Being a wedding photographer, my summers are hectic, busy and generally a whirlwind. Of course, "busy" implies that I'm booked and in-demand so it's almost a badge of honor but really just results in being stressed out and potentially letting things slip through the cracks.
Over the past year with Dawn we've been implementing ways to automate certain communications and workflows so there is less on my plate. What has resulted is that even though this summer is even busier than previous ones I'm sailing through it a lot less stressed and with a lot more time to have a social life. Dawn's knowledge of automation and marketing, in general, has been a godsend. She's the secret weapon in my business!
Ontraport’s landing page builder Ontrapages allows you to create beautiful, responsive pages by stacking “content blocks” to create the desired look and feel.
There are TONS of professionally designed templates available for free and a growing number for sale in their marketplace.
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!
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, 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 (which Ontraport doesn’t have).
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). So if you’re already in love with your Aweber or GetResponse you can keep it.
ClickFunnels Optin Page Templates
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.
Ontraport’s email marketing software is, in my humble opinion, the best there is. They send more than 45 million emails per week via their own servers and have some of the best delivery rates in the industry.
With your pro Ontraport account you can have up to 25,000 contacts and send 100,000 emails per month… making them one of the most affordable email marketing services.
You should note that Ontraport can do a whole lot more than email automation… built-in two-way SMS messaging and postcards are awesome too.
Their new OntraMail uses the same “content block” builder as their landing pages so once you’ve learned to navigate one you’re good.
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.
Those are a couple of super basic examples of automation but the power you have is truly unbelievable.
Ontramail email templates. There are dozens to choose from and they can be sorted by type, industry, author or tags.
The basic version of ClickFunnels has some built in email follow up you can use for optins, 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 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.
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 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 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), 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.
ClickFunnels integrates with Stripe, Infusionsoft, JVzoo, ClickBank and Ontraport. 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.
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 nice feature.
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).