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’s a simple secret to raising the value of every customer you market to:
Sales funnels. How To Use Clickfunnels For Affiliate Marketing
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 present you to ClickFunnels, the application I am using to build sales funnels for my business.
You don’t need any technical know-how to use this, and it will 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’ll be speaking about that too later on.
What is ClickFunnels?
ClickFunnels was created back in 2014 by Russell Brunson and his group. 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.
In its core, ClickFunnels is an application for constructing sales funnels. With a lot of additional bells and whistles.
You can use it to build:
– Landing pages
– Squeeze pages
– Membership sites
– Every kind 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 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 promote 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 utilizing ClickFunnels.
That is amazing.How To Use Clickfunnels For Affiliate Marketing
What are the best features 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 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 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 into a Thank you page when registering.
Or to more sophisticated sales funnels such as the 2-Step TripWire Funnel which sells a low ticket front-end product (your tripwire) and then upsells them to a 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 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. How To Use Clickfunnels For Affiliate Marketing
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 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 very good and it may be utilized to achieve pretty much any design you want.
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 accomplished through the fly-out sidebar.
And unlike other editors on the market, everything is organized in a logical way. You are not spending a lot of time hunting for what you want to do.
The main thing is that no coding is required. So you don’t 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 all essential for giving you the flexibility to design the specific pages you want and ClickFunnels provides you a wide array of them to use.
Basic elements include Headline, Photo, Text, Button, Input types and Video widgets. These are the fundamental building blocks for any landing page that you construct in the software.
ClickFunnels also includes several advanced components such as:
– 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 like 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 no doubt in my mind that ClickFunnels has the very best, legitimate affiliate marketing program that you can be a part of.
The ClickFunnels affiliate program pays 40% recurring commissions for each referral you make and you can win cool prizes like $500 towards your very own dream car as soon as you reach 100 active referrals.
In addition to that, they offer 5%, 2-tier commissions for referring people to the ClickFunnels affiliate program itself.
In addition you earn 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 purchase as they go through their specific funnels too.
That’s 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 bring this funnel directly into their account if they are an existing ClickFunnels member. If they are not 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 amazing 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 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 approximately 8-10 seconds each time.
While I really don’t understand what is really going on behind the scenes, it does not make sense to me why this would take a long time. It is somewhat annoying, although only 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 on their lowest plan. I am not a fan of software products which 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 such constraints if you’re doing client work, building funnels for multiple customers or promoting ClickFunnels as an affiliate using share funnels.
You will want to upgrade to the Etison Suite plan if you would like to develop infinite funnels.
Bad Part #3: Fairly High learning curve
The range of what ClickFunnels can do is fairely huge, and it can certainly be intimidating to some.
That’s why ClickFunnels put a lot of work into the onboarding process to help ease you into the software. The ClickFunnels interface is pretty well designed for the most part and when you’ve assembled a couple funnels yourself, the entire process does get easier over time.
Over time, ClickFunnels has evolved their pricing plans. Initially, they had 3 different pricing tiers, but they have now been merged into 2 separate plans.
So 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 of the funnel creation 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 create your own affiliate program.
To get access to that, you’ll need to go with the Etison Suite plan. It features 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. But, you can purchase Funnel Hacks for $997 which gives you 6 months of Etison Suite for free and some additional 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’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 large a commitment for your present budget, there is also a semi-secret, unadvertised Share Funnel plan which you can also get access to for just $19 a month. You can only produce 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, although they can be somewhat slow in responding. They use Intercom, so you may immediately ask questions in the live chat box. Support requests are usually answered in a few hours and I found the staff to pretty helpful to all my queries.
Do I need my own domain name? How To Use Clickfunnels For Affiliate Marketing
You don’t 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 did not 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’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 very active and it is an excellent place to get opinions 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 offer?
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 few 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 strongly recommend going with Stripe if you’re able to.
What’s the Funnel Hacks system?
If you’re looking to get 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’ll 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 believe ClickFunnels gets some negative buzz around it due to all of the affiliates who are making an effort to market it.
But no, ClickFunnels is not 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’s a software with an amazing affiliate opportunity. So many people 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 plenty of ways marketers are using ClickFunnels right now in their business.
It is great 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 grow 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’s available only to subscribers.
How can you make ClickFunnels work for you? How To Use Clickfunnels For Affiliate Marketing
First of all, you need to have a product or service to sell. If you do not have something to market, then don’t even bother looking into ClickFunnels until you do. Unless you just want to promote it as an affiliate.
Next, you have to be willing to invest money and time into creating your value ladder and constructing 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 enhance your main 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 exactly the why and how of building sales funnels and how to tell stories to sell your services and products.
And as you go through his own sales funnels yourself you can see how he goes from low-cost tripwire (DotComSecrets) into selling his flagship product (ClickFunnels).
By building 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.
As soon as you’ve gone through his funnels, then you can take the parts that are applicable to your own business and create a plan for your own sales funnel. Once you have that in place, you’ll be prepared to begin 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 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 capability to sell products directly on their pages using its new Checkout widget
Each product comes with a huge selection of fine looking templates. Both have drag and drop editors that make it effortless for you to create the designs you want. And both integrate with the popular email service providers.
But, Leadpages is significantly more limited in scope compared to ClickFunnels. You use it to create landing pages that will allow you to collect prospects. This is not a terrible thing because LeadPages really shines for building landing pages fast.
Right now, one of the most effective strategies for developing your email list is by using content upgrades. By producing targeted lead magnets into your most popular posts you can acquire opt-in conversion rates that far exceed 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’ll see now.
Therefore, if you’re 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.
But, if you’re 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 instrument, you can definitely explode your earnings once you start generating sales funnels for all your products.
ClickFunnels vs SamCart
SamCart is a product which lets users build beautiful, high converting checkout pages. Which gives it a whole lot in common with ClickFunnels.
SamCart is geared towards getting setup and selling quickly. It supports both Stripe and Paypal and it includes 17 different checkout page templates which 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 pre-made templates.
SamCart does allow 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 ability to capture leads and build complete sales funnels. The products come in at the same $97 a 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
– Amazing looking templates for every kind of funnel
– Great on-boarding procedure for learning the program
– Software has been better after each update
– Easily share any funnels you build and automatically earn affiliate commissions
– 2-tier affiliate program
– Free domain name with SSL installed
– 14-day free trial
– Limits 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 How To Use Clickfunnels For Affiliate Marketing
Which software you go with depends on your requirements 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?
If not, ClickFunnels might be overkill for you. You can collect leads or market your front end product more cheaply with alternative services.
However, if raising 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 because 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 increase your business now.