Ontraport Scales Sales and Marketing Automation for SMBs

Office Autopilot, an all-in-one business and marketing platform used by more than 4,000 small and midsize businesses, has been retooled and relaunched as Ontraport, a platform that combines CRM-related capabilities with payments and workflow automation.

"We're coming out with an entirely new interface with a huge usability upgrade based on what we've learned over the years figuring out how customers used (OfficeAutopilot)," remarks Landon Ray, CEO of Ontraport. The company learned that the entrepreneurs and SMBs that used its system needed access to streamlined workflows, which have been reconfigured in the new release to accommodate different usability patterns.

With new workflow automation features, users can design and then automate business processes like managing leads, sales fulfillment, or recruiting. With partner program management, a business can set up an automated affiliate marketing program to track referrals and sales.

Other features include:

  • Content management, allowing users to design and publish Web pages;
  • Advanced lead tracking, offering visibility into collective contact history, including email interaction, completed Web forms, and pages visited;
  • Rules-based marketing automation, providing automated customer contact via email, SMS, social media, and direct mail;
  • Online payments, enabling payments processing with customizable order forms and support for trials and subscriptions;and
  • Billing management, allowing users to manage online store activity like abandoned shopping carts, expired credit cards, and declines.

One of the biggest roadblocks small businesses face is automating their processes and having a singular view of customer data, Ray says. Small businesses tend to purchase products or platforms when there is a small, but specific need that needs to be met.

A business may need to send one mass email to all of its contacts or to set up an online store, which can leave them "with all of these different apps," he remarks. "Then, when it comes time to do something simple, like send an email to anyone who hasn't bought a product, it can be a total nightmare because their email system doesn't have that data."

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