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Marketing Automation for Small Businesses Isn’t Just Software

by Clate Mask

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Business owners are busy. I mean really busy. They’re time strapped. Competing fires that require immediate attention pop up. Daily. We know this intimately having worked with thousands of them. We were once a small business ourselves.

And it’s no secret that at first, marketing automation can feel daunting for so many small businesses. But it doesn’t have to be. Infusionsoft customer, Latrisha Jacobs reminds us of that here in the video below!

We’ve been hard at work over the last 18 months perfecting the process for business owners and their staff so that when they take the first step in choosing our marketing automation suite, they get to experience the benefits of automation faster.

Quick-Start for New Customers
We made a change earlier this year in our on-boarding process for new users. And based on some of the questions I’ve seen come up, it makes sense to clearly explain what our services in on-boarding new customers looks like today and what people can expect.

So what did we do exactly that’s different? After months of analysis, debate and testing, we introduced our Quick-Start Services package that is required for all new customers. The package is affordable for many business owners at $2,000. It delivers a combination of transition, training and strategic services designed to help our customers conceptualize their Perfect Customer Lifecycle and get a Marketing Automation Plan (M.A.P.) for their business. Our Success Coaches deliver the Quick-Start Services package and help each customer launch the first two campaigns of their M.A.P. This is what other businesses have paid well into the five-figures to implement — we provide helpful strategy, relevant content and powerful software at a fraction of the cost.

A couple weeks ago, I read a post from one of my best friends, Dave Lee, who was a long-time executive at Infusionsoft. He gave a fair review of Infusionsoft; a perspective he is able to provide after implementing many Infusionsoft customers since he left the company last year. But there was one thing in Dave’s post that struck me. He said that Infusionsoft implemented a policy that “all new customers must pay a $2K fee to get started.” He opines that it was to generate additional revenue for the company. In fact, that’s not why we launched the Quick-Start Services.

A little background is in order.

Until mid-2009, we charged a $5,000 fee to get set up with the software. The fee enabled us to deliver implementation services to help our customers be successful, and it worked. But the fee also prevented many businesses from joining Infusionsoft. Later, after raising venture capital, working hard on the product and preparing to bring on many more customers (because we wanted the masses to be able to afford our powerful marketing automation software), we removed the required setup fee. We immediately doubled the number of customers who were signing up for Infusionsoft to about 400 customers per month.

But within a few months, many of those customers cancelled. For 18 months, we worked hard to improve our product, service and overall solution so that we could help customers succeed and retain them. Throughout this period of time, my team of 125 employees worked tirelessly to help our customers succeed. But all too often, customers wouldn’t show up for their scheduled appointments, their campaign launches didn’t happen and employee morale suffered at Infusionsoft.

Customers weren’t committed because they hadn’t invested in our software. And our employees could only provide so much service without breaking the bank at Infusionsoft. Despite the struggles, we continued to grow the business and we reached cash-flow positive. Financially, our business was doing just fine. But my long-term vision for the company and the driving force behind why we are in business (to revolutionize the way small businesses grow, through marketing automation), was not being satisfied.

The bottom line is that my team and I were tired of having too many customers not succeed. And it really stung when those customers blamed Infusionsoft, which was understandable. After all, it is our responsibility to deliver a solution that works for our customers.

The costly lesson we learned during those tough months between mid-2009 through the end of 2010 is that marketing automation for small businesses isn’t just software.

It’s a formula that blends just the right amounts of software, strategy and content to ensure customers will be successful. We’ve implemented marketing automation in more businesses than any company on the planet. We know what works. We know the customer needs software, strategy and content help from us. And we know the customer needs to be committed to the marketing automation system they are implementing. This is not a basic little tool. It is a business system that will revolutionize their business growth. And like any system, it takes time and dedication to make it successful.

So, what has happened in the last six months since we began requiring all customers to invest in a Quick-Start Services package?

  • Usage is up dramatically! 82% of our customers launch two campaigns within their first 60 days.
  • Customer satisfaction has surged to all-time highs.
  • Our employees are happier than ever.
  • Our Dream, Vision, Purpose and Mission are alive and well.

This change was motivated by our vision for this company, a love for our employees and our culture, and a commitment to revolutionize the way small businesses grow, through marketing automation. We’re doing that now and it feels great! Just ask one of our employees. Better yet, check out this video I happened to get from a customer who tells the story from her perspective.

We’re not alone either in this methodology – CRM and Marketing Automation analyst David Raab agrees and sums up our recent efforts on his blog with, “The Perfect Customer Lifecycle illustrates how much effort Infusionsoft puts into helping its customers succeed.”

Software does only so much; it’s the strategy that grows a business.

  • Meny Hoffman

    Kudos!

  • http://officialbuziness.com/ Nick Sparagis

    I think the set up is a great investment for customers.  We’re talking about success.  If you can prove that everyone is more successful after the basic set up, you almost have to require it.  If you’re in business, it’s to make money, not save money.  

  • Thomas Rojas

    We provide remote Accounting Services provider in the vertical of Finance and Accounts. We provide services to CPA/CAs’ and to small & mid sized enterprises.

  • http://brandselection.blogspot.com/ Brand Selection

    what marketing product line of yours can you suggest for blogs like http://brandselection.blogspot.com/ ? thank you.

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