Ontraport Review 2021: (Over)Loaded with Features
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There’s steep competition when it comes to online businesses, it takes a great deal of effort to remain ahead of the pack.
You undeniably need to have a whole slew of tools to help you grow and stay on track.
It’s not enough to simply throw a website up on the internet, pay for some ads, and expect people to buy whatever you’re selling.
These days, you’ll need to go the extra mile to drive traffic to your website to push your products and services.
The way to do this is with a sales funnel, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
You need a whole set of digital marketing tools to make sure you earn consistent revenue.
A popular option that we stumbled across is Ontraport.
Ontraport offers an all-in-one experience including tools for customer relationship management (CRM), email marketing campaigns, and marketing automation
Ontraport claims to provide every tool and set of data needed to implement those tools.
Right off the bat, this stands out due to the lack of platforms out there offering such a streamlined solution.
Ontraport focuses on the 5 phases of the customer life cycle, and they’ve used that to build their platform: attract, convert, fulfill, delight, and refer.
Ontraport claims to provide it all, allowing you to have every piece of the customer life-cycle with campaign maps and planning capabilities.
This allows you to predict how successful a campaign will be based on your past marketing ventures.
Ontraport extends this marketing far beyond email — they have SMS texting, landing pages, website forms, and direct mail marketing.
You may think that it sounds pretty complex, and if you’ve ever used Active Campaign or Salesforce, you’ll understand what we mean.
Tools that combine these many features often have a steep learning curve.
You sign up for the free trial and end up ditching it because it’s tough to figure it out.
Ontraport says they have continually tweaked the platform to make it easy to use and beginner-friendly.
Let’s see how substantiated this is!
In this guide, we take a deep dive into Ontraport so you can decide if this is the tool you need to help your online business grow.
Now let’s get into the good stuff and explore some of the features that stand out the most.
Businesses use customer relationship management tools to build, maintain and scale relationships with clients (both current and future).
Let’s start with the CRM features Ontraport has to offer, namely contact management.
When you’re building a list and trying to grow your database of subscribers, you need a place to put them all and keep it organized.
Ontraport provides this with their contact management system.
You have the choice of creating a contact base from scratch or leveraging the landing pages, SMS, or forms.
If you currently have a list using another platform, Ontraport makes it easy to import those contacts either manually or directly using the forms.
Something that stands out when it comes to the contact management feature is having total control over the contact fields and variables used on your profiles.
Many CRM’s in the past usually only provide you with generic fields like:
When you have this kind of control, it allows you to customize your offerings when you compile this list into an email marketing campaign.
Ontraport doesn’t stop there.
While you’re building a list of subscribers, it’s compiling its own data as well.
The platform provides you with details like appointment history, account activity, engagement history, lead score, purchase history, and more.
You can keep all of this important data with the lead and use it to customize your email marketing campaigns and segment your audience.
Taking things even further, all of the information that Ontraport compiles for you makes segmentation possible before the lead even makes your list.
You can set custom rules that either qualify or disqualify leads based on their behaviors and interests.
Overall, the contact management system is highly versatile, flexible, and effective.
Not everyone is gifted with natural creativity so having a simple to use design tool when it comes to business is a must-have.
Now we’re pivoting away from the plain jane side of things to the more creative aspects of Ontraport.
You’re probably wondering, “ Can I create beautiful landing pages, funnels, and emails with Ontraport?”
The answer is sort of!
The best feature of Ontraport’s design and creativity is its customization tools and editor.
There is only one editor for everything you do on the platform.
Let’s say you move over to a landing page, you’ll find that the editor is identical to the email editor.
This handy feature makes it beginner-friendly, which is great for newbies.
Ontraport uses a block-based editor that affords you the option to start from scratch or to use one of the pre-built templates.
They offer plenty of block-based templates that make it easy to create an amazing piece of content that converts.
Even if you wanted to choose the “start from scratch” option, there’s no need to stress about every small detail.
There’s no programming or development necessary here.
Since everything is based on a block system, simply drag the blogs over to your landing page to create a section.
Let’s say you wanted to add text.
You just grab a “text block” and move it over to the landing page.
If you wanted an image gallery, just grab it and place it where you would want it.
Their templates and all the design features are free with your purchase. No pesky microtransactions.
They’re not trying to upsell you on things throughout the creative process, which we appreciate.
As far as we’re concerned, designing landing pages, emails, and forms on Ontraport is simple and easy to pick up on as a beginner.
At face value, the platform looks somewhat intimidating, but once you start using it, you’ll find it’s easygoing.
An email marketing campaign is a set of messages sent at a specific time to promote a product.
You’ve got your forms, emails, and landing pages, and now you need to put them to work.
Ontraport’s campaign builder is where you’ll do this, and you’ll likely spend the most time here.
Ontraport combines marketing automation with their CRM to create a visual flow builder which you might already be familiar with.
Systeme.io uses this same type of workflow design.
As with everything else about Ontraport, they take a visual approach.
You use all the information you’ve gathered like segments, rules, and tags and incorporate them into a campaign roadmap that provides you with statistics in real-time.
The platform provides live stats about how each step of the funnel is performing.
There is also a projection and performance mode if you’re looking to compare the two.
You get to choose between a few different roadmap styles, but if you’re a beginner, we recommend keeping it simple.
This style of funnel would involve a linear roadmap containing multiple stages (or steps) without dynamic conditions.
When someone moves through one step, they move onto another step, and so on.
This type of workflow keeps things simple for you while you’re still learning.
As you get more experienced, Ontraport provides flexibility for you to create branches based on the actions of your leads.
For example, if someone opts into something, they would go in a different direction than someone who opts out.
Ontraport also provides visual flow templates for your email marketing campaigns as well.
They offer customizable goal tracking that records statistics about SMS messaging, lead locations on the landing page, clicks on your email, and more.
The platform provides a ton of data to help you determine how successful your campaign is.
As mentioned earlier, you’ll likely spend most of your time here, so you want to familiarize yourself with this section of the platform if you do opt to go with Ontraport’s system.
It’s easy to learn and understand, even if you have no experience.
Marketing automation is essentially using software to automate activities in this department.
Marketing automation allows you to create fully integrated campaigns.
These guide your leads through their journey to eventually becoming a buyer.
Ontraport takes the leads' behaviors, demographics, and preferences into account and groups them automatically into the funnel they belong in based on your settings.
You can automate any part of the customer life cycle, and you have complete control over everything that happens.
The bottom line is, you set up the variables, campaigns, and funnels, and then the platform does the rest of the work.
The leads will move through your funnel automatically while you sit back and monitor the results.
The marketing automation will nurture your leads from the second they land on your page until they eventually make a purchase, and beyond.
One of Ontraport’s perks is the flexibility to create a campaign that works for you.
Since they have SMS, you can add that to your sales funnel for a select group that prefers to communicate via text rather than email.
Now, if you have a remote sales team that you manage as part of your process, you’ll want to have salesforce automation sequences in place.
Ontraport provides you with the ability to generate more prospects, nurture more leads, and ultimately close more sales.
With salesforce automation, you can use the visual pipeline builder to organize and oversee deals at every stage.
Your team can also work them through the funnel with the simple drag and drop guide to move them closer to closing.
If your company is more advanced and you’re looking for a better way to keep track and speed up the process of closing your sales, this tool is for you.
It allows you to store all the information relating to a lead so you can quickly update yourself on the status of that sale.
Based on different variables, Ontraport will provide you with a deal value and expected win percentage.
This allows you to allocate more time and resources to the most important sales.
The platform also provides task automation, which helps you keep your sales team on track with prompts to remind them to reach out to specific leads.
Once the task is complete, the salesperson will select an outcome that will move the lead onto the next step, which then triggers a new action.
Finally, the system automatically assigns leads to users within the account so you can follow up with the right person and have the salesperson on the job.
The Round Robin feature distributes leads one by one to ensure that each team member has the same number of leads.
This is one of the most advanced sales force automation systems available for inbound and outbound sales.
Using multiple tools often means you are paying for more than you need.
To avoid unnecessary spending, Ontrareport offers an all-in-one solution.
They promise to help you automate your prospect, customer, and partner communications so you can save time and spend more of it on your business.
The business automation suite helps you automate repetitive business processes such as assigning work, replying to inquiries, order fulfillment, and sending emails.
Ontraport will collect relevant information on a weekly or monthly basis so you can create a recurring process that doesn’t interrupt your workflow.
So, as the platform collects information and data, it allows you to automate some of the simple processes that become repetitive.
For example, if you’re responsible for the fulfillment of a specific order at the same time every month, Ontraport will pick up on that and provide you with the opportunity to do it automatically.
You can also automate customer service. Many business owners and managers spend a lot of time onboarding new clients, but you can automate the entire process using Ontraport.
They’ll receive follow-up emails, documents, forms, and everything they need for the onboarding process so you can focus on acquiring new clients.
Webinars are the perfect way to shift interactions with clients away from emails and towards more personalized video experiences.
Ontraport keeps the features going with a fully integrated webinar service built into the platform.
If you’ve ever shopped around for webinar tools, you quickly realize that they’re outrageously expensive, so we were thrilled to see that they offer one built into Ontraport.
The platform will record, store, and enable the streaming of your recorded webinars.
You can schedule them and target a specific audience, and then the platform will take care of the launch, reminders, and follow-up emails.
Also, all the actions taken by your audience are recorded in the CRM with analytics so you can refer back in the future and use the data to determine the way forward.
If you go for the Enterprise package of Ontraport, you’ll gain access to webinars for up to 500 people.
This feature is a premium offering, so it comes at an additional cost, but we’ll get into more detail about that later.
We’re getting down to some of the nitty-gritty features now.
A huge part of success with email marketing is knowing who to send an email to, but a lot of people overlook “when” these should be sent.
If you’re always sending emails at the same time and aren’t getting the results you want, that’s because you’ve never ventured off the beaten path.
When you only send emails to everyone at the same time, you aren’t doing everything you can to reach that audience at the best times.
Ontraport allows you to use their time travel feature so you can send the same email at 9 am to everyone regardless of what time zone they’re in.
The email will arrive in their inbox at 9 am (local time).
Can you believe we’re talking about an advanced CRM and marketing tool that offers postcard marketing?
It’s interesting and brilliant at the same time.
Why is it brilliant? Because no one else is doing this, so it gives you a leg up.
When you sign up for an account, it asks you for some information about your pets, such as their name and birthday.
Each year they send you a hand-written postcard with 10% off anything in the store for your pet's birthday.
When we got this for the first time, we were floored because we had no idea that a company so large could even manage to do something like this.
Think of how impressed your customer will be when you send them a postcard for their birthday, saying thank you for their continued support.
You don’t even need to offer them anything because the card says it all.
It’s the little things like this that separate a great company from a good one.
If you offer a subscription-based service, you’ll enjoy the fact that Ontraport offers membership sites.
Out of the dozens of CRM and marketing platforms we’ve tested, this is the only one other than Systeme.io to offer a membership site.
It’s great because you can accept monthly membership fees from your members in exchange for the training or services you provide.
For example, this works well if you provide training material, coaching, or mentorship to a group of people.
By now, you realize that Ontraport offers an advanced CRM system that offers many different ways for you to maintain relationships with your customers.
It’s well-optimized, and it helps both your salespeople and marketers.
Using the arsenal of tools available, you should have no problem addressing all your customer’s concerns and keeping track of prior and future interactions.
The drag-and-drop layout is what people like most about Ontraport.
We’ve discovered that many customers using the platform are impressed by how easy it is to move people around and change things once they’ve done something.
One thing we’ve noticed in the past about a lot of CRMs is that it’s not easy to change something once you do it.
Since Ontraport uses a drag-and-drop system for almost everything, it’s as simple as dragging a person from one section to another if you need to make a change.
We could likely sit here and write a 5000-word article on all the reports and analytics that Ontraport provides, but let’s focus on the primary points.
As with everything else, the platform breaks everything up into basic and advanced, and with that comes varying metrics for you to analyze.
The options are endless as you can see, and that's because of the huge amount of data gathered on each lead.
Since Ontraport does a lot of the data mining on its own, you don’t have to worry about doing any of this yourself either.
You can simply use the data fields you’ve chosen to compile your reports to offer feedback to your sales and marketing staff.
You have the freedom to choose KPIs relevant to your business
Overall, all of this might seem overwhelming to a new or small business owner because of the amount of data you’re compiling.
Thankfully, you have the flexibility and freedom to only take the information you find useful to your business.
We have covered a lot in this breakdown of Ontraport, so let’s take a look at the outstanding features that stood out the most.
To give credit where credit is due, Ontraport has some impressive features.
However, the pitfalls to keep in mind when considering the platform include:
Now let’s talk about the question that is on everyone’s mind — how much does all of this cost?
We want to give you the most complex breakdown, however, there are a million features, so we'll try to cover as much as possible.
The list goes on and on and on. You get all of this at their cheapest plan, so you can only imagine what you get as you upgrade.
As we’ve said, while all these features are great, they’re also a bit overwhelming.
An all-in-one marketing platform needs to include features to get the job done — not every single digital marketing feature under the sun.
If you’re new to the game, or still trying to grow your business, you’ll struggle to use Ontraport.
All in all, Ontraport is an incredible marketing tool that offers more features than should be possible.
This great accomplishment is their biggest downfall.
This platform is not beginner-friendly.
Learning to use Ontraport will take ages, and you don't have time for that.
There's no advanced training to help you along either.
If you’re a small business owner or someone who is trying to get their business off the ground, Ontraport shouldn’t be your first choice.
If Ontraport’s pricing has you concerned about your wallet, there is another option.
If you’re a beginner (and even if you’re not) look to systeme.io as an alternative digital marketing platform.
The platform is much more simple and easier to use, and focuses on offering only the most important components that help you run and grow your online business.
Best of all, systeme.io is also an all-in-one marketing tool.
This means you can build sales funnels, email lists, send unlimited emails, launch a blog, host webinars, and create membership sites
Another significant difference between systeme.io and Ontraport is the price.
Even our premium packages don’t cost as much as Ontraport’s.
Here’s a quick breakdown of our pricing structure:
Systeme.io offers a wide range of plans catering to every business, regardless of size and available budget.
ALL of our plans (including the free option) include:
In a nutshell, Ontraport may be based on an interesting concept but when it comes to pricing and ease of use it falls short of systeme.io.
There are a million time-consuming tasks to perform when starting up or improving your business.
Adding yet another steep learning curve into the mix is hardly appealing.
If you’re interested in taking a more in-depth look at systeme.io, check us out here.
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