Having helped hundreds of businesses make a success with Infusionsoft® software over the years, I get asked a lot of Infusionsoft specific questions. The most common ones from business owners being: "What does Infusionsoft® really do?", "What is actually 'in' the system?", and "Do I need it in my business?".
Now - I answer these questions with extreme honestly, which is why although I am an Infusionsoft Software, Inc. Certified Partner and Consultant, I'm also often called the Infusionsoft anti-salesperson.
I'm OK with that. Because like any software, Infusionsoft® isn't right for every business. And I don't see the point in pretending it's the answer to every problem a business has.
That's simply not true, and that kind of attitude will only make you, me and Infusionsoft very unhappy over time. It is definitely a phenomenally powerful system, with the capability to do pretty much anything you like. But that doesn't mean it's right for you...
We're dropping all that pretence here, just the information - you can either draw your own conclusions about whether it's right for you, or get in touch if you need some guidance - and we'll be happy to help you uncover the truth.
That being said, let's get stuck in.
What is Infusionsoft?
Infusionsoft® is an all in one sales and marketing automation platform. It comprises of a CRM, a powerful Marketing Automation builder with drag and drop functionality, Sales Pipeline Automation and E-commerce.
One of the many reasons I love Infusionsoft® so much (and have spent the last 6 years plus of my life working with it), is that it's built *specifically* for small businesses. It exists solely to help small businesses succeed in their sales and marketing.
The team at Infusionsoft is incredibly passionate about small business success. Many of them have their own small businesses - and that's because Infusionsoft hires for entrepreneurial spirit as well as skill set. They want their staff to be as connected as possible with the journeys their customers are going on.
This gives them unique insight into how small businesses work, how and why they struggle and what drives small business owners. That's because they've been there. They may very well be there right now - they get it.
Passion of the Infusionites aside, I'm going to breakdown what they system does, at a high level, to give you some clarity about what it is, and what it is not.
What Infusionsoft actually is: A breakdown
Let's start by taking a look at the main components that make Infusionsoft® so powerful.
Infusionsoft® has its own CRM database.
The Contact Record Management is centralised. Which means that unlike Mailchimp and others, the contacts are not stored or separated into "lists"- allowing seamless data management.
Segmentation is done via tags, which give the system phenomenal capability for searching and sorting. Tags can be applied manually, or automatically based on behaviour. This approach makes it a segmentation powerhouse.
The individual contact records are data rich. Every interaction, transaction and task is stored here. They allow you to create and maintain powerful client relationships by having a detailed overview of your customers, their behaviour and activity. More power to you.
The CRM component also houses the opportunity management section, this is the sales management and automation - we'll touch on this a little further on.
Leadscoring is part of the CRM and allows you to be more targeted with your leads, by focusing only on your hottest/ most engaged contacts. You assign scores to every contact with the leadscoring points system - effectively creating your own algorithm for what denotes a good lead. You can base this on behaviour, interactions and demographics.
The CRM system collates:
- Contact information
- Orders and account balance
- Leadsource tracking and leadscoring
- Task and appointment history
- Website activity history
- Interactions with your brand and content
- Email clicks
- Payment history
Amongst other things!
And handily - Infusionsoft® Mobile allows you to add and view contacts on the go.
While the CRM system is clearly powerful, the marketing automation is what sets Infusionsoft® apart from the competition.
The Campaign Builder
Now we're at the definitive brain of the outfit.
Here you can unleash the full power of marketing automation. Using a really simple drag and drop builder and interface, you can create entire customer journeys, life cycles, and complete marketing campaigns.
Taking marketing automation to the next level, the "if this, then that" functionality allows you to build behavioural journeys for your leads and customers, personalising their experience simply by their interactions (or lack there of!).
This is the epitome of "The right message, to the right person, at the right time".
Seamless Marketing Automation, Customer Journeys, Workflow, Admin and Sales Automation.
You won't need to repeat processes, because the automation is not only great for your leads and customers, it's great for your workflow automation too.
The best power-users of Infusionsoft® don't stop at using the system as a CRM, or even to automate their marketing, they use it to augment and empower their sales and admin too.
Automate task creation based on behaviour. Automate fulfilment. Automate sales.
Infusionsoft states that the campaign builder is "The best marketing automation software for small business, built to take on any idea you can think of." - and I couldn't agree more. The campaign builder is a canvas that is only limited by your creativity and strategic planning.
And if you want help with making sure you take full advantage of the system, there is a Certified Partner or Consultant that will suit you, your business and your unique approach. Like us, for example.
Campaigns can be triggered by manual actions (by yourself or your team) or easily triggered by your prospect or customers behaviour. Eg. purchasing a product, signing up for a leadmagnet, clicking links in emails etc etc.
You set your goal or objective, and then build your desired sequence of events out, based on the action that has been taken. Because campaigns can be built around these behavioural triggers, you get higher engagement, with less hassle.
This is how you get your business running in your sleep. It's not about a series of "funnels" or "hacks" it's about a behavioural customer journey.
Of course you have the standard broadcasting functionality too, which allows you to send newsletters and communications to larger groupings of contacts - matching the likes of Mailchimp.
Responsive Email Builder
The email builder is much improved with it's recent (mid 2017) - fully mobile responsive update. While the templates are sleek and functional, and its drag and drop builder allows you to create effortlessly, you also have the capability to use the code builder should you want finite control over how emails look.
Beautiful Responsive Landing Pages
No need to pay for additional landing page systems either, as Infusionsoft has released its new and shiny landing page builder (end 2017, updated early 2018). The landing pages are of course drag and drop, allowing you to build beautiful best in class landing pages without being an IT whizz.
If you're lacking creativity or time, you can use one of the purpose built and designed templates.
And of course, they've included thousands of high-quality, royalty-free images.
Loading speeds are super fast too, and you can mask the page URL with your own domain - keeping you looking professional.
Cloud Based Performance
You can log-in from any computer, anywhere, as long as you have an internet connection - which lets your business keep up with you wherever you are.
Keep on top of how everything is performing with dashboards that can be customised for each user, and in depth statistics and reports for every part of the system
- Know your emails stats - Delivered, opened, clicked, skipped, etc.
- Evaluate web form, landing page, and campaign performance and ROI (yay for leadsource tracking!)
- View campaign results in real time and make tweaks as you go
HTTP posts and API
If you can't do it from within the campaign builder, or you need systems to talk to one another, you can use http posts to communicate and push information externally, as well as API goals to trigger actions within the campaign.
So in summary for marketing automation, Infusionsoft has a handle on:
- Sending personalised communications - right message, right person, right time
- Triggering emails, calls, and other actions based on behaviour
- Building landing pages, emails, and more from inside the campaign builder
- Modifying your campaigns any time based on what's working best
- Visible reporting and performance
- Access from anywhere
- Communication with other systems
E-commerce and Sales
But what about selling stuff? Because while leads are awesome, paying customers are better.
Well Ecommerce and sales make up the third and fourth components of Infusionsoft.
Create and sell your products, services and subscriptions within Infusionsoft®. Need product options like T-shirt size and colour? Sure. Need to charge shipping? Cool. Need to charge tax/ VAT? No problem.
You can also categorise products, and use the Infusionsoft® Shopping Cart to allow customers to add things to their basket and browse.
Now - here comes a dose of honesty... The shopping cart and store front is not my favourite. While you can use some of the templates, and adapt the colour schemes, to make it look really good and slick/exactly like your site, you will need to get some coding done.
I feel like the ecommerce capability needs modernising. I most often suggest that businesses create their own storefront on their site, and then use the shopping cart to process transactions, so that you can take advantage of the post purchase automation.
Additionally, Infusionsoft® is not built for 1000's of products. It's not a replacement for Magento or Woo-Commerce.
However, it does have some awesome integrations that allow you to have the best of both worlds. My word of caution is to not expect the ecommerce to provide you with everything an ecommerce specific provider that *just* does ecommerce would do. Because it won't.
What those systems lack (in marketing automation) Infusionsoft® has in abundance. Instead, use integrations to bridge the systems and have the best of both worlds.
One of the most frustrating processes a business can go through is getting a merchant account. It's a total ball ache. And once you get it, sometimes they hold onto your money willy nilly, or they just shut your account down for no apparent reason.
I know - it happened to us. That kind of dilemma can cripple businesses, and shut them down overnight.
Thankfully - we survived the ensuing chaos, and switched over to Infusionsoft® Payments.
Other businesses I know haven't been so lucky. If you're beholden to a merchant account provider, or PayPal - you'll know what I mean here.
Good thing is, Infusionsoft has its own payments provider. As an Infusionsoft customer you are also pre-approved. Which means a quick 10 minute set up process, and you can begin taking cash.
It has super transparent pricing, with a low flat rate of 2.9% and $0.30 per transaction. Suck on that PayPal! (No hard feelings here obviously...).
There is no monthly fee, no setup fee, no batch fee, no hidden fees. We find our funds clear within 48 hours - and we can decide how frequently we want the funds deposited into our accounts.
In the UK, Infusionsoft® Payments is a life saver for small businesses who don't qualify for traditional merchant accounts, and are being taken for a ride by the likes of PayPal.
This means you can take payments manually with card details, or automatically with the shopping cart and order forms.
And yes - you can use PayPal at the same time as Payments if you like. There is also a list of merchant accounts/ payment gateways you can use with Infusionsoft® if Payments isn't something you need. Note that Infusionsoft® Payments isn't on the list for the UK, I can confirm that is an error - as our business uses it, and so do our clients.
There are also of course multiple integration options for things such as Stripe too.
Order forms are quite possibly my favourite thing about the Ecommerce module. Sleek and mobile responsive, they allow you to give a customer or prospect a very specific product to purchase, no distractions as there is only whatever you put on the order form and nothing else. No navigation to anywhere else - just the option to pay.
This layout is perfect for launches, or specific purchase options where you don't want people to add additional items to their basket.
Also great for special offers, segmented product offerings, and for businesses who don't have a store front so to speak.
VAT MOSS has added a world of complexity onto the way we sell into European states. Luckily, as Infusionsoft® was created in America (their taxing is nuts), we have total flexibility with how tax is calculated. Using Tax tables of your own devising, you can set Tax/ VAT % for specific countries.
Which is awesome.
What isn't so awesome, is that you can't set VAT/ Tax for specific products. It's a global % for all products (although I'm not aware of marketing automation systems that allow you to do this just yet - so I am nit picking here). You can however choose to not charge VAT/ Tax additionally on some products, and therefore make the prices of some items tax inclusive.
Promo Codes, Special offers and Free Trials
You have the capability to set up criteria based special offers. Whether that be by the items in the cart, cart amount, a promo code usage etc. This is great for addressing final purchase resistance.
And of course, if you're doing subscriptions, you can do free trials and the like to keep you flexible.
Payment plans are also an option, as well as upsells right on the order form.
Many many options at your disposal here.
Post Purchase Automation
When a contact purchases you can trigger actions and automation. We're really talking about the campaign builder again. So when a product is purchased you can start or stop campaigns.
That means purchases can trigger fulfilment campaigns, pull contacts out of sales sequences, start post purchase nurture, new customer welcome sequences, and upsell/ cross sell campaigns. Automatically. That is all kinds of win.
Newly updated, Infusionsoft® now has some pretty, mobile responsive invoices. You can't edit them too much, but you can get customers to pay outstanding amounts without ever leaving the invoice.
Invoices also automatically update to say whether they are outstanding or paid.
It's not an accounting system though - if you want more robust integrations with things like Xero - you can! Pushing payments directly into your accounting. Boss level is this integration, and more basic is this one.
Quotes and Orders
You can bundle orders together and send people to unique order forms (as mentioned above), but you can also create unique orders from the contact record or opportunity record.
Additionally, if your business uses quotes, you can automate this process by sending personalised quotes. Follow up can then be triggered based on how the quote is received. If it's opened, accepted, paid or rejected, you can start or stop campaigns.
Quotes can also be paid online when they're accepted (if you enable the option) and you can automatically convert quotes into orders and create a balance at the click of a button.
All allowing you and/or your sales team to be streamlined in how you manage order and quote creation. Keeping you efficient.
Referral Partner Management
Infusionsoft's referral partner management means you can set up referral programmes and provide your referral partners with unique tracking links. The system will also keep track of commissions for you, based on the levels you set.
You can set commissions by programme or by product, with up to 3 levels. You also control commissions based on a set amount or a %.
The custom programmes you set up can also include access to Infusionsoft's built in referral partner portal, where partners can log in to view their own links, and keep track of the commissions. Here you can upload collateral to help them sell, and provide additional resources and information.
Another dose of honesty - the referral partner portal is clunky. It's not fully customisable and can be confusing. What I do think it has going for it is having somewhere that you can store great deals of information that is of use to your referral partners, and provided you do a "how to" walk through, I think it's great.
It's a handy thing to have if you're not planning on managing your referral partners/ affiliates on your own website, and want somewhere to send them that has useful stuff and information on how their audience is performing.
There are a wealth of Ecommerce reports available to you, and you can view reports with revenue broken down by product, leadsource, date etc, as well as the usual financial reports with more than 20 pre-built billing and accounts reports.
Sales Pipeline Management and Automation
A good sales pipeline is streamlined, repeatable and makes you/ your team more productive.
Good management and forecasting allows you to know how much money to expect every week/ month - and see what you/ your team are selling most of.
Infusionsoft's Opportunity Sales Pipeline management allows you to do exactly that, but automated.
The pipeline is completely customisable, and sits within the campaign builder, allowing you all the functionality and automation there is to offer.
Automate follow up, both to the lead and to the sales rep. Automate workflow based on what stage the lead is in. Automatically assign leads based on specific criteria or ratios. Automate task creation, reminders, appointments and engagement.
Combine this with behavioural leadscoring and get your sales team always working on the hottest leads, allowing the system to nurture the rest.
Start or stop automation based on how the sales team interacts with the lead - making sure your customers have a seamless experience. And of course, don't forget the customisable dashboards and the MyDay section that allows sales team to see everything they have on their plate for the day in one place.
Be confident in your forecasts - and get insight into sales performance and sales cycle.
With reports that cover:
- revenue by lead source, contact interest, products etc
- activity history and sales by each sales rep
- average time in sales cycle
- projected revenue/ forecasting based on current efforts
- custom opportunity reports by contact owner, sales stage, activity etc
5. Integrations and API
With native functionality aside, lets look at what you can add on to enhance the power of Infusionsoft®.
Add on capability with Infusionsoft® is crazy. That's because Infusionsoft has an incredibly vibrant support community. It comprises of people who can help run Infusionsoft®, people who specialise in using it strategically, people who sell it, people who train you in how to use it, and the people who make it do things it doesn't natively do.
The developer community for Infusionsoft is huge. I believe this in part because of its wonderfully documented API, but mostly because of the automation potential within the system.
Infusionsoft just announced that they integrate with over 1000 other programmes now - just through Zapier alone.
So if you want to integrate something with Infusionsoft®, the capability is certainly there. I won't bore you by taking you through all 1000 + integrations out there, instead here is a list of my favourite and why:
The Ninjas favourite integrations:
- These two are actually integrations owned by Infusionsoft. They allow you to sync tasks and appointments between accounts, but also to manage contacts without leaving your email. Want to add a contact to a campaign without having to log in? Cool. Want to add a note to the contact record? Tag them? Create a new Sales Opportunity? See what they've been up to? Cool, cool, cool, cool. It's awesome, I love it and use it - and it's free.
- This baby allows you to link your Infusionsoft® app to your WordPress site. That means easy to add tracking code on your site, creating pretty forms and pop ups on wordpress that use your Infusionsoft® forms (no code!) so contacts get added to the right campaigns, special wordpress opt-in goals in campaigns. Super awesome. Again, one we use ourselves - and free!
Zapier - 1000+ integrations
- Zapier allows you to integrate with a plethora of other programmes. From social media, to google sheets, to project management platforms and everything in between. Check out their very long list of integrations. Word of caution - Infusionsoft® is considered a premium feature, so it is pay to play. Well worth the cash for the capability
- Memberium is all about membership sites. It plugs into WordPress and allows you to control access to your membership site based on contact criteria in Infusionsoft®. Epic. There are several different membership integrations for Infusionsoft®, but Memberium is by far our favourite - and our go to. The support is phenomenal, and the pricing is spot on. It also allows you to use Learndash with Infusionsoft®... And yes, we use it too!
- I once heard PlusThis described as enabling you to have Infusionsoft® on steroids. So true (not that Im condoning steroids - drugs are bad). It enhances the behavioural capability of Infusionsoft® massively. You can do rad things like video triggers, Facebook retargeting and syncing, mobile marketing, webinar integrations, and 50 other awesome enhancements. Of course we use it too, makes our Ninjaness even cooler.
- Automated appointment booking that allows you to create and update contacts is a must have for anyone with appointment needs, and Infusionsoft®. We recommend ScheduleOnce. We love them because of their amazing support (and the cost effectiveness doesn't hurt).
Now that we're done with Integrations, lets talk API.
If what you want isn't available via an integration, you want something bespoke, or have developers in house - Infusionsoft® has phenomenal API capabilities - and the documentation to back it up.
The developer portal is full of documentation with usage guidelines, interactive REST Docs for each individual part of the application, tutorials, FAQs, helper libraries, code examples and of course - the forum.
So just to recap, Infusionsoft® comprises of:
- Data Rich Contact records
- Lead Source Tracking
- Mobile App
2. Marketing Automation
- Campaign Builder:
- Marketing, Customer Journey, Workflow, Admin and Sales Automation
- Behavioural Triggers
- Responsive Email Builder
- Responsive Landing Pages
- Perfromance Reporting
- Http Posts and API
- Order Forms
- Tax and VAT
- Promo Codes, Special Offers and Free Trials
- Post Purchase Automation
- Quotes and Orders
- Referral Partner Management
- Sales Pipeline Management and Automation
5. API and Integrations
From the list above and what we've covered here, it's very clear that it's a robust system, one that has the power to transform how effective you are in everything you do in business, not just your marketing.
That's a statement I'm proud to make - because I've seen just how awesome it can be when it's unleashed at its full potential.
- Is Infusionsoft right for me? Part two: What Infusionsoft is not
- Infusionsoft vs Keap: What you need to know