There are major issues with LeadPages and Click Funnels, and if you don’t think this through, you could be trapped and screwed from a marketing standpoint.

I know, harsh words, right?  But Click Funnels is saying, “you don’t need a website, just use Click Funnels…” And we’re seeing a LOT of people using both LeadPages and ClickFunnels in a way that could massively harm their marketing results in the future. Better a slight headache now, than a HUGE migraine later, right?

It’s the same issue that became apparent when some internet marketing “experts” advocated, “When you can have a Facebook page… who needs a website?”  I even saw people training small businesses and entrepreneurs to NOT have a website, but just put up a Facebook page.  Hindsight being 20/20, we all know that was a disaster for people who built a huge fan base (but highly lucrative for the folks who trained people to build their business on a Facebook page), when Facebook decided to pull the rug out from under them and charge for exposure to the fan base that they worked so hard to build.  It was all rented property, and the landlord changed the rules!  The small businesses and entrepreneurs who followed this advice fell further behind their competition,  while the “experts” moved on to the next “big” thing to advocate.

WordPress for Beginners - avoid the headachesBut something more damaging is now happening — and it will impact your results and possibilities that you aren’t thinking about when you’re thinking, “I need something easy!”

I’m not knocking LeadPages or ClickFunnels — they are great solutions for building pages – which was a major pain in the butt for most marketers.

But here’s the problem:  people are using a subdomain of LeadPages and ClickFunnels, rather than using their own (and OWNED) domain name.  For example: wpmktgengine.leadpages.co/landing-page-url (“leadpages.co” is NOT your domain, it belongs to LeadPages).

Why is that an issue?  Well… Here is a starting list:

1.  SOCIAL MEDIA:  If you are posting URLs to social media, using a [name].leadpages.co or [name].clickfunnels.com domain – things live FOREVER in social — what happens when a better service comes along? Or you decide to move/migrate to something else?  What happens when you shut down your LeadPages or ClickFunnels account?  Those links are DEAD.  They stop working, and I’m sure that LeadPages and ClickFunnels aren’t going to provide you with a forwarding service.

2.  Search Engine Optimization (SEO):  You’re sacrificing SEO goodness (your domain reputation and authority).  When people share those pages, forwarding your posts, or re-sharing, all of THAT link goodness, is … benefiting LeadPages and ClickFunnels…NOT YOU, except in the immediate result of having someone potentially opt-in to your list through the page.  But if you’re not using your own domain to serve your ClickFunnels and LeadPages pages (and have the ability to control the Title tag, H1’s, H2’s, and meta description), then you get NO residual benefits at all in terms of SEO.

3.  EMAIL DELIVERY: Yep.  You read that right.  Did you know that email delivery to the inbox through Google (the largest ISP in the world now for hosting emails – so you want Google to deliver your emails to the inbox, right?), an algorithmic company at its core, is based on many factors OTHER than the email servers you are using to send your email (assuming those are well-managed servers).

Google email delivery algorithms are starting to look at the reputation of your sending domain.  Let’s use WPMktgEngine.com as an example.  Sending from person@wpmktgengine.com – Google is looking at the @wpmktgengine.com portion of the from address and assessing that DOMAIN’s reputation to help understand how it should “deliver” the email.   So if you are using ClickFunnels or LeadPages for a lot of your pages – and using THEIR domain and not your own — watch out!  You’re not building “engagement” for your domain and your inbox delivery could suffer.  So – you can increase your opt-ins and build your list, but if your emails don’t make it to the inbox…. well… it’s a bit of a hollow victory.  The rules are changing for inbox delivery (just like they did for SEO a few years back).  Be sure you’re not setting yourself up for disaster in the future.

Find out the three keys to the inbox – get our Free Email Deliverability eBook

There’s more, but I think you are getting the point.  The lesson here is to OWN your domain, and to have any pages you are posting about on social media including a domain that is YOUR domain — not ClickFunnels or LeadPages.  It’s possible to have your own domain with BOTH of these tools (ClickFunnels supports custom domain mapping, while LeadPages supports it ONLY if you use their WordPress plugin to serve the pages) — so do the work and get that in place.

Or you could find a tool that does this automatically – while making it as easy to create the pages, opt-ins, and pop-ups that will maximize your lead generation.  That’s why WPMktgEngine is built from the ground up to integrate easily with your WordPress website.

The most important thing for you, is setting your business up for success, and understanding what you need that will allow you to drive opt-ins, deepen your engagement with your leads once you get them, and how build your authority and trust with them and increase your sales.  There is a flow that you can harness — you just need to understand it so everything fits into place.

**Note:  LeadPages announced on April 19, 2016 that it now has support for domain mapping.  That’s great news!  But it doesn’t matter for all of their customers who shared their LeadPages on social media using the [name].leadpages.co or one of their other domains.  And they themselves are acknowledging the benefits of using your OWN domain… but you have to go through their steps to implement…. another tech headache!

mm

About Kim Albee

An in-demand marketing consultant, speaker, and educator, Kim is a respected visionary with a great sense of humor who has made her life goal to make marketing easier and more accessible for small business owners. When not changing the course of marketing history, you can find her at a tiny cabin next to a Wisconsin lake with people and critters that make her happy.

34 Comments

  • John says:

    Thanks for the helpful article. I’ve thought about using just LeadPages and Mailchimp to capture email addresses for a second website I’d like to start. Maybe I should put up a simple blog first.

  • Bill says:

    I just found out that clickfunnels.com and my webpages created through clickfunnels and hosted on my domain don’t work in internet explorer 11. It seems to be only in windows 7 as far as I know. Clickfunnels considers the #2 browser (and windows 7 for that matter) to be outdated and they refuse to fix it. So, my webpages now don’t work on millions of computers. My only option is to quit clickfunnels and rewrite all my webpages using another platform. That’s going to cost me a lot of money and that’s in addition to the lost money I am experiencing from lost sales .

    Think twice before using clickfunnels!

    • wpme says:

      Hi Bill,

      Best to use a service that can natively render your landing pages in WordPress – and use a vendor who can support your needs, and leave you with options, so you don’t learn those tough lessons. Luckily most people are moving OFF of Windows 7… I’d check your Google analytics and find out what percentage of traffic that is for your pages (i.e. coming in from Windows 7).

    • Mahmoud says:

      I am actually using Clickfunnels, but integrated only my sub-domain, thank God I have read this article… I am going to work from the start on an independent web site..
      Do you recon in this case is much safer?

  • Charles Freyer says:

    The above is wrong and you know it.

    1. SEO factor is mostly correct. Clickfunnels is Not for SEO. Its for direct paid ads and free ‘other methods’ like joint venturing with market leaders

    2. 60,000+ users now [see faceboook] and opps they do use social media to market with paid ads

    3. Email deliverability is close to 100% because clickfunnels uses SENDGRID – so google search SendGrid

    • wpme says:

      Hi Charles,

      Thanks for your comment! The information in the article is not wrong actually, see below.

      re: #2 – I understand that people use Facebook to market with paid ads, however, when you use a subdomain of Clickfunnels for their pages, they are not building their own domain expertise. Users who click may bookmark the page – and have no other way to get back to YOUR WEBSITE if you leave Clickfunnels. You are not building domain authority — with your audience. Mostly, they will never know where to find you if you leave Clickfunnels.

      Re: #3 – Email deliverability with SENDGRID is not 100% — yes, SENDGRID is hosted within Google’s cloud environment, but that doesn’t give SENDGRID a free pass on email deliverability with Google. Download the eBook above that outlines the three factors that determine email delivery to the Inbox – you might be surprised based on your thinking that 100% of email from them makes it to the inbox. Just not so. In fact, the servers you send from are only one-third of the equation. Based upon our real-time monitoring, Sendgrid’s sender reputation has declined over the last 10 months.

  • Marilyn says:

    Such valuable info no one else is talking about. Excited to know this now. I’m starting with a new website and now I know that I need to ensure I’m getting the benefit by using my own domain. I am excited to be a new client. Thank you!

  • Hi Kim

    Thanks for the article info and the comments section, very helpful and eye-opening… I am about to make a decision re: Clickfunnels, and would love your take-on-it.

    An Associate of mine has the Clickfunnels Account, and has put together Clickfunnel pages to emulate a website, and offered to get my site up and running.

    Now I am want to be cautious with this, wanting to build it in a way I can “move” (HTML code Pages w/i Clickfunnels) to a WordPress site at any time.

    I have a new domain (www.medicarecoveragenetwork.com) parked on GoDaddy but not published yet. I also have a published WP site (www.retireehealthbenefits.com).

    My first question is – Should I create a subdomain (for example – http://www.educate.medicarecoveragenetwork.com) in GoDaddy to be used on/by Clickfunnels for these Pages?

    Would that be the most cautious approach /minimal configuration and maintain the integrity of the medicarecoveragenetwork site for SEO, etc?

    And by creating the subdomain, would that “allow” me to still use the http://www.medicarecoveraggenetwork.com site, for example, on a WordPress platform, independent of Clickfunnels?
    OR IS THE ONLY WAY TO BUILD ON A WORDPRESS SITE INITIALLY?

    thanks for clarifying for a novice like me……

    • wpme says:

      Thanks for your comment!

      A Clickfunnels site will have a very hard time getting search engine optimized. While it can be a great platform for landing pages (opt-in pages), it is not fundamentally designed to house a website if you’re interested in getting ranked in Google for your site. For that reason, I would not recommend it for a full website.

      If you are going to use Clickfunnels for your landing pages (for opt-ins and list building), then YES I would recommend creating a subdomain – but leave off the “www” on the front as that will only lengthen it and leave people confused. So in your example, I would do http://educate.medicarecoveragenetwork.com … and then you’ll have the fun of actually getting it set up, which is challenging even for a techie like me.

      I would host the main site in WordPress – and give it the best chance of SEO — I would NOT use Clickfunnels to host your website. So yes, creating a subdomain does allow you to use the main domain in WordPress, independent of Clickfunnels.

      Hope this helps!
      Kim

  • Adel says:

    I would respectfully disagree [but I see your point of view too so its a matter of starting perception].

    Let’s take your big 3: Why is that an issue? Well… Here is a starting list:

    1. SOCIAL MEDIA: People don’t read really old social posts. But if its important that also add your hashtag and make it unique !

    2. Search Engine Optimization (SEO): Clickfunnels is not for this. Its for making money fast using paid ads, making money consistently and massively. True WP is for SEO and all that.

    3. EMAIL DELIVERY: CF has greatest delivery because it hooks into 3rd parties like SendGrid – who are meticulous for delivery!

    Finally the article assumes people will move onto the next big thing. Frankly if you do not make money using CF – there is no ‘next’. You must stop and give up online marketing. There is no other place. Its about strategy. Clickfunnels lovers will eep it for life and its more likely that your [name] DOT clickfunnels.com will outlast [yourname] DOT com ; like the Washington monument . Its a $1/2 billion platform and it is less likely to evaporate than your own domain name.

    Having said that – your academic argument stands too.

    Thanks!

    Adel

  • Harry says:

    Hi Kim,
    Thanks for the article. Please, I need you to help me resolve this. I have a website i am presently building but I also want to get some professional hands to help me create some landing page on the website l’m currently building. The thing is, I want my landing page to be solely in my website and not on clickfunnel or leadpages. This is because I dont want to use those platforms but just my site for the landing page. Please, is this a right move?

    • Hi Harry,
      This is absolutely the right move. With WPMktgEngine you can create landing pages that live right in your WordPress, so you’ll have full control and your URL will be just like a page on your website. Our landing page builder is drag/drop and will do pretty much anything you want it to do, including allowing you to add forms and calls-to-action right into your pages. You’ll love it.
      Margaret

  • Amrita says:

    Thanks so much Kim, the info your provided is so helpful!

  • Yesica says:

    So just to be clear… if I buy a domain and buy hosting for my website but use Leadpages or Clickfunnels, does that still affect my SEO?

    I’m using Leadpages and making the webpages there but integrating them with WordPress. Does that hinder my SEO?

    • wpme says:

      Hi Yesica,

      Yes. but it’s better than using a leadpages subdomain. Basically, the pages built with LeadPages or Clickufnnels will likely NOT get ranked in search results because of the way they are created by the their respective wordpress plugins.

      With WPMktgEngine, you get pages that are build through the WordPress page building process, so they appear as native pages, and will get indexed by Google.

  • Kevin Clay says:

    Hi Kim, great article and advice!

    I am currently going through a big situation with my online business re: email deliverabilty and spam. Yes, I have noticed that email deliverabilty has taken a big hit especially from the big companies like Get Response and Aweber.

    I see more and more people dealing with this more than ever before and these companies are taking a big hit when it comes to their ability to deliver peoples emails to the inbox vs spam folder.

    I am currently moving away from my Get Response to a smaller less known Canadian email auto responder for my business hoping to improve my email deliverability which is one of the most important things to anyone’s email/online business.

    I use Click Funnels and was wondering about using my own custom domain and after reading your article I think the answer is very clear – YES! I should use my own custom domain for all my pages I create in CF.

    Question. Do you agree/disagree with anything I have said? Your thoughts and expertise would be greatly appreciated…

    Thanks Kevin

  • Todd Devan says:

    This is a great article and very helpful since I just finished up a launch page using Clickfunnels and wondering why it was not showing up in any Google searches. I do want to build up a list but more importantly I want to get my seo ranking higher in my small niche since most of my sales will be coming organanically from google searching. So if I understand this right, I would be better off building a landing page in word press and spreading that link versus spreading my clickfunnels link. Is this correct?

    Thank you ,

    Todd

    • Hi Todd,
      You are absolutely correct. With WPMktgEngine, you can build landing pages that live right in your WordPress site. They can be optimized for search engines, have your Google ID on them, and everything. You have full control. As a couple of other commenters have said, Clickfunnels is not for SEO. WPMktgEngine is a full marketing automation platform, designed to give you what you need without you having to have many subscriptions to a bunch of different products (and the issues of connecting them all together!). From email to landing pages to forms to calls-to-action, it’s all in here. You can see more on the demo page of our site.
      Margaret

  • Jack Pinion says:

    Great article… I’ve opted for Thrive Themes for exactly this reason… You can create OUTSTANDING funnels and they’re ALL on your own domain and Thrive Themes just keeps getting better and better.

  • Penny says:

    could you tell me if market hero is gonna harm my website or fb page advertising as I’ve just joined their training to email marketing for others via their plug in . I don’t want to put this on my customers sites for it to damage them later
    Penny

    • wpme says:

      Hi Penny,

      I’m not familiar with Market Hero. I would NEVER recommend using a plugin that would send email off of your hosted wordpress site server. That is a recipe for getting kicked off of your hosting account, and damaging your sender reputation.

      WPMktgEngine sends off of our cloud sending platform, which has the #1 inbox delivery reputation in the industry.

      Hope this helps.
      Kim

  • Henan says:

    Question: do I have to have a WP site ? what is I use shopify ? I want to lead people through a funnel to my shopify store, is that doable ?

    • wpme says:

      You can use WordPress pages to lead people through a funnel — what you want to do is use YOUR DOMAIN – or a DOMAIN THAT YOU OWN — and not a Clickfunnels or Leadpages subdomain.

      If you are interested in SEO (getting your pages / funnel) ranked by Google in search results, then you’ll want to have a distinct site – and WordPress would allow that — and using WPMktgEngine to create your funnel pages that lead to your Shopify site would allow you to get your funnel pages ranked for SEO by Google.

      Hope this helps!
      Kim

  • HI Kim,
    My business partner and I have looked at a lot of different programs for what we are trying to do. We are selling some products on Amazon, but our biggest product is and education program will be done mostly through an assessment and then about 80 2-3 minute videos and a questionnaire at the end to see how they did. We will also have a forum for them which could be a facebook group. This will be a movement course helping people get out of pain, especially back pain.

    I have 15 websites and all the ones in wordpress are at least twice as slow as ones in css or private system. I do like wordpress functionality though. Do you have any thoughts on this and could you recommend a good designer that could help? The websites is http://www.evercorelife.com. We still need to build it out though we have already built some pages though they aren’t visible yet.

    Also, we are wondering about a good crm? Hubspot is very expensive but maybe worth it? I know they also do landing pages but then the traffic is not flowing through your website.

    Thanks,

    Sam

    • Hi Sam,
      Kim is at a conference but may be able to weigh in later if you have follow-up questions.
      First – regarding your sites and their speed. A lot of WordPress themes are very bloated, because all of the tons of features they include load every time the site loads. What themes are you using on your sites, and did you create child themes? Our WordPress developers may be able to help. Also we are in the process of creating a stripped down child theme that will dramatically reduce the bloat, and that could also help you, particularly since you may not be that far down the road with Evercore’s site yet. It looks like Evercore is on the Enfold theme, and I’m not directly familiar with that one. Are all of your sites on this theme?
      I think I mentioned to you previously that we love LifterLMS as a course organizer / membership site. This integrates directly into WPMktgEngine as well, so you can see when people have completed courses, started but not completed, etc. and trigger emails or nurturing sequences from those events. We typically run our membership sites on a cname – so for you, something like member.evercorelife.com – and our membership sites run on a very simple theme that we’ve created just for that purpose.
      As far as CRM, for most small businesses, the CRM functionality within WPMktgEngine is more than sufficient, because everything is tracked for each lead within a single lead record. If you need the full boat of CRM functionality, you might want to look at Zoho or Sugar CRM. Both have gotten excellent reviews. We integrate to both (and many others) through Zapier. Hubspot is a ton of money, especially for a small business. They are doing a lot of advertising in the CRM space, but they are really a marketing automation platform that was created for big businesses. Our feature set is comparable (excluding the built-in CRM component), and we have much more integration capability built right into our product.
      Hope this helps,
      Margaret

  • angela says:

    Helpful article, thanks for the info.

  • Ash Waechter says:

    Great article. Thank you for the information! This is why I use a forwarding domain (i.e. freeguide.freshsalescoppy.com) for ClickFunnels and LeadPages. I don’t go so far as mapping my domain, but at least with my system, I can change services and funnels at will without worrying about a link (domain) I posted many moons ago.

    I also agree with your point about replacing web pages with ClickFunnels and LeadPages.

    Before I focused my attention on sales copywriting and internet marketing, I was a web designer many years ago. I lost a lot of business because Facebook and other social media came along. All my clients either jumped ship completely or reduced a lot of the work they had for me for their websites.

    I kept telling them that they “don’t own those platforms. You OWN your website.” They wouldn’t listen. Now, here we are again with people wanting to shoehorn a platform into a website. They will never learn. I use ClickFunnels and LeadPages AND a full functioning website.

  • daniel says:

    1. clickfunnels is for testing a product (not long term)
    2. seo ? why would you need seo just for testing a product
    3. email? wtf you can connect any email provider you want to clickfunnels lmao

    this article is for those who missed the point of what clickfunnels is for…

    • wpme says:

      Are you building a business? or are you just delighting in a hobby? If you’re building a business, then you’ll want to build and engage a list. If only 3-6% of visitors are ready to buy, how you address, and build relationship with the 97% of visitors — so they will buy from you when they are ready — is critical.

      SEO matters because – as you found this post — we get thousands of visits each month from this SINGLE post. THAT is the goodness of having a) a blog, and b) constant, free, traffic.

  • Patrick says:

    Thanks for the info Kim. I am a new CF user and had the same reservations about building a business through someone else’s structure. Therefore, I decided to keep my WordPress site and just use CF to create some marketing pages within a sub-domain.

    Your article reinforces that decision!

    I am also using the same approach when building landing pages for client sites.

    • wpme says:

      Hi Patrick

      You might want to check out WPMktgEngine and our deep integration with WordPress. Instead of using ClickFunnels, we have a drag and drop landing page builder – so you can build your funnels, and if you’re going to sell – use WooCommerce and we have an extension so all orders are tracked to the lead record, and you can set up automations.

      And you get your email marketing as well — and we have the top inbox delivery platform in the industry.

      Let me know if you’d like to chat — I’m happy to explore what you’re doing and see if working with us might be advantageous.

  • Caleb says:

    Hey Kim,
    Thanks for the article and suggestions! In order to follow your advice with ClickFunnels, Am I correct in thinking that I should create a custom subdomain for each marketing campaign? AKA each landing page or “funnel” I create?

    I.E. Marketing Campaigns: Cold traffic goes to: whois.calebjoye.com, Warm traffic to: community.calebjoye.com, and Hot leads to: booking.calebjoye.com

    • wpme says:

      Caleb,

      I don’t think you need to create a different subdomain — you want at least ONE subdomain and then you want to name your pages appropriately. Something like:

      www2.calebjoye.com (would map to Clickfunnels) and then you would have:

      www2.calebjoye.com/whois — If you have a site, this would be your About Us page — and why you’d want cold traffic to go there, I’m not sure — seems like it’s all about you rather than the problems that you address and solve, which will have MUCH higher engagement than something all about you… we also teach this in our Email Expert Academy program – if you’re out to build relationship and engagement (and your know-like-trust factor).

      www2.calebjoye.com/community — I’m sure there are other pages that you’d send warm traffic to – hopefully you’ve optimized your blog for engagement… something we teach in our Email Expert Academy…

      www2.calebjoye.com/booking — assuming this is your scheduling link, and that they complete an application prior to getting here, so if they qualify as a HOT Prospect you would send them from the application directly to a scheduling link, and if they’re not, then you send them to more education, or a different “Thank you” page that takes them down a self-service path instead of taking up your time… Something easily accomplished with our Survey capability that ties responses directly to the lead records.

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