Inbound & Digital Marketing Blog

Email Marketing & Lead Nurturing to Grow Your Sales

Posted by Clarke Bishop

May 28, 2009

Greased Skid Marketing is now part of Inbound Team --The Atlanta, Georgia Inbound Marketing Agency specializing in helping businesses grow with online marketing.

Adam asked about using Infusionsoft primarily for eMail and Follow-Up:

I’m not looking to use Infusionsoft for everything that they advocate using it for…just as an email tool so that I can build rules-driven email campaigns that reference customer behavior data (we will send daily transactional data via API). For example, if customer purchases X, send them message 1…if customer is in Florida and has not purchased Y in more than 12 days, send them message 2, etc.

Follow-up up eMail campaigns are a real strength of Infusionsoft!

First, specifically for Adam. I am assuming that you are going to use your own shopping cart with your own customer behavior data. Then, via the API, you'll trigger a Follow-up Sequence or Action Set. If this is your plan, I expect that Infusionsoft will work wonderfully for you!

Follow-up sequences are one of the best features of Infusionsoft. You can:

  • Setup a sequence that includes multiple messages and even multiple types of media (Fax, direct mail, gift fulfillment, etc.)
  • Specify the delay between steps in a sequence
  • Schedule steps forward or backwards from a date or event
  • Have a sequence trigger a follow-up phone call from your sales team
  • Cancel the sequence when your prospect responds (Or put them in a different sequence)

Here's how you would typical use a follow-up sequence. Let's say a customer buys a product from you. You use that event to trigger a customer satisfaction follow-up sequence like this:

  • Day Zero: Dear Customer, thank you for buying our product ...
  • Day 7: I hope you're enjoying your new product. Did you know it can ...
  • Day 30: Please complete our survey and let us know how the product can be better ...

It's also great to complement your eMail messages with direct mail, and Infusionsoft can easily handle this as part of a follow-up sequence.

There are a lot of great ways to trigger a follow-up sequence, a specific action, or an ActionSet.

  • A follow-up sequence is a sequence of actions or events that with set time delays (Like I described above)
  • A single action can be things like sending an email, assigning a task to a salesperson, sending a direct mail piece, etc.
  • An Action Set is a set of actions, but there are no set time delays or sequence. These are essentially just a group of actions.

Some of the ways you can trigger any of these are:

  • A prospect fills out a web form on your website
  • A customer buys a product
  • A user manually causes a trigger (Example: a salesperson finishes a phone call and puts someone in a follow-up sequence)
  • A person clicks on a link in an eMail message

I hope this helps Adam and any other current or prospective Infusionsoft users. There's a lot you can do! It make take something to set all this up, but once you do, it's wonderful.  Usually, the hard part is doing the serious business thinking about how you actually want things to work.

There are some other ideas in our Special Report: Infusionsoft: 7 Keys to Top Results. Check it out, and let me know what you think.

And, keep those questions coming!


Topics: Inbound Marketing, Infusionsoft, Sales & CRM

Inbound Marketing: What is an API?

Posted by Clarke Bishop

May 15, 2009

Greased Skid Marketing is now part of Inbound Team --The Atlanta, Georgia Inbound Marketing Agency specializing in helping businesses grow with online marketing.

John recently left me a question asking:

What is API? I just signed up with InfusionSoft and I'm pretty annoyed at their support. I put a ticket in on Wednesday - to fix a ticket they did not fix earlier in the week - and 48 hours have passed and I have not heard a thing. I am not at all happy with them.

API stands for Application Programing Interface. That helped a lot didn't it!

An API is a way for two different computer programs to communicate with each other. Sometimes you want to do this to integrate two systems and have them work together. Or, you might use an API to extend a system and add new capabilities.

If you want some examples,  Joe Manna posted his ideas on ways to use the Infusionsoft API on the Infusionsoft blog.


Topics: Inbound Marketing, Infusionsoft, Sales & CRM

Infusionsoft Complaints and Review

Posted by Clarke Bishop

April 1, 2009

Greased Skid Marketing is now part of Inbound Team --The Atlanta, Georgia Inbound Marketing Agency specializing in helping businesses grow with online marketing.
The post below was a quick review of Infusionsoft. I have since created a much more extensive review of Infusionsoft.

I came across some complaints about Infusionsoft on Jon Gales blog today. This reminded me that I've been meaning to write a review on Infusionsoft. So, here's a review of Infusionsoft mixed with some comments on Jon's experience!

I am an Infusionsoft user and a Certified Infusionsoft consultant (CMAC). I'm not an employee of Infusionsoft, but I would like to see them succeed. I think some of Jon's comments are right on, and some of them go way too far. Now, here are some specifics:

  • Jon said: "Their API is one of the most difficult I’ve ever integrated with" Yea, it could be easier. I'd rather they used SOAP instead of the older XMLRPC. And, I wish the API really allowed full access to everything in Infusionsoft -- There's some data you just can't get to. Still, for the things you can do with the API, I've not found it hard to work with. He complained about having to make 4 calls do do something. What I do is just wrap up the 4 calls into a single function -- After that, it's only one call!
  • API requests then aren’t processed in real time. I've run into this problem, too! I think Infusionsoft should be able to do customer-related things like email and transactions immediately. That's what my customer expect.
  • The technical staff had no idea of really huge gaps in functionality. and later on, They say whatever they need to get you off the phone.  I really disagree with Jon on this one. I've found the support people really bend over backwards to help you. I've never felt like they were trying to get me off the phone. Yea, some are more knowledgeable than others, but they will go get help when appropriate.
  • There’s only one guy here who deals with the API That's right, Justin is the API Guy. He's the one who deals with the heavy duty technical questions on the API. I have found Justin to be consistently responsive and helpful. In my experience, there aren't a lot of companies who make someone this capable so easily available. Justin even posted his direct contact information in one of the responses.
  • Infusionsoft found this post ... and has been busy getting in touch with me. I see this as a positive thing.  How many companies wouldn't bother to search the web for users who are having trouble? Infusionsoft has been growing very quickly and they definitely have problems. I've certainly been frustrated by them! If there was a good alternative, I would tell you. If it's out there, I haven't found it yet.

OK, enough about the post on John Gales blog. What's good and bad about Infusionsoft? I may expand on this later, but here's a quick list:

The Good

  • Integration. Having CRM, eMail, and Shopping Cart all integrated together is great! It really save a bunch of time over trying to use separate systems.
  • Automation. With a little creativity, you really can use this tool to automate a lot of your business.
  • The Power of the System. I am continually amazed at the things you can do with Infusionsoft. It really is powerful. Of course, it does take some effort to learn it and use it well.
  • Support. As mentioned above, I have found support to be very helpful. It can take a little effort to find the right person, but even outside of the official support team, Infusionsoft employees will try to help.

The Bad

  • Shopping Cart is too limited. The shipping options are too limited and tt doesn't support Fedex/UPS shipping.  Also, the storefront is pretty limited. As long as your needs are basic, though, it is fine.
  • Reports are a real weakness, and you can't get data via the API. This is probably my biggest complaint. I believe in testing and leveraging data. It's there, but I can't get it in a usable form. I think this is a priority that is being addressed in an upcoming release.
  • The user interface could be a lot better. Some of this is due to the power of the system, but sometimes, functions just seem to be in the wrong place.
  • Documentation is behind. The documentation seems to lag behind the capabilities of the system, and this makes it harder to get things done.

Those are my top good and bad items. If you want to see more, leave a comment and I'll address your questions.


Topics: Inbound Marketing, Infusionsoft

Infusionsoft Outlook Integration

Posted by Clarke Bishop

March 16, 2009

Greased Skid Marketing is now part of Inbound Team --The Atlanta, Georgia Inbound Marketing Agency specializing in helping businesses grow with online marketing.

Here is a 4:50 video demonstrating the Outlook integration feature of Infusionsoft.

See the Video ... (It's best to click the Full Size button before watching the video.

Infusionsoft offers CRM features along with eMail marketing, follow-up automation, and a shopping cart.

Outlook integration lets you access the CRM features and link eMail messages to Infusionsoft -- All without leaving Outlook!

It's still a beta, and there are even some glitches in the video, but it definitely makes it easier to use Infusionsoft.


Topics: Inbound Marketing, Infusionsoft, Sales & CRM

Inbound Marketing: Regularly schedule a marketing day

Posted by Clarke Bishop

March 16, 2009

Greased Skid Marketing is now part of Inbound Team --The Atlanta, Georgia Inbound Marketing Agency specializing in helping businesses grow with online marketing.

I just got back from InfusionCon, the Infusionsoft users conference. If you don't already know, Infusionsoft combines CRM, eMail marketing, and a shopping cart all into one integrated system!

InfusionCon was interesting -- Part multi-level marketing rally, and part how to really make marketing work for your small business.

There were plenty of great ideas, and I'm going to share the highlights with you over the next few weeks.

Here's one great idea: Regularly schedule a marketing day to work ON your business. If your business is like mine, there's just no end of things to do -- Client projects, administration, sales follow-up, web administration, etc.

Infusionsoft let's you automate your marketing and other aspects of your operations! Even though Infusionsoft makes a lot of things easier, you still have to write your copy and set things up. That where Marketing Days come in. You just have to schedule time to do this stuff.

I actually started my version of this idea before InfusionCon. I let all my clients know that I would no longer be available on Fridays unless there was a real emergency. I got very little resistance, and so far, there's only been one "emergency" that took about an hour to handle.


Topics: Small Business Marketing, Inbound Marketing, Infusionsoft

Inbound Marketing and Email Complaints

Posted by Clarke Bishop

March 6, 2009

Greased Skid Marketing is now part of Inbound Team --The Atlanta, Georgia Inbound Marketing Agency specializing in helping businesses grow with online marketing.

Helen asked: Please explain the email complaint summary report. 

In Infusionsoft, the email complaint summary report shows the number of messages sent, the number of complaints and the percentage of complaints for each day.

You enter the date range that you want to see when you run the report.

A "complaint" occurs when someone hits their "This is Spam" button. Not all email programs and providers have this, but Google, Hotmail, AOL, etc. all do.

The report can be misleading. You might send out a batch to 1,000 people on Monday, then 20 per day for the rest of the week (For a follow-up sequence). The problem is you might get some complaints on the large batch that went out on Monday, but they come through on Tuesday or Wednesday. In other words, the data just shows what happens on each day -- Not which message triggered the complaint.

So, you really have to average the data over time to get an idea what is really happening.

Some people are just lazy and hit the Spam Complaint button when they want to unsubscribe. You should, at least, make your unsubscribe link obvious so that people will hit that instead of the Spam button.


Topics: Inbound Marketing, Infusionsoft