Let's have a serious discussion about Clickfunnels pricing and what's going on behind-the-scenes. There are a few things you really need to know.
In this post we'll take a look at two things:
- The somewhat straightforward pricing for this software program
- And tons hidden costs & headaches that can also affect your bottom line.
Okay my fellow internet marketers...
Let's dive in!
How Much Does Clickfunnels Cost?
It is hard to get a Clickfunnels pricing answer from their sales page. In order to have access to a Clickfunnels account you are urged to sign up for their 14-day free trial.
There are different plans Clickfunnels offers such as:
- $19 per month plan (which barely offers any functionality)
- $97 per month plan (which is where most people start)
- All the way up to a $297 per month plan for experienced users
On paper, the Clickfunnels pricing structure seems pretty straightforward.
All of this depends on which bells and whistles you'd like such as:
- Custom domains
- The One Funnel Away training
- A sales funnel Funnel Builder
- Builder Secrets
- The Etison Suite
- and so on...
There are massive issues I faced while building out my sales funnels with this software. Massive issues that cost me big time...
How do you factor in lost revenue into pricing?
Keep reading and I'll explain...
Biggest Clickfunnels Pricing Problem: Poor User Experience
First and foremost, the member’s area doesn't allow you much, if any, customization at all. There's no deep linking URL's to the different modules and lessons. Overall, it was a poor user experience for me.
I'm trying to provide the best experience to my visitors as possible. Because of this, it's best to have some sort of functionality to change things on your website.
It's tremendously frustrating because if you have the desire to make a few custom changes on your site you're outta luck.
Okay, i get it... That's just one complaint. If it was that ONE thing I might have my Clickfunnels account still to this day...
However, things only seemed to get worse as I got deeper and deeper into this landing pages software.
Unfortunately The Problems Just Kept Coming
I run a membership site that has a lot of content. It can get a lot of traffic throughout the year so the best plan to allow users to find specific content would be to add a search function to the site - right?
When I added the search function to the member's area, it crashed the site. I reached out to their support and was told, “We'll work on it at some point.” And after 2 months, it never got done.
Having a search function seems like normal thing a website owner should be able to include on their website. I get it that Clickfunnels is mainly focused on sales... However having the ability to ad a search bar SEEMS like it would be an easy thing to fix...
Customer Support Nightmare
Some of my paying customers were getting locked out of their membership. For some reason - who knows...
People with an active membership subscription would simply find their access canceled by Clickfunnels - even though they were still on a monthly subscription.
Just to make things clear...
- People were still being charged
- And they couldn't access my service!
How do you factor that cost into this Clickfunnels pricing review?
Guess what happened...
Customers left and I was then filled with worry that this may end up happening to more customers and members whom it had taken me years to build trust with...
Want to FLY to their seminar to try and get support?
I physically went to their support team while at their live seminar and sat down to show them the problems I was having.
Seriously, I had to physically go to them because they weren't responding via e-mail or they said, “No, that's on your end. Oh, that's not our problem.”
It’s that kind of ‘pass the buck’ support that really aggravates me as a customer.
Allow me to paint a picture for you...
You hear about the promise of the "One Funnel Away" product offered by Russell Brunson.
You like Russell and think, "Well maybe he's right... Maybe I am only one funnel away from sales."
So you buy in and after a few minor bumps along the way you DO end up making sales.
But THEN you begin to have glitches that are in explainable.
Customers reach out to you for help, and you in turn reach out to Clickfunnels for help...
Sadly you never get the answer your looking for from customer support and YOUR customers start to drop off one by one...
That's exactly what happened to me...
Clickfunnels Pricing Considerations - The Financial Impact
Though they did a temporary fix for me on this glitch, it was never fully resolved.
The final straw was when I found out that dozens, possibly hundreds, of people had access to my membership content but didn’t have an active subscription. Or, if they did, their subscription was canceled.
For some reason, Clickfunnels did not pick this up and continued to give them access. Some people for over a year! It's $444 dollars per year per person.
Things turned from a clickfunnels pricing issue into a massive loss of cash flow due to this clunky sales funnels software program.
How Much Cash Did Not Account For?
I've found over ten thousand dollars that have been dropped by Clickfunnels. From my research, it looks like there are more people in that same situation. So, I decided that was it.
Once it hit my pocketbook and it was financially affecting me, it was worth it to move.
Plus, people were getting access to my content for free and as a membership site owner that’s not ok. Clickfunnels doesn't accidentally give their software to people for free!
Moving websites in content management systems is always really challenging. It's a last resort. But I had reached that point.
A quick recap of the problems I faced with Clickfunnels:
- Shoddy customer service
- A lack of caring in customer service
- The in ability to add a search function to my website
- Membership access problems
- Membership billing problems
- Membership content lock-down problems
- General issues with simple customization
- A general lack of them caring about their customer overall...
So, where did I move to?
I moved to a WordPress based system that allowed me to replicate that membership funnel in WordPress.
I cover the entire process of how to build your own ClickFunnels alternative in this post here. And it's a 100% free tutorial!
You see, after dealing with their lack of support, I realized I needed to be in a situation where I could have more control over my website.
- What if you need to change the background color?
- What if you need to run a special one time thing?
- What if you want to tie in other tracking systems into your website to help increase sales?
Imagine you were in a sales job.
Your talent in sales kept getting better and better because you grow and learn more as you move through your career.
However, what if the main tool you used to make sales was faulty? Namely, your telephone...
How much money could you earn if part of the time you couldn't hear your customers or phone calls go dropped?
What if you left voice mails or texts that somehow mysteriously disappeared?
You'd change phone systems! And this is exactly why I needed to change things completely for my business. My website is my lifeblood in my business.
Here's the systems I'm using to make it all work together:
- Thrive Themes
- Thrive Cart
Open Source vs Closed Systems
I needed to be the captain of my ship. I don’t want to be a passenger on someone else's ship that’s going to a destination that isn’t where I want to go.
I'm using Thrive themes in WordPress. Thrive is fantastic for building the funnels on the front end but you also have their apprentice system. I've been a user of thrive themes for years now and love it!
That's not to say it isn't with out it's own small bugs and annoyances - but anytime something pops up they have solid customer support and a solution isn't too hard to find.
The Benefits of Thrive Themes
Thrive allows you to create a module and lesson based layout. Now, I have different modules and lessons for each of the products that are opened up new members.
Here's a short list of everything that Thrive Themes offers:
- A super easy to use page builder
- Tons of easy to customize themes
- The ability to run split tests to help increase lead conversions
- The ability to run split test to help increase sales conversions
- Tons of templates for high-converting landing pages
- Tons of templates for high-converting sales pages
- The ability to integrate quizzes and tests into your sales funnels
- Countdown timers to to build urgency & lock down content after a set time
- An easy way to gather testimonials
- Easy logic for widgets to be shown / not shown on certain pages and posts
- The ability to split test pretty much anything
- Pop up ribbons
- Exit intent pop ups
- Timer delayed pop ups
- Easy logic for managing comments on your blog
- Ticket and forum support (which I've found to be very helpful)
- Easy integration with dozens of email and payment services.
- and TONS more cool stuff
Deliverability of Digital Products
I've got a search function that will deploy people directly to the lessons that I want them to go to. Plus, I'm working on adding a forum and playing with the look in order to make it a great user experience.
When our customers are paying $37.00 a month, or $1.30 per day, I take that very seriously. I want to make sure that they're getting the best possible experience. That’s why we've spent over two and a half months developing our theme.
There are ten different people who worked on it. We hired migration specialists and spent hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars to make our migration a well-thought-out idea.
I'm using ThriveCart, which is a very simple shopping cart that allows me to run my funnel.
My particular funnel starts with an opt-in, then moves to a dollar trial, to a membership, to an annual upsell.
Check out this post that shares the details of this membership funnel, here. It’s working very well for us right now.
Also just so you know:
- ThriveCart is it's own thing.
- Thrive Themes is something separate.
- Yes they name of the this shopping cart/checkout system may seem like it's owned by Thrive Themes but it is not...
Active Campaign & ActiveMember360
For access, I'm using ActiveCampaign combined with Active Member 360.
ActiveCampaign is an e-mail management system that is tagging based. It's similar to Infusionsoft (which I don't recommend) but it's very simple to use. It’s also very user-friendly.
The plugin uses the tags that are inside of active campaign to decide whether a specific user has access to certain content. A new user will get access to week one. Then, when their week trial is over, they get access to month one.
A user who's six months in can make their next payment and then get access to month number seven. All of that drip content is done very intelligently through Active Campaign and Active Member 360.
No Looking Back
It was intense to make this move... And I enlisted the help of Dave from Integrate Pro to manage the migration and help with all the bits and pieces of the new integration.
He is a badass and I can't recommend his membership site integration help enough!!!
No More Closed System Headaches
All in all we moved the platform, content management system, email management, and theme. And I'm so happy and thankful that I did. We’re building a membership system and a long-term business.
I'm now on a platform where I can continue to add functionality. That's really important to me. I highly recommend creating an option that is not based on click funnels. They let me down and it has cost me thousands of dollars and months of my time.
Clickfunnels Is For Easy Products
Listen, I can't badmouth Clickfunnlels all together.
There are top internet marketers like Russell Brunson himself who swear by this product and for good reason.
In plain English,
It works for what it works for.
This means if you have an easy product like an eBook or a simple 10 video course then you'll find Clickfunnels to be well worth your money.
However when you want to have more control over custom domains, integrating a new affiliate program or even doing a membership site then you can expect to have issues.
All that being said, let's take a look at Clickfunnels pricing along with some of the extras you'll get.
Clickfunnels Pricing: Funnel Builder Secrets VS Etison Suite Plan
There are some terms we need to define and simplify in the world of Clickfunnels.
This way you'll know where to start before diving into building your sales funnels.
Here's the short answer...
Just get their basic program (the free trial that turns into the $97 / month plan) the one that has the Funnel Builder Secrets in it.
The Etison Suite plan is for people who have tons of:
- And overall content
This costs you as much as $297 / month because you get unlimited sales funnels and other aspects for unlimited usage.
I am certain there are only .1% of people reading this right now who would actually need the full Etison Suite Plan for their business.
This is for two reasons:
- Most everyone is a beginner and the Suite Plan would be more than what you need
- The few people who have tons of products will also need lots of customization on their website. And as we learned earlier in this post... If you want the ability to change things in Clickfunnels then you'll want to look elsewhere.
Clickfunnels Pricing: Go With The Funnel Builder Secrets If You're Starting Out
The point is, beginners should consider the basic funnel builder plan because that's what you need to get good at - building funnels.
When you are first starting out, you are learning as you create. Clickfunnels does do a pretty good job at teaching its students not just how to use the software, but also some of the overarching reasons and principals behind WHY things work the way they do...
In essence, you'll learn basic customer buying psychology AND how to structure your sales funnels around buying behavior.
THAT right there may be the best thing about Clickfunnels. And in my opinion it may be worth a few months of $97... just not 12 months, that's for sure.
Clickfunnels Pricing: Go With The Etison Suite Plan If You Like This Software
Let's say you bought into Russell Brunson and his pitch for the Funnel Builder Secrets plan for $97 per month.
Let's also say you've tried it out now for 3 or 6 months and are having tons of success with the product.
Furthermore, let's say you are making LOTS of money and now you NEED to upgrade to the bigger plan because you NEED to grow your overall business.
Then - and only then. Would I recommend doing the full Etison Suite for 12 months and beyond for your sales funnels.
Building a sales funnel is difficult when you don't understated all the technical aspects that need to link together in order for it to run smoothly.
Kudos to Russell Brunson for helping internet marketers navigate and simplify this complicated process with easy to follow funnel scripts to build out each clickfunnel.
However, if you have even an intermediate knowledge of how the technical aspects of sales funnels work together then I'd highly recommend looking elsewhere - as I've detailed above.
That being said, here's the breakdown of what each plan will offer you.
Clickfunnel Pricing Plan Differences
The $97 / Month Plan
- The ability to share funnels you make with others
- Number of sales funnels you can build: 20
- Pages of content allowed: 100
- Team Members / Accounts With Admin Privileges: 1
- Payment Gateways: 3
- Number of allowed domains: 3
- Follow up funnels: none
- Support: Chat
- Have your sales funnel peer reviewed: Nope
- "Funnel Flix" (Courses and trainings): Yes
The $297 / Month Plan
- The ability to share funnels you make with others
- Number of sales funnels you can build: Unlimited
- Pages of content allowed: Unlimiited
- Team Members / Accounts With Admin Privileges: 3
- Payment Gateways: 9
- Number of allowed domains: 9
- Follow up funnels: Unlimited
- Support: "Priority Support" (whatever that means)
- Have your sales funnel peer reviewed: Yes
- "Funnel Flix" (Courses and trainings): Yes
The Affiliate Program Problem
By now, you know that I have serious mixed emotions about Clickfunnels and how their pricing is laid out.
Yet there is another layer to all this pricing stuff worth mentioning...
And this Cickfunnels pricing review would not be complete if I didn't mention this interesting caveat.
Clickfunnels does have the ability to become an affiliate with them.
The reason why this is a "problem" is because it's started to become somewhat of a self-eating monster in the sales funnel world of internet marketing.
You now have people using the funnel scripts inside Clickfunnels to make funnels to sell Clickfunnels to other people who wish to build funnels.
Sounds crazy right?
But this what's been happening...
Clickfunnels Mega Payout
Ready for this?
You can earn as much as 40% of on-going revenue from people who sign up via your affiliate link in for Clickfunnels.
Now, that SOUNDS good on the surface, but it's actually brought a lot of hype and confusion into the would of Clickfunnels.
If you already know how to build a sales funnel online then building one that sells a product like Clickfunnels is very tempting.
Why would you spend all the hard work to create a membership sit when an ongoing revenue product has already been created for you?
Why not just use one of their funnel scripts and turn the product back around on it self?
If you know what you are doing, this is a way for very experienced internet marketers to build self liquidating funnels to generate cash flow.
There is just one massive problem...
And that one massive problem is that it muddies the water for everyone.
Building a funnel is not exactly easy... However, when you have so many people promoting the same thing then they will preach to you about how easy it is.
"It's easy to build a funnel" or "It's only a week's worth of work"
Which in my opinion is all bull...
Just be careful with where you are getting your information from.
Pay attention to who's selling what and what they are saying. You'll be glad you did.
The Bottom Line
If you're trying to sell an e-book or have a simple course with three modules and four lessons in each module, Clickfunnels is going to work perfectly. It also works well for one-time products.
All in all, I think Thrive themes is a better option because you have full control. It does require some WordPress skills and possibly digging into WordPress more than you'll want to. But overall, it's way better.
Luckily, you can find WordPress developers in the Philippines, India, and eastern Europe for $5 to $10 per hour. And, they're really good at what they do. Upwork.com is a great place to find freelancers too.
I committed to the process, and now that I’m on the other end, I'm thankful I did. If you're just starting a membership system, consider going straight to Thrive themes and a WordPress plugin to manage that access.
I'm happy to answer any of your questions in the comments if you have them.
At this point, the membership system is working brilliantly. I'm really excited about the future.