Are you trying to sell things online?
Then I am sure you will agree that converting your traffic into sales is hard.
And getting yourself profitable? That’s even tougher.
But there’s a simple secret to increasing the value of each customer you market to:
Sales funnels. Actionetics
By creating a well-designed sales funnel, it is possible to dramatically boost your sales and provide more value for your customers.
In this post, I will present you to ClickFunnels, the application I’m using to build sales funnels for my business.
You don’t need any technical know-how to use this, and it will truly change the way you operate your business.
If you are prepared to throw yourself into the ClickFunnels world, it’s one of the best affiliate programs out there. I’ll be talking about that too later on.
ClickFunnels was made back in 2014 by Russell Brunson and his group. 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
Essentially, you’re getting everything you need to advertise and sell your products online, without having to employ expensive developers.
And individuals are using ClickFunnels with great success.
If you check out their 2 Comma Club website, you can see that nearly 300 entrepreneurs have already created 1 million dollar funnels using ClickFunnels.
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 distinct types of funnels that he has used successfully in his own business.
The funnel forms 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 make too.
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 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 using 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 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 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. Actionetics
Best Feature #2: Good Visual Drag and Drop Editor
While ClickFunnels provides you a wonderful starting point with its funnel and page templates, the ClickFunnels editor is the place you can truly make each page in your funnel your own.
Pages in ClickFunnels are laid out with 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 want them.
While not as adaptable as Instapage’s landing page editor, it is still quite nice and it may be used to achieve pretty much any design you desire.
What I like is that the editor is very 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 manner. You’re not spending a lot of time hunting for what you want to do.
The main thing is that no coding is needed. So you don’t need 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 vital for providing you the flexibility to design the specific pages you want and ClickFunnels gives you a wide array of them to use.
Basic elements comprise of Headline, Photo, Text, Button, Input forms and Video widgets. These are the fundamental building blocks for any landing page you build 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
Additionally, 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 change 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 which 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 once you reach 100 active referrals.
On top of that, they offer 5%, 2-tier commissions for referring people to the ClickFunnels affiliate program.
And thanks to the ClickFunnel’s sticky cookie, you’ll also earn commissions on any upsells your referrals buy as they go through their specific funnels too.
That’s not all:
ClickFunnels also has another great feature for affiliates known as share funnels.
Within the Settings tab of any of your funnels, you can grab your Share Funnel URL.
Whenever someone visits this URL, they will have the ability to bring this funnel directly into their accounts if they are an existing ClickFunnels member. If they are not a member yet, they can register for the ClickFunnels 14-day free trial 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 on.
What I don’t 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 procedure seems to take around 8-10 seconds every time.
While I really 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 somewhat 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 cheapest plan. I am 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.
However you can get more annoyed at such constraints if you are doing client work, creating 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 build unlimited funnels.
Bad Part #3: Fairly High learning curve
The scope of what ClickFunnels could do is fairely 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 software. The ClickFunnels interface is pretty well designed for the most part and once you’ve built a few funnels yourself, the entire 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 merged into 2 separate plans.
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 production tools, but you are restricted 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 lets you make your own affiliate program.
To get 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 are no ClickFunnels coupon codes out there. However, you can purchase Funnel Hacks for $997 which gives you 6 months of Etison Suite for free plus some extra 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 is not constrained whatsoever which lets you give the software a complete test before you fully commit.
If $97 or $297 a month seems like too big a commitment for your current budget, there is also a semi-secret, unadvertised Share Funnel plan that 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 try out ClickFunnels on a budget.
Everything else you should 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 can immediately ask questions in the live chat box. Support requests are usually answered in a couple of hours and I found the staff to pretty helpful to all my questions.
Do I need my own domain? Actionetics
You do not 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 like http://username.clickfunnels.com.
One nice bonus I didn’t know about is that ClickFunnels will get you your first domain name for free and even install SSL on it for you. You can discover 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 opinions on your sales funnels and answer any questions you may have.
There are also other FB groups run by ClickFunnels affiliates which are also very active. The main one I suggest joining is Automation Nation. It is run by Spencer Mecham who is ClickFunnel’s top affiliate.
What integrations do they provide?
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 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’re looking to acquire the $297/mo. Etison Suite plan, then it’s definitely well worth it to sign up with Funnel Hacks instead to save some additional money. For $997, you are going to get 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 because of all of the affiliates that are trying to promote 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 is a great software with an amazing affiliate opportunity. So many men and women are using ClickFunnels to construct 6 and 7 figure companies.
When folks ask, “How can I create a sales funnel”, ClickFunnels is the #1 response hands down. There’s 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 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 that will help you grow your brand and sell your services and products.
And you can use it to create membership sites where you’re able to gate your premium content so that it is available only to subscribers.
How can you make ClickFunnels work for you? Actionetics
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 until you do. Unless you just want to market it as an affiliate.
Next, you need to be willing to commit time and money 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 proper upsells, order bumps and other OTOs that match or improve your main product offering.
If you are unclear how to being, I’d have a look at Russell’s very own multi-million dollar sales funnels to give you inspiration. Read his book DotComSecrets where he explains exactly 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 yourself you can observe how he goes from low-cost tripwire (DotComSecrets) into promoting his flagship product (ClickFunnels).
By building his own community of raving fans he can then upsell his various different products and events like Funnel Scripts, Funnel Hackers Live, and much more.
As soon as you’ve gone through his funnels, then you can take the components that are applicable to your own business and create a plan for your sales funnel. As soon as you have that in place, you will be prepared to begin 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 capability to sell products directly on their pages with its new Checkout widget
Each product comes with a huge selection of nice looking templates. Both have drag and drop editors which make it effortless for you to create the designs you desire. And both integrate with all the popular email service providers.
But, Leadpages is significantly more limited in scope than ClickFunnels. You use it to create landing pages that will help you collect leads. This isn’t a bad thing since LeadPages really shines for building landing pages fast.
Right now, among the best strategies for developing your email list is using content upgrades. By producing targeted lead magnets into your most well-known articles you can get opt-in conversion rates that far surpass your typical pop-up.
LeadPages is the very best service for implementing this approach with its LeadBoxes, 2 step opt-ins, and automatic lead magnet delivery which is why they are the most popular popup you will see now.
Therefore, if you’re primarily concentrated 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.
However, if you are selling a service or product, then ClickFunnels is the better alternative . While it comes with a higher learning curve than Leadpages, as soon as you master the tool, you can definitely explode your sales as soon as you begin generating sales funnels for each of your products.
ClickFunnels vs SamCart
SamCart is a product which lets users create amazing, high converting checkout pages. Which gives it a lot in common with ClickFunnels.
SamCart is geared towards getting setup and selling quickly. It supports both Stripe and Paypal and it comes with 17 distinct checkout page templates which you can customize.
In terms of flexibility, there’s absolutely 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 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 quickly create coupons for your products which is another terrific way to raise conversions.
But where Samcart is missing, is the capability to capture leads and create 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 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 create 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
– Plently of things to understand, a steep learning curve
– Split testing is pretty basic
Final Thoughts Actionetics
Which application you go with depends on your requirements and the amount of work you’re willing to invest in your business.
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?
Otherwise, ClickFunnels could be overkill for you. You can collect leads or sell 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 really suggest giving ClickFunnels a try.
Not only to access the software but also since the coaching that you get will be both inspirational and enlightening.
Make the most of the ClickFunnels 14-day free trial, and see if you can use it to increase your business now.