Today I’d like to talk about ClickFunnels and what it can and cannot do for your business.
As you may know, I’m getting more involved in creating “funnels” — multi-step marketing processes on the Internet — largely due to client demand.
Its virgin territory for a copywriter: there are thousands of financial and health businesses that could benefit from simple funnel processes. In that, funnel creation is a lot like building websites in, say, circa 1995. Not that difficult but technical enough that most people can’t do it… at least not yet.
At first, my clients asked me to write the copy on some funnels… which I did. But it became immediately clear just how complex the whole process is — many different optin pages, landing pages, videos, popups, videos IN popups, autoresponder series, and so on.
Creating a successful funnel is actually MORE complicated than an old-fashioned multi-video product launch in terms of the number of elements involved and how they all fit together.
Funnel creation requires the skills of a classic direct response copywriter, the strategic planning of a savvy marketer and the technical expertise of a web developer.
And that brings me to ClickFunnels… which bills itself as the Infusionsoft of the future, an all-in-one marketing solution for the Internet.
Well, I signed up… mostly because my clients asked me to do so. And here are my impressions after using it.
First of all, it is a powerful resource. The architecture is a lot like GetResponse and so, if you’re familiar with this email service, you’ll feel right at home. And like GetResponse, it has a lot of templates and it is easily integrated with email and payment providers such as Stripe.
And for the price, $97 per month for the regular service and $297 for the full service, it’s a bargain. The free instructional videos that come with the service are also excellent, albeit somewhat brief.
That said, however, this is a resource that will mainly help web developers and experienced marketers, not the average business person.
That’s because you still have to custom-design the funnel itself — that is, think through the sales process from beginning to end — and then spend a lot of time customizing or “building” each step of the funnel.
And of course, that’s not counting the fulfillment: the video trainings or courses that usually go along with the funnels.
ClickFunnels eliminates most of the coding and, to that degree, does for funnel creation what WordPress did for website creation. But that only goes so far.
You can see that in the fine print.
To really master Clickfunnels, you have to pay $10K for a certification program or already be an experienced web developer. Also, most funnels, once created, require tweaking and maintenance. That’s why many funnel creators now typically charge $10 to $20k to build out a funnel and then $1,000 per month to maintain it. For more technical or high-end businesses — such as options traders or plastic surgeons — it can be more.
Why do businesses do it?
Well, the reason why is: funnels work. They break the selling process down into tiny, bite-sized chunks… and maintain enough of a connection with a prospect so the next step in a sales relationship is very natural. Instead of a 5,000 word HTML sales letter, you get a series of brief encounters — an initial offer to solve a specific problem or answer a specific querstion, a follow-up video, an invitation for some more information, and so on. It’s all very low-key… and, when done right, can be very effective.
Ryan Deiss of Digital Marketer calls it Customer Value Optimization.
Anyway, ClickFunnels is worth checking out. I’m using it now regularly… even though it means I still have to bug my programming friends for help now and then. The good news for copywriters and marketers is that, as usual, the funnels are only as good as the copy they are built with. The funnels are a new delivery modality for copy… the way landing pages and then Video Sales Letters were a decade ago… but the copy, and the marketing that lies behind it, are still what make the sale.