Look around and you’ll see most folks – business owners, agencies, individuals, bloggers, whoever – worry incessantly about possibly everything that holds no significance (as true for digital marketing as it is for life in general).
“How to get more traffic to my website?”
“How do I speed up my WordPress site?”
“What plugins should I use?”
“What do I build my website on?”
All of those are important.
Just not as important as you “making money off your business” – sooner or later.
If you are like most people, you are sweating the small stuff.
The way you run your business changes when you start focusing on gaining email subscribers.
I mean, like, radically.
What you thought was important doesn’t reign supremacy in your head anymore.
When is every subscriber equivalent to, say $5, and you manage to get subscribers on a daily or weekly basis, the way you look at your online business transforms – it’s easy to see why right?
“Of course, we’re going to need the dollar amount of the purchase you’re ultimately wanting people to make. If you anticipate recurring purchases (like a SaaS subscription model, for example), then you will want to multiply that number by the amount of times you think they will recur.”
He then points to a specific example:
“Since it’s unwise to assume that your customers will remain your customers forever, you need to figure out how long an average account will remain your customer. To do that, look at “churn”, which is the percentage of your subscribers who cancel their accounts over a period of time.
For example, if 4% of your subscribers cancel their accounts each month, then the average account is likely to stick around for 25 months (1/.04). If you charge $80/mo, then over the span of 25 months your customer will have paid you $2,000. That is your LTV – the value you can expect to get over time once an initial purchase has been made.”
Your customer LTV depends on your business.
Let’s just assume each subscriber is worth $5 for you. Now, if you have 3120 subscribers, they are now worth $3120 x 5 = $15,600.
With email subscribers, however, you’d need to think of it as pending transactions since
All transactions won’t happen at once, but rather, they happen sequentially.
You’ll have unsubscribes and new subscriptions happening all the time
Transactions happen only when your subscribers are ready, sitting with their wallets open. You just don’t know when.
The actual value of your email user base only compounds over time.
But that’s amazing, isn’t it?
Also note that:
• I won’t get into absolute basics of Sumo (like downloading & uploading plugins or how to set up forms).
• We’ll focus on what you’d need to do with forms and the other tools to squeeze more from your current situation.
Now, with that out of the way, let’s dig in and find out how to use Sumo for best results:
Setup Welcome Mat with A/B Testing
This thing, right here, is top priority
Of all the things you get with Sumo, it’s the welcome mat that has the potential to turn your business around big time. But guess what? It’s not the only thing that Sumo gives you. Crazy, isn’t it?
For the last 15 days that it went live, I collected 52 total subscribers. Out of these 32 were from the Welcome Mat. Go figure.
But I won’t stop there. With the limited traffic I get, I need to make the mat work really hard. So, I’ll do A/B tests on the Welcome Mat to choose a winner of the two variants A and B.
For the welcome Mat I created, these were the two variants (A & B):
Can you guess which one performed better?
The version that performed better with a statistical significance of 51.2% was the one with the man lifting weights.
Who’d have guessed?
Now, this experiment won’t end here. I’ll create a new variant to battle with the previous winner.
A few ideas could be:
A different background Vs black
No image Vs use an image
Female athlete Vs the big bad male athlete?
Come back here another day and we’ll talk results.
Provide content Upgrades or Other Offers
I have a rather generic offer to invite visitors to signup for my entire library of guides, checklists, etc. I call it the resource library. This is a sitewide offer
Here’s the actual inline pop up I use:
Right off the bat, one of the best converting offers on my site has been content upgrades. If visitors are reading a blog post on WordPress, I provide them with a WordPress checklist:
If my readers read blog posts related to sales funnels, lead funnels, or email marketing automation, they get my funnel checklist and other emails to help them with quick guides on how to build their funnels quickly.
Here’s the actual in-inline form and also a bar that you’d see on the top of the site:
After they signup, they get relevant emails written to cater to their specific interests. Later, they are given an option to choose to signup for other workflows (on other aspects of digital marketing) if they are interested.
Create Inline Click Triggers or Inline forms For Blog Posts
Sumo provides you with Click-trigger pop ups. Now, these aren’t your regular pop-ups. The pop-ups are activated only when visitors “click” – on either a link or a button – and this signals intent, interest, and willingness. Although these click trigger pop ups might not be shown as frequently as the welcome mat, they certainly convert even better (because of the intent).
For example, here’s how a click trigger pop-up compares (and converts at a juicy 15.3% compared to 2.93% that the welcome mat converts at).
Compared to click triggers, in-line forms more or less just like regular pop ups, except that they are “in-line” with your blog content. They are nested in between paragraphs. These forms also black out the background as you scroll past them. Like this:
Both click triggers and in-line forms make for great tools to help grow your list while you make relevant offers depending on what your users are reading or browsing on your website.
Use Page-specific Mats & Pop-Ups
Most sumo users tend to stop with the first two opportunities (in addition to Heatmaps, content analytics, and other tools within the Sumo Suite).
But you are not “most”. You are here because you want to make the best use of Sumo and spike up the conversions from all of your forms.
For that, you’d create page specific triggers. Find out the best performing (most frequented web pages) on your site and create very specific welcome mats or forms for those pages.
Since I am offering landing pages as services, I’d want to create a welcome mat just for this page and have people signup for an offer. This is how it’d be like:
See what I am doing there?
Put Image Sharing, Highlighter, Content Analytics & HeatMaps To Work
Sumo has other tools in its kitty. While they don’t help you get email subscribers, they are built to get you more traffic. The Image sharer and the highlighter make it easy for your readers to share, well, images and your blog posts (or parts of your blog posts or individual images) on social media.
Heat maps show you where your visitors are looking on a page while they are there. It starts to make sense when one of your forms keeps popping up to the right (while visitors scroll) but your heat map tells you that no one is looking.
Finally, think of content analytics tool as your Google Analytics, but in real time, as you (the admin) look at your own blogs or pages. You’d get real-time stats on how many visitors you got to that page, and more.
Integrations with Email Marketing providers
You can only integrate with your favorite email services provider like MailChimp or Drip or GetResponse with a paid account. When you do, it’s just a matter of creating specific forms and integrating with your email provider with a few clicks.
In my case, I have multiple offers (content upgrades) and they’d need to be sent to the right workflow on Drip (my email automation tool and ESP).
When you integrate with Drip, for instance, my various workflows are listed automatically prompting me to connect the forms to one of them, as below.
As it stands, all of this has been setup and automated. That’s how kickass Sumo is.
Over the years, I’d have worked on hundreds of landing pages, built several sales funnels, and helped clients setup the all too important gateway to get leads that eventually lead to sales.
Most people forget the importance of landing pages, why they should be used, the importance of A/B testing landing pages and then take decisions (and then make tweaks) to different elements of their marketing funnels.
But then, there are a few clients who already know the importance of landing pages. They invest in landing page tools to do marketing smarter and to obviate themselves from the need to find developers or designers every time they need a specific landing page.
I’ve had clients who’d insist on using their developers for landing pages but I’d flatly refuse to work with them.
I’ve got nothing against against designers or developers. It’s just that it’s virtually impossible (or expensive or time consuming) if you depend on developers to build landing pages for every offer, every Ad Group in Adwords, every campaign on Facebook, and then all those campaigns you’d launch organically (through your blog posts or on social media).
To avoid the need for developers and entire IT departments (in some cases), there are landing page builder tools that are incredible value for money.
As with any tool today, it’s up to users, individuals, and businesses to figure out which tool works best for them. But let’s rip Unbounce apart and see what’s inside.
Unbounce: Digging Under the Hood
Unbounce has been around for a long-time now and I am a huge fan. Compared to LeadPages and Wishpond, Unbounce is the only one with an advanced and truly “drag and drop” editor. Let me explain: of the three biggest landing page builders, Unbounce literally lets you drag elements (such as text blocks, images, or whatever else goes on your landing page) across the page you are building.
LeadPages and Wishpond, meanwhile, work off of sections and rows. Individual elements such as text, images, video, timer, spacers, and buttons have to sit in those sections and rows.
Note: there’s nothing wrong with using sections and rows. In fact, going down that path actually ensures clean and spaced out designs that help with conversions.
Unbounce automatically integrates with popular email service providers and full-fledged marketing automation tools.
For instance, with a few clicks, you can integrate Unbounce landing pages with Mailchimp, Campaign Monitor, Aweber, Constant Contact, or Active Campaign. Or you can also integrate with Marketo, SalesForce, Speak2Leads, HubSpot, and InfusionSoft.
If your marketing workflow has any of those tools, Unbounce is a natural fit as you can see.
Unbounce also has the option of letting you (or your clients or your boss) receive emails when you get leads. You always get notifications when leads sign up on any of your landing pages (you also get to brand your emails, if you are working with clients).
If you don’t see any of your marketing tools in the list above, you also get the possibility of working with Webhooks or using Zapier to integrate Unbounce with the tool of your choice.
Unbounce also allows you to build “convertibles” — pop ups and overlays — that you can use to power up your lead generation efforts. These convertibles can be linked to any of those marketing tools above just like you’d do with regular pages. Think of convertibles are your lead generation tools on steroids.
At the end of it all, your leads sit there for you to process them. Connect your CRM to Unbounce and process leads or take a closer look at your lead details to the right side of every page.
Adding Custom Domains
I’ve worked with Clickfunnels, Wishpond, LeadPages, and many more tools and adding a custom domain is a tricky one (or not, depending on who’s doing it).
Unbounce has a plugin for WordPress that lets you connect your Unbounce pages with your domain in an instant. If you’d like to go the traditional route, you can do what you normally do: add a CNAME for Unbouncepages.com using your DNS editor (or DNS zone editor).
In-Built A/B Testing
If you ever needed a single reason to make a choice between landing page builders, just heed my advice and look at the A/b Testing features available inside of those tools.
Clickfunnels, LeadPages, InstaPage, and Wishpond — all these tools provide you with A/B testing features. Often, I see that you’d need to upgrade to higher plan to enable A/B testing.
Not so with Unbounce. You can spin up two versions of the same landing page that works off a single URL and you are ready to do A/B testing. You can also apportion the volume of traffic each page should get when you launch campaigns.
The A/B testing feature isn’t something that you’d have to click and activate. The analytics part of your A/B testing starts showing up soon after you create and publish a page.
For each page, you’d be able to take a decision as to which page performs better with the little “confidence” statistic that you’ll see after you gather enough data.
Where Unbounce Might Hold You back?
Earlier, building mobile-responsive versions of your landing pages is never a straight-forward affair with Unbounce. You’d first work on the desktop version. Then, you’d switch to the mobile version and then do an endless set of changes just to make the mobile responsive version look right.
When I first started using Unbounce, let’s just say it was a nightmare to use. Make tweaks to the mobile version and everything on desktop would change. Change the desktop version and elements would spill over the page.
After several years, Unbounce released a new version of their editor with a somewhat streamlined workflow. Today, it’s much better.
Unbounce also had limits on the number of visitors you could have on all your landing pages combined (including those of your clients). The free plan accommodated only 200 visitors and the starter plan accommodated 5000 visitors per month. I was never a fan of limiting visitors, though.
Unbounce revised their plans recently and the new plans now have generous bandwidth, about 500,000 visitors or more per month but they now limit the number of landing pages.
The missing Marketing Elements
There are many workarounds available in the helpful Unbounce community for doing a lot of things with Unbounce such as to add countdown timers to Unbounce pages, reformatting forms just the way you want them to, and even doing fancy headings like I did here.
Some of those elements might seem necessary for marketing purposes such as adding countdown timers. This feature is still not available on Unbounce (unless you do a workaround) like I did for this page.
I believe that making a few of these marketing elements available really amps up the appeal that Unbounce already has. I believe it’s in the making but I am never too sure.
When you work with a tool as much as I do with Unbounce, customer support really becomes critical. From technical questions to billing, and from asking for simple tweaks to figuring out your marketing Workflow, you’ll often need help.
Unbounce’s customer support is top-notch. They miraculously answer every email in less than 12 hours. As if that wasn’t enough, there’s also a very active Unbounce Community that’s run and managed by the company. This community is also where you get to meet other Unbounce users, interact with staff, and also get all the juice on Unbounce hacks.
Using Unbounce, you can literally spin up landing pages within minutes (as against days, weeks, or months that developers would take, notwithstanding the cost) for all your campaigns. It has everything going for it: a great product, helpful community, active staff, plenty of education off their popular blog.
I am a fan.
What about you? Do you use Unbounce or any other Landing page builder? What are your favorites?
Clickfunnels is building an army of affiliates. There are many affiliates already leading to tons of information which could be unfairly biased and one-sided. I don’t give rat’s shit about what affiliates think. I obviously don’t care what the folks at Clickfunnels think.
All I care about is that you make the right decisions
This is a completely non-biased review. I am happy for you if you decide to use it. My intent is to tear it apart and build it back together so that you can make an informed decision.
If you’ve been around on the Internet and if you have anything to do with Internet marketing, digital marketing, or sales funnels, you’d have heard of Clickfunnels
Clickfunnels promises you to help set up full-fledged “sales funnels” at the click of a button.
A few more clicks here and there and you can work off a set of templates and set up entire sales funnels within no time.
Drag and drop. Just like that.
The clickfunnels full package gives you bells and whistles on top of the sales funnels building feature set that you’d get anyway.
The premise of Clickfunnels is that you’d be able to setup full-fledged, working, and high-converting sales funnels for your business.
The question is this: Would you be able to pull it off without clickfunnels? Is it hyped? Are there any alternatives to clickfunnels or is there a cheaper workaround to this instead of having to shell out $300 per month?
Is Clickfunnels Worth it?
The starting price for Clickfunnels is $97 monthly and the Etison(Full Suite) will set you back by $297 per month.
I’ve used Clickfunnels for my clients before (and I still do) and I am in the right position to tell you whether or not Clickfunnels is perfect for you (or not).
You see, what you get with click funnels is this:
Ability to setup funnel pages quickly. Pages like Opt-in page, interstitial pages for upsells and cross sells, and the “thank you” pages.
Clickfunnels has auto responders (emails) features using which you can do lead nurturing. All the good stuff about automation is somewhat possible with clickfunnels.
You have a way to do A/B testing for every single page that’s a part of your funnel. Like do A/B testing for your main landing page, do A/B testing for even for your thank you page.
You have a way to create membership sites with Clickfunnels. After your leads signup, they can gain access to exclusive membership areas that you can create and maintain.
Clickfunnels has integrations with Stripe and Paypal. This allows you to accept payments for your products, services, or membership sites at the end of the sales funnel.
Obviously, you have all the metrics and analytics you need to review your campaigns, funnel performance, conversions, and sales (on top of A/B testing results).
Total Cost: $300 per month
Remember that the $300 per month is only for Clickfunnels. You’d still have to spend on getting traffic to your sales funnels such as
Blog posts (if you hire others to write for you)
Email Marketing (You’ll still need standalone email service providers such as Mailchimp, ConvertKit, or Campaign Monitor). If you have a huge list of subscribers (or multiple lists), your email marketing costs will make up for a sizable chunk of your budget.
Any amount of money you’d spend for paid traffic (including Native Advertising, Facebook Ads, and Google Adwords).
Any other expenses for people, tools, or advertising that you might be spending on.
Let’s try a Clickfunnels Workaround:
Build your sign up forms with Sumo. Plus, you could build all the landing pages, thank you pages, and other funnel pages using Unbounce ($79 per month). Unbounce allows you to have as many landing pages, funnel pages, and thank you pages as you need. Plus, it also comes with A/B testing. Did you also know that Unbounce happens to have the best drag-and-drop page builder engine in the world?
For accepting payments, you could just use Stripe or Paypal. Another alternative would be to signup for Shopify’s Button ($10) and have all the good things that come with e-commerce built right into your funnels.
I’d never recommend Clickfunnels if you want to build a serious membership site. If your focus is to run a membership site, forget clickfunnels. It’s reportedly still buggy and customer service is virtually non-existent. Chris Lema has tons of information on what exactly you should be doing if your business has anything to do with membership site models. Chris already published many posts focusing on comparing the best membership site plugins and you should bookmark his entire list of blog posts on WordPress Membership plugin options.
If you are the kind of a person who doesn’t like to touch code, doesn’t like to waste time building multiple pages, and want everything basic to happen from a single platform, Clickfunnels is awesome for that.
If you don’t mind the $300 price tag, you’d be able to deploy sales funnels in a few minutes, launch an affiliate program for your business, and even have marketing automation kicking off after your leads start coming through.
For serious business owners and marketers who don’t like the DIY approach, Clickfunnels is really for you. If the thought of working with different platforms and tools only to stitch them all together is daunting for you, go for Clickfunnels by all means.
However, watch out For These Before Investing In Clickfunnels:
Any product with an army of affiliates tends to have hype around it. Too many blog posts and even videos extolling the virtues of the product. I am not against affiliates (they do what they have to do). But this is also when you have to watch out for the hype and look even more carefully than you normally would.
I know of a few other products like The New Kajabi and SamCart for instance.
The Drag and Drop Builder
The Clickfunnels Drag and Drop builder is good – it allows you to tinker with your pages, build exactly what you want, and you also have templates to start out with.
The page builder itself, however, is much like what you get with Leadpages. The page builder makes use of prefixed columns and rows (along with various elements that you can insert). The issue is that you never get a real, fluid, and completely flexible page builder this way.
You’ll have to stick to your rows and columns.
Unbounce, on the other hand, is fluid. You can literally click, hold, and drag any element absolutely anywhere on your pages without getting cornered into a row or a column.
I find that awesome. But you take a call…
I don’t like any product that tries to do too much.
Clickfunnels tries to do too many things at once (and they mean well for you, Mr. Marketer and Mr. Entrepreneur).
But just because they threw a funnel pages builder, an affiliate program manager, analytics, and A/B testing together, Clickfunnels wants to charge you an arm and a leg for it.
One, there’s a question of feature overload. Plus, there’s also a question of whether you’d really have to spend so much to get those features packaged into a single account.
For this reason, all these features could seem intimidating for first-time users (any idea why clients came asking us for help?).
Just like Unbounce, Clickfunnels keeps track of the number of visitors to your funnel pages. Now, the difference is this:
Unbounce tells you that you’d spend say $50 for every 5000 visitors in a month. When you cross that limit, you’d be asked to upgrade.
I don’t see pricing details for overage in bandwidth for Clickfunnels. What happens when you cross 50,000,000 visitors in a month? God only knows.
Non-responsive customer support
I’ve heard plenty of stories from my clients about Clickfunnel’s non-responsive support. They don’t bother explaining things to you after you signup and become a customer.
Here’s what Miles Beckler has to say:
Their feature set is bloated so that means that it’s not going to be easy for you to figure out how to:
Setup a custom domain for your funnels
Change URL paths to memorable URLs
Figure out how to add important tracking elements such as Facebook Ad Pixels, Google Adwords Tracking Codes, Retargeting scripts, etc.
I faced these challenges when I went about building sales funnels for my clients.
Have you used Clickfunnels or do you use it right now? How do you find it? What did you do with it? Please do share your story.