Whether you're a solopreneur or manage an entire team of marketing professionals, choosing the right combination of software for your marketing stack can be a challenge.
I think the hardest part is that different tools have overlapping functions, so you're never comparing apples to apples enough.Some software is totally free with just a few simple features, while other software costs a pretty penny and comes with tons of features you might not use!
So how can you know for sure where the best value lies?
Well, this is exactly why I want to talk about the best free and paid alternative to ClickFunnel .As valuable as this popular all-in-one marketing platform is, there are definitely MANY more affordable and accessible options to consider, especially when you're just starting out.
If you're reading this, you probably have at least NO knowledge of ClickFunnels – if not, check out our full ClickFunnels review.(As you'll see in that post, Niche Pursuits has used ClickFunnels for many of our products in the past and has been a fantastic resource.)
In this post I will share some excellent free and paid alternatives of ClickFunnels, but first let's take a look at what ClickFunnels actually has to offer.
- 1 WHAT IS CLICKFUNNELS?
- 2 BEST FREE CLICKFUNNEL ALTERNATIVE: CARTFLOWS PLUGIN ON WORDPRESS
- 2.1 INTRODUCTION TO CARTFLOW
- 2.1.1 WHAT ABOUT CARTFLOWS PRO?
- 2.2 ANOTHER FREE ALTERNATIVE TO CLICKFUNNELS
- 2.2.1 ELEMENTOR PAGE BUILDER
- 2.1 INTRODUCTION TO CARTFLOW
- 3 BEST PAID CLICKFUNNEL ALTERNATIVE: BUILDERALL
- 3.1 BUILDERALL VS CLICKFUNNELS
- 3.1.1 THE CANVAS FUNNEL BUILDER
- 3.1.2 IS IT WORTH IT BUILDER?
- 3.1.3 PRO OF BUILDER ALL
- 3.1.4 CONS OF BUILDER ALL
- 3.2 OTHER PAID CLICKFUNNEL ALTERNATIVES:
- 3.2.1 KARTRA
- 3.2.2 THRIVE THEMES
- 3.1 BUILDERALL VS CLICKFUNNELS
- 4 OTHER LANDING PAGE BUILDERS
- 4.1 LEADPAGES
- 4.2 REGISTRATION
- 5 OTHER SHOPPING CARTS
- 5.1 SAMCART
- 5.2 THRIVECART
- 6 OTHER CLICKFUNNEL ALTERNATIVES
- 7 SHOULD YOU CHOOSE A CLICKFUNNELS ALTERNATIVE?
- 7.1 PROS OF CLICKFUNNELS
- 7.2 CONS OF CLICKFUNNELS
- 8 CONCLUSION
WHAT IS CLICKFUNNELS?
In short, ClickFunnels is an all-in-one marketing solution focused on building sales funnels.Founded in 2014 by famed marketing guru Russell Brunson as a solution to his marketing challenges, ClickFunnels is a popular tool to help you perform what Brunson teaches in books like Dotcom Secrets — without needing technical programming experience.
ClickFunnels is generally considered a top-tier tool for selling products online.Here's a description of what a ClickFunnels subscription offers:
- Building shape
- Landing page construction
- Upselling / downselling
- Payment process
- Email Automation
- A/B Testing
It's a pretty impressive list, and it applies to almost everything you could try to do online: lead capture, membership sites, product launches, automated webinars, ebooks, and more!
As an online marketer and niche site owner, you'll probably need each of these features at some point, which is why ClickFunnels is so useful.It is super convenient to pay for a single tool that can do all these things in ONE smooth system.
In addition, ClickFunnels offers all kinds of templates for different funnels, so you never have to reinvent the wheel!
On the other hand, you're paying $97 or $297 per month for this software, so you have to be advanced enough in your online business to justify that expense.In fact, I'd say you should have at least AT LEAST two or three products for sale (yours or some affiliate products) that you've seen PROVEN success with.
It's a bit like going from assembling your product by hand to manufacturing on an assembly line – you should ONLY scale after knowing you have something that really works.
If you're interested in finding out more about ClickFunnels, we'll go into more detail about the pros and cons of ClickFunnels later in this post.
For now, I'd like to share both my best free and paid ClickFunnel alternative, as well as a full list of individual offerings that you might consider as replacements for ClickFunnel's core features.
BEST FREE CLICKFUNNEL ALTERNATIVE: CARTFLOWS PLUGIN ON WORDPRESS
Remember, to sell something online, you need a minimum of web hosting, a landing page builder, a shopping cart, and an email service provider.
I understand the temptation to find a free option for your sales funnels and online marketing, trust me!
But here's the thing: it's virtually impossible to find anything out there that does everything ClickFunnels can do for FREE!In fact, even if you had to manually tag your landing pages, you still can't reduce the costs to zero, because you have to pay for your hosting.
When it comes to building an online business where you want to sell something using funnels, expect to invest at least a nominal amount of money in things like a premium WordPress theme, quality hosting, and plugins.
That said, if your goal is to keep costs down, the free version of Cartflows' WordPress plugin is the best deal out there!
Assuming you've already built your WordPress website and don't need the best sales funnel setup, Cartflows offers a solid free option that can do more than get the job done.It's somewhat knocked down, but you don't necessarily need all the bells and whistles anyway.
INTRODUCTION TO CARTFLOWS
So, what is Cartflows?
It's a downloadable plugin that lets you set up your store, funnel, and checkout process directly on your WordPress website.For a full summary of Cartflows, feel free to check out our full Cartflows review.
Now keep in mind, Cartflows relies on other plugins for some of its functions.It allows you to create pages with other page builders and uses Woocommerce for many of its ecommerce dice ecommerce, so you'll need to install the free version of the Woocommerce plugin as well.This is where you add the products you'll put in your Cartflows funnels.
But the most important thing about Cartflows is that even the basic version helps you do what you need to do.Unlike other builders like Leadpages, this one combines checkout and funnel functionality, so there's no need to bounce back and forth between multiple tools to build the sales process.
Cartflows is a great place to start if you don't need a lot of features yet.The free version gives you access to some templates for funnel, checkout, and thank you pages.
WHAT ABOUT CARTFLOWS PRO?
There are two separate Cartflows plugins to download: the second is Cartflows Pro and it adds some excellent premium features.
If you want to step it up without breaking the bank, the paid version of Cartflows brings you more in line with ClickFunnels' funnel creation capabilities.Paid features include premium templates, one-click upsells and downsells, cart abandonment, and checkout offers.
However, I can't stress enough the importance of these "extra" features!
There's a reason ClickFunnels is so popular: it simplifies a proven process to sell and write every ounce of sales potential out of any benefit.Any online marketer serious about selling a product should seriously consider launching for Cartflows Pro, as it includes the features needed to optimize conversions.
One of the coolest things about Cartflows Pro is the price: With just $299 per year, you get all the features you'd pay the same price per month for with ClickFunnels.
Cartflow's conversion-focused templates are a perfect fit for other free or cheap page builders, including Divi, Thrive Architect, and Elementor.This is great for anyone who has already installed one of these popular themes or is used to working with them.
The downside to Cartflows, at least at the time of writing, is that some premium features like A/B testing and countdown timers aren't available yet.But there's still a lot of value in both free and paid versions – this is VERY useful for getting started with sales funnels!
Check out Cartflows right here!
WATCH A DEMO OF CART FLOWS HERE
ANOTHER FREE ALTERNATIVE TO CLICKFUNNELS
ELEMENTOR PAGE BUILDER
WordPress has MANY themes and plugins with both free and paid versions.
If you are looking for a ClickFunnels alternative for creating landing pages, I highly recommend checking out the Elementor page builder (also free).You can see our full Elementor review here.
Elementor is designed to work seamlessly with any WordPress theme, making it easy to create forms, popups, and entire pages with a visual generator – no coding required!
The free version is incredibly valuable, with unlimited usage/traffic, 30 widgets and templates included, and an efficient way to save your OWN templates.There are also several subscriptions that allow you to use the premium version of Elementor on one or more of your sites.
Honestly, the paid version is pretty fantastic value: for usage on a website, you only pay $49 per year.
But if you want to stay with the zero payment, combining the free versions of Cartflows and Elementor will allow you to make effective funnels without paying a penny more.
GET ELEMENTOR PAGE BUILDER FOR FREE!
NOTE: If you're interested in an affordable paid WordPress theme that packs a lot of value, I'd look at Thrive Themes, which will be described later in this post.
BEST PAID CLICKFUNNEL ALTERNATIVE: BUILDERALL
The closest direct competitor to ClickFunnels is a tool called BuilderAll.Unlike many other options in this post, BuilderAll is a complete replacement for ClickFunnels and provides its own all-in-one solution for funnel creation and online marketing.
So why choose BuilderAll over ClickFunnels?
Well, price, first things first!
The premium version of BuilderAll costs only $70 per month, 30% less than the entry-level ClickFunnels plan.And the Essential plan costs $30 per month!
But I'm getting ahead of it.That's what the BuilderAll platform is all about.
BUILDERALL VS CLICKFUNNELS
Started in 2011, BuilderAll was designed from the ground up to help businesses get results online.It's referred to as a comprehensive marketing platform, which means you don't have to put together a bunch of different tools to get all the features you need for your marketing.
All in all, BuilderAll comes with over 20 tools that can help you with digital marketing.Think of it as a "Swiss army knife" to build your online business.
This single platform includes:
- A project builder
- A website builder
- Split test
- Email Marketing
BuilderAll also does a good job of providing a drag-and-drop site builder, so you can skip WordPress completely and use BuilderAll as your host and page builder.You can actually create your own website, collect and manage email subscribers, create a sales page, and even make videos in BuilderAll.
Of course, as with ClickFunnels, BuilderAll's bread and butter are sales funnels.However, you have to opt for the premium version of BuilderAll to access its exclusive Canvas Funnel Builder, which is pretty much essential if you're looking for a funnel builder tool.
THE CANVAS FUNNEL BUILDER
You can create a funnel, including the layout of individual pages, directly in the Canvas Funnel Builder.This is powerful stuff.
First, click "Add Funnel" to create a new funnel.You can indicate what type of funnel it's for, such as selling a product or generating leads.
Then, you can start from scratch by building your own funnel or choose an existing funnel model.Templates help give you a great starting point for the type of funnel you want to build, but it's easy to customize it further.
After selecting a template funnel, Canvas Funnel Builder also includes several themes to choose from.This helps you customize the visual aesthetic of your funnel in general.
Once you've looked at these options, you have a funnel that you can start messing around.If you've ever used a mind mapping or prototyping program like Adobe XD, then you'll be home with these controls.
It's easy to move things, change layouts for each page, create new pop-ups, add download pages – everything you need should be there.
Once you've placed your funnel wherever you want, you can simply press "Generate Website" to actually see all the pages based on your custom funnel.
On each page, you can change the layout, swap images and text, and more.
All in all, Canvas Funnel Builder is a simple and intuitive way to build a completely unique funnel that fits your particular goal.I think this approach offers more flexibility than the other funn-building offerings out there, and it does so at a fairly reasonable price.
IS IT WORTH IT BUILDER?
BuilderAll isn't as well-known as ClickFunnels, but it's a powerful option if you're in the market for an all-in-one digital marketing platform with a solid funnel builder – and it's priced much friendlier for one-man stores and small businesses.
And it definitely has some pretty cool features.BuilderAll has fostered a community of BuilderAll users, allowing you to share your unique funnels or email sequences with others or sell them to your marketing clients!In addition, BuilderAll makes it easy to share a limited version of the dashboard with others, which allows virtual assistants or employees to help you with only the features you want to access.
BuilderAll isn't perfect, however.Users have found some BuilderAll offers to display incorrectly on mobile devices – and as with any all-in-one tool, BuilderAll can seem like a jack of all trades, nobody's master.
That said, if you want a great funnel builder, only the Canvas Funnel Builder is worth the entry price.Here's a general look at the pros and cons of BuilderAll.
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PROS OF BUILDERALL
- A full suite of marketing tools that integrate well
- Powerful Canvas Funnel Builder makes it easy to build custom funnels
- More than 20 funnel models and professional patterns included
- Includes everything you need for online sales (over 25 tools!)
- Impressive ease of use
- Designed with niche website owners in mind
- Lots of value for your money with Builder All Essentials and Premium
CONS OF BUILDERTUTTI
- Drag-and-drop builder can be shaken around the edges
- Mobile responsiveness may not be 100% where it needs to be
- The Blog feature is not as versatile as alternatives like WordPress
- Canvas Funnel Builder included in Premium only
- Can be glitches and buggies at times
If you're interested in trying BuilderAll, they offer a 7-day trial version or a one-to-one demo here.Be sure to check it out!
MORE PAID CLICKFUNNEL ALTERNATIVES:
Like ClickFunnels and BuilderAll, Kartra is an all-in-one marketing platform.
Kartra was created by two online marketing experts, Mike Filsaime and Andy Jenkins.It is a collection of many business tools that help you sell online.
Just like with ClickFunnels, Kartra includes a visual page builder that you can use to create your landing pages.You can read our full Kartra review right here.
In addition to that, Kartra comes with a number of other valuable tools:
- Funnels and campaigns
- The forms
Kartra is ideal for creating custom sales funnels and automated marketing campaigns.In a way, Kartra is best suited to a more advanced marketer who isn't interested in a lot of hands.With Kartra there is plenty of room for customization and advanced features such as split testing and automation, as it guides you to focus on the goal your funnel is trying to achieve.
Kartra also has excellent built-in training, courtesy of a direct response advertising expert named Frank Kern.It is 100% included, which is a great added value!
So, is Kartra a good alternative to ClickFunnels?Well, in terms of pricing, the starter plan is in line with ClickFunnels, so you don't get a lot of savings there – but some of its more expensive plans break several hundred dollars a month, so this is clearly designed for tier usage businesses.
There is definitely a Kartra plan for where you are.If you are interested in learning more about Kartra, have a demo of the product or you can start now.Check it out below!
TRY KARTRA TODAY!
Unlike some of the other WordPress options I mention in this post, Thrive Themes isn't free.
However, if you build your WordPress website using Thrive themes, you can easily duplicate ClickFunnels functionality at no extra cost, thanks to Thrive's suite of versatile premium WordPress plugins.
Plus, a full year of Thrive Themes is even cheaper than just one month of ClickFunnels Platinum.
So why Thrive Themes in particular?
Apart from the price, there are three things:
- You own your landing pages and maintain total control over hosting, design, your funnel content, and traffic – even if you finish your Thrive membership.
- Your Thrive Themes subscription includes a suite of over 10 premium WordPress plugins that offer ClickFunnel-like functionality with MANY customization options.
- Because Thrive is integrated into WordPress, your funnels can integrate seamlessly with the rest of your WordPress website.
For some online businesses, ClickFunnels makes more sense because it negates the need for any configuration work… They handle all hosting, take care of integrations between each step of the funnel, facilitate payment processing, etc.
But most of us in the Niche Pursuits community are focused on building organic traffic through value-based content on a website we own.If you're already doing this with your WordPress website, you can opt for a theme like Thrive at a much better price and not duplicate many of the same features with an expensive ClickFunnels subscription.
Even better, Thrive Themes now includes a visual builder called Thrive Architect, which allows you to easily create custom designs and layouts.And it probably has a wider selection of features through the inclusion of an expanding library of premium plugins, including specific tools like its scarcity plugin, Thrive Ultimatum.
Thrive Themes does a great job of combining all the different features you need into an affordable monthly payment of $19 per month.
Check out Temi Thrive right here.
START SELLING WITH THRIVE THEMES!
OTHER LANDING PAGE BUILDERS
LeadPages is a leader in the landing page building space, and its entry-level plan is quite affordable for startups and small businesses at just $25/mo.
This tool is packed with more than a hundred templates.Of course, many of the real benefits come from a more expensive subscription of $48 per month, especially A/B testing, payment, its LeadLink signup link feature, etc.
Leadpage can integrate not only with WordPress, but with many other popular CMS, including Joomla and Squarespace.Definitely check out our LeadPages review if you're looking for the best landing page builder!
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Instapage is another great landing page builder, especially for those who never want to write a line of code!
I've already used Instapage to create landing pages for a paid ads campaign and webinar sign-up page, and it's definitely one of the most intuitive builders out there.I find a big advantage of tools like Instapage is that they come with some useful analytics and built-in reports: with very little setup, you'll be able to see conversions, conduct split tests, and even see heatmaps to better optimize your landing page, while still making the page appear natively on your WordPress site.
You can also quickly copy templates to create a brand new page ridiculously fast – dare I say right away?
The big downside to Instapage is the price: $99 per month just for the basic plan.I'd say this is pretty expensive for what you get, especially if you're focusing on building a funnel.But if you just want an intuitive landing page builder, it's hard to go wrong with Instapage.
TRY INSTAPAGE FREE FOR 14 DAYS!
OTHER SHOPPING CARTS
Among the online checkout platforms, SamCart is one of the most comprehensive features, able to compete with the features of ClickFunnels.Its great demand for fame is reducing the cart abandonment rate.
SamCart is a popular choice for anyone who sells physical products or informational products such as online courses and e-books.The tool allows you to create checkout pages, funnels, upsells, and drip email campaigns, and also includes payment processing and reporting capabilities.
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This is a high-end checkout platform, which means the monthly subscription isn't cheap: $99 for Pro and $199 for Premium.This puts it in exactly the same price range as ClickFunnels, with similar features.SamCart doesn't have the same flexibility in creating pages, but it's an amazing checkout page builder worth looking at as an alternative to ClickFunnels.
ThriveCart is another excellent tool that comes with some advanced features, including coupons, automatic follow-ups, and two-pass carts.One of its claims to fame is its emphasis on high-converting checkout pages.
Another interesting thing about ThriveCart is that, in a world of subscriptions, this tool is available for a one-time payment of $595.This lifetime deal is pretty steep if you're not making steady money, but it's actually a fantastic deal compared to an ongoing expense with something like ClickFunnels!
At the moment, ThriveCart is only available by private invitation (e.g. affiliate), but you can check them out and access their mailing list to be informed when the product will be published!
CHECK OUT THRIVECART TODAY!
MORE CLICKFUNNEL ALTERNATIVES
Look, there are more options and combinations of tools than I can possibly cover in a post. The ones I've listed here are all great choices, but there are MANY more to consider.Here are some alternative tools for funnels, carts, and more:
- 10-minute funnels
- PipeDrive Property
- Copper CRM
- Optimizepress Property
There are also countless WordPress plugins for super specific functions, such as One-Click Upsell for WooCommerce.
I say this because all-in-one solutions are not the ONLY way to go, and the tools I've covered in this post aren't the only options available.Everyone's situation is different and you know your preferences and goals better than I do.
More importantly, there's always another tool or plugin for pretty much EVERYTHING you need to do, no matter how specific, so never feel wrapped up with something as expensive as ClickFunnels.
SHOULD YOU CHOOSE A CLICKFUNNELS ALTERNATIVE?
Now that we've looked at several great funnel creation options, I think it's time to address the most important question: is it worth going with an alternative to ClickFunnel?
I used ClickFunnels myself, and what I like is that you can get up and running very fast.It's a reliable tool for what it was designed for, which is building sales funnels.
However, it can be quite tempering – I had to change my workflow to avoid wasting hours of copywriting work after realizing that the software didn't automatically save my work.
It might also be a bit too cookie-cutter for some people.One of the main goals of marketing is to differentiate yourself from the competition, but if you're using the same type of template as everyone else for your sales process, you may have a hard time getting out of the mold.
Luckily, it's not too difficult to make changes to your funnel with the landing page builder, and it comes with templates to keep you on the right track.
Another downside is that ClickFunnels is completely separate from your website – if you ever stop paying for ClickFunnels, your funnels disappear!There's some integration with WordPress through a ClickFunnels plugin, but it's definitely not as smooth as a native WordPress plugin like Cartflows or Thrive Themes.
With that said, here are the main pros and cons of ClickFunnels to help you decide if the right solution for you.
PROS OF CLICKFUNNELS
- Convenient all-in-one online sales tool
- Easy to include upsells and downsells
- An industry standard that other marketers will recognize
- Versatile for use with many types of funnels
- A wide range of battle-tested models to get you started
- Easy to modify or reuse existing funnels
- Intuitive landing page builder
- World-class marketing training
CONS OF CLICKFUNNELS
- Can be buggy sometimes
- You don't own the pages you create with ClickFunnels
- A cookie-cutter approach to building sales funnels
- Only works when the subscription is active
- Very expensive – you pay a premium for convenience
So, what should you do if you are in the market for a funnel builder?
In my opinion, ClickFunnels is a great all-in-one software tool to use when your business is generating enough revenue to justify the expense.
Think of it this way: If you sell a premium course, coaching, or physical product worth $100 or more, ClickFunnels pays ITSELF with one sale with the Basic plan or three sales for the Platinum plan.
But even if this is true, there is no reason to pay for more features than are absolutely NECESSARY!
That's why you have to ask yourself: What am I trying to accomplish with ClickFunnels?Is there a better option for my goals?Do I already use software that gives me the same basic functionality at a better price?
You can divide it into four categories:
- A free ClickFunnels alternative
- A direct ClickFunnels replacement
- A WordPress option
Here's what I recommend breaking the tie.
Are you on the fence for ClickFunnels?
Why not give it a try, then? With this link, get a 14-day trial of ClickFunnels to see if it's a tool worth it.You can decide how you feel about ClickFunnels before you even try a ClickFunnels alternative.
TRY CLICKFUNNELS FOR FREE!
Want a free option?
If price is your biggest concern, go with Cartflows for your funnel builder/cart and Elementor for your page builder.For now you can get a fully functional funnel from these tools, and you can always upgrade to the paid version on one or both later.
Do you want a direct replacement?
If ClickFunnels is too expensive or has some features you don't like and you want a direct replacement that serves as an all-in-one platform, I recommend BuilderAll as a convenient option.Feel free to try it for seven days!
GET A 7-DAY TRIAL OF BUILDERALL
Want to stay with WordPress?
If you want to have funnels and other sales tools right in your WordPress theme, you can't go wrong with Thrive's themes.It comes with most of the same things, such as a membership site, checkout, landing page, A/B testing, and professional courses.
GET THRIVE THEMES HERE!
Do you have any questions?Do you have experience to share on one of these tools?Leave a comment below!