Ibecame a Leadpages customer back in September 2013, just nine months after they launched, and a Clickfunnels customer back in August 2015, 11 months after they launched.
This post reviews Leadpages vs Clickfunnels in terms of ability to create high converting landing pages and compares based on ease of use, features, integrations, support and price. It also looks at their different approaches of being an all in one package (click funnels) vs a best of breed approach (lead pages).
the state of Marketing Software in 2017
The battle in 2017 is about the ‘all in one marketing suite’ vs the open marketing stack http://ctt.ec/yap7U+ @richardpatey
A year ago, Clay Collins, the CEO and co-founder of Leadpages, the landing page creator platform, wrote a post he stated may have been the most important thing he’s ever written about marketing. This is saying something as Clay has been a prolific content creator from his early days of the Marketing Show back in 2011 where he would break down people’s landing pages and talk shop.
Clay argues that the trend in software is unbundling; moving away from platforms such as Infusionsoft, Ontraport and Hubspot that offer all in one marketing automation solutions from CRMs to landing pages to email marketing to order forms through to membership sites.
It’s interesting to see on the Ontraport homepage that there is a section called ‘Why all-in-one?’ which argues that ‘trying to manage a bunch of separate tools to run your business creates a frustrating mess that simply won’t work as your business grows.’
Clay would argue the opposite, that having just one system, which has to do everything and which you are solely dependent on for your online business, is not just a frustrating mess but a dangerous position to be in.
This is why the Leadpages strategy is to be the best landing page builder whilst adding other best in breed products into it’s portfolio offering.
Leadpages has drip
Leadpages recently acquired Drip, co-founded by Rob Walling, which I use for my email marketing. Drip is the fastest growing email marketing automation platform in the market today and again I’m proud to say I’ve been an early customer since October 2014.
Thousands of entrepreneurs, bloggers, e-commerce sites, businesses and more are switching to Drip every month and I’ve just updated my post on why I moved from Mailchimp to Drip.
This email platform lets you send targeted emails to individual prospects and customers based on their actions throughout your marketing—including what links they click on, what pages they visit, what products they’ve purchased from you, how often they open your emails, etc.
That means you can always send the right email to the right subscriber on your list (at the right time) to get them to take action.
Leadpages also has Center.io
Center connects all your marketing and sales applications together. With Center, you can watch what your customers are doing across platforms – and create rules to trigger automatic actions across your entire business.
Here are just a couple of examples of what you can do with Center:
- If someone buys your product for the first time (say within PayPal), you can send them a series of emails to get them excited about using your product from your email service provider, and exclude them from seeing any more emails promoting your product.
- If someone has attended your webinar presentation and watched your sales video – but hasn’t made a purchase yet – you can automatically notify your sales team to reach out.
- And my favorite thing: create dynamically updated custom audiences for Facebook ads based on any of these types of actions (as shown in the video below)
Clickfunnels has Actionetics
Clickfunnels, co-founded by Russell Brunson, is actually one of three products in an all in one platform called the ‘Etison Suite’ released in their 2.0 version. Their second product is Actionetics which is a communication system that enables you to interact with all your leads and buyers in an individual way through email and text message based on their actions on your site (or funnels). It also pulls in data from all of their social profiles to let you know how likely they are to purchase from you – their action score. It enables you to replace your existing autoresponders with ‘action funnels’ within the software.
Click funnels Also has Backpack
Backpack CRM is the third product in their ‘Etison Suite’ and is an affiliate management system or JV management partner system that is fully integrated into clickfunnels. Backpack let’s you recruit your own affiliates to expand and grow your business in order to leverage the email list and audiences of others.
leadpages REVIEW vs clickfunnels REVIEW 2017
Ok here we go, let’s begin the comparison with pricing.
Leadpages has three different plans starting from just $25/m if you choose the annual plan otherwise it’s $37/m:
You get unlimited pages, traffic and leadboxes (explained below) however to do A/B testing and additional features such as leadlinks (below) you will need the pro account (which is the one I have).
The leadpages alternatives Clickfunnel base plan starts at $97/m which is over 2.5x more costly than leadpages starting plan plus you’re limited to 20 funnels and 100 pages and 20k monthly pageviews. However you get all features on the base plan (which includes A/B testing) as well as a 14 day clickfunnels free trial plus (there is no leadpages free trial). Plus you also get shopping cart functionality which means you can create entire sales funnels with one click upsells without having to pay for a 3rd party provider like Samcart (which starts at $99/m). The clickfunnels cost of the full suite with actionetics and backpack (explained above) costs $297/m:
However click funnels also has a ‘share funnel plan’ at $19/m where if people sign up through a share funnel link from someone else they can get access to a limited 3 funnel account at just $19/m in perpetuity (although they will likely want to upgrade pretty quickly).
If you have reached your funnel limit, simply upgrade to the full suite for a day, add hundreds of funnels and then downgrade. You will be over your limit and won’t be able to add any more but you will never need to! Plus if you need an additional page in an existing funnel you can still use the duplicate page feature. Notice how I am 117 funnels over the 20 limit!!
Next up let’s review their landing page designs and editor but first…
what is a landing page
A landing page technically is any page that a web visitor first lands on, most commonly through organic search. Looking inside google analytics, my top landing pages are actually blog posts.
However in this context, a landing page is an optimised page designed to elicit the action you want the visitor to take. The best way to do this is to channel them into just one action by limiting distractions. The most common action of a landing page or lead page is to collect someone’s email address in exchange for something of value. This is normally structured through having a lead magnet offer in the form of a free email course, PDF or book. This can also be a registration page for a free webinar or to sign up to a free members area which is my main current offer with the Bootstrappers Vault (created in clickfunnels).
Let’s look at the landing page builder options within both platforms.
Leadpages landing page generator
A great feature of leadpages over all other landing page creators is that you can sort by highest converting landing page template, i.e. the best landing pages of all time:
They also now have a drag and drop page builder with new widgets or page elements to add to your pages:
The video below shows the functionality of the drag and drop interface – leadpages beat clickfunnels to this, however they are about to roll out their own drag and drop interface in their V2 editor (details below).
Leadpages was first to have a marketplace which boasts a huge selection of landing page and minisite templates
to help you grow your business and again you can sort by highest converting. You can upload your own templates however you need to delve into source code and upload in a zip format, adhering to their template marketplace directory structure however there is great documentation explaining how.
Leadpages unique features
Leadpages not only has a landing page builder, it also has a bunch of other builders:
Leadboxes are list-building forms that you can add to blog posts or sidebar widgets where once clicked generates a popup to claim a lead magnet offering. This is an example of a leadbox. They can also be added as an exit popup and it has a simple to use wordpress plugin.
Leadlinks allow subscribers to join your list or subscribe to a webinar with a single click from within an email.
Leaddigits enable you to create phone numbers where people can text to optin to your offer. It then sends a reply with a link to your landing page.
As can be expected with it’s new Center.io offering being the hub of marketing technology, leadpages integrates exceptionally well with almost all services you would want.
Let’s now look at the Leadpages alternative landing page software Clickfunnels.
Clickfunnels Landing Page Builder
Rather than individual (lead) pages, Click Funnels is all about funnels which groups pages together. As such to create landing page in clickfunnels you need to add a new funnel:
To create an equivalent lead page in Leadpages, you would select ‘Collect Emails’ where the next screen shows that a funnel of just two pages will be created, the optin and the thank you page:
If instead you were to select ‘sell your product’ you’re greeted with a choice of three different funnels:
If we click on sales funnel it shows that a funnel will be built with four pages, the optin page, the sales page, the order form page and the confirmation page:
Once inside the funnel you can the add additional upsell pages after the order form utilising the power of one click upsells that on average 20-25% of customers agree to add on to their order. You will see in the sales funnel example below I have added multiple upsells and downsell pages:
Click on the orange ‘edit page’ button above and you’re greeted with an excellent landing page editor which is intuitive and easy to use.
The video below shows how to master the clickfunnels editor in less than 10 minutes:
On the previous image you may also have noticed the ‘edit page in V2’ button. The version 2 clickfunnels editor is still in beta and I’ve been using it for some time. Like leadpages it is also now drag and drop:
Clickfunnels launched their marketplace last year where you can shop not only high converting landing pages but also entire funnels the community has made. I have uploaded one I created for a previous podcast and what’s great is you can simply pick an existing funnel in your account to upload within the seller area, and then all you need to do is complete the description.
click funnels UNIQUE FEATURES
With Click Funnels you don’t need to have a separate third party checkout solution such as Samcart as it comes with order forms with stripe and braintree integration. Clickfunnels also has it’s own membership area which is great for quickly creating a paid content area to deliver an information product. Once people purchase a linked product they automatically get sent a membership login URL to sign up to the members area. Below is one I did for the ski niche (I talk about this free plus shipping funnel in the conclusion):
Clickfunnels integrates with a bunch of email service and webinar providers, as well as shopping cart software but overall not as many as leadpages:
Now let’s compare the affiliate programmes, something that is important and can often be a decent secondary income stream for online business owners who run services businesses or authority sites.
Leadpages Affiliate Program
With leadpages you get 30% monthly commissions for the lifetime of the customer. I love monthly recurring commissions, it’s predictable and you can build a real asset as I describe in how to create an authority site / muse business.
You get a 3rd party affiliate management system to log into at affiliate.leadpages.net which enables you to track the number of clicks you send along with the all important conversion rate which tends to be around 1% which is great:
As well as sending to their homepage, you can also promote their:
- Weekly webinar
- Landing page tutorial
- Conversion Cast
- Facebook Ads Course
- Email Marketing Course
- Webinar Funnel Marketing System
- Perfect Lead Magnet
- Blog posts such as their one on reducing bounce rate
Clickfunnels Affiliate Program
Clickfunnels pays 40% monthly, 10% more than leadpages, and uses it’s own Backpack affiliate area which shows a weekly summary:
What’s frustrating to me is that a) you cannot track clicks to conversion rate so you can’t work out how much you can spend on traffic to the offers and b) negative amounts show up in your report which are refunds and make it hard to track and predict what your weekly payment is going to be.
However where clickfunnels excels is by having a bunch of high converting offers you can promote:
- Affiliate bootcamp – retire in 100 days
- Dream car competition – get 100 active paying CF members and they will pay for a lease on a car
- Funnel Hacks webinar
- Funnel giveaway – product launch style series
- Clickfunnels certification training
- 108 proven split tests free book
- Perfect Webinar Secrets
- Funnel Scripts software
- Funnel University membership
- Dot Com Secrets free book (and one of the best biz books of all time)
- Marketing In Your Car – free mp3 player
You can add affiliate sub ID tracking parameters so that you know whether a facebook ad campaign or tweet drove signups:
Plus, as mentioned above, you can grab a share funnel link from any of your funnels to give to someone and if they sign up through your link you are affiliated which also makes list building great.
Leadpages Support & Community
I’ve always found leadpages support team and Alivia at their affiliate team to be excellent, have not had any issues. Plus their facebook group has over 10,000 members and is a super supportive community.
Click funnels SUPPORT & COMMUNITY
Clickfunnels support can be a little hit and miss, purely down to the nature of growing so insanely fast. When I first joined they helped me massively understand how to structure a sales funnel and I owe them a lot. With their growth, support did decline noticeably however now response rates are way back up and it’s fantastic being able to ask for help using the intercom chat widget. However getting your query understood and resolved first time is still not guaranteed, some agents are truly excellent and record personalised videos showing you how to resolve the problem you’re having; some responses are less than great. Kevin from the affiliate team is superb at personally answering any questions also. Plus their facebook group has almost 40k people and you are almost ensure to get a quick response from someone in the community.
So which approach is right – an all in one solution or picking best of breed components?
It would be a cop out to say “it depends on your business” so I won’t. To sell products online it’s super convenient to choose clickfunnels where you can create optins, sales pages and take payments within one platform without having to use and pay for a 3rd party shopping cart provider such as Samcart.
However there are inherent limitations with the all in one approach. There are obvious things you can do with Samcart that you can’t do within clickfunnels such as charge $X now and $Y after 7 days in a single payment. Instead you have to hack this together with different stripe plans and using the ‘order bump‘ feature in the way shown below. I wanted to set this up on a free plus shipping ski wax funnel but didn’t use this approach as it felt unclear and misleading to the customer.
Instead I was forced to go with offering the item for free and then trying to upsell into a recurring membership through offering an additional product that came with the trial.
Clickfunnels is no doubt currently the best funnel building platform on the market, despite individual limitations vs the competition. However despite building a business on top of clickfunnels, I’m still heavily invested in Leadpages and use the best email marketing automation software Drip instead of Actionetics (part of Clickfunnels full suite).
It’s these kind of examples that leads me to agree with Clay that the future software paradigm is unbundling, connecting best in breed software together to create the ultimate stack.
What do you think? Let me know in the comments below and if you liked this review please share 🙂Check Out Leadpages Create Your FREE Clickfunnels trial