funnels for my business.
You do not need any technical know-how to use it, and it is going to truly change how you run your business.
If you are ready to throw yourself into the ClickFunnels world, it’s one of the best affiliate programs on the market. I’ll be talking about that too later on.
What is ClickFunnels?
ClickFunnels was made back in 2014 by Russell Brunson and his team. Since that time, Russell has turned ClickFunnels into a $100 million a 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 bunch of added bells and whistles.
You can use it to build:
– Landing pages
– Squeeze pages
– Membership websites
– Every kind of sales funnel you can think of, complete with order bumps, upsells and downsells
Plus, with the highest end Etison Suite package you’ll even have the ability to start your own affiliate program (Backpack) and replace your email service with (Actionetics MD).
Basically, you’re getting all you need to advertise and promote your products online, without needing to employ expensive programmers.
And individuals are using ClickFunnels with great success.
If you check out their 2 Comma Club site, you can see that almost 300 entrepreneurs have already created 1 million dollar funnels utilizing ClickFunnels.
That’s remarkable.Clickfunnels And Thinkific
What are the best parts of ClickFunnels?
Best Feature #1: Funnel template blueprints
If 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 make 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 registering.
Or to more complex 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.
Moreover, every funnel type has its own set of free templates and paid templates. So even in the event that you don’t have any design skills, your funnel pages will all have a consistent, professional design.
Here’s a high-level overview 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 Thinkific
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 where you can truly 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 adaptable as Instapage’s landing page editor, it’s still quite nice and it can be used to achieve pretty much any design you desire.
What I like is that the editor is quite intuitive to use.
Selecting elements on the page and transferring them where you want is very seamless.
Text elements can be edited inline, and modifying 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 way. You are not spending a great deal of time searching for what you would like to do.
The main thing is that no programming is needed. So you do not need to spend time learning HTML or CSS or some other technical things like that.
Best Feature #3: Nice Selection of Page Elements
Elements (or widgets) are vital for giving you the flexibility to design the specific pages you woud like and ClickFunnels gives you a large array of them to use.
Basic elements comprise of Headline, Image, Text, Button, Input forms and Video widgets. These are the basic building blocks for any landing page that you build 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
Additionally, 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 in 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 best, legitimate affiliate marketing program which you can be a part of.
The ClickFunnels affiliate program pays 40% recurring commissions for every referral you make and you can win cool prizes like $500 towards your own dream car as soon as you hit 100 active referrals.
On top of that, they offer 5%, 2-tier commissions for referring people to the ClickFunnels affiliate program itself.
In addition you get 40% commissions by promoting any product in the ClickFunnel’s ecosystem such as 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 buy as they go through their specific funnels too.
But that is not all:
ClickFunnels also has another excellent feature for affiliates called share funnels.
Inside the Settings tab of any of your funnels, you can grab your Share Funnel URL.
When someone visits this URL, they will have the ability to bring this funnel directly into their account if they are an existing ClickFunnels member. If they are not a member yet, they can register for the ClickFunnels 14-day free trial and then get your funnel added to their accounts.
What’s really awesome is that this share URL also acts as your affiliate link, and you will 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 process seems to take around 8-10 seconds each time.
While I really don’t know what is going on behind the scenes, it does not make sense to me why this could take so long. It is somewhat 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 on their cheapest plan. I’m not a fan of software products that restrict you in this manner.
If you are just building sales funnels for yourself, these limits are probably okay.
But you may get more annoyed at these limitations if you are doing client work, creating funnels for multiple customers or promoting ClickFunnels as an affiliate using share funnels.
You’ll want to upgrade to the Etison Suite plan if you would like to build unlimited funnels.
Bad Part #3: Fairly High learning curve
The scope of what ClickFunnels can do is pretty huge, and it can certainly be intimidating to some.
That is why ClickFunnels put a lot of work into the onboarding process to help ease you into the software. The ClickFunnels interface is pretty well made for the most part and once you’ve built a couple funnels yourself, the entire 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 the funnel creation tools, but you are restricted to creating 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 allows you to create your own affiliate program.
To get access to that, you’ll need to go for the Etison Suite plan. It includes everything, plus you receive unlimited funnels, pages, and visitors. However, this will run you $297 a month.
As far as I can tell, there are no ClickFunnels coupon codes available. But, you can purchase Funnel Hacks for $997 which gives you 6 months of Etison Suite for free plus some extra bonuses. This brings the cost down to $166.16 per month.
ClickFunnels does make it easy for you to demo their service with their free, 14-day free trial. It is not constrained in any way 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 which you can also get access to for only $19 a month. You can only create 3 funnels and 10 pages with this plan, but it is 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, even though they can be a little slow in responding. They utilize Intercom, so you may directly 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 name? Clickfunnels And Thinkific
You don’t necessarily need your own domain name to launch a funnel, but I would recommend it. If you do not 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 install SSL on it for you. You can discover how to do this from the first game in the onboarding training.
Do they have an active community?
ClickFunnels has an enormous community. There is 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 an excellent place to get feedback on your sales funnels and answer any questions that you may have.
Additionally, there are several other FB groups run by ClickFunnels affiliates which are also quite active. The main one I suggest 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 all 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’s the reason why I would highly suggest going with Stripe if you can.
What is the Funnel Hacks system?
If you are looking to acquire the $297/mo. Etison Suite plan, then it is definitely well worth it to join with Funnel Hacks instead to save some additional money. For $997, you are going to get six months of the Etison Suite plan which is $1,782 in value.
You will also get a bunch 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 of the affiliates that are trying 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 is a great software with an amazing affiliate opportunity. So many men and women are using ClickFunnels to build 6 and 7 figure companies.
When folks 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 creating standard sales funnels, there are many ways marketers are using ClickFunnels at the moment in their business.
It’s terrific for creating opt-in funnels that will help you generate more prospects and build your email list.
You are able to create webinar funnels to help you develop your brand and promote your products and services.
And you can use it to build membership sites where you’re able to gate your premium content so that it is accessible only to subscribers.
How can you make ClickFunnels work for you? Clickfunnels And Thinkific
First of all, you need to have a product or service to market. If you do not have something to sell, 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 money and time 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 coming up with proper upsells, order bumps and other OTOs that complement or improve your main product offering.
If you’re unclear how to being, 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 precisely the why and how of building sales funnels and how to tell stories to sell your products and services.
And as you go through his own sales funnels you can see the way he goes from low-cost tripwire (DotComSecrets) to promoting his flagship product (ClickFunnels).
By building his very own community of raving fans he could 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 own sales funnel. As soon as you have that in place, you’ll be ready to begin making money with ClickFunnels.
ClickFunnels versus the competition
There are a few ClickFunnels alternatives out there that share a number of the same capabilities as ClickFunnels. Two that I use myself are LeadPages and SamCart.
ClickFunnels vs LeadPages
Today, LeadPages is among 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 ability to sell products directly on their pages using its new Checkout widget
Each product features a large selection of nice looking templates. Both have drag and drop editors which make it easy for you to build the designs you want. And both integrate with all the popular email service providers.
However, Leadpages is significantly more limited in scope compared to ClickFunnels. You use it to create landing pages that can allow you to collect leads. This isn’t a bad thing because LeadPages really shines for creating landing pages quickly.
Right now, among the best strategies for growing your email list is using content upgrades. By creating targeted lead magnets into your most well-known posts you can get opt-in conversion rates that far exceed your standard pop-up.
LeadPages is the very best service for implementing this strategy with its LeadBoxes, 2 step opt-ins, and automatic lead magnet delivery which is why they are the most popular popup you will see today.
Therefore, if you are primarily concentrated on lead generation, I would 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.
But, if you are selling a service or product, then ClickFunnels is the better alternative . While it comes with a higher learning curve than Leadpages, as soon as you master the instrument, it’s possible to definitely explode your earnings once you start creating sales funnels for each of your products.
ClickFunnels vs SamCart
SamCart is a product which allows users to build beautiful, high converting checkout pages. Which gives it a lot in common with ClickFunnels.
SamCart is targeted towards getting setup and selling quickly. It supports both Stripe and Paypal and it includes 17 distinct checkout page templates that you may customize.
Concerning 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 can design any checkout page you can dream of. SamCart only allows for some basic customizations to its own pre-made templates.
SamCart does permit you to add order bumps, upsells and downsells such as ClickFunnels does. You can also quickly create coupons for your products which is just another terrific way to increase conversions.
However, where Samcart is lacking, is the capability to capture leads and create 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 powerful compared to Samcart.
– Best software for building 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 program
– Software has been better after every update
– Easily share any funnels you create and automatically earn affiliate commissions
– 2-tier affiliate program
– Free domain name with SSL installed
– 14-day free trial
– Limitations 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 Thinkific
Which software you go with depends on your needs and the quantity of work you’re willing to invest in your business.
Although many of you are selling standalone products, are you ready to put in the effort necessary to create a high converting sales funnel?
Otherwise, ClickFunnels could be overkill for you. It’s possible to collect leads or sell 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 truly recommend giving ClickFunnels a try.
Not only to get access to the software but also because the training you receive will be both inspiring and enlightening.
Take advantage of the ClickFunnels 14-day free trial, and see if you can use it to grow your business now.