ClickFunnels and Systeme.io are both growing platforms suitable for online course creators to build their funnels and deliver their products.
ClickFunnels has been the most popular funnel builder ever since it came out in 2014, but a lot of competitors have caught up.
One of the most promising of them is Systeme.io, with a very competitive pricing and a lot to offer.
In this review, we’ll see exactly how the two platforms compare and which one might be a better fit for you.
What’s the difference between ClickFunnels and Systeme.io?
ClickFunnels and Systeme.io are both online platforms that promise to help you sell your online products easily.
In that sense they sort of belong to the same category, ClickFunnels being the first platform to make it easy to create funnels online.
The way these are laid out and designed has now been replicated by a lot of other platforms (such as Systeme.io) and isn’t unique to ClickFunnels.
But it’s also clear now that these new platforms have innovated and filled gaps where ClickFunnels is lacking.
ClickFunnels is still the biggest platform in the industry with over 100k users, and is planning a 2.0 launch in October 2022.
But Systeme.io offers a few more features at an affordable price:
It’s no secret that Systeme.io's design and features are VERY inspired by ClickFunnels…
But as of today it does offer a few more bells and whistles than the category king!
But let’s go deeper and see how these look in action:
Feature Breakdown: ClickFunnels vs Systeme.io
There are of course several ways to compare these two platforms, but because we’re focused on helping online course creators find the best option, we’ll use that perspective.
The core features for this audience are: funnel/site builder, checkout, email marketing and course builder.
Funnel & Website builder
ClickFunnels is the first platform to really make the concept of a funnel, something tangible to build online.
Its drag & drop page builder was one of the first of its kind and really took the headache out of building websites online.
That being said, it really hasn’t evolved much since 2014.
And other platforms like Systeme.io have caught up and built similar systems (or better).
Admittedly the difference between the two platforms is very small here:
Both work just as well and offer a range of premade pages and sections to make your life easier.
I do like the visual hierarchy of elements you get in Systeme.io which allows you to easily switch what you’re editing in a section.
You can also save sections as global elements so that changing it in one place will change it everywhere that section is used (not possible in ClickFunnels).
Some find the ClickFunnels design slightly more intuitive, but you can build the exact same page on both platforms.
This shows a bit better in the funnel builder design where things are just a little easier to find than Systeme.io:
Both platforms have a great A/B testing feature that allows you to split test different page versions and analyze results to see which one converts better.
One clear difference is the ability to create a Blog page on Systeme.io and posts, which can help build a content base and give yourself SEO opportunities.
This isn’t possible in ClickFunnels.
Lastly, Systeme.io enables you to create Deadlines and evergreen scarcity.
The way this can work is to set up a timer for a certain page to expire based on a trigger (example: a lead opt-ins to your lead magnet).
This is very similar to how Deadline Funnels works and can be extremely effective to create urgency and increase sales.
Systeme.io is one of the only platforms in the industry to enable this!
Overall, although ClickFunnels has been the original innovator, it’s clear that platforms like Systeme.io offer a better funnel builder now.
Checkout & Payments
ClickFunnels and Systeme.io have a very similar way to allow you to sell both digital and physical products.
This means pretty much any kind of payment options you’d like to create: one-time payment, subscription, split payment,etc.
ClickFunnels does have a few more options in terms of payment gateways you can integrate: Stripe, Paypal, Recurly, NMI, Easy Pay Direct, Clickbank,etc.
But you can certainly sell to people anywhere in the world with Systeme.io as well (Stripe, Paypal, MercadoPago, RazorPay).
Checkouts, upsells/downsells and order bumps are all built on a standalone page that you can fully customize.
Overall both platforms offer a great selling experience and allow for pretty much anything you can wish for.
Here are 2 notable differences:
Systeme.io has a handy Physical Product section where you can set up variants of your eCommerce products and easily attach them to your funnels.
Although you can still do that in ClickFunnels, it has to be manual for each funnel.
But the biggest difference for this checkout feature between the two platforms is that Systeme.io offers an affiliate program on any plan.
ClickFunnels requires you to be on the Platinum plan.
Both affiliate features are relatively similar, the only big upside of using Systeme.io here is the affiliate payout can be automated.
Email Marketing & CRM
This is probably the biggest difference between ClickFunnels and Systeme.io.
The ability to send broadcast email and set up automated sequences are a core part of any online business.
Both platforms offer this feature to some extent…
But ClickFunnels will require you to integrate an external SMTP provider. In other words you’ll have to pay for an external service to use the email feature.
On the other hand, Systeme.io allows for unlimited emails on any plan, even the free one!
The only limits will be on your contact number (see the pricing comparison).
On top of that, the platform has a very visual and easy to use email sequence builder:
This will allow you to create split paths based on certain rules you can set up and automate a lot of your marketing.
ClickFunnels do allow for similar automation but the system is a bit more clunky, and again only available on the Platinum plan ($297/month).
Online Course & Membership
Of course, for online course creators this part is essential and a big value of these platforms.
Having your online program member’s area directly integrated makes everything easier!
Unfortunately, this isn’t where either Systeme.io or ClickFunnels really shine…
There are however some key differences between the two we can talk about.
The major one is the fact that ClickFunnels does not take care of video hosting, where Systeme.io offers unlimited hosting.
This is a huge difference as it means that with ClickFunnels, you will once again have to pay for an external tool to do this (Vimeo, Wistia).
Most online programs contain videos and so this will probably be a must to use the platform.
On top of that, Systeme.io course builder is also more intuitive and easier to handle.
You’ll be able to build and manage your curriculum and content from the back-end:
You can also create Right/Wrong Quizzes to test your students on their knowledge (and set up automations based on that).
This isn’t available in ClickFunnels, to build a course you’ll have to set it up through a front-end builder which can make the experience clunkier.
Again, both platforms aren’t doing a great job here to give the best student experience and learning tools.
But it is fairly evident that Systeme.io does better here.
Lastly Systeme.io allows you to create Online Communities
These can be a great way to have your student engage with each other and avoid having to use a Facebook group or external tool for this!
Pricing: ClickFunnels vs Systeme.io
This is another major difference between the two platforms.
ClickFunnels set the tone for funnel builders both in terms of features and how things should feel, but also pricing.
Every platform that set up as competitors to ClickFunnels, have been attempting to grab a piece of the market by offering a more affordable solution.
And it’s clear here that Systeme.io is definitely more affordable.
On top of offering a free plan (versus a 14 days trial for ClickFunnels), Systeme.io includes all of its features from its very first plan onwards.
The only limit and reason to upgrade will be to increase the allowance for each of these features.
On a comparison $97 plan than ClickFunnels, everything is unlimited for Systeme.io.
Remember that ClickFunnels requires you to pay for your own SMTP provider and video hosting - which could account for another $50/month roughly.
There is no counterpoint here for ClickFunnels, it’s fairly clear that Systeme.io is more affordable and loaded with more features.
One of the only reasons ClickFunnels is still the most used platform in the industry and that could justify the higher price, is the ecosystem it provides.
Created by one of the most influential direct marketer today, the platform provides a large library of training on how to build a successful online business.
The whole “funnel” idea was introduced by Russell Brunson and started the ClickFunnels movement, which today counts over 275,000+ people in their private group:
And of course, this means a lot of options for hiring freelancers familiar with the platform and how to use it best.
Systeme.io on the other hand started on the French market before going international.
The platform has grown exponentially over the past few years and does now have a sizable following:
It’s still clear that ClickFunnels is top of mind in the industry, but as we’ve seen through this comparison, this may change soon and the 2.0 launch needs to get the platform up to par.