Nowadays, successful entrepreneurs do most of their selling online. If you have a great product but you don’t know how to sell it online, your business is likely to stagnate. This is why it is important to create an attractive selling campaign, generate plenty of leads, and set up great landing pages.
If you have a good website, product, and the email addresses of prospects and customers, you can build your own business ecosystem. This will increase your revenue and draw more customers. But, what if you don’t have the time and skills to create and run your own website? Also what if you don’t have the budget for web developers and hosting?
Luckily, websites like ClickFunnels aims to replace all that and be your all-in-one tool for generating leads and selling products. In this article, we will take a closer look at what is ClickFunnels, what it offers, and some of its pros and cons.
What is ClickFunnels?
ClickFunnels is a software platform that helps you create quick and effective sales funnels for converting leads into customers. It is the brainchild of Russel Brunson who created it with his team in 2014. Now, it is a business that generates $100 million in annual profit.
Depending on your business, your sales funnels may be different. Some entrepreneurs use this tool to create attractive landing pages and generate leads to their websites. Others use it as the main tool for selling their products. Lastly, you can also create events like webinars.
The main purpose of ClickFunnels is to help you accumulate leads and increase the value of your customers. You’ll be able to design a landing page in a couple of clicks. After that, you can integrate widgets and other necessary lead-generating tools and set up a funnel in no time. It aims to replace the need of web developers and designers.
What is a Sales Funnel?
If you’re trying to sell a product, you need to be familiar with sales funnels. All businesses have at least one sales funnel, whether you know about it or not. The funnel represents your potential to sell a product. It consists of four most important stages:
At the top of a funnel is product awareness. That’s the broadest part. You attract as many potential customers as possible and put them at the top of your sales funnel – the awareness stage, where you make them aware of something – your product or products, brand, company, etc.
Once you have the attention of a consumer, you need to raise their interest. This is where you discretely lead them to your product. Expand their knowledge about the problems your product solves, inform, and lead the consumer to make a decision without pushing them.
When the potential buyer is ready to purchase, you can stimulate them with irresistible offers. That’s where discounts, free shipping, additional gifts, and other selling tricks come to action.
At the very bottom of the funnel are consumers who are ready to act. When they purchase your product, they will remain tied to your business. They will leave their email or other information which you will use to further bring them new product offers. This way your sales will grow, as well as your customer value, leads, and business.
The goal of ClickFunnels is to facilitate consumers’ journey down your sales funnel in the easiest and most effective way possible.
Is ClickFunnels Legitimate?
As with many similar websites, people come across mixed reviews about this tool. The simple answer is – this website is not a scam. By the beginning of 2019, It had over 70,000 active users.
ClickFunnels placed 76th on the Inc. 5000 websites list in 2018. So, ClickFunnels is a legitimate business. However, not all users may experience the same results, success or lack thereof. You will have to learn how to use it effectively to achieve your goals.
The platform’s main purpose is to save you time in making sales so that you can better focus on marketing and growing your business.
How Much Does it Cost?
Sounds good for far? Perhaps you are now tempted to make a decision. This is why ClickFunnels offers a 14-day free trial. You’ll have enough time to set up a funnel, integrate it with other tools, set up widgets, and see if it is the right fit for you.
If you decide to subscribe, the entry-level plan is $97 per month. You’ll be able to use all the available tools to create a funnel. However, you are limited to 20 funnels, 100 pages, and 20,000 visitors per website. You also won’t be able to use the Actionetics (email provider) and Backpack (affiliate program creator) tools.
On the other hand, the Etison Suite plan gives you a full package at a monthly cost of $297. If you need more than 100 pages and 20,000 visitors per website, you’re probably generating enough revenue to cover the costs.
You can also purchase a 12-month “Funnel Builder Secrets” package. It offers classes, training, and various analytic tools along with the Etison Suite plan. You have to commit to a year-long membership, but you’ll get the Etison Suite for around $250/month, on top of the guides and other benefits.
The Good Sides of ClickFunnels
Integration with Email Autoresponders
Despite having its own built-in tools like Actionetics, ClickFunnels allows you to integrate other tools and customize things in any way you deem fit.
For example, whenever someone visits your sales funnel, you’ll want them to leave their email address as quickly as possible so that even if they leave your landing page and never return you can continue selling them products by sending them email offers. This is one of the best ways to build your leads and grow your revenue.
ClickFunnels has a built-in auto e-mail responder, Actionetics. But it allows you to use your own responder such as ActiveCampaign, Drip, Aweber, and more. Even if you have an existing email responder that you’re partial to, you can continue using it with ClickFunnels.
Various Payment Gateways
The more ways for customers to pay for your products or services, the better the chances of them going through with it.
Thanks to ClickFunnels’ Payment Gateways, you can link a wide range of payment options to your landing page. This way your potential customer can use PayPal, Stripe, Easy Pay Direct, NMI, and many other payment methods to purchase your product.
Of course, for every payment option that you choose, you’ll have to supply the account information. This means that you need to have an account with all the gateways that you want to link.
However, it is always better for you to sync various methods to one account than to leave out a potential customer’s preferred payment option.
If you have a product but not an online domain, ClickFunnels offers a solution. At the same time, if you have an existing domain, you can easily add it to your account.
So, if you just need a landing page with a couple of steps for a prospect, you don’t need to spend additional money for a domain. With the most affordable ClickFunnels monthly subscription, you get a free website domain that you can use.
On the other hand, you can add ClickFunnels to a subdomain of your existing website. That way you can move everything to your own website and use that subdomain for consumer activity.
Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced sales funnel creator, you will have a great time using this tool.
You will be able to choose from 22 different sales funnel templates. These templates are the results of ClickFunnels’ long-term research into landing pages that best capture the interest of consumers.
They fall into three different types – sales page funnels, lead capture funnels, and event funnels. As you might guess, they serve different purposes.
There are also special funnel templates that you can use. One of them is a Squeeze Page template. It collects a visitor’s email address and leads them to a Thank You page after they’ve signed up.
All templates look highly professional. Even if you’ve never designed a landing page in your life, you’ll get the hang of this. If you don’t have the time, you can simply tweak the template a little and add your own text and images, and the funnel will be ready to go.
The template editing tool doesn’t require you to have any prior knowledge of design or coding. It is a simple drag-and-drop editor that you can modify from scratch. Once you load a template, you can remove all the widgets and elements and start customizing. You can place any number of rows or columns, select images, and write text.
This editor is extremely user-friendly. Once you insert an element, you can drag it everywhere around the background until you find a suitable place. Since it can have any number of rows and columns and you can customize their size, you’ll find the editor easy to use.
You can edit different parts of the text on the same line, which is not available on some other editors. This makes for some interesting marketing tricks, bolding or changing the color or size of particular words in a line.
For customizing other widgets and elements, you can use the quick-access sidebar on the right. You’ll be able to adjust the position, size, and other properties of the element.
This editor is perfect for both beginners and those who are more hands-on. This is because it has ready-made templates, as well as the possibility to create from scratch.
Wide Range of Widgets
Widgets and other elements are an important part of ClickFunnels. They allow you to insert bars, buttons, create leads, go to other pages, etc. Thanks to these widgets, you can design a distinctive landing page.
First of all, you have basic widgets. These are the foundations of any landing page that you design with this software. These include headlines, images, input forms, buttons, and videos.
However, there are some funnels that are more advanced. For example, you can add a countdown timer to your page. This countdown timer is perfect if you want to offer a product discount for a limited time. Of course, some experienced salespeople would use it to creates sales pressure, which has proved to work more often than not.
Also, there is a widget that adds a chat window on your page. This allows you to answer directly to customers via phone app or email.
Other interesting widgets include SMS Sign Up, progress bars, pricing tables, product highlights, pixel tracking, and many more.
Compatibility with Google Analytics and Retargeting Pixel
One of the best features of ClickFunnels is that it is compatible with Google Analytics and Facebook Pixel.
You can just paste your Google Analytics or Pixel retargeting code in the “Settings” menu. This will implement the code to all landing pages of your ClickFunnels account. If you only want to apply Google Analytics to certain pages, you can do that too.
With these tools, you can figure out the exact demographics of your customers. This will help with your future marketing campaigns.
Also, with the “Product Performance” option, you can see the days and hours where you have the most traffic. For example, you can place the timer countdown widget on some discount offers during this time to attract sales and new leads.
If you want to earn some extra money while sharing your funnels, you can join the ClickFunnels affiliate program. You can get 40% recurring commission for each referral and get a prize of $500 after your 100th referral.
There is also a “share funnels” option for affiliates. Each funnel has its own link that you can find in the settings bar. When another user visits the link, they could add the funnel to their own account. If they don’t have an account, they’ll be able to set up a 14-day free trial, add your funnel to their account, and test out the software.
This “share funnel” link is also your affiliate URL, so if the new trial user decides to purchase the software, you’ll get a commission.
The Negative Side of ClickFunnels
There’s a lot to like about this tool, but there are also some things that can use some improvement in the future.
Occasional Slow Performance
ClickFunnels has a constantly growing user base. That may be the reason that the website can perform slower in certain situations.
For example, when you finish with picking the template and creating your own funnel, there’s a step where the tool adds it to your account. It should happen right away, but for some reason, you may have to wait up to 20 seconds.
This happens often with each new funnel or landing page that you make, which can get quite annoying. For a website tool that promotes efficiency, it can surely work on the performance of certain processes.
Also, if the site goes down, all the sales funnels in your account go down with it. So, if something happens to the ClickFunnels servers, all landing pages that you linked with this tool will stop working. This will halt your sales and your customers may go and buy something else during that time.
Fortunately, the platform is much more stable these days even as it continues to grow.
Only Two Subscription Levels
If you decide to subscribe to the lower level, your account will come with limitations of up to 20 funnels, 100 pages, and 20,000 visitors.
If you’re running a small business, this might not be a big problem. But, as your business expands and your strategy becomes more complicated, you’ll need to opt for the upper plan, which is almost 3 times more expensive.
Also, if you create funnels for different clients, the cheapest pack won’t cut it. The same is true if you plan to participate in the affiliate “share funnels” program.
The logic behind it is that if you have maximized the potential of the lower plan, you should be able to step up to the Etison Suite plan. As it is, considering the cost difference, it might make sense to have an in-between plan.
Takes Time to Master
Despite its user-friendly features and intuitive editing tools, the software itself is not easy to master. Less-experienced users may find it scary to fool around with all the widgets and features. It may take some effort until you can create a proper funnel that works.
This leads us to our next issue.
Short Trial Period
Since this tool offers such a wide range of features, it takes time to master its potential as covered in the previous point. Since the free trial lasts only 2 weeks, there is no way that an entry-level user can decide with any certainty if the tool is for them.
As you can see in this article, the tool offers plenty of features, widgets, elements, and has a very high learning curve. This can perhaps overwhelm new users, especially those who are unfamiliar with the concept of sales funnels.
For that reason, a trial period of a month may be beneficial for both potential users and the app itself. This way new users can take more time to try and build an ideal landing page and see how it performs.
If a user sees progress while using ClickFunnels during a longer trial period, they will be more inclined to purchase the project.
Of course, it’s possible that ClickFunnels might be aware of recent studies that conclude that 14-day trials are the optimum. It’d generate revenues quicker and serious buyers aren’t going to take more than 14 days to decide. However, these studies may not have accounted for things like sales funnels.
No 24-Hour Support
If a business is truly global, it should have 24-hour support.
At the moment, ClickFunnels support is only available Monday to Friday from 9 AM to 5 PM EST. If someone in a completely different time zone needs immediate live support, he will probably have to wait until the next day.
On the other hand, when available, their support is extremely helpful. If you have a question, you can also ask other users in the ClickFunnels community. There is an official Facebook group that you can find by the name ClickFunnels (Official) (over 100,000 members).
When Should You Use ClickFunnels?
Keep in mind that ClickFunnels is not a miracle worker. It is a convenient software platform intended to help you create landing pages, generate leads, and sell your products or services. You have to have a good product and competent marketing for it to work.
This tool saves you a lot of time and money that you would normally use to maintain a website and pay developers to make it tick. Also, it is much easier to use than WordPress, especially as a sales funnel tool.
It is great if you’d rather focus more on the more critical aspects of your business, such as actually scaling it. While you do this, ClickFunnels can focus on generating leads and sales.
Is It Worth It?
This depends on if you want to create a high-performing sales funnel. Otherwise, you may be able to find cheaper alternatives for generating leads and selling products.
However, if you are looking for a long-term lead generator you may want to give ClickFunnels a try. It has high compatibility with an abundance of tools. Also, there are different payment gateways, an intuitive editor, and many other features.
With ClickFunnels, you can easily customize your sales funnel in any way you see fit and create and maintain a healthy seller-consumer ecosystem. You are also likely to increase the long-term value of your visitors.
Training materials are available to you, which is not only useful for this particular tool but allows you to understand and make use of sales funnels. Either way, you can take advantage of the 14-day demo and decide for yourself.