I 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 only works if your audience lives inside the US.
Unfortunately… A good chunk of the world’s population lives outside the US.
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.
I spent a while evaluating the possible switch from Infusionsoft to ActiveCampaign. I looked at all the features and considered future development.
It wasn’t too long before I 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, even when they weren’t a built-in feature.
Why We Decided To Leave Infusionsoft After 4 Years...
1. Free Trial Period
Back when I was with Infusionsoft you didn’t get a free trial but you did get a very generous FREE Quote!!!
This ”free quote” stuck around well into the era of free trials and free forever limited feature accounts. Thankfully Infusionsoft has come to their senses and replaced their free quote with a 14-day free trial which is what ActiveCampaign provided from day one.
2. Sign Up Fee
One of the things I always hated about Infusionsoft is that they had compulsory Kickstart packages
Infusionsoft experimented with different charges for their starter package but the one I was most familiar with started at $999 USD which for my Australian clients was about $1,500 AUD at the time.
The really frustrating thing about this was that I was giving my clients coaching sessions on how to do really advanced stuff and they were being forced to pay Infusionsoft to show them how to edit an email template and where to find stuff in the navigation menu.
There are a few things wrong with this…
- I had to reduce my fees to make up for the money they were wasting on the compulsory Kickstart package
- Infusionsoft was WAY too confusing for some of my clients. They had no intention of ever figuring out how to use it, they wanted me to do it for them so the Kickstarter package was completely unnecessary. In reality, Infusionsoft should have been paying me a Kickstarter fee for doing all the work for them in setting up new clients!
- If someone needs a coaching session on how to use your menu it means your menu is crap! By comparison, the ActiveCampaign menu was intuitive and doesn’t need explaining (I cover this in more detail below)
I’m glad to report that Infusionsoft has come to their senses and made these packages optional as you can see here…
Here’s the ActiveCampaign sign up fee back when I started with them and if you go there today you’ll see nothing has changed…
3. Entry Level Package Price
As you can see from the image below, Infusionsoft’s old entry-level price of $199 USD per month was a bit much for some small businesses to swallow.
Infusionsoft is marketed towards small businesses but I have met many small business owners who were hoping to make enough money just to eat that week so asking them to pay for Infusionsoft was often a hard sell.
Many opted to go with MailChimp simply because it was free but the problem with MailChimp is its limited functionality.
There was a gap in the market for an “Infusionsoft style” CRM with a lower entry point and ActiveCampaign filled that gap with their $9USD per month entry-level package.
Today that package has increased to $15USD per month but it includes way more features and the extra few dollars still makes ActiveCampaign affordable on any budget. By comparison, Infusionsoft has created a new package by cutting out many of its features to offer a more affordable entry-level product but its $79USD per month price tag is still no match for ActiveCampaign.
If you need help choosing between ActiveCampaign’s packages, here are the most important things to consider when choosing between ActiveCampaign lite or plus plan (The two most popular plans).
4. User Interface
Important: The last time I reviewed the Infusionsoft interface was just prior to their rebranding to Keap. Within the next 6 months, I will be doing another full review of the updated version of Infusionsoft and will update this post once my review is complete.
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. The last time I checked, Infusionsoft had made some upgrades to their campaign builder but at the time it was nothing in comparison to the ActiveCampaign upgrades.
It’s important for me to point out that it is possible Infusionsoft has made further updates since I last had the opportunity to look but every time I have done a comparison they have always come off second best.
Infusionsoft has been around for some time. The trouble is, when you use it, it feels as though you are using something old. I’m not sure if Infusionsoft has updated this specific page so to keep things fair I will show you a comparison done on the same day. Here’s a look at the page that shows you the list of email templates you have available…
Now compare that to ActiveCampaign…
I know this doesn’t have any impact on how it functions but if you had the choice of driving a brand new car or the same model from 15 years ago, which would you pick?
And I can tell you that ActiveCampaign has made significant improvements to the user interface since the above screenshot was taken!
At the time of making the switch, this was a huge consideration for me. I’d been using Infusionsoft for some time and had a very strong knowledge of the platform but found there were still times I was searching in the wrong places for the settings I needed.
The main place I would get lost was navigating the eCommerce settings because it wasn’t the most intuitive layout.
But even before getting to the confusing eCommerce settings, have a look at the main navigation menu…
After a while, if you spent as much time using Infusionsoft as I did, you start to know where to find things.
The problem though is that my clients didn’t spend as much time using it as I did! When they were new, it would take forever to show them where things are but they would often forget each time they wanted to use it.
When you see this comparison you’ll probably think half the image is cut off. It’s not, this was the whole main navigation menu at the time I made the switch…
If you are seriously considering Infusionsoft as an option, the very good news is that they have made a vast improvement to their navigation so it’s not a rabbit warren like it used to be.
ActiveCampaign has made a major update since this screenshot as well and I believe it’s now even more intuitive to use.
Unfortunately, this improvement from Infusionsoft came FAR too late for me. It probably wouldn’t have been enough to make me stay simply due to the vast number of reasons to make the move but at least they finally seem to be heading in the right direction in a number of areas.
6. Setup Time
By no stretch of the imagination do I think ActiveCampaign is perfect. In fact, there are two things I much prefer about Infusionsoft over Activecampaign…
One is the fact that ActiveCampaign doesn’t allow you to group tags into categories (but don’t worry because I have a solution which gives the same benefit of adding categories to ActiveCampain tags).
The second 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 automated email campaigns set up by businesses aren’t hugely complex.
If you want to compare apples for apples, using the most common basic email follow up sequence, 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 of training every day… Some of our clients still wouldn’t understand how to use it!
The clients we set up on Infusonsoft would be the first to admit that I’d probably have more luck trying to teach maths to a monkey!
Personally, the learning curve wasn’t a huge issue for me, I just seemed to understand Infusionsoft right away but that’s why I do this sort of stuff for a living. Within a day I was up and running and confident in what I was doing. The trouble was that I never had a single client who felt the same way.
The reason ActiveCampaign has never had a compulsory training package is that someone with reasonable computer skills should be able to pick up on how to use it all on their own. Since making the switch the amount of support I’ve needed to provide my clients on an ongoing basis has been significantly reduced simply because they can usually figure things out themselves. Not sure if that is a benefit to you but it certainly is for me!
The right features included "out of the box"
8. Site Tracking
Infusionsoft has updated the way they do this (Thankfully because it was terrible the way it used to be). Although you could track your contact’s interaction with your website on both Infusionsoft and ActiveCampaign back when I made the switch, the ActiveCampaign web tracking was much more powerful (in both setup and uses).
It seems as though Infusionsoft has brought things up to standard in terms of tracking code but I can’t tell you if they have done the same in terms of how you can use the site tracking information.
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…
Adding tracking code to your site is really easy and there are probably hundreds of different ways you could do it, all of which depends on how you’ve built your website.
We build all our client websites on WordPress with the Elementor Pro plugin. This provides the user-friendly page builder features of the D.I.Y. website builders that are available these days but also gives you the unlimited customisation options provided by WordPress.
If you use Elementor Pro you can insert tracking code easily using their custom code feature by following the steps in this video…
Tip: As an alternative to using Elementor Pro to insert tracking code, 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.
However, we don’t use the ActiveCampaign plugin because we create all our web forms using Gravity Forms which are then integrated with ActiveCampaign. We do this because Gravity Forms has the advanced features and styling customization we need.
The decision about how to insert tracking code really depends on how your website is built. We use Elementor Pro for our website and our client websites so that’s why we are recommending this as an option.
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…
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 by combining multiple rules together using the and/or logic. The possibilities are endless!
By comparison, the process for doing this with Infusionsoft is explained on their Create A Web Page Automation Goal Help Center page.
One HUGE difference between ActiveCampaign and Infusionsoft when it comes to site tracking…
At the time I was considering the switch, ActiveCampaign’s site tracking feature began 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 previously collected is added to their contact record.
With Infusionsoft, site tracking only started 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 was a huge selling point for ActiveCampaign at the time I was making a decision!
Within the next 6 months, I intend to do an updated review of Infusionsoft and this is one feature I will be checking for updates.
9. Event tracking
Similar to the site tracking feature, accept rather than simply tracing page visits, you can track specific actions such as video views, button clicks, orders, logins, and in-app behaviors.
Both give you an at-a-glance view of 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 how both apps show information about contacts currently in an automation, the only major difference is Infusionsoft works from right to left, ActiveCampaign from top to bottom…
Where things start to go a little pearshaped with Infusionsoft’s reporting is in the more detailed reports. When you access the marketing reports you see a big list that looks like this…
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…
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…
I honestly can’t say which provides more reporting data because in the four years we were 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. Hopefully, this is something that can be added to the list of things Infusionsoft has updated since I left!
11. Contact Social Media Profiles
This was another really important one in my view! If you wanted to add links to a contact’s contact record in Infusionsoft, there were two ways of doing it:
- Add fields to the forms on your website asking people to enter their social media link
- Open their contact record and manually enter them yourself in the fields shown below…
When a new contact is added into ActiveCampaign, a search is automatically performed to find social media profiles associated with the email address. This is awesome!!! Check it out…
Why is this awesome?
Firstly, if social media profiles appear on a contact record, you know they have likely given 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 left Infusionsoft for dead in this area and if Infusionsoft has improved this it was once again a case of too little too late!
12. Automatic Location & 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…
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…
13. Split Testing
For this point, I don’t even need to be the one to explain how Infusionsoft is always playing catch up because they’ve done a great job of that on their own website, take a look…
Look at the date… 28th of January, 2019
I swapped to ActiveCampaign back in 2014 and I was able to split test back then!
And you might be thinking “Well it’s no longer a reason to say ActiveCampaign is better because now you can split test with Infusionsoft as well”. I can see how you would come to this conclusion but you’d be wrong!
With ActiveCampaign you can easily split test an entire campaign. The same thing with Infusionsoft can be done but you’ll need a lot of time and expertise to pull it off!
Well, this was an easy choice because at the time you couldn’t send SMS with Infusionsoft. You can today via an integration with SMS sending apps and if one of those apps is your preferred method the same integrations are available through ActiveCampaign as well.
If SMS marketing is a big part of your marketing strategy then I’d probably integrate with a dedicated SMS service over using the built-in ActiveCampaign SMS feature unless you’re on one of the top plans which offer some features that I consider to be critical.
If on the other hand you don’t plan on being a heavy user of SMS or you’re on a tight budget then having SMS marketing included is a significant advantage.
With Infusionsoft the only option is to integrate with a third-party app so you need to be sending a large enough volume of SMS messages to justify the cost. With ActiveCampaign you can top up your pay as you go credits as needed.
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…
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 but hear me out…
Having a built-in SMS is an advantage for those on a tight budget but it lacks some important SMS features that you would want if you were paying top dollar. With Infusionsoft you are paying top dollar but still need to spend more to send SMS so small businesses on a budget miss out.
If a particular feature is really important to you then I’m all for integrating with the best app in that category rather than using a sub-par built-in feature.
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 was a big part of their downfall. When I was preparing to jump ship, we were starting to see that the size of the Infusionsoft platform meant they were too heavily invested to move away from the old coding system it was built on and many of their features were quickly becoming old technology.
This caused a couple of really big problems that were big enough to deserve their own section so I have covered those below under the updates section 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 3,000+ different apps with Zapier or Integromat.
What is Integromat?
Most people these days are familiar with Zapier. In simple terms, Zapier allows you to integrate different apps without the need to know complex coding.
If all you need is a basic integration passing information from one app to another then hands down, Zapier is much easier but I never personally use it.
Zapier has a linear workflow which is easier to follow and much easier for beginners. As soon as you want to create an integration that requires more steps or a higher level of complexity, Zapier’s simple workflow becomes a little too simple and expensive!
Integromat does the same thing but is much better for complex integrations or integrations with multiple steps. Their pricing structure also works out much more cost-effective if you use complex integrations with multiple steps. This is why we use Integromat.
While Infusionsoft aimed to be a one-stop shop, ActiveCampaign focused on building an awesome Autoresponder and CRM.
For anything else, you can 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 and Integromat are great places to shop for new apps. You won’t actually buy apps from Zapier or Integromat but if you use one of them and you need a new app, the first place you should look is at the list of apps they connect with. They tend to integrate with the leading apps in any category and it eliminates the risk of finding out later that you can’t integrate your new app 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 and Integromat too but the point is…
They have a bunch of built-in features that you pay top dollar for even though they aren’t as good as the apps you might end up still integrating with instead.
16. Multiple Businesses Under One Account
With my 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 committing hundreds of dollars each month for apps we already have.
Infusionsoft is designed to run a single business. It can be set up 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…
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 its own company name and address. When you create a new list, simply select the option to add a new sender address as shown here…
So if you don’t want your mucho 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 $15 per month it would be affordable to open a few separate accounts anyway.
Our Key Integration Requirements
17. Membership Websites and Online Courses
The following wasn’t so much a reason to leave because Infusionsoft actually did well in this area. By this stage, I had almost made my decision and needed to confirm I could cover these needs with ActiveCampaign.
When I was first investigating the possible change from Infusionsoft to ActiveCampaign we had a number of our own membership websites as well as membership websites that we had built for our clients. So integration with WishList Member which we use to run all of our membership websites was a significant deciding factor.
So of course I checked the WishList Member member support docs to check and found that it did integrate.
But there was one big problem!
Although it was advertised as having an integration with ActiveCampaign, there was a significant limitation with the integration.
How the integration worked was every membership level on your membership website created a new ActiveCampaign list.
So rather than having one list called ”members” and applying tags for each membership level, you ended up with lots of lists. I had a client with 52 ActiveCampaign lists to drip-feed weekly content for a year to his members. Obviously less than ideal!
Thankfully a recent update has improved the integration options and this is no longer a problem but the problem does exist with other apps…
Tip: If you want to integrate an app with your autoresponder, don’t just accept their claim on the integrations page on their website. Some apps integrate with limited settings that aren’t ideal. An example is Lead Pages (Landing page builder) integration with ActiveCampaign.
If you create multiple sales funnels in Lead Pages and want to integrate all of them with ActiveCampaign, the only way to separate the leads coming in via the integration is to create a new ActiveCampaign list for each integration. It’s much better to have all the integrations go to a single list and segment them with the use of tags so it’s best to test their integration settings during a trial.
If you want to understand why this is a problem and a better solution I’ve covered this topic in detail in my ActiveCampaign Lists Explained post.
As you can probably tell from the length of this blog post, our business philosophy revolves around education. In our business, we have 5 different uses for restricted content for both ourselves and our clients:
- Membership Websites
- Free Online Courses
- Paid Online Courses
- Client portals
- Staff portals
For years we built all of these using WishList Member. Today we use LearnDash for online courses because although many of its features are similar to those provided by WishList Member, it’s specifically tailored to online courses.
LearnDash also integrates perfectly with all of the key apps we use that I’ve covered throughout this post (ActiveCampaign, WordPress, Elementor, Gravity Forms, and Stripe).
With all of these combined, we have the ability to create pretty much any kind of online platform we want.
But wait… There’s more!
For years we used WishList Member to build a custom team portal into our website for team training resources and we used Asana for our project management.
I was a raving fan of Asana and helped many friends, family and clients integrate it into their business. I thought I would be with Asana for years but we recently stumbled upon ClickUp.
Asana is really good but ClickUp is AMAZING!
With so many new features available we had an idea to build our team portal inside ClickUp. Turns out this was easy and meant new staff only needed one login and one app to learn and to manage their tasks.
This gave us another idea!!!
What if we could pass all the relevant information we had collected from leads in Activecampaign to ClickUp, automatically at the time of purchase?
Combining this integration with ClickUp’s built-in automation settings would allow us to automatically generate all the required team tasks associated with the new customer.
This would mean every team member instantly knows what they need to do which would be a game-changer in terms of streamlining our project management.
Turns out it can all be done!
18. Video Watch Time Tracking
There is an Infusionsoft add-on that allows you to track how much of a video a contact has watched. Knowing where they stopped watching allows you to follow up with highly targeted campaigns so it’s a great feature!
On the downside, you had to pay an additional $80US per month for this feature. It did come with many other addons but most of them were of no interest to me so even though it was a great feature, $80US per month on top of the already very expensive Infusionsoft fee was a lot to pay!
At first, this was a concern to me because ActiveCampaign didn’t have anything similar at the time so this was pretty much the only significant point I had listed in favor of staying with Infusionsoft.
However, Infusionsoft soon lost their single brownie point when I learned about a problem with the addon which rendered the feature completely useless to me. I cover this problem with the Infusionsoft addon in more detail below.
But I really Wanted Video Watch Time Tracking!!!
I had so many possible uses for video watch time tracking so I didn’t want to give up on it.
Eventually, something did come along to add this feature but my excitement soon turned to disappointment. There were bugs and it was clear early on that the developer had no intention of continuing to develop the product.
At some point, I stumbled upon the fact that the video watch time tracking addon for Infusionsoft now integrates with ActiveCampaign too but given our history, I didn’t feel like paying them $80US per month.
So I did the only logical thing left to do...
I figured if video watch time tracking doesn’t exist for ActiveCampaign with the features I want, at the price point I want then I’ll create it!
Although there is now one video tool that I really like (and it’s well priced), it doesn’t have all the features I want so I’ve been using my very own video time watch tracking integration with ActiveCampaign.
My video watch time tracking product is currently in Beta testing and even once it has gone past the Beta phase it will have a free forever plan. If you are interested in a video watch time tracker for Activecampaign that has a few really cool, unique features shoot me a message to let me know that you’re interested in being a Beta tester.
19. Shopping Cart
The best example of my previous point is Infusionsoft’s built in shopping cart. Take a look at the checkout page for example. If we had used Infusionsoft to sell products on a site, the checkout page would have been on an Infusionsoft web address and look something like this…
Instead, we integrated ActiveCampaign with Woocommerce which allowed us to create a shopping cart built into our WordPress website. That meant the checkout was styled to match the rest of our website. Here is the checkout page on our old website…
This is just one aspect of the shopping cart but we find this same lack of flexibility applies to all areas of the Infusionsoft shopping cart feature.
Not only does Woocommerce give us more flexibility, but our clients also 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 $100US 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.
When I would Use Woocommerce...
If you want to create an online store on your WordPress website with lots of products or subscriptions, Woocommerce is a good option.
It will allow you to create products, manage subscriptions, coupons, orders, invoices, shipping, and pretty much any eCommerce function you can think of.
Woocommerce integrates with pretty much every major related app so if you want to automatically setup new customers on a membership website or online course then it’s likely to have a Woocommerce integration.
The downside is it it is a bit bloated because it has been designed to cover many needs so I probably wouldn’t use it if you only have a few things to sell.
When I wouldn't Use Woocommerce...
f you only want to sell a few products, services or subscriptions, then I’d do one of two things…
Option one is to link your buy now buttons directly to Stripe-hosted checkout pages. This can be done with no coding knowledge and Stripe does all the heavy lifting.
Option two is to use Gravity Forms with their Stripe addon.
As I mentioned earlier, Gravity Forms in my opinion is by far the best WordPress form builder. When combining the Stripe addon with Gravity Form’s ability to use formulas we’ve been able to create some very complex payment gateways. So although it is simple and quick, it’s also extremely flexible!
And of course… It integrates perfectly with ActiveCampaign and so far I haven’t come across a client who needed a complex payment integration with ActiveCampaign that we couldn’t get done with this combination of apps.
20. 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 by building the shopping cart directly into our website were:
- Upgrading and downgradings: This can be done with both but it’s much easier to set up in WordPress. The first time I set this up with Infusionsoft it took me hours, the same setup in WordPress was done in about half an hour.
- Synchronize subscription payments: This was important to us because we get billed by suppliers on a specific day of the month. Via our website, we can make sure all customers who purchase a product related to one of our monthly costs can all be billed a week before we pay our bill. If we chose the 1st of the month and they purchase on the 15th, their first payment would be prorated for a partial month and they begin paying the full amount on the 1st. You don’t have this as an option with Infusionsoft.
- 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 the amount of time I have spent playing with settings.
- Free trials: Available with both but you have more flexibility building a custom checkout in your website and despite having more options you will have settings configured in a tenth of the time.
It’s possible that Infusionsoft has added these functions and more since we left but if they have then once again they are playing catch up.
21. 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 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 to all your affiliate needs. What I love about AffiliateWP:
- It gives you the ability to have greater control over your affiliate system as it’s built right into your site.
- I don’t have to send my affiliates to an external site to access affiliate tools.
- I can style my affiliate tools to be seamless with the rest of my website design.
- They have done a really good job of creating an admin panel that is intuitive for people already familiar with WordPress which reduces the learning curve.
Updates... What Updates?
22. 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.
Although this was not the cause of the fraud, I found out that the integration Infusionsoft used to integrate with eWay at the time was significantly out of date. There were new security features available with eWay and you couldn’t get the benefit of these if you connected via Infusionsoft. I contacted support at the time to see when this would be updated and found out there is was 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 or maybe I’m just overly cautious?
This to me was another sign that Infusionsoft was stuck with their old system that couldn’t integrate with newer technology (Because if you could improve credit card security, you would!).
Tip: If you are considering using eWay as a merchant account and/or payment gateway don’t let my comments above deter you. The problem I am referring to was at Infusionsoft’s end and doesn’t affect other integrations. In fact… eWay’s customer service was exceptional throughout all the years I dealt with them!
23. 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! Back when I was with Infusionsoft, if you wanted to sell a product with their built-in shopping cart, you had an order form that looked like this on mobile devices…
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 the order form ended up looking like when we built it direct through our website and integrated with ActiveCampaign…
The question of which is better is not even close! Our checkout was built right into our site, matched the rest of the design, and responds perfectly to all mobile devices.
It was 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?
Especially when you are already paying a significant monthly fee for Infusionsoft’s eCommerce features and a free WordPress plugin provides responsive checkout pages. What a joke!
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 $70 to $400 per month for!
This got me thinking…
Why haven’t they updated their order forms? There is only one logical answer that makes any sense because otherwise it would have been done ages ago…
Infusionsoft couldn’t update their forms because they were too heavily invested in their old coding platform and couldn’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.
24. Payment Gateway Options
To accept online payments, you need to set up 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 screenshot years after leaving Infusionsoft but I could have used one from the day I started using Infusionsoft because it was pretty much the same.
When I left, they were missing pretty much all of the big players in this space which was an indication of their inability to adapt and progress. If your business was based outside the US, your options were extremely limited!
If their limited options weren’t enough to get you frustrated, the setup time of their gateways would definitely have you tearing your hair out.
I consider myself pretty tech savvy but the process of connecting to what was my only option in Australia took days to go through the approval process and for some clients that dragged on for weeks.
I’m hoping that they have made big changes since I left because they were being left for dead by their competitors in this area.
Tip: If you have never setup a payment gateway before and need a fast and easy solution, you can’t go past Stripe either by creating a button that links to a Stripe checkout page or integrating via Gravity Forms or Woocommerce. After my nightmare experience with Infusionsoft, Stripe was up and running on our site within half an hour of opening our Stripe account… No exaggeration!
25. Problem With One Of Infusionsoft's Most Well Sold Addons
I apologize but I’m not going to show any screenshots 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!
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 work.
In our case, there was a 12-hour difference between our time zone and the time zone required for the campaigns to work as designed. The effect was that anyone who fell within this window received emails 24 hours later than the campaign was set up for. It’s not very effective when a contact receives a “24 hours remaining to take up the offer” just as the offer expires!
I contacted support and the reason this exists is that 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 the feature only works inside a single time zone and nowhere else in the world.
I already had one foot out the door but 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 ever did!
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 can’t remember a single significant update that Infusionsoft made the whole time I was with them.
Looking To The Future
27. Are They Positioned To Be A Leader In 5+ Years?
Here is the opinion I shared many years ago when I first created this post. I think it’s fair to say I made an accurate prediction…
“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.”
When I made the decision to leave Infusionsoft, it was too early to say their run was over but they were stagnant in a rapidly evolving market.
If they didn’t do something to progress soon they were going to be left behind.
At the time I originally wrote this post (now many years ago), all the reviews comparing Infusionsoft vs ActiveCampaign simply compared price and features. This was the only in-depth review from someone who had actually used Infusionsoft for many years and made the transition.
You were unlikely at that time to find any reviews heavily in favor of ActiveCampaign because they weren’t who they are today. However, my strong opinion wasn’t based on what was available at the time.
When I really thought about why Infusionsoft wasn’t updating some of the things I’ve covered, the only logical conclusion I could draw was that they couldn’t.
So my opinion is based on my belief that the world of email marketing was going to continue to evolve and ActiveCampaign was going to be better positioned to overtake Infusionsoft as one of the industry leaders.
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 set up 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…credit where credit is due!!!), we would get questions for months because our clients were so confused they didn’t even know what to ask the support team.
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.
Bonus Content [NEW]
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 headfirst, leave everything set up as it is in Infusionsoft. Then start a free trial and plan to run a single marketing campaign through ActiveCampaign as a test. You may need to go past the 14-day free trial period but even if you pay for a couple of months to find out if it is right for you or not it will be worth it. 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 because it has the best balance between features and value.
That means it might not be the best one for you so giving ActiveCampaign a test run on an upcoming marketing campaign eliminates the risk of making the move only to find it’s not going to meet your needs.
Would I Go Back?
I see that Infusionsoft has re-branded to Keap and made some other important changes such as the introduction of a free trial and lower entry-level packages.
Despite these improvements, for me, it’s a case of too little too late. I’m never going back!
I’m certainly not of the opinion that ActiveCampaign is the best autoresponder and CRM for every business but it’s good value for money and flexible enough to cater to a wide variety of businesses and start-ups.
In the event that an alternative is better, I’d be willing to bet that the alternative is never going to be Infusionsoft (or Keap).
And remember… If it comes across as though I have something against infusionsoft and just want to bad-mouth them, I actually loved Infusionsoft for years. It’s simply that I felt as though they couldn’t keep up with the times. They started to fall behind and have been playing catch up ever since.
To give an analogy, it’s kind of like what I can see happening with Tesla today. I can imagine board meetings at the big car companies making jokes about the little company trying to make electric cars. Today, I bet those same companies have meetings to figure out how they can transition to electric cars too!