Are you currently trying to sell stuff online?
I’m sure you will agree that converting your visitors into revenue is hard.
And getting yourself profitable? That’s even tougher.
But there’s a simple secret to raising the value of every customer you sell to:
Sales funnels. Clickfunnels Merge Tags
By producing a well-designed sales funnel, it is possible to dramatically boost your sales and provide more value to your customers.
In this article, I’m going to introduce you to ClickFunnels, the application I’m using to create sales funnels for my business.
You don’t need any technical know-how to use this, and it is going to truly change the way you run your business.
If you’re prepared to throw yourself into the ClickFunnels world, it’s one of the best affiliate programs out there. I’ll be speaking about that too later on.
Here’s what I’m going to be covering in this ClickFunnels review.
- What is ClickFunnels?
- What are the best parts of ClickFunnels?
- What I don’t like about ClickFunnels
- ClickFunnels Pricing
- Everything else you need to know about ClickFunnels
- How can you make ClickFunnels work for you?
- ClickFunnels versus the competition
- Pros and Cons of ClickFunnels
- Final Thoughts
What is ClickFunnels?
ClickFunnels was created back in 2014 by Russell Brunson and his group. Since that time, Russell has turned ClickFunnels to a $100 million a 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 added bells and whistles.
You can use it to construct:
– Landing pages
– Squeeze pages
– Membership sites
– Every kind of sales funnel you can think of, complete with order bumps, upsells and downsells
Essentially, you’re getting all you need to market and promote your products online, without needing to employ expensive programmers.
And people 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 using ClickFunnels.
That’s amazing.Clickfunnels Merge Tags
What are the best parts 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 forms of funnels that he has employed successfully in his own business.
The funnel forms fall into 3 main classes: Lead Capture Funnels, Sales Page Funnels, and Event Funnels. But there are some other special funnels like Membership funnels you can make as well.
They include simple funnels like the Squeeze Page Funnel which collects a visitor’s email address and then sends them to a Thank you page when signing up.
Or to more complex sales funnels like 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 using Order Form bumps, and One Click upsells or Downsells.
In addition, every funnel type has its own set of free templates and paid templates. So even if you don’t have any design skills, your funnel pages will all have a consistent, professional design.
Here’s a high-level summary 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. Clickfunnels Merge Tags
Best Feature #2: Good Visual Drag and Drop Editor
While ClickFunnels provides 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 columns and rows. You can then use your mouse to drag elements around and put them where you want them.
While not as adaptable as Instapage’s landing page editor, it’s still very good and it can be used to achieve pretty much any design you want.
What I like is that the editor is quite intuitive to use.
Selecting elements on the page and moving them where you want is quite seamless.
Text elements can be edited inline, and modifying any element’s properties can be accomplished through the fly-out sidebar.
And contrary to other editors on the market, everything is organized in a logical manner. You’re not spending a lot of time hunting for what you would like to do.
The main thing is that no programming is required. So you don’t have to spend time learning HTML or CSS or some other technical things like that.
Best Feature #3: Nice Selection of Page Elements
Elements (or widgets) are essential for giving you the flexibility to design the specific pages you woud like and ClickFunnels gives you a large array of them to use.
Basic elements include Headline, Photo, Text, Button, Input types and Video widgets. These are the basic building blocks for any landing page that you build in the software.
ClickFunnels also includes a number of advanced components such as:
– 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 most elements, you can change common properties such as background colors, margins, fonts, and alignment.
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’s no doubt in my mind that ClickFunnels has the very best, legitimate affiliate marketing program that you can be a part of.
The ClickFunnels affiliate program pays 40% recurring commissions for every referral you make and you can win cool prizes like $500 towards your very own dream car once you hit 100 active referrals.
In addition to that, they offer 5%, 2-tier commissions for referring people to the ClickFunnels affiliate program itself.
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 is not all:
ClickFunnels also has another excellent 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’ll have the ability to add this funnel directly into their accounts 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 functions as your affiliate link, and you will get a recurring commission when this new user ends up staying on.
What I don’t like about ClickFunnels?
Bad Part #1: Why is adding a funnel so slow?
After picking your funnel type and template, it needs to get added to your account.
For some reason, this procedure appears to take around 8-10 seconds each time.
While I really don’t know what’s really going on behind the scenes, it does not make sense to me why this could take so long. It is somewhat annoying, although only a minor inconvenience.
Bad Part #2: Limits on funnels you can create 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 limit you in this way.
If you are just building sales funnels for yourself, these limitations are probably okay.
However you can get more annoyed at such limitations if you are doing client work, building funnels for multiple customers or promoting ClickFunnels as an affiliate using share funnels.
You will want to upgrade to the Etison Suite plan if you want to build infinite funnels.
Bad Part #3: Fairly High learning curve
The range of what ClickFunnels can do is pretty 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 fairely well made for the most part and when you’ve built a few funnels yourself, the entire process does get easier over time.
Over time, ClickFunnels has evolved their pricing plans. In the beginning, they had 3 different pricing tiers, but they have now been merged into 2 separate plans.
How much is ClickFunnels now?
Currently, the cheapest ClickFunnels plan is $97 a month. On this plan, you get access to all the funnel creation tools, but you are restricted to creating 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 lets you create your own affiliate program.
To gain access to that, you’ll need to go with the Etison Suite plan. It includes everything, and 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 purchase 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 is 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 large a commitment for your present budget, there is also a semi-secret, unadvertised Share Funnel plan which you can also have 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 test out ClickFunnels on a budget.
Everything else you need to know about ClickFunnels
How is their support?
ClickFunnels support is quite good in my experience, even though they can be somewhat slow in responding. They utilize Intercom, which means you can immediately ask questions in the live chat box. Support requests are usually answered within a few hours and I found the team to fairly helpful to all my questions.
Do I need my own domain name? Clickfunnels Merge Tags
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 similar to http://username.clickfunnels.com.
One nice bonus I did not know about is that ClickFunnels will get you your first domain name for free and even set up SSL on it for you. You can learn how to do this from the first game in the onboarding training.
Do they have an active community?
Both groups are extremely active and it is an excellent place to get opinions on your own sales funnels and answer any questions that you may have.
There are also other FB groups run by ClickFunnels affiliates that are also quite active. The main one I recommend joining is Automation Nation. It is run by Spencer Mecham who is ClickFunnel’s top affiliate.
What integrations do they offer?
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 few others. The one constraint with using Paypal though is that it does not support One Click Upsells or One Time Offers. That is the reason why I would strongly suggest going with Stripe if you’re able to.
What is 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’ll get six months of the Etison Suite plan which is $1,782 in value.
You’ll also get a lot of additional training and bonuses that 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 gets some negative buzz around it due to all of the affiliates who are trying to promote it.
However, no, ClickFunnels is not a scam. It’s certainly 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 great software with an amazing affiliate opportunity. So many people are utilizing ClickFunnels to build 6 and 7 figure businesses.
When folks ask, “How can I create a sales funnel”, ClickFunnels is the #1 answer hands down. There is no other application that can do every thing that ClickFunnels does at the moment.
What else is ClickFunnels used for?
Besides creating standard sales funnels, there are plenty of ways marketers are using ClickFunnels right now in their business.
It is terrific for creating opt-in funnels that will help you generate more prospects and build your email list.
You are able to produce webinar funnels to help you grow your brand and sell your services and products.
And you can use it to build membership sites where you’re able to gate your premium content so that it is available only to subscribers.
How can you make ClickFunnels work for you? Clickfunnels Merge Tags
First of all, you need to have a product or service to sell. If you do not have something to sell, then do not even bother looking into ClickFunnels until you do. Unless you only want to market it as an affiliate.
Next, you need to be ready to commit time and money into creating your value ladder and building out your entire sales funnel.
That means creating a lead magnet or low-cost tripwire product to get customers or clients into your funnel. And coming up with proper upsells, order bumps and other OTOs that complement or enhance your main product offering.
If you’re unclear how to start, I’d take a look at Russell’s very own multi-million dollar sales funnels to give you inspiration. Read his book DotComSecrets where he describes exactly the why and how of building sales funnels and how to tell stories to sell your services and products.
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 creating 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 will be ready to begin making money with ClickFunnels.
ClickFunnels versus the competition
There are a few ClickFunnels alternatives out there which share some of the same capabilities as ClickFunnels. Two that I use myself are LeadPages and SamCart.
ClickFunnels vs LeadPages
Today, LeadPages is one of the market leaders in the landing page builder space and it’s a really popular tool in its own right.
It also recently added the capability to sell products directly on their pages with its new Checkout widget
Each product comes with a huge selection of nice looking templates. Both have drag and drop editors which make it effortless for you to build the designs you desire. And both integrate with all the popular email service providers.
Leadpages is significantly more limited in scope compared to 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.
At this time, among the best strategies for developing your email list is using content upgrades. By creating targeted lead magnets into your most popular articles you can get opt-in conversion rates that far surpass your standard pop-up.
LeadPages is the very best service for implementing this strategy with its LeadBoxes, 2 step opt-ins, and automated lead magnet delivery which is why they are the most popular popup you will see now.
So 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.
But, if you’re selling a service or product, then ClickFunnels is the better alternative . While it comes with a higher learning curve than Leadpages, as soon as you master the tool, you can definitely explode your sales once you start generating sales funnels for each of your products.
ClickFunnels vs SamCart
SamCart is a product which allows users to build amazing, high converting checkout pages. Which gives it a whole lot in common with ClickFunnels.
SamCart is geared towards getting setup and selling fast. It supports both Stripe and Paypal and it comes with 17 distinct checkout page templates which you may customize.
In terms of flexibility, there’s absolutely 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. SamCart only allows for some basic customizations to its own pre-made templates.
SamCart does allow you to add order bumps, upsells and downsells like ClickFunnels does. You can also quickly create coupons for your products which is just another great way to increase conversions.
However, where Samcart is missing, is the ability to capture leads and create complete sales funnels. Both products come in at the exact same $97 per month price point, and I find ClickFunnels to be quite a bit more flexible and powerful than 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 kind of funnel
– Great on-boarding procedure for learning the software
– Software has been better after each update
– Readily 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
– Limitations on the amount of funnels, pages, and visitors with the standard plan
– Lots of things to understand, a steep learning curve
– Split testing is pretty basic
Final Thoughts Clickfunnels Merge Tags
Which software you go with depends on your requirements and the quantity of work you’re willing to invest in your enterprise.
Although many of you are selling standalone products, are you willing to put in the effort required to make a high converting sales funnel?
Otherwise, ClickFunnels might be overkill for you. You can collect leads or market your front end product more cheaply with alternative services.
But if increasing the average lifetime value of your customers is important to you, then I really suggest giving ClickFunnels a try.
Not only to access the software but also because the coaching that you receive will probably be both inspirational and enlightening.
Make the most of the ClickFunnels 14-day free trial, and see whether you can use it to increase your business today.