You’re wondering if ClickFunnels works perfectly for online courses and memberships?
Well, the short answer is: IT DEPENDS
Stay with me for a second.
Because telling you either YES or NO might sound a bit bias. As I wouldn’t recommend ClickFunnels to some marketers as their core online course hosting platform and at the same time, I would to some.
I currently use ClickFunnels to host a few membership courses and here is one of them:
My ClickFunnels Expert Course that teaches new users how to find their way around the platform. From A-Z.
Well, I must say that ClickFunnels for online courses does come with lots of shortcomings compared to special course hosting platforms like the almighty Teachable and Thinkific.
We’re going to talk about the cons involved in hosting your online course on ClickFunnels and WHAT you should do instead.
And of course, the bright sides.
Just in a bit.
But for now, let’s get into the entire process of building and hosting your online from within ClickFunnels.
It’s going to be a pretty long one BUT I promise you’ll enjoy every part of it.
I will also give you an online course template to download right into your ClickFunnels now AND customize to suit your need, host, and start enrolling students in your online course.
Let’s get into it!
What It Looks Like to Build and Host an Online Course on ClickFunnels
You know, there are many course hosting platforms in the market. Obviously.
While ClickFunnels isn’t really the best out there, it outrightly stands out as an all-in-one marketing system where you can market, sell, and build your entire online business on.
Course hosting is just one of the few things (out of many) you can accomplish on this platform.
The thing is:
If you plan to create and sell your information product (eBook, courses, membership access, etc.) – it is of your great benefit to have all the necessary tech requirements needed for:
- Filming your course
- Graphics and designs
- Web domain and hosting
- Building landing and sales pages
- Shopping/Checkout cart software
- Upselling, downselling, and order bumps
- Email autoresponder and automation system
- Affiliate tracking and manager (if you need affiliates for promotion)
- The membership area itself
- Video hosting
…Plus, a ton of other marketing tools and functionalities.
Not forgetting pre-built course templates. To relieve you the stress of creating one from scratch and saving you enormous time.
Most infopreneurs sometimes get overwhelmed with all the above tech jargon because they’d need to consider paying a hefty price to link it all up to work as a complete system.
Now guess what?
No. Not anymore.
It used to be hell for me personally (and most online business owners out there) jiggling over a dozen software and paying a cost running my businesses and selling courses online.
Gone are those days.
The invention of sales funnel builders abolished all that. That is the goal behind ClickFunnels.
With over 100k customers and 7million+ funnels – which a large percentage of them are online course creators…
ClickFunnels sales funnel software system provides you all these tools – inbuilt – to grow your business.
At least within the past year alone, I’ve seen course creators from even the weirdest niches launch their courses on ClickFunnels.
I know this because I’ve been in the ClickFunnels community for a little number of 3 years. And counting…
Creators teaching about:
- Personal Development
- Relationship & Sex
- Social Media
- Art & Design
- Health & Fitness
What Tools ClickFunnels Provides?
As ClickFunnels claims that the platform was built for entrepreneurs:
- That aren’t programmers
- That don’t know how to design
- That has no desire to ever learn a single line of code
So, they can easily build converting pages inside of a sales funnel, market, and sell their products with ease.
Well, I have nothing much to say other than to agree.
Not that I’m trying to hype ClickFunnels here. Yeah, there are other options in the land and no platform ‘got it’ all.
Some are weak in some areas while some are exceptionally flawless in other areas.
I will point out all the flaws that come with this marketing tool. You’ll see soon…
Also, as we keep going on this (ClickFunnels for online courses) journey – some of its capabilities may arouse you.
Personally, as someone who isn’t good at programming, coding, and totally lacks design sense – It’s exciting having a platform that helps me build pages without letting tech disability come in the way.
This should tell you where I’m coming from…
And why I love ClickFunnels.
Putting that aside – lets take a look at all the inbuilt tools and functions found inside of ClickFunnels that makes it a remarkable builder for building your online course:
- Membership site and course hosting
This is the inbuilt tool that hosts your course online and handles the whole membership area access. There are DFY membership templates (for the opt-in, sales, members area, webinar, upsells pages and etc.).
You can easily download and customize as you want.
We shall take an inside look soon. To see how this feature works.
- Page builder/editor
This is the main page builder and editor within ClickFunnels for easy page building and customization of your membership funnels, sales pages, etc. It is popularly known as the Etison editor.
- Shopping Cart system
This is a special feature that takes care of collecting payments for your digital products with ease.
ClickFunnels supports tons of payment gateways. Any you can think of. Which is even cooler!
- Affiliate center
The affiliate center is used for recruiting, assigning, managing, and paying your affiliates. It is called Backpack.
- Email marketing
An inbuilt function for sending marketing broadcasts, sequences, and connecting with leads and enrolled students.
- One-click upsells, downsells and order bumps
If you’ve gone through any ClickFunnels’ funnels or bought Russells’ products in the past – then you must have seen these 3 profit boosters in action.
Order bumps. Upsells. Downsells.
These are incredibly powerful ways to increase your cart value and add more money into your pocket while serving your audience.
You don’t need to pay an extra fee to activate these in your funnels. They’re inbuilt.
- Follow-up funnels
This allows you to speak directly to your customers based on their journey, activities, or information. All on automation.
It supports emails, texts, and messenger automation.
- Webinar Funnels
You can host your live or automated event, then convert prospects from there. Webinars are must use for your high-ticket courses – especially.
ClickFunnels webinar feature (which is seamless to implement) allows you to show market and close leads on auto-pilot.
There’s also an A/B split testing feature to test variation of your marketing pages and funnels to see and pick winners.
How to Build Your Online Course on ClickFunnels? (plus, downloadable template)
The sales page on which you’re going advertise and sell your course, the webinar registration page, order/checkout page, upsell/downsell page, thank you page – are the front-end parts of your online course – are all simply easy to build.
At least from my experience.
Except for the copy aspect which requires a special copywriting skill, expert, or using Funnel Scripts to generate and tweak the copy yourself. Inhouse.
If you’re like me, then you don’t need to bother about creating all those pages from scratch.
You could probably find the pre-built membership templates perfect enough to suit your needs.
Nevertheless, let’s get into the visual steps on building your online membership or course with ClickFunnels:
From your ClickFunnels account dashboard click on Build Funnel:
Next step. Choose Sell Your Product:
The NEXT STEP is choosing either Sales Funnel to sell your products after collecting leads with a squeeze page, Product Launch for selling in a launch sequence, finally selling your knowledge with a membership site.
Of course, our choice would be Membership:
The final step is to give a name to our membership or online course funnel a name:
When we hit the Build button – it takes us into the funnel steps for your online course customization to begin.
You’ll see something like this:
That is membership access templates. You can select one or preview (to see how it looks), and get into the Etison editor (Edit page) to customize the way you want:
The second step is the Membership Area Templates. The membership area is the main house where your online would reside.
Pick a template or preview before you select:
Then you can start editing, customizing, and adding your online course contents and videos into the ClickFunnels membership area.
Take a look:
As you can see right inside the membership area menu – there are tons of (understandable) stuffs to play around with.
However, the first step I’d recommend you take inside here is to customize the look of your online course or membership area – Arrow #1.
It takes you right into the Etison editor to change the elements. Logo, colors, texts, etc.
From the online course membership menu, you can:
- Restrict access – arrow #2
- Add new section – arrow #4
- Add new lesson – #5
- Add lesson contents – #3
- Duplicate lesson – #6
- Edit lesson – #7
Everything within the ClickFunnels’ online course builder looks quite simple and easy to get around. Without tech limitation.
If you find it a bit difficult then you can grab my CF Expert Course for free when you get on the Secret Masterclass package using my referral link here. (Email me via my contact form get access to the Expert course).
That is the only ClickFunnels discount offer available for new and existing users.
Back into our dashboard…
You can further Add New Funnel Step from your membership funnel to add any page you which to use in marketing, selling, and promoting your online course.
- Email opt-in pages
- Thank You page
- Your online course sales page
- Product launch page
- Order form page
- One Time Offer/Upsell (OTO) page
- One-click downsell page
- Order confirmation page
- Webinar pages
You can view the stats of all your funnel steps/pages. Including the registered students:
Click here to start your free ClickFunnels trial…
ClickFunnels Online Course Template
It usually takes me about only a few hours setting up a complete membership site on ClickFunnels.
From building the funnel, editing, customization, adding lessons, etc.
Since I’m a huge advocate of simplicity – I don’t waste my time on perfecting the designs or worry too much about the colors and so on…
If you’d like to spend a lot of time on perfecting everything to look outstanding – fine.
That said, you can download below the prebuilt membership funnel right into your ClickFunnels account:
Here is it: https://app.clickfunnels.com/funnels/7958117/share/1ta7obdv516d85zj
That is a mini affiliate marketing course by Rachel S. Lee. A ClickFunnels 2comma award and dream car winner.
You can use that as an inspiration for whatever course you plan to host/build on ClickFunnels.
Or probably model it. Just play around it and see how an already-made online course created with ClickFunnels looks like.
Problems with ClickFunnels Online Course Builder
Like I said earlier – ClickFunnels doesn’t come without glitches. Especially when it comes to building and hosting your online course on the platform.
In fact, some of the courses I’ve bought over the past months aren’t hosted on ClickFunnels.
But they were marketed and sold through the platform.
Let’s take a look at the ugly sides of inbuilt ClickFunnels’ online course tool:
#1. Lacks student engagement feature
If you hope to see this in action – sorry to disappoint but this isn’t available on ClickFunnels membership site.
The student engagement (chat and commenting system) allows students to discuss and engage with other students and the course instructor.
#2. Difficult to track student progress
Student progress reporting – sometimes – happens to be a deal-breaker for most online course creators.
ClickFunnels’ membership site lacks extensive course reporting and analytics.
It’s difficult to track your students’ completion rates and the performance of your course videos.
#3. Lacks quiz, assignments and survey capabilities
Dedicated course hosting solutions like Kajabi, Teachable, and Thinkific provide amazing quizzing, survey, and assignment capability for course instructors.
Using a quiz feature for your online course is a way to keep students accountable. And it’s quite interesting how it aids encourage students to pay attention and take action.
For someone like me who just prefers to get into the main course contents and get what I paid for – I don’t take quizzes seriously as a student.
For the survey:
It is used for collecting feedback from your students via form applications.
#4. ClickFunnels lacks a certificate of completion
Are course completion certificates still a thing these days?
Well, I can’t say. Though the last time I checked I couldn’t find any course creator issuing completion certificates.
Don’t get me wrong. There might be but I don’t think it’s necessary.
I prefer a case – where taking action and getting results with a course would be the only certification to be proud of. Watching videos alone doesn’t produce results.
That said, you can’t find this feature in ClickFunnels.
Teachable allows you to create certificates natively on the platform. It comes with certificate templates you can customize or create yours from scratch.
For a solution like Thinkific – it integrates with a certificates service to help create your students’ certs.
Clearly from points above – ClickFunnels appears weak for hosting online memberships.
So, What Should You Do Instead?
When you take a deep look at dedicated membership site platform like Teachable, you’d see that it’s built solely for rendering perfect learning experience for your students.
Does that mean you should look away completely from ClickFunnels and consider Teachable (or Thinkific) for selling hosting your course?
Again – IT DEPENDS!
ClickFunnels is GREAT for online courses if you’re just getting started, for a basic membership site need with no much students and in need of a platform to build your entire business on.
Without going out of the platform. It’s great!
A few reasons why I’d recommend you host your online course on ClickFunnels is that:
- It saves you money (you don’t pay for another platform)
- You get to utilize the marketing-oriented features to sell and market the front-end aspect
- It allows you to keep all your pages on the same domain
- You get access to all the marketing training and courses for free (Funnel Flix)
- It allows you to exploit upsells, downsells, order bumps to the fullest
On the other hand,
I wouldn’t recommend ClickFunnels if you have a large number of students and need a robust membership area with a student interactive and engaging course features.
If the above lacking (backend) features interests you – then I would highly recommend you integrate ClickFunnels with your Teachable account.
Teachable and its brothers lacks smooth marketing features.
It’s pretty simple.
Use ClickFunnels for your front-end part:
- Marketing and promoting your online course
- Build and design a sales page
- Build and manage webinar
- Create upsells, downsells and order bumps
- Collect payments
Then use Teachable or Thinkific (Teachable preferred) to host and deliver your course for a SUPERB course experience:
- Engaging a membership site
- Quizzes and assignments
- Student surveys
- Discussion area
- Powerful course reporting tools
All you have to do is integrate them.
ClickFunnels is huge. So far that I’ve seen – It literally supports almost every online marketing and business tool out there.
Clickfunnels (sales pages, webinars, emails) + Zapier (connector) + Teachable (actual course content)
Final Thoughts on ClickFunnels for online courses
Filming, building the and hosting your online course is just a piece of the (BIG) pie in successfully getting your target audience enrolled in your online course.
Remember, the platform used doesn’t really matter much.
The main success lies in the marketing strategy behind launching your online course.
While I can’t really cover what it takes to have success with launching and having success with your online course – as that’ll go out of the scope of this post.
But as Russell always puts it – what matters the most is getting your:
…with a KILLER copy (link to a copywriting training) and d some elements of urgency and scarcity to boot have always been greatest sales funnel conversion secrets.
His Secret Masterclass training is an eye-opening presentation to get you started on having a remarkable starting point with your online course.
Using ClickFunnels or not. Do check it out!
Let me know in the comments if you have any questions regarding this ClickFunnels for online course post.