I want to talk about ClickFunnels, why I used to love ClickFunnels, why I no longer love ClickFunnels… and why I had to move my membership program from ClickFunnels to WordPress.
A few months ago, I built my Funnel Academy membership program in ClickFunnels – I’ve used it for years now to build my own landing pages, funnels, my clients’ funnels, my clients’ landing pages.
The main reason I chose it is because it’s quick and relatively cheap to get things launched.
So why am I leaving ClickFunnels?
As time went on, the more I delved into ClickFunnels as a membership product. I started to realise that some of the things that I needed to do as a membership owner just weren’t supported.
Too many manual processes
One of the main things that I dislike about ClickFunnels (and probably the main reason I’m having to move away from ClickFunnels to WordPress) is the fact that I was having to do a lot of things manually.
For example, the process when somebody leaves the Academy was fairly painful. They had to email me, and I had to then go manually remove them from ClickFunnels, cancel their subscription to Stripe and remove them from my email list.
The frustrating thing was that the search function didn’t work. This meant I had to physically scroll through every single member to find the subscription I needed to cancel. This whole process was becoming really time-consuming thing for me, and definitely not the best use of my time either.
Another bugbear was that if somebody wanted to change their card details, for example, it was again a manual process.
Unreliable email broadcasts
A major problem for me was that sometimes ClickFunnels emails didn’t send. When someone purchased a subscription, they were supposed to get an automatic email giving them their login details.
That didn’t happen all the time. Their emails didn’t go out, which meant I had to then send a manual link out to people asking them to create their profile… another manual task.
Not only that, I had to send them what’s called a ‘Secret URL’ – which in ClickFunnels is essentially a URL that lets anyone create a profile without purchasing – that was the only link I could give them so they could create their profile.
I had a nasty experience when someone shared this link on a black hat forum… 500 people joined my membership overnight without paying.
I had to then restrict access from everyone in the course to only people that had actually purchased the product. Sounds good in theory, but I quickly got complaints from legitimate members because they were logged out.
This meant I had to scroll through every single member (remember the search function in ClickFunnels doesn’t work!) and create a new purchase from them. This then threw ClickFunnel’s, already poor, reporting out because people now had purchases logged against them that they hadn’t actually made.
Poor user interface
Generally I found ClickFunnels really limiting to use. For example, members can’t watch a lesson and then click ‘Next Lesson’.
You can’t link to a lesson in ClickFunnels either, so if I wanted to send people to a specific lesson, I couldn’t just send them the link. I’d have to ask them to go through module one and find it themselves.
These things may be small, but combined mean that the user isn’t given a great experience.
You don’t login to a ClickFunnels membership and go, “Ah, this is a great place to spend my time!” Yet that is a really key element to a membership site – you need your members spending time on the platform and logging in as many times as possible.
There’s very limited reporting on even basic things such as how often times people log in or if someone hasn’t logged in. This means you can’t then take the action you need to, such as setting up an automatic email to those who haven’t in to check everything’s OK.
A lack of support
With all these issues, you’d expect ClickFunnels to have a really good support team. Unfortunately not.
The ClickFunnels support is really, really poor, and when you contact support, they’re not actually employees of ClickFunnels! They’re people who happen to be good at ClickFunnels, and so they don’t even have any access to your account.
If something goes wrong with your account, they can’t go in and fix it for you. Imagine how that felt when I had all these issues with the members joining overnight! When I did contact them, I was told, “Sorry, you’re gonna have to go through each person manually and delete them,” which would have taken me hours.
It feels like the ClickFunnels membership product is a very cheap and quick product that they launched, just so they say that they can launch memberships. The problem is, it’s not built with membership owners in mind.
The last thing you want to be doing as a business owner are all these really manual, time-consuming tasks. You want to be focused on creating content and working with current members.
Now, I’ve moved over to WordPress, I’m seeing that everything zings in with each other… my email marketing zings with Stripe and with WordPress.
This means that somebody could go into the membership and cancel their subscription themselves. They’re then automatically removed from my email marketing, automatically cancelled in Stripe, and automatically removed from WordPress. So much easier for them and for me!
I use the MemberPress plugin for WordPress now for my membership. The support is far, far superior with WordPress.
Their support teams can go in to my membership site and fix things if I need them to – a lifeline when you’re dealing with something as technical as a membership site.
Remember the ClickFunnels issue I explained above when I had to log new purchases against already existing members after a breach? That just won’t happen in WordPress, because people buy the product and they get access.
No one gets access unless they purchase the product, and if somebody doesn’t get the email from me when they sign up (which hasn’t happened so far) then I can simply just generate a new password for them. They log in, they change their password, happy days.
But.. don’t disregard ClickFunnels just yet
Now, with all this in mind, there is one main benefit to ClickFunnels – especially if you’re looking to use it for a membership site – and that’s the speed at which you can create and launch something, and to see whether people purchased it or not.
If you want to test something in your course or your membership, then ClickFunnels is perfect, because you can build something, set it up and potentially sell it within a day… you can see quite quickly whether or not something’s viable.
If it is, you could then make the transition over to the new membership site. If not, you haven’t had to spend thousands of pounds or dollars on getting something custom built for your membership, such as WordPress, only for it to fail.
With ClickFunnels, you can build something fast, it’s quick, and it’s easy, but it’s definitely not the best membership product out there.
So if you’re looking to build your membership, perhaps look at ClickFunnels to get a Minimum Viable Product, but if you’re sure that people are going to buy this membership, I would stay away from ClickFunnels.
Making the transition from ClickFunnels to WordPress
Moving from ClickFunnels to WordPress hasn’t been easy. It took me a couple of weeks to get all my users transferred.
I had to transfer over some transactions and subscriptions, and there’s lots of technical things that had to happen there to make that work, so it wasn’t easy.
That said, I think it’s probably easier and better than spending thousands on a custom-built membership site, only to find that people don’t actually want to buy it!