One of the software comparisons that comes up a lot with my clients is Ontraport vs ClickFunnels. To be honest, it's not an “apples to apples” comparison – Ontraport is a full-featured business automation platform and ClickFunnels (CF) fits closer into the landing page builder category. So for comparison's sake, I'm going to compare Ontraport to ClickFunnels + Actionetics which is CF's answer to the marketing automation piece and will compare them on each individual feature set.
I use both systems myself and with clients, and recommend one over the other based on a variety of factors.
Ontraport's old landing page builder used to rely on stacking “content blocks” to create the desired look and feel. The new builder is more in line with most modern page builders, based on columns, rows, and elements – with full control over the margins and padding of each. This has made the page builder MUCH better. You can see the design differences between the old and new Ontrapages using the slider below… it's come a long way!
There are lots of professionally designed templates available for free and a growing number for sale in their marketplace. We have also created an entire library of proven templates we share with our clients.
Whether you start with a template or from scratch you've got lots of elements to choose from, including slideshows, pricing options, and coupon offers (FYI: ClickFunnels can probably create something that looks like a coupon offer but their checkout pages can't process coupon codes).
One of my favorite features of Ontraport pages is their setting page. From the follow-up and tags they receive to the page they see next, to removing them from a previous follow-up series or giving access to a course on your WordPress site, you have complete control of what happens when someone submits a form. This is where Ontraport truly shines since it's an all-in-one integrated system.
Ontraport Form Options: Every opt in form gives you complete control of your subscriber's experience.
The only downside is that these pages are created by graphic designers (as opposed to marketers), and so far I haven't seen them convert as well as some of the dedicated page builder options. Totally subjective but that's been my observation so far.
Ontraport also gives you unlimited page views, which means you can send as much traffic as you want and your cost will not go up. Nice!
Ontrapages Page Builder
- Lots of beautiful templates
- Easy to use
- Completely integrated system
In ClickFunnels you don't typically create stand-alone pages as their wizard guides you through a process that creates your entire sales funnel really fast. Optin pages, and thank you pages are automatically connected making the creation of sales funnels point-and-click simple.
Their templates look great and were created by marketers to convert really well. They also include some extra elements like evergreen countdown timers (to create urgency), bulleted lists, and the ability to insert custom HTML onto the page.
All that said, you don't have nearly the same level of control over what happens to a prospect once they opt-in. You can do the most important things, like send them to a specific page and add them to a specific list.
You also have limited page views depending on what package level you have so if you're working with a lot of traffic you'll need the upgraded package for sure.
One feature you may like is their ability to integrate with a third-party autoresponder (you don't have to use Actionetics and I literally don't know a single person who does). So if you're already in love with your Aweber, GetResponse, MailChimp, ActiveCampaign, ConvertKit, etc, you can keep it.
ClickFunnels Optin Page Templates
ClickFunnels Landing Page Builder
- Funnel creation wizard
- Converts extremely well
- Easy to use
Both page builders are beautiful and easy to use, however building a sales funnel is initially a lot faster and more newbie friendly with Clickfunnels.
On the other hand, Ontraport's advanced settings give you a ton more control after the opt in.
To be fair, when it comes to landing pages, conversion should be #1 at the top of the list and after testing in mine and my client's accounts, and speaking with other users CF converts better. Keep in mind conversion rate is subjective based on all kind of variables… these were my results. Yours might be different.
This is where the comparison breaks down a little since a basic ClickFunnels account doesn't include an autoresponder. That functionality only comes with their Actionetics upgrade coupled with a third-party email service like SendGrid, so that's what we'll be comparing.
Ontraport's email marketing software is very good. They send more than 45 million emails per week via their own servers and have some of the best delivery rates in the industry.
An Ontraport Pro account starts at $124 per month (which is the lowest level I'd recommend as you'll want access to split testing, affiliate management, order bumps and coupon codes).
You should note that Ontraport can communicate with your subscribers in more ways than just email… built-in two-way SMS messaging, tasks and postcards are awesome too.
Their new “Simple Mail” is my personal favorite, particularly if you have a very personal brand. The messages arrive looking a lot like they were sent from Gmail (and the editor is as simple as writing a message in any email service provider. The “OntraMail” uses the same “content block” builder as their old landing page builder so I imagine that will be getting an overhaul the way pages did in the last couple of years.
What really stands out though is their automation rules and the ability to segment your list based on any criteria you choose including website visits, link clicks, purchases, or other general behavior.
A great use case for this… let's say one of your subscribers clicks a link in an email where you're talking about red widgets; Ontraport tags that person with the interest “red widget” and automatically sends them an email about that exact red widget.
Even better, let's say a subscriber visits your checkout page and doesn't buy. Your Ontraport system can automatically add them to a follow-up process to try to recover the sale.
They finally make a purchase Ontraport knows to stop that sales process and deliver their product.
The slider below shows the change in Ontraport interface but the email editor has not been updated as of this update.
Ontramail email templates. There are dozens to choose from and they can be sorted by type, industry, author or tags.
- Full automation
- Dozens of templates
- Send 100K emails per month
The basic version of ClickFunnels has some built-in email follow-up you can use for opt-ins, but there's no feature that allows you to send broadcasts or segment your list. You need to integrate a 3rd party autoresponder to do that. That's where Actionetics ClickFunnels comes in which is their in-house autoresponder.
I use the word “autoresponder” loosely here, as their software has to be integrated with a third party like SendGrid in order to actually send emails. That's because they don't deliver your messages from their server. Not a huge deal, but just know you're going to have an additional integration and expense to deal with.
I'm going to be completely honest here… as of this writing, Actionetics is not ready for prime time. It allows for very basic segmenting and after using it in several clients' accounts I have found it cumbersome and lacking in features. It pains me to even say that because I really wanted to love it.
If the ability to segment your email list is important to you (and it should be), pass on Actionetics until they've had more time to develop it. You'd be better off with a true autoresponder service like ActiveCampaign, Aweber, or GetResponse. Or Ontraport.
Examples of Actionetics email templates.
Currently, there are a total of 7 to choose from.
Actionetics comes included as part of the Etison Suite which is $297
- Nice templates
Ontraport runs circles around ClickFunnels (Actionetics) when it comes to email… seriously, no competition. I feel a little guilty even putting them in the ring together… it would be like Bambi vs Godzilla, and we all know how that turned out.
Ya. Not pretty.
Ontraport and ClickFunnels both have good shopping cart integrations but come with different features that may or may not be important to you. NOTE: I only use the Stripe integration with both shopping carts so that's what I'm basing my comparison on.
Ontraport has integrations with many popular payment processors including Authorize.net, 1shoppingCart, ClickBank, SamCart, Shopify, UltraCart, WooCommerce, PayPal and Stripe.
Setting up products is super easy and you can and options include trials, subscriptions, payment plans, allow the buyer to change quantity, include a packing slip (for physical products), and insert coupon code.
You also have the ability to add complex tax rules (ie charging different tax rates in different states or countries).
Under shipping, you can create different options (ie. 2 Day Shipping, 5 Day Shipping, etc), and you can choose not to show shipping based on location (for example only charge shipping on international orders).
You also get to choose which invoice to send, which is helpful if you're running multiple businesses out of one account.
All in all, it's a very feature-rich shopping cart with lots of integration options. The only thing missing if you want to make money online is true ecommerce functionality (a dynamic add-to-cart option like Shopify) but if that's something you need, I'd recommend Shopify which can be integrated with Ontraport via Zapier.
- Lots of integrations
- Handles trial payments
- Can process coupon codes
Best Payment Gateway for ClickFunnels
If you're looking for the best payment gateway for ClickFunnels – the original ClickFunnels integrates with:
- PayPal API (also called PayPal V2)
- Keap (InfusionSoft V2)
- Easy Pay Direct
Note they no longer integrate with Ontraport for payments
They also integrate with the following third-party payment processors:
- PayPal 3rd-party product access (also PayPal V1)
It's interesting because JVzoo and ClickBank are affiliate marketplaces so probably not where you'd sell a coaching package for example.
ClickBank processes payments at a price point high enough that I'm not sure why you'd ever integrate it into a third-party system like this, and JVzoo doesn't actually process payments for you; they integrate with third parties like Stripe and PayPal. That means you pay a fee to the payment processor and the affiliate network on every transaction, essentially doubling your costs. My guess is that it's a way to leverage those networks for affiliate traffic so if you're creating those types of products then it might be a good option. (NOTE: at this level of ClickFunnels you get access to their BackPack affiliate management software so you don't necessarily need an outside affiliate network).
The only stand-alone payment processor on the list is Stripe which is strange, but since it's the integration I use and it works… great. If you're using another real shopping cart though it's not going to integrate.
UPDATE 2022: ClickFunnels just released ClickFunnels 2.0 and they are now charging a percentage to process via Stripe 😳 It might not seem like a lot at first but if you're processing any significant volume this is going to be a dealbreaker for a lot of people.
ClickFunnels 2.0 Payment Processor – Payments AI
In 2022 ClickFunnels rolled out ClickFunnels 2.0 to mixed reviews – particularly when it comes to how they process payments. ClickFunnels now has its own payment system called Payments AI. You can still integrate with third-party processors but get charged a transaction fee for doing so.
The new ClickFunnels platform integrates with the following payment processors:
- PayPal 3rd-party product access (also PayPal V1)
One cool feature they have is an integration with Taxamo that allows you to calculate EU VAT tax. So if you're selling into Europe and want to be compliant with their tax laws this is probably a feature to check out.
On the flip side, there is no native way to calculate different tax rates for different locations or specify shipping options. ClickFunnels can't process coupons and doesn't allow trial periods either which is a bummer.
What they can do is integrate with Disc.com and Kunaki which are fulfillment houses for when you want to send a physical product. Definitely a good feature if that's what you sell.
This is another place where Ontraport is the clear winner, both from an integration standpoint and a features standpoint. Since both integrate nicely with Stripe the tie breaker here is Ontraport's ability to handle both free and paid trial offers and coupon codes. Sweet, sweet coupon codes.
If you've never marketed with a coupon code, you haven't lived 😅
Seriously though, it's a great feature.
Also, with ClickFunnels charging a percentage for every transaction processed via Stripe… that's a hard pass for me.
And the Winner Is Ontraport|?
Ontraport BEST OVERALL SYSTEM
$297 Per Month
Shopping Cart Integration
ClickFunnels BEST LANDING PAGES
$297 Per Month
Fast funnel builder
High converting pages
Integrates with fulfillment services
And There's More
As exhaustive as I've tried to be, Ontraport and ClickFunnels have additional features that weren't covered in this review including affiliate program management (both), membership sites (both), lead tracking using UTM Variables (Ontraport only) and lead scoring (Ontraport Only). Ontraport is also diving into Dynamic CMS… which means you can display personalized content on pages based on information in your database (think Airbnb or a travel website), as well as based on what you know about your contacts. It's some next-level stuff, but if you're just getting started and need a simple sales funnel, you probably don't need it.
Click here to grab your free Ontraport Trial (go with the Pro or Enterprise level, anything else you'll be missing key features)
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Ontraport vs ClickFunnels