ClickFunnels membership site: is it worth it?
Establishing and running an online business is a more complex task than most people think. However, the Internet also gifted us with a plethora of online tools and platforms we can utilize to help us run businesses smoothly.
A huge number of online businesses are at least partly membership-based. This kind of business is arguably the most effective and profitable form. It lets creators make content that every customer pays for accordingly while still being affordable and safe.
There are plenty of platforms online specialized in membership sites, and ClickFunnels is one of them. According to HBR, companies that create a simple buying process through sales funnels are 62% more likely to gain a better sale because customers will be more content. But is it really the proper option for online business owners out there?
In this article, we’ll teach you about ClickFunnels, the concept of sales funnels, ClickFunnels membership site features, its advantages and disadvantages, pricing and the best alternatives available online.
ClickFunnels was established in 2014 as a marketing platform for online businesses based on the concept of sales funnels. Russel Brunson and Todd Dickerson founded it intending to help owners enhance their business and make more sales.
Before we get into more detail about the website itself, we should introduce you to the concept of sales funnels.
Sales funnels are a visual representation of the path a potential customer goes through. Their first step is the awareness of your business, and the last one is purchasing your services or products. Sales funnels represent both of those things and all the steps in between.
It’s called a sales funnel because it’s often interpreted as an inverted pyramid or funnel to illustrate the audience size and help businesses define every step of their sales process.
Today, ClickFunnels boasts over 100,000 customers with reported over $100 million in annual sales. ClickFunnels is well known for its simplicity and a significant number of possible integrations.
This platform lets you customize your business pages with different templates, makes it easy for you to establish marketing campaigns, and makes money from online products, affiliate campaigns, and membership websites.
On the other hand, because ClickFunnels strives to become an all-in-one solution for the online business, it can’t focus on each feature utterly, so it often has problems with some of them.
For example, as you’ll see later in the article, it’s simple and straightforward to create a membership website with ClickFunnels’ Funnel Builder Tool, but it still has issues with the way the platform functions.
Before we get into the benefits and disadvantages of this marketing platform, let’s take a look at some of the most prominent features of ClickFunnels’ membership sites.
As we mentioned before, ClickFunnels boasts plenty of features, so we’ll focus only on those most significant for a membership site.
The essential features that ClickFunnels possesses include drag-and-drop page builder, page customization, one-click upsells, order forms, custom CSS, and ClickFunnels membership areas. All of these features are essential for running an online business and especially for running a membership site.
The fact that the membership site you’ll create is directly connected to a sales funnel makes this platform a fantastic option for anyone who wants to build an online membership-based business.
We created a list of some of the most significant ClickFunnels features to help you run a membership site.
Every online business should have access to affiliate marketing. It’s one of the most effective marketing strategies for online businesses that are bound to make you money.
To put it simply, affiliate marketing is based on recommendations. Once someone is your affiliate, they promote your product to their audience and receive a predetermined percentage from the sales.
ClickFunnels comes with an integrated affiliate center where you can simply run your affiliate campaigns.
This is one of the tools that present an immense help for anyone running an online business because it’ll minimize the workload with its automation. This autoresponder, known as Follow-up Funnels, can be used for managing campaigns, email broadcasting, storing contacts and viewing who visits your membership site.
Another one of the crucial tools every online platform for business hosting should have is a variety of payment gateways, where ClickFunnels doesn’t disappoint.
The most prominent ones are PayPal, Stripe, BlueSnap, EasyPayDirect and others.
Creating a membership site utilizing ClickFunnels is straightforward. You can also find step-by-step tutorials on their website.
Once you create a ClickFunnels account and finish with all of the basic required steps, you can establish a ClickFunnels membership funnel.
The first step is to create a membership funnel. You can do this by clicking on the Build Funnel button from the menu or the dashboard. Next, click on Sell Your Product and then on Membership. Here you can name your Membership Funnels and click on Build Funnel to finish this step.
The second step is to choose a template and customize your membership funnel. First, select the Membership access step in the funnel, click on the Membership category, and select a Membership access page template.
Do the same with the Membership area by clicking on the Membership category and choosing a membership template.
The last step is the most exciting one — customization. Design your landing pages, sales pages and add the products you want to sell, so the overall experience is adequate for both you and your potential customers.
This is where you can add new lessons, lesson sections, set their names, customize page templates and set drip delays and advanced settings. Once you create your first lesson, you’re ready to start selling.
Membership websites have plenty of benefits on their own, the most significant one probably being that they’re the most profitable and effective way of making money from online products.
They can save a lot of your time and produce more income, regardless of whether your business is based on online coaching or courses with various themes.
Here are some of the most significant benefits a ClickFunnels membership website has.
No matter which funnel you choose to create, ClickFunnels is equipped with a drag-and-drop page builder that’ll simplify the whole process.
You won’t need to hire a professional to design your page and you don’t need any coding knowledge yourself to make it work.
ClickFunnels comes with several pre-built funnel templates you can choose from, thus simplifying the process even more.
Each template is customizable and you don’t need any coding knowledge to do so.
The designing process is further simplified by the Share Funnels tool. If you’re making a new page, you won’t have to start from scratch. With this tool, you can use funnels created by other users.
ClickFunnels helps you sell your product with various marketing tools and integrations you can utilize to improve your reach and your business.
The most significant marketing features and tools ClickFunnels incorporates are the inbuilt autoresponder, simply customizable pages, webinar integrations, shopping cart, SMTP and others.
As we mentioned before, ClickFunnels boasts many available payment gateways essential for every online business. Some of the payment options are PayPal, Stripe, BlueSnap, EasyPayDirect and others.
Every online platform has its advantages and disadvantages. As we mentioned before, ClickFunnels is built as an all-in-one platform for online businesses. But because it tries to become an encompassing tool for everything, it often fails to deliver the proper quality for every element.
If you want to run a membership-based site where you sell courses, ClickFunnels may not be the best option for you because it lacks some essential features. For example, it has no available quizzes, certificates or feedback, which are incredibly important for an online course.
You also can’t create a members area where users discuss various subjects and subscribers can’t ask you questions. You could create a Facebook group for this, but it’s always better when it’s integrated.
Unlike most online course platforms, ClickFunnels doesn’t offer unlimited video hosting and possible integrations with platforms like DropBox and Google Drive. Instead, video files aren’t supported by the website itself, so you’ll have to pay to use a separate hosting service from websites like Amazon or Vimeo.
Even then, uploading a video isn’t a simple process and they’re challenging to manage.
As mentioned before, ClickFunnels has an easy-to-use drag-and-drop builder and several customizable templates for funnels, which you don’t need any coding knowledge for.
However, there aren’t many customizations options.
You can easily change elements like the color, but the layout itself can’t be changed. Most online course platforms let you change your class layout to fit your requirements best. You may change this with a CSS code or a membership site plugin that allows customization.
If you run a business, you already know how crucial adequate customer support truly is. Unfortunately, the customer support at ClickFunnels is known to be inconsistent and counterproductive.
According to some customers, they tend to take too long to reply to requests and even then, they usually claim that the issue is on the user’s end.
Lousy customer support interaction is inconvenient for you, your site members and any future potential customers. This can affect both your income and reputation.
Always take a look at users’ reviews before opting for a platform to base your business on. The ClickFunnels website isn’t responsive and straightforward enough to use.
Main issues concern overly complicated elements, like the registration process and the payment process isn’t integrated, so first-time customers will have to spend more time than needed.
It’s not easy to use and the mobile version isn’t responsive and user-friendly either.
If you’re a proper online course maker, you know how significant progress tracking is. You should be able to track your customers’ progress and, most importantly, they should be able to track their progress.
Unfortunately, ClickFunnels doesn’t let you do this, which is terrible for you and your students. You should have a look at analytics and stats for your customers and they should be able to see their completion rate.
Another disadvantage ClickFunnels has is the inability to link individual lessons.
If you communicate with your site members via a Facebook group or a similar community and ask you a question, you can’t point them to an individual lesson via link.
You also can’t share a link to new lessons you added to a course or if you want to refer to one as a part of another lesson.
Managing users’ subscriptions can’t be done via ClickFunnels. Instead, if a member wishes to cancel their subscription, they’ll have to contact you via email to restrict access, and then you can cancel their subscription with a payment provider, like Stripe.
This is unsafe and needlessly complicated. If they claim to be an all-in-one website, they should take care of subscriptions for you.
Safety issues are a significant drawback for any online business. The platform you use to base your business on should be completely safe and functional.
In some cases, former members report having access to digital content even long after canceling their subscriptions. There are also cases of disappearing accounts and people who can’t gain admission to content at all. All of this is bad for your income and reputation.
Lastly, all of these issues can be fixed, but that’s not happening. There hasn’t been a significant update for the ClickFunnel membership funnels in a while, which should be a priority considering the number of reported complications.
In comparison to other online course platforms, ClickFunnels fails to enhance its performance accordingly.
Lastly, it’s time to discuss the pricing. Running any type of business is an investment. Even though online businesses based on digital products require less investment than regular companies, you should still watch out for what platform and tools you’re investing in and how profitable they are. ClickFunnels also lets you try a free 14-day trial.
Here are the three pricing options for ClickFunnels and what they entail.
- ClickFunnels — with the price of $97/month, this basic plan offers you limited options, like 20 sales funnels, 100 pages, one sub-user, three payment gateways and three domains, along with some other features. This is an excellent option if you’re just starting and don’t require any advanced and complex marketing features.
- ClickFunnels Platinum — the price of $297/month provides you with unlimited funnels and pages, three sub-users, nine payment gateways and nine domains, among other elements. You can opt for this pricing plan if you’re ready to use advanced digital marketing features and tools, like email lists and affiliate programs.
- Two Comma Club X — formerly known as the Etison LLC, with the price of $2,497//month, this plan gives you access to all the elements and features ClickFunnels has to offer. This pricing plan is only available to ClickFunnels users who generate more than $1,000,000 and you need an invitation for it.
If you’re not satisfied with ClickFunnels as a platform for your membership site, you can also go for some other options.
As with any online platform, there are plenty of alternatives available for ClickFunnels, and we dare to say that they’re an infinitely better option.
Here are some of the best ClickFunnel membership site examples.
GroupApp is a membership-based online platform where you can build communities and sell products.
While ClickFunnels focuses on website building and sales funnels, GroupApp focuses more on audience-building, community building, and services. GroupApp lets you sell digital products and create courses simply and effectively.
Its focus on community building also lets you run events and communicate with members effortlessly in real-time. You can even create different membership tiers and community channels, where all the members can communicate with you and with each other.
This way, you can build both a community and a support system, fundamental aspects of every online business.
You can make money by selling products or memberships while utilizing plenty of marketing tools that GroupApp has available. You can integrate with your favorite third-party tools, like Zapier, Zoom, Stripe, HubSpot, MailChimp and plenty of other ones.
The marketing tools you can use also entail coupons, trial periods for subscriptions, email marketing, detailed analytics, and the admin dashboard. GroupApp works on all devices and platforms.
GroupApp is also the more affordable option with the most affordable plan, the Starter plan, costing $19/month, while the Premium Plan costs only $140/month and gives you access to all the features GroupApp has to offer.
Teachable is an online course platform that lets you build a course website, add your courses, and sell the digital product simply. Your course websites and the courses themself are entirely customizable so that you can create an engaging and exciting environment.
Teachable supports videos and various other files, content drip, certificates, quizzes, course compliance and other things.
The platform is responsive and user-friendly, so you don’t have to worry about your businesses’ reputation. It also has impressive marketing tools that simplify your workload while also enhancing your reach and income.
When it comes to pricing, it’s entirely reasonable and affordable for most online content creators. Even though the free account has limited options, the paid plans start with only $39 per month.
Kajabi is another online course platform that strives to become an all-in-one solution for digital content creators and entrepreneurs. However, unlike ClickFunnels, it doesn’t fail to deliver on most of its promises.
Users can add multiple file-formats to their customizable courses because everything is integrated. This way, members can enjoy a fully responsive, user-friendly, and professional-looking website that will undoubtedly positively impact your online business.
Kajabi also lets you create a website and build sales funnels, along with giving you access to plenty of helpful marketing tools that can help you generate more income.
When it comes to pricing, Kajabi isn’t as affordable as other options. The most affordable pricing plan will cost you $149 per month and the most popular one costs $199 per month. On the other hand, it has a lot of valuable features.
Thinkific is most similar to Teachable out of all the online course platforms on this list. It focuses only on course creation and marketing, unlike Kajabi and ClickFunnels. This means that you can’t build a website or a page with it.
However, it’s still an excellent option for an online course platform because it boasts plenty of features useful for course creators. It lets you build and customize courses, hosts videos, have assignments and quizzes, lets you drip content and build a community.
The pricing is similar to Teachable, with reasonable and affordable prices. The free plan has limited options, but the Basic plan is only $49 per month and the Pro Plan will set you back $99 per month.
Making a membership website is a complex enough task on its own, but the online platform that you choose to host your membership site on should make the whole process as smooth and hassle-free as possible.
Even though ClickFunnels strives to be an all-in-one solution for online businesses in general, it fails to deliver on every tool and feature it incorporates ultimately. Sure, it possesses plenty of exceptional features, but there seem to be too many problems with almost all of them.
This is why we strongly recommend trying out one of the best alternatives available online — GroupApp. As we mentioned before, GroupApp is a membership-based website to sell services, build communities and make money from them. Sign up for GroupApp today to try it out!