Hi, in this post we will talk about What Exactly Is ClickFunnels. I will go in detail but first…
If you’re in touch with the world of digital marketing, you’ve probably at least heard of ClickFunnels, the landing page builder that’s pioneering online sales funnels.
ClickFunnels has made a pretty big name for itself since it started, becoming one of the largest marketing SaaS (Software as a Service) companies around. I suppose it’s no surprise people love ClickFunnels since it’s all about making its users money. More specifically, it’s about giving businesses software that helps them turn their site visitors into customers. It’s no wonder ClickFunnels has grown so much in such a short period of time.
There is no denying it’s popular, but does that mean it’s worth it? How much can we trust the crowd on this one? It seems it’s just another website and/or landing page builder, so what sets it apart and should you add it to your marketing stack?
In this What Exactly Is ClickFunnels, I’ll go through the gist of ClickFunnels-what it is, the positives and the negatives, the features, customer service, and so on Types Of ClickFunnels. I’m basing this review on my own experience using ClickFunnels’ StartUp plan, which comes with the core ClickFunnels features and plenty of other bells and whistles. I’ll also give a nod towards other reviews I’ve seen, as not every user will agree with me on the final verdict.
Regardless of whether you choose to use it or not, it’s an important player anyone in e-commerce and online marketing should be familiar with. Before you jump in, what’s our rating? I’ll put it at a solid 4 stars. With some drawbacks, it’s definitely good. Keep reading to find out why!
What Exactly Is ClickFunnels Highlights
Here’s a brief list of ClickFunnels’ review highlights-keep an eye out for these What Exactly Is ClickFunnels in this article.
- ClickFunnels is a good landing page builder, with an easy drag-and-drop editor
- Easy and ample integrations that allow you to capture emails and take payments right inside ClickFunnels
- Built with A/B testing capabilities
- Easy to learn and use
- Focused on making its users more money
- They offer a 2 week free trial
What is ClickFunnels?
ClickFunnels started back in 2014, but in just three years it’s been, in the words of Forbes, “silently revolutionizing the online marketing industry.” Here’s the gist of ClickFunnels: It makes it easier for businesses and entrepreneurs to sell stuff online using otherwise complicated marketing technology, called sales funnels (more on those in a second).
The founder of ClickFunnels, Russell Brunson, is as famous as his creation, and for good reason. He’s made a fortune, not only from ClickFunnels, but other marketing adventures Clickfunnels And Gdpr. He played around with email marketing for a while, and eventually began to master sales funnels.
Russell Brunson is the bestselling author of DotCom Secrets and Expert Secrets, two books that his fans rave about and that guide people through his marketing methodologies.
ClickFunnels started out as a way to help Brunson and his team create funnels more quickly for different ventures, as developing funnels would usually take weeks. However, they soon realized their creation would be useful to others and had great potential as a product.
What Are Funnels? How Sales Funnels Work
Before continuing with this What Exactly Is ClickFunnels, let’s clarify what a marketing funnel is. In marketing, it’s a process that takes people who don’t know you and turns them into customers, aka a marketing funnel. In e-commerce, a sales funnel is a series of steps designed to guide a website visitor to the checkout page.
There’s a less boring way of thinking about it. Step 1: Imagine a funnel. Step 2: Imagine this funnel is in fact a metaphor, and instead of actual ingredients to pour down the funnel, you have metaphorical ingredients you call web traffic or site visitors. Your site visitors are looking around, checking things out. Your website is beautifully designed, and your content is top notch!
Unfortunately, that still doesn’t turn many of your visitors into customers. In a brick and mortar shop, that’s like people walking into your shop but not knowing where the cash register is, so they leave the store without buying anything Clickfunnels For Travel Agents. In a physical store, you can talk your customers into buying something. In a digital shop, you may be a little more distant from your visitors. This is where your funnel comes in-it’s designed to appeal to your customers’ through principles of psychology. The funnel works step-by-step, bring traffic in closer and closer until visitors end up at a payment page.
If you think this sounds cool, you’re right-it’s become a huge deal for online marketing. Russell Brunson didn’t just get rich by selling ClickFunnels technology, but by using it too.
Pros of What Exactly Is ClickFunnels
I’ve got some good news: ClickFunnels does its job!
ClickFunnels is intended to save you time and energy-to do what otherwise requires a lot of technological proficiency and/or an array of third party applications. In this respect, ClickFunnels succeeds.
Makes You Money
One of the best things about ClickFunnels is its focus on making money for the user. They make it very easy to make your account, put up your content, and start taking payments. Plus, it’s pretty easy to pick everything up-it’ll probably take you a couple hours to figure out most of what you need, max.
Drag and Drop Builder
Quite a few features are very useful here. I like how easy it is to duplicate pages, and the fact I can save templates to be used again later. Their page builder is a pretty important feature, and they’ve pulled it off well. Once you get used to it, it’s an easy to use drag and drop builder.
Built in A/B testing is great too. All you have to do is duplicate a page, make your changes, and choose the amounts of your traffic you want to see version A or B.
Great selection of Integrations
I think ClickFunnels handles API integrations pretty well. Email autoresponders and payment processors aren’t too much of a sweat-they work reliably and are easy to manage.
You’ll also find a handy WordPress plugin that lets you add ClickFunnels pages to your WordPress website. It saves a lot of time and is much less of a hassle than working between ClickFunnels and WordPress without a plugin. The Clickfunnels WordPress plugin is also rated a solid 4.4 stars in the WordPress plugin repository, with over 20,000 active installations.
All in one
Overall, it’s great to have things so centralized: I can build my landing pages, create forms and order forms, and trigger emails all from one platform.
All of this really does save you time and money, resources you’d otherwise need to spend on developers, CSS, hosting configurations, and so on.
You can rest assured the lower-tiered account is a good investment-what you’re allowed for a StartUp account is pretty decent. If you have more than 20,000 visitors and need over 100 pages, the full suite might not be too much to ask.
ClickFunnels is not perfect, but it does a great job of packaging great tools together and making them accessible. It arguably saves most users a headache they’d have if they tried to manage funnels another way.
I’ve got some bad news: even though ClickFunnels is overall strong, it has quite a few areas that need work.
A small drawback is the price. There are only two pricing options, at either $97 a month or $297 a month. In the grand scheme of things, this is not a huge drawback, just another investment in your business, and like I’ve said, you get a good package for it Types Of ClickFunnels.
Lackluster Customer Service
Beyond that, customer support is iffy at best. In my experience, they’ve been fine with basic questions, but if you ask them more difficult things, especially about more advanced features, they won’t be very helpful.
Cult-like user base and software too reliant on Founder
This is not an objective criticism of their product but I take a slight issue with their marketing that I think is worth mentioning in this What Exactly Is ClickFunnels.
If you get sucked into one of their funnels, it’s hard to escape the hype surrounding it. They have a great marketing for sure. However, from a user experience perspective, it can get obtrusive. Once you sign up for the software, you can try to look at the objective features of the software and integrate it into your own workflow, or you’ll be lost and forced to learn Russell Brunson’s marketing methods.
This means you’ll find yourself buying online courses, books, attending seminars, and getting sucked into the ClickFunnels “Cult-ure”. Their Facebook Group has over 100k members and most posts consists of people bragging about how much money they made and flashing their sports cars. Though these numbers are real, the users give an impression that they’re more focused on making quick money rather than building great products and services. ClickFunnels has helped people do great things, but it’s also helped proliferate quick rich schemes, online courses, saturation of coaches and experts, and other spammy internet marketer stuff.
We all know the founder is a marketing wizard, but so much of the product is tied to his brand and his philosophy. As much as I appreciate the landing page builder, everything around it seems like an extension of Brunson’s platform.
Sometimes it’s hard to not get the feeling that ClickFunnels spends more resources on self-promotion than necessary, especially when some aspects of their product (i.e., customer service) can still use some work.
This one isn’t on ClickFunnels but more on the community. While you have the ability to customize extensively within ClickFunnels, many people use similar designs. Considering the popularity of ClickFunnels, this has led to a large amount of ClickFunnel-y looks floating around. Diversity is important.
Software Outages and Bugs
Every now and then, ClickFunnels will go down or experience some errors. Though this really doesn’t happen often, there’s little you can do but wait. If you’re investing a lot in advertising or driving traffic to your funnels and a ClickFunnels’ glitch brings your pages down for even a few hours, you can potentially lose a lot of money.
It’s also hard to know when your pages are working or not, unless you constantly check or wait until you hear from angry customers. Barring uptime, I also deal with some glitches when I clone pages using the HTML publishing option.
User experience changes… a lot
The dashboard changes often, the flow of creating new pages and funnels changes, a button will move around, pricing options change, etc-and it seems ClickFunnels is still figuring things out.
I like consistency in my software, especially if it’s a business solution.
Finally, a criticism I’ve heard but don’t quite agree with personally: it’s too simple, and too expensive for its simplicity. These criticisms tend to refer to do-it-yourself approaches which can be cheaper upfront and yield more control over managing certain details. However, for less experienced users who are mainly seeking efficiency and an easy to use bundle of tools, I wouldn’t emphasize this too strongly.
ClickFunnels has two pricing plans-StartUp and Etison Suite, alternatively known as ClickFunnels and Full Suite-and even StartUp starts on the pricier side. StartUp is $97 a month and Etison comes in at $297 a month. For what it’s worth, you also get a 14 day free trial to try out the service, so at least you don’t need to commit to an expensive plan right away. If you pay annually instead of monthly, you get two months free ($997 for ClickFunnels and $2,997 for Full Suite).
Nonetheless, a bit hefty huh? Well, some would say so, and I can see why-especially if you compare to LeadPages, a similar (overlapping, but definitely not identical) service which starts at $25 a month. However, it is important to keep in mind ClickFunnels’ main service is to make funnels more efficient, and it does a pretty good job. I personally consider it a good investment.
The main differences between an entry level account and a premium account are as follows: StartUp gets the main service, the funnel-builder, with some limitations on the amount of pages (100), visits (20,000), custom domains (3), and only some of the full list of features.
However, both plans have unlimited contacts, unlimited members, all advanced funnels, A/B split tests, and a few other commonalities.
Etison/Full Suite has a full list of features, including the following: one-time payments (this is a Backpack feature that lets you characterize a product as a one-time payment product for your payment gateways); subscription plans (another Backpack feature, but unlike one-time payments, this lets your customers pay for a subscription service); 3 SMTP integrations (StartUp has 1); unlimited funnels, pages, visits, and custom domains; priority support and template requests; as well as Actionetics and Backpack.
If you’re confused with Etison/ Full Suite, don’t worry, it is confusing. This part I think ClickFunnels could really clean up. We’ll go into more detail in the following section.
To summarize the differences, StartUp essentially carries the core feature of ClickFunnels, which is called (you guessed it!) ClickFunnels. Easy! Full Suite, on the other hand, packages the cornerstone tool ClickFunnels with two other services-Actionetics and Backpack-and also gives you the full set of ClickFunnels features. You can view the full official list here.
Features Overview – What Exactly Is ClickFunnels
How are ClickFunnels’ features overall? I think they’re solid and you get everything you need. They’re largely intuitive and give you a good amount of control. The template editor and integration management system are good examples of this and are very important functions, so I’ll be giving them separate sections.
A/B split testing is a smaller feature, but definitely a notable one.
If you duplicate a page and make changes to the copy, the split test basically lets you choose what percentages of your traffic you want to see per page, letting you test conversion rates very handily. It’s a great function and very easy to use.
I also think ClickFunnels is overall flexible and straightforward for other settings, like your account details or integrations. Maybe very tech literate people would find them restrictive (a common theme among some criticisms), but as the service is supposed to be easy to use, I thought the basic features were pretty good.
There are quite a few types of available pre-made funnels, oriented to different types of businesses, and you can of course build your own funnel from scratch too.
Actionetics and Backpack
I’ll just take a moment in to talk about Full Suite. In my opinion, Full Suite is three products being packaged together as one: ClickFunnels, Actionetics, and Backpack.
What is Actionetics? Well, it’s what many would call an email auto-responder or just an auto-responder, but it’s a little more complicated. The main goal of Actionetics is smart analytics that result in smart auto-responding, but the auto-responding involves snail mail as well as email, and a few other goodies. Along with Actionetics comes Backpack (formerly Backpack CRM), a tool supposed to make managing an affiliate program easier and more efficient.
But are these features, or separate products? Actionetics sounds a bit like ClickFunnels trying to sell an iffy email auto-responder to me, but maybe I’m just cynical. In any case, it makes Full Suite a bit confusing and removes the coherency you get with the original ClickFunnels.
Here’s the full list of StartUp features
- 20 funnels
- 100 pages
- 20,000 visitors
- unlimited contacts
- 3 custom domains
- A/B split tests
- Email integrations
- Optin funnels
- All advanced funnels
- Sales funnels
- Membership funnels
- Unlimited members
- Auto webinar funnels
- Hangout funnels
- Order pages
- Upsell pages
- Downsale pages
- Share your funnels
- 1 SMPTP integration
- 1 billing integration per type
You can view the full list of features, along with Full Suite features, here. If you’re in a position where you can afford to try Etison for a bit and you also absolutely need an efficient, simple way of increasing sales, I don’t think you would find yourself shorted. By that same token, I don’t think Actionetics and Backpack provide such a huge benefit that you can’t do without them: for most users, just StartUp will provide a comprehensive enough package.
What Exactly Is ClickFunnels – Page Builder
This is probably ClickFunnels’ main feature, so I wanted to devote special attention to it. In fact, I think a large part of why I gave ClickFunnels a high rating has to do with it being a really solid landing page builder. ClickFunnels distances itself from page building software and advertises its funnel approach, but truth be told, I use it mostly for this landing page builder.
Anyway, there is quite an array of templates with good designs, though as you may expect, only the templates created by ClickFunnels are free. Templates are organized by funnel type, so poking around isn’t too hard.
You can also save certain templates and make personal page templates, and it’s pretty easy to find them. As you can see, you can toggle with basic settings and open in the editor.
Once you open your pages in the editor, you’ll basically be working with a drag and drop builder. It’s a little more complicated than some other light page builders, but it’s still easy to use.
The editor uses a page structure with four main parts: sections, rows, columns, and elements. Think of these parts as fitting within each other (this article has a helpful diagram). Basically: rows, columns, and elements go inside of sections. You can have multiple sections per page. Rows and columns go inside sections, but columns specifically go into rows. This way you can have a row with one column, or up to four. Elements are the dynamic bits that go inside columns and make your page interactive to its visitors.
It may sound complicated, but it’s pretty easy to get the hang of. Everything is color-coded-for example, in the above screenshot, the selection is a light green box because it’s a section, but if I was hovering over an element, it would be orange.
A small criticism I’ve heard (but don’t have personally) on the builder is how grid-like it is-you have to work within those columns and rows. I personally don’t think this is a huge issue and the builder gives you enough control without sacrificing ease of use, but it might be worth a mention.
Overall, I like the page builder a lot. It makes designing your landing page very easy, and it serves ClickFunnels’ goal: to make it easier for you to make money online.
Integrations are exactly what they sound like: other marketing tools you integrate into the ClickFunnels software. There are a few different types of integrations you can add to your ClickFunnels account: email, webinar, SMS/text, and actions. For example, you might add MailChimp to your ClickFunnels because you like MailChimp’s auto-responding software and you are registered with them. Easy!
ClickFunnels has quite a few notable partners you can add to your integrations easily. Here’s a full list of What Exactly Is ClickFunnels :
- Active Campaign
- Constant Contact
- GVO PureLeverage
- HTML Form
- Mad Mimi
- Webinar Jam Studio
If you go to your integrations section, you can search for these or just click the search bar, and they’ll come up. It’s pretty self-explanatory, just click the one you want and add it.
The process for managing integrations is also straightforward, though you might have to check your third party software’s documentation to find exactly what ClickFunnels needs. Overall, you’ll find the process pretty simple. Integrations are a little more technical conceptually than some features, such as the page builder, so it’s much appreciated to have a very simple way of adding and managing integrations.
Related to integrations are payment gateways. Payment gateways get integrated and on other software platforms are just called integrations, but on ClickFunnels they get a section separate from integrations. They may also be known to ClickFunnels as billing integrations. Payment gateways are also what they sound like: they’re the integrations that allow your customers to pay for your stuff. Your shop won’t really be much of a shop unless you’re using a payment gateway.
A list of the payment gateways you can add in What Exactly Is ClickFunnels:
- Blue Snap
- Easy Pay Direct
Managing all of these integrations is pretty easy-as long as you’re all set up with whatever tool you are trying to integrate with, you shouldn’t have any problems adding it to ClickFunnels. In my experience, these integrations usually run smoothly and you don’t need to fret much about them.
Ease of Use – What Exactly Is ClickFunnels
If you haven’t picked it up by now, ClickFunnels’ main sell is its ease of use-as their ad says, “Don’t waste any more time with ‘tech guys!'” As I’ve said in this ClickFunnels review, the main service ClickFunnels offers is providing tools that allow the less experienced to save time and money. That being the case, evaluating ease of use is pretty important.
Short answer: It’s easy to use, but you should still have some experience.
Longer answer: For a first-timer, it may be a bit overwhelming-and by first-timer, I mean new to the world of e-commerce and marketing-but the learning curve is far from impossible. For most people, I would say the learning curve would be just a couple hours max. If you’re really behind, pick up Russell Brunson’s books mentioned earlier in the review.
Anyway, ClickFunnels is certainly easier than creating funnels on your own. They have a fair amount of documentation, and it may not be perfect, but it seems to me like most questions should be covered, and you can always contact a customer service representative if it comes to it.
All of that aside in Kartra And Zapier, some parts of ClickFunnels are pretty easy to get a hang of. The core features of ClickFunnels-the actual funnels-are fairly easy to manage. A cohesive menu makes it easy to navigate to all parts of your funnel managing process, from choosing templates to the drag and drop editor. Some settings regarding email integrations or payment processors will require a bit of understanding, but it’s nowhere near the amount of knowledge you would need to actually code the funnels-it’s stuff you can figure out by Googling around or visiting the docs center.
Ultimately, ClickFunnels is not mind-blowingly simple, but it is overall streamlined with an intuitive user-interface. They do tend to change things frequently, but it probably won’t be enough to significantly hamper you.
We give it a 4 out of 5 in ease of use. It combines choice and customizability with convenience, and while I would suggest all potential users enter with some basic technological literacy, it essentially succeeds where user-friendliness is concerned.
Who is ClickFunnels for?
Who really stands to benefit the most from ClickFunnels? Broadly speaking, small businesses and startups (speaking from experience here) will get the most use out of it. There are naturally variations in funnel types that appeal to some businesses more than others.
Consultants, speakers, coaches, professional service providers, people exclusively in e-commerce or network marketing, and even those offering B2B services would probably be most fit for ClickFunnels. ClickFunnels in general does well with those offering more creative products or independent ventures. The pre-made funnels are highly oriented towards these industries: for example, if you’re a florist, you may find the pre-made Daily Deal Funnel to be a good way of marketing for you. If you’re trying to center everything around yourself and your brand, there would be good support too. The same goes for people selling content like courses or books.
Of course, you can always start from a blank funnel, and I don’t think you should decide if ClickFunnels is right for you or not based purely on their default funnel types. If you’re a smaller business, okay with the price tag, and you need to make your traffic work for you better, I doubt you’d be wasting your money or time with ClickFunnels. I would especially recommend it to anyone who wants to maintain a better landing page.
ClickFunnels’ customer support is an area that consists of some nuances. I commend ClickFunnels for having decent documentation on-site. I think their documentation is just barely industry-standard for SaaS companies, but still sufficient. Their docs page has a series of categories, each with their own articles. It may be simple, but content-wise it’s not too shabby.
As for the direct customer service, they have a chat feature inside the dashboard after you log in, but I’m not too pleased with it. They’ve generally been helpful for simple questions and basic troubleshooting… but when I’ve had more advanced questions, I’ve found them pretty unhelpful. With one specific HTML publishing question, they took three months to get back to me. By then, I figured out a workaround. Most users won’t need that kind of support and to be honest, most SaaS companies don’t provide that level of support. So I give ClickFunnels kudos for trying.
Additionally, I’ve noticed a consistency among reviews pointing out bad experiences with customer service. Notably, in instances when features have not worked as promised or when there were weird site malfunctions, customer service reps were supposedly either unresponsive or unhelpful. One infamous reviewer in particular recounts how, due to site error, some of his customers were locked out and how other non-paying visitors gained access to members-only content. When he contacted customer service, he found they were apathetic and unhelpful. It may be a weird, improbable scenario, but it illustrates the point.
Overall Support Rating
I would not say ClickFunnels fails in customer support-I think the team largely understand that their services are not perfectly easy to use and/or involve tools new to their users, and they have put enough resources into their support to make it decent. At least basic questions will be answered, and they’re pretty responsive. Maybe most users, myself included, would not say ClickFunnels has exceptional customer support, but it mostly meets a bare minimum that makes it at least good enough. In this category, we give it a 3 out of 5 stars.
So, what’s the overarching verdict? It’s good-4 out of 5 stars! It’s a legitimate contender in the marketing software space and worth trying out.
Yeah, there are a few drawbacks: If you need a more hands-on solution to your marketing needs with higher customization abilities, you may want to look into third party options you can tie together. If you are going with ClickFunnels after all, you may find yourself unlucky and end up dealing with unhelpful customer service representatives, or some glitches in the software. You might also be annoyed by their self-promotion.
But you know what? Considering everything, I don’t think any of these outweigh the solid landing page builder, let alone other positives such as the short learning curve, solid integrations, and good templates.
All-in-all, ClickFunnels succeeds in its core objective-to make it easier for you to funnel traffic and reach higher conversion rates. Even negative ClickFunnels reviews acknowledge it can be pretty useful for less internet-exposed entrepreneurs. I’m pretty sure that for the vast majority of prospective users, the page builder offers enough choice. If you’re looking first and foremost for an easy but solid sales solution or landing page editor, ClickFunnels is a great tool. After all, it hasn’t reached its popularity on empty promises, I will give it 5/5 stars.