Choosing a key software application takes serious consideration, so much so I spent over 12 months researching my ideal solution before finally taking the plunge. Ultimately, I had to compare Infusionsoft vs Ontraport.
If you’ve ever implemented a new piece of software, you’ll understand the commitment required and also the pain to disconnect and do it again with the ‘right’ provider. This is something I wanted to avoid, having multiple businesses would only compound the situation if I chose the wrong system.
But I’m really happy to say, I got it right. Infusionsoft is the best solution for all of my businesses.
First, I should explain what I was looking in a cloud based software marketing solution.
I have 2 companies, which own and run 3 different businesses – all with different requirements and models.
Your Building Broker – A luxury home builder design and tender service specialising locally in Perth, Western Australia.
This is my local business which I launched in 2010. It revolves around my passion for great home design and working with only the best new home builders.
The home building market is an interesting one and fairly unique for the following reasons;
- Customers typically live in their house for 7-10 years. Meaning, once they buy from you, you won’t see them again for a long long time. This really sucks as repeat business is something you can’t rely on.
- Customers budget is always maximised. There’s very little room for upselling – so your profit per customer is capped.
- Customers typically research the market for 3 months before making a purchase decision. (**This is a key factor when choosing an appropriate solution which I’ll discuss later)
- The average lifecycle of our working relationship is typically 12-36 months.
So what was I looking for in my software choice here;
- I needed a good CRM to capture and nurture leads that came into the system
- I needed some automated marketing solution to help maximise our 3 month window of opportunity to convert a lead to a customer
The good news? Infusionsoft is perfect for local business.
Digital Domination – A digital advertising agency that services Australia (and starting to service globally).
I really only opened this company because of the ridiculous amount of requests I got from builders who won work from Your Building Broker. They were struggling with their digital marketing and kept hassling me to help them. I really only then came to realise the opportunity to help others in this sector. There are a lot of people saying they do this well, but fail to deliver. It was my own experience too – so I launched Digital Domination mid-2011.
I chose a select few builders to work with, but have ultimately come to the decision now that I no longer work with builders and it’s more profitable to help myself!
Because this business wasn’t really required to make me money, I didn’t advertise (and still haven’t). Instead, we’ve just picked up work by word of mouth and/or getting found online.
In saying that, we have helped a lot of business owners get online and create successful digital marketing campaigns. The best thing about Digital Domination is it manages everything for Your Building Broker and Typical Business. This gives me the opportunity to experiment regularly on my own digital campaigns and then only offer solutions that really work to other business owners.
This niche is crowded, but has some great repeat business opportunities plus up-sells.
So what did I need the software for with Digital Domination?
- Lead nurturing – There’s a shorter research cycle in this business, so I needed something that could automate my marketing cycle.
- Email capture and email management. Hot specials, new advertising opportunities and case studies all bring in repeat business. This is best presented via an email to our database of customers.
- Sale of our services through an e-commerce solution.
- Membership management for digital products. While we’re currently not selling any standard products – we have plans to launch these before the end of 2013. We’ve noticed a lot of businesses start to move their digital marketing in-house so we want to be able to help them get the best returns quickly and easily.
- Social media marketing solution.
- Affiliate management
More good news. Infusionsoft is perfect for Online Marketers.
Typical Business – A community for Entrepreneurs and Business Owners Globally
Those that know me personally know I love everything about business. My core activities are in strategic planning, business management and marketing. But there’s nothing I don’t like in business – and business models are so wide and varied I can’t see myself getting bored quickly.
My goal with Typical Business is to build a community of entrepreneurs and business owners and help them overcome any obstacle and get inspired to do what they love. I’ve got some wild plans for Typical Business (aim high they say!), which if they come to fruition will give a staggering amount of value to anyone in the community.
The software I needed here was;
- An email solution. Building a community will take time, but most importantly, I need to connect with others digitally as the audience is global.
- A digital product ecommerce solution.
- Membership management for digital products.
- A social media marketing solution.
- Affiliate management
Why we chose not to use Ontraport
I’ve been looking at Ontraport for a long time – much longer than Infusionsoft actually. Since early 2011 Ontraport was on my radar – even before a lot of Internet marketers I know adopted it as their solution. When comparing the two final solutions, Ontraport comes close but still doesn’t have some of the features and integration I was looking for across all 3 businesses.
The Pro version costs $297 p/month, and allows 2 users and up to 25,000 contacts on your email list, allowing you to send 100,000 emails per month. That equates to 1 email per week. Much less than Infusionsoft.
Here’s their current pricing (as at February 2013)
But here’s why Ontraport really lost the battle – their very own lead nurturing.
What do I mean by that? Well, I took both Ontraport and Infusionsoft demo offers up and watched and reviewed each independently.
Ontraport is an automated marketing system. So, it’s good to see just how the business itself uses that system to win new customers right? After all, I want to use a system that can help me automate my own marketing.
This is where Ontraport came undone and very quickly.
The feature set is very similar to Infusionsoft out of the box, but their campaign to their own new customers and prospects is simplistic at best. It didn’t WOW me. Infusionsoft on the other hand did as well as having some really mind blowing features and most of all, I got to see them while sitting in their prospect pipeline. Plus, they reached out to me with several phone calls to see if I needed additional help.
Announcements also of huge investments into the business, as well as a new acquisition for Infusionsoft really highlighted that it was the best choice going forward.
Why Infusionsoft Became A Clear Winner in the Infusionsoft vs Ontraport comparison
If you look at the Infusionsoft Demo (like I did) you’ll see their campaign builder – which is insanely impressive, incredibly powerful and really easy to use. To watch a demo, click the banner above or find out more about pricing here.
The campaign builder is where you set up different actions and your automated marketing. The above campaign starts when a customer makes a purchase of our product ‘The Decision Tree’. We want to find out a little more from those that purchase the product so we know what they liked and didn’t like, which will help us develop better products in future.
This campaign automatically runs customers from left to right; The customer purchases a product then an email sequence runs;
Once that sequence of emails is complete, the customer will fill out a survey about the product they just bought. If they’re happy they are tagged as happy – meaning they might be hot as a customer for another product we release.
This automation is just amazing. There is no additional work for me to do once a purchase is made. The campaign alone will deliver the product, then check to see if a customer is satisfied, conduct a survey and offer a referral offer plus give a free gift if they make a referral.
For both Typical Business and Digital Domination this saves so much time and ensures our customers have a say in what we do. Plus, they’re rewarded by us if they’re happy customers! All automatically!
There’s so much more to the campaign builder than I can show in just static images, I’d recommend you take the demo yourself.
Beyond the demo, as part of Infusionsofts own lead nurturing, you’ll also get to watch a video series hosted by one of the founders of Infusionsoft. That series alone is worth watching to see what advanced marketers are doing today, which you might not be doing (I’d be willing to bet 95% of businesses aren’t).
The CRM side of the software is also very clever – and allows users to review required actions (like following up a prospect) from their own dashboard.
So does Infusionsoft tick all the boxes? Yes.
- Lead nurturing – this is done via the campaign builder, and can be as comprehensive or as simple as you like.
- Email capture and email management – Quick and easy to implement, this is very simple.
- Sale of our services through an e-commerce solution – Yes, and you can use a number of different payment portals.
- Membership management for digital products – Yes, this is done via an add-on called Customerhub. More importantly, it’s an add-on owned by Infusionsoft and integrates nicely.
- Social media marketing solution – the big news came recently of Infusionsoft acquiring GroSocial. Awesome!
- Affiliate management – Yes, all done through the Infusionsoft dashboard.
Also, sometimes you wonder if a business is going to be around long enough for you to make such a big commitment right? Relax, Infusionsoft recently received a $54 Million Dollar investment from Goldman Sachs – and they have stated clearly they are here for small businesses, and will always remain a small business solution.
If you’re comparing Infusionsoft vs Ontraport please leave your comments below. If there is anything I haven’t covered in this blog post I’d be happy to review them further for you.
I plan to discuss more about Infusionsoft in the future, both on the blog and on the podcast as it’s a system a lot of businesses should seriously consider.
I’m also really excited to be attending Infusioncon 2013 in Phoenix. I plan to blog while I’m there and will hopefully interview a few people for the podcast – so stay tuned.