Business owners are being pitched funnels every day!
Should you use them, should you sell them, should you buy them?
First off, why listen to me?
17 years full time experience including starting with Apple then on to several other major corps early in my career.
Manage millions in yearly online spend, drive thousands of calls/leads/forms submits and have clients in pretty much every vertical.
More important to you, tech freak that buys/tries/tests everything, often up until 3 am playing with the latest features :-)
I am not going to deep dive into what a funnel is but basically
Sales Funnels start as simple as 2 page sites (optin to thank you)
They can also get much much deeper.
The overall premise is to show the visitor exactly what they want to see, capture their info and move them to a booking or purchase. Depending on what you sell you can continue to "funnel" them with upsells or forcing them to take further action.
Great examples of product sales funnels can be found on Clickbank.
If you go buy a top selling product there at $19 you will find they will continue to give you one time upsells until you cry uncle, often into the thousands of dollars.
The main focus of this discussion will be sales funnels being applied to more traditional businesses.
FOR THE BUSINESS OWNERS:
Whatever niche your in somebody somewhere is pumping a course out to the masses on how they can retire from their job by taking YOUR money on a monthly retainer by selling you a 'system'.
So here is how it goes. The course creator at some point signed a few customers in your niche, maybe alot....
He built some sort of sales funnel - traffic to lander to info capture - and it got some results.
The results may or may not have been profitable.
Most marketers just wet their pants when they get leads from somewhere like Facebook but never bother complicating matters with things like actual profit the business owner made.
Example: They can get a chiro $6 leads on Facebook so they are obviously qualified ;-)
The $6 lead is them giving the chiro's stuff away like get your massage for a nickel.
Being a bit sarcastic but you get the picture.
So back to the course creator. He has some sort of 'funnel' and he has the emails he used to get the first clients, and maybe a web site and maybe some screenshots of the leads/ads etc...
He then find folks that hate their job and shows them how they can replace that income by just getting 3 chiro's to pay $1,500 a month management for generating leads.
All they have to do is copy and paste and use the course sellers examples, case studies, ads etc...
So now every chiro in the world, everyday is getting 10 emails/calls per day from "experts" that can get them leads.
My advice? Nothing wrong with giving someone a chance but use common sense on what offers will be promoted and try to stay focused on things you already know you can convert and upsell. Don't let the excitement of 'leads' dictate your response. This could be as disastrous as a bad Groupon offer flooding your business with low value, low intent leads.
The EXACT same Sales Funnel approach could be used to drive high quality leads, what needs to change is the copy and offer but you will need a provider that knows the difference and has some creativity beyond copying and pasting what he bought in a course.
Concrete example? One Chiro funnel could be giving away cheap adjustments. Not very exciting, likely not high lifetime value patients. A better funnel could be a pain quiz from targeted facebook traffic. If you get a visitor to tell you they are in an 8 out of 10 pain level, and provide 15 other fields of info AND give their name and number at the end of the quiz in the hopes the chiro can help them, you now have the potential of a high LTV customer...
FOR MARKETERS STARTING OUT WANTING TO MAKE MONEY WITH FUNNELS:
As a source of learning information I can't knock Clickfunnels. Brunson has written a few great books and if you knew nothing about online marketing and took in all the info he puts out you would be ligth years ahead. Having said that, be careful how much of the Kool Aid you drink. The methods and the software are two seperate things. The target demographic for CF is newbs and people that want to change their life. The mechanism that sells so many monthly subscriptions is 40% commissions so there is almost a cult like following. I will say again that I deeply respect the learning opportunity and the energy of the group but if one was ONLY considering the software its not the greatest. It tries to be all things and ends up doing most of those things 2nd best. It's strengh is being able to swipe/share sales funnels so stick with the cheapest plan to test it out. If someone shares a funnel with you I think you can buy into a $15 a month plan for 3 sales funnels.
Beyond the technology get beyond being a copy and paster. I am NOT knocking buying courses to learn and using others methods to make money BUT I would also suggest you not be afraid to think out of the box and that you give some consideration to the fact that business owners won't stay clients long if they don't profit. In other words the excitement will evaporate and you will find yourself with no clients and back at looking for a job.
THE TECH STUFF
So we talked a bit about CF. What about Leadpages and Thrive Themes?
Well first when it comes to ANY page builders like CF and Leadpages my approach is to use them for rapid deployment and testing. Once you have winners any real business that relies on those funnels for income should have them hard coded in normal old html files that they own and control and will not break if the page builder company has issues.
My biggest gripes with CF are no number you can call, no proper ticketing system and slow response to fixing issues that matter to people actually making money and driving traffic. Their base is newbs, most 'funnels' never see any real traffic. Start to hit it hard and get demanding on the advanced features in CF like membership sites etc.. and you start to quicky wish you had a custom solution.
Leadpages is less visual from the funnel point of view. You CAN build out complex sales funnels, its just not as visually obvious BUT support is lightning fast, there is a number you can call and since they are not trying to do 20 things, what they do generally works.
Finally Thrive Themes. This is NOT for folks with no experience. You would need a wordpress install, plugins installed and then you use their page builder. Given you are now playing in the world of wordpress though, you can make things look EXACTLY the way you want and can easily get help from the gazillions of coders/developers out there that know wordpress.
If you are experienced with Wordpress you would find that Thrive Themes is really focused on money making online and the templates and features are exactly what you need to do it. Run you a few hundred bucks per year for all their goodies. A deal compared to the clickfunnels pricing.
I use all three based on needs and because I have clients using them all.
I run millions in paid ads through all types of sales funnels on all the major platforms.
From HVAC and Chiro to Manufacturers of pots and pans.
I have one full time business just porting stuff from CF and leadpages to hard coded Wordpress/Thrive Sites...
Funnels work but are just a tool.
Don't get lost in the technology of things. Use common sense. Focus on profits and speed, then when you hit the right mix cover your ass by making the investment in replicating your winning funnels in something hard coded that you own and give the same advice to your clients if your a marketer.