If you are in the internet marketing space and haven’t heard about Click Funnels, I would be a little surprised. ClickFunnels was founded in 2014 by Russel Brunson and has turned into a $360 Million Dollar SaaS business. What’s even more impressive is that it was entirely self funded.
Russel Brunson, the founder of ClickFunnels is an experienced internet marketer. He had a significant amount of online presence, and really focused on selling his software early on with webinars and lots of email marketing. Fast forward to 2018 and it’s one of the fastest growing landing page builders that you can use to build landing pages and membership groups.
If you want the short version of this 4,200+ word review, let me just answer this question on your mind now – Would I recommend buying a ClickFunnels Membership?
The answer is yes – absolutely, but only depending on your position in your online business.
- 1 What is ClickFunnels & What does it do?
- 2 Why not just use WordPress?
- 3 Is ClickFunnels easy to use?
- 4 ClickFunnels Pros & Cons
- 5 Show Me Some Examples!
- 6 Should I Buy ClickFunnels?
- 7 ClickFunnels FAQ
- 8 Closing Thoughts
What is ClickFunnels & What does it do?
As I just mentioned, ClickFunnels is essentially a landing page builder on steroids. The biggest selling point is that it’s easy to use. It does have some drawbacks, which I’m going to cover later on, but overall it’s an excellent tool that you can use to build landing pages, sales funnels with upsell/downsell functionality and even membership groups. It's packed with pre-made templates that you can customize however you see fit.
ClickFunnels integrates with Stripe, Paypal, and other types of payment processors, making it extremely easy to integrate if you take payments online for your services. It also allows for custom code to be inserted pretty much anywhere in a given page, which allows for you to truly customize your landing page, and even provide other checkout options like PayPal for your customers. You can also provide different price points and pricing options for your customers, built right into the landing pages.
ClickFunnels is a tool, just like any other software. You can earn money online in many different ways, and Clickfunnels can help you reach your goals, but ONLY if you put in the work. ClickFunnels is not a get rich quick scheme – it's a tool to help you reach your customers and sell more products. They even back up their software with a 14 day free trial.
Why not just use WordPress?
First and foremost, WordPress is awesome. If you are running a strictly content based website, then WordPress should be your go-to content management system, and there’s no reason for you to work through ClickFunnels. If you aren’t selling something online or aren’t in need of a membership platform for any reason, then just stick with WordPress as your default CMS.
BUT – I do think that ClickFunnels has a full suite of options for any niche site builder, and that you should consider it if you are thinking that you are going to start outsourcing some of your work. If you are running an Amazon FBA business, having a ClickFunnels subscription may be worth considering; especially if you run paid traffic to your products on your own ecommerce site.
For content based Niche Websites, I’ve been able to setup a membership site for my contractors so they can login and see what I expect out of them when they work on my sites. It’s a crucial part of my business. While I could setup a password protected page for them on my site if I chose, I personally like having a separate site that provides easy to use instructions that cover ALL of my online properties, and not just one specific website.
If you sell any sort of product both physical and digital (software, membership site, etc) then I think ClickFunnels is worth taking a look for it's advanced selling features.
Is ClickFunnels easy to use?
I’ve used a number of different page builders (mostly Thrive Architect and Divi Builder by Elegant themes). I will say that I feel ClickFunnels is the most complete solution suite for the cost that you can buy. The ability to build your own membership site easily is fantastic. You can use the membership sections for quite a few different things.
You can sell your own courses, or you can do what I’ve done which is use it as a place for my writers, editors and link builders to login and view their briefs for what I expect them to do once I’ve hired them. It’s basically a training program for how I run the back end of my content based website business.
It’s easily integrated with a custom domain, so you can set up your landing pages, membership site and/or sales funnels on your own website, or a custom domain. It has a plugin that allows you to integrate it with WordPress as well, although you can’t take payments on your own WordPress site if you charge your customers for services, as they have their own set of SSL requirements when taking payments. You can also start your funnel on your website, and host the next steps of the funnel where payments are taken on the default platform for ClickFunnels.
What I love most about the ClickFunnels software, is the drag and drop functionality. If you have any type of internet marketing experience, it’s much easier than using WordPress natively and you literally build the page as you are looking at it. No more “save it” and hit “preview” to see how it looks. WordPress is still what you should be using for content based websites, but ClickFunnels can make a powerful ally if you intend on selling membership programs or products to your customers that visit your website. The customization options are pretty much limitless when building out a proper marketing funnel.
ClickFunnels Pros & Cons
Before we get into some live examples, let’s take a look at the pros & cons of using the ClickFunnels software.
- Easy to use “drag and drop” functionality
- Cost effective (basic membership is $97/mo. and has everything you’ll need)
- Can be integrated into custom domains/WordPress sites
- Legitimate Page Builder – you can see changes as you make them
- Can integrate with Stripe to take payments easily
- Can integrate with Convertkit or other email providers to send automated emails
- Can be used to sell Physical or Digital Products
- Membership Area functionality
- Support is really good, will often create video screen grabs just for you
- You can share funnels between people (funnel design business opportunity)
- Plenty of pre-made FREE templates that you can use and customize right away
- Has a comprehensive split testing tool allowing you to split test different landing pages and declare a winner
- Conversion tracking stats so you can compare what offers convert the best
- Email integration that allows for full marketing automation
- It’s more software you’ll have to spend time learning
- Can be confusing if you are a novice internet marketer
- When ClickFunnels goes down, so does your landing pages
- Support is top notch, but can take a couple hours to respond
- URLS can be funky if you are not using a custom domain
As you can see, the pros definitely outweigh the cons. Some of the cons are pretty nitpicky, including the URLs being messy, but that’s more of a personal preference than anything. I know there are lots of other landing page builders that people will use, including Thrive Architect by Thrive Themes. For me, I’ve found the funnel step integration to be some of the easiest funnel software to design though.
With TA, you’ll need to design the page, and then link to the following pages in the sequence and it’s all done within WordPress. While I love Thrive and their themes, I do think that ClickFunnels is inherently easier to use than TA, but obviously it comes at a monthly cost.
Show Me Some Examples!
So you’d like to see some examples of ClickFunnels in use? We are going to go ahead and look at a few landing pages that we’ve put together using the software. We started most of these using a base template, which we customized to our liking for the specific offer we were promoting. Keep in mind this is a SMALL sample of funnels we've built with the software! We use it extensively with our physical products businesses and have many other funnels in play on a daily basis.
Let’s dive in.
Example #1 Table Labs
First and foremost, when we built out the Table Labs sales funnel, we used ClickFunnels to design the entire sales funnel. Here are the sales funnel pages that were built with the funnel software:
- Sales Page
- Order Form
- One Time Offer (Niche Pursuits Insider Special Pricing)
- Thank You Page
- Affiliate Page (where affiliates can sign up and promote Table Labs)
- Affiliate Area
The best part is that there are often multiple steps in each part of the funnel. What this means here is that when a user clicks one of the sales price points on the sales page, it takes them to a dynamically updated pricing page for the next step in the sequence. You can utilize these steps to test different price points on your sales page, while keeping your original sales funnel completely intact. It’s extremely easy to do, and the best part is you can continue just adding new steps in the funnel each time you’d want to start a new offer.
This is how the funnel currently works. Currently we want people to see the sales page first. Once they pick the price point they want, they go to the corresponding order form. Once their order is complete, they will see the one time offer for Niche Pursuits Insider as a discount. If we wanted to, we could insert another step in the funnel here and offer a “downsell” to another product.
We don’t really have a downsell offer currently, but we may test something out in the future. After that page, they go to the thank you form, where they get their access credentials and become a customer. All of this is integrated directly into stripe, so the payments are collected through the ClickFunnels interface, and the user never knows the difference. It’s been an extremely effective funnel, and it’s been great because we can just clone the entire funnel and modify it as we see fit when we launch it for other products.
Example #2: Niche Pursuits Insider
When we first purchased ClickFunnels for the Niche Pursuits team, we used it to build the sales funnel for Niche Pursuits Insider, as well as the entire membership section! This was pretty fun, because when we initially bought the software, the membership section was almost an afterthought. We were going to use it primarily to build out landing pages for physical products we planned to sell on Facebook, but as we all talked through a membership program, utilizing ClickFunnels made perfect sense, so we got to work.
The funnel for Niche Pursuits Insider is similar to the Table Labs funnel. We have multiple steps for the sales process, and then we finally cap it off with the membership login and the membership page. These are the following steps below:
- Optin (Lead Magnet for Certain Funnels)
- Sales Page
- Order Form
- Order Confirmation
- Member Login
- Member Area
The only thing that’s missing from this funnel right now is an upsell page for Table Labs. We may test this functionality in the future as many of our NPI members would like to take advantage of a long term Table Labs license.
The biggest difference from this funnel and our Table Labs funnel though, is the membership area as mentioned. The membership section is robust. You can customize everything – looks, fonts, etc. Some of it can take a little longer to get the hang of with customization when you are adding multiple areas for columns and rows on your pages, but overall it’s pretty intuitive when building it out. Another great function is that you can just clone a prior lesson. If you setup a lesson and like the format/layout of that lesson, you can copy it and reuse it for the next section, which is what we do. That way our branding stays consistent and the layout looks familiar.
We incorporate content, YouTube videos, downloads and many other things in our membership area. Most Niche Pursuits Insider Members would probably agree that the layout is pretty streamlined and they get around the back end pretty easily. You can also provide anyone a “secret” URL in order to create an account from scratch if you have people that you want to have look at your membership area before you decide to push it live.
The screen shot below shows you just how much content we have in the membership section that we’ve created over the last year. It’s extremely robust, and if you haven’t committed to joining Niche Pursuits Insider yet, you should definitely take another look with the one time pricing we have happening right now.
Example #3 Nordic Shift
Nordic Shift is my umbrella media company. I’ve used ClickFunnels on this site since I built it out. Initially I built the entire site using ClickFunnels, but decided to move to WordPress for the primary site itself, and then use ClickFunnels for certain landing pages, and my media portal. I recently launched a coaching service where I’m offering 1 on 1 coaching as an hourly option where you can pick and choose your time to meet with me. I have it all coordinated through ClickFunnels, and integrated with Calendly so that anyone that purchases a session can schedule one of my openings immediately. I’m only taking on 4-5 clients per month, and integrating that requirement with Calendly with Clickfunnels for the build out was extremely easy to setup.
But my favorite feature I used when building out my coaching funnel was the media portal. I setup a media portal on the Niche Pursuits Business account, and then when I launched my coaching funnel, I simply exported my membership from the NP business account and was able to download the entire funnel directly into my own ClickFunnels account. This is great if you have people in the IM world that you work with, because you can literally share any funnel with them via a secret URL, and they can download and incorporate that funnel right into their dashboard and then customize the funnel as they see fit.
This also makes selling funnels a lucrative business. Just like with WordPress and theme development, people pay money for sales funnels that are already put together that they can download and implement into their own sales process. They then take those funnels and customize them however they see fit into their projects. Let’s take a look at the Nordic Shift Consulting funnel and what it consists of:
- Sales Page
- Order Form
- Thank You Page
We also have a separate funnel for the media portal that simply looks like this:
- Access Page
- Membership Area
- Product Page (will explain below)
So the funnel for my consulting business is simple. It’s a 1-2-3 approach because I’m not trying to upsell any other services with the coaching packages. If I wanted to, I could create some type of affiliate program for people that refer coaching clients to me and integrate it in ClickFunnels, but realistically that’s a lot of effort when I’m only taking on 4-5 clients per month at max because my time is extremely limited.
With regards to the media portal, that’s a little more complex. We have the Access Page and Membership area, but because I’m not actually selling anything with this funnel, I had to create a “hidden” product page so I could identify users with specific products. There may be another way to do this, but this was the easiest method I could figure out through multiple trial and error sessions.
Basically, because I have different jobs that I hire for, I restrict the access to other modules for each role I outsource. ClickFunnels allows you to do this. It’s a manual process (I have to assign each person a role in ClickFunnels manually) but since I don’t have more than 20 people I currently outsource to, it’s not a huge deal for me.
If I outsourced a ton, I could see it as being a time sink where I’d want to have a VA manage that task. You can see a screen shot below of where I have to go in and assign each person a role. Overall it’s basically the same structure as our membership funnel, but just customized for the SOPs that I run on my own websites.
Once I create the user in the back end, and I assign them a “purchase” from the product page that’s relevant to their role, they can only see that section and not others. Why else might this be good? Well if you want to sell a course online, and want to sell it as a “cost per course” section – you can split it into modules and sell them ala carte.
This would be a perfect solution to not only sell them one at a time, but give you the opportunity to sell your entire course via an upsell/downsell sequence. You can easily create an email sequence via an email provider like ConvertKit, which would tag someone and put them in the appropriate email follow up sequence. This would segment your audience and allow you to sell additional products by email.
Should I Buy ClickFunnels?
So the answer to this question really falls into what kind of internet marketer you are. Let’s look at where you might fall on the marketing spectrum, and if I would buy the software in your situation.
Novice Niche Site Builder: No, you don’t need the software. Focus on learning WordPress basics, and learn how to build a website from scratch that gets plenty of organic traffic from Google. You don't need to worry about marketing funnels or sales funnels right away. Once you’ve mastered the art of organic traffic, you can start experimenting with offers to your audience, and then it’s possible you might find the software to be worthwhile. For right now, focus on learning the core basics and you can worry about new ideas later on.
Intermediate Niche Site Builder: Have some traffic? Maybe making some money online? I would say that depending on where you fall into this side of the spectrum, ClickFunnels might be worth it. If you are making $1,000 per month online from affiliate income, there’s enough there to probably justify the 97/mo. expense to test out some different offers to your audience. You also probably have the ability to setup some type of membership funnel or group for your audience, and perhaps charge a premium to do so. There are plenty of uses for it, but at this point it’s a judgment call. I’d say 50/50 on if it’s worth the expense, unless you already have a very specific offer or idea in mind to test with your audience.
Advanced Niche Site Builder: Yep, it’s worth the cost. If you are making more than $2,000 per month, I’d consider you an advanced marketer. That’s $24,000 per year gross, and that means you are officially an advanced Niche Site builder. You can afford ClickFunnels, and it will be useful to you if you are building a product or offering a service.
Small Business Owner/Coach/Consultant: If you are in this bucket and you don’t yet have a ClickFunnels account, you are missing out. If you are a small business owner, then any advertising you’d like to do on your own will require a landing page to be constructed for special offers. Granted you can use Thrive Architect, Beaver Builder or Elementor if you’d like. But ClickFunnels gives you just as much if not more flexibility than any other page builder, and technically you don’t even need a website to launch it from. Most people that have their own small businesses do have a website these days, but even if you don’t – ClickFunnels doesn’t require you to actually have a website to use the software. You can use the default URLs (they look a little messy) or use your own custom domain and just install it in the ClickFunnels integration.
The Final Word: ClickFunnels will provide a lot of value to anyone in buckets 2-4, with bucket being a “maybe.” If you are a niche site builder only making $1,000 per month online, your money will probably be better spent on other software to help grow your organic traffic for your niche websites. I think anyone outside of that can only win with the software as long as they take action and don’t let it just sit as a membership that goes unused.
Q: Is there a Clickfunnels Tutorial?
A: Yep – you can find the tutorial right here: http://docs.clickfunnels.com/getting-started-introduction-to-clickfunnels
Q: Will ClickFunnels work with Shopify?
A: Yep – in fact, there’s a detailed post about how to do it right here: https://docs.clickfunnels.com/other-integrations/integrate-clickfunnels-with-shopify
Q: Can you use ClickFunnels for Dentists?
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A: Absolutely. All different types of small business owners can come up with solid sales funnels that can be used on other advertising platforms to generate leads for their businesses. ClickFunnels is popular with Realtors, Restaurant owners, Photographers, eCommerce store owners, Insurance Agents and many more industries.
Q: Can you use ClickFunnels with WordPress?
A: We answered this one in detail earlier, but yep – absolutely. As long as you download and install the ClickFunnels plugin on your site, it’s pretty easy to setup and get the software moving.
Q: Can I use ClickFunnels for Amazon Products?
Q: ClickFunnels vs. Thrive Architect: Which is better?
A: This is a highly personal preference. For me, I prefer Thrive Architect when building affiliate product related pages. Same with Elementor. Either page builder is great for that. But specifically for product or service related landing pages, it’s pretty much impossible to beat ClickFunnels in my opinion.
Q: Does ClickFunnels integrate with ActiveCampaign, Convertkit or Infusionsoft?
A: Yep, you can absolutely integrate most larger email management services when building out your sales funnels. It’s all connected on the back end, and you can manage it with tags based on your email provider. You can segment your audiences accordingly with different email sequences, just like you can if you collect email addresses on a WordPress based site.
Q: If I can only use one, should I use ClickFunnels or WordPress?
A: The only way I’d ever recommend using ClickFunnels over WordPress would be for small businesses, coaches or consultants. You can buy the ClickFunnels software and then just build your entire site right in the database. Keep in mind that if you want to switch to WordPress later for a self hosted solution, you will be starting pretty much from scratch again. Everyone else should use WordPress as your content management software, and add ClickFunnels strictly for landing page build outs as you go.
Q: How can I cancel my Clickfunnels subscription?
A: This is done right in the back end interface. There are instructions on how to do this right here.
Q: Can Clickfunnels replace Infusionsoft?
A: Unfortunately these SaaS companies focus on two different things. Convertkit is a good solution to replace Infusionsoft if you are feeling the need to move on to a new provider.
Q: Can you setup Webinars in Clickfunnels?
A: While you can’t setup actual webinars, you can setup the funnels to get registrations. It’s not webinar software. But you can use it as your optin provider for your webinar, and you can build out custom landing pages to host evergreen webinar replays for your audience.
Q: Can I use Clickfunnels for a membership site?
A: We’ve already covered this one in a ton of detail. You can absolutely use it for memberships and it’s great to get started. If you are building a very robust membership for thousands of people, there are other enterprise options out there you may eventually want to consider.
Q: Does ClickFunnels have an Affiliate Program?
A: Yes it does, and it can be lucrative. Which is why the software is awesome in my opinion. Not only can you get software that works really well, you can get a cut of the referral fee if you refer people to the Clickfunnels program and they subscribe. It’s always great to have a product that you genuinely want to recommend to people. I would refer people to Clickfunnels even if there wasn’t an affiliate referral program.
Q: Does ClickFunnels offer discount coupons?
A: Not that I’ve seen. BUT they do offer a 14 day trial, so if you grab it and don’t like it, you can just cancel your membership and move on. It’s not hard to cancel either, so you don’t have to stick around if you realistically won’t use the software. If you are a small business owner though, keep in mind that most advertising agencies that use ClickFunnels, will want you to have an active subscription so they can build your funnels for you in your own dashboard.
Q: Is ClickFunnels Legit, or is it a Scam?
A: Obviously anyone that knows about affiliate marketing knows that you NEED some type of software to get your offer in front of potential customers. ClickFunnels is NOT a scam. The software is completely legit, which is why they give you 14 days to test it out.
Let me start off by saying that not everyone needs this software. Personally, I would never recommend a product that I don’t feel strongly about, and that I wouldn’t purchase myself. I have a hard time with many internet marketers that advocate the use of sub par products in order to just get an affiliate commission. This software is a very comprehensive landing page builder.
I have my own personal ClickFunnels subscription outside of our Niche Pursuits company subscription. I believe in the software, which is what makes it enough for me to whole heartedly recommend. Plus you get a 14 day free trial in case you hate it. If you are at all on the fence about the software, feel free to drop a line in the comments below and I’ll be happy to give you any feedback I have about my experiences. Buying any internet marketing software is a very personal decision, but for landing page creation, I feel that ClickFunnels definitely hits the mark.