Since the fall of 2008 I've been a certified partner of Keap.
In 2012 I literally wrote the book on Infusionsoft and was named their Partner of the Year in 2013.
However, in 2014 I began exploring other CRMs and inbound marketing platforms so I could provide the best help possible to my clients.
In September 2014 I purchased HubSpot and joined their certified partner program.
In October 2014, I became certified in Ontraport.
Great, Wes. What does that have to do with the price of sweet tea with hush puppies in Louisiana?"
What that means for you is that I have experience in all of these platforms and as a partner with them all no vested interest in which software you choose.
My goal is to help you make an informed decision with the hope that you will allow me to help you place your order and get started with whichever tool you use.
So let's dive in and review Ontraport vs Keap here going into 2022.
With both platforms doing many of the same features—contact management, email marketing, ecommerce—and both priced nearly the same—the real differences can be hard to discern...but the Air Force pounded "attention to detail" into my head so nuance is my specialty.
Table of Contents
- Ontraport 5 Demo by Founder and CEO, Landon Ray (Opens in new window)
- Membership Sites
- Multi-Media Marketing
- Mobile App
- GUI / User Interface
- Social Media Integration
- How To Decide
What follows is a compilation of what I created originally in 2013 and have continued updating about twice a year ever since.Stay tuned for additional updates and feature comparisons moving forward.
This may sound like a weird place to start, but when you are choosing an all-in-one marketing automation/CRM/inbound marketing platform to automate the majority of your business, you better like the people you are about to give hundreds of dollars a month to for many years to come.
I can speak from personal experience that the culture and desire at both Ontraport and Keap is to help business owners grow and succeed, but their approaches are different.
While Keap has gone the venture funding route and has raised well over $109 million to grow, Ontraport is totally boot-strapped. There are pros and cons to both.
With the VC approach you can grow faster, but fast growth is not synonymous with quality.
Sure, Keap had ramped up to nearly 800 employees (back in 03/22/16) and their sales were through the roof, they slowed down their pace of innovation and allowed the competition catch up between 2013 to 2016.
Now, as of March 2022, Keap CRM/Infusionsoft has shifted gears, downsized quite a bit, has gotten rid of the many executives from Intuit who ruined the original, fun, innovative Infusionsoft culture, and now Clate is breathing some energy and optimism back into Keap/Infusionsoft.
After announcing the cancelation of the iconic ICON annual user conference at the 2017 event, Keap was bringing it back in November 2020 but the idiots in government shut everything down due to COVID.
This is a great sign.
While it sucks that it's virtual because of COVID-19, at least the band is getting back together!!
The new Keap platform combined with the really new "Keap Experience by Infusionsoft," are finally exciting to see, use, and discuss. It almost feels like the old Infusionsoft energy, vibe, and swagger have returned.
Ontraport, on the other hand, has around 115 employees and has always been more cautious about their growth since they fund it from their revenue.
Having spent time with the CEO and founder of Ontraport, Landon Ray, I can say he has a lot in common with Clate Mask, the CEO of Infusionsoft.
Both are about the same age (late-40s) and have strong entrepreneurial drives. One big difference, though, is that while Clate Mask has been with Infusionsoft for a while, he is not a founder of the company.
He was brought in early on by co-founder and Senior VP of Product Strategy, Scott Martineau, to help them grow, whereas Landon Ray is the one that started piecing together the components that became Ontraport.
While it's not a huge difference, it is a difference.
Ontraport is Landon Ray's baby and he is steering that company. Keap is much bigger and is more heavily influenced by boards and investors.
Back in 2014 I rated Ontraport vs Infusionsoft as a tie on Culture & Personality.
Going into 2019 I gave Ontraport the nod on Culture & Personality because the Intuit guys brought into Infusionsoft were a bunch of wet blankets.
But going into 2022 it feels like Keap/Infusionsoft has the momentum.
Keap has that energetic, underdog, eye-of-the-tiger feel that has been missing for a long time.
Keap is executing and implementing faster, the new Keap platform is rebuilt from the ground up, they are merging its new interface with the power of "Infusionsoft Classic," so I like where things are headed.
Since 2009 I have attended Keap's annual conference, now known as ICON (formerly Infusioncon), as well all of their Partner conferences held for their certified partners since November 2012. (See the comment above about ICON being canceled and PCON 2018 was pushed into Nov 2021 and I'm headed to PCON 2022 in late April.)
I've also participated in most of the Keap Implementation Accelerations, which have been sold off to a third party, their Customer Success Tours, and more.
Since becoming certified in Ontraport in 2014 and having access to their sandbox (to play around and test Ontraport 5) and having attended their annual Ontrapalooza a couple of times, and working more closely with them on similar client launches, I can say that Ontraport is an offering entrepreneurs, speakers, and coaches must look at for their sales and marketing automation platform.
In early-2022, Ontraport is a stable, mature, yet innovative, marketing automation platform.
Bugs come with the territory when your goal is to automate so many aspects of your sales and marketing, but both Keap/Infusionsoft and Ontraport have come a long way in this department.
Keap/Infusionsoft had a good year with innovation in 2020 and has kept up the pace in 2021 and 2022, despite COVID.
Let's now jump into another (maybe) weird feature/functionality of this Ontraport vs Keap review, the CRM.
There are great misnomers out there in the entrepreneurial world (am I the only one that has a hard time spelling that word?) that Infusionsoft is just
- an online marketer platform.
- for internet marketers.
- for people selling digital products or membership sites or virtual content.
Fact: Somewhere just north of 50% of new Keap clients for more than a year are traditional brick and mortar companies that are looking for/needing and/or leaving a traditional CRM tool.
You read that right.
Despite the proliferation of the internet and smartphones and social media, people still like to speak with and actually meet with a sales person before they spend their hard-earned, highly-taxed money.
Ontraport contact record/CRM Oct 2020:
This whole selling-online-in-your-pajamas-while-working-four-hours-a-week-while-virtual-assistants-in-far-away-lands-toil-for-seven-cents-an-hour-developing-killer-products-that-sell-out-faster-than-iPhone-releases-and-deposit-funds-in-offshore-bank-accounts story may sell some books and e-courses and make those authors rich, but it's not reality for the vast majority of entrepreneurs in the world today.
When you sell products or services that cost a few bucks, you are usually involved in what's known as a "complex sale," which means it requires multiple conversations and/or meetings with more than one person.
When that happens you need to...
- track Opportunities,
- coordinate with internal staff and external partners or contractors,
- assign resources,
- update quotes,
- respond to RFPs and RFQs
- and generally keep an eye on these big deals that take more than a cute 5-minute Jing video posted on YouTube to close.
Keap's CRM is fully-integrated with every other component so you can
- add a New Contact or Company or Referral Partner,
- track Visitors,
- create and track Opportunity Stages,
- set Triggers to automate your follow-up as Prospects move to different Opportunity Stages,
- generate Quotes and Invoices,
- send "Buy Now" links right from the Opportunity,
- collect payments,
- show communication history, Notes and more all from inside your Keap application.
You can then run Reports on all of the above, including Custom Fields you created to personalize your workflow.
Both Ontraport and Keap allow you to track Tasks and they provide Lead Scoring, which are great tools that are found in good CRMs.
After using—and still consulting on—Salesforce.com since 2004, I have to say Keap has some room to improve the GUI and workflow and Reports of the CRM piece compared to Salesforce.
But being a static CRM, a.k.a. "Rolodex in the sky" is ALL Salesforce does, so they better be good at it.
(If Salesforce only did email marketing, ecommerce, affiliate marketing, sales and marketing automation, web forms, landing pages, list segmentation and unlimited free support and let me pay monthly instead of one, honking-big annual lump sum I would DEFINITELY SWITCH to them.)
However, since Salesforce does nothing else and since Ontraport doesn't offer a "traditional" CRM I'll give Keap a "relative A" and Ontraport an "A-."
I say "relative" for Keap because anything compared to nothing is infinitely better. However, in absolute terms, if you ONLY wanted a CRM with no automation, triggers, etc., Keap's CRM component would get a "B-" or even a "C."
The Keap CRM is solid, functional, searchable and actionable with room for
- Contact Info,
- Linked Contacts,
- Custom Fields—now with 150 vs 100 custom fields—and more.
Also, the B CRM is Contact-centric whereas most CRMs are Company-centric.
It's not a huge deal, but it is a different approach that may take some getting used to if you are selling into big companies and need to track multiple contacts at the same company.
Along those same lines, adding Companies to the Keap Classic CRM is "cludgy" (to use a technical term). While you can add Contacts to a Company record to show who all works there, you cannot add a hierarchy or subsidiary companies like you can (in the much-more-expensive) Salesforce CRM.
Conversely, Ontraport does allow you to collect and store interaction history and customizable views for your contacts like a CRM and now they offer Custom Objects, which is both good and bad, which is why I give Ontraport an A- for now on their CRM.
Allow me to explain...
Most entrepreneurs and sales people have some experience with a CRM before they look at Ontraport so they have some level of expectation about what a CRM is.
(Yes, the experience and expectations may be incorrect, but you can't just tell a prospect "Hey, you're wrong, I'm right!" without massaging the message a bit.)
So the Custom Objects Ontraport provides is POWERFUL, which is the upside.
It is flexible.
Gives you the ability to create
- Proposals, and more...
Which are all great.
The downside is there is a bit of a learning curve. Not a lot, but when you have the ability to tweak and adjust and iterate and modify...it's easy to "major in the minors" and never get anything big done.
That being said, as long as you are focused, begin with the end in mind, leverage the free support of Ontraport, and even retain pros like I have here at The Sales Whisperer®, you can leverage that power of Ontraport's Custom Objects and do great things with this newer CRM functionality they offer.
Ontraport vs Keap E-commerce
While Keap does offer a shopping cart/storefront, it is somewhat basic and can only be configured for one storefront.
While that doesn't sound like a big deal, if you are a typical entrepreneur and have your fingers in multiple pies and are selling multiple products and programs under various entities/brands, you would have to buy separate installations of Infusionsoft at $199/mo or just offer custom Order Forms with limited functionality to your customers.
That being said, after using Keap since 2008, I've rarely sent people to my store front. 99% of the time I direct people to a Buy Now link that takes them right to the checkout page or a custom order form.
(I've earned and processed millions of dollars with and through Infusionsoft while working from home with no full time employees, so this model works.)
And Keap readily admits that they are not providing you with an "Amazon-type" shopping cart. It's built for small businesses with limited products and categories and it is more than adequate for those types of businesses.
So if you have a simple, online-only business where you sell a handful of standalone products as either a one-time sale and/or adding a subscription to it, Ontraport is a solid choice.
However, if you are running any other type of business where you take orders over the phone and/or want to offer your customers more online buying options, you need to see if Infusionsoft's shopping cart will meet your needs, which it may or may not.
That's why both Ontraport and Keap integrate with other shopping cart options such as WooCommerce, UltraCart, 1ShoppingCart, Magento, etc.
We have done integrations with all of those shopping carts so please contact me to discuss which is best for you if you.
For apples-to-apples E-commerce abilities I'll give Keap an "A-" and give Ontraport a "B+" since Keap has a shopping cart and Ontraport does not.
However, if you only sell a handful of products and aren't trying to become the next Amazon, Ontraport's order forms and E-commerce is easy to setup, easy to use, is mobile responsive and for those reasons I'll give them an A+.
Also, Keap has put a lot effort into their Keap E-commerce platform and I like what I'm seeing. It's not a big, fancy tool for mega-stores, but it's easy to create and sell products and subscriptions, which is all their ideal user needs.
Multi-step, multi-media, targeted, relevant communication is the name of the game in today's crowded, electronic, mobile world.
Email is no long enough.
Social media is no longer enough.
To win the hearts and minds of your prospects and customers today, you need to reach out and touch them in more ways than one.
While Keap offers both fax and voice broadcasts (along with email, of course) from within their application, I think the voice broadcasts are a little too expensive (especially since their tagline is "We love small business) and I've never seen anyone do a fax broadcast.
Sure, they offer direct mail integration, but what you do is create a letter inside the application and save it, then assign a Task to a staff member or 3rd party fulfillment house to print and mail them. Not exactly seamless.
Ontraport, on the other hand, has built-in SMS and postcard delivery from within their software (along with email, of course), and both the SMS and postcard delivery are priced quite attractively.
With Keap, you finally have native SMS!
But if you want to send direct mail more seamlessly requires another connection fee and the cost of the provider.
That being said, I'd give Ontraport an A for multi-media integration and Keap an A-.
Ontraport hands over the belt to Keap/Infusionsoft going into 2022!
The new Keap mobile app is excellent.
Both Keap and Ontraport provide their mobile apps free of charge.
Both Keap and Ontraport give you the power to dang-near run your entire business via their mobile apps, but with the new updates from Keap...
I'll give Keap/Infusionsoft an "A" and give Ontraport an "A-."
While clicking around either platform is similar, the Keap Campaign Builder was a game-changer for them. In fact, if Keap had not deployed it back around 2012, they'd be a shadow of what they are today.
The drag and drop functionality of the Campaign Builder is super-easy to use and it's where you'll spend the bulk of your time as you build out your marketing automation in Keap.
Ontraport, before their 5.0 release in 2017, felt a lot like Infusionsoft's "Legacy" platform before the Campaign Builder was released.
Now they both have an easy-to-use Campaign Builder to build out your marketing automation so I have to give Keap an A+ in this area and Ontraport now gets an A+ as well.
The Ontraport Campaign Builder Is NICE in 2021!
- Monday thru Thursday - 6:00am – 12:00am PST (Keap, please take note of later phone support!)
- Friday - 6:00am – 9:00pm PST (Keap, please take note of later phone support!)
- Saturday & Sunday - 9:00am – 9:00pm PST. (Keap, please take note of weekend phone support!)
- Ontraport also offers chat support during the same hours as phone support.
Keap one-on-one customer support offers:
- Phone: Monday thru Friday - 6:00am - 7:00 pm MST
- Chat: 24/7, which I use all the time
I'll give Ontraport support an "A" because they have better phone support. (I'd give them an A+ if they had 24/7 chat.) I'll give Keap support an "A" because they have 24/7 chat support. (I'd give them an "A+" if they offered greater hours of phone support.)
Having chat support is a dream for me.
I use it all the time.
It sometimes takes a little longer during peak hours for Keap to answer the chat support but when I don't have a life-or-death question I can open the chat window, post my question, get the answer when they get to it and move on.
Social Media Integration
There are two ways to look at Social Media Integration with your sales and marketing automation tool:
- Social media publishing and monitoring.
- Advanced "hooks" or tools to grow with social media.
Neither Infusionsoft nor Ontraport provide any real tools for social media management like a Hootsuite or MeetEdgar or even HubSpot.
Sure, both will let you share an email to a couple of social media profiles or embed a social share set of icons in landing page, but whoop-te-do.
So when it comes to social media publishing and monitoring I'll give both Keap and Ontraport an N/A.
However, when it comes to tapping in and pulling out information from the likes of Twitter and Facebook, now we have something to discuss.
Ontraport is leading the way here with their Facebook integration.
If you're looking for this type of functionality with Ontraport or Infusionsoft you need to get Justin Lofton's cool app, SyncSumo*. (*Use promo code WES20 to save 20% for life.)
Ontraport vs Infusionsoft Pricing
Keap/Infusionsoft has finally chilled out on their crazy price changes while Ontraport has been Steady Eddie in their pricing for years with the following offerings:
|Setup Supt||0||2 Hours||2 Hours||Yes|
Keap, on the other hand, continues to experiment and test both their pricing for various features such as Contacts, Emails, Users, E-Commerce, and Pipeline Automation, they've also toyed around with their setup fees, much to the chagrin of their certified partners.
- Contacts & Emails Per Month
- Since at least 2014 and into early 2019, Ontraport has much more generous limits for total contacts and monthly emails.
- If you need 25,000 Contacts, E-Commerce, and Sales Pipeline with Infusionsoft you'll pay $417/mo vs. $297 with Ontraport. While Infusionsoft gives you 3 users vs. 2 with Ontraport, Ontraport allows concurrent logins, which can be good or bad, but it does allow more people to login with fewer licenses.
- Keap: $499 - My team of Keap Consultants and I spend more time helping new users create and/or document a sales and marketing process as we do showing them how to use the Infusionsoft software during the Kickstart.
That type of marketing, sales, technology and business advice, support and assistance is not free and one does not develop it cheaply.
(When you order Keap through me I add in a couple of extra hours of setup and support.
You also get access to the Sales Growth Program at no extra charge, so that's more hours of live, private support and Infusionsoft training the very first month alone.)
- Ontraport - $0 Setup - Includes two hours of private setup and support at no charge and you can buy a recommended additional two-hour block from Ontraport for $500.
- Keap: $499 - My team of Keap Consultants and I spend more time helping new users create and/or document a sales and marketing process as we do showing them how to use the Infusionsoft software during the Kickstart.
- My Take on the Setup: If you go with Keap or Ontraport, invest your money in getting professional setup service and assistance—preferably with me.
And I'm not being solely self-serving here. The type of help you get from my team and me is the type of help only entrepreneurs "in the wild" can provide.
When you want to learn self-defense, do you want to learn from an instructor who has only taught at his gym for 10 years or from an MMA fighter who has won many competitions and maybe even won the title?
Nothing beats the insight and wisdom of real-world experience.
When you order Keap from me here you can actually save a little money off of Infusionsoft's normal Kickstart.
When you use this link to order Ontraport, leverage the two free hours they provide then invest in a half-day block of time with us.
Sure, it'll be a little more than what Ontraport charges but you're paying for wisdom and experience, not just point-and-click instructions, and that's worth your money and time.
Who gets the nod on pricing?
- If money is tight and you don't need a full-blown shopping cart, Ontraport is great.
- If you need to send a lot of emails to a lot of Contacts, Ontraport is great.
- If you will use the direct mail, SMS, and Facebook custom audiences features that come standard with Ontraport, then you'll save money by going with Ontraport.
- If you need a membership site and need:
- If you need a capable CRM right out of the box with limited customization and/or you need the features of a shopping cart, Keap is great.
On Pricing overall, Ontraport is more affordable.
Not only do they now have their Basic edition for smaller businesses and new entrepreneurs, they also have a non-profit pricing model as well as overall higher limits on emails, contacts and even users when you take into consideration that you can have multiple concurrent logins simultaneously in your Ontraport account.
How To Decide Ontraport vs Keap
I pay not-a-little-bit of money for continuing education, mastermind memberships and private consulting for myself.
Motivated, dedicated entrepreneurs know the power of leveraging the brains, experience and motivation of experts.
That being said, not all Ontraport or Keap Consultants are created equally, so choose wisely how and from whom you purchase your application.
My team consists of multiple Keap Certified Partners, a former Infusionsoft Success Coach that now does the initial training and setup for new clients, API developers for advanced integration and "supercharging" your Infusionsoft application, copywriters, website developers, graphic designers, and an assistant.
When you order your Ontraport or Keap application through me you will have access to my entire team.
I cover strategy and mapping your best course of action, Phly does the initial training to help you accelerate down the path we created together, Daniel & Bob step in for "Ninja tricks" and API coding if needed, Jeff's team will create new banner ads, logos and/or graphics as needed, and I'll assist with content, website, landing page and/or email content creation as part of your normal $99 to $999 setup.
We can then support you on a retainer for as long as you desire to make sure you are growing as quickly as possible.
We have been using databases and CRMs since the mid-90's.
I've used Salesforce since 2004 and was certified at Dell to help them deploy it to their 3,000 North American sales staff in 2007 to 2008. I've used marketing automation software since 2006.
So feel free to contact me if you still have questions on which to buy: Ontraport vs Keap, and I'll help you make the best decision for you and your business.