ClickFunnels Review (2017) – Is It Better Than LeadPages or SamCart?

“Ultimately, the business that can spend the most to acquire a customer wins” 
– Dan Kennedy

This quote really stuck out to me when I saw it in Russell Brunson’s book DotComSecrets. What it means is that to really grow your business, you need to create better sales funnels.

That is, making a high quality, deeper sales funnel that offers more things to your customers, which in turn makes each customer more valuable for you.

ClickFunnels Review

Last updated: Dec 1, 2017
Initially published on: June 14, 2015

tl;dr Summary
With its ability to create complete sales funnels and easy to use and powerful editor, ClickFunnels provides a clear challenge to LeadPages’ place as the best landing page builder.

And after finishing the book, Russell had me completely convinced that I too, needed to start building sales funnels for each of my products.

It’s a really powerful concept and one that I already started to adopt.

That’s why today I’m going to take you on a deep dive review of ClickFunnels.

It is my favorite software for creating sales funnels like this Trust Funnel that built a list of 120,000 people from scratch and gets a 45-55% opt-in rate to cold traffic.

I’ve been using the software for a couple of my online businesses, and I’ve started to think of it as LeadPages on steroids.

That’s not to say that it’s perfect, and in this ClickFunnels review, I’m going to show you how I’ve been using it and how it compares to Leadpages and other competitors for selling your products and services online.

No time to read our review? Click here to take this short quiz to see if ClickFunnels is right for your business.

Why You Should Be Creating Your Own Sales Funnels

Before getting into the ClickFunnels software itself, it’s critical to understand why sales funnels are so key to maximizing your profits.

The first reason is that once a visitor enters your sales funnel, you have them for life. That’s because the first step in any good sales funnel is to collect your visitor’s email address.

Once you have their email, you can then start preselling your leads about your product or service you want them to buy. Russell recommends coming up with a soap opera sequence which will build up your lead’s trust in you, and get them more willing to take out their wallets and buy.

ClickFunnels review - Soap Opera Sequence

The next step in the sales funnel is sending your leads to a sales page. This is a special page that is designed to get people to buy. They often include an eye-catching headline, images or video, and bullet points describing the benefits that get the visitor excited and helps you close the sale.

For the customers that enter in their credit card and purchase, you then present them with 1 or more One Time Offers (OTOs), upsells and downsells.

This step is how you maximize the profit you make from each customer, and how you can really explode your business.

ClickFunnels Video Sales Page Example

Let’s say you are able to convert 10% of your customers selling a $20 yoga mat which nets you $5 in profit after fees. For every 100 visitors, you would average 10 sales and earn $50 in profit.

But what if you were able to upsell 30% of your customers into purchasing your $20 yoga video and 10% of your customers into signing up for your $497 a year yoga class.

Now, for every 100 visitors, you would sell 10 yoga mats, 3 yoga videos, and 1 yoga class. You’ve now made $697 in profit, an amazing 1294% increase.

That is why Dan Kennedy’s quote at the beginning of this review is so insightful. By increasing your profit margins you can then outspend your competitors on ads to get people into your sales funnel.

The more visitors you get, the more money you will make.

Want to see this in action? Click here to see one of the sales funnels I created in ClickFunnels. You can click on the preview links underneath each thumbnail to see each page in more detail.

This is just one example of a sales funnel. There are many different variations that you can build to suit your specific business.

Does this sound challenging to implement?  Yes, it can be.

But this is where ClickFunnels comes in. ClickFunnels was specifically developed to make it easy to create sales funnels so you don’t have to deal with the tricky technical stuff to set things up.

Part 1: What are some of my favorite features of ClickFunnels?

Cool Feature #1: Funnel template blueprints

If you have never created a sales funnel before then ClickFunnels has you covered.

Russell has identified 22 different types of funnels that he has used successfully in his own business.

The funnel types fall into 3 main categories: Lead Capture Funnels, Sales Page Funnels, and Event Funnels. But there are some other special funnels like Membership funnels you can create as well.

ClickFunnels review - Funnel Type Chooser

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 sophisticated sales funnels like the 2-Step TripWire Funnel which sells a low ticket front-end product (your tripwire) and then upsells them to your more expensive products using Order Form bumps, and One Click upsells or Downsells.

In addition, each 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.

ClickFunnels Tripwire Templates

Here’s a high-level overview of how you will launch your first funnel:

  1. Choose a funnel type.
  2. Select a template.
  3. Customize each page to fit your business.
  4. Add your products and ensure all your email and payment integrations are set up.
  5. Set a domain name for your new funnel.
  6. Save your funnel.

Your sales funnel is now live and you can start sending traffic to it.

Cool Feature #2: Great Visual Drag and Drop Editor

While ClickFunnels gives you a great starting point with its funnel and page templates, the ClickFunnels editor is where you can truly make each page in your funnel your own.

Pages in ClickFunnels are laid out using sections that can have any number of rows and columns. You can then use your mouse to drag elements around and place them where you want them.

While perhaps not as flexible as Instapage’s landing page editor, it is still excellent and it can be used to achieve pretty much any design you want.

What I like is that the editor is very intuitive to use. Selecting components on the page and moving them where you want is very seamless. Text elements can be edited inline, and modifying any element’s properties can be done through the fly-out sidebar.

And unlike other editors out there, everything is organized in a logical way.  You’re not spending a lot of time hunting for what you want to do.

ClickFunnels Review - The Editor

The important thing is that no coding is required. So you don’t have to spend time learning HTML or CSS or any technical things like that.

Cool Feature #3: Huge Selection of Page Elements

Elements (or widgets) are essential for giving you the flexibility to design the exact pages you want and ClickFunnels gives you a wide variety of them to use.

Basic elements include Headline, Image, Text, Button, Input forms and Video widgets. These are the basic building blocks for any landing page you build in the software.

ClickFunnels also includes a number of advanced elements like:

  • SMS Signup
  • Surveys
  • Pricing Tables
  • Progress Bars
  • Facebook Comments
  • FAQ Blocks
  • Countdown Timers
  • Custom HTML

Plus, there are specialized elements like Membership elements for your memberships pages and order and shipping form elements for your order pages.

Each element can be easily customized in the editor sidebar. With most elements, you can change common properties like background colors, margins, fonts, and alignment.  Then there are element specific properties like the image url for the Image element or [add another example here].

Cool Feature #4: Share your funnels with your friends and clients (and make some extra money)

Inside the Settings tab of any of your funnels, you can grab your Share Funnel URL.

When someone visits this URL, they will be able to add this funnel directly into their account if they are an existing ClickFunnels member. If they aren’t a member yet, they can sign up for the ClickFunnels 14-day free trial and then get your funnel added to their account.

ClickFunnels review - Share Funnel Page

What’s really awesome is that this share url also acts as your affiliate link, and you will get a recurring commission if this new user ends up staying on. You can see this in action by taking a look at one of the sales funnels I created.

Here are a couple of ideas to make some extra money with this.

You could become a ClickFunnels consultant and create niche specific sales funnels that you could sell to small businesses in that same niche. These same funnels could also be sold in the ClickFunnels marketplace where they could also be sold to other ClickFunnels users.

Sales funnels also make great lead magnets or bonuses in many niches. They are a great way to get your readers into your own funnel by offering something valuable they can use themselves.

Honestly, the opportunities are endless with this, and a lot of people are making good money with ClickFunnels by taking advantage of this share funnels feature.

Cool Feature #5: Awesome onboarding process

Wrapping your head around all that ClickFunnels can do may seem daunting at first. But this is helped by the most impressive on-boarding process I’ve seen in a software product.

ClickFunnels review - Hero FunnelWhen you first sign up, you’re presented with the 7-day challenge. It consists of 4 different games with each one having a number of steps to complete. Every step features a task and a short video clip of Russell explaining what you need to do to finish it.

The first game walks you through the process of building your own Hero Funnel, while the 2nd and 3rd games introduce you to the Funnel Cookbook and the Funnel University. Finally, the last game is a Launch Checklist that walks you through everything you need to do before having your funnel go live.

Although the whole process is optional, if you complete all the steps you will “win” some prizes including a ClickFunnels t-shirt and some stickers.

I found the whole process to be incredibly valuable.  It’s essentially an interactive ClickFunnels tutorial where you learn how to use ClickFunnels itself and the philosophy and value of using the software for your own business.

I highly recommend you go through it first when you sign up.

Part 2: What I don’t like about ClickFunnels?

Bad Part #1: Why is adding a funnel so slow?

After choosing your funnel type and template, it needs to get added to your account.

For some reason, this process seems to take around 8-10 seconds every time. While I don’t know what’s really going on behind the scenes, it doesn’t make sense to me why this would take so long. It’s a bit annoying, although just 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’m really not a fan of software products that limit you in this way. If you are just building sales funnels for yourself, these limits are probably ok.

You may get more annoyed at these limitations if you are doing client work and building funnels for multiple customers.

Bad Part #3: Steep learning curve

The scope of what ClickFunnels can do is pretty huge, and I can definitely see it be intimidating to some. That’s why so much work was put into the onboarding process to help ease you into the software. The ClickFunnels interface is pretty well designed for the most part and once you’ve built a few funnels yourself, the whole process does get easier.

Part 3: ClickFunnels Pricing

Over time, ClickFunnels has evolved their pricing plans. In the beginning, they had 3 different pricing tiers, but they have now been consolidated into 2 separate plans.

The cheapest ClickFunnels plan is $97 a month. On this plan, you get access to all the funnel creation tools, but you are limited 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 allows you to create your own affiliate program.

To get access to that, you’ll need to go with the Etison Suite plan. It includes everything, plus you get unlimited funnels, pages, and visitors. However, this will run you $297 a month.

As far as I can tell, there are no ClickFunnels coupon codes available. However, you can choose to pay yearly and get a 16% ClickFunnels discount. That’s the equivalent of 2 months free.

However, ClickFunnels does make it easy for you to demo their service with their free, 14-day free trial. It’s not limited in any way which lets you give the software a full test before you fully commit.

Part 4: Everything else you need to know about ClickFunnels

How is their support?

ClickFunnels support is fairly good in my experience. They use Intercom, so you can directly ask questions in the live chat box. Support requests are usually answered within a few hours and I found the staff to pretty helpful to all my questions.

Do I need my own domain name?

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 like http://username.clickfunnels.com.

One nice bonus that I didn’t know about is that ClickFunnels will buy 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?

ClickFunnels has an enormous community. There’s the official group on FB with over 100k members and the ClickFunnels Avengers FB group (for affiliates) that has over 30k members.

Both groups are extremely active and it’s a great place to get answers to get feedback on your sales funnels and answer any questions you may have.

What integrations do they offer?

Even though ClickFunnels has its own email service provider via Actionetics, it also integrates directly with all the best email service providers out there.

For payment gateways, ClickFunnels integrates with Stripe, Paypal, Clickbank, Infusionsoft, Authorize.net and a few others. The one limitation with using Paypal though is that it does not support One Click Upsells or One Time Offers. That’s why I would highly recommend going with Stripe if you can.

Is ClickFunnels a scam?

No, ClickFunnels is not a scam.  ClickFunnels is definitely the real deal.

It’s a great software and an amazing affiliate opportunity. I’ve used ClickFunnels myself to help sell a logo design service, and I’m currently using it to market a physical fitness product with great success.

Some people might be put off because they see so many people promoting ClickFunnels and think figure it’s over-hyped.  But don’t jump to conclusions without trying out the product yourself first.

 

Do they have an affiliate program?

ClickFunnels/Russell has one of the best affiliate programs out there. They pay recurring income for every ClickFunnels user you refer and you can win cool prizes like helping make payments toward your own dream car if you get to a certain number of referrals every month.

They also have a 2-tier affiliate program for referring people to the ClickFunnels affiliate program.  You can earn 5% commissions on all sales they people who sign up under you make.

How do I make ClickFunnels work for me?

First of all, you need to have a product or service to sell. If you don’t have something to sell, then don’t even bother looking into ClickFunnels before you do.

Next, you need to be willing to invest time and money into creating your value ladder and building out your entire sales funnel.

That means at least creating a lead magnet or low-cost tripwire product to get customers into your funnel. And coming up with appropriate upsells, order bumps and other OTOs that complement or enhance your main product offering.

If you’re unclear how to start, I would take a look at Russell’s own multi-million dollar sales funnels to give you inspiration. Read his book DotComSecrets where he explains exactly the why and how of creating sales funnels and how to tell stories to sell your products.

And as you go through his own sales funnels yourself you can see how he goes from low-cost tripwire (DotComSecrets) to selling his flagship product (ClickFunnels).

By creating his own community of raving fans he can then upsell his various other products and events like Funnel Scripts, Funnel Hackers Live, and more.

Once you’ve gone through his funnels, then you can take the parts that apply to your own business and create a plan for your own sales funnel. Once you have that in place, you will be ready to start making money with ClickFunnels.

Part 5: ClickFunnels versus the competition

There are a few ClickFunnels alternatives out there that 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 very popular tool in its own right.

It also recently added the ability to sell products directly on their pages with its new Checkout widget

Leadpages - Checkout Widget

Each product features a large selection of nice looking templates. Both have drag and drop editors that make it easy for you to create the designs you want. And both integrate with all the popular email service providers.

However, Leadpages is more limited in scope than ClickFunnels. You use it to create landing pages that will help you collect leads. This is not a bad thing because LeadPages really shines for making landing pages fast.

Right now, one of the most effective strategies for growing your email list is by using content upgrades. By creating targeted lead magnets to your most popular posts you can get opt-in conversion rates that far surpass your standard pop-up.

LeadPages is the best service for implementing this strategy with its LeadBoxes, 2 step opt-ins, and automatic lead magnet delivery which is why they are the most popular popup you will see today.

So if you are primarily focused on lead generation, I would definitely recommend trying out LeadPages.

However, if you are selling a product or service, then ClickFunnels is the definite 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.

Yes, you can sell things with LeadPages, but it’s not as simple to add upsells and downsells which ClickFunnels can.

ClickFunnels vs SamCart

SamCart is a product that allows users to create beautiful, high converting checkout pages. Which gives it a lot in common with ClickFunnels.

SamCart is geared towards getting set up and selling fast. It supports both Stripe and Paypal and it comes with 17 different checkout page templates which you can customize.

Samcart - Classic Template

In terms of flexibility, there is 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 pre-made templates.

SamCart does allow you to add order bumps, upsells and downsells like ClickFunnels does. You can also easily create coupons for your products which is another great way to increase conversions.

However, where Samcart is lacking, is the ability to capture leads and create complete sales funnels. Both products come in at the same $97 a month price point, and I find ClickFunnels to be quite a bit more flexible and powerful than Samcart.

Final Thoughts

Which software you go with depends on your requirements and the amount of work you are willing to invest in your business.

Although many of you are selling standalone products, are you willing to put in the effort required to create a quality sales funnel?

If not, then ClickFunnels might be overkill for you. You can collect leads or sell your front end product more cheaply using alternative services.

However, if increasing the lifetime value of your customers sounds valuable to you, then I really recommend giving ClickFunnels a try. Not only to get access to the software but also because the training you will learn will be both inspiring and enlightening.

Take advantage of the ClickFunnels 14-day free trial, and see if you can use it to grow your business today.

Take the free 14-day ClickFunnels trial

ClickFunnels Bonus Offer

I’m currently offering a couple of exclusive bonuses for anyone that purchases ClickFunnels using our affiliate link.

ClickFunnels Bonus #1 (Value: $199)
Instant access to our collection of custom designed premium ClickFunnel sales funnel templates straight to your dashboard.  Click here to see an example of one of our premium sales funnels.

ClickFunnels Bonus #2 (Value: $99/month)
Exclusive access to our Funnel Builder Pro membership site where you get access to new premium ClickFunnels sales funnel templates every month.

Interested in this bonus? Then follow these steps:

  • Clear your browser cache.
  • Click on THIS LINK to sign up for your 14-day ClickFunnels trial.
  • Send me your receipt via this contact form.
  • Within 24 hours, we will send your bonuses.

ClickFunnels Pros

  • Best software for creating marketing and sales funnels
  • Editor balances ease of use with flexibility
  • Integrates with major email and payment providers
  • Beautiful looking templates for every type of funnel
  • Great training videos and ongoing weekly webinars
  • Software continues to get better after every update
  • Easily share any funnels you make and automatically earn affiliate commissions
  • 2-tier affiliate program
  • Free domain name with SSL installed
  • 14-day free trial

ClickFunnels Cons

  • Limits on the number of funnels, pages, and visitors with the standard plan
  • Lots of things to learn, steep learning curve
  • Split testing is pretty basic
Affiliate Disclaimer: I hope you enjoyed this ClickFunnels review. Please note that any links inside this article may be affiliate links to ClickFunnels. That means that if you click on one of the links and sign up, I may be compensated for it. If you do happen to click, thanks! Any money we make keeps this site running and allows us to keep producing high-quality reviews.