Update 13 April 2018
I’m no longer an Infusionsoft client and a referral partner. I’ve moved on to Ontraport where I feel much better.
In my original blog post below I wrote that I’ve never met anyone in real life who uses Ontraport. In the meantime, I’ve learned that Seth Godin has been using Ontraport all the way, even long before it became the all-in-one solution it is today. Seth Godin is a person who influences me a lot. But that wasn’t the reason for me to switch to Ontraport.
If you have to make the decision between Infusionsoft and Ontraport ask yourself whether you tend towards Apple products or Microsoft products. If you shy away from the Microsoft world as often as you can, then you should probably use Ontraport. Infusionsoft felt a lot like Microsoft to me and I couldn’t bear it any longer. If you have more questions, talk to me.
Infusionsoft has been receiving criticism in the Facebook group of the mentorship program “Industry Rockstar”. As a member of the group, I’ve seen a growing number of negative comments.
Designed as a tool for Customer Relationship Management (CRM), the software is also helpful for marketing automation and e-commerce activities. Infusionsoft is used and strongly recommended by our mentors, Kane and Alessia Minkus. The two of them negotiated a good deal for us and I really appreciate that.
However, some of us have been suffering serious frustration when using or even attempting to use the software.
Three typical reactions
1) Give up
2) Look for alternatives
3) Outsource campaign designs
Oh, I almost forgot – there’s one other possible reaction:
4) Become an Infusionsoft expert.
This morning I found myself at the point of starting to look for alternatives (again).
- Infusionsoft’s user interface for creating automated marketing campaigns looks ancient and is totally ugly.
- Their “marketplace” promises templates for campaigns, but so far I haven’t found a template that has anything to do with what I need to get done in my business.
- There’s zero chance of me intuitively understanding what I have to do to get an automated campaign up and running.
- When I realised I could NOT figure out what I needed to know in a short time, my immediate reaction was to outsource the creation of the campaign. But that would’ve meant shelling out over US$ 3,000 – the thought of which left me feeling pretty worried: What if implementing every small idea is going to cost me a few thousand dollars?
So I did a little research and here are my crucial findings:
Ontraport versus Infusionsoft
As I’ve never met anyone in real life who uses Ontraport and I ruled out looking into this as a viable option.
Hubspot versus Infusionsoft
Hubspot was my first port of call and initially it looked promising. However, I had the chance to peek behind the scenes of the company and didn’t like what I saw and experienced. It is also much more expensive than Infusionoft – at least for the Hubspot version I would need for my business.
Conventional mailing services versus Infusionsoft
Enter Active Campaign
So what’s left? Active Campaign versus Infusionsoft.
Active Campaign was recommended to me by Arsim Muslija of APProductive in December 2016. Should I have paid more attention to his advice? Quite possibly, but that was then and this is now.
Okay, so first things first.
What are my requirements?
- Top emailing service
- Top Customer Relationship Management (CRM) – not just a basic database consisting of lists of people who have subscribed to this or that newsletter.
- Top marketing automation – a powerful tagging system which mostly runs automatically if you “program” it in a smart way.
- Top e-commerce functionality
Active Campaign versus Infusionsoft: the results of my research
I’ll stick with Infusionsoft – I have to.
Emotionally, this hurts quite a bit because:
- Active Campaign looks much fresher and more modern.
- Active Campaign is designed much more openly in the sense that it can connect with other software. Find out here how much longer the Active Campaign integration list is (go to “Integrations”)
- Active Campaign costs less. However, I also read today that the two solutions are about the same price once you reach the level of managing approximately 25,000 contacts. While this seems quite far in the future for my business, as Wolfgang Goethe once said: “If you don’t expect a million readers, don’t even write one line.”
Why am I sticking with Infusionsoft?
I limited today’s web research to 2 hours and of all the posts my personal favourite is the comparison of Infusionsoft vs. Active Campaign published by AmbitionAlly.
In my opinion, these are the most important reasons in favour of Infusionsoft:
- The tags can be categorised, which doesn’t seem to be the case with Active Campaign. This means things might start getting chaotic as soon as you use 100 tags or more. I’m going to be using more than 100 tags pretty soon, but I would have probably found a workaround.
- According to AmbitionAlly, Infusionsoft is better as soon as you have “more complex needs”. The author of the article, Maria Myre, mentions “super complex funnels or ultrafine-tuned conditional tagging” as examples. The price you pay for this is having to deal with technology – or outsource this part of the work.
- With Infusionsoft I can manage referral programs (affiliate marketing). There are other platforms that could do that for me, but as someone without an IT department, I strongly prefer working with one software programme that largely does everything I need to get done.
AmbitionAlly’s post ends by stating the following:
“If you’re an experienced business owner – or have exceeded the capacity of your current CRM – Infusionsoft is a great option. The sky is the limit. If you can think of it (promotions, discounts, limited-time offers) … techy people (or those with an aptitude for learning systems) can definitely make it happen.”
Okay then, I’ll stay with Infusionsoft.
I even upgraded so that the e-commerce functionality is now a part of my Infusionsoft package.
It is a very rational decision because my gut is telling me just one thing: get away from ugly Infusionsoft, which feels “very Microsoft” to me: a little buggy, 100% inspiration-free and totally stale.
But it’s time for me to stop resisting and to instead go full-steam ahead with Infusionsoft.
I’ll probably go for the on-demand option (90-day access) for US$ 600 and do my best to learn how to use Infusionsoft effectively.
I’ll also outsource work to speed up the development of my company, ContentSuccess Media GmbH.
Furthermore, I hope that Industry Rockstars, the mentorship program that introduced me to Infusionsoft, will come up with great templates for Infusionsoft campaigns which we as their mentees can then use.
As I’m sticking with Infusionsoft, I might as well recommend it and become an affiliate partner, right? Okay, done that.
So wish me luck with becoming an Infusionsoft pro – it’s a challenge I’m now committed to. I hope you also have the best of success with your marketing campaigns!