Ontraport Review

If you are not already aware of the big name change, office autopilot is now Ontraport. I personally liked “office autopilot” though; thought it really got the idea of automation across in a cool and detached kind a way. Anyhow, that is the name as it stands today.

My experience with Ontraport

During my work career as a marketing head for finance and consulting, I would blog extensively; partly because I love to write, but mostly because of my passion for marketing. Although, a passion for  marketing wouldn’t really fall into your average person’s list of passions, for me it was what I knew I was good at and so I decided to learn as much as I could about it. I would write about the psychology behind consumer patterns and dynamics (I’m also a big psych buff), the evolution of marketing technology, different marketing strategies that drive conversion and many other topics.

About a year ago I decided to scale my blogging efforts, to reach more people, since I was already getting a good amount of feedback from my blogs. For me, Ontraport was an obvious choice, since I am familiar with its automotive processes and primarily because it caters almost perfectly to my blogging business.

In my opinion, Ontraport unlike Infusionsoft, works best for small business owners who handle the majority of their business operations aka “soloprenuers”, “professionals” and “experts” in their chosen fields.  Every aspect of Ontraport fits the following businesses perfectly:

  • Information marketing
  • Blogging
  • Coaching
  • Speakers and trainers
  • Seminar leaders
  • Medical professionals
  • Consultants
  • Authors

I use Ontraport on a daily basis. It works really well and automates my entire business seamlessly. Even though it has some truly great features, it is far from perfect. Yet in my opinion it is the best software solution to quickly grow your small online business.

So, in a hurry let’s dive into the “great” and “not so great” features as well as everything else about Ontraport.

Getting Started

In this Ontraport review , you will learn all you need , to make an informed decision. Unlike Infusionsoft, Ontraport can be purchased directly from the website and they do not insist that you speak to a salesperson, unless of course you want to. The sales process with Ontraport is much less tedious and a lot smoother than Infusionsoft. I enjoy taking my time to make a decision, so I appreciate the fact that there is no sales person breathing down my neck.

If you want to know more about Ontraport before purchasing, you can sign up for a free custom demo.  The demo is great and you get the opportunity to speak with a customer care representative to reach a better understanding of what the system can do for your business. The only down side to this process, is that, there are only a few spots open each week and they can take some time to schedule.

Aside from the demo, Ontraport’s “how it works” section, is entertaining and gives you a great overview of the system and automation platform. However, do not expect to know exactly how things work without the demo, since the video is not very comprehensive.

Set Up and Start Up Cost

Setting up is extremely simple and painless. There is no additional set up and start up cost. Once, your decision is final and the tiny amount of form filling is done , a support representative will help you set up your account and will even create forms and landing pages for you, free of charge. Aside from just the landing pages,  they will walk you through the entire set up process, give you automatic  campaigns and help connect them to your site as well as integrate Word press. Pretty great, right!

Ontraport does not offer a free trail. What they do offer is far better though in my opinion. They offer a risk free 90 day money-back guarantee. This way you  can actually try the software for a good amount of time, and especially since Ontraport does not have a very steep learning curve, you will know quite soon whether the system works for you or not. Yes and the money back does actually mean that they give your money back without any hassles.

Sign up for Ontraport here.

Another great advantage of Ontraport is their service, so once you’re officially signed in, you can be rest assured that you will be well received and cared for. Just to ease in your transition, upon singing in, they offer you 2 hours of training completely free of charge so you can familiarize yourself with the dynamics of their system.

They have a great help center and various tutorials to help you along your journey. Their initial “9 moves” training is extremely entertaining and informative and gives you all the necessary skills to learn and master the automation. They truly out did themselves with this!

Apart from all this, just to keep you on track and on the right path, they are constantly in touch with you via email. Like I said, their service is just incredible.

Price: Monthly Subscription

They have two models as of now:  Pro and Team. Each has all the core functionalities of Ontraport. Where they differ, is in the number of emails, contacts and users they accommodate or allow for.

As I mentioned earlier, there is no start up cost. All you pay are the subscription amounts.

Monthly costs: Pro -$297 and Team-$597 (here are the models and pricing)

With Ontraport, the additional costs for scaling or increasing your contact base and other such expenses is much more affordable that a lot of its competitors in the market. For increments of $99 dollars, they offer a 100 thousand more emails or 100 thousand more contacts.

Although there are some things that could be changed in their pricing models, including the fact that there is no beginner package, which means whether or not you have a base of 25000 contacts, you don’t have a choice. Also, both the pro and team packages offer the same number of base emails; annoying right? Any how that is the way it stands and considering the service and the functionality they offer, in my opinion it is a pretty good deal.

Great Features

Learning curve:  Although the set up does take some work, getting an overall sense and feel for the software doesn’t take very long at all. Having used  both Infusionsoft and Ontraport and also helped people in my companies  to get familiar with them , I would definitely say that Ontraport is more intuitive in terms of getting a hang-on the various elements in the software.

Mailers and Ontramail: Mailers will love Ontraports email editor, templates and customisations. Emails are completely adaptable and compatible with every interface including mobile, pc or tablet. You can create awesome designs on your own, without having to pay designers to tweak your CSS and using “Canvas” you can literally customise and edit your emails with a few clicks. Another boon for you big emailers is that you have the option of emailing using your own private IP address. You definitely won’t have to deal with stability issues, you can access you website anytime without changing DNS settings, and most importantly you can protect and uphold you business identity online from malicious activities of different user. And, you can keep your email reputation intact, which is crucial when running heavy emails.

Analytics: Ontraport has some awesome tracking and analytic capabilities. They track much more data than Infusionsoft. Although they put a heavy cap on the initial emails you can send, they have good reason for this; each email is connected to a whole world of data, so they insist on keeping the cap low so that you they can better assist you with tracking that data. With all the data they track, it’s not just about the number of visitors to your web site, but specifically about who has visited which page at what hour; pretty incredible right?

Also, not only can you tell which lead sources and campaigns are generating the most ROI, you can track all your users by either source, content, campaign or term. Very, very few marketing automation platforms allow you to track by source, which is the website that you’re lead is coming from! With this kind of data at your finger tips, you can segment your leads by website and build much more personal and effective automation sequences for your prospects.

A/B Testing: Unlike with Infusionsoft, this functionality comes built into the Ontraport platform. This ability to split test different aspects of a marketing strategy is crucial for increasing conversion, which is the most fundamental goal of any marketing campaign. With Ontraport, you can split test every single element in your marketing ensemble, from lead page design, to emails including setting different email subject lines, as well as different follow-up sequences. All this robust testing has really given me the edge in determining what tweaks really for my clients and prospects and I can simply ditch the rest without spending hours over thinking stuff.

Complete WordPress integration: This is a great boon, especially for those folks who use word press for their websites. Pilotpress is the plug-in, which is specifically designed to bring the functionality of Ontraport to the WordPress platform.This amazing plug-in allows you to create a membership site, track page views within Ontraport, create an affiliate network with customised login and reporting as well as insert Ontraport order forms.  Also, integrated into the plug-in is a customer centre for handling purchases and subscriptions. I absolutely love this integration.

Great CRM: Ontraport has a powerful CRM that collects and stores data from every single touch point throughout the entire customer life cycle. Not only do you know your customers’  behaviour and what they fancy about your work, you can have all the records represented neatly on a customisable and neat looking screen.

Ontaport has an awesome web form builder—you can either create amazing looking forms and add them wherever you wish on your blog or website or simply choose from a variety of pre-made templates. Even though the templates are great, I prefer to create and customise my own forms; because I like being involved in the creative process and with the builder there is no shortage of options to make your form more attractive and visually appealing to your prospects.

Lead scoring is easy and extremely flexible. You decide what makes a good lead and then set the rules to indicate interest which translate into higher lead scores.  You can send your leads directly to your sales team or initiate them onto follow sequences that you have defined and set.

Finally, the new Ontraport mobile for iphone and android grants you easy access to all your contact records from anywhere as well as allows you the option to edit. This truly is a great as you can literally work from anywhere!

2 Way SMS texting: You are get, set and ready to go with this feature.  You can create rule based automated responses based on the content of the messages that your contacts send you and reach them instantly where they are most likely to respond to you.

Voice mail and postcards on demand: If you’re looking to amp up your personal communication with your clients, there is no better, cheaper and quicker way than to send physical post cards and reminders through voice mail. As for the postcards, you don’t have to pay to print, pack or ship.  You can add a very real personal touch to your special offers and thank you cards, with amazing customs graphics, right on demand and send as many or as few as you like in different sequences; all this for  nominal postcard fee. Also, there is absolutely no charge whatsoever on the voice mail and you can send as many as well as add them very easily to different step up sequences.

Automation: The system operates on a purely if-then logic. You can set up these rules in all the different parts of your system and they will govern how your system responds to the moves your prospective clients will make. This freedom to automate your system whichever way you like is truly at the heat of what great marketing campaigns are all about.

Great Customer support:  As I mentioned earlier, Ontraport’s customer service is awesome. They provide good number of hours on the phone, between 7am to 10pm and in my experience have always answered my queries promptly and comprehensively. Apart from being on call, they are also available on chat and email; all you have to do is submit a support ticket and you get a prompt response.

Another great service they provide, is their concierge service. Although, I personally have not used this service, I know first-hand from a bunch of colleagues who endorse it and love the service. If you want your system run for you, then will do an amazing job and setting up and incorporating all the designs and customizations you want.

Features that need work

Poor Campaign Builder –As I have I just mentioned, Ontraport’s system operates on a purely if-then logic. These if-then rules govern how your system responds to the moves your prospective clients will make. Although this kind of system is great and allows you to create all kinds of sequences, you need to be able to think through it all to get things working smoothly and simultaneously. For a lot of folks, including myself, this means thinking  visuals. The fact that your entire automation hings on the rules you set means that connect it all you would doing a considerable amount of Flow charting and mind mapping. You’ll be using a big old white board because that sort of thing just isn’t possbile with the campaign builder.  Unlike Infusionsoft, which has a great visual building interface,  Ontraport’s builder is pretty basic and doesn’t possess great visual capability. They really need to work on this feature.

Poor Sales Automation: If sales capabilities are at the core of your business, then this Ontraport review really isn’t for you. Their sales automation is practically non-existent. Basically, the system does not support B2B and the reporting and tracking for sales is extremely poor. If you have a relatively small sales team, i’d advise you to go with Infusionsoft or otherwise the best option for you guys would be Salesforce, which has awesome sales automation, among other features.

Third party integrations: You’ll hear this everywhere and it is true. Ontraport has very little third party integration. If you need any webinar, call center or online business software integration, you’ll need to do your research. They have a meager 24 integrations as opposed to Infusionsoft’s rich and dynamic market place. Some of their integrations include, PayPal, 1Shopping cart, Ultracart, Facbook and Twitter.

Outdated and poor User Interface: The dashboard, although completely customisable, is pretty shabby looking. There are a bunch boxes that showcase all your important information, which is functional yet after a while the entire look and visual feel of the software can really put you off. This is one aspect that they should really work on, especially to enhance user experience and because it really isn’t any shirt off their back to add a decently pleasing visual effect.

Poor clean up: There is no recycle bin, and no way to get back the data you may have accidentally deleted.  What’s worse is that there is no prompter that alerts you when you  have add duplicated records or added the same contact more than once. So, you end up wasting precious space without having any method to clean up your database.

No community: Sometimes I really can’t believe that with all the services they provide, that they haven’t pulled together a community where user can connect, interact and find solutions to any problems they may be facing. They have a Facebook group, but that is neither here nor there. Infusionsoft on the other side wins this one hands down. Kudos to them for their great community (Read my Infusionsoft Review here).

However, like Infusionsoft, Ontraport too hosts an annual event called Ontrapalooza, which is organised and hosted like an awesome festival that celebrates the spirit of entrepreneurship and technology. It is truly an amazing event, where you get to meet all kinds of people and hear their stories of hardship and success as well as learn about what’s in store for Ontraport in the future. You come back recharged with vital information and great new friends and contacts to consult with.

In conclusion

The greatness of Ontraport comes from the collaborative affect of a visionary and dedicated team of people. Ontraport is a small company with a small team of only 80 people. They don’t do a lot of advertising and their main focus has always been to create a solid and powerful system before scaling their business. And, they are doing just that. They truly do care about their clients and offer an incredible service to make you feel right at home. You will find their founder, Landon Ray, mentioned almost everywhere you hear about Ontraport. He is the personification of the spirit of Ontraport to want to reach out and provide a great solution and service to the struggling “ontraprenuer”.

Seriously, what software automation platform gives you such great productivity at a such a low cost?  In my opinion and what I have tried to bring to light in my Ontraport review is that it is an amazing software. not only does the product deliver on every aspect of automation, it is backed by a great community of people, which is exactly the kind of place you want to be in the long run.

If you run a website or blog, are a professional looking to scale your business, or if you are a trainer, or  run any kind of online coaching business, including education, Ontraport is the perfect software solution to your  marketing and business problems.

If you are still not sure whether Ontraport is the right match for your business, simply right to me and I will be more than happy to point you in the right direction.