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Sales Funnels – Thrive Themes Vs Clickfunnels – My Story

OK, so you want to build a sales funnels and you are maybe thinking of using Clickfunnels. You might have already looked at some other options, like Thrive Themes, Leadpages or Optimise Press.

Well, let me tell you my experience as a well established and experienced sales funnel builder and website designer based in Edinburgh with over 10 years experience. You may be surprised with what I have to say.

First off, and to make it easy, both Clickfunnels and Thrive Themes could be the solution you are looking for if you are a small business or even a large organisation. However, which one you choose depends on which level you are at in the online marketing game.

Why do I say this?

Well, to put it simply, both are excellent products or services, but where one offers all the bells and whistles you would need if you are already successfully selling your online products and need to ramp it up, the other offers less features to sell your product, but instead provides a simpler to use solution along with fantastic website design features, which are perfect if you need to build your online presence yourself.

So let’s look at this in a list format, and by the way, I  haven’t forgotten about the other products on the market, it’s just I wouldn’t bother using them unless my client had already invested in them and couldn’t choose either Clickfunnels or Thrive Themes for their sales funnels and WordPress website design. However, I would say, steer very clear and as far away from Optimisepress as possible.

Why and when to use Clickfunnels

Clickfunnels is a fantastic bit of SAS (service as a software). Russell Brunson has really hit the mark with his product and to be completely honest, it was Clickfunnels that reignited my passion and drive for creating sales funnels again as it made it so easy.

Why us Clickfunnels?

Before Clickfunnels, building sales funnels was pretty much a business owners nightmare. Even for someone like me who is experienced in website design and online marketing, trying to add the functionality that Clickfunnels offers into your online sales funnel was extremely difficult and very expensive.

For example, if you wanted to build a sales funnel, you had to integrate lots of different platforms to put it together and hire a development team and designers to stitch it all together and add a few extra bespoke bits of programming which would cost you tens of thousands of pounds!

Plus, the expense just kept adding up every time you wanted to make a change to your funnel.

  • All the individual pages
  • The shopping carts
  • The autoresponder sequences
  • The merchant accounts
  • The CRMs
  • The 3rd party platforms

You would have all of these issues to overcome and then in the future if you ever needed to change even the smallest thing, you would have to contract an expensive developer to do it for you.

Clickfunnels changed all that.

Now, you can build complex, feature rich and conversion optimised funnels using proven strategies very easily and all on the one platform.

Of course you still need to integrate certain platforms, like Stripe for payment options, although you can use PayPal as well, and you might need to set up a Zapier to connect Clickfunnels lead captures and sales to your chosen email automation service like Mailchimp or shopping cart like Shopify , but Clickfunnels does it so simply and effectively it’s often at the click of one or just a few buttons. No timely and costly developers required here.

When to use Clickfunnels

It might be easier to start by asking when not to use Clickfunnels. Don’t get caught in the hype and the impressive sales techniques of Russell Brunson and buy into Clickfunnels when you don’t really need it. The analogy of using a sledgehammer to break a nut is perfect to describe this.

If you have only just started out in online marketing and don’t have a very large list of contacts or a very structured and multi tiered pricing structure for your products then Clickfunnels will be too much for your needs and you will be wasting £75 per month and maybe even £227 per month on features you just don’t need.

You should only use Clickfunnels if you have the following:

  • A large list of contacts to push through your sales funnels
  • A large marketing budget to buy visitors to direct to your sales funnels
  • A well structured multi tiered pricing structure for your products/services
  • You have a great sales script and killer sales copy
  • You know what you are doing

Why use Thrive Themes

Whilst Thrive Themes doesn’t have as much functionality when it comes to building complex sales funnels as Clickfunnels, it does offer much more in the way of website design and simplified online marketing.

This is important if you are just starting to build your online sales empire and want a product and service that doesn’t cost much yet offers almost everything you could ever need to grow your business by attracting visitors, gaining new leads, making sales and nurturing client loyalty.

After more than 10 years designing websites and building and running online marketing campaigns for myself and my clients, I would confidently say that Thrive Themes is one of the best products and services that revolves around WordPress on the market.

So what does Thrive themes offer that Clickfunnels doesn’t?

  • Thrive themes is Completely WordPress Compatible
  • Thrive themes let’s you Build Pages From Scratch
  • Thrive themes allows you to Target Opt-In Offers based on Content Category

And most importantly

  • With Thrive themes YOU OWN ALL THE PAGES
  • With Thrive themes you OWN ALL THE CONTACTS

The problem with Clickfunnels is you are in bed with them 100%. If you stop paying them you lose ALL YOUR FUNNELS AND PAGES! And Clickfunnels keep a list of all your contacts even when you want to delete them!!! I’m really not sure how that works with GDPR compliance.

This is what the Clickfunnels page on the subject states, which isn’t much to go on:

Upon archiving a contact, the contact data, along with any associated data will be retained in the ClickFunnels database.

Click here to be taken to the ‘archiving Clickfunnels contact page’.

With Thrive Themes you can do almost everything that Clickfunnels does, using the WordPress CMS (Content Management System) and build beautiful fully responsive well search engine optimised websites.

When to use Thrive Themes

Thrive Themes is a great option if you are in the process of building your own WordPress website or want to redesign your WordPress website.

The themes they provide are simple to edit and look good on installation. They provide a very simple option to build the home page so that it looks exactly the same as in the demo, which if you are experienced with WordPress themes is not often the case. Usually you active a theme you have found that looks fantastic in the demo only to find that when you install and activate it the theme looks nothing like the demo without a lot of customisation.

On top of that, Thrive Theme’s offer their Architect, which allows you to build not only fantastic looking blog posts, pages and optin pages from scratch, but also amazing looking home pages in a drag and drop style builder.

It’s also great if you want to start building sales funnels and grow your contact list, like subscribers and online clients.

They provide many more prebuilt sales funnels that Clickfunnels that save you a lot of time in having to design and build your own, which is the case with Clickfunnels. Architect then makes editing those pages much simpler that Clickfunnels and once again offers a lot more design features that don[t come with the basic Clickfunnels memberships. In fact, maybe practising what they preach, with Clickfunnels you seem to be upsold and upsold time and time again to get the extra features needed for a good looking and functioning funnel whereas with Thrive Themes you get all this for a one off price of £175 approx per annum

However, if online sales funnels are your main marketing priority and you drive a lot of traffic to your website to convert visitors in subscribers, subscribers into customers and then, and this is the important bit, upselling them and downselling them, then you probably want to use Clickfunnels.

  • You should use Thrive Themes when:
  • You want to design your own WordPress websites
  • You want total control over your sales funnels
  • You want to own the sales funnels you build and content
  • You want total control of ownership of your contacts
  • You don’t want to pay per month
  • You don’t want to be restricted with the number of funnels/pages/you can build (basic plan)
  • You don’t want to restricted by the number of visitors who can go through your sales funnels every month (basic plan)

In conclusion


6 Compelling Reasons Why You Should Be Using Content Writing Services

Let’s imagine a scenario where there is a problem with your car and you urgently need to get it fixed.  You have found two mechanics and are now comparing and contrasting them to see which one is best for the job. You ask them both to tell you what is wrong with the engine.  In response to your question, one of the mechanics points to a promotional leaflet that says:  “We offer top notch car repair services at rock bottom prices. There’s nobody out there like us!”

Now on the surface, that might sound good, but the mechanic isn’t actually saying anything.  This is what it’s like with content marketing.  Companies that just shout me, me, me and do nothing more than pay for ads are starting to lose out to firms using content marketing services to write insightful and engaging blog posts, articles and how-to guides.

More people are turning to the Internet to find answers to their questions and solutions to their problems.  Those companies that can provide them have a much better chance of succeeding than those that don’t.

Content writing services involve the creation and sharing of free valuable and compelling material.  It is how today’s consumers are getting to know and trust brands. The end goal is the same as traditional marketing, to achieve more leads and sales.  But content writing does this indirectly, by gradually pulling in the consumer.  We have entered a world where information and education are driving sales.

Content marketing is a very effective strategy, but it requires skills, talents and competencies that are absent from many organizations.  Fortunately, there are expert content marketing services that are rising to the challenge.  They are providing excellent content for companies of all sizes in every type of industry you can imagine.

Six great reasons to use content writing services:

For idea generation – they can generate a continual supply of content marketing ideas based around your company’s key objectives.

To keep readers engaged – professional writers are masters at shaping new information to keep readers engaged. There are skilled wordsmiths who know how to weave a good story.

To improve rankings – content marketing services make it their business to be up-to-date on every single algorithm change that Google and the other search engines make.  They know the ins and outs of using relevant keywords in the right way, so that articles and blog posts read naturally and well, whilst also making them more visible to search engines.

To free up your time – you and your staff should be devoting all your energies to what you do best.  A great article could take you several hours to write, and that’s time you just don’t have.  Many businesses get overwhelmed when their employees attempt to take on writing tasks and learn content marketing strategies in addition to their normal workload.

To ensure deadlines are met – professional writers are used to meeting and exceeding deadlines. They can provide you with the material you want, when you want it.

To save you money – how are customers going to find you if they don’t know you exist? Paid for advertising is the traditional means to get the word out, but it’s very expensive and your name is only out there for the length of the campaign.  Content marketing services are a much cheaper option, plus your content stays around for as long as we have the Internet.

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How to Attract Visitors, Get Leads and Make More Sales with Online Sales Funnels
(4-Part Course)


Win more business with high converting sales funnels

Sales Funnels are the most captivating and effective medium for selling online. Now it's time for you to benefit from them too.

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Video #1

How To Build A Website In 2 Minutes


Video #2

How To Create Autoresponders

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Video #3

18 Proven Ways to Increase Conversions


Video #4

The Famous Hero's Journey Sales Script 

The Fastest Way for You to win more leads and make higher sales Profits is by building sales funnels!

Many people are intimidated by the idea of creating sales funnels and sales landing pagers... and maybe you feel the same way. Isn't it too complicated, too technical, too time consuming? Well, not when you have some expert help to get you going. If you can't afford to hire professional sales funnel builders, like us, then maybe these videos can get you going and give an edge over your competition.

What You'll Discover in this 4-Part Course:


How to build a website in 2 minutes

Learn how to create a 100% professional looking WordPress website in less than 2 minutes and for ABSOLUTELY FREE!


18 Proven Ways to Increase Conversions


how to create autoresponders for free

Learn how to set up your first autoresponder sequence for, you guessed it, ABSOLUTELY FREE  and boost your sales and customer loyalty .


The famous hero's journey sales script 

Discover the secret script created by the world's leading online marketing sales funnel expert, Russel Brunson that will skyrocket your lead generation and sales. 


Ready to Get Started? Click the for Lesson 1:

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Adword marketing

Google Adwords provide accurate metrics showing how many people search for certain keywords and phrases every month. It calculates an equivalent of a month’s traffic to your website. It’s a very powerful tool for driving instant leads to start the engagement process.

Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.

John Wanamaker

As with most online advertising, Google Adwords, Facebook and Twitter can measure the cost and success of your campaigns instantly and to the penny.

Every single aspect of your marketing campaign is measurable, right down to the number of clicks, number of impressions, click through rate (CTR), number of conversions, conversion rate, cost per click (CPC) and cost per acquisition (CPA). So, with all this in place, it is very easy to measure your ROI.

So, an advertising campaign is –

  • measurable
  • cost-effective
  • maximum relevance
  • highly targeted, based on
    • location
    • mobile device
    • language
    • auto-tagging

Google adwords

97% of Google’s total revenue comes from advertising (Google Investor Relations) that offers businesses on average a return of $2 in revenue for every $1 they spend on Google Adwords (Google Economic Impact Report). It has over 1.2 million businesses advertising on its search network (AdGooRoo via Perry Marshall) and the Display Network serves 180 billion impressions each month. That works out at about 6 billion a day (comScore) reaching 80% of global internet users (Google Benchmarks and Insights).

It can only make sense to get involved, right?


Yankee Candle Company reports that remarketing allowed it to increase conversion rates by 600% while cutting cost per conversion in half (Adwords Blog) is one of Google’s biggest advertisers, as ranked by dollars spent in Q3 2012, according to research on more than $1 billion dollars’ worth of Google Adwords spent via WordStream, a company that specialises in Google search ads. is Google’s second-biggest advertiser spending £95,000 a day5

And is only focusing on the ‘questioning’ and ’researching’ phase of the client journey. Most businesses will have many other stages on the customer journey where they can connect with their clients and begin a relationship.

If is spending £95,000 per day advertising to people who are simply enquiring, imagine how crucial connecting with people at this stage in the buying cycle could be to you.

And remember, there are many other stages in the buying cycle where you can connect with potential clients, or add value to your existing clients, who may be looking for other services that you could be supplying them.

Cool Diamonds

And it’s not only large companies who are succeeding with online advertising. Cool Diamonds is a prestigious London Jeweller’s. There is no doubting the success that advertising with GoogleAdwords had for Cool Diamonds, both in terms of brand recognition and in the numbers being driven to their site. In 1999, was achieving some 13,000 hits per month. Nowadays, that figure is in excess of 5 million.


Amazon spent an estimated $55.2 million on Google Adwords advertising in 2011 (breaking down Google’s 2011 revenues).That’s more than $150,000 per day for every single day of the year. And the strange thing about that relationship is that Amazon is one of Google’s major competitors.

Conversion optimizer

And, do you know what else is great about Google Adwords? It even shows you how to optimise your own keyword service. According to Google, campaigns that use the Conversion Optimizer achieve a 21% increase in conversions while decreasing CPA by 14% on average (Google Conversion Optimizer).

Edinburgh + venue/event/conference/meeting room

For example, we performed a basic search for keywords that had ‘Edinburgh’ and other words such as ‘conference’, ‘venue’ and ‘meeting room’ and found there are approximately 4,000 searches per month in the UK. That’s from a selection of just 44 different search phrases per month.

So, with just those few keywords, Google guarantees to deliver 11 clicks per day, or 220 per month through to your website.



This is only the advertising budget suggested by Google. There are a lot of tricks to keeping the cost down and yet staying high in the search rankings, and we provide this expertise free of charge to our clients.

How can I reduce ad spend and increase ROI using Google Adwords or Google pay per click?

The key contributors to the cost of your pay-per-click campaign are Quality Score and Ad Rank. You can continually improve your Quality Score and Ad Rank thereby increasing your conversion rates and reducing your cost per click. Not only will the ideas we are about to share improve your CTRs, Quality Scores, ad positions, impression shares and lower your cost per click, it will also help you improve your conversion rates.

A fantastic opportunity to win new business

Ad Rank

A value that’s used to determine your ad position, where ads are shown on a page. Ad Rank is calculated using your bid amount and Quality Score.

Understanding Adwords Ad Rank

Ad Rank determines your ad position – where your ad shows on the page in relation to other ads.

The main components of your Ad Rank are your bids and the quality of your ads, keywords and website, as measured by what we call Quality Score. We also incorporate the expected impact from your extensions and other ad formats when computing your Ad Rank. When estimating the expected impact of extensions and ad formats, we consider such factors as the relevance, click-through rates and the prominence of the extensions or formats on the search results page. So, even if your competition has higher bids than yours, you can still win a higher position at a lower price by using highly relevant keywords, ads and extensions.

Your Ad Rank is recalculated each time that your ad is eligible to appear, so your ad position can fluctuate each time depending on your competitors at that given moment.

Quality Score

The exact calculations used for Google’s Adword Quality Score are top secret. However, we do know what parts affect it and can make educated guesses as to what level. It’s important to fully understand what influences the cost of Google Adwords to maximise ROI. It is Quality Score that defines the Ad Rank and it is the combination of those two elements which greatly impacts on the cost of your pay-per-click campaign.

Think of it in the same way as your credit score affects the cost and rates of mortgages and loans when applying for them, except, this time, your Quality Score affects the cost per click and performance of your ad. We, at Virtual Global, perform the same job as the Experian team of advisers who help people get on top of their finances.

Google explain it like this –

The 1-10 Quality Score reported for each keyword in your account is an estimate of the quality of your ads and landing pages triggered by that keyword. Having a high Quality Score means that our systems think your ad and landing page are relevant and useful to someone looking at your ad.

It is used to determine your cost per click (CPC) and multiplied by your maximum bid to determine your ad rank in the ad auction process. The formula for the Google Search Network is as follows:

Ad Rank = CPC bid × Quality Score

And your Quality Score depends on multiple factors, including:

  • account-level Quality Score
  • ad Group Quality Score
  • keyword-level Quality Score
  • ad-level Quality Score
  • landing page Quality Score
  • display network Quality Score
  • mobile Quality Score

However, without going into each element in detail, there are some golden rules for running Google Adwords campaigns.

High conversions (click-through rate)

High conversions are great because they influence your Quality Score and mean you are getting more traffic. Write ads that are eye-catching and entice people to click on. For instance, free delivery, dazzling variety. Tell people! Showcase the products, services or offers that make you stand out.

Match your ad to your landing page.

There is nothing worse than running a search in Google, clicking on a link and ending up on a page that has nothing to do with your original search. Make sure your landing page matches exactly what your Google Adword is suggesting or stating. Google will reward you for it and so will your visitors.

Keyword relevance

Match your keywords to your ad and your landing page. Your keywords MUST appear in the Google Adword and the landing page in the most important areas like title tag, h1 tag, url and others too. Keep lots of short lists of more relevant keywords for specialised landing pages and Adwords.

A/B split test adverts.

A/B split test your Google Adwords campaign. It’s as simple as writing two adverts. They can be similar or completely different. After a few days or weeks, check to see which advert has converted the fewest click-throughs or leads and then replace that advert with a new one that you hope will outperform it. You then continue improving on adverts by competing them against each other at the same time reducing your costs and increasing your position in the results.

Enormous opportunity

There will be thousands of specific keywords that will help initiate a relationship with a potential client, partner or journalistic. They may then become involved with your company at many levels and across multiple mediums.

Each keyword is a potential interaction with a potential client. Each keyword allows you to attract someone’s attention. The Google Adword sparks the conversation off. The landing page keeps their attention and they may respond to a call to action, like sign up to your newsletter or download your ebook because they are interested in you and want to keep in touch. This ‘permission marketing’ gains someone’s trust by offering value that is a win-win for both parties.

Permission marketing is the privilege (not the right) of delivering anticipated, personal and relevant messages to people who actually want to get them.

Seth Godin

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