“Wait, wait, I’m going through a tunnel there.” Hello… “
The blow of the tunnel, you know?
The funny Serge Benamou (José Garcia) used it in particular to get out of a cumbersome phone call, in a cult scene from The Truth if I lie 2.
This good old Serge, we understand him: the trick of the tunnel is sometimes very practical (even if nobody really believes in it anymore).
And then, it’s well known: with more or less bad faith, in a tunnel, there’s no network. Point bar.
Do not pick up in a tunnel reserved for traffic, still passes. On the other hand, it is much more annoying in another type of tunnel which smacks more of marketing than exhaust pipes. I named the famous sales funnel.
Used well, it can help you get more leads, sell more, and boost your revenue.
A handy extension called Cartflows can help you create this tunnel and automate it. Even if you are starting from scratch. And even if you don’t know much about marketing.
Fantastic ? Well that’s what you’re going to find out in this detailed test. Objective, at the end of your reading: to capture everything in the sales funnels. For the others, we leave that to Serge Benamou.
Originally written in September 2020, this article was last updated in March 2022.
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What is Cartflows?
Cartflows is a freemium WordPress plugin that makes creating sales funnels quick and easy. It requires WooCommerce to be activated and uses page templates (templates) ready-to-use tools that can be activated in 1 click, which can be customized with most page builders on the market.
A page builder, called page builder in English, is a plugin or an element of a theme that allows, thanks to modules (image, text, button, video, etc.) and ready-to-use page templates , to design the design of your site without coding. It is very often used in drag and drop.
As explained on the home page of the site dedicated to it, Cartflows aims to make you “generate leads” and “increase your conversions and maximize your profits”.
A lead is a business contact registered with a prospect. A conversion is a specific action you want your visitor to take (eg downloading a white paper, signing up for a newsletter).
Does it make your lips drool? Wait, Cartflows makes your mouth water even more by stating that you can reach the goal without even needing “to invest more money in paid advertising or to generate more traffic… “.
And I saved the icing on the cake for last. Cartflows promises to “turn your website into a sales machine ». Come on, just that.
As you can see, we are dealing with seasoned marketers to promote their product. And not just anyone, you’ll see.
A solution to “frustrations”
Behind Cartflows, there are two sizes:
- Sujay Pawarthe co-founder of Brainstorm Force, the company that notably created the famous Astra theme (1M+ active facilities);
- Adam Preiser, one of the most famous shaved heads in the WordPress sphere. Preiser is the founder of WP Craftera site that teaches non-techies how to use WordPress.
Frustrated by the process of purchasing products/services on WordPress which they considered not optimized enough to promote conversions, our two acolytes decided, from October 2017, to create an extension for “to make e-commerce easier, more profitable, while being a pleasure to use”.
The latter even speaks of “most exciting WordPress product he’s discovered in the last few years “.
One plugin, two versions
The praise from users continues on the extension’s page, on the official directory.
At the time of this writing, Cartflows is collecting rave reviews: an overall rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars.
If you are already impatient with the idea of using this plugin, know that it exists in two versions:
- a free version (Cartflows free) available on the official directory (200K+ active facilities). It will allow you to create personalized sales funnels, but you will not have all the possible options (I will come back to this later). Think of it as a gateway to start using Cartflows;
- a premium version offered from $239/year (about €211). At that price, you will get the extension with all its features, without any limits.
From the beginning of this article, there may be a term that intrigues you: the sales funnel.
This marketing concept is in a way the red thread of our article today.
To fully understand how Cartflows works and the rest of the operations, I think it is necessary to understand what this means and to give you some basics, even very quick ones.
This is the subject of the next part.
What is a sales funnel?
A sales funnel refers to the journey taken by a visitor to a website, from the discovery of your product or service, to its purchase.
You will also find it under the English name of funnel », « dirty funnel », « pipeline », or sales funnelto stay in the language of Molière.
During this journey, this future customer goes through 4 stages, which can be imaged via a funnel, precisely. We also talk about the AIDA method, you will understand why:
- Step 1 : Awareness. This is the awareness phase. Your prospect has just discovered your website, for example via a search from Google. For now, it is “cold” and at the top of the funnel;
- 2nd step : interest. At this point, your prospect is showing an interest in your products or services. Basically, it says: “Ah, well, it’s not bad what he/she is doing. It might even be useful to me. » Relationships are heating up a bit, here it is that has slipped a bit within your funnel. But there is still work to convert him into a client;
- step 3: Decision. There it starts to heat up. Your prospect studies in detail what you offer and decides if he will buy your product/service. Look, it’s slipped a little further within your sales funnel;
- step 4: Stock. We arrive at the end of the process, arf it burns: the prospect finally takes action (ex: purchase of your product or service, etc.). He becomes a customer. Congratulations, you’ve guided it to the end of your funnel.
Without going into details, since that’s not the point here, know that some prospects never leave the top of the sales funnel, and others only discover it at the end.
Finally, to make your funnel as effective as possible, it is necessary to know your target and its habits well, while creating content adapted to each stage of the process. funnel.
For example, marketers usually use a blogging strategy by creating posts during stage 1 of the funnel (Awareness).
So much for this aside which seemed necessary to me. Now back to Cartflows.
Find out how it works and what you can do with it.
One of the great strengths of Cartflows is that it integrates directly with WordPress.
You configure it directly on your administration’s Dashboard, without having to go through a third-party site.
On the practical side, it’s well seen: it limits round trips, you find all your settings in the same place, and you don’t waste time having to learn how a new platform works.
Normally, WordPress, you know a minimum, if you follow WPMarmite carefully. 😉
To learn how to create a professional WordPress site in 5 steps, check out our complete guide.
Cartflows requires WooCommerce
Note that there is still a prerequisite for Cartflows to work: you must have WooCommerce activated on your site/blog.
WooCommerce is the most famous WordPress e-commerce extension (5M+ active installations on the official directory).
Basically, it adds e-commerce functionality to your WordPress site. Want to learn how to set it up correctly? Follow the advice of chef Alex, who reveals everything in this video:
Then, the creators of this plugin to create a sales tunnel on WordPress indicate that whatever your level, a funnel can be operational in… 20 minutes.
For once, this leaves me quite skeptical and seems illusory to me but, after all, why not.
You will then see, at the time of my test, if the promises have been kept.
Why bother with Cartflows if you already have WooCommerce to sell?
From a technical point of view, WooCommerce allows you to sell the products/services of your choice. It is also an excellent tool to do so.
But from a marketing perspective, it’s not super optimized for moving your visitors through your funnel and maximizing conversions.
Rather unfortunate, even more so if I reveal to you that nearly 70% of people who initiate a payment process do not complete it. This is called cart abandonment.
And imagine that one of the major reasons for shopping cart abandonment is that the payment process is too long or too complex.
It is on this aspect, among others, that Cartflows proposes to act. In order to discover all its options, it happens just below.
Cartflows: features that stand out
A “page builder-friendly” extension…
To make your life easier and make the process of creating your sales funnel as quick as possible, Cartflows offers nearly 40 templates (page templates) ready to use, including ten free (usable without going through the Pro version). ).
These templates that can be activated in 1 click are divided into several categories. You will find :
- of the landing pages (landing pages, in French), whose objective is to convert your visitors by encouraging them to download content (e-book, white paper, etc.), to subscribe to a newsletter, or to buy a product or service;
- payment pages (Checkout page);
- acknowledgment pages (Thank you page);
- pages to makeupsell and downsell (I will come back to this);
- a page to collect emails from your visitors (opt-in page).
Among the models present, we note for example the presence of a page to encourage you to buy a microwave, or another to promote a moisturizer.
Now, what if your business has nothing to do with those areas? Imagine that you sell kibble for cats, rather than kibble for dogs?
No problem ! Cartflows uses a flexible system of shortcodes that allows it to work with any page builder. So, you are free to modify the visual aspect of your content as you wish, even if you use Brizy, to name a few.
By activating Cartflows, you will see that it offers you models compatible with Elementor, Beaver Builder and Divi. Logically, these are the 3 page builders the most used on the market.
It is also possible to access templates for Thrive Architect, but you must download them from your client area. For the moment, they are not yet available on the plugin settings interface, on WordPress.
… and compatible with the WordPress content editor
In the first version of this article, I explained to you that Cartflows planned to soon launch templates compatible with the WordPress content editor (Gutenberg).
This was missing and in the meantime the Cartflows team swung into action. By activating the extension Ultimate Addons for Gutenbergyou can now take advantage of some page templates to create your funnel with content editor blocks.
In addition, you also access the page templates offered by this extension. There are about 80 of them, and even if they are not landing pages strictly speaking, you can use it as the basis for your funnel pages, by reshaping them.
A payment process optimized for conversions
Creating your sales funnel pages with the page builder of your choice is already a great asset. For the design part, it’s clearly a big plus.
On the marketing/sales side, you won’t be outdone either. Among the features to detach, I could mention:
- adding product offers (in promotion or not) on the payment page, at the time of the order. It’s called a order bump ;
- customizing the fields of your payment form. By limiting them as much as possible, you can increase your conversions;
the possibility of making additional sales. On the one hand throughupselling (upmarket) by offering “a product or service that is slightly superior and more expensive than the one in which the prospect is interested”, according to this site.
On the other hand through downselling (descent in range), that is to say, to offer a cheaper product than the one that interested your prospect at the start, and which he therefore did not buy.
Basically, we give him a little kick in the buttocks by saying: “Hey honey, don’t leave so fast, I have another great thing to offer you, even cheaper than what I showed you at the start”.
Not bad is not it ? And that’s just the beginning. Find out below how to set it all up technically.
Step 1: Installing and activating Cartflows
On the presentation page of the extension, Cartflows promises us the creation of a sales funnel in 20 minutes. It is time to verify the veracity of these statements.
To get started, you need to install and activate both versions of the plugin on your WordPress installation:
- the free version available on the official directory ;
- the Pro version.
You will find them both on the Customer Area of your Cartflows account. Of course, if you don’t want to use the Pro version, the extension will work by activating only the free version.
Want to make sure you install an extension correctly? View the article How to install a plugin in the rules of the art.
Once the Pro extension is activated, you will be prompted to add your License. Thanks to it, you will benefit in particular from the updates of the extension.
Step 2: Installing WooCommerce
Is the plugin working for you? Very well, I now suggest that you move on to its configuration.
To help you, Cartflows takes you by the hand by providing you with a configuration wizard (Setup-wizard).
There are 5 steps to follow to make the product operational. Note for example that Cartflows asks you to choose a page builder from Elementor, Beaver Builder and Divi.
And especially, it asks you to install WooCommerce. You remember, the e-commerce extension is necessary for Cartflows to work.
You can go through here for automatic installation. On the other hand, be careful: remember to check all the settings afterwards.
For instance, by default, WooCommerce will be set up for a US-based physical store, with the US dollar as currency. Not really consistent if you sell products in euros, you will agree.
In addition, it is the English version of the extension that will be activated, so the settings menus will not be in French. Therefore, it is better to install WooCommerce separately, without going through the Cartflows configuration wizard.
Step 3: creating a flow
The next step is to create what Cartflows calls a “flow”. This is a house nomenclature to talk about a sales funnel, quite simply.
If you want to create a funnel to encourage the purchase of a product, consider adding it beforehand on WooCommerce so that your checkout page can work properly. Regarding the payment gateway, Cartflows recommends the use of Stripe but PayPal will also work without problems.
In the Cartflows menu located on the left column of your administration, select Flows > Add New.
Cartflows offers you 15 ready-to-use templates (10 usable with the free version and 5 present only in the Pro version, if you have chosen to create your pages with Elementor). They correspond to your future landing page.
I select the template called Evergreen Product 02which corresponds the most to what I would like to do with my landing page (present a WPMarmite t-shirt, at random). By clicking on the button ” View all steps », you arrive on a page that presents you with 3 templates:
Click on the button “Import Flow”at the top right of the page, then give a name to your flow.
Now you can see that Cartflows has created a funnel with 3 steps:
In detail, you currently have:
a landing page to present your product to your visitors. Of course, you can (and must) modify it as you wish using your page builder (in my case Elementor, which I had chosen during the settings phase on the configuration wizard). To do this, click on “Edit” (Edit).
Note that it is also possible to create any page of the funnel starting from zero;
- A Checkout page (payment page). For the moment, no product is assigned to him. You can add one by clicking Edit > Products ;
- a thank you page, or a thank you page. It will be displayed once your visitor has purchased the WPMarmite t-shirt.
You could stop there: your funnel would operate in this way. But one of the great assets of Cartflows, as indicated above, lies in its additional options and in particular theupsell and the downsellto do coupled selling.
On the other hand, be careful: they are only available with the Pro version of the extension.
Step 4: Adding an upsell and/or a downsell
You want your future customer to buy your WPMarmite t-shirt, but why stop there?
Perhaps he wants a slightly more complete range, with a matching jacket, for example? Yes, we can be styled with WPMarmite sap, do you doubt it?
Offering this option to your visitor therefore does not eat bread. This is possible thanks to the addition of a new step in your funnel (click on the button ” Add new step of your flow).
Choose one of the proposed templates (4 in all) at the tab level “Upsell (Woo)”.
Then, just like for the payment page, add the product of your choice. Once your visitor has purchased your first product (the t-shirt), they will be offered a new one (the jacket) just before the thank you page.
You can proceed exactly the same way if you want to make downsell. Only difference: you will have only one template.
Logically, the Upsell stage can only be placed after the checkout page. As for the Downsell step, it can only be positioned after the Upsell step: Cartflows will offer a cheaper product if your customer refuses to upsell.
Step 5: Adding an order bump
Another trick up your sleeve to put new products under your visitors’ noses: theorder bump.
You can set up a promotional offer in the settings of your payment page (Checkout page), in the tab ” Order Bumps “, so.
We particularly appreciate the possibility:
- to position this offer in 4 different places on the page (before/after payment, after order, before billing details) ;
- add descriptive text and a photo ;
- customize the colors (background, text, description, border etc.) ;
- to add conditions to display theorder bump only if the buyer has performed such and such an action (e.g. if he has previously purchased a product costing a total of X €, if the country for delivery is such and such a country, if he has used such a reduction coupon, etc. ).
And here is what it looks like on the interface front end (what your visitors see) of your site:
Step 6: Adding an opt-in
We complete this process of creating a funnel with a possible last step, available both with the free version and the paid version of Cartflows: the opt-in.
It is intended for a specific type of use: lead generation.
In summary, step opt-in of your funnel allows you to provide a form to collect your visitor’s email address, so that he can download a free product (an e-book, for example).
This opt-in will be placed after your landing page and before your thank you page and will launch the download of the product of your choice.
For it to work, you need to link it to a virtual or downloadable product that sells for $0.
Congratulations, you have just gone through all the steps that it is possible to create with Cartflows.
So, then, does he deliver on his promise of putting together a funnel in 20 minutes?
Technically, yes. It’s doable if you touch very little text and design. You can even go even faster than that.
After, for a truly personalized result, don’t think 20 minutes will be enough. If your goal is to give a boost to your conversions, it will take a couple of hours to design everything from A to Z (design, texts, WooCommerce settings, etc.).
Bonus Step: Say No to Cart Abandonment
To go even further and optimize your conversions, the Cartflows team also offers a super-practical third-party extension to fight against cart abandonment: WooCommerce Cart Abandonment Recovery.
Note that it will be installed automatically if you go through the configuration wizard. You will find a link to its settings via the WooCommerce menu on your administration:
The plugin works like this: once on the payment page, if your user has not made the purchase, he will receive one or more e-mails (provided he has previously entered an address in the billing details) to encourage him to take action, to offer him a discount, or to ask him for a reason of non-purchase.
You never know, in case he fell asleep on his keyboard, a little booster shot never hurts, what do you think?
You are free to modify the text of each e-mail and, above all, to inform how long it will be sent after the detection of the abandonment of the basket.
With this plugin, pay attention to compatibility with the RGPD (General Regulations for Data Protection). If the user has not purchased, this means that he has not adhered to the GCS (General Conditions of Sale), and therefore that he has not given his consent to receive an e-mail. In this case, entering your e-mail address will not be sufficient.
Come on, without transition, I now propose to review the advantages and disadvantages of Cartflows.
We debrief: Cartflows in use, what does it look like?
After having gotten your hands dirty properly, here is my opinion on this extension. I come back to what I liked and what I would improve.
The + of the extension
In terms of handling, the extension is very pleasant to use and above all easy to handle.
Clearly, the Cartflows team went all out on the user experience by trying to imagine themselves in the shoes of a beginner funnel creator. And it is successful.
On this point, I particularly appreciated:
- drag-and-drop interface to modify the positioning of each stage of your sales funnel;
- the setup wizard (Setup-wizard) to help you configure the extension after it is activated;
- WordPress integration : we are not lost and we do not have to bother going back and forth to third-party software. Everything is on your Dashboard;
- menu settings reduced to the bare minimum. Thank you for saving us from entering a gas plant by offering only three sub-menus: Flows to create your funnel, Settings to configure your settings, and Templates to view and use page templates;
- the ease of personalizing your flow. 5 basic options are offered: View (View), Edit (Edit), Clone (Duplicate), Delete (Delete) and A/B Test;
- the possibility of carrying out A/B testsprecisely, that is to say, design two different pages (eg with different texts) to see which one converts the best… and thus readjust to increase your conversions;
- access to analytical data (stats) to know the number of visits, conversions and sales generated by each of your pages.
In addition, Cartflows has a very interesting feature that acts underwater for you: thanks to dynamic links, the plugin is able to link the different pages of your funnel between them and send your visitor from one step to another without any adjustments to be made on your part.
But that’s not all, I may have even better, take a good look. Cartflows does not limit you on the presentation of the form fields of your payment page. On the contrary. In its Pro version, you can:
- add custom fields;
- reorder them with a simple drag and drop;
- choose to show or hide them;
- change their wording.
In short, it is very powerful. To activate this option and design forms with little onions, go to your Checkout page and in the ” Form fields », tick « Enable Custom Field Editor “.
Here, speaking of Checkout page, finally know that you can also use Cartflows to replace your payment page traditionally managed by WooCommerce (only in the Pro version). I find that really clever.
The advantage? You can take advantage of the options to makeupsell/downsell and offer order bumpswhich WooCommerce does not allow 100% natively (it offers related products on the Cart page, but not on the Order page).
Areas for improvement
After the good points, let’s move on to the “could do better”. If Cartflows is rather a good student, he can still progress on certain points.
I would say first that it is perfectible in terms of customization. For example, the number of templates offered is not huge at the moment (ex: 6 templates of landing pages for Elementor in the Pro version), as well as the number of compatible page builders (Elementor, Divi and Beaver Builder).
Even if it’s true, you can use any other page builder with Cartflows thanks to a shortcode system.
Then, its administration interface is not translated into French. This is above all an observation rather than a criticism. English is a universal language and it’s also the idiom of the creators: they weren’t going to bother creating an extension for little French people, anyway. 🙂
The thing is, it’s not always easy to navigate at first, especially since some terms are specific to the field of marketing.
In this case, direction the documentation, you will tell me. If it is rather well put together, clear and didactic, it is also only accessible in the language of… Shakespeare.
To translate your theme and your plugins, I advise you to use the extension Loco Translate. Concerning Cartflows in particular, note that you can find the translations of the free version and the Pro version at WpTrads.
To finish with English, it is also necessary to integrate that the so-called ready-to-use templates are not really ready for a French-speaking audience: you will at least have to translate them. I advise you above all to seriously work on your own texts for the most impactful sales message possible.
Finally, one last thing, to end this part.
You will need to think about setting up WooCommerce if you use the configuration wizard because the latter will apply the basic settings which will surely have nothing to do with the desired settings for your store.
Cartflows, how much does it cost?
First of all, a free version is available on the official directory. But, inevitably, it will not allow you to benefit from all the functionalities offered by the extension.
To step up a gear, you’ll need to get your hands on the wallet and opt for the premium version.
His price ? $239/year (about €211). At this rate, you are entitled to:
- create an unlimited number of funnels. On the other hand, be careful, there is still a small nuance to be understood: a License can be used on a maximum of 30 sites. Which still leaves plenty to do;
- all plugin options : premium templates, custom fields for the payment page, promotional offers on the payment page, upsells/downsells, etc. ;
- access to support (personalized user assistance) and updates for 1 year. At the end of this period, you will have to go back to the cashier to continue to benefit from these last two services for 1 additional year. I recommend it to you by the way: for security reasons, it is preferable to have your extensions up to date. If you don’t want to renew, you can still continue to use the plugin.
Cartflows also has a lifetime license – you only pay once without having to renew each year – billed at $999 (approximately €882).
In addition, Cartflows also has a 30-day money-back guarantee: you can therefore test it without risk during this period.
$239/year (€211) is a significant investment, it’s true. Does that sound expensive to you? Take a look, for example, at what two major alternatives to Cartflows offer, in terms of prices:
- Click Funnels : probably the most famous service – and the most complete? – to create a sales funnel. Created by Russel Brunson, it is offered from $97/month, or a whopping $1,164/year (around €1,030). That is more than four times the price at which Cartflows is marketed. Obviously, I insist, the comparison is imperfect because I only compare prices here, I do not stop on all the options in detail. But it gives you a first idea.
- ThriveCart : This tool offers a Lifetime License via a one-time payment of $495 (about €438). Over time, this can be interesting. On the other hand, big downside: ThriveCart can only be used on one domain per License. So if you want to use it for several customers, it could be very expensive…
- WooFunnels : a competitor that offers features very similar to Cartflows and can also be used directly on the WordPress interface (WooCommerce must also be integrated). WooFunnels starts at $199/year (around €176), but it can only be used on one site.
Here, speaking of use, we will end this article on this. Is Cartflows for you?
Cartflows, which version and for whom?
In order to answer this question, it all depends first of all on the use you are going to make of it.
In this sense, it can be useful to differentiate the free and paid version (Cartflows Free vs Pro):
- the free version will be enough to start taming the sales tunnels, but it is limited, necessarily ;
- the Pro version will be essential if you want to put the odds on your side to maximize your conversions. Remember: must-have features (upsell/downsell, order bumps and global checkout) are not present with the free plugin.
In conclusion, I was seduced by this extension which will be suitable both for beginners wishing to create a sales tunnel, and for more experienced marketers who want a quick, simple and economical solution to build a funnel (compared to the behemoth Click Funnels, for example).
And if you want to dig deeper into the subject, I refer you to the conference WordPress and sales funnelspresented at WordCamp Paris 2019.
Now the floor is yours. Do you know Cartflows and do you use it?
Tell me everything in the comments below.