In the world of digital marketing, most people have used or at least heard of click funnels. At the forefront of landing page builders and doing ground-breaking work on online sales funnels. For this review, we will take an in-depth assessment of the features which still make this tool, one of the most promising prospects of the year.
Since its kick-off, click funnels has carved out quite a niche for itself, becoming a big name in the SaaS (software as a service) market. The exponential growth can be best attributed to it making its users cartloads of money & helping businesses convert visitors into buyers.
While the popularity is evident, how does it translate to the actual utility of this tool?? In this review, we will look into its cult classic status and see what makes it a must-have in your marketing stack.
For the uninitiated, we will first go through the background of this software, the good, the bad, the rooms for improvement, the customer service & finally the public review. Most of the content of this review is based on my personal experiences of using the click funnel startup plan. Although many viewers might not agree with my consensus, I'll be sure to link other reviews which are guaranteed to cover most of the topics.
Launched way back in 2014, and since its inception, it has enjoyed great public feedback as well as mainstream acceptance with Forbes magazine even calling it- "silently revolutionizing the online marketing industry"(Link Here). Considering the myriad of innovations taking place daily, a bold claim won't you agree? But if break down its success you will see it's not all hype as it delivers well above its expectations almost on all fronts, most notably in the way it has revolutionized how businesses & entrepreneurs sell stuff online bypassing the otherwise cumbersome process of marketing technology & sales funnel creation.
The direct and result-oriented approach of this tool can be best attributed to its founder Russel Brunson, the entrepreneur & the bestselling author of "DOT COM SECRETS" (Grab your copy here or view for free here). It all started humbly with email marketing & eventually became big with funnel sales. Created initially as a tool to help Russel create better & faster sales funnels and after making great success for its creator, its secrets were shared with the world to enjoy.
Sales Funnel & how to make one?
Throughout this review we keep hearing about funnels, but what exactly is a funnel? It's not that complicated. A Funnel is a process of making customers out of people who don't know you. Think of your favourite E-com website. There are so many tools designed to guide you toward the checkout tab. That's exactly what a funnel is. Still not convinced? Think of it metaphorically as a tool which funnels your website visitors towards the checkout tab. How exactly does it manage to do so? By ensuring that the customer gets to find exactly what they are looking for easily and in the least amount of time with the fewest number of clicks.
So, does it mean this converts 100% of your visitors into buyers? Well not, but having well-designed funnels makes sure you get to capitalize on a big chunk of your traffic.
Let's compare it to your average Walmart. You go in there to buy cheese. You go in there and you have signs there to direct you to the dairy aisle. If you still don't find the dairy section, you ask one of the workers and they guide you through the buying process. But if you are buying online, that's not possible. That means you need some kind of tool to guide you through the buying and checkout process. That's where a funnel comes in. It's no wonder that Russell made more money using the product rather than selling the tool.
The best argument that I can make for it is that it gets the job done. Its specifically used to create a funnel without a lot of technical know-how, in the least amount of time and does not require a lot of third-party applications, and I'll admit it's rather brutal in getting the job done.
Another great thing I find in using click funnels is that it never fails to make you money. It's as simple as starting a Facebook account. You set up your account list your inventory-and start generating revenue. What's more, it takes you only a few hours of usage to absolutely master all the tools on offer. Let's look at some of the tools there are on offer.
The drag & drop builder helps you make duplicates, save templates for your page & overall modify the look & feel of your webpage at the convenience of simple drag & drop.
Once you have created the duplicate web pages the A/B tester helps you regulate traffic between the web pages. What's more, you can customize the percentage of people visiting your A page or B page. Again, a gamechanger in this field.
The seamless API integration technology also takes the cake. One of the best I have seen. What I love about the autoresponders & payment processing setup is the reliability & simplicity.
Another neat feature that I find is the WordPress plugin. With this plugin, you can effortlessly toggle between your WordPress & click funnel webpages.
Another great USP is the centralized dashboard. It provides a central interface for all your tools & triggers and lets you regulate centrally. You can create & order forms, trigger emails, and manage landing pages all from a single webpage.
More than anything it saves you a lot of time & effort.
However, the most attractive aspect of click funnels is the competitive price point. The tiered membership options offer great value to both first-time users and users with moderate to heavy traffic. When it comes to tools and requirements of different users, there is no one size fits all and that's very well captured by click funnels. We can opt for either the starter pack ideal for first-time users or the platinum pack suitable for users with high traffic volume. What's more, you get a free 14-day trial of the full version software with all available tools & tricks. A great bargain indeed.
Although I will admit, that click funnels are by far perfect, as we have specialized tools available in the market which tackle one of two points in great depth, the best part about click funnels is that it addresses all possible problems with a good amount of customization & simplicity. Overall, a great product to use for amateurs & heavy users.
The Room for Improvement
Like I have already said before, Funnel builder is not perfect, but it sure does hit most of the sweet spots. Let's have a look at the areas where there is still room for more improvement.
Customer service has been a persistent headache for the tool ever since its inception & it's hardly a surprise that it is still one of the biggest drawbacks. The customer service is usually okay-ish most of the time, but other times it's not up to the nark & leaves a lot to be desired.
The frequent software outages don't help either. It's another problem which has plagued the software since its inception, unable to do anything meaningful about it. Although it's not a routine occurrence for people with a high volume of traffic & high advertising budgets even an outage for a few hours will translate to a great loss of potential revenue. In the event of such an occurrence, there is no other option but to sit & wait.
Another important thing to note is that filter click has become a victim of its success. Although it is a great tool to use, it has gained such a cult classic and has such a large fan following, that it's very difficult not to get drawn into the fanfare and hype surrounding this product. Somehow given the success of its previous users it is very difficult to have an original and organic feel and user experience for the software. You will inevitably get drawn into the vicious cycle of trying to follow and emulate the marketing methods of Russell Brunson. Not that I have anything against that, and the guy is a proven marketing genius, but trying to recreate the same success somehow hinders the organic development and update of the tool from community feedback, which will inevitably stop the "next best thing" from coming up. This is something which we as a community of users need to take a long and hard look into. To remain relevant in today's changing day & age it is imperative to have a community-driven development cycle, which is somehow missing from such a large community of users.
The hundreds of Facebook fan pages with flashy cars and multi-million-dollar mansions in backgrounds do not help either. It's no doubt that this tool has changed the fortune of thousands of users but somehow the community has not been able to move ahead of that initial success and is caught up in a cycle to recreate the "lost glory". Most of the users see it as a get-rich-quick scheme and gives a bad name to the community & serious users who wish to create long-term value from this product.
Given the great success of this tool, it's no wonder that there have popped up hundreds of copycat websites which do a decent job of getting the job done. The distinct interface and user tools have become widely plagiarized by competing websites and somehow the unique look & feel is lost to these copycat websites.
Another review which keeps popping up is the relatively simple user experience. Although I don't completely agree with this one it's important to bring up this point for having an unbiased review. With much more sophisticated & in-depth tools available in the market at much more competing price points, some users have made well-justified arguments about the price point. However, I still feel this argument is not justified as this tool is meant for a target audience which ranges from amateur to intermediate users.
Clickfunnels Price Point
As outlined earlier the tiered price point makes this tool a good investment option for both beginners and experienced users alike. With the click funnels, the beginner's standard plan starts at $97 a month and the platinum plan starts at $297 a month. Both products are designed specifically for different target audiences. The platinum plan is designed to cater to the needs of high-traffic volume individuals and ensure a smooth and consistent running with minimal downtime and maximum customization options. The basic plan on the other hand is designed for beginners who are new to the scene and want to get a feel for the tools or are just all-around capability exploring.
What's more, there is even the option for a 14-day full version trial license. It gives you a great opportunity to try out the software and get familiarized with all the aspects of the software before you commit to buying. Also, on paying for the annual subscription users will be entitled to avail of two months of subscription free of cost. A great standing offer is available for a limited time only.
Although the price point seems a bit hefty for enthusiasts and serious entrepreneurs it's an overall small price to pay for an industry-proven robust & versatile product. A must-buy for serious investors.
As we have already covered earlier, Russel Brunson not only made a lot of money selling the software, but he also made money off using the software. Funnel Flix is an attempt to capture that entire learning curve and attempt to compress the lessons into an online video repository much similar to the online platform "Netflix" but dedicated to online marketing content. While the attempt is too great in principle it somehow takes out the individuality & originality from the online marketing experience and focuses more on a singular learning approach. While there is some quality content and many important lessons to be learned from it, it's tedious and oftentimes impossible to separate the useful from the outright garbage. So, for the review, since we are focused more on the content of the software, we will not be reviewing the FunnelFlix application in this article.
Click Funnels Page Builder
The page builder is probably the most prolific feature, which sets click funnels apart from its peers, so I will be reviewing it separately in this article. The goodwill and positive reviews have a lot to do with the page builder application. In fact, in my view, it is the best feature available in the click funnels toolkit and the linchpin which justifies its high rating in my previous article. Although the click funnels advertise themselves as a funnel creation approach, in my opinion, it's the landing builder page which is a unique selling point for this application.
Not only are there a lot of customization options, but there are a huge number of standard templates to choose from, which have great form & design. What's the stock templates formed by click funnels are mostly on offer for free. You can browse through the templates based on the type of funnel so sorting & selecting the right template for your use is easy.
You may also bookmark certain templates for later use & also create your customized template and it's very easy to find them by sorting through the funnel type. After selecting your desired template you can use the editor to further fine-tune your preferences by the drag & drop selection mode. While at first glance it seems a bit tedious, I promise you once you get used to the interface it's mostly pretty simple to understand & easier still to use.
The editor categorizes the page into four major elements.
It's so mind-blowing to think that you can create such wonderful & interactive landing pages by using a combination of these four basic building blocks. Here is a pictographic representation to better help you visualize them.
Each page has multiple sections. Each section consists of rows & columns. Each row is made up of columns which you can insert up to four at a time. Elements are then inserted into the columns to make the webpage dynamic & interactive for viewers.
The only complaint I have heard about the page builder is the grid-like approach to the page alignment settings. Although I don't have an issue with it, it is worth mentioning to have an objective view of the matter. In my opinion, there are still a lot of customization tools available that successfully break the monotony of the grid-based approach for a more exciting feel to the webpage., and all this without sacrificing one bit of its simplistic approach. Overall not something I would be very worried about, since it gets the job done every time.
Integration with Click funnels interface.
Another very useful tool which makes the experience more exciting is the versatility of integration capability on this platform. It is just as simple as it sounds. You can integrate other tools into your click funnel interface. As simple as that, no strings attached. You can take your pick & integrate Emails, Phones (Text/SMS), webinars and many more actions. Let's say you are subscribed to the MailChimp autoresponder feature & want to keep it that way. In that case, you will integrate the MailChimp into your click funnel interface and that is. As simple as that. You can also add many other third-party tools to your click funnel interface. Some of the notable ones include.
- Active Campaign
- Constant Contact
- HTML Form
- Webinar Jam Studio
- Mad Mimi
- GVO PureLeverage
To integrate these third-party applications, all you need to do is navigate to your integration tab, select from the available list or use the search bar and pin them to your interface. As easy as that.
If you want to manage your integrations it's a little bit trickier than a simple click & select but still not overly complicated. You will need to check the third party software documentation to figure out its compatibility with click funnels and figure out exactly what is required. Since the process of seamless integration is technically a little more challenging than say a page builder, it's really useful to have the simplistic approach offered by click funnels on hand.
On the topic of integrations, another very important factor is the payment & billing gateway. These domains must be integrated externally to your website and rightly so since all other page builders treat these as simple integrations. But in click funnels, they are treated separately from integrations and are called billing integrations. Since for a seller the most important part of the transaction is the actual generation of revenue, it only makes sense to have a dedicated approach to the integration of billing domains. This prioritization is an important quality of life improvement over other apps in the market. Other Payment Gateways you can integrate into your click funnels include.
- Easy Pay Direct
- Blue Snap
Treating these integrations separately means it is effortless to manage all these domains conveniently, as long as you are backwards integrated with the payment gateway properly and have set up your accounts properly. It runs without a hitch and you can mostly forget about it once you set it up. It doesn't get any simpler than that.
Simplicity & user friendliness
As I have told you earlier also, the best feature click funnels offers is their simplicity. Just like their marketing pitch says "Do not waste time with �technology guys!'". It's as easy as that. This tool provided first-time & intermediate users with the tools to save time & money & at the same time deliver a quality product which not only looks good but gets the job done.
That being said, it's still not possible for a first-timer to deliver a quality product. It's simple but it is not that simple. You still need some background & some experience in this kind of tool.
To the first-time user, it might all feel a little bit overwhelming at first glance but the learning cycle is as simple as it gets. With a huge community of users and a proactive dev team working to make the software more user-friendly & interactive, the learning cycle is really easy. From experience, I would say it would take a user a few hours to get accustomed to the interface, but beyond that, it's a world of opportunities free for all, amateurs and experienced people alike. If you are really in the mood, you can also take points from Russell Brunson's book mentioned previously in this review to take pointers.
Having said that, using click funnels is still much easier to use rather than creating funnels yourself. It might not be the best out there but is damn near perfect at getting the job done. Also, once you feel comfortable with the core features of the application you can take your time in learning the advanced concepts. The centralized menu, the templates, funnel manager, and drag & drop editor all make for a more interactive experience without any unnecessary complications. Some features like the email integrations & billing integrations require a little bit of effort in getting used to, it's nowhere near as technical as coding funnels by yourself. To summarize it's streamlined enough to make you keep coming back & get the best possible result out of it. All in all, I'd give it a four out of five in simplicity & ease of use. Personalization options paired with the ease of access, create a winning combination, as is evident from its success & customer base.
Target Audience for Click funnels
Another important question that needs answering is -who is the intended target audience for these products. Mostly small to medium business owners & start-ups form a major chunk of the user base. Also, speakers, coaches, consultants, and professional service providers all form a part of the user base. Since this tool has a targeted marketing approach all professionals related to the e-commerce industry and b2b service providers can benefit from using these tools. The pre-made funnel templates provide a great starting point for businesses to customize and ultimately increase their revenue from online traffic.
Having said that for most small businesses the price tag might seem a bit excessive but in the grand scheme of things it's a great investment to create effective sales funnels and in turn, increase revenue. Also, it's a great option for people who want to create better, more customized landing pages.
Click funnels customer support
The customer support area for click funnels in one could do with a little bit of attention from the dev team. Their on-site documentation is not quite its strong point but it gets the job done. However judging by the content on offer from other SaaS companies, there is still a lot of room for improvement. The documentation page has a series of articles on offer, which although simple are sufficient content-wise.
As far as the customer service option, they do have an onsite chat box feature available like most other websites, but I am not a big fan of the execution. Although they are generally helpful, I have encountered that they are rather ill-equipped to handle queries regarding some of the more advanced features of the tool. I can recall one specific instance regarding an HTML query where I got a response after more than 90 days, that too after a lot of follow-up reminders. Although I'd admit most users don't get into the nitty-gritty of things and basic customer support is sufficient to handle them, it would be nice to see the customer support team engaging more thoroughly on these matters. Then again most other SaaS platforms don't have so much to offer, still, it gives some brownie points to click funnels for trying.
Another disturbingly consistent review I've seen online reviews is the inability of the customer support to help with the general bugs, malfunctions, and website downtime errors. Some reviews also mention instances where the product has been unable to perform as per the advertised claims, in which case too there has been no meaningful action taken by the customer support team. One particularly notorious review highlights a bug which allowed non-paying users to access members-only content & left other paying users blocked out of their content. The review also goes on to share how the customer support team was unhelpful & outright apathetic to the issue. Although it's a highly unlikely & one in a million scenario, it still has a point.
Although click funnels do not have the best in class customer support it is decent at best and gets the job done for most users. A review score of 3 out of 5 is more than generous in this case considering the fact there is lots of room for improvement.
So what's the final verdict? A cool 4 out of 5 stars is our opinion, making it a stronger candidate than its peers and an option worth trying out. Sure there are a few kinks here and there but nothing major to cause any concern.
Still, if you are looking for a hands-on approach with high customization & great backward technology integration, you might be better off stringing up other third-party applications. With click funnels, you might find yourself with basic tools and customer service which leaves you reading.
If you are looking for anything else click funnels is your must-have tool. Not only does it improve your checkout traffic, and increase conversion rate, but it also doubles up as a solid landing builder page & decent integration interface at the same time offering a simple more wholesome approach to the problem. For amateur & intermediate users, a must-buy with a greatly proven track record & a cult following that swears by it. Overall a must-have with 4 out of 5 stars.