NOTE: you can see the updated part 2 of this review in this post here.
InfusionSoft is an integrated e-mail marketing, CRM (customer relationship management), and e-commerce platform.
It’s one of the most popular platforms for selling information products or services online, with many of the world’s top online gurus using it to run their businesses.
However, it has a bit of a reputation that often causes people to hesitate before they sign up for it.
After using it daily for two different businesses over the last two and a half years, I’ve spent a lot of time with Infusionsoft and would like to share my perspective on it for those considering it in this review.
I hope to clear up some fog around Infusionsoft in your mind and help you make an informed decision about using it.
It’s common to hear that Infusionsoft is complicated, hard to use, and frustrating to learn. Many people give up on it and move to another system before they ever launch their business.
The bottom line is this: my opinion of Infusionsoft is positive overall. It’s a very powerful system and it’s worth getting through the hard part of the learning curve, and then coming to a state of acceptance with the not-so-good bits.
I definitely recommend using it, but there are some things to be aware of before diving in.
Here’s a snapshot of the good and not-so-good aspects of Infusionsoft from my perspective.
It’s very powerful.
By “powerful” I mean that it can do many, many things. That translates into being able to grow your business quickly.
Everything is all in one place. CRM system, email marketing, ecommerce, affiliate system…it’s all rolled into one platform.
Having all that functionality in one platform means there’s no need to cobble together multiple different software platforms to get everything you need to run an online business that sells information products or services.
It integrates with other software to create paid membership sites.
Infusionsoft integrates with Customer Hub, WordPress, and Kajabi to allow you to create protected, paid access only membership areas of your website. (Infusionsoft recently acquired Customer Hub, so the integration between the two platforms will get even better moving forward.)
Kajabi also makes it easy to use Infusionsoft for the email marketing and ecommerce aspects of creating a membership site. (I think Kajabi has more beneficial features than Customer Hub, but that’s another story.)
Very flexible email list segmentation.
It’s easy to create email lists in Infusionsoft. Everything is based on tags, so if you want a new list, you just create a new tag and when people sign up for your new list, or buy a product, they can get tagged with the new list tag.
Tight integration of email marketing and ecommerce actions.
The opportunities to grow your business with the tight integration of ecommerce purchases and email marketing in Infusionsoft are many. Every purchase, whether a product or subscription, can generate a series of automated actions to be taken on the person’s record who made the purchase.
Tags can be added, auto responder emails sent, follow up sequences with other actions can be started, and many other things. It’s pretty amazing what you can do with the automated actions of Infusionsoft.
Fantastic phone support.
They’re not available 24/7 but when they are available, the Infusionsoft support team is great. If you ever get stuck with anything, they are just a phone call away, and the wait times are almost always very short (under a minute, if there’s a wait at all.)
Everyone I have ever spoken with at Infusionsoft has been friendly, knowledgeable, and very helpful.
Not so good things:
Infusionsoft can seem expensive if you’re starting out.
If you’d like to do email marketing and ecommerce in addition to affiliate tracking and other basic features, you’ll need the Plus package, which is currently $299/mo.
Given all that Infusionsoft does though, that’s not a lot of money for the foundation of the technology that will allow you to run your business.
I’m also not a big fan of the required training package fee, which tends to be around $2,000.
I completely understand why they require it for new subscribers (Infusionsoft is hard to learn and their personalized training and having a one-on-one coaching makes learning easier), but for those of who are familiar with Infusionsoft, it’s an unnecessary expense and a service that won’t be used, which means we have to negotiate around paying it.
Sometimes though, you can get a discount off of the monthly rate as well as the training package. It depends on what offers they have going on and which salesman you speak with.
Poor sales reports.
Getting accurate sales data from Infusionsoft can be a bit of a headache. Once you figure out which report to use, and what numbers to pay attention to in that report (and which ones to ignore), you can create your own spreadsheets and graphs to show accurate sales numbers.
It is, however, very time consuming to create your own sales reports. I’m always left wishing there were better reports with visual representations of sales data.
Can’t process recurring payments with Paypal.
If you’re planning on selling automaticly recurring subscriptions, you currently won’t be able to allow people to pay for subscriptions with Paypal, because Infusionsoft can’t run payments through Paypal that automatically recur.
It can process one-time payments for products or services using Paypal, but because it can’t do recurring payments via Paypal, you will unfortunately be losing out on some sales.
There are many people around the world, particularly in countries outside of the U.S., who will only pay for things online via Paypal, and if they want to sign up for any of your automatically recurring subscriptions (or product with a payment plan that automatically recurs for a set number of months), they won’t be able to unless you provide a time consuming, manual workaround where you give them a special one-time payment link that they can use to pay with Paypal.
Then you have to manually track and run their payments through every month, sending them the link each time so they can pay with Paypal.
User interface and usability issues.
InfusionSoft can indeed be hard to learn, and a big reason, in my opinion, is it’s user interface. They are working on improving it with new releases of the software, but in my opinion, it still needs a good bit of work to get it to a place where it’s super easy to use.
Styling the cart checkout pages and web forms takes manual css work.
If you want your web sign up forms or shopping cart pages to look similar to your website, with things like colors and fonts matching the colors and fonts on your site, you’re going to have a good bit of custom css work to do.
The web form customization tool could be better.
The process of customizing the look and feel of the web forms and shopping cart pages would be much easier to do if there were a customization interface similar to that of Mailchimp’s web form editor, which is amazingly easy and fast to use when you’re customizing web forms in Mailchimp.
Email creation, templating, and editing is a bit clunky in some ways.
There is a selection of free, pre-designed email templates, but they are only available for people on PC’s via a download of a desktop email editing app.
If you’re on Mac you won’t have this option, which means there isn’t any pre-designed email templates that look really good out of the box in Infusionsoft if you’re using a Mac.
Mailchimp, iContact, and Aweber all beat Infusionsoft in this aspect.
So, if you’re on a Mac and are looking for an easy way to get a really great looking, sexy email template without having to do any custom email template work with their drag and drop email builder (or touching any code), you won’t be happy with this part of Infusionsoft.
Also, the email creation and editing workflow feels a bit awkward to me. They have 3 different types of email editors that allow you to edit in different ways (drag and drop, Classic builder, and the Code Builder).
Switching between the editors can make the email creation/editing process feel fragmented at times.
When you use the code builder, which gives you a raw view of the html of the email, after you save an email it will often alter the email template in undesired ways, such as adding in empty paragraphs where they shouldn’t be.
These kinds of things are a bit aggravating, and for a platform as robust as Infusionsoft is, and which relies heavily on its email marketing features, I would think that they would have made this part of the process much easier by now.
Now, with all that said, despite the not-so-good things I’ve mentioned, I still think that using Infusionsoft is worth getting past the challenging learning curve and learning to live with it’s not-so-good aspects.
The benefits far out-weigh the downsides.
Once you get it up and running and learn how to use it, Infusionsoft has a ton of features that allow you to build a business and revenue stream quickly.
How about you? Have you used Infusionsoft? If so, what’s your opinion of it?