Is ClickFunnels the leading option for fully integrated landing pages, marketing and sales funnels? Is there anything better when you need an all in one solution for startups and small businesses but can’t afford the price tag of Marketo, Eloqua or HubSpot? In this ClickFunnels review, we’ll find out.
ClickFunnels is a tool for building sales and marketing funnels. It’s the midpoint between fully-fledged marketing automation solutions such as Eloqua and dedicated landing page builders like Instapage. ClickFunnels gives owners access to a landing page builder, email marketing tool, CRM and payment checkout all in one integrated package. ClickFunnels can nurture your prospect from awareness to purchase. If you don’t want to invest in more costly and complicated marketing automation tools ClickFunnels could be the right choice for you.
What is a ClickFunnels sales funnel?
A marketing and sales funnel takes visitors on a journey from initial awareness to consideration and purchase. At an enterprise level, most marketing teams are familiar with marketing automation. The concept of taking visitors through a ClickFunnels marketing and sales funnel is very similar.
Here is a very simple funnel
- At the top of the sales/marketing funnel you attract visitors to your page and give them a valuable gated asset in return for collecting their details.
- You follow up the download with an email driving traffic to a second page. This has a related offer which moves the prospect further down the buyer journey.
- A series of these offers eventually drive the prospect towards a purchase or other valuable action. In a B2B context this could be to book a sales call.
- You’ll always end up with fewer conversions at the end of a funnel that visitors you added in at the top. At FullerFunnels when we optimize funnels our job is to reduce that leak.
What does a funnel do?
The concept of a sales funnel is nothing new. ClickFunnels gives you the opportunity to create an automated sales funnel without worrying about the technology behind it. It’s automated because the setup is done once and then you can leave it running, or optimize it to improve ROI.
ClickFunnels features & benefits
ClickFunnels has dozens of features that makes it a best in class marketing and sales funnel builder. For example you could use ClickFunnels to follow-up with prospects based on their social media profiles. In this ClickFunnels review, we’ll focus on some of the main features and benefits.
Create landing pages with forms
ClickFunnels provides a drag and drop page builder for creating landing pages. Forms can be added to these pages to gate content, collect contact details or even take payments. You can use ClickFunnels whether you want to generate leads or sell your products.
Pre-built funnel templates
You could use funnels to create a single page, but the power of ClickFunnels is in the ability to create funnels. ClickFunnels comes with dozens of pre-built and tested funnels that you can use to run webinars, lead generation and plenty more. It’s all done for you already. We can share some of our funnels with you, just let us know.
Build marketing funnels from scratch
If you don’t want to use a prebuilt funnel you can, of course, create your own or edit one that already exists. You can create bespoke funnels that align with your sales and marketing. The funnel flows map out exactly what pages and email you need to create.
Email marketing & follow-ups with Actionetics
Actionetics is the email marketing platform by ClickFunnels. As you would expect it comes fully integrated with ClickFunnels. Although you can integrate ClickFunnels with other email platforms, using the built in email tool makes it all much easier and more seamless to use. Using Actionetics or any other provider you can follow-up new leads and promote the next action in your funnel.
Build membership sites
Using ClickFunnels it’s possible to create membership sites. This is suited to businesses that want to protect valuable content behind a membership wall. Use ClickFunnels to take payments and you have an end to end marketing to membership flow.
Example funnel uses
ClickFunnels can create a series of that take visitors from awareness to conversion. At the top of the funnel capture the visitor’s email address, and nurture them through each step of the funnel, taking them back to the next landing page using email. ClickFunnels can be used to generate leads or complete transactions online. Here are some more examples of how you could use ClickFunnels.
- ClickFunnels can be used for lead generation either in a B2B or B2C context. Whatever you sell you can create a landing page about it and drive visitors to give you the information.
- ClickFunnels works for selling products and can be used to take payments.
- ClickFunnels is a great SaaS solution for developing and running membership websites. It removes the headache of worrying about the technical side and allows you to focus on creating content your audience will value.
ClickFunnels feature list
- Visual landing page builder
- Membership sites
- Gated assets
- Data capture
- Payment gateways
- Custom domains
- A/B testing
- Integrated email marketing
- Email workflows & triggers
- Email personalisation
- Campaign Reporting
- Affiliate management
- Funnel templates & builder
- Visual email builder
- Lead scoring (Action Score)
- Email marketing integrations
- LMS integrations
- CRM integrations
- Zapier integration
- WordPress integrations
- Affiliate management system
ClickFunnels pricing & free trial
ClickFunnels has two pricing levels ClickFunnels Standard $97 / £71 and ClickFunnels Etison Suite which comes in at $297 / £217.
ClickFunnels standard pricing
ClickFunnels standard includes everything you might need to build a landing page. It fully hosts all landing pages, which you can use a drag-and-drop editor to build. ClickFunnels standard doesn’t come with an email marketing solution although third-party solutions can be integrated. The standard price plan allows for up to 20 funnels, 100 pages, and 20,000 visitors.
ClickFunnels Etison suite pricing
ClickFunnels Etison Suite is the fully featured ClickFunnels tool. It removes all the limitations of the standard plan and introduces new functionality for email marketing and affiliate tracking. Email marketing functionality called Actionetics allows you to fully promote and drive traffic to your funnels without worrying about third-party email integrations. Actionetics includes a visual email builder, segmentation, lead scoring and the ability to create auto responders. Also included in the ClickFunnels Etison Suite is an affiliate management system, with everything you need to run an affiliate program.
ClickFunnels free trial
ClickFunnels offer a free 14 day trial of their products. My recommendation would be to start a trial of the Etison suite and then downgrade if you don’t see the benefit. If the full free ClickFunnels trial you’ll be able to test everything to see if it meets your needs. You can start a free trial on the ClickFunnels website.
What can you do with a ClickFunnels free trial?
- Build your first landing page, add a form and start capturing leads.
- Explore the pre-build sales and marketing funnels.
- Customise a funnel or create your own.
- Try the ClickFunnels email marketing tool Actionetics.
- Build an email in Actionetics and connect it to your funnels.
The positives and negatives of ClickFunnels
The negatives of ClickFunnels
- There is no support service level agreement (SLA). Although signing up for higher price plans gives you priority support there is no indication of how fast a support request will be resolved. Support is via live chat or email. The documentation that comes with ClickFunnels is extremely thorough and there is a vibrant user community. When I’ve tested support I’ve received same day answers, but this isn’t guaranteed.
- ClickFunnels comes with a basic CRM but it’s basic. This isn’t Salesforce or HubSpot. It’s an easy-to-use alternative that is much cheaper.
- Using ClickFunnels it’s possible to create pages from scratch. The pre-built templates are focused on conversions, or as some might see, the ‘hard sell’.
The positives of ClickFunnels
- ClickFunnels is easy to use. It’s aimed at the entrepreneur or marketer who needs to get stuff done and out the door rather than worrying about intricacies of their marketing tech.
- The fully featured ClickFunnels Etison Suite is ideal for those who don’t want to worry about the technology. If you want to use your own third-party email marketing tool, then there are plenty of integrations and ClickFunnels works well with tools such as ConvertKit.
- At the price point of even the most expensive suite at $297 / £217 there aren’t many alternatives that give you a landing page builder, email marketing tool and funnel builder all-in-one package. For an all-in-one package, you would need to go further upmarket and look at more expensive solutions like Marketo. The cheaper alternative is to build your own stack using a combination of Instapage (landing page), ConvertKit (email), SamCart (checkout and affiliate management). This doesn’t work out much cheaper and you need to maintain the integrations between the tools.
A word of caution on ClickFunnels
Don’t use ClickFunnels for building entire websites!
ClickFunnels is great at its core purpose, that is building marketing and sales funnels. Marketing and sales funnels don’t replace your core website. In a B2B context, you must have a website. Websites serve an entirely different purpose. Websites are for browsing, discovery and building authority. A funnel drives visitors towards a single purpose, websites allow for the discovery of content. You could build all your web pages in ClickFunnels. However, that is not the core purpose of ClickFunnels and we would suggest using a content management system such as WordPress for blogs and websites.
To choose or not to choose ClickFunnels
One of the benefits of working with FullerFunnels is that we are completely independent of and software vendors. We highlight when you should not be using a tool because there are better alternatives and this ClickFunnels review is no different.
Don’t choose ClickFunnels if all you’re looking for is a landing page builder. The functionality ClickFunnels gives you even at the lowest price point is overkill for that. Instapage is a good alternative if you want to focus on having a great landing page builder that will integrate with your existing email marketing tool and CRM. However, you won’t get close to the capability of ClickFunnels which is more than a landing page builder.
Don’t choose ClickFunnels if you want something more enterprise-level with greater support. In this scenario opt for something like Marketo or Hubspot. Of course, ClickFunnels costs a fraction of these tools.
Choose ClickFunnels if you want to build sales and marketing funnels, there is no alternative at this price point.
Choose ClickFunnels if you want a fully integrated landing page builder and email marketing tool.
What alternatives are there to ClickFunnels?
ClickFunnels has a number of features which are difficult to find combined in any alternative products at a similar price point. There are a number of ClickFunnels alternatives that deliver part of what ClickFunnels can do but not the end to end marketing and sales funnel building capabilities.
ClickFunnels vs landing page builders
ClickFunnels is more than just a landing page builder. You could use a series of landing pages to replicate some of the functionality offered by ClickFunnels. Two of the leading SaaS based landing page builders are LeadPages and Instapages. Instapages is our preference out of the two for building landing pages, however, neither directly compete with ClickFunnels.
ClickFunnels vs LeadPages
- In LeadPages you can only build single landing pages. In ClickFunnels you can build single landing pages, but you can push this further by connecting a series of landing pages to create a sales funnel.
- LeadPages doesn’t come with an out of the box fully integrated email marketing tool. ClickFunnels comes with Actionetics, which is part of the ClickFunnels suite and it works seamlessly.
- Funnels can generate leads or sales. LeadPages doesn’t have the functionality to take payments. ClickFunnels has this build in, and it’s a must in B2C.
ClickFunnels vs Instapages
- Instapages is a competitor to LeadPages. Having tested both we prefer Instapages.
- As with LeadFunnels you can’t build end to end marketing and sales funnels with Instapages.
- Instapages doesn’t come with out-of the-box email marketing in one suite.
- ClickFunnels has a build in CRM for lead scoring and memberships, Instapages does not.
- Instapages does have a great landing page builder, that we think is better than the drag and drop builder of ClickFunnels. If all you want is individual landing pages then you should use Instapages.
ClickFunnels vs email marketing tools
ClickFunnels integrates landing pages with email marketing in a single cost-effective solution. Leaders in the email marketing space include Infusionsoft, ActiveCampaign and CovertKit. Infusionsoft is aimed at the much larger end of the market. ActiveCampaign is aimed at the smaller end of the market but has a very strong feature set.
ClickFunnels vs Infusionsoft
- Infusionsoft has an onboarding fee starting from $699 and then prices start at around $199 per month. ClickFunnels starts from $97 per month, with no onboaring and a 14 day free trial.
- ClickFunnels is for the small business and Infusionsoft for large. Infusion soft is more capable but has a steep learning curve.
- ClickFunnels has a core purpose, to help you build sales funnels. Infusion soft is more of a swiss army knife. You can build funnels in Infusionsoft but in ClickFunnels it’s easier.
- Infusionsoft wins when it comes to email marketing automation. If marketing and sales funnels are the core of ClickFunnels, email marketing is the core of Infusionsoft.
ClickFunnels vs ActiveCampaign
- ActiveCampaign is a great email marketing tool. It has a lot of functionality and is a fantastic alternative to Infusionsoft. ActiveCampaign also includes a CRM at higher price bands.
- ActiveCampaign is not a replacement or direct competitor to ClickFunnels. it is possible to use active campaign with ClickFunnels to replace the built-in email functionality of ClickFunnels. However, this brings with it additional complexities you may want to avoid.
- ActiveCampaign does not have a landing page builder it’s purely for sending out marketing messages. This means you can’t use active campaign alone to build sales funnels.
ClickFunnels vs ConvertKit
- Like Infusionsoft and ActiveCampaign, ConvertKit is an email marketing tool. In our reviews, we have preferred ConvertKit over ActiveCampaign. ActiveCampaign is a lot more powerful but it’s also more difficult to use than ConvertKit.
- Neither ActiveCampagin nor ConvertKit would be suitable replacements for ClickFunnels because they don’t come with landing page building capabilities.
ClickFunnels vs WordPress
WordPress is an open source content management system. Although it’s designed for maintaining blogs its capabilities have meant that WordPress is increasingly used as an all-in-one website content management system. You can use WordPress to replace the landing page builder the capabilities of ClickFunnels. To do so you would need to one of the many landing page builder the plug-ins available for WordPress. They all come with similar disadvantages the first being that they only work on WordPress so you must have WordPress installed, you’re responsible for maintenance and none of them come with an email marketing solution. Leading landing page builders for WorPress include Thrive Themes, Beaver Buuilder, Divi and Elementor
ClickFunnels vs Thrive Themes (Thrive Architect)
- Thrive Architect is a landing page builder for WordPress. It’s drag and drop and works really well for building landing pages within WordPress. We use Thrive Architect and the broader Thrive portfolio on many of our sites.
- Thrive Architect is designed for wordpress so you must have WordPress installed.
- Thrive architect is a plug-in for WordPress and like any other plug-in and need to be updated and maintained. In comparison because ClickFunnels is a SaaS solution you don’t need to worry about the maintenance.
- Thrive Architect creates individual landing pages although these can be designed to be part of a funnel, it’s not as easy as it is in ClickFunnels.
ClickFunnels vs BeaverBuilder , Divi or Elementor
- BeaverBuilder and Divi are both landing page builders for WordPress and compete directly with Thrive Architect rather than ClickFunnels.
- BeaverBuilder and Dive have the same limitations as Thrive architect. This means that you must have a WordPress website set up to be able to use either tool. This is unlike ClickFunnels which works out the box.
Build your own ClickFunnels
The only realistic alternative to ClickFunnels for most entrepreneurs and small businesses is to build your own solution. If that’s what your considering we recommend the following tools.
Use Instapages for landing pages
Instapages has a better landing pages builder than ClickFunnels and is probably the best in the Industry
Price: $79 / £60 per month
Use ConvertKit for emails
ConvertKit isn’t the most powerful tool but it has exactly the features you need and it’s very easy to use.
Price: $29 / £22 per month
Use Teachable for courses
One of the most common uses of the membership function of ClickFunnels is courses. Teachable is the best platform for online courses.
Price: $39 / £30 per month
ClickFunnels For B2B Sales And Marketing
ClickFunnels is ideal for B2B sales and marketing. Despite how ClickFunnels positions itself in it’s messaging, it’s actually a lot more suited for considered purchases with a longer buyer journey.
B2B buyers need to be nurtured and for marketers, the initial aim is to capture contact details. Landing pages and gated forms for lead generation are standard ClickFunnel functionality.
In the buyer journey, we constantly need to market to prospects and drive them to the next action. In ClickFunnels it’s possible to build a series of landing pages and drive traffic back to them using email or even SMS marketing. Email marketing is in the ClickFunnels Etison Suite.
The final step in the B2B buyer journey is to buy. ClickFunnels comes with online checkout functionality or you could end your funnel with the opportunity to book a sales meeting. Alternatively, lead scoring means that your sales teams can more proactively reach out to hot sales prospects.
FullerFunnels rates ClickFunnels 4.7/5 in it’s 2018 ClickFunnels review
Upfront and ongoing cost
ClickFunnels has a recurring subscription pricing model. There’s a free demo for 14 days. There are two price points $97 / £71 a month for ClickFunnels and $297 / £217 for the full ClickFunnels Etison Suite. There isn’t a true enterprise level plan for ClickFunnels, and it’s not aimed at the enterprise. This is a solution for small businesses.
Ease of implementation
ClickFunnels prides itself on ease of use and it doesn’t disappoint. As a SaaS based product, there’s nothing to set up and you can immediately start building landing pages. If you’re on the basic package, you’ll need to integrate an email marketing solution such as ConvertKit. The ClickFunnels suite comes with an email marketing tool called Actionetics.
Ease of use
ClickFunnels is extremely easy to use. It’s built for marketers rather than techies. ClickFunnels is about building and getting stuff out the door, it may not be the right tool if you want to tinker with every aspect.
The starting point of ClickFunnels is the landing page. In the basic package, you get the visual landing page builder and can plug in your own email marketing tool. ClickFunnels is all about connecting multiple pages to create funnels. You can create funnels from scratch or use one of the many pre-built funnels. ClickFunnels also comes with the functionality take payments and create and run membership sites.
Return on investment
ClickFunnels is aimed at startups and small businesses. The starting price point of $97 /£71 per month is a fraction of what similar tools cost. ClickFunnels helps with nurturing the prospect through the buyer journey. This is not Marketo or Eloqua but those solutions cost in the thousands per month and need greater expertise to run.
ClickFunnels offers email support. There are plenty of videos and guides to help you get started. The best part of ClickFunnels is the vibrant community around it. There is an active Facebook group and support community
ClickFunnels Review Conclusion
Is ClickFunnels a Great Buy or Goodbye?
ClickFunnels Is a fantastic tool for building sales focused funnels. You can quickly build funnels from scratch or use one of the many pre-built funnels that guide you in exactly what you need to do. You can fine-tune ClickFunnels as much as you want or you can use the tried and tested default templates.
ClickFunnels is perfect for the entrepreneur or small business marketer who needs a quick solution to build fantastic landing pages and digital experiences. The lack of a support SLA and access management doesn’t make this suitable for the enterprise but for everyone else, this is a Great Buy.