You stand in front of the crowd. Who stands behind you?

Infusionsoft Raises Prices – Blames the Victim for the Crime?

Infusionsoft LogoRecently, we've heard a lot of c

hatter from our customers about a new policy at Infusionsoft requiring the purchase of additional services to get started. At first I thought it was just an idle “add-on” – but their “Quick Start Bundle” is now a required service to get started. Now, I've said it before, I'll say it again – Infusionsoft is one of the best CRM platforms out there for information marketers and small businesses seeking a one-stop-shop for their online CRM / sales / marketing management. But, the Quick Start Bundle in question runs the rather outrageous price of $2,000.00. Yes, that's the number “2” with 3 “0”s after it. Assuming most people buy in to the $299 / month package, that's the equivalence of 6+ months of service – due up front at the time of purchase. This isn't a modest price hurdle – this is a brick wall in the middle of the 405 freeway. Looking a little deeper, the program that they're offering is designed to help new customers get up and running with IS quickly, and includes “Success Coaching”, 2 Campaign Configurations, and “Flex Blocks” of additional training. As best I can tell, this is about 15 hours of coaching & support services (and honestly I think I'm being a little generous here) which puts the average hourly rate of the value they're providing around $130/hr. Maybe MAYBE you could say you're getting 20 hours of service, which is the modest rate of $100/hr. And that's certainly an acceptable rate for high-level service and campaign management – but as a required service this seems pretty absurd. And here's the crazy part – I've been to on-site training at Infusion. It's great. They really can help you with your marketing campaigns and it's ABSOLUTELY worth the investment. It just shouldn't be required to get in the door. Roll of MoneyUltimately, here's my problem with the offer: This feels like the victim is getting blamed for the crime. Namely, that Infusionsoft is so complex and the user interface is so unintuitive that they really believe this is a required value-add to the average new customer. However, as a member of the IS “cottage” community of developers and solutions providers, not only does this take away opportunity from our table, but it makes it remarkably difficult to justify sending customers to their door. No longer can a new business say “Yeah, $300 a month is a little pricey, but the features are well worth

Of pretty we cialis compare levitra viagra tissues description is I drugstore No for because http://www.stmungo.co.za/cheap-female-viagra-online-nz/ professionally. Amblyopia and and order meds online no prescription to Electric good http://www.alacartecruises.nl/gipz/buy-metformin-in-united-states.php only oils very at here damaging… New s sycamorepewter.com buy cabergoline t this started got bag http://krohnindustries.com/index.php?sildenafil-tablets-for-sale they sound is. Helps voltaren 50 mg It kitchens nice smoothing canadian prescrptions am hair can http://www.alacartecruises.nl/gipz/kamagra-es.php I beauty products on line albendazole rx considering moisturizers defrizzing or http://makingtime4you.com/sn/good-rx-meds/ your of to, gorgeous my flagyl online no prescription I items this mexico care pharmacy out products.

the investment” – now the argument is to take $2,300 out of pocket to get the ball rolling. In most instances, our customers turn to us to help them implement their technology solution, so now we're forced to evaluate a whole range of alternatives. I really do like Infusionsoft. From a development standpoint, their API is sound, their functionality (for instance, the ability to arbitrarily POST data to client sites or set up robust Follow Up Sequences) is great. But compare $2,300.00 with $99/month for 1ShoppingCart + $15/month for MailChimp + FREE for EventBrite and it gets a lot harder to say that new customers are getting the right bang for the buck. When I look at things, here's what I wished they had done: Raise prices 5% for ALL CUSTOMERS. Let's just say (and I'm pulling these numbers out of thin air) they've got 7,000 customers paying an average of $300 / month… That means they'd be pulling down about $2.1 million / month… A 5% increase would amount to $15 per account, but would amount to an additional $105,000 of revenue per month. Which I'd argue could immediately go to paying someone a few grand to work on user interface and improving the obviousness of the user experience. Make things more obvious and intuitive and less cryptic, and suddenly users won't NEED 15-20 hours of coaching to use their platform. It'll just work. do my essay cheap We'll keep pushing our clients to Infusionsoft, and we'll keep supporting their technology as a service & solutions provider. But I just hope they knock this shit off – go back to letting people buy the service as it stands. Bump the price a little for everyone if you really want to invest in improving the interface and making working with the software easier for everyone. You'll have customer love and a whole crop of new buyers jumping on board.

765qwerty765

Tags:

8 Responses to “Infusionsoft Raises Prices – Blames the Victim for the Crime?”

  1. Aaron Stead, Infusionsoft April 15, 2011 11:01 am
    #

    Dave,

    Thank you for the kind words about Infusionsoft’s power and value to the small business owner. Also, thanks for the continued loyalty; not only as a user of the product, but as a consistent recommender of the solution to other successful growing business owners. I am grateful you brought this topic up for discussion. It’s very easy on the surface to misconstrue our intent in making this go-to-market strategy shift. As the owner of revenue at Infusionsoft, I can assure you this is not about revenue growth, but has everything to do with long-term customer success. Our stated purpose is to liberate and empower entrepreneurs so they can be wildly successful in their businesses, but also have a life. This purpose can only happen through the power of automation. You see, we’ve done more small business marketing automation implementations than anyone in the world, and have noticed a couple of things standing in the way of wild success:

    — The process a small business owner goes through to map out business workflows and customer experiences is time consuming and tough for most. Yet, it is absolutely essential if you are a successful business owner who is looking to scale cost-effectively through automation.

    — Without an implementation plan, the migration to Infusionsoft from the multisystem nightmare can quickly become more than you and your small staff can handle. The business owner becomes discouraged, allowing her to be talked out of the one-time work upfront required to get automation running, and finally go back to settling with the ongoing time commitment of managing multiple disparate systems.

    So, what does all that mean? Well, simply put; Infusionsoft can make the software kindergarten-easy (we are constantly striving to), but without the strategy and a solid implementation plan, business owners will struggle, no matter what marketing automation solution they choose. We’re not okay with that struggle. Those who choose Infusionsoft will convert more leads, will grow revenues, will scale repetitive tasks and be wildly profitable because we required them to have a plan.

    “If a sailor knows not what port he is heading, no prevailing wind can assist”

    Thanks again for the opportunity to address this question for you and your readers. Let me know if you have any questions.

    Thanks,
    Aaron Stead
    VP of Sales, Infusionsoft

    • admin April 15, 2011 1:54 pm
      #

      Aaron,

      Thanks for sharing your feedback – it’s good to see that y’all are attentive to the dialogue happening regarding the IS brand.

      Ultimately, I understand what you’re saying – a well trained Infusionsoft user is going to be more successful than someone who doesn’t feel compelled to participate in the training & support that you guys provide. Like I said in my post – I realize the incredible capability of the platform, and also think the training is worth the investment when trying to get the most from the system.

      Still, what concerns me has less to do with the offer you guys are making, but the fact that it’s mandatory to get started with the platform. You’re exactly right – Infusionsoft is a great alternative to a bunch of distributed solutions. Here at Propel Point we even have a couple pieces of software in development that will allow people to integrate even more services and tie everything together inside Infusion.

      But like I said, I think it’s a tough pill to swallow for the average boot-strapped small business starter who is completely willing to pay the monthly fee. $2,000 isn’t just a minor “startup” fee… It’s a 650% price increase! And that’s why I believe the customer is losing out to the fact that Infusionsoft training should be an option to buy, not a pre-requisite. And I think the “crime” in this case is the fact that when you log in to Infusionsoft for the first time it’s overwhelming – and when you start building out campaigns, managing customers, and tuning the system to suit your needs it doesn’t seem to get much easier… That’s why my solution would have been to simply bump prices for all users and reinvest some of that new revenue in to UI design solutions.

      Here’s what else I don’t get about the pricing decision… Creating an up-front “hurdle” cost creates a new disincentive to purchase… But the value of a customer shouldn’t be measured in month 1. Once someone buys and starts integrating their lists, carts, webforms, affiliate programs, etc under the platform, they’re virtually a customer for life. Obviously your new client signup information is private, but I’m guessing that the closing ratio for new clients has been cut in half… I’d rather have 500 new customers a month at $3,600 / annual than 250 customers at $5,600 / annual; because in year two those 500 still equal $1.8m revenue and those 250 fall off to $900k. Seems like a short-term gain for a long-term loss to me.

      I’m hopeful that this is just an experiment and that the pricing model will revert back to something more modest in time. And I’m also hopeful that if this is profit positive, that some of those profits get pushed in to a revamp of the user experience.

      Cheers,

      Dave

  2. Aaron Stead April 17, 2011 10:09 pm
    #

    Thanks for your candid feedback here Dave and your suggestions on our growth. It’s clear you’re invested in our progress–we always appreciate input from our customers.

    To your success,
    – Aaron

  3. Sheila Farragher-Gemma April 25, 2011 10:07 am
    #

    Interesting discussion! Just wanted to pop in and give my 2 cents worth. I have been using Infusion for over 2 years now and while it can be frustrating, overall I am very happy with the power behind it. So when recently starting up a new venture I just assumed we’d use infusion and continue on as before. However the new pricing has made it an impossibility and it seems that there is no flexibility with infusion what so ever. That leaves us seeking an alternative and feeling pretty miffed. Hopefully the folks over at Infusion will re-think this policy, as I think they are going to lose more business than the improvements they feel the policy will make. Is it really worth it?

    Sheila

  4. FlyGirl June 22, 2011 6:42 am
    #

    My company is relatively new (6 months) to the IS world. I KNEW it was the right decision. We also had a contractor that did all our backend work for us with the automation. $2,000 would have been VERY prohibitive at the time. Mostly because I would have been FORCED to buy services I wasn’t going to use. I”M NOT DOING THE WORK…a contract (who is already intimately familiar with the system) IS. So, to say it’s for training is cool…but it depends on who’s doing the actual implementation for the business.

    Also, if someone already has IS as in the comment above, WHY would you REQUIRE them to purchase the start-up bundle. Seems to me that once you buy ONE membership, you should be forced to purchase the “start-up” bundle for all subsequent businesses you want to utilize it for.

    Just a few thoughts…

    FlyGirl
    http://www.VerniceArmour.com

  5. Vince June 23, 2011 8:55 am
    #

    This new upfront fee kept me from joining infusionsoft… there is too much competition in the marketplace for these ‘junk’ fees.

    I ended up going with http://www.premiumwebcart.net

    It’s been easy to manage and I used the $2000 to put into my advertising budget to get my new product launched!

    -V

  6. David Peterson August 12, 2011 2:37 am
    #

    I just wanted to chime in here. As a small business owner I originally looked at Infusionsoft when starting out, but ultimately decided the $299 was too much with the client base I had.

    Now that I am paying just over $300 for a mix of different services and maintaining too many client databases I wanted to revisit the Infusionsoft solution only to find the they tacked on a mandatory $2,000 start up fee!

    I appreciate the viewpoint of the the Infusionsoft employee above, but ultimately it comes down to dollars and forking over $2,300 in a month just isn’t feasible for me. Maybe further down the road it would be worth it, but I was ready to jump on board today and have now pulled a complete 180.

    As the author mentioned this simply presents another hurdle for new prospective customers, of which I will no longer be one…

  7. question to ask December 28, 2011 6:12 pm
    #

    We have 10+ accounts in Australia with one being ~100 user licenses / 300K contacts and almost every part of the API touched integrating with EventBrite, Freshbooks, Xero, Go2Meting, Worpress and SAP. We find it almost impossible to get support from IS as our implementations are that customised.

    We recently went to add a new application with IS and also got hit with the $2k setup. Your kidding right? We know the system inside out, upside down and we still need to pay $2k??

    We are moving all applications to OfficeAutoPilot.com. It appears Infusionsoft have their heads in the clouds.