Are you currently trying to sell stuff online?
Then I’m sure you will agree that converting your traffic into sales is hard.
And getting yourself profitable? That’s even harder.
But there’s a simple secret to increasing the value of each customer you market to:
Sales funnels. Click Funnel Substitutes
By creating a well-designed sales funnel, it is possible to dramatically boost your earnings and provide more value for your clients.
In this article, I will present you to ClickFunnels, the application I’m using to create sales funnels for my business.
You don’t need any technical know-how to utilize it, and it is going to really change how you operate your business.
If you are 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.
ClickFunnels was created back in 2014 by Russell Brunson and his team. 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.
At its core, ClickFunnels is a software for building sales funnels. With a lot of additional bells and whistles.
You can use it to build:
– 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 all you need to market and sell your products online, without having to employ expensive developers.
And individuals are utilizing ClickFunnels with great success.
If you check out their 2 Comma Club site, you can see that nearly 300 entrepreneurs have already created 1 million dollar funnels utilizing ClickFunnels.
That is amazing.Click Funnel Substitutes
What are the best features of ClickFunnels?
Best Feature #1: Funnel template blueprints
If 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 forms fall into 3 main categories: Lead Capture Funnels, Sales Page Funnels, and Event Funnels. But there are a few additional special funnels like Membership funnels you can create as well.
They include simple funnels such as the Squeeze Page Funnel which gathers a visitor’s email address and then sends them into a Thank you page when registering.
Or to more sophisticated 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 a more expensive products with Order Form bumps, and One Click upsells or Downsells.
Moreover, 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 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. Click Funnel Substitutes
Best Feature #2: Good Visual Drag and Drop Editor
While ClickFunnels gives you a great starting point with its funnel and webpage 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 need them.
While not as flexible as Instapage’s landing page editor, it is still quite good and it can be used to achieve pretty much any design you want.
What I like is that the editor is very intuitive to use.
Selecting elements on the page and transferring them where you want is quite seamless.
Text elements can be edited inline, and changing any element’s properties could be accomplished via the fly-out sidebar.
And contrary to other editors on the market, everything is organized in a logical way. You’re not spending a lot of time hunting for what you want to do.
The main thing is that no programming is required. So you don’t need to spend time learning 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 exact pages you want and ClickFunnels gives you a large array of them to use.
Basic elements include Headline, Image, Text, Button, Input types and Video widgets. These are the basic building blocks for any landing page you construct in the software.
ClickFunnels also includes several advanced elements 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 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 alter common properties such as background colors, margins, fonts, and orientation.
Then there are element specific attributes 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 best, legitimate affiliate marketing program that you can be a part of.
First the Fundamentals:
The ClickFunnels affiliate program pays out 40% recurring commissions for each referral you make and you can win cool prizes like $500 towards your 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 that your referrals purchase as they go through their specific funnels as well.
That’s not all:
ClickFunnels also has another great feature for affiliates called share funnels.
Within the Settings tab of any of your funnels, you can grab your Share Funnel URL.
When someone visits this URL, they will be able to bring this funnel directly into their account if they’re an existing ClickFunnels member. If they are not a member yet, they can sign up for the ClickFunnels 14-day free trial then get your funnel added to their accounts.
What’s really amazing is that this share URL also acts as your affiliate link, and you’ll get a recurring commission when this new user ends up staying on.
What I do not like about ClickFunnels?
Bad Part #1: Why is adding a funnel so slow?
After choosing your funnel type and template, it needs to get added to your account.
For some reason, this process seems to take around 8-10 seconds each time.
While I really don’t understand what is really going on behind the scenes, it doesn’t make sense to me why this could take a long time. It’s somewhat annoying, although just a minor annoyance.
Bad Part #2: Restrictions on funnels you can make and visitors
ClickFunnels limits you to 20 funnels, 100 pages, and 20,000 visitors on their cheapest plan. I am not a fan of software products that restrict you in this manner.
If you are just building sales funnels for yourself, these limitations are probably okay.
But you can get more annoyed at such limitations if you are doing client work, creating funnels for multiple customers or promoting ClickFunnels as an affiliate with share funnels.
You’ll need to upgrade to the Etison Suite plan if you would like to develop unlimited funnels.
Bad Part #3: Quite Large learning curve
The range of what ClickFunnels can do is fairely huge, and it can certainly be intimidating to some.
That is why ClickFunnels put so much work into the onboarding process to help ease you into the program. The ClickFunnels interface is pretty well made 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, however they have now been consolidated into 2 separate plans.
How much is ClickFunnels now?
Currently, 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 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 for the Etison Suite plan. It features everything, plus you receive unlimited funnels, pages, and visitors. However, this will run you $297 a month.
As far as I can tell, there aren’t any ClickFunnels coupon codes out there. However, you can buy Funnel Hacks for $997 which provides you 6 months of Etison Suite for free and some additional bonuses. This brings the cost down to $166.16 a month.
ClickFunnels does make it easy for you to demo their service with their free, 14-day free trial. It’s not limited in any way which lets you give the software a full test before you fully commit.
If $97 or $297 a month sounds like too big a commitment for your present budget, there’s 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 try out ClickFunnels on a budget.
Everything else you need to know concerning ClickFunnels
How is their support?
ClickFunnels support is quite good in my experience, even though they can be somewhat slow in responding. They use Intercom, which means you can directly ask questions in the live chat box. Support requests are usually answered in a few hours and I found the team to fairly helpful to all my questions.
Do I need my own domain? Click Funnel Substitutes
You do not necessarily need your own domain name to launch a funnel, although I would recommend it. If you don’t have one then your funnel URL will look something like 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 set up SSL on it for you. You can discover how to do this from the 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 feedback on your own sales funnels and answer any questions that you may have.
Additionally, there are other FB groups run by ClickFunnels affiliates which are also quite 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 out there.
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’s why I would strongly recommend going with Stripe if you’re able to.
What’s the Funnel Hacks system?
If you’re looking to acquire the $297/mo. Etison Suite plan, then it’s definitely well worth it to join 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 training and bonuses 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 the affiliates who are making an effort to promote it.
However, no, ClickFunnels isn’t a scam. It is 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 software with an amazing affiliate opportunity. So many men and women are using ClickFunnels to build 6 and 7 figure businesses.
When people ask, “How can I create a sales funnel”, ClickFunnels is the #1 answer hands down. There’s no other software that can do everything that ClickFunnels does at the moment.
What else is ClickFunnels used for?
Besides building standard sales funnels, there are plenty of ways marketers are using ClickFunnels at the moment in their business.
It is great for creating opt-in funnels to help you generate more prospects and build your email list.
You can create webinar funnels to help you grow your brand and promote your products and services.
And you can use it to create membership sites where you can gate your premium content so that it’s available only to subscribers.
How can you make ClickFunnels work for you? Click Funnel Substitutes
To start with, you need to have a product or service to sell. If you do not have something to sell, then don’t even bother looking into ClickFunnels before you do. Unless you only want to promote it as an affiliate.
Next, you need to be willing to commit 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 proper upsells, order bumps and other OTOs that match or enhance your main product offering.
If you’re unclear how to start, I would take 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 creating sales funnels and how to tell stories to sell your products and services.
And as you go through his own sales funnels yourself you can see the way he goes from low-cost tripwire (DotComSecrets) to selling his flagship product (ClickFunnels).
By building his very own community of raving fans he could then upsell his various different products and events like Funnel Scripts, Funnel Hackers Live, and much more.
Once you’ve gone through his funnels, then you can take the parts that are applicable to your own business and create a plan for your sales funnel. Once you have that in place, you’ll be ready to start making money with ClickFunnels.
ClickFunnels versus the competition
There are a few ClickFunnels alternatives out there that 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 really popular tool in its own right.
It also recently introduced the ability to sell products directly on their pages with its new Checkout widget
Each product features a huge selection of fine looking templates. Both have drag and drop editors which make it effortless for you to build the designs you desire. And both integrate with the popular email service providers.
However, Leadpages is significantly more limited in scope than 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 creating landing pages quickly.
Right now, among the most effective strategies for growing your email list is using content upgrades. By producing targeted lead magnets into your most popular articles you can get opt-in conversion rates that far surpass your typical pop-up.
LeadPages is the 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 now.
Therefore, if you are primarily focused on lead generation, I would definitely suggest 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’re selling a product or service, then ClickFunnels is the better alternative . While it comes with a higher learning curve than Leadpages, once you master the tool, you can really explode your earnings as soon as you begin generating sales funnels for each of your products.
ClickFunnels vs SamCart
SamCart is a product which allows users to create amazing, high converting checkout pages. Which gives it a whole lot in common with ClickFunnels.
SamCart is geared towards getting set up and selling quickly. It supports both Stripe and Paypal and it includes 17 distinct checkout page templates which you may customize.
Concerning flexibility, there is no comparison between ClickFunnel’s drag and drop editor and SamCart’s.
ClickFunnels is infinitely more powerful in that you can design any checkout page you can dream about. SamCart only allows for some basic customizations to its pre-made templates.
SamCart does allow you to add order bumps, upsells and downsells such as ClickFunnels does. You can also easily create coupons for your products which is another great way to raise conversions.
But where Samcart is lacking, is the ability to capture leads and build complete sales funnels. The products come in at the same $97 a month price point, and I find ClickFunnels to be quite a bit more flexible and powerful compared to Samcart.
– Best software for creating marketing and sales funnels
– Editor balances ease of use with flexibility
– Integrates with all major email and payment providers
– Beautiful looking templates for every type of funnel
– Great on-boarding procedure for learning the program
– Software has been better after every update
– Easily share any funnels you build and automatically earn affiliate commissions
– 2-tier affiliate program
– Free domain name with SSL set up
– 14-day free trial
– Limits on the number of funnels, pages, and visitors with the standard plan
– Plently of things to learn, a steep learning curve
– Split testing is pretty basic
Final Thoughts Click Funnel Substitutes
Which software you go with depends on your requirements and the quantity of work you’re willing to invest in your business.
Although a lot of you are selling standalone products, are you willing to put in the effort required to create a high converting sales funnel?
If not, ClickFunnels might be overkill for you. It’s possible to collect leads or sell your front end product more cheaply using alternative services.
However, if raising the average lifetime value of your clients is important to you, then I really recommend giving ClickFunnels a try.
Not just to get access to the software but also since the coaching that you receive will probably be both inspiring and enlightening.
Make the most of the ClickFunnels 14-day free trial, and see whether you can use it to increase your business today.