What is the Best Infusionsoft Alternative? Are you currently investigating your options?
Thinking of making a switch?
We’ve switched 75% of our Infusionsoft (Keap) clients to Groundhogg. Why? It’s an involved and somewhat long story, but I think it’s interesting. If you want to know more, read on…
Whatever your reasons for switching from Infusionsoft such as: cost, deliver-ability, versatility, customer service, frustration with bugs or what have you, any Infusionsoft alternative you choose means you will need a plan to make the switch (we have outlined 11 tips below – scroll down). And making the “switch” could feel like a daunting task if your website has been integrated for a while. Our advice? Take it one step at a time.
First step: Find an Infusionsoft alternative
Step 2. Give yourself time to migrate
Step 3. Give yourself a deadline. You’ll be glad you did!
Here’s a bit of background on how it all came about…
If memory serves me right, it was 2013 that I started out as a “Trusted Advisor” for Infusionsoft. This meant that when we produced our events in Canada or the United States, Infusionsoft would sponsor those events in exchange for promoting their product. It was a good relationship and often Infusionsoft would send us some great speakers such as Scott Robley. Scott was not only a great speaker but a great closer. And of course, with every app sold from the stage, we would make a commission.
With quite a bit of excitement, we flew to Arizona to our first Infusionsoft conference known as ICON in 2014. We fell in love with the people, the company, the owners, and the community. We loved their mission, purpose and core values. It was a perfect match for our business. We strived to become champions of Infusionsoft and eventually would become the biggest flag-wavers for Infusionsoft in Canada.
We jumped in and paid for training and the Infusionsoft Certification Program. We signed on dozens of clients per year and were the top ICP’s (apps sold) in Canada for a few years.
In lieu of buying a booth at Icon, we hosted our Canadian events off-site during ICON. “We called it ICAN JAM, a huge multi-musician jam session. It was a great success! We also toured Canada and recruited Certified Partners, trained “Infusionsoft 3-Day Intensives” and even hosted official Infusionsoft certified partner training in our Livestream facility in Toronto. We invested in their Elite Forum training – training focused on helping businesses scale up.
In 2015 Infusionsoft noted a significant sales lift in Canada, the country with the most sales lift that year – 18% if I recall. We’d like to think that we were instrumental in that. We even received a beautiful reference letter from the VP of Sales at the time and an Award which brought us to Hawaii, generous recognition and gift by Infusionsoft.
Over the past several years we have easily brought in revenues well in excess of seven figures selling and servicing Infusionsoft. The “classic” Infusionsoft app did a lot of great things for many of our clients. We also invested heavily in getting our employees trained and certified…some who eventually opened their own companies and continue to be Infusionsoft Certified Partners (Keap Partners) to this day.
So you’d think that with all the success we’ve had with Infusionsoft, why we would even think of switching and starting the process of finding an Infusionsoft alternative?
The answer to this question is somewhat involved and is a pretty cool story.
My son, Adrian Tobey, had always been a great builder. He loved Lego, construction kits, models, and anything that could be put together. Eventually, this turned into a love of the videogame Minecraft, which in turn led to an interest in computers. After high school, he got accepted into the prestigious computer science program at the University of Toronto and at the same time, he joined our business and became an Infusionsoft Certified Partner.
Part of his duties at our company was to migrate business clients to Infusionsoft from Active Campaign, SalesForce, Mail Chimp, Sugar, etc. Eventually, Adrian also fell in love with Click Funnels and was heavily impacted by the founders of Clickfunnels and Infusionsoft alike. The ClickFunnels conference in California and the ICON conferences in Phoenix turned out to be a grooming ground for Adrian. Following their footsteps, Adrian would soon become a tech startup founder.
Migrating clients from one environment to another offered Adrian some incredible insights into the strength and weaknesses of how each CRM performed. More importantly, he took a deep dive into each user’s environment and witnessed how our clients adapted (or neglected to adapt) to their platform.
Adrian would implement, train and even do custom development for many of our clients. So, by the time he was in his 3rd year at U of T, we had discovered opportunities in our business to find ways to do things above and beyond the capabilities of Infusionsoft. To solve these challenges, one of the first plugins he created was Formlift. This is a WordPress plug-in that makes Infusionsoft forms look great on WordPress web pages. There is much more to it than that but essentially, it’s a great way to integrate WordPress website with Infusionsoft. Formlift is still active and there are close to 1000 regular users.
With all this technology going on and after 3 years of fixing coding issues and addressing clients who had complaints about their apps, Adrian began asking himself, “Why can’t all of this advanced marketing automation be available in WordPress itself? And why is it that only SaaS companies can come up with products that help with marketing automation? And why does this have to be extremely complicated?”
Finally, Adrian came to us one day and said, “I think I can build a CRM for WordPress which can handle complex marketing automation much the same as Infusionsoft, Hubspot, Active Campaign, Ontraport and the like.”
With our blessing, Adrian dropped out of University and threw all his energy behind Groundhogg. The only condition was that he was to find his own runway money to set up the initial stages of setting up his business, hiring coders and invest in marketing. With his CRM background, and his experience with Formlift.net, he and his small team managed to crank out Groundhogg 1.0 which hit the marketplace on February 2, Groundhog Day 2019. He also pitched his software at the prestigious Collision Conference in Toronto, a conference that attracted 25,000 people from 70 different countries. This was great exposure for Groundhogg. Coincidentally, the Groundhogg booth was next to the spectacular Mailchimp Stage who was a main sponsor of the event. (Picture seeing this startup up next to the titan Mailchimp…)
While this was happening, there a handful of Infusionsoft users and other marketers who thought this was a terrible idea. In fact, many of them thought that it couldn’t be done. They said, “you should not put a CRM within WordPress, and even if it were a good idea, it’s not possible the current state of technology.” Fortunately, Adrian didn’t listen to them. Within a few weeks, Groundhogg already had won the trust of 200 plus users who were extremely helpful in helping his team fine-tune some of the automation tools and help with bug fixes.
As people began to install and adopt the Groundhogg system, we learned pretty quickly that the Groundhogg customer is not necessarily an Infusionsoft customer. While many people are starting to look at migrating away from Infusionsoft into Groundhogg, Groundhogg is building its own audience which is unique to the WordPress community. Many people who had resisted marketing automation are now finding it easier than ever to adopt it using the revolutionary Groundhogg platform.
What is the difference between Infusionsoft the company and Groundhogg the company?
Infusionsoft’s mission is to serve a million small businesses around the globe with marketing automation (its new app Keap). They are a SaaS (Software as a Service) company. According to Wikipedia, in total, the company has generated over $125 million in funding.. Their operation has between 400 and 700 employees at any given time , although I’m not sure what the exact number is right now. They’ve been around for 17 plus years and the founders have paid their dues. We have nothing but respect and gratitude for them. They have helped our company grow and as a result many of our clients grow.
Groundhogg is on a very different mission.
Groundhogg is part of the WordPress Community – a movement about democratizing the internet. It’s about removing barriers. Did you know that WordPress powers 1/3rd of the internet? It’s a huge community! This is essentially an open-source community that believes that good software can be built and offered to people around the world regardless of barriers such as geography (where they live), economics (how much money they have), language (WordPress is translated into several languages) and skill set (tons of free knowledge on the web about WordPress).
Groundhogg is already available in several languages including English, Spanish, French, Japanese, Portuguese and Romanian! Groundhogg was built by people with extensive experience and knowledge of CRM and marketing automation. More importantly, because it’s open-source, it will continue to grow with contributions by the WordPress community. It’s very exciting stuff. There are developers around the world that will help accelerate the adoption and democratization of marketing automation across the web. As good as Groundhogg is now, wait till you see how it evolves. As more brilliant people discover Groundhogg, it will shape the future of marketing automation in WordPress around the Globe (and probably influence how SaaS companies build their own products in the future).
The free Groundhogg plugin generously offers a ton of functionality for absolutely no cost. And for a fraction of the cost of other CRMs including Infusionsoft, you can purchase a number of extensions which will allow Groundhogg to connect to popular software such as WooCommerce, Twilio and Zapier while also providing a suite of add-ons such as booking calendars, sales pipelines and custom styling.
The most important question for you is, “Does Groundhogg make a great Infusionsoft alternative for you and/or your clients?”
This is not an easy question to answer because everyone who uses marketing automation may have a different reason for using it. For example, some want it to automate systems and processes while other companies want to save some time and money by automating many of their marketing and sales tasks. Whatever goals you are trying to reverse engineer, it can be done using Groundhogg. You may need to connect to a few plugins to achieve your outcomes, but then again, with Infusionsoft, you need to buy a few third-party services to get things done too. The difference is with Groundhogg, you save a significant amount of money.
Let’s look at some of the reasons why you would want to switch:
- Because you want to save money and perhaps use those funds to advertise on Google or Facebook.
- Because you operate an agency and you want to have Infusionsoft alternatives (some clients are better to start with Groundhogg).
- Because you already love WordPress and the thought of having marketing automation within the WordPress environment is exciting.
- Because you want complex marketing automation without having to switch back and forth between WordPress and a third-party CRM .
- Because you operate WordPress multi-site you need a cross-platform solution such as Groundhogg.
- Because you’ve wanted to switch for a while now, and you are done stalling.
- Because you’re concerned about the amount of time it takes to learn a new platform and rebuild your systems.
As the CEO of a marketing agency and a long time CRM expert, I am going to recommend download Groundhogg and test it out. It’s a GREAT Infusionsoft alternative.
However, I’m not going to stop at the recommendation, I’m going to give you some of my experiential advice on how to approach the switch from Infusionsoft.
Here are my top tips to consider when switching from Infusionsoft to Groundhogg.
- Check with Infusionsoft to find out how much notice you need to give them before canceling, and then plan to finish migration before that date.
- Segment your lists by tagging contacts in Infusionsoft before exporting. If you already have good tags in place, then this should be a fairly straightforward process. When you export those contacts keep them in separate lists.
- Don’t worry too much about custom fields, there are plenty in Groundhogg. While Infusionsoft gives you a maximum of 100 custom fields, Groundhogg has unlimited custom fields.
- Once you’ve exported all your lists, clean them in a popular e-mail cleaner such as neverbounce.com or bouncless.com.
- Add the proper tags during the list importing process into Groundhogg.
- Follow the guided setup process for Groundhogg upon installation.
- If possible, set up your CRON tasks in cPanel, before doing any e-mail sending or marketing automation.
- If you are using the Groundhogg sending service for e-mail deliverability and text messaging, you will need to verify the domain name using the Groundhogg verification process, which entails adding text and C-name records to your advanced DNS settings.
- I would recommend before building your first automation funnel that you check out the step-by-step user guide in the Groundhogg documentation area. Keep in mind that the time to set up that funnel will likely be only 10% of the original time it took to set up the funnel within Infusionsoft.
- Re-create one funnel at a time and test the functionality of each before moving on. I would also recommend that many funnels will be close duplicates and you can clone a campaign in Groundhogg with one click.
- Some of your more important campaigns you should tackle first such as:
> Contact us, quote and consult campaigns.
> Abandon cart campaigns.
> Lead Magnet campaigns.
> Short-term and long-term nurture campaigns.
> NPS campaigns. Net promoter score is very helpful to get customer reviews on Google reviews, Yelp or Facebook and get clients referrals.
The simple fact is, I found that anything I wanted Infusionsoft to do, Groundhogg can do just as well but for a small fraction of the cost of Infusionsoft. It does things a little bit differently than Infusionsoft but I find it much quicker to set up, to learn, to operate and to optimize. It is also important to mention that the reporting tools in Groundhogg are not only customizable but very extensive. In fact, if statistics are important to you, then it’s my opinion that Groundhogg Dashboards are superior than what Infusionsoft offered.
It’s important to note that Groundhogg, for the most part, is software that is absolutely free and can be downloaded and installed directly in the plug-ins area of WordPress. There will most likely be a couple of extensions that you will need to start such as: lead scoring, booking calendar and advanced form styling. The good news is that even if you sign up for all of the extensions, currently there are 24 of them, then the maximum you will pay is $299 per year. That’s unbelievable when you consider how powerful this software really is.
What’s my overall Groundhogg rating?
If you were to compare the functionality, price, learning curve, customer support, partner program, integrations, speed and overall likability of Infusionsoft versus Groundhogg? I would give Infusionsoft’s classic application a 6.5/10 and Groundhogg Version 1.0 a 9/10. You may think I’m being impartial, but I’m being authentic. It simply is amazing software and I’m highly anticipating version 2.0 that is being rolled out fall 2019.
Yes, the Groundhogg software is relatively new, and that could make a few people wonder if Groundhogg is here to stay. Yes! With the current rate of adoption by the WordPress community, it’s a clear sign there is no way this evolution is ever going away. FREE marketing automation has been birthed, and its evolving quickly. If you’re looking for a great opportunity to service your clients, become a Certified Partner, or an Affiliate, or you are ready to make the SWITCH, then join the Groundhogg community today! Developers and users have a great opportunity to contribute to how it grows! You can have your say! Are you ready to make the SWITCH?