Are you currently trying to sell things online?
I’m sure you will agree that converting your visitors into revenue is hard.
And getting yourself profitable? That’s even tougher.
There is a simple secret to increasing the value of every customer you sell to:
Sales funnels. Clickfunnels University
By creating a well-designed sales funnel, you can dramatically boost your earnings and provide more value for your clients.
In this post, I will introduce you to ClickFunnels, the software I am using to build sales funnels for my business.
You don’t need any technical know-how to use it, and it will really change how you run your business.
If you’re prepared to throw yourself into the ClickFunnels world, it’s one of the best affiliate programs on the market. I will be speaking about that too later on.
What is ClickFunnels?
ClickFunnels was made back in 2014 by Russell Brunson and his group. 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.
At its core, ClickFunnels is a software for constructing sales funnels. With a lot of added bells and whistles.
You can use it to construct:
– Landing pages
– Squeeze pages
– Membership websites
– Every type of sales funnel you can think of, complete with order bumps, upsells and downsells
Basically, you’re getting everything you need to market and promote your products online, without needing 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 nearly 300 entrepreneurs have already created 1 million dollar funnels using ClickFunnels.
That’s remarkable.Clickfunnels University
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 different types of funnels that he has employed 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 some other special funnels like Membership funnels you can make too.
They include simple funnels like the Squeeze Page Funnel which gathers a visitor’s email address and then sends them to 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 with 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. Clickfunnels University
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 where 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 columns and rows. You can then use your mouse to drag elements around and place them where you need them.
While not as flexible as Instapage’s landing page editor, it is still quite nice and it can be utilized to achieve pretty much any design you desire.
What I like is that the editor is quite intuitive to use.
Selecting elements on the page and transferring them where you want is very seamless.
Text elements can be edited inline, and modifying any element’s properties can be done through the fly-out sidebar.
And contrary to other editors out there, everything is organized in a logical way. You’re not spending a lot of time searching for what you want to do.
The important thing is that no programming is required. So you don’t 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 essential for giving you the flexibility to design the specific pages you woud like and ClickFunnels provides you a wide variety 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 that you build in the software.
ClickFunnels also includes a number of advanced components 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 majority of elements, you can change 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 is little doubt in my mind that ClickFunnels has the very best, legitimate affiliate marketing program which you can be a part of.
First the basics:
The ClickFunnels affiliate program pays 40% recurring commissions for each referral you make and you can win cool prizes like $500 towards your 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.
And thanks to the ClickFunnel’s sticky cookie, you will 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 excellent feature for affiliates known as share funnels.
Inside the Settings tab of any of your funnels, you can grab your Share Funnel URL.
Whenever someone visits this URL, they will be able to bring this funnel directly into their accounts if they’re an existing ClickFunnels member. If they aren’t 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 awesome 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 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 process appears to take approximately 8-10 seconds every time.
While I really don’t understand what is going on behind the scenes, it does not make sense to me why this could take so long. It is 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 on their lowest plan. I am really not a fan of software products which limit you in this manner.
If you’re just building sales funnels for yourself, these limits are most likely okay.
But you may get more annoyed at these limitations 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 build unlimited funnels.
Bad Part #3: Fairly High learning curve
The scope of what ClickFunnels could do is pretty huge, and it can definitely be intimidating to some.
That’s why ClickFunnels put so much work into the onboarding process to help ease you into the software. The ClickFunnels interface is fairely well made for the most part and when you’ve built a couple funnels yourself, the whole 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’ve 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 the funnel production 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 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 out there. But, you can buy Funnel Hacks for $997 which provides you 6 months of Etison Suite for free and 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’s not limited 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 present budget, there is also a semi-secret, unadvertised Share Funnel plan which you can also get 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 should know about ClickFunnels
How is their support?
ClickFunnels support is quite good in my experience, although they can be a little slow in responding. They use Intercom, so you can immediately ask questions in the live chat box. Support requests are usually answered within a few hours and I found the staff to fairly helpful to all my queries.
Do I need my own domain name? Clickfunnels University
You do not 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 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 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 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 which are also quite active. The main one I recommend joining is Automation Nation. It is 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 suggest going with Stripe if you can.
What’s the Funnel Hacks system?
If you’re looking to get the $297/mo. Etison Suite plan, then it is definitely 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’ll also get a bunch 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 making an effort to promote it.
But no, ClickFunnels is not 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’s a fantastic software with an amazing affiliate opportunity. So many people are using ClickFunnels to build 6 and 7 figure businesses.
When folks ask, “How do I create a sales funnel”, ClickFunnels is the #1 response hands down. There’s no other software that can do everything 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 at the moment in their business.
It’s great for creating opt-in funnels to help you generate more leads and build your email list.
You can produce webinar funnels that will help you grow your brand and sell 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 is accessible only to subscribers.
How can you make ClickFunnels work for you? Clickfunnels University
To start with, you need to have a product or service to market. If you do not have something to market, then don’t 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 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 coming up with appropriate upsells, order bumps and other OTOs that complement or enhance your main product offering.
If you are unclear how to start, 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 marketing your services and products.
And as you go through his own sales funnels you can see the way he goes from low-cost tripwire (DotComSecrets) into selling his flagship product (ClickFunnels).
By creating his very own community of raving fans he could then upsell his various other 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 apply to your own company and create a strategy for your sales funnel. As soon as 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 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 added the ability 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 which make it effortless for you to create the designs you want. And both integrate with the popular email service providers.
However, Leadpages is more limited in scope compared to ClickFunnels. You use it to create landing pages that can help you collect leads. This is not a bad thing because LeadPages really shines for building landing pages fast.
At this time, one of the most effective strategies for growing your email list is by using content upgrades. By creating targeted lead magnets into your most popular posts you can acquire opt-in conversion rates that far surpass your typical pop-up.
LeadPages is the very 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 will see today.
Therefore, if you’re 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.
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 really explode your sales as soon as you begin generating sales funnels for all your products.
ClickFunnels vs SamCart
SamCart is a product which allows users to build beautiful, high converting checkout pages. Which gives it a whole lot in common with ClickFunnels.
SamCart is geared towards getting setup and selling fast. It supports both Stripe and Paypal and it includes 17 distinct checkout page templates that you may 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 permit you to add order bumps, upsells and downsells like ClickFunnels does. You can also easily create coupons for your products which is another great way to increase conversions.
But where Samcart is lacking, is the capability 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 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 kind of funnel
– Great on-boarding process for learning the program
– Software has been better after each update
– Easily share any funnels you create 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
– Lots of things to learn, a steep learning curve
– Split testing is pretty basic
Final Thoughts Clickfunnels University
Which application you go with depends on your needs and the amount of work you are 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 create 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.
However, if raising the average lifetime value of your customers is important to you, then I truly recommend giving ClickFunnels a try.
Not just to get access to the software but also since the training that you receive will be both inspirational and enlightening.
Make the most of the ClickFunnels 14-day free trial, and see if you can use it to grow your business now.