Category Archives for "CRM"

January 30, 2019

My take on Infusionsoft’s name change

I’ve been asked a few times in the last 24 hours about Infusionsoft’s name change. Infusionsoft is changing from ‘Infusionsoft’ to ‘Keap’. Which to my eyes seems to be a miss-spelled or made up word. According to CEO Clate Mask, it’s a nod to the tenacity of entrepreneurs to ‘keep at it’.

Which to put it mildly, is tenuous.

I’ve been repressing a number of frustrations about Infusionsoft for a long time. Perhaps the biggest is the number of add-ons you end up using. Bafflingly, neither web forms or order forms are mobile responsive out of the box.

Sure, you can use third party add-ons like PlusThis to fix the web forms, and Spiffy to fix the order forms. But shouldn’t that be a core part of the software, not an add-on?

I love the Infusionsoft campaign builder. I love the potential of what you can do with it. But for a long time I’ve been asking: why not just make the core software really great?

Instead, they’ve introduced a new landing page builder. I suspect a lot of customers were asking for it, because they don’t know how to Google ‘LeadPages’, but it doesn’t solve any core issues with the software. ‘WHY COULDN’T YOU JUST FIX THE ORDER FORMS’, I’ve been shouting in my head.

I’m not asking for much. Web forms that work, and an ecommerce refresh would be nice.

Infusionsoft’s solution to all their problems has been to develop ‘new Infusionsoft’, effectively a completely new product built on a new code base. I know enough about software development to know that sometimes you’re better off starting again. But for an existing user it’s deeply frustrating, because almost all core product development of ‘old Infusionsoft’ has been put on hold.

Yesterday, Infusionsoft announced the next wave of cosmetic change – a new name change. From now on, Infusionsoft will be known as ‘Keap’. I’ve received a fanfare of emails announcing the change.

I can barely convey how underwhelmed I am. They didn’t need a new name – the name was the least confusing thing about the whole thing. An anchor in increasingly choppy waters.

All I’ve wanted them to do all along is fix the order forms, fix the web forms, and ideally add multi-currency. That’s just my personal wish list – others will have their own. But to do the really cool stuff Infusionsoft is capable of you have to sew together a bunch of paid add-on services.

I’m not against add-ons, incidentally. No CRM software is going to cater to all use cases. But add-ons shouldn’t paper over cracks in the software.

I don’t recommend buying ‘new’ Infusionsoft, or Keap, or whatever it’s now called, because in development terms it’s still in nappies. And I don’t recommend buying ‘old’ Infusionsoft, or ‘Infusionsoft by Keap’, or whatever that’s now called, because there will be no major development put into the product.

Fundamentally there’s also a huge issue of confusion. When you mention ‘Infusionsoft’, do you mean the old or new version? What are those versions even called now? As somebody who regularly changes his corporate identity, I definitely don’t recommend changing if at all possible. And certainly not if the existing name is fine.

I might be wrong about all of this. On some level I hope so at least.

But I really wish they had just knuckled down and made the existing version of Infusionsoft really great.

Time will tell.

November 22, 2017

Email marketing tool review: ActiveCampaign

I’ve been reviewing the marketing automation tool ActiveCampaign recently. ActiveCampaign have put some heat on Infusionsoft in the last few years by providing a product that does most of what Infusionsoft can do, but at lower cost.

The automation engine is very much like Drip. You can create workflows where you direct people down different paths based on their actions, fields, tags and so on.

AC workflow

I have to riff on something here. There is a sizeable community of people online who gleefully refer to Infusionsoft as ‘Confusionsoft’, but what these people fail to realise is that ALL these systems can be a recipe for confusion. Incidentally, that was originally why the legal name of my business was ‘The Confusion Clinic’.

If you jump in and start building automation flows without a clear plan, you willend up confused. It doesn’t matter what tool you use.

The workflow automation in ActiveCampaign has a fairly comprehensive set of goals, and CRM options, but I wouldn’t kid yourself that learning to use these things will be a walk in the park.

(End of riff…)

Something I DO like about ActiveCampaign is the lead management. In a similar interface to Pipedrive, you can keep track of sales opportunities across multiple pipelines.

AC pipeline

Second riff: something ActiveCampaign do that bugs me about a lot of these tools is calling an email broadcast a ‘campaign’. An email broadcast isn’t a ‘campaign’. You’re not marshalling your forces and going to war. So why not just call it what it is: an email broadcast.

(End of second riff…)

For me, where ActiveCampaign falls down is the absence of native order forms. There’s no ecommerce element. As a platform, the tool is very much focused on marketing automation. If all you want is marketing automation, then it looks like a very effective tool. If you want to start taking orders online, running membership sites and so on, you’ll need to tie in a variety of apps and other services. The cost of these apps can quickly escalate. (This is a common criticism of Infusionsoft, too).

As a marketing automation tool, I think ActiveCampaign is a very credible platform. But as always, you need to assess your requirements properly before you jump in with these things. Don’t get excited by the bells and whistles, and find three months down the line that you can’t get the data you need into or out of the system.

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