The State of Infusionsoft Address – 2017
by Tyler Garns, founder and CEO of Box Out Marketing
Infusionsoft Users, Certified Partners, Employees, Board of Directors, and fellow entrepreneurs all over the world, thank you for being with me on this momentous occasion where we take time to review the progress Infusionsoft has made, what we can expect in the future, and what it all means to each of us.
In full disclosure, I am not an Infusionsoft employee or board member. I am not privy to any insider information. I am only a passionate advocate and supporter of Infusionsoft. As an Infusionsoft Certified Consultant, I find great pleasure in helping small businesses succeed, and I am delivering this address to share my personal observations with the Infusionsoft community and the worldwide small business community with the purpose of spreading a message of hope and excitement for what the future holds.
Infusionsoft began as, what Michael Gerber would call, an entrepreneurial seizure between two brothers and a brother-in-law. Those three extraordinary individuals have turned their fledgling little company into a $100 million dollar business. But more importantly, their vision for the company and its impact on the world has expanded at each milestone along the way. And the impact that Infusionsoft is delivering to the world currently is astounding. But, it is just the beginning.
Infusionsoft has recently achieved its mission set forth 10 years ago, and has now declared a new mission – with a goal of achieving this mission by the year 2030.
Infusionsoft is not a fly-by-night institution as some critics have claimed. Infusionsoft is in it for the long run. The three audacious pillars of this 2030 mission are:
- To reduce the small business failure rate
- Replenish the middle class
- Raise worldwide prosperity
As you can see, Infusionsoft is not just in the game of selling software. They are looking to impact the world in significant ways.
Most software companies that go through the growth stages that Infusionsoft has experienced, end up drifting more and more towards serving the enterprise market and leaving the little guy behind. Why? Because it’s easier. A handful of extra large accounts who pay millions of dollars each year are much easier to acquire and manage than tens of thousands of customers in hundreds of scattered industries who only pay a few hundred dollars a month.
Infusionsoft took, and has stayed on, the road less traveled. Infusionsoft is determined now, more than ever, to make massive worldwide impact on the true small business, the entrepreneur, the dreamer, the scrappy teams that fight tooth and nail to stay alive, the innovators, the determined fathers and mothers, the community leaders, the college roommates with a great idea, and every landscaper, lawyer, and life coach in between.
Infusionsoft has led the sales and marketing automation for small business space for over a decade, and continues to plow forward as the dominant leader, firmly rooted in its passion to serve small businesses and help them succeed.
Over the last 10 years, Infusionsoft has raised over $100 million dollars in investment capital. As would be expected, we’ve seen those investments fuel the rapid growth of the company and we continue to see the fruits of those investments in the software itself.
The rapid growth of Infusionsoft has not been without its challenges. In 2014 and 2015, growth was slower than expected and differences of opinion regarding the product direction caused innovation to stall. Users, including myself, became concerned that Infusionsoft was going to slip behind and be surpassed by smaller, more nimble teams.
But in 2015 and 2016 the executive team was gutted and rebuilt from the ground up with individuals who were more united in vision and purpose and have the experience to guide the company through the challenges of growing beyond $100 million dollars. In 2016 the speed at which Infusionsoft began to roll out improvements and new features was once again invigorating and exciting.
As you reflect on Infusionsoft’s audacious and inspiring mission to Reduce the small business failure rate, Replenish the middle class, and Raise worldwide prosperity, you’ll begin to see how improvements and innovations in the software are directly linked to those outcomes.
In 2016 we saw Infusionsoft achieve major milestones in the internationalization of the software. The database was converted to support UTF-8 characters, which means that virtually every language is now supported and many additional currencies are supported as well.
We also saw major improvements in time zone handling. Now marketing events can be scheduled in the recipient’s own time zone and each user sees dates and times in their own time zone instead of just North American Eastern time.
The global market is primed and ready for Infusionsoft and many entrepreneurs in Asia, South America, Europe, and beyond are reaping the rewards of this amazing technology.
In 2016 Infusionsoft also made major improvements to empower service-based businesses who operate by creating quotes for their customers. The new quoting and invoicing features are a big step in the right direction and have allowed service-based businesses to leverage the power of Infusionsoft in new and exciting ways.
In the middle of last year Infusionsoft also released a new drag and drop email builder. This new and improved email builder makes it much simpler for users to design and craft mobile responsive emails without the formatting issues inherent in the old email builder.
More recently, Infusionsoft released a new campaign goal type that is triggered from a web page visit. This functionality opens up a new world of automation allowing users to craft personalized follow up based on website activity, not just forms and purchases. These innovative improvements empower small businesses to engage and follow up with prospects and clients in ways that even most enterprise businesses fail to do.
In addition, Infusionsoft continues to update the usability of the interface and enhance workflow automation features to save users precious time.
If you’ve been watching carefully you may have noticed a reference to NextGen on Infusionsoft’s PartnerCon page, on an Infusionsoft employee’s LinkedIn Page, and in certain Infusionsoft job postings. We’ve had multiple people ask us what NextGen is all about.
Here’s what you need to know. Infusionsoft has always been an innovator. And with a mission as big as reducing the small business failure rate, replenishing the middle class, and raising worldwide prosperity, Infusionsoft is continuing to invest in additional ways to serve more small businesses and remain relevant in the future. “NextGen” is a phrase that has been used to refer to new technology being built. You likely won’t ever see a product called “NextGen”.
So, questions have arisen: Will my Infusionsoft account go away? Will it be replaced with something new?
The answer right now is no. As you can see in recent updates, Infusionsoft is heavily focused on and investing in the software that each of us use every day to run our businesses.
Another question that has circled the Infusionsoft community for the last 10 years, is that of switching to other software competitors.
Seemingly every day there are new alternatives to Infusionsoft. But to date, no software company has created a solution that rivals Infusionsoft. Ontraport is the closest. But if you look at the size of the Ontraport community, it doesn’t even compare.
There is a major philosophical difference between Ontraport and Infusionsoft. Infusionsoft has opened the platform to developers to add on, extend functionality, and build additional solutions that users need. Ontraport, on the other hand, has chosen to keep their platform more closed and continue to try and build all new feature requests themselves. As a result, there are over 400 add-on solutions for Infusionsoft and only 35 or so for Ontraport. The Infusionsoft Partner community has exploded and the creative solutions available to Infusionsoft users are expanding every day.
More nimble solutions such as ActiveCampaign and ClickFunnels have also come on the scene and attempted to siphon off segments of the Infusionsoft market. Although they have attracted some, they have not slowed down Infusionsoft’s growth. These smaller solutions may be more affordable for less-funded start-ups, but they lack many of the extensive features and powerful automation that you get with Infusionsoft.
When you look at value for your money, there is no solution that rivals Infusionsoft. Not even close. Even in the mid-market to enterprise level solutions, there is nothing that has the feature-set, reliability, and community that Infusionsoft has.
I’d like to take a moment and review a few of the key add-on solutions in this community to highlight the level of innovation and creativity that Infusionsoft has fostered with its partners. It is truly amazing.
Due to the extensive list of add-ons and the amazing updates they are each continually making, I’m going to give a condensed review of these key solutions now, but we will make a detailed dossier on each of them available to the Infusionsoft community in the coming days.
FixYourFunnel has been a leader in SMS communication since 2011 after expanding on the first SMS Infusionsoft integration that I built and sold in 2009 and 2010. They took the concepts I developed and expanded on them to create some amazing technology allowing businesses to have automated conversations with prospects via SMS and much more. SMS has become an extremely effective medium for capturing leads from live audiences, for communicating important reminders, and for keeping that personal touch in a way that email can’t. FixYourFunnel is leading the charge in creating simple ways to communicate at a personal level without blasting email or SMS at your prospects.
FixYourFunnel has continued to innovate into the telephone marketing world and provides solutions to enable sales teams to work more efficiently. Next week they’ll also be adding Ringless Voicemail delivery, the ability to automatically send a prospect or client a voicemail without their phone ringing.
FixYourFunnel also offers the best 1-click upsell add-on for Infusionsoft. We consistently see clients adding significant revenue to their bottom line by utilizing that simple strategy.
Mobit is an SMS marketing provider that has come out of New Zealand and invested heavily in the Infusionsoft space. They’ve focused much of their technology on driving SMS messages to mobile responsive landing pages hosted in their system for lead capture. Their philosophy and strategy is different from FixYourFunnel. And make no mistake about it, the competition in the SMS arena is getting fierce. Competition is war, and I think we’ll see these two battle it out for a while.
PlusThis has been a leader in extending the functionality of Infusionsoft for the last few years. PlusThis is a suite of tools that allow Infusionsoft users to accomplish many things that Infusionsoft can’t do natively. In 2015 and 2016 the developers rewrote PlusThis from the ground up to handle more volume and allow for faster innovation and the ability to respond more quickly to feature requests. Now, PlusThis boasts over 50 features, a rock-solid platform, and thousands of users. In 2017 they plan on adding one-click upsells, more SMS features, and a few other things they’re keeping close to the chest. They’ll also be releasing Volume 2 of their Campaigns of The Titans book and it will include a powerful campaign from us here at Box Out Marketing.
As with any success story, competition comes along to shake things up. Recently MyFusionHelper came on the scene with a suite of tools that rivals that of PlusThis. With 48 features listed on their website, and competitive pricing, they’re giving PlusThis a run for their money. They’re both battling for domination of this space and the competition is getting heated.
These battles are great for Infusionsoft users because they push innovation faster and they force these companies to market and get the word out, which informs users and provides more options.
Graphly and Parsey are two solutions that have come out of a company called Marketing Mavens. Graphly has become the dominant leader in beautiful graphical reports for your Infusionsoft data. Graphly will allow you to set up charts and graphs to depict almost any of the data points in Infusionsoft. You can also view the best times of the day and week to send email, lifetime value changes over time, and any tag based report. Graphly has recently added Web Tracker, a tool that allows you to track lead sources and website traffic in coordination with your Infusionsoft data. In February we will see some big changes at Graphly. First, they’ll be releasing close to 30 new reports that pull data from Facebook Ads. They’ll also be switching from a 14-day trial to a free for life model. So, if you’ve ever wanted a basic reporting platform, Graphly will be free for you. They’re shouldering that cost to give back to the community, but also because they know the more you use their reporting platform, the more value you’ll receive from understanding the data in your business, and that you’ll likely want more of it and become a paying customer.
Parsey is the other solution they’ve created. It receives emails and/or webhooks from any 3rd party platform and triggers automation in Infusionsoft. So, things like 3rd party shopping carts, lead capture platforms, lead generation systems, live chats, help desks, appointment schedulers, and more can all be integrated with Infusionsoft using Parsey.
Parsey received the Most Valuable App Award at PartnerCon 2016. Their most popular feature in 2016 was my personal favorite, their DocuSign integration. We set this up for our clients to automatically trigger campaign actions in Infusionsoft when someone electronically signs an agreement. It’s brilliant!
Membership platforms have been another very hot topic this last year. A few years back Infusionsoft acquired CustomerHub. At that time CustomerHub and iMember360 where the only options. CustomerHub is a hosted solution and iMember360 is a WordPress plugin.
But now we have another choice: Memberium. At Box Out Marketing, Memberium has become our choice for our clients. It’s extremely robust, flexible, and reliable. We’ve set up all kinds of creative solutions for our clients using Memberium. And it seems we’re not the only ones. In 2016 Memberium grew fast, adding 4 new support reps, a new set-up wizard, and new features such as groups or umbrella accounts which give the ability to set up parent/child relationships between members.
In 2017 they’re planning on adding the ability to create affiliate leaderboards, some new Facebook integrations, Drag n Drop Re-Ordering wherever possible, and they’re doubling down on their commitment to partners and Infusionsoft.
If you’ve got a customer support team, FuseDesk is an Infusionsoft add-on that may benefit you. FuseDesk is the leading help-desk solution created specifically for Infusionsoft. The integration is deep and their updated interface makes setup and daily-use a breeze.
If you sell online through a 3rd party shopping cart, then RevenueConduit is a solution to look into. RevenueConduit integrates Infusionsoft with Shopify, BigCommerce, Magento, and WooCommerce, and they’ll be adding Zoey soon, if not already. In 2016 RevenueConduit set forth some aggressive goals and went out and raised capital from investors to fuel their growth. To my knowledge, they’re the first company in the Infusionsoft community to formally raise capital. This sets an exciting tone for the explosive growth and future possibilities in this vibrant community.
Part of RevenueConduit’s big goals is to release an industry-leading Transactional Email product that will send Order Confirmation emails via Revenue Conduit rather than your shopping cart. Order Confirmation emails will include the ability to send a different order confirmation email based on customer and order segments. It will also support dynamic coupon code generation and smart product recommendations.
SyncSumo is another add-on that emerged powerfully in 2016. SyncSumo was formed by two partners, one who owned the name and industry knowledge and another who had the development expertise. Due to differences of opinion, the partners split. The technology partner rebranded as Sync2CRM and kind of disappeared and the knowledge partner formed a new partnership with FixYourFunnel and rebuilt the technology. SyncSumo provides Infusionsoft users the ability to sync their saved searches into Facebook as custom audiences – giving the ability to keep advertising in line with campaign communications in a beautiful way. They’ve added a FAST Bootcamp training program to help you learn about Facebook advertising if it’s new to you. And they launched the Facebook Ad Success Inner Circle Coaching program to help entrepreneurs and marketers at every level successfully grow their business with Facebook ads.
Last, but not least in our add-on review is Spiffy. Spiffy is a great solution that immediately makes your Infusionsoft order forms look smooth and makes them mobile responsive. It’s drag and drop interface is drop-dead simple to use. In 2016 they served up over 1.5 million order form views. Following Infusionsoft’s direction, they’ve added the ability to translate order forms into just about any language.
In 2017 Spiffy will be adding a one-click upsell option that doesn’t require you to set up an action set, a template selector to speed set-up, the ability to host order forms on your own domain name, and an integration with Stripe.
Now, Infusionsoft has been vocal in the past about wanting to go public. It hasn’t happened yet, so many questions linger in the community. Are they still trying to go public? Why do they want to go public? Is it just to make a bunch of money? And what will happen to me if they do go public?
As far as I know, Infusionsoft has not shifted away from the desire to go public. What I do know is why they want to go public. Consider the mission of reducing the small business failure rate, replenishing the middle class, and raising worldwide prosperity. Those lofty goals are not achievable without serious funding. Infusionsoft’s heart is firmly rooted in helping each and every one of us – small business owners and entrepreneurs. Their goal is to help us make the world a better place by empowering our businesses. That global vision requires more funding than what is possible through organic growth. The desire to go public is not driven out of a desire for money. They’re building a Built To Last company, and infusing the company with public capital will help ensure it’s longevity and ability to deliver on its mission.
So, what will happen to you if Infusionsoft goes public? There are valid concerns about the culture changing and strategic direction changing because of the accountability to Wall Street. But truthfully, I don’t expect much to change at all. Infusionsoft, in it’s desire to go public, has been operating under similar protocols for the last few years. As long as Clate Mask and Scott Martineau remain key leaders in the company, I know they will keep the focus on the mission and the passion to serve small businesses. The changes I would expect to see are positive acceleration in new features and more innovation.
One of the areas that is still severely lacking in the Infusionsoft community is training. Many Infusionsoft users still struggle for months and even years to learn the software well-enough to leverage it for rapid, powerful growth.
I’m proud to announce that Box Out Marketing will be releasing a full online Infusionsoft training system at ICON in April. It will cover every aspect of Infusionsoft, but more importantly, it won’t just be training on the software – that already exists in Infusionsoft’s help center. But it will train on how to use Infusionsoft solutions to solve business problems. It will be the most comprehensive, results-oriented Infusionsoft training ever created. Stay tuned for more information. And please, attend ICON 2017. If you’re not already registered, visit attendicon.com and register now. There is no better conference that every small business owner should attend every year. You’ll leave uplifted, inspired, and with an action plan to raise your sites and shoot for the stars in a way you never thought possible.
So what does the future hold for Infusionsoft? Some may wonder due to the recent announcement that 50 employees were let go in January. With a little extra context, you’ll agree that the future is very exciting. In March of 2016 Infusionsoft announced that they’d be closing their Utah office to focus resources at headquarters in Phoenix. Late in 2016 Infusionsoft began a major strategic shift to allocate more resources to the partner community. Implementation partners like Box Out Marketing and add-on and development partners like those previously mentioned have been key to Infusionsoft’s retention of customers and growth of new customers. The way to truly scale Infusionsoft in a global way is to further strengthen that community. Therefore, in January of this year, the Utah office was closed, and resources were shifted to better support partners. Employees in the Utah office were offered relocation packages, but many declined, wanting to stay in Utah. As a result, approximately 50 employees were let go, 30 of which were from the Utah office.
These layoffs are not a sign of a company in financial trouble. In fact, Infusionsoft reached a key milestone of becoming cash flow positive at the end of 2016. As of right now, there are 16 job openings posted on Infusionsoft’s website. The recent strategic shifts in the business show us that Infusionsoft is getting more and more focused on what’s important and the key things that need to be done to better serve the small business community and achieve the mission.
As a leader in the Infusionsoft space since 2007, I’m now more invigorated and excited about the future of Infusionsoft than ever before. The speed of technology improvements is rapidly increasing. The focus on the partner community is inspiring. And the value and results that we see Infusionsoft users getting every day is invigorating.
I’m optimistic about Infusionsoft, but I also have faith in you, the small business owner and entrepreneur. I believe in you and your ability to change the world. I see your blood, sweat, and tears every day as we work with our clients and I’m inspired by your dedication.
Let us make 2017 our best year ever. Let us dig into this powerful tool called Infusionsoft and learn to harness its ability to grow our businesses. Let us expand our sights, our vision, and our goals, and follow in Infusionsoft’s footsteps to make an even greater impact on the world.
I feel sincerely grateful to be a part of this wonderful movement. I’m eternally grateful to the opportunities that Infusionsoft has made available to me. And I am profoundly committed to helping you be the beneficiary of those same blessings that come from such a wonderful place.
Thank you. And, may God bless you.