Is ClickFunnels a scam?
This is the question I'll be helping you answer with this review. If you've been online at all in the past few years and looking at different opportunities to make money, you have likely heard of Russell Brunson and ClickFunnels.
My goal here at ChristinaPiccoli.com is to help you find legitimate ways to use affiliate marketing to make yourself some money. And I don't want you to just make a little money, I want you to make a full-time income.
Is ClickFunnels a way to do that? The premise behind this SaaS (Software as a Service) company is that they will help turn your visitors into customers with an easy-to-use drag-and-drop funnel builder.
In other words:
ClickFunnels exists to help you make money.
At least, that's what it's supposed to do. But is ClickFunnels worth it? What is a funnel anyway? Who is Russell Brunson, and is he a good guy? I'll answer all of these questions and the most important one, "is ClickFunnels a scam?" below.
Just to note, I am basing this ClickFunnels review off of my experience with the 14-day free trial, plus gathering information from other reviews and customers (happy and not) out there.
Let's dive in and have a good look into this one.
ClickFunnels Review - Easy Marketing Tool?
Russell Brunson knows his stuff, and ClickFunnels delivers on quality. This is why there are so many happy ClickFunnels customers out there.
ClickFunnels does have a bit of a learning curve, but once you get used to the drag-and-drop features, you'll be able to put funnels together in no time.
The cost is pretty pricey, but worth it in the right context. If your marketing funnel makes you more than $99 / month in the long run, then it's worth it. But, look for alternatives below.
Summary: ClickFunnels is a drag-and-drop software as a service (SaaS) technology that allows you to quickly and easily create marketing funnels. But you can also use it to create landing pages, webinars, squeeze pages, and even membership sites. To make it even easier, there are tons of beautifully designed done-for-you funnel templates for a variety of different businesses. Russell and his team truly want to make you a success and they give you the tools to accomplish that.
ClickFunnels is recommended not only by me, but by the thousands of happy users. As of August 2018, they had over 65,000 active users. They also offer a 14-day free trial so you can test drive it for yourself. Click the button below if you want to give it a go.
What is Clickfunnels?
We'll go over all the details soon, but in a nutshell, ClickFunnels is a drag-and-drop landing page builder that allows you to create a marketing funnel quickly and easily.
The Quick History of ClickFunnels
It was started in 2014 by Russell Brunson. According to his site, Russell began his career in internet marketing while in college. He started selling potato gun DVDs online (you can learn more about this in the video posted below), and this hobby soon became an obsession. He made his first million even before he graduated from college.
After that, he started selling a variety of other products and services and began to understand the limitations that held people back from doing more. He and his partner, Todd Dickerson, launched ClickFunnels in October 2014 and the rest, as the say, is history!
What is a Sales Funnel?
I talk a little bit about that in my 12 Minute Affiliate review, but you can imagine a sales funnel like a real funnel. The top of the funnel is where you try to capture the most people. And as you market to these people, more and more will filter out and at the bottom of the funnel you're left with a smaller amount of people, but these are your customers who purchase from you.
Here's Russell himself to explain funnels and how they work.
A Funnel Focuses Your Customer
The real purpose of a sales funnel is to focus your customer. You want to funnel them toward a certain goal. Maybe you want to add them to your email list, or funnel them to a product you want them to purchase.
Websites have many distractions and a funnel can help guide people on your website. If you're an affiliate marketer like I am, we can use sales funnels to guide people to a specific product that we're trying to sell. Or we can use them to capture email addresses and then promote different offers to them via email.
The Purpose of ClickFunnels
As I mentioned above, the main purpose for ClickFunnels is to help you make money by helping you bring in more paying customers - without hiring expensive designers and coders. They take all the stuff you need and package it up into one nice system.
- Web hosting
- An easy-to-use landing page builder
- Nicely designed templates (or create your own)
- Easy A/B testing
The Etison Suite also includes:
- Actionetics (an email autoresponder that can only be used with ClickFunnels)
- Backpack (helps you manage an affiliate program)
We'll go into what each membership includes a little later in the pricing area. I just wanted to show you the purpose of ClickFunnels and how it helps businesses grow.
Now, let's get more into the details of ClickFunnels, how it works and if it's worth it for you to use.
How Does ClickFunnels Work?
I signed up for the free 14-day trial at ClickFunnels so I could really test drive the system and see how it all works. (Want to see for yourself? You can sign up for the 14-day free trial here.)
When I first logged in, I can see that there's a lot in there and it's a little overwhelming. As with anything new, there's a bit of a learning curve and you need to get used to things. ClickFunnels is no different. No problem, you just take it step by step, poke around a bit and use the system so that you can learn.
You can choose from a variety of different types of funnels, or you can build your own.
Here's the full list of funnel types:
- Video Sales Letter Funnel
- Storefront Funnel
- Bridge Funnel
- Homepage Funnel
- Reverse Squeeze Page Funnel
- Sales Letter Funnel
- Live Demo Funnel
- Hero Funnel
- Membership Funnel
- Auto Webinar Funnel
- Webinar Funnel
- Lead Magnet Funnel
- Application Funnel
- Ask Campaign Funnel
- Product Launch Funnel
- Summit Funnel
- Cancellation Funnel
- Survey Funnel
- Invisible Funnel
You can see that there are all types of funnels for many different businesses and situations. Within each of these are beautifully designed templates that you can use to build out the perfect funnel for your specific goal.
From there, you can edit the template to customize it for your needs.
When you're editing, you can easily click on elements to change them. For instance, if you want to change the image of the product like in the picture above, you would simply click on it, and a box appears with different options. You can then switch out your image, change your text, change the height and width, etc.
Because there's quite a bit going on in ClickFunnels (especially when you're new), I like that they have this checklist:
This helps you follow along and understand each next step. You can see that I chose a template for my opt in page, and the next step would be to select a Thank You page. Once the opt in page and thank you page are all designed, the next steps are to:
- connect to a URL (you can buy a custom domain, or use a free one of theirs)
- decide where to store your leads (this is where you connect with an autoresponder)
- launch your funnel
I think once you get the hang of things, it's only going to take an hour or two (at most - Russell says in his welcome email he can do it in 10 minutes) to put everything together and get your funnel launched.
How Much Does ClickFunnels Cost?
As mentioned, there are two levels:
- ClickFunnels (also known as StartUp)
- Etison Suite
StartUp (or ClickFunnels) is $97 per month. This gives you:
- 20 funnels
- 100 pages
- 20,000 visitors
- Unlimited contacts
- 3 custom domains
Etison Suite (or Full Suite) is $297 per month. This gives you:
- Unlimited funnels
- Unlimited pages
- Unlimited visitors
- Unlimited contacts
- Unlimited domains
Plus, as mentioned, you also get their autoresponder (Actionetics) and their affiliate management program (Backpack.)
You can also pay upfront for a whole year with either plan, and you would essentially get 2 months free. In this case, StartUp would be $997 and Etison would be $2,997.
Unless you already have a booming business, you'll likely want to start in the StartUp plan. (That's why it's named StartUp. lol) You can test drive either plan for 14 days for free.
Is ClickFunnels a Scam?
ClickFunnels is definitely not a scam. It's a great company run by a great CEO who I legitimately feel wants to help people make more money. (And of course, that helps him and his company make more money, too.) ClickFunnels is a valuable service that over 65,000 people are currently using.
With that said, there are some other things you'll want to note before making a purchase. Let's talk about those next.
Additional Things You'll Need to Pay For
Besides the $99 / month cost for ClickFunnels, there are some other things that you'll need to pay for to make this work:
- an autoresponder to send out your emails (about $10-$20 / month)
- a domain name (about $13 a year. You can use their free domain, but it's always best to have your own.)
- traffic (you will need a way to get people to your funnel. Paying for traffic can add up, but worth it if done right.)
Is ClickFunnels Worth It?
I really think this can only be determined by you. I do think there's a reason they are so popular and a reason why they have many positive comments. While $99 a month is pretty pricey for someone just getting started, if it helps you make more money than $99 / month, then it's worth it.
From what I've seen, I do think ClickFunnels does what it says it's going to do very well. You're going to get a great landing page builder where you can easily put together funnels that can help you bring in more customers.
One thing to keep in mind is that if you decide that you want to move away from ClickFunnels, your business is going to stop. You're kind of trapped within their system. This isn't necessarily a bad thing. If it's working well for you, then there's no reason to leave. Just something to keep in mind.
By the way, I have some alternatives below, so keep reading in case this doesn't sound like it's for you.
ClickFunnels Positive Comments
Some of the positive comments I've seen about ClickFunnels include:
- Very powerful tool
- Impressed by the value this delivers, regardless of skill set
- Building your funnel is incredibly easy
- If you want an all-in-one solution, it's ClickFunnels
Overall, it seems that customers are very, very happy with ClickFunnels, and I was actually surprised to see so many people giving it 5 stars. I realized that ClickFunnels was popular, but I didn't understand how popular until now. You can see over 130 reviews here.
Not every business is perfect, and there are some complaints about ClickFunnels. Some that I saw include:
- Support is not very good, you have a very long wait time for live chat help
- You need creativity and design skills
- It's expensive
- There are a few bugs that can be annoying
- Some think the landing pages look like they're from the 90s and are too "cookie cutter"
I actually expected to find way more complaints than I did. I even went into Reddit (which is a scary place to go), and I did find some complainers, but not as many as I thought.
My Personal Experience with Support
I had an issue with ClickFunnels that I needed help from their Support / Customer Service team.
My issue was addressed very quickly and it was resolved in no time flat. The person I was in contact with was very pleasant and professional. For me, I had a very positive experience with Support.
Try ClickFunnels Out
Free for 14 Days
2 Comma Club & 30 Days Summit
ClickFunnels seems to have all kinds of interesting things behind its walls. From what I can see, they are always trying to help people find more ways to make more money, and I admire that about them.
I wanted to mention two particularly interesting things they have going on, the 2 Comma Club and the 30 Days Summit. The 2 Comma Club is a group of people who have made at least $1,000,000 using ClickFunnels. There's an impressive list of members here.
What Russell decided to do was ask his members of the 2 Comma Club what they would do if they were starting from scratch, no longer had a business and no longer had a name for themselves. How would they get back on top and how would they do it if they only had 30 days?
Russell took 30 of the best responses and turned it into a video series. The best part is that it's completely free. You can register for the 30 Days Summit here.
If you're going to be online and plan on making a full-time income (which I suggest you do), you have to realize that you're going to have to invest some money into tools and training. You can bootstrap your business, but only for so long until it begins to hold you back.
ClickFunnels is one option, but it's not the only option.
I personally use a different set of tools that can do many of the same things, but they're also slightly different and I'll tell you the difference between these tools and ClickFunnels.
1. Wealthy Affiliate (Read my full Wealthy Affiliate review.)
Wealthy Affiliate is my #1 recommendation for getting an affiliate marketing website (or any website) up and running. They have step-by-step training that will take you from ground zero to making money. Their lessons are super easy to follow and they'll have you understanding the entire sales process in no time.
You can join for free and you don't need a credit card, so there's no automatic billing. (ClickFunnels will automatically bill you after your 14 days is up, but it's easy to cancel if it's not right for you.)
Wealthy Affiliate uses WordPress and Premium members have web hosting included for up to 25 sites. They mainly teach search engine optimization (SEO) as a way to bring in traffic. The upside is that this is free traffic, so no additional costs getting leads (versus with ClickFunnels where you'll need to pay for traffic). The downside is that it's much slower. (There is training on buying traffic via PPC though.)
Wealthy Affiliate Premium is $49 per month (or discounted prices for semi-yearly and yearly memberships. See my Wealthy Affiliate review for the full price breakdown.)
2. Thrive Architect & Thrive Leads (Read my full Thrive Themes Membership review.)
You can create beautiful sales funnels using Thrive Architect and Thrive Leads. In fact, as I was going through ClickFunnels, it very much reminded me of Thrive Architect.
With Thrive Architect, it also uses a drag-and-drop builder. There is also a bit of a learning curve, but once you get used to it, it's very, very easy to use.
Thrive Leads allows you to create different pop-ups to capture leads.
Once you choose one of these types, you can edit and fully customize it for your site. Like ClickFunnels, there are many fantastic templates already designed that you can choose from.
Here are just a few of the many templates available for just one of the lead types above (or you can start from scratch and create something totally unique):
It can be tricky to learn how to put everything together, but Thrive has really, really great training on how to do everything.
- Thrive Architect = $67 one-time price for use on 1 website.
- Thrive Leads = $67 one-time price for use on 1 website.
Note: You can just get Thrive Architect as they do have a lead builder in there as well. However, Thrive Leads gives you the opportunity to test different lead styles (for instance, full-page pop-up versus small slide-in pop-up) against each other.
3. An Autoresponder. No matter if you went with Wealthy Affiliate + Thrive, or if you went with ClickFunnels, you will need an autoresponder. (Wealthy Affiliate's training suggests to not get one right away, but you would need one right away with ClickFunnels.)
I personally use ConvertKit, but there are plenty of good ones out there. ConvertKit starts at $29 / month or $299 / year.
Wealthy Affiliate's Support
Since support at ClickFunnels was one complaint I saw a several times, I wanted to compare Wealthy Affiliate's level of support.
1. Dedicated Support
if you host at Wealthy Affiliate, they have a dedicated support team to help with any technical issues going on with your site. They are available 24/7, and they respond very quickly in my experience.
Wealthy Affiliate has built-in support via the HUGE community that lives inside the platform. If you have any questions or issues, or just want to share your progress, you can find the help and support you need any time of day or night. It's actually the thing that sets Wealthy Affiliate apart from any other program out there.
There are many people who have gone before you on the platform willing to help you, give advice, share their ideas and tricks and generally just cheer you on. This is incredibly helpful.
3. Live Chat
Wealthy Affiliate also has Live Chat that's always active. If you have a burning question that needs to be answered, there's usually someone there who can help. And, sometimes we just like to chat and enjoy each other's company.
I know that ClickFunnels has an active Facebook group, but Facebook groups do not even come close to the activity level of what's happening inside Wealthy Affiliate. It's just a completely different experience.
If you're still asking "is ClickFunnels a scam?", then I clearly didn't do my job! But I hope that I have answered that for you in a good enough way that you have a clear idea of whether or not it will work for you.
Whether you decide to try ClickFunnels or Wealthy Affiliate, either one will get the job done. Both are great tools that can lead you on the path to making a full-time income online - as long as you take the time to learn from therm and take action on what you're learning.
Neither one will automatically make you money by signing up for them. You have to put the work in. But isn't it great that we have these tools available to us? It's incredible, really. We are lucky to live in a time when we CAN create income online.
Do you have any questions or comments about this ClickFunnels review? Do you have any experience using ClickFunnels? Was it good or not so good? I'd love to hear your thoughts. Leave them for me down below!