CRM for Small Business
How Infusionsoft Compares...
Watch the "Raw" InfusionSoft Video Tour & Review:
OK, let's start out by NOT discussing the price because frankly, this kind of distracted me from getting this at the beginning. (though, when I originally purchased, the price was very different than it is now. It is now more affordable...read the full story below...)
In middle 2008, I found myself pulling my hair out trying to manage a handful of websites and a whole lot of email lists. I was using 1AutomationWiz ( 1ShoppingCart) at the time to manage NetWebVideo (which included processing credit cards, managing affiliate marketing campaigns, and email marketing). For TheWebReviewer, I was using GetResponse to manage my email and I was about to start selling a few products, too. I have another website that had an email list that was managed by Aweber and another site (that had a huge list, but not quite a responsive list) which I managed my email list with Autoresponse Plus on my own server.
This does not include the content management system and CRM that I built in-house for NetWebVideo and Tru-Guru.
Data was flying all over the place and this was the point where the $5000 set-up cost and $299/month membership fee for Infusionsoft sounded very reasonable.
Now understand at this point that I was already paying $99/month for 1AutomationWiz, $45/month for GetResponse, and $20/month for Aweber. So I was already paying about $165/month just to be very disorganized.
(Now I still like all of those products a lot they all were a necessity to get me where I am at today, but I really needed some better organization and data consolidation).
You may also ask: Well, what about using 1AutomationWiz (1ShoppingCart) for everything? And to be honest, that was my initial plan, but there were some very serious limitations to 1AutomationWiz.
First, even though it handled recurring payments for my membership sites, I did not do it very well.
Second, flexibility and external interconnectivity. Even though I was managing my sites well within my own CRM, I found the disconnect to be rather frustrating. Right now, 1AutomationWiz does not offer much of an API interface (something that InfusionSoft does VERY WELL!...Custom applications and reports are pretty easy...with a little bit of technical know-how).
Third, email importation. How was I going to be able to import all of these random lists from other programs. 1AutomationWiz (as well as Aweber and GetResponse) require a double opt-in on all email imports. That would have KILLED my lists! InfusionSoft allows for direct importation of contact details (though, you do need to verify and validate the method of capture, per CAN-SPAM Act laws).
So to save my sanity (and my businesses from collapsing in a mass of disorganization), I elected to give InfusionSoft a chance.
But did this do what I wanted?
Well, like I said above, I did find InfusionSoft to be counter-intuitive at first. But after playing around with tag assignments, template creations, round-robin assignment (and so much more), I saw "the light".
Everything makes a lot of sense now and I cannot tell you how much easier it has been to manage all of my websites. And with API, I have been able to interconnect InfusionSoft with my own CRM.
The final benefits?
- I spend MUCH less time on simple customer/list management (over 50%!)
- My email marketing campaigns are bringing in more money then ever.
- Customer complaints (usually due to incorrect billing) are down 50%.
- Implementation of more complicated marketing funnels are now possible (and easy).
- The scalability of using InfusionSoft seems rather endless.
Do I recommend InfusionSoft?
Yes, but make sure you are ready for it. If you are just starting out online, this may be overkill for you. In fact, 1AutomationWiz worked well for quite some time, but it did have its limitations (especially when trying to manage multiple websites at once).
But this IS the future of Online Customer Relationship Management for small business. I feel the price was well worth it and I can quite easily justify its price by what it saves me in time and what it earns me in additional profit.
If you have a hint of thinking that you need InfusionSoft, you probably do!
Just to give you an update, I've now been using InfusionSoft for over 2 years now with no plan on leaving. I run 5 different websites (using different "users") within a single account (the "Deluxe" package is what I use now).
The email marketing portion has improved greatly over the past year or so with open rates higher than ever. And with the use of other InfusionSoft tools and scripts, I've been able to create some amazingly complex sales funnels.
If you have any questions about the InfusionSoft system, feel free to leave me a ticket at http://www.tru-support.com.