I’m going to start this post with a full disclaimer, I have been using InfusionSoft for many years and am a big advocate of it.
With that said, this is not a review and it is not a sales pitch. It is purely what it says on the tin… the truth about InfusionSoft.
It’s important to me to write this article because if you’re considering InfusionSoft for your own business and you head over to Google to check out what people have said you’re going to find three things:
- People who love it
- People who hate it
- Articles and reviews that never really go into much depth
InfusionSoft is expensive. And if you’re considering it at the moment then the chances are that you’re business has reached a level where it can afford it, but it’s a big expenditure to add to your company so you need to be sure that it’s going to do what you want it to.
Which is what this post is going to help you with.
As I’m sure you’ve probably already read about on a dozen websites, InfusionSoft is not just an emailing system it’s a huge amount more.
But the truth is that you’re very unlikely to be using all the elements of it.
And even if you do ultimately use all the elements, it’s very unlikely that you‘re actually going to do it from the moment you join. Or even in the first few months.
Because quite simply it’s a monster.
A very powerful one, but one that you need to understand and be in control of before it’s going to be doing everything you want it to.
And that is truth number 1. It’s going to take time to understand the software, how it works and put it into practice.
This isn’t like importing a list of names into Aweber or GetResponse, so expect to spend a few weeks exploring and getting used to the interface before you’re using it as you want.
The process of learning how to use the software is supposed to be sped up by the obligatory purchase of training sessions when you join.
The real reason that you’re forced to purchase these comes back to truth number one. When you didn’t have the initial big cost they found people trying the software without the training, or big upfront investment, found the software too big and gave up on using it before they had a chance to understand it.
So… the real reason to make you purchase the training is to make you give a bigger commitment to learning how to use the software.
And, while the support staff over at the InfusionSoft headquarters do a great job, their training is basic and not very efficient.
In fact, my biggest issue with the software is the quality of this training. A systematic approach is used that, while designed to be slightly different to each persons situation, is actually so basic as to be obsolete to everyone but the very beginner in CRM and mailing software.
Eight weeks after the training I deleted everything I had created with my tutor because it was clunky and inefficient. They would have done much better to provide an overview of the entire system and then focus in on specific areas that are most important.
The people I’ve recommended to InfusionSoft have all left the training feeling that they weren’t helped at all and coming to me to ask questions. One of them even went to an InfusionSoft University and was asked questions on how to do things by one of the tutors!
Bottom line is that I believe I could give a better overview of how to use the software in a video or a live morning session than you get in all the training you get when you join InfusionSoft.
And that’s truth number 2. When you join InfusionSoft expect to investigate how to use the software yourself, ask questions in communities or on blogs such as mine and assume that what InfusionSoft are teaching you is not the best way to do things.
Moving on, the lovers of InfusionSoft will tell you that there’s nothing wrong with the software. It does everything they want and can ever imagine wanting.
To them I say… you must have a very boring imagination.
There is no software on the planet that is perfect. There’s always more that can be done or that you would like it do. And it’s no different for InfusionSoft.
That doesn’t mean there isn’t a lot it can do. There is, a huge amount. It’s just that there’s always room for more development.
And one of the great things InfusionSoft do is to continually develop. Something which I think all software companies should do.
They release great features. The only problem is… they release them without providing full documentation on how they work or how users will want to use them.
Take one of the recent updates as an example, the Paypal recurring billing integration.
This was a big release for me as I’d been wanting to accept Paypal for a while but didn’t want to go the route of using external applications to make the recurring billing work in InfusionSoft.
So I got approved by Paypal within a couple of weeks of it being released and started using it.
Which is when I discovered the issues. The biggest being that if someone cancels their billing in Paypal it doesn’t cancel in InfusionSoft and apply the relevant tags.
Surely you’re mistaken. A CRM system designed around automation wouldn’t do something so stupid as to release a payment function that requires you to go into the application and manually cancel and apply tags by hand?
Well… yes it does.
To make matters worse not everyones email address is the same as their Paypal email address so you can’t find them in your application from Paypals cancellation emails. You can’t search in InfusionSoft for the billing ID because it’s stored as a text field on the order form and you can’t search Paypal for the billing ID either. Which means…
…you have to go through every cancellation in Paypal to find the persons name so you can search for the name in InfusionSoft and cancel them.
Whoever thought this function was ready to release to the InfusionSoft user base without clearly telling them that none of these functions exist should be considering their position very carefully.
It require us to take on an employee specifically to manage Paypal customers until we could move as many as possible back to our normal payment processor.
This function was pure and simply not ready for a main release when almost none of the software features integrate with it.
Which brings me to the InfusionSoft truth number 3. Be careful with their new releases as they often release features that are not fully ready.
This post has got pretty long and I’ve managed to list what some people would consider as negatives.
But I would disagree, these aren’t negatives. They are realities. And they’re realities that almost every software company is likely to face.
I love InfusionSoft.
One of the best decisions I made was to move over to using it and I would recommend anybody who feels they’re ready for it to also do that. But do your research first and make sure you understand the software.
Be clear on the main reason you have been thinking about moving and when you do the move focus on learning that area of the software first. Once you’ve got that under control break out into the other areas from there. You don’t need to do everything at once.
The one thing to remember is that InfusionSoft allows you to do almost anything you can think of. Sometimes you will have to do it through the API and sometimes you won’t. But the point is… you can.
So if you’re thinking about joining InfusionSoft and have any questions, or are already a user struggling how to figure out how to do something, then post a comment and let me know. I’ll do my best to answer any questions you have.