Office Autopilot vs Infusionsoft

When it comes to business automation software there are really only two companies and products that are going head to head in the small/medium business market (and not costing several thousand dollars per month) – Office Autopilot (Ontraport) and Infusionsoft.

These are critical to online businesses that require automation to grow sales and nurture their customers and prospects intelligently – potentially saving a lot of money on customer service and telesales staff

It is vital to know the benefits and features of both software services to make sure you pick the one that best fits your business needs and receive the best returns on investment that are possible.

You may or may not fully know what you require from the software and, with software companies often limiting the amount of information available prior to purchase, we have created this article to help you out in making your selection.

Here is my review on the two packages and what they offer to the user.

There are pretty high costs involved with these software packages and so decisions are vital to your business. Infusionsoft prices up at $199 (for up to 10,000 contacts and 25,000 email per month) and up to $499 per month for 500,000 contacts and 200,000 emails per month. Also required is a large upfront investment that is for the mandatory coaching experience, accounts that can be accessible from 3-5 users. Office autopilot’s basic package costs $297 per month with 25,000 contacts, 100,000 emails per month and up to 2 Users. A team package costs $597 per month for 100,000 contacts, 100,000 emails per month and a larger 10 possible users. This package comes with a 90 day money back guarantee which is not offered by Infusionsoft that could mean a pricey mistake for the wrong selection.

So we know the prices, but which one is right for you?

Infusionsoft

Infusionsoft offers a professional, clean and expert experience. This is the larger of the two companies and this can be seen within the software and lack of a personal feel that can leave you feeling a little disconnected.

There is a 24/7 customer service line that can help, but we have found this to be a confusing a sometimes unhelpful route of information. This ties in to the larger more corporate feel of the software with several layers of customer service from UK based call centres.

Also available at additional expense is coaching that offers a great learning platform for you to educate yourself and strategize well and answer any questions you have in set up. The star of the show is Infusionsoft’s campaign builder which is a great service and a seriously helpful offering. Infusionsoft offer a shopping cart whilst office autopilot does not, this shopping cat is a little difficult to customize but a handy add-on to the software. The analytics on offer are of no real use or reliability and other online services may prove to be a better outlet but there are hundreds of third party apps for integration are offered and customizable.

Office Autopilot (Ontraport)

Office Autopilot is a simple to use software that is methodical and helpful to your aims and objectives. This is a smaller company that seemingly pays more attention to matters that make a difference and they try to help you to their best capabilities.

This more personalized service has a feel that they really try to make your experience a good one and although the customer service lines are not 24/7, like Infusionsoft, the information and care show trumps their services in my opinion.

The 90 day money back guarantee also offers security and the software is a lot easier for users and is more understandable in set-up. However, the software is not as exciting and as good to look at, which can be a factor.

The rebranding to Ontraport also offers and exciting transition that will move the service forward as has been the case in the past with growth in areas that matter for the customers. Initial consultations are free and very useful and set up takes a lot less time as the service is less overwhelming and quicker. However there is no offering of any real integration and there is no data clean-up which is frustrating however other customizable offerings are better for personalization.

Our Ratings

Ratings out of 10 Infusionsoft Office Autopilot
Price 6 8
Customer Service 7 9
User Experience 8 9
Shopping Cart 7 N/A
Auto responders 9 6
Web analytics 3 8
Additional features 7 8
     
Overall 7 8.5

Review

This is a very short and concentrated look in to a large important area for businesses. Overall Office Autopilot has taken our vote as the customer service and additional features on offer trumps Infusionsoft’s more corporate services. Infusionsoft offers a quality service nonetheless and the returning customer base proves that they are doing good work. There are interesting different features of both and Ontraport release is a real point of interest and excitement in this area for OAP.

This is our review but there are varying features of both that may be of more or less importance to you. As there is little real comparative information from both companies, reviews such as this can be a very handy service in your choice from experts that know the tools on review. This isn’t a sales pitch and we have honestly taken our important factors in to account from a user’s perspective.

Online Shopping Cart Solutions…What Are the Options?

By James O

Online shopping cart solutions allow you to monetise your products and services via your website. In effect, you can leverage the power of the internet to increase profitability in your business massively.

If you offer digital products – such as ‘how to’ membership sites or video courses or ebooks, for example, it’s not unrealistic to be able to increase your business income by 10 times, if you have a robust shopping cart software solution.

In the day and age we’re in, where everything is online and mobile, especially consumer shopping, then it would be wise for you to add an online shopping cart software stream to your existing business offerings, if you’re not already doing so.

There are a number of options with your cart software – hosted, self-hosted, open source shopping cart software or bespoke. It’s worth noting that you pretty much get what you pay for and a free/ open source cart is not necessarily the best shopping cart software for your business.

Mashable has written a very good review article on top shopping cart software systems.

Generally, a shopping cart allows your customers to add multiple items and quantities of your products or services to their order and then they ‘check out with all their purchases at the end, like you do in Amazon for example. This is different to a simple ‘buy now’ button, for one product or service.

Whilst Office Autopilot is not a shopping cart solution as such, it offers a fully-hosted business centralisation system which integrates well with your cart and also has a WordPress membership plugin.

Check around this site for some in-depth Office Autopilot reviews and shopping cart software comparison reviews, such as Premium Web Cart, 1 Shopping Cart, Infusion Soft and Nanacast.

Check out a free trial of Autopilot here

Ecommerce Shopping Cart Software Solutions – Things to Consider

There are some good free ecommerce shopping cart solutions out there, like Zen Cart – these are open source and will require some customisation and technical expertise on your part. If you think this is likely to be too much hassle, then you should opt for hosted cart software.

With a hosted service, you do not download any software – instead, you pay for a monthly or yearly subscription to an online service that handles your cart for you in the ‘cloud’. The benefit of a hosted ecommerce shopping cart solution is that it is generally more robust, especially when you have a lot of traffic and purchases being made via your website, which would slow down your server and site if self-hosted – which could ultimately lead to loss of sales.

In order to take payments on your website via credit card, you’ll need to integrate your ecommerce solution with a secure payment gateway – such as PayPal, Authorize.net or HSBC etc.

Features to look for in Ecommerce Shopping Cart Software

Customizable storefront design, social media integration, online product catalogue, simple order and payment processing, reliability and security with all purchases in the e commerce shopping cart software, ability to offer coupons and discounts, ability to gather customer feedback and create featured items and product reviews.

Office Autopilot fully integrates with your shopping cart solution but does not provide on itself. Other hosted ecommerce solutions such as Nanacast, 1Shopping Cart and Premium Web Cart do offer one.

Check out a free trial of Autopilot here

Ecommerce Solutions – Comparison of OA with Infususionsoft & Nanacast etc

Infusionsoft vs Office Autopilot

Infusionsoft’s main package is $299 per month, comparable to Office Autopilot at $297. Many of the features are similar – smart automation, e-mail marketing, fulfillment and follow up. I have not personally used Infusionsoft but I know it’s not dubbed ‘confusionsoft’ for no reason – many people I know use it and say that the customer service is less than great (in fact one of my internet marketing friends says that customer service is actually terrible) and I know at least 2 people who have stopped using Infusion and have switched to Office Autopilot and love it.

Winner: OA

1Shopping Cart

1Shopping Cart has a few pricing options, the most popular premium one, with affiliate management and payment gateway and one-click upsells is a reasonable $99 per month. Many online marketers use and are happy with 1Shopping Cart. It doesn’t have membership software included, nor does it have intelligent follow up or the ability to integrate physical fulfillment.

If you want multi-upsell functionality, this only comes with the $249 per month package, in which case, it is much more cost effective and feature rich to go with Office Autopilot. Customer service with 1SC is somewhat limited, unlike OA, whch advocates its strong customer service element and support ‘heroes’, as well as them setting up a lot of it for you.

Winner: OA – despite the higher price, it has greater functionality and customer support and will probably enable you to maximise your profits from your sales funnel than 1SC over time.

Nanacast

Nanacast as threee pricing options, the premium version is $147 per month, half of what OA is. It has some great features, most notably the automatic physical fulfillment feature – on-demand printing and worldwide shipping. It fully integrates with Kunaki and Disk.com (so you can send out DVD and CD versions of your products very cheaply and on autopilot) and whilst OA also has this feature, Nanacast is more versatile in this respect and has more options. Nanacast has an advanced coupon system, so you can hold dime sales and integrate dynamic pricing, this is a pretty cool and useful feature. Again, OA has this but is not as feature rich.

Nanacast does NOT include an autoresponder, so you’d have to pay extra each month for tat and use a third party provider such as Aweber, this means that not all of your business is centralised and also that you’d have an extra cost of at least $20 per month extra, although could be a lot more if you are building a large list.

I signed up for a free trial of Nanacast and did find it a little complicated and not as friendly a user interface as OA. Some reports on the Warrior Forum say that Nanacast is quite complicated to set up (and as far as I know, their support people don’t offer this as standard, unlike Office Autopilot).

Winner: Tie between OA and Nanacast – both have great features, Nanacast is a fair bit cheaper but lacks the ease of use in set up and the autoresponder feature, as well as intelligent follow up that OA has.

Premium Web Cart

Premium Web Cart has 3 pricing options – the full-feature professional package is $99.97 per month. It is a strong contender in the cart and centralised business platform arena. I actually tried a 30 day trial of PWC too and their customer service was excellent – I had at least a half hour Skype chat with one of their support people about how to integrate my existing membership site with PWC. That said, the membership site side of things I fund to be a problem – it does not easily integrate with a WordPress-based membership site, despite them saying it does. They suggest that you use their hosted membership site functionality. I found this to be a problem for two reasons:

1. I want my members area hosting with my hosting account – what if I want to sell it or stop using PWC in the future? I’d have to move it all or delete it.

2. The membership site function is pretty basic – no where near as good as, say, Digital Access Pass or even Wishlist Member and it certainly doesn’t look as beautiful as, say, Kajabi or an Optimizepress-based members area.

For these reasons, I cancelled my PWC sign up, despite it having loads of other great features – customer service platform, fulfillment modules, one-click upsells, affiliate management, coupons, bundling of products, autoresponder, customer surveys, tell-a-friend, suggest a feature and even a project management feature that gives Basecamp a run for its money.

If membership sites are not important to you, go for it but I’d suggest that you will definitely want to have some kind of paid and secure continuity program as part of your sales funnel, in which case, I would not opt for Premium Web Cart. Shame.

Winner: Office Autopilot

Optimizepress & Digital Access Pass

James Dyson’s Optimizepress ($97) and Ravi Jayogopal’s Digital Access Pass (around $247) certainly make a killer combo when it comes to sales funnel and secure members area – all looking pretty gorgeous in James’ HTML 5 WordPress theme (Optimizepress). Now firstly I need to say that this combo is NOT a shopping cart – you’d still need separate fulfillment house integration, autoresponder, customer service software etc. DAP comes with a robust affiliate programme (but with limited stats and tracking). So it’s not a centralised business platform like the others.

The reason I’ve included this combo in the review is that if you are looking for a one-off payment option and already have autoresponder, customer service centre and payment platform/gateway etc then this would be good option for you. I have used this exact combination for one of my products/member areas and it works pretty well. However, it’s not easy to have half price product sales or give coupons etc. DAP has now introduced coupons but it’s not as easy as doing it all and have it all under one roof like you can with Office Autopilot.

The obvious drawback with this combo is that you can’t track cutomer history and it doesn’t allow intelligent follow up. Therefore, when you’re at the stage of taking your business to the next level and have multiple products then I’d opt for an all-in-one platform, like OA.

Winner: OA – for volume of functionality the fact it’s a proper centralised ecommerce platform.