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.
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.