Simply a ClickFunnels Review
For most people, managing an online business is tough. It requires you to wear many hats, which is often a lot for one person to handle. One of the biggest hurdles when selling stuff online is converting visitors into sales, and staying profitable.
Sales funnels have been all the range in the past few years, and at the moment, you can hardly find an article about marketing that doesn’t touch on funnels. This is for a good reason. With a well-designed sales funnel, you can increase your sales dramatically and provide more value to your customers. But building a sales funnel is no easy task.
Fortunately, there are several automated tools specifically designed to make the process of building sales funnels easier, without the need for any technical know-how. One of the most popular of these tools is ClickFunnels. The software has made quite a big name for itself since its inception and has become one of the leading marketing SaaS companies around. But does this mean it’s worth it?
In this review, we’ll take a detailed look as ClickFunnels, how it works, what it does, its pros and cons, and so on.
ClickFunnels is a drag and drop sales funnel builder designed to help the users create professional looking sales and landing pages without the need for prior coding knowledge. It ideally provides users with robust email marketing functionalities, which helps them capture more leads and close more deals. Users can also build and operate membership-based websites that are both responsive and optimized.
ClickFunnels was started way back in 2014 by Russel Brunson and his team. Since then, they have grown it into a $100 million a year business, with over 65,000 active members. At its core, ClickFunnels brings together many different marketing and sales elements into a comprehensive sales funnel that includes:
• Full customizable and triggered email communications
• Landing pages that feature lead capture, buttons, sales videos, etc.
• Every kind of sales funnel you can think of, complemented with order bumps, downsells, and upsells
• A/B Test, collect payment and optimized sales funnels
• Webinars with calls to action and selling tips
The highest end Etison Suite package lets you start your own affiliate program, and even replace your email service with Actionetics MD. You ideally get all you need to sell and market your products online, without the need to hire developers.
It’s therefore quite easy to build a marketing and sales funnel from scratch since everything you need is built in. The traditional means of making a funnel means that you need to have a landing page. Lets no forget web hosting, email autoresponders, and much more, and then work to have them working in unison. This would make the traditional means tedious, time-consuming, and very costly.
Who is Russel Brunson?
Russel is one of the well-known internet marketers, with a following of over one million entrepreneurs. He has also sold hundreds of thousands of copies of his books, such as the DotCom Secrets: How to Get 100 Customers in 100 Days.
He got the idea for the products when he realized how hard it was to sell products online at scale, while at the same time managing his own e-commerce business. Although he was quite successful at selling products, making millions from selling everything from How-To-Guides to Potato guns. It took him (and the team) 4 to 6 weeks to create and optimize their sales funnels.
A lot of this time was actually spent doing some pretty repetitive stuff like making targeted email campaigns, creating landing pages, hosting sales webinars, and keeping track of clients. Plus, all this work requires constant optimizations and tweaking to sell more products profitably honestly.
In the process, Brunson invented ClickFunnels to help him and his team to create optimal selling funnels. He essentially integrated all their tried and tested techniques, with the idea of developing a plug and play solution for his team to make things a little easier.
Eventually, ClickFunnels turned into a consumer product that anyone in the world could purchase. Today, the service is making over $100 million in revenues.
The feature’s list is solid, and you get everything you need. Overall, they are intuitive and give you the right amount of control. The integrated management system and the template editor are great examples of this and are quite essential functions. Another notable feature is the A/B split testing, albeit small.
1. Funnel Template Blueprints
If you don’t know how to create a sales funnel, ClickFunnels has you covered. The team has identified 22 different kinds of funnels that they have used successfully on their business.
The types of funnels fall into three main categories:
• Event Funnels
• Sales Page Funnels
• Lead Capture Funnels
Nonetheless, there are a few other special funnels that you can create on your own, such as Membership funnels. These are simple funnels like the Squeeze Page Funnel, which ideally collects the email address of a visitor and then automatically sends them an automatic Thank You page while signing up.
Alternatively, there are more sophisticated sales funnels such as the 2-Step TripWire Funnel. Which ideally sells a Tripwire (a low ticket front-end product), and then upsells them to the more expensive products with One Click Upsells or Downsells and Order Form Bumps.
Additionally, each of the funnel types essentially has its own set of free and paid templates. So, even if you don’t have any coding or design skills, you can create funnel pages with a professional, consistent design. Here’s how you build a first sales funnel:
• Select a funnel type
• Choose a template
• Customize each of the pages to fit your business
• Add your products or services and make sure your payment and email integrations are setups
• Setup your domain name for the new funnel
• Save the sales funnel.
2. Great Visual Drag and Drop Editor
Although ClickFunnels gives you a high starting point with their page and funnel templates. The ClickFunnels editor allows you to make each of the pages in a funnel specifically your own. The pages in ClickFunnels are mostly laid out in sections, which can have any number of columns and rows. You can also use the mouse to drag and drop the various elements to exactly where you want to place them.
We like the fact that the editor is intuitive and easy to use. The process of choosing components on the page and then moving them to where you want is generally seamless. The text elements can also be edited inline, and you can modify the details on any property through the fly-out sidebar. Unlike other editors in the market, everything is organized logically. You won’t be spending a lot of time trying to look for what you want to do.
Another notable feature is the fact that no coding skills are needed. You won’t have to spend your time and money learning CSS, HTML, or any technical skills.
3. A Wide Selection of Page Elements
Widgets (or elements) are very important in giving the user flexibility to design the pages they want, exactly how they want them to look. ClickFunnels gives you a wide variety of widgets to use. Some essential elements like Headline, Text, Image, Input forms, Button, and Video widgets are available. These serve as the basic building blocks for any landing page that you build using the software.
There are also many advanced elements, including:
• SMS Signup
• Progress bars
• Pricing tables
• Countdown timers
• Facebook comments
• Custom HTML
• FAQ blocks
Furthermore, there are specific elements such as the Membership elements and the Order & Shipping form elements for your order pages. Each of these elements can be customized in the editor sidebar, and most items have the option of changing common properties like margins, background colors, alignment, and fonts.
There are also some element specific properties such as the Button text for your buttons and the Image URL for the Image Element.
Things we Didn’t like about ClickFunnels.
1. Adding a funnel is rather slow
Once you choose a funnel template, it has to be added to your account. For some reason, the process takes around 8 to 10 seconds every time. While it’s hard to tell what’s really going on behind the scenes, it doesn’t make sense why it would take this long. Nonetheless, it’s just a minor inconvenience, though a little annoying.
2. A relatively high learning curve
The capabilities of ClickFunnels are quite massive, and this can definitely be quite intimidating to some users. This is why they put in so much work into the onboarding process, to help ease users into the software. Plus, the interface is well designed (for the most part), and the process gets easier over time.
3. There are limits on visitors the funnels you can create
ClickFunnels limits their users to 100 pages, 20 funnels, and 20,000 visitors on their cheapest plan. For those who are just building sales funnels for themselves, these limits are probably ok. But if you’re making funnels for multiple customers, doing clients work, or promoting ClickFunnels as an affiliate, it may start getting annoying. You’ll have to upgrade to the Etison Suite plan to unlock unlimited funnels.
This brings us to the question you’re probably already asking by now, the price.
The cheapest plan is $97 per month. This will give you access to the funnel creation tools, with the 20 funnels, 100 pages, and 20,000 visitors’ limits. It doesn’t get you access to Actionetics (email service provider) and Backpack (a tool to create your own affiliate program). The Etison Suite plan will cost you $297 a month and will get you access to all that.
ClickFunnels is an excellent program when it comes to building sales funnels. It’s well designed from the ground up, and for that purpose. So, it obviously does it quite well.
However, it’s not the cheapest product. We think it can save you the cost of the different products that you’ll have to purchase if you go the traditional route. This may actually make it a cheaper option for you.
The whole point of using ClickFunnels is to increase your revenue. So, if you use it well, it will make you much more money than it costs you, so the price isn’t really an issue. Plus, the education you get along the way is priceless.
Understanding How Sales Funnel Software Works
If you’re seeking to make money online, you may wish to consider sales funnel software. There are many great programs to choose from that will help you in your marketing endeavors and goals. It’s important to understand the actual purpose of such software before you begin. There are many different types of funnel software to choose from that will all focus the sales toward your goal. Understanding how the software works and how you can select the best software for your business needs will go far in helping you to achieve your goal.
Set Goals With A Business Proposal
Your goal should be to funnel your visitors into one of the following so that you can build your email audience, purchase your software or products, and or to purchase your product or ebooks. Taking the time to sit down and write out your business proposal will go far in helping you to make the right selections and choices in software for your business.
Without a business plan or business proposal, you’re not going to have any goals or direction in which to direct your sales. Every business wants to make sales. That’s a given. However, if you don’t have a business plan, you’re going to fail right out of the gate. For this reason, every business needs to have this business plan set out on paper or computer before they begin. Only when you know what your goals are with your proposal will you be able to work toward your goal. Once the business plan or goals are all laid out, you can then put them in order so that you can prioritize which ones need to be done in which order to achieve your goal.
You could go all out and hire a web designer at the cost of several hundred to several thousand dollars to accomplish your goal if you have the funds. However, many people don’t want to spend that kind of money on their business to build it up and get more return on your investment.
Of course, there are other options. You can take advantage of several different kinds of software that will work for you if you choose the right software. You can select from a wide array of software programs depending on the specific features that you’re seeking.
The best way to go about selecting your sales funnel software is to take a look at several options and then write out the different features that they offer. If you’re new at utilizing funnel software, you may not require all of the features that are provided.
Many people just want something very simplistic and easy to use. They just want the basic features that will allow them to use emails and blog posts to funnel leads their way. For many of these programs, there are funnel software programs that will enable you to do just that.
Choosing your software program is as simple as determining the various features and options and focusing on the particular features that you’ll require.
With ready-made landing pages and templates, these software features are easy to use and set up for your business. These ready-made landing pages and templates allow you to plug in your information and guide the viewer to the funnel so that you can get the conversion rate that you’re seeking.
Your conversion rates turn into revenue over time and often, they will be repeat customers. This makes it easier than ever to rinse and repeat. Add in a few widgets and make it mobile friendly. You’ll have a successful sales funnel program that will net your company a lot of leads and business.
Using SEO or search engine optimization, you can literally guide your visitors to your landing pages, squeeze pages or other locations. Direct them to the funnel where they will gladly enter their contact information. From here, you can target your audience and focus your email campaigns on reaching the audience that will net your business the most customers.
Using your social media share buttons and meta tags, you can encourage others to share the pages. As they find them and gain even more customers all for free. That’s right, for free. People who like what they see are going to want to share what they’re looking at with others, and there is no better way to do this than to hit that social media share button.
Compound this by the number of visitors and how many shares, and you’re going to expand even further making it a small world after all. If your visitor, for example, has 500 friends and shares the page, that’s 500 potential customers. If, for example, 200 of those “friends” share the page, that’s another likely group of customers. You get the idea.
Potential customers are lured in by the SEO. When someone plugs a word into a search engine, the search engine is going to bring them the leads. Your sales funnel program takes over when they open up your page. SEO and sales funnel plans go hand in hand to lead visitors to your site and capture the pertinent information that will net you the sale.
What’s The Easiest Way To Accomplish This?
The easiest way to do this is to rank high in the Google page ranking. You’ll want to take advantage of keyword optimization and long tail keyword phrases as well as LSI to gain the ranks in the search engines. Keep in mind that you don’t want to go overboard and over saturate your website, blog posts and other pages or you’ll be penalized by the search engines. Set your goal for a 1 to 2 percent saturation for best results.
That’s going to help you to guide visitors to your website. The next stage is your landing page or squeeze page where you offer them something of value for free. This can be a newsletter, an email campaign or something else. It’s all up to you. The sales funnel will literally drop them into the location that you set up and guide them to that page where all of the contact information is filled in.
Voila! You now have a lead. It’s that simple. Sales funnel software comes in a variety of styles, and you can go as complex or simple as you desire. The bottom line is this, it doesn’t matter what your product or services are. What matters is that you’re choosing to use the right software program to lead them to your door asking for your product or services.
With so many different funnel software programs on the market today, all you need is to know which features you’ll require and then compare those features to the various programs offered and choose from there. If you can build a website quickly, you may wish to consider one that allows you to plug in the information and go from there. If you’re more challenged with computers, you may want to find one that will enable you to fill in a few blanks and then takes over for you and designs and creates your funnel.
We’ve all visited websites that had a pop-up window that asked for your contact information. If you didn’t want to give it, you likely just clicked on an “X” in the corner of the box or opted out of the pop-up. If you were interested in the service or product, you likely filled in the information.
Just like these websites, you can set up a similar program on your own site and funnel leads directly to a database that you have set up to receive them. From there, you can sort them into demographic areas, gender and age, and those most likely to be interested in your services or products.
Now you can send out the targeted emails that will net you the sales. Once you’ve set up the basics, you can leave it on autopilot and just check to make sure that everything is working well periodically. Make sure that you’re watching for broken links, keyword optimization, and updated information often.
Make sure that you keep up with your leads and keep the emails and newsletters coming. Ideally, you have a service or business that will net you some repeat customers as well as periodic new customers. This can help you to keep the momentum going. Customers that are only one time customers won’t be bringing you more revenue so set a goal to have some portion of what you offer with an update or need to buy more for best results.
Sales funnel software is affordable and works very well to help lead the visitors to your landing page and capture their information so that you can email newsletters and deals to your list. Focus on quality, not quantity, and the rest will follow. Everyone wants something for nothing so give your leads something that will keep them coming back after you’ve gained their business via the sales funnel.
Learn How To Create A Basic E-Commerce Funnel
The United States Department of Commerce reports that online sales generated nearly $400 billion in sales last year. That was almost 12 percent of the entire retail economy, and it was 1/6 more than the previous year’s total.
It doesn’t matter what industry you’re in, because it’s no longer enough just to be trying some e-commerce. It’s now essential to set up a good sales funnel online. You have to find ways to retain your existing customers while attracting new ones. Rather than waiting for them to come to you, you have to see them and meet them wherever they’re at. The right funnel acknowledges that a customer’s journey through it is rarely linear, but it still starts at the beginning with awareness and then leads them to the final purchase.
How this all begins can be called some different things. Some call it the top of the funnel, others just call it the first stage of the sales funnel, and a few even labels it the awareness stage. Whatever you choose to call it, this is the point where prospective customers first become aware that your business or website exists. Also, what products and services you offer that might do something for them. At this point, prospective consumers might not even realize that they need what you have to offer, but there are different ways you can serve them. It might be alleviating a pain point in their life, making them happier, helping them save or make money. Just giving them tremendous value, or just solving a problem in their life, and the last one is the most common. At this stage, your emphasis needs to be on using content and information. This identifies particular consumer segments, highlighting possible problems or opportunities in their lives, and then introducing your brand and how it can help them. If you consider everything to be a relationship between your brand and the prospect, this is an introductory conversation where you are both just now getting to know each other. The prospect has shown some interest in you, so it’s time to introduce yourself. Just that. An introduction. Don’t move for a hard sell just yet.
The next or second stage is the interest stage. It’s when a prospect has stepped a little deeper into your funnel. They at a point where your brand’s story might interest them, or they like the idea of the pain point that you can solve for them. It might be both. They’re not committed to you yet, but they see something, and they want to see more. It’s almost like they’ve stopped walking around the mall and have stopped outside your store for a moment. They might sign up for a newsletter, or follow one of your social media accounts. Their level of interest could still be pretty nascent, and perhaps even fickle. You want to fan the flame of their spark and be inviting, but it’s still too early that overdoing it can drive them away. Still, there are things you do for them that make them linger a bit longer so you at least boost the attention that they’re giving you. First of all, make your website very easy to navigate. The longer they spend on it, the more likely they are to come back later or even go further down your funnel now. Secondly, have multiple social media accounts. Make them easy to follow or join on your site; this is a lot like them deciding to take your business card. or even making sure they leave a note to themselves in their Facebook feed to look you up again later when they have more time. Third, have visible offers and calls to action. You’ll at least plant the seed in their mind that they should actually buy something from you, and the offers give them something tangible to say yes to.
Moving into the second half of the whole process, the third quarter of the funnel is the decision stage. This is when a prospective consumer is done just browsing. They’re not interested in learning anymore. They’re now interested in having one of your products or services, and they are actively considering a purchase. At this point, the role of your brand is convincing them of how valuable what you have to offer actually is. Proving value can happen in many different ways. Word of mouth is one that predates the Internet and is absorbing all the more potent in a digital age. User-generated content and social proof are closely related and also highly effective, as are case studies. Remember that in the online world, consumers can’t try on jeans you sell or sniff the perfumes and candles you might offer. They have only the information that you provide them to go on. Pop-out sizing charts are great for clothes, and whatever you offer has to have clear and compelling product descriptions. Peer reviews and perks are also great things to add to this segment of the funnel. It makes your case why your offerings are valuable enough to justify their time and money.
Watch any NBA game, and you’ll see the fourth quarter is where the action is. Two teams close in the score are fighting possession by possession, or the team that’s behind might be trying to fight their opponent and the clock. Whatever is going to happen is going to be decided now, and the action stage is the end of your funnel with the consumer. Once a prospect has made a decision to buy something, they still need one last push into making that decision an action. In this case, it’s making a purchase at your e-commerce site. They’re already there and just need to be nudged a little. Image if they’re facing a ladder instead of a well-greased sliding board, you might lose out even a consumer that wanted to be a customer. Get him or her to the Buy Now button faster using predictive entry protocols to auto-populate the fields that they have to fill out. This saves them time typing or possibly getting distracted. Making your site security visible by using certificates and emblems in the footer of every page will help them get over any anxiety about sharing a credit or debit card. Worried about a site they haven’t bought with before. Progressing indicators help them know how many pages or clicks are left before they’re done. in case they want to check out other things, or just to remind them they have things in their cart as they move back up the funnel to an earlier stage, which happens a lot.
All in all, once you understand how to use e-commerce sales funnel correctly, you then have the power to boost your online purchases. Always be thinking about your customers and how you can make every step of their individual buying journeys easier to move along.
To summarize it all, you start by building awareness because you are offering value. Follow that up with optimizing your content offerings by driving traffic through paid social and organic search engine optimization. Make tools that can solve possible customer pinpoints while winning the hearts and minds of buyers. Gather data from tools as well as your own on-site engagement so that you can guide prospective consumers to the services or products. This might be the best fit for the needs and circumstances that they have at the time, and establish on-site navigation that lets your website visitors find the things they need quickly and promptly. Use calls to action, and make them crystal clear. Do A/B testing for your content, your advertising copy, and especially your calls to action. You can find out which of your offers and messages lead to the utmost engagement. Offer detailed content that breaks products down so that you can inspire a final buying choice, and engender trust by proving your site security with known security seals. Sweeten offers with promotions and free shipping, and make the checkout process even easier by accepting all kinds of payment and even using predictive entry so that fields are auto-populated.
Paid traffic and SEO can both increase traffic to your site, but an e-commerce funnel is what turns traffic into revenue. You can apply a funnel to a website and enjoy more business even without boosting the traffic to your site at all in the first place. In many cases, a site that was not previously using a funnel might see its business double thanks to a funnel. It’s worth looking up your site’s conversion rate before you do it so you can know after the fact how much it helps. Actually, conversion rates are how you measure the success or failure of various elements of your A/B testing.
Online commerce is a new reality. No longer a novelty, it is now more than 10 percent of the retail economy and still growing. Don’t get left behind!