4 Ways Infusionsoft Helped to Take My Business to the Next Level
In late 2013, my business was in trouble. Sixty and Me, which started as a Facebook community was experiencing a drop in organic traffic. For the better part of a year, we had been able to count on cheap, high-quality traffic to keep our website visitors growing. Suddenly, as Facebook shifted its own strategy from growth to monetization, our momentum had stalled. Like many entrepreneurs, I learned the hard way that, if you don’t own your list, you don’t have control over your company’s future.
Earlier in the year, I had set up an Aweber account, but, I really hadn’t done much to manage my list, beyond sending out a weekly newsletter. Now, with Facebook traffic dropping, I knew that I needed to supercharge my list-building efforts. So, I set out to do everything in my power to build deeper relationships with my customers. I set up an Aweber lightbox form, offered incentives for my community members to sign up and sent repeated reminders. As a result, I was able to grow my list to 5,000 members in just a few months.
Unfortunately, as my list grew, I realized that I had a different problem. While I had a sizable list to work with, I didn’t know my customers as individuals. In other words, I could send “broadcast” emails, but, I couldn’t really communicate with people based on their interests. This was especially important as I was in the middle of developing my first video course and wanted to be able to market it to the people in my community who would be most interested. So, I set out to find a more complete email, CRM, and e-commerce solution. Finally, I found Infusionsoft.
Since I moved to Infusionsoft in early 2014, it has become integrated into every aspect of my business. In fact, it is no exaggeration to say that Infusionsoft helped to take my business to the next level. If you’re just getting started building your list, then Aweber is a great choice. It’s easy to set up, cost effective and simple to manage. But, if you are looking for a complete solution for managing your customer relationships, while automating your sales and marketing processes, Infusionsoft would be my first choice. In other words, you should consider moving to Infusionsoft if you:
- Have more than a few thousand people on your email list
- Are getting ready to sell your first product from your website
- Want to be able to set up automated marketing campaigns, based on user interests
- Need an end-to-end solution for managing your customer relationships
For the record, while I am passionate about Infusionsoft, no-one asked me to write this article. My intention here is simply to help entrepreneurs to get the tools they need to succeed. If you want to start with Aweber or Mailchimp, that’s fine. I did. That said, it’s simply undeniable that services like Infusionsoft and Hubspot offer so much more. And, since I use Infusionsoft personally, that’s the one that I feel most comfortable recommending.
Now, thanks, in part, to my decision to move to Infusionsoft, Sixty and Me is back on track. Here are 4 ways that Infusionsoft helped me to take my business to the next level…
Marketing Automation Lets Me Treat My Customers as Individuals
Before moving to Infusionsoft, my outbound communication strategy consisted of a weekly newsletter, which went out to all of my subscribers. Since Sixty and Me is focused on a demographic (women over 60), rather than a niche, this presented a major problem. Only 10-20% of my audience is interested in any particular product. If I email everyone, I risk receiving spam reports. On the other hand, if I don’t mail anyone, then I won’t sell anything.
Infusionsoft provides a solution to this dilemma in the form of “tags.” Tags allow you to keep track of your customers’ interests, based on their actions, interests, or explicit wishes. One simple way to apply a tag is simply to ask your customers what they are interested in. For example, here is a snippet from one of my newsletters. Users who choose to “click here” receive a tag in Infusionsoft, indicating that they are interested in our makeup video series.
Another option is to apply tags implicitly, based on your users’ behaviors. For example, you might apply a tag if someone purchases a product in a particular category.
Applying tags is just the beginning. Infusionsoft also gives you the ability to set up custom marketing campaigns that are “triggered” when a customer receives a tag. So, for example, when a customer receives the “beauty” tag, I have set up a series of emails to help them get the information they need. Most of the resources that I provide are free, especially at the beginning, but, I also tell them about products like our makeup video series.
There is definitely a learning curve to setting up campaigns in Infusionsoft, but, they provide plenty of resources to help you get started. Once you get the hang of it, the only limitation to setting up marketing automation campaigns is your own imagination.
Infusionsoft’s E-Commerce Tools Take the Work Out of Selling my Products
Selling products online is not as easy as it sounds, especially if you want to provide online access to a video series or other digital product. In order to sell a digital product, you need to set up a few things. First, you need to have an order form or a shopping cart. Next, you need a credit card processing system (payment gateway and merchant account). Finally, you need a way of giving your customers their login information, once they have purchased. Most of the time, entrepreneurs are forced to cobble together an e-commerce solution from different pieces. It’s a frustrating, time consuming process.
Infusionsoft makes this process easy, by providing an end-to-end e-commerce solution that allows you to accept orders, connect to a payment gateway service provider and send customers their access details in email. The behind the scenes process is somewhat complicated, but, as a business owner, the important thing is that customers can purchase from your website and receive their product, without you needing to do anything. If you are selling a physical product, Infusionsoft also has order management and invoice tools to help you connect to your preferred shipping service.
Another Infusionsoft e-commerce tool that I use on a regular basis is promo codes. Once you have set up your shopping cart or order form, it is easy to give discounts. For example, you might give a discount based on a user’s “tags” or previous purchase history. You can also use this functionality to test different price points.
Finally, Infusionsoft provides a built in process for managing affiliates. So, if you want to reward your partners for sending you leads, the process is simple. This is a great way to bring extra traffic to your site and increase your sales, without having to go through one of the affiliate networks, like Commission Junction.
From an e-commerce perspective, the bottom line is that Infusionsoft makes taking and managing orders from your website easy.
My Lead Capture System Tells Me What My Customers Want
One of the problems that I had when I moved from Aweber to Infusionsoft is that none of my customer records had interest “tags.” As a result, I had to spend a lot of time going back to my customers and asking them about their needs. Now that I am using Infusionsoft sign-up forms, this problem is a thing of the past.
As you can see from the sign-up form on this page, I give my members an opportunity to tell me what they are interested in at the point of registration. This is a win-win. I get the information that I need to tell my customers about the products and services that I think they will be most interested in. At the same time, my customers receive fewer broadcast emails and more targeted content.
Once again, this process is facilitated by Infusionsoft’s “tags” system. For example, when a user tells me that they are interested in “health and fitness,” their customer record is automatically updated with this tag. Depending on the tag, this may also trigger an automated marketing campaign. This allows me to build relationships with my customers, before I try to sell them something. It’s an amazing feeling knowing that, while you sleep, Infusionsoft is busy selling for you.
Do you see how powerful this is? Once you set up your tags and campaigns, you are effectively able to build relationships with your customers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. While you are focusing on building your business, Infusionsoft is busy, making sure that your best content gets to the people who want it most.
CustomerHub Provides a Powerful Membership Site Solution
Technically, CustomerHub is a separate product from the core Infusionsoft offering, but, it is so well integrated that it deserves to be mentioned here.
CustomerHub is the membership site solution that I use for Sixty and Me. It is a simple solution for giving your customers access to your multimedia content, whether or not they are a paid customer. For example, I have a free membership level, which gives my community members access to my e-books. When someone purchases one of my video courses, they are also granted access to the appropriate section of the membership site. It’s an elegant solution for giving your customers the information and resources that they are allowed to see.
There are other membership solutions out there, including WP-Members, which integrates directly with WordPress. What I love about CustomerHub is the fact that it is integrated with Infusionsoft on the backend. This means that I can grant access to content, based on my customers “tags.”
Infusionsoft is not cheap and it requires work to set up. In some ways, this is a good thing. It forces you to think seriously about your business. It asks you to reconsider how well you know your customers. More than anything, it tests your commitment to success. That said, if you are willing to put in the time, Infusionsoft can take your business to the next level. It worked for me and it can work for you too.
Which service do you use for managing your email marketing list? Do you have a separate e-commerce solution integrated with your site? Or, are you using a more comprehensive solution, such as Hubspot or Infusionsoft? What has your experience been so far with these tools? Please join the discussion and “like” and share this article to keep the conversation going.