Tag: 14 day free trial

ClickFunnels Review – Is it Better Than LeadPages for 2017

I have been obsessed with landing page builders lately as you tell from my most recent posts over the last couple of months.

Well today, I’m going to take a deep-dive into yet another landing page product called ClickFunnels.

I’ve been using it for more than a month on a client project of mine, and I am starting to think of it as LeadPages on steroids.

ClickFunnels Review
With its ability to create complete sales funnels and its easy to use and powerful editor, ClickFunnels provides a clear challenge to LeadPages’ place as the best landing page builder.

That’s not to say that it’s perfect, and in this ClickFunnels review, I’m going to show you how I’ve been using it and how it compares to Leadpages and SamCart.

By showing you the strengths and weaknesses of each, I hope it will help you make the best decision for which one to adopt in your own business.

What is ClickFunnels

ClickFunnels is now a fairly mature service developed by Russell Brunson and his team. It’s now been up and running for more than 3 years at the time of this review.

Unlike competitor products which allow you create single standalone pages, ClickFunnels is all about building different types of marketing funnels.

A funnel is basically a series of pages your visitors go through to reach a certain goal and it might look like this.

A simple Lead Capture Funnel might consist of 2 pages which collects a visitor’s email address and then sends them to a Thank you page when signing up.

ClickFunnelsReview-LeadCaptureFunnel

 

Or you could have more sophisticated sales funnels which are made up of multiple pages which sell to a visitor through each step of the funnel.

With ClickFunnels you can easily create:

  • Optin/Lead Capture Funnels – Used to capture email addresses of your visitors and grow your mailing list.
  • Sales Page Funnels – Create this to sell products and services, with the ability to add any upsells/downsells to your sales process.
  • Webinar Funnels – Useful for helping people register for your webinars.
  • Membership Sites – Generate a recurring income by creating a full blown membership site.

ClickFunnels comes with its own distinctive set of templates for each of the different funnel types it allows you to create.

ClickFunnelsReview-OptinTemplates

 

Or you can start from scratch and build pages directly using the ClickFunnels editor.

The editor is where ClickFunnels really shines.

It enables you to easily put together different pages in your funnel through an easy point and click interface.

No coding is required and really, anyone can use it to whip up something nice. Everything is live, so all design changes you make can see in real-time.

ClickFunnels gives you quite a bit of flexibility in creating your pages. For example, you can easily move elements around and place them where you want, which is something the Leadpages editor does not allow.

Getting Started with ClickFunnels

I was immediately impressed by the ClickFunnels onboarding process. They do a really smart thing where they offer you a free ClickFunnels t-shirt just for watching the introduction training videos.

ClickFunnelsOnboarding

 

It takes about 10 minutes, and the training videos do give you a good overview of how ClickFunnels works.

Creating your first funnel is easy. Click the Add Funnels button and you are taken to a screen showing all the funnel types available.

If you are unclear with what each funnel does, there’s an embedded video you can watch which explains how it works.

Pick the Funnel you want and click the Create Funnel button. You will be asked to give your funnel a name.

ClickFunnels will then generate a set of pages for you based on the funnel you’ve chosen. So for a sales funnel you would get:

ClickFunnelsReview-SalesFunnelWorkflow

Pages can be removed from the funnel by hovering and clicking the giant ‘X’ next to the page.

For each page in your funnel, you can select from the available templates. Each template is professionally designed and there is a good selection to choose from. Plus, more are being added all the time.

If you don’t see a template that matches your current vision, I’ve found that it’s just as easy to start from scratch. This can be done by picking any template and then quickly deleting each of the sections on the page.

The basic building block of a ClickFunnels page is a section. A typical funnel might have a header section, an above the fold content section and a footer section.

A long form sales page might also have a section for highlighting specific features or a section for testimonials.

ClickFunnels is flexible enough to support all types of designs.

Sections are then further divided into column rows. You can pick from a single column to up to 6 columns and any number in between.

Finally, inside each column is where you insert various ClickFunnels elements.

 

Basic widgets include Headline, Image, Text, Button, Input forms and Video elements.

ClickFunnelsReview-Elements

But you can also include more advanced elements like:

  • SMS Signup
  • Survey
  • Pricing Table
  • Video Unlocker
  • Facebook Comments
  • FAQ Blocks
  • Countdown Timers
  • Custom HTML

As you mouseover any section, row or element, it will get highlighted and clicking slide in the contextual editor from the right-hand side where you can change its properties.

Background colors, margins, fonts, alignment can all be changed as well as element specific properties like a specific image url for the Image element.

ClickFunnelsReview-editor2 (1)

 

It’s all quite intuitive to use once you’ve played around with things a bit.

The editor is quite impressive and strikes a nice balance between flexibility and ease of use.

If you are selling a product, then you want to integrate with a payment processor.

ClickFunnels directly supports Backpack CRM, InfusionSoft and Clickbank.

if you don’t use any of those services, then I recommend using the Stripeintegration since it is free to signup for and use.

I didn’t have any experience with Stripe until I tested it with ClickFunnels, but I found that it’s an extremely simple way to take credit card payments.

Once you have created your Stripe account, just follow the simple instructions to link it to your ClickFunnels account and you’re all set.

Whenever anyone goes through the Order Page form of your funnel, it will automatically be used to collect payment from your customer.

Tracking

In addition to helping you create each of the pages in your sales funnel, ClickFunnels also helps you track how each page in your funnel performs.

At the top of each page, you can see in real-time the total number of visitors for each page in the funnel, how many visitors clicked on the next button of the page, and the conversion rate.

You will also see a graph showing your stats over a specified time period.

ClickFunnelsReview-Tracking

 

Split testing is also baked into ClickFunnels which is essential for helping you optimize the conversion rate of your funnels.

If you click in the Split Test tab, you can see the stats of all your existing split tests. Plus you will see the button to create a New Split Test.

Setting up new split tests is quite easy. The best way is to clone an existing page and then tweak it from there.

Unfortunately, ClickFunnels does not have a lot of advanced split testing features that I’ve seen implemented in other products like Thrive Leads.

For example, there doesn’t seem to be a way to automatically rotate your split tests. And I would love to see ClickFunnels pick a “winning” split test after a statistically significant amount of data has been collected.

Actionetics and Backpack

When it was first released, ClickFunnels was all about creating…well funnels. But Russell had even bigger ambitions for the product and that’s how Actionetics and Backpack came about.

Actionetics

Actionetics aims to be a replacement for your favorite email service provider.

With Actionetics, you can see everyone who has opted into your lists through your ClickFunnels in the Contact Profiles page.

What’s cool is that each of your leads is given an Action Score, which is based on recency, frequency, monetary value and social scores. It basically gives you an idea of which leads are more likely to buy from you.

You can use Actionetics to send email broadcasts and the email builder allows you to design nice looking emails. And Action Funnels are Actionetics way of creating autoresponders with some limited marketing automation features.

While some of its features are interesting, Actionetics still can’t compete with a full fledged email service provider like ActiveCampaign, Drip or ConvertKit. Personally, I just prefer a standalone service where I’m not tied into an all-in-one solution.

Backpack

One of the best ways to boost the sales of your product is to have a great affiliate program that attracts some top affiliates.

That’s what Backpack can do for you. It’s essentially a complete affiliate platform for ClickFunnels that you can attach to any of your created funnels.

Inside Backpack, you can add everything you need for affiliates to promote your product including affiliate links, email swipe copy, and banner ads. You can also setup your affiliate payouts and see how well each of your affiliates is performing.

There’s even support for 2nd tier commissions which are an extremely powerful incentive.

Pricing

Over time, ClickFunnels has evolved their pricing plans. In the beginning, they had 3 different pricing tiers, but it now been consolidated into 2.

The cheapest ClickFunnels plan is $97 a month. On this plan, you get access to all the funnel creation tools, but you are limited to creating 20 funnels, 100 pages, and 20,000 visitors. Unfortunately, you don’t get access to Actionetics and Backpack with this plan.

For that, you’ll need to choose the Etison Suite plan. It includes everything, including Actionetics and Backpack. You also get unlimited funnels, pages, and visitors. However, this will run you $297 a month which is quite steep.

Both plans also have a 14-day free trial so you can test things out before you buy.

ClickFunnels Pros

  • Super easy to create complete funnel workflows
  • Editor balances ease of use with flexibility
  • Integrates with major email and payment providers
  • Nice looking templates for each type of funnel
  • Good training materials and ongoing weekly webinars
  • New features being consistently added
  • 2-tier affiliate program
  • 14-day free trial

ClickFunnels Cons

  • Comparatively expensive, especially the Etison plan
  • Limits on the number of funnels, pages and visitors with the standard plan
  • Lots of things to learn, steep learning curve
  • Split testing is very basic

ClickFunnels vs LeadPages

If you are reading this review, you are probably wondering how ClickFunnels compares to LeadPages.

At this current point in time, LeadPages is the dominant leader in this landing page builder space.

You can easily tell who is using LeadPages because their templates are so recognizable. Many of the top marketers are using it, and you will no doubt see many people using their landing pages.

ClickFunnels hasn’t been out as long, but it does have the marketing power of Russell Brunson behind it.

Russell is gearing ClickFunnels to become his flagship product, so what you see now is just a taste of what the product is going to look like in the future.

The strength of ClickFunnels is its easy to use editor. It is far more flexible than the LeadPages editor although Leadpages has caught up with their new drag and drop editor.

Limiting flexibility is not necessarily a bad thing. Because it makes constructing pages fast! And that’s where LeadPages really shines.

The most effective strategy for growing your email list right now is using content upgrades. By creating targeted lead magnets to your most popular posts you can get opt-in conversion rates that far surpass your standard pop-up.

LeadPages is the best service for implementing this strategy with its LeadBoxes, 2 step opt-ins, and automatic lead magnet delivery. This is why LeadBoxes are the most popular popup you will see today.

Feature Download: Download our Leadpages Lead Magnet cheatsheet to learn how we are increasing our subscriber opt-in rates by 80% or more. Just click to download.

However, some people want more control to create pages to their exact specifications. That’s the power that ClickFunnels gives you. But with great power comes great complexity. ClickFunnels certainly has a higher learning curve than LeadPages does.

The other main advantage is that ClickFunnels creates complete sales funnels for you. And all your stats through each stage of your funnel are tracked.

With LeadPages, you can only create single pages. So creating that initial sales page is simple.

But what about adding on an order form? Upsells and downsells? LeadPages can’t do that, while ClickFunnels can.

ClickFunnels vs SamCart

Another ClickFunnels alternative you may have heard of is SamCart. SamCart is a product that allows users to create beautiful, high converting checkout pages. Which gives it a lot in common with ClickFunnels.

SamCart is geared towards getting you up and selling your product fast. It supports both Stripe and Paypal and it comes with 17 different checkout page templates which you can 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 can design any checkout page you can dream of.

But again, there is a big difference in learning curves. Are you someone that wants to fiddle around with creating the perfect design, or are you someone that just wants to use a proven template to start selling right away?

SamCart comes with a lot of ways to increase the value of each customer in your funnel. You can add order bumps, which allows you to present an additional offer on your checkout page.

Or you can easily add upsells (or downsells) to your funnel that gets presented to your customer after they purchase your primary product. You can also easily create coupons for your products which is another great way to increase conversions.

If ClickFunnel’s Backpack affiliate system looks appealing to you, SamCart also offers its own affiliate center as well. Both products offer everything you need to create a great affiliate program.

One big advantage of SamCart is the fact there are no restrictions attached to any of their plans. ClickFunnels has these annoying limits on the number of funnels you can create and the number of visitors to them.

With SamCart, there are no such limits. You can sell unlimited products in your account and send as much traffic to your checkout pages as you want.

Final Thoughts

Which way you go should depend on the requirements of your business.

If you don’t mind the learning curve and want an all-in-one solution to sell your own product and be able to customize every step of your funnels then ClickFunnels is certainly worth a look.

If you’re not that technically savvy or just want to start selling something fast, then I would suggest giving SamCart a try.

However, if all you want to do is collect opt-in emails via pop-ups and landing pages, then I would go with LeadPages or Thrive Leads instead. While you can do the same with ClickFunnels, I don’t think you can justify the high monthly price tag if you are not using its more advanced features.

In the end, I would just recommend trying out ClickFunnels to see how you like it. They offer a 14-day free trial, so you can test out all the features and see how it works for you.

Try Clickfunnels Today

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Business website technology changes fast.  How do I know when it’s time to update my website?

But it still works.

Famous last words of a website marketing campaign.  The business owner doesn’t want to update his website because it still shows up online and conveys the main message.   Things haven’t changed that much.  It still gets us some leads, still gets the job done. 

But over time, the gap between getting the “job done” and attaining optimal results grows.  Online technology evolves, and at times businesses must assess when it’s time to move their platforms with those changes.

You could use a 15-year-old website design if you wanted to.  But there is no logical reason to wait that long to update your website.

 

#1.  Content Management Systems

The first reason to update your website design is to take advantage of new tools.  Platforms often update with functionality that improves your content creation and marketing efforts.

The main functional advantage in the past decade is the advent of the content management system (CMS).  A CMS is a software interface that lets users update content without having to go into the back-end code.

It used to be that when a marketer wanted to add an image, change text, or create a simple page, she’d have to assign the work to a developer who’d use HTML or CSS to change the content on the website.  A time-consuming extra step.

With a CMS platform, this marketer can make these changes without using programming language.  The interface is as simple as a word processing program, requiring no technical skills.

If you’re still sending basic website changes to your programmer, it’s time to update your website.

 

#2.  Mobile Search

Mobile devices are a user change requiring a website design update.

Today, over half of all online browsing takes place on mobile devices.  These small screens need a different format to display web pages, called a mobile responsive.  This simply means that when someone views your web pages on their phone, it automatically formats the content so it’s easy to view and interact with on a small, touch screen.

Mobile responsive design was expensive, but like many website innovations, it’s become ubiquitous and is included in most template designs.

If your website isn’t mobile responsive, it’s time for an update.

 

#3  The Template Advantage

Many small business owners cringe at the idea of getting a new website design because of the time and expense involved.  And true, until recently most sites were custom designs that cost thousands and could take months to develop.

Today, however, there are many excellent templates that are CMS systems, mobile responsive, and far quicker to customize and take live.  We used to spend months on website projects.

Design time and costs are not the barriers they once were.  You could update your website design today quickly and affordably on a template, with results superior to the custom designs of just a few years ago.

 

#4  Websites Age in Dog Years

A year in a dog’s life is equivalent to seven years for a human.

About the same for website design.  Your business ages one year, but for your website it’s more like six.

website updateIt may have been 3 years since you updated your logo.  But the perceptive effect of three years on your website is more like 18 years.  And website designs are not wine.  They don’t get better with age.

The point here is one of perception.  A business website is not only your first impression, it’s the majority of your sales message.  Google now estimates that 70% of the typical consumer buying journey takes place online.  By the time a prospective customer reflects on your website content, they have pretty much decided to work with you – or not to.

The key role your website plays in lead generation and sales means it’s not a marketing tool to neglect.  Much of the way you communicate value, evoke trust, and persuade action takes place on your website.

If it’s clear your site is 3 years old (meaning it looks like some from the last decade) you’re going to be blown-off by researching consumers who know they can easily find a better alternative.

 

#5  Security and the User Experience

This applies, in particular, to eCommerce websites.

If you are selling online, your search and transaction content must be simple, seamless, and secure.  The slightest confusion or hint of doubt about the security and legitimacy of your website will kill your sales.

Again, there are templates such as Bigcommerce, Shopify, and Clickfunnels that you can customize for your store.  These tools have most of the sales content built in.  They easily integrate with inventory tracking, SSL certifications, and merchant accounts.

If you are marketing for eCommerce and you have anything less that a stellar design that’s eye-catching, user-friendly, and feels totally secure, you shouldn’t have the business in the first place.  Time to update.

 

#6  Content Creation and Sharing

It used to be that websites added a blog to their domain.  Now most websites have blogging functionality built in.

If your website isn’t already set-up with an easy to use blog, it’s time to update.

Blogging in an established strategy for any business trying to increase their SEO traffic and gain attention from consumers in the research phase of the buying cycle.  Content answers pressing questions, fills information gaps, and displays your expertise.  It’s easy to plug in sharing tools for social media amplification, embed videos, and optimize for keyword targets.

Your website and blog platform should make adding new blog content so simple you feel you could add a post a day.  If your blog platform is cumbersome, update it.

 

#7  Responding to Data

Is your website performing as well as it could?  Are you getting the max number of conversions?  How do you know?

One of the most important precursors to website changes is data on how your current content is performing.  Digital marketing analytics tools like Clickfunnels provide data on how visitors respond, and insight into how you can improve your conversion results.

If your website is so old you haven’t added analytics to measure traffic, it’s time to update.

Data might tell you that it’s time to totally revamp and update your design.  If you’re using a CMS, you can create new content to test and spilit test to determine what does the best.

Without a doubt, the only way to get exceptional conversion results on your website is to modify and test your content.  With modern website tools, you can efficiently create, test, update, and remove content.  You should be trying different layouts, color schemes, word choice, offers, and calls to action.

If you’re not doing any of this because you’re using a static site you can’t modify, it is really time to update your website.

The expense and time involved in getting a professional design on a CMS template should not be a barrier for any business doing even a minimal level of lead generation or sales online.

Take a look at your website.  Is it time to update?  Then check out our Clickfunnels and get a free 14 Day Trial of our Complete all in one package.

Put off these updates too long, and you’ll be out of business.

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