This tool came up several times in email questions. I’ve never used it, so I can’t say much about it’s real usefulness. First, I can’t watch a demo without filling out a form. That bothers me a lot – I should be able to view a basic demo without giving up my contact information. Next, let’s look at the feature set. Infusionsoft is a “complete” tool in that the Plus and Premier packages offer a basic CRM. There appears to be no SFDC integration, so if that’s an issue for you, this is not your solution. The service does offer email marketing, automation, lead scoring, and tracking. The higher value packages even offer shopping cart tools, which are not available on the major B2B solutions.
From the video demos, Infusionsoft seems to combine the oddness of Act-On and the Visio-like workflow tool of Eloqua. This could work well for people who like the complete visualization. Infusionsoft also appears to have an active user community and extensive library of pre-built workflows. Support options also include chat, phone, email, workshops, and in-person help. So Infusionsoft is a bit closer to the mainstream automation solutions.
As for pricing and value, this could be a good fit for a small business with 2-10 staff and under 100,000 contacts. The sticking point for me is that there is a contact and an email limit for each pricing tier. The last thing I want to think about is how many emails do I have left this month, especially if I’m approaching 4-10 emails per month at 80,000 contacts. As one user put it, “Good for first year…Bad for scale.” This solution is best for a small business that is doing local outreach.
I hadn’t heard of GreenRope until the other day. Clearly Marketo and Eloqua have made the Marketing Automation solutions market hot and many firms think they have a solution for each segment of the market. GreenRope definitely fits the Small Biz segment with even better plans than Infusionsoft.
I’m always impressed by new features that some firms make difficult. GreenRope includes SMS and an event calendar system with payment tools. Many other firms force you to do this yourself or to integrate Eventbrite or third-party tools. Of course, many enterprise firms would find this tool limiting, but small businesses will find it an easy tool.
Like Infusionsoft, GreenRope includes a basic CRM and the usual email marketing and customer support cases. GreenRope does appear to offer some level of workflow templates through their modules and does include email and page templates. Neat options include integrated P&L and company support forums. GreenRope’s support includes chat, email, and phone except for the most basic plan.
GreenRope’s pricing plan tiers take the full range of the small business, up to 50,000 contacts (with an option to increase at 1/2 a cent). For 12 months, the full plan costs $4788/yr vs Infusionsoft’s $4588, however in year 1, Infusionsoft asks for $1999 one time setup fee. The kicker is that GreenRope has unlimited email for each pricing tier. GreenRope will have a lower total cost of ownership than Infusionsoft.
GreenRope knows they are up against Infusionsoft and wrote a comparison which sounds like the salesperson’s objection handling sheet. Ombud also has a review, albeit incomplete. Since there is an easy Free Trial option, I’d probably test GreenRope out before hitting up Infusionsoft. [Updated free trial link at Greenrope’s request – 11/12/14]
Office Autopilot is another tool I hadn’t heard of before. Given their emphasis on direct mail tools and ecommerce, I’d say they grew out of an old direct mail house.
The feature set in Office Autopilot is similar to GreenRope. They offer payment processing and an event management tool, rather than open workflow rules. Of course, you can do your own workflow rules if you want. WordPress integration and direct mail postcards are tied into the system as well, which is perfect for many small business that primarily sell from their blog. If I weren’t such a fan of Genesis Theme or custom solutions, I’d test this out.
The support options for OA are limited to email, phone, and chat during certain hours. As for the interface, the videos were less clear than the other services.
Pricing is where Office Autopilot seems to fall short against GreenRope. They offer two tiers: Pro and Team. With a max of 100,000 contacts and 100,000 emails/mo, Office Autopilot will cost you $7164/yr. If you need more emails, it’s $99/mo. This makes Office Autopilot a poorly scalable solution if GreenRope is an option for you, so I could only recommend it to pro-bloggers who are still well under 100,000 contacts and who also need integrated direct mail and WordPress.
Bottom Line for Small Business Marketing Automation
If you are a very small business, I would suggest trying GreenRope. Their packages are straightforward and they offer full support, which is not available with Office Autopilot or even Mailchimp. I can’t recommend Infusionsoft or Office Autopilot because of their pricing and support tiers; I also see their interfaces lack something. GreenRope also doesn’t pull back features for their packages. If you need Salesforce intergration and automation and if your budget permits, Pardot is good alternative to HubSpot and Marketo Spark/Standard because the feature set is similar and the pricing is usually 50% less.