I think you’ll agree with the following three statements …
1. “It’s not easy to decide which online marketing platform I should use for my small business. There are so many choices, so many features, and so many things about them that I don’t understood.”
2. “Everyone keeps telling me that I need to buy ‘this one’ or ‘that one’ but it seems like no two people give me the same advice nor can they explain why.”
3. “I’m drowning in details that confuse my non-technical mind and my eyes have glazed over. Will someone please just make this easier for me to decide?”
If so, you are in the right place, because I’m going to finally explain all of it to you in a way that you can understand.
My promise to you is that if you read this entire page, you will not only be slightly entertained, but you will also learn everything you need to know so that you can make a sound decision about Infusionsoft.
I’ve taken care to remove as much of the geek speak and technical jargon as possible and I’ve replaced it with simple, plain English so that it makes better sense to you.
… And if I say something that doesn’t make sense, I invite you to click the chat icon on the bottom right corner of this page and ask me directly. I will be happy to clarify further. Fair enough?
I think it is fair for me to assume that if you are still reading this, you’re here to:
- Learn the Pros and Cons of Infusionsoft,
- Find out if this tool is meant for you and your small business,
- Find out if Infusionsoft delivers on its promise to help you grow your business faster and easier than other platforms,
- Find out about other user experiences (both the good and the bad), and ultimately
- You want to determine if Infusionsoft is worth the investment … Right?
So, why should what I say matter to you? With all the Infusionsoft gurus out there, why listen to me?
In a word, “experience”. Not only have I worked with Infusionsoft since 2006 (longer than 98% of Infusionsoft’s current employee pool), I’ve also integrated Infusionsoft into the online presence of more than 800 of my clients over the years.
Here are a few notable clients who have trusted me over the years:
So, whether you are a new start-up, an existing small business looking to grow, or perhaps a mature offline business trying to make the transition to capture more online attention – it’s not easy making decisions that have the potential impact your future potential for growth. The last thing you want to do is make a quick decision that you might regret later.
This decision shouldn’t be taken lightly, so pull up a chair, take a deep breath and let’s determine together if Infusionsoft is right for you and your business.
I hope you can see by the length and breadth of this review that I’m a bit obsessed with helping people understand how to do business online – and since I’ve been deeply involved in strategizing and executing more than 3,000 successful campaigns for clients over the past 17 years, I’ve learned what works, and more importantly, what doesn’t work.
I’ve figured out over the years what’s worth learning versus what you shouldn’t waste your time on … And as always, I’ll shoot straight and I won’t pull punches, fair enough?
Alrighty then … let’s get started.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1What is Infusionsoft?
As I said earlier, I’ve had the privilege to integrate the Infusionsoft platform with more than 800 clients since 2005. But Infusionsoft wasn’t a contender during the beginning of my online consulting career. From 2001 to 2005, 1ShoppingCart.com was all the rage. Because it, too, was a pioneer platform that combined multiple tools under one roof.
So why did I jump ship from 1ShoppingCart.com to Infusionsoft?
Because when publicly traded Web.com purchased 1ShoppingCart.com in late 2006, little if anything in their platform improved – it just sorta stayed the same with no new features. This lack of innovation paved the way for Infusionsoft to find its legs and soon become the leader in a soon-to-be crowded marketing automation software market.
I watched my share of online software companies come and go in the early 2000’s. Many start-ups with big promises were here today then gone tomorrow – but then it happened: The first client who introduced me to Infusionsoft was my client and friend, Joe Polish – and I admit that I rolled my eyes a little bit when Joe said:
“Eric, you should look into Infusionsoft, they are really headed in the right direction for online marketers.”
Like I’ve not heard that one before … In the back of my mind I was saying to myself, “Oh crap, now I’ve got to learn a whole new platform … AGAIN!” Which is likely how you may be feeling right now. Only this time, Joe was spot on!
Joe introduced me to Infusionsoft back in the red, black and gray branding days:
Since being introduced to Infusionsoft by Joe, I had no idea that over the next 5 years, I would have slowly but surely migrated almost all of my 1ShoppingCart.com clients to Infusionsoft one after another, after another.
Soon, the 80/20 rule was true for my client base. I worked with over 1,000 small business owners over the past 17 years and at least 80% of them now use Infusionsoft as their CRM, eCommerce, email marketing, marketing campaign automation, affiliate management, sales (opportunity record) management and reporting platform.
Why Does Infusionsoft’s History Matter?
It’s important to understand the history so that you can better understand and appreciate how all the moving parts fit together inside Infusionsoft. Most people who buy Infusionsoft don’t ever fully understand all of the specific items that exist under its “one roof” platform.
Why does this matter so much?
Because all of the items in the numbered list below “used to be” in a separate, unintegrated system that you for which you had to pay a separate license fee. Each of them became separate multiple points of failure. And the worst part was that each separate element needed to be manually connected to all the others in order for you to be in business. (I don’t know about you, but that makes me tired just thinking about it).
But with Infusionsoft, you don’t have to think about all of that, because they put all of these individual services together for you in one platform. So, to fully answer the question “What is Infusionsoft?” it’s important to know what each of the individual systems are that it replaces. When you fully grasp the fact that all of the items listed below used to need to be purchased separately, configured separately, and connected to each other collectively, then you might have a profound appreciation for having all of these things under one roof.
So, below is a summary of the growing list of systems that Infusionsoft has built under “one roof” so that you don’t have to think about it: (tap each item to reveal more detail)
1. Email Marketing
Your ability to capture names and emails of website visitors, and send them personalized, mobile friendly emails that are easy to build with their relatively new drag-n-drop email builder. You can communicate with your contacts via these emails about your products, services or periodic content delivery, like newsletters or weekly/monthly updates.
2. Sales Transactions
Your ability to have fully functional, secure, encrypted (safe) order forms that sell your goods and accept credit cards (and/or PayPal) online through a merchant account gateways and have the money automatically deposited into your business checking account.
3. Merchant Account Services
You can use your own merchant account you may already have through your bank by integrating a number of popular merchant accounts that already are compatible with Infusionsoft, or you can use Infusionsoft’s merchant account services built into your account automatically – If you are new to accepting credit cards, complete a simple 10-minute application, and you’ll be accepting credit cards online or with your mobile device in no time.
4. Accounting Integrations
You can now synchronize customer payments and the flow of money from your customers in Infusionsoft with either Intuit Quickbooks or Xero accounting online software and once it is setup, it’s a simple ‘set it and forget it’. Infusionsoft is not an accounting platform, but these two integrations allow you to easily integrate payment information with your 3rd party accounting program so that you don’t have to pay a bookkeeper to transfer over the sales and refunds, etc.
(Customer Relationship Management) Collect data about your prospects, leads, or customers and organize them in ways that save hours of work trying to figure out who is who. Easily upload, store, and manage detailed individual records that include contact information, orders and account balance, lead source, lead scores, task and appointment history, website activity history, and any other interactions with your brand that you’d like to store for use.
6. Marketing & Sales Automation
Infusionsoft’s Campaign Builder gives you enterprise level control over creating entire marketing campaigns through a simple drag-and-drop interface. You can then execute these campaigns automatically, over and over again without having to repeat the process every time. You can send personalized communications via email, text, snail mail or by voice broadcasts to every contact – automatically. You can trigger emails, calls, and other actions based on contact behaviors or their lack of behaviors. You can build landing pages, mobile friendly emails, and more from inside the Campaign Builder. This is undoubtedly where you get the majority of the value for your investment.
7. Landing Page Builder
Infusionsoft recently released its new landing page builder which gives you professional templates you can use as starting points and then edit them with a microsoft-word-like editor to drag-n-drop content into place and publish pages ready for traffic. These are the fastest way to put up a landing page when you need one in a pinch and your “web guy” isn’t available. You can easily build these yourself.
8. Lead Score Automation
This is a fantastic tool built into the platform that keeps track of how often prospects interact with your brand, and it awards points for interactivity so that you and your sales team can focus on the hottest leads first – then work your way down based on each lead’s score. And if contacts stop interacting, over time, the points drop off so that a one-time hot lead that stops engaging doesn’t remain hot forever. When set up properly, this feature alone can increase sales by 5X just because all of your time can be focused on prospects most likely to buy.
9. Affiliate Program & Referral Partner Management
Infusionsoft offers you a full-scale, customizable affiliate commission program that gives you full control and significant flexibility to grow your business through referrals.
10. Analytics & Reporting Suite
Infusionsoft has a full array of reports that give you visibility into your business. You can measure exactly what’s working, what’s not, and determine your return on investment for every email, webpage, and campaign that you create. Infusionsoft sales reports and marketing reports put the numbers on your side, so you can make the best decisions for your business.
11. Much, Much More
There are so many more features but the above list are the “big rocks”.
Every system I just listed above can be purchased individually from separate 3rd party software providers. Imagine buying 10 different software systems – having 10 different charges on your credit card every month, and then having to pay a propeller-head programmer $75 to $100 per hour to hook them all up to each other.
You would never want to do that – and now, with Infusionsoft, you don’t have to – they did it for you, and that is the real value you get in exchange for your investment.
In the early 2000’s, my team and I built countless expensive 3rd party connectors for lots of my clients, and we felt a bit like MacGyver holding things together with “digital” rubber bands, paper clips, and duct tape.
Before Infusionsoft took root in the online Industry, my team and I also had to constantly play the roles of investigator and troubleshooter because, every few weeks, we had to figure out why one of the connectors we built (with rubberbands and duct tape connections) between platforms had stopped working. We repeatedly learned the hard way that platforms often roll out updates to their software without telling anybody that would break all of our MacGyver-like connections that our clients paid us to build.
This resulted in our clients having to pay even more money to have us investigate the problems, find the solutions, and then ultimately fix them … Then 3 weeks later, a different platform would fail which would in turn break something else …
This unfortunate scenario repeated itself over and over and over … We were like cats chasing our tails … It cost our clients a small fortune and the only way to stop it was for software companies to stop innovating (which wasn’t good either) OR to have a single platform all under “one roof” where system updates would respect the other systems already under the same roof. THIS is the BIG problem Infusionsoft solved for small businesses and it’s important to understand that when you are deciding which platform is best.
Brilliant, Right? … Well … Mostly brilliant …
Please understand something:
I’m not suggesting that Infusionsoft hasn’t ever rolled out an update that broke something – as much as they try to avoid it, updates break things more often than they (or their customers) prefer – this is part of software innovation where everyone wants the latest, greatest features, but they aren’t always tolerant of the hiccups. This challenge happens to all software companies who innovate from time to time. But the good news is that if an update breaks something, you don’t have to pull out your wallet to pay “your” developer to fix it – Infusionsoft will it for you (and everyone else using the platform).
The trade off is this: When Infusionsoft updates software with new features or new functionality (like the new landing page builder they just released), you don’t all of a sudden pay more for the newly added features – your price for the software remains constant. Yet, the value you receive went up because of the new features, yet the price remained constant.
So, would you be willing to be inconvenienced every now and then when an update temporarily breaks something in order to gain access to better, more innovative software features that help you grow your business faster and easier? And have it cost you nothing more out of pocket? Oh, heck yeah!
Please don’t get me wrong, it’s not like every time Infusionsoft rolls out new features that something important breaks – but it has happened and Infusionsoft is good about fixing it quickly in the rare case when it does happen.
I will take a few software hiccups for a continually improving platform over what my small business life was like BEFORE having a tool like Infusionsoft!
Here is what the typical online small business looks like before Infusionsoft:
And here is what it can look like after Infusionsoft systems are set up properly:
Now, this business owner above still looks pretty stinking busy, right?
I never said Infusionsoft makes you less busy – you are a small business owner wearing several hats, for goodness sakes – you will always have lots of irons in the fire, but with Infusionsoft, at least you now have more organized chaos …
I think it is important to approach the Infusionsoft Platform decision with properly managed expectations – Infusionsoft doesn’t eliminate all of your problems – but it can manage most of them well with systems – just keepin it real …
So, am I saying Infusionsoft is perfect? And that it works flawlessly for every one of its customers? Oh, hail no – but it is a WHOLE LOT BETTER than the alternative of making 8 to 10 different online systems work well together the old MacGyver way. And now, 16 years after Infusionsoft started, it is so much more robust, stable and easier to use.
Hopefully by now you at least have a clearer picture of what Infusionsoft is and what it can do for your small business. If you have specific questions about anything I’ve discussed (or things you wished I had discussed) in this section, I am a simple click away: So, click to ask me anything you want and I will get you an answer as quickly as possible.
Chapter 2What's with all the bad press?
Let’s get real for a moment … I already said Infusionsoft is far from perfect – but I gotta draw the line between bad press that is deserved versus bad press that isn’t. There is a big difference!
Out of most of the complaints you read online from Bad Infusionsoft Customer experiences, I found that close to 95% of them are the result of customers not taking the time to learn how Infusionsoft is intended to work or they have poorly executed implementation/integration plans (or have no plan at all).
I found that just 5% were actual problems that were fair for customers to call Infusionsoft out on.
Allow me to explain …
Clients would come to me and my team on referral and say how frustrated they were with Infusionsoft, and many were at wits end. We’d take a look “under their account’s hood” and see an absolute mess that, once we organized and cleaned things up and integrated a sound strategy, they turned into lifelong happy Infusionsoft customers.
This got us thinking …
Are the problems that people complain about the result of Infusionsoft’s software being “bad”?
Or are the problems the result of how their customers used (or misused) the software?
So, I conducted an experiment where my team and I evaluated 100 random grievances we found online from various Infusionsoft customers in different niches. We wanted as wide of a spectrum of clients, niches and issues as possible so that we could be as fair as possible.
After evaluating the challenges Infusionsoft customers reported, we looked at each one and assigned it to one of 4 categories:
- Untrained Customer Issues – in other words, a lack of customer knowledge or “user error”
- Poorly Executed Integration – in other words, the customer’s integration between their online business and the Infusionsoft platform was flawed or lacked formal strategy
- Poor Customer Support Experience – in other words, the customer called Infusionsoft Support and neither got their expectations met nor their problem solved
- A “real software problem” – that Infusionsoft needed to correct. Infusionsoft is often blamed for problems that are not actual software problems, but every now and then, there are some real systemic issues that arise and this category is for these rare but real problems.
So, once we assigned the 100 random grievances to one of the 4 categories above, here is what we discovered:
What does this tell you and why should you care?
Well, for starters, if you are a review reader and you’ve Googled “Infusionsoft reviews” then you’ve likely already seen a bunch of less than ideal experiences being described by present and past disgruntled Infusionsoft customers. The reason this research is important is so that you can temper the negative reviews based on 89% (63% User Error + 26% Bad Integration) being from people who weren’t using Infusionsoft in the way it was intended.
I hope my research will show that most of these negative reviews should be taken with a grain of salt – because the true source of the majority of problems resulted from customer’s actions (or inactions) not the software itself.
Now there are likely some of you saying to yourself: “Holy crap, if 63% of the problems are self-inflicted User Error, this software must not be very user-friendly!”
This is a fair point you make, and that’s why many untrained users nickname the software “Confusionsoft”. But truthfully, most of these negative reviews reveal more about the disgruntled customer’s lack of training or lack of having a knowledgable partner than about the software provider …
Here’s an example: Holly M. gave Infusionsoft zero stars (0 out of 5) and she concluded:
“Infusionsoft is a scam! They charge you money upfront and when you get access to the software, it doesn’t do anything the sales person said it would. I have no idea how anything is supposed to work, and the support people won’t help me build the campaigns I need. It’s the worst software on the planet!”
Now, if I knew nothing about Infusionsoft, and I read this non-specific review from Holly M., I’d be scared to death to give Infusionsoft a try. But this is what I mean by taking these types of angry reviews with a grain of salt.
There are countless harsh reviews just like this one – but here’s the thing, Infusionsoft never promised anyone it was easy for non-techy people to pick up and use straight out of the gates. That’s why they charge the Kickstart fee (which I will explain more in the pricing section below) But to call it a scam? That’s a bit of a stretch.
Why do I say that?
Because the thing I struggle with most is this: how can more than 800 of my clients over the years have had the exact opposite experience with Infusionsoft that Holly had? The answer is by having a sound strategy and a strong implementation plan – Holly didn’t appear to have either – and if you don’t have either, you will end up like Holly …
My note to Holly:
“I get it, you’re upset and you are wearing your heart on your sleeve … But the problem I have with your review (and most others like it) is that it doesn’t explain specifically what you wanted Infusionsoft to do that you say it didn’t do, and while I can’t know for sure, I feel it’s safe to assume you didn’t give your best attention to the Kickstart training and took nothing away from it.”
Again, just sayin…
If you don’t have a solid strategy or an implementation plan or partner, I can almost guarantee that you will be writing the same thing Holly wrote …
If there’s any value to her review, it is this:
Be sure to invest enough time to learn how the basics work – there are literally hundreds of tutorials on YouTube that show anyone at any level what to do, step-by-step … Holly’s expectations were not managed properly from the onset and if I had an hour with her, I believe I could change her outlook for the better and she’d love Infusionsoft. I’ve done this with others who were on the edge and they were eternally grateful.
If you want feedback on your idea or your strategy or if you want assistance with getting set up for success with Infusionsoft – I’m just a click away … Don’t be shy, I’d love to hear from you!
Why’s Infusionsoft Gotta be So Daggon Hard?
Have you ever tried going surfing in the ocean?
Surfing isn’t easy when you try it for the first time – it takes time, patience. persistence, and practice to ride the big waves – same thing is true doing business online. I’ve worked with clients who’ve used Infusionsoft to earn over $1Million dollars in one day – one of them did it in less than an hour four times over – now that’s some BIG waves!
But please believe me when I tell you, none of these clients started with a million-dollar-earning Infusionsoft account! They all started just like you, some with nothing but an idea – and they made time to learn the parts of Infusionsoft that were important to their business, and they practices a lot, had lots of learning opportiunities (AKA: made lots of mistakes), and lots of “falling off their boards” …
Then eventually, when they commit to staying in the game long enough, that BIG WAVE comes their way and instead of diving under it in fear, they take it, they ride it and they feel an adrenaline rush worth repeating. But again, no one starts that way. Yet many set themselves up for success by systemetizing their business with Infusionsoft, which helps them find their big wave and handle it when it hits.
So, here’s the thing, if you are unwilling to make some time to learn or get trained on the Infusionsoft basics, then you will likely be one of those 63% of disgruntled customers …
What I find almost interesting or ironic is that Infusionsoft doesn’t change from one customer to the next – the software is one in the same for everyone – it remains constant – it’s just software. So, for every 100 complaints, you will also find 200 to 300 rave reviews that say how much they love what Infusionsoft does for their business.
How can one customer have a fantastic experience and another customer have a horrible experience with a copy of the exact same software? Inquiring minds what to know!
ANSWER: Junk In, Junk Out …
The answer is unanimous … If you set up Infusionsoft “junkily” (I made that word up) you will get nothing but junky results from it. Is that Infusionsoft’s fault? I don’t believe so.
You would be shocked by the number of clients who hire us to clean up the messes either they created themselves or worse, messes they hired someone else to create and often paid a lot of money for. Some of the stories are heart-wrenching.
The good news is that you don’t have to be on your own in this decision – Infusionsoft has more than 35,000 small business customers with close to 100,000 users now and there are hundreds of resources at your fingertips. With proper vetting, it would be wise to find a strategic partner who is experienced in your niche, knows their stuff in Infusionsoft, and who will help you build a strong foundation from which you can grow your business.
If you have specific questions about getting started with Infusionsoft (or how to clean up an existing mess), ask me any question you want here – no judgement, just solutions! … 😉
Chapter 3How To Set Yourself Up For Success With Infusionsoft
Here’s the thing …
Typical customers who don’t like Infusionsoft were told one of two things, either:
- Infusionsoft did some sort of function that it actually didn’t do,
- Or worse, they were told it did something which casued them to buy the platform, then later, they were told by someone else it didn’t do it (but it actually did do the thing they were originally told), and their integration partner didn’t have the experience or the knowledge to make it happen for them
I’ve seen it over and over …
So, they get mad, right? But who should they be upset with? Infusionsoft? Or their poor choice of integration specialist?
Nine out of ten times, the truth reveals they hired the wrong integration “expert”. In order to set yourself up for success with all that Infusionsoft has to offer, don’t make the same mistake others continually make by hiring “anyone” who says they are an Infusionsoft expert.
Rather, vet your Infusionsoft partner properly to be sure they have the proper experience. Also, listen for facts you can actually verify, don’t just listen to their stories and assume they are legitimate …
Many so called Infusionsoft experts (Certified Partners) just passed a test after a 6-week training (which is nothing more than one training per week) and many have literally no experience “doing” or “building” anything for a real small business owner.
They have some textbook knowledge, some theory, and they can tell good stories about the successes of other Infusionsoft customers, but no experience actually doing it for anyone … This is the critical part in your vetting that you’ve got to get right to set yourself up for success: the success stories they tell you that get you excited should only be about clients “they” performed the integration for – not some fancy story about an integration that some other consultant built for some other customer …
Why does this matter?
Because if you don’t vet them properly and you assume you are safe hiring them, you will end up tossing them the keys to your new Infusionsoft application, (essentially the keys to your business) and they’ll start driving … The problem is, they’re like a 15 ½ year-old with a learner’s permit driving for the very first time – with YOUR business at stake – AND with Infusionsoft’s reputation at stake.
There’s a reason why rental car companies don’t let people under the age of 25 rent their cars, right? So, don’t toss your business’s keys to an inexperienced driver/partner …
You are supposed to be led by them. Not the other way around. They should hold the clipboard and take notes, not you. They should be listening to you and helping guide you toward integrating a sound, proven strategy that works for others like you. First-time drivers can’t do that very well …
Clients with whom I’ve consulted and integrated their businesses with Infusionsoft over the years love the platform – why? Most likely because they understand it because I explain it to them in a way that makes sense for their business. They go into it with their eyes wide open and with their expectations managed properly for what Infusionsoft really is and what it isn’t.
You, too, need to understand what Infusionsoft is and what it isn’t – so you can go into it with eyes open and strategy in hand. I agree that it’s a lot to take in. It’s a lot to grasp at first without some patient, competent help. But once you do get it, this knowledge will be the very thing that will contribute most toward you and your business having a love relationship with the Infusionsoft Platform rather than a dissappointing one …
This “understanding” results in a happy client for me to work with and a happy Infusionsoft customer (who is set up for success).
But not always so easy.
To be entirely fair, I keep touting how great Infusionsoft is, but there is one way you could find valid fault with Infusionsoft – and again, it has less to do with their software and more to do with their business model. So, if you pay a sizable Kickstart fee, they will hook you up with an integration strategist or partner automatically – sometimes you will get a good one who knows what they’re doing, but other times, you will get a newbie or someone who has little if any experience in your niche and they unintentionally set you up for failure – that would upset me too – especially if I paid a hefty price for it via the Kickstart fee …
If a company assigns me a strategist who isn’t top shelf and ends up wasting my time and money, that company should have a black eye. So, my advice to you is to first find your own strategist and vet them yourself – and then, if you come up empty, my advice is that you not take the first partner they toss your way without a thorough vetting. Make sure they have experience AND success stories you can verify in a similar niche as yours.
There are no rules that say you must take whomever they throw your way. As always, you can feel free to get candid feedback from me on what you should do – I’m happy to help …
Will Infusionsoft Make You Successful?
Not automagically … Yep, I said it – the answer is: “It’s a no for me”… Your strategy, your copywriting, your products and your services are what make you successful. Infusionsoft will help you organize, manage, and execute your strategy, copywriting, products and services, but it isn’t going to do it all for you any more than your bed making itself after you wake up each morning.
If you earnestly want to succeed with a successful online business, Infusionsoft’s application isn’t going to do it all “for” you. It’s not a content creation tool – it’s not going to tell you what to do like a paint by numbers art project.
Infusionsoft is simply software that becomes the glue that holds your online strategy together in one convenient place. You can’t simply buy Infusionsoft and expect “it” to make you money. You need a well thought out marketing strategy or plan – then you use Infusionsoft to execute and manage your plan.
This is really important to understand – anyone who tells you that simply buying Infusionsoft will make all your challenges go away, has an ulterior motive – don’t fall for it!
If you are new to this game of doing online business, you’re going to need help coming up with your strategic plan. You will definitely need someone – other than yourself – to assist you with implementing and integrating Infusionsoft.
You know how people say, “do what you do best and let others do what they do best”? Well, I can say with a high degree of confidence based on my years of experience, that if you try and go it alone with Infusionsoft or any of its competitors to save a buck, your return on your time/money investment will be negative.
And if you don’t have any money, I can show you a way that can get you help at little to no cost to you.
Lastly, to set yourself up for success, keep in mind that it is also important that you learn the basics of Infusionsoft so that you understand ALL the parts of your new online business. Don’t just hire someone and let them do all the work and turn a blind eye to everything they did for you – even if they are truly a legitimate expert. You need to grasp the basics and understand the flow of how visitors become prospects, how prospects become customers and how customers become repeat customers…
You own your business, right? So, if you truly own ALL of your business, (its successes, failures, and everything else in between) then you’ve got to at least learn the basics. If you are unwilling to do some fairly straight forward learning inside the Infusionsoft user interface, I can pretty well guarantee you have a struggle coming your way …
In summary, understand and embrace that simply buying Infusionsoft will do nothing to grow your business – it is what you “do” with Infusionsoft that will grow your business. You need to have a strategy and you will need to get competent, vetted, experienced help to integrate it. And when you hire help, don’t turn a blind eye to the integration, seek to learn and understand how the basics work and own it like it’s yours – because it most certainly is yours! 🙂
Do all of this, and you will be set up for success with Infusionsoft.
Chapter 4Why is Infusionsoft a BIG decision?
So, just how does one eat an elephant? One spoonful at a time, right?
When you buy the software platform, and log in for the first time, without proper guidance, it can quickly overwhelm you. You may ask yourself, “OMG, did I just make the wrong decision?”
Not because of any reason other than there is a LOT to do to get it ready. But this is true for any software that will literally manage everything for your online business … It’s to be expected. This is part of managing your expectations.
I’m sure it would be like standing in front of an elephant with a spoon … You’re like, “where do I start?”
Well, when you have an Infusionsoft strategist who knows the application inside and out who learns a bit about your business, they will walk you through ALL of the settings for all of the systems and translate all of the pertinent questions Infusionsoft asks into one easy-to-understand spoonful at a time.
The primary challenge most software companies must overcome to be successful is rarely related to their software doing its job, rather it’s getting a customer on-boarded properly and efficiently so that the customer sees early wins from using the software they just invested in. If the customer sees no early wins, buyer’s remorse can set in quickly.
Imagine for a moment being a company like Infusionsoft – taking multiple platforms that used to stand each on their own and it’s your job to put them all under one roof, into one platform – and then make it all work “together” both seamlessly and harmoniously – it’s almost like a digital orchestra …
And on top of that, imagine having to deliver on the promise that customers from just about any small business niche (there’s a heck of a lot of them) can experience a 2X to 5X growth within the first year of using it.
Now, THAT IS A LOT to deliver on, don’t you think?
The good news is, that not only has Infusionsoft delivered on this promise for many clients I’ve personally managed, but they’ve done it for thousands of other small business owners too.
But there’s a catch …
The catch is that the success of Infusionsoft’s ability to deliver on its promise is 100% contingent on how strategic the client’s marketing plan is and how well this plan was integrated into the client’s business. Without a strategic plan and strong integration execution, you won’t get the expected value from it (or from any other marketing automation platform).
So the reason Infusionsoft is such a BIG decision is because the future success of your business will be tightly woven into the fabric of the platform you choose. You want to pick the platform that gives you the most options to “be” and “do” whatever is necessary to grow your business, right? THAT is why Infusionsoft is usually the winner for most small businesses.
But is Infusionsoft right for EVERY small business owner? No, not necesarily – but, I will go on the record by saying “most” small businesses will benefit more from the adaptability and customizability of the Infusionsoft platform than any other competing platform.
No matter how you slice it, it’s a BIG decision. Please let me know if I can answer any of your specific questions about making this decision. I’m here for you.
Chapter 5Most Important Benefit: Adaptability
Why is Infusionsoft’s ability to adapt important?
It’s kind of self-explanatory, isn’t it? …
If Infusionsoft’s platform could not adapt to just about anything a small business needed to do with their online marketing and sales strategy, then it wouldn’t be very useful. Infusionsoft’s usefulness is commensurate with its ability to adapt to multiple small business needs, most specifically, your needs.
But this adaptability is both a blessing and a curse – the blessing is that Infusionsoft will allow you to do just about anything you want to do with great flexibility. The curse is that just because you “can” do just about anything you want, doesn’t mean you “should” – and when you don’t follow a sound strategy and you start doing some of these things that you shouldn’t, it can become confusing and anti-productive very quickly.
Which is why you need a solid strategist to help you keep it simple – especially at the beginning. In other words, Infusionsoft doesn’t protect you from making mistakes or adding layers of inefficiencies when you configure the integration. So, you gotta know a little about what you want to accomplish and start with the end in mind. And if you don’t know what that means or looks like, you’ll need help.
Systems with high levels of flexibility (that make them adaptable to a diverse range of small businesses) are often more complex and take longer to configure. Conversely, systems with functional limitations are faster and easier to set up. There is an inversely proportional relationship between ease of use and flexibility.
The faster and easier a platform is to use and setup, the LESS you can do with it. Also, the more complex and time consuming a platform is to use, the MORE you can do with it.
You get one or the other – never both … You either get ease of use with system limitations -OR- more complex usability with a more vast array of system adaptability. I call it the “Law of Inverse Core Functionality”. Unfortunately, it’s how doing business online works. It’s important to learn this now so that you aren’t disappointed later.
The Law of Inverse Core Functionality:
Super Easy to Use == Functional Limitation (you can’t do as much with it)
Super Flexible/Adaptable == Unlimited Functionality (you can do anything you want with it)
Super Easy to Use + Super Flexible/Adaptable == Unicorn
It’s less black and white and more of a sliding scale. In other words, the more adaptable a platform is, the odds increase that it will be more complex to learn. Inversely, the more templated or limited a system is, the easier it will be to learn. But keep in mind, that in both cases, you still have to learn. There are no free lunch platforms that work exactly like you want based on your current knowledge-base right out of the gates.
So, be aware that you are not unicorn hunting … As of the writing of this review, unicorns are not real. Just sayin.
So, if your business is super-simple, it has no exceptions to any rules, and if you enjoy taking long walks on the beach with puppies riding on backs of unicorns under colorful rainbows, then perhaps you could get by with something easy to use that is less adaptable – but for the rest of us, with unique and diverse business needs, we gotta have the flexibility to do business “our way” on our terms – which means we need flexibility from our systems.
Infusionsoft gives the small business owner incredible amounts of flexibility. I can make this claim based on my experience, because I’ve stretched the limits of what Infusionsoft can do on many occaisions, and I’m always amazed at the result. Any time where there was a will, there was almost always a way to do it with Infusionsoft.
However, because Infusionsoft is so flexible, it lets you do whatever you tell it to do – in other words, it lets you make mistakes. This power is often misunderstood and misused by new customers. It’s important not to fall into this trap. You can avoid this by working with someone who has been there and done it for others who will lead you in the way you should go.
Inexperienced Infusionsoft customers set things up in such a way that causes messy, undesirable results. And if they don’t course correct fast, the messiness can accelerate and create multiple layers of confusion. This is why the setup and integration phase is THE MOST IMPORTANT ingredient that determines your success or disappointment in the platform.
Are you starting to pick up what I’m puttin’ down? The software does what most people need it to do – the software isn’t going to be the thing that keeps you from succeeding – but the lack of sound strategy and integration will.
So, maybe you should go with a simpler system then, right? Wrong.
Why? Because the moment you need to integrate a new 3rd party system or the moment you need to customize something important to you, you’ll be handcuffed by the limitations of the other “easier” systems out there. And you’ll learn further down on this page that the cost of switching to Infusionsoft from a different platform is extraordinary and it’s unnecessary. I will show you why it is always best to start with the system you will end up with eventually.
Your wallet will thank me …
Do You Really Need All This Functionality & Flexibility?
Short answer: If you don’t now, you will sooner than later …
Most software solutions fall into two categories for conducting online business. You’ve got:
- Hobbyist/Part-time/Side-Hustle Software Solutions – Easy to use – shorter learning curve – software capabilities are limited – it is what it is and it does what it does. If your business requires something outside the box, this solution won’t typically work. You have to mold your business to fit the software’s boundaries.
- Professional/Part-to-Full-time/Primary Hustle Software Solutions – More challenging to use – requires more of a commitment to learn how it works in order to achieve your desired result – has strong feature set that adapts, innovates and integrates with more complex business rules and 3rd party systems – You can mold the software to fit your business.
Where does Infusionsoft fall in the above two software solution categories? Definitely the second one.
While it may take more effort to onboard and integrate, it paves the way by providing you more ways to grow, expand and adapt your business to an ever-changing online marketplace. When you start out with Infusionsoft with your eyes wide open, with the right resources and assistance, it doesn’t have to be as difficult as many disgruntled users say it is.
Chapter 6The MOST Important Consideration
Here’s the kicker: Switching Costs Will BREAK You!
Let’s say you go with one of the less expensive, less flexible alternatives to Infusionsoft … Not only will you still have to navigate a learning curve no matter what you choose to go with, but eventually, you will grow out of the Hobbyist Solution. So then what?
When you’ve finally “had it” or your business needs have outgrown what the Hobbyist Solution provides and you are now “ready” to move to a more Professional Solution like Infusionsoft … THAT’s the moment you are in for a rude awakening on the $COST$ and time required to switch from one system to another.
Why don’t people think about this?
They really should! If you are ready this, please hear me out on this one fact alone:
The time and cost to switch from one platform to another is almost never considered when people make a decision for which platform to start with. Because if they did consider it – THEY WOULD NEVER GO WITH THE HOBBYIST SOLUTION – EVER!! (Sorry, I don’t mean to yell – but this is so important for you to understand – and I don’t want you to miss it!)
I’m a guy who people like you hire to make the switch and all I can tell you is this: When you ask me for an estimate to switch you from ClickFunnels, 1ShoppingCart, wooCommerce, Active Campaign, or whatever you are using that needs replaced, this is what you’re going to look like when you see my quote: (It’s going to be a rude awakening!)
This is literally the MOST IMPORTANT thing you need to consider when deciding between Infusionsoft and any of its alternatives: The cost and time to switch “to” Infusionsoft from something less robust can range from $5,000 to $20,000 and take 2 to 6 months to do it properly … I kid you not!
How do I know this? I know, because I’ve personally moved more than 100 small businesses “to” Infusionsoft and the cost and time it takes is real! I haven’t met a customer yet who didn’t regret not starting with Infusionsoft.
There is no “easy” button that automatically takes all of your contacts, all of their purchase history, all of their segmentation preferences, all of the actions they took that were important, all of their notes, or all of their engagement history and pulls it all from wherever you had it and pushes them into Infusionsoft in a nice, neat, and organized fashion.
Nor is there any automatic process that will switch out all of your website optin web forms, order forms and/or membership area permissions automatically – all of this needs strategized, thought through and rebuilt.
Whatever you paid to have it created in the first place will likely need to be paid again when you switch. The struggle is real folks. You’re going to essentially double your integration costs – that’s all money down the drain unless you start with the platform you’ll end up with …
This is important to understand:
It’s not really a question of “whether or not” you will ever need Infusionsoft – it’s more a question of “when” your business won’t be able to function without it. If you are reading this and you own another platform that isn’t getting it done for you, and you are considering switching to Infusionsoft in the near future, please take my advice and do it sooner than later.
The sooner you do, the easier it will be and the less it will cost you. The longer you wait, the more time it will take and the more it will cost you – it’s just that simple.
If you are on the fence, and you are serious about growing your online business, and you want to plug all the holes in your marketing campaign funnels that leak prospects and cash, Infusionsoft will become the most important tool your online business will depend on.
So, I’d get off the fence if I were you … That’s got to hurt – just sayin.
You don’t have to take my word for it, let the fact that 800 out of the more than 1,000 Small businesses I’ve worked with hopped off the fence and made the same decision to trust Infusionsoft as the “only viable option” for being the brain-center behind their online business.
Why did they choose Infusionsoft and why should you?
Because Infusionsoft is the most adaptable, versatile, flexible, customizable platform available. If my position on this statement ever changes due to a better platform or any other reason, I will certainly update this statement – but for now, Infusionsoft is in a class of its own and the developers at Infusionsoft aren’t done yet. They continually innovate by releasing improvements and updates month after month with the goal of continual improvement of the platform.
So how much could it really cost to switch to Infusionsoft from another platform? Here’s an example of a client who had to move “to” Infusionsoft:
Our long-time client, Alex Mandossian, had nine 1shoppingcart.com accounts that he wanted migrated and combined into just one Infusionsoft account. Six months and $50,000 later, we finally got everything moved over and working so that he was able to shut down the other accounts … But if he had started with Infusionsoft, none of that time or investment would have been necessary.
(In Alex’s defense, Infusionsoft didn’t exist like it does today when he started online in 2001 – if it had, it would have been a no-brainer for him to start with it.)
So, don’t be like Alex 😉
Please don’t waste time and money trying to save a few bucks now that will cost you thousands of dollars later. Take my advice when I say that if you go the “I’ll just start with this low-priced alternative for a few months or years, then I will simply switch to Infusionsoft later when it’s time.” This method ALWAYS costs you more than you want to pay and holds you hostage longer than you want to stay during the transition. Hey, that rhymed 😉
So, if you are serious about growing your online business – be careful not to fall into the “safety” trap of going with something less robust for a lower price thinking that you’ll be able to easily switch to Infusionsoft later.
Here’s a quick “why you shouldn’t fall for the safe trap” example breakdown:
Before I start with this example – I want to tell you that I’m not making this up as if it were a hypothetical scenario – I see people who do this month after month – this example happens to real small business owners all the time – I sincerely hope you can learn from it and not get your business stuck in the “safe” trap …
First, the monthly Infusionsoft price:
Infusionsoft has special offers that I talk about further down below in the Pricing section, but spoiler alert, it costs somewhere between $158 to $300 per month for full access to all that a small business needs – if you start at the lower price range, you will have some database size and company user limits that you can increase as you grow, but the software will be fully functional. (Also, I can save you money on list size upgrades and adding additional company users – ask me about that here). So, once you have everything setup and you are growing your business beyond a few thousand contacts, you will be looking at $200 to $300-ish per month.
Here is the hobbyist solution price:
So, here’s what appears to be the “safe” route (but don’t do it, it’s the trap) … You buy an Infusionsoft alternative hobbyist solution that doesn’t do all you need, but it only costs you something in the $100/mo range, right? You then start to scale up your business to a point where the cheaper alternative stops meeting your growing business needs. You determine that you need to move it all over to Infusionsoft 12 months after you first signed up for the alternative solution.
You paid the hobbyist solution $100/mo for 12 months or $1,200 total for the year and you paid, let’s say $3,000 to have your existing website(s) and landing pages integrated with the “safer” less robust choice. So you are $4,200 into it at this point. With me so far?
You essentially saved somewhere between $100/mo and $200/mo or $1,200 to $2,400 for the year with your “safe” choice (by not going with Infusionsoft). But now an Infusionsoft consultant and developer has to “re-integrate” (yes, that means rebuild) the functionality of your website integration with Infusionsoft for all of your lead generation, all your sales funnels and all your website settings. They need to strategize and move every email, every piece of branding, and do a whole lot of exports and imports, and now you are looking at a price tag of likely $3,000 to $6,000 to migrate everything over …
Not only does it cost a small fortune, but it takes time – it could take 1 to 3 months of blood, sweat, and tears … And far too many sleepless nights.
So, let me ask you an important question:
What would you rather pay, an extra $1,200 to $2,400 during the first 12 months or pay $3,000 to $6,000 over 1 to 3 months?
Also, what would you rather do during the 1 to 3-month transition? Would you prefer to continue growing your business or waste your valuable, irreplaceable time with a costly migration? As Robin might say, “Holy Business DIstraction, Batman!” …
Wouldn’t it be better to start with the system you’ll end up using long term? I recommend this direction for most small businesses I consult with, and those who take my advice thank me later. There are a few exceptions, but truly only a few. If you aren’t sure what you should do and you want to talk it over, let’s discuss it.
Some clients chose the “safe” route, and without exception, each of them came back later and said “Eric, I wish I’d listened the first go round.” So, please understand that the decision you can make now might cost you a little more in the short run, but save you thousands later (not to mention you can avoid those sleepless night sweats) …
So, you might be asking yourself, “who might I NOT recommend Infusionsoft to?”
To put it simply, if you are financially “broke” and/or you “have an idea about a book you might write someday” (but you haven’t actually made time to start it yet) then of course neither Infusionsoft nor any other platform is likely not the best first step I would take if I were you.
You should definitely have a product or service you can sell (or pre-sell) before starting with a platform like Infusionsoft. When I say “I recommend every small business start with Infusionsoft”, I am making the assumption you are already in it to win it (committed) and you have something either in hand (or almost ready to sell) from which you have the opportunity to earn income.
If you don’t have that product or service you want to sell, then Infusionsoft may not be where you start… You could start with an email service provider like aWeber, iContact etc… Then you will still have some switching costs later, but an email list only with no product sales or CRM data is far less complicated to migrate.
If you are someone who isn’t sure about what direction to take with your business or your idea and you want to talk with me about it to get my candid feedback, I’ll be both truthful and gentle – I too was once like you not sure how to make things work online – we all start at zero … But just remember: 1 is always greater than zero – so connect with me to bounce your ideas off of me.
Chapter 7Who is Infusionsoft For?
Assuming you have a viable business with products or services to sell – or even if you sell other people’s products through affiliate marketing, how do you know if InfusionSoft is right for you?
Let’s take a look to see if Infusionsoft is a fit for you by defining who it is ideal for …
Infusionsoft is for you if:
- You want to start or accelerate the growth of your online business,
- You understand (or are willing to learn) the importance and value of lifecycle marketing where you attract attention by providing free, valuable content in exchange for people’s contact info (in other words, you want to build a list of prospects),
- You then understand the importance of building a relationship with your list by continuing to provide valuable content,
- Which ultimately enables you to monetize or earn a living selling products or services that solve the problems your list members or prospects struggle with.
In summary, you attract attention, from which you build a list, then you build a relationship with your list, and then you ultimately earn a living selling products or services to your list. < – – – That’s it in a nutshell.
And then, once you establish a new first-time customer, your goal becomes to establish trust by your first-time customers making repeat purchases. This trust affords you the opportunity for your repeat customers to become loyal ambassadors for your brand where they spread the word about your products and services to others through word of mouth or through an affiliate program.
Is this what you want to do with your online business? Or is it close to this?
Any business model that follows these practices I just described needs lots of follow-up, lots of relationship building communication, and lots of list segmentation – which is essentially categorizing your list members into identifiable groups of action takers, non-action takers and customers who purchase this product vs that product.
If I just described your goal in the above broad brush stroke statements, then Infusionsoft is most definitely designed for you and your business!
Here’s An Example Of How Infusionsoft Works:
Let’s say you send out an email to the contacts on your list asking them to consider purchasing your new product we will call “Product A” and you get prospect “Bob” to say yes to purchase it. Fantastic, right?
But what about all the other prospects on your list who didn’t say yes. Some will have read the email and clicked to check it out, but decide not to buy at this time, others will have read the email but not clicked to check out your offer, while others won’t have even seen the email yet …
What do we do with all these people? Answer: We follow-up with them …
So, you decide to send out a follow-up email to your list the next day, right? But, the last thing you want to do is send your follow-up email to “Bob” who just said yes to purchase it, right?
That’s why Infusionsoft gives you the ability to STOP campaigns for contacts who take the very action or goal that you wanted them to take. In other words, once a contact does the thing you want them to do, Infusionsoft is smart and takes that action taking contact out of the follow-up campaign and then adds them to the automation that thanks them for buying.
There’s nothing more annoying than being on someone’s email list who doesn’t have their finger on the pulse of who you are and what you’ve done. Nothing says, “I don’t care about you” more than sending out emails to prospects or customers asking them to do things they’ve ALREADY DONE! Infusionsoft has the tools and the rules to keep you from being that marketer.
Infusionsoft, when configured properly, will allow you to execute a campaign that keeps track of who does what and when so that you can follow-up with non-buyers only. But that’s not all, you can even drill down further by sending one type of follow-up email sequence to those who opened your email but didn’t click your call to action, then another version of the email to those who opened, clicked, but didn’t purchase, and yet another version of the email to those who never opened the email at all.
That way you can be laser focused with your messaging and never send an inapplicable or inappropriate email to the wrong person … If you want to have that level of granular control over your marketing automation, then Infusionsoft is the winner, winner, chicken dinner!
I’ve given you examples of the kinds of things Infusionsoft can do for you. But you still might be asking:
“Yeah, but is Infusionsoft right for my specific business type?”
So, what I’ve done is I sat down with my own accounting application and went all the way back to 2005 and I looked at the names and business types of all of my clients who used Infusionsoft and I made a list of all the business “types” they conducted, and now I’d like to share this list with you.
These business types are in alphabetical order to make them easier to browse – There are 150+ of them … If your business matches or is similar to any of these, I’m confident you can benefit from what Infusionsoft has to offer:
Antique Sales and Restoration
Assisted Living Facility
Ballroom Dance Services
Bed & Breakfast
Bike Shop Sales and Repair
Cake and Cookie Bakery
Child Development Services
Clothing apparel eCommerce
College & University Marketing
Commercial Real Estate
Custom Furniture Building & Sales
Diet & Nutritionists
Dog Training Course
Dog Walking Service
Doll Bed Building
Electrician & HVAC Services
Email Service Providers
Event Planning Services
Gold & Silver Investing
Graphic Design Services
Gymnastics & Cheerleading
High Net Worth Investing
Home Inspection Business
Home Owners Associations
Hotel and Conference Centers
How to Fly Drones
How to make your own beer
Junk Removal Services
Laser Etching Services
Life & Business Coaching
Live Event Producers
Marketing and Design Services
Meal Replacement & Supplements
Music Store Sales
Online Software as a Service (SaaS)
Organic Freshly Prepared Food
Paint Ball Recreation
Parental Advice and Training
Pet Sitting Exchange Service
Plastic Pallet & Container Sales
Plastic Surgery Services
Postcard Follow-up System
Property Damage Restoration
Raw Food Membership Area
Real Estate Agents
Real Estate Appraiser Services
Real Estate Brokers
Real Estate Investment Services
Real Estate Mortgage Providers
Real Estate Tax Liens
Rehabbing Home Services
Relationship Advice and Coaching
Restaurants & Bars
Retractable Awning Installation
Sales Training Services
Sam’s Club Membership Website
Selling on Etsy
Senior Care Services
Skin Rejuvenation Services
Small Appliance Repair
Social Media Consulting & Services
Specialty Food Store
Sport Fishing and Hunting Services
Stop Smoking Services
Swimming Pool Installation
Swimming Pool Sales & Supplies
Trophy/Plaque Engraving Services
Used Car Sales
Vacation Home Rentals
Video Production and Editing
Virtual Tour Services
Weight Loss Experts
White Water Rafting Rentals
Window Washing Service
Woodworking How To
Yacht Captain & Chef
Yoga Instruction and Coaching
YouTubers / Influencers
Now, if your business is not on the list above, does that mean Infusionsoft is not for you? “Heck No!” It only means I have not personally worked with a business owner in your direct niche. If you want to ask me about your niche to see if I think Infusionsoft is a solid companion, click to let me know what you’ve got planned and I’ll give you my thoughts and a few ideas on how to proceed …
You might think my description for who Infusionsoft is for is a bit broad, but I hope you get the picture or catch my drift that Infusionsoft quite literally covers a massive broad spectrum of most small business needs.
If you want Infusionsoft’s benefits to have a positive impact on your bottom line, then there are only a few scenarios that should present cause for pause before making this decision. There are a few business types that might make Infusionsoft more challenging to manage. Allow me to describe those in the next chapter …
Chapter 8Who is Infusionsoft NOT For?
The first Infusionsoft product/company mismatch would be a company I like to coin “Grumpy Old Men (or Women)” … These are businesses with lots of complicated business rules and requirements for how they “must” conduct business …
Therefore, if a business is both mature AND quite rigid when it comes to change, odds are fairly high that an Infusionsoft migration could be challenging and painful. But not impossible – we’ve worked with quite a few Grumpy Old Men (and Women) projects over the years, and let’s just say it wasn’t the most fun …
I simply want to manage your expectations by saying that the more mature your business is and the more rules and exceptions there are, the longer it will take to complete it and the more it will cost … It’s harder to get to the point where you start seeing wins.
Next is the company with a large email list consideration:
Further, if your business is mature or relatively new and you have a large list of close to 250,000 or more contacts, (that you ethically built over time) you may want to tread lightly before jumping into a quick migration (unless you are suffering from horrible inbox deliverability from your current provider – but even then, your email content may be the reason for poor deliverability and that won’t change when you shift to Infusionsoft).
There are a lot of complex factors to consider when migrating 100’s of thousands of contact records from one system to another. Depending on where your contacts reside and how old they are and how often you currently connect with them (via emails), you could find yourself in a pickle when you go to import them into Infusionsoft (or any other email provider for that matter) …
Why? Because Infusionsoft will test your newly imported list by randomly selecting about 10% of your list and when you go to send out your first Infusionsoft email broadcast to all of them, they will test your list by only sending your email to this randomly selected 10% to be sure the bounce rate, unsubscribe rate and SPAM report rate is within an acceptable range.
If you pass this initial test, then Infusionsoft will release your email to the remaining 90% about 24 hours later… If you fail the test, you better hope you didn’t delete your old email service account just yet. Just sayin.
Now there are LOTS of ways to clean an older list before importing to Infusionsoft – but that is for another article, not this one. Google how to clean my email list for some ideas … (that link opens in new window).
Keep in mind that a large list that you rarely communicate with might be better off staying where it is – because if you import this list, it will likely fail the initial send test – and then you have no choice but to go back to sending from the original provider.
But you can still use Infusionsoft with the old email service provider – here’s how: You set up Infusionsoft with essentially zero contacts in it, and you continue mailing your list from your current/previous email service provider, and each person who opts into your new offers or campaigns in Infusionsoft, they end up organically landing inside your new Infusionsoft account. Then, as people opt into your new Infusionsoft list, you would set it up to remove the same people from the legacy email provider list to keep everything straight.
Then after 4 to 8 months of this, the old list will basically become nothing more than a bunch of non-action-takers and you can do a final export, list clean, and import into Infusionsoft and do one final re-engagement campaign with them.
Lastly, if they still don’t respond, take them off your list all together … If you have a large list and you don’t do this right, you could risk making some REALLY big mistakes. So be sure to look into all of your options before pulling any import/export triggers.
To learn more about all the “do’s and don’ts” of migrating large lists I’ve learned over the years, please join me for one of my free weekly Q&A calls where I answer your questions about migration to and from any system (not just Infusionsoft). Trust me when I tell you, it is always better to be safe than sorry.
The only thing worse than going in the wrong direction is going in the wrong direction enthusiastically … Avoid getting into that pickle! … Here’s how to join the next call if you’re interested. (It’s not some pre-recorded webinar – I promise – it’s literally just me taking questions from people like you, and me answering those questions delivering as much value as possible) 😉
So, what other business types are less than ideal for Infusionsoft?
We call this next group of less than ideal business types “The Complicators” …
These clients start with very simple business models inside Infusionsoft and then, as time goes by, they tend to complicate things as they grow their business (especially if they don’t have sound digital leadership in their beginning strategy). To say that things get muddy and murky in their Infusionsoft account would be an understatement – so, depending on the size of their Infusionsoft account and the size of their business, we sometimes advise them to start a fresh new account and do things “clean” and “right” from the get go. Most find that after we launch their fresh start application, that it was exactly what the doctor ordered…
(Then, of course, we take leadership with these complicators by showing them how to keep their new account organized going forward. And then slowly we move things from the old account to the new account the right way and this really can cause a major upswing in both clarity and revenue.)
If you are the owner of a “Complicator” business that already exists in a different, NON-Infusionsoft platform and you don’t want to simplify anything … and you want to simply migrate “every complicated thing just like it is now” you may want to rethink moving to Infusionsoft – OR – you might be smarter to move just the “parts” of your business to Infusionsoft that make the most sense that have the highest chance of moving the needle to grow your business.
Moving the whole thing “as is” without any simplification could be a recipe for painful, costly, frustration. We’ve done it for clients in the past and it’s not my fave and I doubt it will be yours either.
I truly don’t recommend it. What I recommend is simplifying your business model first. Simpler is almost always better both in the short run and the long run. But if that is not an option, just move “pieces” of your business that can leverage Infusionsoft’s campaign builder, follow-up and marketing automation (leaving as much of the complicated pieces in your existing platform as possible).
Another type of business that may not fare well migrating to Infusionsoft is one who stores mass inventory and who sells 100’s or 1,000’s of unique products whose success depends on a strong shopping cart checkout process that is both customizable and functionally editable for having more than one type of product in the cart as part of the same order. I call these companies “Volume Sellers”.
Volume sellers are defined as sellers whose goal is to have a significant number of differnet products where multiple quantities are sold on the same order. These companies need a strong shopping cart checkout process to handle all the different needs for all types of products. Infusionsoft is notoriously weak in this area. I guarantee you that trying to use Infusionsoft’s cart checkout tool will not be worth the time to even give it a test run. Just take my work for it and don’t.
However, I have many “Volume Seller” clients who use wooCommerce or Shopify for their cart checkout process but still use Infusionsoft for lead generation, lead nurturing, follow-up, cart abandonment, and product specific campaign management.
There are some really nice integrations built between these other cart checkout systems and Infusionsoft. (You don’t have to use “all” of what Infusionsoft offers – it’s not an “all or none” scenario – you can simply pick and choose the features you want to leverage without dumping the baby out with the bath water).
Let me be clear here, I can see how this could get confusing – I’m sitting here telling you that Infusionsoft’s shopping cart UI is weak and in my next breath you’ll hear me say Infusionsoft’s eCommerce integration is amazingly powerful …
So, what gives? How can Infusionsoft be both weak and powerful at the same time? The answer is because I’m referring to two different things…
Here’s the strong version first:
The “amazingly powerful” eCommerce system Infusionsoft offers that I’m referring to is where you sell one pre-determined product or one set of products at a time by using a one-page or single-step order form. These order forms are combined with a well thought out marketing campaign or funnel strategy with very specific upsell and downsell paths you want prospects to experience that is pre-determined. Here’s an example:
- A prospect lands on a sales page that has all of the details about a course that you sell. This sales page has everything a visitor needs to evaluate the offer and make a decision to buy the course and through out the sales page there are Call to Action buttons that lead the prospect to the checkout or order form page.
- Once a visitor clicks the Call to Action to buy the course, he or she is taken to a page that asks for their contact details, billing address, and credit card and the total for the course is already built into the order form. Once the prospect completes this simple order form and clicks the button to submit the order, the credit card is charges and the visitor is redirected to a thank you page that is specific to the product they just ordered.
There is no “add to cart” or “continue shopping” or anything else that might distract the visitor from buying that one important product. The reason this is import is because of conversion. Every time you remove extra steps you increase conversion rate and every time you decrease points of decision making, you increase conversion rate. The single step checkout achieves both conversion rate increase goals because we remove extra steps and we keep the number of decisions low by having just one decision to buy or not buy.
Contrast that with an amazon like experience, where they want people to load up their cart with as many items as humanly possible and then get them to checkout with 20 or 30 items in their cart (instead of one product buying decision at a time) …
In summary, Infusionsoft is FANTASTIC with regard to order-form single buying decision order processes and it is weaker with regard to fully functional shopping cart checkout processes like amazon.com.
Chapter 9Pro's and Con's
I have assembled a fairly comprehensive list of Pro’s and Con’s regarding Infusionsoft for you. Simply click each item below to get a summary of each Pro and Con.
Lead Generation is the primary indicator of the health of any small business – Infusionsoft opens up just about every opportunity to generate, manage, prequalify and nurture leads. Lead generation is literally the primary core functionality of the Infusionsoft platform.
But the thing to understand is that just because you buy the Infusionsoft platform and turn it on, it doesn’t mean that you instantly you start getting leads out if thin air. Infusionsoft, like all other platforms, requires that you create offers for free, valuable content that speaks to the pain of your market.
Infusionsoft is not your copywriter who builds these content pieces – you or your marketing person needs to do this – but once you have the assets, Infusionsoft allows you to build the marketing funnel that will automate the entire process and make managing lead generation and reporting a snap!
Email Follow-Up is sending appropriate email to prospects who do (or don’t do) things that take them further through your marketing lifecycle. Again, email follow-up is another core competency of the Infusionsoft platform specifically via the Campaign Builder which makes follow up a snap and takes care of all the “if this happens, then do this” or “and if this happens, then do that” …
This is where it is uber critical to have someone with experience setting up your campaigns with or for you. Since Infusionsoft is powerful for so many unique situations, it has no “automatic setup” button. Some view that as a weakness, but it’s actually the core of Infusionsoft’s strength because it can adapt to virtually any type of campaign you wish to run.
Marketing Campaign Management
Marketing Campaign Management via the Campaign Builder keeps every marketing effort you create organized, visual, and editable. We have clients with one Infusionsoft account running as many as 5 unique Marketing Campaigns simultaneously all with different goals, selling different products, to different segments of their list – and all of it is neat and tidy based on the campaign automation.
The visual representation of a prospect’s journey through your marketing flow from one step to the next with decision diamonds that determine automatically whether a prospect should follow path A versus path B or path C all works seamlessly and harmoniously so long as you have sound strategy, tagging schema, goals and you don’t build black holes where prospects get stuck.
While the campaign builder tool is powerful and efficient, it is not typically something a client picks up and uses without training or assistance – this is why we have built most of our client’s campaigns for them, then show them how they work so that they fully understand the flow and what is supposed to happen and when.
eCommerce is a strong suit of Infusionsoft via their one page order forms. These extremely streamlined order forms grease the wheels of conversion – and then once an order is placed, you have full control over what happens next regarding whether you send notice to your fulfillment house, send receipt emails, trigger NPS score emails, integrate with members area website content with usernames and passwords, etc.
Infusionsoft opens up virtually all avenues for how you and your business fulfills your products or services.
Here’s an example: Let’s say step one is for your customers to schedule an appointment with you for an initial consultation, then once that happens, it triggers a series of reminder emails to get your customer to show up for the consult. What if the customer never schedules an appointment? No sweat, Infusionsoft can be set up to task you or your client care team to reach out to the customer to schedule the call if they don’t do so within a specified number of days. All of this automation starts with the eCommerce sale.
And let’s not forget that if you charge monthly subscription payments for a member’s area or you offer payment plans where customers pay you over time, Infusionsoft allows you to set up billing automation triggers that handle failed credit card payments and upcoming payments on credit cards with expiration dates that are no longer valid.
The last thing you want to do is pay a team member to sit and watch every transaction from every customer – the only transactions you need to focus on are the ones that don’t fix themselves with automation by using all the tools built into Infusionsoft.
Then if customers still don’t pay you after all of the automated emails and pings to them, then you or client care will get tasked to reach out to the customer for new payment arrangements. Infusionsoft has thought about all of it when it comes to collecting money from customers in an automated fashion through eCommerce.
Order Management – So, let’s say a customer just purchased a $3,000 coaching program at a live event you held or from an online webinar, and the customer chose to pay with 3 payments of $1,000. And let’s say you offer a 3-day cool down period for people to cancel.
Now this customer calls you the next day and says “I love the program you offer, but I shared this with my husband and if I don’t cancel this order, he’s going to be very upset with me!” So, in situations like this, you have the ability to make unadvertised “deals” for individual customers.
Most platforms only allow you to refund 100% of the amount paid and cancel the order. But Infusionsoft’s post order management process let’s you do just about ANYthing you choose to in order to save the sale. If you wanted to, you could say to this customer “Here’s what we can do – we can refund half of what you paid and change this from 3 payments of $1,000 to 6 payments of $500” …
Not only that, but you could stretch the payments out to every 45 or every 60 days. Or you could do a partial refund of $900 and then set up weekly payments of $100 for the next 30 weeks. And if you chose to, you could add a finance fee to the order and have that extra amount added to the total due. You could change the price of the product after the order was already made.
And if you have an affiliate program, it will keep up with all the commissions based on the amount paid with each payment – it really is that powerful. I know of no other platform that gives you this much control over orders – and depending on your industry, this can be a life-saver!
Opportunity Management – If you have an in-house sales team of people who sell directly to your customers, you are likely already familiar with CRMs and Sales Opportunity management systems. Infusionsoft has all of the same features as most opportunity record platforms and it integrates seamlessly into the Campaign Builder tool just like everything else in Infusionsoft.
The Infusionsoft Opportunity Manager enables you to set up your customized sales stages and create automation steps for each stage that starts and/or stops based on where the customer goes throughout the sales cycle. You have the ability to auto-assign leads via round robin to as many sales people as you need and you can weight more leads to certain sales team members who might be stronger than others.
The opportunity record reporting functionality makes your sales pipeline visible and allows you to make better decisions along the way. Most customers who start to sell with direct sales people don’t know this tool exists in Infusionsoft.
Once they realize it does exist, they love it as they grow their businesses exponentially because they realize they can save time and money by automating almost the entire direct sales process. They realize that their sales people can focus their time and energy on the hottest leads and spend more time closing deals than pushing paper and making cold calls.
Reporting – Infusionsoft doesn’t offer a custom report builder, but they do offer 80 to 90 different reports that cover the gamut for most small businesses. The reports are categorized based on CRM referral partner activity, sales activity, marketing activity, eCommerce activity, and Admin reports.
A new Infusionsoft customer might feel overwhelmed by all of the reports, but you will quickly learn that based on your business needs, you will consistently revisit the same 5 to 10 reports over and over.
Infusionsoft also makes it easy to add links to saved reports directly to the main navigation of the platform so that you can login, click once, and see data. Also, you can customize your dashboard with your key performance indicators right on the page you see when you log into Infusionsoft.
All in One Solution
All in One Solution – Infusionsoft’s best known for its “all under one roof” solution. It is the first company of its kind to create a platform that offers so many necessities designed specifically for the small business. There are now similar systems that have sprung up online, but all of the others are constantly chasing what Infusionsoft has already accomplished. And better yet, Infusionsoft continually expands and improves its platform.
There are many super fancy reporting tools online, there are many shopping cart tools, many sales pipeline management tools, many CRM tools, many marketing campaign tools, many email service tools, many affiliate program tools and many lead generation tools and landing page generators – but NO ONE (except for Infusionsoft) has put all of these things together in one platform and made it useful, efficient and effective for a price that a small business can afford.
3rd Party Integrations
3rd Party Integrations – Infusionsoft has all of the core systems covered – but when it doesn’t do something you wish it did for your specific industry, there are literally thousands of 3rd party systems that already integrate directly with Infusionsoft. Infusionsoft’s powerful API allows 3rd party software companies to tap into the power of Infusionsoft and extend its reach to allow Infusionsoft customers to become virtually limitless with industry specific functionality.
API – The Infusionsoft API is solid. My team and I have developed in the API for more than 10 years and the dependability and structure of the API is everything you need if you are building something custom.
We once built a tablet based custom Point of Sale system that live event producers used at the door for check in, and it printed badges with barcodes that represented the attendees Infusionsoft ID and when they sold courses and products from stage, attendees would walk up to the store, have their badge scanned, have their record show up on the tablet, pay for the products with credit card swipes, have the ability to pay with multiple cards, cash, checks, etc and award affiliates with commissions for those sales – all integrated through the Infusionsoft API…
That, my friends, is a powerful API that allowed my client to do all of that AND of course tap into the campaign builder to automate all product and course delivery, etc… This is one of hundreds of API integrations we’ve built over the years.
Affiliate Management – Infusionsoft’s Affiliate platform allows you the flexibility to pay your affiliates commission based on leads and sales generated. You can configure it to be first cookie wins, last cookie wins, or hard code forever.
You can pay out based on flat rates or percentages of sales and you can have a different commission for every product you sell if you want to – the system allows you to be as granular as you want and as customized as you want. In addition, you may want to have 2 or 3 different programs for different levels of affiliates where you sell the same product in all 3 programs, but in program A, it pays out 10% commission, then in program B, it pays out 20% for the same product, and program C can be set up to pay nothing if you so choose.
You literally have full control to pretty much reward your affiliates any way you want. Affiliate data from Infusionsoft also is accessible via the API so, you can create leaderboards to motivate affiliates and offer prizes for product launches or big promos.
Tagging – how do you keep it all straight in Infusionsoft? There are so many moving parts that are all interdependent, so how does it all remain stable, you might ask? The answer is often tagging strategy. You can create tags that keep track of who did what, when, and how.
So, there is something called “tag bloat” where Infusionsoft customers go crazy creating numerous tags that all sound similar and over time become mind numbing to try and understand who is who. So, please keep in mind that a strong naming convention is critical!!
Remember the client I told you about who we built the Point of Sale system for? They had close to 15,000 tags in their account. BUT – we took care to coach and train the client on how to keep it all categorized and consistent and it all worked out like they wanted.
So, in summary, tagging is a fantastic way to segment your list, show you who participated in this promo, but not that one, and show you who wants your newsletter but also can show you who doesn’t want your newsletter. They are powerful, but you must use them properly with a solid naming convention so that you can gain clarity over time rather than clouding the water with them.
Single Optin vs Double Optin
Single Optin vs Double Optin – When people join your list for the first time, Infusionsoft offers the option to send the prospect a confirmation email to close the loop that basically says “yes, I requested your newsletter, and I understand you will send me more newsletter emails in the future”.
This is referred to as “double optin” … But what confuses me is that many platforms out there do not allow you to send any more emails to people who do not confirm their email address. You might say “well, what’s wrong with that?”
The answer is that typically only 40% of people actually confirm their email – and if you are the email manager for your business and you have a 21% conversion rate for visitors to leads, and only 40% of the 21% are emails you can send to, then that makes your net conversion rate just 8.4% … Throw up!
So, what Infusionsoft does that is rare, is they let you send out 1, 2 or 3 requests for the prospect to confirm their email, but if the prospect never does, you can still send email marketing messages to them as a marketable contact. Then if after 4 months, the prospect never opened, clicked or engaged with you, then it’s time to be responsible and send a last chance type email that basically says, “if you still want to read our stuff, click here, otherwise, we will stop filling your inbox…” (And of course, ALL of this can be automated).
So, the reason this is important is because many other platforms are either all double optin, all single optin or no options at all. Infusionsoft at least puts that decision in your hands and as long as you are not a spammer, you have a full set of options at your fingertips to do whatever is in the best interest for your business.
List Import/Export Ability
List Import/Export Ability – Exporting a list is fairly straight forward in Infusionsoft – but importing can be very tricky if you don’t understand the rules. Every email service provider runs the risk of having a new customer log into their fresh new account and import a list of email addresses that their customer either stole or rented online.
This violates every rule in the book – so if Infusionsoft has 10’s of thousands of customers, how do they police this and keep a few bad apples from spoiling the bunch? (You see, when an Infusionsoft customer sends emails and gets hundreds of spam reports from a single email that went out – Infusionsoft is who the big ISP’s call – not you, the customer – so it is Infusionsoft’s reputation on the line when they allow you to send email on their servers – not to mention that if this happens too much, Infusionsoft’s sending IP addresses can get reported as a source of spam and that can impact other Infusionsoft customers.)
So, here’s how Infusionsoft polices this – let’s say you import a list of 50,000 email addresses into your new Infusionsoft account and you go to send your first broadcast email to all 50,000 … What Infusionsoft does is a simple test – they randomly select a small percent of your 50,000 contacts and release your first email to them, and then their platform listens for 3 primary things: hard bounces, unsubscribes, and spam reports.
As long as your hard bounces, unsubscribes, and spam requests stay within Infusionsoft’s acceptable limits, then they will release your email to the rest of your 50,000 contacts. This test typically takes about 24 hours to complete. So, keep this in mind BEFORE you cancel your previous provider in case you need to send out an email right away…
Developer Pool – Since Infusionsoft has grown over the years, the developer pool has grown as well. There are more Infusionsoft developers available today than ever before – but keep in mind that they are not all created equal. Some of them talk a good game, but they don’t know their head from their elbow when it comes to building an integration.
But there are some really good ones too. The rule of thumb I’d use is that if they can start on your project immediately, they aren’t that good (unless they are a really big dev shop with lots of satisfied clients and a well-trained team) …
Normally the really good Infusionsoft developers are quite in demand and busy – so, the way you know you have a good one is if they need at least a week before they can start to onboard your account.
Ask them for at least 3 references of satisfied Infusionsoft customers – and actually call these people – and verify that they truly do have an Infusionsoft account and that the partner performed the integration and that all of it went as planned based on timeline and budget. There are some really sneaky “beginners” out there faking it till they make it – don’t let that happen on your nickel!!
Customer Support – Infusionsoft has improved quite a bit in this area. It used to be a crapshoot at best – every time you called them, you got someone different, and it seemed like each person you talk to had a different answer to the same question – but in the last 2 to 3 years, they have really stepped up customer support.
They now have a chat feature built into the platform so that no matter where you are in the logged in area, you can initiate a chat session. I’ve used it on occasion and found it to be useful and I think you will too.
Updates & Improvements
Updates & Improvements – Infusionsoft is not content with the status quo – their philosophy is to continually improve and innovate. This is why they are the leader in their field for small businesses. Every month, they roll out new features and improvements that truly do up-level their service to your business.
They don’t nickel and dime their customers with new features either, they simply roll out new functionality to make your life easier and empower you to grow your business faster.
Also, when something has a bug or needs a fix, they have this page here that shows you a current rolling status of all current issues they know about that they are resolving. The transparency is refreshing and appreciated. There were many times when new features rolled out and I found an issue, so I’d first go to the known issues page to see if it’s already in their queue to deal with and usually it’s already there – I don’t waste my time or theirs reporting it and depending on the severity, it’s often fixed within a few days.
Infusionsoft isn’t all puppies, rainbows and unicorns. Here are some con’s I have dealt with over the years:
Shopping Cart Platform
Shopping Cart Platform – As I said earlier, the biggest weakness of Infusionsoft is its Shopping Cart functionality (but not the order forms, they are GREAT) … The cart is where you have all your products and you want people to add to cart and keep adding items to their cart and then checkout…
There hasn’t really been a major move to improve the cart because truth be told, it would be a massive undertaking and it would be far easier for a customer to go get Shopify or wooCommerce and host the cart on their own site and just use Infusionsoft for what it does best with Campaigns, email marketing, follow-up etc.
If you sell more than 50 unique products and you want people to add as many of them to their cart as possible – then don’t use Infusionsoft’s shopping cart – but do use Infusionsoft for everything else it offers!
Customized Reporting – While Infusionsoft has a wide array of great reports, they are basically read only – meaning, you can’t really customize the reports. When we have had clients with unique or custom reporting requirements, we would access their Infusionsoft data via the API and build the report for them outside of Infusionsoft on a backdoor page of their website.
There are also reporting applications that enable you to pull much more detailed and customized reports by simply connected them to your Infusionsoft application. This is only a “con” if the reporting you need isn’t already built in – and like I already said, if you just need the basics, the 80+ reports Infusionsoft already has will likely cover your needs.
API Call Token Limitations
API call token limitations with no visibility – this one is only an issue if you are a developer or if you hire a developer who doesn’t understand this limitation. An API request is sort of like a brief phone call. If you have 10 customer service reps on call and you have anywhere from 8 to 12 customers calling you every 5 minutes, then you can handle the load of requests with your 10 customer service reps, right?
And if you had an influx of 100 calls all within a single hour, it might be tough to get through the calls, but you probably could get through it as long as the call load slowed down after the hour elapsed. Well, the Infusionsoft API is a lot like your 10 customer service reps, whereby each API request or call takes up resources on Infusionsoft’s platform.
And if you need a burst of API requests in a short period of time, Infusionsoft can handle it, but if these requests come non-stop for hours and hours, you will run out of available requests allocated to your account just like you’d run out of customer service reps if you had 100 calls per hour for 8 hours straight.
So why should you care about this? Well, truthfully, 95% of our clients don’t care – but the 5% who do care find out about API throttling the hard way.
Example: We had a client with 18,000 people registered for a webinar. The client’s developer added tracking code that tracked and set a tag for each attendee for each step they took during the webinar. There were about 10 API calls made per webinar attendee for the first hour and they had about 8,000 attendees show up.
So, each Infusionsoft account offers 10,000 API calls that are available and every time you make a single call, you use a credit, and then for every half second, the credit is restored. So, when 8,000 people hit a page at the beginning of a webinar, the API calls start firing like mad – then any time the call credits don’t replenish, and the calls keep coming in, Infusionsoft throttles the calls and only lets one call through every half second.
Sounds like not that big of a deal, right? Well, the plugin that the client’s developer used would communicate with Infusion via the API, set tags, and then load the next page – so when the call to action came at the 63rd minute of the webinar, and all the people listening were told to click the button that just showed up on the page, the 8,000 attendees would have to sit and wait for 4,000 seconds (a little more than an hour) because the sales page wouldn’t load until the API call was successful for each visitor.
In a word, it was a DISASTER. So, it’s important to understand this and not set yourself up for failure – especially when you get 18,000 people registered for a live online event. We gave the client code that would respect the API call volume and still get the same tracking ability so that the next big call would be a success.
The last thing I will say that makes this a “con” is that Infusionsoft give you no visibility into how many token credits you’ve currently used and if you have poorly written code from a programmer that is making excessive API calls, you could be on the brink of having your API account throttled and never know it. So, I wish they had some sort of visibility or meter that shows how many are currently in use…
Affiliate Tools Area
Affiliate Tools Area – The affiliate tools area is quite functional but it lacks in usability or friendliness … Most of our clients who depend on affiliates to grow the sales of their business hire us to build a custom affiliate tools area that lives on their website.
That way it is fully editable and matches the customer’s branding. The Infusionsoft Affiliate Tools area isn’t a deal breaker per se, but it certainly is a place that could use a UI update.
Few Boundaries – The fact that Infusionsoft can adapt to practically any business need makes it incredibly powerful – and also quite flexible. On the outside looking in, flexibility is a pro not a con, right?
Well, the reason I have this as a con is to draw attention to the fact that Infusionsoft’s flexibility allows one to do just about anything they want with few boundaries. The problem with that is that just because you can DOES NOT mean you should!
And since you can go in any direction you want, you can easily paint yourself in a digital corner and make things overly and unnecessarily complicated. This is where tag bloat comes from, or overlapping campaigns that conflict, or lack of visibility to things that should be simple – like “how many paying customers do I have right now?”
This is why it is important to have an experienced partner strategizing with you to set you up for success, to keep things clear and simple, and to prevent you from crossing boundaries that will cloud your vision. People call Infusionsoft “Confusionsoft” but it’s not usually Infusionsoft’s fault – it’s their customers doing business outside the boundaries …
The con is that Infusionsoft can’t install boundaries and yet still remain flexible. So, it’s a balancing act…
Unsubscribe Options – Unfortunately there is not a robust unsubscribe tool or manager that manages the user experience… Infusionsoft is made up of a single “list” of contacts. Some are prospects (non-buyers), some are customers, some are repeat customers and some are referral partners or affiliates and they all live in a single list together.
So, when someone unsubscribes from the list, they are unsubscribing from everything. The challenge is that if you have an affiliate who loves promoting your products but prefers not to get your newsletter or marketing emails, when he/she uses the default method to unsubscribe from your marketing list, they have essentially unsubscribed from everything – including reminders about affiliate promotions and affiliate communications.
So, the way around this is a bit complex and certainly outside the scope of this article, but the good news is there are ways to allow people to opt out of your marketing emails but stay on your list for other purposes. But if you leave the unsubscribe process as is when you get the account, you will likely not get the result you wanted.
Shared Sending IP Addresses
Shared Sending IP Addresses – So when you send emails from Infusionsoft, it is not your server or website sending the emails, it is Infusionsoft’s mail server sending them – this is a good thing for many reasons!
The challenge here that makes this a “con” is that when you send with Infusionsoft, the IP addresses that you send from are the same as the IP addresses for other Infusionsoft customers – and if you are a responsible marketer and another customer is irresponsible, it could negatively impact the deliverability of your emails.
But this is less and less of an issue lately as Infusionsoft has added some domain validation tools with DKIM and SPF entries where you can greatly improve your deliverability. Most of the people who complain about poor deliverability send emails riddled with spammy language and link to sites or landing pages that are associated with spamming material – so those people tend to complain about delivery rates no matter where they send from …
But if Infusionsoft ever chose to improve this, they would offer an upgrade service where you pay more to have your own dedicated IP address – but there are problems there as well, because if you mess up and get your own IP blocked, then it can take longer to get unblocked than simply sticking with a rolling block of shared IPs …
So, I added this to be transparent, but truth be told, all of my reputable clients get all their Infusionsoft email delivered via Infusionsoft regardless if the IPs are shared or not… And, bless their hearts, but my clients whose email practices are less than reputable, they have problems and always will…
Untrained so called “Experts”
Untrained so called “Experts” – the last con is a flipside of a pro I mentioned earlier – it is a “pro” that the developer pool has grown – there are more experts today than there were a few years back.
But there is also a growing list of NON-Experts who are making Infusionsoft look bad. They build flimsy campaigns with holes that leak prospects and some don’t work at all. If you lined up all these untrained so-called experts head to toe, I’d say just leave them that way! 😉
But seriously, if it sounds too good to be true, it likely is and if they can take on your project immediately and they have no real Infusionsoft clients to verify, stay away from them – but if they truly are an expert, call their clients and ask the hard questions – then you will know all you need to know about their expertise. Err on the side of caution!