In 1994 the first transaction took place over the internet. I wouldn’t say it was the most glamorous of sales either – a guy sold a Sting music CD to a friend for $12.48. 

Getting a sale back then was a lot easier too. Only 2,800 websites were making up the whole of the internet, so competition for digital eyeballs was not exactly intense.

Ecommerce grew from there. The following year Pierre Omidyar launched eBay and today it’s impossible to imagine a world without online transactions.

And with around 1.8 billion websites today, it’s tough even to get a prospect to view a webpage of yours.

There are many tasks required to be a success at internet marketing, so we often rely on tools created by others to automate and run our businesses.

And with so many tools available, it can be hard to figure out which one you should use. In this post, we’ll compare two of the most popular tools for creating online marketing campaigns – Clickfunnels and Leadpages.

Read on.

 

Leadpages

What is Leadpages?

Leadpages says on its homepage that it ‘helps small businesses connect with an audience, collect leads, and close sales’. At its core, Leadpages is a cloud-based service that helps you to build landing pages. 

A landing page is a webpage that has a sole focus. It could be to collect an email address, or present sales copy to get a reader to perform an action; like buy a product or make a donation. 

Online marketers usually make a landing page to collect email addresses from visitors. The email addresses are then transferred to an autoresponder, which sends out a series of emails with a specific marketing purpose.

But, Leadpages claims that it is more than just a landing page builder. The three main uses Leadpages suggest for its software is to generate leads, create a sales or checkout page, or build a brand-awareness mini-site. 

It’s possible to host a page or website on Leadpages server, but not using a domain name that you own. Any page you host with Leadpages will be hosted on a sub-domain of one of the Leadpage’s URLs. It’s best if you create a webpage or site on Leadpages and then host it on your own server.

Leadpages Features

Leadpages Features

Templates  

Leadpages has literally hundreds of templates to choose from. Some argue that Leadpages’s available templates are a bit boring and even look dated. But they are tried and tested and convert well.

You wouldn’t choose a Leadpages template for a web design competition. Still, then you probably wouldn’t make any money either. People are very predictable online, and the templates you get are functional and effective. 

There are plenty of templates for Leadpages’s core function of collecting email addresses. If you instead want to create a checkout page or a mini-site, then there are templates for this too. They even have templates for those that offer webinars, events, giveaways, and consultation services.

Drag and Drop Editor

All aspects of the Leadpage’s templates are editable with the drag-and-drop editor.  It’s easy to move, add, and delete all elements to get the layout you want.

Sometimes when you want to design a website, like a writer, the blank page can intimidate.  So Leadpages provides templates filled with marketing copy for you to edit to your requirements.  No Lorem Ipsum here. 

Getting menus right on a mini-site can sometimes prove difficult. The drag-and-drop editor makes this easy, with click and drag menu optimization. It’s easy to move a menu item into a sub-menu and back again if you change your mind. 

It has lots of handy elements that you can easily add to your page or mini-site. Choose from video, opt-in fields, CTA buttons, countdown timers, product checkout, HTML blocks, and custom CSS. There is also an appointment calendar, where a visitor can book a timeslot for a meeting.

A nice touch is something Leadpages calls their ‘leadmeter’. While using the drag-and-drop editor, Leadpages displays a score in the header of how well your design might convert. I don’t suppose it will be highly accurate. But it can let you know that you are on the right track.

Publishing the finished lead page to a website is straightforward via Leadpages’s own WordPress plugin, or via an HTML snippet.   

Metrics Dashboard

MetricsWithout analytics, it’s hard to optimize any campaign, so Leadpages comes with a Metrics Dashboard that shows a host of statistics. Page Views, Unique Visitors, Conversions and Conversion Rates are all present here. If you are selling a product/service, then there is a metric for the amount sold too. 

Underneath the metrics, there is also a graph showing the values of each one. Using a custom date function, you can compare historical performance for different periods.  

Split Testing

Split testing is a common method used for optimizing a landing page. This is the ability to make a change (often minor) to your landing page and have two versions display equally over a set period.

Over time your metrics will indicate which version is more effective. Then you start the process again and try and make an even more effective landing page, and split test that one.

It’s a process that all online marketers should be doing. As one of the longstanding landing page tools, Leadpages has a robust provision for split testing. 

Integration with other tools

Integration with other tools

Collecting an email address is only a small part of internet marketing. Where it goes next to be nurtured and managed is essential too. Leadpages integrates with most of the well-known autoresponder services, including Aweber, Mailchimp, ConvertKit, and Constant Contact.

It is also possible to connect to thousands of other web services via Zapier.  

Popups and Alert Bars

It’s not always the case that a landing page is the best option, so Leadpages provides other tools for collecting email addresses and making sales.  

Popups can be created to appear on your website when a button is clicked, after a set amount of time, or if a visitor goes to leave the page.

Leadpages can be used to add an alert bar at the head or foot of a page to advertise a special offer or other promotion. 

Leadpages Pros

  • Plenty of responsive templates.
  • Easy WordPress integration.
  • Affordable.
  • Easy to use.
  • Regular releases of new templates.

Leadpages Cons

  • Requires your own hosting and web address to get the best from it.
  • The customization of some templates is limited.
  • Lack of advanced functions.
  • Some users report that the HTML widget is not perfect.

Leadpages Pricing

How much is Leadpages?

Leadpages Pricing

The entry-level price for Leadpages costs $25 per month for 1 site.  If you want more sites and the ability to take payments, then the next option is $48 per month.  Finally, there is an advanced level for enterprise users costing $199 per month.

Clickfunnels

Clickfunnels

 

Clickfunnels says that it is ‘a website and sales funnel builder for entrepreneurs’, and has everything you need to market, sell, and deliver a product online. It’s an all-in-one tool that can build a full sales funnel and can replace your website, autoresponder, and shopping cart.

sales funnel

But what are sales funnels?

A sales funnel is the process a customer undergoes when they purchase a product or service. When we buy something of any value we don’t merely think; I want that, I’ll buy it. Instead, we go through a process which is something like this: 

  • Become aware that we want something. 
  • Evaluate what it is we want exactly.
  • Compare options of what we want.
  • Decide who we want to purchase from.
  • Then we make the purchase.

Each stage of the sales process requires different kinds of information and marketing messages to move us along to the final purchase action. This is the sales funnel.

Clickfunnels lets people who aren’t web developers and coders design a full sales funnel that keeps a prospect focused throughout the steps of the sales process and maximizes the chance of a transaction. 

With Clickfunnels, it’s possible to control the full sales process from a single dashboard. You can create a website, landing page, shopping cart, do email marketing, and run an affiliate program. All this can be hosted on Clickfunnels’ server on an URL of your choosing.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the features.

Clickfunnel Features

Clickfunnel Templates 

Clickfunnels comes with 26 types of templates designed to turn visitors into customers.  The templates cover a wide range of applications and lets you do things like:

  • Capture leads
  • Sell books
  • Sell a product
  • Sell a service
  • Run a webinar

Whatever funnel template is chosen, it includes all the pages that make up the sales funnel, like a squeeze page, sales page, upsell page and thank you page.

There is also an internal Clickfunnels marketplace where third parties sell other types of funnel templates, that you can use as a starting point for a campaign.

Drag-and-drop Editor

You will need to customize a template to fit your campaign and Clickfunnels has an intuitive drag-and-drop editor. 

It works on three main elements; sections, rows and columns, and elements.

Sections deals with the layout of the header, footer, and primary segment of the page.  The rows and columns arrange your content within the segments.  Finally, the elements are used to position the images, texts, and buttons that make up the content of the page.

Full control over your layout is achieved quickly. All parts of the drag-and-drop interface snap neatly to a grid, leaving you with a slick and professional-looking web page. 

Color changes, background images, fonts, and font sizes can be customized quickly, so even the novice web designer can produce a good-looking website

Inbuilt Autoresponder

Inbuilt Autoresponder

Clickfunnels can work with an external autoresponder, but it also has its own internal one they call Actionetics.

Actionetics can do all the normal functions of conventional autoresponders like Aweber and MailChimp, but it has some additional inbuilt features that are powerful.

When a person enters their email address on a form in your sales funnel, Clickfunnels then hunts down the social media profiles of the person to gather information.  From this, it calculates things like where they live, how much money they make, and even which magazines they read.  

Clickfunnels then uses an algorithm to evaluate their potential value and allocates them a score. This allows the possibility of segmenting your email list based on potential customer value. This, in turn, permits different marketing strategies for different people. 

Affiliate Program Manager

A sales funnel can only make money when it is getting traffic to it, which is frequently the hardest part of any marketing campaign.  Clickfunnels has a module for managing a network of affiliates that drive traffic to your campaign.

Quite often, a problem with third-party affiliate management tools is that once you start them, you become tied into them for the life of a campaign.  Even if they are not performing as you like, there is not much that can be done about it.

Creating affiliate programs for your campaign is very useful as the traffic that affiliates send is often good quality, and in some cases pre-sold.  Clickfunnels lets you manage an affiliate salesforce and can be controlled down to individual funnels.

Split Testing

Split Testing

Split testing is essential to optimize sales funnel.  The potential improvement in conversions can be significant from changing just a couple of words on a page.

Clickfunnels has a comprehensive tool to help manage and track the results of these changes, and help you get the most from a campaign.

SMS

Clickfunnels has a module that links up with the external text marketing service Twilio.  When collecting email addresses, it’s possible to obtain cell phone numbers too.  These can be then used to send SMS messages to prospects, to alert them to a new deal, or maybe a reminder for a webinar. 

Central Dashboard

Clickfunnels crams a lot into its offering.  Managed from one central dashboard, giving you an overall picture of the performance of your funnels and campaigns being run. 

Analytics for gross revenue, sales, opt-ins, and page views are the primary data provided.  It’s also the place where you access the funnels, autoresponder, affiliate manager, and drag-and-drop editor.

Clickfunnels Pricing

How much is Clickfunnels?

Leadpages Pricing

Clickfunnels doesn’t make it easy to see how much it costs.  And maybe that’s no surprise when you find out that the entry-level price is $97 per month.  If the more advanced modules are needed, like the autoresponder or affiliate manager, then the cost is $297 per month.

Clickfunnels Pros

  • All the tools needed to market, sell, and deliver your product.
  • Easy-to-use dashboard.
  • Plenty of templates.
  • Great marketing training.

Clickfunnels Cons

  • Price.  It is not cheap, and you really need to get the $297 option.
  • Intimidating learning curve.
  • If the Clickfunnels server goes down, all your business goes down.
  • Some users complain of the ‘cult of Clickfunnels’.

Clickfunnels Vs Leadpages – Which should you choose?

Clickfunnels Vs Leadpages

Some people say that it’s not a fair comparison.  Leadpages is essentially a squeeze page builder, and Clickfunnels is a full online marketing suite of tools.  It all comes down to the main goal that you have as an internet marketer.

If you need a responsive landing page to build an email list, that can be hosted on your own website/server, then the clear choice is Leadpages.  It’s cheaper, quicker to learn, and has the extra functionality for popups and action bars if you need them. 

For a complete sales funnel, selling a high-ticket item (or a least an item with some compelling and profitable upsells) and for building an online brand, Clickfunnels is a comprehensive tool. 

Clickfunnels is a good option if you don’t have any existing hosting or autoresponder.  But it is possible to do everything that Clickfunnels does with existing tools like WordPress, Mailchimp, and Twilio.  There is a third option, though, that sits nicely between these two products called system.io.

system.io is a suite of marketing tools that has the simplicity of Leadpages but the capabilities of Clickfunnels.  Using a drag-and-drop editor, you can produce webpages or even full sites and host them on systeme.io’s server with a custom domain.

Modules include sales funnels, autoresponder, affiliate programs, and membership sites. Try the free trial, it could be just what you are looking for.

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