Are you trying to sell stuff online?
Then I am confident you will agree that converting your traffic into sales is hard.
And getting yourself profitable? That’s even tougher.
There is a simple secret to raising the value of each customer you market to:
Sales funnels. Clickfunnels Vs Thrive Architect
By producing a well-designed sales funnel, you can dramatically boost your earnings and provide more value to your clients.
In this article, 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 utilize it, and it will really change the way you run your business.
If you are ready 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 team. Since that time, Russell has turned ClickFunnels into a $100 million per year company and they just crossed over 65,000 active members as of August 2018.
In its core, ClickFunnels is a software for building sales funnels. With a bunch of additional bells and whistles.
You can use it to construct:
– 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 will even have the ability to start your own affiliate program (Backpack) and change out your email service with (Actionetics MD).
Basically, you’re getting all you need to advertise and promote your products online, without having to employ expensive developers.
And individuals 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 using ClickFunnels.
That is remarkable.Clickfunnels Vs Thrive Architect
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 distinct 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 like the Squeeze Page Funnel which gathers a visitor’s email address and then sends them into a Thank you page when signing up.
Or to more complex sales funnels such as the 2-Step TripWire Funnel which sells a very 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 group 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 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 Vs Thrive Architect
Best Feature #2: Good Visual Drag and Drop Editor
While ClickFunnels provides you a wonderful starting point with its funnel and webpage templates, the ClickFunnels editor is the place you can actually make each page in your funnel your own.
Pages in ClickFunnels are laid out with 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 quite nice and it may be utilized to achieve just about any design you desire.
What I like is that the editor is quite 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 could be done through the fly-out sidebar.
And contrary to other editors on the market, everything is organized in a logical manner. You are not spending a great deal of time hunting for what you would like to do.
The important thing is that no programming is needed. So you don’t have 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 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, Photo, Text, Button, Input forms and Video widgets. These are the fundamental building blocks for any landing page that you build in the software.
ClickFunnels also includes several 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 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 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’s little 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.
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 will also earn commissions on any upsells your referrals purchase as they go through their specific funnels as well.
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.
When someone visits this URL, they will be able to bring this funnel directly into their account if they’re an existing ClickFunnels member. If they aren’t a member yet, they can register 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 functions 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 understand what is 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 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 lowest plan. I am not a fan of software products which limit you in this way.
If you’re just building sales funnels for yourself, these limitations are most likely okay.
But you can 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’ll want 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 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 program. The ClickFunnels interface is fairely well made for the most part and once you’ve assembled a couple funnels yourself, the whole 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 have now been consolidated 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 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 allows you to make your own affiliate program.
To gain access to that, you’ll need to go for the Etison Suite plan. It features everything, and 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. But, you can purchase Funnel Hacks for $997 which gives you 6 months of Etison Suite for free plus some extra 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 in any way which lets you give the software a full test before you fully commit.
If $97 or $297 a month seems like too big a commitment for your present budget, there is 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’s 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 use Intercom, which means you can directly ask questions in the live chat box. Support requests are usually answered within a few hours and I found the team to pretty helpful to all my questions.
Do I need my own domain? Clickfunnels Vs Thrive Architect
You don’t necessarily need your own domain name to launch a funnel, but I would advise it. If you do not have one then your funnel URL will look something similar to http://username.clickfunnels.com.
One nice bonus I did not know about is that ClickFunnels will buy you your first domain name for free and even install 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?
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 very active and it’s an excellent place to get feedback on your own sales funnels and answer any questions 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’s 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 few others. The one constraint with using Paypal though is that it does not support One Click Upsells or One Time Offers. That’s why I would highly suggest going with Stripe if you’re able to.
What is the Funnel Hacks system?
If you’re looking to acquire 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 are going to receive six months of the Etison Suite plan which is $1,782 in value.
You will also get a lot of additional bonuses and training which 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 due to all of the affiliates who are making an effort to market it.
But no, ClickFunnels isn’t a scam. It’s 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 men and women are utilizing ClickFunnels to construct 6 and 7 figure businesses.
When folks ask, “How do I create a sales funnel”, ClickFunnels is the #1 answer hands down. There is no other application that can do everything that ClickFunnels does at the moment.
What else is ClickFunnels used for?
Besides building 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 to help you generate more leads and build your email list.
You are able to create webinar funnels to help you grow 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 accessible only to subscribers.
How can you make ClickFunnels work for you? Clickfunnels Vs Thrive Architect
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 until you do. Unless you just want to market it as an affiliate.
Next, you have to be willing to commit money and time 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 clients or customers into your funnel. And then coming up with appropriate upsells, order bumps and other OTOs that match or improve your principal product offering.
If you’re unclear how to being, I would take a look at Russell’s very own multi-million dollar sales funnels to provide you with inspiration. Read his book DotComSecrets where he describes precisely 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 observe how he goes from low-cost tripwire (DotComSecrets) into selling 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 more.
Once you’ve gone through his funnels, then you can take the components that apply to your own business and create a plan 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 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 is a really popular tool in its own right.
It also recently added the capability to sell products directly on their pages with its new Checkout widget
Each product features a large selection of fine looking templates. Both have drag and drop editors that make it easy for you to build the designs you want. And both integrate with the popular email service providers.
Leadpages is more limited in scope than ClickFunnels. You use it to create landing pages that will help you collect prospects. This is not a bad thing because LeadPages really shines for building 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 into your most well-known articles you can acquire opt-in conversion rates that far exceed your typical pop-up.
LeadPages is the 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 today.
So if you’re primarily focused on lead generation, I’d 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 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 tool, it’s possible to definitely explode your sales as soon as you begin creating sales funnels for all your products.
ClickFunnels vs SamCart
SamCart is a product which allows users to build amazing, high converting checkout pages. Which gives it a lot in common with ClickFunnels.
SamCart is targeted towards getting setup and selling fast. It supports both Stripe and Paypal and it includes 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’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 like ClickFunnels does. You can also quickly create coupons for your products which is just another terrific way to raise conversions.
However, where Samcart is lacking, is the ability to capture leads and build 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 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
– Amazing looking templates for each type of funnel
– Great on-boarding procedure for learning the program
– Software continues to get 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
– Limits on the amount of funnels, pages, and visitors with the standard plan
– Plently of things to understand, a steep learning curve
– Split testing is pretty basic
Final Thoughts Clickfunnels Vs Thrive Architect
Which software you go with depends on your requirements and the quantity of work you’re willing to invest in your enterprise.
Although a lot 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 could be overkill for you. You can collect leads or market your front end product more cheaply using alternative services.
But if raising the average lifetime value of your clients is important to you, then I really suggest giving ClickFunnels a try.
Not only to get access to the software but also since the coaching you get will probably be both inspiring and enlightening.
Make the most of the ClickFunnels 14-day free trial, and see whether you can use it to grow your business today.