When ClickFunnels decided to enter into the webpage-building software market, they already had a lot of competitors doing extremely well.
Yes, they have their unique competitive edge, but ClickFunnels is a tool you can use to build funnels – several pages that link into each other to create a seamless sales experience for your prospects.
Well, when I launched my first digital product, Copy That Sells, my friend Dayo Samuel, built my funnel with just WordPress.
For my skincare eCommerce brand, BeauCrest, I use OptimizePress, a WordPress plugin, to build my funnels…though I needed Zapier and my email client to make it functional.
For my wristwatch ecommerce brand, I used Elementor. For most of my lead generation clients, especially schools and dentists, I used LeadPages. I’ve used InstaBuilder for a client that preferred that option.
And they all served me (and my clients) well.
Yes, ClickFunnels makes things easier (and that’s why I’m moving some of my businesses there), but people can get same stuff done without them.
So how did they grow so big to become the market leader in their industry, in less than five years?
You see, the two biggest players in the page building industry, as at when ClickFunnels was just a startup, were LeadPages and InfusionSoft.
And these guys enjoyed some deep investor funding. Even though the official figure everywhere is $38M, since their inception, LeadPages has raised $43Million over three rounds of funding. And their annual revenue is is $18M. They got acquired this 2020.
InfusionSoft (now Keap) has raised a total of $202.9M in funding over 7 rounds. And they make an annual revenue of $100M (2017 figures).
ClickFunnels, on the other hand, starting years after these two companies, and without any investor-backed funding, has now gotten to $100M annual revenue (in 2019)…from software alone, not counting other services or products owned by the company (an extra $34M).
“Do things different!”
One other thing that excites me about ClickFunnels growth, and journey to overtaking both LeadPages and InfusionSoft to become the market leader in their category, is how they don’t advertise their product directly to acquire new customers.
According to Russell Brunson, Co-Founder and CEO of ClickFunnels, out of curiosity he had a meeting with an investor who asked how much it is to acquire a customer for ClickFunnels. Russell replied: “if we buy ads directly to the ClickFunnels website, it costs us about $120 to get a free trial”.
The investor started calculating how many customers ClickFunnels would be able to acquire if they gave Russell $50M….
And Russell had to stop him right there.
He told the investor: no, we turned those ads off.
Investor was shocked…like why would any same person turn off an ad that acquires customers for less than 2 months payment for the software, yea?
And then Russell said something profound – something that should change the way you look at business henceforth…
He said: “I can’t float (pay) $120 for every free customer that signs up; I didn’t want to go broke so we had to do things different; we had to think smarter about things.
“So this is how we do it: we run ads and I don’t sell ClickFunnels upfront. Instead, what I do is I drive people to a sales funnel…and sell them different things.”
For example, when someone buys his “Free+Shipping” books, it costs them $20, then they go through his funnel: upsells and downsells, and then he makes back about $40.
So he gets $20 cash into his pocket and a customer, then he tells the customer: “Hey, there’s a really cool software called ClickFunnels, you should try it.”
And they try it for free!
So…not only is it NOT costing him $120 to get a customer; he literally got paid $20 before he even told the customer about what he’s trying to sell them!
That’s the power of having a system that consistently gives you customers at a profit!
That’s the only reason ClickFunnels was able to blow past both LeadPages and InfusionSoft in less than 3 years: it wasn’t costing them a dime to acquire a customer…so they are able to go all in!
One of the earliest concepts I got ingrained in my mind when I started my career as a professional digital marketer back in 2015 was a Dan Kennedy saying that Ryan Deiss quoted often: “Ultimately, whoever can spend the most to acquire a new customer, wins!”
Your goal in business, always, is to be able to outspend your competitors when it comes to acquiring new customers!!
2017 when I launched my skincare brand, everybody, including my teachers, were permanently on the roller coaster of getting a hot product, selling the heck out of it and making tons of money…till it’s no longer profitable, then they jump on the next hot product.
And the cycle continues.
How I grow BeauCrest
As for me, I knew I wanted to build a brand that would pay me forever.
So I started from scratch with a funnel that doesn’t just sell stuff, but also built an email list.
In fact, in trying to acquire new customers, we never for once advertised our products to cold audience (strangers). What we advertise, till now, is a blog post. This gives us cheaper clicks from Facebook…then our blog post (and every other stage of our funnel) does the selling.
By the end of the first year, with less than $4,500 in ads, over 19k women had subscribed to our brand (almost 18k were active). By the end of the second year, we had over 30k women as active subscribers…not even counting the thousands that had fallen off. And we have sold multiple thousands of skincare products.
Towards the end of April this year (2020), just when the lockdown in my city was eased, I sent just 5 daily emails to test a concept I’d just learned, with no promos or discounts. And this generated over a hundred buyers over time (almost 70 that week alone), most of whom were first-time buyers – people that’d been on our list for years or months without purchasing from us.
This is the power of growing a business the right way – using a system that consistently generates sales for you at a profit.
Good part is, we’d been profitable even from the frontend of my funnel…so the repeat buyers and newly-activated buyers via email were all pure profit.
Best way to grow your business – any business!
I did a quick Google search for how to grow a business, and as you can imagine, I saw a gazillion ways, from getting outside investments to licensing, to going public, to improving customer experience, expanding internationally, and so on.
All these are good…
But I don’t care how big you grow as a business, if it’s not all backed by profits, then your case is like that of a tennis ball tossed up. It’s coming back downwards – especially when those who’re running the circus get tired.
Whatever you do, focus on consistently making profitable sales. Because, that, my friend is the absolute best way to grow your business, beat out all your competitors, buy your ticket to freedom as an entrepreneur, and ultimately, leave a legacy!
Read this post to learn more about my proprietary system that helps your business do just that => oludami.com/7-pillars-business-growth.
Don’t say I haven’t done something for you 😉
PS: What do you think about today’s post? Please let me know in the comments. Drop any questions you may have there too; I’d be happy to reply you!
Meet the Author
Hello! I’m Oludami Yomi-Alliyu. I'm on a mission to help driven entrepreneurs grow their business and attain freedom through consistent, profitable sales. This is why I created the Septuplar Sales System, out of my experience turning around my business failure and now consistently getting returns of over 5x my ad spend.Learn more