Whenever I see a software ad that promotes time-saving and ease of use, I’m like, “shut up and take my money”. ClickFunnels had me excited. I signed up for a 14-day trial and paid for the first month of use after I had gotten everything set up the way I wanted it. I had 6 funnels set up and was like, “Ok! Let’s go!”
But then… some things didn’t exactly “click”. I had gotten reeled into a sales pitch. Dang it! By the time I had those 6 funnels running, I had a sick feeling in my stomach and realized I had made a huge mistake, which I’ll tell you about.
So today I’m going to share with you 5 major reasons why I ditched ClickFunnels and give you some things to think about before you get captivated and lose precious time (and money).
- You don’t own your funnels. This is where you really need to think hard. Those sales funnels take time (and money) to set up. With ClickFunnels, and many other software programs like it, you will never “own” them. Why? They’re forever hosted on their site, and if you don’t pay their monthly fees of $97 or $297, depending on the package, you don’t have access to them. ClickFunnels promotes ditching your website altogether and just using their program. Fine, if you don’t mind being forever committed to paying those prices for the duration of your online business. Many of you are like, wait – no blog? Nope. But what happens if they go out of business or you want some customization of how your site looks? Not a whole lot of control, there, folks. In order to own your funnels, they need to be on YOUR site using YOUR design.
- Design. One thing I couldn’t stand about the design of ClickFunnels was having to use shortcode embeds on my site. This added loading time and often caused my site to jump around while it was loading. Getting the formatting length and width set up so everything looked stellar was often a pain and a guessing game. There’s nothing more irritating from a design perspective than having a scroll bar in the middle of your content area when a user’s natural tendency is to use the main side scroll bar. Add another one, and, well, that’s just annoying. There was also the font issue – sure, they had a fair amount of font choices, but nothing that matched my own design preferences. So this added 2 more fonts outside of my branding guideline (a big no-no). Their automated email system to work the funnel does not provide any opportunity for design or image content, and that made me super sad.
- Admin/Support. It took over a month for their support team to get my affiliate paperwork figured out and filed. Every time I logged in it kept saying my W-9 hadn’t been processed. Then, there was the technical support… who were helpful but didn’t understand my goals. I, for one, do not like using Stripe (no customer support or phone number), or anything that is not regulated in the US. So being ushered into that payment processor was like getting a migraine on your wedding day. Not fun! When I explained what I was trying to accomplish, there was a long work-around suggested with manual work involved with each step of the process going forward. Strike.
- Added Costs. So, you have the monthly fee, right? Well, guess what. In order to get things moving the way that they advertise, you’ll have more fees. You can’t just use your integrated email. You’ll have to sign up and pay for a service like SendGrid, as well, because you can’t integrate with MailChimp or something similar. $97 per month is a lot for some bloggers (not me, but you know – some people blog on a budget). $297 is even more – and that gets you the contact info panel that you want and need but it comes with a hefty price tag that even made ME uncomfortable. And remember – that price tag is just for using the system – you don’t own your own work.
- Functionality – You Think Something’s Working, But It’s Not. I realized, 12 days in, that an autoresponder email series I had set up was not getting transmitted. When you set up something, and you test it once, it should continue to work, right? Not the case. When you have two different companies controlling something, each one will say the nonfunctioning element is the other’s fault. I had two support tickets into each company. Neither took responsibility for why my emails weren’t getting sent out. They didn’t have an answer. It just wasn’t working… and it made me look incompetent. So I said “goodbye” to both of them. This is where building something in-house and using 1 company (like MailChimp, for example) for an auto-responder series makes much more sense.
There have been a few bloggers in the recent years who have documented on their blogs that ClickFunnels opened up some sort of wormhole for spam email subscribers and fake traffic. I, too, found this the case. All of a sudden, after installing code my website had become a wormhole for all sorts of weirdness in subscriptions. No thanks.
You have to remember that it’s easy to get reeled in by promises of ease of use and being able to make money. It’s exciting. It’s like a breath of fresh air, right? Sure – in most circumstances. But if you look at my list above, you’ll see why giving up your website and paying a hefty price tag for “ease of sales conversion” might not be the best idea. Especially when you can set up the same thing in WordPress fairly easily (PS – if you need help I do this for a living). As soon as I cut my site away from ClickFunnels I felt a sense of freedom again and didn’t feel confined. There was so much more control over the look, feel and design of how my visitors were
Sales funnels are merely “squeeze” pages with a sales headline and a button. Then a series of emails with upsells and such. Not hard, but a ton of work you don’t want to lose. Easy (for those that have been in sales and design). So remember – before you go down a rabbit hole of buying into a system – remember what you’re actually buying and what it means long-term. Maybe ClickFunnels is for you. Maybe it isn’t. Totally up to you – just sharing my own experience and why I would never consider it as a viable option in the future.