If you want to sell products or services online that are not impulse purchases, you’re going to need a tool that will help with marketing automation.
Recently, we posted a review of Infusionsoft, and a close competitor is Ontraport so we took this for a run recently also. Both tools are really useful but the best one for you will depend on your business.
Ontraport is a tool for managing your online business. You track interactions with your online customers, build automation around events and sell products or services. Without a tool like Ontraport (previously Office Autopilot) it’s difficult to keep track of important details and automate the sales and marketing processes you need.
Here is what we found.
When you first login you’ll see this menu. Our review tackles one area at a time.
The dashboard shows a series of widgets which give you an idea of how you are performing. For example, it contains:
- A graphic showing the growth of your contact lists
- Links to recent emails sent
- Top landing pages
- Sales generated
- Details of tasks
- A graph of emails sent
You can also view information displayed by reports for specific sections:
- Contact owners
- User activity
- Task details
- Contact activity
- Marketing effectiveness
This is where you store all of your contacts. This could be people you add manually, or contact records that are automatically created through forms (known as smart forms in Office AutoPilot) you place on your website.
A contact record, as well as having contact information, is a full record of activity related to the contact. For example, it could contain:
- Sequences and Tags – When we are going through the automation section we’ll explain more about sequences and tags, but these are about understanding what stage your contact is at and progressing them to the next stage!
- Contact log – Details of the interactions with the contact, for example, you can view the emails sent to this contact.
- Task manager – a record of tasks open or completed for this person. You can also create a task.
- Purchase history – details of items purchased.
- Affiliate data – if you have a program where you allow affiliates to sell on your behalf you can track this through Office AutoPilot.
- WordPress membership – You can set up a membership site in WordPress that controls access to content.
When you are viewing your contacts, there are some group actions you can do, for example:
You can send an e-mail to your contacts
Send a Postcard – This is built in functionality for occasions when you might want to surprise your special contacts with a physical card!
Under the ‘More Actions’ section there are other actions you can perform. ‘More actions’ includes items such as tagging, exporting, deleting contacts etc.
This is a list of tasks related to your contacts. You can perform the following actions related to the tasks:
- Mark as complete.
- Send an email to the contacts of the tasks.
- Re-assign to someone else (this could be a group of tasks).
Within Office Autopilot, you are able to set up tracking to report on what happens when you run campaigns (offline or online) and drive traffic to your website.
Your campaigns are directed to specific landing pages and have relevant smart forms on the landing page, so you can then track the traffic generated, the leads, sales etc.
The tracking can be set up for online campaigns, but you can also use a specific landing page for offline campaigns so it is also possible to track their success, too.
This is where fun begins: we can set up our automation! The types of automation you can implement are split up into step qequences, date sequences and active responses.
A step sequence is a sequence of events that is performed automatically on a contact. You can manually assign a step sequence to a group of contacts, or automatically add a contact to a sequence when they fill out a particular a web form.
For example, if someone signs up to your e-mail list and you automatically want to send them a downloadable guide you could set up this sequence.
- Schedule step – This is when this sequence kicks off. You can make it start immediately after something happens (e.g. when a form is completed) or specify a later time/date etc.
- Create your e-mail – You define the email you want to send. This can be selected from a previously created template (see next, section messages) or you can create a new email within this sequence. The email can have merge fields, links etc., as you would expect.
You could also set up additional sequences related to the e-mail itself. For example, if someone clicks on the link in the e-mail then you might want to send them an additional email, at a later date, asking them what they thought.
So, for this, you set up an additional sequence which contains a new email but also contains a rule. The rule comes into action if an event happens.
In the following we have specified:
If the user has clicked the link in the email once then assign the contact a new sequence.
This is only one rule specified here, but you can have lots of them in place if you want to.
In the new sequence we will send them another e-mail asking them their opinion of the guide. Of course, we could set up another sequence which asks them why they didn’t download the guide if they didn’t click on the link! The possibilities are endless.
There is a good variety of rules you can choose from, for example, for people who have been on a sequence for a particular time frame, have opened up the email x number of times, have visited the website x number of times and so on.
A date sequence is a sequence that happens after a specific date or event. For example, you can set it up to trigger 10 days after the person signed up, on a particular date or when it’s a birthday of a contact. The steps and rules for date sequences are the same as setting up a step sequence.
The rules in the sequence are kicked off when you manually add the sequence to the contact record, or alternatively it comes into play when someone completes a form. Active response sequences are triggers that are kicked off outside of these forms, as specified by you. For example, you can set up an active response rule to trigger when the score for your contact has increased or when they click on an e-mail.
Overall the automation is quite straight forward and simple to use. If you have really complex marketing automation it will take you some time to work out the best sequences to set up, but with a bit of practice and advanced planned it’s really quite straight forward.
Messages are email templates that you create to save you from having to create brand new emails all the time.
When you create the emails, you can use the normal formatting you’d expect with an e-mail editor. You can use merge codes so that Office AutoPilot automatically includes a person’s name in the email and other relevant fields.
This is where you create landing pages that you can add to your site. There is a suite of templates provided or you can create your own landing page from scratch.
Here is one of the example landing pages provided by the software:
On the right-hand side you’ll see various options for modifying the landing page. You can change the text or layout, add images and more.
If you are aiming to collect personal details on your landing page (e.g. name/email etc), you will need to add a smartform to the landing page. You do this through the Admin section of Office AutoPilot (Admin -> Manage SmartForms), where you select a template and then modify fields, colors etc to suit your branding and requirements. Here is an example of a smartform as a customer would see it:
You can apply additional settings to the form, such as the page it will redirect to after the form is completed. You can also add a sequence to this form, which kicks off as soon as someone fills it out (e.g. a sequence that automatically sends out an e-mail with a file to download if you are offering a freebie as an incentive to build your email list).
You can then add this smartform to your landing page template. You go back to your landing page and select the option to ‘add new item’. On this popup select ‘form’ and insert it into the page.
Overall it’s very easy to use and the landing page functionality is quite flexible.
Here’s video on the latest version of pages (ontrapages)
If you have products or services to sell, you can set up the affiliate management section. This allows you to provide affiliates with a unique web address that they can use when they are promoting your products or services. When someone buys using their unique link, you can give them the commission as agreed.
There is also an affiliate centre you can set up within Office Autopilot where affiliates can login and view any activity related to their affiliate link. This is great because it makes you look more professional and affiliates get a sense of what is working and not working without having to contact you!
The sales area is where you set up the details of all the products you sell and input information about creating an order, and also prepare upsell forms for your website. Finally, this section is where you can monitor your sales reports.
When you’re building your order form you define items such as:
- Product details – Provide details of the product and the fields you want to include on the form (e.g. first name, last name etc).
- Sequence – After someone submits payment, which sequence do you want them added to?
- Payment Gateway – Define how you are going to collect payment. There are a good selection of payment gateways to choose from, including PayPal, Elavon etc.
- Invoicing – Create an invoice to be delivered after payment has been received.
- Rules – Define response rules that happen when the transaction happens. For example, automatically create a task for someone from the customer support team to call the customer after a sale. You could also set up rules for what should happen if a transaction is declined.
There is a really useful WordPress plugin you can add to your site that offers the following functionality:
- Membership site – You can build a whole membership site or integrate this within your existing website, and it means you can set up restricted access to your content. For example, set up multiple levels of membership and let your visitors watch and/or download specific videos based on their membership status. This is fully integrated with Ontraport CRM.
- Affiliate program – You can set up an affiliate membership site where you give affiliates access to their own profile to see how well their referral sales are performing.
- Tracking script – With the plugin, a script is added to your website to track interactions with your current or potential customers.
- Customer centre – This allows customers to login and view details of any transactions they completed.
- Media integration – You can add Ontraport videos, opt-in forms and order forms, and affiliates can easily sign up directly within WordPress.
Ontraport contains a lot of great functionality. Typically, marketing automation tools can be complex but this one is quite straight forward and user friendly.
There are 9 training videos that take you through the functionality step by step, and if you go through these you’ll understand most of what you need to know about Ontraport.
1. Ontraport offers a full 90 day full money back guarantee if you don’t like it so try it out and see how you get on.
2. Leave a comment below as we’d love to hear from you!
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