7 of Our Best Tips to Pivot Your Workforce in 2021

As a business owner, it’s likely that you’ve already done your fair share of pivoting. The year 2020 snuck up on all of us, and it put everyone in a rough spot. However, I think there were some lessons learned that we can take with us into the future.

Last year brought closures, social distancing, and plenty of working from home. If it taught us anything, it was how we can all come together, despite being apart, to grow as a team and change our working environment for the better.

For long-term success, it’s important to hire for both culture fit and skill, but that can be tough to do. Here are some tips from other industry experts that may help you continue to pivot your workforce in 2021 and beyond.

This post is sponsored by ZipRecruiter and includes tracking links. For more information about tracking links and how to opt out, visit All About Do Not Track prior to clicking any links found in this post.

1. Equip your employees to embrace the digital (it’s not changing anytime soon).

Moving from the office to remote work meant a lack of tools and support for a lot of people. It meant giving up resources they otherwise would have had nearby and trading that in for cozy pyjamas and devices that probably didn’t work quite as well as they needed.

One of the most important things you can do for your employees, if you plan to support their pivot to remote work is equip them with the tools they need to do their job, connect to the resources they need, and help them feel supported.

In fact, T.W. Shannon, CEO of Chicksaw Community Bank in Oklahoma City and former Speaker of the House for Oklahoma advises business owners and managers to, “Equip remote employees with new laptops, and personalized computers with a secured network that your IT department can not only monitor, but can update in real-time. If appropriate, provide new headsets and cameras.”

By providing supplies to your most valuable assets, they’ll feel valued and they’ll be able to work more efficiently, even when they’re remote.

Dan Bailey, President of WikiLawn would agree that you have to give your remote employees what they need, not just so they can do their job, but to protect your company’s digital assets as well. “A big part of that was ensuring everyone had secure setups at home. We had a data breach, unfortunately, and had to ensure our employees were using the most secure equipment and software.”

Equipment, although a big investment, is the first step in pivoting, because without these tools, you can’t expect your workforce to do their jobs with any sort of efficiency. This is especially true if you provided these supplies while in the office.

It’s not just about hardware, either. You have to provide your team with plenty of professional development and employee perks, as John Ross, CEO of Test Prep Insight says. “When you have a remote team, the basis of your team’s connection is dependent on technology, which is constantly changing. As such, it is critical that team members stay up to date with the latest trends, new tech, and updates.”

If your employees are smart, well-trained, and adaptable, you reap the rewards of efficiency gains. You just have to be careful not to overwhelm them with too many tools, or it will have the opposite effect.

Alex Keyan, CEO and founder of goPure Beauty makes a good point:

Similarly, embrace the technological solutions to stay connected, but not all of them! Pick a few channels to communicate with, but don’t overwhelm your employees with too many messaging or video apps. Not only does it make projects harder to track, but it will increase stress by adding one more administrative chore for employees to handle.

In order to pivot, you should be giving them a comparable setup at home before you expect the same level of production. It can also foster a sense of support if you don’t expect your team to do the same quality of work without the same or better quality equipment and software solutions.

2. Employee trust returns loyalty (and who doesn’t want that?)

Until now, many businesses had a hard time believing that their employees could be trusted to work at home in their jammies. I’ve spoken with many friends whose workplaces never pivoted because their management firmly believed that you have to be in the office physically to do your work.

It was worth all of the overhead and a massive operation to keep a close eye on every team member. I’m not sure about you, but I wouldn’t call this a “team” at all. It’s not fostering any sort of environment in which I’d ever want to work.

Fortunately, if you do pivot, I think you’ll find just the opposite is true. Trevor Rappleye, CEO of CorporateFilming.com and FranchiseFilming.com says, “I had to change. COVID forced me to trust my team to work from home. Do you know what happened?

THEY WERE AMAZING. Even better than in the office! My best insight is to let your team work from home, even when COVID is done. It will give loyalty back to you and they will stay with you longer.”

In addition, a new study, conducted and published by Breeze, would suggest that most employees don’t ever plan on returning to the office after the unprecedented year we just had.

Perhaps most intriguing is that out of all respondents who worked from home in 2020, 72% say they will continue to do so, either most of the time (42%) or some of the time (30%).

72% of people say they will continue to work from home after their workplace opens up.

Only 28% of people plan to return to the office full-time after their workplace opens back up.

What if you can’t always pivot?

While it’s not always ideal that every employee work from home every day, many workplaces have implemented hybrid environments that foster this same sort of trust and loyalty while still enabling people to rotate in and out of the office as needed.

When faced with a workforce that doesn’t want to return, you may have to do more than just pivot. You may have to hire. There are resources like ZipRecruiter that offer free trials to employers so you can access content focused on hiring.

1. Have video conversations.

The first thing you need to do when hiring a digital team is have video conversations with your potential candidates. How they handle themselves in your initial interviews will tell you a lot about how they navigate the virtual environment.

For one, you’ll see how they present themselves in an online format. Do they look at the camera or do they stare at themselves the whole time? Are they as prepared as they would have been for an in-person interview or did they brush it off like it was an informal chat?

You’ll get to know a person more than you realize in a video interview format, which can be telling of how they’ll fit in with your digital organization. That leads us to the next point…

2. Hire for culture fit.

If you’re going full digital, it’s important that you hire a team of professionals who are used to working in that sort of environment. It can be tough to stay motivated when you’re isolated. You need people who can work autonomously and who are self-motivated.

If you find great people who fit, you’ll be amazed at how the work gets done. One piece of advice I can offer is to have potential candidates meet virtually with other members of the team to see if they click.

Often, when there’s a connection, you know it right away and it simply feels right. Get feedback from the team, even if it’s not the hiring manager, to see how they feel about the person’s fit.

So much is lost in translation when you can’t see someone’s body language, so having a bond and an unspoken connection is immensely important. They may have the skills, but if they won’t get along with the rest of the team, it will be miserable for everyone.

3. Scale over time.

Don’t expect your new digital team member to hit the ground running. You can’t even expect a new office worker to get the hang of everything immediately. It’s even harder when there’s physical distance between your team.

Give them something you need to take off your plate or focus on a core area, make sure they have clear direction, and see how they handle a deadline. Even if it’s not a pressing assignment, this is their trial run.

If they have the tools they need to do their job, you’ll be able to see right away whether they’re the right fit for the job and whether they’ll be a good candidate in the long run.

3. Encourage innovative thinking (and include everyone)

For many people, working remote doesn’t foster a sense of community at all. It does just the opposite. We saw a rise in mental health issues in 2020 in conjunction with social distancing, and much of that can be attributed to feeling isolated.

“After the turbulence of last year, employee mental health and well being is more important than ever, and they’re looking to employers for recognition and appreciation,” contributes Scott Hasting, co-founder of BetWorthy LLC.

Luckily, there are plenty of ways in which a manager can offer encouragement to their employees in the digital workplace.

T.W. Shannon suggests doing three things:

1) Send various care-packages and office supplies to do your best to maintain your culture from afar. 

2) Have a willingness to go the extra mile.

3) Hire team members that you are confident have an ability to maintain and fight for closeness.

Going above and beyond for your team in a virtual environment is just another way you can demonstrate trust, show how much you care, and earn their loyalty to you.

Greg Gilman, Chief Revenue Officer at MuteSix, has some of the best advice on fostering community. He says,

Being a leader during a pandemic is only viable if you can be flexible and understand how and when to pivot. This means encouraging innovative thinking and really listening to all the ideas your team brings to the table – big or small. Playing it safe in uncertain times might seem appealing, but it’s important to take risks in order to yield results.

You have to encourage your team to think outside of the box and demonstrate how much you value their input.

John Ward, account executive at Mold Busters, leaves us with this:

Take the time to create team building exercises. Help your team to know and care for one another. A great way to reinforce this is to learn details of your team’s lives, ask them about those details, and encourage the rest of your team to do the same for one another. Everyone wants to tell their story. This is what connects us. Being a part of a community working toward a common goal lights up our brain’s rewards system. Take advantage of this and feed it through praise and celebration when you hit milestones. Especially once you achieve long term goals.

4. Empower your workforce for big changes

Many managers have taken to hosting quick daily meetings with their team to stay connected. They revisit previous conversations, keep up with one another, and encourage work/life balance.

Stephanie Hammerwold is one of these managers. As the Director of Human Resources at Arcules, she used to walk around every morning and interact with her employees. It was a great way to “look for visual clues about whether an employee was stressed.”

It also allowed her to listen to the projects they were working on, but now that everyone is working remotely, checking in is more difficult. Instead, she sends them quick messages about how they’re doing.

In fact, she says it’s her way of empowering them to do their best every day. She wants to cheer them on and help them accomplish their goals.

Every single employee is dealing with a wide range of stressors and challenging situations due to the pandemic so we need to find new ways to encourage their success and continued productivity. Work-life balance is part of that process.

As Laura Fuentes, Operator at Infinity Dish points out, “The workspace as we know it has shifted. Beyond 2021, companies are going to be much more lenient of employees working out of the office, and more open to changing the ways in which we work within a physical workspace.”

She suggests that companies help employees improve their skills for the online landscape, including understanding cloud functionality and learning how to do business across different platforms.

ZipRecruiter also offers plenty of business news and advice for employers and job seekers to help everyone find the right culture fit for continued success, no matter what kind of tools or working environment you’re pivoting toward.

With advanced technology comes a decrease in personal connections. That’s why John Ross says that maintaining a strong, positive corporate culture included, “subsidized home gyms, Friday PMs off for personal time and self-care, and random DoorDash lunches paid for the company.”

While it may take some investment, it’s one that will have great returns. Offering education, time off, and healthcare incentives to your employees will improve not only their future viability as an asset to your company, but it will empower them to do their job to the best of their ability.

Daniel Foley, CEO of Daniel Foley SEO, agrees that investing in your team is the way to go. “The team leader should encourage teamwork and create and support an environment where teamwork is recognized and rewarded.”

Leaders need to make every effort to get to know individual members of their work teams. As a Leader, you should know their employment background, family life, interests, goals, and accomplishments. Show a sincere interest in and learn about each member of your team and they will respect you and be more willing to listen and follow your leadership. Leaders don’t need to be “best friends” with team members, but, getting to know them on a personal level will create more open and trusting relationships.

5. Each meeting should have a purpose (or don’t have one at all)

You can’t deny that there was a lot of waste in the physical workplace. From overhead to shrink to wasted time, there’s one thing that is nearly a universal complaint – useless meetings.

One of the primary goals of having a fully remote team is to minimize. You’ve heard the saying ‘work smarter, not harder.’ For most virtual teams, that’s what it’s all about. If you don’t have to waste an hour of your life sitting in rush hour, there’s simply no reason to do it.

However, now that you’re virtual, the attention span of your employees is going to be much shorter as well. It’s simply more difficult to focus when you’re not interacting face to face.

That’s why Karen Gordon, Vice President of Growth at Goodshuffle Pro, strongly suggests that every meeting have a very specific purpose. Taking advice from a podcast with Brené Brown, she began asking herself, “What is our purpose today?”

I am a firm believer that we need to continue gathering despite being physically apart, but since I heard that podcast, I have taken it a step further and set clear guidelines for our meetings. For the business’s sake, I find it important for all of us to get on the same page, so one of our main priorities is getting on the same page: sharing updates, highs, lows, and what we are learning.

And it’s okay for the purpose of the meeting to be connection. If you’re doing your best to empower your employees and foster a community, then creating those spaces is incredibly important.

We can’t pass each other in the hallway anymore, so hosting more virtual meetings without the use of mute might be annoying, and it makes meetings a bit longer, too. But it’s worth it for keeping everyone’s humanity and feeling connected. It also encourages engagement.

Change Creator Co-founder and Venture4thMedia COO Amy Aitman believes that if it can be a Slack message, it shouldn’t be a meeting.

“I believe that when you find the right people, you don’t need to have meeting after meeting! I have built a digital team of over 100 writers, editors, and marketers and one thing I’ve noticed is that when you hire right, you hire for people who like to implement. Too many meetings can drain a digital team and in today’s world, where our socialization AND work is digital, it can be exhausting! First, find great people. Then, give them the tools they need to do their jobs and say no to unnecessary meetings.”

“Too many meetings can drain a digital team…”

6. Evolve to the new normal (whatever that looks like)

Now that we know 72% of people won’t be returning to work full-time and that the workplace has already shifted, it’s time for our businesses to evolve, too. There are several critical ways in which we can do this.

Jack Klauber, founder and CEO of Everyday Dose suggests the following:

The biggest key to this is shifting a majority of sales to an online format. Sites such as Shopify and Paypal will see a major boom with more and more sales of companies going to an online format. As a small business it is best to stay ahead of these trends. Set up online payments and look into freshening up your website.To get yourself seen online, he also recommends beefing up your social media efforts or your marketing budget. Run more ads or do your own brand of advertising.

Many businesses have also refocused their efforts on delivering their goods or services locally. Because people are scared to go inside, if you can shift your business to a delivery model, you have a better chance of gaining customers now who are more likely to stick with you after this is all over.

You’ll also need to implement new tools that help you measure your deliverables and whether or not your team is meeting their goals. Lily Ugbaja, Founder at Dollar Creed, suggests implementing online systems to help with this sort of tracking.

“There are so many online management tools that are perfect for this. Trello, Proofhub, Microsoft Project, Asana, and my favorite; Gantt Chart.” Setting goals and achieving them is difficult in a physical workplace setting, but becomes nearly impossible without these sort of remote tools.

Small businesses can pivot easier than large ones, but if you’re agile enough to make a few of these types of changes, it will shape your business’s future for the better.

Let’s be real. If you’re not having much success pivoting to a virtual environment, it’s likely because you’re not hiring people who can do the work online. You need employees who are flexible enough to handle the work, because this is the future for many industries.

Finding the right fit can be difficult, but companies like ZipRecruiter can ease the burden for companies forced to pivot as they take the time to talk to job seekers about their career decisions, changing jobs, and job search advice, which means that you’ll find candidates that are more than just a perfect fit.

7. Embrace the trend (or expect the unexpected)

You can’t change it, so you might as well embrace it. T.W. Shannon admits, “Don’t fight [working remotely] and instead embrace it in such a way as to maximize the experience in fostering a true culture of care for your team members and customers.”

Sometimes you just have to ride the wave. You can only control how you respond to the circumstances, so making the best of it will propel your workforce into the future better than futile resistance.

You simply have to be flexible, and teach your employees to do the same.

“Pivoting in 2021 means embracing remote work even more, and giving your employees the flexibility they need,” is the advice we get from Derin Oyekan, co-founder and CMO of Reel Paper.

Pivoting to a virtual workplace holds a lot of potential, and you should be excited about creating an environment that offers more work/life balance for your employees. It’s the best path forward for most companies in this post-COVID world.

Introducing: drum roll please…

What ZipRecruiter is All About

ZipRecruiter is one of the most robust hiring sites on the web. It’s a trusted tool for employers and job seekers with millions of posted jobs. Hiring managers can advertise their jobs and find qualified candidates while job seekers can apply for jobs and manage their resume.

If you’re a business, you can search resumes, post job listings, and manage all of your candidates from your portal. There are several different plans you have to choose from, each with a different set of features to fit various business needs and sizes.

Luckily, ZipRecruiter is free for those looking for a job. Those who are browsing listings can get salary insights and use ZipRecruiter resources to present themselves in the best light to managers and recruiters.

Employer Plans

ZipRecruiter does a great job of increasing the quality of your candidates. As a business owner or hiring manager, you can compare all of your candidates in one spot to find the best one.

However, ZipRecruiter also provides content and advice that will help you make the most of your next hire. You can also read professional reviews, rankings, and comparisons as well as other entrepreneurial content.

The best plan for you will depend on the size of your business as well as the hiring features your business needs.

Standard

Smaller companies on a budget can use the standard plan to post jobs to more than 100 sites for high visibility without a large price tag. You’ll still get a pool of qualified candidates, but you won’t pay what you can’t afford.

Premium

If you have up to 5000 employees, the premium plan is ideal because it offers placement in job alert emails so job seekers will be notified when you post your jobs. You’ll also have access to a large database of active resumes, where you can find your next qualified candidate.

Enterprise

If you have more than 5000 employees, the enterprise plan is a specialized solution that can help guide you in your hiring process. It expands your reach so more job seekers will see your job postings.

With the ZipRecruiter AI tool, it uses data to target that reach to the right candidates while simultaneously eliminating people who aren’t right for the job. This preliminary step saves large business time in the hiring process.

No matter which ZipRecruiter business plan you use, the system matches businesses with qualified candidates. You can review their resumes and invite them to apply for the job. They also offer a free trial of both the Standard and Premium plans so you can see if they’re right for you.

ZipRecruiter for Job Seekers

For those looking for a job, ZipRecruiter is free, and it’s useful for every stage of a job search. Candidates can browse jobs, search for jobs in their area, view salary insights, and analyze industry trends.

After uploading a resume and building a profile, applying only takes one click. They’ll get updates with new messages, changes in application status, and application views, which will help them understand their potential.

Because there are so many jobs posted on ZipRecruiter from all over the country, it’s a solid option for job seekers who want to manage most of their applications in one place.

Price

Because ZipRecruiter is offered for free to job seekers, businesses will pay the price. There are monthly plans that boost your visibility and give you access to more candidates, but it means you’re subsidizing the free use of the platform for job seekers.

The fact that it’s free for job seekers means you’re getting a bigger pool of qualified candidates. The business plans vary in price depending on which one you choose, but you can try it for free and you can cancel anytime. 

If you do a lot of hiring, the price pays for itself fairly quickly but ZipRecruiter loves to meet you where your business needs are and has plans for many different types of companies and employers. You could pay per usage as well, not just monthly. 

Considering the cost of hiring the wrong fit, or spending countless hours sourcing new talent, ZipRecruiter pays for itself as you could find someone right away and spend your time moving the needle in your business, doing what you do best! 

The Pros:

  • Free for job seekers
  • Huge database of resumes
  • Effective AI tools
  • Great posting distribution

The Cons:

  • Businesses have a short trial period
  • More expensive for businesses than other competitors

FAQ

When looking to post your next job listing online, you have quite a few options. Some are free, so it can be tough to decide whether ZipRecruiter is worth the monthly fee. Here are some frequently asked questions that may help you decide whether it’s right for your business.

Is ZipRecruiter better than Indeed?

Indeed functions like a job board whereas ZipRecruiter is more like a Saas service with features that allow you access to data, resumes, and other options to enhance your experience and give you access to better candidates.

While both give you options to boost your listings, ZipRecruiter will cost more, but it will also increase your chances of finding the right person for the job. Especially in a world where your business is pivoting, hiring for culture fit, and looking for the perfect person, ZipRecruiter is likely the better choice.

How do you create a digital workplace?

Many employers have implemented gamification in the workplace to help make working remotely more interesting. By gamifying projects and providing incentives for winning, you can often make an otherwise isolated work environment more fun.

It sparks friendly competition, inspires collaboration, and triggers a human connection that seems to be missing when we work from home.

You can also allow more personal devices in the workplace. It’s hard to restrict the use of personal devices when so many of your team members are working from home, but by fostering an accepting environment where people can share how and what they’re working on, people will be more receptive to working in your digital space.

Is ZipRecruiter better than LinkedIn?

Because LinkedIn is a networking site, many job seekers go there to look for jobs. LinkedIn offers two different ways to post jobs. LinkedIn Jobs is free, but you can boost your post to reach more people.

They also offer what’s called LinkedIn Recruiter, which is designed for larger companies who do more hiring. It gives you access to advanced search filters and will prioritize candidates for you who are more likely to respond to your posts.

Both ZipRecruiter and LinkedIn are free for job seekers, but it’s up to you to decide which offers the features you need for the best price. ZipRecruiter offers a few more features and more plan options, so it’s generally the best choice for most businesses.

How do you engage employees digitally?

One of the best ways to engage your employees digitally is with mobile learning. If you’re interested in offering additional educational opportunities for your team, this can also be a great way for them to collaborate.

Not only will they get to know one another, but they’ll learn something new, feel a sense of personal enrichment, and perhaps gain valuable knowledge that will help them do their job better in the future.

How do you support employee engagement?

One of the things employers are struggling the most with right now is engaging their employees from a distance. If you’re hiring for culture fit, this won’t be as much of an issue. However, it can be difficult when your employees feel isolated.

Many managers suggest modeling your company’s core values and mission statement on a daily basis as well as checking in and connecting with your employees on a personal level. Make it a point to talk to them, even when it’s not work related. This builds trust and ensures they know you care about them, rather than just the job they’re doing.

They’ll be more engaged for a manager who they trust and with whom they have a relationship.

How much does ZipRecruiter cost per month?

While the cost of ZipRecruiter varies based on which plan you choose, it’s always free for job seekers and their subscriptions for businesses start at $249 per month. If you’re not sure of the value, try their 4-day free trial first.

Now Pivot!

Whatever pivoting looks like for you, there are plenty of ways in which you can achieve your goals in 2021. Whether it’s equipping your current team with the tools they need or hiring new team members to fit a new model, these experts have the perfect advice.

ZipRecruiter is a well-established hiring resource with useful tools for businesses to find the candidates that fit their culture and the skills they need. It’s easy to use and I recommend it for streamlining your hiring process.

Even if you run into a periodic month when you don’t need to hire, they have plenty of other entrepreneurial resources to guide your business into the future with success.

This post was sponsored by ZipRecruiter. As always, all opinions and ideas are entirely my own.

Penji Review [2021]: My Honest Opinion

Truly excellent design work can be hard to come by. Especially people who take your feedback and use it constructively to deliver something that meets or exceeds your expectations.

When you connect with a designer, it’s almost as if they can read your mind. Nay, it’s like they’re living in your mind, pulling from the thoughts and visions for your project that you didn’t even know you had to deliver something even better than what you envisioned.

That’s what working with Penji is like.

Beyond the tool itself being seamless and easy to use, the people behind the machine are responsive, talented, and like an extension of you and your team.

Read on for more about my experience with Penji and why I would recommend trying it out above other design tools I’ve used in the past.

Penji Overview

At its core, Penji is like a project board for designers. You have a dashboard where you can see all of your team’s projects and their status. When you click on them, each project expands into a more detailed view of the team, the designs, a description, and any notes.

You can also keep track of any brands you’re running on Penji, as well as manage the people on your team and give them different levels of access permissions.

You’re also not limited to only one workspace. If you need to manage more than one project board for more than one team within your organization, you can do that, too! Penji is a versatile tool providing a limitless number of options when it comes to building a workflow.

Features (How it Works)

Penji has a ton of features that it’s almost impossible to list them all, but I’m going to do my best to break them down in a way that makes sense and doesn’t overwhelm you, dear reader.

This is also where I’ll spend some time telling you how Penji works. Each feature has a purpose, so it just makes sense to run through why they included each feature, what it does, and how it can benefit you.

The project board

This is where you’ll input the details of each project and be able to see an overview of your workload. It’s a nice place to get a good idea of what’s on your plate so you can prioritize your projects.

On each project card you’ll see the name of the project, the designer who’d been assigned to it, the project lead, the status it’s in, and then ultimately, the completed design.

The options button to the right allows you a whole host of other features like changing the status of the project, moving it to a brand, duplicating, editing, or deleting.

If you click into the project itself, you can use the conversation board to speak directly with the designers and see a history of the project. If you click on the completed design, you can expand it to see the details of the design better and make revision notes.

I’ll go into more detail on both of these pages in a moment.

The New Project button at the top allows you to create an all new project, which is fairly intuitive and follows the design and UX principles of most other online software sites. There’s also a search feature that allows you to search for your projects.

You can filter your projects by status to narrow the list and find what you want more quickly, and you can also connect your Penji account to Slack, making communication with your team easier. I didn’t test this, and the feature is still in Beta, so you’re on your own there.

There are a few other small things of note on this main page. If you haven’t quite finished setting up your profile, there’s a status bar at the top that will encourage you to do so. There’s also a help button in the bottom right that makes chatting for help easy (winning).

The notifications alert lets you know if you have any new messages on your projects, and the drop down under your name allows you to upgrade your Penji plan, switch between light and dark modes, or manipulate your settings.

While I like the project board, I do think it could use some improvement. Some people like the list view, but I personally prefer a card view. I think it’s much easier to see and manage my work that way.

In fact, science has proven that the KanBan board method of organization is more efficient and our brain processes it much better. They’re like online sticky notes. I’d like to be able to toggle back and forth between a list view and a card view to accommodate different user preferences.

I also think the project board lacks the ability to drag and drop the projects in a different order. Let’s say I’m the project manager in charge of these projects and I have an admin view. I’d like to see the ability to reorder the projects in my view, much like Trello.

Project page

Clicking into the project page allows you to see more details of the project. There’s a large chat window that contains your entire chat history with the designer, including any designs they’ve uploaded.

You can download designs from this page as well.

You’ll see the description of your project you included when you created it as well as any files you uploaded at the beginning. It includes the people assigned to the project, the status of the project, and the same options you had on the project board.

You can also mark the project complete on this page with a large Mark as complete button.

What I enjoy about this page is that not only can you type notes to the designers, but you can also record voice notes, which I think translate a whole lot better, especially when you’re talking about design.

So much gets lost in text translation, and often it’s better to let them listen to the intonation in your voice and allow them to hear your passion. Designers are excellent at allowing passion to come through in their work.

From the designs uploaded on this page, just like the designs on the project board, you can click to be directed to see the details of the design better.

Unfortunately, I also found one minor bug. From the options menu, when adding to a brand, the menu expands behind the chat window, so you can’t see the brand options. There’s no way to ensure you’re adding to the correct brand.

For now, until the bug is fixed, you have to add your project to the correct brand from the project board.

Design page

The design page blows up your designs in high resolution so you can see every detail. On the left, you’ll see each design stacked and you’ll be able to click through them to see each one of them individually.

On the large version of the design, you can move your cursor through and click to make revisions. Every time you click, it will draw a permanent circle and attach a note so you can explain why you’d like to see a revision there.

The designers take these notes and revise the design to something that better meets your expectations.

What I found was that the turnaround time for revisions was less than 24 hours and it only took one set of revisions for them to get it right. My notes weren’t even that good, but it was like they knew immediately what I meant and what I was looking for.

My design turned out great.

On this page you can also view any revisions you’ve previously made or download the designs if you like them.

Brands

The brands page is organized more like I expected the project board to be. It has cards that represent each brand. You can create a new brand at the top of the page or sort the brands by color, date, or alphabetically.

You’re also able to see how many projects used this brand. Brands make it easy to categorize projects. By coming to the brands page and clicking into a brand, you can see what projects belong to the brand and what the overall brand image is.

On the left, you can also see the brand’s industry, website, a description of their service, and attachments. You can access projects from this page or download the latest designs. It’s just another access point for projects, and it’s useful if you’re looking for projects based on brand.

While I don’t think you need to be able to drag and drop brands in any specific order here, I think the cards need to be bigger and more useful. You can’t read the full names of the brands because the cards are too small.

I also think the cards could contain snippets of the project names, swatches of the brand colors, or something else a little bit more useful. It would also jazz up the cards a bit. Right now they’re pretty plain.

The process for creating a brand could also benefit from a bit more consistency. What I mean by that is this. Other tools allow you to collaborate with your team for more brand consistency across the whole team.

So, while Penji allows you to set the brand colors, what they don’t do is allow you to set brand fonts or logos, lock key design elements, or create a repository of templates as a starting point.

However, you could use the file upload feature as a workaround for this. Simply upload files detailing this information to keep everyone in the loop.

People

On the people page, you can invite people to your team. You can invite them with administrator access or team member access. As an administrator, they have access to every project in your account. As a team member, they only have access to the projects you assign to them.

They’ll get an email invite with a link they can follow to sign up. It’s seamless and easy to do for everyone.

How many people you can invite depends on the plan you’re subscribed to, but the most you can have is 11. Penji is built for small teams to get more done. If you’re looking for a tool for larger teams, you’ll have to look for something else.

More on plans in a moment.

From the people page, you can reset your password, reset the password of your team members when they’re having trouble logging in, or remove team members who should no longer have access.

Right now, inviting team members seems to still be in beta. When I invited a team member, they could see all projects, even if they weren’t invited to work on them. However, they couldn’t see the brands or the people page.

It’s likely they’re not allowed to see the people page, but I’m not sure they should be locked out of the brands page. Nor should they be able to see other projects they’re not a part of. But the kinds will get worked out as the app goes live, I’m sure.

Plans

As it stands right now, Penji is for small teams. There are three plans from which you can choose.

The Pro plan is $399 per month and includes:

  • Unlimited design projects
  • Unlimited brands
  • 1 designer
  • 2 users

The Team plan is $499 per month and includes:

  • Everything the Pro plan includes
  • 5 users
  • Website and app design
  • Custom illustration
  • Infographics
  • 24/7 customer support

The Agency plan is $899 per month and includes:

  • Everything the Team plan includes
  • 10 users
  • Prioritized support

If you feel that one of these plans is perfect for your team, you’ll be pretty happy with the features and pricing. It’s not a bad deal if you do a good volume of business and need a hefty amount of design work to make it worth it.

It’s easy to adjust your plan at any time, and if you pay quarterly or annually, you’ll save more.

However, it’s a steep price to pay if you only need an occasional logo redesign or a flyer every now and then. You would have to do a pretty steady amount of business with Penji to make these prices worth it for you.

My Design

I chose to take Penji for a trial run because I wanted a logo for a new product I’m launching. Back in December of 2020 (curse 2020, amirite?), we lost our pet bunny. Believe it or not, there’s a market for all natural rabbit fertilizer.

To honor Brownie, I created a company called BrownieRounds. We collect the droppings from our other rabbits, wash it, sun dry it, and sell it. It’s all natural, organic, odorless, and packed with nutrients.

In fact, it’s more nutrient-rich than any other type of animal dropping. And it’s clean. Alright, alright, sales pitch over.

So, I wanted a fun and whimsical logo for BrownieRounds. I made one myself, and I liked it a lot, but I thought it could be more professional.

Here’s the one I made myself. Like I said, it’s not terrible. But I called on the guys at Penji and they didn’t disappoint.

Creating the project

First, I created the project. I just put in the project title, the design category (logo, flyer, book cover, app design, etc.), put in the description of what you want, and upload files. Easy peasy.

Penji suggests that your description be as detailed as possible. Clearly describe what you want, describe your business, your target market, what your book is about, some examples of what you like, any previous marketing materials from your business, color preferences, or anything else you think might be helpful.

Make sure the instructions are well written and easy to follow. Include formatting like bullets and other things that make it easy to refer to when the designers need to look back at your notes.

In this section, you can also choose whether you’d like premium licensed graphics or 100% custom illustrations. I choose custom illustrations because I don’t want anyone else to have my artwork.

Make sure you choose the file format in which you want the final designs delivered. You can choose from Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, PDF, all, or any combination of the four. There’s also an “any” option that allows the designers to choose how they want to deliver it.

Choose your associated brand, if there is one, then create the project. At this point, it will go into the queue and be assigned to a designer.

Once it’s assigned, you will get a notification and you’ll be able to see who is designing your project, who’s managing the process, and where it is in status.

For me, this took about 24 hours. Because I’m an entrepreneur, I didn’t get a chance to check in with my project right away, so my designs came back after about 36 hours, but I only logged in again three days later.

The designs

I didn’t immediately love the first designs the Penji team delivered, but if you’ve ever had someone create designs for you, you know this is nearly always the case. There are always tweaks.

Luckily, no one on the Penji team pestered me about what I thought, where I was, or why I wasn’t giving them any feedback yet. They let me take my time evaluating the designs, thinking about what it was I didn’t like, and letting me pinpoint exactly what words I wanted to use to give appropriate feedback.

The revisions

Giving notes on the designs was super easy. Click, type, enter. That was it. I chose the design that most closely resembled what I was going for, left three simple notes, and hoped for the best.

I was pleasantly surprised by the turnaround and the results. Not only did they deliver a second draft in less than 24 hours, but it was exactly what I wanted and more, despite giving what I thought were pretty vague notes.

I was skeptical they’d be able to decode my descriptions, but they did a wonderful job.

Downloading the designs

Once I was pleased with the delivery of the designs, I downloaded them to my computer. There are two ways to do that from the project page. On the left hand side, there’s a Design tab, but I struggled to get the download button to work. I think there might have been a bug in Beta.

I scrolled through the chat window to find the design I liked and was able to download it from there. You can also download it from the design page. While it was a bit of a workaround, it got me where I needed to be.

Marking complete

The next step was simply marking the project complete. It took me another week to build up the courage to do this. I was psyching myself out, and it took awhile for me to figure out why.

I just wasn’t ready to commit to the design, even though I loved it. I wanted to make 100% sure that I didn’t have any other revisions to it. However, once I clicked the Mark Project Complete button, I saw that there was a gray Reactive Project button that appeared in its place.

I felt this huge sense of relief. I know, it’s ridiculous, but I felt like if I really needed anything else, I could always come back to the team at any time, reactivate the project with all previous notes, and we could just pick up where we left off.

That’s a big deal. If you’ve never been in that position before, you’ll be very grateful when it comes up. There’s nothing like losing your progress or trying to explain to a new designer why you did or didn’t like something.

When all of your notes are already there exactly where you left them, it saves you so much time. I feel like Penji really put some thought into this part of the process, and I’m thankful for that.

Alternatives

Now that we’ve taken an in-depth look at Penji, it’s time to evaluate some other alternatives. There are plenty of options out there that allow you to communicate with and hire designers, but there really isn’t a direct competitor.

If you’re looking for something similar, you may want to take a look at some of these tools before making a decision on behalf of your team. They’ll give you some of what Penji can offer, but not all.

99Designs

99Designs has a unique business model, and you can use it one of two ways.

You can pay to create a contest in which you establish the parameters of your design and then 99 designs will be delivered to you within 48 hours. You can provide feedback on your favorites, ask for revisions, and then offer the job to the designer or acquire the rights to the design you want.

This path offers you a 100% money back guarantee. If you don’t like any of the delivered designs, you don’t have to pay for them. However, the benefit to doing it this way is that you’re connected to a huge repository of great designers that you may choose to work with again.

You can also work with designers directly. If you’ve already gone the contest route, chances are, you already know of a designer you like. Reach out to them directly, hire them, and begin working together immediately.

If you haven’t started a contest before, tell 99Designs what you’re looking for, and they’ll match you with a designer who meets your needs. It’s that simple.

99Designs is better for hiring designers to complete single projects. They don’t offer monthly subscriptions. They’re more of a dating service for entrepreneurs and designers, but many of the designers are high quality freelancers with a lot of talent.

99Designs can be pricey, so if you’re looking for something with this kind of model, but you don’t have the cash, you may want to check out DesignCrowd.

Dribbble

Dribbble sells subscriptions to their platform on which you can peruse templates, purchase WordPress themes, and hire designers. It’s a good solution for those who just want to hire someone for a single project, but want consistent monthly access to the best downloadable designs.

You’ll pay less, but you’ll still pay a monthly fee. However, sometimes it’s worth it just to gather inspiration for your business, even if you don’t use the designs offered. I’ve used it in the past just to quickly scroll through for ideas and then created my own designs from those ideas.

Alternatively, if you do find a design you like, you can view that designer’s portfolio, look at their other work, and communicate with them to see if you’d both be open to working together.

Fiverr

Fiverr is a community of freelancers who create anything from logos to jingles. They’re designers specializing in the creative spaces. You can even hire people to do voice overs, video explainers, websites, and so much more.

They offer protected payments, 24/7 support, and project based pricing. All you have to do is enter your budget, and you’ll be able to search for designers who offer what you need at a price you can afford.

It’s a great way to stick within your budget and offer work to those who need it. You may also want to try Upwork, but it’s often going to cost a bit more.

FAQ

If you’re looking for something like Penji, but you’re not sure it’s time to pull the trigger, here are some frequently asked questions that may help you make a better decision.

What are design agencies?

Design agencies focus more on brands, products, services, and the way they look. They tailor their product offers to the feeling of the brand. They make a business (or they should) out of building relationships with their clients, because that’s how their clients build their business with their customers.
This is what Penji has tried to replicate on a smaller scale. It’s why they ask for so much detail in the project description. They want to know about the brand and about the project before they set to work designing any artwork for it.

Is 99Designs worth it for designers?

99Designs does offer some of the best high-quality designs for the money. Their contest model allows you to choose from a lot of different options. The problem is that it can be very expensive and very time consuming.
You’ll often get a faster turnaround using something more affordable and more limited. Kimp is a good option. However, if you want to give 99Designs a try, or use their pairing service to find a single designer, that might be a better option for you.

How much should I pay for a logo?

There are plenty of free logo design tools out there, or you could design your own for free. A logo could also cost you thousands, depending on who you ask. If you’re a startup and you need quality, affordable design, you should look to pay between $300 and $1500.
While logo design prices vary based on the intricacy of the request and who you hire, this definitely puts the cost of Penji into perspective. Especially if you need other marketing materials besides just a logo, Penji is a great partnership to have.

Is Upwork better than Fiverr?

It’s all a matter of perspective. Fiverr is better suited for small, easy projects with a fast turnaround on a low budget. You’ll find designers and freelancers offering great value, but you won’t get very specialist knowledge.
Upwork offers more specialist knowledge on larger projects. Freelancers don’t try to undercut each other as much. They generally have more respect for each other and the trade.

Which site is best for freelancing?

There is no shortage of sites online that allow you to hire freelancers. Besides Upwork, Fiverr, 99Designs, and Dribbble, you can look at Broxer, Guru, Freelancer, UrbanPro, or PeoplePerHour.
They all work a little bit differently, so just make sure you can get the services you need at a price you can afford.

How do I choose a design agency?

Choosing the right design agency is a big decision, because it will cost quite a bit of money, but it’s worth it, if you can find the right one.
It’s important to find a partner for your business, rather than simply hiring a good agency for their name or their portfolio. They need to understand your business model, your objectives, and your goals.
Check out their financial background and their record with other clients. Interview a few of those clients, too.
Location doesn’t matter, because almost everything is online now, so look beyond Google for agencies that are worldwide. Some of the best designers are overseas. You’ll just have to ensure you set clear expectations so that you can work around the time difference.
Evaluate the agency’s proposal thoroughly and make sure they’re offering what you need and nothing you don’t. You need comprehensive, integrated services at a price you can afford. It may be pricey, but the return on investment may surprise you in the end.

Final Thoughts

Penji is really targeted to compete against larger agencies, which means at the price point, you’re getting a much better value with Penji than you will with someone else. The drawback is that you’re not going to be able to assign as many users to your account.

There are always workarounds, like sharing the sign in information across your team, but then you’re sharing permissions that may not be identical.

They definitely have a unique business model that intrigues me and I like it a lot. One thing I’d definitely like to see them offer is a 30-day free trial.

Other than that, with a few tweaks, the system could be really awesome. The features and workflow are great, I was pleased with my experience, and the design team was very talented. I think it has a lot of potential.

Builderall vs Clickfunnels: Which Funnel Tool Works Best for You? [2021 Recommendations]

Turning your business idea into a functional business takes great planning and sharp execution. Making your business profitable online can be daunting. However, digital platforms continue to evolve, giving you the leverage you need to turn prospects into sales.

Great ideas inspire great products. As an entrepreneur, you would like to maximize the strengths of your product to close more sales. There are various strategies you can use to grow your business from a startup to an effective revenue generator.

Most startups concentrate on the product and fail to factor the cost of customer acquisition. Unfortunately, this oversight will kill your business before you see its full potential.

There are tools that will help you maximize your sales. Builderall and Clickfunnels are software tools that can add immense value to your business. This side by side comparison gives you insight into two powerful sales funnels that could rev up your sales.

What is a sales funnel?

At Change Creator we like to say, Path to Purchase when we stragize our clients websites. But its really no different. Sales funnels are tools that are designed to lead your potential customer from interest to a sale. The concept behind sales funnels is adding value through each level of the funnel. By the time your potential customer is down to the narrowest path, your sales funnel should have convinced them to part with their money for your product or service.

Your success with sales funnels depends on 3 key factors:

  • Search engine result page authority.

  • Well-designed website.

  • Testimonials.

These factors blend to give your potential customers assurance. You can make your marketing strategy highly effective by implementing these 5 approaches to your sales funnels.

More pages

Your search engine ranking depends on your website’s ability to hold a reader’s concentration. A high bounce rate reflects poorly on a website. Chartbeat CEO opines that web users hardly spend more than 15 seconds on a website. Giving your potential customers diverse pages increases their staying time on your site.

Foresight

Foresight is your marketing team’s ability to preempt the actions of a user. If potential customers follow your prompts correctly, your sales funnel should show a high customer conversion rate.

A clear call to action

Once you manage to convince your prospect about buying your product or service, you should provide them with a clear action to finalize their journey through the tunnel. Whether it is booking a consultation, buying or joining a subscriber list, a call to action is the final step to closing the deal.

Upsell

You can leave a good impression on a buyer by offering them additional options. These options include complementary products that go well with what they purchased and discounts.

Follow the data

You are setting yourself up for failure if you do not utilize data analysis tools to keep records. Data analytics helps your marketing team reorganize business elements for maximum profitability. You can always change your sales funnel to fit another campaign.

Builderall vs Clickfunnels: What is the ideal funnel builder?

Builderall is a platform that helps businesses upgrade their digital marketing strategy. It allows you to create websites, mobile apps and CRM solutions without coding knowledge. Since its inception in 2011, Builderall is responsible for more than half a million published websites. To date, it has garnered impressive reviews from its 40,000 users.

Clickfunnels has a long history of helping online entrepreneurs create funnels.  It operates like a custom CRM, with tools that enable you to formulate and execute strategies to strengthen your business. It has been in operation for 5 years and has become a top choice for small-scale and medium-sized online businesses.

Both funnel builders have gone to great lengths to give users valuable plans. Before you settle on any of the builders, let’s have a close look into their strengths.

Builderall has a range of tools that fit any campaign you choose for your online marketing needs. With it, you can access a dashboard with all the starting points to 7 core capabilities.

The Builder capability gives you impressive websites, blogs, e-commerce stores among other sites.

You can use its MailingBoss function to automate your email and maintain contact with your clientele from opt-in to final sale.

The Videos and Design functionality gives you the power to incorporate share-worthy media at any point of your pipeline.

Build user-focused Apps that offer a seamless cross-platform experience. Go further and use its A/B testing function to check key details in real-time.

Put together a high-converting Webinar from the moment you start using Builderall.

Set up payment management systems in the Marketplace. Go a step further and streamline your passive income activity using the same functionality.

Part of Builderall’s popularity is due to its easy-to-use drag and drop feature. This is a handy tool for users who want to use the platform without a background in programming.

Why choose Builderall

Web Building

The web builder gives you 4 options when you begin using it.

Pixel Perfect

This option opens to industry-specific templates so you can quickly start building custom websites. These pages are visually inviting and are divided into some of the most profitable categories on the web. As you fiddle with most of the templates, you may notice a familiar pattern.

You can customize these templates to fit your specific needs. There are loads of elements to choose from during the design phase of your website.

Responsive builder

The responsive builder comes in handy when you need to edit your site. You can tweak the site to come up with a site that delivers a quick response time. This functionality may be a correction to an oversight on mobile editing. Still, it is an impressive feature that could improve UI/UX features of a site.

Mobile-first builder

A high number of users now access the web using their phones. Even Google opted to use mobile-first indexing.

Optimize a site for mobile usage with the mobile-first builder. You can control every step of a sales campaign from your phone with a meant-for-mobile site. And the best part is that you don’t miss out on key design and navigation options.

Responsive blog builder

Blogs are a great access point for your potential customers. They can help you build an impressive user base that will see your customer acquisition. The blog builder lets you craft interactive blogs that maintain a user’s attention with well-written blogs.

Premium functions

At first glance, Builderall seems like an attempt to jam together a mash-up of capabilities. Yet, when you use it, it delivers on most of those capabilities. Some of the functionalities are alternatives to popular options already in the market.

Mailing Boss lets you manage multiple email lists for each digital campaign. Within, you can compile new lists or start new campaigns whenever you have a new product or a custom target market. The leaner version of it gives you up to 10000 email contacts.

Customizing your welcome email is the first step to setting up an email marketing tool that converts. There is a wide range of popular email automation tools in the market right now. However, MailingBoss has an automation workflow builder that helps businesses to stay in touch with their subscribers.

The drag-and-drop function helps you create an automation sequence that resembles a blueprint. You can map out each section, mimicking a blueprint that gives your sequence a professional look and saves you time.

Builderall comes with a design module that takes your mock-ups and basic design needs to the next level. You can use it to do digital mock-ups, prepare presentations and edit photos. The module helps you boost user engagement as users tend to interact better with text backed by visual media.

The photo editor is a helpful editor when you need your photos punched up. While it won’t achieve the same aesthetics as in powerful software like Lightroom, the image editor provides some tools to make your photos more presentable and professional.

You can go a step further and edit your photos in 3D. This feature works well if you are in a field that requires basic 3D media.

Buiderall has a video module that could be useful for developing quick and easy floating videos and animation. Even with text-only animated videos, your audience engagement numbers could skyrocket just by including video into your campaigns. These 2 functions are separate from the software’s video hosting module.

Typically, you would use separate more mainstream alternatives of each module. However, with all of them in one place, you save on time and resources while maintaining high standards.

App module is a mash-up of interesting tools. On this module, you will find features such as a Facebook chatbot, SEO SERP report tool among other nifty features. A keen internet marketer will likely notice the value of the app module once they see the tools on offer. Their individual alternatives would clutter your marketing approach and increase your cost of doing business.

The webinar tool is a fascinating module that can be used to do a live broadcast. The setup is easy to navigate. There is a feature that feels a bit blackhat, though. The ghost audience feature will mimic ‘live’ comments during a mock live video. You record a video but execute it as a live video and use the ghost audience feature to simulate real-time user engagement.

The cheeky feature notwithstanding, the webinar module is a way to save you the eventual cost of webinar software.

Since your intention with Builderall is to make your business profitable, Marketplace ties together tools that make it easy for users to pay for services or products. Set up any payment avenues using this module. If you’re volunteering and are not looking to make a hard sell, a donate button would fall under this module.

This is the same module from where you will manage your affiliate income. You can view statistics from your affiliates as well.

Can Clickfunnels match up to Builderall?

Clickfunnels has over 65,000 active users. Since its inception, it has helped businesses grow from fledglings to high-flying successes. Clickfunnels has helped create business-critical funnels, landing pages, webinars and membership sites.

You can build a funnel where users provide their email address and get a simple gratitude email. Alternatively, you can build funnels to upsell expensive services as a bonus for buying an affordable product. These tunnels might be hard to create if you don’t have the experience.

However, Clickfunnels gives you an easy time with customizable templates. Some of the templates are free. You may have to spend more money to unlock premium templates. Still, every template available can be designed to drive traffic to your product and secure more sales.

When you start your business, you may lack the resources to afford a technical department. With Clickfunnels, you can put together an expert level multi-page sales funnel. You can even incorporate social media functionality to increase traffic and gain authority. More traffic and stronger site authority rank well on search engine result pages.

Some of the features are similar to Builderall features. Still, the user experience may vary.

Drag and drop is a breeze with Clickfunnels. Once you start designing, you can simply drag and drop elements of your funnel. You can see the progress in real-time. If a setting is not in line with your vision, you can edit it.

You can set up a comprehensive page with payment options, FAQ sections and comment entries using Clickfunnels various page elements. You can go further and tailor each element to suit your specific aesthetic.

Etison Editor makes it easy to build beautiful websites. The key behind Etison’s clean websites is color-coded blocks.

Green sections represent the foundational layer of the site. Here, you input the basic text of your site. Visitors will interact first with this area since it houses your intentional text.

You can use the blue blocks to create rows within the green section. You can add valuable information such as navigation links and CTAs. Where you place the rows could help you decide what you include in the row.

The orange block puts the fine details into your site. Orange sections house the elements of your page. Now that you have a solid structure to work with, you can take advantage of up to 50 design elements available in Clickfunnels.

Drag and drop text, media, forms, and countdowns to suit your site intentions. You can edit these elements using the builder’s customization tools. Functions such as changing the background color, enhancing margins and fonts give your site visual appeal that holds your customers’ attention.

Are you afraid that you may be losing out on thousands of customers because your site is not mobile friendly? Clickfunnels makes it easy to customize your desktop site for a mobile experience. The 3-step method involves setting the text size, selecting the bits you want to appear in mobile-only and a one-click preview of the result.

With that, you can give your customers the best navigation experience on any device.

One of its most impressive features is Actionetics MD. Actionetics MD is a follow-up funnel. After a sale, most entrepreneurs will settle with decent profit margins. Actionetics lets you follow up on new leads or previous clients. With this tool, you can keep your customer retention numbers up, drive sales and get yourself organic referrals.

At its core, Actionetics MD is an email autoresponder. And using it is easy. Once you create a list, use the preset actions to automate your lists. Actionetics MD has a function that separates users in the list based on their activity. For instance, it separates buyers and non-buyers and can subscribe non-buyers to the buyer’s list after they purchase.

It is within Actionetics that you will find Smart List. Smart Lists are Actionetics data analyzer and compiler. They analyze users and gives you information on who they are, how they got into the funnel, their buying patterns, and their funnel activity.

Smart List gives you an edge since you can customize your message to a specific list. This could be beneficial in cases where you have repeat visitors who don’t buy or are frequent spenders.

And you’re not just bound to email communication. Your message can be delivered via Facebook Messenger, text, targeted ads, and desktop push notifications. Having all these follow-up avenues would cost more if they were used separately. Having them as part of a package is a bargain.

How they differ

By now, you have seen most of the great features you can get from these 2 platforms. However, you need to make a choice.

  1. Affiliate model

Unlike Clickfunnel where you make money off affiliates, Builderall gives you a monthly revenue stream. The Builderall model makes you a business person rather than a salesperson.

Under the Leveraged Affiliate Program, you will earn as long as your referrals keep paying for hosting. A Builderall user has an advantage over a Clickfunnels user due to niche popularity. Web hosting is an evergreen niche.

Affiliates can earn bonuses on recurring payments. You receive a 100% commission on the first payment. The next 2 payments by a customer translate to a fixed commission. The 4th recurrent payment attracts a $15 bonus on top of the $20. The retention bonus applies every 3 months.

The Unlimited car bonus is calculated by multiplying how many customers you have under a certain plan. For instance, if you have 100 customers on the premium $69 plan, you garner 6900 points. 690 points make you eligible for a $50 bonus. That means 6900 points earn you $500.

When you buy a plan, you are awarded 3 points per dollar. However, when you sell a plan, you are awarded a point per dollar. Not only do you refer users to a comprehensive builder, but you also enrich their experience by making them business owners in more ways than one.

If you are not maxing out Clickfunnels’ powerful functionalities, you can make money off it. You can add to your passive revenue stream using Clickfunnels’ Backpack Affiliate program. The basics of the affiliate program remain the same as most affiliate programs. However, there is a proprietary program, Sticky Cookie, that puts passive revenue in your pocket every time a referred user buys anything AFTER the initial buy.

The benefits of the Backpack program are not only financial. They help with traffic too. Sticky cookie tackles yet another pain point. If you had saved an affiliate link to a product on one device but purchase the same item through a different device, you just lost some revenue.

Yet, with Sticky Cookie, the link works across devices so you can complete your purchase on any device when you are comfortable.

Some affiliate programs come with set-in-stone conditions. Backpack will let you structure your commission plan according to your product. And you can have the plan active in  4 steps:

Step 1: Go to the Management function in Backpack’s dashboard. Add a commission plan and create the plan.

Step 2: Customize each of your plans. This is important if you are juggling multiple affiliates. If a plan is inactive or has outlived its purpose, simply toggle OFF. Set the running ones to ACTIVE.

Step 3 and 4: Set affiliate types and customize each type’s terms of engagement. Here you can assign different commission rates depending on the type of affiliate.

Step 5: Is a bonus feature that lets you set up tier 2 affiliates. If your affiliate brings a new customer, they earn a commission. If the new customer closes a sale using their own link, your affiliate will receive a small fraction of the commission.

You can create affiliate centers so you and your affiliates can establish some synergy. You can view their performance and avail helpful material that will help them boost sales. In the spirit of friendly competition, you can run competitions and award your top earners. These tools are made to enable you to build a community and add value at each stage. More traffic and knowledge sharing from a central point means you build a cohesive system based on mutual benefit and trust.

Price

Clickfunnels and Builderall have unique selling points. Builderall looks appealing if you are looking to start small. The most affordable plan, the web presence plan, starts at $9.90 per month.

Under this plan, you only get a website and might miss out on some premium features. For $29.90 monthly, you will be on the Digital Marketing Growth plan. To unlock all the Builkderall features, you will part with $49.90 per month.

To get a feeling of what to expect with a fully functional builder, you can pay the $49.90 and if you get a subpar experience, use the 30-day money-back guarantee.

Clickfunnels comes with a 14-day trial. After the trial, you can sign up for the $97 a month package or for the $297 a month plan. $97 will limit you to 3 custom domains, 20 funnels, 100 pages, and 20,000 visitors. However, upgrading opens up limitless features. You can open unlimited funnels and add as many pages as you would like. You can have as many domains as you can manage.

On the $97 plan, you miss out on the Actionetics MD service and Backpack affiliate program.

Support

ClickFunnels beats out Builderall on live chat support. Currently, Builderall does not have live chat support. However, a vibrant online community frequently answers questions and help other members solve queries. The support is ticket-based and communication is prompt. The response time varies.

ClickFunnels, on the other hand, has a wide community of active users on social platforms. Their support lines could use improvement. Fortunately, they have periodic updates on the platform so the support issue may get due attention.

Integration

While these 2 solutions offer a comprehensive list of tools in one place, customers tend to have separate favorite solutions for some functions. For instance, you may be accustomed to using Paypal as a payment option. Clickfunnels enables you to integrate most of your favorite tools. Users who use Clickfunnels to drive sales can integrate the pack and ship service, Shipstation to handle shipping logistics.

Builderall integrates with a number of independent programs such as Facebook Messenger, Stripe, MailChimp and mainstream social media platforms. However, users will opt to use the tools within Builderall.

Builderall vs Clickfunnels: The final word

The decision on whether to use Builderall or Clickfunnels to scale up your business will be based on personal preferences. These are great products that help you increase traffic to your online business and make you decent profits.

With tools such as Script Builder, you can take control of your marketing strategy and build your business from scratch. Builderall has a list of great features that will help you build fast powerful websites and apps. Clickfunnels, on the other hand, promises to deliver customers with their various funnels.

Clickfunnels offers two fair prices and promises to build you custom funnels that convert. $297 works if you are looking for an affordable tried-and-tested funnel builder to amp your sales. However, for a lower price, you can assemble a suite of business solutions.

Both offer learning centers that keep you up to speed with industry hacks that accelerate your sales. Builderall even offers tutorial videos to make your learning curve friendlier.

If you are looking for a fast funnel builder to increase your online revenue and bump up your passive income, Clickfunnels is a winner. However, if you want to test out different approaches for your site, Builderall is reasonably priced.

If you are looking for a trustworthy affiliate program that promises recurring payments, Builderall is the answer to your needs. Clickfunnels is a superb option for big affiliate commissions.

Give each a try and decide which one works best for you. A 14-day trial and a 30-day guarantee are all the incentives you need to give them that initial shot.

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Essential Shopify Apps and Integrations to Help Run Your Ecommerce Store

In this post, we’re going to be looking at some of the best apps and integrations available to you and your Shopify store.  

And, as anyone who has spent any amount of time on Shopify’s platform will know, there is a lot for you to choose from.  

So, without further ado, let’s get stuck into some of the best Shopify apps and integrations on the market.  

What is Shopify? 

Shopify is an ecommerce software solution.  

What does Shopify do?  

Shopify gives you the functionality to create and manage an online store. Also, its admin panel will allow you to add products to your store that you can promote and sell through your storefront. Along with other sales channels.  

What are the best Shopify apps and integrations? 

Now, that we’ve got all the formalities out of the way, we can begin listing off some of the top Shopify apps and integrations.  

And, to help you guys out, we’ll be segmenting these apps and integrations into specific sections. 

This will make the process of finding more information about “the best landing page builder for Shopify” or the “best Shopify app to help with shipping” much more fluid.  

Hopefully, it will help you find what you’re looking for with greater efficiency. 

App 1: Shogun 

The first app on our list is Shogun.  

Shogun is an app that you can use to create beautiful and high converting landing pages. In fact, you can use Shogun to create anything from landing pages to about pages. So, it pretty much allows you to create any page type you can think of. 

Shogun offers some cool features including:  

  • Drag and Drop Editor  
  • 30+ Page Templates  
  • Theme Editor 
  • Image Optimiser 
  • Image Resizer 

App 2: Oberlo 

For anyone looking to get into drop shipping, Oberlo is a must-have.  

This app is only available to drop-shippers who use Shopify as their ecommerce platform. 

It will give you a host of features and functionality that will allow you to smoothly run your Shopify store.  

You can use Oberlo to scan through the catalogs offered by awesome wholesalers such as AliExpress and AliBaba.  

Once you’ve found a product, the app will enable you to quickly import it to your Shopify store and start selling and shipping to your customers.  

Top Oberlo features include:  

  • “Order Volume” Sorter  
  • Oberlo Chrome Extension (add products to your store in a few short clicks!) 
  • Captcha Solvers 
  • Affiliate Program 
  • Bulk Orders 

App 3: Omnisend

Omnisend describes itself as an all in one “omnichannel automated marketing solution”.  

Which, in plain English, means that you can use it to market your brand across more than one sales channel, from the same platform.  

Pretty neat, eh? 

 Here are some helpful features offered by Omnisend: 

  • Customer/Contact Segmentation 
  • Email/AB Testing/SMS Campaigns Available 
  • Sign-Up Form Variations for Lead Generation  
  • Powerful Automation (Workflows)   
  • Single-Click Shopify Integration 

App 4: Swell 

Swell is an app that will help you increase your brand’s conversions by offering rewards that will encourage customer loyalty. 

Something cool about Swell is that it’s a YotPo company. (YotPo is another marketing app that encourages repeat buyers and referrals, just in case you didn’t know!) 

Helpful Swell features are as follows:  

  • Rewards Program 
  • Referral Program 
  • Multiple Plans Available to Suit Every Business  
  • VIP Tiers and Gamification Strategies  
  • 15+ Actions to Reward Customers 

Also, the app can be integrated with more powerful marketing software such as the already alluded to YotPo and the popular Mail Chimp. 

App 5: SEO Image Optimiser – SEO Tools

This app will help you drive traffic to your Shopify store, by improving your Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). 

You see, it is set up in a way that helps you attract more visitors from Google searches. 

Also, it offers alt tag and meta description features that will help make your site more visible in Google Image’s search results.  

Which is an incredibly effective way of attracting buyers to your Shopify store. 

The following are top tools and facts related to SEO Image Optimizer:  

  • No Coding Knowledge Required to Use
  • Easy to Install with a few quick clicks  
  • Alt-Text Optimisation  
  • Meta Tag Optimisation (Paid Plan Only) 
  • Automated JSON-LD 

App 6: Shippo 

Shippo is an app designed to help you customize and automate your shipping as much as possible. 

It offers discounted shipping rates to save you some extra cash and can be integrated with a host of big-name couriers. 

If you’re looking for an affordable and easy to manage shipment interface, Shippo is worth considering.  

Shippo offers a tonne of helpful features:  

  • Discounted Rates if you Ship with USPS and/or DHL Express 
  • No Hidden Fees ($5 cents Per Label) 
  • Auto-Sync Package Info  
  • Ability to Stamp Your Brand on Packaging  
  • All in One Platform to Import Orders From  

App 7: Privy 

If you find that leads are bouncing from or pogoing around your store quite a bit, without ever making a purchase, Privy can help.  

The app is designed to target visitors with promotions and offers that have been optimized to generate conversions and increase your contacts list.  

Privy can be integrated with both Shopify and Shopify Plus, so you can get started with it right away.  

Here are five interesting things about Privy:  

  • You Do Not Need to Possess Any Coding Knowledge to Use its Software 
  • Offers a Powerful Blend of Conversion and Marketing Tools  
  • AB Testing Available to Aid in Increasing Conversion Rates  
  • Real-Time Reporting Visible Through the Dashboard  
  • Cart Abandonment Notifications Can Be Sent Via Email  

App 8: Sales Pop 

If you’ve never owned an ecommerce business, then you probably won’t fully appreciate the value of social proofing. 

Sure, you’ve probably bought products online and have seen popups notifying you of others who have bought similar products?  

But, have you ever thought about the true value of these popups? 

As in, did they make you feel secure, and like you were dealing with a reputable brand? 

Well, they should have because this is one of the most installed and highly rated apps out there. 

And what does it do? Why, it sends popup notifications to your site when visitors make a conversion, which encourages more visitors to make even more conversions. 

Simple, effective and a proven method you can use to increase your conversions.  

Now, for a few facts about Sales Pop:  

  • Over 25,000 Shopify Stores Currently Avail of Sales Pop’s Services 
  • You Bill Be Able to Manage and Control Pop-up Locations And Whereabouts On-Page  
  • Templates Available That Can be Edited Code-Free or with CSS 
  • Geo-Location Notifications Available  
  • API available for advanced customization  

App 9: Discounted Upsells – Upsell   

This Shopify app was created by Booster Apps.  

And, as you can tell from its name, it will allow you to upsell and cross-sell products in your store.  

Now, let’s look at some of the best features available through this app:  

  • Discounted Rates When It Comes to Upselling and Cross-selling 
  • No Coding Needed to Get Setup 
  • AI Available to Choose Products to Upsell and Cross-sell 
  • Optimized for Mobile  
  • Free Trial Available  

Best Shopify App to Increase Conversions – Swell  

Swell is available for integration with Shopify, and we recommend that you take full advantage of that fact.  

We’ve already given a brief overview of what problem the app solves up above.

So, in this section, we plan to get into greater detail regarding its pros and cons.  

We’ll begin on a positive note, by taking a look at what we like about Swell.  

Pros 

The first thing that we like about Swell, is that it is used by some of the largest and most notable businesses on Shopify. So much so, that the app has been made a Shopify Plus Technology Partner. Also, the integration has received over 2,000 reviews in Shopify’s app store and is averaging a 4.7-star rating. What all of this tells us, is that the app is extremely effective at generating conversions through its rewards, referrals, and loyalty programs. This also means it’s worth integrating into your Shopify store because it can earn you more conversions. 

The next thing that we find attractive about this Shopify app, is that it improves conversions through gamification techniques and VIP tiers. For those of you who don’t know, gamification simply refers to implementing a game-like experience into things that are not typically game-related. A great example of this, conveniently enough, is Swell’s VIP tiers that will be integrated into your sites. How these tiers work, is that once you make a purchase, every purchase after that moves you up a position into a higher tier. This creates a game-like feel for your customers as they try to continue making purchases to move up the ranks and unlock new rewards. All the while, increasing your conversions. Pretty smart, right?  

Our final pro is the app offers a tonne of great features. For example, once you integrate the app into your Shopify store, there are over 15 actions that your customers can perform to earn a reward. This is a great way to encourage repeat customers. The more repeat customers you have the better.  Mainly, because it’s far easier to keep customers than it is to set up marketing campaigns to attract new ones. The app’s customer dashboard will showcase metrics such as points earned as well as your customer’s VIP tier. You can use these metrics to make your programs better and therefore more likely to generate conversions. Swell also allows you to see how much customers are spending, which will give you an idea as to how well your program is performing.  

Cons  

As you can imagine with an app that’s been reviewed by 2,000+ people, and received nearly a five-star rating, Swell doesn’t have a whole heap of negatives. To be honest, we’re kind of clutching at straws to find any.  

One possible con that we did notice while researching Swell on the Shopify app store, was that its interface seems to bug out for some users. But, that’s hardly substantial evidence as there was only a tiny figure of marketers who noted this glitch in their reviews. Besides, so many more sang the apps praises with 1,700+ reviewers leaving a five-star rating, as opposed to the 29 that left a one-star rating. It’s still a tad worrying though, so be mindful of bugs and glitches if you choose to install the app. 

Also, if we were to be a bit picky, you need to have some technical knowledge to install its API and SDK. 

Something that bugged us, were claims that Swell demands an additional fee for setup support. So, we sent them an email to find out whether this was the case. 

And, setup support is free. Their “Growth Support Hero” Rogelio, was kind enough to explain that they offer both instructions and article guides to help you in the process.

 So, to reiterate, there are no additional fees for setup support.  

A Must-Have Shopify App to aid in Customer Retention – Privy  

Privy has over 22,300 reviews and a 4.7-star rating in the Shopify app store. So, it’s easy to tell that this is a Shopify app worth integrating with your store. 

Anyway, we’ve chosen Privy as our must-have customer retention app. And, there are a few main reasons as to why we did that.  

Pros  

The first one being, that the Shopify integration simply offers a tonne of extremely helpful conversion and marketing features. For example, the app allows you to create and customize a variety of displays. All of which, have been optimized for mobile.  So, whether you want to embed an email sign-up form into your site to generate more leads. Or, gamify it with a spin to win wheel, you can. Ultimately, these actions and displays will increase your conversions over time. So, we like that about them.

While on the topic of conversions, it’s a good idea to mention that you can implant coupons, email autoresponders and pop-ups throughout your store. Coupons are always an excellent way of increasing conversions and encouraging repeat customers because let’s face it, we all love saving some money! Also, the app offers AB testing and the ability to run targeted campaigns that you can center around key metrics. AB testing is great because it will allow you to see your store’s conversion rates. Which will allow you to further optimize your pages for conversions as well as the performance of your conversion strategies. The idea being here that it will increase your conversion rate even further overtime. 

Its targeting and triggers are fantastic as they ensure that the right customers are receiving information about your products and promotions. Again, these tools and practices serve to increase your conversion rate, which is great for you as a marketer.  

Our final Privy pro is that it lets you automate your email marketing process. Obviously, email marketing is massive for anyone looking to retain customers because it allows you to accumulate a list of contacts or leads. These leads can then be targeted with advanced marketing campaigns to make more sales. Privy will give you a host of options to create and manage these marketing campaigns. For example, you will have the ability to send email newsletters, cart recovery emails, and emails to follow up on customer orders. On top of that, you’ll be able to take advantage of the popups you place within your store by combining them with targeting and triggers. This will all help you grow your email list with new leads, and therefore, increase your potential to generate conversions.  

Cons  

Now, for the cons.  

Oh boy, the app has over 20,000 positive reviews in Shopify’s app and integration marketplace, so we’ll once more be clutching at straws.  

That being said, one issue you could find with Privy, is that they don’t offer a huge number of fonts. Granted, there is enough for it not to become a problem, and its higher-end plans do offer you the ability to import custom fonts. Nonetheless, if you’re someone who loves customization, and has no reason to buy into one of the more expensive plans. Well, this could become an issue for you. 

The next con we want to bring to your attention is that some online reviewers have noted that the platform is buggy. Again, this is only a minority experience that the majority of people who use Privy will ever experience. So, don’t worry too much about the app not working because it is highly unlikely to ever affect you.  

Our final Privy con has to do with pricing. And, there are a couple of points we want to make here. Firstly, this ecommerce integration does not allow you to hide its logo on its website if you enroll in its free plan. Now, this isn’t by any means going to affect your digital store. But, as one online reviewer explained, it is rather uncomfortable not to have the power to remove the logo from your site. After all, it is yours, so Shopify integration should allow you to do so. Also, if you compare Privy’s pricing to other solutions, most would agree that it’s a tad bit pricey.  

The Best Landing Page Builder for Shopify – Shogun

For our landing page selection, we’ve chosen Shogun.  

This Shopify integration has a 4.9-star rating in the ecommerce platform’s app marketplace, with over 1,700 reviews.  

At our time of writing this post, it’s in Shopify’s staff picks section, so you can rest assured it’s high performing.  

Anyway, it’s high time we begin taking a look at some of the pros of this landing page builder. 

Pros  

Our first Shogun pro is that it’s super easy to design pretty much any page type using the app. You can use it to create high converting landing pages, helpful FAQ pages or even set up a donations page. There really is no limit to the page types you can create using its editor. Oh, speaking of Shogun’s editor, you’ll be pleased to know that you’ll need zero developmental knowledge of CSS or JavaScript to use it. This is because it operates in a drag and drop format.

 Which, is great for you because it’ll save you having to pay a developer to customize your pages for you. The Shopify integration also boasts a super helpful import editor that lets you edit pre-existing pages. You’ll also have access to 30+ custom templates that can be edited using the app’s theme editor. In a nutshell, you’ve got extremely powerful page customization options.  

Did you know that Google Images is the second most popular search engine on the internet? 

Well, that interesting little fact brings us to our next Shogun pro. You see, with Shogun, not only will you have an abundance of page options, you’ll also have an abundance of Image options, too. You’ll be able to avail of the app’s image optimizer and image resizer. These tools will allow you to ensure that you have high-performing images that fit seamlessly into your pages and galleries.

Also, they’ll ensure that your store’s images are working on all devices. Be that laptop, tablet or mobile. The latter of the three is particularly important, as roughly 50% of all web traffic is now mobile. And, nothing will turn buyers away quicker than malfunctioning images on your storefront. The point we’re trying to make here is that mobile optimization is absolutely crucial. And, Shogun allows you to optimize for mobile, which is awesome! 

Our final Shogun positive is that it offers awesome versatility. For example, you’ll have access to a host of different features concerning SEO, marketing, conversions, and integrations. Remember we mentioned its image optimizer? Well, that’s awesome for SEO because it will allow you to compress images so that they load faster on your page. The faster your page loads, the better because page loading speeds are a metric Google takes into consideration when creating the SERPs. 

Other cool SEO related features include the ability to create your personal:  

  • Meta Titles 
  • Meta Descriptions 
  • Alt Text (This is super important for images) 

The app also offers a host of marketing tools such as an affiliate program, AdWords and flash funnels to boost your store’s conversion rates. In terms of aiding conversions, you’ll have access to AB testing and other page elements that will encourage sales.  

On top of that, the app can be integrated with Google Analytics and Adobe Typekit.  

Cons  

Now, it’s time for some of the negatives associated with Shogun. 

If we had to pick one though, we would bring your attention to some online reviewers noting that the app is buggy. One marketer remarked that they lost hours of work due to Shogun malfunctioning by not saving the code of published landing pages properly.

 Obviously, this was an overwhelmingly disappointing experience, which resulted in their hard work being lost. And, as Shogun duly noted in its reply to its disappointed customer, “unacceptable”. Not to put Shogun on blast entirely, they did apologize profusely and offered the person who left the review a full refund as gratitude for their loyalty. 

Also, its engineering team was said to have been attempting to locate the code and remedy the situation. So, if something does go wrong when using Shogun, you can at least have the peace of mind that you will be taken care of.  

It’s also important to note that software will sometimes bug out, and you may be unfortunate enough to be the only victim of this glitch. So, always bear in mind, before you purchase any Shopify app or integration, that it may not work entirely as you wish. Although, they should if you’re investing your hard-earned cash into it. Regardless, if you’re thinking about using Shogun, be aware that this is an issue that could crop up.

Anyway, that’s enough of a pep talk.  

Our final Shogun con is a mixture of juvenile things that we feel might annoy you, but won’t affect your store’s conversion rates. For instance, one online reviewer complained that Shogun sent them an email after they had contacted them asking to no longer receive emails. Another aspect of the ecommerce integration that some may not like, is that it’s more compatible with the likes of Chrome and Firefox.  As opposed to lesser-known search engine operators. Again, all of this is hardly a deal-breaker, so I wouldn’t lose any sleep over any of it.  

Overall, Shogun is an awesome up and coming landing page builder. And we, along with Shopify, would recommend trying it out with your ecommerce business.  

The Best Shopify App for Shipping – Shippo 

We’ve opted for Shippo as our best Shopify shipping app.  

Shippo has 440 reviews in the app store and is averaging a 4.6-star rating.  

Here’s what we liked about Shippo. 

Pros  

When it comes to Shippo, we are in love with the fact they offer a tonne of reduced carrier rates. For instance, if you use some of the top couriers in the world such as USPS and DHL Express, you will be entitled to a discount. 

But, that’s not all. If you choose FedEx as one of your couriers, the FedEx Advantage Program could save you as much as 29% on shipping. All in all, that is a lot of money that could be put toward other business ventures, which are more likely to yield a higher ROI. Oh, the app lets you sync up with over 50 different couriers across the globe, which is impressive.  

Another positive we would associate with Shippo is its tracking. The app will automatically send tracking information back to Shopify, so you don’t have to worry about anything. One of the major reasons we like this so much is that you can then use this data to inform customers of where their purchases are around the globe. 

People like to know that they’re not being scammed. And being able to frequently check-in on the whereabouts of their purchases should put their mind at ease. Which, could also lead to them shopping with you in the future, thus increasing your sales.  

Saving the best for last, it’s now time to talk about Shippo’s automation.  Which is great because it helps make everything so much more efficient. For instance, the app allows you to automatically save package information and email customers with tracking updates. 

On top of that, you can import store data from Shopify along with other social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook.

 Also, if you’re selling products abroad you will have a host of features at your disposal. For example, you’ll be able to automatically create custom forms and invoices for your business.   

Cons  

The first Shippo con has to do with its Customer Service. Some online reviewers have complained that they were left waiting an unacceptably long time to hear back from Shippo. This is a concern as you need to be able to rely on the app’s support team in case you run into difficulties.  

Another con is the inability to customize emails on Shippo’s basic plan. This could prove problematic if you’re trying to stamp your brand over what you do.

Our final Shippo con has to do with Shipping. You see if you choose to deliver a package by hand or via a courier not ordered through Shippo. And, the order has been placed through your Shopify store. It becomes difficult to tell the software that the order has been fulfilled. 

Essential SEO App for driving traffic to your Shopify Store – SEO Image Optimiser – SEO Tools 

Next up, is SEO Image Optimiser.  

The Shopify app has over 3600 reviews and is averaging a 4.8-star rating in the store. 

Pros 

We don’t have a whole pile to say about this app, other than it does what you’d expect it to, which is optimize your images. We’ve alluded to this previously, but image optimization is critical if you’re to successfully optimize for mobile. Mobile optimization is also extremely important as it is a metric taken into careful consideration by Google when ranking pages. 

Oh, almost forgot, image optimization is also important because it can serve to send traffic to your online store via Google Images.

So, in summary, our first pro for this Shopify integration is that it can improve your position in the search rankings. So, in summary, our first pro for this Shopify integration is that it can improve your store’s SEO.  

The next thing we like about this ecommerce integration is that it can be installed in a matter of clicks. To be specific, one click. Which, is extremely efficient, and should save many of you guys a lot of stress.

Also, according to Booster apps, it will only take less than a minute to get the app integrated with your store. Which, means you can begin improving your SEO straight away.  

“Set and Forget SEO”, has a lovely ring to it, don’t ya think? Well, it’s our final pro. Now, you may be wondering what the hell it means, so allow us to explain. Once you run the install on the app and get it fully set up, you never have to do anything with it again.

 And, that’s because the app automates the image SEO process for you, leaving you to do whatever you please! 

Cons 

The first thing that we didn’t like about the app, is that it claims to be free to download, yet offers a paid plan.  

The paid plan includes meta optimization as well as SEO assistance. But you have to pay $24.99 to avail of it on a supposedly free app. 

Granted, those are awesome features, and it offers some even better ones, so the features aren’t the issue here. 

The issue is, the app is supposed to be free, yet it’s not.

So, truly, if you want the best the app has to offer you need to purchase the paid option, yet the app doesn’t clarify that in its product description. It’s a little annoying is all.  

Otherwise, it’s a great app and there are no major issues with its performance.  

Our Shopify Dropshipping Recommendation (Top App/Integration Available with Shopify) – Oberlo 

We couldn’t write this article, without mentioning the Shopify integration we feel is the best when it comes to dropshipping.  

So, step up, 

Oberlo.  

Pros 

Oberlo is an awesome aid when it comes to running your Shopify store. It has over 2,300 reviews in the app marketplace and is averaging a 4.6 star-rating, so you know it’s reliable. 

Oberlo’s first pro is the amount of data it places at your disposal. This is fantastic because you can use it to make smarter product selections. You’ll be able to assess metrics such as pricing and popularity, which are crucial to ensuring you find a winning product. 

On top of that, the app’s sales dashboard will give you the power to monitor how the products you import into your store are doing. This will also enable you to figure out your best sellers, and set up marketing campaigns centered around them, to improve your conversion rate.  

The next Oberlo pro is its pricing. Well, more so its free plan, which will give you pretty much everything you need to run a dropshipping store. Another thing that we liked about Oberlo, is that it lets you set up “global pricing rules” for your Shopify store. This is great because it will save you having to chop and change pricing yourself, which leaves you with more time for other parts of your business. 

The automation offered by Oberlo, when it comes to managing and updating stock, is super helpful, too. 

Mainly, because it means that you’ll never have to worry about being unable to fulfill orders. This is due to the fact that Oberlo will not allow customers buy a product through your store if it cannot confirm that it’s in your inventory.

Anyway, all of these perks and features combined, make your life much easier.  

Our final Oberlo pro is the level of customization on offer. You’ll have the ability to edit the title of your imported products to something eye-catching and innovative. To compliment your catchy title, you can create a product description, in which, you’ll provide information regarding your product. Obviously, you’ll want to talk about the best features your product has to offer so that people want to buy them. Oh, you’ll also be able to customize images. 

In short, you’ll have a high enough level of customization to plant your brand’s mark on all the products you import through Oberlo.  

Cons  

It’s time for the cons associated with Oberlo. (Plus, a little rant about dropshipping.) 

First up, is its support. Well, specifically its live chat, which allegedly is not very helpful. With one online reviewer complaining, that they were left waiting roughly two hours for an answer to a question that they had asked. They also claimed that they had been in contact with two members of Oberlo’s support team. 

And, both support assistants, are alleged to have left the chat after half an hour without any warning, or solving the reviewer’s problem. This is extremely strange, as most online reviews reported no issues in relation to Oberlo’s support. 

Nonetheless, these claims are somewhat worrying and do bring into question why this issue was not resolved in a timely manner. 

Another con of Oberlo is the manner in which it’s marketed. You see, the Shopify integration summarises its app as a tool that’ll help you:  

  • Find Products 
  • Import them to your store  
  • And ship them off 

In an ideal world, owning an ecommerce store would be so easy. But this isn’t an ideal world, it’s the real one. So, it’s a little too casual of an explanation regarding what the app will allow you to achieve. 

And, one that appears to have left many of its users feeling aggrieved online. A great example of this comes from one reviewer who felt that the app did not offer enough products. Nor did they feel that is offered enough high-quality products. Also, this person didn’t like Oberlo’s success stories, as they felt that it gave off an aura of unrealistic success. This entrepreneur clearly felt that the app was not stating the reality of how tough ecommerce is to be successful.  

But, it’s only right to point out the obvious here, Oberlo is not at fault for your dropshipping store not succeeding. Nor are they at fault for trying to market their product in the most efficient way possible. Most successful dropshippers are choosing from the same products as everyone else.

The only difference is, they’re investing the amount of time and money required to market them properly. This same marketer states that one of his problems with Oberlo, is the fact “it costs money to properly market your store” and that you’ll be charged by Shopify regardless of your success.  

As previously mentioned, this is the real world. So, you’re nothing short of totally naïve if you think that a company isn’t going to charge you for using its services, merely because you didn’t make any money off of them. 

Likewise, you can’t expect that you’re going to be able to create a successful business without pumping some serious cash into it.

The moral of the story is, be careful with things that sound too good to be true because they probably are. 

An Awesome Shopify Social Proofing App – Sales Pop  

Pros  

Sales Pop’s first positive is that it will help you earn more conversions. It does this by providing social proof in the form of popups that report your store’s activity in real-time. Not only does this make your store look busy. But it also creates a perception that the buyer is missing out on something if they don’t purchase your products. You’ll have a range of countdown timers and promotion types at your disposal to create this effect.  

The next thing we find brilliant about Sales Pop is the level of customization you’ll have over its popups. For example, you’ll be able to take its templates and edit them using a range of features. Also, if you have programming knowledge, you can customize these templates even further using CSS. This should enable you to create authentic pop-ups for your Shopify store.  

Our final pro has to do with the level of control offered by Sales Pop. Not only will you have the power to customize your popups to fit your brand’s needs. You’ll also have the power to place them wherever you like within your store. What’s even more useful, is you’ll be able to view data relating to how your popups are performing. So, what that also means, is that you’ll be able to optimize them for conversions.  

Cons  

Sales Pop is known to suffer from the odd bug, which could result in some obscure popups on your website. If this happens, reach out to its support team immediately. 

You have to rate the app before you use it, which has ticked off several people online, so that’s another con of the app.  

Our Pick for the Best Upselling App Available for Integration with Shopify – Upsell  

Pros  

Upsell is great because it will encourage your customers to buy more products from your store. And it will do this by pushing promotions alongside your customers’ purchases. Also, these promotions can be offered at a discounted rate, which should provide double the incentive for shoppers to splash their cash.  

This Shopify integration is also helpful due to the fact it allows you to increase your conversions, without having to attract new customers. In the current digital economy, marketing is becoming more and more difficult, not to mention, far more expensive. So, something that lets you sell more to existing customers, is very valuable.  

The final thing that we like about the app, is that its AI will analyze your store’s data, and tell you which products to upsell. This will prove invaluable to entrepreneurs who haven’t quite learned the ropes just yet.  

Cons 

This is one of those Shopify apps that doesn’t offer a live chat, which means you’ll be waiting a while to hear back from its support team.  

Also, while researching the app, we noticed a few negative reviews regarding the integration of the app messing up store code. And, its support staff not being at all helpful when people get in touch with issues.  

Must-Have Shopify Apps 

In summary, here is our list of essential Shopify apps. 

  • Shogun  
  • Oberlo  
  • Omisend  
  • SEO Image Optimiser – SEO Tools  
  • Swell  
  • Shippo  
  • Privy  
  • Sales Pop
  • Upsell

Further read:

Market Hero vs Clickfunnels: Which Tool Boosts Business Revenue Faster? 

Marketing automation plays a huge role in online business success today. Processes like email marketing, website hosting and management, social media marketing and customer support can all benefit from automation. Entrepreneurs today can save time and increase revenue by streamlining these processes with automation.

Right from lead qualification to creating digital campaigns, automation makes the process less complicated. You can your monitor marketing campaign, enhance productivity, and improve customer retention. However, you need the right tool. The market is awash with several automation tools but we’re looking at two of them today, Market Hero and Clickfunnels.

Each of these tools offers unique benefits to online businesses today.  Let’s look at them in detail.

The Main Differences between Market Hero vs Clickfunnels

The Main Differences between Market Hero vs Clickfunnels are:

  • Market Hero focuses on e-mail automation services and marketing, whereas Clickfunnels helps you build high converting sales funnels.
  • Market Hero provides templates for you to use, whereas Clickfunnels has a variety of products to use like conversion pages, affiliate programs with email, text and messenger follow-up funnels and more
  • Market Hero use a special ROI calculation tool for track you sales, whereas Clickfunnels does not have this feature.

Let’s take a further look at these key differences.

  1. They Focus on Solving Different Problems

Despite the fact that they are both marketing automation tools, Market Hero focusses on email marketing to grow your business revenue while Clickfunnels builds beautiful sales funnels that turns visitors into leads and leads into loyal customers.

  1. ROI Calculation Tool

Market Hero features a special lead ROI calculation tool. It actively tracks each sale and conversion within your business. You’re able to tell how much your leads are worth over a long period with several filters. This way you will tell what is bringing the best ROI in your business.

You can advertise in Facebook or Google, spending less than what each lead is worth. That way, you’re sure to make a profit. Clickfunnels does not have this feature.

  1. Products are Packaged Differently

Clickfunnels offers a variety of products including Clickfunnels for building funnels, Etison Editor for creating high-conversion pages with a ‘drag n drop’ editor, Backpack which runs affiliate programs in your funnel and Actionetics which creates email, text and messenger follow-up funnels. Each of these products is elaborate with a variety of well-designed templates to make your work easy.

Market Hero on the other hand does not have separate and elaborate products. For example the email editor provides only seven templates with basic design. You cannot create your own forms because the form builder is incorporated within a specific funnel. The elements available are limited.

  1. Training

Market Hero offers an in-depth training by Alex Becker himself.

Even the cheapest membership fee gives you full access to the Market Hero academy. The training offers a ton of value. Clearly, they are committed to seeing you succeed with email marketing.

What is Market Hero?

Market Hero is mainly an email marketing service. It was founded by Alex Becker who wanted to help businesses grow by generating more revenue from a lead than it cost to acquire. The goal of Market Hero is to provide the best email analytics system and revenue centric auto responder. Market Hero’s aim is to empower businesses with a simplified process of obtaining metrics for explosive growth.

This company focusses on the basics of growth to take your business to the next level. Not only do promise you a simplified email marketing system, but also next-level automation and analytics presented in a user-friendly, simple and sleek app.

What is Clickfunnels?

Russell Brunson founded Clickfunnels in 2014 as a solution to the frustration that many business owners face with building websites and funnels. For the business owners who can’t code, you don’t need a tch team. Building an attractive and profitable website is easy with this dynamic platform. This all-in-one software helps entrepreneurs grow their businesses with more leads, more sales, more revenue and several other benefits.

Clickfunnels provides businesses with the tools they require to market, sell and deliver products and services online. You can easily generate leads, sell your products and even follow up on your customers anywhere and at any time.

After signing up with Clickfunnels, your business is on the sure path to success by simply answering the following questions:

  • What is your business?
  • What is your objective?
  • When do you want to achieve your goals?

By now we’ve already established that Market Hero is focused on increasing revenue through email automation while Clickfunnels increases revenue using well-built websites and effective sales funnels. Let’s look at the features of each marketing platform.

Why Compare Market Hero and Clickfunnels?

Market Hero is primarily focused on email marketing and Clickfunnels on creating funnels – although they have an autoresponder service as well. So, it would seem strange to compare these two tools. Wouldn’t it be much easier if they were both email marketing tools? Or funnel building tools? But they are not.

We’re comparing them so that you get the best value when trying to convert leads to sales.

Market Hero is targeted towards new fairly marketers who want to use email marketing to generate revenue. Clickfunnels can be used by beginner and seasoned marketers. The platform’s features make it so simple to build a funnel without technical help Making Instead of scratching their heads over which tool is better, some business owners have resorted to using both tools – together. Let’s look at their features.

Features of Market Hero

  1. Messenger Enabled Auto Responder

Email and Facebook messenger are the two most used communication fronts online. You can use messenger to apply all the awesome automations you’ll find on email. It has over 1 billion users and is the most engaging channel online.

Facebook messenger has an average of 80% open rates and a click through rate (CTR) that is 4-10 times higher than email. This means that your audience is actively using messenger on a daily basis. This is a great opportunity to have your business as a part of it too.

  1. Integrations

Market Hero has the ability to connect with other platforms including Shopify, Zapier, Clickfunnels, Demio, SamCart, Leadpages, JVZoo and PayKickstart. Are you on Shopify and not using Market Hero? They claim that you are simply choosing to limit your income potential. Market Hero allows you to segment and email your customers.

This software automatically compiles your sales and provides you with metrics concerning your customers. It also automates upselling, down selling, abandoned carts and more.

  1. In-depth Metrics

With Market Hero, all the information on your customers and emails are at your fingertips. You can see how many emails were opened, clicked and sent. You can also see the CTR, spam complaints and how many have unsubscribed from your list. It is easy to obtain your sales metrics and determine how much each customer is worth.

  1. Support

Market Hero provides a 24 hour chat support on their website if you need answers quickly. If you’re on Facebook, Twitter or any other social media platform, they can find you there too. They hold monthly webinars and trainings where world renowned experts show you how to use the platform for effective email marketing and exponential business growth.

When you sign up, you’re entitled to a mega course on email marketing, Shopify and messenger. Alex Becker (CEO, Market Hero) created this course to provide you with the same email tactics he has used to build several million-dollar businesses.

The mega course will teach you how to get the most out of email marketing, how to grow your Shopify sales with funnels, emails and messenger, 7 figure advertising techniques, sales and behavior based automations and high ROI email funnels.

  1. Pricing

Market Hero pricing is obviously dependant on the size of your email list. On the website, you’ll have to drag a slider across to see the prices for each category. For 1000 emails, the cost is $19 per month. For 3000 emails, it’s $49 per month and 7500 emails cost $99 per month.

For 10,000 emails, you’ll pay $129 and 25,000 emails will cost you $229. If your email list is 50,000, you’ll part with $549 while 75,000 and 100,000 go for $800 and $950 per month respectively.

Market Hero offers a 14-day trial period – no commitments whatsoever. It comes with a mailing limit but you have access to the whole platform. They also have a 30-day money-back guarantee. If you would like to pay yearly, it comes with a 15% discount. You can pay using Visa, MasterCard, and American Express. You can also use PayPal, checks or wire transfer.

Other Features

Attractive Interface

Any platform with a great looking interface attracts the attention of users. Of course let’s not forget that there are more important factors on the inside that should keep the users. Market Hero features a simple dashboard and a well- designed interface.

Subscriber Management

Adding subscribers or leads can be done using the import tool or manually. The platform uses a tag-based management system. The tags are added when a lead enters your funnel or during the import process. You can easily filter the leads based on various factors like names, emails and status.

Email Campaigns

To send an email broadcast, click the ‘Broadcast’ option on the sidebar menu. Click ‘get started’ and set up your first broadcast. Fill in the sending information and the segment of leads you’re sending the email to.

Market Hero provides only 7 templates, all with basic designs, to choose from. The drag and drop functionality in the email editor works well. You can make changes with the fonts, the floating bar and colors. However, the number of elements to choose from is limited.

Form Builder

You need a form to drive leads into your email funnel. Market Hero does not allow you to create a form like other platforms. The form is integrated in a particular funnel. That is where you will make necessary changes to the elements like images and button types.

Features of Clickfunnels

  1. Smart Funnel Builder

Clickfunnels makes it easy for business owners to independently set up high converting digital marketing funnels without the help of a tech team. Entrepreneurs are too busy to deal with all the moving parts of a marketing funnel. This software is the solution and you can do it in as little as 10 minutes following these steps;

Choose the type of funnel your business needs

Business owners create funnels to;

  • Generate leads – with basic email (or messenger) leads or with long-form application
  • Generate sales – with a two-step tripwire funnel or a sales letter funnel or a launch funnel
  • Run events like webinars – a live webinar with third-party software or an automated webinar run on Clickfunnels only

To choose your preferred funnel, go to Clickfunnels and from the drop-down menu, choose ‘Build a new funnel’, select your goal from the three we’ve discussed above, then choose the type of funnel you want. Immediately, the software will set up all the pages required for your funnel. With a few clicks, you’ll have a tried and tested framework for your online business.

Adjust your funnel to your desire

You can add, move, delete or edit pages as you see fit. You can also add membership sites. Clickfunnels can easily add one-click upsells to increase your cart value. You can add a membership page to host your training without another marketing tool or third party software.

You can reduce cart abandonment by creating an easy check-out process. Clickfunnels helps you do this by using a style order form. It captures lead details which you can use to market to those that abandon carts.

You can add your affiliate program to any Clickfunnels sales funnel within minutes, using only two extra pages. Within the affiliate area, you can edit commission plans, do payouts and create affiliate areas with easily downloadable banner ads and copy. You can also generate affiliate links to put on any of your Clickfunnels pages. This way, your affiliates can collect sales for sharing your content.

Customize your pages

You can make the pages look exactly the way you want by swapping Clickfunnels’ videos, text, logos and products with yours.

Your pages should reflect your unique voice and style. You can achieve this within a few clicks.

Capturing Leads

With Clickfunnels, you can do this in two ways.

  • Automation Tab

You will find this inside your new funnel. You’re able to connect with your audience by creating short email sequences which are sent after an opt-in or sale. Also, you can create notifications that will alert you on any purchase or opt-in.

How do you send an email through automation tab?

Step 1: Add a New Email

Each page in your funnel has an automation tab. First, select the page to send an email to. It could be an order page or opt-in page. Select ‘Add new email’, type in your name, subject and SMTP configuration and the times that you want the emails sent.

Step 2: Select a predesigned template

The predesigned email templates allow you to customize them as much as possible.

Step 3: Edit the template with your unique voice

  • Actionetics Follow-Up Funnels

Actionetics is a powerful tool within Clickfunnels. It is an auto responder that creates, schedules and delivers email sequences. You can also use it to create powerful follow-up funnels that communicate directly to each customer based on the following information;

  • Who they are
  • What they’ve bought from you and when
  • Their activity within your funnel
  • Where they’ve come from

Personalized follow-up funnels boost conversions and generate sales.

How do you create follow-up funnels inside Actionetics?

Step 1: Build your list

To build lists inside Actionetics, go to the ‘Email Lists’ tab and select ‘Add New List’. Choose a name for your new list and save. Actionetics also helps you to create a ‘smart list’ which collects specific data on your leads. For example:

  • Who enjoys your free content and has never bought anything

  • Who has purchased a product and has over 1000 Facebook followers

  • Who purchases all your products

  • Who was interested in your product but abandoned their cart

Step 2: A Follow-Up Funnel

Actionetics is a multi-dimensional follow-up funnel that allows you to communicate to your prospects wherever they are. You can reach them via email, Facebook messenger, desktop notifications or SMS. If they miss your communication on one channel, they’ll definitely see it on another.

Step 3: Send broadcasts to your subscribers

Actionetics helps you send multi-dimensional broadcast messages via Facebook, text, email and desktop notifications.

Step 4: Open your stats and adjust accordingly

When your subscribers receive your messages, you can monitor the statistics and determine the following:

  • How many subscribers opened the emails/messages
  • Who bought your products
  • What revenue you made from each email

This information will help you determine which emails resonate best with your followers.

Adding products onto the platform

With Clickfunnels, you don’t need a third-party tool to sell your products. To add your products, use these steps:

Step 1: Go to the ‘Products’ tab and select ‘Add Product’.

Step 2: Fill in the fields for Product Description, Price and Payment Gateway

Within a few minutes, you can add products, price them and start selling. You can add digital products or physical products. For digital products, when a subscriber makes a purchase, it can provide access to a membership site. This works best if you sell courses and training or if you’re a coach. It can also direct them to a ‘thank you’ page to download the product.

For physical products, once a customer has ordered, you can export the product to a fulfillment company like ShipStation which ships the order.

How will ShipStation work with your funnel?

Step 1: Integration – ShipStation and Clickfunnels

Go to your Clickfunnels dashboard and click ‘Integrations’ then ‘Add New Integration’. Now click on the ShipStation image and then type in a name for the integration. Type in your API key and you’re done.

Step 2: Connect ShipStation to the funnel

When ShipStation is connected to your funnel, you can easily access several other ecommerce and drop shipping sites.

Step 3: Add products in your funnel

After adding your products, ShipStation will do the rest for you until your product reaches your customer.

A/B Split tests for higher conversions

Optimize your funnel for maximum leads and sales by running split tests. With Clickfunnels, you can set up A/B tests for anything including headlines, images, videos, pages and copy.

Your funnel goes live

Within a few minutes, your funnel is ready to go live to generate leads and sales.

For your funnel to go live, ensure that you have done the following;

  • Gone through each step in the Clickfunnels checklist
  • Made a test purchase
  • Set the correct domain for traffic to hit the first page when your funnel goes live

Monitor Your Numbers

Your Clickfunnels dashboard will show you the performance of your funnel. You can compare sales, opt-ins and page views for various funnels. You can also see how many leads you have and where they are coming from.

The stats will also show you which funnels are converting the most leads so that you can focus there. You can see your business growth by selecting sales over a particular period of time. For example over the past 30 days or over the past 2 weeks.

  1. Etison Editor

Clickfunnels designed this page editor so that you can easily pick a template, point and click then drag and drop. You can also create attractive pages that convert visitors into customers. It also enables you to customize a page design for your specific brand.

How does this page editor work?

Step 1: Choose Your Favorite Design and Customize

Clickfunnels has dozens of amazing high converting templates which you can use for free with your account. First decide what type of page you want, then select it, edit it and customize. Inside Clickfunnels, you can create the following pages:

  • Opt-in Pages

All opt-in pages are already engineered to generate leads. You can create op-tin pages within a few minutes, collect leads and start building a list immediately. All you have to do is choose your favorite op-tin page template, then add your opt-in information and branding.

  • Order Form Pages

These are used to collect payments. They make the purchasing and check-out process easy for your customers. To create your order form, fill in your product description, price and merchant account. Now you’re ready to collect payments from your customers.

  • Sales Pages

You have several sales page templates to choose from and they are already designed to convert your leads into customers. You simply have to choose the template you like best, then drag and drop the sales options you want on your page and replace them with your unique branding.

  • Upsell Pages

The page editor helps you create an additional high converting offer page which increases your cart value. All you have to do is choose your desired upsell page template. Then you’ll simply replace the page elements with your own branding.

  • Webinar Event Pages

The Clickfunnels webinar event page templates are built to maximize webinar registrants and boost attendance. After selecting your favorite registration page templates, replace the elements with your webinar information.

Step 2: Understand the Page Structure to Tailor-Make it For Your Brand

The webpages use color-coded building blocks to help you customize. The four basic building blocks are:

  • Sections: These appear in the color green in the page editor and are the base for the page.
  • Rows and Columns: These appear in the color blue and are placed in the various sections on the page.
  • Elements: Elements appear in orange and bring your page layout to life. They are placed in the rows or columns on the page.

Step 3: Add Page Elements

After designing the page structure, you can personalize it by choosing from over 50 elements. Simply drag and drop to the page and switch them around until you have the page you want.

The element library includes text elements, media elements, form elements, advanced form elements, countdown elements, content blocks, miscellaneous elements, order forms, affiliate elements, membership elements and webinar elements.

Step 4: Use Advanced Tools to Create Perfect Pages

You can have more control over your pages by using advanced tools within the Etison Editor. Such tools include:

  • Custom CSS
  • Color Adjustment
  • Padding Adjustment

Step 5: Go Live

When your funnel looks as good as you want, it’s time to go live. Ensure that you’ve followed all the steps and test the pages in your funnel to make sure they’re working correctly.

Step 6: Customize for MobileEnsure that your customers have a flawless experience on any device. You can optimize your mobile experience by:

  • Setting a custom desirable text size for mobile
  • Setting any section, row or element to appear in desktop only or mobile only or both
  • Previewing the page in mobile
  1. Backpack

Create your affiliate program easily with Backpack. You don’t have to pay anything until a sale is made. You only need a few affiliates to multiply your income. With Backpack, you can add an affiliate program to your funnel seamlessly.

Backpack uses ‘sticky cookies’ to keep your affiliates happy, committed and sending you more traffic. When a customer makes a purchase with your affiliate’s ID link, not only do they earn a commission on that purchase but also on any additional purchase the customer makes after that.

The customer’s information ‘sticks’ to the affiliate after the purchase even if they never use the ID link again. Your affiliate will send tons of traffic to you because the financial gain is worth it.

How does Backpack work?

Backpack works in four steps:

  • Decide on a percentage for your affiliates then create a commission plan
  • Add your affiliate program to any sales funnel by adding two simple pages
  • Create an affiliate center for affiliates to easily promote your products
  • Track your ‘affiliate dashboard’ statistics and make payments
  1. Actionetics MD

With Actionetics MD, you can create, schedule and deliver emails easily but it’s more than that. It acts as a follow-up funnel. You can use it to easily communicate with leads based on who they are, where they’re from and their behavior in the funnel. This ensures that you send them the right message at the right time and not treat all visitors the same.

  1. Integrations

Take your sales funnel to the next level by integrating some of your favorite powerful tools. Clickfunnels can be integrated with several tools including Aweber, Converkit, Facebook, HubSpot, MailChimp, Kajabi, InfusionSoft, Zapier and others.

  1. Price

Clickfunnels offers a free 14-day trial. If you’re happy with the product and want to upgrade, you can sign up for the basic plan which costs $97 per month. If you want to add Backpack and Actionetics for a full Clickfunnels Suite, it will cost you $297 per month and you get unlimited funnels, more payment gateways, and domains.

  1. Support

Clickfunnels support is available from Monday to Friday between 9 am and 5 pm. You can click the ‘Get Help’ icon at the bottom right corner of the screen. To get help from your account, click the help menu. Enter your query and click ‘Continue’. Review the articles recommended to you. Then click ‘solved’ or ‘I still need help’ as required. Select an option from the menu and submit your ticket.

How Market Hero and Clickfunnels Can Work Together

If a lead/subscriber did not buy your upsell, no worries. You’ll simply send them a few emails to help them make a few purchases. And what if they actually bought your upsell? Fantastic! Move them to a list where they will receive specific emails at the right time and based on the behavior in the funnel.

That said, you can still use Clickfunnels on its own because it already has an email autoresponder feature. Market Hero on its own would work well for businesses geared towards email marketing and would like to establish the worth of their leads to determine the ROI.

What’s Your Decision?

Market Hero is majorly focused on email autoresponder services and is heavily sales-centric. This tool is ideal if your business is looking to drive sales of your products and services via email. The email templates may be limited with basic designs but the platform guarantees deliverability of your emails. Generally, this platform has good potential.

Clickfunnels on the other hand has a reputation for building high converting sales funnel. With over 90,000 entrepreneurs currently using the platform, it’s safe to say their product has the credibility that every business owner looks out for. Also, they provide a much wider range of services. So, does your business need a sleek email autoresponder platform? Or do you need a sales funnel designed to turn visitors into customers? Or will you use them both? You decide.

You Might Also Enjoy:

Kajabi vs Clickfunnels: Best Sales Funnel Software? Decide Here [2021 Update]

Let’s start this review by understanding this: Clickfunnels and Kajabi are meant for different audience but that doesn’t mean you cannot make a choice here today.

The Main Differences Between Kajabi vs Clickfunnels

The main differences between Kajabi vs Clickfunnels include:

  • Kajabi helps you create a content delivery system for online courses and content, whereas Clickfunnels creates sales funnel automation geared towards getting you more sales.
  • Kajabi is for digital educators, whereas Clickfunnels is for anyone with a digital product or service.
  • Kajabi is a specific tool for course creation, whereas Clickfunnels can work for anybody.

With Clickfunnels, its features are geared to towards helping you with one task only: creating awesome sales funnels that get you the more and more sales.

But Kajabi is meant for a different purpose altogether:

Its purpose is to help you create a proper content delivery system with which you can earn revenue through your courses and content.

In this review, we’ll do a feature comparison of both Kajabi and Clickfunnels to see how they stack up. This will help you understand which sales funnel tool is better suited for your business. We’ll compare each tool’s core offerings, their CRM, and email marketing tools.

As we dive deep into this comparison, you’ll see that both these tools offer similar features, yet are meant for very different audiences.

But which tool is perfect for you? Read on to find out!

Clickfunnels: The Beginner’s Software For Building Sales Funnels That Actually Sell

To sell anything online, you need a sales funnel.

But building a sales funnel is no easy task. It consists of many pages like a landing page, an opt-in page, a thank you page, an upsell page and on and on and on.

To make all this yourself would require a massive budget and lots of time.

Unless you use Clickfunnels.

Clickfunnels Features

Here is a summary of the features Clickfunnels has:

Build any kind of funnel with just one click: Clickfunnels has a variety prebuilt, scientifically-proven-to-convert-funnels for hosting webinars, selling products and collecting emails

Automate your funnel with robust automation tools: Collect your leads, segment them in different groups and send them automated marketing emails and text messages.

Set up a Clickfunnels affiliate program: You can get other people to sell your products for you by paying them a small commission for each product sold.

Kajabi: The Educator’s Software That Helps You Sell Courses And Memberships Fast

If you are an expert on any topic – and can wow people with amazing and high-quality content, Kajabi is for you.

In Kajabi, you can easily create sales and marketing funnels where you can sell your courses to a hungry audience that wants to learn from you.

And that’s not all.

If you don’t want to sell courses – and want to create content such videos and blog posts at your own pace without bundling it up, you can also create membership sites and ask your audience to pay a recurring fee every month to access your content.

It’s important to note that while Kajabi is excellent for selling educational content, it’s limited to just that. If you plan to sell a wider variety of products, Clickfunnels is better suited for you.

Kajabi Features

Here’s a list of features Kajabi has:

Feature Rich Online Course & Membership Site Builder: Kajabi has a robust course building system with which you can set up the video course or articles and earn revenue from it, either by selling it for a fixed price or a monthly subscription.

One Click Funnel Creation With Pipelines: Pipelines is Kajabi’s version of Clickfunnels. There are pre-built versions of sales funnels and digital marketing campaigns you can use to sell your digital product. However, Kajabi’s sales funnels aren’t as powerful as Clickfunnels are. But they include prewritten emails while Clickfunnels funnels don’t.

Built-in CRM: Kajabi’s CRM lets see information about your customers, but not in as detail as Clickfunnels CRM does. You can see who subscribed to your courses or membership sites. In addition, you can segment leads and customers, send them marketing emails and automate your sales process.

Clickfunnels vs Kajabi: Feature Comparison

As you can see, both Kajabi and Clickfunnels have extremely similar features.

They offer website builders, pre-built sales funnels, CRM systems and email marketing automation tools – making them both an all-in-one sales funnel tool.

But this doesn’t mean you can just ‘eenie meenie miney mo’ your way to choosing one.

Both sale funnel building software still has their own strengths and weakness.

So now, we’ll go head-to-head and compare the following main features of both Kajabi and Clickfunnels and see how they stack up:

Let’s start with exploring both tools core offerings, including the website builder, which is the arguably the most important part of both these sales funnel software.

ClickFunnels Core Offering: Funnel Builder

Clickfunnels main purpose is to make it easy for you to build the best sales funnel for your business that gets you the highest sales possible. That’s why it gives you these features…

1. Ready-To-Use Funnels and Templates

Clickfunnels offers a huge number of prebuilt sales funnels.

You get funnels for collecting emails, selling products, hosting webinars, running memberships sites and more. Plus, Clickfunnels also gives you templates for landing pages, opt-in pages, thank you pages and more.

You can customize each funnel by adding new pages from the templates section or removing existing ones.

All you really have to do is edit the content within them with your own text, video, images, and offering.

2. The Page Editor

If you want, you don’t have to choose a preexisting funnel or work on a page based on a template. You can start with a blank page to create your sales funnel from scratch.

All editing is done inside the page editor, where you can add everything from text, pictures, videos, checkout forms, opt-in forms and anything else that a website has.

You can change fonts, divide the page into columns, add youtube videos as your page background and more.

Once you’ve built your pages – and your whole funnel, you connect it to your domain, WordPress blog, facebook ad or anywhere else you want and put your funnel into action

Kajabi Core Offering: Course and Membership Site Builder

Kajabi is target towards educators, and hence, it’s the biggest purpose is to help you gain revenue by selling educational content and courses.

Course Builder

Kajabi offers a robust course builder you can use to create a video course series or a membership site.

When you get started, Kajabi offers you three ‘blueprints’ to build a course curriculum:

1. Mini Course Builder

2. Online Course

3. Online Training

Or you can build a curriculum from scratch.

But let’s say you choose the online course blueprint. Here’s what you’ll be presented with:

You’ll see the course has been divided into categories and sections for your convenience. You just have to edit them to match the topics of your course.

Once done, you can then set the price of your course – which can either have fixed price that they can pay in full or as monthly payments. Or you can add a subscription model that gives them access to the course as long as they pay a recurring membership fee.

The Website Builder

Then you move on to the website builder and build the website by choosing a theme or from scratch. The web builder, just like Clickfunnels, is robust. You’ll be able to add anything from images, videos, to opt-in forms.

One cool feature about Kajabi’s web builder is that you can add prebuilt ‘sections’ to your websites like pricing, sales pages, opt-in form bars, testimonials and more. In addition, you can also add social cards, comment sections, countdown timers, video, text and other elements as well.

Actionetics: Clickfunnels’ Email Marketing Solution

Email marketing is what comes after you’ve captured leads from your sales funnel. It allows you to keep in touch with your audience and keep giving them valuable information and updates to any new products and services you launch.

To do that, Clickfunnels has a robust e-mail marketing tool called actionetics.

Is basically allows you to store information about your leads, segment them based on how they interact with your funnel and send them emails and text messages with valuable information, offers and more.

Here are the top features of Clickfunnels Actionetics:

Contact Profiles: This is basically the CRM part of actionetics. Here, you can see the contact info, social profiles and other information about your leads. In addition, you can see when they’ve interacted with your funnel and what they’ve purchased.

Email Lists: This is where you can segment your leads in different leads. You can categorize people based on what products they bought (or didn’t bought), which funnels are they interacting with, where they are located and more.

Email Broadcasts: In here, you can create new emails based on templates or from scratch, add text, images, videos and more. After you’ve ‘built’ your email, you can schedule it to be sent out at a specific time to whatever list you want. Or you can save it for later use.

Action Funnels: This is the best part of actionetics. Here, you can create action steps for your leads to guide them into different funnels. For example, you can automatically set up actions to send them a series of emails when they join a list, make a purchase etc. Then you can add additional steps to send different offers to members of that list. Basically, if you want to automate your e-mail marketing campaign, this is where you’re going to do it.

Pipelines: Kajabi’s Email Marketing Solution

Kajabi offers a similarly feature-rich email marketing service called Pipelines. This is where you can create a fully automated sales funnel that will convert your visitors into leads.

To start, you’ll choose any of the prebuilt ‘pipelines’ which include funnels for promotional offers, reports, sales pages and more. Or as always, you can create your own funnel and emails from scratch.

But to show you how the pipelines work, let’s take the promotional offer pipeline as an example.

The first thing you will see is that you have to do two things:

1. Upload the free offer: This is the document (or any file) your users will get in sales page in exchange for their email.

2. Your product: This is the course or content your customers will buy at the checkout page.

After you add this info, you’ll see the whole funnel has been created instantly.

  • The pipeline will start with the ‘promotional offer’ page where visitors can enter their email in exchange for a free educational document.
  • Next, they’ll receive two emails which will lead to your sales page.
  • Finally, if your leads click your CTA, they’ll be directed to the checkout page where they can buy your product.

All you have to do is edit the text within the funnels with your own copy, images and videos. Of course, you can add or remove pages and emails in your pipeline and customize it according to your needs.

And in just a few hours, instead of days or weeks, you’ll have a funnel you can put in action on your website.

Pricing: The Final Deciding Factor

Clickfunnels pricing starts at $97 per month. Kajabi pricing starts at $129 per month.

In the starting plan, both limit their offerings but are still reasonable.

Clickfunnels limits are:

  • 20 Funnels
  • 100 Pages
  • 20k Visitors a Month

Kajabi’s limits are:

  • 5 Products
  • 1,000 Active Members
  • 1 Site
  • 25 Pipelines
  • 25,000 Marketing Emails /mo

It’s worth noting that Kajabi offers all of its top features in the starting plan.

Clickfunnels does not provide the actionetics feature which includes its email marketing and funnel automation service in the basic plan.

However, if you’re going to be using these products long-term and aren’t strictly going to sell e-courses, Clickfunnels is a better choice.

Because as your online business grows, the basics plan’s limits won’t cut it and you’ll have to upgrade to a bigger plan.

Unlimited Plans Compared:

The top tier unlimited plan of Clickfunnels costs $297 per month. The top tier unlimited plan of Kajabi costs $899 per month.

But it’s worth noting that with Kajabi, you also get a mid-tier plan as well which costs $389 per month but comes with its own limitations:

  • 100 Products
  • 10,000 Active Members
  • 3 Sites
  • 100 Pipelines
  • 75,000 Marketing Emails /mo

Meanwhile, Clickfunnels’ top-tier plan has no limitations at all and is still less expensive than Kajabi’s top-tier plan.

Is Kajabi a CRM?

Yes, Kajabi can be used as a CRM (if that’s what you’re looking for) but keep in mind it was originally used as for membership sales, digital courses but now has many other features such as landing page creation and sales funnel capabilities.

How much does Kajabi cost?

The top tier plan of Kajabi costs $899 per month, but you get a lot for your payment.

How much does Clickfunnels cost?

The top tier plan of Clickfunnels is $297, but there are other upsells you can invest in if you want to increase conversions.

My Final Decision

Ultimately, if you’ll be selling e-courses, you should still consider Kajabi as it offers a mid-tier plan which is not too expensive. But if you’re in the long term and will be selling all kinds of products, Clickfunnels is the ultimate choice for your entrepreneurial needs. It’s more versatile, meant for selling all kinds of things (even courses!) and much cheaper than Kajabi.

Further read:

The Best Clickfunnels Alternatives: Better Options are Out There! [Updated Picks 2021]

Building a sales funnel that converts from scratch can be a huge time pit. That’s time you likely don’t have, especially in a competitive sales pipeline market as in 2020. Clickfunnels is a solid tool that a lot of people love, but there are some solid Clickfunnels alternatives that you need to know about. Here are 10 just-as-good, if not better choices (we added a couple today too). 

Fortunately, you don’t have to. There’s ClickFunnels, the popular website and sales funnel builder for entrepreneurs. And shocking to some ClickFunnels diehards as it is, there also about a dozen best ClickFunnels alternatives.

So, can what ClickFunnels does all ClickFunnels alternatives do better?

Here’s the thing:

ClickFunnels not only markets itself as an all-in-one sales and marketing funnel software, but it also packs enough tools to back up its claims. That makes it a top funnels builder to beat for many small and medium businesses.

Some of the best ClickFunnels features include the ability to:

  • Use its top-notch drag-and-drop page builder. No coding required.
  • Take advantage of some of the most powerful marketing funnel automation tools around, including Facebook marketing automation, without giving away too much control 
  • A/B test your pages
  • Build membership site funnels
  • Create your own affiliate program 
  • Host your site on ClickFunnels so you can manage almost all your sales and marketing in one place 
  • Use myriad integrations including with most email marketing platforms and Zapier
  • Convert webinar attendees to warm leads and then buying customers  
  • Select from over 20 ready-to-use templates—from landing pages to capture pages to sales pages to thank you pages, among others, so you don’t have to waste time starting from scratch  
  • Use its power-packed shopping cart and billing page optimization tools optimized to reduce cart abandonment 
  • Create product launch funnels and run entire product-based online businesses
  • Test it out against top ClickFunnels alternatives with its free 14-day trial 

On the flipside, ClickFunnels tends to overdeliver for some small businesses. That means its versatility, huge catalog of features, and customization options can feel overwhelming. 

All that sales funnel power also comes at a price.

And while you own the data as a ClickFunnels user, if you decided ClickFunnels is not for you, later on, you’d not be able to access your valuable data anymore. 

But you can download a CSV file of your contacts before deleting your ClickFunnels account. 

If you are looking for a more powerful, truly all-in-one sales and digital marketing platform, you’d also want to consider elsewhere. 

So, what other sites like ClickFunnels compare when it comes to building sales funnels that convert?

Here are 10 ClickFunnels alternatives to consider right away.  

  1. Convertri

Unlike most other ClickFunnels alternatives here, Convertri may not be very well-known to you. That’s probably because it is one of the newer sales funnel platforms on the block. And that reason could be its greatest advantage.

Convertri has had time to study the competition, gather intel on some of the crucial conversion optimization techniques, and implement them in the fabric of their SaaS offering.

Special Convertri Features Include:

  • Free-form drag and drop funnel builder; while most platforms’ editors require users to first enter rows and then columns, Convertri is a true drag and drop builder. That means it’ll let you drag and drop any element into the desired page. No clunky rows, sections, and columns required. Depending on your funnel-building experience, that may make it easier to use.
  • That also means you are not limited to linear flows. You can also just click on an arrow and drag it in the direction of the subsequent funnel stage you want your leads to follow. 
  • Share funnels with partners in a few clicks
  • A/B testing
  • Form validation
  • Supports custom HTML code and element cloning so you don’t have to create twice

Convertri vs ClickFunnels

ClickFunnels offers mobile-friendly sales funnels and web pages but Convertri goes further. Convertri comes with built-in, adjustable image compression technology, shortens unnecessarily long codes, and structures HTML best. And it does all that automatically, immediately a user hits the publish button.

Like ClickFunnels, it offers a 2-step click so you can capture all-important lead or customer data for later—say upsells, reminders, and personalized offers.

Appearances matter and Convertri will also let you build unlimited layers on any page for the best effects. 

Also, while ClickFunnels will limit you to 20,000 visitors/month, Convertri allows up to 25,000 for the basic plan. And in addition to a custom domain, free hosting, and free SSL, it also provides a WordPress plugin so you can add a Convertri page to your WP website or blog.

But you have to use Chrome while in the Funnel Editor.

Overall, Convertri is built for speed, breezy funnel building, and conversion optimization at checkout. ClickFunnels still offers a host of more in-built features and better capability for selling physical products that the more digital-products-focused Convertri. 

But the ClickFunnels alternative offers an API you can use to integrate only the tools you need and can afford than working with “bloatware”. 

Convertri Pricing:

After a 14-day, $0.1 trial, Convertri will let you use the tools and up to 50 funnels, 45 templates and 500 pages for $59/month.

For $10 more, you’d be empowered to handle up to 100,000 visitors/month, 250 funnels, 2,500 pages, and about 200 templates. The Pro plan also lets teams collaborate within Convertri and use page importers.

Agencies get 4X the Pro plan benefits and 25 sub-accounts for your clients for $199/month.   

  1. Simvoly 

This modern ClickFunnels alternative makes it to this list for a bunch of reasons the contemporary sales pipeline builder wants to see and use.

Unlike any other sales funnel software here, Simvoly can be your own white-label site and sales funnel builder. Simply choose that option and it’s all under your branding, custom CSS, pricing, templates, and offers. 

Simvoly also offers free website hosting, domain, and, on top of the free templates, you can build your own to truly make the funnels yours at every stage.

Special Simvoly Features Include:

  • Easy-to-use drag-and-drop funnel builder
  • Build ecommerce sites as you wish—with zero transaction fees 
  • Simvoly’s CRM works with every website or funnel you build 
  • Generous templates that look elegant than the likes of LeadPages 
  • Supports selling memberships, subscriptions, and recurring charges
  • Like ClickFunnels, it supports one-click upsells and downsells. Bump offers work especially great for upselling efforts
  • To help reduce cart abandonment, Simvoly will let you use its unique one-step checkout sales funnel tool
  • A/B test your efforts so you can optimize conversions and sales

ClickFunnels vs Simvoly

Compared to the base, $99/month ClickFunnels plan, Simvoly supports three websites, up to 33 domain connections (vs. 3), unlimited pages (vs. 100 pages), 30 funnels (vs. 20), and over 115,000 visitors per month (vs. 20,000). 

So, if you don’t need advanced sales funnels, want a white-label solution that’s optimized for ecommerce, don’t need sophisticated sales pipeline automation or need to keep costs on the low, Simvoly can help. 

However, you’ll be limited to not just much fewer in-built features, but also the number of integrations compatible with Simvoly—it doesn’t support Zapier, either.

Simvoly Pricing

This ClickFunnels comparison costs $59/month after a 14-day trial for full-blown features. But if you are just starting out and only need one site and funnel, the company lets you start out with both for $12/month.

Then you can advance to the $24/month plan if you have bigger projects that’d benefit from the power of 5 funnels and 3 sites.   

  1. Keap (Formerly Infusionsoft)

Infusionsoft is one of the most powerful comparisons to ClickFunnels and is actually one of the most powerful online marketing toolkits available.  It is ideal for mid-sized businesses that require more features, customization, and power functions.

Keap (formerly Infusionsoft) Features:

  • Highly extensive landing page designs: With Infusionsoft, there is a strong landing page and opt-in form builder that allows you to create engaging and high-quality content pretty quickly. The landing page builder has a wide array of features, and it is pretty intuitive.
  • Comprehensive A/B testing
  • Effective customer management (CRM)
  • Email marketing automation: It is easy to create campaigns with a few canvas-style work areas, and there are also automation tools for a wide array of situations.

Infusionsoft vs ClickFunnels

Is Infusionsoft by Keap better than ClickFunnels? 

If you want to upgrade to a truly all-in-one sales and marketing platform, have the cash to back your wishes, and a moving product already, go for Keap. 

It’s powerful marketing automation tools come into play in its sales pipeline product as well. Expect to set up custom sales funnels that you can integrate with your marketing campaigns to see all sales and marketing activities in one place.    

Keap also has an elaborate CRM tool that’ll let you see all your leads and current customers in one place. 

You can use the CRM to automatically capture leads, track their online activity so you can nurture them along the funnel, and know when’s best to send them an offer, so you can finally convert them to buying customers.

Yet, ClickFunnels packs more comprehensive sales funnel building tools than Keap, costs less, and has a comparably less steep learning curve.   

Keap Pricing

The price for Infusionsoft is about $99 per month, and this will include up to 2,500 Emails per month as well as a list size of about 50 contacts. 

However, the Complete Plan can be bought for $379 a month, and this plan includes 10,000 contacts and well up to 50,000 Emails. Check out the latest pricing structures, or get an online demo of what Infusionsoft can really do here!

  1. SamCart

While the major focus of SamCart is not on building landing pages, most small business owners consider it one of the full-packed shopping cart and checkout page platforms today. Anyone who wants to buy a membership site will definitely find SamCart useful, too.

SamCart Features Include:

  • SamCart’s One-Page Funnel is ideal if you don’t need a catalog store but want to sell many products on one page
  • Over 24 checkout page templates optimized to boost conversions
  • Integrates with the popular shopping cart and payments processing tools such as Stripe, PayPal, and major credit cards  
  • You can make use of it to create funnels
  • Sales pages, upsell, and downsell are all customized
  • You get a sweet gateway between WordPress sales pages and checkout success pages.
  • It also has seamless integration with major utilities like Stripe, Drip, Zapier, HubSpot, PayPal, and Ontraport
  • Risk-free 14-day trial

SamCart vs ClickFunnels

SamCart is ideal for people who will like to sell e-books, physical products, and digital downloads. 

Own a membership site and need to have robust payment plans or subscriptions?

SamCart offers those, as well, on top of order bumps, upsells, and downsells to help you make more sales and reduce cart abandonment. 

Again, ClickFunnels offers more advanced sales pipeline tools and funnel automations than SamCart.

SamCart feels like a close ClickFunnels alternative because despite not having solid sales funnel capability, it does pack a decent slew of conversion optimization tools specifically for the sales page. 

That’s unlike some competitors that are much more marketing and lead capture focused than sales page optimizers.   

SamCart Pricing

When the free trial is done, you can choose one of the three monthly tiers or just purchase an annual plan for a discount SamCart offers the Basic Plan ($199 a month), the Pro Plan ($99 a month), and the Premium Plan ($199 a month) However, if you’ll like to make use of upselling features, you will have to start from the Pro Plan. You can always check out the free trial here!

  1. 10 Minute Funnels

10 Minute Funnels is a platform dedicated to meeting the needs of people who will like an easy way to make web pages, websites, and marketing funnels. It makes it easy for individuals or business organizations to create effective marketing systems and professional websites easily and affordably.

Apart from being an easy website and marketing funnel builder, there is a lot that users of 10 Minute Funnels stand to gain. 

10 Minute Funnels Features Include:

  • Simply and instantly integrated drag-and-drop building.
  • You don’t have a limit on the number of pages you can create on your website
  • You can create quite a lot; live event pages, video pages, “thank you” pages, opt-in lead generation pages, sales pages, and much more.
  • You don’t need any technical skills to set it up
  • It is also mobile-responsive
  • 24-hour support
  • Full hosting services even for secure websites that move fast
  • Inbuilt tools for SEO, split testing, a shopping cart, social media links, analytics, and more widgets

10-Minute Funnels vs ClickFunnels

Like its name suggests, 10-Minute Funnels will feel easy to start with—having a less-steep learning curve and demanding of technical skills to use daily than with ClickFunnels. 

Like with ClickFunnels, you can use 10-Minute Funnels as a part of your larger sales and marketing strategy seeing it offers seamless marketing, CRM, and landing page optimization tools.

But you’d have to make do with not being able to create more thorough sales pipelines for more complex campaigns. 10-Minutes Funnels is ideal for solopreneurs or small businesses that want to do it themselves rather than have to hire a technician to build a simple funnel for them.

10-Minute Funnels Pricing

If you pay a dollar, you can easily try a free any-price plan for 14 days.  However, after this free plan, you have both the premium and Enterprise Plans to choose from. 

The Premium Plan is $97 per month (or $997 per year) while the Enterprise Plan is $197 a month (or $1,997 per year). Slightly high prices, but definitely worth all the features you’re going to get. 

Check out the latest packages here.

Watch this FAQ video to learn if 10 Minute Funnels might be for you.

  1. LeadPages

Being one of the first to do it, makes LeadPages a seasoned player in the sales pipeline solutions market. LeadPages developers show out their experience and evolving skill by helping users create stunning landing pages.

And therein is the biggest ClickFunnels and LeadPages comparison. 

LeadPages is more of a landing pages platform than a comprehensive sales funnel service. That’s not to mean you can’t create converting sales funnels on LeadPages. But you may have to put in a little more work.

Expect over 130 different templates. Feel like going custom? If none works for you, you can also create yours.

LeadPages also lets users spend an extra 10-30 bucks to grab over 120 more templates by ThemeForest.

LeadPages Features Include: 

  • Webinar hosting
  • Two different landing page editors: There’s one for beginners, and another for advanced users. The basic edition has more guides and help, while the advanced edition provides the ability to customize however you’ll like
  • Host webinars, capture leads and turn them into buyers
  • Create pop-ups to build your list
  • Powerful integration ability with Email providers, webinar platforms, and shopping cart tools to help lead more browsers to become leads and customers
  • 14-day free trial to compare what you need and what LeadPages has to offer

LeadPages vs ClickFunnels

Overall, choose LeadPages over ClickFunnels if your business emphasizes the need for essential landing pages rather than advanced online sales funnel tools. 

Grab LeadPages if your landing page copy can guide leads down to the “Buy Now” button. You’d save a lot of monthly costs that way. 

In fact, you’d have to buy the $79 Pro plan to get A/B testing, online sales, and payments, as well as email sequencing links capabilities. 

With LeadPages, you’d have to purchase separate integrations, including Stripe, Checkout, and more advanced sales funnel tools to build a basic funnel.     

LeadPages Pricing

On LeadPages, there are 3 pricing tiers; Standard, Pro, and Advanced. The Standard goes for $37 per month, the Pro goes for $79 per month, and the Advanced is $199 per month.

  1. Instapage

Instapage is known for having a better level of sophistication than many other landing page builders, and it offers members the freedom to create their own funnels on the group.

While Instapage has issues with integrating with membership platforms, it has a web-based editor that beats many other funnel builders.

There are over 200 sophisticated templates on Instapage, and its drag-and-drop editor is both easy to use and provides fluid customizability.

Instapage Features Include:

  • Heatmaps. The most unique Instapage benefit is the ability to monitor potential customers’ activity on your landing pages. That means you can track visitors and optimize your landing page, to know what they really click on and how far down pages they scroll.
  • Build unlimited pages and host 200,000 potential customers per month
  • Robust in-built analytics tool. Makes it easy for you to analyze the performance of your pages
  • A/B testing available
  • Huge library of templates and over 5,000 web fonts to further customize the templates to your brands best 

Instapage vs ClickFunnels 

Like Converti, Instapage also offers a full free-form page editor. That means, unlike ClickFunnels you don’t have to first enter rows, sections, and columns before creating attractive landing pages.

That makes it much easier to use than ClickFunnels, and even LeadPages, for some people. It helps to have 

Like ClickFunnels, you can integrate Instapage with a host of favorite marketing, CRM, and ad stacks, including Salesforce, Infusionsoft, HubSpot, WordPress, Zoho, and more apps using Zapier.

Instapage also offers a sales team collaboration tool to help reps brainstorm and follow up on potential customers fast and easy.  

Instapage Pricing

Just as it is with LeadPages, Instapage has three pricing tiers; the Core Plan, which costs $68 a month; the Optimizer Plan, which costs $113 a month; and the Team ad Agency Plan, which costs $203 a month. 

Check out which plan works best for you here

  1. Unbounce

The focus of Unbounce has always been on helping with the creation of landing pages that will enhance the marketing efforts of users. It has definitely been a driving force behind the revolutionization of page building experiences.

Unbounce Features Include:

Unbounce has a wide array of features that make it easy for users to build, integrate, and optimize their landing pages. 

  • The Unbounce Builder: This is a drag-and-drop builder that is mile accessible, with targeted convertibles and text replacement.
  • Unbounce Convertables: With these, you will be able to target landing page visitors, integrate with basically anything, and set custom templates
  • Templates: You have the freedom to create custom convertibles from over 100 templates, or just create one from scratch by yourself.
  • Conversion Tools: You get an unlimited amount of A/B testing tries, tools for lead generation and conversion optimization. Lead notifications, and lightbox forms
  • You can easily integrate Unbounce with Email and analytics tools like WordPress, HubSpot, Zapier, Salesforce, MailChimp and Marketo

Unbounce vs ClickFunnels

Unbounce has a reputation for helping discerning sales teams and individuals create stunning-looking landing pages than make it easy for potential customers to make a purchase.

Still, Unbounce is more landing page focused than sales funnel ready. You do get over 100 landing page templates to kick-start your sales page creation process in minutes. You can be up and live in no time. 

Be sure to use each dedicated landing page for each product you plan to sell to better focus visitors on just one goal; to convert on the page.    

But if you plan on having to automate more complex sales funnel efforts, you may want to look elsewhere. Or stick with ClickFunnels.  

Unbounce Pricing

There are three packages on Unbounce that are priced depending on whether you’ll like to make payments on a monthly or a yearly basis. 

The Essential package comes with a $99 monthly charge, and it allows for the creation of 75 landing pages and 8 convertables.

With the Premium package, you pay $199 a month. You can build 150 landing pages, 16 convertables, and you get better conversion tools as well as sub-accounts.

On the Enterprise package, the starting point if $499 a month. However, this cost is determined by what you need. 

Members get all the features of the Essential and Premium packages, as well as their Launch Specialist and Success Manager that will help you maximize ROI. On this package, you get over 375 landing pages and at least 40 convertibles.

  1. Thrive Themes

ThriveThemes is a WordPress plugin that got acclaim for possessing the most understandable drag-and-drop landing page builder available anywhere on the internet. It is also loved for its affordability.

ThriveThemes gives its users access to more than 160 templates, therefore making it an awesome option for entrepreneurs and small businesses that are either just starting or are at the intermediate points of their businesses.

Thrive Themes Features Include:

  • On-page payments system 
  • Affordable platform
  • With Thrive Leads, users can create opt-in forms.
  • There is also the Thrive Content Builder, which makes it easy for users to easily create catchy and engaging content
  • The Thrive Ultimatum allows for users to build scarcity campaigns that will make for easy conversion boosting.
  • With Thrive Themes, you can also easily publish landing pages on your WordPress site.
  • The Thrive Headline Optimizer allows users to optimize their sites’ content
  • Cleaver widgets help for the creation of widget-targeted content

ThriveThemes vs ClickFunnels

Like some other ClickFunnels alternatives here, ThriveThemes is ideal for salespeople looking for a simple conversion optimization solution. If you plan on selling digital products, ThriveThemes may be ideal. It even offers scarcity marketing tools such as countdown timers, and also displays credit card icons. But ThriveThemes doesn’t provide in-built payment processing functionality, so you’d have to grab an integration such as Stripe and PayPal.  

ThriveThemes is actually a collection of WordPress plugins that come together to make a good funnel building solution, especially for WordPress sites. 

ThriveThemes Pricing

Check out this side-by-side price comparison between ThriveThemes and ClickFunnels for a start:

ThriveThemes provides unlimited pages, 25 sites, unlimited simple funnels, and supports an unlimited number of visitors for under $20/month. A similar, unlimited package with ClickFunnels pricing would cost $299. But then again, that compares an apple and an orange as far as sales funnel capabilities matter. 

Note that while ThriveThemes doesn’t offer a 14-day free trial like the rest here, it’s 30-day Moneyback Guarantee is a risk-free incentive to try the platform and see how well it matches your specific needs. 

  1.  OptimizePress

OptimizePress, just like ThriveThemes, is a WordPress plugin. However, it differs in the fact that it was built for helping people create membership sites, landing pages, and sales pages for WordPress. Simple sales funnels directly on WordPress websites and blogs for optimal conversions.

OptimizePress Features Include:

  • Create webinar pages, product launch funnels, Thank You pages, and simple landing pages on your WordPress site  
  • Marketing Page Builder: This is an innovative LiveEditor system that can help to create layouts and build pages.
  • Element Browser: This provides users with all the elements that are needed for the building of marketing sites and landing pages.
  • Membership Sites and Custom Product Delivery Sites: With these, you can create secure areas for some of your custom members.
  • WordPress Themes and Plugins: OptimizePress works seamlessly with all WordPress sites, and it enables users to create landing pages and design sales pages that can be added to their blogs on WordPress.
  • LaunchSuite: With this, users will be able to create funnels for the launches of their products

OptimizePress vs ClickFunnels

That also means you’d have a higher level of control over how you implement your sales pipeline because you own the WordPress pages the funnels are based on. 

Many small businesses find they need fewer automations and more control to make their online sales processes truly theirs and scalable as they like. OptimizePress can help with that.

Like hosted services such as Unbounce and Instapage, OptimizePress offers checkout page tools such as countdown timers and a selection of 40 landing pages and 12 sales page templates. 

One of the advantages of OptimizePress is its affordability; the platform is more affordable than most other landing page builders, and on it, you can either choose the Core, Publisher or Pro Plan.

OptimizePress Pricing

All these plans come with one full year of updates and various support. If you’ll still like to make use of it then you’ll have to pay $39 per year to keep your updates and support.

The Core package has a one-time fee of $97, and members get up to three sites. The publisher package has a one-time fee of $197, and it includes all the features of the Core package and more.

The Pro package is targeted at small businesses, advanced marketers, and enterprises who will like to own more than 10 websites. It costs a one-time fee of $297, and it comes with the features of both other packages and more.

11. Wishpond

You may have heard about Wishpond from their popular social promotions apps. What you may not know (until now), is that Wishpond also has all the tools you need to build a complete sales funnel. And the best part? Wishpond’s prices are affordable for businesses of all sizes.

Wishpond’s Features:

  • Integrated, powerful marketing automation, email marketing, lead management & lead generation tools. Wishpond allows you to optimize all areas of your sales funnel in one place.
  • 400+ fully customized landing page and website popup templates, and 100+ industry-specific premade campaigns that make it easy to launch sales funnels in no time.
  • 10 different contest apps, including viral contests, Instagram hashtag competitions, and sweepstakes that help you generate engagement and grow your email list.
  • A marketing team that helps you every step of the way. From getting your sales funnels up & running to ongoing optimization for guaranteed performance.

Wishpond vs ClickFunnels

How does Wishpond compare to ClickFunnels?

Wishpond was built to make simple and powerful sales funnels for an affordable price. That is why it’s ideal for small to medium-sized businesses who want to kickstart or scale their online marketing.

The nice thing about Wishpond is that it combines (and expands) the power of other landing page builders such as Instapage and Unbounce, with the ability to run advanced email marketing campaigns, like MailChimp and Sendinblue.

If social media is a key piece of your marketing strategy, Wishpond also allows marketers to grow their audience with a powerful suite of social contest apps.

While Wishpond has a lot of positive qualities, the one downside is that you still need to set up your funnels to start. ClickFunnels walks you through the funnel building process as one cohesive step, so overall I’d say Wishpond has a steeper learning curve than its competitors.

Wishpond Pricing

You can use Wishpond free for 14 days. It’s important to mention that every plan includes full use of Wishpond’s lead generation and email marketing apps. The main difference is the number of contacts you can store in your account at any given time.

Starting Out Plan:

  • $75/month or $588/year
  • 1,000 contacts

Everything You Need Plan:

  • $149/month or $1,188/year
  • 2,500 contacts

Rapid Growth 10k Plan:

  • $199/month or $2,388/year
  • 10,000 contacts

If you need more contacts or would like to know more about Wishpond’s pricing options, you can choose the higher tier Rapid Growth plans on their plans page.

The best part? You can get their monthly Basic plan for only $25/month using Change Creator Mag’s gift code. Click here to snag the deal.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is better than Clickfunnels?

It depends on what you want to accomplish, Leadpages is a great tool that can help you create some amazing sales pages, but to create your online funnel, you will have to put in a bit more work.

Do I need a website to use Clickfunnels?

A solid WordPress website, when used with Clickfunnels can get you the best of both worlds, sales funnel creation and a solid brand presence. You can start with your website first, then capitalize on organic traffic from search engines and make them an offer and upsell using Clickfunnels.

Is Clickfunnels worth it?

Russel Brunson built this tool to solve a specific problem (to create scalable digital sales funnels) and anybody can use it. It works if you have a great offer, but there are other tools that can do what Clickfunnels can do for less cost and are just as easy to use.

Conclusion: Which is the Best ClickFunnels Alternative? 

Deciding on a ClickFunnels alternative isn’t easy. Your choice will always depend on your business goals, technical know-how, and of course budgets. If you are still on the fence about which to choose, here’s a comparison chart.

PRODUCTCOSTSFEATURESINTEGRATIONSEASE OF USE
ClickfunnelsFree 14-day trial, then either $97 per month, $297 per monthUse templates to create landing pages, great online customer serviceClickfunnels integrates with 1000 + apps with ZapierEasy to use for the non-techie
ConvertriConvertri's plans costs from $59/month up to $199/month for Agencies- Pro PlanSome of the features apart from it's drag-and-drop funnel builder are A/B testing, form validation and supports custom HTML code.Convertri has built-in integration with a long list of top services, and anything that is not on the list, you can use HTML form integration.Yes! Convertri has a true drag-and-drop funnel builder making it fun and easy to use.
SimvolyThey claim to be the most affordable funnel building program on the market starting at $12/month up to $149/month for their Pro Plan.Features include: funnel builder, build ecommerce sites, elegant templates, supports selling memberships, A/B testing and adding one-click upsells, as well as one-click checkouts.Simvoly doesn't support Zapier and has overall less integration options than Clickfunnel. It does integrate with GetResponse, ActiveCampaign, MailChimp, etc...Simvoly is quite easy to use and also includes drag-and-drop features, but if you feel too overwhelmed you can always just get their Magic Website Wizard to use AI technology to build a website based on your keywords.
Keap (InfusionSoft)Starting at 99 per month

Complete Plan is $379 a month
Highly extensive landing page designs
A/B testing
Effective customer management
Automation for Email features, including Email marketing
Integrates with Gmail, Outlook, other programs with ZapierInfusionSoft takes a lot of technical knowledge, takes time to learn how to use
SamCartBasic Plan ($199 a month), the Pro Plan ($99 a month), and the Premium Plan ($199 a month)You can make use of it to create funnels.
­Sales pages, upsell, and downsell are al customized
You get a sweet gateway between WordPress sales pages and checkout success ages.
It also has seamless integration with major utilities like Stripe, Drip, Zapier, Hubspot, PayPal, and OntraPort.
You also get a free 14-day trial
SamCart integrates with all the main email marketing tools, as well as ZapierUsers claim that this program is super easy to use but there is a learning curve.

It is known as one of the easiest shopping cart integrations out there.
10 Minute FunnelsPremium Plan is $97 per month (or $997 per year) while the Enterprise Plan is $197 a month (or $1,997 per year)You don’t need any technical skills to set it up
It is also mobile-responsive
24-hour support
Full hosting services even for secure websites that move fast
Inbuilt tools for SEO, split testing, a shopping cart, social media links, analytics, and more widgets
Integrates with Aweber, Mailchimp, will have to contact support for certain integrationsWith the drag and drop options, plus templates, this is one of the easier programs to use
LeadpagesThere are 3 pricing tiers; the Standard, Pro, and Advanced. The Standard goes for $37 per month, the Pro goes for $79 per month, and the Advanced is $199 per month.Two different landing page editors
Webinars
Create pop-up windows

You also get a 14-day free trial to explore the platform’s offerings
Leadpages works best with Hubspot, but can also be integrated with other programs via ZapierLeadpages takes some technical know-how, but there are over 130 templates to use to get started
InstaPageInstaPage has three pricing tiers; the Core Plan, which costs $68 a month; the Optimizer Plan, which costs $113 a month; and the Team ad Agency Plan, which costs $203 a month.A built-in analytics tool that makes it easy for you to analyze the performance of your pages.
The dashboard has A/B testing results available
It also has heatmaps
There are many integrations, Google AdWords, Facebook Ads, Mixpanels, as well as ZapierThere are templates, drag and drop options but software is relatively easy to use.
UnbounceEssential package, $99 monthly

Premium package, $199 monthly

Enterprise package, $499 monthly
A drag-and-drop builder that is mile accessible, with targeted covertables and text replacement.
Unbounce Convertables
Over 100 templates, or just create one from scratch by yourself.
Conversion Tools
A/B testing
You can easily integrate Unbounce with Email and analytics tools like WordPress, Hubspot, Zapier, Salesforce, MailChimp and MarketoUnbounce takes some technical know-how, but there are many templates, you will have to understand basic design principles, and A/B testing.
Thrive ThemesSingle sites, the fee is $67, $97 for multiple sites.Users have the ability to create opt-in forms.
Thrive Content Builder
Thrive Headline Optimizer
There are many integrations for Thrive Themes.You won't need to learn how to code, but there is a learning curve depending on what you want to do.
OptimizePressCore package, $97,
Publisher package has a one-time fee of $197
Enterprise, one-time fee of $297
Marketing Page Builder
Element Browser:
Membership Sites and Custom Product Delivery Sites
WordPress Themes and Plugins
Many integrations available, including Shopify, Gumroad, Madrill, and moreThere is a learning curve to this, but there is good online support to walk you through it. Not as easy as other programs.
WishpondStarting Out Plan: $75/month
Everything You Need Plan: $149/month
Rapid Growth 10k Plan: $199/month
Market automation, landing pages, lead management, email marketingIntegrates with many apps including Infusionsoft, Salesforce and MailChimp.Pretty easy to use and the marketing team is available to help you with any questions.

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Shogun Review – Is This the Best App for My Shopify Store? [2021 Update]

If you’re a Shopify user, you may be considering investing in some apps. Shopify apps can help you to create the online store you’ve been dreaming of. The question is, how do you know if an app is worth using?

In our Shogun app review, we’ll be taking a look at this particular app in-depth, testing out the page builder and other features to see if it will really make a difference to your Shopify experience. We’ll also look at the pros and cons to help you decide if it’s right for you.

Ready to start? Let’s see what Shogun actually is, and how it works.

What is Shogun?

Shopify is an excellent tool when it comes to selling your products online – used by over 1,000,000 active users, it’s one of the most popular eCommerce platforms out there. However, when it comes to customization, it has its limits. If you love Shopify, but you want a personalized website that is totally suited for your ecommerce store – that’s where Shogun comes in.

Shogun is an app that allows you to create attractive, custom-built pages in Shopify. You can use it with any Shopify theme, and it’s built to be simple and easy-to-use. The pages are designed to be mobile-friendly, and you can preview how your page will look whenever you like.

Shogun also works with BigCommerce and Magneto, so if you’re on either of those platforms, you’ll be able to use it too. However, for the purposes of this article, we’ll only be looking at the Shopify integration.

What are the Main Features of Shogun?

Here are the main features Shogun has to offer:

  • Easy to use drag-and-drop editor
  • Beautiful templates
  • Detailed analytics to measure how your pages are performing
  • Split-testing to optimize your pages
  • Choose when to publish your pages with page scheduler
  • Sync products between multiple stores
  • SEO controls to maximise visibility

The Dashboard

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Once you’ve logged into Shogun, it looks like this. Straight away you can see a list of pages, which you can organize by type: standard page, blog post, product, or collection. You can also view them by their status (‘Outdated’, for example, shows you pages that haven’t been updated for a long time, and ‘Draft’ will bring up pages you haven’t published yet). 

The navigation along the left side will allow you to flick between sections easily.

Page Builder

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If you decide to build a new page, you’re presented with four choices: standard page, blog post, product page, or collection.

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There are many beautiful templates to choose from – no matter what kind of product you’re selling, you should be able to find a template that suits you.

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As you can see, they look professional and easy to navigate, with a mixture of page types including product pages and landing pages. Shogun also offers basic templates that don’t include images or text yet:

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If you like the look of a template, you can click ‘preview’ to see how it looks.

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Once you’ve chosen a template, you can change a few basic settings, like the page title and URL.

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Once you’ve done that, it will begin to create the page for you. (This can take a few moments!)

Straight away, you can see the page editor looks really user-friendly, with a very simple layout – most of the action will occur on the right-hand side of the page, and there’s a bar at the top which will allow you to switch between desktop view, mobile view, or tablet view. You can view your page while you work, which makes the editing process very quick and efficient.

Structure

The ‘Structure’ section will allow you to change the basic layout of your page. 

You can easily add sections, columns, sliders, tables, tabs, and accordions by clicking and dragging them onto the page:

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Say you want to insert a slider into your page. You can drag it and drop it where you’d like it to go:

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Then you can scroll down to ‘Content’ to choose what you’d like the slider to feature.

Content

Once you’ve set the building blocks for your page, you can then fill it with content. You can include:

  • Images
  • Videos
  • Headings
  • Text
  • Buttons
  • Icons
  • Countdowns
  • Separators
  • Forms
  • Maps
  • HTML

Going back to our slider – if you want to choose an image to feature on the slider, you can drag the ‘image’ icon to the slider, drop it there, and then pick which image you want to upload:

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You can also edit the image position and size.

Adding more content is very similar – just drag it where you want it to go, and start editing! You can add icons straight from Shogun, searching through their icon files to find the one you want. Buttons and templates are also quick and easy to add. Adding text will bring up a basic text editor:

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It’s easy to add content to your page, and it’s great to be able to immediately see how it looks.

Shopify

You can also add a variety of things related to your Shopify store (like individual products, prices, and variations). This is great if, for example, you’re talking about a product and you want to quickly add some reviews to your page. You can set how many reviews you want to feature and set a character limit for each review.

This easy integration makes it so simple to create beautiful pages based around one product. For example, if you were selling an eBook or a PDF, you could create a page with product reviews, images, price, and text, arranged in the exact way that you want it, and can make it super easy for your potential customers to add the product to their basket and follow you on social media. Being able to drag and drop these elements makes it really easy to create an eye-catching, attention-grabbing page: the whole page builder works really well.

Social

You can very quickly and easily add social media buttons to your page. You can choose which platform you want to link to and set the size and color of the button to fit the rest of your page.

Structural Blocks

Structural blocks allow you to add chunks of content to your page.

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In this example, we’ve added a background image, a button, and a heading – each element is fully customizable.

Page Settings and Scheduling

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You can easily change your page settings. You can also schedule your page – this is great if you’re not quite ready to launch a product or you want to build some hype first before the page goes live. You can even choose to ‘unpublish’ a page at a certain time – for example, once an event is over.

Starting from a Blank Page

If you’d prefer, you can ignore the templates and start from scratch. The page builder will look like this:

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The process is exactly the same, but you’ll be building the entire page from scratch instead of replacing or customizing elements that are already there.

Page Optimization

Let’s take a look at how Split Testing works.

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Once you’ve clicked on ‘Start Test’, it will give you a choice of objectives: clickthrough, sales, or add to cart. Let’s say you want to test clickthrough rates.

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You can easily set your destination page. You’ll then return to your page builder as normal, but with a new area:

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You can then change Variant A, making it slightly different from the original page. This allows you to test which page performs the best. This is incredibly simple to set up, and you can switch between them easily (a colored border around the edge of the page builder will indicate which version of the page you are currently working on).

Shogun will either pick the variant that they feel has the best chance of winning, or they’ll stop the split test after a specified amount of time. When you return to your dashboard, the page will have the status ‘currently running test’. When you click on the page, you can choose to stop the test, or view the results (but more on that in the Analytics section later).

You can view previous versions of pages using the ‘Versions’ tool, allowing you to see all the versions you have created and switch between them if you want.

The only downside to split testing is that it’s only available on the most expensive plan – so you need to be willing to pay more to use it.

SEO

Shogun pages are built to be SEO optimized:

  • They use semantic HTML – this ensures that pages are SEO friendly
  • You can set your page title and meta description inside Shogun
  • You can add alt-tags to your images
  • They serve compressed images, making the load time faster

Syncing

This is a feature that will only appeal to users in a specific situation, but if it does apply to you, it could be incredibly useful. Sync allows you to copy content between your stores, including pages, blog posts, snippets, product pages, custom elements, and data collections.

Syncing will be automatically setup between stores if both your stores are on a paid plan that has the Sync feature, and if you are using the same verified email for both the accounts. You can choose which pages, products, blog posts and snippets that you want to copy from one account to the other.

Analytics

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Shogun offers detailed reporting for each page that you create. Firstly, it will let you know if it can run an AB test on this particular page, which is handy.

You can choose to view all traffic from every device, or just one (for example – you can test how well a particular page has done on mobile devices). 

You can view the following:

  • Sales Conversion – total amount of $ made from ‘add to cart’ on the page
  • Add to Cart – percentage of users who added this product to their cart anywhere on the page
  • Total Sessions – total amount of users visiting the page
  • Bounce Rate – the percentage of users who leave the page with no further activity
  • Top Clickthrough Destinations – where users go after leaving the page
  • Top Outside Referrers – where users are coming from

You can choose to compare one page to another (graphs will show two different colored lines to represent each page). This gives you a great, instant visual idea of how your pages are performing in comparison to one another.

You can also view your split test results here: you can view the amount of users that took part in the test, how long the test ran, Shogun’s confidence in the winning variant, and which one is the winner.

The Analytics Suite is not available on the cheapest plan, however.

Support

What happens if you need help with Shogun?

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The Knowledge Base is pretty good, with tutorials, videos, articles and FAQs. These cover almost everything you need to know to use Shogun – we referred to it multiple times during this review, and the search function worked really well, pulling up multiple articles relating to each query.

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In Shogun itself, you can pull up the FAQ at any time. You can also press the ‘contact us’ button to leave a message for their support team – they claim to reply within 24 hours. If you have the Measure or Optimize plan, then you can also use the live chat feature to get instant support if you need it.

Advanced Customization

There’s still a lot more you can do with Shogun. You can customize your pages far more than you could when just using Shopify. For example, you can:

  • Add your own fonts
  • Remove space at the top of pages
  • Use MailChimp forms on Shogun pages
  • Change the colour of bullet points
  • Make an anchor to jump users to a certain point on a page
  • Embed third-party forms

You can also create Custom Elements, using Liquid, CSS, and JavaScript – so if you know how to code and you’ve got an idea for an element that Shogun doesn’t offer, you can go in and create it yourself.

Pricing

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If you want to go ahead with Shogun, you’ll need to choose a monthly plan. 

Build

Build costs $39 per month and includes the following:

  • Drag and drop page builder
  • All page types
  • 30 + page templates
  • Design by screen size
  • SEO controls
  • Email support
  • 2 user seats

Measure

Measure costs $99 per month and includes the following:

  • Everything in the ‘Build’ plan
  • Analytics Suite
  • Multi Site CMS/page syncing
  • Content scheduling
  • Dev tools
  • Email and live chat support
  • 4 user seats

Optimize

Optimize costs $149 per month and includes the following:

  • Everything in the ‘Measure’ plan
  • AB testing
  • 6 user seats

They also offer a free 10-day trial so you can test it before you commit to a plan: click here to find out more.

There’s a pretty big jump from Measure to Optimize – essentially, you’re paying $50 for split testing and two extra user seats. If you’re a small business, the cost of this may put you off. However, split testing is a very neat feature, so you may decide it’s worth the cost.

The Pros of Shogun

So, what are the upsides to Shogun?

Page Builder/Templates

Firstly, the page builder itself is easy and fun to use. Being able to drag and drop elements wherever you like, create the content that you want, and easily add features like social media buttons and forms makes it so easy to create the page you have envisioned. It works incredibly well as a tool for Shopify – being able to simply drop in products, reviews, and an ‘add to cart’ button is really useful.

The pre-built templates are beautiful, too, and it’s easy to customize them.

Analytics

The analytics are great (if you’re on the right plan!). The reporting is detailed but easy to understand, and it’s useful to be able to compare one page to another.

Split Testing

AB testing is so easy to set up using Shogun. You can adjust the page however you want before starting the test, and you can easily view the results when you want to. Plus, having the option of Shogun choosing and implementing the probable winner is a great time-saver, especially if you’re split testing a lot of pages at the same time.

The Cons of Shogun

There’s a couple of downsides to Shogun, however.

Pricing

If you want all the features Shogun has to offer, you’re looking at paying $149 per month. That’s not cheap, especially for smaller businesses that are just starting out. It’s a shame that some of the best features, like the split testing, is restricted to the most expensive plan.

However, if you just want access to the page builder and the templates, the cheapest plan is pretty reasonable. If you haven’t set up a store yet, you’ll need to consider the cost of Shogun and the cost of Shopify before you decide if it’s right for you.

Integrations

There aren’t many integrations available at present, which is a shame – it would be great to have more integrations with different email marketing platforms, for example. However, on the app store, the customer support suggested that there are more integrations coming in the future.

Frequently Asked Questions about Shogun

Still have questions? We might have the answer.

Can I translate my Shogun page into different languages?

Yes. Using a separate translation app, Weglot, you can easily translate your page content.

If I want to uninstall Shogun, will I get to keep my pages?

Yes – your pages will still work. However, if you want to edit them using the Shogun editor, you’ll have to reinstall it.

I’ve already got pages in Shopify that I like – can I still use them?

Yes – you can import and edit pages from Shopify into Shogun.

Can I save my page as a template?

Yes. If you’ve created a page that you love, you can save it as a template to use in the future. You can do this by choosing ‘save template’ and giving it a name.

Is it easy to cancel my Shogun subscription?

Yes – you can cancel at any time. You do this by uninstalling Shogun through your Shopify app dashboard. 

Can I upgrade my Shogun plan?

Yes – this is really simple. Just go to ‘settings’ and then ‘billing’, and then you can change your plan to one that suits you better.

Conclusion

Would I recommend Shogun? Absolutely.

There are a lot of great things about Shopify, but many people want more from their pages. They don’t necessarily want basic pages – they want pages that will draw in new customers, pages that are responsive and easy to navigate. Many users also want to be able to customize their pages to their exact requirements – and Shogun gives you just that. The platform itself is user-friendly, attractive, and simple to navigate. It’s also great for those who know coding and want to create custom content.

Yes, it’s a bit of a shame that the analytics and split testing are not available on the cheapest plan. They are, however, brilliant features that work well, and could make a huge difference to your business.

So, is it the best app for Shopify? That is hard to tell, however, if you want to make the most out of Shopify, then you should definitely consider investing in Shogun.

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Leadpages Alternatives: 2021 Recommendations You’ll Love Even More

Leadpages is one of the premier software tools that many small and large business owners use to view and input various analytics about their target audience. Leadpages gives you the ability to create and test several different landing pages to determine which one brings the best results in terms of website or product engagement and conversions.

If you’ve been struggling to retain a consistent audience for your business or product line, Leadpages can help you solve that problem with simplicity and efficiency. Many business owners use Leadpages simply because it is one of the most comprehensive web development and analytics tracking software options available. 

Why Leadpages?

While Leadpages is one of the leading software platforms that many business owners use to further their endeavors, it’s not the only option out there. One of the things that make Leadpages such an attractive piece of software is the fact that you can create entire webpages and monitor them with very in-depth analytics all in one place. Many software solutions out on the market geared towards small business owners require separate apps or programs to accomplish everything that Leadpages does in one single software application. 

If you’re a small business owner or entrepreneur who wants to boost their online presence, there are several options available to you besides Leadpages. Thanks to developments in technology and the internet at large, there are now several software options that you can choose from when it comes to creating the perfect landing page for your website. 

There are hundreds of software options out there for business owners who need to increase the conversion rate and overall visitor count of their site. In this article, we’re going to list some of the top alternative software options for Leadpages and how you can use them to further your business or branding goals. 

Here is a great article about how you can use Leadpages to boost your overall lead generation and conversion rate. 

Why is lead generation and retention so important? 

If you’re just starting your business, capturing leads is a very important factor that will play a critical role in how successful your business becomes over time. Leads are basically thoroughly vetted customers who have a verifiable interest in your company or product before they even visit your website based on internet browsing behaviors and other related information. Traditionally, lead generation and capturing were exclusive to email marketing and newsletter signups. Thanks to social media and other avenues available on the internet, those days are long over. 

Now, a lot of businesses and service providers use specialized software that is designed to make the entire lead generation and capturing process a lot smoother than in years past. Website elements such as pop-up ads, banners, alerts, and more are used today in order to capture quality leads for products and businesses in various industries. By using a software solution, you can significantly increase the rate at which you obtain leads for your website. Continue reading to find out more about high-quality software alternatives to Leadpages that you can use to further your business. 

This is a great article you can read about why lead generation is so important. 

How to Create Eye-catching Landing Pages 

A high-quality landing page could mean the difference between operating in profit or loss for your business or company. Landing pages are the first step in gaining access to vital information related to how visitors interact with your website and product. By creating a high-quality landing page that attracts potential clients to interact with your business, you’ll be able to retain large amounts of premium leads with very little effort involved. Your landing page should represent your business in the best way possible but if you’re new to internet marketing and sales, achieving that goal can be difficult. 

That’s where the use of an effective landing page and lead generation software can assist you. Landing pages are often called click-through pages also so if you see that term don’t get confused. There are a lot of different ways that you can utilize your landing page and we’re going to cover those more in detail later in this article. In summary, a landing page can serve whatever purpose you want it to which is what makes them such an effective method for lead generation and capture. 

Here is a great article you can read on our site pertaining to landing pages and why you should create one for your website. 

Different Uses for Landing Pages

Landing pages can serve different purposes for businesses depending on their industry and field of expertise. If you do research on your competitors’ websites and notice that they all use the same landing page format, consider customizing your landing page so that it stands out to potential customers or clients.

Landing pages can be used with Facebook ads as well which is a great way to bridge the gap between your social media marketing campaigns and the actual website. By integrating your Facebook ads with your landing page, you can retarget the visitors and remarket the traffic in order to boost your overall sales.

Facebook also has this excellent feature in its ad campaign that will allow the visitor to claim an offer or providing a coupon code. Facebook’s tracking pixel display feature could help entice the user to land on a specific landing page which would help you retain quality leads and potential clients. 

A lot of companies use Landing Pages for things such as:

  • Surveys
  • Webinar/Event Sign-up and registration 
  • Special discount Reminders 
  • Product announcements and more 
  • Account registration 
  • And more! 

As you can see, there are a lot of reasons why business owners use landing pages which means that you can do the same and experience the results that you want at the same time. Landing pages aren’t exclusive to your personal business website, you can even use landing pages for your various social media pages.

Before you decide to throw up any landing page, you need to make sure that it’s optimized to increase engagement with your core audience. This will ensure that you receive optimal results from your landing pages without wasting time on multiple designs and call-to-action tests that don’t work. 

The implementation of landing pages on small business websites is surprisingly a very new method that has only been around for less than a decade. The reason so many people use landing pages is that they are a really effective way to essentially put your lead capturing abilities on autopilot. Landing pages provide a way for small business owners to capture high-quality leads that can potentially lead to further sales on a consistent basis. 

Elements of a High-Quality Landing Page 

There are several key elements that you should include in your landing page in order to ensure that visitors engage with your content. While these elements may not be visual, they are integral parts of any landing page that will determine its overall conversion rate and success. Let’s look at some of the most important landing page elements you should include on your website. 

1. Align all of your call-to-action triggers with the right promotion/ad campaign. 

This is one of the most common mistakes the small business owners make when designing their website. A landing page by itself will not bring you the results you want if it’s not connected to the right call-to-action. In order to maximize the results that you see from your landing page, you need to make sure that you connect the original call-to-action to marketing material that is relevant. Too many times, business owners don’t fully understand how digital content strategizing works so they end up linking a landing page to a call-to-action that is unrelated to the initial promotion.

An example of this would be promoting a call-to-action to sign up for a free Skype consultation but instead, the customers are redirected to a page that offers paid photos. Consistency is the best way to retain high-quality leads that may very well bring you tons of business in the future so make sure that all of your content is related when promoting your landing page. 

2. Create an eye-catching headline for your landing page.

SEO is a very important factor when it comes to any successfully converting landing page. Google indexes all websites that are online so by writing an eye-catching headline, you will be able to rank higher within natural search results and other popular engines also. The goal is to attract your website visitors to interact with your landing page so by adding a relatable and well-written headline, that process will become much easier. Just think about your product and how potential customers will relate to your brand or company and a highly converting headline will be easy to come up with. 

3. Make your landing page as simple as possible.

Using complicated menus and tricky webpages can actually discourage your visitors from interacting with your landing page for prolonged periods of time. Use a simple landing page layout that is not too complex but still allows your visitors to easily navigate. This will help you keep visitors on the intended page for longer periods of time without worrying about them straying off and interacting with other pages whilst leaving your initial call-to-action unanswered. Make it simple for your customer to recognize and engage with your landing page by giving them a simple format to follow. 

Read this article on our website to learn more about how you can design the perfect landing page that brings you the conversions and interactions you need. 

The Best Leadpages Alternatives 

Now that we’ve discussed what a landing page is and the vital elements that go into making one that is unique to your business, let’s discuss exactly how you can begin the process of creating a landing page for your website and the tools available for you to use when beginning the process. As stated previously in this guide, Leadpages has been one of the premier software solutions for many years however there are new very viable options emerging in the market. 

In the following section, we’re going to list some of the top alternative software options to Leadpages that you can use to boost your business website’s overall engagement and visibility in addition to lead retention. 

#1 ClickFunnels 

ClickFunnels is probably one of the most popular Leadpages alternatives that many business owners use primarily due to the fact that it is one of the only software options out there that provides a robust feature set that can rival Leadpages in Its capabilities. With ClickFunnels, you can accomplish a variety of tasks related to the creation of your landing page and more general social media marketing tasks. 

ClickFunnels comes standard with very versatile capabilities including:

  • Affiliate marketing tools 
  • WordPress integration
  • Autoresponder email tool 
  • Landing page tools (of course) 
  • Web Hosting 
  • And a lot more! 

ClickFunnels is one of the best LeadPages alternatives because it gives you the ability to create entire sales funnels in one comprehensive application. If you’re interested in performing split ad testing, ClickFunnels gives you the ability to create A/B and sets so that you can monitor which ads perform the best to maximize your results while reducing your overall costs.

For small business owners who are new to online marketing and website creation, ClickFunnels gives you the opportunity to create entire websites and webpages that have integrated landing pages. ClickFunnels also provides in-depth statistic monitoring and analytical tracking including drop off rates and other important information. 

If you’re planning a product launch, podcast, webinar or anything else related to your company and/or business, ClickFunnels makes it easy for you to plan all aspects of your business in one simple tool. You can easily manage your customer relations through the ClickFunnels platform using it’s simple drag and drop operation which is great for small business owners who don’t have an extensive history in the tech field. 

With ClickFunnels, you can create several different types of sales funnels which will help you achieve your business goals in no time. ClickFunnels will enable you to obtain detailed information about your customers related to the amount of time that they spend on a particular webpage in addition to how well they engage with certain elements of your sales funnel and landing page. This is something that you don’t find in many other software options available on the market which is what makes ClickFunnels so unique. 

ClickFunnels also lets you create customized sales and landing pages that are designed to fit the specific needs of your business perfectly. Below, we’re going to take a look at some of the various types of sales funnels that you can effortlessly create with ClickFunnels. 

Product launch Funnel 

This sales funnel is the perfect option for small business owners who are trying to launch a new product to their audience. The product launch funnel will break down your product on four separate pages each of which will serve the purpose of informing, persuading, and directing your customers about how they can purchase your product. 

These four pages are as follows: 

  • How+Wow- the how+wow page will primarily be used to describe the benefits of your product and how it will help make potential customers live much easier. This page will serve a very important role in making sure that your customers understand the main function that your product serves and how it can add potential benefits to their existing life. 
  • Ownership Experience- this page will consist of any testimonials or real product reviews that you’ve been able to collect from your customers. This will allow potential customers to get a real-world perspective of your product separate from any marketing material or promotional ads that you might run. 
  • Transformation Education- this is the core page in which you can provide your potential customers with an in-depth look at how your product works. This page will help your potential customers better understand how to use your product and any other important information that may be related to it. 
  • Offer- this page will be the last page your potential customers see before making their decision on whether or not to buy your product. You need to make sure that your offer page is up to date with all the latest product information and discounts so that your customers know the most important details before making a final purchase decision. 

Best Seller Book Funnel 

The best seller book funnel gives independent authors and writers the ability to create a comprehensive and stunning book marketing funnel that gives you high conversion rates and sales numbers. The best seller book funnel starts promoting your book to potential readers with a video that you can either customize or upload in order to provide your readers with a full description and synopsis of your book’s storyline and plot. You can also add a free video demo to allow potential buyers the opportunity to read a small portion of your book before deciding on a final purchase. 

You can also use ClickFunnels as a way to upsell other books that you may have in your catalog. ClickFunnels provides a dedicated upsell page that you can use to integrate special product offers and book deals that may not be available anywhere else. The best part about it all is that all of this is achieved through using your initial landing page. 

Webinar Funnel 

If you’re an online coach or lifestyle assistant, webinars can be a great way for you to increase the number of loyal students and sign-ups that you get. With ClickFunnels, you can easily make a high-quality webinar funnel which will allow you to retain customers and regular students who will attend your classes so that you can increase your overall sales and conversion ratings. Depending on the type of product that you’re marketing and your target audience, a webinar can be a really good way for you to boost your overall visibility and audience without putting in too much work or money. 

With ClickFunnels, you can gain access to several different resources which will make your webinar and prospect retention much easier to manage. With a ClickFunnels webinar page, your customers will see the following precession of pages:

  • Thank you page
  • Live webinar page 
  • Webinar replay page
  • Sales page
  • And a Webinar registration page

These pages encompass the entire process needed to successfully facilitate a webinar session. You can even go deeper with the ClickFunnels webinar page by seeing which leads actually signed up for and viewed your webinar as opposed to the people who didn’t. While we could go through all of the various types of sales funnel pages that are offered by ClickFunnels, it would take up this entire article.

In total, there are 15 ClickFunnels pages that you can use to help you boost various different areas of your business or company. All of them include comprehensive sales funnels tools which will allow you to maximize your marketing budget and overall reach. If you’ve been looking for a great alternative to Leadpages, ClickFunnels is definitely the best option for you. 

#2 Instapage

While landing pages can bring your business amazing results, they are no easy task to accomplish if you have no prior experience. With Instapage, you can easily manage, create, and monitor high-quality landing pages with the simple use of drag and drop mechanics. Instapage gives you the ability to manage your social media marketing campaigns, email marketing lists, and other aspects of web optimization for your website. Instapage also gives you the ability to integrate up to 20 different marketing tools into the platform all of which you can use to even further customize and manage your landing pages and sales funnels. 

Instapage Squeeze Page 

Instapage features a unique feature known as the “Instapage squeeze page” which essentially grabs email addresses from potential leads by offering them something valuable in return. You can alert your website visitors of important information such as newsletters, whitepapers, case studies, webinar information, or video links in return for their email capture. Instapage splash pages are essentially Instapages version of landing pages which allow you to engage with and persuade your visitors to interact with different parts of your website. 

Instapage Splash Page 

With Instapage splash pages, you can add combinations of videos, texts, music, and other sorts of media related to your product or brand on your landing page. Instapage’s splash page will then instantly redirect your visitors to the homepage of your website or any other page that you specified during the creation of your splash page. With Instapage, you can expedite the entire email capture process with ease and simplicity. Instapage also offers a sales page features which will allow you that you can use to create premium looking landing pages that will help you sell products and merchandise. 

PPC advertising is huge in today’s online marketing industry, oftentimes people will click on a particular ad because it told them that they would receive a certain discount or item however once they reach the site, they are forced to search for the item which can be very frustrating. Instapage makes PPC advertising very easy by automatically linking your ads to the designated webpage that you assign during the initial set-up process. You can even set-up special discount codes that will automatically be applied when the potential customer clicks on your link. 

Instapage Lead Generation System 

Instapage makes it easy for you to generate high-quality leads by seamlessly integrating all of your various social media websites. Without premium leads to go on, it will be very difficult to grow your business in any substantial way. Instapage makes it easy for you to set-up different social media promotions such as creating a tweet for a local meetup that you plan on doing or even adding in annotations to your YouTube videos that you upload. You can use the Instapage lead generation system to help boost your social media postings, podcasts, or practically anything else that you may be interested in.

Instapage gives you access to all of the following features:

  • Responsive mobile landing pages 
  • CRM integration 
  • Marketing Automation 
  • WordPress integration 
  • Email marketing tools 
  • SEO features and capabilities 

Instapage is the perfect solution for any small business owner who is interested in increasing the overall performance of their business marketing campaigns. Instapage is is a great Leadpages alternative for anyone who wants premium online marketing features at a great price. 

#3 Thrive Architect

Thrive Architect is a landing page builder from Thrive Themes. It is very intuitive to use, meaning you do not need any CSS or HTML knowledge to design killer landing pages.

The software’s WYSIWYG editor has all the tools needed to get you moving.  Thrive Architect has a variety of page building options. There are icons, buttons, templates, themes, and other fantastic features that ensure stellar pages. The Architect is also very affordable going at a one time cost of $67.

The platform can also be used to build other pages besides landing pages. You can use it for your webinar, home, or sales pages.  The software has features much like those of Divi builder or Beaver builder, the most popular WordPress page builders.

This landing page builder is perfect for small business owners and entrepreneurs, beginning or in the middle phase of their business-marketing journey. Unlike other lead pages alternatives, Thrive Architect is a WordPress theme builder plugin.

Thrive Architect main features

User interface

The platform’s user interface is full screen, taking over the WordPress dashboard when at work. It is, therefore, pretty easy to view your progress because the WordPress user interface remains in the background. If you need more workspace, all you need to do is to collapse the panel.

From this user interface, you can drag and drop elements from the sidebar or other positions on your page as desired. You can resize your page’s components, by simply clicking and dragging on their boundaries.

The Architect has a handy inline text-editing feature, which eliminates the need of typing into a sidebar first. All you need to do is to click on your pages text area to input words. This impressive feature makes it super easy to preview your work on the go. It also dramatically speeds up your text editing workflow. Many other page builders lack this functionality, which makes Thrive Architect a choice page builder.

There is also an integrated tablet and mobile sized viewport to ensure maximum page building ease. A built-in optional reminder feature is also at hand to remind you to save your work at regular intervals. In case, you change your mind on the revisions made on your pages, a revision manager can roll back the changes.

Options and settings

The platform also has context-sensitive menus. Whenever you click on an element, the settings and options compatible with it will be displayed on the side. This feature will give you a lot of control over the design of your pages. To reveal advanced control options, expand the advanced builder sections. You will find cool features such as padding and margin properties, animation effects, and mobile responsive features among others. If there are elements that distract your mobile user’s site, you can choose to disable from this view to ensure that your pages deliver the best experience to all users.

Page elements

This feature adds rich characteristics to your content and pages. This will assist in bringing in more leads, the building blocks of useful conversions. Some of these valuable elements include;

  • Call to actions
  • Click to Tweet
  • Buttons
  • Content boxes
  • Countdown timers
  • Content reveal
  • Facebook comments
  • Content templates

The Thrive Architect library has a store of 200+ page templates for endless customization options. The templates availed have a strong focus on increasing conversions. Their design flow aims to ensure that your visitors get to complete the action desired. That may include moving along a sales funnel or signing up to an email list. Nonetheless, there are templates with traditional content if you fancy them, with portfolio layouts, under construction, homepage and coming soon pages. The pages are fully customizable through the page builder.

Landing page building on Thrive Architect

To design a landing page, you can use the software’s blank templates or landing page templates. You will use the Launch Thrive Architect button to get started. As mentioned, there are hundreds of pre-designed templates to choose from, and most are ready for publishing with minor tweaks. This is a beneficial quick-start option.

There are nonetheless over 40 landing page designs available, and more are being added by the day. The pages have matching components to create a sameness experience when swapping pages. A landing page set like the Atomic, for instance, has elements such as;

  • Confirmation page
  • Lead generation page
  • Download page
  • 2 step lead generation page
  • Video sales page
  • Webinar streaming page
  •  Webinar registration page
  • Webinar replay page

Through the easy to use page editor, you customize your landing page to fit your brand or style. If you like the customized template, you can save it for future use. If you are looking to build fantastic landing pages at an affordable price, Thrive Architect is a fantastic option. It is cheaper than ClickFunnels or Instapage, and its charges are a one-off payment rather than a hefty monthly fee. 

Here is a great article that you can read about some more Leadpages alternatives on our site changecreator.com. 

Conclusion: What Leadpages Alternative Will You Choose?

All of the platforms and applications mentioned above are some of the best Leadpages alternatives available. If you want to increase the revenue, marketing reach, conversion rate, sales success, or practically anything else related to your business, these are some great tools that you can use to accomplish your goals.

Lead generation, lead retention, and landing pages are very important however they can be difficult for first-time business owners to understand less known deploy. With the help of these applications and platforms listed above, you can significantly increase the efficiency and performance of your landing pages with ease and simplicity even if you have no prior experience with web development or online marketing. 

It’s important to integrate engaging elements onto your landing page so that your visitors will have a reason to interact with your website or business. Landing pages provide a simple way for you to capture email addresses from potential customers and clients without having to put too much work into actually engaging with or persuading your site visitors to sign up for any special offers that you may have. 

If you’re serious about taking your business to the next level, you will need to use one of the landing page software solutions listed in this article because they make the entire process much easier. Adding visually rich content is also very important when creating a landing page because without customers will easily get bored and click off of your website. Use all of the information in this article to help you select the best digital marketing software option for your business so that you can create optimized landing pages that provide you with high conversion rates. 

A high-quality landing page could mean the difference between operating in profit or loss for your business or company which is why it’s so important to have one for your new business or website. Landing pages are the first step in gaining access to vital customer information that could possibly help you optimize your marketing campaigns and material in order to get the best results for your money.

By creating a high-quality landing page that entices potential clients to interact with special offers and discounts on your website, you’ll be able to retain large amounts of premium leads with very little effort involved. Your landing page should represent your business in the best way possible but if you’re new to internet marketing and sales, using one of the applications listed above will be absolutely necessary in order to get the results that you want and expect.  

As long as you take the time to do the proper amount of research, you should have no problem creating a high-quality landing page that will help you retain customers and boost your overall visibility. Take your time to really figure out what your customers want most from your particular product or business and then create digital marketing content surrounding their interest.

A premium landing page combined with a well-designed sales funnels and high-quality multimedia content is what customers across virtually every market are interested in right now. Make sure that your business website or product landing page has that extra edge by using our helpful tips and advice to direct your brand or company in the direction that you want it to go in. 

There are so many different ways that you can create a high-quality landing page that will bring you the type of engagement you need. 

Thrive Themes Review 2021: Yay or Nay? Decide Here! (We Actually Tried This!)

When it comes to designing a premium WordPress website, there are several themes that you can choose from. One of the main benefits of using WordPress as your primary CMS platform is the fact that they give you the ability to either import or create your very own custom themes. This gives website owners the ability to customize their UI according to the theme or industry that their particular business is geared towards. There are thousands of free and premium WordPress themes that you can choose from which makes the customization possibilities unlimited. Here is our in-depth Thrive Themes review to help you decide!

Is Thrive Themes right for you?

Thrive Themes is a relatively new yet well-established WordPress developer that offers tons of premium WordPress themes and plugins focused on small business owners who want to create a professional looking website. If you need to increase your engagement or interaction on your website, Thrive Themes is the solution that you need to use. Thrive Themes makes it easy for you to import, edit, and launch unique themes for your site that reflect your core interests and allow you to optimize the process involved in meeting your projected sales goals.

The great thing about Thrive Themes is that you can sign up for a monthly membership which will give you unlimited access to all of their premium WordPress themes and plugins. If you don’t want to go with a monthly subscription for Thrive Themes, you can simply purchase the items you need on an individual basis. Depending on the size of your business and if you plan to expand, this option can save you money in the long run.

Thrive Themes helps you create responsive websites that perform at a professional level. Thrive Themes is the sole creator of many well-known and popular themes such as Squared, Pressive, and Rise just to name a few. These previously mentioned themes had a priority focus on helping business owners obtain conversions on a consistent basis. Thrive Themes are created with meticulous effort and due diligence to ensure that all of their products provide the necessary functionality that they were intended for.

Although the WordPress themes from Thrive Themes cover a range of project types, they’re pretty much all focused on helping you to increase the conversion rates of your website. Therefore, if you’re creating a site with a particular goal in mind, these themes could be a good match for your project.

Shared Features of WordPress and Thrive Themes:

Some of the shared features found in the WordPress themes from Thrive Themes include:

  • website customization options and settings

  • a fully mobile responsive design with click to call buttons

  • a full set of easily generated website demo content

  • a library of shortcodes for inserting useful elements into your content

  • a landing page template for creating full-width content to promote your offers

  • automatic image compression and a focus on lightweight code for increased speed

  • the ability to create custom conversion elements, such as options and calls to action, that can be inserted into your content

Unfortunately, Thrive Themes decided to discontinue their separate line of themes and plugins a while ago and now they only offer one platform by which you can achieve the same goals as you would be able to with their individual theme and plugin options. The new platform will be called the Thrive Visual Theme builder and it will give you intuitive access to tools which will help you edit and organize the very framework of your website. 

Take a look at this article on our site to learn more about different WordPress theme options available.

 

Thrive, Visual Theme Builder

The Thrive Visual Theme builder will give you the ability to change the very inner workings of your website which is vastly different from many theme building and editing tools that are available on the market. Thrive, Visual Theme builder, is not the same as Thrive Architect which is a plugin that allows you to edit content, the Thrive Visual Theme builder is a website editor that gives you full access to the framework of your website so that you can optimize performance and speed. Thrive Theme Builder hasn’t been released yet however when it is released it will be easy yet very comprehensive in terms of the capabilities that you’ll have to edit your website and meet the conversion or engagement goals that you have in mind. Thrive Theme Builder is set to be released soon and we’ll keep you posted about any updated surrounding developments in its slated initial release date. 

Hopefully, when Thrive Theme Builder is released it’ll meet all of the expectations that have been set out by the information which has been released through different media channels and promotional advertisements.

Here is a great article that you can read on our website to learn more about choosing the right theme for your e-commerce site.

Thrive Themes: Plugin Options

Thrive Themes doesn’t only offer premium WordPress themes designed to boost your overall e-commerce sales and conversions, they also offer a wide array of different plugins that you can add to your website in order to increase its performance. Many if not all of the plugin options available through Thrive Themes are solely focused on helping small business owners gain the engagement and sales that they expect.

Thrive Themes has a rather comprehensive catalog of plugins that you can choose from in order to increase the performance of your business overall. 

The Thrive Themes plugins catalog includes the following plugins:

Thrive Ovation

Thrive Ovation helps you organize and collect customer testimonials for your products or services in a very simple and easy way. Customer testimonials play a very important role in persuading your prospective customers to interact with your website or material. Thrive Ovation is an automated system that collects client testimonials and displays them on your site/sales pages for better conversion rates. It’s a wonderful tool to use for business owners who run companies that are largely involved with beauty related products or items that would be boosted in sales with good customer ratings. 

Thrive Headline Optimizer

The Thrive Headline Optimizer helps you create stunning headlines for your website in order to encourage visitors to stay on the site longer and engage with more content elements. Thrive headline optimizer is a favorite plugin with many site owners who pride themselves on creativity and originality. You can submit different versions of your headlines and the Thrive Headline Optimizer will display different headlines to users and conduct an internal study of which one works best all on autopilot. Based on the result, the best performing headline will be displayed on your site for optimal user engagement and conversion rates. On average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy, according to ‘The Father of Advertising’, David Ogilvy.

With that in mind, it’s vital that you make sure your blog post titles are optimized to grab the attention of your readers and persuade them to click through to the full article. The Thrive Headline Optimizer plugin was created to help you do just that as part of its ability to find the most effective titles for your content. With the Headline Optimizer, you can choose the content titles you’d like to optimize. You can then enter multiple titles for each article to find the best performer. This optimization plugin will then display the different variations to your visitors, tracking the engagement to find the winner.

Other highlights of Thrive Headline Optimizer include:

  • the ability to enter as many headline variations as needed

  • a bulk editor to set up multiple tests at once

  • an intuitive user interface and easy-to-understand reports

  • WooCommerce compatibility for optimizing e-commerce products

  • the ability to track click-through rates on your blog page, recent posts widget, and other places where article titles are displayed

  • real-time headline optimization: Best-performing headlines are automatically shown to more of your visitors as data is gathered.

If you want to discover which article titles reduce your bounce rate and keep visitors on your site for longer, Thrive Headline Optimizer can definitely help.

Thrive Ultimatum

Thrive Ultimatum is a smart customizable and easy to use the WordPress plugin to display a countdown timer on your site. There are many advantages of displaying a timer on your site. It makes things exciting and inspires viewers to take action before the timer expires. 

Thrive Leads

As the name implies, Thrive Leads is for building mailing lists in a very simple and effective manner. Thrive Leads gives you access to a full package of tools which will help you encourage your site visitors and readers to opt-in to your mailing list. The form can be displayed using different options. For an example: You can opt for a sidebar widget, or pop up opts in form. Moreover, you get the reports to provides you with insights on how your strategy is working with your audience.

Thrive Leads is one of the most powerful lead generation tools for WordPress. Whether you want to grow your email list or persuade your visitors to take some other action, Thrive Leads can help you increase your goal conversion rates. The main focus of Thrive Leads is enabling you to display pop-ups on your website. These pop-ups can contain any type of content, including email option forms, products, text, images, videos, and calls to action. Thanks to the Thrive Leads editor, you get full control over how these forms and pop-ups look. There’s also an A/B testing tool to help you optimize this content.

Other highlights of Thrive Leads include:

  • a drag-and-drop editor for pop-ups and forms

  • advanced performance reporting and analytics tools

  • integration with the most popular email marketing software

  • a large library of pre-built forms, pop-up templates, and content modules

  • a selection of pop-up triggers, including timed, scroll position, and exit intent

  • multiple options form types, including pop-ups, two-step options, in-content forms, screen fillers, content locks, and more.

Thrive Leads is a powerful lead generation tool that compares well to other similar WordPress plugins such as OptinMonster and Bloom.

Thrive Optimize

Thrive Optimize lets you perform A/B split ad testing into your website pages so that you can figure out which advert method and style gets the most interaction. It is a lightweight and conversion-oriented plugin that lets you easily optimize your marketing efforts to save time and money while maximizing the number of conversions and sales that you receive from optimal promotions.

Thrive Comments

Having people leave comments on your WordPress site can help it in ways you can’t even imagine, this can include things like boosted SEO performance amongst a wide range of other beneficial site metrics. Thrive Comments encourages user engagement, helps SEO by adding fresh and relevant content, works as an intuitive form of user reviews/testimonials and so much more. Thrive comments, as the name suggests is a great way to make user commenting engaging and beautiful.

Thrive Cleaver Widgets

Thrive themes is all about conversions, and with the Thrive Cleaver Widgets plugin, you can rapidly and easily boost site conversions with the simple click of a button. As the name also implies, Thrive Cleaver widgets allows you to display different widgets & content based on the category, post type, pages, categories & tag type. This helps distinguish certain pages which get the most interaction on a consistent basis to help increase your website’s overall rank and performance in the search engines. 

Thrive Landing Pages

Thrive Landing Pages helps you create beautiful landing pages that focus on conversion. The Thrive Landing Pages plugin has it all to brilliantly convert your ideas into a reality for better engagement and actions on your sales pages. You can create sales copies, opt-in forms, registration pages and any other kind of landing pages in your site. 

Here is another great article some of the other conversion and sales plugin options available.

How Much Does It Cost? Thrive Themes Pricing

The beautiful and smart products at Thrive Themes can be purchased individually or through membership as a package of all their themes and plugins. The WordPress Themes at Thrive themes start from $49 and the individual Thrive themes plugins start at $39. You might want to use more and more Thrive products as they can really help you improve the performance of your site in different ways. Here, purchasing different products individually might not look like a good idea for you. And you can choose what works best for you. Unlike Elegant Themes, you can buy individual products at Thrive themes. On the other hand, for web design agencies and IT professionals who need access to more than one product, can subscribe to Thrive themes membership plans.

Thrive Themes offer plenty of flexibility when it comes to purchasing their tools. You can purchase the themes and plugins individually, or join the Thrive Membership program to gain access to everything. Even when purchasing an individual product, you can choose from a range of options, depending on how many sites you want to use the product on.

Your Thrive Membership subscription will be billed quarterly or annually, with a discount available to those paying for a year upfront. All membership purchase options cover the use of the themes and plugins on all of the websites you own. There’s also an agency membership plan that allows you to use the Thrive Themes products on your clients’ sites as well.

The Thrive Themes purchase options include: 

  • Individual themes from $49 and plugins from $39.

  • Thrive Membership for individuals: $19 a month paid annually or $30 a month paid quarterly.

  • Thrive Membership for agencies: $49 a month paid annually or $69 a month paid quarterly

All options include access to product updates. Individual products include one year of access to customer support, with the Thrive Membership including unlimited access to support while your subscription is active.

So, a thrive themes membership is what can help you. You can subscribe to the Thrive Themes membership plan at $19/month on the yearly subscription. This allows you to use the Thrive themes & plugins on 25 of your sites. Or you can subscribe to another plan at $49 per month that allows you to use the Thrive themes templates & plugins on 50 of your sites. Currently, there is no Thrive Theme Discount code or coupon, or best price deal other than its membership plan to access the best, conversion-optimized plugins at a nominal price.

This is an excellent article that you can use to learn more about how to choose the right tools that will help you expand your online presence and reach.

 

 

Thrive Architect: In-Depth Look

The thrive theme architect is the page builder from the Thrive themes. It was developed to replace the Thrive content builder and can be used to create conversion-focused pages of your site. The Thrive Architect is a replacement for the Thrive Content builder, the visual editor. This plugin, the Thrive content builders had some limitations that the Thrive Architect removes. It had a simple concept, it helped people with limited HTML & CSS knowledge to create attractive content with a WYSIWYG editor. While the Thrive content builders features were limited, the Thrive Architect has the features like that of the popular WordPress page builders like Beaver builder and the Divi builder.

The page builder by Thrive Themes is easy to use. You can be creative and develop beautiful designs of your own using the intuitive options. So, the thrive Architect is ideal for creating your marketing focused websites too. Moreover, the Thrive architect is affordable. You have to pay a one-time fee of $69 and use it to create any kind of design.

Opening a page template in the Thrive Content Builder interface allows you to click on its elements and items to edit them, with context-sensitive controls instantly appearing in the sidebar once you’ve clicked on an item. As this is a front-end builder, while you’re working you get to see your page as your visitors would, and, because there’s no need to switch browser tabs to see a preview of your work, the design and development process is fast and responsive.

Some of the core benefits of the Thrive Theme Builder include the following:

  • Thrive themes is hands down, the best visual editor for a visually appealing content

  • Comes with conversion focused WordPress themes and landing pages

  • The drag-and-drop editor is pretty easy to use and makes your life easy

  • Lots of various elements you can add to your pages, from testimonial boxes to exit-intent popups

  • Affordable pricing

  • Fast loading WordPress Theme

  • Fully optimized for both SEO and mobile

  • a WYSIWYG WordPress editor interface

  • the ability to create full-width landing pages

  • a library of useful, customizable elements for your pages

  • a large selection of prebuilt marketing-focused pre-designed page templates

  • a custom CSS and HTML support for more control over your designs.

Some of the negatives that come with using Thrive Theme Builder are the following:

  • Thrive Themes is only meant for WordPress CMS websites

  • It’s mostly helpful for new posts and pages, and difficult to modify your old pages with Thrive Architect

  • It takes some time to get used to it

Thrive Content Builder compares well to other leading page builder plugins, such as Beaver Builder and Visual Composer, in terms of functionality and creative possibilities. However, based on its prebuilt page templates and content modules, Thrive Content Builder is more focused on creating marketing content and landing pages. It’s definitely a good tool, but if you want help creating a wider range of website pages Beaver Builder or Divi Builder and their more varied selection of templates may be better options.

Opening a page template in the Thrive Content Builder interface allows you to click on its elements and items to edit them, with context-sensitive controls instantly appearing in the sidebar once you’ve clicked on an item. As this is a front-end builder, while you’re working you get to see your page as your visitors would, and, because there’s no need to switch browser tabs to see a preview of your work, the design and development process is fast and responsive.

This is a great article that you can use to learn more about how using WordPress themes can help boost the performance of your site.

Thrive Themes: Customer Support

As a Thrive Themes customer, you can open support tickets through the private forums, giving you an easy way to search for solutions to issues raised by other users. You can also check the knowledge base for solutions to any problems you may be experiencing. Each product also has its own set of tutorials to help you get the most out of it. The courses are made up of multiple lessons, with some including videos in addition to the written content. If you’re serious about creating an effective website or want to improve your online marketing skills, then joining the Thrive Themes membership program with access to the university content is something to consider. 

In an attempt to differentiate themselves from the competition and add substance to their claims of offering an all-in-one online business toolbox, Thrive Themes offer webinar classrooms and recordings to help you use their tools to grow your business. There are also the Thrive Themes university courses, covering a wide range of topics, from building a conversion-focused website from scratch and creating webinar funnels, to designing persuasive option forms and launching a product or product line.

This is a great article you can read how quality customer support can go a long way.

Thrive Themes: Questions & Answers

Let’s answer some of the most commonly asked questions when it comes to why you should use Thrive Themes for your website and how it can benefit you. 

1. What comes with the Thrive Themes membership and how much does it cost?

It comes with full access to all their WordPress themes and plugins, plus ongoing customer support. Refer to the pricing section above for more.

2. What makes Thrive Themes unique from other WordPress themes?

Thrive themes are generally known as conversion focused WordPress themes which are built to boost your website conversion rates. If getting a theme with higher conversion rates is your concern, then give Thrive themes a try today.

Apart from that, below are the more reasons you should consider Thrive themes over other WordPress themes:

  • Built for mobile and SEO

  • Customize to your own taste with their drag and drop builder

  • Very fast themes (comes with automatic image compression functionality which increases your site loading times)

  • Lots of free updates

  • Access to stunning landing page pre-made templates

3. How many websites can I use my Thrive Themes subscription on?

Thrive themes offers two types of pricing.

  • Thrive membership

  • Agency membership

Thrive membership package is more affordable and lets you install Thrive themes on up to twenty-five of your own sites. While Thrive Agency membership enables you to install their themes on up to fifty of your websites and that of clients’.

4. Is it worth investing in a premium WordPress theme such as Thrive themes if I don’t plan on selling anything?

The primary reason people often choose premium WordPress themes over the free ones is that premium themes are more secure, faster loading and quick customer support.

On the other hand, free theme developers don’t give you any support needed to customize the themes. And most free themes are often prone to hacking due to fewer updates.

Here are more reasons to choose a premium theme over the free ones:

  • Super-fast loading speed

  • Well optimized for both SEO and mobile

  • Fantastic documentation

  • Frequent updates

  • More awesome features

Therefore, if you want a simple and unique design for your blog, going for a premium WordPress theme such as Thrive themes is the best option. 

5. What if I don’t like Thrive Themes after I already finalized my purchase?

If you have problems with Thrive themes or its features after your purchase, you can easily contact their customer support 24/7. However, if you are still not happy with their products, you can get a refund within 30-days of your purchase.

It’s also worth stating that if you’ve paid a yearly subscription for Thrive membership, you’re free to cancel your account anytime, but you won’t get any refund after the 30 days.

 

Thrive Themes: Conclusion

If you’re looking for a suite of tools to help you create well-optimized websites, then your part of the Thrive Themes target audience. Although the individual themes aren’t that impressive on their own when you consider all the themes, plugins, and educational content on offer to

However, you wouldn’t get such a strong focus on conversion rate optimization and the Thrive Themes educational content to support you. If you like the look of any of the individual Thrive Themes products, they are good options. 

However, you’ll get the most from Thrive Themes by joining their membership program and getting access to everything, including the themes, lead generation tools, content builder, and educational content. Thrive, members, the whole of the Thrive Themes portfolio is greater than the sum of its parts. You could probably get similar results with the lower-priced products from Elegant Themes specifically, their Divi theme and its powerful drag-and-drop page builder, split testing tool, and page template library, combined with their Bloom plugin and its option forms.

 If you’re on a budget or you don’t need all the powerful features of a tool such as Thrive Leads, but you’d still like a high-quality theme for your website and a premium lead generation plugin, there are other more affordable options available. The great thing about Thrive Themes is that you can sign up for a monthly membership which will give you unlimited access to all of their premium WordPress themes and plugins. If you don’t want to go with a monthly subscription for Thrive Themes, you can simply purchase the items you need on an individual basis.

 Depending on the size of your business and if you plan to expand, this option can save you money in the long run. One good alternative is the not-quite-as-powerful-as-Thrive-Leads Bloom opt-in form plugin and the impressive Divi theme, which are both available as part of the $89 all product package from Elegant Themes. Divi also has a split testing tool and impressive page builder to rival the Thrive Content Builder plugin.

Read this article to learn even more about how a quality WordPress theme can help your website.

6 of the Best SEMRush Alternatives: Hack Your SEO [2021 New Choices]

There’s no denying it. SEMRush is one of the top SEO tools in the market. Many SEO experts think it’s the only SEO tool you need in your marketing software arsenal. If you are looking for some amazing SEMRush alternatives, then stay here. We’ll give you the list, tell you why we think this is a great alternative, but of course, the final decision is up to you!

SEMRush does have great features. You can use it to do an SEO audit of your website, find great keywords, analyze your competitors’ website for keywords, backlinks and do much more.

However, SEMRush, while a great tool, isn’t great at everything, especially compared to other SEO tools in the market. Some are better at domain analysis and backlink research, others are better at finding keywords.

That’s why, in this article, I’d like to show you 5 tools which I think are just as great (and even better in some cases) at SEO. You’ll have heard some of the tools I’m about to mention, but others you might not have heard about.

6 SEMRush Alternatives You Need to Know About

The 5 SEMRush alternatives I’ll be talking about in this article are:

  1. Moz
  2. Ahrefs
  3. SpyFu
  4. SECockpit
  5. Hubspot SEO
  6. Serpstat [Updated choice]

All these SEO tools come with their own strengths, which is what we’ll look at in this article. So without further ado, let’s get started discussing the top 5 SEMRush alternative SEO tools…

1. Moz

Moz is one of the most recognizable and popular SEO tool in the market. The reason why it’s so awesome is because it is an excellent tool for keyword research and backlink analysis.

But what really separates Moz from other SEO tools is the fact that it has both a free and a paid version. Using the free version, you can get a really good idea how the tool works and operates.

There are five high-quality tools Moz offers:

1. Keyword Explorer: The keyword research tool is an excellent way for you to find a list of high-quality keywords. Just enter a keyword and you’ll get a complete analysis such as how difficult it is to rank with that keyword, how many people are searching for it, how many people are clicking it and you’ll even get a list of suggested keywords for that keyword!

2. Rank Tracker: This tool lets you see the performance of keywords on your website. You’ll be able to find out which of your keywords are ranking highest and which the lowest. In addition, you’ll be presented with a list of keywords that might perform better. Oh, and you’ll also get to analyze which keywords your competitors rank for. This makes this a really useful tool.

3. Site Crawl: There are many factors which influence a website’s SEO. With site crawl, you’ll be able to discover what technical issues are stopping your website from achieving a better ranking on Google and other search engines. In addition, you’ll also be presented with a list of suggestions as to how to solve these issues.

4. Link Research: Backlinks are a crucial part of your SEO strategy. Moz lets you discover what kinds of domains are linking back to your site. This will help you decide what steps you should take to increase your high-quality backlinks and what steps to take to decrease your spammy backlinks.

5. One-page Optimization: This handy little tool gives you suggestions as to how to SEO optimize the content on your site. You’ll get a handy list of keywords, content suggestions and more to improve your on-page SEO.

In addition, Moz also has a cool browser extension called the ‘Mozbar’. This lets you see the rank, authority, backlink quantity and other information about any domain on the internet.

2. Ahrefs

Ahrefs is another excellent SEO tool on the market. Their strength lies in the fact that it is extremely comprehensive in the sense that it provides data on nearly every metric possible. If you want to step up your SEO game, this is a great tool.

Like Moz, Ahrefs also offers five main tools. But from my experience, the data which Ahrefs providers is far more detailed than what is provided by Moz. But like Moz, Ahrefs also provides 5 main features (although much more advanced):

1. Site Explorer: Site Explorer is not a single tool. Rather, it is a collection of multiple tools which will let you analyze your competitors whole SEO strategy. In this single tool, you can see exactly which keywords your competition is ranking for organically, what kind of paid AdWords campaigns they’re running and the quality of backlinks linking to their domain.

2. Keyword Explorer: This is similar to Moz in the sense that you can discover high-quality keywords for your own SEO strategy.

3. Content Explorer: This is a tool which Moz doesn’t have. Using this, you can see what kind of content is performing the best for a particular keyword. You can see how much times a content is shared, on which platforms and how many domains have linked to it.

4. Rank Tracker: This tool basically lets you see the rank of your domains, keyword, pages and overall your whole website. This is exactly the same tool Moz offers. It’s purpose it to show you how your SEO strategy is performing.

5. Site Audit: Again, this tool is similar to the Moz Site Crawl tool. It will analyze your website and give you suggestions as to how to improve your SEO.

But that’s not all. As a cherry on top, you also get other cool tools in Ahrefs which let you perform domain comparison, give you the ability to analyze domains in batches, find domains linking to your competitors but not you and other cool stuff.

3. SpyFu

Obsessed about your competitors and their SEO strategy? Want to know their exact keyword, PPC, backlink and other strategies? Then SpyFu is the best tool for you. In their own words, “SpyFu exposes the search marketing secret formula of your most successful competitors.”

To be clear, this tool provides all the essential features to monitor your own SEO efforts. You can track the ranking of your keywords, see information about your domains and analyze your backlinks.

But, what makes this particular tool special is it is solely focused on gathering information about your competitors. There are two main areas in which Spyfu allows you to monitor your competitors.

1. Competitor PPC Research: You can download the exact list of keywords your competitors are using in their Adwords campaign, find out which of your competitors are bidding on your campaigns and discover new keywords your competitors are using but you aren’t.

One cool thing you can also do is find out which keywords your competitors tried to rank on but failed. This will allow you to quickly stop bidding on such keywords.

Plus, you’ll also get tools with which you can discover your own keywords and analyze how your own keywords are performing.

2. Competitor SEO Research: Just like with PPC, you can download the list of keywords your competitors are ranking for organically. In addition, you can monitor what websites are your competitors in your SEO niche – and how they are ranking. You can also find the most profitable keywords your competitors are ranking in. Also, you can track how a website or webpage is performing for a particular keyword.

A notable thing you can do in SpyFu is to find out which influencers can help you increase your rank for a keyword and Spyfu will also provide contact information so you can contact these clients.

4. SECockpit

If you’re looking for one of the best keyword research tools on the market, then look no further than SECockpit. This is a tool that’s solely focused on providing you with the most up-to-date analysis on keywords for your SEO.

Here are a few of the things you can accomplish with SECockpit:

  • Find high-quality keywords in a niche: When you enter a keyword in SECockpit, you’ll get a whole list of profitable keywords as a suggestion. You can use this list to find even better keywords for your website.
  • See its competition pages: You can see exactly which websites and content is ranking on the first page of Google and other search engines.
  • Analyze Information on keywords: See different metrics about a keyword to discover what’s the best keywords. Get information such as daily number of searches, difficulty, price of a keyword and more data.

  • Find keywords for Youtube, Amazon, Google Suggest, Related Searches and More: It’s not just search engines you need to rank for. If you have a product or a Youtube Channel, you also need to rank on platforms like Amazon and Youtube. SECockpit will give You keywords you need to rank on these platforms as well.
  • See data from Moz, Google Trends and other places: SECockpit will give you valuable keyword data analysis from reputable sources like Moz and Google Trends.

Because of these features, SECockpit is the best tool among all SEO tools when it comes to finding valuable keywords, which as we all know, is the backbone of a good SEO strategy.

5. Hubspot Marketing Tool

Hubspot’s has its own set of marketing tools, of which SEO is part of the broad suite. You can use the HubSpot marketing tool to find create a whole content marketing strategy. This is specifically what this tool is designed for.

Here are a few things you can do this tool:

1. Plan your content marketing strategy: You can create and visually map out your whole content strategy. You’ll be presented with a list of relevant topics for a content topic you’ve chosen. You’ll be able to analyze your competition and see how easy it is to rank for your content.

2. Get real-time suggestions on how to improve your SEO: It’s important to optimize your content so you rank higher on search engines. Hubspot will give you real-time suggestions as to how to improve your SEO for any piece of content you write.

3. Measure and track results of your content: After you’ve published your content, you’ll be able analyze how much leads you’ve captured with each content, which keywords are responsible for improving your rankings and what amount of traffic each piece of content is generating for you.

In addition, you’ll be able to automate your whole marketing department with this tool.

6. Serpstat

Serpstat is an all-in-one SEO platform. It’s one more great tool for every professional in SEO, PPC, content marketing, marketing, and search analytics niche. This service provides a ton of data and features. Unlike most of the other SEO tools, especially SEMrush, Serpstat is a quality service for a very nice price. Also, similar to Moz, it has both free and paid plans.

Like Moz and SEMrush, Serpstat has five main features: Website Analysis, Keyword Research, Backlink Analysis, Rank Tracker, Site Audit.

Website Analysis feature helps to do good competitor research. Enter the domain’s URL in the search bar and the tool will show you all info you need to know about your competitor. This report displays the overall info about visibility, traffic, the number of organic and PPC keywords. Also, you’ll see here: the detailed info about organic keywords (volume, CPC, etc.) and ads keywords; keyword position distribution; info about subdomains; visibility trend for year; traff trend for year; keywords trend for year; pages with the hichest visbility; competitors in organic search; competitors graph; competitors in ads, ads examples; backlinks overview; rank tracker; and site audit.

This tool has great features such as Domain vs Domain, URL vs URL, Top pages, Tree view, Batch analysis for PPC research, and Missing keywords for a separate URL (keywords, competitor’s pages rank for in top-10 and that are not present on the queried page).

Keyword Research is the most useful feature for SEOs, as for me. Serpstat has really great, and even the best one. It’ll display you the keyword’s search volume, CPC and also the keyword difficulty (which is the most accurate as for me). This tool can display you related keywords, search suggestions and search questions (which are an excellent help in creating content). One more unique feature is Top by Keywords.

Serpstat has a good database to use it for every project. It has databases of 230 countries and the biggest USA keyword database — 2.5B.

Serpstat Backlink Analysis is one more helpful tool. You can enter in any domain and analyze the backlink profile of it. It’ll display you the number of referring domains/pages, nofollow/dofollow count, backlink growth graph, top pages, etc.

Rank Tracker functionality can help you monitor rankings of the website regularly for a set of keywords. It’ll display the position, rank history, competitors, landing pages and also allows you to compare the rankings between the days.

Site Audit analyzes the site for basic onpage SEO and crawls errors. It also can give some suggestions on what you need to improve to boost the search traffic on your site. Serpstat has a unique feature here — one-page audit.

Despite these features, Serpstat has Keyword Clustering (grouping semantically related keywords) and Text Analytics (helps you semantically optimize your page for higher search rankings).

In addition, Serpstat has its free plugin which helps analyze the site by one click. With its help, you can make page and domain analysis, check on-page SEO parameters (site audit).

Serpstat Pricing

Serpstat has various plans, depending on your size and needs:

Conclusion: What will you choose?

And that brings us to the end of our list of top 6 SEMRush alternatives. As you can see, except for Moz and SEMRush, every other SEO on this tool is unique in its own way. Yet all will help you boost your SEO efforts and will take your website to the top of Google!

If I had to choose one, I would choose SEOCockpit for the majority of my keyword research, not only does it give you more accurate competitive data (say then, Ahrefs), you can find and expand your searches to find untapped keywords you might not have thought of. It’s a tool that allows you to start broad, quickly narrow down and I really like that.

My second choice on this list would be Serpstat because I really like the Keyword Clustering tool – as many of you already know, Google doesn’t just rank you for the specific keyword you write about, it will cluster your efforts too. Think of keywords like buckets of keywords! With Serpstat, you can find these buckets and extend your SEO efforts quite well.

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Infusionsoft vs ActiveCampaign: Which is The Best CRM? [2021 Comparison]

The Infusionsoft vs ActiveCampaign debate has a deep-running history ever since the two small business sales and marketing software companies were founded in 2001 and 2003 respectively. Since then both have combined and curated CRM, email marketing, marketing automation and e-commerce features into powerful platforms for all things automated sales and marketing for small business.

In this Infusionsoft vs ActiveCampaign review, we are only going to focus on the important differences between both offerings, so you can decide which automated marketing/CRM tool is right for your business or clients in advance.

11 Powerful Differences Between Infusionsoft and ActiveCampaign

When comparing between CRMs, you cannot be too choosy. It can be tough to decide which one is best. Before you decide on which one is best between Infusionsoft vs ActiveCampaign, take a few minutes to get to know your own business goals. Do you want to build out landing pages? B2B campaigns? Is email marketing going to drive business? The online sales and marketing funnels you create are going to determine what CRM you should be choosing.

1. ActiveCampaign vs Infusionsoft: Target Audience

Both platforms predominantly market their CRM tools/email marketing/marketing automation to small businesses.

Infusionsoft is on record stating its sales, marketing, and CRM software service is meant for small businesses with less than 100 people. More specifically, they have said before that the effectiveness of their marketing automation software becomes hazy as it packs on more than 25 users.

ActiveCampaign, on the other hand, markets its services to a wider target audience. Whether you are a blogger, email marketing expert with own clients, a small business owner or an enterprise setting, the Infusionsoft alternative is scalable to meet dynamic needs for several reasons—the main being its pricing model, which we look at later on this Infusionsoft vs ActiveCampaign comparison.

2. Differences in Business-Essential Features

The first thing you will easily notice upon signing up and comparing ActiveCampaign and Infusionsoft is how feature-packed the latter is. Infusionsoft runs deep—perhaps too deep for many users to appreciate its depth, and instead get confused and overwhelmed by the ton of things you can do with Infusionsoft beyond the basic stuff.

Here is a comparison screenshot of Infusionsoft vs ActiveCampaign side-by-side; while seemingly fewer on the surface, Infusionsoft features a stack of subcategories and even more analytics under the main category item:

ActiveCampaignInfusionsoft
Marketing automationCRM
Smart auto respondersMarketing automation
Built-in integrations with over 200 external servicesEcommerce
Drag and drop email designerMultimedia marketing management
Track your contacts onsite and in  your appsWeb forms
Campaign, contact, as well as list reportingSocial sharing
Track your contacts onsite and in your appsBuilt-in metadata keywords fields
Campaign, contact, as well as list reportingsTrack orders, sales tools, accounts receivables, etc.
Track where your contacts live or travelPayment processing
Add live e-commerce data and even videos to your emailsDrag and drop to craft and publish landing pages
SMS marketingEasy publishing, landing pages
Free phone, live chat, as well as email supportEmail marketing, automated campaigns
Send newslettersOpportunity management
CRM and sales automationSales reports
Help with finding contacts based on age, gender, and locationMultimedia marketing
Advanced segmentation and targetingMarketing reports
Automated seriesScoring tools
Dynamic (as well as conditional) email contentReferral program management
Social media monitoring as well as reaction automationLead scoring and distribution
Free email templatesQuotes and orders
Build custom forms for you landing pages24/7 customer support
Free one-on-one trainingHelp center with many support materials to get you started

While it shows here that you’ll only be able to send out SMS marketing messages through only ActiveCampaign, Infusionsoft also does support this feature. But you would need to pile on an additional $0-$120 on top of the base $199 Infusionsoft plan to integrate SMS marketing into your marketing campaign using a third-party app for that.

But neither is ActiveCampaign the holy grail of features here, either. While Infusionsoft includes invoicing, sales forecast reports and unlimited landing pages in the base plan pricing, you would need to pay extra to integrate third-party apps with your ActiveCampaign account so you can utilize similar uses. And that might come off as a hidden charge to some buyers.

3. Accounts Setup and Learning Curve

While Infusionsoft might appeal to you for packing more features, that could be the same reason you find it tough to wrap around your arm and get started with little to no specialized training. Add the fact it is primarily meant for some of the smallest businesses around, and it can easily feel overwhelming to learn and master Infusionsoft in a short time.

That is the opposite with ActiveCampaign. The ease of setup and learning curve makes ActiveCampaign a top Infusionsoft alternative. That is especially the case for small businesses wanting a CRM tool cum capable email marketing software but have neither the time or the tech-savvy to master how Infusionsoft works.

They would likely have to hire an Infusionsoft expert to do the job for them—at an extra cost—after shelling out $200/month.

Now here’s an important observation to keep in mind:

Infusionsoft starts tracking your leads details once they subscribe to your offer(s) or buy from you. ActiveCampaign starts pulling that data immediately you register for an account and link your website. And after you do, ActiveCampaign goes back in time to collect and gather together past actions or triggers a lead interacted with before you could register and add those to your CRM as well.

That kind of data-backtracking can be resourceful to understanding what the lead could have been looking for from the first time they looked into you via your website.

4. Infusionsoft vs ActiveCampaign: Support Options

However, Infusionsoft offers expert training in addition to providing some of the best support channels in the marketing automation/CRM world. On top of live chat, training videos, email, and free phone support, you can request for in-person training at a separate fee.

ActiveCampaign support does not offer phone support, which might be a deal-breaker for some. But many clients and marketers agree ActiveCampaign is pretty fast to grasp and run with due to its intuitive and much less cramped user interface.

Your choice.

5. Organizing Tags

Both Infusionsoft and ActiveCampaign use tags to segment audiences into more targeted leads. However, when using Infusionsoft, you can categorize the tags so you have an organized, well-illustrated way to personalize your marketing messaging and nurture a target audience.

That makes managing hundreds of contacts with Infusionsoft easier compared to using ActiveCampaign.

But here’s a big tagging advantage from Infusionsoft:

You can set up a tagging sequence that goes off to let you know of an unpaid or late payment. Since this set up is set up to run through Infusionsoft, it allows you to find payment and invoicing details even though Infusionsoft doesn’t process the payment directly.

This powerful information that ActiveCampaign does not provide.

6. Integrations

On the surface of it, both vendors have a ton of integrations to work with in terms of third-party sales and marketing apps available in the market now. However, when you dig in deeper, you’ll find ActiveCampaign natively supports about 150 apps while Infusionsoft supports 65 more apps with 215.

Should that make you vouch for Infusionsoft right away?

The whole story is that ActiveCampaign works with Zapier to help you integrate only the third-party apps you need right from the start out of over 700+ applicable ones. This could be a reason you might prefer ActiveCampaign’s user interface compared to the more “packed” Infusionsoft UI on many pages.

Yet, Infusionsoft also supports Zapier, but you do not get the choice to choose only the apps you need. This means when using Infusionsoft you could be paying for features/app integrations you do not need.

With ActiveCampaign, you pay a separate fee for the custom app integrations on top of the monthly or yearly charge—and while the cost can add up quite with each add-on, you‘ll still find yourself paying less than you would with a similar number of Infusionsoft integrations.

Another thing…

If you decide to kickstart your marketing automation with any CRM/marketing automation software, hoping to later migrate your CRM to an ideally better CRM tool, Infusionsoft does not offer this option. On the other side, ActiveCampaign would allow you to migrate your valuable data to its ecosystem. Something to keep in mind when choosing the best CRM software for your new business.

7. Site Tracking

This is important if you want detailed information to help build your customer personas as well as use the information to inspire more conversions with personalized messages.

So where do the differences between Infusionsoft and ActiveCampaign show up here?

With ActiveCampaign you can track where your contacts travel or live. And that can get you more accurate insight into the lives and styles of the people contacting you—if they and you are okay with that (that is).

Still here, Infusionsoft sends out all emails at the same time. The issue with that is the emails will reach your contacts at different times, especially when your contacts are based in different time zones. But with ActiveCampaign emails automatically reach your contacts at the same time of day despite time zone differences. In short, if you set an email broadcast to reach your contacts at 12 noon, ActiveCampaign would automatically deliver the emails when it is 12 noon in your contacts’ time zone—not yours.

That way you can use reach leads when they are most likely to open, click and convert as opposed to reaching a section of them at odd hours—probably asleep—and missing out on such conversion chances.

8. Adding Customer Contact List to Your CRM

Still, ActiveCampaign beats Infusionsoft here for almost the same reason; true automation.

Now, when using Infusionsoft to add more information about your contact to the CRM, you have to do it manually, which can be time-consuming.

ActiveCampaign, in contrast, has an inbuilt tool that lets the marketing automation tool search online for details such as social media pages related to the name and email address a contact used to reach you. When found, the ActiveCampaign tool then automatically adds that information to your CRM. It does not get better than that.

9. Affiliate Management System

Right out the sign-up page, Infusionsoft includes a powerful affiliate marketing tool to help small businesses roll out robust affiliate marketing programs. This is a tool you will not find on ActiveCampaign—again unless you pay for a third-party app integration such as AffiliateWP.

With the Infusionsoft Affiliate Center, you can easily track affiliates, orders, returns and more right from one dashboard, which is powerful of Infusionsoft. This is especially important for e-commerce customers who are the most likely to find a solid case for an affiliate program management tool.

10. Reporting

If Infusionsoft’s user interface was a little cleaner, ActiveCampaign would be completely beat here. The former captures a ton of analytics for your breakdown, digestion and decision making. Infusionsoft will you capture details about what’s triggering your leads’ attention and which autoresponder messages to customize for contacts based on how they interact with your website.

And while Infusionsoft gives a good deal of analytics to analyze, ActiveCampaign allows you to view that data in easy to interpret charts and graphs, unlike Infusionsoft. So some Infusionsoft users may not be sure how to interpret and use the ton of data to boost their marketing campaigns.

11. Infusionsoft vs ActiveCampaign Pricing

This is by large the biggest area of comparison between Infusionsoft vs ActiveCampaign.

First, you’ll find ActiveCampaign allows you to ‘test-drive’ the autoresponder for in a 14-day trial period. Infusionsoft doesn’t.

Second, while Infusionsoft will demand you shell out just under $1,000 as a setup fee, ActiveCampaign does not charge any setup fee. So small businesses that would like to try out a marketing automation tool before committing to a full-on subscription might find ActiveCampaign less hefty to start out with.

Third, when you sign up for Infusionsoft, they offer a ‘Kickstart’ coaching for buyers that find they need help understanding how Infusionsoft works. Here’s how they describe the training and how much it costs:

And how much you invest upfront:

When it comes to actual pricing, both provide buyers with scalability options they can upgrade (or downgrade) to when the need arises. Both ActiveCampaign pricing and Infusionsoft pricing are well detailed on their respective pages, so you can take a look and compare the different plans both marketing automation companies have that is right for your business.

For comparison sakes, here is a shot of both companies’ offers for onboarding 500 contacts:

ActiveCampaign pricing for 500 contacts

Infusionsoft pricing for 500 contacts

Conclusion: Infusionsoft vs ActiveCampaign

While both Infusionsoft and ActiveCampaign market themselves as “all-in-one” solutions for small business marketing automation, email marketing, and CRM tools, there are differences that make either option a good fit for your business—or not.

For example, while some users could use Infusionsoft for its ‘completeness’, others might find it overwhelming to understand, pay up for and use efficiently on a day-to-day basis.

On the other hand, while on the surface ActiveCampaign might seem like a much cheaper option to begin with, as you gain more contacts and choose to integrate more third-party apps with it you’ll find you might have to shell out much more on top of the $9/month base subscription that might have initially attracted you to it in the first place.

Over to you…

What is it about Infusionsoft vs ActiveCampaign differences that can make you switch from either to the other?

Still not sure, take a brief tour with an Infusionsoft Expert!

Or attend an Infusionsoft webinar to find out more!

Clickfunnels vs Shopify: Which Tool Works Best for Your Business in 2021?

So, you’ve finally decided to start an online business.

You’re going to sell an awesome product, or thousands of awesome products on the internet.

But you don’t know where you’re going to sell them.

That’s why I compare two powerhouse tools — Clickfunnels vs Shopify.

Which one will work best for your business?

If you’ve been searching online how to start an online store, you might have heard two services i.e. Shopify and Clickfunnels come up quite a bit.

And frankly, with all the dropshipping and ecommerce guides out there, it can get quite confusing to decide which ecommerce platform is the best place for you to sell your products.

In this article, we’ll explain to you exactly ecommerce platform you should run your online business on.

But here’s the thing:

None of these tools are perfect by themselves. Both have their own strengths and weaknesses. Ultimately, the platform you choose to run your business on depends on what kind of business you’re starting and what kind of products you’re going to sell.

Main Differences Between Clickfunnels vs Shopify

The main differences between Clickfunnels vs Shopify are:

  • Clickfunnels has two plan options with a basic plan that is more expensive, whereas Shopify has three option plans.
  • Clickfunnels doesn’t have a mobile app, whereas Shopify does have an app that is available on Android and iPhone. 
  • Clickfunnels offers several features including ready-made sales funnels, whereas Shopify does a better job at helping you manage your inventory and customers. 

Now, let’s start with an overview of both these awesome services:

Shopify: The Ultimate Online Store Builder

Image result for shopify

If you’re thinking of creating a fully fledged online store with lots of products, Shopify is a great choice.

You’ll get lots of themes to build your website, an inventory management system to manage your physical products, payments integration and exclusive shipping rates from DHL, UPS and USPS.

Basically, you’ll get all the tools you need to set up and run your new online store without having to write a single line of code. Plus the Shopify developer community is awesome – meaning you’ll find solutions to any technical or non-technical issues you run into almost immediately with a few quick Google searches.

And if that wasn’t enough, you’ll also get access to a budding App Store full of plugins and integrations you can add to further enhance the functionality of your Shopify website.

Clickfunnels: The All-In-One Sales Funnel Software

Image result for clickfunnel

If you’ve never marketed or sold a product in your life, then Clickfunnels is the software we recommend you use to sell your first product.

Why?

Because Clickfunnels comes with pre-built, scientifically proven to convert sales funnels. There are sales funnels especially made to sell products, memberships, courses, ebooks, webinars and even your services.

And not only can you create an online store to sell your products and services, you can also use Clickfunnels to build your email list and run automated email marketing campaigns.

Granted, the stores you create with Clickfunnels aren’t going to be as feature rich as the ones in Shopify, but it’s more than enough to get you started. And with Clickfunnels, you won’t need to pay for another marketing software ever again.

Clickfunnels Vs Shopify: Features Comparison

From the above overview, you might have gotten the impression that both these tools are for two dramatically different audiences. And if you have, you’re right.

Shopify Feature Rundown

Shopify is made for expert entrepreneurs who know how to integrate different marketing software with their stores, have advanced knowledge how to create funnels and turn visitors into customers and only need a robust tool to create and manage their online store.

That being said, here are the nine best features of Shopify:

Online Store Builder: Shopify has an excellent collection of themes (free and paid) you can use to build your online store. The drag-and-drop website builder lets you customize every element of the theme. You can add your own text, color, and images to make your website truly your own. And if you’re tech savvy, you can add your own custom CSS and HTML code as well. In addition, you can also create blog posts with Shopify’s content management system. And every single website is mobile responsive so your customers can shop on your website even when they are on the go.

Inventory Management System: In Shopify, you can easily keep track of current and new inventory. Add new products, create different variants of it and post a few good-looking images of them and finally assign the number of items you have in store. Then Shopify will automatically track how many items you’ve sold so you know at once when to order more. Plus, you can also choose to sell (or not sell) a product even when it’s out of inventory and being restocked.

 

Analytics Dashboard: Shopify provides beautiful graphs of data that matter to you. You can see your traffic, orders, and sales at a glance. In addition, you can see where your customers are coming from, what they do and how much time they spend on your store thanks to Google Analytics integration. Plus, you can see the performance of each individual product i.e what’s selling and what’s not – and use this information to order new inventory accordingly.

Customer Management System: Shopify lets you see the shopping behavior and info of customers who’ve purchased from your store. Plus, you can create membership sites to encourage repeat purchase and send these customers marketing emails (or give them the option to purchase as a guest). You can also organize customers in groups based on their country, product purchases and money spent. In addition, you can set up refunds for customers as well.

Sales Channels: You can use Shopify to set up stores inside social media networks like Facebook and Pinterest, Amazon, Ebay, your existing website and even your brick and mortar stores. This means customers can browse and purchases products right inside these websites and apps as well without leaving them.

App Store: The Shopify app store is full of amazing plugins and integrations you can use to enhance the functionality of your shopify website. You can use the many apps available to create landing pages, opt-in forms, get additional analytics, run email marketing campaigns and more.

Payment Integration: With Shopify, you can accept payments from Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express, plus from 50+ online payment gateways like Paypal and 2Checkout. In addition, Shopify will handle city and state taxes of your country for you and gives the ability to offer customers free shipping.

Shipping and Delivery: Shopify has partnered will three major couriers i.e. DHL, USPS, and UPS to offer low shipping rates to your customers. Plus, because of their partnership with Oberlo, you can buy, ship and sell products to your customers without stocking inventory yourself.

Mobile App: The Shopify mobile app is available both on Android and iPhone. You can use it to track your sales and orders, manage your inventory and email / call your customers on the go.

Clickfunnels Feature Rundown

Clickfunnels, on the other hand, is made for beginners and non-experts who want to start an online business, and need a simple and powerful tool that helps them set up not just a store, but their whole marketing funnel as well.

That’s why Clickfunnels offers extremely robust tools like these:

Ready-made Sales Funnels: With Clickfunnels, you get ‘funnels’ i.e full sets of web pages that guide your customers toward a checkout page – ready made for you. You’ll get funnels to sell every kind of product imaginable. There are funnels for physical products, digital products, courses, ebooks, memberships, subscriptions, webinars and more. In addition, there are templates for sales pages, opt-in pages, thank you pages and checkout pages as well. All you have to do is add in your own copy and images and your sales funnel will be ready.

Website Building Tool: You don’t have to use the sales funnel templates. You can build your sales funnel from scratch with the website building tool. You can add text, images, checkout carts, payment integration, an opt-in form and anything else you need to build any kind of web page for your sales funnel.

Payment Integrations: With Clickfunnels, you can add payment integration to your sales pages and collect payments at once. Clickfunnels integrates with Paypal, Stripe and other payment processors.

Affiliate Marketing System: This is a cool feature not many offers. Clickfunnels lets you create your own affiliate programs for products and services. This means you can give a link to other people to sell your product. And whenever someone sells your product for you, you can give them a commission. This way, you can create your own personal team of salespeople who will help you increase your sales.

CRM System: Clickfunnels has a cool CRM system that lets you see in detail information about your customers. You can see where your customers are from, their email and social profiles, what they’ve bought from you etc. You can also group different customers based on their location, the products they’ve purchased, the money they spent etc. and put them in different email marketing campaigns.

Email Marketing Tool: You can create your whole email marketing campaign with Clickfunnels. You can write beautiful emails, arrange them in a series and automate the process so that anyone who opts in to receive your emails get them automatically. You can also send email campaigns to different segmented email lists.

Action Funnels: The action funnel is the Clickfunnels automation tool. Using this, you can combine your funnels with your email campaigns to create the ultimate automated marketing machine. You can set up which ‘list’ a user should be added in after they opt-in (or opt-out) to your funnel and what emails they receive. You can also set up actions based on different triggers. For example, if someone purchases your product, you can auto add them to a new email list and put them inside a new campaign.

ClickFunnels vs Shopify: Pros and Cons

Based on the features, here are the top three pros and cons of Shopify and Clickfunnels.

Shopify Pros

  • Shopify is the best platform to create and sell hundreds of products thanks to its inventory management system.
  • You get super low shipping rates from delivery partners such as DHL, USPS and UPS.
  • You get a mobile app to run your online store on the go.

Shopify Cons

  • Shopify only provides a platform to sell your products. You have to learn how to market your website to get sales.
  • You’ll have to integrate with other services for email marketing, building landing pages, creating affiliate programs etc which adds in cost.
  • You’ll need a lot of time to set up your store, create funnels and will need technical marketing knowledge to do it right.

Clickfunnels Pros

  • You don’t need to have any marketing knowledge to sell products. You’ll get prebuilt funnels tested for max conversions.
  • You get a CRM system, email marketing tool and automation tool within Clickfunnels. No need to pay for another service.
  • Building a funnel and selling your product takes only a few hours, not a few weeks.

Clickfunnels Cons

  • The subscription is more expensive.
  • Isn’t ideal for selling hundreds of products and running a full online store.
  • No mobile app for on the go usage

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you dropship with Clickfunnels?

Yes! With Clickfunnels you can create landing pages for your dropshipping business and integrate with third-party shipping applications.

Is Shopify safe and legit?

Also phrased as, “Can I trust Shopify?”. The answer? Yes, you can! This is a renown company with great customer service. If you have any questions about how Shopify works and its features, check out our complete Shopify review!

Can you really make money with Shopify?

Of course, but it’s important to have a great marketing strategy. Also, consider integrating Shopify with marketplaces such as Etsy or Amazon to be able to reach a larger market.

Verdict

Shopify is a good choice if you’re a marketing pro and want to go full-time running and managing your online store. Its product management and delivery features are unmatched. But you need to know how to set up different integrations for building landing pages, running email campaigns and automating your online business.

That’s why Clickfunnels is the better choice if you’re just starting out selling products. You won’t need a lot of marketing experience to build your funnels and you’ll get all the services you need to run your online business – including hosting to get you started.

If you are going to choose, Shopify – you might want to invest in landing page editor app right from the start, such as Shogun. 

You can learn more about Shogun in our full Shogun review.

You might also enjoy:

5 Best Contest Apps for 2021: How to Create Social Contests that Succeed

Congratulations, you win! 

Running a social media contest is an excellent way to get people interested in your brand, grow your email list, and engage your audience. After all, everybody loves the chance to win something for free, and they don’t mind giving up some personal information to do so.

But while plenty of brands are seeing serious increases in engagement and fans when using contests, there are also many that have wasted time and money on contests that didn’t bring the results they wanted.

If that situation sounds familiar, don’t panic. There are ways to ensure a greater success rate for your social contest.

Basically, success depends on two things:

First, let’s discuss why you should be using social contests, and then we’ll see which contest apps and best practices you should be using.

How your brand can benefit by running a social media contest 

There are four main benefits to running a social contest:

Grow awareness

If you want to expand your reach and help your target audience discover you, running a contest is the best way to do so. Mainly, this is because of the insane sharing aspect of contests. On average, 54% of people who enter your contest will share it to their friends. However, if you give extra rewards within your contest to those that share, that number shoots up to 99%. 

Engage your audience

When done correctly, a social contest allows you to build a relationship with your audience, encouraging them to engage with your brand online. That’s what the Brazilian soccer club Atlético Mineiro found when they created a sweepstakes contest. In just 11 days, they added 15,000 new Facebook fans and boosted engagement by 50%.

Build you social following and email list

There’s no doubt that social contests help you build followers and increase email subscribers: FOMO comes into play here, encouraging people to follow and subscribe so they don’t miss any future prizes. 

One study found that Instagram accounts who ran contests grew 70% faster in three months than accounts that didn’t. 

That’s exactly how candle brand Diamond Candles built their social following. In just six weeks of using sweepstakes contests, they added 148,000 new Facebook fans and generated 30,000 new leads. 

Get people hooked on your products

When used correctly, social contests can convert leads into customers without any additional effort or money spent. 

For example, when you use a contest to promote a product that you sell, you’re introducing people to something they may not have heard of or tried before. And once they try it, they’ll wonder how they ever lived without it. 

But, while we acknowledge that contests are great for your brand, why do you need a contest app to run one?

Why do you need a contest app?

Put simply, contest apps take the hard work out of preparing, promoting, and finalizing your social media contest. 

For example, let’s say you want to run a hashtag contest. While it’s easy to write up a quick post and tell your followers to use that hashtag, the next steps are tricky. How will you collect all the entries? How will you filter multiple or fake entries? Who decides the winner? How will you promote the contest?

To save a lot of headache, the best contest apps give you the right tools to:

  • Set up your contest with its own landing page
  • Promote your contest across multiple channels
  • Collect and filter contest entries
  • Gather lead information
  • Randomly select a winner
  • Send emails to both the winners and losers

Wondering which are the best contest apps available right now? Let’s find out.

These are the best contest apps you should be using:

1. Wishpond

This is much more than a social contest app, and the extra features that Wishpond provides will make sure your contests run smoothly with other digital marketing efforts.

Wishpond allows you to create a contest that fits your brand’s needs with 13 different types of contest available to choose from, including sweepstakes, photo contests, leaderboard contests, video contests, hashtag contests, Pinterest contests, and more.

This robust tool also allows you to capture and nurture leads, run email campaigns, create flexible landing pages, build website pop-ups, and more. And, after you’ve built whatever your marketing strategy requires, Wishpond provides in-depth reporting and analytics to help you get a clearer view of your success rate.

Best features

  • Includes a complete suite of online marketing tools.
  • Offers 10+ options for social media contests.
  • Provides A/B testing options.
  • Easily integrates with other tools, such as MailChimp, Shopify, Pipedrive, Salesforce, Slack, and more.
  • Includes intuitive lead-capture and nurturing features.
  • Editor for contests, landing pages, and emails is drag-and-drop style.
  • Helps you build mobile-friendly contests.
  • Includes random winner selection.
  • Gives you access to 200+ templates for landing pages, contests, and more.
  • Provides real-time reports.

Pricing

The Starting Out package gives you unlimited landing pages, contests, popups, and user accounts. You’ll also get marketing automation, and a maximum of 1,000 leads. This package starts at $49 per month. 

However, if you want advanced features like A/B testing, custom Javascript, and more leads, you’ll have to go for the next package, which costs $99 per month.

Wishpond is definitely the most robust marketing tool on our list, and its features integrate nicely to run smooth, flexible campaigns across different platforms.

2. Shortstack

Shortstack is another all-in-one tool for social contests, meaning you can create, promote, and collect leads from your social contests all in one place. 

Again, there are lots of features here to explore, and Shortstack is great for larger brands who want it all without the hassle of building their own code. They also give you real-time analytics and lead-capture features. 

Best features

  • Includes other marketing tools that work together for your contests.
  • Gives you the ability to promote your contest across multiple channels.
  • Offers random entry picker for comment-to-enter contests.
  • Provides automated UCG collection.
  • Gives you lead-capture features.
  • Makes design easy with a drag-and-drop editor, or ready-made templates.
  • Provides features to help verify the authenticity of entries.
  • Includes real-time analytics.

Pricing

Shortstack offers a free version, which is great for testing out the platform before using it but definitely isn’t a long-term solution.

At $29 per month, the Starter pack allows you to run five different types of contests, but limits you to just 2,000 entries. If you want up to 10,000 entries, you’ll have to go for the Business plan, which is $99 per month, but you still won’t have access to hashtag contests or whitelabeling. For that, you’ll need the Agency plan, which is $199 per month. 

So, while it is a great tool, Shortstack is definitely in a higher price range than the others on this list.

3. Gleam

Gleam’s claim-to-fame is its advanced verification and entry options. 

First, you get to select what kind of actions people must take to enter your contest, including visiting your Facebook page, creating an account, referring friends, watching a video on YouTube, etc. 

Then, Gleam verifies that users are completing these actions. In fact, they can do so with just one click, without ever leaving the contest page. 

Gleam is also one of the few contest apps that works with platforms like Twitch, Kickstarter, Eventbrite, and SoundCloud.

Best features

  • Offers over 100 integrations with other tools.
  • Track users as they complete actions for your contest.
  • Includes built-in share buttons.
  • Supports over 25 languages.
  • There is a free version available.
  • Gives you the ability to buy apps separately.

Pricing

Gleam is composed of four different apps: Competitions, Rewards, Gallery, and Capture. If you want all four products, pricing starts at $79 per month. However, you can also choose to just buy the products you need. 

For just the Competitions, pricing starts at just $10 per month. That allows you unlimited campaigns and unlimited entries, but only 25 winners and limits on other features. For example, to remove Gleam branding and get access to the majority of the customization and entry options, you’ll need the Business plan, which is $149 per month.

4. Woobox

Woobox is great for complete, 100% customization of your contests. This tool is solely focused on contests, meaning it doesn’t have the same marketing functionality that Wishpond does. However, it offers integrations with over 500 tools, which means the leads you generate with your contests can easily be transferred to another marketing app for lead nurturing. 

Best features

  • 10 different contest options, including giveaways, polls, quizzes, surveys, and more.
  • Random winner picker included.
  • Integrates with over 500 tools.
  • Allows you to run personality quizzes that help you learn about your audience.

Pricing

With the free plan, you’ll get unlimited campaigns but only 100 participants per month are allowed, and you can only use the Facebook Tabs and Winner Picker contest types.

The Standard plan is $32 per month, and gives you unlimited participants and access to all contest types and entry methods. However, you won’t get customization options, multiple users, or Woobox branding removed unless you pay $99 per month for the Advanced package.

5. Heyo

Heyo is known for its simple interface and excellent customer support. They’re also mobile-focused, meaning you won’t be missing out on mobile leads when using this contest app.

Whether you want to do a sweepstakes, photo contest, quiz, or a multi-format contest, Heyo is there for you. They’re great if you want to build up on UGC content, or get your audience to refer a friend.

Again, this tool doesn’t provide other marketing features, so its functionality is somewhat limited compared to Wishpond and others. One nice feature is that, if you’re not confident in designing your own campaign, you can actually have Heyo design a contest for you.

Best features

  • Provides 8 different contest options.
  • Gives you the power to create mobile-friendly contests.
  • Includes a handy drag-and-drop contest builder.
  • Regularly run helpful webinars to help you learn how to do contests.
  • Provides multi-language support.
  • Full-service contest creation is also available.

Pricing

For $25 per month, you’ll get unlimited leads, but only 3 campaigns and up to 50,000 Facebook fans. If you go beyond that, you’ll need to pay $84 per month for the Standard pack, which gives you 15 campaigns and 250,000 Facebook fans, as well as campaign analytics. 

However, you still won’t get voting apps, quizzes, or whitelabeling until you get the Premium plan, which is a bit steep at $199 per month. 

Obviously, it makes more sense to invest in a more robust tool that will help you, not only with contests, but with the work of turning those contest participants into loyal followers and (hopefully) customers.

So, now that we’ve discussed the best contest apps on the marketing, how can you make sure you’re creating a contest that will drive real results?

6 social media best practices you should be following

1. Make your contest goal-oriented

As we talked about at the beginning, social media contests can bring various benefits to your brand. 

However, for your contest to be successful, you’ll need to pick the right goal and stick with it.

Do you want more engagement on social? Do you want to build your email list? Are you trying to grow awareness?

As you set your goals, make sure you can track measurable results. How many new subscribers do you want? What does awareness look like in practical terms? This will help you calculate the success of your contests.

2. Spend time on good design and a catchy headline

Today, plenty of companies are running social contests. To stand out, yours needs to call their attention from the moment they see it.

This is accomplished by two things: good design and an attractive headline.

Design is key when it comes to pretty much everything on social media. The best contest apps we discussed above give you easy design features and ready-made templates that work for people who aren’t designers.

Headlines also need your attention: make sure your conteste headline stands out to your target audience as something that’s appealing to them in particular.

Check out how this group of travel brands teamed up to create an ultimate sweepstakes that appealed to travelers:

The headline was succinct, appealed to travelers, and made it clear exactly what was involved.

3. Avoid iPad contests 

The infamous iPad contest draws in literally everyone. But that’s not necessarily a good thing.

While it might sound counterintuitive, you don’t actually want everyone to participate in your contest. Instead, you want focused, relevant leads because these are the people who are more likely to convert into customers.

So, give your audience what they want. Check out how My Sports Clubs did this with their sweepstakes contest:

The prize, a year of free personal training, appealed to the gym’s core audience, meaning they’d be getting much more valuable leads from this campaign.

4. Give a prize that’s worth the effort of the entry

In other words: the more difficult the entry process is, the more valuable the prize should be.

While it’s good to make sure your forms aren’t too long to get more people to participate, there are times when you want to create a higher barrier to entry. For example, if you want to filter out low-quality leads or content, set your bar higher.

That being said, the prize must be equally high-quality. If you want people to make a video, write a review, invite 5 friends, or take other more complex actions, your prize will have to be more than a reshare or a $5 gift card.

Check out how Canadian camera store Henry’s offered a worthwhile prize for their video contest:

5. Run contests regularly

According to one survey, 55.5% of brands run social media giveaways at least once a month, or as often as several times a week.

If you want to stand up to the competition, you’re going to have to run contests regularly. 

This will also help you build a consistent, engaged following. Your core audience will not only subscribe, but they’ll be more motivated to stick around simply because they don’t want to miss out on your next giveaway.

6. Provide a consolation prize

At the end of your contest, you’ll have plenty of participants who didn’t win the prize. Don’t just leave them hanging. It’s time to strike while the iron is hot and keep them interested in your brand.

That’s where the consolation prize comes in.

Check out how luxury tech accessory brand Native Union did this with their post-contest email: 

Use the best contest apps for the best results with your social contests

Ultimately, the fate of your social media contests lies in your hands. 

If you use the best contest apps available, like the ones we discussed above, you’ll be more likely to see results. Focus on the tools that include other marketing features, and you’ll make sure your new leads don’t slip through the cracks.  

Lastly, you’ll also need to follow the social media contest code of conduct, using the best practices we described above to draw in the right audience and make the best use of the leads you gather.

By following these tips and tricks, you’ll be more likely to get real results from your social media contests.

Magento vs WooCommerce: Which is The Most Elite E-commerce Channel?

Principally, the expedition to hinge on the most pertinent e-commerce platform might seem a little nerve-cracking at times. To all iron-willed merchants who intend to make massive sales, it goes beyond the basics. In that context, I’ll presume that if you’re reading this piece, maybe you want to join the e-commerce bandwagon and make a decent ROI. If that’s the case, this is the only guide you need to start off your online business. At first glance, both Magneto and WooCommerce seem to have garnered some unwavering adhesion in the market. By and large, it’s sharp-witted to jump right in with well-informed insights. 

While there’s a remarkable dominance by the likes of Shopify and BigCommence, the two weigh in with distinctive features just to keep up with the pace. That being said, it’s wide of the mark to aimlessly suggest that Magneto is steadily gaining traction over WooCommerce, or vice versa. As things stand, the online retail model has an exceeding edge on Brick and Mortar stores.

This is where exactly the 3rd party channels come into play. For the most part, e-commerce merchants need a clear-sighted channel that comes with pleasing perks. Most imperatively, one which automates intricate transactions thus scaling their businesses by significant margins. Typically, it’s standard practice to give a run on each platform’s integrations, real-time reporting, inventory tracking, order processing, ease of use, CRM tools, and staff management, just to name a few functionalities. In actual fact, both Magneto and WooCommerce have free trial versions so worry no more.

Main Differences Between Magneto vs WooCommerce

The Main Differences between Magneto vs WooCommerce are:

  • Magneto is for bigger and established businesses, whereas WooCommerce is good for small businesses and beginners.
  • Magneto is more expensive, whereas WooCommerce has a cheaper price-tag.
  • Magneto offers a 24/7 support team, whereas WooCommerce doesn’t have a good support system. 

E-commerce scalability

In a large organization that needs a diverse sales channel, Magneto outshines WooCommerce by far if we are to look at everything from a scalability point of view. The latter is somewhat in the market to help small business owners build an online presence in the simplest way possible. Magneto allows you to explore the global market via its steady and definitive tools.

 Aside from the Open source plan, you can upgrade to the cloud e-commerce package which allows users to explore new functionalities. Of course, this comes at a fee which we’ll look into in comprehensively in just a moment. With such a plan at hand, a merchant can abundantly boost their sales by streamlining the shopping experience. Since it’s PCI compliant, you can include nearly all major payment methods.

As a retailer, you don’t want to be hit with maddening chargebacks every now and then. To that effect, Magneto’s premium plan enhances a secure checkout for all your customers no matter the geographical location.

Indeed, Magneto’s dashboard is quite versatile and allows merchants with multiple stores to manage transactions from a single point. If you were to go with WooCommerce, you’ll just hang on the minimum threshold. As you would expect from an ordinary 3rd party channel, it lets you access sales reports, manages orders, add products, and sort your inventory. Well, that might as well serve your business’ needs. However, the fact is, you might lose sight if you want to reach new heights.

Objectively and without bias, Magneto triumphs over WooCommerce in the management of demanding business setups. At the convenience of Magneto’s dashboard, you can sort the stock levels at various warehouses across the world, thus giving potential customers flexible order fulfillment options.

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Ease of Use

If you put both rivals into the test, WooCommerce comes out first quite remarkably. Since it’s an open-source platform built on WordPress, a beginner can easily download WordPress and perform tasks like theme customizations, set payment methods, shipping options, and many more. 

Magneto doesn’t present itself as a solution for individuals who are just about to venture into the e-commerce business. Please don’t get this the wrong way. It’s not ideal for rookies. If let’s say you want to personalize its enterprise omnichannel fulfillment process, you wouldn’t hack it without some expertise skills. This might sound a bit discouraging for users who lack the first-hand experience.

On the bright side, it has a better user interface design and striking themes that can be tweaked to suit any niche. 

Regardless, there are no regrets whatsoever if you go with Magneto so long as your skills to grasp the basics are quick on the uptake. Most of all, WooCommerce lays out the picture-perfect angle if you want to run an impressive blog section besides your online store. Many thanks to its integration capabilities with the popular WordPress CMS(content management system).beside

Pricing

This is where the debate gets a little heated. Notwithstanding that, let’s go with the assumption that you want to work with a balanced budget. Well, as mentioned earlier, both the WooCommerce plugin and WordPress CMS are absolutely free.It surely sounds like a promising starter pack for any individual who wants to run an effortless dropshipping business. 

Take note that you need to pay for the domain name, an SSL certificate, and WordPress hosting.The normal rate for a domain is $14.99/ year, while the SSL certificate goes for $69.99 per year. You might have to part with $7.99 per month for hosting. To have a fully functional WooCommerce site, these are some of the costs you’ll have to bear. 

Moreover, it gives you a range of pliable and cheap options as compared to Magneto.

Here’s why. 

You can alternatively go with Bluehost since it’s approved by WooCommerce as being a platform that gives more for less.Bluehost is generous enough to give you stable services at a low cost. As a beginner, Bluehost gives you viable offers which start from $6.95 per month. 

If you don’t intend to spend a penny on an all-inclusive theme, then you better go the WooCommerce way. Magneto has higher-priced themes than WooCommerce and this could be sort of far from a beginner’s budget. And the same goes for some of its high-end extensions which are costly as well. In actual fact, WooCommerce lets you use over 50,000 WordPress extensions for free. 

Even so, Magneto leaves you spoilt for choice. It has a couple of versions to pick from. Apart from the Open Source version which comes for free, there’s a Commerce plan which is compatible with fast-growing businesses. The enterprise edition which is customized by an expert, to be precise, would cost you anything above $100,000 to get your store fully operational. 

Clear sources indicate that a proficient Magneto developer charges anything between $65- $150 per hour. That being so, Magneto seems like a solution for business owners who need to expand their parameters by significant margins.  

What is Magneto?

Magneto is an e-commerce platform that uses open source technology to allow a retailer to build an online store that streamlines the entire shopping and checkout experience. That’s just a scratch on the surface. 

It predominantly suits the group of users who have professional experience. And by this, I mean web development skills or its equivalent. This platform is overpriced for quite a number of sensible reasons. One of them being its global merchandising capacity. 

It allows you to meet the ever-growing customer demand via an automated order management system. But that’s not all. Since it’s a cloud-based platform, you get accurate data reports in real-time. 

In any startup, the decision to make strides towards more revenue is often accompanied by clear insights. Magneto’s commercial dashboard is one tool that includes all elements designed to help the user make data-driven decisions. 

This platform seems to understand how practical it should be while trying to sort information from all actions happening in your site. To illustrate further, Magneto’s business intelligence gives you the most exquisite possibility to manage your enterprise through comprehensible data.

Your customers can easily build trust in your model since Magneto integrates with notable carriers(DHL, China Post). Its shipping system is aligned in a manner that helps to cut costs, yet at the same time, fulfill orders globally.

Who should use Magneto?

You should choose this platform if you’re more into B2B sales and want to boost your conversion rates in a forward-looking manner. On the whole, it seems like an ideal solution for mid-sized and large enterprises that want to grow their stores, brands, and fulfillment centers in the global space.

For the reason that a checkout process needs to be secure from both ends, any merchant who needs a system that is PCI compliant should consider using Magneto. As a further matter, you should depend on it if you need to include payment gateways like PayPal or Braintree.

If you do some digging, you’ll realize that there’s a prevalence of transactions coming from mobile devices. In that case, Magneto is fully optimized to be mobile-friendly. If most of your sales come from mobile users, Magneto could be the ultimate tool to help you work with responsive pages and ease the checkout experience. This lowers the bounce rates quite impressively. If you know what I mean.

In the competitive field of e-commerce, using an omnichannel is quite needful. On that note, this platform is meant for merchants who need to synchronize transactions from both their online and physical stores.Currently, most retailers are choosing to go the bricks and clicks way in a bid to make sales from both ends.  Most importantly, it suits retailers who have prior skills related to web development.

 Pros of Magneto

  1. Supports scalability for enterprises with goals to meet the global demand
  2. Has a sturdy B2B compatibility
  3. Advanced payment gateway integrations
  4. Multistore management from a single point
  5.  Comes with a couple of versions to pick from- Enterprise, Open source, cloud e-commerce and many more
  6. It has a versatile order fulfillment system
  7. Magneto has a dedicated customer support
  8. Several functionalities to play around with- product catalogs, shipping options.

Cons of Magneto

  1. It’s a bit costly to operate your business on Magneto
  2. Most of its extensions come with a price tag
  3. The frontend is quite complex for beginners
  4. Its maintenance routine is pretty much demanding

What is WooCommerce?

WooCommerce is an ecommerce platform that is popularly known for its plugin capacity with WordPress. By use of its powerful functionality, you can come up with a user-oriented online store.

Technically, It’s an open-source solution. Let me break down the jargon. Since both WooCommerce and WordPress are free, you can download and begin using its features instantly. 

Put differently, It gives you the space to sell any product or service no matter the location. First thing, you need to find a good hosting service from up-standing companies like Bluehost or Siteground. WooCommerce allows you to operate on a tested content management system which is proven to produce desired results. Not only does it have free customizable themes, but also allows you to get hold of over 400 extensions which link to your online store quite easily. 

If you need a professional WooCommerce theme, you might have to spend a few bucks. That’s not alarming, owing to the fact that premium themes come with higher security standards.

Its ease of use makes it an absolute choice for a beginner, unlike Magneto which needs a little more expertise. In regards to SEO, it integrates with external plugins like Yoast which helps you with your website’s optimization.

WooCommerce includes basic features you might need while sorting your products. It’s coupled with options to set product variants, SKU’s, set checkout pages,add the common payment options, and issue coupons to your loyal customers.

Together with that, it has both free and premium plugins which help you with shipment tracking, discounts, tax rules, recurring expenses, and payment processor integrations.

So who really needs to be head over heels for WooCommerce? Here’s a plain English answer….

Well, putting everything into consideration, it’s right to say that this is a faultless model for users with little or no experience at all in the e-commerce niche. In the event where things get a bit knotty, you can use the tutorials and articles on its support page to make all configurations. If you’re on a tight budget, WooCommerce has got you sorted since it’s free. 

It goes without saying that this plugin is simple and intuitive. If what you’re looking for is a channel that makes fine adjustments on your workflows and customizations a smooth sail, then you better give it a shot.

Besides that, you should consider this platform if you want to spend less on hosting. WooCommerce dropshipping sends automated emails to your suppliers anytime an order is made. It’s a plus since your customers get their products on time.  

Pros of WooCommerce

  1. Easy to make configurations
  2. Comes with a plugin to WordPress
  3. Has cheaper hosting options
  4. Wide range of themes to choose from
  5. Easier to learn as compared to Magneto
  6. It has advanced features for bigger online stores
  7. It’s costs less to maintain your site here

Cons of WooCommerce

  1. Initial configurations might take most of your time if you aren’t privy to the basics.
  2. Lacks a centralized support system. You have to source hosting from 3rd party services.
  3. Not ideal for scaling your business to an enterprise-grade level.

Magento vs WooCommerce: The Full Comparison. 

Here’s why you might need to place reliance on Magneto;                                           

Customer Support

As you may know, a prompt response is the most ideal strategy to relieve a customer’s pain. In this context, Magneto transcends over WooCommerce via its 24/7 live support. In the event of any hitches, Magneto users are certainly in the best position to have their issues resolved on time. That aside, it has an engaging community of skilled developers who help out skillfully on all sorts of configurations.

Scalability

To all intents and purposes, Magneto is tailor-made to suitably fit a wide array of niches. What does this mean? It comes with advanced functionalities to tweak your store in an elaborate manner. Not to mention its intuitive and customizable themes  But here’s the catch. In exchange for optimized processes, say, for instance, to boot up the checkout process, Magneto charges a few bucks for some of its premium plugins. 

This implies it’s built for merchants whose products have the prospects to cut above the bare minimum. For that reason, Magneto is a perfect fit only if you’ve got some prior skills. If not, you might need to hire an expert. And here’s why. To manage a giant e-commerce website, you need a CMS platform which gives you the leeway to boost your store’s performance. 

Multiple plans

Technically speaking, Magneto brings on board, several options to play around with. At the present moment, the platform offers the Magneto Open Source(formerly known as the Magneto Community), Magneto Enterprise, and Magneto Commerce cloud. Quite extensively, each version has its eccentric features. If your business is closely within sight of scaling to the next level, making an upgrade would be a no-brainer.

Security

 We must allude to the fact that cybercrime is staggeringly on the mainstream. Going by facts, a study in 2015 indicated that over 30,000 websites are hacked each day. Magneto strives to fend off such vulnerabilities. That’s not to say WooCommerce doesn’t mitigate possible hacking attempts. However, Magneto seems a bit more proactive. It releases updated security patches every so often which monitors your site to detect any form of malware or security breaches of any kind.

On the flip side, here’s what makes WooCommerce look more glossy and quite up to the task;

Cost

 Moneywise, we can’t overlook how WooCommerce tends to be quite budget-friendly. First off, it’s free and serves its users with handy extensions. Here, you don’t necessarily need to spend a dime on expensive plugins.

Simply put, WooCommerce offers more for way less. If you’re a clueless beginner in need of basic but actionable tools, then look no further. Since it’s built on light structures, hosting expenses are less as compared to Magneto which syncs with premium extensions. You can count on 3rd party hosting services which charges extremely low fees. Bluehost, in particular, has WooCommerce hosting solutions which start from $6.95 per month. 

Aside from that, it has themes which cost between $5 to $200. Magneto, on the other hand, has an enterprise plan which starts from $22,000 annually. The Magneto cloud commerce plan costs $2,000 per year including the hosting services.

Suppose you want to work with a managed WordPress hosting, you can count on providers like Liquid Web or WPEngine. It’s certain that WooCommerce is quite reasonable on the users’ pockets. 

Ease of Use

Interesting enough, WooCommerce scores a notch higher if we are to put user-friendliness into the equation. It’s fine-tuned to accommodate all newbies. WooCommerce gives online merchants the most compatible integration point to over 50,000 plugins on WordPress.

Reasoning from this fact, a user can make the most out of the tool to craft SEO focused blogs which can viably drive traffic to the online store. So just you know, no coding skills whatsoever are needed. In this regard, WooCommerce takes the lead. 

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Does WooCommerce integrate with WordPress?

Yes, it does. Here’s how you can add WooCommerce to your WordPress website;
1. Log in your WordPress account
2. Go to plugins
3. Choose ‘WooCommerce’
4. Click the ‘Install Now’ button
5. Select ‘Activate Now’ and the WooCommerce wizard will be ready to run

Is WooCommerce SEO friendly?

The primary fact that it runs on WordPress makes it an excellent fit to improve your SEO. Also, it accommodates other plugins which you can use to make your site reach the target audience.

What’s the difference between WordPress plugin and a WooCommerce extension?

WooCommerce extensions are part of WordPress plugins. That’s to say, you have to install it in the same manner as other WordPress plugins. Despite the fact that WooCommerce extensions are free, you may need to pay for some of the WordPress plugins.

Can you use Magneto with WordPress?

At this point in time, there’s an extension for Magneto known as FishPig. This free tool allows you to integrate your account with a WordPress blog. In this manner, you can boost your SEO performance by creating  audience focused content for your Magneto’s online store. It connects fully to your Magneto theme and this means customers won’t have to leave your blog if they want to access the store.

Is Magneto the best eCommerce Platform?

Well, this answer varies due to a number of dynamics. It’s difficult to suggest that Magneto is the best e-commerce platform considering the dominance of other channels in the market.

Magneto is not the best platform If you don’t have much startup capital. The likes of Shopify, WooCommerce, and 3dcart are best positioned in such a situation. On the contrary, Magneto seems like the most scalable among other platforms.

Alternatives to Try

Shopify 

In all candidness, I’d say that Shopify has all the mainstream basics you’d need for your dropshipping journey. The good thing about Shopify is that you don’t necessarily need a developer to get things up and running.

In other terms, almost everything on Shopify is plug-and-play and carries a high degree of user-friendliness. In relation to scalability, Shopify allows you to choose a plan that suits your needs. As a beginner, you can upload products, manage inventory, and create promotional campaigns from a single dashboard. 

It has a versatile app store which includes several free and paid apps to boost your store’s performance. Shopify’s checkout process is responsive and is optimized to fit any device; whether a mobile device or a desktop computer.

It’s user interface and design is incomparable. This makes its ease of use in a class by itself. If you’re of the view that Magneto is a bit off the budget, Shopify can be a high-standard alternative. 

The basic plan, for instance, costs $29 per month and comes with lots of benefits. This package allows you to create two staff accounts, upload an unlimited number of products, and process all major credit cards. This channel integrates with the popular Oberlo app which makes your dropshipping a whole lot easier. Once you sync the two together, you can import products from AliExpress to your online store. 

BigCommerce

This channel is against all odds, a suitable tool to start off your business across any niche in the e-commerce industry.

Numbers don’t lie. Currently, there are over 95,000 online stores built on the BigCommerce platform. Without doubt,  this channel is robust and gives viable flexibility to scale your business in the same way Magneto does. Here, you can sync your inventory to manage your online stores on big retail companies such as Amazon, eBay, or even Facebook.

The plans on BigCommerce range anywhere between $29.95 to $249.95 per month. The standard plan gives you unlimited storage capacity and allows both credit card and Paypal payments. No transaction fees guys! Each package comes with its own capabilities. If your sales increase over time, you can upgrade to the best applicable plan. 

Besides the multi-channel selling feature, you can customize your shipping options, improve the site’s SEO, and make good use of its paid themes(over 100 to select from). The templates can be adjusted to fit any business niche you might have in mind. 

3dcart

For those who don’t know, this platform dates all the way back in 1997. So here’s the glitz and glamour about 3dcart. It’s a well-aligned channel for mobile sales on social media tools like Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram. This is very much possible since it has futuristic APIs which have the capacity to integrate with eCommerce related apps.

Looking at its ease of use, a beginner can catch up with the essentials quite fast. Ordinarily, you should expect things like order processing, product management marketing, and reports to be uncomplicated. Its dashboard has passed the above test fairly.

 It also has a variety of plans to choose from. They start from as low as $9.99 per month to as high as $99.99 per month. 

Over and above that, each plan has services like domain registration, live customer support, a facebook store and integration with over 100 payment providers. 

Magneto vs WooCommerce – Final Verdict

All things considered, it’s clear-cut that both platforms have multifaceted strengths and downsides as well. As a beginner, things are pretty much plain sailing if you set up an online store on WooCommerce. Its navigation tools are uncomplicated. Moreover, it ultimately requires less capital. 

Being that as it may, this platform is suitably designed for small-sized businesses. If you’re well versant with WordPress, WooCommerce is, by all means, a match made in heaven since it entirely runs on this popular website builder.

Contrastingly, Magneto is a faultless channel for merchants with demanding B2B e-commerce needs and want comprehensive integrations. This utterly justifies its highly-priced Enterprise plan which allows business scalability to newer heights. 

Further read:

Fresh E-commerce E-mail Ideas: There’s More to E-commerce Emails than Discounts

How happy are you with your email newsletter?

I recently surveyed a group of ethical business owners, and this was the first question.

To my surprise, not a single respondent gave their newsletter a 10 out of 10.

The best rating was a 7, and the overall result averaged at 5.

Let me be brutally honest: that’s not the way we’ll win the fight against the climate crisis, change shopping behaviour, make the new economy flourish, or achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

No! 

If we want to make an impact, we need to send emails that we’re proud of.

Because here’s the thing:

  • Half the global population uses email, and that number is growing every year. There’s no better way to reach so many people at so little cost.
  • Just by sending great emails, you can make a difference in people’s lives — and grow your audience without spending big bucks on ads. (Listen to the Change Creator podcast episode with Sam Parr for a great example.)
  • Email lets you segment and personalise each reader’s journey to sustainability and adopting your products at scale — in a way that no other marketing tool can.

In this article, I’ll focus on that journey.

You’ll learn how your business can…

  • send emails that add value and engage your readers,
  • set up the sale in a way that resonates with conscious consumers, and
  • convert more people to a more sustainable way of life.

Why Should You Be Careful With Discount Codes in Your Emails?

Ever heard of “customer journey mapping”?

In copywriting, we like to map people’s journey along Eugene Schwartz’ Stages of Awareness:

  1. Unaware: This person has never heard of you, your product, or the problem you solve.
  2. Problem Aware: They sense they have a problem and may even be searching for a solution — but they haven’t found it yet. (Or they sense a desire but they’re not sure how to get there.)
  3. Solution Aware: They know what result they want to achieve, but they have no idea that your product/service can help them.
  4. Product Aware: They know what you sell, but they’re not sure it’s right for them.
  5. Most Aware: They know your product and that it’s perfect for them. Given the right deal, they’re ready to buy!

Emails are so powerful because with a bit of segmentation, you can help each reader along their journey:

Someone might be searching for a solution for their problem, find your website and sign up for your emails because you promise to help them with their problem. Over time, they discover how your product or service can solve their problem. They get to know your offer, and eventually they’ll be convinced that it’s perfect for them. Then, in that fateful email, you offer them a discount code — and the deal is closed.

However, let’s say someone finds your website and you offer them a discount code right from the start. A number of things might happen:

Scenario A

They’re already a fan of your product (most aware), so they’re delighted about the special offer. They sign up to your newsletter just for the code and place their order straightaway. Congratulations! You now have a new subscriber who’s hungry for more discount codes and trained to expect them.

Scenario B

They’re product aware. Depending on the cost of your products, they might just go ahead and sign up for that discount code. (After all, if the product’s not right for them, they’ll be able to return it.) Congratulations! You now have a new subscriber, and if your product has to be experienced to be believed, you also have a real chance of winning a new customer.

Scenario C

They’re unaware, problem aware or solution aware. In other words: not ready to buy from you. They may sign up to get the discount code, but it’s likely to sit in their inbox unused until it expires.

In summary, discount codes can train people to expect lower prices, place orders with the plan of returning the item, or fail to resonate altogether.

Those are just the reasons why ANY business should beware of overusing discount codes.

I’m writing this for Change Creator, so I’m guessing you care about the next point too:

For Change Creator Businesses, the Customer Journey is Intertwined with the Sustainability Journey

Those 5 stages of awareness Eugene Schwartz described describe a learning process that can apply to many things — from sales to changing our way of life.

And they’re particularly applicable to people’s journey into a more sustainable lifestyle:

  1. Unaware: This person has never heard of a particular issue. Imagine yourself before seeing the picture of a seahorse clutching a Q-tip, for example. Or think back to the time before the #metoo movement.
  2. Problem Aware: They sense they have a problem and may even be searching for a solution — but they haven’t found it yet. (Or they sense a desire but they’re not sure how to get there.) For example, they’d like to reduce the amount of waste they produce, but they have no idea how to get there.
  3. Solution Aware: Staying with the waste example, they know the term “zero waste”, and they’re already engaged in the community. But they have no idea that your product or service can help them reduce their waste even more.
  4. Product Aware: They know that you sell solid shampoo, but they’re not sure it’s right for them.
  5. Most Aware: They know your shampoo and that it’s perfect for them. Given the right deal, they’re ready to buy!

Looking at the journey in this way, it’s easy to see that a marketing strategy that relies on discounts only works with die-hard conscious consumers who already love your offer.

There are 3 problems with that:

  • Many change creator brands are still small or don’t even plan to grow into corporations. Meaning, there’s only a tiny number of people you’ll reach with that approach.
  • Die-hard conscious consumers make very considered purchases. While that means they’re less likely to be swayed by a discount, once they’ve fallen in love with you, they’re more likely to stay loyal — and buy at full price.
  • You’re limiting your impact by excluding the vast majority of people — instead of helping them take the next step.

Which brings me to the big question:

What If Brands Took Responsibility for Changing Buying Behaviour… Instead of Just Taking Advantage of It?

If we all worked together to make people’s journey into a future-proof way of life more accessible, we could turn conscious consumerism from a niche phenomenon into a mass movement.

Here are three practical ways your brand can help us create that movement:

  1. Offer at least one lead magnet that’s not directly related to selling your product

    For example, you could offer a guide that tells people how to use your product category (“How to Get Started with Solid Shampoo” — a great match for product-aware folks). Or you could build a calculator that helps them find out how much positive impact they could make with your offer (“How many times per week do you wash your hair? We’ll tell you how much plastic you could save with solid shampoo every year!” — a strong entry point for solution-aware readers.)
  2. Segment your emails according to people’s current position on their journey

    To find out where they are on their journey, you could offer a fun quiz, tag people based on the lead magnet they’ve downloaded, or simply ask a segmentation question in the first email.

    For example, in my first email to new subscribers, I offer different kinds of content to find out about their needs.
  3. Practice customer empathy by designing email sequences that will help each segment take the next step

    The easiest way to get started with this is by listening to your ideal customers. Buy people coffee and ask them about their way into becoming a conscious shopper. Hang out in Facebook groups and pay attention to people’s stories. Then use that insight to write emails that are related to what you’re selling — but not about the sale:
  • Write honestly about something that happened to you and find a way to link it to your product. A bit of educational storytelling goes a long way in adding value!
  • Share a piece of insider knowledge that you’ve gained “on the job” (legally). Your readers will feel like they’re part of an exclusive group, and they’ll want to show off their new insights — helping your story to touch more people’s lives, with no extra effort on your part.
  • What changes are happening in your industry that you can share with your readers? Everyone wants to be ahead of the game. Be the brand that allows your readers to feel special.
  • Share something that will create an aha! moment for your readers. Those lightbulb moments will speed them up as they fall in love with your offer and adopt a new way of life.
  • Share a collection of articles, videos and other content that inspired you this month. Not everything in your emails needs to be written by your brand. Just make sure you add that personal touch by explaining why you chose this collection. This will build your “know, like, and trust factor” — a crucial element in moving people through those stages of awareness.

Over to You

I’d love to know which of these ideas you’ll try out first. Let me know in the comments!

All the BigCommerce Apps You’ll Need to Run a Successful E-Commerce Store!

Look, you want to create an online store with BigCommerce, and you know that you’re going to need some help to do that. 

So, you turn to third-party apps and integrations. 

Unfortunately, when it comes to choosing these third-party apps and integrations, you don’t know what’s what. 

So, to get an inkling, you’ve scanned through its marketplace, in search of apps and integrations to clear the haze, but to no avail. 

Afterwards, you’ve resigned to the search engines like Google and Bing, but they don’t have the answers you seek either. 

Sound familiar? 

Well, luckily for you, we get where you’re coming from, and want you to succeed. 

Which is why, we decided to write this in-depth blog post detailing all the essential software when it comes to running an online store.

So, if you don’t care to mull through it all, you can skim down through the various sections until you find what you’re looking for. 

To get the ball rolling, we’ll provide a little bit of information about BigCommerce. Then, we’ll list off the apps we feel work brilliantly with BigCommerce’s platform. And, we’ll finish by breaking these apps up into their relevant sections. 

Enjoy!

What is BigCommerce?  

BigCommerce is an online store building platform. You’re all probably familiar with Shopify, so think of it as Shopify’s twin whom it looks nothing alike. 

Got it?   

What does BigCommerce do?  

Essentially, BigCommerce gives you the features and functionality you’ll need to create an online store and begin to sell products through it.  

Why Apps are Important when using BigCommerce 

Like most online platforms, BigCommerce doesn’t come with the level of “out of the box” functionality that you’ll need to successfully run an online store. 

So, to get that level of functionality, you will have to download, or subscribe to, third-party apps.  

If you’re confused about these apps, think of them in the same light as tools that would help you build a house.  

Building a house without tools would be pretty hard, right? 

Well, funnily enough, so is creating and running an online store.  

Best BigCommerce Apps and Integrations  

In this section of the article, we’re going to talk about some of the best apps that we recommend you integrate with BigCommerce.  

Please note though, that we will be compiling this list in no particular order.  

Also, this is going to be an extremely superficial account of all these apps.  

But all apps mentioned in this section will be reviewed more thoroughly in later sections.  

So, please stay tuned for that. 

Anyway, without further ado, let’s get cracking with these apps.  

App Number One: Shogun 

What is Shogun?  

Shogun is a Content Management System (CMS) and drag and drop page builder that is designed to integrate seamlessly with e-commerce platforms such as:  

What you can use Shogun for in your e-commerce store 

You can use Shogun to create and optimize pages for your BigCommerce store, but it specializes in helping you to create the perfect landing page. 

The platform offers you a host of different features to achieve this end.  

Its page editor operates in a drag and drop format and will give you the functionality you need to create high converting mobile responsive pages.  

You’ll also have over 30 professionally designed templates to base your store’s pages off. With its visual analytics suite, you’ll be able to monitor and compare key metrics in relation to your site’s performance. 

And, as if you didn’t already have enough tools at your disposal, you’ll have access to A/B testing to optimize your pages for conversions. 

 Also, if you run into difficulty using any of these features, you can simply contact their support staff who guarantee “same-day response”.  

App Number Two: JustUno  

 What is JustUno?

JustUno is an app designed to help you boost conversions from the traffic that visits your online store. It does this using conversion tools that have been programmed to pick up on customer behavioral patterns by combining three key data sets: 

  • Behavioral session data  
  • Visitor profile data  
  • Transactional and product data  

Using this information, it produces targeted messaging that is most likely to earn you a conversion.   

The app can be integrated with:  

  • Shopify  
  • BigCommerce 
  • Squarespace

What you can use JustUno for in your e-commerce store  

You can use JustUno to grow your contacts list, which advertently grows the number of leads your brand is associated with. For those unaware, a lead is a contact that could possibly be turned into a conversion. So, this software can be summarised as something that helps you to generate leads, and therefore earn conversions. If you’re a marketer who is heavily reliant on social media and email marketing, this app will work really well for you.

 It creates a little popup on the side of your website. The popup will read something like “WANT 25% OFF”, and your customers will click on it to avail of the deal. Now, you don’t have to offer a discount specifically. It can also be a “buy one get one free” offer. 

Obviously, you’re going to ask for something in return for handing out a discount, which will be your customer’s email or for them to share your brand on social media. For anyone looking to grow their contacts list, or increase their social media presence, this handy little app is for you. 

App Number Three: LeadDyno  

What is LeadDyno?  

LeadDyno is a piece of software that will enable you to quickly and easily manage and launch your affiliate program. And, the best part? You don’t need to possess any knowledge of coding or advanced developmental skills to use it.  

LeadDyno can be integrated with:  

  • PayPal  
  • BigCommerce 
  • Shopify 

What you can use LeadDyno for 

LeadDyno can be used to create a comprehensive list of affiliate partners to work in conjunction with your brand. Its software will give you and your affiliates the functionality that ye will need to generate more leads and increase conversions. The app’s dashboard will allow your affiliates to see exactly how much money they’re making from commissions. Also, you can use LeadDyno’s database to find affiliates who are already using its platform. 

A handy tip that will help you find the best affiliates, is to sort through their database and identify the most successful bloggers. Bloggers are great because they always have not only a strong following but a loyal following. Having trust between buyer and seller is crucial, and that’s why bloggers make excellent affiliates. They’ve already established that trust through producing informative content week in week out. 

So, their followers are more likely to purchase the products and services that they promote. Which means that they’re more likely to earn you sales than the average affiliate marketer. Overall, this is an awesome app that is guaranteed to earn you some extra cash while increasing your brand awareness.  

App Number Four: Smile.io  

What is Smile?  

Smile is an app that will allow you to reward your customers for their generosity and turn them into lifetime buyers. To achieve this rather lofty end, it will give you the tools you need to create a warm and inviting community. As well as an onsite experience that will leave your customers wanting more.  

Smile can be integrated with the following e-commerce platforms:  

  • Shopify  
  • BigCommerce 
  • WooCommerce 

What you can use Smile for 

You can use Smile to create a satisfied customer base by offering them rewards in return for purchasing your goods and services. In the current digital economy, it is getting harder and harder to make your e-commerce store stand out.

After all, virtually anyone can now buy a domain and hosting to supplement with a BigCommerce subscription and begin selling through their store. 

While winning customers is important, it may be smarter to approach your business’s plan of action with retaining customers to the fore instead.

Anyway, regardless of your business approach, you can use Smile to create and customize a customer loyalty program that matches your brand’s vision. To help you along during this process, you will have:  

  • Points 
  • VIP Tiers
  • Referrals 

If you wish to find out more about Smile, check out our “apps to improve customer service” section down below.  

App Number Five: Omnisend  

What is Omnisend?

Omnisend is one of many email marketing and marketing automation apps that can be integrated with BigCommerce. The app offers an advanced level of email marketing functionality that almost anyone can use without any prior knowledge of coding or development. 

It’s possible to integrate Omnisend with the following online store building platforms:  

  • Shopify  
  • BigCommerce 
  • WooCommerce 

What can you use Omnisend for?  

You can use Omnisend to bridge the gap between you and your customers. If you’re talking about the best big commerce apps, Omnisend has got to be up there. Mainly, because of how quick it is to get started using and also how easy it is to use.

When we refer to bridging the gap between you and your customers, we mean creating email marketing campaigns to get in touch with them. You can use Omnisend to create and send professional-looking emails in a relatively short period. 

On top of that, you can use it to send out email newsletters as well as automated messages if people: 

  • Abandon their cart 
  • Make a purchase 
  • Require information on where their purchase is in the process of getting to them 

With Omnisend, you’ll also be able to avail of a host of tools that will aid in SMS and social media marketing automation. So, you’re getting an extremely well-rounded marketing automation tool. 

App Number Six: FOMO  

What is FOMO? 

FOMO is a social proofing app that will increase your conversion rate by taking advantage of the fear of missing out (also known as, FOMO). It does this by showing real-time purchases that are being made in your digital store, which entices potential customers to get in on the action. FOMO is also one of the many BigCommerce apps that is cloud-based and code free.  

Here are the platforms that FOMO can be integrated with: 

  • BigCommerce 
  • Shopify  
  • Volusion  

What you can use FOMO for 

You can use FOMO to increase your online store’s conversion rate. This is achieved by displaying sales and activity happening on your site in real-time to visitors. Doing this provides social proof of your site’s legitimacy, which in turn provides an aura of trust and credibility. All of these things combined, eventually lead to sales. 

The app manifests this social proof in the form of a popup on your screen. It also gives you the necessary tools to customize these popups so that they fit in with your brand image and page design. What’s also great about Fomo, is that you can have the whole process up and running in a matter of minutes. 

And, if you feel like you need a little help with optimizing your site once it goes live, you can use Fomo insights. It’ll process all your data for you using machine learning so that you don’t waste a minute of your precious time.  

App Number Seven: PriceWaiter  

What is PriceWaiter  

PriceWaiter, for lack of a more elaborate term, is a negotiation app. The theory behind the app is that it’ll make buying and selling products through your online store much easier, by simplifying the processes of negotiation. 

Which is a drawn-out way of saying that it’ll find things that you can buy with the intention of selling on for a profit.

 Also, this is genuinely one of the best BigCommerce apps. After all, they did create it! 

What e-commerce platforms are open to PriceWaiter integrations: 

  • BigCommerce 

What you can use PriceWaiter for 

As a seller, you can use this app to sell more using the conversion tools contained within. PriceWaiter is probably best used to sell unwanted stock or clear large volumes of merchandise quickly in the guise of a clearance sale. But you could also use it to boost sales for your brand’s end of season sales.

The platform offers a builder and analytics dashboard to help you generate sales and attract new customers. You can use it to convert comparison shoppers bouncing around from store to store and make MAP moot.  

Now that we’ve established what we think are some really great BigCommerce apps, let’s start breaking them up into categories that should make for easier viewing. 

Also, we will be getting into the nitty-gritty details of what we love about them, so stay tuned for that!

The Best Landing Page Builder for BigCommerce  

In this segment of our post, we’re going to be analyzing what we believe to be one of the best landing page builders on the market, Shogun. 

Shogun

As previously stated, Shogun is one of the top BigCommerce apps on the market. 

It enables you to create stunning and modern landing pages using drag and drop functionality, but that’s not all. It also offers a page importer that you can use to edit and customize pre-existing pages. As well as that, it works well for use in creating about pages, contact pages, and other pages of that nature.  

Anyway, this is all awesome because it means that you don’t need prior knowledge of coding to be able to effectively use the tool. This also means that you won’t have to pay a developer. Which is huge because normally they demand a pretty penny in exchange for their services.  

But if the need arises for a developer to be introduced, Shogun offers advanced functionality that’ll be right up their alley. For example, its “custom templating” feature allows you to create additional elements in coding languages such as liquid and HTML.  

Once you create or edit a page with Shogun, you have the option to preview the page before it goes live. This will help ensure that the page is mobile responsive and that nothing is broken.  

The importance of having a mobile responsive site cannot be stated enough, with 50% of internet traffic now coming from mobile devices.  

In terms of integrations, it works super well with Shopify and BigCommerce, and all their respective themes. BigCommerce customer reviews have left the app rated five stars with 166 people already having rated the app, so you know it’s high performing.  

To test out Shogun’s support, we decided to get in touch by asking them a few frequently asked questions that we googled. We found that they were very responsive but most importantly helpful. One thing that we didn’t like about Shogun’s support, is that it prioritizes customers on the basic and pro plans.  

Which, in a way, is fair seen as they are paying more than the subscribers to its starter plan. Also, a redeeming factor in all of this is that Shogun offers email support to all users, regardless of the plan that they’re on. But some will just have to wait longer than others to avail of it due to the whole priority thing.  

Shogun Pricing  

Shogun offers three pricing plans:   

Build – $49 Per Month and comes with a: 

  • Powerful Page Builder 
  •  2 User Seats 
  • +30 Page Templates 
  • Email Support 
  • Unlimited Snippets  
  • SEO tools  
Measure – $149 Per Month and comes with everything the starter plan does as well as:  

  • Multi-Store Management 
  • 4 User Seats 
  • Analytics Suite 
  • Content Scheduling 
  •  Developer Tools 
  •  Live Chat Support
Optimize- $349 Per Month and comes with everything all the other plans do as well as:

  •  AB testing 
  •  6 user seats.  
Team – $499 Per Month and includes everything all the lower-tiered pricing options do, plus:  

  • Video Support  
  • Personal Customer Success Manager  
  • Audit Logs  
  • 10 User Seats  
  • Additional User Seats for $33 Per Person

Overall, Shogun is a page builder that we, and many other reviewers, would recommend.  

The Best Apps for Improving Marketing and Increasing Conversions 

As we did in the previous segment, we’ll again be taking a closer look at some of the best apps that can be integrated with BigCommerce. Only this time, we’ll be concentrating on marketing and conversion apps. So, without further ado, let’s begin.  

JustUno  

The first marketing and conversion app that we’re going to be discussing is JustUno. You can use JustUno to create:  

  • Popups  
  • Lead generation solutions  
  • Targeted messaging to boost conversions  

JustUno offers core visitor intelligence technology that has been specially designed to improve your conversion strategies. This out of the box functionality will collect visitor data and track behavioral patterns inside your digital stores to profile your target audience.  

Once this customer profiling is complete, you can marry your findings with the tools offered in Justuno’s AI suite to create effective conversion strategies. This will ensure that you’re able to earn more conversions and generate leads with ease.  

Another great way to increase your sales with JustUno is by upselling.  

This can easily be done on-page by recommending products to go along with other products. Which is admittedly extremely basic, but effective, nonetheless. You can also use the app to create exit pop-ups that appear when customers choose to abandon their cart. These pop-ups could be used to display promotions, or perhaps best sellers that match that visitor’s personal product and transactional data.  

This is a great method to use if you’re someone who likes to be proactive in winning sales.  

You can also make use of JustUno’s omnichannel messaging to help you make more sales through your online store. You see, omnichannel messaging will ensure that you’ll be able to connect with leads and increase your brand awareness across multiple platforms. Which is becoming increasingly important in today’s market.  

In terms of Ease of Use, we’d rate the app below average. Mainly because all the customisation and features can become a little overwhelming. Also, its UI is kind of tricky to get the hang of. Something that other online reviewers have also noted

The final reason we’d label JustUno as one of the better BigCommerce apps in this category is because of its audience segmentation feature. Audience Segmentation is fantastic because it will allow you to always send the right promotional content to the right people. Which is not only essential when it comes to making more sales but also when it comes to increasing your brand awareness.  

Pricing

JustUno’s pricing structure is complicated, so we recommend that you take advantage of the free trial that it offers before you opt-in.  

Info on JustUno’s free trial:  

  • You do not have to sign up with your credit card.  
  • You are not obligated to buy a plan with the platform.  
  • You will not have to pay any hidden activation fees.

LeadDyno  

The next marketing app up for dissection is LeadDyno.  

LeadDyno is an all in one type of affiliate marketing and tracking solution, which can be easily integrated with BigCommerce.  

It gives you the functionality you need to create and then manage your affiliate program, as well as track conversions by inputting URLs. 

Something that we find really cool about LeadDyno, is how easy they make it for a visitor to promote your products. You see, if a visitor purchases your products through your online store, they can share them on social media with the click of a button. All of this is made possible thanks to the app’s social media plugin.  

In terms of signing up affiliates, the process is rather straightforward and can be completed in a matter of minutes. You can choose to pay your affiliates’ commissions one of three ways:  

  • The first way is automatically through your chosen payment processor.  
  • The second way is using one-click payment verification.  
  • The third way is with affiliate mass pay, which lets you pay all your affiliates’ commission with a few quick clicks. 

There are also some great features that’ll help you grow your affiliate list. For instance, when someone purchases a product from your online store, you can send them an invite to become an affiliate.  

Another great feature worthy of a mention is the Per Product Commission. In short, this feature enables you to put a different percentage commission on products of your choice. You can also use it to set up a fixed sum of money as a commission in place of a percentage fee.  

This BigCommerce integration also provides you with real-time affiliate reporting, so you can keep a close eye on everything. Plus, it’s annoying to have to wait for the dashboard to update affiliate information, so the fact you won’t have to is awesome. 

The UI offered by LeadDyno is super easy to use, and your affiliates can see all your partnership information on the dashboard. This is great because we feel it helps create a transparent, and therefore, more trusting working relationship.  

LeadDyno can also be used to track Google AdWords and Social media conversions. To do this, you need to create a new tracking campaign and input the URL you want to be tracked for conversions into your ads.  

The one bad thing we’d say about LeadDyno is that its reporting is slightly lacking in comparison with other apps.

LeadDyno Pricing  

Here’s a breakdown of LeadDyno’s pricing structure for all its “Basic Plans”:  

Starter – $49 Per Month  

  • 3,000 Unique Visitors  
  • Visitor, Lead and Conversion Tracking  
  • No limit to the number of affiliates you can signup  
  • Email support available for installation  
  • Email Support  
  • Support available through live chat all week  
  • Free affiliate network access
Biz Builder – $59 Per Month and this plan includes everything the starter plan does, plus: 

  • 4,500 unique visitors  
Accelerator – $79 Per Month and includes everything the other two plans do, as well as:  

  • 7,500 unique visitors  
  • Email & One-on-One phone installation support  
  • Email & One-on-One phone support  

Omnisend 

Omnisend is best described as an omnichannel marketing and automation solution for marketers.  

The word “omni” alludes to the fact that the platform enables you to automate marketing projects across multiple communicative channels. 

These channels include:  

  • SMS  
  • Social Media 
  • Email  

The app has received 100 reviews in BigCommerce’s market place, averaging a 4.5-star rating.  

Omnisend offers a tonne of great features, especially when it comes to email and text automation.  

Along with the usual welcome and confirmation notifications, it also allows you to create and send cart recovery and product abandonment messages. 

For those who don’t know, these messages will target people who abandoned their cart or looked at a product but never made a purchase. This will be done using product recommendations and alternatives.  

According to Omnisend, this will help you win back customers, so no complaints there.  

When it comes to writing your newsletters and other promotional content, you will again have some helpful tools at your disposal. For instance, you’ll have built-in email templates available to you that have been optimized to earn conversions.  

Another cool thing about Omnisend is its product picker. You can use it to import products and product details to your store in a matter of minutes. 

You’ll also have access to CTR Boosters and Discount Coupons to entice your email recipients into buying some of your products.  

Along with that, you’ll be able to boost your on-page marketing efforts, by taking advantage of sign-up forms. You can place these forms in a discrete, yet visible location, in your store using a widget. 

This is great for growing your email list and generating new leads.  

A negative associated with Omnisend, is the lack of customisation it offers within certain themes and pertaining to certain elements. One online reviewer was disgruntled by the fact that they could not change the colour scheme of the spin to win wheel to match that of their store. As a result, they can’t use that feature, which is annoying seen as gamification is effective and they’re paying to be able to use it. 

Omnisend’s Pricing 

Here’s a breakdown of Omnisend’s pricing:

Plan Cost Per Month 
Standard $16
Pro$199
Enterprise$2,000

BigCommerce Apps to Improve Customer Conversions 

The next segment is going to focus on the BigCommerce apps that are going to help you turn leads into sales.  

Let’s begin! 

FOMO  

The first app we’re going to be looking at is FOMO.  

As previously alluded to in the best BigCommerce apps and integrations portion of this article, 

FOMO is a social proof marketing platform.  

The app gives you the power you need to create and edit messaging so that your vision is always 

conveyed in the clearest way possible. This is made doable by its patent-pending architecture.  

Pretty neat, right?  

FOMO also gives you the option to incorporate automation and fallbacks into your site. These filters should provide you with the necessary elements to customize your site. And, enhance your visitors’ buying experience. 

Something that many people do not seem to know about this app, is that it is extremely sophisticated. For example, it’s analyzing approximately 10 billion data points every hour, so that you can optimize your pages for conversions.  

What’s also super about this digital marketing solution, is its templates and theme builder. FOMO’s templates provide you with a page base that’s proven to convert, while its builder lets you make it look stunning. 

The builder comes with elements that enable you to customize your site without any knowledge of coding languages. But there is a CSS function available for more advanced developers. Also, they allow members access to its API, so you should have no qualms regarding customizing your online storefront. 

For anyone who’s looking to target a certain part of the world as their client base, you can by using IP tracking.  

FOMO’s scoreboard comes along with the app and will provide you with an indication of how useful it has been for you.  

In terms of support, this BigCommerce integration makes JavaScript “side helpers” available to help you create the best site possible. Once more, you will be able to perform CSV exports so that you’re able to collect all the data about your store that you could possibly need.  

How Much Does FOMO Cost? 

Here’s a breakdown of Fomo’s pricing: 

Plan Cost Per Month 
Starter$19
Essential$39
Plus $79
Advanced $199

PriceWaiter  

While using the app, you’ll be pleasantly surprised when you realize that almost everything has been automated.  

Now, an entirely automated platform is a crux for more advanced marketers and developers. So, you may be pleased to know, that you’ll also have the option to manually set up some sales features.  

Although the level of customization you’ll have available to you is still somewhat limited, it’ll give you control over when these items go live. 

The most attractive element of this app is that it enables you to sell products that you otherwise wouldn’t have been able to sell.  

When it comes to optimizing pages with PriceWaiter, you’ll have access to A/B testing to ensure they’re high converting. 

On top of that, you’ll be able to decrease your bounce rate by using metrics that calculate exit intent.  

The lower your bounce rate, the better search engine crawlers will rank your site in the SERPs. 

The only obvious downside to PriceWaiter, is that there’s no guarantee that you’re going to be able to use it effectively. And, that’s because it can be a little tricky to get the hang of, but once you do, you should be fine. 

PriceWaiter’s Pricing 

This app does not require a set up or subscription fee. It operates as a marketplace, so instead, they take a percentage commission from the seller. 

Top BigCommerce App to Improve Customer Service  

Smile.io  

Smile is an awesome BigCommerce integration, which will give you the functionality you need to create a rewards program to give back to your loyal customers.  

The app has a 4.5 star-rating in BigCommerce’s app marketplace. Which would indicate that it’s in the higher echelons of what’s available when it comes to improving customer service.  

The first thing we love about Smile is that it provides more than one method of rewarding your customers. You see, if a customer makes a purchase, you can reward them. If they share your brand on social media, you can reward them. If they merely tell a friend, and that friend mentions who pointed them in the direction of your store, you can reward them.  

According to Smile’s about info in the BigCommerce app marketplace, there are over ten different consumer actions, which can result in customer rewards.  

When creating your rewards programs, you’ll be able to add imagery and logos so that the program feels as though it’s an extension of your brand. 

If you find that you need access to customization features that are not available through smile, you can have them coded in through its API. 

Please note, you do not have API access unless you are subscribed to Smile’s Enterprise plan.  Admittedly, this is a bit of a bummer. 

One of the most practical methods you can use to ensure customers remain loyal to your brand is Smile’s VIP structure. In short, VIP encourages customers to continue to buy your products, buy offering them rewards. Plain, and simple! 

Rewarding your customers is a great way to improve your customer service because it makes the customer feel valued. 

Also, it shows that you care about the people who buy your products, which is another nice touch.  

The Best BigCommerce Shipping App

Let’s face it, shipping can be so complicated, not to mention downright over the top.  

So, before you find yourself stressed to the point that you’re foaming from the mouth and clenching your fists so tight that they turn blue. 

*Exhales slowly and breathes in deeply*

Well, why not investigate downloading an app that’ll, more or less, do most of the hard work for you, eh?  

AfterShip  

Aftership is a tracking solution that marketers can integrate into their online stores.  

The app is great because it will automatically track your couriers so that you are up to date pertaining to the whereabouts of your customers’ orders.  

Shipments can be automatically tracked through aftership using shopping carts, marketplaces, and CSVs.  

The app’s interface will provide you with a:

  • Time of delivery 
  • Date of delivery 
  • Delivery status regarding items whereabouts and condition  

What we like about this app is the ability to manage your shipments using filters. For example, you are able to sort deliveries out by the courier delivering them. So, if you need to find data relating to shipments being delivered by a specific courier, you can quick and easy. 

Other metrics that you can sort by include:

  • Final location of delivery  
  • The date the delivery is fixed to be shipped  
  • The time it will take for a delivery to be completed 

For those of you who like to stay one step ahead of the game, you’ll be able to perform an audit on all your shipments. This is awesome because it should give you a reasonably strong idea as to how long your deliveries will take.  

Aftership lets you send notifications via email to your customers. This is useful if something happens to your shipment because it’ll allow you to keep your customers up to date. While also affording them a little peace of mind.  

To set this up, you’re going to have to establish status triggers. For instance, if an item gets delivered, the status of that shipment will change to display “delivered”. Upon this change, you can arrange for a generic confirmation email to be sent to all your customers.  

As with most of the BigCommerce apps on this list, you will have access to an API. So, for all you developers, you will be able to code the app to suit your shipping needs.   

For customers to track their orders, they need only go to your site and look for the tracking page. Within the tracking page, they’ll find all the information there is to find about their order.  

The actual function that will allow you to implement a tracking system on your site, is called the “Track Button”. To get this feature up and running on your store, you’ll need to copy and paste a few lines of code, which can be found on AfterShip’s website.  

In terms of cons, there are a few that other reviewers have experienced.    

For instance, reviewers on GetApp.com noticed problems with tracking couriers and getting the tracking ID to appear. One person who left a review on the platform claimed that they did not provide good enough documentation when it comes to explaining how to effectively use the site’s API.  

Not huge problems, but food for thought, nonetheless.  

How Much Does AfterShip Cost Per Month? 

Plan Cost Per Month 
StarterFree
Essential$9
Growth$29
Pro $99
Advanced $199
Platinum $399
Quartz$599
Ultimate $799
Titanium $999
Enterprise$Tailored

Here’s Our List of Must-Have BigCommerce Apps Once More 

  1. Shogun 
  2. JustUno 
  3. LeadDyno 
  4. Smile 
  5. Omnisend 
  6. FOMO 
  7. Pricewaiter 

Best Online Storefront Builder – Which is the Best One Out There?

Why is it important that you find the best online storefront builder?

If you owned a store in real life, you’d likely spend a lot of time making sure it looked just right. First impressions count. What your customer sees as they first enter your store is incredibly important, along with how easy it is to navigate. If they find it dreary, or boring, or it has a confusing layout, they’re more likely to leave without making a purchase.

The same goes for eCommerce. How your website looks – and functions – is key. The most successful online businesses make sure that their customers will find it as simple to use their store as possible. The easier you make it for your customer to checkout, the better. That doesn’t mean your store has to be boring – you can still inject a lot of personality into your store, creating a rapport with your customers.

You can achieve this with a good online storefront builder. The right tools will help you to build a professional, functional, and easy-to-navigate website that fits with your brand and encourages customers to shop with you.

We’ll take a look at some of the best storefront builders out there, looking at their pros and cons, so that you can find the right one for your business.

What Should You Look for in an Online Storefront Builder?

There are a few features you should consider when you’re looking for the perfect storefront builder:

A Range of Page Types

You may want more for your website than a collection of product pages – you might want to build landing pages, about pages, FAQs, or even a blog. A good storefront builder should give you the choice of building a variety of pages.

Templates

A good storefront builder will provide you with a range of pre-made templates, covering different types of businesses, so that you can find one that suits you. They should also offer you the option of building your pages from scratch.

Page Editing

Some eCommerce platforms don’t allow you much control over how your pages look. There are many out there that offer drag-and-drop builders that allow you to tweak each page to look exactly the way you want it to, even if you don’t have a lot of technical knowledge.

Extras and Plugins

Some storefront builders offer extra features. These could include basic email marketing, coupons for your customers, or analytics so you can study how well your pages are performing.

Integrations

Some storefront builders offer integrations with other apps, like social media or email marketing platforms – for example, you may be able to include a sign-up form for your MailChimp email newsletter.

The Best Online Storefront Builders

Here’s an overview of the storefront builders we’ll be looking at today:

Name

Features

Pricing

Shopify

 

  • Offers a variety of apps
  • Secure cart
  • Abandoned Cart and other marketing features
  • Good templates

 

Basic – $29 per month

 

Shopify – $79 per month

Advanced Shopify – $299 per month

Shogun

  • Easy to use drag-and-drop builder for Shopify
  • Beautiful templates
  • Split testing and analytics
Build – $39 per month

 

Measure – $99 per month

Optimize – $149 per month

BigCommerce

  • Good integrations
  • Decent range of templates
  • Lots of payment options for customers
Standard – $29.95 per month

 

Plus – $79.95 per month

Pro – $249.95 per month

WooCommerce
  • Paid templates (for WordPress) are great
  • Lots of plugins including a range of marketing tools
Free (but need WordPresssubscription)

3dCart

  • Variety of payment options
  • Good order managing/processing
  • Add content to pages easily
  • Customer grouping
  • Gift registries and coupons
Startup – $19 per month

 

Basic – $29 per month

Plus – $79 per month

Pro – $299 per month

Yahoo! Stores

  • Aimed at small businesses
  • Secure cart with easy payment for customers
  • Good range of templates

 

 

Basic – from $10.95 per month

 

Standard – from $25.95 per month

Professional – from $254.95 per month

Kartra

  • Tons of marketing features
  • Drag-and-drop page builders
  • Good range of templates
Starter – $99 per month

 

Silver – $199 per month

Gold – $299 per month

Platinum – $499 per month

PageFly

  • Great looking templates for Shopify
  • Drag-and-drop page builder
Free – $0 per month

 

Pro – $9.95 per month

Premium – $29.95 per month

SamCart

  • Great features like Subscription Saver and 1-click upsells
  • Build a store in 30 minutes or less

 

Pro – $99 per month

 

Premium – $199 per month

Leadpages

  • Range of beautiful templates
  • Create a whole website
  • Extra features like pop-ups and alert bars
Standard – $37 per month

 

Pro – $79 per month

Advanced – $321 per month

We’ll mainly be focusing on the storefront building aspect of each platform, but we will give a quick rundown of some of the other features they have to offer.

Shopify

Shopify has a lot to offer – including a secure shopping cart with zero transaction fees, automatic store backup, and a lot of security features, so you know your customers will have a safe shopping experience with you. It’s cloud-based, so you can work on your store wherever you go.

One of Shopify’s strengths is the product management system – you can easily upload, edit, and organize your products.

When it comes to templates, Shopify offers a range of beautiful options, both free and paid:

You can design pages and add a blog – however, it’s not the best page builder out there in terms of ease of use. (Apps improve the experience here – more on that a bit later).

In terms of SEO, Shopify has a lot to offer, including custom URLs and adding alt-tags to images.

Analytics-wise, they offer a good overview of how your store is performing. They also have quite a lot to offer when it comes to marketing tools. For example, the Abandoned Cart Recovery is a great tool that will email your customers to remind them to complete the checkout process.

You can change your Shopify experience by adding apps. The Appstore contains a ton of apps for different purposes – page builders, email marketing, custom packaging creators, returns solutions, and more. These vary in price – so while it’s a great way to customize your Shopify experience, if you’re not careful you could end up spending more money than you originally anticipated in running your store.

They have three pricing tiers – the Basic plan at $29 per month, the Shopify plan at $79 per month, and the Advanced Shopify plan at $299 per month. The Basic plan does have quite a lot to offer, including the very useful Abandoned Cart Recovery.

Pros of Shopify:

  • Secure payment system
  • In-built marketing tools
  • In-built analytics
  • Good choice of templates
  • Many optional apps to choose from

Cons of Shopify:

  • Apps can start to add up
  • Product pages could look nicer

Shopify offer a free 14-day trial: click here to find out more.

Shogun

Shogun is an app for Shopify, BigCommerce, and Magento, but it makes a huge difference to how your store will look to your customers. It’s a page building app, enabling you to create beautiful product pages, standard pages, blog posts, or product collections. 

The templates are great:

The drag-and-drop page builder is incredibly simple to use and will enable you to create the exact page that you desire for your website.

You can also add a ton of extras to your page – for example, social media buttons, countdown timers, buttons, videos, and images.

What’s great about Shogun is that it offers more than just page building. You can split test your pages – creating two slightly different versions of the same page to see which one performs the best – and it also has its own analytics suite, so you can see exactly how your pages are performing.

It’s a great app, and it could make a huge difference to the experience your customers can have with your store.

Shogun has three pricing plans: Build, at $39 per month, Measure, at $99 per month, and Optimize, at $149 per month. Analytics become available on the Measure plan, whereas split testing is only available on the Optimize plan.

Pros of Shogun:

  • Range of beautiful templates
  • Page builder is very easy to use
  • Add lots of extras to your page, including social media buttons and videos
  • Split testing and analytics are great ‘bonus’ features

Cons of Shogun:

  • The price of Shogun together with the platforms it is designed for could be out of reach if you’re on a very tight budget

BigCommerce

BigCommerce is another popular eCommerce platform. It has a lot to offer, including a secure site hosted by Google Cloud platform and advanced SEO and CRO tools (including Abandoned Cart Saver).

What’s good about BigCommerce is the integration with other platforms. Using BigCommerce, you can also set up to sell your products on Facebook, Instagram, eBay, Google Shopping, Amazon, and Square. You can also set up PayPal One Touch – great for enabling your customers to checkout quickly and easily.

When it comes to the storefront itself, there are a lot of templates to choose from:

You can tweak the colours and sections of your website, but it’s not the most customizable page builder we’ve seen. If you want more control over the look of your pages, you might be better off looking elsewhere. Still, the whole platform is very easy to use, which is great.

BigCommerce has a lot of great features, too, including coupons, and a basic email marketing system. Having all this in one place is really handy.

There are three pricing plans. The cheapest is Standard at $29.95 per month. Then you have Plus at $79.95 per month, and finally Pro at $249.95 per month. It’s worth noting that some of the extra features, like abandoned cart saver and customer segmentation, are only available on the Plus and Pro plans.

Pros of BigCommerce

  • Good integrations
  • Pretty straightforward to use
  • Good range of premade templates
  • Lots of payment options for customers

Cons of BigCommerce

  • Not much customization when it comes to storefront
  • Some of the best features aren’t available on the cheapest plan

WooCommerce

WooCommerce is an app designed for Squarespace, enabling you to turn your website into an online store. It gives you a secure shopping experience for your customers with multiple payment methods, easy stock management, and even a mobile app so you can work on your store wherever you go.

In terms of templates, there are a variety to choose from. The free themes aren’t that great to look at, however. The paid themes are a lot nicer, with some modern and interesting designs to choose from.

You can customize your website, changing images, titles, and content. If you have a bit of coding knowledge, you’ll be able to customize your website a little more. However, if you’re a beginner, you may find the choices that you have a bit limiting.

Like Shopify, WooCommerce offers a range of plugins (some free and some paid) to enhance your store. There are a lot of marketing tools available here, including follow-up emails, email subscriptions, marketing analysis, social media marketing, and coupons and discounts. These are great, but the costs may stack up quickly here.

The reporting is pretty good, and the main draw is that the platform itself is free (minus the cost of being on WordPress) – so that could help to mitigate the costs of the plugins and templates you may need.

Pros of WooCommerce:

  • Actual platform is free
  • Paid templates are nice
  • Plugins give you extra marketing tools

Cons of WooCommerce:

  • Plugins and templates can get expensive
  • Not much customization when it comes to actual pages

3dCart

3dCart is another great option. It gives you a secure shopping cart with multiple payment options and simple order processing, including a 1-click printing system for orders.

The store builder has over 100 themes to choose from:

Some of them are paid and others are free. The themes are not as modern or dynamic as some of the others we’ve seen, but they’re still pretty decent. Unfortunately, the themes themselves are not that customizable – you can play around with the colour scheme and edit the content, but you can’t drag and drop elements to build the page exactly the way you want it.

There is, however, a ‘site content’ area. This allows you to quickly navigate the pages of your website:

You can create a variety of pages, including home pages, blog posts, and terms and conditions. The page editors themselves are quite basic, but they enable you to add text and images.

3dCart offers some great extra features, including customer grouping (you can then go on to offer those customers a specific discount code), create a gift registry, and sell your products on eBay and Amazon.

In terms of pricing, you have four options: Startup at $19 per month, Basic at $29 per month, Plus at $79 per month, and Pro at $229 per month. You can unlock most of the marketing tools and extras on the Plus plan, which is a similar price to some of the other platforms we’ve tried.

Pros of 3dCart:

  • Secure cart with a variety of payment options
  • Create pages for your website and add content to them
  • Decent range of templates
  • Extra features, like customer grouping, gift registries, and more

Cons of 3dCart:

  • Not much customization of pages
  • Some of the better features are only available on the Plus plan

Yahoo! Stores

Yahoo! Stores has over $70 million in sales under its belt – that’s a pretty impressive amount of products sold through the platform. It’s aimed at small business owners who might be new to the world of eCommerce, and it boasts a secure payment system with PayPal Smart Payment buttons, an inventory management system, and more.

When it comes to the storefront, there are quite a few templates to choose from:

We weren’t able to fully test Yahoo! Stores, but from reading user reviews, we can see that the pages are customizable to a certain extent. If you’re after a fully customizable website, you’re probably better off with another platform with more of a focus on the storefront itself.

However, if you’re after a basic store builder that will allow you to get up and running very quickly, Yahoo! Stores could be a great choice.

When it comes to pricing, there are three options: Basic, from $10.95 per month, Standard, from $25.95 per month, and Professional, from $254.95 per month. Yahoo! Stores charge you for transaction fees – from 0.75% to 1.5%, depending on which one you choose.

Pros of Yahoo! Stores

  • Quick and easy to set up
  • Decent range of templates
  • Good for beginners

Cons of Yahoo! Stores

  • Pages aren’t completely customizable
  • You will be charged for transaction fees

Kartra

Kartra is another great platform that allows you to create an eCommerce business, with a huge range of marketing features to choose from. There are so many extra features, in fact, that we can’t cover them all here. From sales funnels to marketing campaigns, video creation to calendars and scheduling, Kartra has everything you could possibly need.

However, how is it in terms of creating an attractive, easy-to-navigate storefront?

You can create a whole range of pages in Kartra, including a video sales page, at hank you page, a coming soon page, blog posts, squeeze pages, live event pages, legal pages, and many more besides. 

Kartra has a drag-and-drop page builder, which is great.

There’s a bit of a learning curve involved here, but there’s quite a bit of help and support available if you need it.

In terms of pricing, there are four tiers available: Starter, at $99 per month, Silver, at $199 per month, Gold, at $299 per month, and Platinum, at $499 per month. Obviously, this is the most expensive platform on this list. However, you’re paying for a lot of extra features, so you’ll need to bear that in mind.

Pros of Kartra:

  • Lots of marketing features
  • Everything in one place, so you don’t have to use multiple platforms
  • Lots of templates to choose from
  • Drag-and-drop page builder

Cons of Kartra:

  • On the pricier side
  • Bigger learning curve than some of the others on this list

PageFly

PageFly is another page building app built for Shopify. It will allow you to build a variety of pages for your Shopify store.

There are over 50 templates to choose from, and they all look great, easy to navigate and professional. Like Shogun, it has a drag-and-drop page builder, enabling you to assemble your pages the exact way you want to, although the interface isn’t as user-friendly as Shogun. You can choose to build regular pages, home pages, collection pages, product pages, password pages, and blog posts.

You can add a lot of extra features to your pages, including social media buttons, countdown timers, images, and videos. It’s a great way to make Shopify more customizable.

It doesn’t, however, offer much else – it’s really just designed to create pages, without any of the extra features that some of the other platforms on this list have to offer.

It does, however, have the huge advantage of having a free plan, which will allow you to build up to three pages for your Shopify store. There’s also the Pro plan, at $9.95 per month, and the Premium plan, at $29.95 per month. This makes it one of the cheapest options we’re looking at today, although you have to factor the cost of Shopify itself into the equation.

Pros of PageFly:

  • Free plan is great for Shopify users who want to create extra pages
  • Great templates
  • Drag-and-drop builder is easy to use

Cons of PageFly:

  • No extra features – it just creates pages

You can find out more about PageFly here.

SamCart

SamCart is another platform that will help you get set up quickly – you can get going in under half an hour. It offers a secure cart with the option of subscriptions, coupons, and trial offers, detailed analytics, and an affiliate center. It also has the Subscription Saver, helping you to save lost income from cancelled Subscription payments.

It has a few storefront templates to choose from:

They are, however, pretty bland. They’re a basic way to sell products – as you can tell, they don’t look that great compared to the templates some of the other platforms have to offer. You can customize these pages, but the level of customization is not that extensive – you can change colors and headings, that sort of thing, and obviously adjust the content and add images.

SamCart would be a good choice if you offer subscriptions, as it protects you against lost revenue from failed card payments – however, there are more attractive looking storefront builders out there.

There are two price plans: Pro, at $99 per month, Premium, at $199 per month. Pro contains a lot of the features you’d want, including split testing and 1-click upselling, but the Subscription Saver is restricted to the Premium plan.

Pros of SamCart:

  • Good marketing features like 1-click upsells
  • Affiliate marketing and Subscription Saver are great features
  • Quick to get started

Cons of SamCart:

  • Templates are very basic
  • Not much customization

SamCart offer a free trial – click here to find out more.

Leadpages

Leadpages is designed to create landing pages and websites. However, you can use Leadpages to create a storefront for your eCommerce business. On the Pro plan, you can sell products online, making it a similar price to some of the other platforms on this list.

Leadpages have beautiful templates:

They are attractive, responsive and look professional. They’d be particularly suited to those selling digital products, like eBooks or PDFs. The page builder itself is really simple to use, again, using a drag-and-drop mechanism to drag blocks of content where you want them. You can also customize colors, headings, etc, and if you know CSS, you can take that customization a lot further.

It’s one of the easiest page builders we’ve tried. You can create whole websites with Leadpages – so no matter what content you want to add, you can do so with ease. It also offers a range of extras – including pop-ups, alert bars, and trigger links to draw your customers’ attention where you want it.

When it comes to the pricing plans, you have Standard, at $37 per month, Pro, at $79 per month, and Advanced, at $321 per month.

Pros of Leadpages:

  • Templates look beautiful
  • Page builder is easy to use
  • Create a whole website easily
  • Pop-ups and alert bars are great extras

Cons of Leadpages:

  • Relies on integration with Stripe, so you’ll be charged transaction fees
  • No real product inventory – you have to create a page for each product. More suited to those selling a handful of products, for example, eBooks or online courses

You can find out more about Leadpages here.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is basic Shopify worth it?

Short answer? Yes, it is. For only $29/month, Shopify is an amazing platform for an online store. However, the basic Shopify plan is only worth it if you have a small store. It’s important to remember that if your products are expensive or if you sell big quantities the online credit card rate (2.9% + $0.30) will add up fast.

Does Shopify protect buyers?

Yes, for a lot of users, Shopify is the safest eCommerce platform. Shopify provides a secure shopping experience for the customers, keeping up to date all the security parameters and follows all the requirements of the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS).

How many stores can you have on a Shopify account?

Truthfully, you can have many stores as you want….or as you can afford. The catch is, Shopify only allows you to have one store per admin login.

You’ll need to create another store if you want to sell and manage any other products/services apart from the one you already have. Especially if they have different suppliers, warehouses, or products. However, Shopify does offer the option to create two different stores, the first one under the main domain, and the second one under a subdomain.

Conclusion – Which Storefront Builder Will You Choose?

As you can see, there are many great storefront builders out there, and this list doesn’t cover all of them. What you will choose as your favorite will depend on a lot of factors – pricing, features, and your level of experience.

If you want to quickly set up a store, and you’re not too bothered about limited templates, SamCart is a good option, as you can get going in under 30 minutes, and the pricing is pretty average for a storefront builder. If you’re after the complete package, Kartra is a great choice – it really does have everything you could imagine for an online business, and it’s particularly great if you run events that need managing, too. Or, if you want a very easy way to make an attractive storefront for your Shopify page, we’d definitely recommend Shogun – it’s user-friendliness and beautiful templates make it a great choice.

Any of these choices will help you to create a beautiful storefront, improving your customers’ shopping experience and hopefully landing you more sales. If you can’t decide, many of them offer free trials, which is a great way to get a feel for how the platform works before you make your final decision.

The Top 3 BigCommerce Page Builders – All You Need to Know!

Are you looking to break into e-commerce?  

Well, if you are, then you probably know you’re going to need to create a website and a good one at that. 

You see, people rate their buying experience on how well an establishment or brand presents itself.  

For example, if you were to head out to a restaurant for dinner, you’d expect that restaurant to look and perform a certain way.  

Funnily enough, people will also critique your online store in a similar manner.  

So, you’ll need to create an awesome landing page that captivates your viewers and makes them want to invest in your brand.  

Of course, to create any page for your online store, you’ll need to have some serious developmental skills. Right? 

Wrong! 

There have never been more page creators on the market that’ll give you the functionality you need to create a beautiful BigCommerce store.  

So, with that in mind, we thought we’d compile a list of three of the best for all you BigCommerce entrepreneurs. 

Enjoy! 

Here’s Our Top 3 BigCommerce Page Builders

Number: 1 – Shogun  

What is Shogun? And, some of it Features 

Shogun is one of the best page builders that you can integrate with BigCommerce.  

It offers a drag and drop editor, which means you don’t need to have any developmental skills to use it.  

But, that’s not to say you’ll suffer from a lack of customization.  

Shogun’s custom templating feature gives developers the power they need to create breath-taking pages.  

And, once you have these pages created, you can then optimize them for conversions using AB testing.  When you perform your AB testing, you’ll be able to analyze metrics such as sales, add to carts and bounce rates.  

Another great thing about Shogun is that if you’re not very creative, you need not panic.  

Mainly, because the e-commerce integration offers over 30 templates you can base your pages off. 

Once more, all these pages have been optimized for mobile, which is crucial when it comes to running an online store.  

In terms of the types of pages, you can create using Shogun, there really is no limit. So, whether you need to create a landing page or an about page, the app has got you covered. 

To top everything off, the app offers an excellent support system, with members of its support team based out of the USA and Australia. Some awesome support features include same-day response, a live chat, and priority email for members on its more expensive plans. 

Oh, we love the ability to create forms, too. It’s great for anyone looking to grow their email list.   

Ease of Use 

Shogun’s simplistic yet powerful drag and drop editor is exceptionally user-friendly. When creating your site’s pages, the editor will leave at your disposal a number of page elements. These elements range from videos to blogs and are super easy to place in your storefront. We love this feature of Shogun because it means we don’t have to start messing around with code. Although, if you have the know-how, you’ll find it super easy to edit your store’s pages using Liquid and CSS. Creating forms is also super easy to do. Overall, this is an awesome, powerful and easy-to-use landing page builder.  

Pros  

  • Fantastic Drag and Drop Features and Functionality  
  • Amazing and Responsive Support Team 
  • Extremely Well Rounded 

Cons 

  • You Have to Pay Extra to Code Custom Elements 

Pricing  

Here’s a quick breakdown of Shogun’s pricing: 

Plan  Cost Per Month  
Build  $49 
Measure  $149 
Optimise  $349 
Team  $499 

Number 2: Instapages

What is Instapages and Some of its Features  

Instapages will provide you with the tools and functionality you need to create high converting landing pages. As well as general pages for your online store.  

It offers over 200 templates for you to base these pages off, which don’t require coding to customize. Oh, also, these templates have all been optimized for mobile. So, you can rest assured your non-PC/Laptop visitors will have an awesome customer experience 

Also, regardless of whether you’re just getting started with your online store, or are an established figure within the game, Instapages can benefit you.  

You see, as previously mentioned, you don’t need to have any prior knowledge of coding to use the app. This is due to its handy drag and drop format. Which, can really get marketers out of a pickle when funds are running low because they won’t have to hire a developer.  

The next thing we’d like to point out about Instapages is the speed at which you can integrate the app with your store. The entire process takes only a handful of minutes, and you won’t need to go messing around with your site’s code at any stage during the setup process. 

Finally, you’ll have access to some in-depth analytics and AB testing that will help to optimize your store’s pages for conversions. Also, you’ll enjoy seamless integrations with marketing automation software and heat mapping.  

Ease of Use  

Instapage’s UI is extremely easy to use, and obviously, the drag and drop page building plays a huge role in making it so. It can be integrated with a host of third-party apps, which allows you to create reliable workflows. And, if a page is not very mobile responsive, you can make it so in a short period of time. Which, is great. The final thing we’d like to point out is that no advanced developmental knowledge of coding is required to use the platform. It goes without saying, but that should make your life a lot easier.  

Pros 

  • Heat Mapping 
  • Efficient Integrations 
  • Quick Set-up Speed 

Cons  

  • “Enterprise” Plan Doesn’t Include as Many Features like the “Customise” Plan 

Pricing  

Now, let’s take a brief look at Instapage’s pricing:  

Plan  Cost Per Month  
Enterprise (Paid Monthly) $16.50 
Enterprise (Paid Annually) $12.40  
Customize  Tailored to Fit Your Business (So, it depends!) 

Number: 3 – Unbounce  

What is Unbounce and Some of its Features  

For our third best landing page builder, we’ve gone with Unbounce.  

(Although, we were kind of considering GetResponse, but felt that it was more of an all in one marketing solution, as opposed to a page builder. Which, Unbounce, most certainly is, so we gave it the nod ahead of its competitor.)  

Anyway, Unbounce will give you the ability to create landing pages and assess their performance. This will enable you to create high-converting pages for your digital store.  

The first thing we want to mention is that if you head over to unbounce.com, you’ll be able to test out its page editor for free. You just need to look for “Preview the Builder”, and click on it.  

Upon doing so, you should notice that its UI is quite user-friendly. On the left-hand column, you’ll see all the elements you can add to your store, like images, videos, and sections. These will help you to create the backbone of your pages.  

By the way, its editor is drag and drop, so you don’t need any of that developmental knowledge we keep harping on about. Also, you’ll have templates to structure your pages around, so don’t panic if you’re worried about messing any aspect of your pages’ design.  

Once you’re finished with its editor and have created your pages, you can easily integrate them with BigCommerce. Or, any other hosting, or email marketing software, for that matter.  

AB testing will ensure that your pages are all functioning as they’re supposed to be. And, if you find your page designs are affecting your conversions, you can easily customize them using JavaScript and CSS. 

Ease of Use  

Unbounce’s editor is super sleek and pretty easy to get the hang of. There is a success story on its website of a customer who, having never created a landing page before, was able to do so in under an hour. You’ll be able to optimize pages for mobile responsiveness. Which, should make them a hell of a lot more user-friendly for traffic coming from mobile and tablet.  

Pros  

  • Over 100 Out of the Box Page Templates 
  • AB Testing  
  • Extremely Pro Integrations  

Cons  

  • It’s extremely expensive 

Pricing 

Plan  Cost Per Month  
Essential $79  
Premium (Recommended Option)  $159 
Enterprise  $399+ 

Verdict: The Top BigCommerce Page Builder – Shogun  

Admittedly, there wasn’t a whole heap between any of these page builders. With Shogun, you’re getting an awesome page creator, that comes with some powerful data-driven marketing tools. While with Instapages, you’re getting a complex builder that comes along with 200+ templates. All of which, can be optimized for mobile. And, finally, with Unbounce, you’re getting one of the best, most tried and most tested BigCommerce integrations out there.  

But we feel that Shogun is a rising platform, with better features when it comes to optimizing your store’s pages for conversions and marketability. Also, considering the features offered by all three builders, we feel that Shogun works out better in relation to pricing.  

So, for these reasons, Shogun is our top BigCommerce page builder. 

But, only just.  

And you can check out Instagepages by clicking on their hyperlinked text.  

ActiveCampaign vs GetResponse: Robust Marketing Automation Prowess or Feature-Packed Value?

Every business owner has a marketer in them, dying to see things done efficiently. This is why an email automation tool that gets the work done most effectively excites them. Marketing tools that automate email marketing can increase your conversion rates by 50%. In fact, at least 75% of all revenue generated from email marketing campaigns comes from triggered personalized campaigns rather than a one size fits all campaign. 

Email automation tools nevertheless are a dime in a dozen out there. A few of them, however, are stand out tools that can assist your small or medium-sized business evolve to the marketing powerhouse you’d like it to be. ActiveCampaign and GetResponse are amongst two of the best of these tools.

The Main Differences Between ActiveCampaign vs GetResponse

The main differences between ActiveCampaign vs GetResponse are:

  • ActiveCampaign has 30 free templates while GetResponse’s are in the hundreds, whereas GetResponse has a broader range of email templates. 
  • ActiveCampaign does not have a free trial period, whereas GetResponse has a 30-day free trial period
  • ActiveCampaign can feel a bit clunky to use and in the field of text editing, whereas GetResponse wins with its easy to use drag and drop editor.
  • ActiveCampaign sorely focuses on highly effective email marketing automation, whereas GetResponse has a range of other features such as its landing pages creator

 ActiveCampaign; A review

ActiveCampaign 1.PNG

Unlike other email marketing tools with tons of other glitzy features, ActiveCampaign’s sore focus is on the creation of automation rules and workflows.  The platform’s deal pipelines bring the principles of kanban boards or agile into your sales efforts. 

The platform has four main pricing plans; which includes;

Package

Yearly costs

Lite

$9 /mo

Plus

$49 /mo

Professional

$129 /mo

Enterprise

$229 /mo

The power of intelligent automation you will find out is a consistent theme in ActiveCampaign.  This review will cover the software’s performance as a standalone tool. Below are some of its most powerful features.

ActiveCampaign Price.PNG

Email campaigns

Email marketing tools differ significantly when it comes to email templates. Some are highly disadvantaged by outdated designs, while others have poorly selected templates.  Some other tools will have a difficult to use email editor. ActiveCampaign, however, seems to have all the right email marketing design elements in place.

On their website, ActiveCampaign promises to help you send beautiful emails in a few clicks. Its predesigned email templates cover various industries, with a choice of 30 templates to choose from. This low number is very different from what other tools offer. If you have used more robust builders, you might, therefore, feel a bit underwhelmed.

Nevertheless, the platform has a robust email-marketing arsenal that enables you to build the email automation of your dreams. It has one of the most flexible visual builders out there, supporting a large variety of triggers to automations. The editor has many options that give a lot of design flexibility. 

ActiveCampaign Emails.PNG

There are design elements with various styling options such as its very cool conditional blocks. With these elements, you can, for instance, adapt your email content to the interest of your subscribers via their associated tags. To enhance this block, what you need to do is to increase its automation through intelligent tagging.  

In its powerful, agile fashion of operations, this platform has a systematic approach when it comes to building email marketing campaigns. It is, therefore, very easy to create and send emails to an audience. If you feel that none of the 30 templates suit your campaign, there is the choice of building a custom template from the drag and drop editor. Its image upload, fonts, and color options will aid you in the building of a template that better matches your brand. 

The builder’s drag and drop editor can be a bit clunky, especially in the area of text selection and formatting. After several uses, however, you will find its shortcomings much easier to handle. Its image selection tool, too, can be a tad annoying. If you, for instance, upload an image, you are forced to dig through piles of other images to select it. This minor annoyance, of course, does get old with time, but you should be prepared for it, and hope that the software’s development team will get to it. 

Some other useful features of the builder are the ability to save content elements for future use. If you have built a footer or header that you would like to apply to other templates and keep a consistent look, you can save it from the builder. The platform also allows you to not only track but also to analyze the performance of your email campaigns.

There is also a mobile device and desktop preview function and a useful spam check feature as well. With ActiveCampaign, you will not only enjoy email automation but also perform other advanced actions such as the posting of a webhook or sending SMSs.

Marketing automation

ActiveCampaign’s selling point is its automation prowess. The features under its marketing automation tab are what makes it a stand out marketing tool. Once more in its agile fashion of function, the platform uses a visual workflow builder to assist you in designing your automation. This makes it much easier for its users to build sophisticated branch out segments using conditional logic. The platforms call this system ‘Actions,’ and there are plenty of choices here to work with. 

ActiveCampaign Automation.PNG

This intuitive and highly visual marketing automation builder helps you to build sequences with no prior training. Combine this ease of use with the site and intelligent tracking, and the marketing possibilities are endless. You can, for instance, use this feature to design long term and short term marketing sequences. These can be utilized to build a sales qualified leads for your business’s lead scoring system.

There is also a useful email split testing tool that allows you to perform split tests on emails in an automation sequence. You can set up five split tests at a go, to ensure that your email marketing sequences get better with time. The process will refine your emails via the use of the data captured.  

The ActiveCampaign reports can also assist you in identifying the best time to send out your emails. By viewing your highest open rates, you will find out which precise days, or hours had the highest open standards. You can then go ahead and add ‘waits’ to your automation sequences to ensure that vital emails are sent out when the open rates are higher.  Marketers again love efficiency, and time tracking is one of the best ways you can streamline your workflow.

With the platforms goals feature, you will have the power in your hands to identify the amount of time required to accomplish a specific action. Once your automation sequence is set, you can get valuable data on just how long it takes your customers to perform certain actions in the automation sequence. You can, for instance, trace a customer’s wait period from the sign up to paid customer status.  

It is also possible to identify the amount of time your customers take to leave a review. This feature also helps to gauge the time taken for the purchase of other products or an upgrade of a user’s membership.

Another fantastic feature is the ability to share automation that works. You can, for instance, directly import resourceful automation directly into your account. If you would like to share them with your team, you can do using the feature’s Share menu. On it, you will access a share URL that can be imported into another person’s account. 

Sales funnels / CRM

This is the other feature where ActiveCampaign’s deal pipelines shine. The fantastic CRM can help you to automate your sales processes and move your valuable leads along your pipeline to bring in more revenue. The CRM has a drag and drop functionality with customizable leads stages. 

ActiveCampaign CRM.PNG

The kanban boards like feature will assist you in breaking a sales funnel into manageable stages. From this angle, the whole sales cycle ceases to be a confusing mess of a monster through the assistance of visual deal stages. The leads can be inputted manually, but automation increases output. 

You can add more leads, prioritize, or move them in your CRM based on specific criteria.  The CRM additionally has a scoring component that assigns a score to a lead. This means that you can target your most valuable leads for quicker conversions. Your marketing resources will, therefore, be utilized more efficiently.

Integrations

The platform integrates with over 150 apps, including Shopify, WordPress, Facebook, Stripe, and PayPal. Their extensive library of integrations also has extensive documentation that explains how each app’s integration works.

List management

The platform utilizes tags and lists to manage and segment customer lists. You can, as an illustration, have a record that has multiple tags. You can also have records that have a few unique tags. All your stored business contacts are easily accessible from the platform’s central dashboard. There are filters availed that will help you to apply actions as well as find specific contacts. The software allows you to import contact lists, or add them through the integrated third-party apps.

ActiveCampaign 3.PNG

Reporting

The success of your email marketing campaigns is highly hinged on data. Reports, therefore, are very critical to marketing success. You can analyze metrics and see what actions work and eliminate those that do not work. ActiveCampaign’s data reporting functionality include goals, automation, deals, contacts, and campaigns. The reports section has a bird’s eye view of all the email campaigns you are undertaking as well as the clicks and opens. To view more useful data, you will need to select a campaign. Once a selection is made, metrics on social shares or mentions, location, bounces, or unsubscribes are revealed.

GetResponse; A review

GetResponse 1.PNG

A creation of Simon Grabowski, GetResponse is now two decades old. The platform has a wide range of customers from at least 182 countries worldwide. The software is available in 21 various languages, providing top-notch quality marketing solutions to businesses online. 

This all in one marketing solution goes beyond email marketing and provides other fantastic solutions. First, unlike ActiveCampaign, GetResponse has a cool landing pages feature. It also has customer relationship management (CRM) and automated sales funnel functionality.

The platform has four main pricing plans; which includes;

Package

Yearly costs

Basic

$15/mo

Plus

$49/mo

Professional

$99/mo

Enterprise

$1,199/mo

The costs of each package vary according to the number of your subscribers. The more you have, the more you will be required to pay. Below we will review some of the platform’s best features.

GetResponse Price.PNG

Email marketing 

GetResponse has a fantastic 99% email deliverability record, one of the highest seen across platforms. The platform is first, is a spam-free solution, a factor that highly contributes to its deliverability success. Its email marketing feature also has the advantage of over 500 predesigned email templates to ensure that you can send attractive emails without breaking a sweat. 

The software also has a drag and drop editor that makes email marketing a blast for the novice and the professional marketer alike. Your marketing team is also free to design their templates using the drag and drop editor. There are, however, tons of email templates to choose from, segmented by industry. All you need to do is to select one for your brand and get going.  

The drag and drop editor also gives its users the ability to edit HTML code. You can preview your email message before sending, and it has a spam checker tool as well. When you are done with the email template design process, you can either broadcast the message at once or utilize its time travel option, that allows you to send the message later. With GetResponse, you can segment your contacts by their time zones and send emails when they are most likely to open them.

GetResponse Email.PNG

Besides the extensive library of templates, the platform also makes it very easy to tweak layouts, fonts, and imagery. The quality of some of the predesigned templates, however, is of a good enough condition to be used as-is. If you want a higher quality of email templates, you can purchase more from third-party providers such as Theme Forest. If coding is your thing, then go right ahead and make for your business a custom email-marketing template. The drag and drop editor is at hand to assist you in managing the design process. 

The platform has stayed ahead of the curve by providing responsive templates that easily optimize for different screen sizes. There nonetheless have been some complaints when it comes to the display of these templates on some mobile apps. Users have also asked the developers to add on a few fonts beyond the usual web-safe fonts such as Georgia or Arial. A slew of new and exciting fonts will shake up the e-newsletters design and give them some pizzazz.

Autoresponders

The platform’s autoresponders are a vital selling point of GetResponse. Through them, you can send to your subscriber’s e-newsletters at intervals when they take individual predetermined decisions on your website. You can, for instance, send a welcome message for all signups and then send a discount offer to these same email addresses, a week later. You can set an autoresponder a few weeks down the line, which has a follow-up message.  

GetResponse AutoResponders.PNG

This platform has a comprehensive autoresponder feature that enables action based or time-based message sending. Action-based messages can be triggered by customer steps such as;

  • Clicks
  • Opens
  • Change in user data
  • Subscriptions to lists
  • Completed goals or transactions
  • Birthdays

The platform’s marketing automation functionality envelopes its autoresponder feature and includes the automation of workflows. This automation is done through its drag and drop builder, that will assist you in building an automation flowchart.  This makes it easy to create a user journey, one that is fully customizable. Automationis a beneficial tool in marketing. Unfortunately, it is only available in the more expensive plans on GetResponse, which is a shame.

Sales funnels / CRM

The GetResponse CRM tools have undergone a useful facelift, which has made them much easier to use. You, for instance, no longer need to export data to CSV format to do your mail outs. The tool has grown from its ability to perform basic functions and is now integrated with the software’s email marketing function. 

Now you use it to go beyond the creation of sales pipelines. Through it, you can track activity from phone calls and emails. You can now usher users to your sales pipeline based on actions such as purchases, email opens, and form completions. 

The CRM nonetheless lacks email activity tracking as well as task management tools. Without a task management tool, you cannot assign a task to a team member. With GetResponse, the addition of contacts to a pipeline is not as intuitive as it is with ActiveCampaign. The procedure is clunky and time-consuming, making the CRM look a bit half-baked. 

GetResponse Salesfunnel.PNG

The platform’s auto funnel feature provides the means of creating a sales funnel without the input of other apps. There is a wide range of templates available for this function, and if need be, you can work with other platforms such as Etsy or Shopify to enhance functionality. 

Analytics

The platform has a good range of reporting and analytics tools. They cover the basics such as click-throughs, open rates, and unsubscribe rates. There are, however, additional nifty features such as their one-click segmentation tools. This feature allows you to identify customers who have not interacted with your emails. You can then segment them and send a different version of the email to capture their attention.  

There is a ‘metrics over time’ feature also that pinpoints the best time to send emails. There also are useful email ROI and per-user information features. You can also use the analytics feature to compare the performance of different email campaigns to improve your marketing.

Split testing

An email marketing campaign is a fantastic way to procure repeat and new customers. It is, however, much easier to retain old customers in business than acquire new ones. Data also shows that it is 70% easierto sell a product to a retained customer. However, the probability of selling your products to a new client stands at 5 to 20%.It is therefore imperative to run A/B tests when initiating new formats for an email campaign. The tests will assist you in improving your campaign’s conversion rates which will, in the end, will have a good impact on your marketing efforts.

The platform’s A/B test toolsets up two variations of a campaign and sends them to a small segment of your recipients. Clicks or opens measure the results of the tests, and the version that has received more attention wins the trial.  

GetResponse Analytics.PNG

GetResponse’s split-testing functionality allows you to test at least five messages against each other. You can measure your tests using features such as content, subject headers of a form field. This tool is, however, not that much different from ActiveCampaign’s split testing feature that also allows up to five email tests at a time.

Landing page creator

The conversion of your website’s visitors into leads is the most significant revenue-generating process of your online business. This means that you can never have too many landing pages. Studies have shown that an increase in landing pages leads to a 55% increase in leads.

A landing page does not only capture visitor’s information but converts them into potential buyers. These pages, therefore, have very few distractions on them. GetResponse assists in the building of clean and well-designed landing pages. The lead pages creator is the software’s unique selling point. Most of its competitors lack this functionality. This tool not only builds these useful pages but also tests their conversion rates against each other, in real-time. 

GetResponse Landing Pages.PNG

ActiveCampaign lacks a landing page creator meaning that you will need to fork out more cash for a third party landing pages creator. The feature is available in GetResponse’s cheaper options, but its full functionality can only be experienced in the more pricey packages.

Nevertheless, third party lead page builders have a hefty fee attached to them so, you will save some good bucks through GetResponse’s lead page builder. The feature’s interface, nonetheless, is a little bit clunky and not very intuitive. You will also have to build separate pages for your mobile and desktop pages, which is a hassle.  

Webinars

The platform also has one more feature, which gives makes it a very robust marketing platform. You can create and broadcast webinars from GetResponse, ensuring that you too will engage with your clients on a more personal channel. Webinars are excellent lead generation tools, and holding them from a platform that has your email database makes webinar broadcasts much more convenient. 

The integrated webinar tool means that you will not have to pay more for a standalone webinar solution. The tool is also very easy to use. Your viewers do not need to install any app to view your videos, and you can do a once click record of these sessions. GetResponse also provides free cloud storage for your playback files as well as useful screen sharing functionality.

ActiveCampaign vs. GetResponse

ActiveCampaign is a critical tool for any entrepreneur in need of an affordable email marketing solution. It has robust marketing automation tools that bring better functionality to email marketing campaigns than those of similarly priced peers. Its ability to run a multitude of sales funnels from multiple products is a big plus of the platform.

With it’s easy to use agile like process, you can rest assured that you will not send irrelevant emails to a target audience. The software’s main strength is the management of multiple and sophisticated sales funnels. It also makes it very easy for you to work with a team due to the ease of assigning tasks.

These two advantages place ActiveCampaign ahead of the curve when compared to GetResponse. If your business has multiple email campaigns or products, you will enjoy the ease of use that ActiveCampaign’s platform brings.

GetResponse, on the other hand, can be a bit underwhelming to a user with a sophisticated email marketing strategy. The platform nevertheless has rich features that go beyond the email list. It, for example, has a landing pages builder. It is also better priced than its competitor is, when it comes to its higher feature packages. GetResponse, has a 30-day free trial, meaning that you can take it for a test run, without giving out your credit card details.

Why compare GetResponse to ActiveCampaign?

These two tools are highly functional in email marketing. We’re comparing them so that you can get the best lead generation ROI. 

You do not need both of them for this function. ActiveCampaign’s CRM, however, is hands down one of the best platforms for automated marketing, especially for businesses with multiple products. GetResponse has an efficient CRM tool, as well as other extra features such as a landing page builder. ActiveCampaign can do for your business, if you do not mind paying more for its feature-packed package. If you, however, want to do more for your business, GetResponse is your answer.

ActiveCampaign pros

  • Use of tags and lists for subscriber management
  • Advanced automation features that include customizable workflows and triggers
  • A functional and robust CRM platform
  • An easy to use and attractive user interface for campaign building
  • Thorough split testing tools
  • A fantastic list on integrations
  • Responsive support
  • Tracking and reporting tools
  • Great for multiple email campaigns management

Cons

  • Its higher-priced package is expensive
  • A clunky drag and drop builder
  • Harder to manage contacts on the platform
  • Few predesigned email templates
  • A limited form builder on cheaper plans
  • No free trial
  • GetResponse pros
  • One month no commitment-free trial for a 250 subscriber list
  • Easy to import contacts from other apps into the platform
  • Easy to use analytics and tracker features
  • Award-winning customer support
  • Useful inbuilt landing page creator
  • A robust list of management tools
  • The more affordable option
  • Webinar broadcasting features
  • Wide range of predesigned email templates

Cons

  • No refund policy
  • Poor email activity tracking

Over to you

If you are still unsure of which platform is best for you, perhaps this quick summary will show you the way. ActiveCampaign is perfect for B2B businesses with longer sales cycles. If you are heavily invested in B2B sales, you should have ActiveCampaign working for you. However, if your company sells directly to its customers, GetResponse makes it very easy to manage your campaigns. If your business deals with B2C emails, get GetResponse.

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Paxton Gray: Take Your Content Strategy and SEO to the Next Level

Listen to our exclusive interview with Paxton Gray:

Subscribe to this show on Spotify  |  iTunes  |  Stitcher  |  Soundcloud

We all want our businesses to be successful, so the importance of effective content strategy and an eye towards SEO are decidedly important. As 97th Floor’s Executive Vice President of Operations, Paxton Gray knows a thing or two about both. In this interview, Paxton shares some great tips on optimizing your content strategy and how and when to focus on SEO. 

Should SEO Be Your Main Goal?

Paxton explains that link-building is still an important and effective part of SEO. Links are important to outreach. He goes on to explain that there is an abundance of data that shows that pages rank well when they have good links pointing back to them. 

However, a couple years ago, he and his team learned that the particulars of SEO may not necessarily be the most important thing to focus on. It’s far more important to focus on quality content. His team was using a bunch of data to determine what they should write about in order to give their pages a good ranking. Makes sense, right? And it did work. The pages ranked. However, because they were so focused on SEO, there wasn’t nearly enough focus on developing quality content.

While getting your pages to rank will attract people, showing them quality content will incite action. In fact, as long as you’ve got well-formatted title tags and good user experience, it is much better to focus on the content than on SEO.

Developing Great Content

One great way to come up with some great content is to care about the user. Focus on what it is the user is looking for and expecting to see when they visit your page.

Put yourself in the shoes of the customer.

Carefully consider how you provide them with what it is they’re looking for. Content for the sake of content isn’t going to be helpful. Make sure your content is helpful and relevant. The last thing you want is for a potential customer or client to have their intelligence insulted by content that’s nothing more than fluff. Think about who your typical user is and good content will follow. Especially if you’re a solopreneur who is just starting out, focus on what you can give your clients to make their lives better. Building a fan base this way is a much better investment of your time than figuring out SEO.

Hire Some Help

For additional guidance, as you grow, consider hiring a consultant you trust to do a quick once-over for you. Then, when you’re in the market for an agency, compare what they say to what your consultant said. 

Marketing Automation: An Effective Tool

If you’re a medium-sized business and you have at least one or two people on your marketing team, Paxton suggests you get into marketing automation. Marketing automation is taking the “one-to-many” approach of advertising and making it feel like the “one-to-one” approach of sales — tools such as chat bots and emails.

If you don’t, you’re probably not making as much money as you could. But make sure you’re doing it right. Marketing automation done wrong is a quick way to make your business look really bad. Effective marketing automation is a lot more like computer programming than content marketing. 

Lastly, good content is really all about telling a great story. Focus on telling an interesting and captivating story when promoting your brand and building your fan base. 

As long as you can tell a good story, you will be successful in marketing and in business.

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Transcription of Interview (Transcribed by OtterAI; there may be errors.)

Adam Force 0:12
Hey, what’s going on everybody? Welcome back to the Change Creator podcast show. This is your host, Adam force. And if you missed last week’s episode, it’s with Heather Dominick. Can we talk about how to scale your business as a highly sensitive entrepreneur? Really great conversation. So check that out when you get a chance. And today we’re gonna be talking with Paxton Gray. He’s the Executive Vice President of Operations at 97th Floor. And he covers all kinds of work that the agency produces for clients like Discover, ESPN, Salesforce, you name it. He’s full of incredible insights when it comes to marketing and digital work like content strategies, SEO and all that good stuff. So you guys are going to learn a lot. And we’re going to have a really fun conversation with Paxton today, which we’re going to jump into right now. Keeping this intro short and sweet today.

Announcer 0:58
Okay, show me the heat.

Adam Force 1:03
Hey, Paxton, welcome to the change, greater podcast show how you doing today?

Paxton Gray 1:07
I’m doing great. How are you?

Adam Force 1:08
I’m doing awesome, man. You know, another day, another dollar living life. You know, you have so much cool experience. And I just I actually I really liked the name 97th Floor as well. So why don’t you just tell us what you are doing today? Not today, specifically, but like what’s going on in your world at this time? And where you’re at?

Paxton Gray 1:32
Yeah, yeah. So I I’ve been here at 97th Floor for six years. We’ve been around as an agency for 14. And, you know, we focused primarily on on digital marketing. And so that’s, that’s where my head is thinking, you know, how do we leverage all the different platforms and, and tools within the digital space to get results? So yeah, that’s that’s kind of where I’m living what I’m working on trying to help grow 97th Floor to be even bigger than it is.

Adam Force 2:00
Awesome. Awesome. I am curious, you know — actually, that triggers a number of questions. But before we get into it, you know, what got you into the marketing space, what led you to 97th Floor, just a little background would be helpful and know where you’re coming from?

Paxton Gray 2:14
Yeah, so I studied advertising, actually, at a university here in Utah. And my plan was always to go work at the big sexy New York advertising agency. You know, that’s kind of where I wanted to end up at Ogilvy or shy day. I mean, those aren’t in New York, but yeah, you know what I’m saying. So that’s kind of my plan. And I started looking around for internships in New York and Chicago. And then I, you know, I also got engaged around that same time to a girl that hates the idea of living in a big city. Like, her ideal is to like, go have a bunch of horses and live on a giant ranch. So I stopped looking for internships in New York and Chicago, because she didn’t want to go there. And instead, I looked for places around here in Utah. And I found this company called 97th Floor. And I was like, that sounds like the big sexy New York agency I wanted to work at, you know, so I applied and it, anyway, so I start working at 97th Floor and back then it wasn’t even close to being you know, that big, sexy giant agency. It was a very small shop at the time. I think I was like employee number 12. And I realized, however, that if I could — like, this agency has potential, like, really cool services, the market is growing really well, awesome talent. And if I stuck it out, and I worked my butt off, I could maybe turn it into the big sexy agency that I always wanted to work at. And, you know, I don’t think we’re 100% there. You know, we’re still growing. But you know, we have an office out in San Francisco, hopefully in a couple years will be out in New York as well. So we’re getting in there.

Adam Force 4:00
Excellent. Excellent. And so my question would be, are you actually on the 97th Floor?

Paxton Gray 4:07
No, we’re not. The tallest building in Utah, I think, is 36 floors. So it’s not on the 97th floor.

Adam Force 4:18
Cool, cool. Cool. Yeah. So do you know where the name came from?

Paxton Gray 4:23
Yeah. So when our founder — so, we started 14 years ago, this September, and back then it was just our founder, you know, he was kind of running a one man show. And he wanted to give it like an LA and New York type vibe. And I believe he was planning on calling it the 100th Floor. And his wife said, yeah, that doesn’t sound very good. Like, doesn’t roll off the tongue 97 rolls off the tongue way better than 100.

Adam Force 4:48
Yeah.

Paxton Gray 4:49
And so he’s like, all right, check for the domain name. It was available, and boom, that was it.

Adam Force 4:54
Awesome. That’s cool.

That’s cool. So when you got there, I mean, what what was going on at the time? Like, can you describe for us the environment there? And what you guys were working on?

Paxton Gray 5:06
Yeah. So it was very much and still is about results. You know, we’re always focused on how do we get results for clients, not just how do we make a ton of money? Or how do we just get hours to bill. All of our contracts are based off of results. And so that leads into like a very scrappy, innovative testing type culture. And that’s kind of what I walked into, kind of anything went as long as it works. So there was no bad ideas, or just experiment trying new things. And so there are some areas, we were a little rough around the edges. But by and large, you know, we just, we were really good at getting the job done. And that’s kind of been our focus always is just getting the job done.

And so that’s kind of what I walked into. There was a time — in fact, it’s kind of a funny story — it was my third week there. We were using a couple different tools sets. And I won’t bother you with particulars. But I found this weird loophole and how to use a couple of tools with each other to get some really cool results. And it was working really well. But it ended up getting — like, I didn’t realize that we were being billed for all this — these API calls that we were making on this one tool. And we got a bill from this tool for, I guess, $6500. So with my third week there, I was like, boom, I was a huge liability.

Adam Force 6:27
You’re welcome!

Paxton Gray 6:29
Yeah. But our CEO, I mean, to his credit, it’s like, Hey, man, that’s what it’s all about. It’s all about testing and trying things. And I love that you’re experimenting. So that to me cemented in the idea of nothing’s, you know, nothing’s not worth trying.

Adam Force 6:42
Yeah. Now, that’s pretty cool. So yeah, so it was just some kind of like marketing stuff you were trying to pull off? or What was it?

Paxton Gray 6:51
Yeah. So back then, we did a lot of link building, which if you’re familiar with SEO, you know, links are important for ranking. And I was doing some outreach. And I discovered, well, we had one tool that allowed us to find the email addresses for editors and publishers.

Adam Force 7:11
Yeah.

Paxton Gray 7:11
And then we had another tool that allowed us to scrape all the backlinks of our competitors. And so I figured out that I could scrape all the backlinks of our competitors, get get thousands and thousands of URLs, and then stuff all those URLs into this other tool that was basically an email scraper. So I could walk away with, you know, 20,000 email addresses of publishers, and editors, and then I could just hit them up just all day. And what I didn’t realize is that the email scraper charged per scrape. And so when I stuffed 20,000 URLs into it, we got a giant bill, but it worked out that way. We got it. I got good results. And…

Adam Force 7:50
Right, so you got the return on it.

Paxton Gray 7:51
Yeah, we got the return. Just a little unexpected costs there.

Adam Force 7:56
Yeah, but that’s pretty cool. So like, what was your role when you started there?

Paxton Gray 8:01
So my role when I started was SEO marketer. So I basically got doing the link building, doing optimizations, kind of doing all the legwork for SEO.

Adam Force 8:12
And how have you been seeing now the evolution of the marketing space? You know, we’re talking, we got a lot of entrepreneurs listening here. And obviously, marketing is a very important part of any business. And I’m just curious from your experience, you know, we’ll just tap into the SEO conversation for a minute. Just how you see things changing, like, do you still focus on, you know, link building? Or how is the dynamic changed in your mind over the years?

Paxton Gray 8:40
Yeah, so link building is still an important part of SEO, we have oodles and oodles of data that show that pages that have good links pointing back to them do rank well, so it’s still a big part of the algorithm. It’s gotten a lot more complex than it was back when I started 11 years ago, for sure. Like back then we were keyword stuffing and putting words and meta keyword tags and all that good stuff.

But these days, you know, I think as long as you have your bases covered, and your you got your title tags, great, and they’re formatted well, and you’ve got good user experience, I think it’s much better to focus on the content, necessarily, than the particulars of SEO. Now, something that we learned a couple of years ago, there’s a system called TFIDF, the term frequency inverse document frequency analysis, where essentially, you are using a bunch of data to figure out what you should write the page about to give it the best shot of ranking as possible.

And it was working. Like, we could get these pages to rank. However, we were so focused on the content being formatted to rank well, and not focused enough on the content actually being good.

Adam Force 9:54
Exactly. Yeah.

Paxton Gray 9:56
So we’ve made a pretty big pivot over the past couple years into, hey, that’s still good to know. But primarily, what we want is great content that is going to actually incite action once a user visits and reads, rather than just merely attracting eyeballs. Because you attract eyeballs, and it’s not good content, that’s not good for your brand. That’s not that’s that’s a waste, right? So, yeah, so I’d say, from an SEO perspective, like still know what you’re doing, still, I would say consult a professional, get people involved, because you can make some pretty serious mistakes that will cost you a lot of money. But then beyond that, I think it’s really important to focus on the content, the message and the user experience once they actually come down.

Adam Force 10:38
Yeah, you know, we, my co founder is really into the SEO stuff and knows it well. Thank God, because I have no idea. And it’s not where my brain goes, right? You know, we think about our titles and stuff, but it is really thinking, like you said, it’s like, Who is this for? And what purpose does it really serve? And, you know, like, what are they getting out of it. So as long as it really speaks to them, and then she’s always like, at least have a good title in there. That can help rank and get get noticed. Because you want to, you know, you want to get picked up by by Google. And we do get like a pretty good high value on the worth of our our content. So it does make a difference. And interestingly enough, like we were running a Facebook campaign to sell one of our programs. And as people came in, on the early days, I would reach out and say, hey, how did you find us and talk to them. And I was hoping it was our Facebook strategy. And it was always the content marketing that was bringing people in. So content wins, man.

Paxton Gray 11:40
Yeah, yeah. I mean, there’s so many articles out there that will tell you that the market is just over saturated. And it’s not worth the investment to do content marketing, because you have to do so much to stand out. And I, you know, all the data that they pulled it say, hey, the internet is growing by 15 million pages a day, the vast majority of those pages are just computer generated pages that will never be seen by anybody. And the other half are just a bunch of crap articles that were written by people who don’t care about the user. I don’t think it’s, I mean, I think it’s definitely worth the investment to have some good content. Like, I got an iPad recently, and I was like searching for some cool creative things to do with an iPad. And so I searched for that on Google. And I can’t tell you, like, the vast majority of them said things like buy a screen protector, get get a cover for your iPad, it’s like, Dude, are you serious? Like you don’t think I’ve just thought about that already. Like, you clearly don’t care about me. You’re just trying to get my views so that your ads, you can get some ad revenue.

Adam Force 12:38
Yeah. Yeah. I mean, I saw it all the time, too. Yep. Agree. Yeah.

Paxton Gray 12:43
Yeah. So just caring about the user. And, you know, keyword research is something that is used by SEO and PPC, very heavily, for obvious reasons. But it’s not used enough by content marketing. And Google is that special tool in our lives that we ask questions from Google that we don’t ask anybody else.

And so that query data that you can get from Google is so important from a content perspective, because if you see people are asking this question over and over and over again, let’s give this some great content to answer that question, let’s help make their lives better. And that will attract an audience and develop really good brand relationship. And hopefully, people will get into the funnel and convert, you know, rather than just saying, like, hey, let’s use this keyword research to so they can rank like, pick some keywords, the high volume keywords to rank for.

Adam Force 13:32
Yeah, exactly.

Paxton Gray 13:33
Which has its place it has its merits, but using it, like looking at that data from a content marketing perspective, I think is is really valuable.

Adam Force 13:41
Okay, and are there any tools you would recommend that people may want to check out to help support, you know, their efforts in in that journey?

Paxton Gray 13:50
Yeah. So there’s lots of lots of cool tools around. Ahrefs has some really great data on keywords. My favorite is Spyfu. And the reason I love spyfu because it’s actually built for PPC kind of intelligence, but they have this organic part of the site. And the data is just so fast. And Spyfu is so cheap. So if you’re, you know, if you’re an entrepreneur and you’re trying to decrease the cost of your marketing stacks Spyfu is a great way to do it. It’s only I think it’s like 30 bucks a month. And they have really great data really fast and gives you everything you need.

Adam Force 14:27
Cool.Yeah, isn’t it because Ahrefs is we use Ahrefs, but it’s pretty expensive, isn’t it? I don’t remember how much it is every month.

Paxton Gray 14:33
Yeah, it is. I mean, it they have different levels, but it’s definitely more and more expensive than Spyfu.

Adam Force 14:39
Yeah, yeah.

Paxton Gray 14:40
And then beyond that, I actually have a template that is built for use with Spyfu to where you can kind of run some data, export it and then shove all that data into a template. And it will sort through all of it for you and find the best keyword opportunities. Because it kind of allows you to sort through, you know, 40,000 rows of data in 10 minutes, as opposed to one by one. So it’s a really cool template that I can share with your users. I have a URL I can give you afterwards.

Adam Force 15:13
I mean, is it like, do you have to be some kind of super user to figure it out?

Paxton Gray 15:18
No, I actually, within that template, I also have, there’s a link to a YouTube video where I can walk everybody through how to use it. So yeah, so I teach a course actually, university around here. And it’s intro to SEO and analytics, and I teach them that exact same process for keyword research. And so I’ve taught a lot. So it’s very, very easy. Anybody can do it.

Adam Force 15:42
So you know, one question I, you know, as we think about being entrepreneurs, and building up our marketing and stuff, you know, you got to pick and choose where you’re spending your time. And I mean, would you recommend like, Hey, you should have some basic understanding of these thing and these tools. You might be a small team. So you guys are like you wear multiple hats. But do you I have noticed to like it can be really tough when you try to bring on somebody, there’s a lot of like swindlers in the SEO space. And yeah, any advice on like, Is it worth hiring people? Or should you kind of get basic knowledge yourself?

Paxton Gray 16:17
I think it depends on what stage you’re at. So if you’re the solopreneur kind of stage, you’re just doing it by yourself, I think it’s far more valuable to just focus on your audience and focus on what do they need? And what kind of what can I give them to make their lives better. And in that way, build a good audience and build a fan base, that’s going to be way better investment of your time thanfiguring out the ins and outs of SEO. And then, you know, once you’ve gone past that stage, and you have some more time on your hands to focus towards marketing, I think it would be a good idea to learn, learn the basics, but just enough so you don’t get swindled, you know, and I think a really great way to dip your toe into it is to hire a consultant that you trust, to just come in and do a real quick once over, just say what are the big things I should focus on? And then when you go out to shops, shops, some agencies compare what they say against what that consultant you said that you trust what they said, Yeah, I think that’s a really great way to save yourself some time and avoid people who are just in it for a quick buck.

Adam Force 17:19
Absolutely, yeah. When I, when I built up stuff on my own, and I didn’t know anything, I had all these articles and all this stuff going on. And then Amy came in. And she was like, man, we gotta fix this, you know, so you can end up creating more work or hurt your your site, your website’s, you know, effectiveness, if you don’t always take a little bit of time just to get a basic understanding. So I think your your flow of like where you are and what you should do, it makes a lot of good sense. That’s helpful. Yeah. Yes. So you know, as you now are you obviously you’re still doing a lot of that, is that still a big focus for you at 97th Floor at this point?

Paxton Gray 18:00
In terms of SEO?

Adam Force 18:01
Yeah. I mean, you’re right now you’re Executive Vice President, right?

Paxton Gray 18:06
Yes.

Adam Force 18:06
So you’re focused on operations. So I guess you’ve expanded far beyond just the SEO focus?

Paxton Gray 18:11
Yeah, yeah, I’m not I’m not involved too much in the day to day of SEO. But I do I mean, I do, I’m very aware of kind of what’s going on in the industry. I kind of view my job rather than the execution, my job is to keep us on the cutting edge of marketing strategies in SEO, PPC, marketing, automation and content marketing. And so I’m, you know, I’m constantly consuming media to, to kind of help spark those ideas and to test out new things. And so, yeah, I’m very aware of what’s going on the industry. But yeah, I’m not from a day to day perspective involved much.

Adam Force 18:52
Interesting. And so, you know, as far as like, so you’ve gone through a process of like, building an effective team. And I guess, you know, I like what you just mentioned, which is that, you know, you’re you’re leading into the understanding what’s cutting edge for content marketing, but also automation. So I guess I like to talk a little bit about the content, marketing automation, and what you’re seeing is going on today. And if there’s anything that we can, you know, get from your insights there, that would be cool. And then I’d like to talk about well, as we’re starting to build our teams, like, what should we be looking for around these things?

Paxton Gray 19:30
Yeah, yeah, with marketing automation. So much opportunity out there right now. And that barrier to entry is, is getting so much lower than it has ever been in the past, to where, you know, if you’re, if you’re a medium sized business, you know, if you’ve got, if you have at least one or two people in your marketing team, you should be getting into marketing automation, because if you don’t, you’re leaving a lot of a lot of money on the table.

Adam Force 19:55
Okay.

Paxton Gray 19:56
It’s also a way to quickly make your business look really bad. If you don’t do a good job with marketing animation. In a sense, you know, I used to have a much more simplistic view of marketing animation, you know, the idea of, yeah, someone comes to this page, they download an E book, they get an automated email for me, Bing, bang, boom, they become a customer. Pretty simple.

And I’ve been very corrected in terms of how simple it actually is. I mean, it can be very simple, depending on your, your sales cycle and your objectives. But marketing animation is much more akin to computer programming than it is content marketing, in my opinion. Because you have to get that logic correct. Because if you if your logic is off in terms of the flow and the automation and the triggers, then you’re going to make your business look really stupid. Even if your content is great. If you don’t, the wrong message is the wrong time. Because your logic is off. Yeah, the potential for downfall is high.

So I would say, if you’re going to dip your toe into marketing automation, and you’re going to do it yourself, keep it as simple as possible, I would recommend using HubSpot. They’re very, in terms of complexity, they’re pretty simple. They build their business off of working with this small and medium level businesses. So there’s a lot of support a lot of great content out there. But keep it really simple.

And the best thing to do, and this is true for all marketing, this is actually probably true for business and product development. Put yourself in the shoes of the customer. And what what do they expect to see when they click that button? And how can you give them what they expect to see? Right?

If that’s off, then then you got to make some changes. So I think start simple and make sure that that’s true, whatever their customer expects to see. Give them that. And as long as you can keep that true, as you add more more and more complexity, then you’re gonna be good.

Adam Force 22:03
Yeah, that makes sense. And can you just define for people, when you say automation, I have a number of things, it could be a chatbot experience, it could be an email sales sequence with behavioral marketing. How were you looking at it.

Paxton Gray 22:19
Yeah, loosely defined marketing automation is, you know, the difference between sales and marketing is sales is one to one. And marketing is one to many. Or I should say like advertising is one to many. Marketing automation, is trying to take that one to many approach and make it feel like it’s one to one, so that the person is getting spoken to in a way that is very customized in it and makes sense for their particular stage of interaction with your business.

So that can be through chat bots, that can be through email. Some something that people don’t do often that is actually something that’s great is calls to action on content should change dynamically, depending on what has happened before. So for example, if you have an article talking about, it doesn’t matter was talking about but it has a call to action download this this white paper. Yeah, or this ebook.

If you use marketing automation, you can have smart CTA, where if they if it knows that that person has already downloaded that ebook, then instead it says, sign up for a demo, or download this other ebook that we know you haven’t downloaded. So having smart calls to action is really simple execution and saves a lot of waste of time, you know, from asking people to do something they’ve already done, or that doesn’t make sense for their particular situation.

Adam Force 23:37
Yeah, I like that. So the personalization is definitely, you know, something that we focus on too. It’s a great point and actually the smart CTA, I haven’t actually seen that before. We use Active Campaign for, you know, our email sequencing and automations, and it’s pretty cool with their behavioral marketing. And you mentioned HubSpot. What about HubSpot do you find compelling like what are they they can you do the smart CTA with their software? What’s the difference there?

Paxton Gray 24:06
Yeah, you can if if you’ve built a CTA, through HubSpot, or the landing page through HubSpot, then you can use smart CTAs that will change…

Adam Force 24:13
Ah, ok.

Paxton Gray 24:14
Yeah. I like HubSpot a lot. It’s not something we use. We use more complex platforms typically for larger level businesses like Lexmark Animation Cycle. But for the majority of businesses, HubSpot is a great, great suite of tools.

Adam Force 24:35
Okay, that’s pretty cool. And so 97th Floor, like who’s your typical client these days? Like I actually, I’m curious to know how that’s evolved. Like, who was your client when you started? And who’s your clients now? Like, is it changed? Or you guys have the same focus?

Paxton Gray 24:50
Yeah, so our focus is primarily on more enterprise level businesses, a lot of b2b tech, and then b2c lifestyle fashion. We have a lot in that space as well. And that’s what we’ve been pretty much since I started at 97th Floor. Our background really is, in the early days, there’s a company called Omniture, not sure if you remember.

Adam Force 25:20
Yeah.

Paxton Gray 25:21
So you know, our CEO kind of was talking with Omniture and convinced them to let us do a test on one of their keywords. And back then we were doing primarily just SEO. And the test went really well, we got the keyword to I think spot one or two. And so based on that test, they hired us to do work for Omniture. And then when Omniture was acquired by Adobe, Adobe did the review of their agency and the work that we had done for Omniture and then fired their agency and hired us.

So then we started working for Adobe, and Adobe is one of those companies that people come to work for, so they can get on their resume, and they go somewhere else. So we did such good work for Adobe that as people came and went, they brought us with them. And so we kind of spread over to the companies that their marketing team went to after they left Adobe. And so largely, the growth of 97th Floor has been organic and based off based on the work that we do, not based off of really great marketing of our own brands, you know, our sales team is really small.

And especially in comparison to our fulfillment, I think on fulfillment, fulfillment, we have probably 80 people and our sales team is three people. So we rely pretty heavily on word of mouth. Like our clients, you know, we used to do SEO for our own brand. And that’s just like, the people that we’re trying to talk to they don’t go to Google when they’re searching for their agency.

Adam Force 26:44
Right.

Paxton Gray 26:46
They ask their connections, you know, what’s an agency I should use? And so we work on trying to be that agency that people recommend.

Adam Force 26:53
Okay. Yeah. And so when you I guess I’m curious, because I always see people trying to start their own, you know, agencies and stuff like that. And I think you know, it is that immediate Rolodex that can really get you off the ground, but like, sooner or later, the Rolodex runs dry, and you’ve kind of gone through it, and you got to start picking up cold leads.

Have you guys. And I know you mentioned referrals now, and you guys are obviously well established. But there must have been a time where you had to get new clients that were cold. And I’m curious if there was, if anything stands out to you on how you guys approach that?

Paxton Gray 27:29
Yeah, referrals still represents the majority of the leads that come through today. Okay. But other things that we’ve tried, we’ve, we’ve run some ads on LinkedIn. Not a lot of success there. Just the cost is pretty high and hard to get down. We’ve run some ads on Facebook and Instagram, surprisingly, with a lot of success. Yeah, we actually just did a survey of a lot of clients and the vast majority are pretty active on Instagram, which isn’t something I would have guessed.

Adam Force 28:03
That’s interesting. Especially clients that you go after, like the enterprise clients. Yeah,

Paxton Gray 28:08
Yeah, you kind of think they’d be a little bit more maybe boring or more business focused. But everyone loves Instagram, everybody loves those pictures so I guess yeah, so it’s been Instagram has been pretty successful for us. So that’s what I would recommend trying out if you want to run some ads.

Adam Force 28:22
Yeah, we’re big fans of Facebook and Instagram and obviously they tie together there and really powerful marketing tool like just just really smart and the depth you can take it for, you know, really getting niche is and retargeting and all that stuff is pretty cool.

Paxton Gray 28:41
Yeah, yeah. Lookalike Audience is awesome, too.

Adam Force 28:44
Ah, yeah. And you know, like we and I love that they let you you know, retarget so you could do like a video sequence where, you know, did they watch, you know, 75% or 95% of that last video? I’m going to retarget those people.

Paxton Gray 28:56
Yeah, yeah. There’s other agency that I I saw, I watched one of their videos, and now I just get their videos all the time. Like, I’m definitely in their cycle of videos.

Adam Force 29:07
Yeah, yeah. You know, it’s funny, I watched. I don’t know, if you saw this documentary, you probably find it fascinating. It was The Great Hack on Netflix.

Paxton Gray 29:16
I saw it as my things to watch, but I haven’t watched it.

Adam Force 29:23
My god, it’s been one of these things that I’ve been talking about recently, because I just saw it. So I’m bringing it up here. A little off topic. But it’s interesting, to say the least. And you know that my wife and I sometimes we’ll be talking about something. And then next, you know, she’ll be looking at like Facebook, 20 minutes later, she’s like, swear to god, these microphones. They’re listening to us through these microphones, because I didn’t go to this website. But now I see the ad.

And I’m like, that is interesting. Because I know, the Facebook machine. And I know someone so I was watching this movie. And you know, these companies that Cambridge Analytica, they’re like, here’s what the said like, have you ever had the experience where, you know, you think your microphone is listening to you? And next thing, you know, you see this ad and I was like, holy shit, this is what we were just talking about.

And like, well, that’s not actually what’s happening. What’s happening is we have so much personality data about you that they can predict like, what you like want to talk what you’re going to be talking about and what you’re thinking about. And so all of a sudden, you’re getting served these things that are just predictive ads.

Paxton Gray 30:27
That’s creepy, man. That’s trippy. Yeah, I think we’re getting to a point where technology is just outpacing the capacity of the human brain to think, frankly.

Adam Force 30:38
Oh, yeah.

Paxton Gray 30:40
This kind of stuff is going to happen more and more. And, you know, in aggregate, we’re pretty predictable beings. And as long as you have enough data, and it’s the right data, you can kind of guess what we’re going to be doing next.

Adam Force 30:52
And that is scary, that is creepy because you know what, with what the whole point of this documentary was, they were showing, like so much data is being used without your consent to do things that we will never understand. Like, they basically Cambridge Analytica came out and they’re like, yeah, we made Brexit happen. We made Donald Trump happen, and they explained how it worked and what they did. And when you see it, you’re just like, Whoa, did not even have a clue about that.

Paxton Gray 31:20
That’s crazy, man. Yeah, I gotta check that out. I gotta check that out.

Adam Force 31:24
Oh, yeah, it’s definitely worth it. I think you would really be fascinated by it. And now it’s just like, so what is real anymore? What is being mass manipulated? And what’s actually real?

Paxton Gray 31:35
Yeah, I mean, I, there’s so many times when I’m on even LinkedIn, like on LinkedIn. Oh, man, this is going to get into a weird story. But it’s like sometimes I’ll see this debate that’s raging on LinkedIn. And I’ll follow someone down the rabbit hole and be like, I’m pretty sure this is a fake account. Like they’re not endorsed by anybody. They don’t have any experience or anything that seems like this is a real profile. They’re just like stirring stuff up.

Adam Force 32:02
Yeah.

Paxton Gray 32:03
Yeah, pretty crazy. We actually at 97th Floor we have a day called Black Hat day that we do every Halloween. But it’s the week before Halloween. And basically everyone brings their like dirtiest sneakiest online trick that they can figure out, you know, not with the idea that we’re never going to actually do it at 97th Floor. But I think it keeps people sharp and kind of aware of like what is possible out there when you have the right sets of data.

Adam Force 32:29
Oh, yeah.

Paxton Gray 32:30
My hack last year was to create a fake LinkedIn profile. And made her a recruiter at Ogilvy. And so she’s connected with CEOs all over the United States. And yeah, it’s crazy. And it’s just like a total fake account. I pulled two images, and I combine them to make a profile image. And then I just pulled pieces of other people’s experience and made this fake profile. It looks super legit. And because she’s a recruiter, like people hit her up and connect with her, like all every day, I get like 10 to 20 LinkedIn requests for profiles bigger than my profile. Yeah, it’s nuts. I was I was just playing around like, I wasn’t, I don’t do anything with it. It just exists.

Adam Force 33:09
Sure, sure!

Paxton Gray 33:12
As for to do something like that was easy. It was easy to build that up.

Adam Force 33:17
Wow. That’s crazy. I did want to — we’ll wrap up here in a minute. I want to be respectful of your time.

Paxton Gray 33:24
No, I love this. This is awesome!

Adam Force 33:25
Okay. Yeah, well, one of the things they mentioned is like, you know, when they have this, like when they have a campaign of any kind of something going on, they will have like a whole warehouse of people who create those types of accounts. And like an instance that they were referencing here, they’re like, there was literally like a million and a half like 1.5 million budget, going at the monthly 1.5 million a month being pumped in to trolling accounts to shift and combat, like things that were going on with misinformation.

Paxton Gray 34:00
I believe it.

Adam Force 34:00
All these fake accounts are made and all these fake websites. And all this stuff is put together as a complete manipulation machine, which is — and they know like what happened, like Cambridge Analytic is like, well, we have 5000 data points on every American. And we isolated everyone that we we called “the persuadables, and they have this huge bucket of persuadables. And then they would run these crazy campaigns that would just constantly push people to believe certain things so that they would vote their way. It’s like, Oh, my God.

And yeah, like one other quick example. And I don’t want to spoil too much, but like, they would this is what really impressed me. They were in like another area for an election. And there was two different populations. And they knew one population of — and they were going after kids. And they’re like, so we can’t talk about politics because kids don’t care. But they do like to get behind movements, and they react to things. So they came up with this thing called the do this campaign.

They would make it this thing about like, oh, like, I’m not going to vote, I’m going against the man and blah, blah, blah. And so they knew that one population of kids, they would stick to it, and they wouldn’t vote and they wanted that to happen. But the other population, which was like another race, like just to be clear, they said, Well, we know that they listen to their parents, and their parents are going to tell them you better vote and they know who they’re going to vote for. So now they got the one side to not vote, and then they got the other side to vote.

Paxton Gray 35:31
Wow, wow, that’s sophisticated.

Adam Force 35:34
That’s sophisticated marketing on a very mass scale, and you don’t even know it’s happening.

Paxton Gray 35:38
I would love to see somebody start a social platform that requires like, some kind of identification. I mean, like Coinbase can do it like. Get something where it’s like, only you can have that profile and you are verified, who you say you are, and then not let anyone else in. And I think that’d be so much healthier,

Adam Force 36:01
It probably would be and I’m surprised we don’t see things like that. I’m wondering if naturally these types of things will start surfacing just because of the environmental circumstances of what’s going on.

Paxton Gray 36:11
It does seem like the market’s right for something like that.

Adam Force 36:13
Why don’t you get on that?

Paxton Gray 36:15
Yeah, we should. Yeah. It’s my next business idea.

Adam Force 36:20
You know, everybody complains about the changes, you know, Instagram makes about the way they’re running the feeds, and you know, the organic traffic on Facebook, all these things. And I’m always wondering like, well, if you want things like, where you see every post, like chronologically, right? Well, why don’t you create a platform and test that out and see, like, maybe you’ll get all those people that would much prefer to have that and no one’s doing it though.

Paxton Gray 36:43
Yeah, I think people are just scared of that. Like, I think we’re often fed that message of, you know, you want to enter a market where no one else is where you’re gonna have no competition. But I don’t think that’s necessarily the wisest thing. You know, so many people are just tired of their current selection of social media. I think there’s still room for other platforms.

Adam Force 37:04
You know what, and that’s that I think you’re 100%, right. Because at the end of the day, you always feel like it’s too saturated, too whatever but I think that when you see it over and over again, like there’s, you can someone else will start something sooner or later, and then you’ll go Oh, I guess there is I guess you can start acting out there’s always like a niche you can carve out.

Paxton Gray 37:23
Oh, yeah. Well, I’m plus as humans, like, we’re so attracted to new and something that’s novel.

Adam Force 37:29
Yeah.

Paxton Gray 37:30
And how old is Facebook? I mean, freak. I started Facebook, back when only college students were allowed to be on Facebook, you know, like, yeah, that’s old. That’s like, I’m ready. I’m ready to get off. I would love to get off. In fact, if I didn’t have to be on for like, other reasons, but yeah.

Adam Force 37:47
Yeah. I mean, I don’t — Are there things you don’t like about Facebook at this point?

Paxton Gray 37:52
I’m not a fan of all the all the breaches, all the data security, like,

Adam Force 37:56
Yeah, yeah, that was I mean, they got they got hacked, man. And that was, yeah, that was a big, that was a big to do for sure. I’m, and I’m surprised because obviously, they have they should have pretty tough firewalls and all that stuff. But and they did step it up. Now they got all this, like two step authorization and all these other things going on, which was a real pain in the ass, by the way.

Paxton Gray 38:18
Yeah, yeah. No, I’d love to see, I’d love to see someone marry the idea of Facebook and Instagram and YouTube, in the sense of, you know, like, with Facebook, we’re selling, there are data like we’re the product right? At least on YouTube, the creators get some cut of what’s going on. Why isn’t that true on Facebook? Like, why don’t Instagram influencers or creators get a cut of the ad revenue that Instagram gets from them producing content? I think, you know, that’s that, I think is an opportunity there.

Adam Force 38:50
That’s a good question. And the platforms are — well, Facebook at least is getting more and more complicated. And I have noticed that when new platforms like this come up that like, hey, only the cool kids know about it. They — the simplicity of it is something that people tend to really like. So if you have something that’s simple, and just like it has like a very singular focus, people tend to like that.

Paxton Gray 39:14
Yeah. Well, I hope one of your listeners is a developer and does something awesome.

Adam Force 39:20
I know, I wish I you know, I always tried to get into learning development. And I’m just I’m far more of a front end like designer and creator. But as far as the coding and stuff, I just have a hard time wrapping my head around that all.

Paxton Gray 39:32
I’ve always said, like our kids, when we get old, our kids are going to tell stories to their kids about us and say like, my grandpa did this. And he didn’t even know how to code! Similar to how we say something about like people way in the past, like this guy didn’t even know how to read and he did this like Isn’t that crazy?

Adam Force 39:49
Yeah. Well, I don’t know, when you were born. I was born in 79. So I’m sharing my age here. But I always say to people, I’m like, Listen to my friends. I’m like, we’re probably the last generation that will ever know what it is to drive with a hard copy map or not have had the internet.

Paxton Gray 40:10
Yeah, Yeah, no kidding.

Adam Force 40:11
Right?

Paxton Gray 40:13
I mean, we’re getting close to the end of combustion engine cars.

Adam Force 40:17
Yeah. Yeah.

Paxton Gray 40:19
Not a long time, like our kids are gonna look back and say I remember when you guys had a gasoline car. Isn’t that crazy?

Adam Force 40:25
Yeah, I can’t believe you are burning gas every day.

Paxton Gray 40:29
Sounds so prehistoric and caveman-like.

Adam Force 40:32
You know, there’s a lot of talk about those Tesla cars. So it’s, you know, talk about a great marketer and a great entrepreneur. This is a guy who just has this. He’s a great storyteller. He has a story that everybody wants to be part of. And he’s really good at leaning into it and kind of like — he doesn’t care. Like, he’s gone bankrupt multiple times. And I forget what book I was reading about him. And he’s like, yeah, you know, I went bankrupt. And I wasn’t worried. So I started PayPal with some people and made my money back so I can fund my next idea.

Paxton Gray 41:03
Yeah, I like him a lot. He’s, he’s a cool guy. And I think that that idea of storytelling, you know, that’s what marketing is at its core. And that will never change. What works with SEO now won’t work in the future. PPC will different, it will be different, some sometime in the future, Facebook will be gone and all that changes from day to day.

But what will never change is that humans love stories. And as long as you can tell a good story, you will be successful in marketing and in business. That’s the art form, that’s the golden standard is being able to tell a story and incite action from telling a story and he is just so good at that.

Adam Force 41:44
100% agree. I think that’s a great a great note that we can wrap up on because it was perfect. And I always say that to him, like the tactics change. And there are certain things that change all the time. But there’s other marketing principles and fundamentals that are just so deeply rooted in our human you know, wiring and behavior that stuff like storytelling — it’s a skill that you want to master because it can make or break your business.

Paxton Gray 42:11
Yeah, for sure.

Adam Force 42:13
Well, Paxton, I really appreciate it man. That was a fun conversation. And let’s give a shout out you know, people I mean, you know, I know you work with enterprises. But guys you want to check out Paxton what they’re doing over at 97th Floor. It’s 97thfloor.com. You can see what they’re up to. And there’s a cool video of facts in on there. And Paxton, yeah, maybe we can get that link to that template. And we’ll share that in our show notes and put it up on the site for people.

Paxton Gray 42:41
Yeah, yeah, I’ll send it over. You can watch the video and download that template.

Adam Force 42:44
And you’re okay with us, including that there. I just want to make sure you’re cool with that.

Paxton Gray 42:47
Yep. Yeah, for sure.

Adam Force 42:49
Okay, awesome, man. All right. Well, listen, appreciate your time and good luck with everything sounds like you’re doing some really exciting stuff. And listen, if you’re in Miami, open for a cup of coffee if you’re around.

Paxton Gray 43:00
Awesome. Sounds great.

Adam Force 43:02
Alright, man, take care. Appreciate it.

Announcer 43:03
That’s all for this episode. Your next step is to join the Change Creator revolution by downloading our interactive digital magazine app for premium content, exclusive interviews, and more ways to stay on top of your game available now on iTunes and Google Play or visit changecreatormag.com. We’ll see you next time where money and meeting intersect right here at the Change Creator podcast.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

Supermetrics Review: The Good, the Bad and Everything in Between

Gone are the days when marketers struggled with reporting, analyzing and monitoring data. There was a time when, moving the data from marketing platforms to wherever they wanted to use it, was overwhelming. Supermetrics solved all these issues by bringing all your marketing metrics in one place and making analysis easy.

When Mikael Thuneberg was still working as a web analyst in 2009, he entered an online competition to connect the newly released Google Analytics API to Excel. The grand prize for the 1st successful contestant? A Google t-shirt. Motivated by his own struggle with manually copying and pasting data from Google Analytics to Excel, he worked through many nights to solve this puzzle. He won.

Mikael then founded Supermetrics as a way to help not only Google Analytics users, but other marketers around the globe. The Supermetrics mission is to help marketers report, analyze and monitor their data better by connecting the marketing platforms to wherever they want to use the data.

Why Consider Supermetrics?

The process of gathering data from various sources and bringing it together to create reports for clients is exhausting. So, what makes Supermetrics helpful to online marketers and other businesses with managing their challenges?

PPC Reporting

The connection Supermetrics has with various ad platforms makes it a breeze to automate reports for Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Bing, and others.

Social Media Reporting

Supermetrics can collect social media data from Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Reddit, Pinterest, Tumblr, and other platforms. With these metrics, you can create a personalized social media report that includes engagement statistics and follower growth.

SEO Reporting

Create your own SEO report with Supermetrics. SEO reporting connects with Searchmetrics, Google Search Console, Moz, and other SEO tools. Supermetrics combines the results over time which sorts out the search console problem of limiting reports to 90 days.

Analytics Reporting

You can automate analytics reporting with Supermetrics. It connects with Adobe Analytics and Google Analytics. With Supermetrics, you’re able to create more customized reports than with just Google Analytics.

Analysis and Optimization

The majority of businesses use Supermetrics for report automation. However, it provides powerful optimization and analysis too. For instance, you can obtain deep insights from Analytics and Adwords than from the usual Google reports.

Other Benefits of Supermetrics

No More Importing CSV Files or Manual Copy/Paste

Some marketers spend too much time logging into each platform to collect data. The more channels you adopt, the more time you’ll spend. Instead, you should spend this time adding value to clients and their businesses.

Supermetrics solves this problem with a flexible sidebar which makes it easy to obtain metrics for several sites within a few seconds. All you need to do is enter the necessary information and Supermetrics will automatically generate your data. Not only does this shorten the time you use, but it also provides good quality presentation of the data.

Integration with Several Marketing Platforms

Supermetrics can be integrated with almost 50 platforms. This allows you to connect to your data no matter where it is. Some of these platforms include; Google Analytics, Google Ads, Google Search Console, MailChimp, LinkedIn Ads, Twitter Ads, and YouTube. 

Integration makes analysis easier for marketers. You can collect data from various sources into a single view. For comparison purposes, you can also collect data from various accounts related to the same source. This is quite useful when one client (business) has several accounts for various locations. They can easily track performance for each location based on particular metrics.

Supermetrics is so committed to helping you easily connect to your data that in case your data source is not available, they can build it for you. You simply have to fill in a request form with your email address and the data source you’re voting for.

Monitor Daily Ad Spend

Monitoring the daily ad spend for clients is important, but it can be a pain. Online advertisers can easily track ad spends with this dynamic platform. When Supermetrics has collected all the required data on a spreadsheet, you can simply use ‘data validation’ to create drop-down menus. At this point, it’s easy to see each client’s ad spend and compare it with the expected daily spend.

By selecting the client account from the drop-down menu, you can easily and quickly monitor all the clients’ accounts.

Reduce PPC Reporting Time

The expansion of your client base and marketing channels can make data reporting and visualization daunting and timewasting. Collecting and updating data from various advertising sources into one excel sheet, then comparing the findings is tiring. 

For instance, you may have several accounts for Google Ads and also use other platforms like LinkedIn Ads and Facebook Ads. The difficulty and time spent in creating daily reports can make your head spin. Supermetrics sorts this issue out by using its Google Data Studio Integration and Google Sheets Add-On feature. 

It builds an excel report with all comparisons, charts and PPC channel information in the same place. Advertising data comparison and analysis made easy.

Monitor Performance with Automated Dashboards

It’s your job to ensure that your clients earn a high return on investment. You can do this with Supermetrics by setting dashboards and automating alerts that notify you when performance declines below the expected level. This eliminates human error while satisfying your clients. The alerts allow you to take the necessary action as soon as possible.

Supermetrics Products and Features

Supermetrics provides a variety of products to automate reporting for SEO, PPC, social media and web analytics. The platform features the following products.

Supermetrics for Google Sheets

This product is the most popular on the platform. You can automate reports by collecting data from various sources like Twitter, Google Adwords, Facebook Ads, Bing Ads, etc. using your preferred metrics onto one single spreadsheet.

The visualization, data-crunching and sharing abilities of Google Sheets, combined with the data fetching power of Supermetrics will take your marketing game to the next level.  

The Hobby (Free) version is simply for you to test the product and only connects with one data source, Google Analytics. The Pro Version connects with a number of data sources and costs $69 per month. 

The Super Pro version (which is the most popular) connects with all data sources on the platform and goes for $149 per month. It allows integration with all data sources and provides an hourly scheduled refresh. The Enterprise version is customizable to your particular requirements.

You can test the product to determine how well it will work by taking advantage of the 14 days free trial including all features. If you make annual payments for whichever version, a 22% discount applies.

Google Data Studio

This product is great for data visualization and creating reports. In the past, to visualize data and create reports, you had to first organize data from non-Google sources in Google Sheets and then import to Data Studio.

Supermetrics makes this easy with connectors like Twitter Ads, LinkedIn Ads, Bing Ads, MailChimp, and others. It becomes a breeze to collect data and visualize it on Google Data Studio. The connectors collect data from various accounts from the same source into one report. When creating a data source on Google Data Studio, simply select all accounts.

To test drive this product, you can use the 14 days free trial (no credit card required). After that, you can choose a plan depending on your desired features and choice of connectors.

The Individual Connector plan costs $19 per month. For the popular Pro plan, you’ll part with $99 per month. The Super Pro plan goes for $299 per month. 

Supermetrics API

This product provides a hassle-free way to analyze, report and store your online marketing data in data warehouse and BI tools. This is how it works:

  1. Connect to a Supermetrics data source with a seamless interface.

  2. Feed any marketing data into BI tools or data warehouse.

  3. Just like that, your data is ready to use.

Supermetrics Uploader

This product helps you measure advertising ROI by combining your ad cost data with Google Analytics Ecommerce and goal conversion metrics. It also saves you time because you no longer need to log in to various platforms to check the figures.

The cost of the Supermetrics Uploader starts at $39 per month for each advertising channel for 5 daily uploads. 

Supermetrics Functions

This product provides the easiest way to collect your marketing metrics into Google Sheets and Excel. It is used by skilled spreadsheet users. You don’t need any programming skills. You can easily type a custom function into the spreadsheet cells, for example, ‘SUM’ or ‘COUNT’.

Supermetrics Data Grabber for Excel

With this tool, you can import data from various sources into an Excel Spreadsheet and still access all features. You’ll be able to create reliable reports efficiently. You can use it with Mac Excel 2011 or Windows Excel 2003 and subsequent versions.

How does it work?

  1. Download the trial version and open it in Excel.

  2. Log in to any data source.

  3. Run your first report in three steps.

  • Pick an account from your list.

  • Choose metrics under ‘split by’.

  • Click ‘Run the report’.

Each data source integration comes with a different price tag, most of them costing $39 per month and others costing $29 per month.

Supermetrics for BigQuery

This is a new tool on the platform that showcases the processing power of the Google Cloud. You can link advertising data with CRM data or web analytics. You can also compare paid campaigns across all networks. This product includes an exclusive Data Studio Connector.

For one data source and one account, the price is $199 per month. For one data source and five accounts, you’ll pay $499 per month. If you need multiple accounts or data sources, volume discounts are available. You can try it out for free for 14 days before you decide or book a demo.

The Upside of Supermetrics

Usability

Supermetrics features a seamless interface with handy features. It’s easier to use for marketers that enjoy data analysis. It provides several drop down menus that give you several options to choose from. You don’t have to remember their names.

Speed

You can’t argue with Supermetrics’ speed. Marketers can quickly and easily collect the data they need at that exact time. You can easily access any field from a particular data source.

Cost

Entry level costs are low and a 14-day free trial is available. For more data sources, however, you’ll have to pay more.

Ownership of Historical Data

Previously, Supermetrics did not store data. It was easy to determine recent events on the platform. However, it did not provide you with sufficient data to determine long-term trends. Marketers had to buy, set up and maintain the required warehouse which will be more costly. With the new product BigQuery, you can store all your data.

The Downside of Supermetrics

Not Newbie-Friendly

Beginners on this platform can get a little bit lost. Their tools are easier to use for slightly experienced data nerds.

No Depth or Scalability

Supermetrics is speedy, no doubt. However, if you want to analyze minute details, you may have to go slower especially if your project contains millions of rows of data. For better efficiency, it might be better to use a data warehouse where your data already structure.

Is Supermetrics the Right Fit For Your Business?

Supermetrics definitely saves precious time with automation and makes data analysis a breeze for online marketers. However, it is not the best choice for complete newbies. It helps if you have experience with using spreadsheets. But even with experience, be careful not to put data in the wrong columns.

The benefits of Supermetrics definitely outweigh the downsides. What makes it a must-have tool for marketers is the seamless integration with various data sources, real-time data analysis, and easy data visualization.

The frequent updates and flexibility of Supermetrics give you the edge required to take your organization to the next level. If you spend a lot of time getting your hands dirty with data and creating reports, this platform will make your work easy. 

If you’re still undecided, it won’t cost you anything to start with the 14-day free trial and familiarize yourself with the platform before spending on a paid plan. 

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How to Get the Right Clients with Marketing Funnels (Even as a Solopreneur!)

One of the scariest parts of launching a business of your own is the difficult process of securing a steady stream of loyal customers. For those of us who have grown up working in the corporate world, the clients we worked with were most likely drawn to the name recognition and long-term trajectory that many large businesses and conglomerates can offer. Individual entrepreneurs and small startup businesses, on the other hand, often face the obstacle of attracting clients who have never heard of them or what they have to offer. Here’s how to get the right clients with marketing funnels (even if you are a solopreneur).

Meet Michelle Evans: Marketing Funnel Guru

Michelle L. Evans worked for several years in the corporate world for companies such as Microsoft before launching her own business that focuses on helping coaches, experts, and online business owners attract enormous numbers of clients through implementing automated marketing funnels.

We recently sat down with Michelle to talk a little bit about the challenges she faced in leaving the corporate world and starting her own business venture, along with some recommendations for how marketing funnels can work to help entrepreneurs and new business owners build their client base. Today, Michelle is working with dozens of different clients, helping them take advantage of marketing funnels to grow their business.

Her success, however, didn’t necessarily come easily.

“I wanted my own business,” Michelle tells us, “but I didn’t have a clear vision of what that business would look like…and I felt like I needed to have millions of dollars [to start it up, when] I could barely pay my rent.”

After years of working for Microsoft, she came to understand that performing a bunch of random acts of marketing was not the most efficient strategy to gain clients. Her work with a diversity of clients at her corporate job helped her to understand the importance of having a concrete marketing strategy, and a solid understanding of who she is working with and what the client’s specific problem is.

Once she came to understand her client on a deeper level, she could devise specific strategies to help them solve their marketing problems. “I really wanted to do work that mattered to me,” Michelle relates. The challenge she faced was: “How do I take these skills I have and turn it into a business that actually matters?” After some tense moments at her corporate job, she realized that she had an abundance of relevant experience, skills, and knowledge, but felt trapped in the corporate world. The path towards starting her own business offers some unique insights into what helps and hinders this process of launching out on your own. Instead of spending months or years in planning, she decided to reach out to people who had recently left the corporate world to start a business of their own in order to understand the process of going from a corporate gig to doing your own thing.

This not only offered important insights but also helped her build her confidence. Secondly, she reached out to people in her network to let them know the specific skills she had and what she could offer them. The contacts that she had made through years of working her corporate job at Microsoft essentially allowed her to step right into contracts that more than covered her previous salary. “It made it much easier to make that transition…because I knew that people wanted to hire me,” Michelle mentions.

Once she officially launched her own business and found initial jobs and contracts through her personal network, she started to discover her own niche and passion. “I could do a lot of marketing things, but what I found is that there were certain projects that I loved,” Michelle tells us. She discovered that helping people discover and create a steady client base was not only her passion but also her unique gift.

“Every new business owner struggles at first with having a consistent flow of new sales coming through the door…and I love helping people figure that out because I struggled with that, too.”

You won’t want to miss this: 5 Tips for Gaining Traction in Your Small Business Today!

The Advantages of Working with Individuals

At first, Michelle thought that the competition from bigger agencies offering similar services to what she offered would cause her problems. She quickly discovered, however, that her clients were more than willing to hire individuals over bigger agencies because of the expertise that individuals bring to the table. Her clients mentioned that one of the benefits of working with individuals or smaller businesses is the personal connections that allow them to know exactly what they are getting when they sign on the dotted line. “They want you to come in as an expert, understand the landscape, and execute,” Michelle says of some of her bigger clients.

By hiring an individual expert, this allows them to get ahead of their competition. For entrepreneurs and new business owners, not being afraid to sell your unique skills and expertise is a great way to separate yourself from the vague and often standardized world of agencies. While the people in her network allowed her to get her business off the ground, it was also a limiting factor in the long run. Budgets get cut and projects run out, and she found herself on an income roller coaster.

Creating Marketing Funnels that Gets New Clients

She realized at this stage that “I can’t rely on people to throw me a bone [but rather,] need to get a process in place to bring in a steady stream of clients.” After a disappointing (and expensive) course that she took with a supposed mastermind who essentially recommended cold calling as many people as possible, she realized that what was lacking was a process to engage with her clients.

While cold calling might be a great strategy for extremely charismatic personalities, she went back to the logic of marketing funnels. After putting together a one-page PDF that explained what she had to offer and sending it out to several contacts, she was essentially sold out within three weeks. The process of warming up her audience and inviting them to learn more about what she had to offer set the stage for why her offer was a perfect fit for each specific client. Michelle believes that initially,

“one of the problems with my message was that I was way too broad. I was afraid of missing out on opportunities…and needed to funnel down to marketing funnels.”

Through the marketing funnel business approach that she developed, she realized that not all clients want to hear the same thing. As a business owner, you need to own the process of knowing your audience at a deep level. This gives you ownership of your clientele. Her business offers helpful exercises that help small business owners understand their audience and potential clientele. To help her clients dig deep into the minds of their potential clients, Michelle’s favorite question is: “If you had a magic wand and could make everything perfect, describe to me what this looks and feels like.” The answer to this question almost always leads to their absolute marketing goals. “For the business owner, understanding what is going on in your audience’s mind and…how you can solve what your clients´ problem is…that’s where the magic is,” Michelle believes.

The biggest mistakes people make with marketing funnels…

1. Getting bogged down with technology. One of the biggest mistakes that many people make with marketing funnels, according to Michelle, is that people get too bogged down in choosing the most important technology. While she personally uses Click Funnels, she also says that she allows her clients to choose whatever works best for them. “I’ve seen people struggle with tech,” Michelle tells us, “but [the best strategy is to] choose something that gets you out there and engaged with your clients.”

2. Your funnels are way too big. Another major setback that people encounter when they first start using marketing funnels, is that they start way too big. “If you have never done a funnel, a webinar funnel is not a good one to start with,” Michelle advises. “A webinar takes a lot of time to create. It can bury you. If you start small, funnels are like Legos…you can build one layer and then build another layer on top of it.” Instead of shooting for the moon from the get-go, she advises her clients to start small with simple strategies to help them bring people into their business.

When we see the success others have had with elaborate and complex marketing funnels, temptation to mimic those grandiose strategies inevitably arises. “Not only do we get eager wanting to make money,” Michelle says, “but we see people 10 years into the process and they make it look so easy.” When you’re eventually ready for a webinar, having the basic marketing funnel foundation in place will make it easy to simply plug it into something that is already functioning on your website.

How to create marketing funnels that work.

1. Start with the assets you already have. Michelle also advises that it is best to start with whatever assets you have. Finding the fastest way to get what you have in front of the eyes of potential clients to start testing what works best is much more preferable to a massive, six-month campaign that can leave you drained of energy and resources. As you gain experience and success, you can bring other people onto your team to delegate responsibilities for future marketing tunnel strategies.

2. Start small, get small wins first before expanding. Starting small allows companies to lay the foundation and allows potential clients to learn about them and what they have to offer. Simply rolling things out onto a website and waiting for the money to roll in is a surefire failure. “You need to put in the work to see the results on the other side,” Michelle believes. Often times, pre-launch phases and small freebies on your website are other helpful strategies to lay the foundation for future business growth.

Michelle wisely states that “you have to warm people up before you invite them. You have to invite them in and then set the stage…but once you set the stage, then you can make the offer. …Trying to make that offer without the pre-work is like pushing a boulder up a mountain.”

If you want to know more about how to grow your audience, here are some resources you might like:

17 Quick Tips to Get Audiences to Love You

Understanding Content Strategy for the Social Impact Space

How to Start Creating a Brand that Matters with Mona Amodeo

(This article was originally published in Change Creator magazine, authored by Tobias Roberts.)

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SEO Tips for Low-Budget Startups: Get Started Today!

As people create blogs pages and other websites, their main focus is always to become the leading site in the organic searches. Being in the first three on every search engine gives you an upper hand of being picked by the users. Many users tend to choose from the top just because they believe that no one would ever get to the top without giving a quality answer. These assumptions are correct since organic ranking does not happen until someone shows consistent adherence to the set guidelines.

The best way to climb the ladder of ranking in a relaxed and sure way is through Search Engine Optimization. SEO has analyzed the requirements of search engines such as Google as these engines do not interpret the content as a human being regardless of how intelligent they are. SEO guides one on the different ways to optimize their websites to ensure they correspond to Google’s preferences.

SEO myths from other startups

Without shared knowledge on SEO, a beginner might get lost and assume that SEO is just but a fluff. There are debunking excuses that might mislead you before you even begin. Some of them are;

  • SEO is very expensive. If you don’t have excess money to use on a professional, avoid SEO like the plague.

My take- if you want to take the smallest of the risks to get the best B2B marketing channels, try SEO. You don’t need to spend money on agencies and other consultant firms on how to optimize your website. All you need to do is have some patience and focus as you execute the process.

  • It is competitive. This is a place for no commoners; the big fishes have already occupied the top positions.

My take- the main question is; what is not competitive in business? SEO is very competitive. The good news is, you can start any time since search engines don’t offer priorities on who appeared first. Don’t wait too long for your competition to move to the next level. Start as early as now.

  • You will wait forever to get results. Never invest in SEO because, by the time you get leads, your competitors will be many steps ahead of you.

My take- in every field, there is always a more comfortable escape plan. However, you are already on low budget negotiating on how to spend your last dime on optimization. Do you have to pay channels like PPC to get free leads? In the real sense, these leads do not last as they get forced in your site. Paying channels for startups can be quite expensive as the moment you fail to pay them; the leads disappear to the thin air. If you are patient enough to follow SEO, you will start seeing results after 4 to 6 months.

Steps to SEO Success for a Startup

Before you immense your efforts and focus on SEO, you need to define several things first. These are;

1. Have your desired goals in place.

  • In this, you need to clarify on ways you want your business to operate and how you wish to get your money. Setting goals are essential as one has something to follow even in situations they feel they don’t have to.

2. Have some measurement strategies.

This depends on the foundation you want to lay. An example has Google analytics, mapping out different metrics, automating reports, and having conversion tracks. Always use keyword ranking tracker to check your website’s rating on SERPs.

3. Crawl your website.

  • These are tools that crawl your site to check for any technical errors. Since a starter has a small site, this might take a brief period to execute. During this process, one corrects errors such as duplicate content, improper redirects, 404 pages, broken links, load time, and many more.

4. Check SEO On-Page Optimization.

  • The optimization is all about using the right keywords to make a buyer’s journey quite simple. The remaining checklists are title tags, Meta descriptions, content, URL structure, internal links, and image optimizations.

5. Stay updated on SEO or Google trends.

In case an update happens, you should always have a way to get the news way before it is too late. Nevertheless, you can get updated by different pages such as Search Engine Land, or SEMrush.

You might also want to read our article, Keeping Up with Google that provides some insights on one of the latest major updates to Google and how that can impact you and your organic traffic growth.

Conclusion

SEO is can be overwhelming, especially if one starts with less money. However, never make attempts to pay for cheap services just because you want quick results. The best way is to play low in your league since there is no way in this world you can wake up and play with Goliaths who’ve been in the market way before you. It is all about patience and focus.

Don’t miss this: The Best SEMRush Alternatives — 6 choices!

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Keeping Up With Google: The Most Powerful Way to Grow Your Business Online

change creator google

Smart brands have known for some time that investing in organic traffic is the best kind of traffic, but when Google keeps changing the rules, how do you keep up?

It shouldn’t matter how or when Google changes the rules.

If you have a solid business, a solid vision and can communicate that clearly to your customers online, you’ll always be ahead of those who focus on SEO strategies and tactics anyway.

Keeping up with Google…

I have to confess. I am a total SEO nerd.

It wasn’t always like this. I used to be part of the masses that hoped that just writing good content would be enough for Google.

This year (if you don’t know already) Google put out another major update to their algorithm. It was an exciting and scary time for many of my clients.

Most of my clients saw huge shifts in their organic traffic just from this one update. There were not too many sites that were completely immune.

Some saw huge shifts upwards, with a sudden spike up in traffic and a few of my clients saw a sudden drop in traffic too.

Either way, it shook things up.

Google’s mission is clear — they want to provide the highest quality, most authoritative search results for its users and remain the leading search engine provider for many decades.

While SEO nerds like me can really get into the nitty-gritty of tactics and strategies to improve SEO, everything from placement of keywords in titles, to the length of meta descriptions, and schema pro, there’s so much more to know about online organic growth than that.

If you can step away from the tactics and strategies for a moment, and look at Google’s bigger mission and even larger goal for their audiences, you can tap into the most powerful way to grow your own business online.
Google’s Major Shift Towards Authority: What You Need to Know

This year Google had a huge update this summer that was geared towards money, lifestyle, and health websites, but in turn, will soon have an effect on many other genres of websites too (so pay attention).

Why YMYL (Your Money Your Life) Sites First?

In Google’s major shift to giving its users the most authoritative, trustworthy content available online, they decided to start with two major areas of websites to target in this latest major update this summer. We make important consumer and health decisions all the time online and Google wants to provide the most relevant, trusted sites to our inquiries.

Any site that could potentially impact your health, finances or safety of users could be under the YMYL umbrella and would have been impacted by Google’s latest major update.

If you have an e-commerce store for example, that sells health supplements, you would have definitely seen a shift in your organic traffic (good or bad).

Many sites saw a big shift upwards in organic traffic with this update, but what made that happen?

In this discussion on a Google forum, nikant25 provides the best answer to what this update means for the YMYL sites. Let’s discuss these updated requirements of EAT and what Google now looks for on your website.

The new requirements of Google search: Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness (EAT)

Expertise: Gone are the times that anyone can publish a bunch of content and call themselves an ‘expert’, especially if they are asking their audience and viewers to buy something, make a health-related decision, or impact an important part of our lives. Expertise seems to be an earned right according to Google with this update, which means, you must have some ‘outsider’ expertise as well. If your only expertise resides within the confines of your website, good luck — you won’t rank as a true web expert and Google will no longer favor you with more traffic.

Authoritativeness: This is almost one step above expertise. Do people and readers view you as an authority on the subject matter of your site? If not, you are going to lose marks in this category.

Trustworthiness: Reputation is now a quality that every business and website owner must have. If your site isn’t giving users a valuable, authentic experience, Google is going to find a way to penalize you. How do you build trust online? If you are selling a product, you must be transparent and clear that you are selling a product, with honest reviews and write-ups. The main author or editor of the site must also have a trustworthy reputation online.

Here are some other things to consider for Google’s new EAT algorithm to work for your website:

Do you have an authoritative and clear ‘about us’ page that tells the reader who you are, why you are an authority in this space, and what your business mission is?

Do every page, blog post, and image serve a clear purpose?

Can you find out information about who you are, what your company does outside of your website?

Is your content high-quality?

Your titles should be descriptive and clearly define what each page, post, topic, or item is for the reader/buyer.

Can your users easily identify and get to know the owner of the website as well as the contributors?

Can you easily find products, product descriptions, and find information on each product in a clear, logical way?

We’re just scratching the surface here but you get the point — Google is working hard to give its users better, higher quality search results.

The Requirements of EAT — Time to Up Our Authenticity

Whether you have an e-commerce website selling ethical clothing, or an affiliate site selling baby products, Google is not going to give anyone traffic unless you are authentic.

The purpose of your website must be clear for the readers and buyers.

Gone are the days of shady SEO tactics, weak backlinks, or publishing reams of weak keyword-stuffed content. (Those days have been gone for a while.)

You don’t have to be an SEO nerd or expert like me to reap the benefits of Google’s new algorithm either. If your business has a clear purpose, is authentic, and its authors continue to build authority and trust, both on the site and outside the website, you are ahead of the game.

What is the Purpose of a Website?

Google has expanded on its definition of the purpose of a website:

“Most pages are created to be helpful for users, thus having a beneficial purpose.”

This purpose has shifted from the previous definition which included, “to entertain” as one of a website’s mandates. With this one shift in terminology, Google is signaling to anyone who has a website that authority online is key. Websites can no longer just ‘be’, they have to have a clear purpose for your audience.

Some of the strategic ways to improve and show Google that your website has a strong purpose is to guide writers through your site logically. Some websites have a ‘start here’ page, but having clear categories, pages, and user flow is key to showing your audience (and Google) your site has a purpose.

The key here is the purpose. How can your website have a clear purpose if your business doesn’t?

In Google’s shift towards EAT, they are forcing businesses and online companies that do not have a clear value proposition or purpose to reevaluate and re-communicate their offerings online. Without clarity and focus, you don’t have a business, and you certainly don’t have an authoritative website.

Before you evaluate your website, first think about your business.

Is your mission clear?

Can you communicate what you do clearly to your customers?

If not, start with that. Your website should be an extension of the authority and mission of your company.

Building Authority Isn’t a One and Done Solution

So now what?

You’re either completely encouraged by this article or you’re saying, ‘oh shit’ that’s why my traffic has dropped lately.

If you find yourself in either camp, I have some advice for you:

Now is not the time to give up.

Authority is an ongoing project for any business. You can’t just pop up some content, put out a few social media posts and call it a day.

Smart businesses use every opportunity to build brand authority and trust.

They tell great stories. They make their customers the heroes of their brand. And they take care of their clients — you know like any business should do, offline or online.

Today’s modern world cannot give up old-fashioned good business sense.

Build a brand, not just a website and you’ll always be ahead of those who don’t.

GetResponse vs Leadpages: Do You Need Both? Decide Here

Today I compare GetResponse vs Leadpages: One is an email marketing tool, one can help you get those email leads, which is better? It might not be that simple of a comparison, but let’s get started.

If you go to the market (or online) to get a new Desktop PC for yourself, there are two ways you can buy one:

  1. You can choose a branded, ready-made desktop PC, that already comes with all the hardware parts necessary to run your favorite games and software smoothly.
  1. Or you can get each individual PC component separately. You choose everything i.e. the motherboard, the chassis, the graphics card – by yourself.

Both these ways of buying a PC have their own advantages and disadvantages.

If you get a ready-made desktop PC, you’ll likely save a lot of time choosing the components yourself. But maybe it will have a processor that’s way powerful than you need. Or a hard drive that doesn’t have the required amount of storage you want.

On the other hand, if you build a PC yourself by buying each component, you’ll get every single component exactly according to your specifications. But it will take a lot of time doing that, plus maybe you’ll end up spending more than your original budget.

Wait a second… what does this have to do with buying marketing software?

Well, with marketing, you have different components as well. You need a landing page builder, an email marketing software, possibly a CRM and much more…

And just like the components of a desktop PC, you can buy each marketing service separately, or you can get all these services inside a single suite, like a ready-made PC.

In this article, we’ll talk about two marketing software which are just like that.

Leadpages vs GetResponse: Which Marketing Software Should You Get?

The Case For Leadpages

Leadpages is like a powerful component that will fit in your overall online marketing machine. It will do one job, but it will do it really well.

In the case of Leadpages, what it can do is build high quality, amazing landing page builders. Plus, since it does one job, in this software, you get extra features that other ‘all-in-one’ tools with landing page builders won’t give you.

For example, in Leadpages, you get the ability to directly launch a Facebook or Instagram ad for your landing page. This isn’t something you get in GetResponse.

Plus, the overall interface and every single feature which comes out is dedicated to helping you become better at creating landing pages. This is what makes stand-alone software like this unique and desirable.

The Case for GetResponse

Then, on the other hand, you have a marketing tool like GetResponse. It’s a complete, all-in-one marketing machine that gives you all the services you need to run your online marketing campaign.

It comes with a landing page builder, an email marketing tool, a CRM – and other services which you’ll need to run your complete online marketing.

And because of that, GetResponse is like a ready-made desktop PC. All the services i.e. components are there under one roof.

Now, let’s move on to discussing each tool’s features, so you can get a better idea of what each tool is capable of…

GetResponse vs Leadpages: Feature Rundown

As we’ve discussed above, both Leadpages and GetResponse are different kinds of tools. That’s why it won’t make sense to directly compare each other’s features.

Instead, we’ll look at the two tools differently from the start.

We’ll judge Leadpages as a landing page builder while GetResponse as an all-in-one marketing suite. With that being said, let’s start our feature rundown of the two tools to get an idea what’s possible with each of them.

Leadpages Feature Rundown

As a landing page builder, Leadpages is an incredible tool. If you need something to solely help you build landing pages, Leadpages is more than qualified for the job.

Here are the features you get in a tool like Leadpages:

Free Templates, Hosting and Publishing

With any landing page builder, the first thing you need is templates. Because chances are you have never built a landing page from scratch – or don’t want to. And in this case, templates really come in handy.

In Leadpages, no matter which package you get, you’ll get access to all 150+ landing page templates.

There are templates for selling webinars, courses, ebooks, services and more. Plus, you’ll find designs for specific industries like travel, fitness, and startup. And what’s more, you can sort your designs based on how their conversion rate so you can quickly select a landing page template that’s bound to get you higher conversions.

In addition, after you create your landing page, here are two great things Leadpages offers:

  • Unlimited Publishing: No matter which plan you get, Leadpages will let you publish an unlimited number of landing pages on the internet.
  • Free Hosting: After you create a landing page, you’ll need to host it on the internet. Thankfully, Leadpages will host all your landing pages for free so you can quickly launch your landing pages.

These features already make Leadpages an attractive offering. So much value right from the start!

Intuitive Drag-and-Drop Builder and Payments Service

The next thing every landing page builder needs is easy to use an editor with which you can edit your landing page templates.

You’ll be happy to know the Leadpages offers exactly that.

Its drag-and-drop builder is extremely user-friendly. Plus, it gives you lots of intuitive elements to put on your landing page, like a pricing table section, social media sharing buttons, background video wallpaper and much more.

And that’s not all.

You also get 2-step opt-in forms with which you can much more easily collect both emails and payment.

That’s because Leadpages also offers its own payments solution with which your visitors can quickly pay for your products and services directly on your landing page

Facebook Ad Builder

Once you build a landing page, you’ll want to promote it. And Facebook is one of the best places to do that.

If you’re lazy like us, you’ll appreciate the fact that you can directly create advertisements, create custom audiences and launch ads to Facebook directly from within Leadpages,

Also, Leadpages gives you the ability for quick ‘pixel placement’ which enable you to easily retarget your ads to visitors.

In-Depth Reports

After your landing page has launched and you start getting traffic, you’ll want to measure the performance of your landing pages.

Leadpages, without a doubt, comes with the most effective reports for that. You can clearly see how your landing pages are converting by looking at the data it gives you.

But yes, to be frank, the data it gives you, while easy to understand, isn’t as in-depth as you’d want it to be. For that, we recommend you use Google Analytics as well.

Its data is much more in depth than what you get with Leadpages.

GetResponse Feature Rundown

As a marketing suite, GetResponse offers nearly every kind of service you’d need to run your marketing operation. Because unlike Leadpages, which is a landing page builder, GetResponse has a landing page builder. Big difference!

Anyways, here’s the set of services you get in GetResponse…

Landing Page Builder

In GetResponse, you get a landing page builder, which is kind of like Leadpages.

For starters, GetResponse, like Leadpages, gives you access to 150+ templates. And it gives you free hosting for any landing pages you create

Plus, the drag and drop editor works just as well as in Leadpages. You get tons of elements to put on your landing page.

One notable thing which GetResponse gives you that’s not included in Leadpages is 5000+ free images from Shutterstock to put on your landing pages as well.

Email Marketing Service and Autoresponder

Once you create a landing page, you’ll want to collect emails so you can build your email list. But more important than that, you’ll want to nurture your email list so you can turn your subscribers into customers.

For that, GetResponse comes with an email marketing service.

Using it, you can send different kinds of emails to your subscribers. There are many templates available with which you can quickly create professional-looking emails.

In addition to that, you can set up GetResponse so it only sends your emails to your subscribers based on their timezone and only when they are most active.

Plus, you can also segment your email subscribers and put them into different autoresponder campaigns. Because in addition to an email marketing service, GetResponse comes with an autoresponder tool. This tool allows you to create different sequences of emails which you can then send to a targeted audience.

Webinar Service

GetResponse is one of those rare marketing tools which come with a service with which you can quickly set up your very own webinar.

The email and landing page templates with which you can market your webinar are already there. But in addition, you get the infrastructure to run your webinars as well.

GetResponse gives you the tools necessary for your subscribers to quickly go live from their PC or phone. Plus, they can chat during the webinar as well. You, on the other hand, can record the webinar, share it on social media, send files and do much more.

Overall, this is a great, unexpected tool that you’ll surely appreciate once you become aware of the importance of webinars!

Marketing Automation

This handy service is a must-have, especially if you sell a lot of products on your website or run a complicated marketing campaign.

Why?

Because marketing automation, as the name implies, can help you automate the marketing activities that are happening inside your website or emails.

For example, if someone joins an email list, buys one of your products, subscribes to services or does anything else with which you want to trigger an email, schedule a call, send a message, add to an autoresponder campaign – or do something else, this feature can help.

It’s something you should really use if you want to do all your marketing as effectively as possible.

CRM Service

After all this tiresome process of setting up your online marketing campaign, you’ll hopefully have a lot of customers. And once you do, they’ll have a lot of feedback and complaints. Plus, you’ll want to turn your existing leads into new customers by establishing a one-to-one relationship with them.

The CRM feature in GetResponse lets you do that.

To get started, you get to build a profile for each of your email subscribers. You’ll be able to see who they are, what relationship they have with your company, what email campaigns they are in, what products and services they’ve bought – and other useful information.

In addition, you’ll get the ability to set up reminders, schedule calls and segment your contacts into different lists as well by ‘tagging’ them.

The point of this CRM service is to help you improve your relationship with your customers so you can sell them more effectively. And while GetResponse CRM service isn’t as powerful as other CRMs out there, it’s more than capable of increasing your business’ sales and improving your customer service.

Pricing: Which of The Two is Worth it?

Leadpages offers simple pricing.

Paid annually, its standard plan costs $25 per month. It doesn’t matter how much traffic you get, how many pages you create or whatever you do. In this plan, you’ll be able to build a functional landing page builder.

Take Leadpages out for a test drive with a free trial here!

But if you subscribe to the bigger $48 per month plan, that’ll unlock unlimited A/B testing, which is crucial to have in a landing page builder. Other than that, you’ll also unlock the ability to provide online payment facilities to your users in this plan.

GetResponse plans are more complicated.

For example, if you subscribe to the cheapest ‘email plan’, you’ll simply get an email marketing and autoresponder tool, a basic landing page builder and a barebones marketing automation system. But it’s cheap and costs $12.30 a month per year.

But if you want to unlock the pro plan, which has the CRM, webinar tool and unlocks all the functionality of the landing page builder and marketing automation tool, you’ll have to pay $40 a month.

And here’s where things get complicated.

This pricing is for a specific number of contacts. If let’s say, you have 10,000 email subscribers. In this case, the basic plan will cost $53.30 instead of $12.30. And the pro plan will cost $60 instead of $40. And as your list grows, so will you plan cost.

But still, if you look at the big picture, Leadpages pro plan costs $48 alone. This means once you separately buy other services like a CMS, marketing automation tool, email marketing software, combined, this can move your costs to $300+ a month or more.

With GetResponse, compared to the above, pricing will ultimately be cheaper since you’ll be getting all the services under one roof.

Conclusion: Which Should You Choose?

In the end, it will all depend on what kind of marketing machine you’re trying to build.

If you want the absolute best services for each part of your marketing campaign, you should get Leadpages. It will allow you to get other powerful services that’ll fulfill your exact requirements. But keep in mind that subscribing to additional tools and setting them up will take a lot of time and money – which you might not have.

In that case, GetResponse would be a better choice. While all its tool might not be best in class, they sure are enough to get the job done. But remember this also, once you’re locked into GetResponse, migrating to another tool might not be an easy thing to do.

Take Leadpages out for a test drive with a free trial here!

We say why not try both together and build an email list that you can continue to grow!

Other resources:

OptimizePress vs Leadpages: Which Landing Page Builder is Best?

Choosing the right landing page builder is more important than you think…

Here’s why:

You see, a professional chef will always use different kinds of knives for different kinds of food.

For example, if the chef is going to cut vegetables, they’ll pick the trusty all-purpose chef’s knife. This handy knife is easy is work with, and can dice and slice an onion precisely the way the chef wants.

But if the chef want to cut something tougher, like a whole chicken, they’re not going to use the same chef’s knife. Instead, they’ll probably use a cleaver. This heavy knife has a broad steel blade that is great for hacking through bone, which is just what the chef needs to cut that chicken.

The result of choosing the right knife is that the chef gets the exact result they want. The onions come out perfectly diced and the chicken pieces come out cut exactly in the right places.

And just like choosing the right knife is important for a chef, choosing the right landing page builder is important for you if you want to create the perfect landing page…

OptimizePress and Leadpages: Which One’s Right for You?

Different landing page builders let you do different things.

One might have better templates while the other might have a better drag-and-drop builder. One might offer better features in their basic plan, the other might offer more features in their premium plan.

And for you to successfully build a good landing page, you need to choose the right tool for the job. And what might be the right tool for you, might not be for other people.

And that’s ok…

Because in this article, we’ll take a look at two different, yet equally amazing landing page builders. We’ll show you how they are similar and how they are different. And in the end, you can decide which landing page builder is the right choice for you (and which isn’t).

The two tools we’ll compare in this article are:

  1. OptimizePress
  2. Leadpages

First, we’ll start by taking a look at what exactly you can expect from both these landing page builders.

Then we’ll move on to discuss their differences and pricing, after which we’ll try to come up with an accurate conclusion.

Let’s get started…

What You Can Expect From The Two Tools…

OptimizePress and Leadpages. These are the two tools we’re about to discuss. But before we can compare their differences, let’s see what you can expect from both of them…

A Variety of Templates to Get You Started

Landing page builders come with a wide variety of different templates. This is necessary because most people have never built landing pages in their life – and won’t likely know how to build one.

Therefore, both OptimizePress and Leadpages come with a lot of templates.

There are landing page templates for selling courses, webinars, products, services and more. Plus, they are designed professionally and in a way so you get the maximum conversions possible.

The only difference between the two landing page builders is the number of free templates you get with them. Other than that, both these two tools offer really beautiful landing pages for a wide variety of purposes.

And the best part?

No matter which tool and which plan you get, both of them let you publish an unlimited number of landing pages on the internet.

An Easy To Use Drag-and-Drop Builder

No matter how good a template a landing page builder offers, in the end, you’ll always need to edit it inside a drag-and-drop builder. And the one that comes with both Leadpages and OptimizePress are great.

Their drag-and-drop editors are easy to use and offer many elements for you to choose from.

For example, in addition to the traditional elements like text boxes, image, and video players, you also get complete sections like pricing tables, social media boxes and more.

This is important and exciting because it means you can add literally any feature, functionality or information to your landing page without hiring an expert.

Plus, as new updates to the tools come along, new elements get added for you to use.

Easy-to-Understand Analytics and Reports

Another important feature both the landing page builders will give you is in-depth reports on how your landing pages are performing. You’ll find out information such as:

  • How many visitors are visiting your landing pages.
  • What’s the average duration a person stays on your landing page.
  • How many people clicked on your CTA button.

… and more.

All this information will come in handy when you A/B test your landing pages.

A/B testing is when you create two seperate versions of the same landing page with one single variation in one of them. For example, you can create a duplicate of a landing page and change the heading, the CTA copy or something else and test it. The one which gets you the highest conversions wins.

And the only way you can get the data necessary to A/B test your landing pages is by looking inside the analytics report offered by your landing page builder.

Also, as far as A/B testing is concerned, both of these tools don’t let you do A/B tests in their basic plans. You’ll have to get an upgraded plan in order to access this feature.

OptimizePress vs Leadpages: What’s The Difference

By now, you’ve got a pretty good idea of what to expect from both these landing page builders. But what you really want to know is where the differences lie – and in this section, we’ll discuss exactly that.

And let me tell you in advance – the differences are pretty stark.

It’s up to you to weigh in which features matter to you so you can decide which tool to get. And we suggest you take this advice seriously because there are some major differences in pricing as well.

With that said, let’s begin comparing OptimizePress and Leadpages.

How do both tools work?

The first thing you should know is how easy it is to get started with each tool – and what it takes to set each tool up.

Leadpages

Setting up Leadpages is easy.

To get started, all you need is to sign up, pay for the plan that suits your needs (we’ll discuss plans more below) and simply get started building landing pages.

There’s no need to set up hosting or anything. Leadpages will let you publish an unlimited amount of landing page – and it will host these landing pages for you.

You don’t even need a domain (but it’s highly recommended you get one) as it helps improve your SEO and overall, makes the landing page appear more trustworthy.

OptimizePress

Setting up OptimizePress is harder than setting up Leadpages, mainly because OptimizePress works only on WordPress.

This means before you can even get started with OptimizePress, you’ll have to get a domain and hosting package on which you install WordPress. This alone can cost you up to $100/year since doing this isn’t optional like it is in Leadpages.

But to be fair, OptimizePress offers excellent step-by-step instructions on how to get hosting, buy a domain and setup WordPress. And these tutorials can go a long way to reducing the frustrations and complications non-technical people have when it comes to installing WordPress.

But once that’s done, all you have to do is install the OptimizePress plugin, buy a plan and sign in. Easy!

Templates: Which of The Two Tools Offer A Better Deal?

If you’re going to rely on templates most of the time to build your landing pages, you need to know which tool’s going to offer you a better deal on it.

Leadpages

No matter which plan you’re subscribed to, Leadpages offers all of its 150+ templates for free.

You’ll find landing page templates for ebooks, courses, webinars, upsells, thank you’s and more – all which you can sort by industry such as travel, fitness, photography etc. to help you find the perfect design.

In addition, all the landing page templates are designed for mobile as well.

OptimizePress

In the templates department, OptimizePress loses out to Leadpages in terms of value. That’s because out of the 300+ templates available on their platform, OptimizePress only offers approx. 60+ templates for free.

This is a bummer, because where OptimizePress leads ahead when compared to Leadpages is in the diverse variety of templates it offers.

Because, you see, in addition to the standard templates for landing and sales page, OptimizePress also offers:

Membership Sites Templates: Using these sites, you can give access to people to exclusive content after they successfully act on your landing page CTA. OptimizePress gives you the tools and the templates necessary to create your membership portal.

Blog Themes: Since OptimizePress works on WordPress, it offers themes for your blog section as well. This is so you can put your valuable content inside a compelling and beautifully designed blog section.