Infusionsoft Review (2018): Is It the Right Email Platform For Your Team?

I had always been curious about how well Infusionsoft worked. But the way they make you jump through all sorts of hoops to sign up always put them on the back burner to look at.

Luckily I was able to get in on their last Black Friday deal where they were offering a discount and a free kickstart package.

Infusionsoft Review

Last updated: March 31, 2018
Initially published on: March 31, 2018

tl;dr Summary
Infusionsoft is a complete end-to-end sales and marketing email marketing platform for small businesses. While offering impressive automation capabilities, it’s only worth the investment for certain businesses.
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So I took the plunge, got on the phone, and got myself an account.

All for the opportunity to get my hands dirty and put together this Infusionsoft review.

I’ve always heard that Infusionsoft was one of most powerful email marketing platforms out there in the market. And also one of the most complicated pieces of software to use.

Is this true? In this review, I’m going to do a deep dive into Infusionsoft and see who should be using it and who should not.

What is Infusionsoft?

Infusionsoft markets itself as an all-in-one email marketing solution. What this means is that it offers a customer relationship management (CRM) system, email marketing, marketing automation, and e-commerce capabilities as part of its platform.

So not only can you do email marketing, but you can reach out to prospects in your sales pipeline and have customers buy your products using the built shopping cart.

Then you can automate the entire process by tying everything together using Infusionsoft’s powerful marketing automation capabilities.

Part 1: What are the best parts of Infusionsoft

Cool Feature #1: Impressive Campaign Builder

Infusionsoft is really the OG when it comes to offering marketing automation. While I don’t know if they invented it, they were the first to bring marketing automation to small businesses.

While not the prettiest automation builder, the editor is probably the most flexible I’ve come across. The campaign builder is completely free-form and gives you the ability to create both simple and infinitely complex automations.

In terms of features, the campaign builder supports all the goals (think triggers) and actions you’d expect to see in an automation editor. It can handle simple things like content upgrades, to more complex use cases like live events and automated webinars.

It also fully integrates with the CRM, which is helpful if you run a business with a team.

For example, let’s say a prospect has shown interest in your product by signing for a live demo.

As one of the steps in your automation, you could have it randomly assign someone from your team to perform the demo for them. And then a few days later, you could have another team member assigned to call them and close the sale.

Cool Feature #2: Huge 3rd party ecosystem of apps and services

Infusionsoft has a nice marketplace where 3rd party companies and even Infusionsoft itself offers pre-made campaigns, apps, and services.

It’s similar to what you might find in the Apple app store, with both free and paid apps. The marketplace is fully searchable and you can filter by listing type.

You can also drill down into each listing to get a full description and read reviews from others who have used it.

What’s nice is that this marketplace fills in holes that are missing from the core Infusionsoft platform.

For example, if you want to sell a course on your WordPress site, you might use the AccessAlly integration to add in a membership area where you can host your lessons.

Or use the PlusThis addon which adds email split testing, which is something Infusionsoft is currently missing.

Cool Feature #3: Import pre-built campaigns

Being able to import campaigns is incredibly useful. You can find a number of these done for you campaigns from the marketplace and add them directly to your account.

Having these done for you templates saves you time and allows you to leverage the experience of others. And you can freely modify them to suit your own needs.

Cool Feature #4: Integrated eCommerce platform and CRM

If you’re doing e-commerce at all, then you know it can be a pain to integrate your e-commerce platform with your email service. Sure, there’s likely an integration, but it’s never as flexible as you need it to be.

If you use Infusionsoft’s built-in e-commerce platform to sell things online, automating your marketing becomes much, much easier.

For example, you can use the Product purchased goal in the campaign builder and select any of the products you sell.

When someone purchases, you can automatically tag the customer with that product tag and send them along the way in your customer onboarding sequence.

All this integrates directly with the CRM. So if you look at any particular customer you can see, their web page visits, email history, and orders all in one place.

All this allows you to give each customer the best possible experience, which will result in your business getting more ROI from each sale.

Cool Feature #5: New-user onboarding process

Infusionsoft makes all new users go through an onboarding call with one of their coaches. This used to be an extra $1,999 on top of whatever package you purchased, but now it’s a more reasonably priced $299.

And occasionally you’ll find some deals where they will waive the fee entirely if you’re lucky.

As part of this, you’ll get 5, private 1-1 calls where a coach will help you build 3 campaigns with you. What’s great about the onboarding though is that it’s totally personalized to your business, and driven by your own needs.

Plus, all the calls are recorded for your reference so you can have your team review it as well.

Part 2: What are some of the bad parts of InfusionSoft

Bad Part #1: The UX is kind of confusing

While Infusionsoft has a relatively clean interface, I’ve found navigating through the app to be somewhat confusing at times.

Their main navigation is kind of tucked away in the top left corner and I can never remember what actions are associated with the different icons in the top.

There’s just a lot of things you can do, and they’re all sort of over the place.

I feel this can be overwhelming for new users, and I still find the navigation confusing if I haven’t logged into my account for awhile.

Fortunately, it looks like Infusionsoft is completely revamping their UI shortly.  I’ve seen the previews and it looks much nicer.

Bad Part #2: No split testing

It’s very surprising that for such an expensive app, Infusionsoft still doesn’t have any split testing capabilities. This includes split testing emails or split testing automations.

Yes, you can add split testing via a 3rd party app like PlusThis. But this should definitely be a built-in feature of the Infusionsoft platform.

Drip and ConvertKit both have the ability to split test email broadcasts. And ActiveCampaign goes a step farther and adds split testing to automations as well.

I did contact Infusionsoft support about this, and they did confirm split testing is coming shortly in an update.

Bad Part #3: It’s hard to sign up (and hard to leave)

Every other email service provider I’ve tried has a relatively straightforward sign-up process. Just create an account, and you’re in.

With Infusionsoft, they’ve made the process much harder.

First, you have to talk to someone on the phone if you want to sign up.

Not only that, but you are forced to pay the extra fee for the new user onboarding.

While I mentioned above that it is very useful, it’s also not for everyone. Sometime’s it’s difficult to find the time to schedule 5 different, 1 hr calls. Or maybe you just like learning a software on your own.

Finally, while Infusionsoft offers monthly pricing, you actually are forced to sign a 1-year contract with them. If you cancel earlier then you are forced to pay an early termination fee of 25% of your total annual subscription.

Bad Part #4: No contextual help

For such a complex product, I’m surprised Infusionsoft does not include contextual help inside each of its screens.

It’s not that Infusionsoft doesn’t have the required documentation.

I actually found their Help Center to be really good with easy to follow explanations and videos.

I just wish they had better integrated it within the software itself, instead of just being a standalone site.

Part 3: Infusionsoft Pricing

All Infusionsoft plans come with the CRM, marketing automation, and unlimited emails. You can also add the Sales Pipeline and E-commerce features to your plan for an additional $47 a month each.

Then your monthly price is calculated based on the number of contacts you have, starting at 500 contacts and scaling up from there.

If you have members of your team that you’d like to add to your Infusionsoft account, you will also need to pay an additional $29/mo for each user.

Here is a pricing table and a comparison to some other competitors.

Subscribers 1,000 5,000 10,000
Infusionsoft $99 $229 $299
Infusionsoft (w/ e-commerce) $158 $288 $358
ONTRAPORT $79 $297 $297
ActiveCampaign Lite $9 $69 $111
ActiveCampaign Plus $49 $135 $199
ConvertKit $29 $79 $119

On top of this price is the new user onboarding which is an additional $299 payment.

I’m not sure if they always did this, but they do have a 14-day free trial available.  It’s not advertised on their front page but you can get to it via this link.

Infusionsoft is constantly running promotions on the site. Usually, the discounted price is for the first 3 months only. You also may be able to get the onboarding fee waived if you’re lucky.

As mentioned above, you will need to sign a 12-month contract when you signup. There’s also a 25% early termination fee and the on-boarding package price is non-refundable.

Part 4: How does Infusionsoft work?

Layout

When you first log in, you go come straight to your dashboard page. The dashboard is customizable and you can add new widgets to it and drag them around.

Most of the pages you will be accessing for day to day use are accessible through the Navigation drop-down on the top left. This menu then has sections for each of the main areas for CRM, Marketing, E-Commerce, Admin, and Tools.

For common tasks, you can drag specific actions from the different sections into the My Nav area to create a set of favorites for your convenience.

With the upcoming update though, it looks like the layout is going to completely change (in a good way).

Forms

There is no direct action to create forms in Infusionsoft. Instead, you build them from within the Campaign Builder.

Inside a campaign, you can drag the Web Form Submitted goal into the canvas area. Then doubling clicking on the icon will bring you to the form editor.

The form editor itself is not particularly impressive. You can do some very basic drag and drop to move sections around. But I found the options to style the forms to be quite lacking. There are a few pre-built layouts, but none of them really stand out.

I would certainly use something like Thrive Leads over the Infusionsoft forms.

Sending Email

You can send emails via the Email & Broadcast page. To start, there are a set of 12 email templates you can pick from. You can also send regular plain text and HTML emails from the Actions menu on the top right.

Infusionsoft gives you a lot of flexibility for specifying who should receive your email broadcasts.

The easiest way is to send emails to contacts that have a certain tag or tags. You can just type the tag names directly into the Recipients field.

Or if you want to be more precise, you can click on New Search which brings up a popup that allows you to segment using a wide variety of criteria, including custom fields.

The drag and drop email editor is fairly easy to use. You have your typical blocks like Text, Button, Image components that you can drag and position inside your newsletter.

For personalization, you can easily add merge fields into your emails using the drop-down in the editor toolbar.

The editor seems to be more focused on simplicity rather than flexibility which is fine.

But it’s limiting in some ways. For example, one annoying thing I ran into is that there seems to be no way to resize the Buttons.

Once everything is setup, sending your email is straightforward.

You can either send your broadcast immediately or schedule the broadcast to be sent at a specific date and time. There is one useful option that allows you to send emails using your contact’s time zone.

CRM

Infusionsoft is not a list based service. Instead, it has its own CRM system that manages all your company’s relationships and interactions with both prospects and customers.

This is accessible via the CRM > Contacts section in the navigation.

The amount of information you can see about any customer is really extensive.

Besides the basic info like name and email, you can see their entire order history, tags, lead score, what campaigns they are on, and any tasks among other things.

If a contact has ordered a product from you, you can even send them an invoice from here.

Campaigns

Infusionsoft’s marketing automation is handled by its campaign builder. It’s a very powerful system and I am very impressed with it.

It’s also unique in a lot of ways when you compare it to visual automation editors in competing products.

At the top level of any campaign, you have both Goals and Sequences. Goals are essentially the triggers to start any automation.

Infusionsoft contains all the goals you’d expect including:

  • Form submissions
  • Tag applied
  • Email link clicked
  • Product purchased
  • Web page visited
  • Lead score achieved

But there’s also some goals unique to Infusionsoft like, task completed, quote status, or using the Infusionsoft API to trigger an automation.

Once you pick your goal you can drag in a sequence and hook them together. Inside the sequence is where you’ll perform whatever actions you want the automation to do.

Here, you can send emails, apply tags, create tasks/appointments, set custom fields, assign an owner among other things.

You can also add different timers to your sequence so you can wait a certain time before executing the action.

There’s even the Field timer where you can wait a certain period of time-based on a custom field. As an example, you could use this to send a reminder email 3 days before a Contact’s appointment time.

To enable branching in a campaign, you need to connect one goal to 2 or more sequences. This will create a decision diamond where you can set up rules on how the branching should work.

I found setting this up to be a little tedious as it requires several clicks to set up a simple rule.

Overall, I like the way Infusionsoft’s campaign builder works. Unlike Drip or ONTRAPORT’s visual editors where everything is completely guided, Infusionsoft’s is totally free-form.

It allows you to drag goals and sequences and place them anywhere. And you can have multiple goals in the same campaign if you want. This truly gives you the most flexibility in creating the automations you need.

I also like the fact that you can re-label every item in a campaign. For complex automations, this can be used as documentation so you can remind yourself what each step of your automation does even if you are looking at it 6 months later.

Part 5: Everything else you need to know about Infusionsoft

Does Infusionsoft charge you for unsubscribes?

Yes, every contact in your CRM counts towards your contact limit, even if they have unsubscribed from any of your emails.

Do they have an active community?

Yes. The most active FB group is called the Infusionsoft Open User Group. It’s not officially supported by Infusionsoft, but I’ve joined and there’s a lot of activity in the group. It’s a great place to ask any questions related to Infusionsoft.

How good is their support?

I found Infusionsoft support to be a mixed bag. A couple of times on the live chat, I had some support people that weren’t that helpful.

But I’ve had several other interactions where the support person was very good. So like any company, you will meet some good and bad reps and it just depends on who you get.

Infusionsoft has 24/7 chat support, and phone support is Monday through Friday from 6 am to 7 pm Arizona time.

Final Thoughts

Overall, Infusionsoft is a very powerful email marketing solution and I’ve seen a lot of companies that have had success with it.

But it’s definitely not for everyone.

If you are on a budget or a single person company then I don’t think it makes much sense to use them.

If this is you, I would suggest looking at some more reasonable Infusionsoft alternatives instead like ActiveCampaign and ConvertKit.

But what if you are a bigger company (with perhaps an e-commerce component), that has a larger budget and a dedicated sales team?

In this case, I feel Infusionsoft makes much more sense.

You can better utilize the CRM, sales pipeline and campaign automation features to really improve the ROI of both your marketing and sales.

At a larger scale, this makes the upfront investment in Infusionsoft much more worth it.

Start automating your business with Infusionsoft today

Infusionsoft Pros

  • Flexible campaign builder can handle any automation workflow you throw at it.
  • Helps you automate tasks across your entire team to help you provide the best experience for your customers.
  • Large 3rd party ecosystem of apps and services to help extend the platform.
  • Extensive new user onboarding is very good and will help get you up to speed quickly.
  • CRM tracks all the actions a contact has done after they have been added as a lead.
  • Very active community on FB where you can get help and advice.

Infusionsoft Cons

  • Very expensive when compared to most of its competitors.
  • Mandatory new user onboarding with an additional one-time fee.
  • Required 12-month contract with an early termination fee.
  • Have to talk to someone on the phone to sign up.
  • Unsubscribes still count toward your contact limit.
  • No split testing capabilities, although coming soon
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