Tag: Author

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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Expert Secrets Review –Â Is it worth reading?

I’ve never tried reading a 265 page book in a day, but I did it with Expert Secrets because it was  immensely great, and I’ll tell you why below.

I know I sound a little exaggerated, but honestly, if you’ve read it, you will feel the same way.

In my opinion, it is one of the books that every Internet Marketers and Business Owners should have in their library.

You may have knowledge on SEO, SEM, copywriting, social media advertising, etc, and that’s great, but without the fundamental marketing aspect of your online business, your business may not be optimized the way it should be.

Expert Secrets walks you through the thought process of discovering important things that you might have missed at your startup.

The title of this book is “Expert Secrets: The Underground Playbook for Finding Your Message, Building a Tribe, and Changing the World”, and it retails at $19.95 at amazon, and discounted to $13 + shipping at the time of this writing.

You can get this book for FREE + shipping through here. I personally prefer to get it for FREE.

So without further ado, let me dive right in from Secret #3.

Expert-Secrets-creating-mass-movement

Secret #3: The New Opportunity


Russell has identified 4 elements that will bring the masses to take action on your product or offer (creating a mass movement).

Obviously, I will not spoil it for you by telling you what those elements are, but I will tell you that these elements resonates in every mass movement in history, from Jesus Christ and Hitler to every presidential electoral campaign.

In gist, with these elements put in place for your business or marketing campaigns, you can ignite the masses to join your cause (not only to “Try” your product, but to love every aspect of your business).

Expert-Secrets-content

Secret #4: The Opportunity Switch


Russell subtly teaches you about copywriting. Copywriting is basically writing words that sell, and normally people pay hundreds, if not thousands to attend courses on copywriting.

In any kind of business, as long as you are selling something, you will need at least some basic copywriting skill and this book gives them to you.

On top of that, the Expert Secrets is unlike other internet marketing books where it teaches you the surface information, and you have to “figure it out yourself”.

This book actually gives you a practical strategy to reach out to your worthy customers.

Get the Expert Secrets Book for FREE here!

Secret #5: The Big Domino


What is the ONE THING that if you could knock down, and all the other dominos would either fall down or become irrelevant.

When crafting our sales messages, we often have the tendency to add many argument points to convince our prospects to buy our products.

It does make sense right, but most of the time, too many argument points will lead your prospect to wander off your sales pitch.

So, it is important to find the one thing, the big domino, that when you touch point on it, every objections that your prospects may have, vanishes.

In this chapter, you will discover how to identify the ONE THING to add to your sales pitch to make it effective.

Secret #6: The Epiphany Bridge


Ever wondered why you can’t convince your friends to buy your opportunity?

I had a lot of experience on this while I was involved in network marketing.

The excitement having to discover a new “breakthrough” product which I believe will sell for itself, and make me lots of money, but when I started to convince my friends to join the opportunity, my dream was shattered.

Do you have a similar kind of experience?

If you have, I am sure you will love what is in this chapter as it shares how you can convince others around you by telling a story.

A story that will allow your audience to feel the same epiphany you had when you got your hands on the product or service that you are selling.

Russell breaks down the elements of a good story that sells.

In Secret #6, it is all about why you need to convince your buyers through storytelling, and it gives you the structure for building your story.

Believe it or not, we relate to stories more than we relate to logic. Just like why we still drink coca cola even if it kills us gradually.

My eyes were wide opened because of the vast knowledge that I am receiving.

Secret #7: The Hero’s 2 Journey


Secret #7 through #10 adds on to Secret #6.

Through this process, you will learn the fundamental elements to craft a powerful story for your product or service.

In Secret #7, it brings the state of epiphany to the next level.

You will learn the basic of story telling, and how to add the knowledge that you’ve gained through Secret #6 to your story to make your prospect feel the epiphany that you once had about your product or service.

Secret #8: The Epiphany Bridge Script


Now that you understand the elements of a great story, it is time to craft the story for your business.

Secret #8 gives you 8 guidelines to write your epiphany script.

Russell went into detail to explain the 2 types of struggles that every customer or prospect will face.

  1. External struggle
  2. Internal struggle

External struggles are surface problems that everyone knows. For example, “I want to lose weight” or “I want to make more money”. But, the reason(s) that drives the person to those external struggles are the Internal struggles.

Internal struggles are intangible. They are struggles that no one else can see, but are only felt by the person going through it.

For example, “the main reason for wanting to lose weight is because I am afraid that I will be the laughing stock this summer when I visit the beach” or “the main reason I want to make more money is so that my family and in-laws will think highly of me”.

You will instantly be able to build a rapport with your prospects when you demonstrate that you understand their internal struggles.

Secret #9: False Belief Patterns


This part teaches you the knowledge that you will learn if you join a Neuro-Linguistic Program (NLP).

Expert-Secrets-False-BeliefIt talks about the false beliefs that everyone has, and that each belief is created by an individual’s experience.

Something that is legitimate, may be perceived as a scam because of the person’s belief.

For example, former president Obama has done a great service to the United States, but why haven’t everyone acknowledge it?

Another good example is when president Donald Trump took the stage, but the media has evoked a sense of disbelief which caused part of the country to go on strike.

Everyone follows the same media, but why is there a division between the supporters and the non-supporters?

All these are created by beliefs of each individual.

So, what has it gonna do with your business? EVERYTHING!

When you are trying to sell a product, your customers will bring about their own set of beliefs, which may cause a hindrance to your sale.

This chapter explains how you can use the epiphany bridge story created in the previous chapters to break those false beliefs.

Make the Right Decision for your Business. Get a FREE copy of the Expert Secrets Book here!

Secret #10: The 3 Secrets


After identifying the false beliefs of your customers, and writing an epiphany bridge story, this secret will teach you how to categorize those beliefs for creating an even stronger story.

Just like the struggles we’ve discussed in Secret #8 above where there are internal and external struggles, there are internal and external beliefs as well.

Russell has identified the 3 core false beliefs which are:

  1. The Vehicle
  2. The Internal Beliefs
  3. The External Beliefs

By categorizing them, you will be able to revise your story for better sales conversion.

From Secret #11 onward…


From Secret #11 onward, it is all about asking for the sale.

This requires some copywriting techniques which Russell will walk you through each step to craft your sales message.

Generally, once you have laid the groundwork of your story (the actionable items from Secret #1 to #10), asking for the sale would be easier because you have already planted some seeds in the mind of your prospects or customers, and they already see the value in what you are about to sell.

But, there are some effective strategies and techniques that you can use to ask for the sale, and Russell will cover them in the rest of the book.

My Final Word About Expert Secrets…


I am sure by now you see the benefit this book will bring to your business or your marketing campaigns.

What is unique about this book is that it does not teach you how to sell a “better” product to compete with your competitors, it teaches you how to create a market of your own, so that there is a barrier to entry to your new found market (the concept of “Apple Inc”).

Also, it is not a book that gives you the surface information for you to “figure it out yourself”. Expert Secrets provides you with the step-by-step guide to build a powerful sales message for your business.

As you probably know, I’ve been doing Internet Marketing for years, and I’ve never come across a book that allows me to understand the reasons for the successes and failures of my marketing campaigns.

I really hope that you can benefit from this book like it has done for me.

You can either buy this book at amazon for $13 + shipping fees, or you can get it FREE + shipping.

Thank you for reading this review and I hope you make the right decision for your business.

Your pal,

Michael