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Retire Early, "Slow Sell" Your Business

ClickFunnels Review [2021]: Pricing Loophole + Red Flags

I personally use ClickFunnels for my business, and the best way I can describe it is wonderful and terrible.

ClickFunnels hands out hundreds of awards each year to their users who make over $1,000,000 using their sales funnel software...

...but on the other hand, 50% of people end up canceling their account within their first 2 months. I'll show you the red flags to see if you should avoid it or whether it's a perfect fit.

Also, I have a step-by-step guide on how to get started with ClickFunnels, and I'll also pay for your first six months of ClickFunnels (the loophole) when you join one of my workshops. Learn more below.


Heads up: you can see this site is ad-free. You can show your support by messaging me and saying thanks, OR buying products I talk about here and in my free guides (I get rewarded if you do) OR buying ExpertSumo products.

IF YOU PREFER VIDEO, I GOT YOU

This is a video review of ClickFunnels for everyone who prefers watching to reading.

Also, I suggest taking a look at it even if you're a reader, because you can actually watch me use the software instead of just read about it.

My sister Kathryn has made over $1,000,000 using ClickFunnels.

I've had two $20,000 mini-launches for one of my micro-products using ClickFunnels.

My wife McCall is on a first name basis with the CEO Dave and the Co-founder Russell.

Read the step-by-step guide on how I built an entire business on ClickFunnels.
Click here and it will:
#1 take you immediately to the guide.
#2 open up ClickFunnels in case you want to follow along.
TAKE ME TO THE FREE STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE

But.

But I still can't give ClickFunnels a 100% recommendation.

That's actually not quite true.

I can give ClickFunnels a 100% recommendation to 40% of people, and a 0% recommendation to the rest.

ClickFunnels also plays nice with some other software tools, and not so much with others.

So let's find out if you're in the 40%.

First, I'll go over basics.

Second, I'll actually build something within ClickFunnels so you can see how it works.

Third, I'll go over how to get good pricing.

Fourth, I'll go over features.

Fifth, I'll talk about red flags that indicate you are NOT a good fit for ClickFunnels.

Sixth, I'll answer FAQs.

Seventh, I'll show where ClickFunnels should click in to your marketing plans if you're a good fit, AND what else you'll need to get the most out of it.

Rapid Summary: What is ClickFunnels?

ClickFunnels' core product is a website builder that excels at building a specific type of site: a sales funnel.

What is a sales funnel?

A quick definition of how ClickFunnels defines sales funnel is a sequence of pages that have two goals:

(1) Move the customer closer and closer to buying a specific product.

(2) Once the customer has opened their wallet, get them to buy another product. And so on and so on.

Everything in a sales funnels is set up to try to "funnel" the user to the next page so they buy more stuff.

I'm coming out with a guide for the most successful types of online sales funnels, but some of the more well known ones are:

Tripwire Funnels

The purpose of a tripwire funnel is to offer an inexpensive product in order to entice the user to make an impulse purchase, and then once they've made their purchase, immediately give them a "One Time Opportunity" to buy something more expensive.

The psychology of this works because someone who has just purchased is more likely to purchase again.

Here's a guide of me setting up a Tripwire Funnel

Webinar Funnels

The purpose of a webinar funnel is to get someone to register for a free educational webinar. These webinars range from 50% education + 50% sales or 1% education + 99% sales depending on who is doing the webinar.

At the webinar, the presenter make a sales pitch to the viewers to purchase their product, typically in the range of $400 - $2,500.

The psychology of this works best if the webinar is useful so the presenter proves their worth, AND if the sales pitch highlights future problems the attendees will face...and how the presenter can help them.

Here's a guide of me setting up a Webinar Funnel

Application Funnels

The purpose of an application funnel is to get someone on the phone for a sales call.

Sometimes these funnels go straight to a "schedule your phone call" page, and sometimes the funnel starts with a "free report" that the user can download, and THEN the user is sent to the "schedule your phone call" page.

The psychology of this funnel works best for products that are not "Impulse purchases" (less than $2,500). This is for services where the buyer needs a personal touch before they make the decision to open their wallet.

Here's a guide of me setting up an ApplicationFunnel

ClickFunnels is BUILT for these types of business models.

If you look at all of the people who earn their "2 comma club" award from ClickFunnels (for processing over $1mil in revenue), they have two things in common:

1. Over 90% of them are using one of those sales funnel types.

2. They are almost all course course creators, consultants, speakers, and marketing agencies.

ClickFunnels has several features, but they all are at their best when they serve those types of businesses.

If that sounds like you, ClickFunnels is probably going to be a great choice.

If it doesn't, make sure you read the "red flags" section below to see if you should use something else.

Real Review: Watch Me Actually Use ClickFunnels

[vid]

ClickFunnels Pricing

ClickFunnels doesn't show their pricing on their home page, so I get a ton of people who ask "how much does ClickFunnels cost" all the time.

BUT you can see their two main pricing plans hidden on a subpage of their website here.

(They also have a more expensive third pricing plan, but it is invite only.)

Quick Note:

I will pay for your ClickFunnels for 6 months AND help you set up your funnel strategy.

58% of ClickFunnels users quit in their first 6 months.

And 6 months of ClickFunnels costs $582.

It's something I do for as a bonus for my clients, and it's the least expensive and best strategic way to get started with ClickFunnels.

Learn more here.

On to the pricing plans:

The 20,000 visitor plan - Price: $97 a month

The 20,000 visitor plan, which costs $97 a month ( or $83 a month with the ExpertSumo loophole), is a plan that is a good fit for people who...

  • Don't plan on using affiliate for marketing.
  • Already have their own email marketing solution
  • Only need a handful of different landing pages or sales funnels.
  • Don't have daily traffic over 4 figures.

If you're launching a product or your business is fairly new, this is the plan you should start with. Besides, you can always upgrade painlessly if you need.

The Etison Suite plan - Price: $297 a month

And the Etison Suite, which has unlimited visitors, extra email marketing features (called Actionetics:), and the ability to set up your own affiliate program (called Backpack). That costs $297.

Clickfunnels Pricing Chart

ClickFunnels offers a free trial for 14 days. That's enough time to set up a page for your product and start driving traffic and making sales.

Red Flags

///

Features, Pros and Cons of ClickFunnels

More so than any other product I review, ClickFunnels is the one with the least clear features.

Why?

Because most ClickFunnels marketing is centered around "Selling The Dream" of making millions, starting your own company, passive income, or whatever... and they usually never make it to the features.

Example from the comments of this ClickFunnels promotional video:

"...doesn't tell me what ClickFunnels is and what it does."

(This is sometimes annoying, but there is a marketing lesson in there: "sell the gold, not the shovel", or something like that.)

This is a list of all the ClickFunnels features, either from me or from their support site, so you'll get a perspective that hasn't been altered by the ClickFunnels marketing department.

Drag and Drop Editor

[vid]

The drag-and-drop editor allows a user to design their webpage without code.

It isn't QUITE a "drag and drop" system. Everything is built on a system of rows and columns. And then you can different elements (text/photos) to those rows or columns.

You can still do most everything you need to do design-wise. And this system does make it easy to duplicate pages - you maintain the template or rows, columns and elements you created, and then just switch out the elements for your new page.

This is also the first feature ClickFunnels lists on their homepage, and is the very core of their website builder product.

Pros:

The drag and drop builder is significantly easier than coding up your own website.

Cons:

While the drag and drop builder is helpful, it isn't necessarily that much better than other website builders with the same functionality. ClickFunnels outshines elsewhere... but it is just average here.

Free* Funnel Templates

[video]

While building a sales page with the drag and drop builder is easy, knowing WHAT to build or how to plan a design can be difficult.

To solve that issue, ClickFunnels has free templates for all sorts of different page types that you can copy-paste over to your website. Then all you have to do is switch out the template elements for yours.

Pros:

The free templates are very helpful for getting up and running quickly.

Cons:

The templates are available to everyone, and by nature, may not look unique. That's not a huge issue in some industries, but in other industries with lots of sales funnels, your customers may have seen the exact same layout before on another website.

My sister Kathryn is extremely anti-template for this reason, and created a course on quickly designing high quality, custom ClickFunnels websites with no code experience called CF Design School. (I know I'm biased, but it's one of the top courses in the world. It doesn't promise getting rich, it promises you an in-demand skill that people pay big money for, AND how to sell it...which is why her students get rich.  Full CF Design School review here.

A/B Split Tests

A/B testing is a secret weapon for those who commit to it.

The most important part of conversion is having the right offer. But once you've got the right offer, making tweaks to your web design layout can be a great investment.

Pros:

Much MUCH cheaper than other A/B testing platforms... because it's included for free.

Cons:

It isn't as full featured as those other platforms. It's helpful to imagine it as a product that has 50% of the features, at a 100% discount.

Also, the time investment involved in A/B testing landing pages doesn't make a ton of sense until you're spending at least $5k a month on advertising, so this feature is hard to take advantage of if you're a beginner.

Email Integration

Integrating with your current email marketing software provider is pretty easy. ClickFunnels integrates with a lot of different email services.

Pros:

Easy to set-up for a straight up marketing campaign.

Cons:

Sophisticated tagging and tracking and setup is a little trickier.

ClickPops

ClickFunnels has a feature called "ClickPops".

What it does is that it creates a 'popup form' that can be triggered when a visitor has been on the page for a certain amount of time or is about to leave the page.

Pros:

These ClickPops have been shown to increase the opt-in rate on web pages by capturing people who were about to leave the site.

Cons:

A few users find these annoying, but I think it's a good feature to have.

ClickOptin

ClickOptin is a 'two-step' process for signing up to a form. A user clicks a button, and then a popup with a form jumps to the front of the screen for the user to fill out.

Pros:

This type of opt-in has beat a typical email submit form in several A/B tests. Using the ClickOptin feature could boost your conversion rate.

Cons:

Nothing. I think this is a great feature. However, ClickFunnels isn't the only service that has something like this.

Membership Areas

We (my wife and I) use ClickFunnels for membership sites.

I hated the way it looked... so I created a custom template to make it look like Netflix.

IF we didn't have that customer Netflix template, we wouldn't use ClickFunnels for our membership sites.

You can learn more about the template here.

Pros:

It's nice to be able to keep everything on the same platform, from landing page to sales page to the membership area.

Cons:

This isn't quite what ClickFunnels was built for. There are advantages to keeping everything with the same service, but if your courses or membership areas get more complex... you probably will outgrow ClickFunnels. It's great to get started with, maybe not great to scale with.

Upsells, Cross-sell, Downsell, One-time-Offers

ClickFunnels thrives with one-time-offers. The ability to upsell a customer after they've just purchased is very difficult to set up with your own developer, and it is a breeze with ClickFunnels.

Pros:

Not only is ClickFunnels especially built for this, much of the marketing and training provided by ClickFunnels to their customers is built around this process.

They operate under the assumption that the sales funnel you've built doesn't end with a sale... it ends after you've enticed the customer to make 4 more purchases AFTER the sale.

Cons:

None. ClickFunnels is great at this. Other landing page builders have similar functionality, but the ClickFunnels community is completely dialed into this concept unlike any other.

Clever Order Forms (Abandoned Cart)

If a user ever gets 99% of the way to purchasing, but doesn't, ClickFunnels has a built in automation to try to salvage the sale. These are often called Abandoned Cart Emails.

Pros:

Abandoned cart emails are an awesome investment from an ROI standpoint. And setting them up is miserable by yourself, but very easy if you use ClickFunnels.

Cons:

None. This is a great feature.

Easy To Create Your Own Affiliate Program

ClickFunnels Etison Suite has a product called Backpack. Backpack lets you easily create an affiliate program for your product, so you can send out a little army of affiliate marketers to promote your website.

Pros:

This is very easy to set up in comparison to creating your own affiliate program or working with other vendors. Great for getting your affiliate empire started.

Cons:

This is clunky. I've heard from several ClickFunnels users that there comes a point where if you start to get too many sales, Backpack gets buggy. Most people use Backpack to get up and running, and then switch to something more sophisticated once they've grown.

Customization with CSS, HTML, etc

Most people are drawn to ClickFunnels because they can create sales pages WITHOUT needing to know how to code.

However, if you have a little bit of technical savvy, then you can customize your site with snippets of HTML, CSS and Javascript.

Pros:

Great for making extra tweaks to a sales page in order to polish design or make something truly unique.

Cons:

As can be expected, part of the thing that makes ClickFunnels great are its constraints. You obviously won't be able to be as flexible with your customizations as you would building a site from scratch. But... that's probably a tradeoff you're looking to make if you're interested in ClickFunnels.

Email Automation with Email Templates

ClickFunnels doesn't just have templates for sales funnels, they have templates for common types of email messages that you might send to your list.

Pros:

Designing and writing emails is deceptively time consuming. Templates are a great shortcut to get up and running.

Cons:

None. You need to make adjustments to make the emails work for your list, but it's a great way to cut out a lot of busy work.

Actionetics Autoresponder

ClickFunnels has a product called Actionetics. It is their version of an integrated email marketing system (on steroids).

Similar to other email marketing automation systems, they let you send messages based on user behaviors, such as pages that they've visited or things they've purchased.

Pros:

Email marketing automation from anyone is a great investment if you set it up right and have a large enough audience.

Cons:

You must have the $297 a month Etison suite version of ClickFunnels in order to use Actionetics.

Multi Dimensional Followup (Email, Facebook Messenger, Retargeting, Desktop Notifications, SMS)

*helpful for reminder messages, or for driving traffic to non-commercial web pages (think opt-in, top-of-funnel pages)

*great if you are a service business (which is one of the business types that could use this effectively). Reminder messages about schedules, about setting an appointment, or asking for them to call if they have a question are all powerful ideas.

One of the advantages of Actionetics is that the outreach channel isn't just limited to emails.

They have the ability to use Facebook messenger, display ad retargeting, desktop notifications and text messages.

Pros:

This type of integration is hard to set up by yourself. Having it within the ClickFunnels platform is very helpful.

Cons:

There is a steeper learning curve when it comes to using any of these extra channels effectively. This feature (which I think is really cool) might just be overkill for your business.

Integration with ShipStation

I don't think ClickFunnels is the perfect platform for physical products, but it can be done.

ClickFunnels ability to integrate with Shipstation allows people selling and shipping physical products to easily create shipping labels and track packages from door to door.

Pros:

Shipstation integrates with more than just ClickFunnels, but it is a must-have for people trying to use ClickFunnels for physical products.

It turns 'ClickFunnels for eCommerce' from a bad idea to a manageable idea (in my opinion).

Cons:

None, other than the fact that this integration isn't necessarily unique to ClickFunnels.

FAQs

A few frequently asked questions about ClickFunnels:

Is ClickFunnels a Scam?

ClickFunnels isn't a scam - it's a legitimate company with over 100,000 customers with hundreds of employees...

...But I've found there are two reasons someone would call it a scam, even though it's legitimate.

1. ClickFunnels is Too Expensive

This is for "Just Getting Started" people above. If you don't have the cash, and don't have a plan for traffic, then you'll end up having a beautiful ClickFunnels site that doesn't make you money.

It isn't a scam. But it'll feel like one when you're paying them, but nobody is paying you . Remember, ClickFunnels helps you turn visitors into customers, but it won't help you get the visitors in the first place.

2. ClickFunnels is a Bad Fit

Like the quiz above, some businesses aren't a great fit for ClickFunnels (see Red Flags above). And spending money every month on something that isn't helping your business very much feels like a scam. It isn't. You just picked the wrong product for the job, so it'll feel like one.

Take the quiz above to make sure your business and ClickFunnels are a good match. If you aren't, the quiz has some suggestions about where to look next.

Missing Pieces

No one runs their entire business on ClickFunnels.

And remember, 58% of people who sign up for ClickFunnels fail in their first 6 months.

So there are a few holes in your strategy you'll need to be aware of.

Email + CRM + Marketing Automation:

Not a lot of people use ClickFunnels for their marketing emails.

I use ActiveCampaign and like it. I've used AutopilotHQ and liked it. HubSpot is a good choice if you're looking for something a little more "All In One".

But almost everyone I know picks something outside of ClickFunnels.

Online Course Platform or Membership Area:

Like I said above, ClickFunnels is great for very simple courses with very simple designs. Anything more than that, you need to find a different membership platform, OR get a membership template for ClickFunnels (like mine, which works great if your course is video heavy).

Take a time shortcut AND a pay raise

You've made it to the end of the article, which means you're in one of three groups:

Group 1: Convinced and Ready

Group 2: Unsure and Hesitating

Group 3: Still Searching

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