About a year ago I joined Clickfunnels in order to grow my membership program with a new membership marketing funnel. I loved the ability to test funnels quickly and to get my landing and sales pages up. The challenge came in the actual delivery of the membership site and their lack of support.
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.
Before leaving, I did do a video where I showed inside my Clickfunnels membership site, which you can watch here, if you would like.
Unfortunately, The List Just Kept on Growing
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.
Some of my paying customers were getting locked out of their membership. For some reason.
people with an active membership subscription would simply find their access canceled by Clickfunnels - even though they were still on a monthly subscription.
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.
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.
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 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.
So, where did I move to?
I moved to a WordPress based system that allowed me to replicate that membership funnel in WordPress. After dealing with their lack of support, I realized I needed to be in a situation where I could hire developers and be in control.
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. Check out the link in the video.
If you'd prefer to listen to this content from the video above, play it or download it from the podcast episode below.
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.
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 Thrive Cart, 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 video on our funnel. It’s working very well for us right now.
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!!!
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.
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 theme is a better option because you have full control. It does require some WordPress skills and possibly bringing on a WordPress developer.
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.
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Miles is a full time internet marketer who sells information products and a niche membership program with his wife, Melanie. Together they have created a lifestyle business that allows them true location independence and this blog where you get to see behind the scenes and see how they have built their online business from scratch.