Before I start my Infusionsoft review, I would like to make it clear that although I love technology and reading about tech stuff, I am aware that a lot of you business owners out there may not be so big on technology. In fact, it can be quite daunting to read about a technology and have to grapple with all the jargon. So, I have tried to make my reviews as reader friendly as possible.
Now whether this is you’re first time hearing about marketing automation software; or you’ve been using some kind of automation and have a crazy arrangement that reads something like –CRM in Snapforce, newsletter in Benchmark, email in ZetaMail6 and affiliate system with PostAffiliatePro; you will find all that you need to know to make an informed decision about Infusionsoft and why it is such a great purchase.
If you are an absolute newbie, be sure to check out more about marketing automation and its benefits here.
Health Care (Click Here for Complete Review)
“Infusionsoft helped us go all in with our vision to help as many kids as possible. With Infusionsoft we could finally put every component of the marketing under one system; it was a no brainer.”
Education (Click Here for Complete Review)
“Without Infusiosoft and the ability to segment your list and notify people about new products and educate people about what you do and what you believe in, I would be spending thousands of dollars a month doing the traditioanal broadcasting to people who don’t care.”
Legal Firm (Click Here for Complete Review)
“Infusionsoft changes the way you think about business—So I know that everyone is going to get the same consistent marketing message, and the same follow-up message for any and everything that we’re doing.”
Health Club and Gyms (Click Here for Complete Review)
“Infusionsoft helps us to see our entie database and then divide it up per location based on user permissions. So I can see which manager owns which prospect and also allows us to track prospect flow, work flow, sales work flow and then also track revenue.”
Marketing (Click Here for Complete Review)
“Infusionsoft was so monumental in helping me grow my business that I want to tell everyone I know about this exceptional service.”
Okay, now lets talk all about this giant automating piece of work. So, firstly…
What is Infusionsoft and what does it do?
Infusionsoft is a sales and marketing software which integrates and offers three fundamental functionalities: CRM (Customer relationship management), marketing automation and e-commerce capabilities.
The platform caters to the small business owner or entrepreneur who is looking to save time, effort and maximize productivity. Its purpose is to help businesses attract and convert prospective leads and close deals.
Having said all that, the real “oomph” factor of Infusionsoft, lies in its marketing automation features. These features enable you to create awesome virtual campaigns, which in turn allow you to manage the overall customer life-cycle automatically, which means getting to know you’re customer like never before and customizing offers to meet each customer’s specific desires!
Before we look at the features and I tell you about my intimate relationship with Infusionsoft, I want you to know about the cost to you in terms of money, time and effort.
In this Infusionsoft review, you will learn that purchasing the software and learning to benefit from it are two entirely different things. It does take some learning and effort on your part, especially if you are not a ‘tech kind of guy’. However, the ROI on your money, time and effort is truly rewarding.
Unlike most marketing automation platforms today, there’s no free trial with Infusionsoft and it does requires an upfront investment.
Also, Infusionsoft cannot be purchased directly at their website Infusionsoft.com. You have to either register for a demo or give them a call. Now, I agree that this can be an inconvenience and quite frustrating. However, they do make a valid point about getting to know the kind of business you’re in so that they can better assist you.
They are aware that most people will have a lot of questions and some objections before they are willing to spend their hard earned money. So, they insist on having a conversation, which isn’t such a bad idea once you put things in perspective.
On a side note, don’t waste your time asking them to compare Infusionsoft with it’s competitors, they will not oblige. I took the time do that for you. You can find my Infusionsoft vs Ontraport detailed comparison here.
Monthly cost: $199-$379 (See Pricing including the different models)
These prices are really great if you consider what most market automation platforms are charging per month these days.
Kickstart cost, Coaching and Setup: Mandatory
Today, I am extremely well versed with infusionsoft and use it everyday to manage my e-commerce business. Although I consider myself a techie, it did take a little while before I was comfortably managing and designing my campaigns. In hindsight, I’d say it was about 1-2 months till I got pretty efficient and then results really started to show.
Gladly, you won’t have to learn it on you’re own.
Kickstart cost: $2000-$3000 (See the details of the package)
Infusionsoft requires every new account user to get the kiskstarter package which includes the crucial coaching necessary to get used to the software and learn the different ways in which your particular business could benefit from it. Pretty cool right? But there is a cost.
This package is mandatory and I recognise that it is not cheap.
However, they insist on this package. I guess they understand that learning the software can be complicated for starters and they want to make sure that that thier clients actually benefit from using their software. However, trust me on this, expensive or not, the coaching is invaluable and more than necessary to really juice the software and harness its real power.
Also, think about it — that kind of money spent to learn; it’s all the motivation you’ll ever need to get the job done!
Infusionsoft Review: Great aspects and features
CRM: Customer relationship management is the cornerstone of any successful marketing campaign. Many different platforms claim to provide CRM, when the reality is that most of these systems end up being simple repositories for client data. With Infusionsoft, CRM provides the ability to create a dynamic relationship with clients based on their interests and more importantly their behaviour over periods of time.
With infusion CRM you can manage contacts, opportunities, and referral partners. There is a lot more room to play apart from adding/ managing contacts and companies.
When you dive down into a customer you have access to marketing history, contact history and your customer’s web history as well as order history, so you can see everything in one snap shot.
You can tag a contact who is at a certain phase of your campaign and then run email marketing accordingly to meet their specific desires.
The lead scoring functionality enables you to assign a value to a lead, like star or two or three, depending on how close they are to a sale.
You’re referral partners or affiliate marketers can also be managed with the CRM functionality.
Verdict: The CRM hugely simplifies the sales management and the analytics which gathers and sorts crucial client data that cover the entire customer-life cycle is extremely valuable and has really helped me with my segmentation and target marketing. However, along with no social media integration, Infusionsoft does not have a built –in CMS, which can be a problem if you’re not a techie and it does complicate things a little bit. The added integration with CMS like WordPress is easy enough though and Infusionsoft can simply plug into your website.
Navigation: The main dashboard is attractive and simple. The dashboard shows you what Infusionsoft does behind the scenes to grow sales and streamline operations. You can see appointments, sales reports outstanding collections and news.
The master navigation menu allows you quick access to different areas of the application including CRM, Marketing and E-commerce. Also, if you’re not comfortable with the layout you can customise your navigation using the drag and drop facility to save time, clicks and improve efficiency. Underneath the main menu, there are configurable widgets which give you an idea of what’s going
Verdict: The navigation can be somewhat tricky in the beginning, but give it a little time and you will moving around effortlessly!
The Campaign Builder: Being able to create and automate your campaigns goes a long way for enhancing your conversions. Infusionsoft provides a very robust and rich graphical interface to build and design campaigns and workflows. The builder allow you to literally see your campaigns come to life as you drag and drop different visual moving parts of your campaign into definite sequences for execution. With the WYSIWYG (what you see is what what you get)editor you can also set up all your landing pages, autoresponders and webforms.
I have built over a hundred different campaigns and each process has been fun and inspiring. It is extremely user friendly; you’ll be creating fancy campaigns in no time! Infusionsoft also have an awesome library of established marketing automation campaigns that you can drag and drop into your campaign dashboard.
Verdict: This feature of Infusionsoft is truly remarkable and easy to use. The only other platforms that offer this kind of visual, drag and drop capability are the big enterprise systems by Eloqua and Marketo at the moment.
Email capabilities: Infusionsoft offers strong email functionality. Infusionsoft is really big on offering appealing and attractive visuals, so if you are a visual person, this works especially well for you. Her as well, the interface allows to layout amazing email campaigns. Email capabilities include list segmentation, campaign execution, template design, and great analytics.
Oh, I lamost forgot the awesome email editor. Since email is always an essential component marketing efforts, this tool is used a lot. With the editor, drawing up and broadcasting emails is extremely easy and quick. Apart from email, you can also set up other kinds of broadcasts including newsletters and fax.
Verdict: Emails scale nicely to mobile devices and are quick and easy to creat and send. Also there is a spam email rating system which helps keep your emails on track. The analytics are also great and keep you updated open rates and other parameters.
E-commerce: For, my purposes, since I run an e-commerce business, I use all that Infusionsoft has to offer including sales automation. I have everything I need, all in one place. I can generate leads, boost conversions with great landing pages, send timely emails and reminders as components of various marketing campaigns, establish strong customer relationships and sell to my customers as well through an effective and efficient e-commerce platform.
Infusionsoft offers various e-commerce capabilities. You can build your own online shop with several products, manage your inventory, fulfilment and do your billing, all from the same system. Infusionsoft integrates with multiple merchant processing systems including paypal, Powerpay etc. Aside from the fully loaded shopping cart, you can use the affiliate marketing system and generate sales through referral partners. Coupons and promotionals are also available. Basically, you have the option of exploiting every money making avenue.
Verdict: Overall a really great tool for e-commerce. Also, if you are looking for further facilities, the platform integrates pretty well with third party applications and softwares.
Customer service: Infusionsoft cares a great deal about customer support and goes to great lengths to meet their customer’s needs. As I mentioned earlier, they are aware that the software has an in-built complexity, so they are willing to help out as and when their customers require it.
The tech support is absolutely free and unlimited. Don’t worry, you won’t have to wait for long. In my experience they have always answered in less than 2 minutes. Apart from tech support, they are available on chat all the time, literally 24/7. I cannot tell how many times this has saved my butt and kept me on schedule.
Verdict: They are 100% committed to helping their clients get the most out of their software. A word of advice though, your support problems will be get resolved the quickest by phone; they can take a while, up to a half hour to respond on chat.
Infusionsoft’s Service Marketplace: The marketplace is basically a hub showcasing different applications that integrate with and enhance the usability and performance of your software platform. Infusionsoft currently showcases about 80 applications for their users. Each is rated just like an application, with 1 to 5 stars indicating the strength, quality and performance capability of each application. Some are free, while others require a subscription payment. Currently they offer applications under several categories including Business management, e-commerce, Accounting, Analytics, and Social and Lead generation. Each of these applications are designed and coded specifically to integrate with Infusionsoft’s platform.
I have used various applications, but the one I value the most is lead pages. You can create awesome looking and effective lead pages which boost your conversion with lead pages and it integrates extremely well with the platform.
Verdict: In the future Infusionsoft plans on organising and delivering the opportunity to have custom API integrations developed for end users. Currently, their API is not very good.
Infusionsoft community and workshops: They have a great community and organize awesome workshops and events that bring users and developers together in way that encourages creativity, stimulates thought and helps resolve various issues and technical problems.
InfusionCon (ICON) is a great example of an annual three day event, where speaker from different countries and organizations come together to collaborate and there are many group sessions geared towards solving various problems. The latest updates and additions to the software are also released and shared during the event as well.
There is also the infusion university and virtual academy, which are invaluable resources to help guide the new user to accustom themselves with the capabilities of the software. The inbound university training sessions cater to the more advanced users and focus on key practices surrounding the core functionalities of the software.
There is literally something for every kind of user and developer, as well as for the newbie who is keen on learning about Infusionsoft’s marketing automation. If you do find yourself in the area, I highly encourage you to attend InfusionCon; there is great energy and a vibe that hovers around the event which is sure to inspire you and help you get the most out of your automation.
Features that need work
Poor Reporting: Infusionsoft has great in-built functionality but not so great as far their as reporting is concerned. Critical and crucial reports that let a marketer know what exactly they should focus on are not included and have to be configured. Most of the default reports showcase data and stats that are irrelevant and that you would probably not utilise.
If you want relevant and worthwhile stats, especially those that give you conversion data, you need to configure them on you’re own, which means time wasted and doing you’re own math.
Although the data capture capability is good, the display is lousy. Again if you want good visuals of your data to determine at-a-glance your campaign effectiveness you need to tie your data through an API to dashboards that showcase data in charts or tables or whatever you prefer.
No A/B Testing: Split testing allows you to test different versions of emails, landing pages, and overall to determine the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns. You would expect a robust and powerful platform like Infusionsoft to include this feature, because it really is crucial to marketing. However, unfortunately, Infusionsoft does not have a formal, built-in functionality to split test. Pretty surprising right?
Don’t worry just yet though, even though it isn’t built-in right out of the package, once you’re using the software, there is actually a pretty simple way to go about doing your A/B testing. You go to set up and then down to action sets. Then you set whatever action you want to run, whether it is email or a certain sequence. But you set this action only when certain rules you have decided are met, so it is conditional. For example, for email testing, you set two different templates or subject lines and send the email to two different sets of people ( A and B) and then whichever set has a higher open rate obviously is generating greater conversions for you. To learn more about, “How to split test with Infusionsoft” refer to this video link.
Analytics: Infusionsoft’s native analytics capability is lacking in many areas. Their data tracking is not very accurate or reliable to determine your conversion rates, customer satisfaction or the overall effectiveness of the effectiveness of you marketing campaigns; all parameters that are crucial to your marketing success. I use Google analytics as an alternative, which is needs some custom integrating. I personally find Google’s tool to be more comprehensive and reliable.
The cost Factor: There are quite a few other expenses that add up over and above the core monthly subscriptions. Although Infusionsoft has a good base functionality, they simply haven’t included certain key elements into their software. Good analytics, reporting as well SMS capabilities cost extra. Even though a lot of people might not use many of the “extra” functions, in my opinion they ought to be included in a holistic platform like Infusionsoft.
Another aspect of the overall cost that I do not fully condone is the extravagant coaching or kick starter cost. I have thought a lot about this and it just does not seem right to charge that amount of money to learn the software. I am hoping that in the future they either get rid off, or reduce the cost or establish a protocol for advanced automation users to pay less or only for consultations. In any case, it would be great if they reduced the cost. However, like I said earlier, one benefit is that you will definitely learn the software from a-z after having spent that kind of money.
In the long run, however, which is what you’re in for, these costs do level out entirely as you’re ROI keeps growing. For what it’s worth, the immense value that will be added to your marketing and business potential will far out shadow the costs.
Infusionsoft provides a fully hosted affiliate program which is flexible, and very easy to use. It is also absolutely free. Everything is already set up and ready, including a separate log in. The only annoying part is the configuration, which you have to do. I admit that configuring can be a bit cumbersome and time consuming, but it is just a one time thing that you need to get out the way. Tracking is robust and tells you exactly through which link a purchase was made and who to reward. A problem with Infusionsoft that arises from time to time, is blacklisting which can effect the links, so your partners need to be given special redirect links. All said and done, it is a great avenue to promote your business.
This is where you can:
- Access you’re user account,
- Check your bills,
- Do your branding if any,
- View reports at a glance that are open,
- Set permissions for different users to access your Infusionsoft installation,
- Cleanup data, which is very simple and convenient, and
- Tinker with your settings to adjust various configurations for your company.
If you have read this Infusionsoft review top to bottom then you would probably agree with me, when I say that Infusionsoft is a complete and comprehensive software for the small business owner. My own business revenue has increased by 200% in the last year alone. Infusionsoft has helped organize power and enhance my business potential manifold. I will admit though that I did and do continue to put in the effort to learn about the software and the company and any integration that might enhance the productivity of my installation.
It is important to understand that when you choose a software solution, there is a learning curve as well as money involved, so you want ensure that you’re not playing musical chairs with different software’s.
You can imagine the chaos and upheaval of shifting from one platform to another. So you want to make sure that Infusionsoft is the right choice for your business and if it is you want to stick with your decision (check out their demo here). If you are a small business owner and:
- You’re producing effective inbound marketing content
- You’re generating a constant flow of new organic leads
- You’re sales team is overwhelmed with the volume of quality leads you’re passing to them
- You’re tracking your leads’ journey across every touch point and marketing channel (not just email) and,
- You have a lead nurturing strategy that you want to scale.
If you have checked all the above then you can be assured that Infusionsoft is for you and will be extremely effective for you business and will give you a great ROI.