Infusionsoft vs. ONTRAPORT:
The Ultimate Showdown
Updated April 1, 2016
Everyone is talking about ONTRAPORT vs. Infusionsoft as if it’s the Celebrity Death Match to win the world. To me, this is more of a sizing-up of the two since I pretty much love and hate them both equally (for different uses).
WARNING: This page contains lots of information that could altogether create a feeling of overwhelm. If your head spins worse after reading this then two things need to happen:
- If at any time your head explodes, not to fear, visit the self-serve recommendation page where I break down the choice into the simplest terms possible.
- If you’d like help with your situation shoot me an email here or fill out the form at the bottom of any page on the the. I’ve helped thousands of people over the years with problems just like this. There probably isn’t a scenario I haven’t come across. Happy to help guide your decision.
Full disclosure, I’m brutally honest. All these details might make you feel like there’s no right answer because I don’t talk glowingly about Infusionsoft vs. ONTRAPORT and kinda bash them a bit (where they deserve it).
If you feel that way, great. Remember though… I go back to the fact that there are things I love about both pieces of software too.
TRUTH: there is no such thing as perfect software.
Add that truth to the other fact that I’m really intimate with the limitations of each because I’ve pushed the envelope. Result is, we have a big long list here :)
Bottomline is that I wish somebody had given me this info when I was going through this process. But nothing existed online to help with the choice of Infusionsoft vs ONTRAPORT.
Down below you’ll see the content broken up into two columns. Infusionsoft comments are on the left and ONTRAPORT is on the right.
Here is the table of contents:
Table of Contents: Go Ahead and Look Around
- How I FEEL About Them
- Shopping Experience
- User Experience
- Kickstart and Setup
- Emails and Autoresponders
- Analytics, Tracking, Testing and Reporting
- Customer Service, Community and Events
- Merchant Accounts
- Affiliate Program
- Marketing Tools
- Technical Stuff
How I FEEL About Infusionsoft and ONTRAPORT
Yes, I’m talking about feelings here. I’m a manly man but rest assured I got feelings too.
Makes most sense to start with how I FEEL about each piece of software. Kinda weird to put feelings in to this royal rumble, but with how important this software is to your business… you have to trust it and you have to kinda like it in order to really be motivated to use it and milk it for all it’s worth.
Overall Feeling Grade: B+
I know Clate Mask the CEO and most of the core staff. They are great people whom I really respect. I see them going through all kinds of growing pains in their company and I feel for them. The product is getting more and more solid but feels like it’s slow to improve as a result.
Using Infusionsoft is a good experience. It looks clean and is designed better than ONTRAPORT (which matters a ton to me) and works as it should. The campaign builder is addicting. It’s seriously awesome. My most favorite part of the software by far. I frequently get carried away mapping things out.
You probably won’t see things this way but I have to mention that I don’t have very much confidence in the software architecture and being a techie kinda guy (one with feelings of course) that makes me nervous. I find myself wondering if things aren’t working like they should though there’s little evidence to prove that.
The software has a mind of it’s own sometimes, like this constant refreshing glitch it gets on in Firefox… while Firefox and Chrome are the only browsers Infusionsoft works on for a Mac.
Customer service department is growing because of demand which scares me that they will get more disconnected to the user base which is starting to happen.
It’s almost inevitable when you have to hire so many new people that they aren’t as knowledgeable about the software. Infusionsoft is a bigger company and is only going to get bigger. Right now when I have tech issues, I almost always have to go to the senior tech department which can only be reached via support ticket, that’s frustrating when I need quick answers to complicated questions.
Luckily, for most people the questions are simple enough that any support person can help.
One of my biggest feelings is that they’re willing to launch a product that isn’t up to par without telling you about the things that aren’t up to par. This cost me a ton of money. They failed to tell me that there were no analytics in the initial Spring 2012 launch of the campaign builder (they didn’t tell anyone that but launched the product anyways). As of today, analytics in the campaign builder are still lacking. An email campaign of any kind without analytics is worthless for marketing purposes. Result is that we spent $20k building out a campaign for which the results couldn’t even be tracked… all they said was sorry sir, and gave me a month free of service after I asked for some kind of consolation. That mistake cost me a small fortune.
The other thing is that I feel like Infusionsoft is disconnected from it’s users and they aren’t building features that are useful for it’s current user base.
On top of that, I feel like there’s a price creep with Infusionsoft which I hate. For it’s ability to automate an entire business, it’s cheap compared to the competition, but it feels like it’s getting more expensive.
I feel like I’m being charged for every little thing… Events are expensive, initial coaching package is expensive, and some functionality that I feel like should be built-in costs extra, like membership sites, etc. Nickel and dime kinda stuff.
Overall Feeling Grade: A-
Here I go on my feelings for ONTRAPORT, or lack there of…
Landon Ray is the CEO. I like him. Had dinner with him recently after having been invited to speak at their user conference. He and Lena Request run a great culture within his company.
One of the coolest things that really makes a difference for me is that the CEO of the company is out in the marketplace talking with customers and supporting the community. Landon does a great job of that and I really respect him for doing that. My personal email correspondence with him has been impressive. He cares. Infusionsoft just doesn’t give you that kind of access. To me, OP wins that one. I trust OP more than I do IS because they’re far more transparent and connected to their users.
ONTRAPORT is a smaller company (60-70 employees) that pays attention to the little things. That matters to me as far as my feelings are concerned. It’s a better “experience”. Their customer service is much better than Infusionsoft in my opinion. They have fewer customers and employees and so the quality is high. Their sales process is devoid of pressure. They do no aggressive marketing.
It’s personal with a touch of personality. At least they’ve made me feel that way. And when stuff happens, they go to bat for you… like when a launch is going on they’ll give you more time and even have someone watch things for you.
I like smaller companies that move mountains for you so that they can keep your business. It’s like banking at Wells Fargo vs a local credit union. You’re just treated a little bit better. Sometimes that makes a big difference, for me it does.
One downside of a smaller company is that they’re not yet available 24/7 (yet, as of now there are only a few hours during the middle of the night when there isn’t someone available) and sometimes support can take a little bit of time. That’s been frustrating on several occasions. This makes up the bulk of the A- grade.
ONTRAPORT was a breeze to figure out. It’s obvious they put massive thought in to the backbone of their software. I literally had my first campaigns up and running in a couple days without any help, but when I needed help they were right there.
Now, this may not matter at all to you because functionality is most important but my biggest FEEL about ONTRAPORT is that I hate the design. I have no confidence in it. I’m a guy that runs a mac and only buys apps that look good. Aesthetics matter to me, it breeds confidence. I wish I was excited about how it looks. At least it’s easier to learn and use than Infusionsoft.
ONTRAPORT seems to move really slowly, but grow in ways that matter for their user base (like their recent additions of killer landing page software and form creators). The slowness has contributed to some urgent paranoia a couple times :) That said, I understand why they do things the way they do. They’re methodical and strategic with their growth, way more so than Infusionsoft who seems to just roll out a shotgun approach to growth (which will hurt them I think). That alone gives me trust in the fact that ONTRAPORT can manage their growth and systems in order to be around for a long time.
I hate shopping, ask my wife. I avoid it at all times. I don’t shop for myself. I don’t buy my own clothes. Shopping for a 6’10” dude is not fun… and shopping for marketing automation software has to be the worst kind of shopping.
I get it. So many options. So may free trials. So many unanswered questions. Not enough info to make a choice. So here I try to break down what going from window shopping to user is like. If you’re like me, this matters.
Monthly rate: $199 – $599
( click to see price and package breakdown )
- No instant signup. Need to speak with a sales rep to sign up.
- Upfront kickstart investment for coaching experience and/or onboarding.
- A more corporate environment, less personality and culture.
- The little educational sales material on their site pushes you towards a free demo.
- No free trial.
- No money-back guarantee.
Monthly rate: $79, $297, or $597
( Click to see price and package breakdown )
- Instant sign up online with no sales rep.
- No upfront cost other than first month’s billing.
- Very little sales material on their website but a killer blog.
- No free trial but…
- 90-day money back guarantee.
- Limited to 100k emails each month. $99 for each additional 100k.
- NO Discounts.
Purely User Experience
Looking at ONTRAPORT vs Infusionsoft from a pure user experience basis, what’s the consensus? Coaching, setup, overwhelm, easy of use, etc.
- Great coaching to help you learn and strategize with Infusionsoft (not free, it’s part of the kickstart).
- Takes weeks or months to learn and set up (not a big deal, you only have to learn and setup once).
- Campaign builder is amazing to use! Seriously the coolest feature.
- Great design and easy navigation.
- Traditionally overwhelming for new users… thus, the coaching.
- Fast customer service, available 24/7. Less personal touch. No dedicated support.
- Initial consultation and orientation process (it’s free) is fantastic for beginners.
- Easy to learn and setup, took me a couple days (I’m a techie though).
- It’s FASTER to get things done with ONTRAPORT. Writing emails, automation, is all done very quickly, even quicker than campaign builder because of ONTRAPages and ONTRAForms.
- Poor looking UI design but very simple navigation and easy to use
- Less overwhelming for the new user.
- Customer service can take longer, but more personal. Dedicated support. Almost 24/7
Set Up Experience
Infusionsoft has a mandatory kickstart program that provides great training and setup. And you can get professional help to do it all for you (for an additional fee).
Their self-paced training and webinars are great at helping you understand how everything works together. They’ve really improved in this department.
Infusionsoft has also launched a marketplace that allows you to “borrow” the successful campaigns of others. You can add any number of dozens of common campaigns to your account with three clicks. It’s fast and awesome. All you need to do is know how to go in and edit it, so either way, you’ll need to know how it all works.
Though there is no mandatory kickstart cost, ONTRAPORT does give you all the attention you could want with it’s Client Success team (free strategy and implementation calls and kick start kits). ONTRAPORT just launched something called ONTRAPORT Projects, which is literally a “click here, click there, type this, click here” kind of point and click walkthrough that helps you set up dozens and dozens of the most popular and useful automations and campaigns.
Custom setup is available for $79/hr.
Emails and Autoresponders
Email is a core functionality that is critical. Goes without saying that a software would be worthless without this, so it must be firing on all cylinders in order to be trusted with my business. Infusionsoft and ONTRAPORT both do great here (didn’t used to be that way).
- Has traditionally been hammered due to poor deliverability but honestly, I haven’t noticed that big of a difference recently. Their reputation here is growing. Maybe a tenth of a percent difference from OP, but then again, I’m not a heavy emailer with a gigantic list. My list consists of a newsletter and customers and Infusionsoft works great for that.
- In the past, people have used a different email provider for broadcast (one-time) emails because Infusionsoft struggled with deliverability via broadcasts (Brendon Burchard, for example, still uses another provider to blast his gigantic email list… however. There’s not a need to do that anymore that I can tell.
- Autoresponder emails have never really showed any sign of undeliverability, they’re solid.
- Infusionsoft sends all email through one domain/IP infusionmail.com. If that goes down or gets blacklisted, your email deliverability will suffer until Infusionsoft works to get it unblacklisted. This is a liability for those with large lists.
- They have constant 24/7 monitoring of their email servers.
- Never once have I heard complaints about deliverability nor have I had any issues. In fact, I’ve heart of marketers moving to ONTRAPORT because of superior deliverability.
- OP is great for heavy mailers and huge lists because they can easily put you on your IP address so that your deliverability isn’t affected by others but is as good as you make it. That is a godsend for big lists.
- You can even send your emails via SMTP from a third party ESP like SendGrid. Heavy emailers will know what I’m talking about. That ability is huge. Infusionsoft doesn’t have that.
- Great deliverability for both broadcast and autoresponder email messages, no Brendon Burchard style need for other email providers.
Creating and Sending Emails
- They launched a beta email creator which is much faster than the old, problem is, it still uses the old email builder which is ghetto sauce.
- Broadcast emails take only a couple minutes to create and send.
- During a promotion or a launch, emailing those who haven’t opened your emails or clicked on your links is really, really easy. Just a matter of a few clicks. Love that.
- Once you’ve created a template you like and saved it, broadcast emails are quick to create. You choose which segment of your list you want to send to, based on the tags you’ve created, and then publish to send now or schedule for later.
- Preview emails are quick to send and receive.
- Always send HTML and text versions because if you send only HTML and someone doesn’t have an HTML-allowed email client then “This email is only viewable in HTML” will show up in place of your brilliant email. Not good.
- Creating a custom email is quick and simple using Infusionsoft’s drag and drop builder (not mobile friendly). Takes just a couple minutes to learn how the builder works and it’s moderately flexible.
- The email builder doesn’t take raw HTML very well.
- Merge fields are limited to the standard contact info and the custom fields you create. That is annoying for trying to pull off fulfillment automation when you need to have order info in a merge field.
- They launched ONTRAMail which is a beautiful email builder that creates mobile friendly, responsive emails. Infusionsoft is in the dark ages with this one. ONTRAPORT is now fast and mobile and way ahead of Infusionsoft in this category.
- Custom HTML emails are nicer and perform as expected.
- Broadcast emails are a piece of cake to send. Most people using ONTRAPORT are information marketers so emails that are text only or HTML-text are easy and simple to create.
- Like Infusionsoft, you can easily save an email and use it in any broadcast or autoresponder to save you time and effort.
- Merge fields are not limited to just contact information, but you can merge order info to which is awesome for notifying customers of upcoming charges.
- OP can’t hold a candle to how easy it is to create and maintain an autoresponder sequence using Infusionsoft’s campaign builder. It’s just not even close. You draw it up visually using a drag and drop graphical interface that is so fun to use. Best feature in IS by far.
- Autoresponder is very flexible. You can do date, event and tag based sequences, which is good for birthdays, monthly reports, etc.
- FIXED!!! You NOW get open rates or click thru rates for any autoresponder messages which is no longer a massive black hole of knuckleheadedness on Infusionsoft’s side. It’s now pretty easy to know which email sequences are actually working without bootstrapping something together. We still would like conversion data for those campaigns.
- If-then statements are very limited and you must create your own.
- All automation is based off of actions, meaning users have to click something to make anything happen or have a tag added. That is limiting.
- Available autoresponder types: Email, voicemail (extra cost), letter (have to have your own fulfillment), task. No built in SMS (though for additional fees, other services can add that functionality via HTTP-post).
- Autoresponder sequences are created in a linear format so if you’re like me and don’t think linearly you have to draw out how you want your sequence to go before you build them or eventually you’ll get lost, especially if it’s a long and complicated sequence.
- It is FASTER to create a sequence, but not easier :) funny how that works but it’s true.
- If then statements are awesome and all done for you and done with an info-marketer in mind so you won’t have to create them yourself. You can even do stuff like when a contact comes to your site and clicks on a certain link then you send a certain email. That’s complicated to pull off in Infusionsoft. Easy in OP.
- You can totally automate anything based off of any movement your customer/subscriber takes through a website or web forms. It’s not just limited to clicks and tags which means you can get way more creative with your marketing.
- Available autoresponder types: Email, post-card (on-demand printing), 2-way SMS text (pay for usage), and tasks.
- I absolutely love that OP has built-in functionality for 2-way SMS text messaging, which means you can have small conversations with people via text. Possibilities are endless.
So how do you get someone onto your email list and into your CRM? That’s what we call capture. Email capture.
Infusionsoft is limited out of the box to capture via web form only. You can add plugins that extend the functionality to SMS, etc.
ONTRAPORT has built in functionality for capturing email addresses via webworm AND text messaging as well as pURL (personalized landing pages) in direct mail campaigns.
Analytics, Tracking, Testing and Reporting
Web Analytics and Tracking
- Completely worthless information, stick to what Clicky.com, or HotJar.com or Google Analytics tells you.
- Visits aren’t accurate.
- Leadsources are generic (e.g. Facebook)
- No way to calculate conversion rate. This is an easy calculation but since the visits aren’t accurate and the conversion data isn’t tracked, it’s impossible.
- The lack of this data isn’t a huge deal because there are other ways of getting it but it’s incredibly annoying to not have it all in one place and accurate.
- Doesn’t give you data about whether or not customers visited your website (OP does and lets you automate actions based off of that).
- Their tracked links do some great tracking. Way better than ONTRAPORT. The links are tracked as thoroughly as affiliate program links.
- Does NOT use UTM variables.
This web analytics thing was something that they launched a few years ago intending to give us more data about our customers but it totally misses the point. The whole reason we want analytics in a marketing context is to know what our conversion rate is and this doesn’t solve that problem without the help of third party software.
- They don’t have a general analytics, they have useful analytics. No “you’ve had 145,634 visitors” and more of “this person came from XYZ ad yesterday and visited these pages” and allows you to automate based off of that data, leadsourec and page visits. That’s awesome.
- Tracks views and conversions easily all the way from the ad click to the conversion.
- Integrates with your website (if using WordPress, they have a plugin called Pilot Press that does that for you).
- Tracks customer visits so that you know when they stop by or if they’re not stopping by so that you can send them an email based on that intel… that’s gangster and there’s a gazillion applications for it. Infusionsoft can’t do that.
- Could use OP as your only analytics package if you wanted. I don’t suggest that but there’s enough there that you could.
- OP version of tracked links is just adding UTM variables, which it tracks successfully, but that’s not the best end to end tracking. Infusionsoft gets tracked links done better.
This is short and sweet. Infusionsoft does NOT allow you to do any split tests whether you want email broadcasts, autoresponders, subject lines, etc, without crazy complications and adding plugins which cost more monthly.
Only way to split test campaigns, emails or subject lines in Infusionsoft is via tags within the campaign builder. Yes it can be done but it is horribly complicated and cumbersome. ONTRAPORT is designed to do split tests out of the box. Split test anything, subject lines, landing pages, email copy, etc. and it is all tracked nicely.
Reports are critical to seeing how your campaigns and marketing are driving end to end results. Problem is, they’re done very differently in Infusionsoft and ONTRAPORT. Very, very differently and neither are that “great”.
So pick your poison. Though Infusionsoft just fixed a lot of their campaign reporting, both softwares struggle with reporting still but I like that OP has at-a-glance easy reporting (rumor is that BOTH Infusionsoft [just launched] and ONTRAPORT are working on solutions for this and it’s anyone’s guess if or when things happen).
- Thorough data. Tons of data can be added to any report. Literally endless combinations.
- The useful reports… like daily sales total… have to be configured and are not available at a glance until you figure out how to configure them. All useful report are that way which is discouraging for average users.
- Reports are all based off of custom searches and saving those searches so you have to know what you want and how to search for it with what data is available.
- No visual data whatsoever. No graphs, charts, etc.
- Tough to create a dashboard that allows you to get a true at-a-glance look at the effectiveness of your business. There is a “little box o stats” on the dashboard that can be configured to show basic data along with sales totals and total number of contacts, but that’s it.
- Limited to simple calculations… add, average. No dividing or multiplying.
- Export to CSV is really the only useful export.
- There is NO data about any autoresponder or campaign emails (open rates, click thru rates, conversions, etc).
- Though the data is less thorough, all the core data you need as a marketer is easily available at-a-glance, already configured, automatically tracked. That’s cool for non-analytical people like me.
- User activity reports show all activity, including visits to the site.
- Very limited data sets, custom reporting and export options (Infusionsoft kills OP in this category).
- Like Infusionsoft, the data is all analog. No visual graphs and charts for visual people like me.
- Built-in already-configured reports for campaigns, ads, lead sources, media, etc.
- Great data available to test and tweak ongoing sequences and campaigns. Unlike Infusionsoft, you’re not left in the dark about your campaign effectiveness.
- Problem is getting the data for ONE email sequence or ONE campaign all in one place is tough.
Customer Service, Community and Events
- Infusionsoft is a bigger company and they act like it. Very corporate. There are several layers of customer service and you don’t have a dedicated customer service rep that knows your company. You do have an account manager but even they are layers up and harder to get a hold of. They do not deal with normal customer service stuff. Most users will never have a need to meet their manager.
- The general customer service is easy to get a hold of both on the phone and online 24/7. Chat takes a while usually so most basic things are better treated on the phone I think.
- They have people available 24/7 which has literally saved me a few times.
- They have UK and AUS offices as well so there’s always “business hours” going on.
- They offer a great coaching experience. I just wish they didn’t charge for it.
- I think OP does a better job at customer service than Infusionsoft simply because they are smaller, leaner and the reps are more trained. This is the personal touch that I like. It’s like “big city banking but small town service.”
- They’ve added an Australia office so that means there are only a few hours in the night where there isn’t someone available.
- NEW: Added phone support. Typical, most everything was done via email and chat. This can be cause for frustration if you want quick answers sometimes. They saw that need and added phone support.
- They have integrated “concierge services” that can do everything for you if need be or you can hire them to do certain things that you don’t want to don for only $79/hr.
Community and Events
I’m the kind of person that appreciates a community of people that chat about how they’re using the software and post their issues online so that I can find them and solve my own issues. Crowd source is awesome.
Infusionsoft has far more events, holding 5 – 6 major events, like Infusioncon, PartnerCon and other high level implementation events every year while also encouraging local meet ups across the country.
The “Marketer of the Year” contest is great. Events do cost extra no matter if you’re with IS or OP.
They also run a major user conference called ONTRAPalooza every year in October. The event is awesome. They’ve brought in high level speakers (like me, ha) to go deep.
Biggest weakness here is that the developer community for ONTRAPORT is small.
CRM – Customer Relationship Management
To be honest, I don’t use these softwares as a personal or social CRM, there are others like Nimble or Contactually that do personal CRM’s much better.
However, I use the contact records (which some call CRM) extensively and I automate campaigns based off of custom fields. For my purposes, both softwares are adequate here with a couple caveats.
For contact management purposes, I just want somewhere that has all the info I need in one place and both do a great job of that.
Infusionsoft is company aware with sales pipelines so it’s typically better for B2B sales.
UPDATE: ONTRAPORT is now company aware via their application called Custom Objects. It takes some technical configuring but is really flexible. Still not a great out of the box solution for B2B.
If I had a wishlist, social data, like Facebook social graph demographics, would be integrated. As of right now, it’s not (unless you used FuzedApp).
This part is easy. Infusionsoft has a shopping cart, and ONTRAPORT doesn’t. That said, there are some key distinctions about Infusionsoft’s shopping cart. The cart is one of those features that seems like it was just added on and not really thought through. I’d always recommend using a full featured shopping cart like Shopify.
- Difficult to customize design, but got much easier with the addition of the new shopping cart/order forms in the Winter 2012 release because all design is now CSS based (Infusionsoft uses tables for their shopping cart and order forms).
- Only option is Infusionsoft-hosted shopping cart (not on your domain). That’s great if you don’t want to mess with managing a secure site, but it can hurt conversions depending on what industry you’re in.
- Paypal is built-in to shopping cart, which is nice.
- Can use the shopping cart via an iframe but it’s weird for tracking and design and some browsers don’t like it (must have your own SSL if you use an iframe to put the shopping cart on your own site).
- Infusionsoft allows for a multi-step checkout or a one page check out, which is nice for conversion.
- There are some integrations with Magento, Shopify and other major shopping carts that are awesome, but they’ll run you an additional mostly fee for their use or a one time large chunk of cash.
- ONTRAPORT does not have a traditional shopping cart (think like Amazon.com or Apple.com), but they do have order forms that allow you to sell products, subscriptions or predefined bundles of products with payment plans etc. If you need a traditional shopping cart where people select from multiple catalogs, categories or product lines, you need Infusionsoft or an integration with another shopping cart like Magento.
- ONTRAPORT is meant for authors, speakers, seminar leaders, online marketers, etc. all who sell information via order forms.
Order forms are meant to only sell one product, subscription or bundle at a time, not a set of randomly shopped-for products. I sell my supplements in packages and so order forms work great for that. I sell digital products and subscriptions using ONTRAForms, which is great because that’s what they’re designed to sell best.
- With the new order forms, we have decent control of the design now. The old order forms were really difficult to customize because of how they were built. Thankfully, just a few CSS tweaks and you can have a great looking order form. The order forms do look good right out of the box.
- Perhaps the biggest disappointment of all: No more self-hosted order forms. Their thinking doesn’t make any sense to me. Order forms must be hosted using Infusionsoft’s SSL (each order form has a unique URL that you can customize but not with your own domain).
- Most people will end up using third party order forms like Samcart or FusedForms. Which is a custom order form creator so I have full control of my order forms. That is what I use and I love it, but it runs you the cost of another subscription at minimum.
- Paypal is built-in to the order forms and can be toggled on or off with a check box.
- Infusionsoft allows for a one or two step order process.
- As of right now, you cannot use custom fields on order forms without massive custom development. This must change though.
- Integrates with more merchant gateways than ONTRAPORT does.
- ONTRAForms is the builtin form builder that produces mobile friendly and beautiful forms and order forms. If you intend to use the form builder in OP or IS, this absolutely smashes Infusionsoft’s built in form builder.
- I love the flexibility of the order forms. You can create them easy, all from one single page of settings in OP. I can do anything I want with them out of the box. No need for extra API-driven software.
- Self-hosted or ONTRAPORT-hosted order forms.
- Automatic WordPress integration with the order forms. If you have an SSL on your blog, you can use the order forms seamlessly.
- Paypal integrates nicely.
- Easily add custom fields to order forms.
- Integrates with tons of different merchant gateways.
- Plays nicely with foreign currencies much nicer than Infusionsoft.
In order to take payments online, you must have a merchant account and a gateway. Luckily, both IS and OP have this sorted nicely.
What this means is that you can sign up for Infusionsoft and within minutes be approved to take online payments that are sent directly to you. It’s awesome. Deposits are sent every night.
Infusionsoft does not play nice with Stripe without a third party plugin.
Digital and Physical Products
Be sure to see the recommendations page for info about how to tell if Infusionsoft or ONTRAPORT is best for you based on what type of product you sell.
- Unlimited product database.
- Easily group in to categories and automatically updates in shopping cart.
- Easy management of SKUs.
- Upload a bunch of products all at once.
- Works for digital products and subscriptions as well.
- Much simpler to add products and subscriptions.
- Meant more for info products, as you don’t have shopping cart functionality.
- Works awesome for digital products and membership sites.
- Great use for info marketers.
- Unlimited products and subscriptions.
Shipping and Fulfillment
When you sell a product and want the thing shipped to the customer correctly. Neither software gets this one right. Uh uh.
- Big time headache but we figured a way around it.
- The ONLY option for fulfillment is sending a CSV file to the fulfillment company.
- API integration is a nightmare. Molding Box is the only company I could find that integrates via API and they’re expensive for pick, pack, and ship… that said, they do on demand in-house printing and labeling so that’s nice.
- You have no control over what the CSV file says.
- There is no way to fully automate fulfillment because it still takes someone to go in and check that all orders were sent and then to verify each fulfillment batch.
- There is no functionality in Infusionsoft to deal with tracking numbers at all, so we had to build that in as custom API programming.
- Works with UPS out of the box. Shipping options are decently thorough, but inadequate if you’ve got any custom shipping needs.
- Fulfillment is bare bones simple in OP, works much the same as Infusionsoft.
- I don’t personally ship using ONTRAPORT because I don’t have any physical products yet so I can only peek in and see what’s going on there.
This is one feature that both have done quite well and you really can’t base any decision off of affiliate programs because they’re both very good. There is a big difference though from an owner’s perspective that takes more work to set up.
- A fully hosted affiliate platform with separate login. It’s already set up and you don’t have to do anything to create it other than configure your affiliate program in Infusionsoft.
- Links get blacklisted when infusionsoft gets blacklisted, which does happen.
- Have to have affiliates use redirect links due to blacklisting issue.
- Configuration of the affiliate program took a while to figure out, it’s not straight forward.
- A self-hosted affiliate platform, you must use their plugin in conjunction with WordPress and configure it properly. It’s more work.
- I found it annoying to have to deal with creating the affiliate resources WordPress membership site and branding it and going through that charade. Once I was past that though, I was actually glad that I control everything about how affiliates interact with my site.
- Configuration was a piece of cake. Took literally 20 minutes to configure the affiliate program settings.
This is a section that is heavily tilted toward ONTRAPORT because the actual marketing tools that Infusionsoft comes with out of the box are very limited. ONTRAPORT is more for info marketers and therefore has more info marketer type stuff. You’ll see what I mean.
An ability to send a physical postcard really adds a lot of value and is a nice touch when possible.
- Does not offer this functionality. There are third party software that can add this with integration to SendOutCards, etc.
- Letters are a part of IS autoresponder functionality but you have to send them yourself through a fulfillment house that you manage. Infusionsoft handles the merge codes in the letter.
- All postcards can be custom designed using a drag and drop visual editor inside ONTRAPORT.
- All postcards are glossy 5″ x 8″ jumbo cards.
- Postcards cost additional but the rates are incredibly cheap compared to bulk postcards.
- Functionally is built in to send them one at a time, customized with merge codes, in an autoresponder sequence or all at once as a direct mail drop.
- Integrates with any autoresponder.
- Built-in functionality to add voicemail to broadcasts or autoresponder series.
- Costs $.15 per minute.
- All you do is record the message by having the system call you.
- This functionality was removed with the launch of ONTRAPORT 3.0 because of lack of adoption from the user base.
- To add this functionality, you must use a third party tool like Calliope.
- Drag and drop landing pages with web forms.
- NOT mobile responsive.
- Hosted securely on Infusionsoft.com.
- Does NOT allow you to self host landing pages.
- Very limited use of custom code.
- Very limited design. No custom CSS for landing pages so you’re limited to the options they provide.
- Just Launched! ONTRAPages, a full featured landing page builder (FREE forever to use even if you aren’t subscribed to ONTRAPORT). Check it out.
- Just launched! ONTRAForms build mobile friendly web forms and order forms with awesome flexibility… exit intent popups. Timed popups. Slide in.
- They still have their legacy landing page builder which allows for any amount of custom HTML code.
- Secure hosting available on one of 8 different domains they use.
- Self-hosting is allowed. Easy landing page creation using their WordPress Plugin.
- Unlimited use of custom code.
- Unlimited use of CSS.
Upsells and Downsells
When selling info products upsells and downsells can double your revenue when done right. OP is the only one that offers this standard. IS requires additional third party software to add the functionality.
- Does not have this functionality. You must purchase an additional third party software to get this functionality.
- Unlimited upsell functionality already built-in with ONTRAForms.
- Creates only one invoice for ease of customer service.
- Unlimited downsells as well.
- Can host your own upsell/downsell pages or host on their secure servers.
Personal URLs (PURLs)
PURLs or Personal URLs are killer for marketing. You send out a postcard or an email and you can point people to their own domain like
http://Seth.MarketingSite.com where all the content is customized to them. For example, the landing page would say: “Hi Seth, I’m glad you’re here.” That’s powerful.
- Does not have this functionality. Third party app must be purchased to add this functionality and it’s not cheap.
- Use seamlessly with their built-in postcards.
- Use with emails.
- Use with their landing pages.
- Unlimited use of merge codes to fully customize a landing page.
- No built-in functionality and no conversion data.
- If you want split tests you have to bootstrap it using tags or use third party software.
- Built-in functionality.
- Split test emails on the fly, data is tracked.
- Split test subject lines, whole emails and landing page and upsets, etc.
- No built-in functionality.
- Their sister software Customer Hub integrates nicely but costs extra per month to use it.
- WordPress Plugins available to create easy membership sites (Such as WisP & Memberium)
- Built-in functionality.
- Create membership sites using only ONTRAPORT and wordpress.
- Their Pilot Press plugin integrates membership functionality which is awesome!! No other software needed to create membership sites with timed release content, etc.
- No built-in functionality.
- Must have a third party plugin to connect to WordPress (costs extra). Tons of options though.
- Built-in functionality.
- Perhaps the most convenient and dealmaking feature in my opinion. Full integration with WordPress.
- Full integration with WordPress for tracking, affiliate center, landing pages, order forms, and membership sites. This really simplifies things.
- Must have a WordPress configured on your own domain and ONTRAPORT’s Pilot Press plugin activated.
- Data clean up. Easy to scrub the lists for dupes and any other kind of information you can imagine.
- Uploading lists. This is easy and quick and thorough in Infusionsoft. Must be CSV.
- Scrub list. Automatically cleans up hard bounces, unsubscribes and spam requests so you don’t skew numbers and waste resources
- Integrations. Infusionsoft has hundreds of integrations and an entire marketplace for third party apps. ONTRAPORT is really, really weak here. Granted, with Infusionsoft you will need third party apps at some point for doing things like ad level tracking, conversion rates, or customizable API order forms, landing pages, split testing, etc.
- API. Their API is a joke. It’s tricky for developers to work with. It’s literally pasted together from the inside out. Glad they’re working on redoing it.
- Closed system. Doing fun stuff with order forms, shopping cart and landing pages is difficult. They limit the use of custom code and don’t allow some things.
- Food for thought. I find it very interesting that Infusionsoft doesn’t even use their own billing/CRM. They just switched from NetSuite to SalesForce for almost everything they do in house. Hmmm.
- FIXED: Yes they have data clean up. Dupes are very common and now they have an engine that cleans them up and combines contacts in to one.
- API. Limited API historically but I’m told it’s being rewritten from the ground up. Right now, it’s very clean and easy to use but little to NO docs. Documentation is very limited but they do have a dedicated support for API development, while Infusionsoft limits you to the developers forum.
- Easy customization. More open with their order forms and landing pages. They allow you to design them however you want.
- Limited integrations. Outside of the marketing world, if you want OP to integrate with something you have, you’ll probably have to get it done yourself or hire someone to do it. That’s a bummer. Luckily for my business I haven’t needed much outside of OP which is why I like it so much. It covers almost all the bases for my info business out of the box.
Is Your Head Going to Explode?
I‘m full aware that by spending all the time to lay this out for you I’ve just confused you worse. Very possible, but this isn’t a sales pitch. Sure, I get a tip if you click a link and sign up but I couldn’t care less which company or product you use. I want you using the product that’s best for you.
If I’ve succeeded (not my intent) in confusing you further there is one thing you must do. Go visit my clean, simple, no-nonsense do-it-yourself recommendation page or ask me anything about either pieces of software. I can’t wait to hear from you.