The Two Biggest Challenges Faced by Small Business Owners – And How to Overcome Them



No matter what industry you’re in, if you own or manage a small business, you’re likely to suffer from the same two major challenges as other small businesses:

  • Lack of cash
  • Lack of time

There is no denying that running a small business can be difficult. In all my years in business, and all the interviews I’ve done with other business owners, I’ve realized there are a number of common problems, the top two being time and money (and not necessarily in that order).

Here is some practical advice on how to address the challenges that otherwise will sink your company.

Problem #1: Cash Flow


The number one challenge of small businesses is cash. Even if a business is profitable on paper, it’s astoundingly easy to hit the bottom of your bank balance.

Solution #1: Find a Way to Generate Recurring Revenue

My last company, an outsourced IT services firm, almost didn’t make it. The standard sorts of projects we were working on just didn’t create the kind of consistent cash flow we needed and – even after a few cash infusions, including mortgaging my house – our bank balance was hovering near zero.

BUT, we were about to land a new client. It was a big contract, and would certainly put us in the black for quite some time. I had a great relationship with the client. All seemed to be headed in the right direction.

Sadly, after a lot of hard work trying to win the contract, they told me they’d decided to go with another firm!

We had a great relationship, and they told me they wanted to work with me, but we didn’t offer what the other firm did – a monthly service contract with remote management (which at the time was new technology). The monthly contract also meant a fixed (predictable) expense each month for the client.

From my perspective, it was predictable revenue for the IT service provider. I asked for a couple of days to be able to redo my proposal, got my partner to figure out the technology end of it… and we won the contract – which meant that we now had money coming in each and every month. (yay!!)

More importantly, we had a new business model. One that was much more stable, and much more valuable.

Starting out each month at zero is very likely to kill your business. That’s why I strongly recommend building in a recurring revenue model, so that you automatically have income coming in each and every month.

This is one key to how I’m growing my marketing agency. The other piece of the puzzle is getting the leads so that my recurring revenue clients can find me. That’s where inbound marketing comes in.

Problem #2: Limited Time

We all have a limited amount of time in which to do our work.

As a small business owner, this becomes painfully obvious. You may end up finding yourself work hours so long that you wonder why you started that stinking business in the first place.

Solution #2: Create Systems to Automate As Much As Possible

robotLuckily, there are ways to maximize the time you do have available.

Focus on Bringing in Money

First, stop trying to do everything yourself. Prioritize your top activities – these should be revenue generating.

Set up a routine so that you’re focused on what brings you results (in the form of revenue) before all else.

Systematize What You Can

Second, get yourself set up with smoothly running systems for the things that need to be done repeatedly in your business.

If you’re not familiar with the now classic E-Myth: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It, it’s well worth a read. The big takeaway of the book is to get out of the minutiae of your business, by developing systems. There are a number of benefits to this:

  • Because you have figured out exactly how you’re going to do a particular task, that task requires less mental time and energy
  • It allows you to easily train new employees (or outsourcers) to do the repetitive tasks
  • It allows you to grow your company more efficiently
  • It allows you to automate tasks, saving even more money because you don’t have to worry about labor

My Favorite Way to Automate

I’m a huge fan of Infusionsoft. It’s a seriously powerful automation software that allows me to:

  • Lead generation on my website
  • Customized, personalized follow up lo leads to help convert them to customers
  • Email marketing
  • eCommerce
  • Offline payment processing
  • Digital product delivery
  • Automate internal processes

Here’s the caveat to all of this: Although I’m a big fan of Infusionsoft, its strength is in helping you convert your website visitors to customers, and managing everything behind the scenes during and after that process. If you aren’t getting enough traffic to your website, Infusionsoft won’t be enough in and of itself. That’s why I also use HubSpot – and a solid inbound marketing strategy.


I hope this post has been helpful to you. If you’d like more of an Infusionsoft review, you can find that here, or check out this excellent demo of the software here.

If you have any questions about the software, I’d be happy to answer them. Just post a comment below, or contact me directly.

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How I am Using HubSpot AND Infusionsoft to Run Groove Digital Marketing

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Ever since I announced that I chose to use HubSpot for my agency, I have been inundated with tweets, comments, and emails asking me why I “switched” from Infusionsoft to HubSpot and in today’s post, I want to set the record straight.

I Have Not “Switched” From Infusionsoft to HubSpot

The reality is that there is very little overlap between these two platforms.

In fact, pretty much the only area of overlap is that they both can do marketing automation…which is practical terms is this: the ability to create automated follow up sequences.

The differences between the two apps are stark.

Things I use HubSpot for:

  • Planning, organizing, and executing my content marketing campaigns
  • Landing Pages
  • Calls-to-action
  • Marketing automation for prospects
  • Detailed content marketing analytics

Things I use Infusionsoft for:

  • Sales opportunity management
  • Task management
  • Online payment processing
  • CRM
  • Marketing automation for clients and “sales qualified” prospects (they have gone through the bottom of my funnel and are now ready for one-on-one conversations)

Why Use Both?

While Infusionsoft is much stronger in terms of marketing automation (see the video below for examples), the reality is that for lead capture and nurturing, HubSpot is plenty good enough AND the analytics from HubSpot are absolutely incredible. On the other hand, if I want to improve conversions in my funnel, Infusionsoft’s analytics are virtually non-existent.

For example, with HubSpot I can very easily see:

  • Cumulative traffic
  • Leads captured
  • Landing page views & conversion rate
  • Call-to-action views and conversion rate
  • Emails delivered, opened and clicked (Infusionsoft does this only for broadcasts)
  • Interaction with every piece of content, landing page, etc… on the contact level (in other words, what did John look at, opt into, open, etc…)

To see me explain this and show some specific examples, please watch the video below.

Hopefully this clarifies how wonderfully these two incredible applications work together.

Questions? Please leave them in the comments below.

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MailChimp vs Infusionsoft: How MailChimp is Holding You Back

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I’m often asked by people that are unfamiliar with Infusionsoft if they should pick it, or a simpler software like MailChimp for their email marketing. What these people fail to understand is the magnitude of the differences between these two applications.

Read more

How Content Marketing Has Forever Changed How to Attract Clients and How You Can Take Advantage of This Shift

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Are you struggling to attract clients? Have you heard about Content Marketing, but aren’t yet sure what it is, or how to implement it? Would you like to be able to stop spending money chasing prospects and asking them to do business with you?

Read more

Digital Marketing Strategy: How Janette Gleason Used Infusionsoft to Triple Revenue and Cut Her Marketing Budget by 90%


Would you like to discover how to triple your sales, cut your marketing spending by 90% and work fewer hours – all at the same time?

Of course you would!

To discover how to one entrepreneur has done exactly that, I interview Janette Gleason in this episode of the Bright Ideas podcast.

When you listen to this interview, you will hear Janette and I discuss:

  • how they nearly went out of business before finally getting their marketing systems on track
  • what they changed with their marketing
  • how automation using Infusionsoft plays a large role
  • her 12 stage sales pipeline
  • and so much more…

More About This Episode

The Bright Ideas podcast is the podcast for business owners and marketers who want to discover how to use online marketing and sales automation tactics to massively grow their business.

It’s designed to help marketing agencies and small business owners discover which online marketing strategies are working most effectively today – all from the mouths of expert entrepreneurs who are already making it big.

Watch Now

Download and Listen Later

Enjoyed this Interview? Here’s How To Leave us a Positive Review on iTunes!

If you enjoyed this episode, click here for more information on How to Leave Us a Positive Review on iTunes! Your review will help to spread the word and get more entrepreneurs like you interested in our podcast. Thanks in advance - we appreciate you!


Dyrsmid: Hi there, and thank you so much for joining me for this
episode of the Bright Ideas podcast. I’m your host, Trent Dyrsmid, and this
is the podcast for business owners and marketers who want to learn how to
use marketing automation and sales automation tactics to massively boost
their business.On the show with me today is a woman by the name of Janette Gleason, and
her and her husband own a small tax and accounting firm. Now, a couple of
years ago they were spending about $15,000.00 a month on marketing, and
they nearly went bankrupt. Then, thanks to deploying a new piece of
software, called Infusionsoft, which has helped them greatly with their
marketing, not only were they able to cut that marketing budget by 90%, but
they were able to triple their revenue in the process, work less and get
more dinners at home together.If you’re a small business owner, and you’re struggling with marketing, and
you’re looking for some inspiration as well as some specific tactics and
tools you can use to massively boost your business, this is an episode that
you do not want to miss.Please join me in welcoming Janette to the show.Janette, thank you so much for coming on to do this interview with me and
talk about how you are using Infusionsoft to make your business so much
more successful. I really appreciate you making the time to be on the show
with me.Janette
Gleason: You’re welcome. Thank you for having me.Trent: For the audience who doesn’t know who you are, let’s
first of all give you an opportunity to just talk real quickly about what
your business is, and then we’re going to talk at length about how using
Infusionsoft has really helped you move the business forward.Janette: Okay. My husband and I own a financial planning firm in
Surprise, Arizona, and we our target clients are retirees, people who are
50 and older, and we do their financial planning, retirement planning,
income planning, and we also offer tax preparation services.Trent: Okay. In your space, in your area, is there a lot of
competition?Janette: Oh, yes.Trent: Plenty.Janette: My husband’s name is Joe, and we joke how we’re kind of like
the Starbuck’s. There’s a financial planner on every corner.Trent: If you had to guess, how well do you think your firm is
doing relative to that all the other “Starbuck’s” that are on the block?
Are you guys in the middle?Janette: Yes, I think we’re doing really well. We’ve really worked very
hard on building a good reputation. Always treating our clients with
respect and always doing what’s best for them and not what’s going to
always make us the most money, but what’s best for them and their
retirement. I think that reputation has served us well, and we get a lot of
referrals, and we stand out from the crowd that way.Trent: Okay, so you’re doing better than average?Janette: Yes.Trent: All right. You started using, and by the way I’ve gone
outside, and I don’t know if you can hear it or not, because if you can I
might have to reschedule this, but there’s a leaf blower and the
landscapers going right now, and for me it’s noisy as heck. Can you hear it
on your end?Janette: No, I can’t.Trent: All right, so that means none of the audience can hear it
either, so we’ll keep going.[laughter]Janette: Okay.Trent: You started using Infusionsoft in 2008. When we talked
before we went on the air, the first two years you weren’t exactly using it
“properly”.Janette: No, we weren’t.Trent: I want you to talk a little bit about that, because maybe
there are some people listening to this who are using Infusionsoft, and
they might be using it like you were using it before.Janette: Okay, yes. When we first got Infusionsoft, we were using it
basically as a glorified Roll-A-Dex; a place just to keep all the
information about our prospects and clients. We were using it for the
calendar feature and also as an email blast machine. Anytime we had a
holiday greeting or an event coming up, we would just send that email out
and the same email to everybody on our list. We thought our message was so
important that everybody wanted to hear everything that we had to say.Trent: Okay, and so for the people who don’t know what
Infusionsoft is, maybe you could just very quickly explain what it is,
because we both use it, and we both love it . . .Janette: Right.Trent: . . . but before I heard of it, you know, I didn’t know
what it was.Janette: Yes, well it’s the all-in-one sales and marketing software for
small businesses. To me there are three feature modules of Infusionsoft.
It’s the CRM module . . .Trent: What’s that? What does CRM stand for?

Janette: CRM stands for client relationship management.

Trent: Okay.

Janette: It’s a place for us to just keep information data about our
prospects and our clients. We know their names, addresses, email address,
phone numbers and notes anytime anybody comes in. We have records of their
appointments, all the emails that we’ve sent to them, and so it’s a place
for us to just keep a history of our interactions with our prospects and

Trent: Okay.

Janette: The second part of Infusionsoft is the marketing module, and
it’s not just email marketing. We don’t only have the ability to send
emails. We can do voice broadcasts and we can send letters, so we can use
it as a multimedia marketing tool.

Trent: Okay.

Janette: Then the third part of Infusionsoft is e-commerce. Typically
for the typical Infusionsoft user, the e-commerce is more for an internet
markets, or somebody who has a product to sell; a book or a widget, what
have you. We’ve actually adapted that module to be able to, one, collect
invoices and collect payments for the tax preparation that we do, but also
to track the commissions that my husband makes.

The clients don’t pay him directly for his financial services, the
financial institutions do, so we’ve been able to use it to track the return
on our investment on the marketing that we’re doing, and see the lifetime
value of our clients and see which marketing methods are working and which

Trent: Ah, that’s very, very important.

Janette: That’s it in a nutshell.

Trent: All right, so in 2008 you were using a Ferrari to take
the trash to the curb, we’ll say.

Janette: Exactly.

Trent: Then in 2011 you became one of Infusionsoft’s Ultimate
Marketer of the Year and 2011 finalists.

Janette: Yes.

Trent: There’s kind of a big gap between not having a clue what
this thing will do to really, really killing it, which is one of the
reasons, the primary reason, why I asked you to be a guest on my show.
Let’s start going through, well actually, let’s kind of get to the
conclusion. Now that you’re using it really well, how important is it in
the growth of your business? How tightly round into that marketing, lead
attraction, client acquisition . . .

Janette: Right, it’s the hub of everything we do. I tell people that I
don’t know how our business would survive without Infusionsoft at this
point. We’ve been able to centralize everything in our marketing, our
office procedures and systems, the sale process, our billing, everything is
in Infusionsoft.

It’s really an integral part of our business, and we were really struggling
a few years ago and didn’t know from day to day whether or not our doors
were going to stay open. We had Infusionsoft at the time. This was the time
we weren’t really using it correctly, and when the bills would come in,
we’d have our bills, and say, “What are we going to pay? We have this much
money,” and Infusionsoft was always number one on our list, because we knew
without it we would be done, and we’d have to close up shop.

Trent: Okay, wait a minute, I want to go back. In 2008, I don’t
know if you’re comfortable discussing revenue numbers that your firm does,
if not we can go about this a different way. Do you want to talk about
specific numbers at all, or should we just talk about percentage change?

Janette: Well, with the seminar marketing, I can tell you the marketing
cost was astronomical for us.

Trent: Yes.

Janette: We were spending $15,000.00 a month on direct mail, on hosting
these workshops, and in the beginning of 2008 we actually had two months in
a row where we were spending this amount of money having to use the line of
credit on our home and using credit cards to pay for this, because everyone
says marketing always pays.

Trent: Yes.

Janette: We kept doing this. We were kind of that one-trick pony that
used that one form of marketing, and for two months in a row it failed us.
That got us thinking that we need to market in a different way, and we need
to find software and companies that can support us in marketing in a
different way and give us different ideas.

In that year it was really tough, but it actually ended up being our best
year. We started doing some basic email marketing, and this was even before
Infusionsoft, and had the best summer that we ever had.
Then, in 2009, the economy tanked, and things went really south for us. We
just couldn’t afford paying lots and lots on marketing anymore. We went
from bringing in maybe $400,000 of revenue, down, cut in half.

Trent: Wow.

Janette: My husband’s commissions were cut in half. Our marketing
dollars were still increasing. Our rent for our office was increasing. The
cost of living goes up, but what we were bringing in was going down.

Trent: Okay, so that’s a pretty tough time. My very first
career, as I may have mentioned to you, was in your space, so I do
understand your business well, and $200,000 gross commissions coming in is
not enough to pay anywhere to all the bills.

Janette: No.

Trent: You were bordering on going out of business. You were
probably losing money at that point in time would be my guess.

Janette: Yes, we worked for free for a couple years. For nothing.

Trent: Yes.


Trent: What you’re saying is because you learned how to use
Infusionsoft – hello person in the background.


Janette: That’s Joe on his way to the office.

Trent: Okay. You learned how to use Infusionsoft, and now you’re
doing, and again I know what the number is, and you can say it if you want
to say it or not, but it’s a lot bigger than the $200,000 number.

Janette: Yes, definitely. In the high six-figures and really, onwards
and upwards.

Trent: Yes. All right, so hopefully for the listeners, if you’re
wondering at this point, “Why am I listening to this interview?” that’s why
I ask those questions, because I want people to understand that you’ve had
a profound change in your business as a result of your marketing practices.
I don’t imagine you’re doing those, well, I know you’re not because you
told me before, $15,000.00 a month seminars.

Janette: Yes. No.

Trent: You’re not doing those things anymore. Are you still
spending $15,000 a month? Now, your revenue obviously is a lot higher so
I’m sure you can afford to . . .

Janette: Right. No, the range we spend on marketing per month is
between $500.00 and maybe $2,000 a month on marketing.

Trent: Wow.

Janette: Advertising, sending out direct mail pieces. We’re much
happier with that.

Trent: That’s phenomenal.

Janette: Yes, a lot less stress.

Trent: From $15,000 down to $,1500, let’s call it, on average,
and yet your revenue is over three times what it used to be.

Janette: Yes.

Trent: Now, the economy, the markets, the stock markets, have
gone up and things are a little better, and I’m sure that doesn’t hurt your
cause, but still, I was in that business long enough to know that even if
the market is going up it doesn’t mean all these people are suddenly
running to your door, saying here take my money. It just doesn’t work that

Janette: Right. No, and right now they’re very gun shy because people
are really frozen right now with wanting to make financial changes.

Trent: I’ll bet.

Janette: We really have to focus on that trust-based marketing and get
people to trust us. Again, that’s where our reputation comes in, and the
type of marketing that we’re doing is more educational for our existing
database and our new prospects.

Trent: Okay. All right, here’s what’s coming up next in this
interview. We are going to talk about Janette’s sales funnel, we’ll call
it, the ‘life cycle of a lead’, and we’re going to talk about, as much as
time permits, what she’s doing to stimulate referrals.

Without me yapping too much, let’s just dive right into that. Let’s talk
about the life cycle of a lead. Describe what you do who don’t know who you
are or have somehow interacted with you to becoming a client, what happens

Janette: Okay. When somebody shows interest in working with us . . . do
you want me to get even before that?

Trent: Yes, because I’m going well how do they even know you

Janette: Right. Our lead attraction really comes from this tax base,
this base of tax clients we’ve built.

Trent: Okay.

Janette: Last year we did taxes for over 800 people, couples, in the
area. During that time, which used to be a lost leader for us, we used to
charge $49.00 per tax return as a way to get people in. Two years ago we
nearly doubled the price of our tax preparation, and now we’re up to $99.00
for the base price. Some extra schedules are additional fees.

In that process, when they come in, we have them filling out
questionnaires, doing some intakes, and we’re getting lots of information
about them. We legally can’t get it from their tax return. They have to
give that. We can’t use their tax return as a way to market ethically.

By giving them intake questionnaires and doing surveys after tax season,
we’re able to gather a lot of data from them. They give it to us
voluntarily, and we’re asking things about them, such as what worries you?
What concerns you about your retirement? Are you worried about outliving
your assets? Are you worried about paying for long-term care expenses in
the future? By asking these questions we’re finding out those
psychographics, what makes people purchase and what we should be focusing
on for our marketing.

A lot of people are concerned in retirement about having enough income that
will last them throughout their retirement and being able to leave a legacy
to their loved ones. A lot of our marketing, then, focuses on that

Trent: Okay.

Janette: We get them in as a lead for the tax preparation. We’re able
to capture their information, get to know them better through, again, those
surveys and questionnaires and just our interactions with them. After that
we do a lot of educating. When tax season is over and their taxes are
completed, we send out a whole sequence of emails that talk about tax
planning for their retirement.

From those emails we have links to articles and just educating them in the
same time about what we do, the services we provide and how we can help
them. When they are ready, when they’ve raised their hand that they would
like to come in and meet with Joe for that initial consultation, we put
them into our sales pipeline, which is over 10 stages long. We’ve really
thought about, what are the steps that the ideal person will go through as
they meet with Joe?

First they come in for an initial consultation, then the next stage, and we
have all this in Infusionsoft, we use the opportunity module to keep track
of this. After we have a new opportunity, our job then is to call and
schedule that initial consultation. During that initial consultation, we’re
gathering lots of information about them and getting that information into

Then, after that appointment, my husband does his research and planning and
puts together that financial plan for them in his recommendations. Then
after that we get them to come back in for what we call a second
appointment, or a recommendations meeting, where he presents a plan to
them. After that, they give us a thumbs-up or a thumbs-down, or the “I need
to think about it.”

We have tracks for people who say no, we have a track for people who say
yes, I’ll go ahead with this plan, and we also the a track for people who
are the “I need to think about it” we like to call them, the ‘undecided’s’.

Trent: What are the percentages when someone comes in for that
second presentation to receive the plan, what percent say ‘yes’, what
percent say ‘no’ and what percent say ‘I want to think it over’?

Janette: We have a really high percentage that say “yes”. I don’t know
the exact numbers. Joe, my husband, could tell you that better, but I would
say the people who come in and have gone through this process, we probably
have more than 50% chance, perhaps more than 75% chance of them becoming
our client. Those undecideds happen may 3. . .

Trent: A 5%?

Janette: Yes. Some people just say, “No, this is not for me,” and we
always give them that we want to make sure this is a good fit, that you’re
a good fit for us as a client and we’re a good fit for you as your
financial planner, but we have a whole sequence of not only emails, but
cards that we send.

We use send-out cards, and we’ve integrated that with Infusionsoft to be
able to send them a card with a little bag of maybe coffee grounds, and we
can say, “We know you want to think it over. Here, brew a cup of coffee,
and we’ll be here when you’re ready.”

Trent: Okay.

Janette: Then we continue on with educational emails and being in touch
with them that way.

Trent: Okay.

Janette: Go one.

Trent: I want to back up a little bit. This life cycle is, you
get a tax lead, they answer these questionnaires, you learn about them,
they start receiving emails, there’s a 10-step pipeline, they have an
initial consultation.

Joe does the research, they have a second meeting where the information is
presenting, and a large portion of the people say yes and become clients.
Let’s back up a little bit.

Where does Infusionsoft, and maybe you can describe how Infusionsoft is
used throughout the steps we just described.

Janette: Okay.

Trent: I want people to understand. It’s one thing to do all
this stuff, but it’s a totally different discussion to do it efficiently in
such a way that people don’t fall through the cracks and your labor costs
aren’t going through the roof because there are too many hands touching too
many things, and it’s all manual, and it’s not cohesive.

Janette: Right. Well, the cornerstone of Infusionsoft that helps us
with what we call our pipeline is the opportunity module. It’s the sales
pipeline, and you can identify the sales stages in a linear way. We know
that people can maybe jump over a stage, and they don’t have to always go
into each and every stage. Then we put all this on our dashboard.

When we log into Infusionsoft, we can see our dashboard, and we know these
three people are new opportunities. We need to get on the phone and call
them today. Then we can move them manually, but then all the automation
happens once we move them.

Trent: You move them manually by just changing a tag?

Janette: There’s a way to view the opportunities, and we can look at it
with the inline editor. There’s a way to hover over the stage so we can see
the person’s name, their phone number, what stage they’re in, and there’s a
little pencil that appears when you hover over it.

Trent: Okay.

Janette: You just hover over, it pulls up a drop-down menu, and we just
move them to the next stage, hit save, and then all the magic happens. All
the sequences we’ve built behind that happen behind the scenes.

Trent: Okay. Let’s talk a little bit about that magic, because I
know this is one of the areas where, for me, because my business is all on
line. I’m so fascinated because based upon the links people click, I can
alter the path they go down through the sales funnel. Let’s talk a little
bit about that for you. What happens in this magic?

Janette: When somebody goes into a stage, and we’ve built all this in
with the new campaign builder.

Trent: Okay.

Janette: We have all the stages going as our goal method. When you pick
a goal, you have to choose the goal method, and the goal method that we
choose is the opportunity stage movement.

Trent: Okay.

Janette: When I built this in Infusionsoft, that’s the goal method
maybe that we’re going into the research and planning stage. Then what
happens is we apply a note template to their record, and that’s one of the
first steps in this sequence. We tag them so we know that they’re in this
stage, and then we can maybe send them an email saying, “Thank you for
coming to meet with us.”

Or, have it come from Joe saying, “I’m really glad you were able to share
your retirement goals with me. I’m going to be working hard on putting
together a plan for you, and we’ll be in touch to schedule your next
appointment.” That’s kind of the magic in that particular stage that would

Trent: This is all, and I just want to make sure people
understand, it’s not like you’re sitting down and typing out this email.
You created it one time, but all this stuff happens on auto-pilot.

Janette: Yes. We created it once.

Trent: When you move them from one stage to the next, everything
else you just described after that, it just happens. Correct?

Janette: Exactly.

Trent: Okay.

Janette: We create it once, and then, exactly, it just happens behind
the scenes.

Trent: Correct, correct, so it’s a very consistent process is
what I’m really trying to drive towards. I think what a lot of, I know I
struggled with in my early years as an entrepreneur, is we’re so busy
chopping down trees, we don’t take time to come up with a plan to
effectively chop down trees.

Janette: Exactly.

Trent: Systems to chop down trees with the least amount of labor
because you’re just chop, chop, chop, chop, chop.

Janette: Right.

Trent: I’m hoping that people are getting from hearing this
interview an understanding that Infusionsoft can help them become so much
more efficient and turn the onboarding of a client, or the conversion of a
prospect to a client, into a very, very consistent process.

Janette: Right. Everybody who comes in or is indicating interest to
meet with Joe, everybody goes through the same steps and the same process.
It’s systematized, and that helps our office stay efficient and allows us
to really communicate in a very professional way to our customers. Then we
have less people falling through the cracks.

Before we had this system, people would say, you know in Arizona in the
summer it gets really hot – so a lot of our retirees, they leave. They go
north, they go back home, and they’re out of here. They might say in May,
“You know we’re interested, but we’re going back home, and we’ll be back in
November. Give us a call then.”

Maybe write it on a little post-it note and put it up, and it gets lost. We
would forget about that person. By the time they came back, we saw them the
next year to get their taxes done, and they had rolled that money with
somebody else. That really was an eye opening to us. We had a case where
somebody rolled $1 million with another firm.

Trent: Ooooh.

Janette: That lost revenue hurt. We could have really used that money
at that time. We used to get mad at those people and say, “Well why did you
do that?” and, “You’ve got the nerve to come back?”

Trent: It’s not their fault.

Janette: Yes, then we said, “It’s our fault. We weren’t keeping top-of-
mind awareness”, and we needed to figure out a way to do that.

Trent: Yes.

Janette: Now with this system, those people are falling through the
cracks anymore.

Trent: Okay. How’re we doing for time? We’re doing pretty good.
Let’s now shift into, because obviously we don’t have enough time on this
call to go into absolutely granulated details of ‘here’s how you do this
and do that and do the other thing’.

There’s an army of Infusionsoft consultants out there that will help people
do that. Infusionsoft has truckloads of training videos and a great support
team that will help you to figure all that stuff out.

Janette: Yes, they do.

Trent: That’s not the purpose of this interview. Let’s now talk
about when someone becomes a client, and I know from experience that when
you get a client, you don’t get all their money at the get-go. They have
money all over the place.

Janette: No.

Trent: You have a lot of selling left to do to collect all that
money? You may never get it all, but of course it’s the goal.

Janette: Right.

Trent: How are you guys using Infusionsoft to make sure a client
remains a client, clients refer other clients and clients bring you all
their money? Those are three very important steps, so let’s talk about

Janette: Yes. That’s really one of the most important things to us,
rolling out the red carpet to our new clients. Letting them know they’re
important to us, we value them, we know them by name, we know about their
interests, their families, and we’re able to use that using Infusionsoft.

One of the first things we do when they become a client, actually even
before that, the whole rollover, or the bringing the money over to our firm
has even completed, we welcome them as a client because this processing
stage can sometimes take six weeks to two months.

Trent: Weeks.

Janette: We’ve had it where people have changed their mind during that
time. It’s taking too long. Once that paperwork is done and we submit it,
we welcome them to our family of clients. We send them a gift. We send them
a card with a box of brownies.

We begin giving them our monthly newsletter that’s tailored for just our
clients. They really feel as part of our family. We do annual events. Last
January we held a Gold Rush Party. We started offering precious metals as
part of one of the services that we provide. We thought we’d blow this out
and let everybody know that we’re doing this by having a party.

We call it our ‘Gold Rush’, and we had everybody come out to a local
restaurant. We had line dancing instructors there. We had a good time. Joe
just gave a brief introduction and speech about what the changes are, and
all our clients were able to bring their friends. We asked them and said,
“We’d like for you to come to this event. The cost of admission is to bring
a friend with you.”

Trent: Perfect.

Janette: We had over 100 people come and half of them were brand new
leads for us, and we were able to get many of their friends to become
clients as well. We used Infusionsoft to send out emails and invitations to
track who had registered for the event and then a follow-up afterwards as
well to our clients and communicate differently to their guests that came
as well.

Trent: Fantastic. Do you happen to know of the 50 guests how
many have become clients?

Janette: I don’t know off the top of my head. I know we got one very
large client out of that event that more than paid for it. She actually
came back this week and is ready to invest more money with our firm.

Trent: Terrific.

Janette: Yes. You know, making it fun. Financial planning is not always
something you can tell your friends about.

Trent: Yes.

Janette: People are a little skittish about doing that. Being able to
make it fun, and offer coffee talk, come on over, we’re having an open
house. Bring your friends, and let’s just make this a fun and
nonthreatening way to get together and meet them.

Trent: I really want to keep tying in how Infusionsoft helps you
to streamline all this, is that a point you can speak to? Is there a bit
more detail you can give on what you just talked about and how Infusionsoft
supported that?

Janette: Definitely just keeping in communication and being able to
invite people to these events. Once that event is over, we can email them.
Sometimes at our events we have a sheet of paper that our guests can fill

Trent: Yes.

Janette: What are you interested in? They can check boxes. Based off
what they check, we follow-up with them in a different way.

Trent: Okay.

Janette: If they’re interested in tax preparation, well then we tag
them and we know next year we’re going to market to them when it’s time to
schedule our tax appointments. If they’d like to come in and meet with Joe
for a financial planning appointment, we can apply a note template and get
that ball moving, get them in as a new opportunity right into our sales

Trent: Okay, you said a phrase there that I know what you meant,
when you say you tag someone, I just want people to know what that is.
Infusionsoft at its heart is a database, and these tags are like sticking a
sticky note to someone to say, “This person is interested in blue, and this
person is interested in red, and this person is interested in red and

Janette: Exactly.

Trent: Infusionsoft’s automation oftentimes is very, very
tightly related to these tags, so when tags are applied, Infusionsoft can
then fire off a sequence of emails or actions or any number of things. I
just wanted people to understand that the tagging is not just like sticking
some little paper note on their file or typing something in.

Janette: This feature helps give our database, it helps it to live and
breathe. We can say, “Okay, I want to find somebody who’s this age, who has
this much in assets, who’s worried about this”, and I can pull up a list.

It might not be 1,000 people, but maybe it’s only 50, but I want to target
those 50 people and spend my marketing dollars on them because they’re much
more likely to respond to those marketing pieces we’re sending to them.
It’s laser focused.

Trent: That is a perfect segue into what I put a star beside in
list segmentation. At the beginning in 2008 you said you were using
Infusionsoft as an email broadcaster because you thought everybody would be
interested in everything you were saying, which is not the case.

Janette: Right. No people were opting out and we’d get spam complaints.

Trent: Correct.

Janette: When you spend all this money to build up a database, the last
thing you want them to do is opt out.

Trent: Correct. With Infusionsoft you can actually send them an
email, and it drives them to a form, and it says tell me what you’re
interested in, and they can fill in the little checkmarks and the dots, or
whatever, hit submit, and then Infusionsoft will apply those tags. You can
really allow your customers to self segment themselves.

Janette: Definitely.

Trent: The more information you collect, and I know that
Germaine Gregs with “Hear and Play” is the czar of tagging . . .

Janette: Yes.

Trent: My point is, the more tagging that you do, and I think he
uses like 9,000 tags or some ridiculous number like that, the more you can
laser target your list.

Janette: Yes.

Trent: I hope the people understand that if your message is
extremely relevant to your audience because you’re able to target so well,
what does that do for your conversion rate?

Janette: Oh, it goes through the roof.

Trent: Absolutely.

Janette: During the past year or so, we’ve really been collecting a lot
of data about our tax clients. Now we know, again, who has maybe more than
$250,000 in investible assets and who needs social security planning. Who’s
worried about social security? Now, when we have an idea to do a marketing
campaign of direct mail or email, a combination of the two, we’re able to
select just those people and send it just to them.

They’re not getting something in the mail, “Oh, why are they sending me
this about social security? It doesn’t apply to me.” It definitely speaks
to them, and we’ve been doing some lumpy mail and creative marketing
pieces, and it’s been a lot of fun, and our database has really been
responding well to that. That’s because we’ve been able to collect that
information, tag them, and segment our database. [phone rings] Sorry about

Trent: That’s okay. Let’s go back to before you go so good at
using Infusionsoft, and I kind of think I know what the answer to this is,
how much easier is your business to run now than it used to be and how much
less stressful is your business now than it used to be?

Janette: Oh, a lot less stress, and we’ve systematized so much that in
the years prior, during tax season, I never saw my husband. I never got to
see him. He was working. He got to the office before I even woke up, and
came home super late at night.

This last year we were able to have dinner together as a family most
nights. There might have been a night or two he had to stay late. One day
he came home, towards the beginning of tax season, and he said, “You know,
we’ve really got this systematized so much that I had some time in my
office today where I was looking around thinking, I don’t have anything to


Janette: That, to me, was so gratifying. He’s less stressed and I work
from home, so I’m not there in the craziness of tax season, but to be able
to have him come home and have those family dinners and not lose him for
four months out of the year has tremendously increased our happiness as a
family. Words can’t even express that.

Trent: Yes. I’m just kind of choking up as I’m hearing that
right now.

Janette: Yes.

Trent: I don’t know what better testament, and I know this is
sounding like a huge Infusionsoft commercial, but I’m a passionate user of
it. It’s a monstrous part of my business, as it obviously is for yours. As
business people we’re always like how can I grow my business and make more

I don’t know that so often that “it’s making us happier”, and “we’re
getting more dinners together” finds its way into the discussion, but I’m
sure glad that you brought that up.

I’m sure there are some people listening to this, and I know I’m in that
camp, that we think that’s pretty darn important stuff.

Janette: Yes, definitely. The reason we wanted to be small business
owners was for freedom.

Trent: Yes.

Janette: For lifestyle, and then you get in the thick of it, and it
consumes you. You can’t go away for the weekend. You can’t go away for a
week because everything would fall apart. Now, having systems in place, we
know everything is still running even though we’re not there, and we’re
still nurturing our leads even though we’re not there on the phone with
them and having to remember all of these things. Sleeping better at night
and having more fun is definitely a big plus.

Trent: Absolutely. Did you guys ever read the book “E Myth” by
George Gerber?

Janette: Yes.

Trent: Is that kind of what got all this started for you?

Janette: Yes, more so for my husband than for me. I went to college,
and I became a teacher, so I was an elementary school teacher, and that was
my mindset. You get up, you work hard, and it was very stressful for me
once we started having a family that I couldn’t handle everything. I
couldn’t be a teacher and a good mom and a good wife. I gave up my career
while we had little ones.

Now being an entrepreneur allows me to still be mom, but also be able to
have my career and support my husband in his small business. My husband was
really good and showing me there’s a different way. He read the “E Myth”
book a long time ago.

Trent: Okay. For those of you who haven’t read it, if you’re an
entrepreneur listening to this, and you’re chopping down trees all day long
every day . . .

Janette: A couple of weeks ago, I had the absolute pleasure of getting
to meet Michael Gerber at an event. He was the keynote speaker, and I
presented on a panel that day. I got to meet him and sit next to him, and
that was such a treat for me.

Trent: Yes, I’ll bet. I think I called him George, didn’t I? My

Janette: I think so. Yes, Michael.


Trent: It’s a long time ago that I read it, but it had a
profound impact on me, as well, when I was running my last technology
company. I was ‘Hammered Home’, systems operation manuals, documented
procedures, and it really does set you free. I’ll just finish on this.

If you’re running a business, and you’re busy doing all this stuff
yourself, and you think I don’t have time to create that, I would encourage
you to go ahead and get his book and read it, and he may change your

Janette: It changes everything.

Trent: It does. Okay, we’ll wrap it up here Janette. Thank you
so much for making some time. . .

Janette: You’re welcome. Thank you for having me.

Trent: . . . to share what’s working for you in your business.
For those of you who are Bright Ideas members who are listening to this,
whether you’re a premium member or not, thank you very much for being a
member. Without you I don’t have a business.

For those of you who are premium members, plenty more master classes are
coming your way so. Thanks very much everybody. We’ll talk to you again

All right, if you want to get the show notes for today’s episode, all you
need to do is go to The other thing I wanted to mention
to you is if you go to, you’re going to get
access to my Massive Traffic Toolkit.

What’s that all about? All the smartest traffic generation experts that
I’ve interviewed here on Bright Ideas have contributed to the Massive
Traffic Toolkit. The really great thing about this tool kit is all the
strategies that they have proven to work are easy to replicate, and you
don’t have to be some SEO ninja guru to do it.

To get free access to that, just head over to

I want to finish off and ask you a small favor. If you would go to iTunes
and give the show a five-star rating and leave some feedback, that would be
a really huge favor. It helps get the show out in front of more eyeballs,
and the more people that become aware of it the more people we can help
here at Bright Ideas.

Thanks very much for tuning into this episode. I’m your host, Trent
Dyrsmid, and we’ll see you in the next episode.

Here are some of the things you’ll discover in this episode:

How to Use Infusionsoft to Create a Laser Targeted Marketing Campaign that Cuts Down Marketing Costs by 90% while Tripling Revenue

An old adage that most entrepreneurs adhere to states that “Marketing always pays.” This is an oversimplification of how things really are. When entrepreneurs don’t know how to market their businesses, products and services efficiently, they tend to waste a lot of time, energy and financial resources that don’t quite increase revenue. Watch the episode to hear Janette talk about how she and her husband Joe cut their marketing budget down by a whopping 90% while tripling their revenue, all with the help of Infusionsoft.

Of course, there are always going to be some pitfalls. Janette and Joe experienced many during their first couple of years in business as they worked for free just to make ends meet. In 2008, they were already using Infusionsoft but they were not using it properly, to say the least. Janette recalls that in the beginning, they were using Infusionsoft as a glorified Rolodex. Janette took it upon herself to discover and take advantages of the many features of the software, and it was only three years later that she became a finalist of the Infusionsoft Ultimate Marketer Award. That’s a pretty impressive achievement.

Learn what Janette’s secret is and how she used the features and the capabilities of Infusionsoft to pull this off.

With the use of the automated systems that they have developed for their marketing processes, Janette and Joe brought their company to new heights. Back in 2008, they really didn’t know if they were going to stay in business long. The price of their old direct marketing strategy was already about $15,000 and growing but their revenue was shrinking. And, Joe’s commission had already been cut in half. This was about the time that they decided

Automated systems helped slash Janette's marketing budget.Image source:

Automated systems helped slash Janette’s marketing budget.
Image source:

that they needed to do things differently. They discovered email marketing and the full potential of Infusionsoft to solve their marketing dilemma.

With the automated system in place, they were able to slash their marketing costs from a staggering $15,000 to a very manageable $1,500. During the process, they not only cut down their marketing spending, they also tripled their revenue.

Janette describes her strategy in detail, and it’s clearly something that can be replicated by others.

Listen to this interview to learn how you too can cut down on marketing time and money.

Janette and Joe’s company, the Gleason Tax Advisory Group, now enjoys very healthy revenues from $200,000 up to the high 6 figure range.  Janette credits their strategically targeted marketing. Listen to the show to discover her formula for an efficient and targeted marketing campaign.

She also reveals the life cycle of a lead within their financial consulting firm. She details how their firm treats their clients to build trust. Trust is the real key to success in this business, and the success of their business is proof that they are well trusted and even beloved by their clientele. Learn the little things that they do to add something special to their marketing campaign.

Listen to the show to discover how Janette and Joe get new clients and how they keep them loyal over time.

Janette details how they created the process that systematized all of their marketing. This system runs in autopilot, nurturing leads and communicating with clients on a consistent basis. This allows their company to stay in touch with leads and opportunities that would otherwise fall

Unique marketing, like coffee and brownies, made Janette and Joe memorable to their customers. Image source:

Unique marketing, like coffee and brownies, made Janette and Joe memorable to their customers. Image source:

through the cracks. If you are having a hard time keeping in touch with your leads, you’ll want to hear all the goods on creating a targeted, personal marketing system with far less time and effort.

Your clientele need to be treated well in order for them to want to continue to give you business. The Gleasons have perfected this with their uniquely effective marketing and referral methods. A box of brownies, a packet of ground coffee and a referral dinner party are all things that the Gleasons have incorporated in their marketing campaign, to excellent effect.

Listen as Janette explains how they managed to incorporate these clever and highly effective marketing strategies to boost their relationships with current clients and generate new clients in the process.

Janette's targeted marketing is key to her success. Image source:

Janette’s targeted marketing is key to her success.
Image source:

Classifying and segmenting your clientele is a crucial step to creating the best targeted marketing that will work wonders for your business. Before you can tag and segment your customers, you first need to solicit information from them. Listen as Janette describes her own method of collecting freely-given information from her clients. She then explains the tagging and segmenting procedures that help create a laser-targeted marketing campaign. In the end, Janette is clear that their products and services that are offered to the right people.

If you want to learn more about target marketing to your current clients, you’ll want to hear Janette’s experiences.

About Janette Gleason

Janette went to Augustana College and majored in Elementary Education and Spanish. She received the Sam’s Club “Teacher of the Year Award” and taught education professionals how to use technology in their classrooms. Janette stepped back from her teaching career to raise her children and to help her husband build his financial planning and tax preparation firm, where she is Janette-Gleason-236x300currently the Director of Marketing.

Janette had the honor of being a finalist in Infusionsoft’s Ultimate Marketer Contest 2011. Janette continues to share her success story by speaking at various events such as Infusionsoft’s Success Course, training events/webinars for service professionals, and national marketing conferences.

Before their new marketing system with Infusionsoft, Janette rarely saw her family because she and her husband Joe were just too busy with work. In her free time, she loves to scrapbook, sew, travel with her Joe, and spend time with their three young children.

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Hi, I’m Trent Dyrsmid, Founder of Dyrand Systems and… Ask Me Anything



I’ve spent the last 14 years of my life as an entrepreneur trying to create companies that help other businesses succeed. My first company was Dyrand Systems and it was recognized as a PROFIT 100 fastest growing company in Canada for two years in a row. My second company is which provides software and training products for marketing agencies and consultants. My third company is….you guessed it…a marketing agency that will also run under the Bright Ideas brand.

Although I have failed plenty of times (you can hear some of my mistakes with Dyrand in this Mixergy interview), I’ve been fortunate enough to learn something from every one of my failures. For that reason, I want to do something different today, in which I want to share with you what I’ve learned over the years.

However, instead of listing out what I’ve learned, I want to make it as relevant to your business as possible so that it helps you succeed (thanks to Neil Patel for this idea).

The way I’m going to do this is to use a simple question and answer format. All you have to do is leave a comment with a question and I will answer it. The question can be about anything you like; a problem with your business, a technology question, or whatever you like.

And finally, don’t worry about holding back. You can ask me anything you like, no matter how foolish it may sound, as I plan to respond to each and every question.

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Infusionsoft Tutorial: How to Automate Abandoned Shopping Cart Recovery


The average documented online shopping cart abandonment rate is a whopping 67.75%. Here’s one way to fix it.

bi-ultimate-marketing-automation-guide67.75% is a massive abandonment rate. Just think about how much that translates into in terms of lost profits. Next, add to that the amount of lost profits that result from your not having the opportunity to generate upsells and repeat sales to the (potential) customer that abandoned the cart in the first place.

Abandoned shopping carts is a huge problem for every online retailer. Thankfully, with some smart automation, you can reduce the number of carts that don’t complete checkout.

Thanks to Infusionsoft, recovering abandoned shopping carts need not be as manual or inconsistent a process as you might think.

How to Automate Shopping Cart Recovery

In the video below, I’m going to show how exactly how this can be done using Infusionsoft.

Helpful Hints

  • Ensure that you apply a tag every time a subscriber clicks a link to a sales page
  • Put all these types of tags into a category called Pre-Sales so don’t miss any of them
  • Regularly look at your campaign stats so that you can see which emails are sending the most traffic to your sales pages and then review the copy in these emails
  • Manually follow up with people that have abandoned carts if your automated follow up didn’t work. Get them on the phone and ask them why they abandoned the cart. Don’t try to re-sell them. Just ask why they abandoned in the first place so you look for trends that you can fix.

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Infusionsoft Tutorial: How to Create Top of Mind Awareness with a Newsletter Campaign


Are you top of mind with your customers and prospects? Are you regularly sending them educational content to ensure that you are?

bi-ultimate-marketing-automation-guideIn an era where our prospects and customers are continually bombarded with marketing ‘noise’, staying top of mind can be a challenge. As a result, it is absolutely critical that you are regularly sending your prospects and customers high quality, educational information to keep them engaged – as well as to position your firm as an authority.

One of the very best ways to do this is with a high quality newsletter delivered via email. When done correctly, your list will remain engaged and will share your message, and you will remain top of mind for the products and services that you provide.

Using Infusionsoft to Automate Newsletter Delivery

Thanks to Infusionsoft, delivering a high quality newsletter need not be as manual or inconsistent a process as you might think.

In fact, by using the campaign that I show in the video below, your newsletter will never skip a beat!

Automate Newsletter Delivery

In the video below, I’m going to show how exactly how this can be done using Infusionsoft.

Helpful Hints

When it comes to creating an eNewsletter, there are a few critical success factors that you must get right. They include:

  • Just start…and then improve as you go
  • Split test your subject lines to maximize your open rate
  • Deliver only high quality educational information
  • Keep sales messages to less than 15% of the content
  • Create an editorial calendar to plan your content in advance
  • Stick to a consistent schedule so you can ‘train’ your list to expect your content
  • Feature other experts in your content so they will also share it with their tribe
  • Segment your list to increase engagement
  • Use trackable links

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Infusionsoft Tutorial: How to Automate Sales Opportunity Management


Do you use sales reps to close deals? Would you like to gain more visibility into their activity so you can improve their performance?

bi-ultimate-marketing-automation-guideWith a marketing funnel, automation is fairly straight forward. You create the funnel, and then your new subscribers flow through it. If you’d like to watch a video that shows more detail on funnels, check this one out. (to experience the Bright Ideas funnel, become a subscriber here)

So if the funnel automation is pretty straight forward, what about the part where your sales reps actually start to engage directly with your leads? How are you supposed to maintain consistency and ensure that nothing falls through the cracks?

This is where things can get a bit trickier to manage if you don’t have a well defined process in place. Without a process, each of your sales reps may be guiding a lead through your sales pipeline is very different ways and this type of “wild west” approach makes measuring and improving nearly impossible to do.

Using Infusionsoft to Automate Sales Opportunity Management

Thanks to Infusionsoft, managing sales opportunities need not be as manual or inconsistent a process as you might think.

In fact, with a little forethought and creativity, you can actually ensure that there is a consistent process for how all your sales opportunities are managed!

Automate Sales Opportunity Management

In the video below, I’m going to show how exactly how this can be done using Infusionsoft.

Helpful Hints

When creating a sales opportunity skeleton, ensure that you don’t get so focused on adding in the details that the overall process becomes unusable for your sales team.

Instead, focus on creating a skeleton that will allow for the customization needed, while still giving you the insight into your rep’s activities so that you can identify areas where improvement is needed.

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How Aweber is Losing You Customers: The Big Picture of Aweber vs Infusionsoft

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I’m often asked by people that are unfamiliar with Infusionsoft if they should pick it, or Aweber for their email marketing. What these people fail to understand is the magnitude of the differences between these two applications.


Aweber VS Infusionsoft: It’s Not Even Close

Comparing the two is like comparing a Porsche to a tricycle. With Aweber, you can do very basic email auto-responders, and nothing more, whereas with Infusionsoft, you can run your entire business; marketing, email, CRM, online shopping cart, affiliate program, and so much more.

So, with all that said, let me begin by giving you my opinion: Infusionsoft is a game changing application, and, by comparison, Aweber is just one tiny piece of the overall picture.

So, with that said, here we go…

Back when I first started my business with a list of subscribers, I chose a company called Aweber for my email marketing provider. They are well known and it only costs $1 to get started on a trial. If you like the software, you have to pay only $19 a month for up to 500 subscribers.

If you are just starting out with email marketing, Aweber is as good a choice as any; however, as your business grows, you are going to eventually run into some serious limitations and then, if you decide to change providers, the pain of change can be quite a burden.

In this post, I’m going to compare the two applications as well as to take a deep dive into why I made the switch from Aweber to Infusionsoft.


Aweber’s product has been designed with a single goal: broadcasting and automated email follow up.

They are not a CRM tool, they don’t offer a shopping cart, or anything else that Infusionsoft provides. They just do automated email follow up, so if that is all you need, Aweber will work just fine.


  • Low cost ($19/month for up to 500 subscribers)


  • Limited features (no functionality beyond sending emails)
  • Limited customization (you have to use double opt in and you are forced to have a named list for each of your segments, which as you will see when I explain how Infusionsoft works, really sucks)
  • List segmentation is hard (segmenting your list is extremely important and the way that Aweber does this is really a challenge because the only way to get a subscriber onto more than one list is to get them to opt in again which causes extra work for your subscriber)

The Biggest Drawback of Aweber: Multiple System Chaos

Aweber is a very simple application that does one thing very well – hence the short list of pros and cons. However, I have saved the biggest drawback of Aweber for last…and that is this: If you use Aweber, you will suffer from Multiple System Chaos.

As Aweber only does one thing, you are definitely going to need other systems to handle the other parts of your business that are shown in the image below. Do you really want to have to deal with that? I sure don’t!

With Aweber, you will be forced into using multiple systems and the more you have to use, the more complex your business will be

With Aweber, you will be forced into using multiple systems, and the more systems you have to use, the more complex your business will be

Infusionsoft: The Solution to Multiple System Chaos

In preparing for this post, I came across a number of other reviews that restricted themselves to comparing these two (extremely) different applications on a feature by feature basis, and in doing so, they completely missed the (very important) bigger picture!

I am a talented marketer, however, I am not the most technical person in the world and couldn’t write a line of code to save my life. For people like me, this means that using multiple systems will either result in lots of manual work (lame!) or the need for developers to write lots of code which can be a huge challenge as it requires a talented developer and a budget to pay for them.

Infusionsoft eliminates the need for multiple systems because not only does it do email marketing, but it is also my CRM system, my online shopping cart, and my affiliate program – all in one. As you are going to see in the remainder of this post, the integration of these 4 pieces is absolutely critical to your success.

Stop and Look at the Big Picture

Before I dive into all the reasons why I am such a fan of Infusionsoft, I’d like to draw your attention to the bigger picture. No matter what type of business you are in, there are some pretty important things that all businesses have in common. These things include:

  1. Attracting interest
  2. Capturing leads
  3. Nurturing prospects
  4. Converting prospects to customers
  5. Delivering your product
  6. Upselling and repeat sales
  7. Getting referrals
Infusionsoft was designed to support every step of Lifecycle marketing

Infusionsoft was designed to support every step of Lifecycle marketing

In a nutshell, this 7 step process can be referred to as lifecycle marketing and Infusionsoft has been designed from the ground up to support you in every single step, whereas Aweber at best will only support you with steps 2 and 3.

Keep reading, and I will, by way of example, show you why this is such a big deal.

Attracting Interest

Here at, we attract interest with our content – which normally consists of blog posts, videos, and podcasts. Neither Infusionsoft or Aweber really play a part in this step, so, while the concepts are extremely important, for the purposes of this post, we don’t need to talk much about it.

If you would like to learn more about how to attract interest, check out our Lifecycle Marketing Guide.

Capturing Leads

Capturing leads is generally done with what is called a lead magnet, which, most often is a free piece of content that is given away in exchange for someone’s email address.

In my case, the lead magnet is the Conversion Tactics Toolkit, which is a 4-part video series on how to maximize conversions.

Both Infusionsoft and Aweber make building a web form (the thing that goes on your website to collect their name and email) pretty darn easy as they both have form building wizards that don’t require any technical skill at all. Just drag and drop form elements until you have a form that looks how you want. Below is a screenshot of a form that I use to begin segmenting my list.

the form below the video was built in the Infusionsoft form builder. Aweber can do the same.

the form below the video was built in the Infusionsoft form builder. Aweber can do the same. Want to see my segmenting in action? Subscribe to my list at

Nurturing Prospects

Once you’ve captured a lead, what you do next is going to make a massive difference to your results, and it’s where most people really screw up.

Here’s what most people do: they begin sending the exact same sequence of emails to every single person that subscribes. Bad Dog!!!

I literally cannot stress enough the importance of segmenting your list. Why on earth would you send the same content to everyone? The needs of each of your subscribers differs greatly, so why would you send everyone the exact same content? You wouldn’t!

If you don’t segment your list, your email open rates will suffer and your unsubscribe rate will be much higher. From a marketing perspective, creating a Youtube video of your cat would be more effective 🙂

Infusionsoft Makes List Segmentation Easy. Aweber Makes is Really F$%@# Hard!

With Aweber, you must have a completely different list for each series of emails that you want to send. There are a number of challenges with this.

First, each list has to be a unique name that is not used by any other Aweber customer! (read that sentence twice to ensure that you really understand it)

That is just crazy…plus it makes naming your lists much more challenging than it need be.

Second…and this is even worse than the above, is that to get a subscriber from one list to another, you must get them to opt in again and that is going to mean more work for your subscribers.

Guess what that will mean for you? Fewer of them will bother, and as a result, your list will not be as well segmented as it could be.

Lack of Segmentation = Lack of Profits

With Infusionsoft, I don’t need to have separate lists; each with unique and hard to decipher names. Instead, all I need to do is apply something called a tag to a contact record…and, I can name that tag anything I like so that when I look at it later, it will be extremely easy for me to remember what it’s for.

Here’s a few examples of some of the tags I use (I have hundreds of them)

  • Clicked link to MobiLead Method sales page
  • Clicked link to [name of guest] interview
  • Bought [name of product]
  • Registered for [name of webinar]
  • Attended [name of webinar]
  • etc…

Essentially, a tag is like a little sticky note that I use to “stick” to anyone based upon something they click, watch, buy, or do.

Applying a tag is done automatically and can be applied in any of the following ways:

  • Subscriber clicks a link in an email
  • Subscriber fills out a web form
  • Subscriber buys a product
  • Subscriber flows through a campaign sequence

Tagging is unbelievably powerful and I could devote an entire post to it. The thing that I want you to understand here is that a tag can be applied without the need for a user to fill out another web form, so that means that I can make it extremely easy for a subscriber to be tagged based on their actions, or in the case of applying a tag as a part of a campaign sequence, I can apply a tag without my subscriber doing anything at all.

And yes, I can remove tags in the exact same way.

Tags in Action: A Practical Example

Ok…just in case this whole tagging thing isn’t really making sense, it’s so important that I want to give you an example as it pertains to nurturing a prospect.

When I capture a lead via a web form, I can tell Infusionsoft to apply as many tags as I like. At a minimum, I apply a tag that adds them to my newsletter list. I also apply a tag for the date they subscribed.

After they complete the web form, I direct them to another page with a video and another web form (shown in the screenshot further up in this post) and then more tags are applied to tell me that they have segmented themselves and what their occupation is.

Now they might, depending on which segment they are in, begin to receive a series of emails inviting them to a webinar. For this example, let’s say that there are 3 emails to be sent. If they click the registration link in the fist email, they do not receive the second and third email. If they don’t click the link in email #1, they will receive email #2, etc…

With Aweber, this is impossible. With Aweber, if someone is added to a list, they receive every single email that is a part of that list’s sequence unless your subscriber goes and fills out another web form, in which case you can remove them from list #1 and add them to list #2, or, you can have them on both lists.

With Infusionsoft, I might ask them to fill out a web form to apply/remove a tag, but I don’t have to as I could just as easily use any of the other methods that I have described above.

This one bit of functionality is incredibly powerful and it would take me far more than just this blog post to point out all the ways that this can be used.

To show tagging in action, let’s continue with this example…

Converting Prospects into Customers

Now that my subscriber has told me their occupation, Infusionsoft will send them a sequence of emails with links to product offers and content that are highly relevant to that occupation.

More Relevant Content/Offers = More Profits

Let’s suppose that this product offer sequence has 10 emails in it. If my subscriber clicks the link to the sales page in email #4 and buys the product, Infusionsoft will apply a tag that says something like “bought product A” and Infusionsoft will then immediately stop the 10 email sequence and will now start another sequence of emails that was designed specifically for buyers of product A (assuming I created a campaign to follow this logic).

Key Take Away: most people need to be reminded a few times to register for a webinar or buy a product, so with Infusionsoft, I can create multiple email sequences that will stop as soon as the user takes that action that I want them to…even if there are more “reminder” emails in that sequence. This one feature alone is hugely valuable as it increases revenue while avoiding sending too many emails to people who’ve already taken the desired action.

In the product A buyer sequence, I can do anything I want. Here’s a few examples:

  • Ask how they like the product
  • Ask for referrals
  • Send upsell offers
  • Automatically register them for a webinar
  • Start another campaign

Focus On Your Hottest Leads

Lead Scoring is another feature of Infusionsoft that is incredibly powerful because with lead scoring, you will always know who your hottest leads are at any given time, simply based upon which tags have been applied.

So, supposed a subscriber clicked on a link to a sales page from an email that they received as part of a campaign they are in. When that link is clicked, the tag is applied, and then, as you can see below, a lead score can be increased (or decreased) for a given period of time.

A contact's lead score can be automatically adjusted whenever a tag is applied.

A contact’s lead score can be automatically adjusted whenever a tag is applied.

Within Infusionsoft, leads a scored using a simple scale of 1 to 5 flames and, if you are creative in how you build your campaigns, you can trigger further automation that is starts when a lead score moves from 1 to 2 flames, or from 2 to 3 flames, etc…

Why do this? Don’t you think people with 5 flames should be paid attention to? I sure do!

This cannot be done with Aweber.

Create Lists on the Fly

From time to time, most businesses want to offer some kind of special promotion or discount on one of their products. Thanks to all the tagging that I do with my subscribers (remember, I apply tags for virtually everything my subscribers do/see/click/attend), I can very easily create a list of potential buyers based upon any criteria that I like. For example, I can easily create a list of invitees for a webinar that would appeal to only a portion of my entire audience and then send invites to only these people.

In both cases, all I would need to do is to run a query against my database that looking something like this:

Show me all the contacts who:

  • Subscribed between this date and that date
  • Have clicked the link to my MobiLead Magnet sales page
  • Have attended at a particular webinar
  • Who are not yet MobiLead Magnet customers

Hopefully, you get the idea. With tags, I have unlimited power to create a list of suitable contacts and then send them an offer anytime I want.

This is impossible to do with Aweber.

As I hope you are starting to realize, applying tags is an incredibly powerful and easy way to segment your list and Aweber simply cannot do this. It’s just not built that way…plus, it won’t tie into your online shopping cart unless you buy more software or hire a programmer.

With Infusionsoft, this is all done via the visual campaign builder. Below is a screenshot of a campaign created to recover an abandoned shopping cart. Tags and automation are the key to making this work.

This is a screenshot of a campaign created in Infusionsoft's campaign builder to recover an abandoned shopping cart. Tags are the key to making this work.

This is a screenshot of a campaign created in Infusionsoft’s campaign builder to recover an abandoned shopping cart. Tags are the key to making this work.

As I said earlier, Aweber does not have a shopping cart, so, without hiring a programmer, this type of integration will be impossible to do.

Delivering Your Product

So, now that you’ve collected the money via Infusionsoft’s online shopping cart, you actually have to deliver the product or service.

If your product is digital, you can have Infusionsoft automatically send out an email with a download link. This is easy as pie.

If your product is physical and is shipped by a fulfillment partner, you can have your campaign send a message to your fulfillment partner’s server and the order will be fulfilled automatically after the order is placed. This means you don’t have to do order fulfillment and and instead can be off doing something else…like say…sipping a margarita on your patio or playing with your kids 🙂

If your product is shipped by you or your staff, or you have sold a service of some kind, you can tell Infusionsoft to assign tasks to you are anyone else on your team. You are only limited by your imagination.

Did I mention that Infusionsoft has a CRM component? Well, it does, it’s a fantastic tool!

You can pull up any customer record you like and see a summary of all their tags, their orders, the campaigns that are running, the emails they’ve opened, and anything else you could ever want….and it’s all in one place…which means no more wasting time searching through multiple systems for the data you need!

This is the summary view. Clicking the icons provides much more detailed information about each contact.

This is the summary view. Clicking the icons provides much more detailed information about each contact.

Upselling and Repeat Sales

Unless you have only one product, or you like to continually look for new customers, upselling your customers to generate repeat business is a very good idea.

The reason for this is obvious: you don’t have to incur the expense of finding a new customer, so your net profit per transaction will be much higher than if you did.

With Infusionsoft, you can put product upsells on auto-pilot, and when you do, it will make a massive difference to your bottom line.

For example, 26% of the people the buy The MobiLead Method (now the Best Buyer Formula) decided to buy the first upsell, which is a bundle of done-for-you content. In addition to that, 6% of the people that bought The MobiLead Method also decided to buy the MobiLead Magnet, which is a WordPress plugin that I built to be used with the course.

If, during the checkout process (which is handled by Infusionsoft), someone doesn’t purchase one of the upsells, I could very easily create additional sequences to make additional offers down the road, and it would all happen on auto-pilot.

You cannot do this with Aweber.

Getting Referrals

Back when I ran my last company, Dyrand Systems, we got a lot of business from referrals from our existing customers. This happened because we did two things right: we delivered a premium service that our customers loved, and then we asked them to refer us to other people.

Back then, the asking part was a manual process that was done by our account managers.

Thanks to automation, identifying your happiest customers and then asking them for referrals can now be done completely on autopilot.

The NPS survey tells Infusionsoft who is most happy and then sends them an email with a request for a referral.

The NPS survey tells Infusionsoft who is most happy and then sends them an email with a request for a referral.

With Aweber, you cannot do this on auto-pilot.

Final Thoughts

While extremely capable, Infusionsoft does have a few draw backs.

First, it is much more expensive that Aweber. Depending on what promotions Infusionsoft is running at any given time, the software requires an up front investment of $1,500 to $2,000 and then costs between $219 and $379 per month. Aweber starts at just $19/month. But remember…do you want a tricycle or a Porsche?

If you are struggling with justifying the price, I would encourage you to check out the many Infusionsoft success stories and tutorials that I have published. In each, you will hear an entrepreneur describe how Infusionsoft has had a huge impact on their business.

The other drawback with Infusionsoft is that the application, due to its much vaster array of capabilities, requires more learning to attain proficiency. The good news is that Infusionsoft’s free training material is excellent, as is their support department. Plus, their new visual campaign builder has dramatically simplified the user experience. When people see the campaign builder for the first time, their response is generally something like “wow!” or “that is totally awesome!!”.

In addition to these two resources, there are also an army of Infusionsoft Certified Consultants who would be happy to assist you. My wife being one of them 🙂

Obviously, no system is perfect and prior to choosing which one is right for your business, a thorough investigation must be done. Hopefully, if you are trying to decide if you should choose Infusionsoft or Aweber, this post has been helpful to you.

If you have additional questions, please use the comment form below and I promise to provide you with a prompt answer.

Additional Resources

If you are a marketing consultant or run a marketing agency and are thinking of purchasing Infusionsoft, I’d like to let you know that if you use my affiliate link, I can have Infusionsoft give you a copy of a full campaign that I created just for agencies. You can see this campaign here.

In addition, I have also created an extensive library of tutorial videos and interviews with highly successful Infusionsoft users that you will likely find incredibly valuable.

And finally, if you have questions, please contact me directly.

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