If you’re doing any kind of Internet marketing for your business (and if you’re not, we should talk!), chances are you’ve heard of Infusionsoft and are wondering if you should take the leap. If you haven’t heard of it, this article will give you some basic information so you can decide if it’s a good fit for your business.
We used to tell people that Infusionsoft was really only for “large” internet marketers; people with 10,000 or more people on their lists, people with bestselling books, etc. Sure, lots of those folks use the software, and it’s great for them—but it works just as well for smaller entrepreneurs and businesses.
What is Infusionsoft?
Infusionsoft is a software known as as CRM – customer relationship management – tool. It’s web-based, which means you don’t have to purchase or install any software on your computer. It works on Macs and PCs. You get five “users” for your account (you can purchase more if you need them), so you can set up a login for yourself, your VA, your accountant, etc. These separate logins allow everyone to work inside the software at the same time, and it allows you to assign tasks to these individuals as well.
What does Infusionsoft do?
One of the best things about Infusionsoft is that it can take all of those things you may have going on within lots of different websites—like your email marketing, your ecommerce, etc.—and combine them all in one place. This makes managing them easier, but it also allows you to see the connections between those things and how they work together (and what’s effective), in a very clear way.
- Ecommerce (including coupons, discount codes, upsells, etc)
- Email Marketing
- Contact Management (“contacts” are people in your database—prospects, customers, etc)
- Affiliate/Referral Programs
- Optin/Signup Forms
- Event Registration
It also integrates well with other software, including WordPress, Wishlist and GoToWebinar.
(Note that in order for Infusionsoft to handle your ecommerce, you will need, at minimum, a Paypal account, and a merchant account is highly recommended.)
What does Infusionsoft Cost?
Infusionsoft’s basic plan, which includes everything listed above, is $299 per month. This often scares people away, especially when they are first starting. But one thing entrepreneurs don’t realize at first is that your time is money. Every minute that you spend wading through an Excel spreadsheet or manually entering email addresses into your email marketing software or trying to find where you wrote down that prospect’s phone number, is money down the drain. When used well, Infusionsoft can save you way more than $300 of your time every month.
You’ll also need a merchant account for use with Infusionsoft. This will allow you to accept credit cards. This will run you about $25 per month and a small percentage of each transaction (usually around 2%).
Finally, Infusionsoft has a requirement that you do some up-front training, either with them (if you buy directly) or with an Infusionsoft partner, like Solamar. This will run you anywhere between $700 and $2,500, depending on how in-depth you want to go. If you want our experts to manage and run your account, then you don’t need much training; if you intend to manage your own Infusionsoft account, you should plan on a full spectrum of in-depth training to make the most of it.
There is no contract; you pay month-to-month and can cancel at any time.
Can I Use Infusionsoft?
They key to using Infusionsoft successfully is to decide whether you’re going to manage it yourself, or whether you’re going to have your assistant or your team at Solamar manage it for you. If you’re going to manage it yourself, you’ll need to invest some time with us (or with the folks at Infusionsoft) training. It’s true—Infusionsoft is a complex, expansive software. It’s definitely not “plug & play” beyond a few basic features.
But that doesn’t mean you need to know HTML or PHP or any other special language to use Infusionsoft. You DO need to have basic computer skills. Let’s put it this way—if you are comfortable understanding and navigating Facebook, you will be able to learn Infusionsoft!
What Is Marketing Automation?
One phrase you may have heard regarding Infusionsoft is “marketing automation.” What IS that? Do you need it?
Marketing automation is the idea that you can put some of your customer attraction and retention on “autopilot.” Let’s look at some examples so you can see the kind of scenarios Infusionsoft is capable of.
Say I’m an author who has just written a book. I’ve done a couple of small speaking engagements and I have a list of about 250 emails. I want to email the list with a book announcement and a special 10% off coupon if they purchase before this Friday. In a week, I want another email to go out to everyone who didn’t buy the book yet, offering the download of a free chapter. Five days later I’d like another email to go out to everyone who hasn’t bought the book yet to watch a video. Then I’d like to send a followup email with a 20% off coupon to everyone who watched the video. I’d also like to send an email out every 7 days to people for 10 weeks when they buy the book, with tips and ideas to continue the principles I outline in my book.
All I have to do is set this up one time, and Infusionsoft will run the campaign. Literally, all I need to do is watch the sales come in.
Or let’s say I’m an attorney and I want to host a GoToWebinar about my family law services. I create my webinar in GoToWebinar, integrate it with Infusionsoft so that registrants just fill out one form and they’re automatically in my Infusionsoft AND registered for the webinar. I want reminder emails to go out two days before the webinar and the day of to everyone who’s signed up, and invitation emails to go out twice to everyone on my list who hasn’t signed up yet. Then after the webinar, I want a followup email to go out to everyone who attended, another to go out to everyone who did not attend, and another to go out to everyone who registered, but did not attend. Each email would contain a special coupon. Over the next 4 weeks, I want emails to go out every 7 days to webinar attendees, as well as to everyone who has watched the video recording of the webinar, encouraging them to make an appointment with me. Once they make an appointment, they stop receiving these emails, of course, and Infusionsoft will send them a pre-appointment paperwork packet. Once they sign as a client, Infusionsoft sends them the new client packet and automatically emails me and the client every year to schedule their plan review meeting.
Again, all I have to do is set this up at the beginning of my campaign, and Infusionsoft will run the whole thing for me. All I need to do is show up and host the webinar, and then wait for the phone calls to come in to start scheduling appointments.
So that sounds awesome, right? And you don’t need to have a big list or be a big business for that to work for you.
Good Content Goes A Long Way
What you DO need for this to be successful is content.
Infusionsoft works best when you plan campaigns from start to finish before you launch them. You will need content to distribute. If you want to do something like either of the scenarios described above (often called a “drip campaign”) you will need to be able to sit down and write that entire sequence of emails (or have your Solamar team do it for you!). This is really the thorn in a lot of peoples’ sides, and they say “Infusionsoft doesn’t work for me!” But truly, they just couldn’t/wouldn’t/didn’t produce the content.
Of course, you don’t have to do long drip campaigns like this—you can just do weekly or monthly ezines, and if that’s what works for you, then Infusionsoft is great for that, too. It’s easy to design emails (no HTML or coding skills needed) with any graphics you want to create, as well as plain emails with no graphics. Having used every email marketing program available today, I can honestly say that Infusionsoft is among the very best in the field.
What Else Can Infusionsoft Do?
Infusionsoft shines at ecommerce, too. It’s very easy to create products, along with any number of shipping options you want to offer. You can create attractive, custom order forms for products, or (if you sell lots of products) use the built-in shopping cart. You can offer product bundle discounts, coupon codes and promotional upsells to customers. You can easily create payment plans for more expensive products (this feature does not work with Paypal). You can also offer subscription products, such as a monthly or yearly membership program, to charge customers automatically. Subscription plans integrate well with most membership site software on the market today.
We could talk all day about Infusionsoft, frankly, and we welcome any questions you might have. Every business is specific, so of course you’ll have questions about whether Infusionsoft is right for you in your unique situation. Chances are, Infusionsoft can make things easier for you—and make you more money!
Infusionsoft will help you whether you sell widgets, write books, offer coaching or are a service provider (anyone from lawyers to estheticians!). All you need to be able to do is come up with ideas for marketing campaigns, even just writing them out (like our examples above). (Solamar’s crack team of marketing experts is great at this, by the way!)
Infusionsoft is like a really excellent gym membership. You can go in and use just the free weights, and yeah, you’ll get great arms after a while. But you’ll get the best results (for the same monthly price) if you also use the pool, the treadmill, the free weights, the sauna, the elliptical… You get the idea.
Let the experts at Solamar get your business in shape with Infusionsoft!