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Doing business in 2020 is awesome.
Just think about it. Back in the day, if you wanted to launch a product or start a company, you needed a lot of money for all the right departments.
From tech, who’d handle your website, to marketing who would make sure your products reach the right customers.
Today, you can simply find an all-in-one marketing and sales solution, and take care of everything yourself.
How awesome is that?
However, there’s a lot of these all-in-one sales and marketing solutions.
If you go looking for them (and we’ve got a sneaking suspicion you landed here because you went looking for one of them), you’ll be faced with so many options that you won’t even know where to start.
(We’ve been there, and done that.)
So in this guide, we’re going to tell you everything you need to know about ClickFunnels - an online sales funnel builder that promises you won’t need tech, marketing, or sales teams anymore.
Let’s see if they stand up to the test!
ClickFunnels is an online marketing and sales funnel builder.
Or, as they like to put it:
If you’re new to the world of online selling, or if you want an all-in-one solution, that’s exactly what ClickFunnels offers.
They base their offer on the idea of sales funnels and customer journeys. If that sounds vague and you’re not sure how it’s going to help your business, head on over to Section 3 - Why are marketing and sales funnels important?
If every customer goes on a journey to buy your products, a journey that comprises of convincing and educating them before they’re ready to swipe their credit cards, then ClickFunnels promises they’ll help you automate every single stage of the process.
At the end of the day, the idea is to have customers pouring in, without having to handle all the work yourself. Instead, you can focus on completing other meaningful business tasks.
They subvert the idea a lot of us have about selling online.
You might think all you need is a website. ClickFunnels (and tools similar to theirs) take it one step further, and tell you that you don’t just need a website - you need a sales funnel.
You need every part of your website working towards the most important goal: selling your products.
This way, you’ll get a lot more leads (potential customers) and convert them to paying customers.
ClickFunnels is an Etison LLC product. The company was originally founded in 2014, and the founder, Russell Brunson, has been in the internet marketing and sales space for a very long time.
But has he built a good product?
Let’s take a look!
Here’s what the ClickFunnels team claims their software can do:
The most basic thing you can do with ClickFunnels is create:
Obviously, you can do this with coding. And here’s the kicker: using systems like ClickFunnels means you don’t have to code a single thing from scratch.
You’ll build sales funnels and websites with:
Then, ClickFunnels features branch out into where you can truly find the gold - marketing and sales automation:
In short, you can automate the majority of your marketing and sales processes with the help of this software, and apps like it.
Usually, if you wanted to create a sales funnel like the one's ClickFunnels offer, you’d have to:
The list just goes on and on.
All in all, you’d have a lot of work on your plate. Not to mention the hefty price tags.
Now, you can do it all with the help of a single software - ClickFunnels, or alternatives like it.
There’s no need to code or start working from the ground-up, using old-school and inexpensive methods first just so you’d earn enough to be able to afford tools that would help you create a profitable sales funnel.
The complications disappear. All there’s left is a great sales funnel you can build in a few minutes.
Additionally, ClickFunnels has plenty of templates you can use:
And much, much more!
In short, ClickFunnels promise to help you build a streamlined sales process, leaving nothing to chance, and capturing the maximum amount of customers possible.
And it all relies on one very lucrative theory... That of sales funnels.
If you’re a first-time business owner looking up ways to sell online, you’ll likely come across the idea of sales/marketing funnels.
Sales funnels are a visual representation of your customer’s purchasing journey and a step-by-step process of targeting your leads with marketing materials until they become your customers.
It’s well-acknowledged that customers rarely land on your site and make a purchase.
So sales funnels help you sell more by understanding the answers to the following questions:
Finally, the most important question is: what can you do to convince your customers to buy from you?
A sales funnel can help you answer all of these questions and more.
As a science, it’s used to understand how your customers find and opt for your products.
And as a system, sales funnels help you convert more prospects into customers by making sure that every stage of the sales funnel is priming them for conversion.
To put it simply: sales funnels are a selling system.
Forget about snake oil or time-limited offers. Sales funnels adapt to the way your customers think.
Now, it takes tech to set up a sales funnel.
It takes a whole stack, in fact, like the one we’ve discussed in the previous section.
It costs way more money than what is necessary, so apps like ClickFunnels help you get the results you need without spending too much.
There are 5 sales funnel stages.
During each, there is something you can do with ClickFunnels or similar all-in-one tools to maximize your revenue:
If you take a look at the list of the most important ClickFunnels features, you’ll notice that there’s something for every single stage of the process.
This means that you won’t just leave your selling up to chance or a lucky break. Instead, you’ll leverage your customers’ journeys to increase your chances of selling to them at every single step.
And in 2020, setting up high-converting sales funnel doesn’t even have to be hard!
ClickFunnels is feature-heavy.
This is what makes it such a great fit for beginners and pros alike.
You’ll likely start with basic features and simple sales funnels. But as you scale your business, you’ll want to scale your feature stack, as well.
Here are the most important, simple, and advanced goodies:
ClickFunnels have over 20 funnel templates you can use. They also have an entire marketplace dedicated to other templates, both user-generated and those created by the company.
You can filter by industry, funnel types, and goals.
If you want to sell a product, you’ll find templates perfect for that. Similarly, if you’re in the B2B sector, you’ll find templates to which customers respond best.
You’ll also find more complex funnels, such as:
And many more!
You don’t have to do a lot of research, you just have to choose your template, customize it, and get to work.
Before, you had to code everything yourself. Now you just have to drag and drop elements you want on your page and voila!
You have yourself a website, landing page, an entire funnel, or whatever else you want to create.
The drag & drop editor is certainly one of the biggest strengths of systems like ClickFunnels and Systeme.io.
You can customize the templates by dragging and dropping sections and columns of the page, adding or removing sales elements like videos and CTA buttons.
In fact, you’ll come across plenty of crucial elements in ClickFunnels:
Again, adding and using all of these to engage your customers is as simple as dragging and dropping them to your page.
And if you want to make changes, you can add custom CSS code.
If you’re going to be using SEO to reach more leads, you’re going to love all the mobile optimization features ClickFunnels offers.
While all the pages are instantly optimized for mobile (they adjust to different devices and screen sizes), you can also manually make changes and decide which content you want to be displayed on mobile.
One of the main strengths of ClickFunnels is that they offer specific elements and funnels for certain businesses, such as affiliate programs and membership sites, as well as webinar support.
Previously, if you wanted to host a webinar, run an affiliate program, or have a membership area, you had to jump through hoops just to get it done.
Often, it required so much work that you just wanted to board a plane to Antarctica and go live with penguins.
Fortunately, apps like ClickFunnels and Systeme.io automate your marketing.
ClickFunnels call their affiliate features Backpack.
You just have to add two pages to your existing page, choose your commission structure, and within a few steps, you’ll have a fully functioning affiliate marketing program!
Remind me: what is affiliate marketing?
Affiliate marketing is a form of marketing in which your partners (affiliates) promote your products/services, in exchange for a commission out of every sale they help you make.
Remember when we mentioned that the key to sales is in the follow-up? On average, 80% of sales require at least 5 follow-ups to close a deal.
The folks at ClickFunnels know it well, which is why they offer Actionetics: automated follow-up funnels. You can follow up with your prospects without taking the time to do it manually.
One person can’t do as much as one automation script can.
ClickFunnels allows you to build segmented lists, and send follow-up messages based on your customers’ preferences; email, or even texts.
This is the lead nurturing we spoke about.
You can build segmented lists based on the following information:
And it’s completely free, as Actionetics comes included with ClickFunnels.
Follow-up funnels allow you to maximize the revenue out of every lead, without having to spend additional money on promoting your funnels or driving leads. Only a few people convert the first time they visit your website.
But with Actionetics, you can keep your leads in the funnel, and nurture them until they’re ready to become a paying customer.
In order to help you maximize the value of your ClickFunnels account, the team has created their version of Netflix - Funnel Flix, chock full of useful videos and tutorials.
In addition to helping you understand how to set up your very first funnels, you’ll also be able to watch other training videos such as:
Shopping carts aren’t as straightforward as they used to be. In fact, with tools like ClickFunnels, you can get an insight into your customers’ behavior.
You can understand your customers’ purchasing patterns, motivate them to follow through with purchases even after they’ve abandoned their carts, and recover the purchase you thought was long gone.
Usually, you’d need a stack of tools to get this kind of functionality, but it comes with ClickFunnels.
If you want to run a membership website, or just create a membership area, you can get it done with ClickFunnels.
Again, it’s just a matter of choosing a template and customizing it in their drag & drop editor.
Your customers' behavior changes, and so must your landing pages. It’s the best way to ensure you’re converting the maximum amount of leads.
Normally, if you wanted to test your landing pages against one another (A/B testing), you’d have to do a lot of manual coding.
And if you wanted to implement changes based on your findings, well... You’d better tell your family you’ll be gone for a long time. It’s not easy.
With ClickFunnels, you can easily test different aspects of your pages:
You need data to improve. ClickFunnels allows you to understand the performance of your funnels at a glance, and shows you the most important metrics:
You don’t have to set anything up, either. It’s pre-set, so you can just go straight to work.
While ClickFunnels can theoretically be used by anyone, it’s best fit for...
If this is the first time you’re starting an online business, things can get overwhelming.
There are a lot of tools you can use to boost your sales, and normally, you need plenty of coding and marketing experience to integrate them into your stack.
But even if you’ve been running your business for a while now, you’ll still love how ClickFunnels streamlines sales for you. You’ll get the most important features to kickstart your success.
For example, you can set up a two-step unboxing funnel. After your customers purchase their first product from you, the funnel will prompt them to purchase the second.
You could also use a sales letter or video sales funnels to educate your customers on the value of your products.
Finally, if you’re launching a new product, ClickFunnels has just the thing for you: the Launch funnel, created to drum up the excitement about new goodies!
As a freelancer, you don’t want to spend a lot of time marketing your business when you could spend that time working on paid projects.
ClickFunnels is really the best solution.
A simple sales funnel
You don’t have to pay extra to have a great website that will convert leads into clients. Instead, you can get everything set up in a day, leaving you with plenty of time to do your job.
With advanced contact forms and follow-up options, ClickFunnels will help you turn lurkers into clients before you can say: “Proposal accepted!”
ClickFunnels really does have a suite of features phenomenal for coaches and consultants.
From one-click upsells to advanced functionalities allowing you to create member areas, and webinar forms, you’ll reach more people for way less.
You can integrate webinars hosted on Zoom and other services with your ClickFunnels website, or upload them to ClickFunnels directly.
Similarly, ClickFunnels will work great for you if you’re a blogger or an affiliate marketer, as well.
Even if you rely on foot traffic to generate revenue, you can use ClickFunnels to stimulate on-site conversions. Every brick-and-mortar store today needs a website, so it’s a good idea to use ClickFunnels to power your own.
In time, you may even branch out into eCommerce.
ClickFunnels works great for B2B lead generation, too!
For example, if you wanted to generate leads, you could set the funnel up in two ways:
Technically, everyone can use all-in-one software like ClickFunnels.
You can use it to fuel your entire online presence, or simply parts of it (for example, mailing lists and courses).
However, if you’re planning on creating a complex website (for example, a platform like Booking.com), you’ll run out of features on ClickFunnels.
Their features are usually enough for 90% of businesses.
But if you’ll be running a business that relies on a complex website, you may want to check out their free trial first just to be sure.
Now that we’ve covered all the basic features, it’s time to start using ClickFunnels. Here are the most important things to know in order to make the most of your subscription:
We recommend playing the so-called ClickFunnels Game. It’ll show you the most important parts of the app, and help you create your very first funnel.
If this is your first time setting up a funnel, follow Funnel Hacker’s Cookbook. It’ll easily explain the kind of funnel you need based on your goal, and show you how to set it up within the app.
After you’ve created your first funnel and added your products, you should add the integrations you need:
And other integrations you may need, depending on your business type.
ClickFunnels has a lot of integrations to pick from:
And many more!
The key to nurturing leads is getting them in your funnel in the first place. For you, that means obtaining their email addresses and other relevant information.
However, in order for them to sign up, they’re going to need an incentive.
This is where your lead magnet comes in.
A landing page
It’s a highly valuable piece of content that requires your leads to give you their email addresses in order to download it.
Typically, this can be an eBook, a guide, a video tutorial, or something equally useful.
You can add the lead magnet offer to your ClickFunnels landing page, and have your leads fill out forms.
Then, set up automation to have that lead magnet sent to them automatically.
It’s good to keep it simple when you’re starting out. However, don’t forget about page elements that can make your landing page more engaging:
If you are selling multiple products, make separate landing pages.
Every landing page your leads visit should focus on selling one product (type) at a time.
Don’t add too many external links and scatter their attention. Instead, keep them focused on your main and only offer at the moment.
Fortunately, ClickFunnels has FunnelFlix.
Make sure you check out the training relevant to your business type. It’ll help you make the most out of your ClickFunnels experience.
The main advantage of tools like ClickFunnels and Systeme.io is that they provide you with blueprints for success.
The idea of sales funnels was pretty revolutionary when it gained traction.
However, business owners struggle with implementation. You need to catch the attention of your (potential) customers at every step, but you’re not a robot.
There’s no way you can do all of that alone!
Fortunately, ClickFunnels has pre-built funnel templates. All you have to do is plug & play.
This means that fewer leads will “escape” your funnel if they’re not ready to buy immediately.
Instead, they’ll keep going, being educated on the values of your product until they’re ready to become a customer.
And ClickFunnels helps you after, as well.
You can retain your customers, and maximize their lifetime value with up-selling and cross-selling, as well as referral marketing.
Not a computer whiz? No problem.
Every time we remember the toll it took to use marketing tools in the early 2000s, we can’t stop ourselves from groaning. You needed to pay exorbitant amounts, while also taking courses and training modules just to be able to use them.
It’s a mess.
However, ClickFunnels is easy to use.
It’s user-friendly, with an interface that clearly explains features and helps you create your very first landing page, website, or funnel.
If you’re building a funnel, you can add and reorder steps as you please.
When you’re creating landing pages and a website, you’ll be using their simple drag & drop Etison editor. You’ll just have to drag the elements you want to see to your page, and that’s it!
No, you don’t need a Ph.D.
If you’ve ever heard marketers talking about landing pages and conversion rate optimization, you probably got a headache. It seems like it’s got a lot of moving parts, right?
Systems like Systeme.io and ClickFunnels streamline even landing page creation.
First off, you can choose from templates (seriously, we love ClickFunnels for giving us ready-to-use templates), and customize them to your branding.
Secondly... Heck, there’s no second step. That’s it.
Even a simple landing page will boost your conversions significantly, and it doesn’t have to be a hassle. Not anymore.
Sales analytics can be a huge pain in the cart.
But, surprisingly, they’re not with ClickFunnels.
You’ll be able to track the number of sales, as well as conversion rates from the very first moment.
And if you’re not happy with the results you’re seeing, you can always set up an A/B test to optimize.
All-in-one, for real
You don’t have to pay for separate hosting if you build your website and funnels with ClickFunnels.
You don’t even have to pay for a domain, although we recommend you do so. Otherwise, your URL will look something like this: “[business].clickfunnels.com.”
With great power comes great... usability?
By now, you’ve probably realized that ClickFunnels has a lot to offer. You’ll get incredibly advanced features such as the ones we’ve mentioned in Section 4 - A detailed breakdown of the best ClickFunnels features.
And the best part is: you won’t have to waste time learning how to use them, or paying web designers to implement them.
No software comes without flaws. And for all of its features, ClickFunnels has a few disadvantages:
If you start out with the basic plan, you’ll need to upgrade to Platinum to build unlimited funnels.
Otherwise, you’ll be able to make 20 funnels and 100 pages.
Similarly, if you want to use follow-up funnels, a crucial feature for conversion rate optimization, you’ll have to upgrade to Platinum.
ClickFunnels’ versatility is a double-edged sword.
While you’ll get access to plenty of useful features, you may also find that none of them are explored to the fullest. Instead, it’ll allow you to dip your fingers in plenty of pies.
However, if you want to go deeper, you may have to tweak around yourself.
Again, this really depends on the type of business you lead. You can also take a look at Systeme.io, for a similar but more powerful solution.
If your customers are aesthetes and you need powerful visuals, you may find ClickFunnels’ customization options lacking.
Again, they’re a funnel-building service, not a page builder per se.
You shouldn’t expect them to have all the features of other page builders such as Diwi or Elementor, with almost unlimited customization options.
ClickFunnels put utility before beauty.
You can build simple landing pages, customize them up to a certain point, but that’s it.
If you want to use one-click upsells to boost your revenue, keep in mind that PayPal doesn’t support them.
Instead, you’ll have to process the one-click up-sell payments with Stripe.
If you want to remind your customers to renew their subscriptions (if you run a service-based or a membership business), you won’t be able to set it up automatically within ClickFunnels.
Finally, your funnels and your pages will be hosted by ClickFunnels. That in itself can be a massive pro - you don’t have to pay for separate website hosting.
However, if their server goes down, so will your pages.
Keep that in mind if you need 100% uptime.
ClickFunnels currently has two plans: basic and Platinum.
It’s kind of a downer to see that ClickFunnels is charging $97 per month without automation, a key feature for any sales funnel.
You can hardly expect a resounding success without lead nurturing through follow-up funnels.
We recommend giving ClickFunnels a spin during the free trial and the basic plan.
If you like their style, you should upgrade to Platinum and get the automation you need to actually convert customers.
Or you can check out ClickFunnels alternatives:
All ClickFunnels features and more. The most expensive plan: $97/month.
Systeme.io covers everything you need to launch and make your business profitable:
What makes it a great ClickFunnels alternative is that it offers plenty of features you might have liked when looking up ClickFunnels.
However, Systeme.io tops ClickFunnels.
In addition to sales funnels and support for different business types, Systeme.io also supports dropshipping businesses.
Systeme.io’s drag & drop editor is even simpler than ClickFunnels’. It offers more customization options.
If you’re an aesthete, you’ll love the beautiful and streamlined approach to building your business’ online presence.
Finally, if you want to run your business on autopilot, Systeme.io allows you to build entire automation workflows.
As you can tell, Systeme.io offers a lot more than ClickFunnels, and the most expensive plan is $97 per month. That much with ClickFunnels wouldn’t even get you follow-up funnels.
If you’re on a budget, or just need a few features ClickFunnels and Systeme.io offer, you should take a look at Builderall.
Builderall offers great features:
If you need extra marketing gimmicks, you’ll love it!
However, its core offer isn’t that different from ClickFunnels and Systeme.io.
Builderall has 5 plans:
All in all, Builderall is a great alternative to ClickFunnels.
However, it mainly seems to scale up base on marketing capabilities and webinar builders.
If you want to launch a webinar immediately, opt for Systeme.io instead.
If you’re a ride-or-die WordPress user, you’ll love ThriveThemes.
Unlike ClickFunnels and other alternatives to ClickFunnels, ThriveThemes offer themes and plugins to help you increase your conversion rate.
Their features include:
And much more!
There are two pricing plans:
All in all, ThriveThemes is a great option if you don’t want the full functionality of tools like ClickFunnels and Systeme.io.
A lot of people wonder whether ClickFunnels is a legitimate website, and the answer is: yes. They just market through affiliates, which can lead to some weird campaigns and claims.
However, ClickFunnels is a website and funnel builder. They deliver on that promise.
Nope, but they do have a 14-day free trial. You can use it full-time for either $97/month or $297/month.
No, but you can use their feature, Actionetics, to manage relationships with your customers.
ClickFunnels is used for creating websites, landing pages, and sales funnels that will help you maximize your sales.
The folks at ClickFunnels calculated their cost well. If you used separate software and tools for all the functions they cover, you’d need a lot of money and knowledge to get started.
However, Systeme.io offers more than ClickFunnels, for less.
Well, the ClickFunnels team members aren’t going to send you a suitcase full of cash, but they will help you implement a method that’s been known to boost conversion numbers across industries.
They offer live chat support, as well as thriving community groups on social media. If you upgrade to Platinum, you’ll get priority support and weekly coaching.
No. If you don’t have your own domain, you can get one, or simply use ClickFunnels’ subdomain.
Similarly, you don’t need hosting at all. ClickFunnel hosts your website.
This reduces your costs. However, keep an eye on their downtime if you need your website to be up and running 24/7, 100% of the time.
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