Have you ever felt like you just wanted to hit the fast-forward button so you could blow past all the drudgery and grinding that’s involved when you’re trying to build something?
Sometimes it’s hard to be able to look beyond your current situation – up to your neck in to-do list items – and see the light at the end of the tunnel, where your finished product is anxiously awaiting your next moves.
It can be frustrating getting bogged down in the details of creating anything worth creating.
Doesn’t matter if you’re trying to start a website, or create any other kind of digital product.
It could even be a restoration project for a kitchen table, or building a new deck for your house.
The intermediate steps sometimes become wearisome and you just want to accelerate the process so you can get to the end result you’re after.
That’s the idea behind what powers ClickFunnels.
What is ClickFunnels?
The whole idea here is to get your online sales funnel up and running quickly and completely without getting bogged down in the technical stuff that usually requires some serious custom programming to pull off.
ClickFunnels is a suite of tools specifically built and designed to help you get the marketing arm of your online business up and running.
But if you’re like me, you might be a little skeptical.
By nature, I’m skeptical, especially when I hear the boisterous language that’s so often associated with online marketing, its wild claims and “social proof”, and claims of outrageous amounts of money being made.
It’s called a “BS” meter for good reason, and mine was going off.
But I study this stuff just because I don’t want to be taken for a ride, so after I’d been studying Russell’s stuff for a while the lights started to come on.
I started understanding the “how” and the “why” to the ways he does things and the ways he’s been successful online.
There are some that simply don’t subscribe to the way he does things.
But my goal is to learn and to do my best not to be turned off by someone’s negative review, or bad experience.
So, is Clickfunnels a scam?
No – it absolutely is not.
In fact, it can be a pivotal tool in your toolbelt that can really help you in your online marketing efforts.
I’ve learned myself the hard way that sometimes people can just be jerks and when they think they’re not being treated as they demand they get mad and are quick to fire off a scathing rebuke.
But like I said, I was skeptical. But I listened. I learned. I watched. I studied. And it’s been a fantastic experience for me because I’ve been able to put together several other pieces of things I’ve learned from different people and resources over the years, and I’m now a both a Russell Brunson fan, and a Click Funnels user.
As always, this ClickFunnels review is based on my personal experience so you can take it for what it’s worth. I’ve built funnels for clients, in addition to myself, and I can attest to the power of what can be done with this tool.
I also have a couple constructive criticisms for the platform, but I’ll save that for the end.
Also – just so you know, if you end up using ClickFunnels by using one of my links I may make an affiliate commission. That’s not the purpose here though. You can read my affiliate policy here.
However, overall, ClickFunnels is a great tool that answers some very specific needs, and I encourage you to take them up on their 14-day free trial to try it out and see for yourself.
ClickFunnels is a page builder
First and foremost, Click Funnels is a page builder. Early on when Russell was working on building online sales funnels he spent thousands of dollars in custom website design and hundreds of hours from initial concept to completion for just one sales funnel.
This kind of workflow simply isn’t sustainable for anyone.
So Russell and his team decided to build something that would give him everything he would need in one tool so that he could speed up the completion of his funnels by quickly building out pages using the visual page builder drag & drop concept.
After lots of trial, error, tweaking, and revising, they ended up with what you see today as Click Funnels.
ClickFunnels is a cart
Probably its best feature, in my opinion, is its cart and check-out capabilities. It’s the primary reason that I use it for my stuff.
The integrations with various payment processors are solid. My preference for everything I use is Stripe but it also supports several others:
- Apple & Android Pay
- Authorize.net (via Ontraport, Infusionsoft (Keap), or Recurly
Its one-click upsell capabilities alone make it a game-changer. But then you also have the ability to do one-time-offers as well without breaking the internet or interfering with your customer’s experience, and then you’ll see why it’s so popular with so many people.
It also handles membership sites incredibly well, along with recurring charges. In fact, my course is built using these exact things.
And the sky is the limit for the things you can do with the cart functionality.
The only thing that I do not think ClickFunnels would be a good fit for would be a traditional store with physical products. This would be really challenging to pull off with ClickFunnels, and quite frankly, there are immensely better solutions out there for that kind of shop.
ClickFunnels is a content management system
It’s something you hear people talking about all the time in the ClickFunnels Facebook groups – “can I just replace my whole website with ClickFunnels?”
The short answer is actually yes.
But let’s not get carried away.
If you’re going to replace your entire website with a ClickFunnels site you need to know a couple things:
It has no blogging capability to speak of.
Sure you could hack something together, but once again, this is one of those areas where there are other tools that are much better suited for this kind of feature set
Custom fields and other such fine-grained customizations are much simpler with other content management systems.
But to be clear – it’s something I always talk with my clients about – don’t try to force a tool to do something it wasn’t built to do.
If your site needs are relatively simple, and the main priority is sales funnel related, then ClickFunnels is powerful enough to do what you need it to do. If you need more robust functionality, it’s not out of the question to look to a more appropriate solution like WordPress.
ClickFunnels is an affiliate management platform
One of Click Funnels’ newer features is Backpack, which is an add-on that you can use to recruit, manage and pay affiliates.
To be honest, working with affiliate programs can be a big headache. It can be confusing, technically challenging, and frustrating.
The good thing about Backpack is that it’s highly configurable and flexible and integrated right in to your ClickFunnels account.
It helps with cookie management, affiliate ID tracking, payment parameters and management, and a lot more.
When your funnel gets to the size where you need to really have a strong affiliate management tool, Backpack can be the perfect solution.
ClickFunnels is a type of CRM and marketing system
ActioneticsMD (now called Follow-up Funnels) is another add-on service to the primary ClickFunnels page-building system. ActioneticsMD combines advanced customer-profile info with the ability to create “follow-up” funnels which is where serious conversions and money are made.
You see, the front-end funnel is what’s usually used to grow an initial list, or break-even on ad-spend.
But what happens after that is where the magic happens and it happens through these follow-up funnels.
The tool primarily serves as a follow-up marketing tool that lets you segment and dial in messaging to specific audiences with specifics demographics and needs by looking at their social profiles, what magazines they read, how long they stay on your site, how often they come back, and a lot more.
You can then model your marketing sequence to fit who these people are and what they need.
How much does ClickFunnels cost?
ClickFunnels has two primary pricing options. The first is the basic service subscription which is $97 per month. Not cheap, I know. But it’s a great suite of tools to get your started.
The “Etison Suite” package which includes both ActioneticsMD and Backpack is $297 per month.
Both subscription options have tons of features. To give you a quick idea, here’s what they look like.
Some of the regular ClickFunnels subscription features:
- 2o funnels
- up to 100 total pages (for all funnels)
- up to 20,000 visitors per month
- unlimited contacts
- up to 3 custom domains
- 1 SMTP integration
- unlimited members for membership funnels
In addition, the “Etison Suite” adds these features to the regular subscription plan:
- unlimited funnels
- unlimited pages
- unlimited visitors
- unlimited contacts
- unlimited custom domains
- up to 3 SMTP integrations
Like any good software platform or service these days, you can get a free 14 day free trial to take a look around, kick the tires and see what you think. It’s definitely worth the 3 minutes it takes to sign up for the trial. Even if you don’t stick around, at least you can see what it’s all about.
ClickFunnels is a fantastic tool that, when used correctly, can really help you accelerate your online marketing efforts. It’s a complete suite of tools that will do all you need to do to get up and running fast.
As someone who does web development every day, it’s also got some drawbacks.
Custom design is challenging
If you’re someone like me, who knows their way around code and is used to being able to work on fine-grained, super-specific items, it’s going to be a little challenging.
But that’s not who or what it was built for. My frustrations coming in to the tool are the frustrations any developer who’s very particular about how things are structured and handled would be. I like to be in control, but ClickFunnels doesn’t always provide that.
Or, when it does, it’s clunky and slow. Just about everything is drag and drop.
Custom fonts are confusing at best
Probably my biggest issue is related to fonts. Currently, at least of the writing of this review, there is no clean method or way to use different font families. For instance, the fonts I use on this blog are primarily from Adobe Fonts, so there is a specific way they have to be implemented in any website project I do.
ClickFunnels doesn’t have a satisfactory way to deal with these fonts. Sure, you can force it, but then you’re defeating the purpose of the page-builder approach to begin with.
The system can also be buggy at times. I had one page that I’d copied from one funnel in to another, and for whatever reason, it had become totally corrupted and I had to basically dump that page and re-start the creation process. I back up my stuff, and make copies so it wasn’t that bad, but still, it was a pain to have to begin again the process.
No doubt there are better page-builder platforms out there. Beaver Builder is a fantastic tool I use on several projects. I’d encourage our ClickFunnels friends to glean some inspiration from the amazing tool that the Beaver Builder crew has created to see how they can make ClickFunnels better.
Some elements need love from designers
Bad and ugly designs are a huge problem for me. Some of the stuff in the ClickFunnels cart just isn’t visually appealing, but I get why those things are the way they are. The goal of the ClickFunnels team is very obviously conversion first, then design aesthetic second.
That being said, those are really very small concerns. There are ways to build beautiful, custom funnels, and I’m more than capable of doing that.
Just be aware of some of these small design-related limitations, especially if you’re using specific brand fonts that are not part of the default set of fonts available to you.
Overall, I highly recommend ClickFunnels to do what it’s built to do. It’s built to accelerate your online sales and marketing funnels and that’s exactly what it does, and it does it very well.
So I encourage you to hop in and test drive the platform. It’s worth it to be able to get in and see what you can do with it. You can sign up for a free trial here.