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 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:
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.
What are your current business needs (i.e. what do you need your new system to do)?
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.