ThriveCart is a fantastic sales funnel solution for any industry, but some of its features make it perfect for music artists when compared to the competition. If you have no idea what a sales funnel is, don't worry i'll break it down for you...
Think of a regular online store like a Wal-Mart, where you walk in to choose your products and then check out at the front. A sales funnel is more like when you have to talk to a salesperson, and they help find you what you need and recommend additional products you might like.
With a funnel you're typically selling a singular product on the page. So you might have a CD for sale and when a customer buys the CD you'll 'upsell' them a CD bundle (do you want fries with that?), and if they say no to that you might 'downsell' them a digital version of that CD bundle for cheaper.
The reason that this is important is you can uniquely construct a line of products that customers of the first product will be interested in, and raise your average cart value.
When someone already has their credit card out and is buying something from you thats the best time to offer them more products they might like.
My Funnel Journey
My first experience with funnel software was Click Funnels. While Click Funnels is pretty amazing as well, it costs $97/month and it feels somewhat outdated. It definitely gets the job done and I made a good amount of money with it, but you can see why they're focusing on launching a 2.0 version of it in 2022.
I was using Click Funnels to sell sample packs and Kontakt libraries at the time, but I hadn't been focusing on those products in a while so I cancelled my account. I wanted to experiment with funnels for my music and I was also working on some online music marketing courses so I wanted to find a replacement.
Since I ran my store on Shopify I experimented with Zipify One Click Upsell but that had its own workflow and isn't really a funnel software. While Zipify does have a funnel suite it also costs $97/month.
Corrin Campbell, formerly of Indepreneur, talked about ThriveCart on the Full Stack Creative YouTube channel and I was quite impressed. She was showing off how you could create 'name your price' or 'pay-what-you-want' offers natively with the platform. The big kicker was that it was a one time fee for lifetime access instead of a monthly fee.
Why did I buy ThriveCart?
Aside from the fact it's a very functional funnel software, it has a very fair price. Click Funnels costs $97/month, and ThriveCart was $495 for the basic or $690 for the Pro version for lifetime access. In 7 months the Pro plan pays for itself over Click Funnels.
The price alone made it an easy purchase but there were other reasons. ThriveCart offers the ability to integrate directly with Teachable, the platform I was planning on hosting my courses on (although I migrated away from them in 2022). They also natively have easier options for shipping rates, and an option for 'pay-what-you-want'. You can sell subscriptions, free trials, and run an affiliate center.
There are no limitations on the number of funnels you can have or page visits you can have unlike Click Funnels. They don't take a cut of payments, they directly integrate with Drip, the platform I use for email marketing, and they can even handle sales tax for you if thats applicable.
Why does this matter for music artists?
Aside from the fact ThriveCart is cheaper only after 7 months of using it, and music artists often have tighter budgets than many other industries, the features I mentioned previously are really good for selling music products.
For example you may want to run a Free Plus Shipping and Handling offer on a physical CD you have, but you could let your fans pay you whatever they want with the pay-what-you-want feature. This allows you capitalize on those fans that want to support you even though they could get away with only paying for shipping. The shipping prices can dynamically update based on address as well, unlike Click Funnels.
You could also sell a digital product for free and let fans give you whatever you want, similar to how BandCamp lets you do it.
If you wanted to create a custom community somewhere online you could use ThriveCart's subscription and free trial features to sell it. They have integrations with MemberMouse, MemberPress, Kajabi and more if your membership site is built on that.
ThriveCart has an integration with Kunaki, a print-on-demand company that can create and fulfill orders for your physical CD's. So you can sell physical CD's without having to order them in batches and ship them out yourself.
Mini ThriveCart Demo
I thought it'd be useful to show you what ThriveCart looks like on the inside, because unfortunately they don't really show this at all before you buy it. Here are some images that show examples of how you might setup a free plus shipping and handling offer:
As you can see from those images you can have product options if you want to give people the option to choose between CD or Cassette, or maybe T-Shirt sizes. In the second image you can see whats known as a 'bump' offer, a simple checkbox they choose to add a small additional product to their order. Bump offers are designed to increase your average cart value.
If you want to see an example of how you can use ThriveCart to sell sample packs then click here: https://learn.generastudios.com/esoteric-piano-loops/
You might be wondering how the whole upsell thing works. Well one thing I setup for my free plus shipping and handling offer was some keychains / bracelets as an upsell.
When it comes to editing these pages everything is pretty much drag and drop. You drag text or image blocks onto the screen and then click on them to edit them and customize them.
ThriveCart Data Tracking
If you're running Facebook or Google ads to sell your products, or even if you aren't and just want to be able to retarget your customers down the line, ThriveCart supports custom pixel tracking. In fact you can put whatever tracking codes you want manually into your ThriveCart funnel, so if your email provider offers a tracking code you can use it here.
ThriveCart will send over purchase value for the main product and upsells over to Facebook so you can track your ROI inside Facebook Ads Manager directly. It also supports the Facebook conversion API which can increase the accuracy of your data tracking which is especially important ever since iOS14.
ThriveCart Payment Processors
This isn't the most exciting thing to talk about but ThriveCart accepts a good amount of payment methods natively. You can integrate with something called Stripe, which is what most online stores use to handle credit / debit cards transactions. You can also integrated with PayPal, which is important because note everyone likes using their actual cards online for security.
In addition to these you can also accept payments with Apple Pay and Google Pay. This is interesting and I don't have any data on how much of a difference this makes, but a LOT of people use these platforms to pay for stuff both in person and online. My rule of thumb is the more payment methods you accept the better. They also support something called Authorize.Net which i've never heard of prior to ThriveCart.
ThriveCart also supports coupons, so if you want to run a discount code to your email list thats possible. They also support A/B testing which allows you to make two versions of your funnel to test which one performs best. You can try changing just some text, just an image, or redesign the entire page. Then they give you one link and they'll automatically alternate traffic between the two evenly and show you the statistics on how they performed.
I briefly mentioned this before but you can set up your own affiliate platform on your funnels. So if you play with some other bands regularly or you want to enable your fans to promote your products and make some side money, you can let them promote your music for you and throw them a commission.
ThriveCart also added something called ThriveCart Learn, which is a course delivery platform built directly into ThriveCart for free. This means you can sell access to courses, or a digital vault of behind the scenes content pretty seamlessly without any additional subscription services.
I've been using ThriveCart for a few years now and my personal review is that its amazing. The platform itself is quite easy to use, they integrate with all the right platforms and support Zapier to expand that even further, and its saved me money due to it's one-time payment structure.
It's easy enough where on day one you could launch a product, but complex enough where a year down the line you'll learn about cool new features to help your business.
I've recommended it to my friends and colleagues over the years and i'm recommending it to you too.