Are you currently trying to sell stuff online?
Then I’m confident you will agree that converting your traffic into sales is hard.
And getting yourself profitable? That’s even harder.
But there is a simple secret to increasing the value of each customer you sell to:
Sales funnels. Why I Left Clickfunnels
By producing a well-designed sales funnel, it is possible to dramatically increase your earnings and provide more value to your customers.
In this post, I’m going to introduce you to ClickFunnels, the application I’m using to build sales funnels for my business.
You do not need any technical know-how to use this, and it will really change how you operate 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 speaking about that too later on.
Here is what I will 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 to a $100 million a year business and they just crossed over 65,000 active members as of August 2018.
In its core, ClickFunnels is a software for constructing 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
Essentially, you’re getting all you need to market and promote your products online, without needing to hire expensive programmers.
And individuals 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 remarkable.Why I Left 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 classes: Lead Capture Funnels, Sales Page Funnels, and Event Funnels. But there are a few additional special funnels like Membership funnels you can create too.
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 registering.
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, every 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. Why I Left Clickfunnels
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 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 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 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 modifying any element’s properties can be accomplished through the fly-out sidebar.
And contrary to other editors out there, everything is organized in a logical manner. You’re not spending a lot of time hunting for what you would like to do.
The main thing is that no coding is required. So you do not need to spend time studying HTML or CSS or some other technical things like that.
Best Feature #3: Nice Selection of Page Elements
Elements (or widgets) are vital 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 comprise of Headline, Photo, Text, Button, Input forms and Video widgets. These are the basic building blocks for any landing page that you construct 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 own 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 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 which you can be a part of.
First the basics:
The ClickFunnels affiliate program pays out 40% recurring commissions for each 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 itself.
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 too.
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’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 sign up for the ClickFunnels 14-day free trial then get your funnel added to their accounts.
What’s really amazing is that this share URL also acts as your affiliate link, and you’ll 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 procedure seems to take around 8-10 seconds each time.
While I really don’t know what is really 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 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 in their lowest plan. I’m not a fan of software products that limit you in this manner.
If you are just building sales funnels for yourself, these limitations are probably okay.
But you can get more annoyed at such constraints if you are 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 want to develop unlimited funnels.
Bad Part #3: Fairly High learning curve
The scope of what ClickFunnels can do is fairely huge, and it can definitely be intimidating to some.
That is why ClickFunnels put a lot of work into the onboarding process to help ease you into the software. The ClickFunnels interface is pretty well made for the most part and once you’ve built 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 have now been consolidated 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 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 lets you make your own affiliate program.
To gain access to that, you’ll need to go with the Etison Suite plan. It features everything, and you get 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 out there. However, you can buy Funnel Hacks for $997 which provides you 6 months of Etison Suite for free and 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 whatsoever which lets you give the software a full evaluation before you fully commit.
If $97 or $297 a month seems like too large a commitment for your current budget, there is also a semi-secret, unadvertised Share Funnel plan that you can also have access to for only $19 a month. You can only produce 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 quite good in my experience, even though they can be a little slow in responding. They utilize 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? Why I Left Clickfunnels
You don’t necessarily need your own domain name to launch a funnel, but I would advise 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 very first game in the onboarding training.
Do they have an active community?
Both groups are very active and it is a great place to get feedback on your own sales funnels and answer any questions that you may have.
There are also several other FB groups run by ClickFunnels affiliates that are also very 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 all the best email marketing software out there.
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 strongly recommend going with Stripe if you’re able to.
What is the Funnel Hacks system?
If you are looking to acquire the $297/mo. Etison Suite plan, then it is definitely 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’ll 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 has some negative buzz around it due to all the affiliates that are trying to promote 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 businesses.
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 many ways marketers are using ClickFunnels right now in their business.
It is terrific for creating opt-in funnels to help you generate more leads and build your email list.
You can create webinar funnels to 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’s accessible only to subscribers.
How can you make ClickFunnels work for you? Why I Left Clickfunnels
First of all, you need to have a product or service to market. If you don’t have something to market, then do not even bother looking into ClickFunnels before you do. Unless you just want to promote it as an affiliate.
Next, you have to be willing to commit time and money into creating your value ladder and constructing your entire sales funnel.
That means creating a lead magnet or low-cost tripwire product to get customers or clients into your funnel. And 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’d have a look at Russell’s own multi-million dollar sales funnels to give you inspiration. Read his book DotComSecrets where he explains 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 you can observe the way he goes from low-cost tripwire (DotComSecrets) to selling his flagship product (ClickFunnels).
By creating 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.
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 own sales funnel. Once 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 which share a number 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 introduced 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 that make it easy for you to create the designs you desire. And both integrate with all the popular email service providers.
Leadpages is more limited in scope than ClickFunnels. You use it to create landing pages that will allow you to collect prospects. This isn’t a terrible thing because LeadPages really shines for building landing pages fast.
At this time, one of the best strategies for developing your email list is 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 very 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’ll see now.
So if you are primarily concentrated 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.
But, if you are selling a product or service, then ClickFunnels is the better choice. While it comes with a higher learning curve than Leadpages, as soon as you master the tool, you can definitely explode your sales once you start creating sales funnels for all your products.
ClickFunnels vs SamCart
SamCart is a product that 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 comes with 17 different checkout page templates that you can customize.
In terms of flexibility, there is 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 permit you to add order bumps, upsells and downsells such as 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 build complete sales funnels. The 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 building 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 build and automatically earn affiliate commissions
– 2-tier affiliate program
– Free domain name with SSL installed
– 14-day free trial
– Limitations on the number of funnels, pages, and visitors with the standard plan
– Plently of things to learn, a steep learning curve
– Split testing is pretty basic
Final Thoughts Why I Left Clickfunnels
Which software you go with depends on your needs 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 necessary to make a high converting sales funnel?
If not, ClickFunnels might be overkill for you. It’s possible to collect leads or market your front end product more cheaply using alternative services.
But if raising the average lifetime value of your customers is important to you, then I truly suggest giving ClickFunnels a try.
Not just 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 whether you can use it to grow your business today.