If you are in a hurry and would like to know my #1 sales funnel builder and top pick among this list, it’s KARTRA (Read my full review and tutorial on how to use it here).
It has the best features as a sales funnel builder, combined with powerful marketing automation tools & decent pricing plans. Otherwise, check out the full list below.
KARTRA - #1 PICK
OPTIMIZE PRESS 3
I’ve written in-depth reviews of dozens of internet marketing tools – and this is my latest guide for those looking for the best solution that would fit your needs.
My name is Ryan Cruz, and I’ve been a digital marketer since 2010, working for local businesses and small businesses here in North America.
You would have found this article by searching on Google or in social media.
Nevertheless, 99% of the time, I’ve tried these sales funnel platforms with my own paypal funds and credit card – which helped me test, use, and identify the full scope of these sales funnel softwares.
There’s no denying that with the recent Pandemic, our world has changed and having an online presence is now more important than ever.
A 2015 Google study showed that 89% of B2B researches used the internet, and 81% of B2C shoppers did the same.
Just look at this article where Salesforce did a survey that almost 79% of leads never converted into sales, that’s because it didn’t have a working sales funnel.
Picking the right sales funnel builder is as important as with picking the right marketing campaign, copy and offer for building your online business.
Here are the top 15+ Sales Funnel Builders that I recommend in 2021 (from the top recommendation to the last few options)…
Kartra - #1 Choice for 2021
Kartra was launched I think sometime in April of 2017. It’s barely new but it’s already getting a lot of traction. This software is from the guys who created EverWebinar and WebinarJam, two of the most popular webinar platforms today.
I’ve chosen Kartra as the #1 sales funnel builder in 2020, even though it is younger than the current king of sales funnels : Clickfunnels.
The main reasons include Kartra having a powerful email marketing platform (no need to buy separately unlike in Clickfunnels, Done for you campaigns, and Calendar-booking system – which are not available inside Clickfunnels).
Here’s my assessment on the 5 criteria for choosing Kartra:
Years in business – Kartra is barely 3 years old, but the Genesis team includes veteran marketers: Mike Filsaime and Andy Jenkins, who has been around for quite some time in the internet marketing niche. These are the guys that brought us WebinarJam and EverWebinar. Mike Filsaime is also the guy who launched GrooveFunnels (Read my Review Here).
Benefits and Unique selling proposition – When you look closely at Kartra and what Clickfunnels has to offer, it would seem that Kartra is more advanced and with more features. And these are NOT just nice to have but are actually USEFUL.
One of the features that I really like about Kartra is it’s ability to import a “Done for you” campaign which includes every funnel, email and marketing automation.
Right now, there are over 31 Done For You Campaigns Inside Kartra, which makes this platform one of the easiest platforms to get started with. Just import and tweak one of these DFY campaigns and you can start generating traffic to it.
All in One Solution – Kartra is truly the All-in-One solution when it comes to sales funnel builders. It has a highly converting shopping cart software, powerful email marketing platform, integrated marketing automation (it even has triggers on video views) and if you’re starting with the silver plan, you’ll have access to unlimited pages, unlimited emails and more!
Ease of use – A lot has improved in the user interface of Kartra as the platform has now time to develop in the last 3 years. As more and more people adopt to this platform, bugs, and updates have been more frequent making it more user-friendly.
Affordability – The starting price for Kartra is much better than the current lowest price for Clickfunnels at $97/month if you purchase an annual plan.
If you are just planning to test it out first and try out Kartra, you can get started for $1 only for 14 days. Check out my Kartra Bonuses here and you’ll also learn how you can double your $1 trial from 14 days to 30 days.
The quest for an all-in-one sales funnel builder is NOW over. I’ve been using almost all of these sales funnel builders and there’s one or two things that are missing, but NOT with Kartra. It does live up to it’s claim of All-in-one marketing and sales funnel builder. Check out the Official Kartra site.
GrooveFunnels - #2 Choice
Groovefunnels is the newest sales funnel builder on the block (I think launched just around March 2020).
One of the founders and the guy that brought us Kartra: Mike Filsaime, has now launched this competing product: GroovePages (part of GrooveFunnels), and he is creating a big buzz about it.
Why? Because he is giving away FREE versions of GrooveSell (shopping cart platform) and GroovePages lite (which includes capabilities to design 3 sites/sales funnels in your account) with an option to upgrade for a LIFETIME account.
You can’t go wrong with a FREE account, so sign-up and secure yours here.
Now let’s look at my 5 criteria for choosing the right sales funnel builder:
Years in business – Although GrooveFunnels is just new, the founders are not. Mike Filsaime, the guy who launched GrooveFunnels (Read my Review Here) is a veteran marketer (Butterfly marketing, Everwebinar, Kartra, etc) who knows how to market and build an online business.
Benefits and Unique selling proposition – I don’t think there’s any other sales funnel builder out there that OFFERS : Free accounts with full capabilities (GroovePages and GrooveSell), and my favorite one is the LIFETIME Deal which is available right now. It will move into a monthly plan in the future.
All in One Solution – This is the end goal for GrooveFunnels. To include all major marketing methods like email, blogging, and even video hosting.
Ease of use – I have a Groovepages and Groovesell account and the interface is not that bad, and will eventually have improvements in the future (they have a public roadmap for this).
Affordability – Right now, I’ve added Groovefunnels as my #2 choice for choosing a sales funnel builder because it’s FREE and has a one-time, lifetime payment option available.
Clickfunnels - #3 Choice
Clickfunnels took the world by storm (according to several people including Garrett White) because it was easier to use, no need to hire your expensive designer and coder, but it also had a big flaw. It was trying to do everything when it should have focused on what it does best: building awesome sales funnels.
Years in business – Clickfunnels had been available for almost 5+ years (I think it started around September 2014, not sure). But a lot has changed since I first tried using it back in 2015. What helped it’s explosive growth is the marketing genius behind it: Russell Brunson. He has the ability to connect with his ideal audience, build a following and promote Clickfunnels as the solution he’s using to grow an online business.
Benefits and Unique selling proposition – Community and templates. If you are looking for a community of sales funnel builders, also known as Funnel Hackers, you can join Funnel Hacking Live which is an event for people who use Clickfunnels or planning to build a sales funnel in the future.
All in One Solution – No. This is where I believed Clickfunnels has failed and why I’ve ranked it lower in this years list. Clickfunnels tried to achieve an all-in-one solution with Actionetics (their marketing automation tool) and Backpack (affiliate software) but that didn’t work out for a lot of people. It was clunky and buggy. I believe that they shouldn’t have released it because it feels like it’s not yet ready for mainstream use. I think they’ve scrapped the future developments of these tools as most people who use Clickfunnels uses third party email providers like Drip, ActiveCampaign or Convertkit anyways.
Ease of use – With Sharefunnels (1-click import of templates) and with it’s drag and drop editors, using the Clickfunnels builder is easy and user-friendly.
Affordability – Clickfunnels is not the most affordable sales funnel builder, it’s actually quite expensive. When it launched 5 years ago, it was the logical, alternative and affordable solution, but not today when Kartra and Groovefunnels are much more affordable and practical solutions with more features.
If you’re planning to try Clickfunnels, here’s a 14-day free trial.
Clickfunnels is obviously the most popular sales funnel builder today that is why you’ll see every person promoting it. It’s also because they have a lucrative affiliate program incentives. Clickfunnels is best for those who are not looking an all-in-one sales funnel solution, but are looking for the most popular sales funnel tool with lots of users.
Optimize Funnels - #4 Choice
Optimize Funnels is the latest add-on for the Optimize Press 3 suite of plugins. James Dyson is the founder of Optimize Press and it’s one of the oldest platforms for building highly converting WordPress landing pages way back several years.
Finally, after years of getting feedback from customers, they’ve released Optimize Funnels.
I think it’s too late for it as the market has already evolved with a lot of tools like Kartra and Clickfunnels for building sales funnels, but if you’re looking for a solution that is entirely WordPress based, then Optimize Funnels is your best bet for a true sales funnel builder.
Unlike other tools like Elementor PRO, Thrive Architect, etc which are really just WordPress page builders or landing page creation tools.
Here’s my 5 criteria assessment on Optimize Funnels
Years in business – Optimize Press has been around for almost 7+ years I think. I’ve started using Optimize Press version 1 for my landing pages before Thrive Architect arrived.
Benefits and Unique selling proposition – A fully featured, and gorgeous sales funnels built into your WordPress blog. That’s the benefit of using Optimize Funnels. You own everything even if you cancel your subscription updates for OptimizePress.
All in One Solution – Optimize Press is NOT an all-in-one solution. It doesn’t have video hosting or WordPress hosting (you still need to host your site on providers like Siteground). You also need to have your own email marketing platform like Convertkit (pick out from the best email marketing tools here)
Ease of use – Optimize Funnels uses the Optimize Press builder which is very easy to use. There’s also tons of templates included which makes designing funnels easier and faster.
Affordability – It’s very affordable. You can get started with Optimize Press, Optimize Checkouts, Optimize Funnels for only $199/year. It’s one of the most practical solutions for WordPress.
Thrive Themes - #5 Choice
Thrive Themes has an extensive suite of WordPress plugins that is designed to create highly converting WordPress blogs. But you can also use these tools to design a sales funnel that is at par with other SAAS sales funnel builders like Kartra.
I’ve been a Thrive Themes user since 2015, and have used their suite of WordPress plugins on almost all of my websites.
By far, the plugin that I’ve used the most is Thrive Architect. It’s a WordPress plugin that’s able to create landing pages which you can combine to create your own sales funnel.
And then you have Thrive Leads, which is part of the Thrive Themes plugins which handles email popups, inline widgets, etc to help you capture leads and emails.
Years in business – Shane Melaugh the guy behind Thrive Themes has been one of the top SEO marketers for quite a long time. He is the guy behind Hybrid Connect, another popular plugin that was now replaced by Thrive Leads (part of the Thrive Themes suite). The Thrive Themes suite has been around since 2014/2015 so it’s been one of the oldest and most popular WordPress suite of plugins today.
Benefits and unique selling proposition – Just like Clickfunnels, the goal of Thrive Themes is to be your all-in-one solution for most of your WordPress needs. They have a lead generation plugin, a testimonial plugin, a commenting plugin, a countdown timer plugin, a split-testing plugin, and a widgets plugin.
All-in-one solution – When it comes to building sales funnels, you’ll be able to use almost all of the plugins inside the Thrive Themes suite of plugins. You won’t have full funnel tracking capabilities to measure traffic and conversion rates in each step of your funnel, but you can use funnel-mapping tools like Funnelytics PRO to do that. And you’ll have to make sure that each step of the sales funnel connects to the right landing page. You’ll also need to have a CART processor like ThriveCart to process payments and take orders online.
Ease of use – Since these are WordPress plugins, you’ll need to know how to install, update and use WordPress. But once you know how to use WordPress, it’s very easy to install and use these plugins.
There’s also a Thrive University that contains a lot of information and knowledge bombs on how to build your online business and sales funnels.
Affordability – The annual cost of Clickfunnels and Kartra alone is around $1,000+ but with the complete annual membership of Thrive Themes, you’ll only around $228 for the personal license or $588 for the agency license (if you want to build for client websites)
Thrive Themes has tons of tools that allows you to build a sales funnel (lead generation, landing pages, scarcity timers, etc) but it lacks funnel tracking right now.
Leadpages -#6 Choice
Okay so let’s quickly talk about Leadpages. The most important thing that I’ve learned from using Leadpages is that it is very easy to use when compared to the other landing page softwares and sales funnels builders out there right now.
I’ve also noticed that Leadpages has a ton of templates that are designed to turn more clicks into customers.
Leadpages are able to do this because they have years of experience in conversion-optimized design.
They’ve actually built a platform that is 100% mobile responsive and that loads very quickly so that your users and website visitors will have a great website experience.
The best features that I like from using Leadpages are designed to help boost your conversion rates.
It doesn’t have complicated analytics. You can easily make a decision of what’s working or not based on their simple analytics dashboard.
It also has an easy to use, and unlimited split-test capabilities, including A/B testing.
You can use dozens of pre-made templates without writing a single line of code.
But probably one of the biggest reasons to use Leadpages is that it is one of the platforms that doesn’t limit your traffic and landing pages you create.
Autofunnels (Conversion Funnels) - #7
When I first heard that Getresponse has launched their own sales funnel software I was really hesitant and at the same time curious to check it out.
I’ve known Getresponse as an email marketing platform but never as a landing page builder or sales funnel software.
I looked into Auto funnels and how it differs from other sales funnel builders out there.
One thing struck me immediately, the ability to generate your sales funnels really quickly.
I really love their tagline which is “You fill in the blanks and we do all the heavy lifting for you”.
It was really enticing for me because again a lot of people including myself struggle with what content to write or to add on your landing pages and sales funnels.
To have something auto-generated for you pretty much is a no-brainer.
So I signed up for an account at Getresponse to test the Autofunnels feature and then created my first automated sales funnel.
It’s actually not bad for an automated sales funnel system.
Obviously you still need to do some tweaking, like you editing some of the copy and adding your design elements.
You also need to make sure that the emails that it auto-generated are relevant for your target audience and email subscribers.
ThriveCart - #8
ThriveCart has been a game-changer in the world of shopping cart platforms because they’ve made purchasing ThriveCart really attractive.
Thrive Cart is really not a sales funnel software, but with the recent addition of its customizable sales funnel checkout page, I’ve included it here as it’s a viable alternative to complicated sales funnels.
CartFlows - #10
CartFlows is a product from one of the growing WordPress blogs today, WP Crafter.
Adam from WP Crafter has created this software because he felt the need for WordPress websites to be able to create their own sales funnels without relying on third-party systems.
Unbounce - #11
Unbounce is probably one of the first landing page software that I’ve ever used.
It is robust enough to be used in an enterprise setting, yet simple enough for anyone to use.
Frequently Asked Questions about Funnels
What are Sales Funnels?
A sales funnel is a collection of landing pages that includes a combination of opt-in pages, webinar pages, thank you pages, sales pages, membership pages, upsell pages, etc where the common goal is to drive people into a series of steps that turns people into website visitors, then into leads, and then into customers.
Sales funnels have been around ever since man learned how to sell something. We might just not know it. One of the best analogies around the difference between a website and a sales funnel is when you look at a local store.
A website is kinda like a store employee that waits around for new customers to come in. Once they are in your store, they passively wait for people to “ask them” around. If people leave the store without purchasing anything, they'll probably not even notice.
On the other hand, a “sales funnel” is kinda like your top-performing sales agent. When you have your top “sales guy/gal” in the store, there's a huge influx of sales. It's because you're top salesperson does this. When people enter your store, they are immediately greeted with a warm welcome by your top salesperson. They ask the potential customer, how they are and compliments them, and helps find out what they need. Your top salesperson then directs the potential customer to the right path based on what they are looking for, and finally, your top salesperson helps close the sale by making the shopping experience a personalized one.
I hope that analogy makes sense. A sales funnel is focused on “ONE THING” and usually that is to get a sale, and maximize the potential revenue from a customer. A website, on the other hand, has MILLIONS of OPTIONS that usually just distracts the lead into becoming a customer.
What are my criteria for choosing the best sales funnel builder?
- Years in business – How long have the software been around. Generally, the longer it is, the more stable the software has become. We also want to make sure that it's been updated with the changes in technology and web updates.
- Benefits and Unique Selling Proposition – We also want to make sure that it has the features and benefits that are truly beneficial in building an online business. What is it's unique selling proposition? What makes it unique than the other sales funnel software out there?
- All in one solution – Does it provide alternative solutions to most of the software needed to run a successful sales funnel? Or do you still need other tools and software to “glue” all things together?
- Ease of use – Is it easy to use even for a beginner? Does it require advanced knowledge in web design, landing page design and sales funnel design in order to be able to launch something new?
- Affordability and Cost-effectiveness – lastly, how does the pricing compare with others? Is it cost-effective? What's the most practical solution for beginners?
How do I create an online sales funnel?
Today, you'll learn what's needed to create a highly effective sales funnel. In order to be able to launch your sales funnel, you'll need to have the following:
- You need to have an Offer to promote – An offer is not the same as a product. A product is a tangible piece, product or service that you provide. An offer is an irresistible package of the product that entices that person to buy it from you.
- You need to be able to have the right COPY and messages in each part of your sales funnel – Writing copy is where a lot of people gets stuck as they don't know what messages to put in each part of their sales funnel. I'll show how you can create copy for your funnels even if you're not a copywriter or hiring an expensive one.
- You need to use a sales funnel software to help build your sales funnels – We'll dive deep into the top 5 sales funnel software available today and let you decide what's best for your particular needs
What are the different types of sales funnel software or builders?
There are 2 major types of sales funnel builders. The first type and the most popular one are the hosted or provided as software as a service. It's usually sold at monthly or annual subscription.
You basically pay for a monthly fee to use the sales funnel software. The most popular software in this category are Kartra and Clickfunnels.
What are the best hosted Sales funnel builders?
The best-hosted sales funnel software and builders are #1 Kartra followed closely by Clickfunnels.
What are the best self-hosted sales funnel builders?
The best self-hosted sales funnel builders are integrated inside WordPress and they are Optimize Funnels (by Optimize Press) and Thrive Themes.
What is the most practical sales funnel builder?
The most practical sales funnel builder is the one that you will be using. For some people, paying a monthly fee is nothing compared with the time that they'll be able to save when using that subscription platform.
What is your favorite sales funnel software?
My personal favorite is Kartra and Optimize Funnels.