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InfusionSoft Ain’t Soft, Just Easy

This is one of those articles that’s hard for a guy like me to write, because I place so much value on professional detachment and vendor neutrality. But sometimes my enthusiasm for a company just boils over, and I have to share.

I love InfusionSoft. There, I’ve said it.

I’ve known the company for several years, and every time I meet with a representative or take a briefing, I come away thinking, “These people have a really good product and a really good attitude; I wonder what they’ve got in store for us next.” It’s not that they have some secret alien technology on their side or anything like that—they just have a knack for cutting away all the crap and finding out what users need, and delivering it in a simple yet powerful format.

I took a briefing today with Laura Collins and Rebecca Sprynczynatyk to discuss the company’s Winter 2012 release, and I was reminded again of just how good InfusionSoft is. The updates they showed me weren’t flashy, but they were well thought out and their value to the business user was immediately obvious. Some highlights:

The social media tools let you quickly publish campaigns to your Twitter and Facebook lists. Lead capture goes beyond the list, though: If those readers like, +1, or share your content, you know about it and can follow up with a thank-you or special offer to the sharers. The campaigns can include hosted email and Web forms, so people who click through can get what they’re looking for without wading through a ton of stuff that isn’t relevant to them—but you still have them as a qualified lead.

Usually, I advise against broadcast marketing via social channels, but InfusionSoft permits users to do it in a way that isn’t intrusive or heavy-handed. Yes, a business could still screw up a campaign, but it’s not through any fault of the InfusionSoft tools—they are geared toward the gentle touch.

The CRM and lead nurturing section of the Winter 2012 release is nice and simple. Lead tracking is all handled on one page, and you can add notes and tags, or create tasks, appointments, and entire follow-up sequences without navigating away from your hot leads. The automation can be stopped at any point, so you aren’t blindly continuing with your email reminders two weeks after the prospect has already bought your stuff.

We breezed through the e-commerce portion of the briefing, so I only got an overview of most of it. The shopping cart has been streamlined and the order processing code has been tightened up, which is always a good thing. The special offers and promo codes are more visible and easier to work with, and creating product descriptions is quicker and easier than in previous versions. The part that really sparked my interest—and it should, because it’s geared toward businesses like mine—is a set of shopping cart options for information brokers. InfusionSoft’s cart provides good support for selling documents, and for subscriptions and memberships. Whether it’s paid content or just an annual signup, InfusionSoft makes it easy.

One more thing, but it’s really important: The shopping cart and the marketing automation systems are fully integrated. The handoff from prospect to new customer is automatic. Action sets that apply to people who haven’t bought yet come to an end when they become customers. The days of manually transferring from lead to lifecycle are over. Huzzah!

Okay, maybe it doesn’t merit a Huzzah, but it is a big deal, especially for companies who presently use different systems for lead nurturing and e-commerce. InfusionSoft has once again topped my list of marketing automation/CRM vendors to recommend, and I’m eager to find out what they have on offer at this year’s InfusionCon in April.