Are you currently trying to sell things online?
I’m sure you will agree that converting your visitors into sales is hard.
And getting yourself profitable? That’s even harder.
There’s a simple secret to increasing the value of every customer you sell to:
Sales funnels. Clickfunnels Manifesto
By producing a well-designed sales funnel, it is possible to dramatically increase your earnings and provide more value for your customers.
In this article, I’m going to introduce you to ClickFunnels, the application I’m using to create sales funnels for my business.
You don’t need any technical know-how to use it, and it is going to really change how you operate your business.
If you’re ready to throw yourself into the ClickFunnels world, it has one of the best affiliate programs out there. I will be talking about that too later on.
Here’s what I’m going to be covering in this ClickFunnels review.
- What is ClickFunnels?
- What are the best parts of ClickFunnels?
- What I don’t like about ClickFunnels
- ClickFunnels Pricing
- Everything else you need to know about ClickFunnels
- How can you make ClickFunnels work for you?
- ClickFunnels versus the competition
- Pros and Cons of ClickFunnels
- Final Thoughts
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 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 lot of additional bells and whistles.
You can use it to construct:
– Landing pages
– Squeeze pages
– Membership sites
– Every kind of sales funnel you can think of, complete with order bumps, upsells and downsells
Essentially, you’re getting all you need to market and promote your products online, without having to employ expensive programmers.
And people are using ClickFunnels with great success.
If you check out their 2 Comma Club site, you can see that nearly 300 entrepreneurs have already created 1 million dollar funnels using ClickFunnels.
That is amazing.Clickfunnels Manifesto
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 forms of funnels that he has used successfully in his own business.
The funnel types 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 signing up.
Or to more sophisticated sales funnels like the 2-Step TripWire Funnel which sells a very low ticket front-end product (your tripwire) and then upsells them to a more expensive products with Order Form bumps, and One Click upsells or Downsells.
Moreover, each 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 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 Manifesto
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 where 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 rows and columns. You can then use your mouse to drag elements around and place them where you want them.
While not as flexible as Instapage’s landing page editor, it is still quite nice and it may be utilized to achieve just about 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 done through the fly-out sidebar.
And contrary to other editors out there, everything is organized in a logical way. You are not spending a lot of time searching for what you want to do.
The important thing is that no programming 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 vital for providing you the flexibility to design the exact pages you woud like and ClickFunnels gives you a wide variety of them to use.
Basic elements comprise of Headline, Photo, Text, Button, Input forms and Video widgets. These are the basic building blocks for any landing page 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
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 in the editor sidebar. With most elements, you can alter 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’s no doubt in my mind that ClickFunnels has the best, legitimate affiliate marketing program that 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 reach 100 active referrals.
On top of 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 that your referrals buy as they go through their specific funnels as well.
But that is not all:
ClickFunnels also has another great 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 bring this funnel directly into their accounts if they’re an existing ClickFunnels member. If they aren’t a member yet, they can sign up for the ClickFunnels 14-day free trial and then get your funnel added to their account.
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 don’t 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 approximately 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’s a bit 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 manner.
If you are just building sales funnels for yourself, these limitations are probably okay.
However 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 using share funnels.
You’ll need to upgrade to the Etison Suite plan if you want to develop unlimited funnels.
Bad Part #3: Fairly High learning curve
The scope of what ClickFunnels could do is fairely huge, and it can definitely be intimidating to some.
That’s why ClickFunnels put a lot of work into the onboarding process to help ease you into the program. The ClickFunnels interface is fairely 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, however they have 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 the funnel creation tools, but you are limited 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 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 are no ClickFunnels coupon codes available. But, you can purchase Funnel Hacks for $997 which provides you 6 months of Etison Suite for free and some extra 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’s not constrained in any way which lets you give the software a complete test before you fully commit.
If $97 or $297 a month sounds like too large a commitment for your current budget, there’s 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 is 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, even though they can be somewhat slow in responding. They utilize Intercom, so you can immediately ask questions in the live chat box. Support requests are usually answered within a couple of hours and I found the staff to fairly helpful to all my questions.
Do I need my own domain name? Clickfunnels Manifesto
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 set up 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 very active and it is an excellent place to get feedback on your own sales funnels and answer any questions you may have.
Additionally, there are several 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 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 constraint with using Paypal though is that it does not support One Click Upsells or One Time Offers. That is why I would highly suggest going with Stripe if you’re able to.
What is the Funnel Hacks system?
If you are looking to get the $297/mo. Etison Suite plan, then it’s 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 think ClickFunnels gets some negative buzz around it because of all of the affiliates who are making an effort to market it.
But no, ClickFunnels is not a scam. It is 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’s a software with an amazing affiliate opportunity. So many people are utilizing ClickFunnels to construct 6 and 7 figure businesses.
When people ask, “How can I create a sales funnel”, ClickFunnels is the #1 answer hands down. There’s 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 plenty of ways marketers are using ClickFunnels right now in their business.
It’s great for creating opt-in funnels to help you generate more prospects and build your email list.
You are able to produce webinar funnels that will help you develop your brand and sell your services and products.
And you can use it to build membership sites where you can gate your premium content so that it is available only to subscribers.
How can you make ClickFunnels work for you? Clickfunnels Manifesto
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 just want to market it as an affiliate.
Next, you need to be ready to commit 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 then coming up with appropriate upsells, order bumps and other OTOs that match or enhance your principal product offering.
If you are 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 describes precisely the why and how of creating sales funnels and how to tell stories to marketing your products and services.
And as you go through his own sales funnels yourself you can observe how he goes from low-cost tripwire (DotComSecrets) to selling 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 business and create a strategy for your sales funnel. As soon as you have that in place, you’ll be prepared to start making money with ClickFunnels.
ClickFunnels versus the competition
There are a couple of ClickFunnels alternatives out there that 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 added 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 effortless for you to create the designs you want. And both integrate with all the popular email service providers.
But, Leadpages is more limited in scope than ClickFunnels. You use it to create landing pages that will allow you to collect leads. This isn’t a terrible thing because LeadPages really shines for creating landing pages fast.
At this time, among the most effective strategies for developing your email list is using content upgrades. By creating targeted lead magnets into your most well-known posts you can acquire opt-in conversion rates that far exceed your typical pop-up.
LeadPages is the best service for implementing this approach 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.
So if you are primarily focused 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 product or service, then ClickFunnels is the better alternative . While it comes with a higher learning curve than Leadpages, once 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 lets users create amazing, 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 can customize.
Concerning flexibility, there is 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 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 such as ClickFunnels does. You can also easily create coupons for your products which is 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 more powerful than 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 program
– Software has been better after every update
– Readily share any funnels you build 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 understand, a steep learning curve
– Split testing is pretty basic
Final Thoughts Clickfunnels Manifesto
Which software you go with depends on your needs and the quantity of work you are willing to invest in your business.
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 could be overkill for you. You can 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 really suggest giving ClickFunnels a try.
Not just to get access to the software but also because the coaching that you get will 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.