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:
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 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.
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.