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Infusionsoft Vs ActiveCampaignI was a raving fan of Infusionsoft for about 4 years…

until one day I stumbled across a deal breaker!

I found a key feature of one of the most widely used Infusionsoft addons that doesn’t work if your audience lives outside the US.

Which happens to be a good chunk of the world’s population.

Surely I was wrong, otherwise thousands upon thousands of businesses are paying for something that doesn’t work and surely I wasn’t the only one to stumble across it?

A support request revealed that I wasn’t wrong, it’s a limitation that can’t (or won’t) be fixed. This would be fine if it was only sold in the US but it’s not.

I needed this addon to do the advanced strategies we used so I could no longer justify staying there.

We spent a while evaluating Infusionsoft vs ActiveCampaign features and it wasn’t too long before we figured out how to recreate all the advanced strategies we were doing with Infusionsoft.

In this post I’ll walk you through the exact reasons why we made the jump and how we recreated some advanced strategies, step-by-step.

Free PDF Checklist: Download a free checklist that will show you exactly how to execute the strategy from this post. Here’s a link where you can download the PDF

Why We Decided To Leave Infusionsoft After 4 Years

To keep things simple and easy to access, I’ve broken down the reasons into the following categories:

  1. Price
  2. User Experience
  3. Functionality (The RIGHT features included out of the box)
  4. Updates… What Updates?
  5. Looking To The Future
  6. *NEW* Bonus Content: How to make a smooth transition

Price

#1: Free Trial Period

With Infusionsoft you don’t get a free trial but you do get a very generous FREE Quote!!!

Infusionsoft Free Trial

Thankfully ActiveCampaign also gives you a free quote but they also give you a 14 day free trial as well.

ActiveCampaign Free Trial

#2: Sign Up Fee

Here are your options for Infusionsoft’s compulsory Kickstart packages…

Infusionsoft Sign Up Fee

Here’s ActiveCampaign’s sign up fee…

ActiveCampaign Sign Up Fee

That’s a minimum of $999 USD saving before we even consider anything else.

#3: Entry Level Package Price

As you can see from the image below, Infusionsoft starts at $199USD per month.

Infusionsoft Pricing

Infusionsoft is marketed towards small business but I have met many business owners who were just starting out and simply could not afford to go with Infusionsoft at that price.

Many opted to go with MailChimp simply because it was free.

The problem with MailChimp is that it’s limited in terms of functionality.

There was a gap in the market for an “Infusionsoft style” CRM with a lower entry point. Have a look at this…

ActiveCampaign Pricing

The ability to start out at $9 per month makes ActiveCampaign affordable on any budget.

Of course you get less features than Infusionsoft’s $199 package but it means very small businesses don’t have to use a temporary solution and then jump to a whole new CRM once they grow. ActiveCampaign will grow with you.

Oh yea… One more thing while we are on the topic of MailChimp….

Some people still ask “should I start with the free MailChimp and upgrade later?”

Personally, I don’t like the idea of starting a business unless one day I expect it to be a big business. At least in terms of income anyway.

With the free MailChimp option you have MailChimp branding on your emails and that to me reeks of a business operating out of a garage.

Even if I was opperating out of a guarage, that’s not the image I would want to portray.

I recommend paying the $9 because you don’t have branded emails, you get more features and as soon as you hit the 2,001+ subscriber mark the prices are comparable to ActiveCampaign’s Lite plan.

MailChimp Pricing

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User Experience

#4: User Interface

Update: Since I originally wrote this post, ActiveCampaign has made significant upgrades to the user interface to make it even more intuitive than it was previously. Infusionsoft have made some upgrades to their campaign builder but nothing in comparison to the ActiveCampaign upgrades.

Infusionsoft has been around for some time. The trouble is, when you use it, it feels as though it has been around for a long time. Here’s a look at the page that shows you the list of email templates you have available…

Infusionsoft Email Templates

Now compare that to ActiveCampaign…

ActiveCampaign Email Templates

I know this doesn’t have any impact on how it functions but if you had the choice of driving a new mercedes or one that is 10 years old, which would you pick?

#5: Navigation

Update: Since I originally wrote this post, ActiveCampaign has also made significant upgrades to the navigation.

Ive had a reasonable amount of time spent over the years navigating through Infusionsoft building campaigns for personal projects and clients.

Even with all those hours invested, there were still times I found myself searching the wrong settings page looking for something.

The main place I would get lost is navigating the eCommerce settings because it isn’t the most intuitive layout but even before getting there, have a look at the main navigation menu.

Infusionsoft Navigation Menu

After a while you start to know where everything is but for somebody who is new it’s a nightmare.

When you see this comparison you’ll probably think half the image is cut off. It’s not, this is the whole main navigation menu.

ActiveCampaign Navigation Menu

Each of the different menu links has sub settings but so do all the infusionsoft links on their main menu. In fact, as you dig further into the Infusionsoft navigation the rabbit whole just gets deeper.

#6: Setup Time

By no stretch of the imagination do I think ActiveCampaign is perfect. In fact, one of the things I prefer about Infusionsoft is the layout of their campaign builder.

When building complex campaigns I found it easier to wrap my head around the Infusionsoft campaign builder but the vast majority of campaigns that are setup aren’t hugely complex.

Apples for apples when comparing the average use of an autoresponder, ActiveCampaign is faster to go from no experience at all to a fully functional email autoresponder.

#7: Learning Curve

This is by far one of the biggest differences between the two!!!

When we were with Infusionsoft, it wouldn’t have mattered if we included a six month training package with eight hours training every day…

Some of our clients still wouldn’t understand how to use it!

Infusionsoft Learning Curve

They would be the first to admit that I’d probably have more luck trying to teach maths to a monkey.

Personally, this wasn’t a huge issue for me, I just seemed to understand Infusionsoft right away. Within a day I was up and running and confident in what I was doing.

That’s not because I’m smarter than everyone else, it’s just that my brain seems to understand things like Infusionsoft and there are plenty of things my clients do far better than me in their fields.

The problem is, not all business owners want to become an email marketing expert to know how to use their autoresponder.

The reason ActiveCampaign can get away with not having a compulsory training package at the beginning is because someone with reasonable computer skills should be able to pick up on how to use it all on their own.

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Functionality:
The ‘RIGHT’ features included out of the box

#8: Site tracking

Although you can tract your contact’s interaction with your website on both Infusionsoft and ActiveCampaign, the ActiveCampaign web tracking trumps Infusionsoft in both setup and uses.

As with all site tracking, the process starts by adding embed code to your site. It’s no difference for either of these two autoresponders.

If you’ve never dealt with site tracking code, here’s a look at the ActiveCampaign tracking code to get an idea…

ActiveCampaign tracking code

Adding tracking code to your site is really easy. Even if you know nothing about building websites and you have a website built on WordPress, you can easily do it yourself.

Here are the steps:

  1. Download a plugin such as the AddFunc Head & Footer Code plugin from the WordPress Plugin Directory.
  2. Follow the steps on How to Install a WordPress Plugin – Step by Step for Beginners
Tip: I know this is going to sound crazy but wpbeginner.com ‘Beginners Guide for WordPress’ is a great site for learning how to do basic WordPress tasks. Some tasks are literally a 2 minute job but if you need to hire a web developer to do it it’s more than 2 minutes of their time to sort it out for you and you will be charged more than the two minute task is worth. wpbeginner will help with these basic tasks.
  1. In the WordPress admin menu, navigate to Settings>Head & Footer Code as shown in image below.

AddFunc Head & Footer Code

  1. Follow the steps on How to set up ActiveCampaign Site Tracking to generate your site tracking code.
  2. Paste the code into the footer of your site by pasting your code in the Site-Wide Footer Code section as shown below.

Site-Wide Footer Code

Tip: As an alternative to using the AddFunc Head & Footer Code plugin, you can also use the ActiveCampaign WordPress plugin which makes it easy for you to add email capture forms to your site and also install the tracking code. The steps for inserting the tracking code with this plugin is much the same as described above. The only reason we choose not to use it is because we use the custom HTML option for adding forms as it gives us more styling flexibility and we also need to insert other tracking codes on the sites we build so we use one plugin for all of them.

Once you have inserted the tracking code you have some really cool features available to you. Have a look at the image below.

It shows you what ActiveCampaign lets you do with the site tracking data you collect…

ActiveCampaign site tracking uses

You can use these options to trigger an automation, have a contact wait in an automation until a condition is met or use them as a goal to complete an automation.

You also have the ability to make more complex rules buy combining multiple rules together using the ‘and/or’ logic. The possibilities are endless!

By comparison, if you want to use similar functions in Infusionsoft, you need to add an additional bit of code to your site for every page that you want to use in your campaigns.

The process is explained on Infusionsoft’s Create A Web Page Automation Goal HelpCenter page but basically you are given another bit of code that has to be added to the specific page.

The trouble with this isn’t just the extra time, it increases the chance that you will accidentally mess up your campaign if you update your website or campaign.

You have lots more to remember before you can be confident of making an update.

ActiveCampaign Site Tracking

One HUGE difference between ActiveCampaign and Infusionsoft when it comes to site tracking…

ActiveCampaign begins recording your website visitor’s movements on your site from the instant you insert the tracking code.

When the site visitor becomes a subscriber, all the past site tracking information that has been collected is added to their contact record.

With Infusionsoft, you only start collecting data once they become a subscriber. This means you miss out on a lot of important information about how people interact with your site before they opt-in or buy.

This to me is a huge selling point for ActiveCampaign

#9: Event tracking

Much the same as the site tracking feature, the main difference being is it gives you the ability to create custom events to track.

Brian Gladu from ActiveCampain explains exactly what it can do…

Brian Gladu

“With Event Tracking, you are able to track more than just page views. You could track video views, button clicks, orders, log ins, and in-app behavior. You can configure Event Tracking to track almost anything. Event Tracking is more flexible, but it is also more challenging to set up because you’ll need to customize the code for each event.”

Brian Gladu ~ ActiveCampain

#10: Reporting

Both give you an at-a-glance view of the the contacts currently going through your campaign or automation.

These reports give useful information that you can interpret in seconds. I would say both autoresponders are on a par here.

Here’s an example of the two, the only major difference is Infusionsoft works from right to left, ActiveCampaign from top to bottom.

Infusionsoft Campaign Reporting

ActiveCampaign Automation Reporting

Where things start to go a little pearshaped with Infusionsoft’s reporting is in the more detailed reports.

Whe you access the marketing reports you see a big list that looks like this…

Infusionsoft Marketing Reports

The image above only shows about half the options. You might get excited at first thinking that you’ve got lots of different reports to choose from and pretty graphs are just a click away.

Not quite. Click one of the links and on the next screen you see search fields with lots of options to choose from before you can access any kind of report.

At this point, most users wouldn’t even go any further, it would be in the too hard basket by now.

If you do decide to stick with it and perform a search, you end up with a list of results like this…

Infusionsoft Marketing Reports 02

A long list of names and when a specific action occurred. The data is delivered in a way where everything is segmented.

By comparison, when you open an ActiveCampaign report the data is collated into groups and graphs which you can interpret and use quickly. Here’s an example…

ActiveCampaign Marketing Reports

I honestly can’t say which provides more reporting data because in four years with Infusionsoft we barely touched the reports because there’s simply too much manual work involved if you want to collate the data into something meaningful.

#11: Contact Social Media Profiles

This is another really important one in my view!
If you want to add links to a contact’s contact record in Infusionsoft, there are two ways of doing it:

  1. Add fields to the forms on your website asking people to enter their social media link
  2. Open their contact record and manually enter them your self in the fields shown below

Infusionsoft Social Media Profiles

When a new contact is added into ActiveCampaign, a search is automatically performed to find socila media profiles associated with the email address. This is awesome!!!

Check it out…

ActiveCampaign Social Media profiles

Why is this awesome?

Firstly, if social media profiles appear on a contact record, you know they have likely give you their main email rather than a secondary one they use to opt-in just to get free stuff.

Secondly, think of the options this opens up for you in terms of researching your potential clients.

If you are about to get in touch with them you have the ability to educate yourself on what type of person they are before you make the call.

ActiveCampaign leaves Infusionsoft for dead in this area.

#12: Automatic Location And Time Zone Tracking

In much the same way as the previous point about Contact Social Media Profiles, the difference in the Time Zone settings is the automation.

With Infusionsoft you need to manually add the time zone similar to the social media profiles, with ActiveCampaign this is automatically detected and added to the contact record.

If a contact record has a time zone, when you configure emails in an automation to be sent at a specific time of day it is sent based on the contact’s time zone, not yours. That’s pretty cool.

With Infusionsoft, the time zone you select in the admin settings controls the time of day your emails are sent for all your contacts…

Infusionsoft Time Zone

To take it one step further, ActiveCampaign keeps an ongoing record of your contact’s movements around the world.

If they open an email while traveling, you get to see where they were and when they were there. Here’s an example…

ActiveCampaign Travel History

#13: Split Testing

Just in case you’re not 100% sure what split testing is, here is a video that will explain what it is and most importantly, how to do it properly.

The video explains split testing website pages but the same applies to testing emails.

It is possible to split test with both autoresponders but Terri from jessicanazarali.com she said best when she said “It’s not hard. It’s tedious” when she was describing split testing with Infusionsoft.

I was going to show you an example of a split test I created with Infusionsoft but Jessica Nazarali has already done a great job of showing the differences on her post Why We Switched From Infusionsoft & Customerhub To Activecampaign And Kajabi.

Who is Jessica Nazarali?

Jessica is a Business Strategist & Certified Master Coach for women who want to build thriving coaching businesses and become the It Girl in their industry.

Jessica Nazarali

In her post, she begins by explaining that she requires A, B, and C split testing on one of her campaigns.

Here’s the screen shot she provides to show you how it looks…

Infusionsoft Split Testing

Jessica Nazarali quote

“Looks pretty intense, right? While it’s not necessarily “hard” to set up this campaign in Infusionsoft, it’s intricate and each step ties into the next so you have to make sure that each step is properly set up. Lots of room for minor errors too.”

Jessica Nazarali ~ jessicanazarali.com

Take note of how many sequences (the rectangular boxes in the image) there are on Jessica’s campaign. All of that is for just 15 emails.

Jessica then shows what the exact same campaign looks like in ActiveCampaign…

ActiveCampaign Split Testing

In the above automation, it would continue down until there are 15 of the dark rectangles. This is all that is required to setup the split test.

Jessica goes into a lot more detail about the differences in her post Why We Switched From Infusionsoft & Customerhub To Activecampaign And Kajabi so go take a look if you want to see just how confusing it gets with Infusionsoft split testing.

#14: SMS

If you know anything about Infusionsoft SMS isn’t a reason to leave because you can send SMS with Infusionsoft as well?

If that’s what you are thinking you are right, you can send SMS with Infusionsoft but here is why we prefer ActiveCampaign’s version of the same feature.

With Infusionsoft you have to integrate with a third party app to add SMS. That’s not a big problem but you are already paying a minimum of $200US per month and for SMS you need to add another $0 to $120 per month depending on what plan you want.

On top of the monthly fee there is the cost of the text messages. There are many different options so the price varies but there isn’t a low cost option.

By comparison, the $49 per month ActiveCampaign plan gives you 25 free SMS messages and you can but 250 SMS credits for less than $6.

That means you can be on the lowest plan of $9 per month and pay a further $7 to add SMS to your campaign.

That’s great news for start-ups with a low budget, especially when you consider that the majority of the world’s population spends half their day looking like this…

ActiveCampaign SMS

This low cost built in feature makes it accessible for all of our clients, even those on the tightest budget. As their business grows their SMS expenses can grow with them rather than trying to play catch up.

#15: One Stop Shop Vs Integrating The Best Apps

As I start to explain this, you’re probably going to think I’m contradicting my last point.

A second ago I was saying ActiveCampaign has a better SMS feature because you don’t need to integrate. Now I’m going to be talking about why integration is better.

Just hear me out and it will make sense.

The SMS feature is better with ActiveCampaign because it’s simple to setup, works well and is cost effective. If they couldn’t provide all these built in then sure, integration would be better.

Infusionsoft has been around for a long time and one of their selling points over the years was that it did everything.

I believe this is going to be their downfall.

We are starting to see that the size of the Infusionsoft platform means they are too heavily invested to move away from the old coding system it is built on and many of their features are becoming old technology.

old technology

There are a couple of really big problems as a result but they are big enough to deserve their own section so I have covered those below under the updates heading as well as my next point.

The problem with the one-stop-shop approach is that you do too many things reasonably well instead of a few things really well.

ActiveCampaign doesn’t have as many features built in. Instead you can either build custom integrations with API if you have a strong web development team or Integrate with over 750+ different apps with Zapier.

What is Zapier?

This lets ActiveCampaign focus on building an awesome Autoresponder and lets you integrate with other apps that are the best in their field.

The integrations obviously come at a cost but you will still undercut what you would pay at Infusionsoft.

Pay only for what you need and combine the best apps.

Tip: Zapier is a great place to shop for new apps. You won’t actually buy apps from Zapier but if you look at their Zapbook you will find a list of apps they integrate with. Zapier integrates with the leading apps in any category so you can trust in the quality and you instantly know your new app will integrate with your existing system. It’s a great way to find time saving apps you didn’t know existed too!

Oh yea, Infusionsoft integrates with Zapier too but the point is, they have a bunch of built in features becoming redundant.

#16: Shopping Cart

The best example of this previous point is Infusionsoft’s built in shopping cart.

Take a look at the checkout page for example. If we used Infusionsoft to sell products on this site, our checkout page would be on an Infusionsoft web address and look something like this…

Infusionsoft Checkout

Instead, we integrate ActiveCampaign with Woocommerce which allows us to create a shopping cart that is built into our website and is styled to match the rest of the site.

Here is the checkout page on our website…

Woocommerce Checkout

This is just one aspect of the shopping cart but we find this same lack of flexibility applies to all areas of the shopping cart feature.

Tip: Creating products, managing subscriptions, managing coupons, managing orders, invoices and pretty much any eCommerce function you can think of will all be easier with Woocommerce!

Woocommerce is a WordPress plugin designed for the sole purpose of adding a shopping cart to your WordPress website.

It starts of as a lightweight base set of features which will cover the needs of a basic online store and you can add pretty much any function you need with addons.

Just like ActiveCampaign, Woocommerce integrates with Zapier so you can integrate it with almost any other app that you need.

An example would be automatically passing order info to an accounting app such as Xero which is the best accounting app available.

Here’s a quick video that will give you an overview of Woocommerce.

Not only does Woocommerce give us more flexibility, our clients find it easier to manage as well.

Even when we were with Infusionsoft we used Woocommerce and integrated it with Infusionsoft instead of using the built in shopping cart.

This meant we were paying an extra $100 per month to use a couple of the eCommerce features we needed with Infusionsoft even though we were choosing not to use the bulk of what we were being charged for.

Woocommerce can then be easily integrated with ActiveCampaign using the Woocommerce Zapier extension and using the documentation to configure the settings.

As ActiveCampaign doesn’t have a built in shopping cart, they also don’t have some of the fields available that you will need to store information about your customers.

You will need to add these as custom fields. An example would be address fields as shown below…

ActiveCampaign Address Custom Fields

Having these as standard fields has been requested by users already and I believe they will soon be available as a standard field.

If they aren’t there by the time you need them, you can add your vote to this suggestion thread.

Tip: You will need to create an ActiveCampaign account before you can access the feedback forum but having your say is a great way to make sure ActiveCampaign ads the features you want.

#17: More Options For Subscription Products

The ability to sell subscription products is really important for our business and our clients. We found Infusionsoft’s subscription product feature to be limiting.

The key functions that we found to be better with Woocommerce:

  1. Upgrading and downgradings: Can be done with both but it’s much easier to setup with Woocommerce. The first time I set this up with Infusionsoft it took me hours, with Woocommerceit’s well documented on the Subscription Switching Guide and we had everything setup in minutes.
  2. Synchronise subscription payments: This was important to us because we get billed by suppliers on a specific day of the month. With Woocommerce we can make sure all customers who purchase a product related to one of our monthly costs can all be billed two days before we pay our bill. If we chose the 1st of the month and they purchase on the 15th, their first payment would be 50% of the total cost and they begin paying the full amount on the 1st. You can learn more about how that works with the Subscription Renewal Synchronization Guide. You don’t have this choice with Infusionsoft.
  3. Manual/automatic payments: Available with both but as far as I’m aware, with Infusionsoft you can’t change the settings on an individual customer basis. I might be wrong about this but even if I am, I shouldn’t still be confused about how it works with how much time I have spent playing with settings. With Woocommerce we can choose manual or automatic by default and easily modify individual subscriptions. Again it was easy to learn by following their guide.
  4. Free trials: Available with both but you have more flexibility with Woocommerce and despite having more options you will have settings configured in a tenth of the time.

Here is an overview of the Woocommerce subscriptions addon…

#18: Finding A Replacement For Infusionsoft’s built in Affiliate System Wasn’t A Problem

This wasn’t so much a “reason to move” it was more that it wasn’t a compelling reason to stay.

I was actually quite happy with Infusionsoft’s affiliate management system and don’t really have a problem with it.

The only downside I can point out is that just like everything else, it feels old.

That’s fine for the back end but there is a login portal for affiliates and you feel as though the welcome message should be “Welcome and sorry for the out of date user interface!”

A creaking door noise as you login would finish it off nicely 🙂

Initially I was concerned that this would be a real limitation if we moved to ActiveCampaign but then we found AffiliateWP.

AffiliateWP

AffiliateWP has loads of included features for managing your affiliates. Just like ActiveCampaign and Woocommerce it has loads of integrations including Zapier so chances are it’s going to cater for all your affiliate needs.

What I love about AffiliateWP:

  1. It gives you the ability to have greater control over your affiliate system as it’s built right into your site.
  2. I don’t have to send my affiliates to an external site to access affiliate tools.
  3. Just like I mention in a later point about order forms, I can style my affiliate tools to be seemless with the rest of my website design.
  4. They have done a really good job of creating an admin panel that is intuitive for people already familiar with WordPress wich reduces the learning curve.

#19: Integrating With WishlistMember Membership Website Plugin Wasn’t A Problem

Like the previous point, this wasn’t a reason to move but it wasn’t a reason to stay.

We use WishlistMember to run our membership sites.

Tip: We use WishlistMember because it has all the features we need and some of their competitors charge per month close to what you will pay for one year of WishlistMember.

The first thing I did was check if WishlistMember integrates with ActiveCampaign. The answer was yes so I was happy.

And then the bad news…

I found a problem and then found on the ActiveCampaign feedback forum that others had found the same limitation.

You can pass new member information from WishlistMember but if you want to add an ActiveCampaign contact to a WishlistMember membership level, there’s no way to do it.

So I got my team to create one!

My developer created a WordPress plugin that allows you to use Zapier’s ActiveCampaign Webhooks Zap to add contacts to membership levels.

Zappier ActiveCampaign Webhooks

Firstly you would need to install the WordPress plugin that our developer created. I will update this post soon with a download link but if you would like access to it now just contact me and I will happily send it to you.

Then you need to create a Zap where the “Trigger” is ActiveCampaign.

Follow the step by step process Zapier gives you for setting up your trigger so it fires when you want a contact to be added to your WishlistMember membership website.

The next step in the Zap is a Webhook but make sure it is a “POST” Zap (You have a choice between POST, PUT, and GET).

The required settings are shown in the image below, the other settings not shown use the default settings.

Webhooks by Zapier POST

Here’s what each of the settings are:

  1. URL: http://your-website.com/wp-admin/admin-ajax.php
  2. action: atwm_add_too_wishlist tells the plugin to add a new member
  3. user_login: This becomes the contacts WordPress username
  4. Levels: This is the unique number code WishlistMember gives to each of your membership levels
  5. user_pass: This becomes the contacts WordPress password
  6. user_email: This is the contacts email address

If you want to add to more than one membership level, only add one number code for the field shown above. You must add a new field for each level and the new field labels are added like this…

Levels[0]
Levels[1]
Levels[2]
Levels[3]
etc.

#20: Video Time Tracking Feature Easily Replicated

There is an Infusionsoft addon that allows you to track how much of a video a contact has watched so you can follow up with highly targeted campaigns because you know where they stopped watching.

video time tracking

This is really powerful for your campaigns and I was concerned because there was nothing like it on ActiveCampaign.

It didn’t matter anyway because we were using the video time tracking in conjunction with another feature that we found out only works as advertised if your contacts live in a specific time zone (Very few of ours do).

Either way, we had to make the jump and it ended up being good news.

To add this feature to Infusionsoft it costs $80US per month but you get quite a few other features in the addon as well.

To add it to ActiveCampaign, we found an addon that was going to cost $70 per month and we had no use for the other features. I wasn’t going to spend another $70 per month for this one feature.

custom coding

Instead, we put one of our developers Kevin to work and he wrote a bit of custom code that would do the job we needed.

The code is written to track specific times within a Wistia video. When a viewer reaches the time stamp, this information is sent to ActiveCampaign and ads a tag to the contact.

This tag can then be used to trigger emails that leave the contact wondering how on earth you know where they stopped watching.

Tip: What’s the point of paying for a video hosting service like Wistia when YouTube is free? Thats a good question. Although it’s fine to use YouTube videos as part of your online presence (We do), there are certain marketing videos that are far better off being hosted with Wistia. To learn why, watch both of the videos on the Wistia vs YouTube page. Oh yea, one more thing… their customer service is OUTSTANDING!

We are currently in the process of turning our custom video time tracking code into a WordPress plugin. When we are done I will update this post.

For now, if you would like to request access to the plugin when we are done be sure to contact us.

#21: Multiple Businesses Under One Account

With our business we often have projects that are like mini sub-businesses. They’re not a different company but they aren’t part of our core business.

With these projects, we would like to be able to use our existing resources to test them before comitting hundreds of dollars each month for apps we already have.

Infusionsoft is designed to run a single business. It can be setup to run multiple projects but they don’t make it easy.

For example, with Infusionsoft you go to the admin settings and insert your company details in the fields shown below…

Infusionsoft Company Info

These details are then automatically pulled into your email footers because spam laws require that you have a physical address showing on your emails.

To make this work for multiple businesses or projects under one account, you need to make sure all the projects share a common physical address. There is no way around this.

You can edit the footer to remove the company name though which means it can be done as a workaround.

ActiveCampaign on the other hand lets you create as many lists as you want, each with their own company name and address.

When you create a new list, simply select the option to add a new sender address as shown here…

ActiveCampaign Company Info

So if you don’t want your “manly” construction industry clients to know about your ballet enthusiast blog, you can keep your hobby completely separate to your core business under one account.

This was appealing to us and even if it wasn’t possible, with an entry level price of $9 per month it would be affordable to open a few separate accounts anyway.

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Updates… What Updates?

#22: Payment gateway options

To accept online payments, you need to setup a payment gateway. This is basically an account with a company that processes payments on your behalf and makes sure the money ends up in your account.

Below is a screenshot of the Infusionsoft payment gateway options.

I took this screen shot about one minute ago but I could have used one from the day I started using Infusionsoft about four years ago because it hasn’t changed.

Infusionsoft Payment Gateway Options

They are missing pretty much all of the new big players in this space which is an indication of their inability to adapt and progress.

If your business is based outside the US, your options are extremely limited!

Now let’s have a look at your options with Woocommerce…

Woocommerce Payment Gateway Options

I had to limit the screenshot because as you can see there are 145 options.

I must be fair though because not all of the 145 options allow you to process subscription payments.

I don’t know if that’s the case for all of the Infusionsoft options so just in case all of infusionsoft’s options do accept subscription payments, here is a trimmed down list…

Woocommerce Subscription Payment Gateway Options

Woocommerce still wins, 32 to 11.

Tip: If you have never setup a payment gateway before and need a fast, easy to setup solution, you can’t go past Stripe combined with Woocommerce. Some payment gateways can take over one month to setup by the time you get through their approval process. No exaggeration… Stripe was up and running on our site within half an hour of opening our Stripe account.

If you are completely new to this stuff and want to do it all yourself, this will be by far the easiest for you to setup.

I much prefer Stripe to PayPal as well because I have had a number of issues using PayPal and the solutions I needed weren’t an option so I was turned away.

Plus I’m not a fan of PayPal from a customer experience point of view.

Being forced to pay via my account (If you have an account associated with your card) has meant businesses have lost a sale simply because I didn’t know my password.

I’ve also had a few problems purchasing overseas when they want to send me an SMS. I know this is a security feature but I travel a lot so it just results in frustration when I can’t make a purchase.

If you have subscription products, don’t even consider PayPal. There are additional confusing setup steps and it has limitations. Just go with Stripe!

Here’s what you need to do to get setup:

  1. Create a stripe account.
  2. Activate your stripe account.
Stripe Logo

“Before activating your account, you can only interact with Stripe in test mode. All of Stripe’s features are available in test mode, though no live charges using the card networks can be created. Activating your account is a simple process: you fill out a form requesting some basic information about your product, your business, and your own personal relationship to your business. Once you’ve activated your account, you can immediately start using the live API and charge real cards.”

Stripe

  1. Download the FREE Woocommerce Stripe extention plugin.
  2. Follow the install and setup instructions.
  3. Use a test credit card while in test mode to make sure everything is working and the funds show up in your test Stripe account.
  4. Once you have performed a successful test, refer to the setup instructions once again to switch from test mode to live.

That’s it, you’re now ready to accept payments through your website including subscription payments.

#23: Out Of Date Payment Gateway Integration

While helping a business owner to investigate why he had lost $25,000 in one month from purchases with stolen cards, I stumbled across something a little troubling.

Credit Card Fraud

Although this was not the cause of the fraud, I found out that the integration Infusionsoft uses to integrate with eWay is out of date.

There are new security features available with eWay and you don’t get the benefit of these if you connect via Infusionsoft.

I contacted support to see when this would be updated and found out there is no intention to do so.

I could be wrong, but I thought credit card security was pretty high on the priority list for online stores?

This to me was another sign that Infusionsoft is stuck with their old system that can’t integrate with newer technology.

PS: If you are considering using eWay as a merchant account and/or payment gateway don’t let my comments above deter you. They integrate with Woocommerce easily and the quality of their 24/7 customer support is off the charts!

#24: Mobile responsive order forms

I’m going to seem like I am blowing things out of proportion when I say this but this was one of my main reasons for wanting to leave Infusionsoft!

If you want to sell a product with Infusionsoft’s built in shopping cart, you have an orderform that looks like this on mobile devices…

Infusionsoft Not Mobile Responsive

What you can see represents about 65% of the width of the order form. Customers need to scroll across and down to complete it.

Here is what our order form looks like with Woocommerce…

Woocommerce Mobile Responsive Checkout

The question of which is better is not even close!

Our checkout is built right into our site, matches the rest of the design and responds perfectly to all mobile devices.

It is possible to get a developer to custom code the Infusionsoft order form to add responsiveness but why should you pay a few hundred dollars for something that should be a standard feature?

car with no wheels

Going to a web developer today and saying you want a mobile responsive website is like going to buy a car and telling the salesman you want a car with wheels.

Mobile responsiveness has been around for years now and there shouldn’t be any application that isn’t responsive anymore.

Especially an app you have to pay $200 to $500 per month for!

This got me thinking… Why haven’t they updated their order forms?

There is only one answer that makes any sense because otherwise it would have been done ages ago…

Infusionsoft can’t update their forms because they are too heavily invested in their old coding platform and can’t keep up with changes.

If I were to promote an app that couldn’t provide mobile responsive designs it would contradict everything else we say to our clients about responsiveness.

This was the problem that began our search for a new autoresponder.

#25: Problem with one of Infusionsoft’s most well sold addons

I apologise but I’m not going to show any screen shots here or mention any company names because I don’t think it’s the right thing to do.

There is a very widely used Infusionsoft addon that provides a number of different functions.

Through the process of setting up a campaign for a client I found a problem.

I was sure I had something wrong because it didn’t make sense for this company to be promoting their product outside the US if what I found was actually correct.

Turns out I was right!

broken function

If you use this addon and your contacts live outside a specific time zone, your campaigns won’t work as you have designed them to do.

In our case, that was 12 hours but the effect was that anyone who fell within this window recieved emails 24 hours later than the campaign was setup for.

It’s not much good when a contact recieves a “24 hours remaining to take up the offer” just as the offer expires!

I contacted support and the reason this exists is because the integration with Infusionsoft won’t allow them to create a variable rule.

I have no problem with that but I believe it should be advertised on their site that it only works inside a single time zone and nowhere else in the world.

I was already on my way to ActiveCampaign, this was the thing that sealed the deal and turned me from a fan of both to a fully converted ActiveCampaign user.

#26: Pace of significant updates

The little guy in this image is moving forward faster than Infusionsoft.

Pace of significant updates

The simplest way to explain this is to say that I received more emails revealing significant updates and releases in the first six months with ActiveCampaign than I did in four years with Infusionsoft.

There might have been some but I cannot remember a single significant update that Infusionsoft made in the whole time I was with them.

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Looking To The Future

#27: Are they positioned to be a leader in 5+ years?

Infusionsoft just feels old and I believe they are the Roman Empire of email marketing. They conquered for years but their size has allowed younger, more agile competitors to catch up.

Infusionsoft feels old

I wouldn’t say they are done just yet but they are stagnant in a rapidly evolving market. If they don’t do something to progress soon they are going to be left behind.

At the current moment in time, all the reviews you will read about Infusionsoft vs ActiveCampaign (With the exception of this one) simply compare price and features currently availabe.

Your unlikely to find many reviews as heavily in favour of ActiveCampaign as I have been here but my strong opinion isn’t based on what’s available today.

When I really thought about why Infusionsoft wasn’t updating some of the things I’ve covered, the only logical conclusion I could draw is that they can’t.

active campaign feels new and progressive

So my opinion is based on the fact that as things continue to advance in the world of email marketing, ActiveCampaign will be better positioned to take over as the industry leader.

#28: Our clients aren’t forced to use our services

Over the years of helping businesses create Infusionsoft campaigns we found that once we had done all the heavy lifting and created the complex components, clients still had difficulty performing even basic tasks to manage things on an ongoing basis.

So basically if they want to add, remove, change or troubleshoot something, they were forced to pay us to assist.

That’s great news for us but not for our clients.

The first two clients we setup on ActiveCampaign sent a total of four emails between them over the first month. All four were quick answers and they haven’t needed our support since.

Even with Infusionsoft’s 24/7 support (which is fantastic!!!) we would get questions for months because our clients were so confused they didn’t even know what to ask support.

The fact that our clients can manage ActiveCampaign on their own means they only need our services when they want us to create something new or seek our advice when it comes to strategy.

We believe this is how the relationship with our clients should work and in the long run, it will work out better for us too because the client’s needs come first.

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*NEW* Bonus Content:
How to make a smooth transition

Making the change is a big commitment for any business. Many businesses are already heavily invested in Infusionsoft so the thought of making a change can be daunting, especially if you’re not sure if the change is going to be an improvement on what you’ve already got.

So here is a solution!

Rather than diving in head first, leave everything setup as it is in Infusionsoft. Then plan to run a future marketing campaign through ActiveCampaign as a test. This will give you a chance to get familiar with it and see if it is right for your business before fully committing.

If you are happy with the result, then begin the migration. If not, either stay where you are or look for another possible alternative and repeat the process.

People ask me all the time “what is the best autoresponder on the market?”

The answer is that there is no one best autoresponder for all businesses. It really depends on your needs. What I always tell people is that ActiveCampaign is the one I recommend if I haven’t been given the opportunity to learn more about a specific business. This is because it is a good, affordable all-rounder.

That means it might not be the best one for you so giving it a test run on an upcoming marketing campaign eliminates the risk of making the move only to find it isn’t going to meet your needs.

Here’s What to Do Next…

If you found this post helpful, I want you do one thing:

Download the free checklist that will make sure you have considered the six questions that helped me to choose the most suitable autoresponder for our needs. Click the image below to get the PDF checklist.

Download PDF Checklist


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Comments (11)
Kate Krawczyk

Hi Matt, Great article - thank you! You wrote about a deal-breaker. "I found a key feature of one of the most widely used Infusionsoft addons that doesn’t work if your audience lives outside the US (A good chunk of the world’s population)." We have client's outside the US. Can you tell me what you are referring to?

Simon J Fisher

Super helpful in depth article Matt!

Matthew

Got it. Was just razzing ya. Really, it is an excellent article and I for one appreciate that you took the time to write it. Anyway, did you guys complete a WP plugin for timing Wistia vids, or is it possible for me to get the code? Thanks!

Matthew Upton

Thanks for the insight. If I didn't know better, I'd think you were working for ActiveCampaign. But seriously, this is the best comparison article I think I've ever seen. You are the man!

Matt Cinnamond

Hi Matthew, thanks for the feedback and I'm glad you found my post helpful. I see how it could look as though I work for ActiveCampaign but after all my years of experience with Infusionsoft I still have what would be considered expert level knowledge of Infusionsoft. This means for my clients that consult with me on CRM's, email marketing and automation I still have the ability to help them get setup through Infusionsoft. Whether my clients choose Infusionsoft, ActiveCampaign or something else, my consulting fee is the same. If I favour ActiveCampaign over Infusionsoft it is purely because I believe it is better (in most cases). Every business is unique though so it's still important to consider the specific needs of the business before choosing any CRM and autoresponder.