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Is ClickFunnels A Pyramid Scheme?


It seems like everywhere you look online, people are talking about or using ClickFunnels. You see people promoting ClickFunnels as an affiliate, using ClickFunnels as a way to collect emails, using ClickFunnels for membership sites, and more. It is fair to ask the question since so many people are using it, it must be a pyramid scheme, right?

In this post, I’m going to answer the busing question. Is ClickFunnels a pyramid scheme? Who uses it and why do we see it almost everywhere? In short, no, ClickFunnels isn’t a pyramid scheme. It is a software as a service (SaaS) company that allows customers to quickly build web pages for their business. ClickFunnels users can build landing pages to collect email addresses, membership sites, sell both digital and physical products, and video sales letters (VSLs).

Click here to test drive ClickFunnels for two weeks.

Before we continue, let’s quickly define what a pyramid scheme is, and how it differs from ClickFunnels.

What Is A Pyramid Scheme?

According to Wikipedia, “a pyramid scheme is a business model that recruits members via a promise of payments or services for enrolling others into the scheme, rather than supplying investments or sale of products. As recruiting multiplies, recruiting becomes quickly impossible, and most members are unable to profit, as such, pyramid schemes are unsustainable and often illegal.”

Basically, a pyramid scheme is where a customer is recruited, and instead of given a product or service, they are encouraged to bring in more clients or customers.

What is ClickFunnels?

According to ClickFunnels website, “ClickFunnels is a website and sales funnel builder for entrepreneurs.” Basically ClickFunnels allows its customers to build web pages quickly for small and medium sized businesses.

ClickFunnels provides the following services for their customers:

  • Landing pages to collect email addresses
  • Sales pages to sell products and services
  • Automated email sequencing to follow up with your customers
  • Membership websites

As you can see, ClickFunnels sells actual products and services to their customers. All of the products are considered Software as a Service (SaaS), customers can log into their account and create an unlimited number of  aforementioned services.

ClickFunnels provides a fast alternative to building a traditional website that requires an IT department and months, if not years, of development. With ClickFunnels, you can build a web page in less than 1 hour (with experience). The web page is fully functional and includes most of the bells and whistles of a traditional website.

Click here for a free two week trial for ClickFunnels

Why Would Anyone Call ClickFunnels a Pyramid Scheme?

The reason why someone may think that ClickFunnels is a pyramid scheme is because it is popular with affiliate marketers. Affiliate marketers are entrepreneurs that promote/ sell other people’s products. If an affiliate marketer successfully sells a product they receive a commission.

Note: I too am an affiliate marketer.

Why Is ClickFunnels Popular With Affiliate Marketers?

There are a few reasons why affiliate marketers (me included) love ClickFunnels. Below are just a few reasons:

  • Lifetime affiliate cookie
  • Up to 40% commissions
  • Recurring commissions
  • Multiple products and services
  • Share funnels
  • 2 tier affiliate commissions
  • Dream car

Let’s spend a few minutes talking about these benefits.

Lifetime Affiliate Cookie

A lifetime affiliate cookie  means that if a customer buys anything from ClickFunnels, the affiliate will receive commissions on anything else purchased (as long as the affiliate is still active). For example, if you start the two-week free trial, or if you order the free + shipping book, anything else you purchase, the affiliate will receive a commission.

Not all affiliate programs offer a lifetime cookie window. Depending on how popular the company is, an affiliate cookie can be as short as 6 hours.

Note: the price of the product doesn’t change regardless of where you buy the product.

Up To 40% Commissions

As I mentioned, affiliate marketers are paid a commission every time a customer purchases the product or service they’re recommending. However, not all affiliate programs are created equal. Amazon Associates, the affiliate program for Amazon.com, pays up to 10% commission.

As you can see, between the lifetime cookie window and the 40% commissions, you start to see why affiliates are hungry to promote this product.

Recurring Commissions

Another reason why affiliates are so hungry to promote ClickFunnels is the recurring commissions they can accumulate. One of the most difficult parts of being an affiliate marketer is starting at zero every month. If you’re an affiliate for ClickFunnels, you receive a commission every month as long as the customer pays for the service.

ClickFunnels offers two tiers: a basic plan for $97 per month, and a platinum plan for $297 (as of September 2020).

Let’s do a bit of math:

  • If you bring in 5 customers on the basic plan in month 1 you make: $38.80 * 5 = $194.00
  • Month 2 you add an additional 5 customers, you now make: $38.80 * 10 = $388.00
  • Month 3, 5 more people: $38.80 * 15 = $582.00

As you can see, this is a great opportunity for passive, recurring income.

Want to try ClickFunnels? Click here to try it for two weeks for free

Multiple Products And Services

In addition to selling software, there are a number of other products that you can sell as an affiliate for ClickFunnels.

Here are some of the products that sell:

  • 4 books (Traffic Secrets, DotCom Secrets, Network Marketing Secrets, Expert Secrets)
  • One Funnel Away Challenge
  • Masterclasses
  • Done-for-you software
  • Done-for-you landing pages

And more…

While I could continue on with all of the benefits of being an affiliate for ClickFunnels, I think you are starting to get a good idea.

You can learn more about affiliate marketing here.

Who Uses ClickFunnels?

Another important question is to determine who should, and should not, use ClickFunnels. In short, if you’re a solopreneur, a small or medium sized business, ClickFunnels is right for you. ClickFunnels is also right for you if you have an online or offline business.

Here are a few examples of small business owners that could benefit from using ClickFunnels:

  • Internet marketers for landing pages, sales pages, and video sales letters
  • Real estate agents to collect contact information for both buyers and sellers
  • Chiropractors to serve as a landing page for paid ads
  • Doctors
  • Lawyers
  • Dentists
  • Fitness coaches for exclusive membership sites
  • Freelancers

Basically, any business that cannot afford to hire an IT department can benefit from using ClickFunnels. The primary benefit of ClickFunnels is the ability to create semi-custom webpages quickly without hiring an expensive tech person.

Why Should I Use Clickfunnels?

The reason why ClickFunnels is so popular is because you can go from idea to market in less than one hour. You can build a landing page to collect email addresses, a sales page to sell a product, and a follow up sequence in less time than it would take to get a mock up from your IT department.

In addition, the co-founder of ClickFunnels Russell Brunson, has revolutionized digital marketing. He introduced the idea of a “value ladders” to the masses, a secret kept by major corporations for decades.

In short, a value ladder is a way to introduce a customer to your product or brand with a low front end offer, then increase the value (and price) to make more money on the backend. As the price increases, so does the value offered.

Here is a quick example: “do you want fries with that?”

Benefits Of Clickfunnels

Here are a few benefits of using ClickFunnels:

  • Create web pages quickly
  • Collect payments with Stripe and PayPal
  • Web Page templates available
  • Share funnels
  • SSL 
  • A/B testing
  • Works for digital and physical products
  • Webhooks
  • Integrates with most autoresponders
  • Membership sites
  • Free training
  • Web hosting

Let’s take a quick look at a few of these benefits.

Create Web Pages Quickly

With a little experience, you can create a simple landing page in 15 minutes, a sales page with 1 up sell in 1 hour, and a membership site in 2 hours. The primary benefit of ClickFunnels is how fast you can go to the market with a new idea.

Collect Payments

ClickFunnels integrates easily with Stripe. You can use Stripe to collect payments from customers anywhere in the world. ClickFunnels also works with PayPal but it isn’t as easy, but it’s mostly on PayPals side.

Free Templates Available

One of the biggest benefits, and the reason you can get up and running fast, is ClickFunnels as a ton of templates for you to choose from. They have templates for just about every industry, and if you can’t find something you need for free, you can purchase premium funnels created by users.

Drawbacks of ClickFunnels

While ClickFunnels has a lot of strengths, it does have a few drawbacks as well. Below are a few of the biggest drawbacks many users experience:

  • More expensive than competitors
  • Learning curve
  • Can be “clunky” at times

Here is a closer look to the drawbacks of using ClickFunnels.

More Expensive Than Competitors

As I mentioned, ClickFunnels offers two tiers. They have a basic plan for $97 per month, and a platinum plan for $297 per month. These prices are higher than most of their competitors, but as Russell Brunson would say, “there is no advantage to being the second or third cheapest on the market.”

Part of the reason ClickFunnels is more expensive is they use their own money for all of the products and services they sell. While other web page builders are backed by investors and venture capitalists, ClickFunnels prides itself on “not taking a shortcut,” when it comes too funding.

Slight Learning Curve

This web page builder is different from anything else on the market. As such, it can take a while to understand the power that ClickFunnels offers. You will need to understand how to use Sections, Rows, Columns, and Elements before you can realize the power of the software.

It should take about one or two days using the software before you can comfortably create your first web page without watching a tutorial 5 or 6 times.

Clunky At Times

In my experience, ClickFunnels has a few small hiccups that can increase the learning curve. For example, if you add a link to a button, you have to either hit enter/ return or press the spacebar then delete the created space. Failure to do this can result in the link not being added. 

Another weird hiccup is a web page can have two different post fixes. For example, if I create a landing page to promote my book, the webpage listed in the back office can be /my-book. However, if you copy and paste that link into the browser, you will be redirected to /my-book-main. You must be aware of the differences , especially if you’re running paid ads on Facebook. 

Are There Alternatives To ClickFunnels?

While ClickFunnels is the industry leader when it comes to web page builders for entrepreneurs, there are more than a few in the space with more coming all of the time. Below are a few that have risen to the top:

  • BuilderAll
  • Kartra
  • Leadpages
  • Instapage

While these are viable options, my preferred web page builder is still ClickFunnels.

How To Determine If A Company Is A Pyramid Scheme

In my opinion, the easiest way to determine if the company is involved in a pyramid scheme is to determine the product or service they are selling. The best way is to ask questions. If you start asking questions and the company can’t answer them, or is frustrated by all of the questions, you’re better off walking away.

Also, you should be a little concerned if the focus of the company is to get more clients and grow your network, not build a business or brand.

Final Thoughts

To conclude, ClickFunnels is not a pyramid scheme. It is a good product that is heavily promoted by affiliates. Affiliates love the product because it has a lifetime cookie, recurring commissions, and a few other details that are important to affiliate marketers.

If you’re a small business owner or Solopreneur, checkout ClickFunnels with this two-week free trial and decide for yourself.

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