That’s the first thing I think of when someone says the word “tool.”
Having the right tool in digital marketing is like making a great hire.
Why? Because finding the right one means you’re going to save a lot of time.
It means you’re going to grow faster and work less.
I remember one day back in 2012, I was looking at our company workflows. I realized that much of our business was running on a form builder.
A form builder!
I mean, we built almost everything on top of this one tool (Wufoo).
It was like all of these pipes created from this tool were running just below the surface of our business, capturing all of this data to help us grow.
So I got to thinking: if this one tool was saving us so much time and having such an impact, what other tools could facilitate our growth?
How much growth were we missing out on by not optimizing with the best sales funnel tools out there?
So I decided to reach out to a number of well-known experts in the digital marketing space.
I wanted to see what their favorite funnel tools were.
Because if just that one tool from back in 2012 had such a huge impact for us internally, surely there were others out there that could yield results just as big.
Below, you’ll find a curated list of sales funnel tool recommendations from the top 22 digital marketing experts I asked.
I’ve also included a thorough description of each tool and a helpful case study for each one. This way you can see the success other marketers are having with each tool before making a decision to try it.
I really enjoyed putting this together, so I hope you find it useful as well.
Let’s hear what each expert had to say.
Expert #1: Neil Patel, NeilPatel.com – ClickFunnels
As one of the most well-read and highly-regarded marketers in the industry, Neil Patel is an expert on SEO, sales funnels, building traffic and engagement, and so much more. His blog focuses on all areas of marketing, from social media to automation to conversion tips.
Tool He Recommends: ClickFunnels
“ClickFunnels is my favorite funnel tool. You can set up a funnel, optimize it and even collect payments, all in one tool.
The best part about ClickFunnels is that you don’t have to be a developer for it to work. And sure, you can do more stuff if you create a funnel from scratch with a developer, but I love ClickFunnels because it allows me to test new funnels fast.
Once I have something working, then I consider recreating it with my developer so I can do more customer stuff, but I typically start off with their tool.”
What the Tool Is: ClickFunnels, as Neil said, is used for creating marketing and sales funnels.
First, you select your industry, like network marketing, B2B, e-commerce or consulting. Then, you choose the type of funnel you want to make, such as an event funnel, a product funnel or a lead magnet funnel.
You design your funnel your way, just like Neil mentioned. There are free templates and paid ones, or you can customize your own funnel. To finish it, add image pop-ups, media, content and more.
Case Study: Entrepreneur Dave Rogenmoser used ClickFunnels like Neil recommended to increase revenue for his own company. In November 2015, when the company was founded, Rogenmoser made just $8,900. Several months later, by April 2016, he was bringing in over $100,000.
He abided by a three-step rule to achieve such amazing financial results.
Step #1: He created a high-ticket training program for his clients. It included various business lessons.
Step #2: He put his sales funnel together with ClickFunnels. This took Rogenmoser nearly five hours.
Step #3: Wait and profit. Rogenmoser made an average of $43.46 for each lead.
Expert #2: Noah Kagan, OkDork – Sumo.com
Noah Kagan is the founder of OkDork.com, a business and marketing resource. Kagan also works for AppSumo and Sumo.com, which offer website traffic tools that can be used without any coding experience.
Tool He Recommends: Sumo
“It’s helped me grow my mailing list while I’m eating tacos at lunch. CARNITAS! Yeah, you automatically get more email signups every day. Setting up an autoresponder to request demos = gold.”
What the Tool Is: Sumo.com is a suite of tools for automated site growth. Currently, more than 650,000 websites online rely on Sumo. There are currently four tools offered in its suite:
- The Smart Bar for email collection, which can be used as a CTA or placed at the bottom or top of the page window
- Share Buttons for social sharing
- Welcome Mat for email collection; this can be added as a video, CTA, during an article or on a web page
- List Builder for email collection; this can be added as a click trigger or even a pop-up
The Welcome Mat feature in particular was helpful for Robbins. He didn’t have to make any tweaks to his homepage, but he still secured preorders and contact information from leads. In all, Robbins had a 15% jump in leads.
Expert #3: Bryan Kreuzberger, BreakthroughEmail – The Cheatsheet Widget
As the man behind BreakthroughEmail, Bryan Kreuzbuerger is a lead generation expert. His service will automate emails and reach out to the tough leads (like C-level executives) so you don’t have to.
Tool He Recommends: The Cheatsheet Widget
“Problem: Clients ask the same questions over and over.
Can you send me more information?
Can you send me case studies?
Let’s schedule a call, what does your calendar look like?
Can you refer me to this person?
I’m always writing the same email, so I wrote several well-thought templates with responses and links to where I need to point them [leads and customers].
The problem is, I’m often checking my email from my phone and I can’t access the templates. I could put the templates in Notes and copy and paste them each time, but it adds extra steps and is kind of annoying.
Enter the Cheatsheet Widget, which saves me a ton of time. I downloaded the free app on my iPhone and quickly upgraded to the paid version ($2.99). The app creates a new keyboard, which has all my templates.
You’ve probably downloaded the emoji keyboard. This is the same thing. But rather than adding a smiley face or a lady dancing, you can select any template response.
Anytime I write an email, I just select the template and fire it off. You can also use it for text messages.”
What the Tool Is: Bryan summed up the Cheatsheet Widget quite succinctly, so we won’t go into much detail. Created by Christopher Adam Overholtzer, you simply access a row of “cheats” (which are templates in Bryan’s case and maybe yours as well), tap each one and hold it, and then you can copy it.
This app is even compatible with Siri for iPhone users. It’s also available for those with Apple Watch.
Case Study: Automation tool Zapier functions in much the same way as the Cheatsheet Widget with its automated workflows. It’s another great time-saving tool that’s helping business owners save time.
Digital product design company InVision and its company representative Lindsey Redinger stated that because it had a remote team, it was sometimes difficult to manage all InVision’s employees.
Redinger started using Zapier for her remote team management. Through the tool’s automation, she said she’s been able to devote “about 10 hours a week” on other more pressing tasks.
For example, she created a Zap to have Slack notify her for every team meeting scheduled in Calendly.
And for every meeting scheduled in Calendly, she also set up a Zap to have Zoom create the meeting. Oh, and one to find the meeting on Google Calendar and add the Zoom link to it (so she didn’t have to remember to send it).
Additionally, by using Zapier for Teams, she saw a 25% drop in her team’s time spent on things like project management. This allowed her team to complete 25% more projects than they were able to previously, and interview more customers for their user research.
Expert #4: James Scherer, Wishpond – Wishpond
As a contributor to Wishpond and The Social Media Hat, James Scherer is experienced in all things social media marketing. Whether it’s Facebook, Twitter or even Instagram, Scherer navigates businesses through them all.
Tool He Recommends: Wishpond
“Before moving to Wishpond, creating a complete funnel took at least four hours. I needed one to design the landing page, one to create an exit-intent popup or opt-in bar to increase our on-site awareness, one to trigger an auto-response email, and another to send any new leads to our CRM.
True, there are other marketing automation tools which do everything as well, but none are as simple and affordable for our small business. I never liked that sales funnel software was so massive and complicated I couldn’t use it without mandatory paid training.
Wishpond gives me the power to quickly and easily create complete marketing campaigns from beginning to end.”
What the Tool Is: Wishpond is a tool that offers four distinct features: marketing automation, contest and promo assistance, forms and pop-up generators, and landing page building. Users can also sync to programs and apps they already use, such as Slack, MailChimp, SalesForce and more.
Using its contest and promos feature, Wishpond created a sweepstakes campaign that would draw in leads on the social media platform.
In all, Blue Cross Blue Shield generated more than 400 leads and an 8% traffic boost from the campaign.
Expert #5: Joshua Earl, JoshuaEarl.com – Thrive Leads
Joshua Earl is an email marketing pro. On his website, he often offers classes to small businesses to increase sales via their email lists.
Tool He Recommends: Thrive Leads
“I’ve tried all the major page/opt-in software out there and Thrive is the best because it’s so flexible. I basically run my entire business with Thrive, plus a shopping cart.”
What the Tool Is: Thrive Leads is a WordPress plugin tool for generating email subscribers. This tool is especially well-known for its opt-in forms, where users have the ability to add forms like:
- Multiple choice forms
- Scroll mats
- Content locks
- Screen filler overlays
- Opt-in widgets
- Two-step opt-in forms
- In-line forms
- “Sticky” ribbons
- ThriveBox pop-up lightboxes
Other features include analytics, trigger options, specific targeting, form animations, A/B testing and SmartLinks.
Case Study: Earl himself wrote a case study about gaining more email subscribers using what he calls the 80/20 “Peel and Stick” Technique and Thrive Leads.
He explains it as such: “When you’re buying clicks on AdWords, 80% of the customers will come from 20% of the keywords you bid on. And among those top 20% of keywords, there are probably 3-5 that drive 50-60% of your total business.
Those 3-5 keywords deserve special treatment, because every little bit of juice you squeeze out of them can have a major impact on your sales…’Peel and Stick’ is…the technique for improving the results of those top keywords. You single them out and test custom ads and landing pages JUST for those keywords.”
By following this technique and obtaining email information via Thrive Leads, Earl had a 372% increase for those interested in The Ultimate List of Programming Books.
Expert #6: Ezra Firestone, Smart Marketer – Zipify Pages
As CEO at Smart Marketer, Ezra Firestone lives by the site’s motto, to “serve the world unselfishly and profit.” As an e-commerce guru, Firestone often shares his e-commerce digital training programs on his site.
Tool He Recommends: Zipify Pages
“We recommend Zipify pages, and it’s helped us streamline our e-commerce business.
Zipify Pages has templates we’ve tested and proven with millions of dollars in ad spend and revenue generated. All of the elements you need to have on your page (and laid out properly) to easily generate sales and increase conversions are included in Zipify Pages.
Most Shopify stores look great but aren’t designed for conversion. All Zipify Pages templates are designed with conversions in mind, then tested to make sure they work.”
What the Tool Is: Zipify Pages, a tool through Smart Marketer, is a tool for Shopify users. It has drag-and-drop functionality for business owners who want to design fantastic landing pages on-the-go or on mobile devices.
These landing pages, which are tested by Firestone and his team, have been tested to convert.
Case Study: Just take Australian company Pet Snacks for example. The company, which produces kangaroo meat snacks, did most of its advertising on Facebook.
They initially directed Facebook users blog content, where they could turn those users into subscribers.
They also experimented with a “free + shipping” offer, but they experienced spotty revenue from one month to another. This was because most of those customers were ‘freebie hunters’ who would not pay full price for the product.
Pet Snacks decided to experiment in a few ways.
First, they started with video on Facebook Ads instead of content, with the help of Ezra’s company, Smart Marketer. James Buhagiar, the founder of Pet Snacks, also decided to be more personal in his video ads, recounting his experience losing a pet to toxic pet snacks.
Next, they decided not to offer the product for free + shipping, but at full price (which they were nervous about, but it paid off in the long run).
Finally, they added Zipify Pages to their funnel. They created pre-sell engagement pages, long form product offer pages and one-click upsells.
The company’s ROI jumped to 650%, just from the Facebook advertising campaign alone. Not only that, but their bottom line went up by 30%.
Expert #7: Brian Fanzo, iSocialFanz – Twitter
Brian Fanzo is a keynote speaker and the CEO and founder of iSocialFanz. His website introduces those who are interested in podcasts or live speaking to the tools and gear they need.
Tool He Recommends: Twitter
“The sales funnel tool for me is Twitter, which might surprise most.
There is no better tool than Twitter with its hashtags to reach a community of people that don’t know me yet, maybe don’t like me yet, but share a similar passion and purpose.
I share content to Twitter but also engage in active conversations, reply myself to every tweet that is sent to me and participate in brand and industry Twitter chats.
Twitter might be dying to some, but if you leverage use with hashtags and understand the value it provides for listening and community growth through engagement, it can transform your sales funnel.
I get 45k profile views a month on my Twitter account, and it contributes to 60% of the traffic to my company website. Not bad for 140, or should I say, soon to be 280 characters.”
What the Tool Is: Twitter is a major social media platform where users can tweet messages that are up to 140 characters long (although it’s soon to be 280, like Fanzo said). Tweets can be purely text-based or include images, videos or even shortened links.
Users can retweet or share a user’s comment. Those on Twitter can also directly respond to a tweet.
By using hashtags, it’s possible to engage your audience. Hashtags are searchable, and the most trending tags show up on Twitter’s sidebar each day, much like Facebook.
Case Study: Network testing company BreakingPoint used Twitter as a means of acquiring more traffic to their website. The company isn’t comprised of marketers, so they wanted a simple means of engaging their audience.
By running tests across social media, BreakingPoint discovered that Twitter was a viable channel for them. They compared results like pipeline activity, leads, unique visitors, engagement and overall growth using key performance metrics.
Also, BreakingPoint used Twitter to learn more about what topics mattered to its audience and industry. They also reviewed related online communities and forums, blogs and websites.
From there, they started their own blog, where all posts would be linked to on Twitter.
BreakingPoint regularly posted to their Twitter, at least several times each day. They retweeted and responded to customers as well. All this occurred while they beefed up their social media presence across Facebook, LinkedIn and other channels.
After a year of using Twitter in this way, BreakingPoint reported more unique web visitors (155%), increased LinkedIn Group traffic (141 members in all), more Twitter followers (280 in all), and more views on their blog (10,200+).
Leads were funneling in mostly by inbound marketing (55%), which was much higher than the leads obtained from seminars (1.5%), email marketing (20.5%), and trade shows (23%).
Their marketing pipeline also had more leads from inbound marketing (75%), then email (17%), seminars (4%) and trade shows (4%).
Expert #8: Rebekah Radice, RebekahRadice.com – FunnelDash
Rebekah Radice is the owner and founder RebekahRadice.com, a resource for social media and digital marketing strategy. Radice is also a trainer, consultant and social media speaker.
Tool She Recommends: FunnelDash
“FunnelDash is one of my more recent finds, but it has fast become a favorite. My goal is to connect the dots between campaign costs and value. Instead of chasing metrics, FunnelDash helps you optimize and prove true ROI.”
What the Tool Is: FunnelDash is a tool for producing reports and audits for Facebook advertising. You choose your Facebook Ad Dashboard template, which allows you to make suggestions on how to achieve more ROI.
With the included Creative Testing Dashboard, you can review key ad level metrics. Each dashboard can be narrowed down by ad sets, campaigns, demographics and more. You can even add color-coding for easy organization.
She wasn’t sure about using FunnelDash for her own company, but after connecting with the FunnelDash support community (which is especially renowned), she quickly got the hang of the program.
She initially started out by offering a Facebook Audit to a potential client using Funnel Dash. The potential client was so impressed, they signed an agreement to work with Curry for 90 days at $2,000 a month.
Expert #9: Susanna Gebauer, The Social Ms – Deadline Funnel
The Social Ms cofounder Susanna Gebauer is an expert in all things social media. She and her brother Jonathan Gebauer (the other co-founder) publish books, do consulting and even have an extensive list of tools on their website for social media marketing.
Tool She Recommends: Deadline Funnel
“We are using quite a number of tools in our sales funnel like Leadpages, Drip, and Sumo. Most of these are commonly known. But there are also tools that can help you to drastically increase your conversion rates that not everyone knows about.
A tool that we love is Deadline Funnel. This allows you to make limited offers specific to each of your subscribers. You can also design and include counters for the specific timeframes on landing/offer pages and automatically close the offer once time runs out.
Since scarcity is a very powerful feature when it comes to conversion optimization, Deadline Funnel has the power to multiply your income.”
What the Tool Is: Like Gebauer explained, Deadline Funnel does create that sense of scarcity your sales funnel may need. You use this tool to make evergreen deadlines that vary depending on how far along your subscriber is in the funnel.
You can also use Deadline Funnel for product launch campaigns, landing page countdown timers and email countdown timers. Better yet, Deadline Funnel is compatible with MailChimp, Infusionsoft, HubSpot, Drip, ConvertKit, ActiveCampaign and more.
Case Study: In one case study published on its own website, Deadline Funnel reports how Jasmine Star, a brand strategist and Instagram marketer, made major bank in less than 24 hours.
She used Deadline Funnel for her Facebook Ads, which were advertising her new Instagram tool, Insta180.
By creating that sense of scarcity attached to her new product, it only took 21 hours for Star to obtain $1,800 in sales. She also had 13% more conversions. Conversions jumped up to 29% on the day before the product went live.
Expert #10: Billy Gene, Billy Gene is Marketing – ClickFunnels
As the founder of Billy Gene Is Marketing, Billy Gene is one of the most renowned names in the industry. He has a wealth of case studies published on his website as well that are worth reading.
Tool He Recommends: ClickFunnels
“ClickFunnels 😊 and here are six reasons:
- Can create sales pages within minutes
- Can add up-sells in seconds
- Can send follow-up texts with the click of a button
- Can collect payments
- Can turn ‘clicks into customers’ in a matter of minutes
- Very affordable”
What the Tool Is: As explained above, Billy Gene gives us six great reasons to use ClickFunnels. This is one of the most popular sales funnel tools out there, and with good reason!
Case Study: Authority Hacker is a resource for establishing authority in marketing copy. Their services include live events, video tutorials, web content and more.
Authority Hacker started out as a blog, but as readers absorbed and enjoyed their content, they wanted to build a product of their own.
Previously, they had only done affiliate marketing, so for their main product, they created a hybrid model that was part affiliate tool, part educational info product. This would position them as the owners of their product, while still promoting affiliate tools.
They used ClickFunnels to establish this model. Through ClickFunnels, Authority Hackers easily integrated their shopping cart and sales page.
Once they initiated the sales funnel for this hybrid model, Authority Hackers raked in $2,684 and got 301 email subscribers. This was all within 30 days.
Expert #11: Evan Prokop, TopRank Marketing – Salesforce
TopRank Marketing’s Senior Analytics Manager Evan Prokop has worked with B2B to Fortune 500 companies and everything in between. He’s a digital strategy specialist, and he believes in “putting people before algorithms.”
Tool He Recommends: Salesforce
“I’m sure this will be a popular response, but my favorite sales funnel tool is Salesforce.
The ability to integrate with different data sources can be very powerful for attribution and understanding which pieces of your digital marketing mix are driving meaningful results (i.e., beyond surface level metrics like traffic and shares).
For example, by integrating first touch/last touch fields from website analytics into your lead templates, you can get a much better view into how content and campaigns are performing in terms of driving real revenue. And you don’t even need to invest in a marketing automation platform to do that!”
What the Tool Is: Salesforce offers a variety of solutions across nearly countless industries; those solutions include IT, marketing, service and sales. Specifically, Salesforce’s marketing software aids in building customer retention, advocacy, engagement, onboarding, acquisition and awareness.
Users have a single dashboard they can use to reach service associates, sales representatives, online communities, Internet of Things technology, websites, advertisers, social media, apps and email.
Marketing campaigns can be edited by multiple team members at once so your campaigns are always on-point.
Case Study: The Technology Services Industry Association or TSIA works to improve growth and revenue for technology companies.
TSIA decided to make an online survey to determine the issues that plagued its members and users the most. To simplify the process, they used Salesforce with their survey software. This allowed TSIA to automate the time-consuming labor of collecting data from their customers and updating lists for their customers and prospects.
By making this change, their online survey had a win rate boost of 5%. Not only that, but with the tailored nature of their survey, TSIA was able to create solutions to the issues and frustrations its members were experiencing through new content.
Expert #12: Ehsan Jahandarpour, Growth Hacking Center – HubSpot
As Growth Hacking Center [site in Arabic] founder, Ehsan Jahandarpour has worked with BBDO, Petronas and Microsoft. He also works as a startup coach.
Tool He Recommends: HubSpot
“I have designed an in-house sales funnel management tool for our projects, but I also use HubSpot as a great out-of-the-box tool.
The fact that sales funnels are above and beyond capturing leads, and it’s more about creating a path to customer affinity, I believe a combination of out-of-the-box tools and a carefully-crafted growth funnel through HubSpot can help companies stay on target and always follow their north star.”
What the Tool Is: HubSpot produces CRM, sales and marketing software for mid to large-sized businesses.
Their inbound marketing software includes everything you need to create a campaign, including A/B testing, automation, email marketing, social media, and lead analytics.
Case Study: iPad app TruQC produces process documentation and quality control software in the cloud. They decided to use HubSpot to further their business goals.
In the time since they’ve joined HubSpot, the company has pulled about $3,600 per customer and 54 customers total. Each of these were originally HubSpot leads.
Other leads were acquired from direct traffic (28), email marketing (5), social media (2), referral traffic (1) and organic search (18).
Expert #13: Sam Hurley, OPTIM-EYEZ – Wishpond
Sam Hurley is the Managing Director at OPTIM-EYEZ in the UK. This website is for generating more sales and leads and offers online courses while selling services like infographic design, guest blogging and mentoring.
Tool He Recommends: Wishpond
“Wishpond is the tool I use on OPTIM-EYEZ to collect, engage, and convert subscribers.
The primary reason I recommend Wishpond is its flexibility — it’s extremely adaptable; the API has been complexly used on my site to personalize the entire customer journey.
While ClickFunnels and Leadpages have their strengths, Wishpond is more of a multi-purpose all-in-one tool that also accommodates the whole email automation side, too (something not typically included in other platforms at the same price level).
For this reason (plus the API), it’s a very powerful piece of kit to own.
To sum up: I love Wishpond for its scalability, adaptability, simple user interface, and its many features — often provided separately in other platforms. I like one place, one price.”
What the Tool Is: We explained Wishpond above, but Hurley brings up some great points worth mentioning. The all-in-one quality of Wishpond makes it handy to use.
Its API allows you to manage events, leads, site visitors and lists all through Wishpond itself.
No wonder this is a sales funnel tool that comes up again and again.
Case Study: German sewing and handicraft company Kullaloo wasn’t seeing as much traction on Facebook as they preferred. They decided to use the social media platform to create an essay contest about famous children’s quotes.
The contest would draw attention to Kullaloo’s page. Also, to drive more interest, the company bought Facebook Ads.
By using Wishpond for the Facebook Ads and the Facebook sweepstakes campaign, Kullaloo obtained 12,604 leads. They also had a 900% jump in Facebook page interest over a three-week span.
While before the campaign they had about 300 likes, after the campaign, they had 2,646 likes. In all, nearly 80 people wrote an essay.
Expert #14: Phil Frost, Main Street ROI – InfusionSoft
As the CEO and founder of MainstreetROI.com, Phil Frost has worked with the likes of Business Insider, Inc., Fox Business, Yahoo! Small Business and Forbes.
He specializes in helping small businesses create digital marketing campaigns and has more than 34,000 small business owners on his newsletter as of this writing.
Tool He Recommends: InfusionSoft
“My favorite sales funnel tool is InfusionSoft. As an example, here’s what one of our webforms does in addition to collecting prospect contact information:
- Creates Opportunities in our CRM so our sales team can track leads through our pipeline. This saves us time manually creating Opportunities.
- Assigns the Opportunity to someone on our sales team using a round robin system.
- Sends an alert to the salesperson to call the new Opportunity. This ensures a fast response, which ultimately leads to higher close rates.
- Automatically follows up with the Opportunity via email if the salesperson doesn’t move the Opportunity to a new stage in the pipeline. This frees up our sales team to focus on the Opportunities that are more responsive while Infusionsoft does the heavy lifting of following up.
When you add up all that information, it equals more sales for less effort. Who wouldn’t love that?”
What the Tool Is: This is the second time Infusionsoft has been mentioned in this list, but Frost brings up a great application of the tool not mentioned before. If your company’s sales funnel needs some work, Infusionsoft is a great tool to use.
Case Study: Mathematics resource Math Plus Academy was spending too much time on manual work and not enough time networking and speaking to their audience. Most of their time was spent at a desk tracking contacts and sales in Excel spreadsheets.
The company founder started using Infusionsoft to cut down on some of that manual work. Through the tool, he created more engagement and interest in Math Plus Academy. He used it for social media, contests and more customer follow-ups.
With the tool, Math Plus Academy went from devoting 25 hours a month to 3 hours on subscription billing. Not only that, but during one contest, 200 people entered instead of the predicted 20.
Expert #15: John Lincoln, Ignite Visibility – Unbounce
Ignite Visibility CEO John Lincoln leads a full-service digital marketing agency. Services offered include email marketing, conversion rate optimization, paid media, public relations, social media and SEO guidance.
Tool He Recommends: Unbounce
“My favorite sales funnel tools are a combination of Sumo for pop-ups, heat maps and content analytics, and Unbounce for creating landing pages. The two of these have worked very well together for me.
Sumo has excellent features regarding countdown timers, editors for creating pop-ups, and overall is very fast and easy. Anyone can use it.
Unbounce is great for landing pages, but they’re starting to be challenged more and more with new landing page creation tools such as Instapage. But Unbounce is still my landing page creation tool of choice.”
What the Tool Is: As Lincoln mentioned, Unbounce is a tool for designing your own landing pages. You can use Unbounce’s preset templates or create your own.
Other features include dynamic text, A/B testing and lead generation tools for optimization; CRM tools, analytics, and marketing and email automation; and conversion tools for e-commerce, blogs, webpages and landing pages.
Case Study: Kissmetrics may be one of the best known platforms for engagement and behavioral analytics, but when they created an online subscription service and wanted to boost leads, they used Unbounce.
Here’s how it worked: Kissmetrics included demo sign-up opt-ins for those who were registering for their webinars.
Kissmetrics used both Zapier and Unbounce (which sync together) and were much more pleased with the landing page they created than the GoToWebinar page they were using.
It took only three webinars for Kissmetrics users to catch on. By that time, highly qualified sales opportunities had grown substantially and were worth $40,000.
Expert #16: Neville Medhora, KopywritingKourse.com – InfusionSoft
Tool He Recommends: InfusionSoft
“I use Infusionsoft for everything.
With Infusionsoft, I like their drag-and-drop email editor a lot. It’s ultra simple, doesn’t have too many unnecessary options, and automatically makes mobile-friendly emails. About 90% of what I do in Infusionsoft is send emails and set up autoresponders, so this is very helpful.
I can then place these emails in the visual campaign builder so I can build out email sequences very easily.
For example, here is a screenshot of the email sequence people get when they sign up to KopywritingKourse.com’s homepage:
It gives them great information on copywriting, then tries to gently sell them on my paid course and consulting, and then it goes into a four-month series of purely great articles with zero sales.”
What the Tool Is: Like HubSpot, Infusionsoft is also used for sales, marketing and CRM. That said, Infusionsoft offers a few specialties, such as integrated software, payment collection, mobile app development, analytics, e-commerce and sales and marketing automation.
Over 200 companies, businesses and software syncs with Infusionsoft, among them BigCommerce, Microsoft Outlook and Gmail.
Case Study: African-American parenting and marriage brand Tyler New Media is already a huge online presence, especially among its community of users. In fact, the company boasts at least 9,000 contacts.
It once had a one-size-fits-all marketing strategy and various systems it used for its marketing needs, but its audience was outgrowing that.
The site founders decided a new solution was in order, so they turned to Infusionsoft. They had already used the tool for its e-commerce, customer service and email automation, but then they also began using it for marketing automation, sales and lead generation.
Eventually, that solid 9,000-contact mark grew to 117,000 contacts. Not only that, but they got more Facebook fans too, up to 400,000 users.
Expert #17: Chirag Kulkarni, Taco Agency – Leadpages
Chirag Kulkarni, the CEO of Taco Agency, specializes in content marketing and link building. Companies like Policy Bazaar, Dairy Queen and Infibeam.com trust Taco for their marketing needs.
Tool He Recommends: Leadpages
“Leadpages is one of my favorite tools to use. Finding, managing and creating great landing pages can be a tedious task, especially if you aren’t technical. One of my favorite ways to use Leadpages is to create landing pages for driving specific audiences to my website.
For example, if I got quoted in a magazine like Inc.co, I will run an ad and send people to my site and have a title that says something like ‘Welcome Inc.com readers!’ By personalizing my landing pages, I get a much higher conversion rate on my campaign.”
What the Tool Is: A favorite here at AutoGrow as well, Leadpages is both a lead generation software and a landing page designer. When you use Leadpages, you’ll see features like:
- Video player capability
- Countdown timers
- Exit pop-ups and timed pop-ups
- Pre-populated form fields
- Lead notifications
- Double opt-in functionality
- Hidden or custom form fields
- WordPress plugin capability
- Drag-and-drop features
Leadpages integrates with many programs you already use, including WordPress, Twitter, ActiveCampaign, Stripe and more.
Case Study: Chet Holmes International (CHI) specializes in boosting the success of small and mid-sized businesses.
As recently as 2012, the company’s sales division didn’t use e-commerce. Instead, they preferred phone calls for lead generation.
Two years later, in 2014, they made the switch to Leadpages. Sales leader Amanda Holmes decided to use it to boost the presence of their e-commerce store. She chose four templates she liked and used these as the basis for her landing pages.
Sales spiked to 1100% since those landing pages went live.
Expert #18: Bryan Harris, Videofruit – Slingshot
Bryan Harris is the founder of Videofruit and a friend. Videofruit helps you gain more customers through your email list. It includes packages for gaining more subscribers, list-building and more.
Tool He Recommends: Slingshot
“My favorite is Slingshot (our tool). It helps you plan funnels and launches super quick. It helps you move quicker and get out of the overthinking stage by giving you already-proven campaigns to choose from, then it lays out everything to do from start to finish.”
What the Tool Is: Harris explains Slingshot well. You start by choosing a template, then the launch date of your website or campaign. From there, Slingshot tells you everything you need to do on a weekly basis for success. There’s no guesswork involved.
Case Study: According to a case study from Slingshot itself, BestSelf.co had great success when launching Self Journal, their productivity journal.
As a Slingshot customer, BestSelf.co produced this journal to allow its users to achieve goals, have a better quality of life and organize tasks every day.
When they chose a Slingshot template to market their product, they made more than $300,000 worth of sales.
Expert #19: Heidi Cohen, Actionable Marketing Guide – Blog
Heidi Cohen is the founder and Chief Content Officer of Actionable Marketing Guide. This website includes books, resources and more for all areas of marketing.
Tool She Recommends: Blog
“My favorite sales conversion tool is my blog, since you must attract an owned audience to whom you can consistently distribute content they want, need, and actively seek.
A blog enables you to provide your potential audience with the five types of content: foundational, FAQs, cyclical, crowd-pleaser, and long-playing.
Once customers visit your blog, use tools like OptinMonster and Sumo combined with connected content (specifically Contact Us, About Us, landing pages, thank-you pages, and Welcome email series) to get them to provide their email address to build your house file.
Without the ability to communicate with prospects, you can’t build longer-term relationships that translate into sales.”
What the Tool Is: Heidi adequately explains how to use a blog as a sales funnel too, especially on her website. See the links above.
Case Study: Healthy food blog A Sweet Pea Chef was looking for more ways to utilize their blog in creating their email and sales funnel.
After playing to their strengths (video and content) and surveying their customers, they were able to create content their customers wanted (just like Heidi said above).
They also used one of the tools Heidi recommended (Sumo), to create an opt-in that took them from a handful of subscribers per day to over 40.
They also used lead magnets with their opt-in offers to move visitors to their introductory offer. This helped them make a sale nearly every day of the week.
Their blog went from making them just $187 a month to recurring daily revenue with a sales funnel in place.
Expert #20: Brian Moran, SamCart – 1-Click Upsell
The CEO and founder of SamCart, Brian Moran specializes in boosting sales for his clients. He offers training, web classes, content and more.
Tool He Recommends: SamCart’s 1-Click Upsell
“My favorite sales funnel tool? The super easy-to-implement 1-Click Upsell feature that comes with our SamCart Pro or Premium plans.
Incorporating upsells into your sales funnel is the single most effective thing you can do to increase lifetime customer value and maximize profit on every conversion.
If you don’t use them — or don’t offer an upsell that’s at LEAST 3X the value of your main value — you’re leaving a ton of money on the table.”
What the Tool Is: SamCart, as mentioned, can help boost sales. One of its prime features is the 1-Click Upsell, as Moran himself explained. Other features include:
- Custom template designs with color presets
- Checkout redirects and pop-ups
- A Prospects list of those who had cart abandonment
- Integration with MailChimp, WordPress, Stripe, PayPal and many more
Case Study: Freak Athletics founder Rocky Ullah preferred Infusionsoft for years. His basketball training website has made a considerable splash. It had YouTube hits in the 17+ million mark and Facebook fans in the millions.
Ullah eventually decided to see what other tools were out there that could help with more customer orders, and so he gave SamCart a try.
He liked the advanced analytics, 1-click upsells and checkout page customization. He also liked how he didn’t have to stop using Infusionsoft if he didn’t want to.
After implementing SamCart into his tools, Ullah reports that he got 29.3% added sales. This translates to about $36,7775.45 in revenue over a year.
Expert #21: Tabitha Naylor, TabithaNaylor.com – Instapages
Marketer Tabitha Naylor runs her own eponymous website, offering services like video marketing, blog writing, social media marketing assistance and more. Her impressive portfolio of work includes press release writing and landing page design.
Tool She Recommends: Instapage
“My favorite sales funnel tool right now is Instapage. I’m a huge believer that click-throughs don’t matter if your landing page doesn’t engage visitors and compel them to take some kind of action, whether it’s subscribing to a newsletter, taking advantage of a free offer, or ordering an eBook.
Instapage is a landing page resource that helps users create awesome landing pages. It’s got a fantastic drag-and-drop function to build landing pages, and it also offers something I really love: A/B split testing so I can see which version of my landing page will drive more conversions.
One advantage Instapage has over its competitors is that it lets you make new landing pages from a blank canvas. With most of the other landing page tools, you’re forced to choose from their library template, which isn’t ideal for people who have a pretty firm idea about their design scheme.
And if you’ve some coding skills, Instapage lets you edit the code of their existing landing page templates, so you can play around a little bit. Instapage is really helping me refine and improve every detail on my landing pages, from CTAs to form fields to the use of mood colors.”
What the Tool Is: As Naylor mentions, Instapage lets you make landing pages to increase conversions. Favored by Verizon, eBay and Oracle, Instapage has many premade templates to browse, or you can customize your own.
This tool also integrates with marketing automation, live chat, pop-up, analytics and advertising programs, including HubSpot, Zendesk, Sumo, Google Analytics and Facebook Ads.
Case Study: A good landing page is a necessity for conversions, as Toronto’s Kingsway Real Estate Brokerage found out. They were already quite popular, but were lacking in customer acquisition efforts.
They wanted to create a landing page that could move leads through the funnel fast due to the speed at which Toronto’s real estate market moved.
Through A/B testing, syncing leads with MailChimp and Zapier and implementing an automated funnel, it took them only two months to bring in $9 million in real estate revenue. Conversion rates were up by 33% as well.
Expert #22: Matt Ackerson, AutoGrow.co – Active Campaign
Tool He Recommends: ActiveCampaign
“I’ve written here in the past about how a complete funnel should be thought of in three stages, the ‘three F’s’:
- you’ve got your Foundation (landing pages, pop-ups),
- then your Follow-up (email automation and retargeting),
- and finally your Fuel (traffic flowing into the top of the funnel).
ActiveCampaign is my go-to tool for email automation. It’s affordable and easy enough that I don’t need to hire a consultant to manage it. It allows you to tag contacts, set up automated follow-up sequences and score leads as they move through your funnel.
The most powerful feature, in my view, is that it allows you to easily segment your subscribers and create a highly personalized experience for them.
For example, if someone visits a page, you can put them down Path A, or if they get tagged with “interested in Service X” you can put them down the follow-up path related to that interest. You can also personalize individual email content so that it sounds like you are speaking directly to each person.”
What the Tool Is: ActiveCampaign is a tool for CRM, sales and marketing, including email marketing. Its marketing services include split testing, attribution, automation and events tracking.
As Ackerson states above, ActiveCampaign is also a great tool to use for subscriber segmentation.
Case Study: E-signature resource ApproveMe allows WordPress users to get digital signatures for notarizing documents. Their search engine optimized website made them stand out from the pack, but they were looking to get new leads.
They decided on ActiveCampaign to review who was using their demo service. If a lead used the demo, ApproveMe classified them as “tried demo.”
To see how much money was coming in from these leads, ApproveMe used Site Tracking in ActiveCampaign. Site Tracking allows you to see what users are doing on your website, and use your marketing to respond to what web pages they’ve visited.
Finally, ApproveMe crafted automated emails that went out to different audience segments that were broken up by engagement level, previous behavior, and other factors. They reported more engagement and a 110% sales spike in a month.
Sales funnel tools: everybody’s got a favorite. Just look at these 22 experts. They all, for the most part, had a different favorite tool in their respective arsenals.
All of these tools are worth looking at and implementing to see if you can replicate the success of these marketing experts.
- Wishpond and ClickFunnels were both recommended by more than one expert, making them seem like good tools to test out in your sales funnel.
- When assessing a tool, I recommend reviewing the pricing, popularity and case studies included here and elsewhere. This will help with your decision.
- You may want to try a combination of tools, like some experts recommended, for optimal results.
Which of these tools is your favorite? Why? Do you have any other tool ideas that weren’t mentioned in this list? Let me know in the comments.
Keep Hustlin’, Stay Focused