Small businesses have a lot of things to worry about. Email marketing shouldn't be one of them. Infusionsoft, the Gilbert, Ariz.-based provider of email marketing software for small businesses, has taken another step in making marketing and CRM easy for its small business clientele. In fact, the vendor has repositioned itself, now with an emphasis on email marketing. "With our special take, there is no leader there with small businesses," says Tyler Garns, vice president of marketing for Infusionsoft.
Garns says Infusionsoft is unique in offering small business marketing software wrapped nicely with its CRM tools. "We have done this not through integration with another CRM provider, but we built CRM into the system," he says. The tight coupling of marketing and CRM allows users to leverage a customer's contact information to send relevant and targeted email campaigns. While this facet of Infusionsoft is not new, the vendor is bringing forth some new capabilities in what it is calling its version of Email Marketing 2.0. Such updates include new email authoring capabilities, data import, and automated template creation.
Brent Leary, founder of CRM Essentials, says that usability is key in software for small businesses. "A lot of small businesses who aren't using email marketing, they think it takes too much time or they don't understand it as well," Leary says. "What [Infusionsoft] is doing with Email Marketing 2.0 is trying to make small businesses feel like it's something now they can do a little more easily."
The key updates in the Infusionsoft Email Marketing 2.0 launch include:
- New email authoring tools: "This is revolutionary technology," Garns says. Rather than using an HTML email editor like versions past, Infusionsoft has incorporated a new editor into its software that enables users to drag and drop elements on to the page. The smart system can "guess" a company's colors for the email based on the user's company logo.
- Template generator: Infusionsoft's Email Impact plug-in is a desktop application that enables users to choose from a multitude of email marketing templates. Marketers can then upload templates into Infusionsoft with one click.
- Vendor-specific imports: For users wanting to bring contacts out of old systems, such as Aweber and Constant Contact, Infusionsoft allows them to import the data and even keep history of old lists and tag contacts and information in Infusionsoft.
- iPhone and Blackberry applications.
- social integrations.
Leary notes that to date, Infusionsoft does not have much by social. "That's something that needs to be addressed," he says. Garn assures that social tools are on the roadmap for future releases. Leary says that being able to keep track of a contacts tweets or a blog it would be a nice thing to have within Infusionsoft.
Marketing automation is something CRM players are increasingly pursuing. Sage with its latest release of Act!, for instance, incorporated email marketing elements into its small business CRM software. "It's a trend actually," Leary says. "But I do think Infusionsoft has more deep automation and workflow capabilities that can really be helpful to companies that are serious about marketing."
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