Raise your hand if you want to star in your company’s next business video! Chances are that unless acting was a missed calling of yours, your hand probably isn’t shooting up into the air. In fact, the mere thought of being on camera might even cause your palms to sweat.
For many marketers, being in front of the camera isn’t as easy as it sounds. When it comes to mustering up the courage to star in a video at your business, most people need a little help in order to nail their performance (and feel comfortable while doing it). That’s why we’ve written this guide all about being on camera. Next thing you know, you’ll be walking into the studio with the confidence of Brad Pitt.
From addressing and understanding the science behind your stage fright to learning what colors are most flattering on camera, you’ll walk away feeling more assured and ready — even eager — to get in front of the camera!
What if we told you that showcasing the people who work at your business is actually a strategic tactic marketers can use in their videos? And what if we told you it was proven scientifically? It’s true! The warm, friendly folks who work at your business — not actors — are the best people to feature in your business videos. Your viewers are more likely to trust your brand when you’re able to share information in an authentic way with video. Learn how featuring real people in your videos has a psychological impacts on your viewers:
“Your viewers are more likely to trust your brand when you are able to share information in an authentic way with video.”
Why Videos Featuring Humans Are Easier to Trust: It’s easier to understand and trust your business when viewers can see the human behind the voice in your video. When you take the time to consider all the aspects that contribute to this phenomenon, you’ll be better equipped to make a video that connects with your audience. In this post, we take a closer look at the science behind speech perception, how it relates to trust, and how to make your next video more convincing.
Your Business’s Videos Should Include Faces. Here’s Why: Ah, the brain. Such a complex part of the human anatomy. As it turns out, your brain is hardwired to respond to human faces. From the moment you’re born, you constantly seek out faces with the hopes of understanding social cues. In this post, we explain why the brain loves faces so much, and how you can use this to your advantage in future videos.
In order to succeed in nailing your on-screen performance, it’s helpful to understand why it’s so scary to be on camera in the first place. The truth is, it’s human nature.
The intense nerves people often feel in front of the camera are one of the most common reasons they don’t want to make videos in the first place. But by understanding where this fear comes from, you’ll be able to rationalize that terrified gut-reaction a little bit better. Here are some posts that can help you zen-out and put it all into perspective:
Why We Get Stage Fright When We Turn on the Camera: If you dread getting up on stage, talking in front of large groups, or even standing in front of a camera, you’re not alone. From a scientific perspective, when you start to feel anxious or get stage fright, you’re not just simply forgetting your lines — your brain holds you back from even thinking of the words. Here, we break down where this fear comes from and provide a few pointers for overcoming those fears and delivering your best performance.
Say What? Why Your Voice Sounds So Weird in Videos: “Is that really what I sound like?” We’re betting that you, like countless others before you, have uttered that exact phrase at some point. Why is it that what we think we sound like and what we actually sound like are so different? You guessed it — our brains are playing with us again. Learn the science behind those perplexing tricks in this auditory deep-dive.
The Science Behind Why Your Gestures Look So Awkward: It’s hard not to be your own worst critic when it comes to viewing yourself on camera. When you watch the take you just shot, it’s all-too-common to feel horrified by what you’ve just witnessed. Instead of letting those awkward gestures overwhelm you, you can learn how to use your body language to make yourself feel more confident on camera. Better performances are within reach!
What’s one overlooked facet of performing for a video that can contribute to those pesky jitters? Familiarity (or lack thereof) with the script. Whether or not you’re actually responsible for writing the script, it’s crucial that you feel comfortable with the tone and flow of the words you’re responsible for delivering. If you’re the person directing people on camera, review the script beforehand and have production meetings with the talent to make sure everyone’s on the same page.
If you’re the talent, engage with the script and make a roadmap for yourself! Read your script out loud alone or run lines with a friend. Jot down notes when it’s helpful, especially if this is an unscripted scene or show. Giving the script a quick once-over before it’s time to shine is rarely enough to feel truly comfortable with your delivery.
Thankfully, these posts can give you a much needed confidence boost when it’s time to perform:
“It is crucial that you feel comfortable with the tone and flow of the words you’re responsible for delivering.”
The Table Read: Reading your script out loud before heading into the studio will not only save you time, but it’ll also help you feel more confident in your performance well before you hit the record button. Before the day of your shoot, talk through the scripts at a table read with the whole cast or one-on-one with your producer. Rehearsing can help you work out any kinks, and it gives you time to rework the script with the writer if anything feels unnatural. Here are our best tips for conducting a productive table read, including how to edit your script to sound more natural on camera.
Wistia’s Scripting Tips: Many companies describe scripting as a big pain point in the video production process. And it’s true — there’s a ton to consider when writing a script. One component to script writing that can make all the difference for the on-screen performer is the type of language that’s used throughout. Keep it clear, conversational, engaging, and avoid buzzwords. This guide will help you get the ball rolling on a script that suits your brand’s tone of voice.
Once you feel comfortable with your script, it’s finally time to do the darn thing. At Wistia, we’re firm believers that being on camera is all about being yourself. After all, your viewers will be able to tell if you’re over-acting (think flailing hands) or under-performing (think glazed over zombie-face). Delivering your lines in a way that’s both natural and engaging is a key component of being on camera. These blog posts will give you a better understanding of how to give a performance that’s just right:
Creating an Authentic On-Camera Persona: Keeping it real on camera is easy — said no one ever. That’s why creating an authentic on-camera persona is fundamental for conveying the right message to your viewers. Practice in front of a mirror or take it a step further, record yourself, and then watch the playback! Get a better idea of what gestures look natural. In this post, we share eight go-to tips for establishing a voice that will make both you and your audience feel comfortable and confident.
Bringing the Right Energy to Your Videos: Finding the right balance between giving it your all and not giving enough can be tricky. Too little energy and you’ll come across as disinterested and boring. Too much energy and you run the risk of coming off as disingenuous, or worse, scaring off your audience. Play around with our interactive energy slider and watch how varying levels of energy can impact the viewing experience.
Get Loose — Being Yourself on Camera: None of us at Wistia are actors, and for many of us, it’s taken a lot of time to get comfortable on camera. Luckily, anyone can get through their first video shoot with some proactive coaching and words of encouragement. Ultimately, the key to a natural on-screen performance is to not take yourself too seriously. Watch our video for a bunch of ideas for getting loose on camera!
It sounds cheesy, but the key is to be yourself. If you’re not a professional actor, don’t act — do you. Now, there’s something to be said for honing your skills, developing your talent, and aspiring to be the best version of yourself on camera. For anyone, it can be instructive to watch some similar videos for inspiration on what to do (and what not to do!).
One crucial component to being on camera is looking (and feeling) your best. Often, these notions are closely intertwined: If you look good, you’ll feel good… and feeling good leads to a more natural on-screen performance! When it’s time to step in front of those bright lights, there are a few easy tweaks you can make to both your physical appearance and physical environment that will help you maintain your already flattering aesthetic on screen. Check out these super-actionable tips for looking great on camera:
“If you look good, you’ll feel good… and feeling good leads to a more natural on-screen performance.”
Dressing for the Camera: Most people have a hard enough time deciding what to wear on an average day, let alone what they should wear in front of the camera. Ultimately, if the goal of your video is to engage with your audience, your wardrobe choices should help you achieve that goal, not distract your viewers. Here are some ideas for choosing an outfit that’s equal parts flattering and appropriate for the big screen.
Look Great in Your Next Webcam Video: You want to look and sound professional in all the videos you create, right? Well, if you’re using a webcam to record yourself, you may have noticed that webcams aren’t exactly flattering. However, with a few simple tweaks, you can significantly improve how you look. In this post, our video producer walks you through some hot tips for looking your best on a webcam.
6 Quick Tips for Looking Good on Camera: Solid colors or patterns? Makeup or no makeup? These are all common questions we’ve fielded from on-screen talent. Luckily, there are some best practices that will have you looking and feeling your best on camera.
If you happen to be the lucky one behind the camera, we’ve got more suggestions for you, too! Helping your subject build up their on-camera confidence is vital for landing successful takes, so it’s in everyone’s best interest to help them feel right at home.
Above all, do your best to establish a nonthreatening video environment. You’re responsible for setting the tone on set. It’s your job to make the actors (and everyone else on set) feel comfortable, pumped up, and excited to do their best work. When you make your subjects feel good, a stellar performance will follow. Follow the advice laid out in these posts, and you’ll have people begging to be in your company’s next video:
How to Direct Non-Actors in Your Next Video: At Wistia, we’re all about making businesses more human, so we like to encourage everyone in the company to get in front of the camera at one point or another. However, that can be a challenge for many businesses just getting started with video. That’s why we put together this guide on directing non-actors (AKA your coworkers!) so that they can nail their next performance. Check it out, then share it with your teammates!
Educating Employees about Being on Camera: Don’t just take our word for it: Bamboo HR’s video team put together this helpful video that covers all the key points for being on camera. They even email the video to every employee they schedule a shoot for, so that when they’re on set, the subject feels more confident about the entire process. Talk about efficiency!
With all of these tips now in your back pocket, you can feel empowered to take on your next big video shoot. As is the case with so many things in life, the more you do it, the more comfortable you’ll feel. Practice makes perfect, so push yourself out of those cozy comfort zones and volunteer to star in the next video your business makes. You’ve got this!
If you knew there was a marketing strategy that has a 98% opening rate on your messaging, would you try it out?
Of course, you would — because a 98% open rate means almost all your potential customers are paying attention to your marketing.
In fact, it would be “marketing malpractice” not to at least try SMS marketing for your business.
And the good news here is that you don’t have to be intimidated by this marketing strategy. It’s possible to learn the ropes in one sitting.
First, here’s what SMS marketing is, so you never have to wonder again.
Table Of Contents
What is SMS marketing?
SMS marketing is what happens when you take your advertising efforts directly to the text message inboxes of your potential customers.
This can include a few different strategies:
Promotional text blasts: This is when you send out a broad, single message to an entire contact list. Think of it as similar to a traditional mass media advertisement, but to a more select, targeted audience.
Ongoing SMS marketing messages: You can send out regular promotions, discounts, and marketing messages to an existing SMS marketing contact list. This helps you develop a long-term relationship with each customer as a brand.
Why is SMS marketing important for business?
Put most simply? Because SMS marketing is really, really good at getting people to engage.
After they opt in, 75% of people are okay with receiving promotional messages from brands and companies.
Within three minutes, 90% of the SMS messages you send out will be read. They have a 98% open rate, too. 98%! For reference, emails get an average open rate of 22.02% according to the Email Marketing Benchmarks study.And while you could argue that ignoring a text message is more difficult and most people just want to get rid of the phone notification off their screen, it’s still a remarkable score.
If you send out an SMS with a coupon or discount on your products/services, customers will redeem them at about ten times the rates of other coupons.
As you can see, people like engaging with businesses via text.
So SMS marketing is important for businesses not only because it’s a cheap and affordable way for you to send out mass messages, but also because, sometimes, it’s what your customers prefer.
An example of SMS marketing in action
The statistics sound almost too good to be true, right? Possibly.
But it’s completely possible to see these statistics happen to your business in real life when you try SMS marketing on your own.
Kopari is a specialty retailer selling beauty products. When they realized in 2017 that they were relying too much on email to generate sales, they thought to try out a text message campaign.
In only four months, 10,000+ shoppers signed up to receive Kopari’s SMS and 65% more got on their SMS list every month. After this campaign, the retailer attributed 14% of their sales from their website to SMS.
So if you’re not sure where to get started with SMS marketing, here’s what you can do to create an SMS marketing campaign that’ll get you more revenue:
A 7-step SMS marketing campaign (with examples)
Step 1. Pick the right text messaging software
Given how effective SMS marketing is, you might be wondering why you can’t just grab any type of text messaging software and use it.
And you’re right, to a degree. Text message open (and even conversion) rates are high across the board.
But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take a few moments to select the right text message software. Here’s why:
Cost: Not all SMS marketing services share the same pricing model. It’s estimated that nearly 50 million customers will opt-in to receive text messages from companies by the end of this year (2020). But you need to know that not every SMS messaging software is going to let you access those customers for the same per-customer or per-message-sent price.
Ease of use: If it’s not easy, you’re not going to enjoy using it. So if you find your text messaging software too cumbersome or complicated, you’ll likely find it takes more time than it’s worth. So do your research well and find an SMS marketing tool that’s truly easy to use.
Text message templates: Your SMS messaging software should provide text messaging templates. And they should have templates for your industry. This will make it easy to send out mass text messages to your (potential) customers. These templates should also incorporate elements like personalization, allowing you to address each customer by name or company.
Now let’s dwell on text message templates a bit more — because they’re pretty important.
Why? Well, templates make it super easy to create and send text messages as often as you need to. And you’ll need to send texts quite often.
The bottom line here is, if you choose the right SMS marketing software — it’ll be easy to use and easy to scale. And if the price is right, then you’ll be more likely to send out more texts.
Speaking of SMS marketing software, here are some of the tools worth of your consideration:
And if you’re a GetResponse user, you’ll be happy to hear that all of them seamlessly integrate with the platform via Zapier.
And SMS marketing is that rare style of marketing in this day and age that many people actually want in their inbox — from brands they’ve given consent, of course.
But that’s not all. Let’s talk about one of the most important aspects of starting a new SMS marketing campaign: testing.
Step 2. Send a test-SMS message to your team/family/etc.
NASA doesn’t send a rocket into space without a thorough testing campaign.
Neither should you.
Granted, an SMS marketing campaign isn’t exactly rocket science; it’s much easier. But you are still dealing with something that deserves a quick test before you send out your marketing messages.
You need to know what your SMS will look like when it lands in your customer’s inbox and make sure it works properly. And testing will help you do that.
So how do you run a test SMS campaign?
Test: You can start out by sending out a sort of “mini SMS campaign” to friends and family. Make sure that everything looks properly formatted on multiple devices for both iOS and Android.
Determine your goal: Your goal should align neatly with your CTA — more on CTAs later. But you need to ask yourself: where do you want to send people who click on your link? Do you want to generate traffic? Leads? Purchases?
Populate your list: Using your SMS marketing software, you can populate your list by creating a text promotion that will look similar to the one you’d use for your real campaign.
Get feedback: Once you’ve sent out your test campaign, get feedback from those you sent it to so you can implement those changes when you’re doing your campaign.
So when you create your own test campaign, think of it as an investment in your future. A test campaign will give you a foundation upon which you can build your future success, optimize your strengths, and tweak your weaknesses.
Pro tip: Whether you’re sending emails or SMS messages it’s worth creating a test segment that’ll include your team members or friends whom you’d like to review your message. To create such segment, you just need to make sure that your test recipients contain a distinctive piece of information, e.g. a custom field or a domain name. Just like in the example below, where I’ve searched for subscribers that have “getresponse” in their email address.
After running a successful test SMS campaign, what comes next? That’s right, you want to send a real one. But to do that, you need to collect the phone numbers of your customers and potential customers.
And there are right and wrong ways to go about this. Do it wrong, and you’ll annoy your text recipients. But do it right and people will welcome and engage with your messages.
We’ll share a simple two-step tactic you can use to collect phone numbers and build a contact list full of potential customers:
Create an incentive. Perhaps the most common? The coupon shortcode. We already know that consumers respond to SMS coupons 10 times more than they do other types of coupons. So if you ask someone to text and opt-in to your marketing list using a coupon as an incentive, chances are they’ll take your offer and get on your SMS contact list.
Set up a landing page and signup form. If you have a website that gets a good amount of traffic, you can send your visitors to sign up to a signup form that lets people opt-in. And if you don’t already have a website that gets traffic, you can build a landing page in GetResponse and drive traffic to the page from Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, etc.Then you can add a signup form to the landing page in GetResponse, and start using it to collect phone numbers of (potential) customers. Remember to add special offers like coupons and first looks at new products to incentivize them to sign up with their phone numbers.
And the keyword here is “incentivize.”
When restaurant chain Texas Roadhouse created a loyalty program for one of its first SMS marketing campaigns, they netted 60,000 new members almost immediately.
They found out that the simple offer of a free appetizer was enough to engage people. Plus, SMS marketing ended up being more effective than email marketing — they discovered that SMS produced more loyal customers based on a higher redemption percentage of 16.6 compared to 3.3 for email.
Simply put, the customers who opted into a text messaging campaign were more likely to eat at Texas Roadhouse.
Now, this doesn’t mean SMS is a silver bullet for marketing. You need to do some research and find what you can do to create loyalty with your customers. And it starts with figuring out what you can offer them via text. Give them something worth signing up for, and you’ll have a list in no time. This leads us to step 4.
Step 4. Research and understand the consumers you want to text
In step 3, we’ve covered how to collect phone numbers and build an SMS contact list.
But in this step, we’re addressing what happens after you build your list. What exactly should you be texting subscribers — so they don’t start tuning out of your messages?
Because while several statistics show that SMS is a powerful tool for businesses, keep in mind that customers will tune out of your messages if you don’t send them offers or content that are relevant to them.
And it’s a reality: 88% of respondents, in one survey, said they often ignore texts and calls from businesses.
So if you want to exploit the advantages of using SMS marketing, you have to research and nail down your target audience. This will ensure that every text message you send is relevant enough to your subscribers.
Here are some ways you can do it:
Build an ideal customer profile. This will give you a baseline for the type(s) of customers you’re targeting with your SMS campaigns. What is their income level? Their basic demographic information? Their age? Their socio-economic status? Use these questions to create a basic customer profile. It’d give you a simple idea of who your customers are and text messages or offers they’d like to receive from you.
Monitor customer behavior. For example, how many people visit your website using their mobile phones? What types of content do they tend to explore as opposed to those using a desktop? Watch their behavior and find where your opt-in strategies can fit in.
Step 5. Create and promote sweetened deals
The advantage of SMS marketing campaigns is that you’ll have customers on your list who have already given consent to be contacted.
Don’t expect them to do that in exchange for nothing.
Creating and promoting sweetened deals is one of the fastest ways to incentivize customers to sign up to receive your texts. It’s also a super-effective way to keep them subscribed.
But “creating an incentive” is vague. Let’s talk specifics.
What can you do to engage your audience into becoming and staying SMS subscribers?
Contests: A contest is a great way to get customers subscribing and staying subscribed. Contests make it easy for consumers to sign up for the promise of a reward — especially if their reward is worthwhile.
Coupons: The same logic that applies to contests applies here. It’s free for people to sign up for an SMS campaign. So if they’ll get a coupon on a product they’re interested in while they’re at it, they’d likely want to take the coupon.
To customers, signing up for SMS updates from a brand and getting a coupon for it is well worth the little bit of time it takes to do it. In their mind, they’re saving money.
On your end, you’re giving out a coupon that not every customer will redeem. And in exchange, you’re assembling a list of customers you know are “warm leads” for your product.
It’s not just the “who” that’s important, it’s the “when.”
When are your customers looking at your text messages?
Because different demographics tend to check their phones at different times.
Consider the following statistics:
Younger audiences are more likely to open texts in the morning. For many (if not most) millennials, the first thing they do in the morning is to check their messages. And since there are a lot of millennials in the workforce (35% of the entire workforce), you might expect surprisingly large open rates from early-morning texts to them.
All audiences check their phones earlier in the day. The rates for early-morning checking decline when you include all age groups — but not by much. As many as 61% of people check their smartphones immediately upon waking up.
Most people open texts quickly. Some 90% of text messages will be read within three minutes, according to statistics.
So why is it so important to get the timing right?
Well, because not all demographic groups check their phones at the same time. For example, if your customers are students, then you probably want to start sending your messages as early in the day as possible.
Or let’s say that your target customer is a working adult with disposable income. You wouldn’t want to send out a text blast when they might be working. To do so might get your text lost in their inbox.
If, on the other hand, you send out your bulk SMS blasts to that same audience in the morning, during lunch breaks, or in the evenings, you’re more likely to get your texts seen.
They say that “timing is everything.” It’s true in show business and comedy. It’s true when finding business opportunities. And it’s just as true when you’re building your SMS marketing campaigns.
So don’t treat timing lightly. Put in your research and discover the best time to reach your audience.
Step 7. Make sure your in-text CTAs are clickable or visible enough (depending on what type of CTA you’re using)
Let’s say you’ve done everything right so far. What’s the next step?
Simple: it all comes down to the Call-to-Action (CTA). Without an effective CTA, your texts won’t generate the response you need.
And the response you need might be:
driving more traffic to your website.
driving more orders for a specific product.
boosting foot traffic in a physical business presence.
You need to create your CTAs in a way that ensures you get the responses (results) you’re looking for.
For example, if looking to drive traffic to a sales page and get customers, you’ll want to make a word stand out with all-caps against the more normal text surrounding it.
On the surface, it might not seem like CTAs matter. After all, “A good text is a good text,” right?
But they’re important. Since you’re spending your money and contacting people who will be opening your text messages, this is an opportunity you don’t want to squander. And your CTA will help determine whether you have an SMS marketing campaign with a high opening rate…or a high conversion rate.
You want the latter. So here are some ways to make sure your CTA hits the mark:
1. Make sure your link is clickable. Send yourself a test message to make sure that the link functions properly.
Does it go to your website?
Is your site fast to load on mobile? This is crucial because the majority of users leave after 3 seconds of waiting.
Is your site capable of handling heavier traffic patterns, which you can expect after the text blast?
2. Make sure that your link is visible. Your link may be obvious to you. But if it lands in a customer’s inbox, how does it look? Here are the elements to make sure your link is visible:
Contrast: Your link should contrast with the rest of your text. If your text is black, does the link show up as blue? Is it underlined? What distinguishes it from the rest of the text?
Effective use of white space: Your CTA shouldn’t be in the middle of a paragraph where it can get lost among the text. So use white space to isolate the CTA and call attention to it.
Engage your audience: Sometimes, your audience doesn’t mind a little scavenger hunt. A CTA asking them to scan a QR code can encourage buy-in.
Create a challenge: When Mike & Mike, a former talk show at ESPN Radio, created a text marketing campaign, they had listeners wait for a keyword. This is also common in iHeartRadio broadcasts. This way, your CTA is also a hook for encouraging more people to check out your content.
Step 8. Follow up
If you don’t want to lose your audience, you have to follow up.
Why is it important?
Because even if you’ve done everything right so far, cart abandonment rates are about 70-80% globally.
That’s right. You can do everything well with SMS marketing and still lose the majority of your customers to simple cart abandonment.
So your SMS marketing software should have ways of creating automated follow-ups.
The more sophisticated it is, the more you can target your content to each customer’s behavior. Here’s what you’ll want to do to make sure that you do it right:
Craft your messages with specific outcomes in mind.
Let’s say you’re specifically retargeting people who abandoned their cart. You should write your automated text messages to suit that need specifically.
For one reason, it will get your reader’s attention. Whether or not they remember the abandoned cart item, the fact that your message is true will immediately call their attention.
It’s also a vital way to build a long-term relationship with each customer.
They won’t feel “talked at.” They’ll feel talked to.
Following up can also be you retargeting people who have clicked through the links in your texts with ads relevant to what they clicked. This can be a powerful way to improve your conversion rates without expanding the size of your SMS audience.
2. Don’t forget the timing for followups, too.
You can set your automated retargeting campaigns to send at the right time.
And it goes without saying that you don’t want to send an “abandoned cart” text the instant someone bounces from your page.
That kind of timing with a text campaign will only suggest to your audience that they can expect message after message from you.
But if you space things out enough, you can send a gentle retargeting reminder a few days later. In many cases, you’ll find someone genuinely forgot about their interest. And they’ll be ready to take action again.
5 examples of SMS marketing campaigns you should learn from
If you want to cut your learning curve short, the fastest way to do it is to study what’s worked for SMS marketers in the past.
Let’s look at five specific examples of successful SMS marketing campaigns, and break down how they performed:
Example 1. Carl’s Jr.
Carl’s Jr. is a fast-food restaurant chain with over a thousand locations across the world. Since they’re an in-person business, they needed to tie their SMS campaign with an incentive to come into the store.
The strategy: they would offer a $6 burger combination meal for only $3. They utilized their existing SMS list to generate foot traffic.
Carl’s Jr. received $14 in revenue for every $1 they spent on the SMS campaign. The goal of attracting more foot traffic worked.
Why it worked:
Carl’s Jr. knew what it was looking for. Every SMS marketing campaign should have a goal. Carl’s Jr. was looking for foot traffic. They had to drive people to their stores.
Incentivizing. Leveraging their existing SMS marketing list, Carl’s Jr. only needed a way to get people into stores. They did that with one of the oldest tricks in the book: a coupon. And it worked.
Example 2. Pizza Hut – United Kingdom
Pizza Hut UK proved that timing is everything. Combining their text promotion with “geo-fencing,” their marketing campaign sent their users a promotional message when the consumer was within a certain radius of a Pizza Hut.
Did it work? Of course.
Their campaign was 4.4x as effective as TV ads and 2.6x as effective as online ads, proving that SMS marketing is a powerful way to customize a message to each consumer.
Example 3. Dunkin’ Donuts
Dunkin’ Donuts was looking for more young adults in the Boston area to join its text message marketing lists.
Rather than look for foot traffic right away, they needed to build the list up. They started off with ads during a local radio DJ’s show.
The text promotion resonated with their audience because Dunkin’ was specific about where they advertised. They ultimately boosted store traffic by 21% and 17% of participants shared the text message information with at least one friend.
Why it worked:
Knowing their audience. Dunkin’ Donuts was looking for a younger crowd in a specific area, which meant that running a national campaign would have been silly. Instead, they catered to a specific radio audience.
Timing. Radio timing is key. When you get people in the morning —when they’re most hungry for coffee and a donut — they’re going to feel incentivized to sign up for Dunkin’.
Example 4. American Red Cross
One of the keys in an SMS campaign is that you have to make the barrier to entry as minimal as possible.
Simply texting a keyword to a text message number (like in their Text HAITI to 90999 program, for instance) gets a confirmation message from the American Red Cross. This donation then shows up on the individual’s billing statement.
Contrast this to the other possibilities.
If the American Red Cross asked people to visit their website, fill out a form, and then make a donation, it would likely have lower conversion rates because people are more likely to drop off if they have to jump through so many hoops.
Example 5. Ford Motors
Ford Motors got a 15.4% conversion rate when it created a new SMS marketing list. It created this list by taking out print ads and promising 0% APR financing, plus $1,500 toward the first three payments.
With potential rewards like that, consumers had a clear choice. They could check out a free text messaging list and potentially find the car they were looking for.
Why it worked:
Retargeting. Ford used retargeting in this campaign effectively, reaching out to users who had signed up, but not being overly pushy or sending new messages every day. This helped keep conversion rates as high as they were.
Low commitment. Ford took out an ad that asked people to text a word to a number–and that’s it. Remember, the key in SMS marketing is to establish a low risk to a high potential reward in the mind of the consumer.
Start taking advantage of SMS marketing
SMS marketing isn’t going anywhere.
If anything, the standard SMS inbox has replaced email. People love to look at their phones.
As we’ve demonstrated, many people even prefer that businesses contact them via phone.
And smartphones are ubiquitous so the level of customization possible with SMS marketing is uniquely suited to the information age.
The only question is, what are you going to do about it?
Without any doubt, ClickFunnels is a great tool, but let’s face it – it’s not the right fit for everyone. The fact that you landed on this article means that you’re looking for something better – some ClickFunnels alternative tailored to your needs.
Most businesses either:
Don’t have the budget for Clickfunnels.
Need the solutions and features that Clickfunnels doesn’t support.
To save you the time you’d spend searching for the best ClickFunnels alternative, we did the hard work and used 5 different ClickFunnels alternatives for over 5 weeks.
We tried, tested, and researched:
We tried to create a website and set up automated workflows using each of those platforms. For a better comparison, we even went a step further and evaluated each of these ClickFunnels alternatives with a score from 1 to 5 by the following criteria:
Ease-of-use (how easy it is to use the software and onboard)
Unique features (whether a platform offers something no other tool does)
Customer Support (their speed and efficiency)
Ability to make a perfect sales funnel
If you’re in a rush and don’t have time to read our comprehensive feedback on all tools, feel free to check our in-depth comparison of the best ClickFunnels alternatives:
So without any delay, let’s dive into the review of ClickFunnels and its 5 best alternatives.
Table Of Contents
But first, let’s talk about ClickFunnels…
Before we review each of the alternatives, let’s talk about ClickFunnels a little bit. Let’s see what it is and what its advantages and shortcomings are.
Understanding ClickFunnels will help us to better judge and compare other alternatives – no worries, we’ll go over this part quickly.
As we stated, ClickFunnels is a fantastic tool. Its primary focus is on creating excellent sales funnels. And they’re doing a great job with that. But once you get some sales and grow your business a little bit, the toolkit offered by ClickFunnels just isn’t enough (but more on that later).
On the other hand, what are the things ClickFunnels is great for?
Frictionless sign-up process – ClickFunnels has a particularly frictionless sign-up form. ClickFunnels gets you started in seconds.
Landing page templates — You have access to a lot of great landing page templates.
Optimised for getting you more sales — The entire ClickFunnels experience is optimised towards one thing – making landing pages that will convert (assuming you do the copywriting properly, of course.)
There’s also one thing about ClickFunnels that can both be advantage and disadvantage. Its community. Although you can find many supportive people inside, there are also a lot of affiliate folks who are just trying to resell ClickFunnels’ services, so they will always lead you toward spending more.
Unfortunately, ClickFunnels lacks some essential features.
You start to realise its limitations once you begin striving to reach more ambitious goals and experience more significant challenges.
Here are the most disheartening aspects of using ClickFunnels:
They require credit card information before signing up. The trial also lasts only 14 days, which is not enough to build your website and get sales.
There’s a big learning curve which might be confusing for beginners.
It lacks website customization — with ClickFunnels, you have only 35 elements to choose from when building your website. Not to mention that it doesn’t offer many customization options. For example, if you want to use a bullet list, you can choose from only 7 bullet list icons:
What if you want to use a different icon, in different colours? Hence, you’re pretty limited when it comes to what your landing page can look like.
Bad pop-up customization – ClickFunnels supports only three different options for triggering your pop-ups: on delay; on-page show and on-page scroll. But what about exit-intent pop-ups? Also, customizing your pop-ups is just as limited as designing your landing pages.
Customer support isn’t the best one out there – ClickFunnels doesn’t offer live chat support. What’s more, when we sent a ticket, we got the answer after 15 hours (although they promise 24/7 customer support). Not bad, but not great either.
The lack of essential features – ClickFunnels supports only the basic features (landing page builder, pop-ups, and follow-up funnels). But it lacks other necessary components, such as a chatbot, email sending, transactional emails and autoresponders, different analytics and advanced automation workflows.
Language support – the platform’s available only in English and their website uses Google Translate to provide translated versions of their help documents. It’s not ideal if English isn’t your native language and you’d like to use the dashboard in your own language.
It’s expensive – ClickFunnels’s pricing starts at $97/mo for the most basic options. If you want to create anything more serious, you will need to pay $297/mo. But if you want to develop advanced automation workflows and make a killer sales machine, you’ll need to invest at least $300+/mo for 3rd party apps that support these features.
So if you want to create a decent-looking website that works like an automated, well-oiled sales machine, you’ll need to invest over $597/mo.
Pretty expensive, right?
As mentioned, for the best comparison and understanding, we evaluated each of the ClickFunnels’ alternatives with a score of 1 to 5 for different criteria.
Here’s the ClickFunnels’ evaluation:
Now let’s look into some of the best ClickFunnels alternatives.
GetResponse – all-in-one sales and marketing solution
The first ClickFunnels alternative we’re going to review is GetResponse. Yeah, we know. You’re probably thinking: But that’s your own tool, of course, you’ll brag about it!
The truth is, GetResponse is our own tool. But we’ll give you a 100% unbiased and objective review here. We have some flaws as well.
So, why do we think GetResponse is an excellent ClickFunnels alternative?
GetResponse is an all-in-one marketing solution that allows you to create frictionless and automated marketing, sales, and lead magnet funnels for those of you who don’t know. It’s excellent for SMBs, Enterprises, or people selling digital products, such as books or courses.
We think GetResponse is a fantastic ClickFunnels alternative because it can offer you the same things as ClickFunnels, but with many additional features, for a more cost-effective price.
So let’s breakdown GetResponse’s features and advantages.
Since GetResponse is the all-in-one marketing solution, it offers you the features no other ClickFunnels alternative does, and those are:
Landing Page Builder – allows you to create eye-catching landing pages in minutes. Just drag and drop elements—no need to mess with custom CSS, margins, or padding.
Advanced Marketing Automation
Web Push Notifications for increasing your sales and getting more leads
Webinars – you can host and market your webinars.
Paid Ads Management – allows you to manage your paid ads easily and integrate them into your sales funnel
Chats – lets you start 1 to 1 conversations with your audience right from your website, email, or landing page. Plus you can chat with your audience on the go, using a dedicated chats app.
Conversion Funnels – this is the most advanced feature of GetResponse. It allows you to create your sales funnels (Or choose from 30+ already-made templates). Besides, you also get a 100% support along the way (paid ads creator to bring traffic, landing page builder, signup forms to capture leads, email marketing solution to nurture your leads, abandoned cart email or upsells, and everything else that’s needed for converting a prospect into a customer).
Besides being rich in features, what are the other advantages of GetResponse over ClickFunnels and other alternatives?
Free trial – GetResponse is the only ClickFunnels alternative that offers a 30-day free trial without asking for your credit card information. You have enough time to test the product and get some sales (we even had some customers who managed to sell products worth a couple of thousands in the first 30 days).
It’s template-rich – GetResponse has a big database of templates for entire sales funnels, dedicated landing pages, email automation, social media ads, and other things. You can have a fully functional website with marketing automation in less than 1 hour.
Rapid customer support – When we sent a customer support ticket (without them knowing it’s us), they provided us with the answer in less than a minute. Plus, the awesome support team is available 24/7.
Language support – The platform’s fully localized into 8 languages, so even if English isn’t your native language you’ll find the dashboard intuitive.
Cost-effective pricing – With GetResponse, you will pay $15 to $49/mo (for 1000 leads), for the same things you’d pay $597 with ClickFunnels and the necessary 3rd party apps.
Like every other tool, GetResponse has some shortcomings as well:
Price based on the list size – Unlike other ClickFunnels’ alternatives, GetResponse doesn’t have a fixed pricing. Although it’s pretty cost-effective compared to other options, its prices grow as your newsletter list grows. Even if you have the same contacts in multiple lists, it’s counted as several individual contacts.
GetResponse has fewer funnel types than ClickFunnels – GetResponse doesn’t support membership or affiliate funnels.
As mentioned, GetResponse is pretty cost-effective compared to all other ClickFunnels’ alternatives. Besides it’s 30-day free trial (that doesn’t require a credit card), you can start using GetResponse for as little as $15/mo for a list of up to 1000 emails. This plan already has more features and functionalities than any of the ClickFunnels’ plans.
If you want something a little bit advanced, then a plan of $49/mo would be a perfect fit for you.
GetResponse’s overview as a ClickFunnels alternative
As we could see, GetResponse is perfect for SMBs who are looking for an all-in-one marketing and sales funnel solution for their business. Instead of paying $500+/mo for ClickFunnels and other 3rd party apps, you can get even better functionalities with GetResponse for a more cost-effective price of $15, $49 or $99/mo, not to mention that you can test it with 30-days free trial.
So, if you’re looking for the all-in-one solution that offers you more possibilities than ClickFunnels, then GetResponse is the right tool for you.
Unbounce – enterprise ClickFunnels alternative for quick landing page building
Unbounce is another ClickFunnels alternative for building great landing pages. When we break it down, it essentially has three core features:
Landing page builder
Popups and forms
So let’s dive deep into Unbounce.
Here are a couple of things we personally really liked about Unbounce:
Easy landing page building – it’s so simple to build landing pages with Unbounce, that you can ship them in minutes.
The smart traffic feature – this is a unique feature that only Unbounce offers. It allows you to build multiple versions of the same landing page, and their AI will send traffic to different versions of it according to the customers’ interests and behaviours. It’s great for maximising your conversion rates.
Terrific pop-up triggering – with Unbounce, you can trigger your pop-ups not just by the user’s intent, but also by their demographic data.
Unbounce does a pretty great job in building your landing pages and getting conversions, but it lacks certain things.
Landing page customization options are limited – although building landing pages is quick and easy, it still lacks some customization options. Of course, it isn’t as basic as ClickFunnels, but you still don’t have full freedom. For example, Unbounce has only 9 default fonts you can use. Also, it doesn’t have a lot of web elements you can use. If you want bullet lists, tabs, tables, and other things, you will need to make them manually using a drag-and-drop builder.
There’s no live chat support – although the customer support reps answer within 3-4 hours (which is pretty decent), there’s no way to get quick help through live chat.
Lack of features – both ClickFunnels and Unbounce have these issues. Their narrow features sometimes don’t satisfy the basic needs – such as email list management. If you get someone to download your lead magnet, how will you proceed to sell if you don’t have the option to create email campaigns? If you decide to use Unbounce, the only solution is to use 3rd party apps for that – or to find some all-in-one solution.
Besides Unbounce’s 14-day trial (that does require a credit card), its pricing plans start at $80/mo. This plan allows you only 500 conversions. More advanced plans cost $120, $200 and $300/mo.
But as for ClickFunnels, expect to spend more money if you want to build your newsletter, send email campaigns, autoresponders, and have automated marketing workflows.
Unbounce’s overview as a ClickFunnels alternative
Unbounce is useful if you need a solution that will enable you to quickly build and test different landing page templates, without wasting your development resources. One thing that makes it better than ClickFunnels is its’ smart traffic feature that uses multiple variations of the same landing page and shows it to different audiences.
On the other hand, it still lacks many essential features every serious sales and marketing funnel needs to have, such as the email creator or autoresponders.
Unbounce is the best for the bigger companies who want to build and test different landing pages quickly.
Leadpages — simple landing page builder
Leadpages is another code-free website & landing page builder that helps you get more leads and email subscribers with ease.
They also offer a variety of features like:
Leadpages offers quite a few high-converting templates highly recommended for non-designers that just want to get started as soon as possible.
But let’s discuss everything in further detail:
Incredibly easy to build landing pages — if you aren’t very familiar with page builders, using one of their templates allows you to create a page in minutes.
A large number of templates — We like that they allow customers to filter templates by use case or just choose between the highest converting ones.
Many customization abilities within their page builder
Simple automation features
Great for quick A/B testing forSMBs
Unlimited traffic as opposed to Unbounce, which restricts your website to 500,000 users per month and if you want to expand from there, you’ll have to go for their enterprise package.
Standard builder (templates) lack customization.
A slower learning curve for making changes to the layout
Limited form customization
Templates are not as good as those offered by other alternatives, but this wouldn’t matter as much if they allowed for more customization instead of having to use their builder, which is not always preferable for beginners. However, in the last few years, they’ve improved – so we’ll see how they grow from here.
No enterprise packages — mainly because they target SMBs, their enterprises are not their target audience.
Limited A/B testing for companies that want to push it a bit harder.
Leadpages aims to provide a cheaper alternative to SMBs than other competitors on the list.
Their pricing options make Leadpages a worthy alternative to ClickFunnels.
Leadpages’s overview as a ClickFunnels alternative
If you’re looking for an affordable alternative with all the essential features of ClickFunnels, you’re in good hands. But if you’re looking for a solution that offers more possibilities, then Leadpages isn’t the right fit for you.
While their software is not aimed at enterprise companies, it can be a great website builder for SMBs with many handy features that will increase your conversion rate and boost new email subscribers out of the box. Many beginners will find it surprisingly easy to get started, import a template, and get their sales rolling without worrying about visitor restrictions as they grow.
Instapage – an intuitive page builder with excellent customization features
Like ClickFunnels and GetResponse, Instapage is one of the largest landing page software providers with over 200+ landing page templates and page blocks. They pride themselves on being a leader in post-click conversion rate optimisation at scale.
Essentially, as a marketer or a business owner, you’d create landing pages with Instapage – more specifically, landing pages for your paid ads. Their goal is to help you increase your advertising conversion rates using a range of excellent products and features they offer.
One of the things we love about Instapage is how intuitive it is for use.
Their core product functionalities are:
Landing Pages — you can create stunning landing pages in minutes.
Experimentation — this includes heatmaps, A/B and multivariate testing and robust analytics (pretty sweet!)
AdMap® — this helps you visualise your funnel and connect the ads to the most relevant landing pages.
Collaboration — quite a fast and easy way to create a workflow and collaborate with your colleagues
Page Speed — pages you create are optimised to load nearly instantly
But let’s discuss the pros and cons:
Fast and intuitive page builder
Easy integrations with over 120 tools (Mailchimp, Zapier, Salesforce, HubSpot, and others).
Codeless integrations with Google Analytics, Google Ads, Google Tag Manager, Facebook, etc. This will come in handy to beginners who are not familiar with the usual methods.
A lot of customization capabilities
Swift and helpful customer support
Plenty of templates for beginners who just want to get started as soon as possible
The ability to add custom CSS when required, which we appreciated!
Hosted system — unlike WordPress, Instapage handles the hosting for you.
Mobile optimisation will be harder for beginners as it requires users to practically repeat the design process from scratch to align all the elements and make it look good.
Once you create a page (or a website) using their subscription, you won’t be able to stop the subscription and continue using the page with another hosting provider.
Not every integration is as intuitive and seamless as the built-in integrations. Thus you might require extra help.
More expensive than some of their competitors with similar functionality.
Unlike the other alternatives on our list, Instapage is rather expensive. Although we appreciate the features it provides, we only recommend going for it if you’re going to utilise Instapage’s capabilities to their fullest extent.
If you’re not planning to use heatmaps and other similar features, then there’s no point in paying such huge fees.
Instapage’s overview as a ClickFunnels alternative
If you’re looking forward to making use of all the features and capabilities they offer and you’re not afraid to pay a more significant price, then Instapage might be the right solution for you. Mostly if you heavily depend on paid advertising.
However, if you’re an SMB looking just to get started and make use of the essential features that page builders (some of which are included in this list) usually provide without lightening your wallet too much, there are more suitable alternatives.
Remember that many of the remarkable features Instapage offers are found in their custom package, not in the standard $149/mo pricing (which is paid annually). These features include:
1:1 Ad-to-Page Personalization
Real-Time Visual Collaboration
AMP Pages & Experiences
Editable Global Blocks
Webflow – no-code ClickFunnels alternative for making entire websites
And finally, Webflow.
Recently, Webflow has become very well-known and popular. It’s the next big thing and a competitor of WordPress.
Unlike other ClickFunnels alternatives, Webflow is aa pure, no-code website builder tool.
So if you tried to use ClickFunnels to create an entire website, but realised that it’s’ not a good fit, then Webflow might be your choice.
It’s the only ClickFunnels alternative on the list that allows you to build complete websites, with blog posts included.
It has a great community of Webflow users.
There are 10.000+ elements and websites of other users that you’re allowed to duplicate. This makes the process of making your website way faster.
Webflow has incredible and responsive customer support. But sometimes, if you need urgent help, many Webflow users would be willing to assist you.
Webflow offers the best customization options of all the ClickFunnels alternatives.
As you can see, Webflow is great for building websites. On the other hand – it’s not perfect for building conversion-rich marketing funnels, since it lacks many functionalities.
Although it allows you to collect emails and leads through forms, it’s pretty hard to design perfect pop-ups or opt-ins.
Webflow doesn’t offer email marketing, auto-responding, webinars, or any other marketing or sales related feature that will help you convert more people. So, if you want to practice advanced marketing, sales and CRO strategies, you will need to use many 3rd party apps which is the case for many ClickFunnels alternatives (except GetResponse).
Webflow has multiple pricing plans for various use cases. For example, the pricing is different for ordinary and ecommerce websites.
Pricing for ordinary websites starts at $12/mo for simple websites with up to 25.000 website visitors, or $16/mo for a CMS website.
The cheapest plan costs $29/mo for having up to 500 items in your shop when it comes to ecommerce plans.
Webflow’s overview as a ClickFunnels alternative
As you can see by now, if you’re looking for some ClickFunnels alternative that’s more cost-effective but can provide you with more possibilities than ClickFunnels, then Webflow isn’t the right fit for you.
But if you’re looking for the ClickFunnels alternative that allows you to build an entire website quickly, then Webflow is your go-to tool.
Final comparison of the 5 best ClickFunnels alternatives
Here’s the in-depth comparison chart of the best ClickFunnels alternatives on the market:
What’s the best ClickFunnels alternative for you?
So, after 5 weeks of testing different ClickFunnels alternatives, we believe that each alternative has other use cases:
If you’re a big company looking for the ClickFunnels alternative that will enable you quick building and easy testing of different landing pages, then Unbounce is your go-to tool.
If you’re an SMB looking for the more cost-effective and simple ClickFunnels alternative just for building landing pages, then Leadpages should be your choice.
If you’re an enterprise who’s heavily depending on paid user acquisition, then Instapage is the best for you.
If you’re looking for the ClickFunnels alternative that will allow you to build entire websites in less time, then try Webflow.
If you’re looking for a cost-effective all-in-one solution for marketing automation and sales funnels that will allow you to build great email campaigns and convert more people, then GetResponse has got you covered. It’s the only ClickFunnels alternative that doesn’t require 3rd party apps at the end of the day.
And avoid paying $597+ for ClickFunnels and all necessary 3rd party apps. GetResponse covers everything, for a single price.
This comparison is accurate on February 17th, 2021. We do our best to keep it as accurate as possible, and we check it on a regular basis, however, if you want to acquaint yourself with the offer of our competitors, you should check it at their official website or contact their representatives.