Are you trying to sell stuff online?
I’m sure 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 increasing the value of every customer you sell to:
By creating a well-designed sales funnel, you can dramatically increase your sales and provide more value to your customers.
In today’s post, I’m going to introduce you to ClickFunnels, the software I’m using to build sales funnels for my business.
You don’t need any technical know-how to use it, and it will really change the way you run your business.
If you’re ready to throw yourself into the ClickFunnels world, it has one of the best affiliate programs out there. I’ll be talking about that too later on.
Here is 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 team. 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.
At its core, ClickFunnels is a software for building sales funnels. With a bunch of added 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
Plus, with the highest end Etison Suite package you’ll even be able to start your own affiliate program (Backpack) and replace your email service with (Actionetics MD).
Basically, you’re getting everything you need to market and sell your products online, without having to hire expensive developers.
And people 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 using ClickFunnels.
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 different types 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 some other special funnels like Membership funnels you can create as well.
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 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 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 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.
Best Feature #2: Good Visual Drag and Drop Editor
While ClickFunnels gives 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 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 very good and it can be used to achieve pretty much any design you want.
What I like is that the editor is very intuitive to use.
Selecting components on the page and moving them where you want is very seamless.
Text elements can be edited inline, and modifying any element’s properties can be done through the fly-out sidebar.
And unlike other editors out there, everything is organized in a logical way. You’re not spending a lot of time hunting for what you want to do.
The important thing is that no coding is required. So you don’t have 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 essential for giving you the flexibility to design the exact pages you want and ClickFunnels gives you a wide variety of them to use.
Basic elements include Headline, Image, 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 elements 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 memberships 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 like 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.
First the basics:
The ClickFunnels affiliate program pays out 40% recurring commissions for every referral you make and you can win cool prizes like $500 towards your very own dream car once you hit 100 active referrals.
On top of that, they offer 5%, 2-tier commissions for referring people to the ClickFunnels affiliate program itself.
You also 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’ll also earn commissions on any upsells that your referrals purchase as they go through their specific funnels as well.
But that’s not all:
ClickFunnels also has another great 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 be able to add this funnel directly into their account if they are 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 choosing 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 every time.
While I don’t know what’s really going on behind the scenes, it doesn’t make sense to me why this would take so long. 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 really not a fan of software products that limit you in this way.
If you are just building sales funnels for yourself, these limits are probably ok.
But you may get more annoyed at these limitations if you are doing client work, building 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 build unlimited funnels.
Bad Part #3: Fairly High learning curve
The scope of what ClickFunnels can do is pretty huge, and I can definitely see it be intimidating to some.
That’s why ClickFunnels put so much work into the onboarding process to help ease you into the software. The ClickFunnels interface is pretty well designed for the most part and once you’ve built a few funnels yourself, the whole 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 have now been consolidated into 2 separate plans.
So how much is ClickFunnels now?
Currently, the cheapest 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 allows you to create your own affiliate program.
To get access to that, you’ll need to go with the Etison Suite plan. It includes everything, plus you get 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. However, you can purchase Funnel Hacks for $997 which gives you 6 months of Etison Suite for free plus 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’s not limited in any way which lets you give the software a full test before you fully commit.
If $97 or $297 a month sounds like too big a commitment for your current budget, there’s also a semi-secret, unadvertised Share Funnel plan that you can also get access to for just $19 a month. You only can 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 fairly good in my experience, although they can be a little slow in responding. They use Intercom, so you can directly ask questions in the live chat box. Support requests are usually answered within a few hours and I found the staff to pretty helpful to all my questions.
Do I need my own domain name?
You do not necessarily need your own domain name to launch a funnel, although I would recommend it. If you don’t have one then your funnel URL will look something like 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 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 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 answers to get feedback on your sales funnels and answer any questions you may have.
There are also several other FB groups run by ClickFunnels affiliates which are also very active. The main one I recommend joining is Automation Nation. It’s run by Spencer Mecham who is ClickFunnel’s #1 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 out there.
For payment gateways, ClickFunnels integrates with Stripe, Paypal, Clickbank, Infusionsoft, Authorize.net, and a few others. The one limitation with using Paypal though is that it does not support One Click Upsells or One Time Offers. That’s why I would highly recommend 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’s 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 $1782 in value.
You’ll also get a bunch 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 gets some negative buzz because of all the affiliates who are trying to promote it.
But no, ClickFunnels is not 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.
When people ask, “How do I create a sales funnel”, ClickFunnels is the #1 answer hands down. There’s 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 many ways marketers are using ClickFunnels right now in their business.
It’s great for creating opt-in funnels to 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?
First of all, you need to have a product or service to sell. If you don’t 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 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 into your funnel. And then coming up with appropriate upsells, order bumps and other OTOs that complement or enhance your main product offering.
If you’re unclear how to start, I would take 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 creating sales funnels and how to tell stories to sell your products.
And as you go through his own sales funnels yourself you can see how he goes from low-cost tripwire (DotComSecrets) to selling his flagship product (ClickFunnels).
By creating his own community of raving fans he can then upsell his various other products and events like Funnel Scripts, Funnel Hackers Live, and more.
Once you’ve gone through his funnels, then you can take the parts that apply to your own business and create a plan for your own sales funnel. Once 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 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 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 create the designs you want. And both integrate with all the popular email service providers.
However, Leadpages is more limited in scope than ClickFunnels. You use it to create landing pages that will help you collect leads. This is not a bad thing because LeadPages really shines for making landing pages fast.
Right now, one of the most effective strategies for growing your email list is by using content upgrades. By creating targeted lead magnets to your most popular posts you can get opt-in conversion rates that far surpass your standard pop-up.
LeadPages is the 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.
So if you are primarily focused 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.
ClickFunnels vs SamCart
SamCart is a product that allows users to create beautiful, high converting checkout pages. Which gives it a lot in common with ClickFunnels.
SamCart is geared towards getting set up and selling fast. It supports both Stripe and Paypal and it comes with 17 different checkout page templates which 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 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 another great way to increase conversions.
However, where Samcart is lacking, is the ability to capture leads and create complete sales funnels. Both products come in at the same $97 a month price point, and I find ClickFunnels to be quite a bit more flexible and 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 every type of funnel
– Great on-boarding process for learning the software
– Software continues to get better after every update
– Easily share any funnels you make and automatically earn affiliate commissions
– 2-tier affiliate program
– Free domain name with SSL installed
– 14-day free trial
– Limits 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
Which software you go with depends on your requirements and the amount of work you are willing to invest in your business.
Although many of you are selling standalone products, are you willing to put in the effort required to create a high converting sales funnel?
If not, then ClickFunnels might be overkill for you. You can collect leads or sell your front end product more cheaply using alternative services.
However, if increasing the average lifetime value of your customers is important to you, then I really recommend giving ClickFunnels a try.
Not only to get access to the software but also because the training you get 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 today.