Infusionsoft Vs. Ontraport image by Think Big Online

Infusionsoft Vs. Ontraport

It’s All About You.

Find Your Customers

Look After Your Customers

Keep Your Customers

 

While the basic principles of business success remain unchanged, there is no doubt that CRM has changed a lot – and for the small business owner things couldn’t be better. Or, seemingly, more confusing. There are so many ways to market your business and track your client behaviour these days, that it can be difficult finding exactly the right system for your business.

 

We’re not here to push a particular product on to you. We’re here to work with you to achieve results-focused solutions for your business – and every business has its own unique needs and operating style.

This is your business.

These are your customers. 

No one knows them like you do – so consider the comparisons below with care.

 

Speak with one of our Consultants for free advice and insights. They’ve used both CRM systems and can help you work out which one best meets the needs of your business now – and into the future.

Below you’ll find a breakdown of the two products – and the types of businesses for which they’re most suited. Have a look, keeping in mind what you want for your business – now, and into the future. Remember, when selecting the best CRM for you and your business, it really is all about YOU.

 

CRM Setup and Costs:

Infusionsoft: 

Consultants are offered – and required – to help with your personalised Infusionsoft setup. Infusionsoft’s biggest advantage is how customisable the software is to your business – and it’s this very flexibility that is the reason you’ll want some help to get your setup just right. With so many options and such a wide range of choices when you set up your systems, you will need assistance if you’re to get the most out of your CRM investment.

The Kickstart fee is around $2000, and ongoing monthly fees range between $199-$379 a month. These include:

  • A business needs analysis.
  • 1:1 consultation to get you up and running for your first month.
  • Step by step implementation guide that lays out a plan for your first 2 months.
  • Assistance in activating the components of your CRM that will give you the most bang for your buck right out of the gate.
  • Help in setting up your database and dashboard configuration – getting this right is crucial as it forms the backbone to all your successful sales and marketing programs.

 

Ontraport:

No setup fee already makes Ontraport more attractive to small business owners, although the ongoing monthly fees (ranging from $279-$579) can actually be higher. There is also a much shorter lead time from purchase to setup. You get an Account Manager (your ‘Hero’) and a complementary 2 hour setup session which covers:

  • An overview of Ontraport’s key features and how they work.
  • Ontraport how-to session with an Implementation Specialist.
  • How to set up processes automated specifically for your business.
  • Actually setting up some of your sales and marketing processes while they hold your hand, so you can get going right away.
  • A focus on the specific features and functions of Ontraport that your explicit business model requires.

 

Traning and Support

Infusionsoft:

Lead time to launch: 4-8 weeks

Infusionsoft takes longer to get up and running than Ontraport – and this is mainly due to the Kickstart training program that they offer to you. However, while the training period is long, you will be working on your setup as you do it, which you will have to do anyway so it’s not like you have to learn it, then do it. You’ll be setting up as you go – and working one on one with your personal consultant as you tailor Infusionsoft to your business.

Once your setup and training period is complete, you will likely be well equipped to hit the ground running. Not only will you know your way around Infusionsoft well enough to get your sales and marketing programs underway, but you’ll be able to start automating some of your business systems and processes, and planning more long term options for automation.

You will also have access to Infusionsoft’s user community – and this can be invaluable. Thousands of business owners posting what’s worked for them, and how – and what hasn’t – is a big bonus and can save you time and money as you grow your business, automate more and more of your processes and improve the effectiveness and efficiencies of your sales and marketing programs. Infusionsoft also offer workshops, training, and information sessions both in person and virtually, including events where you can meet other business owners and attend mastermind groups to find out innovative ways of making the most out of your CRM investment.

The 24/7 chat support is a good feature for any busy business person who might be doing a lot of their sales and marketing program setups in the wee small hours. They also have live phone support.

 

Ontraport:

Lead time to launch: 1-4 weeks

Ontraport is definitely easier to set up than Infusionsoft. The training is faster because the software is simpler and more intuitive. You have your own consultant to help you with this as well, although there are only a dozen or so of these staff members. As you can imagine, many of their support calls are very involved and can take a long time – which, if you’re the next client waiting for assistance, can be a test of patience. You can hire someone to assist you with moving your client records across to the new system, and also to do the initial setup if you are time poor.

While Ontraport also have live chat and phone support, neither are 24/7. Their online training videos and help pages are easier to use and navigate than Infusionsoft’s. Ontraport is a newer software and has not got quite the same sized user base, although this may change with time. It is an entirely less ‘scary’ system to look at using, although it is not as flexible in some areas as Infusionsoft and it does not have the community following.

 

CRM Features:

Infusionsoft:

Tagging and Leads:

Infusionsoft’s tag management is good – you can track just about any action users take on your site, and link these to automated followup marketing programs. You can tag information that comes from opt-in forms, surveys, site visitor actions, and during check out. Tagging whether or not a site visitor has attended a live event, viewed a webinar, or even clicked on a portion of a video (and which portion) is useful information for clever marketers and competitive salespeople. Infusionsoft’s 100 custom fields per record offers the opportunity for a great deal of information per client.

You can also utilise the lead scoring system in Infusionsoft to assist your sales team (if you have one) in making the best use of their time. This feature allows you to quickly and easily identify which leads are warm so your team can close those sales.

There is a tight focus on keeping your data clean and deleting repeat records – something over which every marketer grinds teeth. Infusionsoft’s data also allows you to keep B2B clients distinctly separate from B2C customers. This is not always necessary for every business but it is a featuire that most CRM systems for small businessowners do not offer.

Sales Management:

If you do have a sales team – or even part time representatives – Infusionsoft’s sales pipeline management is a very useful feature. You can assign tasks to sales teams – including leads – and update product information rapidly and easily to your sales force. You can also recommend products for specific clients via their salesperson. Ontraport does not offer this feature.

 

Ontraport:

Tagging and Leads:

Ontraport does have a tagging and lead scoring system that you can customise to suit your business, but it is difficult to automate this part of your sales process. The number of tags and lead scoring per record is less sophisticated than Infusionsoft’s, but it still offers some kinds of businesses more than enough to work with. For example, Ontraport offers 150 fields you can customise for your list breakdown. However, keeping your list to unique contacts only is a manual process in Ontraport.

 

Social Media Integration:

Ontraport:

Ontraport’s Facebook integration is very good for lead capture and will cost you nothing extra to set up and use. The client record is created as the leads come through from your Facebook advertising, so it is simple, automated – and included right out of the box.

 

Infusionsoft:

Infusionsoft on the other hand, offer a plugin that works extremely well, but is only available for an extra monthly fee.

 

Membership Sites:

Ontraport’s membership site plugin for WordPress is both free and simple to use. This makes Ontraport the top choice for information marketing businesses. While you can get a plugin for Infusionsoft that does this just as well, again, it comes at an extra monthly cost.

 

Scalability:

While both Infusionsoft and Ontraport offer excellent plugins that allow you to create landing pages, online forms and membership sites relatively rapidly and hassle-free, it is the huge number of third party plugin creators that gives Infusionsoft the edge here. Their connection with this marketplace ensures you will be able to addon almost any functionality you may require as your business grows. Ontraport’s capabilities in this area are sufficient - but limited.

 

Marketing Programs – and Automation:

Aside from sales and list building, the other components every business owner looks for in a new CRM are:

  • The ability to create customised marketing programs.
  • To automate as much of this as possible once initial setup is complete.

So, how do these two CRMs compare:

 

Infusionsoft:

Web pages:
Includes a webpage builder that allows you to create simple landing pages with drag and drop functionality. There are a range of available templates you can use and once your training is complete, this is easy to do. If you prefer to create your web pages exactly the way you want them rather than using the templates, you can do this as well but it takes longer to do and can be tricky.

Emails:
Templates are provided for these too. Easy to use and format, Infusionsoft’s email templates are well done. You have the option of adding other functionalities to your client email campaigns, and you can personalise them for your clients as well. You can also tag contacts from any links clicked on in your emails.

There is no split test function though – and this seems to be quite an oversight, given the excellent Campaign Builder and the marketing focus of Infusionsoft’s CRM system overall.

Campaign Builder:

Hands down the best one on the market for small businesses – the kind of campaign builder usually reserved for huge organisations with millions of clients on their lists. You can plot out every facet of every action as your customers enter and leave your sales funnel. You won’t miss any touch points and can have a plan and program for each and every customer entry and exit point on your site – now that’s a marketing plan!

Then – wait for it – you can automate those touch points. Create your email chains (or whatever), set it all up – and let it run. It is widely acknowledged as the best marketing automation tool available at this level.

 

Ontraport:

Webpage Builder:

The page builder in Ontraport is less intimidating than Infusionsoft’s – it’s also easier to customise. You’ll find this is also the case with their online order forms, landing pages and print-ready postcards. Ontraport also offers Personalised URLs (PURLs) which gives your marketing a very personal touch as your clients can logon using their own name. The PURLs offer up unique stats and information that give the impression you really know your client – it’s all automated of course.

Campaign Builder:

While Ontraport’s campaign creation tool can’t hold a candle to Infusionsoft’s (it’s nothing personal – Infusionsoft’s is simply the best out there right now) they do have one. It is easy to use and simple to create if-then marketing programs. In terms of automation, it is very effective and quick to do. You also can split test easily in Ontraport, and adjust your marketing programs accordingly. This is a great time and money saver and something Infusionsoft lacks.

 

E-Commerce Functionality:

Infusionsoft:

Infusionsoft offers a multiple item cart, with buttons to move the buyer through the checkout process. You can tag every part of the client’s actions throughout this process, and gain useful information for building in upsell or downsell programs. Using this feature together with your Campaign Builder results in powerful sales revenue.

 

Ontraport:

Ontraport doesn’t offer any e-commerce functionality, although you can purchase third party plugins if your site requires shopping cart functionality.

 

Affiliate Centre:

Infusionsoft:

Infusionsoft has a hosted affiliate centre that is out of the box and ready to go. The work required by you to set this up is minimal.

 

Ontraport:

Ontraport’s self-hosted affiliate option requires you to build your own affiliate site via a third party plugin. It may end up more tailored but it certainly takes more time to establish.

 

Third Party Plugins

Infusionsoft:

The third party community is forever creating and launching new functionalities for various types of businesses and Infusionsoft’s connection to this community is a big plus. Whatever feature you want, you stand a good chance of finding a provider who has it. This is however, simply a result of Infusionsoft having been in business longer than Ontraport.

 

Ontraport:

Ontraport simple does not have the third party network that Infusionsoft offers. This may be something that the younger organisation can improve over time. Still, if you’re scaling up your CRM you want it sooner rather than later right?

 

Analytics and Tracking:

Infusionsoft:

Infusionsoft has standard reporting functions that you will likely want – and need – to customise. With such dynamic sales and marketing programs, you will need specific reports. It is possible to find third party analytics tools for Infusionsoft and you may find these preferable. You can never have too much tracking.

 

Ontraport:

Ontraport’s analytics, on the other hand, shows what activities visitors engage in when they land on your site. Their reporting tool is easy to use and highly visual, which is a distinct plus. You’ll get data and charts telling you where they clicked, on what, and which pages they spent more time on. You receive reports on your split testing too – on data and chart formats. The same for your PURLs; this kind of easy to see information makes deciding on campaigns quick and easy.

 

The Verdict?

Which CRM system is best depends on what you want it to do for your business – now, and into the foreseeable future. It really is all about you and what you need.

The bottomline is that if you work with a sales team, or run a business with a physical product, Infusionsoft is likely to be the better CRM for you. This is probably the answer for most companies.

However, for microbusinesses, consultants, information marketers, speakers, and authors, Ontraport seems like it has more of what these businesses need.

There is no doubt however, that Infusionsoft offers more future scoping at this stage. It’s much easier to scale your business campaigns up – or down – in Infusionsoft. The software is designed to be dynamic, and grow with your business needs. That said, Ontraport is newer and has a lot more still to come. If you can wait it out, it could be a case of Watch This Space. As always, the choice is yours’.

 

If you’d like to talk your business CRM needs over with one of our trained consultants:

 

[optin-monster-shortcode id="xtnp31yopi-post"]

 

You may also like these posts:

 


Infusionsoft Vs. GoldMine image by Think Big Online

Infusionsoft Vs. GoldMine

You’ve probably heard a little about both of the above Client Relationship Management (CRM) systems and now that the time has come for you to get serious about deciding what kind of sales and marketing system you want to buy for you and your business, it’s time to take a closer look. Both systems offer advantages and disadvantages; like all important business decisions you will need to look at what your business needs are.

Would you like some advice on which CRM system will work best in your business? Contact one of our trained CRM consultants today. They’ve worked with hundreds of businesses across dozens of industries and can put these skills at your service. Book in for our Free Marketing Automation Strategy Session today.

 

Infusionsoft

Infusionsoft is a purpose-built and designed sales and marketing system for small business. It was created specifically for intelligent and intuitive life cycle marketing. There are pricing plans for both small to medium businesses available, and for lists from 2500 up to 50000. You can also find plans for up to 5 users if you have a sales team to manage.

The start up fee for Infusionsoft gets you set up with their Kick start program and costs around $2K. Ongoing, you’re looking at anywhere from $140-380 depending on what features and functionality you want, so assume an average of around $200/user/year for your business, if this helps you work out your numbers.

 

What Does Infusionsoft Do?

Simply put, Infusionsoft makes it easy to design, execute, and automate your sales and marketing efforts. This is because all the functionalities you need are already included in one single online system. The software was built exclusively for small business, and designed with a focus on building and maintaining client relationships. Infusionsoft combines CRM, email marketing and e-commerce. The platform helps you get organized, save time and grow sales.

The system allows to create all aspects of your marketing, from email marketing campaigns to social media strategies and content marketing components. The point is to streamline your digital marketing, freeing up your time and other workplace resources.

The Campaign Builder is the sort of planning tool usually reserved for big business and it makes stepping out your sales and marketing programs very easy, even if marketing is not your forte. You will also find it fairly easy to customise your marketing materials. This has been known to add up to 10% to your sales bottom line.

Infusionsoft has enables many smaller companies to make the leap from ‘small’ to ‘medium’ sized businesses. The software has assisted these organisation in growing an online following and being able to keep customers engaged and purchasing from their brand using automated marketing campaigns. To be clear, these are not always easy to set up, but once your campaigns are running, you just need to monitor and adjust them in line with your analytics. You do not have a lot of manual marketing work to do.

 

Best Feature of Infusionsoft:

Automation is definitely one of the main reasons so many business people select Infusionsoft. The software can be completely automated and this has massive benefits for you as the business owner saving you time – and money as you are able to finesse efficiencies in other areas of your business.

If automation is the best feature, the specific tracking of client behaviour would run a very close second. You can therefore customise your marketing to suit your client. While most customers on your list know they are one of many, you can give a very tailored impression using the tags and personalisation tools offered with Infusionsoft – and this ads to the customer’s trust in you and of course, the likelihood that they will spend money with your business over another product or service offering.

Infusionsoft also offers a social networking component, which is something many other CRMs choose to overlook. Utilising social media not only grows your list, but it enables you to target your potential clients far more specifically than ever before. You can, literally, create campaigns to cherry-pick the exact clients you with whom you wish to do business.

 

Infusionsoft’s Support for You:

  • The company is involved in client and customer interactions
  • Customer support is responds quickly and effectively
  • Training program is detailed and you will set up your campaigns as you go – so you hit the ground running.
  • They encourage API and developer support

 

There are no free demos for trialling Infusionsoft but you can tailor a package with all the functionalities and requirements for your business. In addition, your Personal Infusionsoft Consultant will give you a regular analysis that will help you augment your campaigns and programs in order to maximise the return on your marketing investment.

Want to know more about Infusionsoft? Our trained CRM consultants use this system every day so just call them and ask. Book in for our Free Marketing Automation Strategy Session today.

 

GoldMine

GoldMine is a CRM tool that offers sales and marketing functionalities. It allows you to field client inquiries rapidly and efficiently. The ongoing costs for GoldMine are higher than those for Infusionsoft - $695 per user per year. That said, the startup costs are slightly lower from $1695 – although they can be as high as $3K depending on the number of users for whom you purchase the platform.

 

What Does GoldMine do?

GoldMine is designed as a CRM tool. It includes marketing and sales features and can be installed on premises, or accessed online. It can also be used on mobile devices. It allows you or your team to take care of customer inquiries quickly and begin to establish a relationship with prospects.

The software can also track leads and assess which of these leads are most likely to convert into clients. It is an excellent tool for making the most of your sales force, and ensuring correct procedures are followed.

It is designed for small and large companies who wish to standardise their systems and processes – especially regarding CRM, sales, and marketing processes. When an inquiry comes in, your team (or you yourself) can access the relevant information to provide answers quickly and easily.

 

Best Feature of GoldMine:

That would be the Knowledge Base feature (KB). This allows your team to answer client queries quickly and effectively. Member of your team can access correct information instantly. They can then pass this information on to your clients with little to no delay. The results is greater customer satisfaction, enhanced customer engagement, and an enhanced client relationship.

The next best feature is likely the Lead Analysis tool. The software analyses your leads and determines the best campaigns for each; ’group’ of leads. This will of course, also show you which of your campaigns are the most effective and which need to be scaled back or dropped entirely – and it’s always a big money saver to know what isn’t working.

Other selling points include the ability to link your GoldMine to your Outlook, and you can also to customise your dashboard to your needs. This is useful for optimising messaging and productivity. It provides options to handle customer service requirements as well. You can use your GoldMine dashboard on your mobile device as well and for business owners on the go – as most are these days – this can ensure you never miss anything important.

Another impressive feature of GoldMine is that it works with Google Maps to help your team locate customers easily. This is in addition to the KB which is a huge boon for sales and service teams.

 

GoldMine’s Support for You:

Apart from being able to access the GoldMine KB or knowledgebase which is a useful timesaving feature, GoldMine do offer effective customer support and training programs. They do not however have the same level of creative third party user information you can find with Infusionsoft. Being able to tap into how other businesses are using the same platform as you are can be very helpful and GoldMine does not offer this to the same degree as Infusionsoft, although they do have an online Community you can access. That said, you can access their support staff out of hours via email and phone, although response times are not always as fast as you would like.

 

Special Features:

While both products offer a range of special features, you should be aware that they do not offer them to the same level. For example, while you can automate some of your marketing processes using either GoldMine or Infusionsoft, there is a great deal more manual work required to keep a campaign going with GoldMine than if you were to use Infusionsoft.

Infusionsoft offers the following functionalities as standard:

  • Contact Management
  • Customer Service
  • Marketing Automation
  • Sales Automation
  • Campaign Design and Management
  • Campaign Performance Reports
  • Email Marketing
  • Email Triggers
  • Lead Management
  • Lead Tracking
  • Marketing Automation
  • Sales and CRM Integration
  • Social Media Campaign Design and Execution
  • Web Analytics

 

GoldMine offers the following inclusions in their software as well:

  • Customer Service
  • Dashboards
  • Email Marketing
  • Marketing Automation
  • Sales Automation

 

Pricing and Running Costs (also known as Ongoing Fees)?

First things first, let’s call a spade a spade; a new piece of software for your business is – and should be seen as – an investment. Like all good investments, you should plan for, and expect, a positive return over time. Thinking about your CRM system in this way can help you make the right choice regarding which platform will give you the most bang for your buck now – and into the future. So let’s get down to it:

 

Which One is Best?

The real question of course is which one is best for you. That depends on what you need for your business. If you have a sales team and are looking to create efficiencies and streamline some processes here – and you want to get on top of your sales and marketing campaigns, you may find GoldMine does all you need. There is however, the expense to consider. It is also not as flexible as Infusionsoft, nor is it as easy to automate. The Time versus Money equation is important to most business owners – and in this case Infusionsoft does deliver better on both counts.

 

If you’d like to know more about GoldMine and the other CRM systems available out there, contact one of our trained CRM consultants now for your free Marketing Automation Strategy Session.

[optin-monster-shortcode id="xtnp31yopi-post"]

 

You may also like these posts:

 


Alternatives to Infusionsoft image by Think Big Online

Alternatives to Infusionsoft

When it comes to Client Relationship Management (i.e. CRM) systems, there is certainly a wide range to choose from. Infusionsoft is well known these days as one of the best client management systems available for small to medium business owners. It offers scalability and is able to be tailored precisely for your business and your list, which makes is a useful business management tool as well. It is not, however, the only system on the market.

As a small business owner there are a number of factors likely to be weighing on your mind.

Budget:

The cost of new business infrastructure is always an important consideration – and looking into purchasing a new CRM system certainly comes under that heading. While Infusionsoft is all any small to medium business owner could wish for when it comes to a CRM system, there is no doubt that getting your business set up with Infusionsoft costs a substantial amount. With around $2,000 as a kick start fee (which covers your initial setup and training), plus ongoing monthly fees from between $180-$380+ (depending on which plugins you need or choose), it is not a low cost consideration for most businesses.

The key here is to look at your Return On investment (ROI). What do you expect to achieve with your sales and marketing? For how much growth in business are you planning to reach? This is important, because stepping out your business growth plan will help you decide how much you can afford to invest now, for high-growth gains later on.

If you have a specific budget in mind and would like more information about your FM system options, call one of our trained CRM Consultants on (02) 9460 9581 or enter your details in the online form below.

 

Flexibility and Scalability:

As your business grows, you will find your sales and marketing programs may need to become more nuanced. Usually, your client list will grow along with your profits and your business – and while this is exciting, it does bring with it a new set of challenges moving forward. How do you personalise your marketing? Make your customers feel special, individual; like you know their needs and requirements? This takes a certain kind of targeted marketing, and well-designed capture-and-nurture campaigns and programs. For this, you may find you require a lead management system that you can finesse as you require – and these systems are often more expensive to purchase and a little more complex to learn. This is because they are flexible and the more options your CRM system offers, the greater the learning curve required. The upside is that your system, while costing more and taking longer to master, will likely serve your business for far longer and far better than some of the cheaper systems.

Mailchimp for example, is an excellent email marketing tool – but this is all it does. It does not operate as any kind of data management software, or content management software. AWeber and Constant Contact have similar limitations. You would need to graft other systems on to these if you wanted to implement a broader sales and marketing program than just email marketing communications to your list. If you wanted to run an AdWords campaigns for example, or social media engagement programs, none of these systems would serve your purposes. The more systems you use, especially online, the more exposed your data becomes and risk management online is not a threat any small business owner can afford to ignore these days. Using multiple systems has many other drawbacks as well – including the chaos that comes with applications management. Multi-system chaos is the small business owner’s personal nightmare – and there is no way such a set up can be either efficient or effective for your sales and marketing campaigns, which will impact your ROI over the long term.

It is also important to look at the cost of adjusting your campaigns; marketplaces are never static and whether your industry moves quickly or slowly, it is certain that the digital marketing environment is ever-changing – and your programs need to keep up to date with the latest developments. If a campaign isn’t working for you, how fast can you scale it back? If it’s working brilliantly, how easy is it to ramp up that lead generator? Not all systems are easy to adjust as and when you need – and that can also cost you in terms of time and money.

Like some help balancing shirt, medium, and long term goals for CRM in your business? Our experienced consultants can help. Contact one now on (02) 9460 9581 or enter your details in the contact form below.

 

Automation:

The purpose of automating your sales and marketing processes is to save you time. This is where you really do have to look at the more high-end systems like Infusionsoft and Ontraport. Both offer a high level of automation, although Infusionsoft has the edge when it comes to automated sales data segmentation because of the way you can set up your customer management tags and score your leads. Ontraport do offer something similar but it is much harder to program this functionality into Ontraport than Infusionsoft. That said, lead capture via social media marketing campaigns is done very well in Ontraport – click throughs from Facebook and the like go straight into your database and new records are created right out of the box. Can Infusionsoft do this? Yes, but it takes extra programming , and costs more per month.

Infusionsoft also offers its Campaign Builder which is one of the best features of the software – and this is a great tool. None of the other CRM systems currently available on the market offer anything like this for small businesses and it is useful. It allows you to plan each part of your sales funnel. You can cover every client touch point and create a path for each and every customer entry and exit point on your site. You can also automate those touch points and create customer nurture campaigns – and set them to auto-run. This is a great time saver – and done correctly, it can be a big winner for your bottom line. Think carefully about how you could use it and take a close look before deciding if this is really the system for you. Salesforce and Hubspot are two other systems which offer much of the same functionality as both Infusionsoft and Ontraport. However, both are less flexible. Salesforce especially is designed as a piece of sales management software; i.e. for larger businesses that have a sales team in-house – and is much harder to transition from, should you decide to switch systems at a later date. It is however, quite popular in business to business CRM (B2B management) situations.

With years of experience in automating online sales and marketing processes for clients in over 200 industries, our CRM consultants are worth talking to if you’d like more information about what might work best for you. Call them on (02) 9460 9581 or enter your details in the online form below.

 

Decision:

There are to Infusionsoft. Like any large business investment decision, it comes down to your endgame. What are your business goals? How much current budget are you prepared to commit to achieving these goals? What functionalities do you foresee you will need to run your sales and marketing now, and into the next few years? How much time and cash do you have to invest in this?

These are all important questions – and they will help you make the right decision. You need to have some idea of where you’re heading if you’re to select the right vehicle with which to get there.

For free consultation contact us today!

 

[optin-monster-shortcode id="xtnp31yopi-post"]

 

You may also like these posts:


Infusionsoft Vs. AWeber image by Think Big Online

Infusionsoft Vs AWeber

The challenge in offering a straight-out comparison between these two products is that they do not really do the same thing. Infusionsoft is an integrated sales and marketing platform, with built in Client Relationship Management (CRM) and shopping cart functionality. AWeber is an email marketing tool. In deciding which product to go with you should absolutely sit down and consider what is right for you and your business. This depends, in great measure, on what you’re looking for.

What Do You Need Right Now?

If your business is relatively small, and your client numbers are low (less than 500), software that does nothing but build and send email marketing campaigns may be all you require. AWeber is certainly less expensive than Infusionsoft and the email marketing capabilities for both platforms are more or less the same as far as creating the emails and sending them are concerned. It is also just as easy to build online opt-in forms on AWeber as it is using Infusionsoft.

You can also get up and running on AWeber for around $19 per month (for up to 500 subscribers). Infusionsoft is far more expensive, with a start up fee of around$1500-$2000 and an ongoing retainer of between $210-$379 per month (depending on which features you select), so if cost is one of your main priorities here and all you really need to an email marketing platform then AWeber may be the right option for you. Keep reading though, because there are some other points you should consider before you make a final determination.

In terms of full disclosure here, it’s also a fact that AWeber is much easier to learn to use than Infusionsoft – that’s because, as mentioned earlier, it only does one thing. Infusionsoft has more features and can be tailored more specifically to your business – so it takes longer to master. That said, Infusionsoft do offer a very effective training program which is what most of the start up fees are about. A Infusionsoft consultant works with you too, holding your hand all the way until you’re up and running. They also have a 24/7 chat support feature which is worth a lot to business owners who may be setting up campaigns in the middle of the night (we all know the work doesn’t stop just cause your clients have gone to bed).

What Do You Need In The Future?

As your business grows your system needs are bound to change – as will your sales and marketing budgets and the time you have to stay on top of every single facet of your burgeoning organisation. This is where limited-service software like AWeber can be a letdown for you. If you want a system that does anything else – anything else at all – then AWeber is not the choice for you. Switching systems once your business hits a high-growth phase is difficult, time consuming and can involve considerable downtime for your income-generating activities. This will obviously have long term impacts on the profitability of your business.

It is so easy to lose clients in this one-click world. The more complete and seamless your sales, marketing, distribution, and fulfilment system is, the better. The more of this functionality you can create and utilise in the one system, the more superior your client satisfaction is likely to be. If your product is digital then you don’t even need to use an external fulfilment house.

While you might be in dire need of a new system to run your sales and marketing programs – and grow your business – your requirements and expectations should be specific to your business goals. Most business outcomes are future-focused but while you’re working to a plan and making your way towards that clear horizon, you still have plenty to do in there here and now – and you’ll need a system that caters to both the present, with the capability to grow with you on into the future. After all, no one starts a business in order to fail, right?

 

Every facet of your business, from attracting prospects, to lead capture and nurture, to sales, delivery and upsells, can be handled by Infusionsoft. It is also designed to grow and develop with your business.

A couple of other things you should probably know before you commit to either system is that AWeber, even in terms of email marketing, does have some severe limitations. Some of these are detailed below:

List Segmentation:

While prospects are under no illusions that they are not your one and only customer, there is no doubt that personalised marketing makes a big difference to the impression you give your clients. Personalisation has been proved to improve client loyalty (or ‘stickiness’ as it’s sometimes referred to in marketing), and ultimately contributes to the longevity and profitability of your business.

As Infusionsoft is designed to be a one-stop CRM system, list segmentation is made fairly simple, once you know how to operate the platform. In fact, you can track almost any click point in your email marketing and on your site with Infusionsoft – and this allows you to be very, very specific when it comes to segmenting your list and targeting certain segments with offerings most likely to appeal. Infusionsoft allows you to attach ‘tags’ to almost any action a client takes either in one of your emails or on your site; for example, if you send out an informative email about an upcoming event, with a link to a free report as well as a link to register for the event, you can attach tags to each click point. This will enable you to know which clients clicked straight through to book the event, which selected the free download but did not register for the event, and which did both or neither. This enables you to re-target some (but not all) of those clients with the offerings they did not select at a later date. It would make no sense to offer the event again to those who have already registered, but it may be an option for those who were interested enough to click through to the website and download a free report, but did not register.

This kind of highly specific list targeting is simply not possible with AWeber. In fact you actually need to build several lists within AWeber if you want this kind of information about your database – and your clients will need to opt-in for each individual list. It is a very manual process with none of the seamless automation that Infusionsoft offers. This is a huge marketing negative for many clients – and many businesses. The more chances you give a client to remove themselves from your list, the greater the likelihood is that they will, eventually do so if only to stop being asked not to all the time – sort of like ‘pester power’ in reverse because you are achieving results precisely the opposite of your desired outcome.

 

Customised Marketing:

Customised marketing is how you increase client spend from your existing list and as far as Return On Investment (ROI) goes when it comes to marketing, you get a much higher margin from existing clients than from new ones, as there is no additional outlay per lead (or acquisition cost). The tag system discussed above is what enables you to customise your marketing in Infusionsoft so well, so effortlessly (I stress – once you know how to use the platform) and so apparently effectively. You can also automate this. In AWeber, automated customisation of emails is possible but at a very rudimentary level only; that is, you can personalise emails with client names, and if you’ve done the backend manual list work you may be able to target your list better than if you haven’t, but none of this is easy to do or to automate. You cannot track, target, and respond to client activity in the way you can in Infusionsoft. AWeber is an email marketing tool, not a CRM system and it simply is not designed to offer this.

 

Automated Marketing:

Ah, the automation – this is what you, as a small to medium business owner, want to know about. Like most small to medium business owners your time is precious and the more time you can save by automating processes and systems within your business, the more time you will have to devote to something else – like growing your business or family interests, or whatever else you used to do with your time before you were run off your feet 24/7.

There is no doubt that building and sending emails in AWeber is quick, easy, and cost effective for you to do. It is also fairly easy to automate the email sending and tracking. For clever targeted marketing however, AWeber’s offering is far more primitive than Infusionsoft’s, and it is still managed manually. If you only have a small list this may not be an issue for you, but if you several hundred clients on your database, working with your list to optimise your market can take far more of your time than you have to spare. Infusionsoft on the other hand, makes it possible to automate most facets of your sales and marketing activities including task allocation to sales team members (if you have any), and your list tracking, targeting, analytics and reporting.

You can adjust your campaigns relatively easily and scale up or down depending on your results and the ability of your business to satisfy the requirements of the number of customers your new sales and marketing efforts have brought in. Again, much of this can be automated so all you really need to do is keep an eye on the results and adjust your programs periodically once you have an idea of what works for your business.

One of the best and most applauded features on offer in Infusionsoft os their ‘Campaign Builder’. Using this tool you can map out every facet of your marketing campaign, segmenting and personalising as you go – then build it. Once you’ve done this, your campaign is ready for launch and runs pretty much automatically from then on. Is there initial setup and planning work to do when creating a sales and marketing campaign using Infusionoft? Yes. Can you do this yourself? Yes – and you can get help from the 24/7 Chat support and online community. Once you’ve done this though, can you ‘set and forget’? Well, it’s never a good idea to forget about your marketing but YES you can have campaigns running automatically while you attend to other, more manual, facets of your business.

Which System Should You Choose?

As already stated above, it depends what you need right now, and into the foreseeable future for your business. Infusionsoft is scalable, intuitive, and offers more scope for sales and marketing programs than Aweber. It is also able to automate much or all of these processes. Aweber is only really useful as an email marketing platform and if this is all you intend to do regarding your promotional activity when it come to your business, then Aweber may suit you fine. If however, you see yourself and your business growing beyond 500 customers and plain old emails all saying the same thing to the same list over time, then you may want to consider Infusionsoft as the more dynamic option.

Speak with one of our Consultants for free advice and insights. They’ve used both systems and can help you work out which one best meets the needs of your business now – and into the future. A free consultation costs you nothing – and it can save you a lot in terms of both time and money.

 

[optin-monster-shortcode id="xtnp31yopi-post"]

 

You may also like these posts:


Infusionsoft Vs. Mailchimp image by Think Big Online

Infusionsoft Vs Mailchimp?

It isn’t easy to compare Mailchimp with Infusionsoft because the two systems don’t actually offer the same thing. While the former is an email marketing program with a rudimentary level of built-in database functionality, Infusionsoft is designed to be used as a one-stop integrated Client Relationship Management (CRM) system. While it includes an email marketing component as part of its functionality, this is neither the sole or even the largest part, of what Infusionsoft delivers. When deciding which program to go with however, the most important thing to look at is not what the software does, but what you do in your business, and what you need in order to grow.

What Kind of Business is Your Business?

Now that you’re seriously considering purchasing a new piece of business infrastructure, it’s a good time to take stock of where your business is at in terms of growth – and where you’d like it to go moving forward. Is your business small, or medium-sized? If your client list sits below around 2,000 customers then your business is likely considered to be on the small side.

In this case, an inexpensive email marketing platform like the one offered by Mailchimp is all you may require. The email marketing programs for both Mailchimp and Infusionsoft are very similar. You can build, launch and customise email marketing programs in both platforms with relative ease. You can also link these in to your backend list.

The startup costs for Mailchimp are certainly attractive to small business owners – your startup price on their lowest level plan is free. However, this plan does come with some very strict limitations; for example, you can only send 12,000 emails in a calendar month. So, if you had you couldn’t email your list daily if you had over 400 records on your list as you’d exceed this limit and while daily emails are not always the best idea it does depend a great deal on what kind of business you are in, and what your customers like to receive. Other limitations of the free lowest level for Mailchimp includes only a few email designs to choose from, and the requirement for you to include a badge and backlink to their product in every email you launch to your list.

There’s also no doubt that learning to use an email marketing program is easier – and faster – than mastering the intricacies of a full scale CRM system. Infusionsoft’s platform includes a shopping cart function as well as fully customisable tracking of all clicks in emails and on your website. There is great backend support for both Mailchimp and Infusionsoft. The latter offers one of the best training programs around and your own Campaign Management Consultant to assist you. Their startup fees however are significantly north of ‘free’. Their training program begins at $2,000 and that’s before you’ve customised some of the functionalities and requirements specifically to your business and the way you run things. That said, the fact that you can tailor your CRM system means you do get something more that straight of-the-rack functionality. Infusionsoft also have a 24/7 chat support feature.

It is important to get very clear regarding your expectations of any new system you purchase for your business. If you’re still not sure whether you need a full scale CRM system, or just an email marketing program, you can learn more with a free consultation; just fill in the form below.

 

Where do You Want Your Business to Grow?

While you can of course scale your email marketing campaigns up and down as per your requirement s- and adjust the level of account you hold in Mailchimp, you may come to a point in your business when you’d like to expand your sales and marketing programs. This si when Infusionsoft really comes into its own. It is a sales and marketing one-stop-shop. You can track, not only your email campaigns, but also your social media advertising click-throughs and your Adwords campaign effectiveness – with additional plugins at additional cost. The point is, Infusionsoft can grow with your business as it grows your business. Your system needs will change – and it is difficult – and expensive – to change marketing systems in the middle of a growth phase; in fact, it is quite difficult to do anything in your business during a growth phase but keep up with demand and ride the wave to the next level up – and before you know if your small-to-medium-sized enterprise is now officially and medium-to-large-scale business, and so on as you continue your profitable rise to success.

Using a one-style-only marketing program like Mailchimp will limit your ability to reach your clients via other means (like social media and Google for example). Should you wish to do this at a later date, you will need to add a new system and convert parts of your process and your data. You may find this inefficient and it can cost your business in terms of profitability and downtime.

For more information on the differences between an email marketing platform like Mailchimp and a full scale Client Relationship Management (CRM) system like Infusionsoft, contact one of our digital marketing consultants today.

 

What is a Client Relationship Management (CRM) System?

A Client Relationship System handles all of your sales and marketing – from lead capture campaigns, to lead nurturing campaigns, ongoing engagement, shopping cart functionality, distribution and fulfilment followup client contact – and repeat business or ongoing sales. This includes upsells and onsells. Infusionsoft can perform all of these sales and marketing functions for your business – and, once you have set up the software and tailored it to your own business internal systems and processes, Infusoionsoft can more or less run your programs automatically.

A client relationshoip management system can certainly map out, build, launch, and track an email marketing campaign in the same way as software like Mailchimp which is specifically designed for this function. It can also of course do much more than this and some of these additional functionalities are detailed below.

Segmenting Your Database:

Making your marketing as tailored and targeting as possible is a very good way to build engagement and trust with your clients. Mailchimp does allow you to build and ciustmoise your emails in the same way as many of the other email marketing software programs do; i.e. you can use your client’s name in the email and subject line. You can track your open rates, bounce rates and click through data – most email marketing programs offer similar functionality.
It does not however, allow you to segment your list. With Infusionsoft, the automatic nature of the campaigns you build and run allow you to tag and track every clickable action in your email marketing campaign. This means that your clients more or less segment themselves by their actions. For example, if you’re an e-tailer and you send out a Mother’s Day email showcasing your gift specials, clients who click on the email to open it will segments themselves from those who don’t. Those who open the emails will further segment themselves because they may only clic on certain links and not others – and these will all become points of difference in their specific client touchpoints and you can then create followup emails or actions based on the click path each client has taken. While tis sounds incredibly onerous, remember that Infusionsoft is designed to be a more or less automatic marketing system. Once your campaigns are set up and your email sequences loaded and programmed, you can just let it run – with due attention to tracking and optimisation or scaling down as required.

You cannot perform tagging with this level of specific data capture with Mailchimp – remembering that this is not at all what this software is devised to do.

 

Customised Marketing:

Customised marketing is how you increase client spend from your existing list and as far as Return On Investment (ROI) goes when it comes to marketing, you get a much higher margin from existing clients than from new ones, as there is no additional outlay per lead (or acquisition cost). The tag system discussed above is what enables you to customise your marketing in Infusionsoft so well, so effortlessly (I stress – once you know how to use the platform) and so apparently effectively. You can also automate this. In AWeber, automated customisation of emails is possible but at a very rudimentary level only; that is, you can personalise emails with client names, and if you’ve done the backend manual list work you may be able to target your list better than if you haven’t, but none of this is easy to do or to automate. You cannot track, target, and respond to client activity in the way you can in Infusionsoft. AWeber is an email marketing tool, not a CRM system and it simply is not designed to offer this.

 

Set and Forget Marketing:

You may have heard a lot of business owners talk about Infusionsoft as a ‘set and forget’ marketing system – and its does offer the ability for yout to automate a great deal of your sales and marketing functionality. This does free up your time as a business owner but marketing, just like any other business process, still requires a level of oversight if you are to gain maximum benefit from your investment. While your time is precious and you may not want to spend too much of it on your sales and / or marketing, setting up your campagns properly can seem tedious – but it does pay dividends in both time and money down the track. One of the most lauded tool in Infisionsoft’s toolbox is the Campaign Builder. With such a customisable system, you do need to plot what you want yout programs to do very. Very v=carefully. Your Infusionsoft Consultant can help you with this and as you get used to the platform, you will get better and faster at doing this so it will likely cost less time over time. However, you do still need to pay attention to the campaigns once they’re running and adjust them as and when required.

Mailchimp on the other hand, once you’ve built your emails and defined your recipient list, requires you to do very little else. However, this is because you actually can’t do any other kind of promotional activity with Mailchimp. It is impossible to target your Mailchimp email marketing campaigns to the same degree you can with Infusionsoft; there is simply not the brequired functionality built in to the software.

So, Which One is Best for Your Business?

It’s up to you of course, but it really depends on a number of factors:

  1. What kind of investment can you afford to make in your business right now when it comes to sales and marketing?
    It’s important to consider both upfront and ongoing costs when you’re making these calculations – and be certain to check all the pricing plans for both systems and measure these against your requirements, and your expected increase in profitability. Marketing infrastructure is like any other investment in your business – you should expect it to generate some level of positive return over time.
  2. What are your current business needs (i.e. what do you need your new system to do)?
  3. What might your future business requirements be, in regard to sales and marketing programs in your business?

If you’re interested to find out more about sales and marketing systems, and discuss your business needs more specifically with our consultants, please contact us today.

 

[optin-monster-shortcode id="xtnp31yopi-post"]

 

You may also like these posts:


Infusionsoft Vs. Constant Contact image by Think Big Online

Constant Contact vs Infusionsoft

Digital marketing is a business imperative these days; no business owner will argue that point. However, there is more than one way to go about it – and more than one system you can use. So, how do you decide what it is you need for your business? There is no doubt that this is an important question. Another vital thing to be aware of before you commit to a new online sales and / or marketing system, is scalability. Your business may be small or even medium-sized now, but will your system be able to adapt and grow along with your business? This is worth bearing in mind while you consider the various systems available to small business owners.

What kind of marketing do you need?

One of the first questions you might need to answer is what kind of marketing do you intend to do for growing your business? Are you planning just to run email marketing campaigns? Constant Contact is a good platform for email marketing, as is Infusionsoft. You can build emails in both programs, track open, bounce and click-through rates, and both software systems allow you to customise and tailor campaigns to varying degrees.

That said, there is no doubt that Infusionsoft’s tag tracking and list segmentation is far superior – but then so is its price point.

 

What is your marketing budget?

While Constant Contact offers a month’s free startup, and less than $110/month even on their most expensive plans,Infusio nsoft’s startup fee is around $2K with ongoing monthly fees of between $200-300 depending on which features you’d like to include.

This is because Infusionsoft is a tailored system and can be customised specifically for your business and the sales and marketing programs that work best for your client list and your industry. It is an extremely flexible platform. Unlike Constant Contact that operates more or less as a standalone email marketing platform, Infusionsoft is also capable of running and tracking your social media marketing, as well as your Adwords campaigns. It includes shopping cart functionality as well. It has been designed as a complete Client Relationship Management (CRM) system, not just an email marketing platform. It is also designed as a system you can automate – and this is a very big time saver for any business owner. If you take this into account when you are considering your Time versus Money equation, you might find it makes a big difference to your purchasing decision.

Need help deciding how to get the most out of your marketing dollar? Contact our sales and marketing consultants for a free consultation on defining what your business needs, and what kind of budget will offer you the greatest return.

 

So, which one should you use: Constant Contact or Infusionsoft?

Constant Contact does offer very good email marketing functionality; you can build and send emails with ease, and track responses. You can also build and send surveys and monitor client feedback simply and effectively – so as a customer engagement tool these are very important components in any marketing strategy, especially if you have a responsive client list.

However, if you want more than this – or you foresee that you will need more from your sales and marketing system in the future, you may want to consider the complexities of attempting to change systems further down the track. This is never easy and carries a high risk of data loss. There will also be the issue of downtime while you adjust your database and learn your new systems – and downtime costs money.

If your marketing strategy consists of anything other than email promotions you may find Constant Contact a bit of a limitation. After all, you can build, send and track emails in Infusionsoft too. You can also track users’ arrivals on to your website and where they go and what they do – and don’t do – once they’re on your page. This means you can customise your follow up campaigns and upsell programs accordingly – and follow up can add up to a 10% increase in spend per client. That’s a big boost to your bottom line right there.

 

Which one is easier to learn?

Ah now this is a harder question than it sounds. There’s no doubt that Constant Contact is easier to learn, master and use. Almost anyone with little to no know-how of software programming and/or setup can build and launch a simple email marketing program using Constant Contact’s templates and simple, easy to follow instructions.

Infusionsoft is a more complete system and so the learning curve is definitely sharper. However, they do offer excellent training and this is what most of your start up fee covers. Their support and training are well known as second to none. You get your own personal consultant who walks you through all the early stages of setup and customisation and assists you to build your first few campaigns. This means that, while learning the software may take 4 to 6 weeks, by the time you’re done you will have set it up exclusively for your business and have your first one or two campaigns ready to go – and then you can automate a lot of this functionality. This is where Infusionsoft wins over Constant Contact for a lot of business owners.

Constant Contact has almost not automation built in to its functionality. You can automate your email marketing but that’s about it. Every campaign has to be set up from scratch and it is a very manual – and time-consuming – process to change anything. In addition, if you wish to add any functionality to Constant Contact you will need to find another system to ‘graft’ onto it – and this never ends well. Multi-system chaos is the very small business owner’s nightmare Infusionsoft was created to combat – and it does do this very well.

 

Customisation:

Similarly, when it comes to customisation, Constant Contact simply does not offer this functionality to the same level as Infusionsoft. You can personalise your emails with client names with Constant Contact, but Infusionsoft allows you to customise your marketing down to pretty much an individual client level – and that’s a big plus. Marketing campaigns are an investment and you should expect your programs to deliver a return on cost outlay. Any software that improves your marketing ROI should be considered with care.

Constant Contact only allows you to segment your list based on your email marketing campaign responses. Infusionsoft offers much more scope than that. It allows you to follow lead generation campaigns with linked nurturing campaigns. All contact points can be attached to every client record – and you can track marketing behaviours and customer buying behaviour. You can then feed this information into your marketing strategy to create highly targeted – and effective – campaigns that generate profitable results. Campaigns in Infusionsoft are also able to include text messaging and social media marketing – not to mention other forms of online marketing. All of these client touch points can be tracked and optimised and this is where Infusionsoft offers more bang for your buck (granted, it does actually require more money to purchase, set up and run). It is a fully automated, complete sales and marketing platform specifically designed for small businesses.

Contact us for a free sales and marketing small business consultation.

 

[optin-monster-shortcode id="xtnp31yopi-post"]

 

You may also like these posts: