Are you currently trying to sell things online?
I’m sure you will agree that converting your visitors into revenue is hard.
And getting yourself profitable? That’s even harder.
There’s a simple secret to raising the value of every customer you sell to:
Sales funnels. Clickfunnels For Direct Sales
By creating a well-designed sales funnel, it is possible to dramatically increase your earnings and provide more value to your customers.
In this article, I’m going to introduce you to ClickFunnels, the software I am using to build sales funnels for my business.
You don’t need any technical know-how to utilize it, and it is going to really change how 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 talking about that too later on.
What is ClickFunnels?
ClickFunnels was made 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 build:
– Landing pages
– Squeeze pages
– Membership sites
– Every type 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 replace your email service with (Actionetics MD).
Essentially, you’re getting everything you need to advertise and promote your products online, without having to employ expensive developers.
And people are using ClickFunnels with great success.
If you check out their 2 Comma Club website, you can see that nearly 300 entrepreneurs have already created 1 million dollar funnels using ClickFunnels.
That’s remarkable.Clickfunnels For Direct Sales
What are the best parts of ClickFunnels?
Best Feature #1: Funnel template blueprints
If you have 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 forms fall into 3 main categories: Lead Capture Funnels, Sales Page Funnels, and Event Funnels. But there are a few additional special funnels like Membership funnels you can make too.
They include simple funnels like the Squeeze Page Funnel which collects 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.
In addition, each 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 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 For Direct Sales
Best Feature #2: Good Visual Drag and Drop Editor
While ClickFunnels gives you a wonderful 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 using 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 need them.
While not as flexible as Instapage’s landing page editor, it is still very good and it can be utilized 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 could be accomplished through the fly-out sidebar.
And contrary to other editors on the market, everything is organized in a logical way. You’re not spending a great deal of time searching for what you want to do.
The important thing is that no coding is needed. So you do not 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 all essential for providing you the flexibility to design the specific pages you woud like and ClickFunnels gives you a large variety of them to use.
Basic elements include Headline, Image, Text, Button, Input forms and Video widgets. These are the fundamental building blocks for any landing page you construct in the software.
ClickFunnels also includes several 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 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 like background colors, margins, fonts, and alignment.
Then there are element specific attributes 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 very 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 once you hit 100 active referrals.
In addition to that, they offer 5%, 2-tier commissions for referring people to the ClickFunnels affiliate program.
You also get 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’ll also earn commissions on any upsells that your referrals purchase as they go through their specific funnels as well.
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.
Whenever someone visits this URL, they’ll have the ability to add 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 then get your funnel added to their accounts.
What’s really awesome is that this share URL also functions as your affiliate link, and you will get a recurring commission if this new user ends up staying.
What I do not 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 around 8-10 seconds every time.
While I don’t know what’s going on behind the scenes, it doesn’t make sense to me why this would take a long time. It is somewhat annoying, although just 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 which limit you in this way.
If you are just building sales funnels for yourself, these limits are most likely okay.
However you may get more annoyed at such limitations if you are doing client work, creating funnels for multiple customers or promoting ClickFunnels as an affiliate using share funnels.
You will need to upgrade to the Etison Suite plan if you want to build unlimited funnels.
Bad Part #3: Fairly High learning curve
The scope of what ClickFunnels could do is fairely huge, and it can certainly be intimidating to some.
That is 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 couple funnels yourself, the entire process 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 merged into 2 separate plans.
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 production tools, but you are limited 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 allows you to make 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 are no ClickFunnels coupon codes out there. But, you can buy Funnel Hacks for $997 which provides you 6 months of Etison Suite for free and some additional bonuses. This brings down the cost to $166.16 per month.
ClickFunnels does make it easy for you to demo their service with their free, 14-day free trial. It’s 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 present budget, there’s also a semi-secret, unadvertised Share Funnel plan which you can also have 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 try out ClickFunnels on a budget.
Everything else you should know about ClickFunnels
How is their support?
ClickFunnels support is fairly good in my experience, although they can be somewhat slow in responding. They utilize Intercom, which means you can directly ask questions in the live chat box. Support requests are usually answered in a couple of hours and I found the staff to fairly helpful to all my questions.
Do I need my own domain? Clickfunnels For Direct Sales
You do not necessarily need your own domain name to launch a funnel, although I would advise 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 buy you your first domain name for free and even set up 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 and 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 feedback on your sales funnels and answer any questions you might have.
Additionally, there are several other FB groups run by ClickFunnels affiliates that 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 on the market.
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’s the reason why I would strongly suggest going with Stripe if you can.
What’s the Funnel Hacks system?
If you are looking to acquire the $297/mo. Etison Suite plan, then it is definitely 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 will also get a lot of additional training and bonuses 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 making an effort to market it.
However, no, ClickFunnels isn’t a scam. It’s definitely 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 men and women are using ClickFunnels to build 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 application that can do everything 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 great for creating opt-in funnels that will help you generate more leads and build your email list.
You can create webinar funnels that will help you develop your brand and sell your services and products.
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? Clickfunnels For Direct Sales
To start with, you need to have a product or service to market. If you do not have something to market, then do not even bother looking into ClickFunnels until you do. Unless you only want to market it as an affiliate.
Next, you need to be ready to invest time and money into creating your value ladder and building out 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 proper upsells, order bumps and other OTOs that match or enhance your principal product offering.
If you’re unclear how to being, I’d take a look at Russell’s own multi-million dollar sales funnels to provide you with 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 observe how he goes from low-cost tripwire (DotComSecrets) into selling his flagship product (ClickFunnels).
By building his own community of raving fans he could then upsell his various different products and events like Funnel Scripts, Funnel Hackers Live, and more.
Once you’ve gone through his funnels, then you can take the components that apply to your own company and create a plan for your sales funnel. As soon as you have that in place, you will be ready to start making money with ClickFunnels.
ClickFunnels versus the competition
There are a few 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 introduced the ability to sell products directly on their pages using its new Checkout widget
Each product features a large selection of fine looking templates. Both have drag and drop editors which make it easy for you to build the designs you want. And both integrate with the popular email service providers.
Leadpages is significantly more limited in scope than ClickFunnels. You use it to create landing pages that will help you collect prospects. This isn’t a bad thing because LeadPages really shines for building landing pages fast.
Right now, one of the best strategies for growing your email list is using content upgrades. By producing targeted lead magnets into your most popular posts you can get opt-in conversion rates that far exceed your typical pop-up.
LeadPages is the very 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 will see now.
Therefore, if you are primarily concentrated on lead generation, I would definitely recommend 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 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 tool, 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 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 comes with 17 distinct checkout page templates that you can customize.
In terms of flexibility, there is no 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 allow you to add order bumps, upsells and downsells like ClickFunnels does. You can also easily create coupons for your products which is just another great way to increase conversions.
However, where Samcart is missing, is the ability to capture leads and create complete sales funnels. Both 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
– Beautiful looking templates for every kind of funnel
– Great on-boarding process for learning the program
– Software has been 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 amount 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 Clickfunnels For Direct Sales
Which software you go with depends on your needs and the amount of work you are willing to invest in your enterprise.
Although many of you are selling standalone products, are you ready to put in the effort required to make a high converting sales funnel?
If not, ClickFunnels might be overkill for you. You can collect leads or market your front end product more cheaply with alternative services.
But if increasing the average lifetime value of your customers is important to you, then I really recommend giving ClickFunnels a try.
Not just to access the software but also since the coaching that you receive will probably be both inspiring and enlightening.
Take advantage of the ClickFunnels 14-day free trial, and see whether you can use it to grow your business now.