ClickFunnels is a widely-used software solution for online sales funnels and landing pages. It contains a series of utilities designed for the creation of funnels and pages optimized for maximum sales. ClickFunnels includes a multitude of features for the purchase of any kind of product or service via an online store. Unfortunately, it also contains an expensive subscription model, particularly when compared to similar digital marketing software.
Read on below for an in-depth look at ClickFunnels. We will assess whether this platform is worth its monthly subscription. Analyzing each aspect of the platform in detail will allow us to conclude whether it's the best software solution for your business.
Choosing the best sales funnel software is vital for the success of any online enterprise. Before we delve into whether ClickFunnels is the platform you’re looking for, there’s another question worth answering — what are sales funnels, and why do you need them?
Image source: clickfunnelspricing
Funnels are an old model for marketing any service or product to a specific target audience. These funnels are a marketing plan based on psychological estimates of customer behavior. In practice, a funnel amounts to a deliberately designed series of steps that dictate a customer’s interaction with a vendor. The point of this plan is to convert prospective leads into actual customers. There are many different kinds of funnels, but the two main categories are:
Physical (retail) funnels
Sales funnels exist for both online and brick-and-mortar businesses. All B2C companies interact with consumers through funnels, whether they're aware of that or not. Retail stores are a good example, as most have windows through which customers may see parts of their merchandise from the outside. Consumers decide on passing by or entering the shop based on the products in your display window.
When consumers spot your display, they immediately pose the most crucial question — do they need any of your products or not? An affirmative answer results in them entering the store. Once inside, they will inspect the complete range of products and their prices. After taking all of that into consideration, they decide if they’re going to buy something and approach the register.
Nothing we've mentioned here is new to you, whether you're a customer or a business owner. These are steps and trains of thought everyone takes before they buy any product. The point of sales funnels is to consider these steps and create optimal conditions for achieving the most significant number of sales. This is done by optimizing the store and planning out the customer's interactions with the store thoroughly:
Awareness — grabbing the attention of passers-by quickly
Interest — sparking enthusiasm for the products on display
Desire — helping the customer realize they need your product
Action — leading the customer towards purchasing through an enticing offer
The retail world is where sales funnels were invented at the end of the 19th century. Today, almost identical models are applied in other forms of advertising as well — most notably digital marketing. The contemporary marketing industry is driven by big data, machine learning, and other technologies at the forefront of global innovation.
Funnel models are an essential part of online marketing. Just as retail stores and display windows were once optimized to make the most sales, online websites undergo a similar process today:
Visitors become aware of your website via search engines or direct links
They start browsing and interacting with website content like product listings or blog posts
Users become leads and receive exclusive discounts, bonus offers, and other incentives
Consumers buy a product you’re pitching and become customers.
The process of designing funnels for a product that you'll market to prospective consumers may seem closer to art than science — at least to a layman observer. The field of marketing has evolved hand-in-hand with psychology and relies on little intuition these days. When industry professionals plan how they will sell a product, they usually wield an understanding of how consumers think about underlying transactions with goods and services.
A combination of social sciences and psychology is enough to give us a rough view of what makes products attractive to consumers. Precise tracking of the right metrics also allows marketers to carefully pinpoint their target audience — ensuring you spend no effort on marketing products to uninterested consumers. All of these tools provide marketers with enough information to design online funnels that are guaranteed to work, making them crucial for the success of any professional sales pitch.
Such a gap in knowledge was a barrier of entry into the field of digital marketing for many people. It also created a demand for software that would simplify online funnel design for digital marketers without experience in web development. This is the demand from which the funnel building niche appeared.
ClickFunnels was the biggest game-changer in this software category. The platform is, at its core, one huge quality-of-life improvement. It seeks to help professionals and amateurs in the world of marketing alike, through automation and simplification of all tasks from email management to lead generation.
ClickFunnels is mostly used for its drag and drop editor. The latter eliminates any need for coding through an utterly visual web design experience. You can pick from a variety of premade website elements that you want to include on your page. Then you choose their size and screen position by visually dragging them around the page. You are free to customize every aspect of the pages to whichever level of detail you prefer.
The ClickFunnels visual editor is the main attraction of the platform. The editor has the following features:
Search engine optimization
The editor contains a multitude of form segments you can use to increase the interactivity of your funnel. Their primary use is the collection of lead information through surveys and various sign-up sheets for mailing and SMS lists. There are also forms for transaction information, such as shipping addresses for physical products.
One of the main avenues for lead generation is bound to be search engines. That's how most people find the services and products they're looking for these days. Your sales website needs to be perfectly optimized for high traffic, and ClickFunnels realizes that.
The platform allows you to edit metadata for all of your content and even preview your website’s snippet on Google.
The main point of funnel builders is to create sales platforms without prerequisite coding knowledge. ClickFunnels also has features for individuals who know their way around web development. You can implement CSS customizations for the pre-built website templates provided by ClickFunnels.
You can customize the visual style of your funnel by selecting the right videos and images for all page backgrounds, as well as the color palette.
Grab the attention of your visitors with captivating pop-up content. You can plan out this part of the user experience in detail, by choosing when and where these pop-ups will appear. They can materialize as a response to various user actions, or even after a specific time the visitor has spent on the website.
No sales website is complete without an impressive visual presentation. ClickFunnels allows you to find the right videos and images for each step of your funnel with ease. You can upload custom graphics for your brand or use free stock media found online. ClickFunnels makes the process of finding royalty-free graphics easier as well, by providing an extensive library of their images. You can also browse several stock photo websites right from the platform, including:
The same goes for video content, that can be easily imported from:
ClickFunnels is capable of integrating with social media platforms in a variety of ways. There are share buttons for all major social media sites, as well as embedded Facebook comment sections.
Who can benefit from the features provided on ClickFunnels’ platform?
The answer would be — anyone with the desire to market anything online. This seems like a big net to cast, but it's true. The secret to ClickFunnels' continued success is its versatility. The platform lets anyone with a product or service construct a useful sales website easily. You can integrate other software products for your digital marketing purposes with ClickFunnels, but it covers most of the bases with its built-in solutions as well.
Image source: pillarsocialmedia
It does most of the grunt work of web design for you, leaving you to focus on design decisions and sales planning. The platform is compatible with both physical products and digital content. You can sell both using funnels from this platform quickly, and ClickFunnels has impressive integration options with a wide variety of payment processors:
The quality of ClickFunnels' design is lauded almost universally. The question more hotly debated among digital marketers is whether it is worth the price ClickFunnels charges for its platform. This software functions on a SaaS subscription-based model. There are two different packages you can subscribe for:
Basic ClickFunnels features without email management and affiliate marketing options; a limited number of funnels, pages, and website visitors
All ClickFunnels features; unlimited number of users, funnels, and pages
For people who want to take the platform for a spin before paying actual money, there are two different free trials. You can choose a two-week free trial for the Startup subscription and a month-long trial for the Etison package. Be careful, as both trials will auto-renew into a paid subscription once the free period is over.
If you want to try out all of the ClickFunnels features without worrying about an accidental payment, there are virtual credit card services out there that could solve the problem for you. It should be noted that most people who give this platform’s free trial a try end up opting for a subscription consciously. A majority of users already become familiar enough with the interface to create efficient sales websites by the end of the trial period.
ClickFunnels has an extensive affiliate utility dubbed Backpack. This tool is available only to Etison-level subscribers, but it’s definitely worth the money. It allows you to design affiliate marketing plans for any product. This can be a powerful traffic generation technique with the right affiliate marketers.
ClickFunnels has an affiliate marketing program of its own, with an extensive network of marketers pitching the platform to their colleagues and small business owners. The practical experience with affiliate marketing is visible in their Backpack tool, seeing as it gives users everything they need for a detailed affiliate campaign.
You can design elaborate affiliate plans using this section of the ClickFunnels platform. There are options for creating different affiliate groups and categorizing them according to your preferences. You may also opt for a multi-tiered affiliate program when more complex product funnels are concerned. This means that your affiliates can recruit other downstream members.
It's easy to track the efficiency of your affiliate marketing plan within the ClickFunnels ecosystem. You can monitor all of the relevant affiliate metrics for each marketer and manage them and their payments. ClickFunnels' Etison package is much pricier than most other competitor subscriptions, but the Backpack utility makes it worthwhile.
Another standout feature of the Etison subscription tier is the option of designing membership sites. Most ClickFunnels features are intended for both business owners and marketers, but this one caters to the latter primarily.
The career of a professional digital marketer can be lucrative if they explore all of their options in terms of diverse revenue streams. Many of them become computer software resellers in the marketing niche or offer freelance services besides their primary job. Others try to monetize their expertise in additional ways by writing books on the marketing techniques and subjects they're intimately familiar with.
One of the ways marketers interact with their target audience is through membership sites. These are paywalled areas with premium-level content or additional product features. ClickFunnels lets you include this option in your sales funnel website. You can provide access to parts of a ClickFunnels website in exchange for a one-time payment or a monthly subscription. There are even templates for upsell pages specific to different product niches.
One of the main ClickFunnels features that we have not touched on yet is the content marketplace. This page and funnel builder gives you access to a large assortment of pre-built funnels and landing pages, as well as other page templates. The platform developers themselves designed many of these, but the main draw is the ClickFunnels community built around content sharing.
Anyone who creates a sales funnel on the ClickFunnels platform can make the funnel available for purchase to other community members. This is another feature that benefits both marketers and business owners.
People who want to market their product without much fuss can find the right page templates for every part of their funnel, or even wholly optimized funnels that only require branding and content. Marketers can earn more money by creating different sales funnels and selling them via the ClickFunnels platform.
Taking every aspect of ClickFunnels into account, there’s only one question left to answer — is the platform worth your money and time?
The answer is yes if you can afford it.
The basic ClickFunnels package may be enough for some entrepreneurs, but most small business owners and marketers will find it too restrictive. The platform's biggest draws are available through the Etison subscription, which imposes a hefty cost on your monthly budget.
That cost is not for nothing, though. The features made available by the ClickFunnels developers provide more than enough value for your money. If you can stand a monthly payment of $300 for a digital marketing software suite, this is the one you should opt for.
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