Infusionsoft is an all-in-one crm, marketing automation, ecommerce program in one. Infusionsoft is complicated to setup.
So how does automated marketing work? In essence, they’re a combination of email marketing campaigns and landing pages that are triggered by certain actions or behaviours.
For example, you might set a campaign that sends an email reminder to customers who have added items to their shopping cart but are yet to complete checkout.
Infusionsoft have a pretty awesome library of pre-defined automatic marketing campaigns that you can ‘drag and drop’ into your campaign dashboard – from sending out birthday offers, to re-activating lapsed customers with new offers.
Because Infusionsoft is also a CRM system, every customer is positioned along a ‘sequence’. Every time a marketing campaign is sent out to a customer, they are moved along the sequence. This means that at any time, you can look at a customer’s information and see where they are along different marketing sequences that you’ve set up, and what actions they’ve taken on your website.
When setting up your campaigns, there’s a lot of flexibility over when and how you send out different campaigns. You can either choose a specific date and time, or choose relative dates, such as ‘X days before their birthday’ or ‘2 months after purchasing their first item’.
Finally, all of your landing pages and emails can be designed in HTML/CSS or in a WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) editor, comparable to services like Mailchimp, Aweber, and GetResponse.
From here it’s just much of the same; tweaking, building new campaigns, testing, and increasing your customer database. Now, I want to summarise what we liked and disliked about Infusionsoft after being a customer for about four months.
What I like about InfusionSoft
There’s a lot of things that I like about Infusionsoft, but here are some of the things that really stood out for me.
Awesome campaign builder – I’m a huge fan of Infusionsoft’s flowchart-style campaign builder. It makes building email campaigns funner than you might imagine, and it’s incredibly satisfying to know that on any given day thousands of customers are all being interacted with in a personalised way, while you focus on more important matters.
A great community – From their private Facebook groups to their annual ‘ICON’ conference in Phoenix, Infusionsoft put a lot of effort into getting Infusionsoft users to share ideas and help one another.
Good deliverability rates – Compared to other marketing automation providers, Infusionsoft have good email deliverability.
The CRM is great – I’ve gone through a lot of CRM systems over the years. Pipedrive, Salesforce, Zoho, and SugarCRM to name a few. I don’t know what it is about them, but I just find them impossibly hard to like. Infusionsoft has been different – their CRM system is actually really good. The thing that I particularly like about it is their lead scoring, which while nothing innovative, I feel they do a much better job at than other CRM platforms.
A fast and stable platform – Some of the other automation platforms are notoriously buggy and slow to load. With Infusionsoft, everything seems to load quickly and without any problems.
It does what it says on the tin – Infusionsoft is massively hyped, and so it’s perfectly normal to be a little bit skeptical when you’re weighing up whether to become a customer or not. Our experience has certainly lived up to expectations, and despite a few glitches and the occasional feature not working as expected, the overall impact on our client’s business has been impressive. In a nutshell, it does exactly what it promises – it gets you to build more systems that allow you to scale your business and focus on more important things.
What I don’t like about Infusionsoft
And here are the con’s. While this may seem like a pretty harsh list, they’re all quite minor issues in the grand scheme of things, and even collectively it hasn’t been enough to deter us away from using Infusionsoft.
No A/B testing – This is pretty insane. For a service that is so heavily focused around optimising online marketing through emails and landing pages, it’s surprising that Infusionsoft has no formal ability to run split tests. You could of course create two variations of an email or landing page and send each variation out to different segments, but I doubt many small business owners would think to do this. The only workaround is if you already use a service like Visual Website Optimizer or Unbounce, in which case their are ways to integrate the services together, but it seems like it wouldn’t be too difficult for Infusionsoft to simply add some basic split testing functionality.
No recurring PayPal payments – Weirdly, Infusionsoft doesn’t enable support for recurring PayPal payments, which was a huge pain for our client who relied on recurring payments for a handful of their subscription products.
Conveniently, Infusionsoft have a piece of software called CustomerHub, which we ended up paying for, which does enable membership payments. So, if you want to offer recurring subscriptions, be aware that there’s likely to be an extra cost involved.
Great data. Bad reporting – I have a love hate relationship with Infusionsoft’s reporting. On the one hand, the data they display is incredible. There are virtually no vanity metrics, and everything is actionable. However, on the other hand, this data is really badly displayed. Hardly anything is visualised, so you have to constantly crunch the data in your head to come to your own conclusions.
To be fair, I would rather have great data that was poorly displayed than have crappy data beautifully displayed, so at least Infusionsoft have their priorities the right way around!
It gets expensive – While you will probably start off on their $199 / month package, it’s likely that you’ll eventually end up on their $379 / month package. This is a good thing, as it means that your business must be growing, which is the whole purpose of investing in a piece of software like this. Just be aware that Infusionsoft works on the basis that they grow their business as you grow yours. They offer a myriad of optional extras and pricing tiers, which will become increasingly compelling over time.
Mediocre email templates – This may be because i’m used to GetResponse, who have really slick email templates, but Infusionsoft’s email designs are pretty average. It’s not a huge deal, but it wouldn’t hurt for them to get a designer in to spruce these up a little.
The kickstarter package – As emphasised throughout this post, there’s something that just doesn’t sit well with me in the current structure they have with the mandatory training system. While it was extremely valuable, it just doesn’t feel right to charge a customer two grand to learn how to use a piece of software. I’m hoping that in time Infusionsoft will either eliminate / reduce this cost, or offer a ‘pay per consultation’ model that allows more experienced customers to pay for less sessions than those who need more hand holding.
In Summary: Our Experience With Infusionsoft
With a piece of software like Infusionsoft it’s hard to give a plain answer as to whether I would or wouldn’t recommend it, because so much depends on the context of your business’ situation. In our case, the client’s needs and our ROI calculation tipped the needle in favour of Infusionsoft.
That said, none of my other clients use Infusionsoft, and I can’t see myself using Infusionsoft for Venture Harbour any time soon. It just wouldn’t be a good fit us based on how we grow our business.
So, that brings us to an interesting question – who is Infusionsoft right for, and who is it not right for?
Who is Infusionsoft for (and who isn’t it for)?
Infusionsoft isn’t for everyone. For most clients I usually recommend just using GetResponse for their email marketing, Unbounce for their landing pages, and Salesforce as their CRM system. However, that’s because we work with a lot of new startups and companies that offer bricks and mortar services. Infusionsoft doesn’t really work for those types of businesses.
In my opinion, and based on who i’ve heard love and loathe Infusionsoft, I’d say that Infusionsoft is for businesses that are already turning over at least $150,000 per year from selling products online.
That’s because the magic with Infusionsoft lies in the integration between the CRM, eCommerce system, and marketing automation. You’d be silly to buy Infusionsoft just for their CRM, or just to sell products online. But when you combine all of those things in one, you can do some really smart things.