Note: I am not an affiliate for Clickfunnels but I use Clickfunnels for clients sometimes. I mainly use Unbounce and Leadpages for myself and for clients.


TL:DR: Looking to build a pure e-commerce business by selling products or services? Just use Shopify.


Other businesses can use websites designed with WordPress or Webflow.

I’d use the following combination: Unbounce or Leadpages  in combination with OptinMonster, Drip, and PartnerStack (or ShareaSale). 


Clickfunnels is building an army of affiliates (and there’s nothing wrong with that). There are many affiliates already leading to tons of information which could be unfairly biased and one-sided (now, that’s a problem). I don’t give rat’s shit about what affiliates think. I obviously don’t care what the folks at Clickfunnels think.



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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 a feature set that you’d get anyway.

The premise of Clickfunnels is that you’d be able to set up 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 set up funnel pages quickly. Pages like the Opt-in page, interstitial pages for upsells and cross-sells, and the “thank you” pages.
  • Clickfunnels has autoresponders (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.
  • Clickfunnels has features to allow you to recruit, manage, and pay affiliates.
  • 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)
  • Social Media
  • Email Marketing (You’ll still need standalone email service providers such as Drip, 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 on 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:

  • Create Landing pages with Unbounce or Leadpages. That’s it. You don’t need anything else beyond these two powerful landing page builders.
  • Build your sign up forms, exit-intent forms, Slide-ins, and welcome mats or full-screen opt-ins with OptinMonster 
  • With both Unbounce & Leadpages, you could build all the landing pages, thank you pages, and other funnel pages you need to build complete funnels. Unbounce & Leadpages allow you to have as many landing pages, funnel pages, and thank you pages as you need. Plus, both the tools also come with A/B testing, fast loading pages, alert bars, pop-ups, and superior support (not including access to Facebook groups and communities)
  • Use Drip for Marketing Automation. If you want to start for free, try MailChimp too.
  • 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. You can choose Podia for building your perfect membership site (along with launching online courses or to sell digital downloads). 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.
  • PartnerStack offers automated affiliate management, global compliance, affiliate dashboards, and a simple and easy way for you to start your affiliate program or partner program. Optionally, you can use Shareasale. With either of the programs, you can have a whole army of affiliates already waiting to signup with you and then to promote your products and services. 

You could manage to do everything for a fraction of the cost that you’d have to shell out for Clickfunnels.

All you need is this combination:

Unbounce or Leadpages for sales funnels and landing pages.

 Drip for email marketing Automation = Complete Control and Infinitely Scalable.

PartnerStack or Shareasale = launch complete affiliate partner programs or partner programs.

Note: Use Podia if you’d like to build a membership site, launch online courses, or if you’d like to sell digital downloads. 

What’s Clickfunnels Really good for?

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:

The Hype

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. Heck, I do affiliate marketing too). But this is also when you have to watch out for the hype and look even more carefully than you normally would.

The right way to do affiliate marketing is to recommend products that are awesome, when they provide value, and when they kick ass. That’s all I do. That’s what most responsible affiliates do.

I know of a few other products like The New Kajabi and SamCart for instance. Kajabi is overpriced for what it does. SamCart is alright but I don’t see how creating a few checkout pages makes it any special.


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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. See the Unbounce Landing Page Builder Preview (No Opt-in Needed) 

I find that awesome. But you take a call…

 

Feature Overload

 

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?).

 

Bandwidth

 

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.


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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.

If I were you, I’d just use Unbounce or Leadpages  in combination with OptinMonster, Drip, and PartnerStack (or ShareaSale). 

 

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