Starting an online business but don’t know how to build a website?
Finding that paying someone else to code and design a website for you is hella expensive?
There is actually a one-stop solution for all of your internet marketing needs. It’s called a marketing funnel.
One of the most popular marketing funnels creator is ClickFunnels.
You don’t have to be tech-savvy to easily build your own website in a short time!
In fact, I myself don’t have a background in IT. I have tried ClickFunnels and played with it, and find it very easy to use (in fact, it’s addictive!).
In order for you to be able to decide whether it’s worth it, I will discuss about what you can do with ClickFunnels and also share my research in comparing it with the other popular landing page builders.
What is a marketing funnel and why is it important?
Marketing funnels are a buying process you create for your potential customers. The goal at the end of the funnel is to get them to purchase your product.
They start by getting introduced to your product for the first time, and by the end of the funnel, they would be willing to give you their money.
Without it, you would lose a great number of potential buyers as you only have the bait but not the hook.
In short, a marketing funnel is the process of converting visitors into paying customers.
To do this effectively, you need to structure your website properly. It’s a tedious task if done manually.
And here comes ClickFunnels…
What is ClickFunnels?
ClickFunnels is now a fairly mature service developed by Russell Brunson and his team. It’s now been up and running for more than 3 years.
ClickFunnels helps create every step of your marketing funnel and ultimately handles every aspect of it.
The reason I’m fond of it is because it’s friendly for both new and advanced users.
Even if you have never tried creating a marketing funnel before, you can create a high quality, professional one in no time.
Step-by-step Funnel Creation
Easy Point and Click Rows Insertion
Complete Elements Available
Wide Range of Free and Paid Templates
Drag and Drop Funnel Editor
Easily Customized Elements
If you have more time, you can watch a video about how simple it is to use ClickFunnels:
To create a successful marketing funnel, you need:
- An email marketing service
- Landing page (website) creator software
- Hosting for landing pages
- Split testing software
- Software to set up and manage membership sites & affiliate programs.
With ClickFunnels, you don’t need to buy any of the above-mentioned services separately as everything is contained inside this one program.
ClickFunnels tries to eliminate the need to use lots of different services. Hence, instead of using three or four different services, you can do everything directly from ClickFunnels.
What are the features inside ClickFunnels?
- Templates for each page in your funnel
- Mail auto-responder
- Email list segmentation
- Page hosting on ClickFunnels (no need to buy separate hosting)
- Custom domain (useful for branding)
- Webinar funnels
- Detailed page creator that lets you set up both the back end and front end
- Analytics for every stage of your funnel
- Marketing automation tools to help move people through the funnel
- Affiliate software to help you recruit new marketers for promoting your product
- A/B split testing to find the best performing page/button for your products
- Easily integrate with WordPress using the ClickFunnels WordPress plugin
- and many more…
A/B Split Testing
Even though it seems overwhelming that there are so many features in one piece of software, it is actually very easy to create them one by one in ClickFunnels.
It enables you to easily put together different pages in your funnel through an easy point and click interface.
Again, no coding is required. Everything is live, so all design changes you make can be seen in real-time. Anyone can use it to whip up something nice.
What kind of funnels can be created with ClickFunnels?
With ClickFunnels you can easily create:
- Opt-in/Lead Capture Funnels – Used to capture email addresses of your visitors and grow your mailing list.
Opt-in Funnel Sample
- Sales Page Funnels – Create these to sell products and services, with the ability to add any upsells/downsells to your sales process.
Sales Funnel Sample
Sales Tracking Function
- Webinar Funnels – Useful for helping people register for your webinars.
Webinar Funnel Sample
- Membership Sites – Generate a recurring income by creating a membership site.
Membership Funnel Sample
In fact, ClickFunnels comes with its own distinctive set of templates for each of the different funnel types above.
…or you can start from scratch and build pages directly using the ClickFunnels editor.
ClickFunnels made it very easy for users to learn how to maximize their features. They send a video each day for 21 days to walk you through the simple steps you need to follow to launch your funnel.
With extra cost, you can also get extra awesome features called Actionetics and Backpack.
Actionetics aims to be a replacement for your favorite email service provider.
What’s amazing about Actionetics is you can see everyone who has opted into your lists through your ClickFunnels in the Contact Profiles page (profile includes location, Facebook friends, Twitter followers, occupation, income range, etc.).
Each of your leads is given an Action Score, which is based on recentness, frequency, monetary value and social scores. It basically gives you an idea of which leads are more likely to buy from you.
You can customize different action steps for each category!
In addition, you can use Actionetics to send email broadcasts and the email builder allows you to design nice looking emails.
Action Funnels are Actionetics way of creating auto-responders with some limited marketing automation features.
Action Funnel Steps
Different Rules for Different Customer Groups
For more explanation about Actionetics, here's a short video:
While some of its features are interesting, Actionetics still can’t compete with a full fledged email service provider like ActiveCampaign, Drip or ConvertKit.
One of the best ways to boost the sales of your product is to have a great affiliate program that attracts some top affiliates.
This is what basically what Backpack does. It’s essentially a complete affiliate platform for ClickFunnels that you can attach to any of your created funnels.
Inside Backpack, you can add everything you need for affiliates to promote your product including affiliate links, email swipe copy, and banner ads.
As a matter of fact, you can also setup your affiliate payouts and see how well each of your affiliates is performing.
There’s even support for 2nd tier commissions which is an extremely powerful incentive.
For more explanation about Backpack, here's a short video:
Third party apps integration
Here is a list of the applications Click Funnels can integrate with:
- Constant Contact API
- Convertkit Api
- Ever Webinar
- HTML Form
- Infusionsoft Api
- Infusionsoft Api V2
- Twilio Sms
- Webinar Jam Studio
- Infusionsoft V2
- Blue Snap
- Easy Pay Direct
3rd Party App Integration
ClickFunnels vs Lead Pages
Although ClickFunnels might be your first encounter of a solution for semi-automatic website builder, there’s actually another that has existed long before which is called LeadPages.
I’m not going to lie and let you know here that LeadPages costs cheaper.
However, with its ability to create complete marketing funnels and its easy to use and powerful editor, ClickFunnels provides a clear challenge to LeadPages’ place as the best landing page builder.
By showing you the strengths and weaknesses of each, I hope it will help you make the best decision for which one to adopt in your own business.
With LeadPages, you can customize the different elements on a template, but you can’t really move things around. You are pretty much constrained by the template you choose and that is why LeadPages landing pages and optin-boxes all have a similar style look to them.
ClickFunnels has the upper hand in this, but it certainly has a higher learning curve than LeadPages.
The other main advantage is that ClickFunnels creates complete sales funnels for you. Moreover, all your stats through each stage of your funnel are tracked.
With LeadPages, you can only create single pages. Therefore, creating that initial sales page is simple.
Other functions that are available in ClickFunnels but not LeadPages:
- Adding on an order form
- Upsells and downsells
- Sharing funnels with other members
- Funnel click through percentage (to see click percentages of the pages in your funnel)
The following are third party applications that can be integrated with LeadPages:
- Constant Contact
- GetResponse / GetResponse 360
- 1Shopping Cart
- Mad Mimi
- GoTo Webinar
ClickFunnels vs SamCart
Another player in the lead page builder industry is SamCart. It also allows users to create beautiful, high converting checkout pages.
SamCart aims towards getting you up and selling your product fast. It supports both Stripe and Paypal and it comes with 17 different checkout page templates which you can customize.
In terms of flexibility, ClickFunnel’s drag and drop editor is far superior than SamCart’s. ClickFunnels is infinitely more powerful in that you can design any checkout page you can dream of.
Nevertheless, SamCart comes with a lot of ways to increase the value of each customer in your funnel. You can add order bumps, which allow you to present an additional offer on your checkout page.
If ClickFunnel’s Backpack affiliate system is necessary to you, SamCart also offers its own affiliate center as well. Both products offer everything you need to create a great affiliate program.
Even so, one big advantage of SamCart over ClickFunnels is the fact that there are no restrictions attached to any of their plans.
ClickFunnels vs Infusionsoft
First of all, Infusionsoft isn’t pretty when it comes to design. ClickFunnels allows you to have great design without being a designer.
Furthermore, Infusionsoft pages aren’t mobile responsive. With the increasing prevalence of mobile device usage, ClickFunnels makes sure that every page you build is mobile-responsive.
This is extremely important as Google’s algorithm punishes any website that isn’t.
Lastly, ClickFunnels comes with full tech-support. When you have trouble with Infusionsoft, it usually requires a third party to help you fix it which translates to additional expense.
Where to buy ClickFunnels
You can buy ClickFunnels from their official website here.
Over time, ClickFunnels has evolved their pricing plans. In the beginning, they had 3 different pricing tiers, but they’ve now been consolidated into 2: The basic $97/mo plan and Etison Suite $297/mo plan.
The Etison Suite plan has more allowance on the number of funnels, pages and unique visitors – plus Actionetics and Backpack which you do not get in the basic plan.
For more details on the comparison please refer to the table below:
ClickFunnels Pricing Table
ClickFunnels offers a 14-day free trial, so you can always check it out for free and decide for yourself. In addition, the contract is monthly so you can cancel at any time.
The following testimonials were compiled from internet marketer blogs:
Kinley McFadden on February 5, 2017:
“I’ve been using ClickFunnels for more than a month on a client project of mine, and I am starting to think of it as LeadPages on steroids.”
Harsh Agrawal on June 9, 2016:
“I really like how ClickFunnels has collected all of these concepts and placed them into one tool. It really is a lot more than just a landing page creator. It sets up everything you need to create multi-step funnels, which is usually something you would need multiple tools to accomplish. If you want to simplify your systems, this is a very good option for bringing everything into one tool. You should start testing ClickFunnels with any of your existing products or create a new product & launch it using ClickFunnels. You will be surprised to see how many things you can get done using one piece of software.”
Smoran70 on January 11, 2015:
“I've been extensively researching both platforms. All the reviews I've read seem to suggest it's hard to go wrong with either one. Nice problem to have in this day and age with all the different products offered. I'm currently leaning towards ClickFunnels. As you know Russel is a die hard beliver in split testing everything. I read one of his articles where he admitted that he got so caught up in the beginning testing his sites and offers and not his sales funnels. One he did, his conversions exceeded his expectations. I can't help to think that him and his team will continuously improve on their processes.”
”Click Funnels is an excellent platform for collecting leads but if you don’t have anywhere to send those leads then it’s kind of useless. It’s up to you to figure out where you want to send those leads. All in all, I think Click Funnels is an awesome product for people who want to focus on lead generation. It’s a little expensive but if you have a good offer you’ll make the money back in no-time.”
Who is Russell Brunson?
Russell Brunson is a well-known internet marketer who started out by creating a coaching company called DotComSecrets.
It was created to help entrepreneurs around the world to start, promote and grow their companies online.
He has been doing it for over 12 years now, and has developed ClickFunnels as the tool to make them even more possible.
Aside from these, he also owns a supplement company and authored the best-seller DotComSecrets book.
Unlike competitor products which allow you to create only single standalone pages, ClickFunnels is all about building different types of marketing funnels.
I would suggest you to start with the 14-day free trial first & try it out with one of your products.
Without trying ClickFunnels, you might think that creating single standalone pages with SamCart, or collecting opt-in emails via pop-ups and landing pages with LeadPages are good enough for your business (as they’re cheaper as well).
However, ClickFunnels suggests ideas to maximize the effectiveness of your website to grow your business in a shorter span of time.
Moreover, you don’t need to put as much thought into the funnels as the design and technical details are handled for you.
And if you’re already selling products, it could definitely be worth $297 for the convenience and ability to analyze the effectiveness of each step in your funnel.