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How Does Clickfunnels ACTUALLY Work? Why You Need It to Make Money?

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With Clickfunnels getting more and more popular every day, there is a lot of confusion around how it actually works. I even hear a lot of people talking about Clickfunnels as if it were a business model or a quick rich scheme.

In reality, Clickfunnels is a software to —shockingly— build funnels. So before explaining how Clickfunnels works, it is necessary to take a step back and understand the concept and importance of ‘funnels’ for any marketing strategy.

Table of contents:

  1. What are (sales) funnels?
  2. Sales Funnels vs. Traditional Websites
  3. So…how does Clickfunnels Work?
  4. Clickfunnels Software Benefits
  5. Clickfunnels for Affiliate Marketing
  6. How to make money with Clickfunnels?

1. What are (sales) funnels?

Sales funnels are not a modern-day invention or an exclusively digital marketing strategy. Truth is, all businesses —online and offline— have an existing sales funnel whether it is a good or a bad one.

A sales funnel is the path a customer follows when buying from your company. From the first time they interact with your brand, to being an interested prospect, and finally a converted buyer.

The ‘funnel’ analogy means you begin with a larger audience of potential buyers that will eventually reduce to a smaller group of highly-targeted customers.

Naturally, an intentionally crafted funnel where every step is thought through and optimized will be much more efficient and profitable than one that is left to chance.

The goal is not to make a single sale but to create returning customers with life-time value.This is what will allow you to ‘invest’ more than your competitors in adquiring a customer in the first place.

A sales funnels can really make a difference between losing money and being profitable. If you are still not convinced just take a look at this data:

  • 63% of consumers need to hear a company’s value proposition 3-5 times before they trust these claims
  • 87% of consumers choose to do business with brands who provide valuable content through all stages of the buying process

In other words, designing and optimizing your sales funnel is essential to build a more successful business.

This video from Russell Brunson, founder of Clickfunnels sums it up perfectly.

2. Sales Funnels vs. Traditional Websites

Not too many years ago, all businesses had an offline foundation and business owners would question if they even needed a website. Nowadays, there are millionaire businesses built exclusively online and owners are aware of the importance of a digital marketing strategy.

But if you already have a website, do you really need a funnel? The answer is yes, (if you want to make more money or make money at all if you are not already).

Traditional websites have many options and paths to explore that often confuse the visitor and let them leave without even collecting their emails.

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On the other side, as we have explained, a funnel leads people from visitors to customers and gives you full control of their journey. Each step of a funnel is a binary decision between continuing the path or leave the site and the offer behind. This results in a better conversion rate, more qualified leads, and loyal customers.

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3. So, how does Clickfunnels Work?

Now that we have covered the basic principles of sales funnels, let’s take a look at how Clickfunnels actually works.

Contrary to other marketing models, the Clickfunnels model involves prospects engaging actively through every step of the funnel.

When both parties are engaged in a process of give-and-take, it produces smaller conversions from the target consumer along their path to purchase.

This ‘give-and-take’ process is called THE VALUE LADDER and its steps are a direct reflection of the funnel stages.
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The ‘Value Ladder’ means there is some exchange of value at each step of the funnel. Through a continuous and scaling give-and-take of money-reward, customers can feel confident about their decisions and the barriers that can exist for purchasing are eliminated.

You build rapport and trust in your customers by starting with small purchases and providing increased value as you present to them increasingly higher-priced offers.

The logic is simple, if you first offer someone a $997 offer, the chances of them buying them are low. On the other side, if you first offer them a freebie, then a $7 product then a $49 and keep providing them value the chances of them buying your $997 product are much higher.

With a traditional website, you may only have one opportunity to sale to a customer. But with a sales funnel you have multiple opportunities within the same transaction… maximizing the lifetime value of a customer and your profits.

We can even talk about a ‘mini-funnel’ inside each step. So let’s see how this works in real life

Pre-Funnel: Know your Offer

Before starting to build your funnel and driving traffic to it, it is essential to have a complete vision of what your offers are going to be through every step.

This step is vital to your success. Every stage should be a logical continuation of the previous one. Something like ‘Now that you have experienced the results of Product A, you can take them even further with product B’.

Logically, we use lower-tiered offers at first to prepare customers and have them keep saying yes to the next step.

While customers will experience every stage of the funnel independently, having a clear blueprint of how and why they’ll move forward is essential for success.

Stage 1: Traffic

While your visitors or prospects are going to be naturally filtered, you want to attract quality traffic who is going to be interested in your offer from the beginning.

Think about where your potential customers are naturally ‘hanging’ online. Where do they network and go for advice?

Whether you are using paid ads, SEO or other traffic sources, by meeting your audience where they are you can get them to enter your funnel on their terms and guide them to where you want them to go from there.


Note: If you want to learn about traffic from Russell himself make sure to get a free copy of his latest book Traffic Secret


Stage 2. Bait

A ‘bait’ is also known as a freebie or lead magnet. The main goal of this stage is to get the prospect inside your funnel and collect their emails so you can follow up with them.

Note: While this is a stage of the overall funnel, each step will require its own ‘bait’ or low-risk offer to continue to move prospects forward.

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The strategy behind a lead magnet is, at the name suggests, is that by giving them something for free now, you will prepare them to make a valuable purchase in the future.

Businesses will even operate at a loss at this stage if they now the next steps are going to turn them profitable, but it is important to know your numbers closely to make sure you’ll be able to turn the tables around.

Filtering out those who don’t take your low-risk offer is actually a good thing. If they are not interested in even your lowest-tier offers, there’s no way they’ll get interested in your big-ticket items or services.

Stage 3. Front End Offer

This should be a low-risk and low-price offer that helps your customers solve simple issues with minimal investment.

Those who decide to take your offer should be redirected to the next page where they encounter the premium more valuable version.

Remember that those who have gotten to this point, have been pre-qualified through your freebie so they should be interested in your premium offer. You just need to be able to communicate the value and impact it can have for them.

You should also follow up with them via email to keep their attention and keep them moving forward in the funnel.

Key Parts of your Offer Page

  • Copy: needs to quickly communicate the value of your offer and prime your audience to take immediate action. The easier it is for your audience to recognize the value of your offer, the more likely they’ll be to take you up on it.
  • Images and video: Depending on how high in the value ladder you might choose to use images or videos to help explain and support your offer. Make sure to keep it short and to the point to increase the chances of them watching it completely.
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Mig Soap Front End offer
  • Social Proof: If you have a testimonial you will want to use them to support the claims you have made. You can use generic social proof about your brand but it is better to use testimonials and anecdotes specific to the offers you are presenting on that page.
  • Call to Action: No matter what you’re offering your audience needs to have no doubts about what they need to do to receive it. Make sure your CTA button stands out from the rest of your page. Usually, you will want to have it above the fold and if your page is long, you can repeat it at the middle and bottom.
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Testimonials and Call To Action

Stage 4. Middle Offer (Upsell – Downsell)

Now things start to get interesting. As your prospects reach the end of every step, you will provide them with an offer they can not resist. This should help them solve a specific problem and prepare them for the next step of the funnel.

Middle Offers are presented in the form of Upsells (cost more) and Downsells (cost less).

The first option is to present an upsell before they confirm their order. This is usually a discount on a bulk order, a personalized version of the initial offer or a chance to increase the length of their subscription at a special price

It can also be a VIP group access like in this example

If they end up not taking the upsell you can now offer them a lower risk or lower-price option like a payment plan, smaller bundle or a limited time discount of the upsell

The point is to take advantage of this sale to ‘close them’ on the next step and keep preparing them for your back end offer.

Stage 5. Backend Offer

Finally, your most valuable product.

This is where you will present the most intensive and pricey offer that is gonna solve your customer’s problem continuously.

By now, your customers will have experienced your lower-tiered product of services and have hopefully found them useful and valuable.

Even so, there’s no guarantee that they’ll be ready or interested in moving onto the next step. next tier of service. It is your job to convince them they are missing out on a ton of value if they don’t move forward.

Many times you’ll need to prep them by keeping them engage with your brand instead of continuing to push offers to them. You’ll need to find ways to continue to provide value even after they have converted.

You could do this by offering customization on the product they bought, customer service, community, etc. While subtly bringing up the added value they could get with your final offer.

4. Clickfunnels Sofware Benefits

Clickfunnels doesn’t not only provide you with a strategy but it is also a software and as one it offers many features and benefits we will explore now:

  • Creates Sales Funnels Easily: Obviously, Clickfunnels was designed to create funnels and it does that incredibly well. The platform allows anyone without any website, design or software knowledge to create high-converting funnels quickly. and easily
  • Funnel Templates: Clickfunnels provides you with ready-made templates where you can simply replace the text and images saving you time, effort, and money. It comes with templates for all sorts of different funnels such as Lead Generation, Product Launch, Webinar, Tripwire, etc.
  • Email Integration: Throughout the funnel steps, one key element is to collect visitors’ emails. But after collecting them, those leads need to be nurtured with an e-mail marketing campaign. Clickfunnels integrates seamlessly with the main e-mail marketing tools (Mailchimp, Zapier, drip, etc.) allowing you to automate your entire email campaign.
  • Payment integration: You can sell your products and services using Clickfunnels since you can add and integrate your payment method to your funnel steps
  • A/B testing: Clickfunnels allows you to split test any page with just a couple clicks which is essential to optimize your profits and resources. Some variations to try during the split test of your landing pages include:
    • Headlines ( Long vs short)
    • Normal images vs infographics
    • Video vs gifs
    • Text content and colours on CTA
    • Different Layouts on landing pages
    • Client’s testimonials
  • Analytics: Thanks to Clickfunnels’ analytics tool you can track your entire funnel performance observing statistics like visits, opt-ins, and earnings per click. This which, along with the split test feature will help you make necessary changes to continuously optimize your offers.

5. Clickfunnels for Affiliate Marketing

Are you wondering how does Clickfunnels work for Affiliate Marketing? Clickfunnels is not only great for selling your own products but it can help increase your profits and create a long-term asset while you earn your affiliate commissions.

Lazy affiliates tend to spread their link wherever they can with the hopes of someone buying from them. Or even more advanced affiliates would create ads, content, and campaign but leave out a key component of a profitable long term strategy: an email list.

Think about it this way. Let’s say you got someone who clicked on your affiliate link, they then decided to purchase the product and left. That is one customer you will never see again and some ad-spend that only brought you that one sale.

While with Clickfunnels, before sending your traffic to the seller website, you send them to a simple ‘bridge page’ created in Clickfunnels. Here you collect their email by offering them a ‘freebie’. Only after that, you redirect them to the affiliate offer.

If they buy the product, great, you can keep selling them another offer in that niche. if they don’t buy it, there is no problem, you can follow up with them through email, create a relationship where they trust you, and eventually get them to buy your recommended product.

Furthermore, you get to build an email list of highly-targeted prospects while selling your affiliate offer


If you want to learn more about creating an email list for your affiliate marketing business, make sure to check this article.


6. How to make money with Clickfunnels?

While I have explained the marketing strategies behind the success of Clickfunnels and also the benefits of the software itself, truth is, there is a lot more you can learn if you wish to make money online with Clickfunnels.

There is a lot of pieces that go into creating an online business and actually being successful with it. From learning the proper traffic strategies and creating the right offer to writing your sales copy and crafting your first email campaign.

This is not something that can be learned in a blog post but if you are determined to create an online business to free yourself from your current job or simply having a better life, I recommend you taking the One Funnel Away Challenge.

It is taught by Russel Brunson and a team of marketers as successful as him and for $100 is the best training you will find out there.

You will have him and Stephen Larsen hold your hand and teach you step-by-step about all kinds of things like creating true belief in your prospects, effective offer creation, funnel building strategy and traffic generation techniques. It’s a complete walkthrough of what you need to do, from A to Z, in order to build an effective sales funnel.

This is the FASTEST way you can learn core funnel strategies and build an EPIC online business to support whatever your goals are! 

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