The world of online marketing has about 1000 different layers, and therefore tools galore you can dive into (and perhaps get so lost in, you’ve suddenly emptied your pint of Cherry Garcia and still are only about 30% of the way through the welcome email).
It can be a lot to handle.
I’ve said on multiple articles and podcast episodes–when it comes to marketing tools I’m platform agnostic. They all work when they work and fail when they fail.
It’s knowing how to use marketing and automation tools to further your online business, knowing the limitations and strengths of each tool. That’s how to ensure you’re a success story… instead of a sad little footnote.
That said, I do have my preferences.
Some are ease of use, others are social. Since I’ve tested a good number of marketing funnel software, I want to share that with you.
SLO Funnel Options I’ve Tried
For most of last year, I spent my time testing different systems. I “wasted” a lot of time (all in the name of
science curiosity!) figuring out what worked for reals, what worked just because I like things a certain way, and what converted best.
I’ve tested these funnel platforms on various entry-level offers. Some may call these tiny offers, pocket offers, or self-liquidating offers. The idea behind these offers are growing your list with low-priced products that offer a ton of value–way more value than the price actually suggests.
Here’s the short version of what I’ve learned over the last 12 months:
- ClickFunnels has awful customer service
- I strongly, strongly dislike the page builder in Kajabi
- CartFlows using WordPress and Elementor is a dream for designers, though their customer service isn’t great (but certainly nowhere near as bad as ClickFunnels)
- FG Funnels has stellar customer service and saves me a boatload of money
For much of 2020, I used a tech stack that consisted of CartFlows on WordPress. CartFlows utilizes WooCommerce and I utilized Elementor as the page builder. Until I found FG Funnels, this was my preferred funnel design.
For six months, the combination of CartFlows, ActiveCampaign, MemberVault to host my program content was the answer.
However, integrating WooCommerce with my email provider, ActiveCampaign, never worked fully and I ended up moving on after months of issues.
Comparing ClickFunnels, Kajabi, CartFlows and FG Funnels
They’ve all got their pros and cons.
For example, choosing ClickFunnels meant great built-in statistics, but for a self-liquidating offer funnel with an order bump and a one time offer upsell on the backend of the funnel, there wasn’t a way to report the full sale in Facebook’s Ads Manager without significant coding or additional plugins.
One of my clients on Kajabi runs into the same issue as ClickFunnels with subpar reporting, so we can’t tell whether her ads have a good return on investment. (Plus their page builder is very limiting!)
CartFlows reported my sales properly, but didn’t have great (or even reliable) statistics built-in, so I had to rely more on Google Analytics which got messy as I started making sales page tweaks.
In addition, though I already maintain a WordPress website, many of my clients don’t want to constantly update plugins and check for compatibility, so this isn’t the best funnel solution unless you have that knowledge or want to outsource your maintenance. This option required me to add eight plugins to my site!
My Funnel Choice for 2021
With all these problems, I’ve moved on to FG Funnels, a new option for 2021 funnels and marketing automation.
My two deciding factors:
- FG Funnels is saving me a ton of money. Like Kajabi, it offers an “all in one” service that sends emails to your clients, has beautiful funnels, and has a membership area to host your courses.
It also has a calendar function built-in so I was able to cancel Acuity as well as canceling my previous email provider and membership provider (though I really did love MemberVault!). Between those cancellations and downgrading Vimeo, I’m saving around $1500 a year. If I were to move my whole website over, I’d be saving an additional $800.
- FG Funnels is run by women (vote with your dollars!) who are committed to anti-racism (again, vote with your dollars!).
While this is a personal preference rather than a business decision, I like knowing the money I pay is going to people who won’t then turn around and use it for crappy reasons.
While this wasn’t one of my deciding factors since I love to design, the fact that all the new Funnel Gorgeous templates are built into the platform certainly didn’t hurt.
Keeping everything in one place and, as a result, having more control over how my audience enjoys my content is important to me. Running an online business requires automation, but that doesn’t mean you have to lose authentic connection.
Customizing the experience to where a contact is in their process with me isn’t any less important online than it is in person.
As online service businesses, it’s time to treat marketing automation as a business system.
So whichever platform you ultimately choose, keep that at the forefront of your decision-making process.