Email marketing & funnel explained
A 10-to-1 rule of email based project management
Imagine for a moment that you are managing a project with ten other participants. Let’s say that an important change to the subsequent phase of the project has just been agreed with the sponsors and you need to communicate it to the project team. If you do it via email, this may be the result:
9 people read the email
8 people file the email (in their private folders, thereby duplicating effort)
7 people are interrupted in their work or thoughts when the email arrives
6 people will never be able to find the email again
5 people didn’t actually need to know about the change
4 people joining the project in the next phase wouldn’t have received the email
3 people will be able to find the email again, should they need to
2 people will check back to the email at a later date when they need the information
1 of them will understand the email in context, be able to find it at a later date and action it
All is not lost, of course. You can send the email again at a later date, project participants can forward the email on to new members of the project team and the message can be re-iterated and explained in meetings and conference calls.
But why not consider augmenting your project communication tools (and hence your project delivery capability) with a collaborative tool in order to:
Cut down on emails and time spent in meetings
Manage a single version of important project information
Limit the amount of filing done by individuals
Preserve important information in a searchable collection
Make communication within (and outside of) the project team more effective
Make it easy to keep project documentation and reporting up to date
Sending Loud and Clear
Let us say that you have never sent an email before and you are thinking of introducing your products and services to potential buyers. The first impression is always the best foot inside the door of any business. Therefore you want to ensure that an introductory letter is prepared. This should be brief and highlight the features and benefits of your business to the prospect.
Once your letter is prepared, make sure it is edited properly before sending it to your contacts. Depending on the nature of your business, you should target people who would be interested in your offer. In order to determine this, you could look at the yellow pages within your neighborhood or community,
After you have identified your market you are now ready to make your first communication with them. This communication is referred to as an email marketing campaign, but first, we need to seek permission from these contacts. Many would ask the question: “what is email marketing”? We will now look at how an Email Marketing Campaign aids in this communication…
Email Marketing Campaign
This form of communication is one of the best ways to communicate effectively with your contacts. It is a planned and organized way of sending emails, newsletters, updates or marketing information to your customers and prospects in a timely manner.
Time-based emails are normally automated and sensitive. Sending an email at the wrong time could negatively impact the desired response. On the other hand, sending emails regularly and on a timely basis could improve the possibility of future business between parties.
With that being said, there are 4 important things to look for in an effective email marketing campaign.
Who is sending the email- It is legally mandated that contact information is affixed to your email campaign. This adds credibility to your message and creates trust about your business.
Content- This form of communication is different from ordinary emails because it is specific to your business. Whether you are sending a newsletter, or you are informing your contacts about an offer or promotion, it must be clear in your mail.
Action- Your email must have an action at the end for it to be effective. These actions are normally linked to a sales page, an offer or a giveaway. If one is sending a newsletter, it must be very informative and entertaining. It should highlight community happenings, events or notices.
Opt In Features- Unfortunately, there could be a time when your contact is no longer interested in your offers or business. He or she should have an option to exit your program. It is mandated by law to have your unsubscribe button at the end of your email marketing campaigns.
Now that you have ascertained who to send these emails to, you are ready to dispatch them. Your list should have contact persons who agreed to receive your first emails. Once the client agrees, you should create a template email that indicates you recently received permission to send emails. After the prospective customer receives and clicks the “subscribe” link in the email, they are automatically added to your list.
You can build various lists within your email marketing account. This enables you to send relevant offers and information to each list, for example, “work from home list” “employed list” “students list” “Customers list” “Prospect list” and so on.
If you did not get permission, in the beginning, you should not send an email marketing campaign until you at least first communicate with your prospective contact.
The purpose of this preliminary exercise is to reduce the likelihood of unsubscribed contacts on your list. Although you cannot control when someone decides to unsubscribe from your program, there is an accepted ratio that will not send a red flag to your email marketing providers.
If there are too many unsubscribes and spam report, your account could be terminated or BLOCKED. Therefore, it is reiterated and advisable that you get permission prior to sending your first email marketing campaign.
When you have satisfied the above requirement and are ready to send your emails, you will be asked some questions by the provider. This is a further attempt to advise you of the laws of email marketing and also to ensure policies are adhered to with respect to a method you used in garnering your first contact list. In addition, it is an opportunity to welcome you to the email marketing program.
Now that you have satisfied the above criteria, you are ready to send your first email marketing campaign. However, after sending your first campaign, there is no need to manually time and follow through. Setting up an email marketing campaign allows you to set the time and frequency of trigger emails. These trigger mails are called autoresponders.
Autoresponders are time-sensitive emails that are sent out automatically to your contact list. The purpose of this smart way of communicating is to keep your list updated and fresh. It also provides life to your business as it triggers a follow up once someone receives, opens or reads your emails. You can always change how you want your autoresponders to be sent.
Your email marketing plan should allow you to create signup forms which could be embedded on your website. The smart way to build contacts is to affix your email marketing link in your personal email. Please be reminded that it MUST have an opt-in link to allow the subscriber to enter or leave your program at any time. THIS IS MANDATORY.
The key to a successful email campaign is to keep your emails unique, short and very informative. Always remember to communicate your intentions with a link to solicit further actions. Once you set a time for the email to be sent, you will be able to get feedback. Let’s use similar initiative to review the entire purpose of email marketing.
We have looked at how to create an email marketing campaign by preparing for the first authorized recipients of the campaign. We further looked at creating an effective autoresponder and now we will need a feedback from our program to tweak our marketing efforts.
Fortunately, most email marketing software have tracking capabilities similar to Google analytics. This tells you the demography, affinity, and habits of your target markets. The software also indicates who opens your email, unsubscribe or take action by clicking on a link and so on. Having reviewed all the relevant details of the work that you put into your email marketing campaign, you will be able to change your timing, improve your product information, or increase your list to improve your chances of conversion in the future.
Your company’s Email Marketing campaign should set the pace for your business expansion while you concentrate on another aspect of your business. The good thing about email marketing is that when the entity is not open for business, email marketing is still open 24/7. That is the beauty about online marketing and technology.
Jon Oringer once quoted: “The best ways of marketing were email and banner advertising, but I needed images… and they were very expensive.”
Today most of our email marketing plans are equip with free images and templates. Combine all in your email marketing platform and create magic!
One reader once sent this message: “So here I was browsing this website and after couple seconds, a contact form jumped out at me, I just couldn’t resist! Pretty smart, right?”
ClickFunnels review & alternatives: Best landing page sales funnel builders CF One Funnel Away Challenge by ClintLenard
ClickFunnels is the landing page builder that’s pioneering online sales funnels and has become quite a well-known brand in the world of digital marketing.
Currently, based on user reviews & product features, ClickFunnels and GrooveFunnels are leading the race among the various sales funnel builders and online selling systems for ecommerce, informational products and affiliate marketing campaigns etc.
Checkout full list of top 7 online sales funnel builders & landing pages software for various purposes and compare their features.
While every sales funnel creator has its pro and cons, Click Funnels is backed by well known internet entrepreneurs and solid support community. We recommend taking their paid trainings- One Funnel Away Challenge or their free trainings – ClickFunnel’s Dot Com Secrets Book (you only pay for shipping) or ClickFunnel’s free online 5 days lead challenge before starting with them.
Editor’s Review: Dot Com Secrets, “The Underground Playbook For Growing Your Company Online” is a free online marketing & sales funnels training book published by Russell Brunson, owner of Click Funnels – where he exposes the strategies on how any business owner can use a simple process to improve their traffic, conversions, and sales online using Sales Funnels Secrets, Funnels In The Value Ladder, Funnel Scripts, and Proven Frameworks to drawing your perfect lead and customer avatar.
Sales funnel software like CF, Groove funnels, Kajabi, Kartra, LeadPages, Builderall, OptimizePress etc. offer users with a holistic opportunity in their sales and marketing efforts (and results) using various marketing channels & assets like social media campaigns, landing pages and email etc.
In this review of ClickFunnels, we will dig into its pros and cons to determine if it’s worth trying this business marketing software.
ClickFunnels Review Highlights
Here’s a brief list of ClickFunnels outstanding features & highlights
-Founded by Russell Brunson, a very successful online marketing entrepreneur & author of two bestselling books: DotCom Secrets and Expert Secrets.
-There are currently 70,000 paying members of CF. Many people love ClickFunnels because it does help make money. More specifically, it helps turns their site visitors into leads and leads into customers. So, there’s no doubt into why popularity of CF and its holistic sales funnels building & marketing approach and ability has soared in no time.
-ClickFunnel’s good landing page builder has an easy drag-and-drop editor
-ClickFunnels saves you the time and energy of doing immersive tasks with technological proficiency and/or an array of third-party applications. This is a key aspect of ClickFunnels success. It makes it easy to duplicate pages, and you can also save templates for future use.
-Its integrated with tools that allow you to capture emails and take payments right within its software. The higher priced plan also comes with its own email autoresponder!
-ClickFunnels is best known for its ability to make money for the user. They simplify the process to create an account, put content, build landing pages fast, design sales funnels and take payments. Also, you need only a few hours to figure out most of the website.
-ClickFunnels has vast experience when it comes to API integrations and with Zapier and other 3rd party apps. Their Email autoresponders, payment processors, and WordPress plugin that facilitates the adding of ClickFunnels pages to your WordPress website are very reliable and easy to manage.
-The Built-in A/B split testing is a very useful tool. It’s simple, just duplicate a page, make your changes, and choose from one that is generating more traffic or conversions -version A or B.
– Overall Easy to learn and use
– Comprehensive All in one tool, focused on making its users more money
– Generally, having things in a centralized order inside CF is great: It makes it easy to build landing pages, create forms and order forms, as well as trigger emails all from one platform. These features are important in saving you time and money. It also spares you the resources you could have spent on developers, CSS, hosting configurations, and so on.
– Decent Value for money
– The lower-tiered CF account at $97/month is a good investment when you consider what you’re getting for a StartUp account. If your website draws more than 20,000 visitors and have over 100 pages, then ClickFunnels Platinum package might be best suited for you.
– New users can benefit from a 2-week free trial to see how it works.
-Is it Overpriced?
The price of ClickFunnels is a drawback for many people. They price their packages at either standard $97 a month or platinum $297 a month. This is not a major disadvantage, and it can instead serve as a great investment for your business, and as we previously said, you get a good package for it. Even their standard plan is considerably expensive when compared to competitors like LeadPages, Unbounce etc. However, CF comes with more comprehensive all-in-one features package.
-Some hyped-up marketing
They have a ClickFunnels ecosystem and Facebook Group consisting of over 100k members who tend to brag a lot. However, there are many of them actually successfully using it as well.
This one is based more on the community rather than on ClickFunnels itself. Though you can easily customize extensively within ClickFunnels, you can also make use of similar designs. Since ClickFunnels is widely popular, this has increased the amount of ClickFunnel-y looks floating around.
What is CF One Funnel Away (OFA) Challenge?
Review: The ClickFunnels One Funnel Away (OFA) Challenge is a virtual 30-day program made to guide users on every step they take while creating a highly profitable sales funnel.
There are three instructors including Russell Brunson, Stephen Larsen and Julie Stoian. They use video lessons to teach everything they’ve learned in developing multiple million-dollar sales funnels.
Each course detailly analyzes complex topics and give assignments (similar to homework) that must be completed before gaining promotion.
Learning requires putting it into immediate practice, therefore, completing the daily missions is very good for you.
However, the daily missions set by Russell is not meant for specific type of people but for the average learner.
After the 30 days, you’ll release your first (or next) funnel to the world.
Is it for you?
The challenge suits those who:
-Want an online business but lack time to get their products/services in the market
-Have hit a wall with their business and need a perfect strategy to overcome limits
-An affiliate marketer with slow sales
-Want to build a funnel but lack skills
-Want to fix an existing funnel.
ClickFunnels Platinum review (Followup Funnels Builder and Backpack)
ClickFunnels Platinum consists of three products combined as one: ClickFunnels, Followup Funnels, and Backpack. Followup Funnels is an email autoresponder system while Backpack (formerly Backpack CRM), is a tool built to easily and efficiently manage your own affiliate program.
The primary objective of CF Followup Funnels is smart analytics that results in smart auto-responding, but the auto-responding includes snail mail, email, and several goodies. So, it’s way beyond that and a little more comprehensive.
ClickFunnels alternatives & comparisons
Clickfunnels vs Kajabi
Kajabi is a content delivery and marketing platform designed to develop and sell content-based informational products, online courses, ebooks, training programs etc. through membership websites that charge users for accessing premium content.
Clickfunnels, however, is a marketing platform that makes it easy to sell any physical or digital product. So, Clickfunnels has a far diverse and comprehensive target market.
Both platforms have similar features and have no free plan, but have a three-tiered pricing for flexibility. Both offer a 14-day free trial as well. However, Kajabi’s most popular plan costs $159 per month (billed annually) and ClickFunnels most popular plan costs $97 per month.
Kajabi integrates only with Stripe and PayPal. Overall, Clickfunnels gives better insights into the behavior of your subscribers and segments them accordingly and does it better than Kajabi. Their USP is to make it dead-simple for anyone to craft a sales funnel that actually works.
Clickfunnels vs LeadPages
Leadpages builds landing pages and ClickFunnels builds sales funnels. Usually, a landing page’s purpose is to convert visitors into leads or leads into paying customers. A sales funnel, on the other hand is a sequence of pages and forms which guide the prospect from interest to conversion. So, Clickfunnels is a more comprehensive suite of online marketing tools.
You should choose ClickFunnels or Leadpages depending on what you’re planning to do (i.e., make an entire marketing funnel or create a single landing page), what functionality and integrations you might need, and your marketing budget.
ClickFunnels is more expensive than Leadpages, although it’s a trade-off.
ClickFunnels comes with comprehensive marketing tools, entire sales funnel, membership site, payment gateway, domain registration capabilities, landing pages, opt-in forms, and a shopping cart that can replace your current website. With Leadpages, you create a landing page or multiple landing pages.
For more complex and comprehensive marketing campaigns (that require you to interact with your leads several times before they make a purchasing decision), and especially for selling physical products, ClickFunnels might be better option than Leadpages or Unbounce.
Clickfunnels vs Groovefunnels
Both Groovefunnels and Clickfunnels are easy to use, beginner friendly, landing pages and sales funnel creators that come with ready-made funnel templates and no coding skills required.
Their other features include Membership area to sell online courses, affiliate management tool, comprehensive email marketing solutions, split testing, conversion tracking, built-in shopping cart, online communities and customer service & support. Both products are backed by reputed, famous internet marketers and solid community and customer support.
However, they differ greatly in terms of prices as of now. Clickfunnels either costs $97 a month for 20 sales funnels, 100 landing pages and 3 domains or $297/month for unlimited funnels and landing pages and 9 domains. Groovefunnels is completely free for up to 3 sales funnels or websites. Currently Groovefunnels have a lifelong unlimited PLATINUM plan for $1397 onetime payment, while in Beta inclusive of unlimited funnels or websites.
After the Beta they will likely have 3 monthly payment options for unlimited funnels and websites starting at $99 a month. However, the 1397 can be paid as 4 easy monthly payments of $497, 6 monthly payments of $388 or 12 monthly payments of $249.
One advantage with ClickFunnels is that users also gain access to FunnelFlix, which is a great source of knowledge for both novices and experienced marketers. Determined by your membership level, your access to FunnelFix is limited. Only Platinum and Collective end users can take full advantage of the courses FunnelFlix is offering.
In contrast, Groovefunnels team is actively building new features. Later this year they’re going to release GrooveWebinars™ for LIVE and AUTOMATED Webinars, plus GrooveBlog™, GrooveCalendar™, GrooveDesk™, GrooveQuiz™, and GrooveSurvey™.
Groove was previously known as GrooveFunnels or GroovePages. It rebranded in December of 2020 to just Groove to significantly mirror that it is an entire suite of apps and tools, (rather than just GrooveFunnels) which you can use to build a business and online sales system.
Clickfunnels vs Kartra
Kartra offers some functionalities that aren’t there in ClickFunnels like in built-video hosting (with ClickFunnels you have to purchase 3rd party plugins like Wistia, Vimeo, or use Youtube). Kartra also comes with a helpdesk software for customer support and a built-in Calendar functionality to take appointments bookings, built right into it. Currently, these features are not available in ClickFunnels, but this may change.
Kartra offers more value and features even if you only choose their Starter Plan (which doens’t include their Agency feature). Clickfunnels offers you two pricing plans $97/month and $297/month while Kartra starts with $99/month and goes all the way upto $499/month. You can try CF free for 14 days while $1 free trial with Kartra is available.
A helpdesk system in Kartra enables you to easily offer quick customer support via live chat, and an excellent integrated email reply system to help resolve issues as fast as humanly possible.
Customers can use Kartra’s calender system to self-book and reschedule appointments and meetings depending on your availability, and can be reminded automatically, so no appointment is ever lost.
If you want to build an e-commerce business with SalesFunnel we would highly recommend using Clickfunnels over Kartra. But if you are a coach, consultant, gym owner or want to sell any kind of information products, both products are reasonable options depending on what features you’re looking for.
Clickfunnels vs Builderall
Builderall is kind of like digital marketing agency as a service to assist you in building websites, organize sales, create product pages, and lots more. ClickFunnels, in contrast, builds high-converting sales funnels.
However, Builderall has few features that standout like possibility to get a virtual assistant who’d have limited access to your website to help you build, and a Facebook chatbot feature to interact with leads and customers with automatic conversations. Builderall also comes with Mailing Boss, their very own email autoresponder service.
Builderall’s $69.90/month plan seems more cost effective and allows you to have 15 domains, unlimited subscribers, ticketing and live chat support, 10 GB disk space, list importing, and access to their template club.
However, Builderall doesn’t directly integrate with any third-party services. You might be able to get a few integrations set up with Zapier, though. Besides ClickFunnels seems to have better customer support, marketing training courses in Funnelfix and more supportive online community.
Clickfunnels vs WordPress vs Optimizepress
If you are little more tech savvy than average marketer, you might consider wordpress and optimizepress (you might have to use both together) to create sales funnels on wordpress.
With each site you’ve been given a license to by OptimizePress, you are able to build unlimited pages for it.
The Optimizepress Suite Plan goes for $199 per year and comes with all the features Optimize Press has to offer including:
You can use it on up to 20 WordPress sites
OptimizeLeads opt-in form software
OptimizeFunnels Funnel Builder
Even if you factor in the extra cost of web hosting, having an email marketing service like Mailchimp etc. and other integrations for OptimizePress that you might have to use along with it, ClickFunnels will still be pricier than this. However, with Optimizepress, you need to be more tech savvy, need to know the ins and outs of wordpress as you will have to use wordpress software to make use of Optimizepress.
ClickFunnels on the other hand is more beginner friendly and perfect for non tech-savvy people and is a self-hosted solution on their platform, so you don’t really need wordpress for Clickfunnels.
ClickFunnels wins in its primary goal to facilitate the process of funneling traffic and achieving higher conversion rates. Even those who negatively review ClickFunnels acknowledge that it can be somewhat valuable for less internet-exposed entrepreneurs. Their funnel builder offers enough options for you. ClickFunnels is also useful for those who want a simple but solid sales solution or landing page editor. After all, this platform doesn’t give empty promises, therefore we’re giving it 4/5 stars.