Infusionsoft Sucks AND Keap Sucks? Dang!
Here's a little background so you'll understand where I'm coming from when I address the statement "Infusionsoft sucks." (Now I guess it's "Keap sucks.")
Since 1994, while creating readiness documents for personnel in my Air Force group deploying to the Middle East, I've been working with databases.
Since 1998 I've been working with client/server databases in business to register prospects and protect my leads.
Since 2000 I've been working with SaaS CRMs in Corporate America to do the same.
And since 2008, I've worked with Infusionsoft/Keap CRM to help small businesses grow their sales without growing their staff, so this ain't my first rodeo, and I'm not paid to create this post or to say anything nice about anyone or any company (but you can click on my affiliate links, which will eventually create revenue for me if you end up buying any of those platforms.)
Along those lines, I am a certified partner of Keap CRM (Infusionsoft), but since 2008 I've steered more people away from it than towards it because nothing is right for everyone.
However, with the advancements made with the new Keap CRM and the Keap Experience by Infusionsoft, which emphasizes simplicity, affordability, with power, they now really offer something for everyone.
So in the past, when Infusionsoft was $2,000 down and $299/mo for five users with no Campaign Builder, no 24/7 support, no Facebook community, no pre-built campaigns, and no real options for smaller businesses, I had to steer more people away from Infusionsoft because it was just too much for most speakers, authors, coaches, solopreneurs, and small businesses.
However, that's no longer the case and hasn't been for quite some time.
Keap has created many new price points and lower-cost options for those just getting started, as well as established businesses with larger sales and marketing teams.
With the rebranding to Keap in January 2019, Infusionsoft has finally created a new CRM platform that is powerful, flexible, responsive, and easy to update.
This has enabled Keap to both keep ahead of the competition and respond to the demands and wants of the marketplace faster.
How do I know how they stack up with the competition?
I also resell and support users on HubSpot, Ontraport, ActiveCampaign, and Nimble because these platforms each have unique selling points and features that I am uniquely qualified to determine after decades of experience.
So proceed with confidence through this post, my site, and the Best CRM For Me quiz because for me to get paid, I have to add value to your life by helping you make the best decision. Capitalism is indeed a beautiful thing, isn't it?
The even more beautifuleringly thing is that all of these platforms are affordable to launch and run.
- ActiveCampaign starts as low as $29/mo
- Nimble starts at $24.90/mo
- Ontraport starts at $24/mo
- HubSpot has a ton of free tools and paid options starting at $50/mo. (Personally, I'm on the Enterprise level, which is now $3,700/mo with the $50/mo add-on as well as their hosting, which is $360/mo for the Professional CMS. But I have my reasons, and it works for me and my business goals. If you'd like to discuss how I might be able to help you achieve your business goals, let's talk.)
If you're not sure which is the best CRM for you, take my free CRM quiz, and it'll help you sort through the many variables that come into play for businesses of varying sizes, budgets, and goals.
Now onto the topic of whether or not Keap Sucks
As a CMAC (Certified Marketing Automation Coach) / ICC (Infusionsoft Certified Consultant) / ICP (Infusionsoft Certified Partner) since the Fall of 2008, author of "The Definitive Guide To Infusionsoft," 2013 Infusionsoft Partner of the Year, I have gotten to know the good people at Keap (Infusionsoft) quite well, and I like them.
Yes, at times, they've driven me crazy, but hey, what are friends for, huh?
To throw around a blanket statement like "Infusionsoft sucks" or "Keap CRM sucks" is like saying "soccer sucks," or "Ford sucks," or "IPA beer sucks."
While I understand you may not understand the sport or you had a bad experience with a Ford vehicle or you don't like the hoppy taste of an IPA, to then apply a blanket statement like that to an entire brand or market segment is ignorant at best and arrogant at worst.
Maybe "Ford sucks in my experience" or "Infusionsoft sucks for my needs" would be more accurate. But when you're butt-hurt—justifiably or not—you want your pound of flesh.
Yes, I've had some frustrations with the features—or lack thereof—inside Keap CRM/ Infusionsoft over the years, but the platform they created has empowered millions of entrepreneurs since the early 2000s in growing their sales without growing their staff.
Some Hard Truths About What Caused So Many People To Scream Keap Sucks
When you spend a large chunk of your days and nights on something for over a decade, you pick up on a few things, including some skeletons and some gems.
I think the biggest contributing factor to the "Infusionsoft sucks" drum-beating is that Infusionsoft was first to market for the small business marketing automation segment.
And being first is fine as long as you stay small and lean.
Infusionsoft didn't stay lean and mean.
Things blew up, and they added fuel to the fire by hiring Dan Kennedy, who is the king of RAISE YOUR PRICES WHILE YOU MARKET LIKE CRAZY AND FIX YOUR SHIT ALONG THE WAY!
I know because I've been a student of Dan Kennedy's since at least 2006.
I have most of his books, have attended many of his InfoSummit and SuperConferences, and even spoke at one in Jacksonville.
It was my desire to meet Dan Kennedy in the late summer of 2008 that brought me to Infusionsoft, so their 4-city tour back then worked!
(That's Dan and me at that conference, in fact.)
Infusionsoft followed Dan's guidance and started charging $5,000 for their software with just one option of five user seats for $299/mo.
Take it or leave it.
And people took it.
They were making money hand over fist, and they made plans to grow bigger than Salesforce instead of working on the product.
Before they knew it, they had a huge and growing user base, competition saw the emerging market and jumped in with solid offerings, and a code stack that was built on old technology, which meant they couldn't easily update it.
So Infusionsoft rolled out major updates each year and would show them off at their annual user conference, ICON, but the updates weren't enough, and they were usually underwhelming.
So they moved to steady, continuous updates, which were pretty good, but they proved not to be enough because there was so much competition.
So Infusionsoft looked into the abyss and considered making an entirely new platform...
and they considered it again...
and they considered it again...
and they stopped dancing with who brung 'em...
and they considered some new software...
then realized they needed new software and needed to update the old code.
That took over five years and more than $60 million in VC funding to figure out. (I'm doing some guestimating here, but I don't think I'm too far off.)
Meet The New Keap By Infusionsoft
And now we have Keap by Infusionsoft, which has been with us since January 2019, and it has become what we all envisioned and were promised a long, long time ago.
As you can see from the dashboard shot above, Keap by Infusionsoft is now the modern, elegant, flexible sales and marketing automation platform we've always wanted.
Each section you see can be reorganized and edited to put at your fingertips everything you want and need and nothing you don't.
- Billing is simplified.
- Calendars are integrated.
- Meeting links are provided and seamless.
- SMS is included.
- A business line is included.
- Google Reviews is integrated.
- Multiple Pipelines can be created with ease.
- The Pipelines are drag and drop between stages.
- The proven and powerful Campaign Builder is included as well, so you can get as fancy and intricate as you want, or you can keep it simple with the out-of-the-box automations to hit the ground running.
Some Sad, Angry People Love To Say Infusionsoft Sucks
The next factor that lead people to scream "Infusionsoft Sucks" is that because it was priced so affordably back around 2010, when they eliminated the setup fee altogether that every knucklehead with a credit card and an idea bought the software and Infusionsoft was happy to sell it to them!
It didn't matter if they didn't know what a browser was, didn't have a website, had never sold anything online, and had never built a list online.
If you could fog a mirror, Infusionsoft would sell you an account.
Then the predictable thing happened because haters are gonna hate, and losers do what losers do: they blamed Infusionsoft for their own lack of success, planning, and detailed thinking.
Oh, I call it Confusionsoft! (Because I'm too shallow and vain to blame myself for buying some goo-roos $25,000 coaching course and thinking I could make $1 million next month if I buy some software and make a YouTube video.)"
Infusionsoft is hard to use!"
Infusionsoft support sucks!"
Infusionsoft is so much harder than ConstantContact!"
MailChimp is so much easier than Infusionsoft!"
Yada. Yada. Frickin' Yada!
Some Geeks Loved To Say Infusionsoft Sucks
When Infusionsoft was still in Gilbert with the original football field office (back in late 2009 or early 2010), I had a fancy Subway sandwich with Clate Mask in his office, and Scott Martineau joined us as we discussed this coding/programming guru who was none-too-happy with Infusionsoft's API.
Back then, the chat rooms and blogs were indexed heavily by search engines, and his complaint ranked quite (horribly) well, and the other geeks piled on.
What happened was you had the equivalent of Lamborghini owners complaining that the rugged, affordable Jeep they bought wasn't winning any road course races!
These super-geeks were crawling out from under rocks, out of basements, and from the hallowed server rooms of Fortune 1000 companies who expected Infusionsoft to map the human genome, cure cancer, and beat Watson at chess all for $299/mo and some custom API calls.
While it was true the Infusionsoft API was not great, they never promised it was!
Infusionsoft was making affordable, all-in-one sales and marketing automation for small businesses and reluctantly started adding API ability to the platform.
The Infusionsoft Sucks Chorus Picks Up Speed
So now you have the easy-button "funnel-hackers" and the uber-geeks screaming INFUSIONSOFT SUCKS!
Then you add the newbies into the mix.
These are sincere entrepreneurs who wanted to launch their own thing, but they were just too inexperienced and lacked commitment to make it work.
They would literally forget how to log in.
I had people on training sessions who did not know what a browser was. No kidding.
I had a new user join the call using Internet Explorer, and I told them that that browser wasn't supported and that I recommended Firefox, and they didn't know what I meant!
So the rocket surgeons and brain scientists would complain that Infusionsoft wasn't as robust as $20,000/mo enterprise platforms, newbies were complaining that it was too complex, the dreamers were complaining because they weren't making the money Tony Robbins made within seven hours of buying the software, and soon everyone seemed to be whining and complaining like Republicans and Democrats counting votes!
Did the Infusionsoft executives think they might be able to go public soon and not have to worry about cleaning up some things? Probably.
Did the fat-cat VC executives push the founders of Infusionsoft too hard so they could recoup their investment? I think so.
Did the founders of Infusionsoft originally set out on a Friday afternoon while eating pizza at their desk in their Gilbert, AZ strip mall office to build an industry-leading, earth-shattering SaaS platform back in 2005'ish? Ahhh...no.
Were some honest mistakes made as they grew? Yes.
Did they underestimate or turn a blind eye to the severity and impact of some of those mistakes for too long? Ahhh...yes!
Could you have done any better? I know I couldn't.
Moving right along...
Infusionsoft Support Sucks?
I still come across this online and don't get it.
The staff has treated me like gold since 2008, and they go out of their way to help professional salespeople, sales managers, business owners, and entrepreneurs grow their sales.
The chat support is always timely, if not immediate, and the phone support was shaky back around 2013 when they had such explosive—unrealistic—growth, but that was due mainly to the large influx of new hires they had to bring on quickly who had to learn the platform, but that was OVER A DECADE AGO!
Would you like to be judged for a misstep you made in 2013? I didn't think so.
And, no, I don't get better support because I’m a Keap Partner.
While there is now a partner line so we can get faster help, that didn't exist for a long time, and the chat support is not based on partner vs. end user, so you and I get treated the same.
I’m also not some world-renowned super-marketer or diva.
I'm just a stubborn Air Force veteran with seven kids building my own sales and marketing consulting gig in the bowels of SoCal with a passion for sales and marketing training/consulting, and I call 'em like I see 'em.
Is Keap support as good as HubSpot support?
Yes and no.
On the one hand, it's hard to beat the 24/7 phone support HubSpot provides to their paying customers, but you pay more than a little for that support.
However, HubSpot has reached a multi-billion valuation BECAUSE they make a great product and provide great support. (It's also why I'm an Apple user. I like reaching a smart tech support person in my time zone that knows how to communicate.)
On the other hand, Keap has had great support for many years.
They have great phone support during the week and 24/7 chat that answers 97% of my questions on the first attempt and quickly.
I say 97% because I've been using Keap since some of the support staff were literally in elementary school, so sometimes I have an issue that they need to bubble up, but you're not in that situation.
If you're a relatively new user or you're considering buying Keap for your business, you can rest assured their support is going to be there when you need them to solve the problem that is nagging you at the time you called.
Salesforce vs. Keap CRM Support
You wanna know which CRM really sucks for the small businesses that Keap supports? Salesforce.com.
Don't get me wrong.
I'm not saying Salesforce sucks as a whole.
After all, they are the 800-lb hippo that essentially invented the CRM SaaS model, and they are all-powerful.
I first started using SFDC back in 2004 as a quota-carrying salesman with various tech companies.
I was also certified as a trainer with Salesforce.com when Dell deployed it back in 2007-2008, and I have helped many grow their sales with improved CRM pipeline management with Salesforce.
Salesforce is a great tool for larger companies with larger staffs and the budgets to run them.
But they are expensive and confusing, and they don't offer the toolset small business owners need to automate their sales and marketing.
Everything is extra with Salesforce unless you're on their most expensive packages, which is why I say Salesforce sucks for small businesses way more than Infusionsoft sucks.
With that experience, I have no qualms recommending you start a demo of Keap, but not before you master your Process Before Login.
Stop kicking tires and uploading your logo to a bunch of tools you don't know how to use and why you want to use them, and what you want them to accomplish for you.
Map out your processes before you log in, then...
When you buy Keap CRM for your small business benefit if you are looking to:
- embed web forms.
- build a database.
- tag that database for future, relevant correspondence.
- communicate with that database regularly with good, relevant content.
- codify and quantify your unique selling propositions to ensure your messaging is delivered to 100% of your prospects 100% of the time.
- track open rates with HTML emails and trackable links embedded in the emails.
- process credit cards (e-commerce) for both one-time orders and subscriptions via order forms and/or a shopping cart. (I also like Spiffy for enhancing my Infusionsoft orders.)
- offer an upsell at the time of checkout.
- store and share notes and files/documents with small teams.
I’m glad the Keap CRM Setup has been lowered to make it more affordable for small business owners.
Back in the day, i.e., 2008, when I joined, it was $5,000 to set up, and despite that hefty fee, it's probably the best investment I ever made.
Then it went to $1,999, $1,499, and $999, and now it's as low as $0 to start, depending on how much setup and support you need to get started.
That setup fee gets you a dedicated person (like me) to help you get started with several private calls (four to five calls if you order Keap CRM through me) of private assistance. Try getting that from some of the other guys.
Keap CRM, when installed and used properly, is PERFECT for the one-office dentist, Realtor, mortgage broker, promotional items company, IT VAR, restaurant owner, etc, with 1-25 employees and thinks marketing is putting a wrap on their car and their picture on their business card and expect the phone to ring.
I’ve been selling and/or training since 1995, and I can tell you that Keap CRM/Infusionsoft and Dan Kennedy made me stretch to fully comprehend and begin to master the art of marketing through persuasive copywriting, consistent follow-up, and upsells.
Did Infusionsoft sell a little more than it could handle back in 2007-2009? Probably. (How many small businesses [or former small businesses] wished they had that problem?)
Did it cause some pain for some users? Obviously.
Are some of their salespeople a little pushy and cheesy from time to time? They used to be, but they've really grown and matured as a company and have a serving attitude recently.
Do any of the salespeople possess the power of telekinesis or Jedi Mind Tricks that forced people to buy?
Not that I know of.
Do the support staff blow people off?
Nope. They’ve never done it to me or any of my clients, and I don’t have ESP, telekinesis, or Obi-Wan’s powers.
Are the support staff inexperienced? Not at the start of 2023 with Clate Mask leading the charge.
Is Keap CRM/Infusionsoft a better solution for the small businesses I listed above compared to hobbling together Outlook, Excel, 1ShoppingCart, aWeber and ConstantContact, and Salesforce.com?
Without a doubt.
If you’re a 90-person company with 650 SKUs and you’re growing 50% a year, and you’re adding five products a month, Keap CRM is not right for you, but they admit it.
Conversely, if you don’t have a list, you’re just starting out online, you’ve never created a web form, and you’ve never even used the “Categories” feature in Outlook to segment your contacts, might you be better off with a ConstantContact account for $19 or $29/mo?
But how big do you want to be and how quickly?
If the answer is “BIG” and “fast,” then it's worth it for you to start out with Keap.
If you’re a 10-person company with two salespeople and you, as the owner, are involved in sales, and you’re doing manual, duplicate entry while sales and leads are falling off the table, then Keap can be a lifesaver.
But if you’ve never written a follow-up sequence or exported contacts as CSV files or tagged/categorized contacts, and you can’t explain your own company’s USP, and you can’t rattle off in your sleep 3 COMPELLING reasons why I should buy from YOU then you’d be well-advised to take the $499 you just saved on the Keap CRM setup fee and retain someone to help you set all of this up for you FROM DAY ONE!
Because sales and marketing are:
- Not the same.
- Not as easy as it looks.
- Friggin’ IMPOSSIBLE to master in a timely fashion for the typical “E-Myth” technician that thinks, “I can shimmy a door better than my jerk of a boss,” and goes out on his own to open his own contracting business only to have his ass, kidneys, liver, lungs, nostrils, knee caps and esophagus handed to him a mere six months later after he’s run out of fancy business cards and relatives he can beg business off of.
If you try to duct tape your marketing and bootstrap any platform, in 4 months, you’ll be out $800 to $3,000 in consulting fees, $8k-$20k in lost opportunity costs, and 80 hours of software-induced frustration, and you’ll be posting on here your love for Keap rather than spouting off on social media that Infusionsoft is awful or Infusionsoft sucks.
See "How an $800 "savings" cost you $21,418.99."
Now go sell something.