Do You Need ClickFunnels?
I’m not going to get into a whole ClickFunnels “How to” here because there’s plenty training available for the product, and already plenty articles been penned dealing with that. I’m just going to confine myself to discussing if you really need it, at the price point it comes in at.
Which starts at $97.
Russell Brunson’s ClickFunnels has been around since 2014, and legend has it that it was a tool he had developed for the fast dissemination of his own marketing campaigns… and then realised that it might be useful to other marketers too. So he started selling it as a SaaS tool.
Maybe. I mean, it is a nice story.
Or maybe it was developed because there was a gap in the market for an integrated landing page + integrated payment system, as what was available pre-ClickFunnels typically didn’t come with the payment bit.
Which was always going to be an obvious gap eventually plugged by someone.
So ClickFunnels was born. And personally, I don’t believe this tool emerged accidentally due to Brunson’s largess because he’s went on to make tens of millions of dollars selling subscriptions to it.
It’s pretty ubiquitous in the online marketing world now and it’s kind of the Google of online marketing tools: there’s other options out there, but everyone tends to gravitate to ClickFunnels when they’ve got something to hock.
This is why you’ve got ClickFunnels to thank for the sameness of all those landing pages and sites you’re taken to when you click on one of those sponsored ads in your social media feed.
They all look the same because they’re all using some variant of a ClickFunnels template. The only editing they’ll get extends to ad copy, and even that will be basically a spun piece of word salad lifted/copied from an already existing successful ClickFunnels landing page, hocking something similar.
Because don’t reinvent the wheel and have that swipe file handy as the “gurus” are so in love with telling us (and charging to tell us that, which they’re even more in love with).
And because these gurus aren’t exactly known for their work ethic, originality or brain power – so ripping off something that’s working, instead of figuring out why it’s working, is the option they’ll take every time.
But, you know, I don’t blame ClickFunnels for that any more than I blame Shopify for taking the creativity out of online storefront design.
Because folks could create something original with the tool… but they just don’t.
And, you know, I’m not even sure they have to? That all these ad landing pages are familiar and navigate the same way, makes them recognisable for what they are, and we know what we’re getting and how to use them.
Of course there is a downside to that, and that’s that you associate the format with the routine of the hackneyed used car salesmen you’ve heard a thousand time before, immediately smell snake oil, and thus bounce from the page before they can even get a chance to open their lying yaps.
Taking a satisfying “click” of their ad budget with you.
Whether the familiar format is a good or a bad thing, is open to debate. I mean, behavioural scientists say you need to see the same ad at least three times before you start believing it…
But I reckon three times seeing these sorts of ads would be inclined to put me off another, not endear me to read it through its long, drawn out copy, in its entirety. But maybe that’s just me, and I’m a scientific anomaly?
But whatever your take on how to best present your sales pitch, what is true is that ClickFunnels gives you an efficient tool with which to take your offer to the internet with.
But that doesn’t mean you need it.
But Everyone Says I Need ClickFunnels
Everyone already joined up to ClickFunnels, and selling a program on ClickFunnels, will tell you that you need it – and will helpfully supply you with their personal affiliate link so you can sign yourself up.
Folks like Vick Strizheus and Peter Pru have made ClickFunnels integral to their “products”, and may well be making as much, if not more again, off ClickFunnels’ juicy commissions as they do with the actual product of theirs they’re flogging.
It’s a good affiliate program too, because ClickFunnels pays 40% lifetime commissions on anyone you get to sign up it, plus 5% on anyone that signup of yours also gets to sign-up.
And that’s okay – kinda. In so far as there’s no harm in getting a kickback in commissions from something you recommend – that’s what affiliate marketing is all about after all – but it gets to be a problem if you’re recommending something based more on your own interests, than the needs of the folks you’re pitching it to.
However, should you sign-up for ClickFunnels, you’ll be getting a quality tool: ClickFunnels is no scam.
The guy pushing you to it might be, but ClickFunnels isn’t.
But if you’re a marketing newb, signing up purely because the hucksters’ get-rich-quick schemes demand it, then I reckon you’re wasting money.
Take Peter Pru’s Empire Builders. With guys like him, he makes money on his program, and then more again off of persuading you that need ClickFunnels (if you join using his affiliate link, and he’ll be hoping you do). I say “more again” as their program may be a one-off sale, but ClickFunnels is an endless revenue stream of recurring commissions, that’ll keep flowing as long as you forget to cancel the subscription and got money in your account.
With ole tricky Vicky Strizheus, I think he’s more transparent, and you’re more on-board with ClickFunnels pretty much just for the potential commissions to be had from recommending it, not so much from using it, and you may never use it.
Except Vick’s commissions will be bigger than yours (especially if he’s still swapping out affiliate IDs like he got caught doing in the past).
And that’s why the marketing “gurus” tell you that you need it: because it directly profits them.
So Who’s Clickfunnels for?
If you’re sitting on what you believe is a million dollar idea or product, and want to promote and sell it – get them sweet greenbacks rolling in as fast as possible – then ClickFunnels is a great option.
Provided you’re at least reasonably adept with using a computer for something more than just email.
Because ClickFunnels is like Wix, or any other drag-and-drop builder: it’ll take a little time and a period of learning to get used to it, and get the best out of it.
If you’re a person who has trouble buying their flight tickets online, has never used MS PowerPoint or used their computer for more than email and Googling porn, then you’re going to struggle.
There is a good swathe of training videos that come with ClickFunnels, plus (fan boy) Facebook support groups, but some people are just not cut out for anything technical.
If you’re one of those people then ClickFunnels (or no tool for that matter), is going to be of much use to you.
You need to consider that before you go signing up, having been convinced by that Webinar you just watched, that you’ll be making $50k a month with it if you do (right after you buy the secret to making that happen with their $997 program of course).
Because if you are a technophobe, you’d best head over to Fiverr and checkout what gigs there are available in ClickFunnels design.
If you’re slightly more adept, and not intimidated by the learning curve of getting to grips with a new tool, then I’d still say to hold off.
Why? Because ClickFunnels is darned expensive with just two options: Starter at $97 a month, and Platinum at $297 monthly.
On top of that, you’re going to be “funnelling” traffic to your landing page(s) using the pay per click (PPC) advertising platforms of Facebook and Google… and you could spend $100 a day, never mind a month, trying to get sales and leads for whatever campaign you’re running.
Unfortunately, despite what the gurus try and sell you on, five or ten bucks a day on ads, won’t get you very far.
So you have to factor all those costs in, if you’re just dipping your toe in the water.
Because there are alternatives.
Alternatives To Clickfunnels
Despite my Ritz post, and in keeping with my Footer post, I do like to be frugal in terms of trying stuff out; keep the costs down, and then scale it when and if need be.
And I can tell you, with a lot of my ideas, “need be” has never arisen.
I had a flirt with ClickFunnels, took advantage of the two week free trial, and then cancelled my membership.
I did that because I recognised I could build simple funnels using my WordPress sites for free. Well… free, in that I’d already paid for the hosting etc. There’s plenty plugins and themes available with which you can build your own sales funnels.
Also you got other landing page builders like LeadPages and Unbounce.
They’re not quite as good as ClickFunnels, but good enough to get the job done and test out whatever needs testing.
I just baulked at that $97 a month for something I was “toe dipping” with.
Now, if I were a pro huckster, I’d certainly go with ClickFunnels. Even if I was even semi-pro, I still would. Because ClickFunnels is solid tool and can make you money with the right ad copy and product.
And therein lies the rub.
You see, ClickFunnels isn’t the magic wand in itself that you need. If you don’t have a decent product, good ad copy, and an even better ad budget, then ClickFunnels won’t pick up the slack.
In fact ClickFunnels will help you lose money in most cases.
You’ll be paying monthly for it and not getting that cost covered in sales for whatever you’re hocking, and if you’re hocking ClickFunnels subscriptions themselves a la Four Percent Group, you’ll likely not get the three signups you’ll need to be in profit (and never mind the ad spend you used to get them there).
In fact, I think hocking ClickFunnels itself, just for the commissions is the worst idea if you’re looking to make a buck.
I mean, how are you going to sell a tool you haven’t used (and can’t use) yourself?
Fair enough if you’re user and got some track record with it, but otherwise I reckon you’re on a hiding to nothing.
I know there’s a whole training course of vids available on ClickFunnels that say that’s possible, and supposedly demonstrate how to do it… but as I said, they’re to be found on ClickFunnels. The ClickFunnels that wants you to join and then plug it on your own dime for them.
But I do Recommend ClickFunnels
All the above said, yes I recommend the tool.
It’s darn good and it takes the pain out of building your own funnels, and it does it well. All them workshy, money-grubbing hucksters wouldn’t be using it in droves if it didn’t. It’s efficient and effective.
Heck, if I wasn’t so tight, I’d be pasting up my own affiliate link to it! Will do if I ever join for more than a month.
So – shock/surprise – I do actually recommend stuff that I don’t benefit from. As unusual as that may be for affiliate marketers.
It’s just that I’m aware $97 is something of an outlay/monthly commitment to make for a lot of folks. And a lot of the folks who’ll be spending that money may get hurt doing it. That’s because the reality is, it’s folks who need that money most that gravitate to, and are enticed by, the promises of the get-rich-quick con men. They don’t care if you put yourself in debt to get on the ClickFunnels train, they’ll tell you to – you’re going to make it all back in a few weeks anyway.
Except you’re not.
So that’s why I haul up short of universally endorsing ClickFunnels.
I know the product isn’t perfect, that there are outages to the service, that some elements could be better, but it’s still the best ready-to-use option out there.
Like Shopify as I said.
But join up and take a look for yourself. There’s a free two week trial time, so take it and see what you think.
If you won’t miss the money, then go for it.
If you will… then there’s cheaper alternatives if you’re willing to pay for the saving, with the pain of learning how to use them.
Making Money Minus ClickFunnels
If you want to learn how I make some side cash then check out my review of Wealthy Affiliate here.
It’s cheaper than ClickFunnels and doesn’t come with any added costs like needed an advertising budget or even web hosting (because you get the web hosting).
It’s lower risk, longer term in my opinion, which if you’ve the temperament for it, can be lucrative.
So it’s not for everyone, either.
Like my advice re ClickFunnels, join and take a look and see if it is. It has a free trial period as well, and who knows, maybe this is the thing for you.
It was for me in 2016 and I haven’t left.
And only darn program that made me money.
I would like to swiftly thank you. Funny that another online marketing blog can feel like such a breeze of fresh air. Especially liked your Timothy Marc analysis. Spot on.