In my never ending quest to find the best sales funnel software available, I dove into the battle of Clickfunnels vs WordPress and have come to a definitive conclusion on the best sales funnel builder.
So first, what is a funnel system?
The sales funnel (also known as a revenue funnel or sales process) refers to the buying process that companies lead customers through when purchasing products. The definition also refers to the process through which a company finds, qualifies, and sells its products to buyers.
It usually looks something like this:
In our example above your potential customers are sent to a sales page, and if they click the Add To Cart or Buy Now button on this page they’re shown the Order Page where they can submit their payment details and buy.
From there, instead of being shown a Thank You page they are then shown a series of sales pages to get them to buy more and increase their average order value. This is where sales funnel software comes into the picture.
This is a game-changer and can double your businesses’ revenue instantly from the same amount of traffic you’re already sending to it.
With a funnel system like this you can easily turn what would have been a $20 order into a $100 order.
It will also allow you to cover the cost of your traffic and customer acquisition right on the front end. So if your products or services are on the lower end of the pricing spectrum, you will go from losing money or barely making anything on that first sale to making a profit.
Using specialized funnel software that’s dedicated to creating these pages and accepting payments it becomes a lot easier for every business, regardless of their tech skills, to create a sales funnel.
For example, many of the best sales funnel software available will create all of those pages for you, and link them all together in the correct order, with just a few clicks of your mouse. Then you just need to edit the pages and replace their default text with your own. Simple.
The Best Sales Funnel Software in 2019
The problem here is that there are many sales funnel software platforms available and every one of them would have you believe that their offering is the very best sales funnel builder…
Another problem you may encounter is asking around about the “best sales funnel software”. If you ask 100 people their opinion on sales funnel software you’re likely going get 100 different answers, and each will have their own valid reasoning.
Personally, I’m easily distracted by “shiny objects” and new marketing toys so I’ve pretty much tried them all.
Here is a small sample of the sales funnel software I’ve personally tested:
- CartFlows (WordPress funnel software)
- Brizy (WordPress funnel software)
- Elementor (WordPress funnel software)
- Thrive Themes – Thrive Architect (WordPress funnel software)
This is by no means the complete list, I’ve tested so many I’ve forgotten many of them.
Here’s the thing: not all of these funnel builders are a complete solution.
Some of them just build pages, with no ability to accept payments.
Some of them just take payments, with no ability to create the pages.
And some of them can build the pages, accept payments, and even help you deliver digital content if you sell training or coaching.
So it’s important to know your needs when weighing your options.
It’s also important since the pricing offered by these services is often not cheap.
Which brings us to the big debate:
Clickfunnels Vs WordPress
Whenever the topic of funnel software is brought up there is a debate regarding Clickfunnels Vs WordPress.
This is always a heated topic because many people perceive WordPress funnel solutions to be less expensive.
And they enjoy having a high degree of control. They “own” these pages since everything is hosted on the hosting of their choice.
In our private Facebook group we decided to run a little experiment to determine the best funnel builder, and this means: easiest to use and most cost effective.
Naturally since Clickfunnels costs $97 per month everyone guessed that a WordPress based solution would be the clear winner.
The results might surprise you…
The WordPress Funnel
To recommend a WordPress based solution we need to purchase the tools to build it… there’s just no way around it.
These tools all have an upfront cost.
The current setup I’m using for testing is Elementor page builder & CartFlows checkout system.
This costs $347 for the landing page builder and the cart system per year.
Plus another $14 per month for fast WordPress hosting and Active Campaign email autoresponder using the cheapest plan.
That’s $515 per year. (baseline, since the active campaign cost will rise if you get over 500 contacts)
Okay, that’s the cost of doing business. An investment.
It’s still $649 per year cheaper than Clickfunnels at this point.
But here’s where things get tricky…
If you are selling any form of online training, courses, coaching, or information you need a way to securely deliver your content and keep it safe from pirates and people who haven’t paid for it.
While building the WordPress Funnel I tested several membership LMS plugins (learning management systems) and membership WordPress themes and I’m not happy with any of them.
The UI’s are crowded and confusing for students, they’re slow to load, and worst of all…
They are a pain in the ass to setup (and this is putting it lightly).
In order for me to be fully confident in the WordPress solution, I have to be sure that everyone, regardless of tech experience, can set it up without too much trouble and in a relatively quick amount of time.
After all, Clickfunnels can literally build the entire funnel from top to bottom with a few clicks of your mouse.
So as much as I wanted to put together an “all inclusive” WordPress funnel solution that we can all use for funnels and product delivery, that may not happen.
Membership areas are not tech friendly.
Factoring in the time cost (which is huge) to put this together, the cost of the LMS, and the cost of the actual membership plugin that does the security… it’s getting tough to recommend this path.
Here’s the membership area cost breakdown:
- Wishlist member security plugin: $197 per year
- Learndash $159 (on sale from $199)
- Social learner theme: $179 per year
That’s an extra $535 per year.
Add our $515 per year for the page builder plugin, the cart system, and the email autoresponder together with the membership software and you’re looking at $1,050 per year.
That’s only $114 per year cheaper than Clickfunnels and we’re not even taking into consideration the SERIOUS amount of time it takes to set this up yourself, or maintain it.
A developer would charge hundreds or even thousands of dollars to set this up for you because it isn’t easy.
If we try to cut the membership component from our “all inclusive” WordPress funnel ecosystem and instead use a 3rd party service for the members area the numbers get even uglier…
Teachable: $99 per month (minimum plan to use our own cart system, without our own cart we can’t do upsells.)
Thinkific: $99 per month (again, this is the minimum plan that will allow our own cart for upsells… **special note: this is my favorite LMS yet. The user experience is perfect and no other system even comes close to the level of ease of use this has for course creators. You can add your content in 1/3 the time and less than half the “clicks” of all other platforms.)
Kajabi: $149 per month –LIMITED– to just 3 products LOL… this is almost unbelievable at this price point… It’s technically an all-in-one platform with landing pages and email too… but they are terrible.
I hated Kajabi’s landing page builder and didn’t even bother with the emails. There is a good reason 99% of the marketers who use Kajabi for their courses also use a separate service for their funnel pages and email.
The student course interface is clean, but it’s also fairly time consuming to setup. While it’s not quite as bad to setup as the WordPress membership areas I tested, it’s not much better at all.
If you’re keeping count… our WordPress funnel solution with our own membership area will cost at least $1,050 per year without counting the time and energy.
If we instead use Teachable or Thinkific, we’re looking at a total of $1,703 per year.
Yes, I know there are a million different versions of the tools I mentioned here… and I’ve tried/tested 90% of them.
The tools listed here are the best at what they do for the price.
I’ve spent countless hours comparing and using them.
So right now, if you’re serious about running traffic and making money I’m not seeing the value in building your sales funnel in WordPress.
With a program like Clickfunnels you can do it in 2 clicks and 90% faster (literally it’s three times faster to launch a new funnel than every WordPress funnel solution I’ve ever tested).
The Sales Funnel Software Conclusion:
If you’re a hobbyist, someone who isn’t trying to make consistent revenue… then it might be worth sinking the time and energy into it.
But still, for me anyway, the tech time/energy/setup/maintenance/management just isn’t worth saving $114 per year. My time is worth much more than that.
You might want to also consider that when you’re using your own solution if something breaks you don’t have a “go to” support team…
You have several moving parts with a WordPress funnel that will each have their own support teams. Some of the support teams for these applications are great, while others are miserable to work with… and then there are others that don’t offer support at all.
As an example: a quick stop in the Elementor Facebook group will show you how many frustrated people there are waiting for WEEKS to get an answer from support.
I also noticed a disturbing trend in that groups’ members berating less-techie people who dare to ask questions or need assistance figuring things out. Not all of them, there were plenty of helpful folks… but I saw a good mix of this in there and going un-moderated.
When you piece together systems like this it also opens the door to pieces breaking when one component gets an update. This is quite common with WordPress, actually.
As entrepreneurs we’re constantly surrounded by shiny objects that can and will derail us and hurt our progress and momentum.
I can’t recommend that anyone add a system like this with so many moving parts to their business.
It is the ultimate shiny object, and you can easily find yourself stuck, second-guessing your choices, and finding yourself not getting anywhere.