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

I have been obsessed with landing page builders lately as you tell from my most recent posts over the last couple of months.

Well today, I’m going to take a deep-dive into yet another landing page product called ClickFunnels.

I’ve been using it for more than a month on a client project of mine, and I am starting to think of it as LeadPages on steroids.

ClickFunnels Review

Last updated: Feb 5, 2017
Initially published on: June 14, 2015

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

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 SamCart.

By showing you the strengths and weaknesses of each, I hope it will help you make the best decision for which one to adopt in your own business.

What is ClickFunnels

ClickFunnels is now a fairly mature service developed by Russell Brunson and his team. It’s now been up and running for more than 3 years at the time of this review.

As a quick aside, I learned about ClickFunnels through Russell’s new book DotCom Secrets: The Underground Playbook for Growing Your Company Online. If you want to learn how to sell products, then I highly recommend it.

Unlike competitor products which allow you create single standalone pages, ClickFunnels is all about building different types of marketing funnels.

A funnel is basically a series of pages your visitors go through to reach a certain goal and it might look like this.

A simple Lead Capture Funnel might consist of 2 pages which collects a visitor’s email address and then sends them to a Thank you page when signing up.

ClickFunnelsReview-LeadCaptureFunnel

Or you could have more sophisticated sales funnels which are made up of multiple pages which sell to a visitor through each step of the funnel.

With ClickFunnels you can easily create:

  • Optin/Lead Capture Funnels – Used to capture email addresses of your visitors and grow your mailing list.
  • Sales Page Funnels – Create this to sell products and services, with the ability to add any upsells/downsells to your sales process.
  • Webinar Funnels – Useful for helping people register for your webinars.
  • Membership Sites – Generate a recurring income by creating a full blown membership site.

ClickFunnels comes with its own distinctive set of templates for each of the different funnel types it allows you to create.

ClickFunnelsReview-OptinTemplates

Or you can start from scratch and build pages directly using the ClickFunnels editor.

The editor is where ClickFunnels really shines.

It enables you to easily put together different pages in your funnel through an easy point and click interface.

No coding is required and really, anyone can use it to whip up something nice. Everything is live, so all design changes you make can see in real-time.

ClickFunnels gives you quite a bit of flexibility in creating your pages. For example, you can easily move elements around and place them where you want, which is something the Leadpages editor does not allow.

Getting Started with ClickFunnels

I was immediately impressed by the ClickFunnels on-boarding process. They do a really smart thing where they offer you a free ClickFunnels t-shirt just for watching the introduction training videos.

ClickFunnelsOnboarding

It takes about 10 minutes, and the the training videos do give you a good overview of how ClickFunnels works.

Creating your first funnel is easy. Click the Add Funnels button and you are taken to a screen showing all the funnel types available.

If you are unclear with what each funnel does, there’s an embedded video you can watch which explains how it works.

Pick the Funnel you want and click the Create Funnel button. You will be asked to give your funnel a name.

ClickFunnels will then generate a set of pages for you based on the funnel you’ve chosen. So for a sales funnel you would get:

ClickFunnelsReview-SalesFunnelWorkflow

Pages can be removed from the funnel by hovering and clicking the giant ‘X’ next to the page.

For each page in your funnel, you can select from the available templates. Each template is professionally designed and there is a good selection to choose from. Plus, more are being added all the time.

If you don’t see a template that matches your current vision, I’ve found that it’s just as easy to start from scratch. This can be done by picking any template and then quickly deleting each of the sections on the page.

The basic building block of a ClickFunnels page is a section. A typical funnel might have a header section, an above the fold content section and a footer section.

A long form sales page might also have a section for highlighting specific features or a section for testimonials.

ClickFunnels is flexible enough to support all types of designs.

Sections are then further divided into column rows. You can pick from a single column to up to 6 columns and any number in between.

Finally, inside each column is where you insert various ClickFunnels elements.

ClickFunnelsReview-Elements

Basic widgets include Headline, Image, Text, Button, Input forms and Video elements.

But you can also include more advanced elements like:

  • SMS Signup
  • Survey
  • Pricing Table
  • Video Unlocker
  • Facebook Comments
  • FAQ Blocks
  • Countdown Timers
  • Custom HTML

As you mouseover any section, row or element, it will get highlighted and clicking slide in the contextual editor from the right hand side where you can change its properties.

Background colors, margins, fonts, alignment can all be changed as well as element specific properties like a specific image url for the Image element.

ClickFunnelsReview-editor2

It’s all quite intuitive to use once you’ve played around with things a bit.

I’ve been quite impressed by the editor as it strikes a nice balance between flexibility and ease of use.

If you are selling a product, then you want to integrate with a payment processor.

ClickFunnels directly supports Backpack CRM, InfusionSoft and Clickbank.

if you don’t use any of those services, then I recommend using the Stripe integration since it is free to signup for and use.

I didn’t have any experience with Stripe until I tested it with ClickFunnels, but I found that it’s an extremely simple way to take credit card payments.

Once you have created your Stripe account, just follow the simple instructions to link it to your ClickFunnels account and you’re all set.

Whenever anyone goes through the Order Page form of your funnel, it will automatically be used to collect payment from your customer.

Tracking

In addition to helping you create each of the pages in your sales funnel, ClickFunnels also helps you track how each page in your funnel performs.

At the top of each page, you can see in real-time the total number of visitors for each page in the funnel, how many visitors clicked on the next button of the page, and the conversion rate.

You will also see a graph showing your stats over a specified time period.

ClickFunnelsReview-Tracking

Split testing is also baked into ClickFunnels which is essential for helping you optimize the conversion rate of your funnels.

If you click in the Split Test tab, you can see the stats of all your existing split tests. Plus you will see the button to create a New Split Test.

Setting up a new split tests is quite easy. The best way is to clone an existing page and then tweak it from there.

Unfortunately, ClickFunnels does not have a lot of advanced split testing features that I’ve seen implemented in other products like Thrive Leads.

For example, there doesn’t seem to be a way to automatically rotate your split tests. And I would love to see ClickFunnels pick a “winning” split test after a statistically significant amount of data has been collected.

Actionetics and Backpack

When it was first released, ClickFunnels was all about creating…well funnels. But Russell had even bigger ambitions for the product and that’s how Actionetics and Backpack came about.

Actionetics

Actionetics aims to be a replacement for your favorite email service provider.

With Actionetics, you can see everyone who has opted into your lists through your ClickFunnels in the Contact Profiles page.

What’s cool is that each of your leads is given an Action Score, which is based on recency, frequency, monetary value and social scores. It basically gives you an idea of which leads are more likely to buy from you.

You can use Actionetics to send email broadcasts and the email builder allows you to design nice looking emails. And Action Funnels are Actionetics way of creating autoresponders with some limited marketing automation features.

While some of its features are interesting, Actionetics still can’t compete with a full fledged email service provider like ActiveCampaign, Drip or ConvertKit. Personally, I just prefer a standalone service where I’m not tied into an all-in-one solution.

Backpack

One of the best ways to boost the sales of your product is to have a great affiliate program that attracts some top affiliates.

That’s what Backpack can do for you. It’s essentialy a complete affiliate platform for ClickFunnels that you can attach to any of your created funnels.

Inside Backpack, you can add everything you need for affiliates to promote your product including affiliate links, email swipe copy, and banner ads. You can also setup your affiliate payouts and see how well each of your affiliates is performing.

There’s even support for 2nd tier commissions which is an extremely powerful incentive.

Pricing

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

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. Unfortunately, you don’t get access to Actionetics and Backpack with this plan.

For that, you’ll need to choose the Etison Suite plan. It includes everything, including Actionetics and Backpack. You also get unlimited funnels, pages and visitors. However, this will run you $297 a month which is quite steep.

Both plans also have a 14 day free trial so you can test things out before you buy.

ClickFunnels Pros

  • Super easy to create complete funnel workflows
  • Editor balances ease of use with flexibility
  • Integrates with major email and payment providers
  • Nice looking templates for each type of funnel
  • Good training materials and ongoing weekly webinars
  • New features being consistently added
  • 2-tier affiliate program
  • 14 day free trial

ClickFunnels Cons

  • Comparatively expensive, especially the Etison plan
  • Limits on the number of funnels, pages and visitors with the standard plan
  • Lots of things to learn, steep learning curve
  • Split testing is very basic

ClickFunnels vs LeadPages

If you are reading this review, you are probably wondering how ClickFunnels compares to LeadPages.

At this current point in time, LeadPages is the dominant leader in this landing page builder space.

You can easily see who is using LeadPages because their templates are so recognizable. Since it is so well known, many of the top marketers are using the service.

ClickFunnels hasn’t been out as long, but it does have the marketing power of Russell Brunson behind it.

Russell is gearing ClickFunnels to become his flagship product, so what you see now is just a taste of what the product is going to look like in the future.

The strength of ClickFunnels is it’s easy to use editor. It is far more flexible than the LeadPages editor although that’s changed somewhat with LeadPages’ new drag and drop editor.

With LeadPages, you can customize the different elements on a template, but you can’t really move things around. You are pretty much constrained by the template you choose and that is why LeadPages landing pages and optin-boxes all have a similar style look to them.

Limiting flexibility is not necessarily a bad thing. Because it makes constructing pages fast! And that’s where LeadPages really shines.

However, some people want more control to create pages to their exact specifications. That’s the power that ClickFunnels gives you. The cost of the power is added complexity. ClickFunnels certainly has a higher learning curve than LeadPages.

The other main advantage is that ClickFunnels creates complete sales funnels for you. And all your stats through each stage of your funnel are tracked.

With LeadPages, you can only create single pages. So creating that initial sales page is simple.

But what about adding on an order form? Upsells and downsells? LeadPages can’t do that, while ClickFunnels can.

ClickFunnels vs SamCart

Another ClickFunnels alternative you may of heard of is 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 you up and selling your product fast. It supports both Stripe and Paypal and it comes with 17 different checkout page templates which you can customize.

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.

But again, there is a big difference in learning curves. Are you someone that wants to fiddle around with creating the perfect design, or are you someone that just wants to use a proven template to start selling right away?

SamCart comes with a lot of ways to increase the value of each customer in your funnel. You can add order bumps, which allow you to present an additional offer on your checkout page.

Or you can easily add upsells (or downsells) to your funnel that get presented to your customer after they purchase your primary product. You can also easily create coupons for your products which is another great way to increase conversions.

If ClickFunnel’s Backpack affiliate system looks appealing to you, SamCart also offers its own affiliate center as well. Both products offer everything you need to create a great affiliate program.

One big advantage I like about SamCart over ClickFunnels is the fact there are no restrictions attached to any of their plans. ClickFunnels limits you on the number of funnels you can create and the number of visitors to them.

With SamCart, there are no such limits. You can sell unlimited products in your account and send as much traffic to your checkout pages as you want.

Final Thoughts

Which way you go should depend on the requirements of your business.

If you don’t mind the learning curve and want an all-in-one solution to sell your own product and be able to customize every step of your funnels then ClickFunnels is certainly worth a look.

If you’re not that technically savvy or just want to start selling something fast, then I would suggest giving SamCart a try. It’s just easier to get started with and cheaper too.

However, if all you want to do is collect optin emails via popups and landing pages, then I would go with LeadPages or Thrive Leads instead. While you can do the same with ClickFunnels, I don’t think you can justify the high monthly price tag if you are not using its more advanced features.

In the end, I would just recommend trying out ClickFunnels to see how you like it. They offer a 14 day free trial, so you can test out all the features and see how it works for you.

Try ClickFunnels Today

Comments

  1. Lisa Kubo says:

    Lovely review Kinley. ClickFunnels looks great, although I don’t like the idea of having to pay $97 a month for it.

    I know you mentioned some other payment providers, but do you know if ClickFunnels supports Paypal?

    • Kinley McFadden says:

      Hi Lisa,

      Thanks for stopping by again. Yes, ClickFunnels price comparably high, but if you are really serious about selling your product and service, then I don’t think the $97/mo price point should deter you. Just think of it as an investment in your business.

      And yes, ClickFunnels does support Paypal. Not directly through your My Account settings, but there’s a video in the ClickFunnels support desk that walks you through it.

  2. Hi,

    Clickfunnels sounds great! I have tried LeadPages in the past and its good! I dont have much to say as to if i will ever try ClickFunnels as its a little bit past my budget.

    Thanks for making me aware of this awesome service though.

    • Kinley McFadden says:

      Thanks for stopping by Babs. How long did you try Leadpages for? Did you make any money using it?

  3. Awesome review! Thanks Kinley. I’m just starting out, but might look into it in the not too distant future.

  4. I’m using both Leadpages and Clickfunnels. I really like click funnel because I can create the entire funnel including one time offers and the really nice order form. One thing I’m really struggling with is that there membership function is so basic it’s almost unusable for me, and there’s no way to integrate with a more sophisticated membership site plug-in or system.

  5. Clickfunnels offers some great features and you can truly make the pages unique but they lack in consistency and tech support. I have been working through bugs for over 2 weeks and have finally just recreated the whole thing in Leadpages and Infusionsoft.

    Leadpages has a great track record and good tech support. I like the look of their pages better but your options are someone limited if you want to add elements to the templates and creating a funnel with timed releases isn’t an option.

    Kajabi offers a better membership site option unless you are already an Infusionsoft customer, then the CustomerHub program works great for a single site.

  6. Clickfunnels has my business and my website has been down for a week now. The support isn’t helping and when you create a ticket, they don’t even tell us whats wrong with the site. We are moving to Leadpages.

    I wouldn’t mind waiting for them to fix the issue because i am loyal that way, the least THEY can do, on their side is to tell us what’s going on rather than letting us hanging without any clear explanation.

    A week is a long time for us to wait for an unknown problem to be fixed.

    Other than that, the website is great. You can build your website very easily. It is not enough though

    • Wow! That is horrible. My business would be dead if I had to wait a week…..And I was about to go with Clickfunnels. Thanks for your review! You helped me make my decision. Here I come, Leadpages. 🙂

  7. I agree with Z… there is a bug in their software that has had me grounded for two weeks now. The only thing I ever hear is that there is a Developer, somewhere out there beneath the pale moonlight, working on it. It’s been more than two weeks, and I never hear from them unless I go back and submit a ticket.

    I want so much to love it, because it’s a really, really great software. But their lack of support for such expensive prices has me longing for LeadPages (at half the price).

  8. I think an apples-to-apples comparison would be Clickfunnels vs. New Kajabi, keeping in mind NK is constantly adding new features. They just came out of Founder’s Club Beta on March 1.

  9. Alex Mann says:

    Wonder which option is best if I currently have only one product selling on Amazon (only, no e-comm on my own site)? I can see how Clickfunnels may be superior for up-selling, and “subscription” type sales, but if my product is one that perhaps my customer would by a few of for their own use and/or gifts, it strikes me that many of the advanced functions of Clickfunnels would be “wasted” on my current model. Appreciate any feedback on this.

    • Kinley McFadden says:

      Hi Alex, if you’re not selling your product on your own site, then ClickFunnels would be overkill. I wouldn’t use it for that purpose.

  10. I have leadpages/aweber/wix account. I’m selling a digital product and am brand new at this. The limited leadpages editing has bothered me a bit as none of the pages have all the features I’d want in one page. Wix and leadpages don’t work well together

    Would click funnel subscription be worth it as a one stop shop (getting rid of leadpages/wix/aweber) to sell my product? Also, what happens when you get past 20,000 visitors?

    • Kinley McFadden says:

      Hi Jason,

      It’s hard to say if ClickFunnels will work for you since I don’t know exactly what features you are looking for. But they have a free trial so you can play with it yourself to see if it does meet your needs. If you go past 20,000 visitors then you’ll have to upgrade your plan to the next level.

  11. I have chosen Infusionsoft over ClickFunnels. My first exposure to funnels was ClickFunnels and while I was watching Russell Brunson’s videos I was falling asleep most of the time. Russell Brunson always spends 90% of the video talking about ME, ME, ME and I learned very little from listenting and watching ME. Out of all the ClickFunnels videos, there about 5% of valuable information, the rest is me me me me me me me. I got soooo tired of it. Another discouraging moment about ClickFunnels is sales pitch, constant sales pitch to the point where you get really annoyed with it and just want to shot it down…. With infusionsoft its straight business and that’s what I like about it. A lot less time spent on me me me me me, actually none and more time spent on delivering how to market…. ClickFunnels is like this old ClickBank I used to get in the AOL mail and infusionsoft is new and up to date with demand…

  12. Click Funnels support and documentation are terrible. They changed their documentation so in order to find something you have to use the “search” box. No documentation to get up and running. If you submit a help request, don’t expect to get a reply for more than 4 hrs. I did happen to be on when one support person replied in the chat box. I gave info, and they gave useless replies back and now, without finishing the ‘conversation’ they are gone again, probably for hours. If there were another good alternative to the features Click Funnels has, I would be gone in an instant. And believe me, I have looked and considered seriously other options, but none would do the job as easily as Click Funnels.

  13. For Realtors it sounds like LeadPages will be the way to go. I don’t have a product I’m promoting on my site. My primary goal is lead capture and creating landing pages with a call to action to capture contact info is what I’m focused on.

    I do plan to have a free ebook to provide something of value in exchange for contact info. Can anyone tell me if this option is supported through LeadPages?

    • Kinley McFadden says:

      Hi Gary. Delivering an ebook upon sign up is certainly very easy to do with Leadpages. You can upload your ebook directly into your Leadpages account by creating a new lead magnet. Then you can attach it to any of your forms and have it automatically delivered to people when they subscribed.

  14. Thanks for the article. It really helped me put things in perspective. I have been torn between leadpages and clickfunnels for over a month now. But I think I know which I am going with and its all because of this article. Thanks.

  15. Hi, I’ve found your article really helpful Kinley, thanks for being so thorough in your review. Thanks too to the great folks who have posted here. I am very new to all this and I have learned a lot. I’m also completely non-techy (though having to learn fast) and you have all saved me both time and money. Much appreciated.

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