Considering that it’s geared toward small businesses that are new to digital marketing—mom-and-pop shops with between two and 25 employees—Infusionsoft by Keap is a costly customer relationship management platform at $199 per month. However, it offers not only a competitive CRM feature set but additional capabilities that help it stand out from the crowd, even from entries such as our Editors’ Choice winners Apptivo CRM and Salesforce Sales Cloud Lightning Professional.
Key among these extra features is the fact that Infusionsoft by Keap can double as a digital marketing hub and email marketingtool—all in one software window. That 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.
While it can’t quite match the muscle of these CRM winners nor the capabilities of our email marketing Editors’ Choices Campaigner and Mailchimp, Infusionsoft by Keap’s combination of widely different toolsets in an intuitive interface will attract small to midsize business (SMB) customers even with its somewhat high price tag.
Infusionsoft by Keap Pricing
Since we reviewed Infusionsoft the last time, the company rebranded itself from Infusionsoft to Keap. However its core product still carries the Infusionsoft name, and the company offers lighter versions under the Keap name. Infusionsoft now has a new pricing model: You’ll pay $199 per month, starting with 500 contacts (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 comes with a mandatory one-time setup fee of $499.
All setup plans come with access to your permanent application instance. Infusionsoft 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.
Infusionsoft is a robust product with many sections. The main areas are CRM, Marketing E-commerce and Admin. In 2018, Infusionsoft introduced a new lead management tool called “Pipeline” that 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 aims to help companies customize sales stages, add a contact or business to a card, follow up with leads, and prioritize work.
The Lead Scores are a helpful 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 based on a scale of 1 to 5 “flames,” and point values can be associated with tags from a contact’s bio (such as budget, interests, new lead, new customer, subscribers, and whether they’re associated with any campaigns or opportunities). Depending on the score, you can also set automated actions and tasks. So, if a lead has three flames, in the visual automation builder you can set triggers to automatically send a message and generate a task when a contact reaches that lead score. Other products in our email marketing roundup like HubSpot Marketing Hub, Salesforce Pardot, and Zoho Campaigns offer a similar lead scoring feature 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’s Kickstart setup packages.
Again, one reason for Infusionsoft by Keap’s high 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 business 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.
In October 2018, Infusionsoft added a new lead management tool called Pipeline that helps users organize and manage prospects and deals in a single location. It links to your customers’ information so you can gain insight on all activity and interactions on one dashboard. The Pipeline tool aims to help companies customize sales stages, add a contact or business to a card, follow up with leads, and prioritize work.
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.
A marketing business can use this handy feature to automate basic qualifications—say, which leads are worth the time and resources to pursue. Setting up the rules and triggers for lead scores and automated actions can be a bit of a pain, especially for businesses that haven’t come up with a strategy beforehand. But that kind of task is also covered by the Kickstart setup packages.
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. For the near future, the company promises integration with QuickBooks Online, dynamic contact, and additional automation within the Campaign Builder feature.
Creating a Subscriber List
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. During the process, you can watch a video tutorial and download a sample file.
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. This process was very straightforward.
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.
Once you’ve finished, you can preview some or all your contact entries to make sure everything looks good. (Ours looked great.) And you can save import settings for future use, which is nice.
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. Compared with Emma (which has more than 100), that’s not a lot. However, 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.
Much of designing a new email template involves cloning: You can click the clone button next to the trash icon to replicate an image or text box. Then you copy over it with new text or select another image using the tiled menu at left, where you’ll find options ranging from spacer, divider, and button to video, signature, and source code. To format text, you click on the box and a text box will pop up. To add a link to a landing page, you click the chain link icon.
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 auto-responders, 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.
Signed, Sealed, Delivered
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 see 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.
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 measurables 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 abovementioned email marketing campaigns uploaded by users. The marketplace is still relatively small, with only a few hundred apps, services, and campaigns available, albeit for a variety of small business types ranging from real estate, fitness and wellness, and accounting to medical and legal services and retail or restaurant establishments.
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 gorgeous drag-and-drop interface is ideal for pulling together complex marketing workflows that would otherwise require drop-down menus and tabs. 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.
For example, if you click the Nurturing Email icon, you can edit and adjust the email message or send a new message. The same goes with web forms, Facebook landing pages, and any other sequence that appears on your workflow. The beauty of Infusionsoft by Keap’s workflow tool is that it can automatically remove tags from contacts if they complete a specific part of the workflow process. For instance, you can pull someone from a campaign once they make a purchase or click to contact a salesperson. This level of automation isn’t found in tools such as SendinBlue or Zoho Campaigns.
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 Thomas Smith 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 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 if you decide to use one as a starting point rather than as a final template.
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. This level of tight integration is extremely valuable, especially as your employee rosters and contact lists expand.
The biggest problem with Infusionsoft by Keap? Its stature. As mentioned above, 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.
If yours is a new business or one without much experience in sales, marketing, and email campaigns, Infusionsoft by Keap will hold your hand throughout the process. That protection against getting lost or confused comes at a premium price, mainly since the offering is geared toward the smallest businesses.
Established and growing companies that want a less expensive but full-featured CRM should go for Apptivo CRM, Salesforce Sales Cloud Lightning Professional, or Zoho CRM. (All are PCMag Editors’ Choices.) Or consider Campaigner or Mailchimp for a top-notch email marketing solution. But if you want all of your CRM and email marketing capabilities in one easy-to-use platform, Infusionsoft by Keap could be the right answer for you.
Infusionsoft by Keap
Infusionsoft by Keap Specs
|Limited Free Trial||No|
|Social Media Integration||No|
|24/7 Phone Support||No|
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