A good sales funnel is about more than getting prospects and buyers into your marketing system. Done right, it will benefit them as much as it does you, by nurturing them during the early stages of your “relationship.”
And nurtured leads are shown to make 47% larger purchases than un-nurtured leads.
Setting up an effective sales funnel can be challenging, especially if you’re not super-comfortable with all the technical aspects. Sales funnel software can help you put all the pieces together quickly and easily. Let’s look at the best sales funnel systems available today.
What Is a Sales Funnel?
A sales funnel is a system that takes people from their first connection with you to becoming a potential customer and ultimately to buying what you have to offer.
It should filter out people who aren’t qualified prospects along the way, whether that’s because your product or service isn’t the right fit for them or because of something else that makes it a poor fit.
If you were to draw a diagram to visualize your sales funnel, you would see how it gets the name “funnel.” The top of the diagram, which is the earliest stages of your sales process, is wide to capture as many people as possible.
As they work through the various stages, the system will filter out the people who aren’t qualified customers for one reason or another, leaving only the most qualified (and therefore likely to buy) by the end. The diagram gets narrower as they work through the system, ending up with a narrow — and highly qualified — outflow.
Is a Good Sales Funnel the Answer to Your Prayers?
Before I get into my recommended marketing funnel software, there are a couple of things that I want to point out. The first being there’s no “magic” sales funnel that’s going to create a windfall overnight.
You’ll see lots of marketers who claim to be able to give you the “best” sales funnel template. Unfortunately, there is no single “best” funnel. What works for one person’s business won’t necessarily work the same way for yours – even if you’re in the same market.
There are too many variables to consider. The only way you’ll find the best sales funnel for your business is to test and tweak as you learn what works and what doesn’t. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use someone else’s funnel as a starting point, but don’t follow it blindly.
Start the process at step 1 and fine-tune things as you go.
Have realistic expectations and don’t get tempted by all the hype you’ll see online.
Recommended Sales Funnel Software
There are several good sales funnel builders on the market, including:
- Thrive Leads
They each have their pros and cons, so let’s look at them in some detail.
iDigitalSuite may be the easiest sales funnel builder to use. The drag-and-drop editor comes preloaded with over a hundred templates, thousands of images, icons, backgrounds, buttons, and more. From the moment you join, you are taken on a digital tour through all of the features. If this is your first time creating a sales funnel, iDigitalSuite may be the right choice for you.
iDigitalSuite offers a wordpress plugin, chrome extension, and allows custom domains to be integrated. You can simply use iDigitalSuite links if you prefer to keep it simple.
If you have a wordpress site and you’d like to create call to actions, iDigitalSuite makes it simple to make pop ups, conversion mats, and branded CTA’s to use on any shared content, even if it’s not your own.
iDigitalSuite is cloud based so everything takes place online in the app. You will always be working on the most updated version and do not need to download any software.
iDigitalSuite has 2 pricing levels. The iDigitalSuite Actions software is $47 per month or $397 per year. iDigitalSuite also offers social automation software which is included in the Pro package. The pro package is $77 per month or $547 if paid annually.
ClickFunnels is one of the most popular packages for building sales funnels. It offers a simple drag-and-drop editor for building the pages in your funnel with smart shopping cart features like a one-click upsell.
It works with both email and Facebook marketing, letting you automate the process of moving prospects through your funnel. Actions like clicking a link, reading the email, or liking a Facebook page work as triggers for moving someone into a different path, letting you target people based on actions they’ve taken.
Follow-up funnels are used to send targeted communications to your prospects through email, social media, text messages, and even desktop notifications. You’re not limited to a specific medium and can use whichever method is most compatible with your target audience.
ClickFunnels is a cloud-based system, meaning you don’t have to install any software or download updates whenever they add new features. You’ll always be using the latest version with all the latest updates.
Their support team is available 24/7 so you can get help with any questions any time of the day or night, regardless of what time zone you’re in.
ClickFunnels has two subscription levels. The basic ClickFunnels software is $97 per month ($997 if paid annually) and the full ClickFunnels Suite, which adds their Backpack and Actionetics features, is $297 per month ($2,997 if paid annually). Both offer a free 14-day trial so you can test it out to see if it will work for you.
LeadPages is another popular sales funnel builder. It also offers a simple drag-and-drop page builder but you can start with one of their conversion-optimized templates. You can even use one of their templates as-is to get your pages launched, then go back and test changes once you have a baseline established.
LeadPages includes a bunch of conversion tools including alert bars, pop-ups, opt-in boxes, and more. You can integrate these into any of the pages in your funnel to capture more leads.
Their analytics dashboard gives you all the stats you could need to optimize every step in your funnel. You can run A/B split tests to find what works best and they’ll even give you real-time conversion tips to help you make the right changes.
LeadPages gives you “unlimited publishing” which means you don’t have to pay a per-lead fee. The cost is the same no matter how many pages you publish or how many leads you collect.
It will integrate with other web services like Facebook and Google ads, MailChimp and other email service providers, and even payment processors like Stripe. LeadPages support is available by email, phone, and chat.
LeadPages has several subscription levels ranging from $19 per month to $321 per month ($15 to $199 per month if paid annually). The lowest levels let you use it on a single website versus up to 50 website at the highest level. You also get more features and more advanced integration with other services in the higher levels. LeadPages offers a free 14-day trial so you can test the system before committing.
Thrive Leads is a WordPress-based sales funnel builder. If your website is WordPress-based, it will integrate into your existing pages and whatever theme your site is using.
It lets you show targeted content to your site’s visitors using the existing structure of your WordPress site. Posts, categories, tags, and more can work to identify what gets shown to whom. Thrive Leads includes an A/B split testing feature so you can test different versions of your content and optimize your site with the ones that get the best results.
It has analytics reports that go beyond anything that’s already built into WordPress. You can see how different pieces of content are performing and figure out your most valuable traffic sources.
Thrive Leads comes with dozens of pre-built templates that you can use as-is or modify with their drag-and-drop editor, all within your existing WordPress installation. You can also create customized mobile-friendly versions of your opt-in forms and other content.
It will also integrate with most popular email service providers as well as any service that uses an HTML signup form, giving you almost unlimited flexibility.
Thrive Leads Pricing
Thrive Leads offers three different license packs — $67 for a single license, $97 for 5 licenses, or $147 for 15 licenses. You can also get a 25-license option by becoming a Thrive Member for $19 per month, which also includes access to the entire library of Thrive Themes and Plugins for WordPress.
Instapage is another cloud-based sales funnel package, meaning you won’t need to install anything or manage updates. It offers a drag-and-drop interface for building your pages as well as a wide selection of conversion-optimized templates.
Instapage also lets you build AMP landing pages for an optimized mobile experience. AMP, or Accelerated Mobile Pages, are designed for mobile delivery with faster download speeds and more reliable layout on small screens. Google and other search engines will index these pages and show them to people searching on their mobile devices so it can help with search engine exposure.
Each page you create in Instapage can be customized for various audiences so a visitor landing on that page will see a version that is specific to the stage they’re at in your funnel. Visitor data like keywords used to find your site and their particular demographics can play into this customization.
The page-level customization can also help reduce your advertising costs by providing a more relevant page for each visitor. Ad networks like Google and Facebook can track this type of information so more effective pages will make your visitors happy at a lower overall cost.
A/B Testing and Beyond
Instapage lets you run A/B split tests on your pages but it also supports multivariate testing.
This lets you test several different parts of the page at the same time, not just two. The best performing option for each of the components can be combined into a page that will be super-optimized.
The Core Instapage package is $129 per month or $99 per month if paid annually.
Some features, like AMP pages and a guaranteed uptime agreement, are only available in the Enterprise package. This package is customized for your particular needs so the cost will depend on your requirements.
The final marketing funnel software in our comparison is Unbounce. This is another cloud-based package with an easy-to-use drag-and-drop interface. It includes over 100 optimized templates that you can use as-is or modify to your liking.
Once you have created your pages on the Unbounce site, their system will publish it to your WordPress site or a custom domain. This means all the traffic to your pages is coming to your website while giving you the advantages of a hosted service.
It supports A/B split testing on all your pages as well as their Dynamic Text Replacement (DTR) technology. DTR will insert pieces of text on your page based on the search terms a visitor used to find your site. This helps improve your page relevance, providing the visitor with more targeted content while potentially lowering your advertising costs.
Unbounce’s pop-ups and “sticky bars” give you lots of flexibility for converting your site’s visitors into leads. They can even be run on a schedule so you can show different offers at different times automatically.
Unbounce integrates with more services than any other sales funnel builder.
Common services like email service providers and ad networks are there but it also works with services like Zapier, LiveChat, Slack, and Google Docs. This lets you slice and dice your stats in various ways to find what’s working and what isn’t.
Unbounce offers three different packages.
Essential is $99 per month ($79 if paid annually) for up to 75 pages, Premium is $199 per month ($159 if paid annually) for up to 150 pages, and Enterprise is $499 per month ($399 if paid annually) for 375 pages. They offer a free 14-day trial to test the system and make sure it will work for you.
Choosing the Best Option for Your Needs
As I said at the beginning, there is no single “best” sales funnel for every business. The same applies to sales funnel software. What works well for one company may not be the best choice for another.
Personally, my preferred service is iDigitalSuite, as you can see on my recommended resources page. But it may or may not be the best one for your needs.
Take some time to figure out exactly what you want from your sales funnel system. Take advantage of the free trials to dig into each service a bit and see how you like it. Most of them offer free 14-day trial periods, which is plenty of time to get your hands dirty and even run a few tests with real traffic.
If you’re still not sure which option is best for you, I can help point you in the right direction. Fill out my “work with me” form and I can help you get up and running quickly and effectively.