Infusionsoft review: Grow Marketing and Sales with Infusionsoft Software

Infusionsoft Review: Grow Your Marketing and Sales with Infusionsoft Software

review of InfusionsoftAre you using an email marketing tool such as AWeber, Constant Contact or Mailchimp? Are you wondering about the benefits of a tool that provides more functionality?

Infusionsoftsoftware is a e-mail, contact management/CRM, marketing automation, sales automation and eCommerce product all bundled into one.

In this article we take a look at all the core areas of Infusionsoft with particular emphasis on the marketing automation component. When you do manage to get people to your website you ideally want an automated sequence of events to kick off and Infusionsoft can help you with this.

Let’s take a look at each of these areas in this Infusionsoft review.

 

 

Navigation

When you first logon to Infusionsoft you’ll see a screen similar to the following:

 

Infusionsoft home screen

The main screen when you login

 

Main Menu:  When you login you are shown the sub menus for ‘My Nav’.  But you can change this to show sub menus for CRM, Marketing etc.

Sub menu:  This changes depending on the menu option you pick.  For example, if you pick CRM for the main menu then your sub-menu items will reflect this.

 

infusionsoft main navigation sub menu

Select the main menu or pick one of the sub menu items

 

Quick access menu: this is where you can quickly access your dashboard, see items that were recently reviewed, click through to your favorites etc.

Underneath the menu option you can see a dashboard consisting of configurable widgets, which gives you an overview of what’s going on!

You’ll need to spend a bit of time figuring out the navigation; it’s a bit confusing when you first start out.

Here is a run down of each of the main modules:

CRM

The customer relationship management functionality offers you the ability to manage contacts, opportunities and referral partners.

As well as adding/managing contacts and companies, you can:

Tag – The tagging is an important part to the CRM functionality. This is where you tag your contacts once or multiple times.  This can be used as part of the campaigns you set up. For example, you could tag the contact to show that they signed up for a webinar but didn’t attend, and then you could run email marketing automation based on this.  Tags can also be grouped into tag categories.

Lead score – You can manually or automatically assign scores to leads.  As they become closer to a sale their lead score goes up.  This helps you focus in on the right leads at the right time.

Assign leads to contacts – automatically assign leads to sales people based on round robin rules.

Referral partners – If you have partners who sell products on your behalf, you can manage this through Infusionsoft.  For example, you provide them with an affiliate link.  If they generate sales through this link they get a reward for this (e.g. percentage of the sale value).

Overall Opinion:  Building a profile of your email subscriber as part of a CRM system is essential if you want to sell anything to them now or in the future.   It’s a pity Infusionsoft does not have the social media integration that services such as Nimble incorporate, but it is still a useful and valuable product feature.

Marketing

The marketing functionality contains the following key components.

Campaign Builder – This is where you build your sales funnels.  For example, you could set up a workflow that tracks visitors from many different sources, passes them through a relevant funnel and then automatically progresses them based on their action. If they download a PDF they could go to be routed to a different process/system than if they attend a webinar, for instance.

Within the campaign builder you can also define goals, such as signing up to a newsletter.  If a relevant goal is not there you could add one of your own.

Email and broadcasts – This is to send out emails, either straight away or scheduled, to your audience.  Of course, these can be built in as part of your campaign.  You can also set up other types of broadcasts e.g. fax, letters.

Lead Generation – This section is to view reports related to lead generation and set up items related to tracking it.  There is some tracking done automatically on Infusionsoft hosted pages, but you can also add an additional tracking code to all web pages and Infusionsoft will report on this.  You can also set up your lead sources (e.g. to track where leads come from) and expenses related to leads (e.g. once off cost for a trade show or automatically added recurring cost).

Templates – These are templates you set up based on broadcast type e.g. email template.

Legacy – These are features that are only supported for older installations.

Reports – A variety of useful marketing related reports e.g. who has filled out particular forms, view details of emails sent out etc.

As marketing functionality  is a really important area we have outlined a couple of examples of how you would use this functionality.

  • You want to send an e-mail to some subscribers.
  • You want to build a campaign that performs some automated actions, based on a user either subscribing to a newsletter or signing up for a webinar.  If they watch the webinar we’ll be more aggressive with our sales cycle.
  • You want to create a landing page.

This is how you would set this up:

1. Sending email to some subscribers

You start off by adding subscribers.  In this example we’re importing some subscribers from Aweber (an email marketing tool)

All you need to do is export your email subscribers from Aweber and import into Infusionsoft.

 

aweber

Select the aweber option

You then select from a template and create your e-mail.  There is a basic or more advanced user interface you can use to build up your e-mail/template. If you don’t want to use a template you can send plain text.

 

Infusionsoft create email

Create an e-mail using one of the templates available

 

You then specify factors such as the time the email should be sent, the tracking you want, and sharing to social networks.

 

Infusionsoft additional details

Provide details such as the time to send

 

When you send e-mails to subscribers, these emails are recorded as part of the contact record.  Later on you’ll see the marketing automation and tracking that is possible with these emails.  For example, you can add tags to the contact record, indicating whether people click on the links in the email, and then take an automated action based on this information.

 

2. Setting up a campaign to track signing up to a newsletter or a webinar

We’re starting to get more complicated now and this is where the fun beings.  Think about a campaign you are running to sell a product.

The first part is to get somebody to sign up to a newsletter or register for a webinar.  Those who only sign up to a newsletter are less qualified than those who sign up to a webinar.

So, you create a campaign that starts with signing up to a newsletter or a webinar and, depending on what the user does, you send them different emails and progress them in different ways.

This is how the campaign works:

You have a drag and drop editor so you can drag elements onto a page when you are building your campaign:

  • Traffic sources – Depending on the traffic source you may or may not have a different sequence
  • Goals – A goal could be a newsletter sign up.  When a goal is achieved you can trigger certain actions.
  • Sequences – These are the actions that are taken.  For example if traffic comes in from Facebook and they sign up to the newsletter, send them an e-mail immediately and another one in 3 days.
  • Notes – These are notes you add to the campaign to keep track of what you were setting up.

Create the elements of the campaign by dragging and dropping them onto a page, connecting up the elements and defining the actions.

Campaign Builder

Build your campaign using drag and drop

 

Here’s an explanation of the above diagram:

Website – This is  the source where newsletter subscribers or signups to your webinar will come from.  You only add this so we understand from a visual point of view what is happening, this is not part of the automation.

Newsletter Signup/Register for an event – We want to track whether visitors sign up for a newsletter or register for a webinar.  For each action there is a sequence that is run after the action takes place (i.e. the sequence is displayed to the right of the action).

If I click on the sequence for the newsletter, this is what is displayed (Note:  to build this sequence you drag elements from the right hand side of page below onto the canvas).

 

Infusionsoft Sequence

This is how you view and create sequences

 

The sequence here is:

  1. Someone signs up to a newsletter
  2. An initial email is sent (you can create the email by clicking on the email icon )
  3. After 3 days another e-mail is sent.

If you look at over on the right hand side you can see the options available for creating a sequence.  They are:

  • Timers – Specify when any part of the sequence runs.
  • Communications – The communication that happens as a result of an action e.g. an e-mail is generated.
  • Process – What internal process happens, for example, a task is created for a sales rep when someone signs up for a webinar.
  • Notes – Notes you can put on the canvas of the sequence so you can remember what you set up and why.

To link your website to this automation, you need to add a special form.  When the email or contact details are collected through the form, that person will be added automatically to Infusionsoft and the sequences suitable to this new contact record are run.

If you click on ‘sign up to a newsletter’ as part of the sequence, you will see a customizable form that can be used to collect email/contact details.  If you select the ‘code’ button you can grab some code that you can give to your developer so they can add it to the subscription forms on your site.

 

Sign up for newsletter

This is where you configure the forms you need to put on your site

It takes a bit of time to figure out how the campaigns work but, once you figure it out, you’ll realize the power that is available through this functionality.

You can even have sequences within sequences when you become more advanced.

Will you figure out sequences by yourself?  If you allocate some time and work with an Infusionsoft coach you will be able to create your own, although if you want to build really complex sequences, you may need some consultancy help.

3. Create a landing page

If you want to create a landing page, you do this within the campaign builder.

For example, drag the element ‘Register for an event’ onto the campaign builder canvas.    This is your goal.  Click on the red icon in the bottom left hand corner and select the option ‘Submits a landing page form’ from the drop down.

 

Infusionsoft landing page
Select the landing page option

 

Double click on the larger icon (the icon above the text ‘register for an event’).  You can now start creating the landing page.

Here is the screen with an example landing page we tried to create.

 

Infusionsoft LandingPage Update
This is where you set up your landing pages

 

The landing page editor is quite basic with basic styles to choose from.  However, there are much more advanced editors available for producing landing pages so, if it is particularly important to you, it’s likely that you will use an external tool instead (e.g. Leadpages)

Overall Opinion:  The marketing automation piece is powerful.  It is a very flexible piece of functionality that allows you to set up simple or complex automation.  This is a killer part of functionality within the Infusionsoft product.

 eCommerce

The eCommerce component allows you to build a shop with one or more products.  When someone buys your products they can be added to the shopping cart, and then payment will be collected through one of the payment options available (e.g. Paypal or credit card).

You can also set up promotions for products through Infusionsoft, for example, you can offer discounts or a free trial.

Here is an example product configuration screen. You create a product which may or not be part of a product category and define price, shipping costs etc.

 

Infusionsoft product configuration

An example screen for configuring products

 

Here is an example of an product item which has been added to a shopping cart.  This can be embedded on your site.  The payment option listed below is Paypal but you can configure other payment options also.

 

shopping cart

An example shopping cart

 

Overall Opinion:  Infusionsoft contains the usual functionality you would expect as part of a shopping cart, but nothing to get too excited about.  If you require straightforward shopping cart facilities this will work for you.  However, if shopping through your site is a major part of your business you’ll need to investigate third party solutions.

Admin

The administration section has the following functionality.

  • Branding center –   This is where you set up templates you use within the product (e.g. email sign up template), upload default logos and define what, if any, branding you allow Infusionsoft to include on emails.
  • Infusionsoft Account – This shows the current license you have in place and when your next bill is due.
  • Users – This is where you define users that have access to your installation.  The permissions you can allocate are very granular which is great.  For example, here’s the permissions for an opportunity.

 

Infusionsoft Opportunity

These are the permissions you can set for an opportunity on a user by user basis

 

  • Import data – You can import data from Aweber, Constant Contact, iContact, 1ShoppingCart or Outlook
  • Data cleanup – Remove duplicate records, update existing accounts, merge duplicates etc.
  • Reports – Admin reports such as viewing all tasks that are open, leads open etc.
  • Settings – Various configuration items for your installation e.g. what is the default label for the company, what is your company info etc.

 

Pricing

The starting price is $199 per month which includes contact management/crm and marketing automation.  For $299 you have the opportunity to add sales automation or eCommerce.    The sales automation piece is for when you have a sales team in place and you want to track the progression of sales for that team.  The eCommerce piece is when you want to sell something using Infusionsoft.

For $379 you get all four modules.  At each pricing level you can have a maximum amount of contacts and e-mails.

There is also an upfront cost of $2,000 which is payment towards a consultant helping you work out a plan to getting the maximum benefit out of Infusionsoft.

Note:  the sales automation piece is about lead scoring, quotes and orders, opportunity management, sales reports.  You may not need this if you’re an online business.

Summary

Infusionsoft is a very comprehensive product with an extremely powerful marketing automation piece.

If you want to really take advantage of the marketing automation piece you will need to set aside time to get familiar with it and work with your Infusionsoft coaches.

If you’re not technical and your marketing requirements are complex it’s likely you will have to hire another consultant after the initial training.

When you get familiar with tools like Infusionsoft you’ll realize that it’s difficult to run an online business without tools like Infusionsoft.

What’s next

We will be doing a review of Office AutoPilot (now called Ontraport) as an alternative to Infusionsoft, watch out for this post!

Other than that, we’d love you to take some action:

We would love it if you’d take action:

1.  Try out Infusionsoft

2.  Leave a comment below and tell us what you think.

3.  Share this with your friends – that would be much appreciated!!

Thanks,

Ian

 




 

About the author

Ian Cleary

Author: Ian Cleary is the Founder of RazorSocial and is super passionate about helping people leverage tools and technology to improve effectiveness of your social media presence.

  • http://profitblitz.com/ Marc Andre

    Great review Ian. I’ve always been intrigued by InfusionSoft but everyone I know that has used it says it’s very complicated, and (like you mentioned) many people have to hire someone to handle the details.

    • http://www.razorsocial.com/ Ian Cleary

      Thanks Marc!

  • Lilach Bullock

    We’ve recently moved over to Infusionsoft (from Aweber and Highrise) and well… sometimes call it confusionsoft lol. It is a very powerful system when used… and you need to have as you say the time and resources to really invest in it to take advantage of it fully. Great review Ian :)

    • http://www.razorsocial.com/ Ian Cleary

      Thank you Lilach. I think people end up with consultants as they don’t invest the time required!

  • http://www.infusionsoft.com/ Heather Dopson

    Thank you for this great in- depth review on Infusionsoft Ian! I always appreciate your thoroughness and unbiased.

    • http://www.razorsocial.com/ Ian Cleary

      Thank you so much Heather!

  • http://www.prairiefoxweb.com/ Leah Mazur

    Thanks for this thorough review Ian! Looking forward to the Office Auto Pilot review to see how they compare.

    • http://www.razorsocial.com/ Ian Cleary

      Thanks Leah, watch out next week!

  • http://antoniocalero.com/ Antonio Calero

    Very useful insights. I’ve been using Mailchimp, as my main business has been happening off-line and thus I only required to send eDM. However I’m trying to move away from the off-line business into more online, so this platform looks like a good alternative.

    • http://www.razorsocial.com/ Ian Cleary

      Hi Antonio, if you’re going to be selling online you will need some level of automation! Ian

  • Amanda Shaw

    I’m looking forward to the Office Auto Pilot review to see how they compare!! Thanks for the great review. For me, it was very timely.

  • http://www.skilledup.com/ Brad Z

    Ian, did you adopt the platform or just try it out? If you are using it for awhile, what kind of results has it generated?

    • http://www.razorsocial.com/ Ian Cleary

      Hi Brad, check out my post next week on Office Auto Pilot where I do a comparison and show which one I decided to go with! (you can email me on ian.cleary@razorsocial.com if you can’t wait!)

  • http://www.internetjetstream.com/ Mike Seddon

    Hi Ian

    Very thorough review that answered a number of questions for me. I look forward to the part about Office Autopilot.

    I’m in a Mastermind group where half the room use Office Autopliot and the others use Infusionsoft.

    I’ve just sold my company where we had literally build our own version of both.

    With my new company, I’m looking to buy something out of the box so this is very interesting.

    Thanks
    Mike

    • http://www.razorsocial.com/ Ian Cleary

      Thanks Mike, hold on and read the OAP review next week! Well done on selling the company!

  • http://www.financedirectorservices.com Shaun Walsh

    We run Infusionsoft on our business and its awesome. You will definitely need coaching and support to get it working properly for you. If you want a high growth information/internet driven business this is the one.

    • http://www.razorsocial.com/ Ian Cleary

      Thanks Shaun, it took me about a 1 1/2 days to figure it out but I’ve got a strong technical background!

  • Catriona

    What a great review – this is the kind of information in a straightforward format that infusionsoft should be supplying! Thank you Ian!

    I nearly made the change from 1shoppingcart to infusionsoft a year ago but the salesperson I was dealing with put me off! He wanted me to come on board and was offering a decent monthly discount if I signed up within a short time period. However due to other commitments I wouldn’t have been able to start the migration for a few months and the salesperson was unwilling to extend the offer. So the motivation was lost and I didn’t make the move. I have since read a lot of stuff about infusionsoft’s sales process and how the actual price you pay depends on your salesperson, time of month etc. Not impressed!

    However, I’ve been with 1shoppingcart for 6 years now and they are getting worse – appalling support and major issues with 3D Secure which they can’t fix (orders failing sporadically as a result). So I need to make the change but need to make sure it’s the RIGHT change for the long-term.

    I was interested to hear your comment about using infusionsoft for ecommerce and that infusionsoft may not be good enough. My business sells all our products online. Could anyone elaborate on why infusionsoft might not be so good for ecommerce sites and/or anybody’s experiences? Really appreciate it!

    • http://www.razorsocial.com/ Ian Cleary

      Hi Catriona, Infusionsoft has an eCommerce cart which is quite basic. If you have a small set of products then you’re fine. If you want complex functionality then you will need to use another shopping cart. So shopping cart is not the main killer feature of Infusionsoft, the marketing automation is!!! Thanks for your feedback, Ian

  • http://jeffkorhan.com Jeff Korhan

    In addition to technical support, an advantage to working with a consultant BEFORE signing up is they can negotiate a lower monthly rate because they have the inside track. I will able to pay my consultants fee back in a few short years due to monthly savings.

    My view is Infusionsoft is to small business what Salesforce is to enterprises. Very happy to have made the switch. They offer great support and are always innovating. Soon they will launch (probably on or before their annual convention in April) their mobile app which will have my CRM in my pocket.

    What’s not to like about their that?!

    • http://www.razorsocial.com/ Ian Cleary

      Hi Jeff, Infusionsoft is a good product but the same as other software products it needs improvement. There are some weak parts to the functionality and some strong parts. Depending on the customer requirements I would certainly recommend Infusionsoft.

      But one thing that will have to change is needing a consultant to get a product up and running. This makes no sense to me, software doesn’t need to be that complex.
      Ian

      • http://jeffkorhan.com Jeff Korhan

        I get your point. It’s almost like it’s built into the business model, which I think it is.

        • http://www.razorsocial.com/ Ian Cleary

          Yes, but I think they are making changes in this area,. Ian

  • http://21streviews.com/convection-microwave-reviews-2014/ Paul Smith

    You can read more reviews here http://usemyreviews.com/crm-software-reviews/