Designed specifically for the needs of small businesses, Infusionsoft by Keap, which starts at $199 a month per user account, is a solid all-around email marketing solution that integrates customer relationship management (CRM) and marketing automation functionality in one interface. Its designers worked towards making Infusionsoft an antidote to businesses spending too much time with data entry and who struggle managing marketing information across disparate systems.
If your business is accepting of the idea that sales and marketing should not be considered separate functions, and that they are better off regarded as a unified process, Infusionsoft by Keap is certainly an option worth considering. Larger or more traditional companies may balk at this hybrid approach, specially since there’s a foundational separation between marketing and sales, with each department handling its own area independently, as well as using specific tools to do the job. While that makes perfect sense for enterprise users, small businesses whose requirements are less stringent can benefit from an integrated solution, provided there’s enough functionality to justify the cost.
This flexible ‘CRM-meets-email marketing solution’ approach does not come cheap, however, which might prod newer SMBs to consider if they need all the bells and whistles that Infusionsoft by Keap offers, and if it is worth the price. Conversely, smaller businesses might just need the email marketing component independently of the CRM solution. This is where solutions like SendInblue, or Editors’ Choice selection Mailchimp, might seem more focused options, even as Mailchimp itself has recently expanded into a full-service marketing platform.
For businesses driven by the need for a CRM solution with email marketing aspirations, Infusionsoft by Keap’s feature set puts it on par with offerings from companies with much larger product suites, including not only Salesforce, but also our third CRM Editors’ Choice, Zoho CRM.
Pricing of Infusionsoft by Keap
Infusionsoft by Keap begins at $199 per month, starting with 500 contacts and one user (with 50 percent off for the first three months on all plans). As your number of contacts increases, so will your monthly fee. For example, 50,000 contacts will run you close to $500 per month. All plans now include unlimited emails, CRM, marketing automation, sales automation, and e-commerce. This includes features such as the ability to automatically qualify leads, set reminders, trigger automated emails, track sales team activity, and view forecast and reports. The plan also includes invoicing and payment processing. As the software is geared toward small businesses, Infusionsoft by Keap comes with a mandatory one-time setup fee of $499.
An optional expert coaching package, which costs $999 as a one-time fee, can be purchased separately and consists of consultation with one of Keap’s coaches, five one-on-one calls, migration of existing contacts, consultations for Zapier integration, Advanced Sales pipeline and E-commerce setup. While Keap offers an abundance of free seminars and support articles, the coaching package might be a good investment for businesses who want to hit the ground running and get set up quicker and with less guesswork.
All Infusionsoft by Keap plans come with access to your permanent application instance. Infusionsoft by Keap carries an expensive price, but that’s because it delivers CRM and marketing automation alongside your email marketing tool, as opposed to our Editors’ Choice CRM tools or other mid-tier platforms such as Pipedrive CRM or Bitrix24 CRM, which are primarily stand-alone CRM tools.
For smaller businesses or for managers that are starting up and have to wear multiple hats, the flexibility of managing the CRM and marketing solutions stack from a single interface is very compelling. Specially when considering the convenience of a singular customer support channel should any need arise.
Infusionsoft by Keap’s lead management tool called Pipeline helps users organize and manage prospects and deals in a single location. It links to your customers’ information so that you can gain insight on all activity and interactions for prospects on one dashboard. Pipeline can assist companies to better customize sales stages, add a contact or business to a card, follow up with leads, and prioritize next steps.
The Lead Scores are a key lead management metric that businesses can customize by going into the Settings menu and selecting Edit Score. From here, you can create various rules and assign point values to them to determine the criteria by which you judge a desirable lead. The score is on a scale of 1 to 5 “flames”; users can associate point values with tags from a contact’s bio such as budget, interests, new lead, new customer, subscribers, and linked campaigns or opportunities.
Depending on the score, you can also set automated actions and tasks using a visual automation builder—setting a trigger, for example, to automatically send a message and generate a task when a lead reaches three flames. Other products in our email marketing roundup like HubSpot Marketing Hub, Salesforce Pardot, and Zoho Campaigns offer a similar lead scoring to keep track of the status of subscribers and contacts.
Marketing businesses can use this handy feature to automate basic qualifications of which leads are worth the time and resources to pursue. Setting up the granular rules and triggers associated with lead scores and automated actions can be a bit of a pain—especially for businesses that haven’t thought out how they’d like to measure scores beforehand. But that kind of setup task is also covered in Infusionsoft by Keap’s Kickstart setup packages.
Again, one reason for Infusionsoft by Keap’s higher price is that it combines CRM with marketing automation and an email marketing tool. Many competitors, including our Editors’ Choices and other mid-tier platforms such as Pipedrive CRM or Bitrix24 CRM, are primarily standalone CRM tools.
Your time with the platform begins with a guided tour, plus tutorials on lead management, sending emails, building campaigns, and managing automated tasks and processes. From there, the navigation takes you to the main dashboard. The layout is customizable and lets you drag and drop widgets onto the dashboard, including ones for contacts, quick email reports, usage stats, campaign reporting, tasks, or a real-time widget showing leads in various stages of the sales pipeline.
Creating and managing contacts is exceptionally intuitive. You can quickly add a contact by clicking the Plus button on the top right of the dashboard, next to the Search bar. In the main Contacts page (accessible from the top navigation bar), hovering over a contact entry pops up a Quick Action bar that lets you do things such as add a task or appointment, send the contact an email, view recent quotes and sales opportunities (leads), or check their Lead Score (more on that in a second) without having to click into the contact. The entry itself includes more detailed contact info and sales fields, including associated sales campaigns and the ability to manage the contact’s invoices.
The contact and lead management capabilities can’t compete with a platform like Salesforce, but for inexperienced users, it’s all easy and straightforward. All entries offer inline editing accessible by clicking the small pencil icon in any element to open a pop-up box.
Another useful feature of the Infusionsoft by Keap platform is called My Day, which is a separate dashboard view that’s more centralized and task-oriented. Accessible from the home icon drop-down menu, My Day is another widget view that acts like a project management dashboard. It puts tasks, appointments, notes, and opportunities in a left-hand column and has a work area on the right where you can pull up and work on a sales task.
The company sees My Day as an SMB sales or marketing employee’s first stop to organize their priorities and log contact and lead updates. We think it’s a winner. If anything, Infusionsoft by Keap should make My Day the main dashboard view, with more widget customizability, because its only fault is a mild feeling of redundancy.
Additionally, Infusionsoft by Keap has a landing page builder, Vimeo integration that allows users to add an email capture box within a video, and integrations with Facebook Ads and WordPress. Existing integration with QuickBooks Online, Gmail, and Outlook plus, dynamic contact, and additional automation within the Campaign Builder feature are all welcome features. Landing page builders are standard across various email marketing products, but some are going beyond this functionality. Editors’ Choice selection Mailchimp has evolved into website builder and hosting services within its expanded marketing solutions offerings.
Subscriber List Creation
We had no issues with Infusionsoft by Keap’s no-frills contact management, which is on par with what you’ll find in similar offerings such as Base CRM and Insightly CRM. The only hitch we encountered was mapping fields from a CSV file; the software figured out email and birthday but oddly not name, surname, or gender. However, it was simple to click a field to align the CSV data with the appropriate categories. You can add custom fields in several categories, including drop-down menu, text, numbers, and dates.
When you log into Infusionsoft by Keap for the first time, you’re prompted to set up an email signature (or more than one) and connect to Facebook and Twitter and add users. You can import contacts from third-party services including 1ShoppingCart, AWeber, Constant Contact, iContact, and Microsoft Outlook, or by uploading a CSV file.
For every list you upload, you need to answer several questions to prevent spam. The questions include whether you plan on sending email marketing to the list, and if so, how the contacts joined the list and how often you plan to email. One nitpick: the software doesn’t note that all fields are required, even in the blank form at the end. We couldn’t get past it until we figured that out. We appreciate the spam compliance, but it would have been helpful to label it as such.
Accounts come with unlimited hosted web forms. You can choose the fields you want to use and drag and drop elements like an HTML block, image, social button, or video to the form. As with an email broadcast, you can customize the font, layout, and styling. Next, you can set up a landing page, where signups go after they submit the form. Once you publish the form, you can grab the code to post it on your website.
Setting Up and Tracking Email Broadcasts
You can send out several different types of broadcasts, as Infusionsoft by Keap calls them, including email, fax, letter, and voice. For email broadcasts, you can either create an email from scratch or use the supplied email builder. The first option gives you more flexibility and includes an HTML code builder if you have that expertise.
The email builder includes over a dozen customizable templates, which seems limiting. Infusionsoft by Keap’s options are more versatile than those offered by Zoho Campaigns. Besides adjusting font styles, sizes, and colors, you can drag and drop elements such as images, spacers, text, video, and social buttons, and change the colors and styles of each. We like that you can also delete an unwanted element by clicking it, which reveals a trash icon. We couldn’t remove those when using SendinBlue.
You can preview your email on both desktop and mobile so you can get a sense of how it will look on different platforms and devices. Once you’re satisfied, you can send out your email right away or schedule it for later delivery. Before you’re able to send, though, Infusionsoft by Keap checks it and flags anything that’s missing (such as a subject line or contact list). Zoho Campaigns also flags these types of errors. You can save customized templates with your company logo for easy reuse.
To create autoresponders, you use the campaign builder tool, with which you create a simple process map. There, you choose triggers (clicked an email link, made a purchase, and so on) or segments (contacts in a geographic region or demographic). Infusionsoft by Keap’s marketplace includes predesigned campaigns you can use—many of which, such as networking campaigns and appointment follow-ups, are free. You can set these up for internal staff, too, such as an onboarding series.
Sending and Tracking Emails and Campaigns
When you’re ready to send an email, you can send campaigns immediately or “Send at the best time today.” This feature lets you look at global open rate trends to calculate the ideal time to send the email. Or you can schedule for an exact time.
On the Email Stats page, you can view all the information about a broadcast, including when it was sent, the template used, subject, and how many contacts received it. Beneath that, you can see a pie chart showing what percentage of recipients opened the email. Next to that is a tabulation of opens, clicks, unsubscribes, and bounces. Finally, there’s a social reach section that shows you how your campaign performed on Facebook and Twitter.
With applications like GetResponse and Zoho Campaigns you can see this data right away; with Infusionsoft by Keap, we got a message to check back in a day or so to see results. You can export the report in Excel, CSV, or ZIP format—PDF is missing, though, you can choose to print and save as a PDF.
If you’ve sent a campaign with a series of emails, you can see how each one performed and where engagement dropped off so you can make improvements as necessary. For email batch results you can take a number of steps such as Update Opt-In/Out Status, Start/Stop a Campaign Sequence, or Delete Contacts. One handy report shows who’s unsubscribed. On your dashboard, you can view how well an email broadcast has performed as compared to your average performance.
We also liked the email complaint summary, which shows a graph of the number of internal complaints (when a recipient opts out of receiving emails) and ISP complaints (when the recipient files a complaint about the sender to the Internet service provider). Infusionsoft by Keap includes A/B testing so you can compare the performance of one version of an email versus another which is a feature a popular with many marketers.
Reporting and Third-Party Integration
CRM and email marketing reporting is reasonably extensive for small businesses across sales and referral data. Under the Reports menu, the Sales section includes pipeline-specific reporting such as stage-to-stage progression of leads, call history summaries by representative, sales rep conversion percentages, and revenue by lead. The Referral reports cover partner activity, payments, ledgers, and per-contact success of any referral program the business is running. Infusionsoft by Keap also gives you the ability to save a report and run it again.
The reports themselves are simple in aesthetic and execution—straightforward charts and graphs without many added metrics—and don’t compare to the more robust reporting of a platform like Zoho CRM. But small companies will find the metrics they need without being inundated with data they don’t.
On the integration front, Infusionsoft by Keap has a marketplace that’s accessible from the top navigation bar in the dashboard. It includes apps, services, and add-ons built mostly by third parties, as well as the above mentioned email marketing campaigns uploaded by users. The marketplace is still relatively small but growing.
Marketing Automation for the Little Guy
Although Infusionsoft by Keap is designed primarily for small businesses, its marketing automation features are robust and easy to use. Its elegant and quick drag-and-drop interface is ideal for pulling together complex marketing workflows. You can personalize your navigation to create any look and feel you need.
Campaign workflows are presented in graphical form so you can easily see each step and branch. Actions and communication methods have icons (e.g., an envelope for email and a phone for click-to-call) that you can drag and drop into position along the marketing funnel. To connect one step of the chain to another, you draw a line with your mouse from one icon to the next, which tells the system that the previous step’s completion triggers the following action. You can double-click any icon to investigate or edit the stage of the campaign should you need to make on-the-fly changes.
To keep track of your workflows, you can create an unlimited number of campaign categories such as Welcome, Birthday, Consultation, or Nurture. Within each of these, you can see the different types of campaigns you’ve created (as opposed to a list of thousands of campaigns).
Another of the tool’s more innovative elements is its real-time alert dashboard, which lets you see the moment people act on a campaign. For example, if an email you sent to Lester Jones three weeks ago was just opened, a notification will appear alongside other recent contact actions. Now you can take immediate action on a white-whale contact without having to search their record. You can also find these types of proactive alerts in Salesforce Pardot.
Infusionsoft by Keap lets you create customized sales pipelines, reports, and unlimited custom tagging. It also includes dozens of pre-built reports. Each contact record can include up to 100 custom fields. You can then monitor contact and campaign performance based on multiple criteria such as purchases, opens, or any other interaction. After that, you can choose from dozens of actions to move each user through the funnel or dump them entirely. There’s no limit on the number of stages of a campaign or the number of branches for each step. If you want to start blasting out emails quickly, the tool comes with 67 prefab campaigns, each of which is customizable.
Unfortunately, Infusionsoft by Keap doesn’t include social media marketing automation, so you’re limited to your contact’s email inbox to spread your messaging. However, it does have an open application programming interface (API) that integrates with Zapier so you can connect third-party tools. Infusionsoft by Keap’s integrated e-commerce, email marketing, and CRM platforms let you track contacts from discovery to email registration to upsells and cross-sells. We’re seeing solutions like Mailchimp offer tighter social media marketing automation as part of their consolidation of features and move towards a total marketing platform.
Infusionsoft by Keap’s biggest limitation is that it is designed for smaller scale deployment. The company recommends limiting its use to companies with no more than 100 employees, with no more than 20 people using it at once for optimal performance. This is okay for businesses that stay small, but if your company wants to scale, it should consider a beefier tool such as HubSpot Marketing Hub or Salesforce Pardot.
A Boutique Approach to Marketing
Fledgling businesses that are kickstarting their sales, marketing, and email campaigns are an ideal fit for what Infusionsoft by Keap has to offer. This is an integrated and intuitive solution with a lot of support options, including a white-glove “expert coaching package,” that can make setting up the solution painless, but for a fee. The premium and boutique nature of Infusionsoft by Keap is something that potential customers should certainly consider.
Infusionsoft by Keap Specs
|Limited Free Trial||No|
|Social Media Integration||No|
|24/7 Phone Support||No|