One of the most effective ways to monetize your website visitors is through the creation of funnel landing pages using funnel software tools.
A funnel is a marketing device that guides visitors through a series of pages with sales copy intended to convert prospects into customers.
Unlike an opt-in page, where your goal is to exchange your visitor's email address for your lead magnet, a funnel is structured to convince your visitor why this is the perfect time to take action to purchase your product by making an offer they can’t refuse.
Disclosure: Although I receive affiliate compensation at no additional cost to you to support this site that compensation in no way influences my recommendations, which are strictly informed by my 10+ years of online business experience consulting for clients large and small. My aim is to always recommend tools that offer the best return for your investment (for more details, read my Affiliate Disclosure).
Typically, a funnel follows an opt-in page. The opt-in popup offers a lead magnet in exchange for an email address so that you can build your email list.
But then instead of showing visitors a thank you page for requesting the lead magnet, you show them a funnel page.
On this page, you present your prospect with a long-copy sales letter that's structured to take your lead down a path where the more they read, the more they compelled to get your offer.
The Sales Letter
Now, sales letters are a complex subject outside the scope of this article, but the essence is that you want to:
- Establish early what the problem your prospect wants to solve is
- Show how your solution has addressed this problem with others (preferably taking advantage of the power of storytelling)
- Providing testimonials to reassure your prospect that your solution works for real people just like them (btw, you clearly need to know your audience like the palm of your hand to pull this off)
- Then you make your offer with an irresistible discount, like 60% or 70% off (which is easy to accomplish with information products because of their high margins)
- Finally, you offer a number of free low-cost or no-cost bonuses to seal the deal followed by a clear and compelling order button
The One-Click Upsell Page
When your leads place an order they’ll reach a checkout page, and when they check out after entering their credit card details, your funnel will continue on to a one-click upsell page.
Here you offer those who made the first purchase a complementary offer that’s more expensive than the original purchase but also heavily discounted (using a mini-sales letter or a video).
A percentage of people will take you on this upsell offer increasing your profit margins.
But some will decline, which is the third part of the funnel: the one-click downsell page. Here you’ll offer a lower-priced complementary offer or the same product in your upsell page but even more heavily discounted.
You could even show a second downsell page for those who pass up the first one.
In summary, this is what a funnel looks like, which is the source of riches for a great many online success stories.
When your funnel is highly tuned, it will become a massive cash cow that makes you money while you sleep.
But funnels have a lot of moving parts that need to be carefully developed and coordinated, hence the need for specialized funnel software tools.
Below, you find the best tools on the market for online solopreneurs.
What are the Best Funnel Software Tools?
Leadpages is the #1 funnel page and landing page builder for online marketers.
It boasts over 150 high-quality templates that produce fully customizable funnels with one-click upsells, downsells and order bumps.
Also, all of their funnel page templates are mobile responsive and offer a handy wizard to get you going if you’re a beginner and feel a bit lost with so much choice.
They have their own checkout feature to collect payments that works with Stripe and PayPal, but also allow you to integrate with third-party checkout tools and eCommerce sites if that's your preference.
Leadpages Features that Stand Out
- Ease of use
- Over 150 templates and over 40 integrations
- A/B testing of opt-in forms and funnel pages built-in
- Unlimited opt-ins, funnel pages, traffic and leads in all plans
- Works with both popular content management systems (e.g. WordPress) as well as with website builders (e.g. Wix)
- In-dashboard analytics so you can track clicks and conversions
- Phone, live chat and email support
Now the Cons...
- A/B testing isn't available on their entry-level plan (only on higher priced plans)
- Limited customization of templates as it uses a rigid layout grid for editing
Find Out More About Leadpages Here.
Best Budget Option:
Thrive Leads is the most cost-effective and flexible option for creating high-converting funnels, but it’s limited to WordPress and it does require a minimum level of technical proficiency since you’ll need to integrate it with an eCommerce engine like BigCommerce or WooCommerce.
But once you’ve done that, it’ll produce fully customizable funnels with one-click upsells, downsells and order bumps.
In the not too distant past, you had to commit to pretty pricey external platforms to do all of the above, and if you stopped your subscriptions, you would have to walk away from all your hard work.
With Thrive Leads, you can now own and control your entire funnel stack right from within your site.
Thrive Leads Features that Stand Out
- Wide variety of funnel tools available (e.g. countdown timer, testimonial widget, fill counter, star rating, guarantee box, pricing table, etc.)
- Advanced A/B testing tool
- 35+ integrations with the most popular bulk email systems and marketing automation platforms
- Detailed analytics reports
- Multiple funnel page types available (lightbox, ribbon, in-content, slide-in, screen filler, scroll mat, widget)
Now the Cons...
- Slow support (it takes up to 24 hours to get an email response)
- Only works with WordPress
Find Out More About Thrive Leads Here.
A properly set-up online funnel system has many moving parts: it needs to integrate its landing page creator with a checkout page, a payment processor and an email marketing platform, and all pieces must communicate seamlessly for the funnel to operate.
While all this integration work will be easy to implement if you’re technically savvy, it’ll be problematic if you’re not.
This is where Clickfunnels comes in. This tool was designed from the ground up for users who are not technically inclined and want a simple solution that does it all.
They have an easy to use page builder with an intuitive drag and drop editor that allows you to create simple or complex funnels using a graphical interface, without having to master complex marketing technologies.
Now, Clickfunnels does have two key downsides that you’ll read on many reviews. The first one is that it’s very expensive compared to their competition.
I would argue that the starter package is competitive when you consider that you won’t have to pay for any additional third-party integrations.
But I do agree that its higher packages are too expensive and not worth its value dollar for dollar.
However, the starter package will work well for beginners who aren't comfortable with the sometimes complex technical requirements of its competitors.
The other downside is that, being experts in funnel making, Clickfunnels will constantly try to upsell you things you don’t really need, which can become annoying after a while (and the reason why they get so many negative reviews).
My advice is to use these upsells as a learning tool—that is, don’t buy anything they offer you (unless you really need it, of course) but do study the funnels they're using to try to upsell you.
After all, they're truly experts in creating great sales copy that moves the needle.
So, take the time to study their sales letters and make lots of notes!
Clickfunnels Features that Stand Out
- All-in-one solution, ideal if you’re not technically inclined
- Connects to WordPress with a handy plugin
- Built-in A/B testing tools
- Easy to use page builder with drag and drop feature
- Ready-made to sell information products, webinars, memberships, etc
- Funnels can do order bumps, upsells and downsells
- 14-day free trial
Now the Cons...
- Customer service not as responsive are their competitors
- Lots of upselling pressure (use this to your advantage to learn from the pros!)
- Customizations are not as flexible as their competitors, this platform is clearly designed for those who are not technically proficient.
Find Out More About Clickfunnels Here.
Best Free of Freemium Option:
This is a great WordPress plugin that's designed to piggyback on WooCommerce to produce a powerful funnel creation tool with one-click upsells, downsells and order bumps.
Cartflows allows you to create an unlimited number of funnel pages, upsell pages and downsell pages plus it has a powerful A/B testing feature where you can have two versions of every page in your funnel to find out which one converts better.
However, note that while you can create funnels that can take payments with the free version (in conjunction with the free version of WooCommerce), you'll need the paid version of CartFlows to add one-click upsell, downsell and order bump functionality.
CartFlows has many high-quality templates to choose from so you don’t have to build your funnel pages from scratch.
And the best part is that unlike many of its competitors, you get to build, host, control, customize and fully own the entire funnel stack locally.
CartFlows Features that Stand Out (Free Tier)
- Create unlimited funnel pages
- It support most popular WordPress page builders, like Thrive Architect, Elementor and Beaver Builder
- Ability to fully customize the WooCommerce checkout page, adding money-back guarantee graphics, marketing bullets and testimonials
- Good analytics and tracking
Now the Cons...
- Only works with WordPress sites
- Upsells, downsells and order bumps require the paid version
Find Out More About CartFlows Here.
How to Get Started With Funnel Software?
There are a lot of great funnel software tools on the market these days. A quick Google search will yield plenty of results, or you can check out some of the tools listed above.
When you're choosing funnel software tools, it's important to first think about what your needs and your budget are.
What kind of website do you have? (is it self-hosted or are you using a website builder?) What sales volume do you expect? What type of design features do you need on your landing pages? Once you have a good understanding of your needs you can start to narrow down the options.
Some funnel software tools are great for beginners but are also a lot more basic, while others are full-featured but a lot more complex to set up.
It's also important to consider the price point and features offered by each tool.
Some funnel software tools are more expensive yet offer features that'll allow you to unlock higher sales, while others are more affordable but have more limitations, like a lack of order bumps or a single upsell and downsell level.
There's no right or wrong answer here, it just depends on what your needs and your budget are.
Having said that, if you're new at funnel creation and your sales are low, you may want to start out with a stripped down tool that's inexpensive and then upgrade later when you sales volume can support a bigger overhead.