Ontraport Review: Loaded With Features and Complications
Table of contents
1. What is Ontraport?
2. What features does Ontraport offer?
2.1. Contact management
2.2. Design aspects
2.3. Email marketing campaigns
2.4. Marketing automation
2.5. Salesforce automation
2.6. Business automation
2.7. Customer relationship management (CRM)
2.8. Reporting and analytics
2.9. Webinar service
2.10. Time zone delivery
2.11. Direct mail marketing
2.12. Membership sites
3. Pros of Ontraport
4. Cons of Ontraport
5. Ontraport pricing
5.1. Ontraport Basic plan
5.2. Ontraport Plus plan
5.3. Ontraport Pro plan
6. Who should use Ontraport?
7. The alternative to Ontraport
7.1. Systeme.io Startup plan
7.2. Systeme.io Webinar plan
7.3. Systeme.io Enterprise plan
If you’re doing business of any kind online, you need to have a sales funnel, email marketing tools, automation, analytics, and a whole slew of other things to help you grow and stay on track.
It’s not enough anymore to simply throw a website up on the internet, pay for some ads, and expect people to buy whatever it is you’re selling.
You need to go the extra mile now to take that traffic and continue to push your products and services at them.
The way that most people do this is with a sales funnel, but that’s only the start. You need a whole database of digital marketing tools to create consistent online revenue.
While we’re on the quest to find great online marketing tools, another popular one we stumbled upon is Ontraport.
Ontraport focuses on the five phases of the customer life cycle, and they’ve used that to build their platform to cater to those phases.
In this guide, I’m taking a deep dive inside of Ontraport to see if this tool will help you build, grow, and manage your online business for years to come.
During my research, I put my own experience to the test, and I also used other Ontraport reviews to get an idea of how others enjoyed using the platform.
Ontraport’s founder Landon Ray was frustrated by the fact that he needed to use multiple tools to accomplish one goal.
The end result occurred in 2006 when he put together an all in one platform that offers both a CRM, email marketing campaign manager, and marketing automation.
In 2008, Ontraport hit the public, and they called it the best of both worlds.
The platform grew quite large over the next ten years.
It attracted people from small, medium, and large businesses, so as a response to the growth, they decided to cater each individual package for the size of your business.
Today, the company employs nearly 150 people, which has grown for their initial team of only three.
Ontraport coins the term “all in one automation” software, and they say that they provide every tool and every piece of data you could need to implement those tools.
Right off the bat, that stands out to me because there aren’t many platforms out there to do that.
Even when you compare Ontraport to some of the best, they either offer sales funnels, email marketing, and automation, but they don’t offer advanced data.
The same goes for the other way around. Ontraport claims to provide it all.
The platform allows you to have every piece of the customer life-cycle with campaign maps and planning capabilities so you can predict how successful a campaign will be based on previous similarities of marketing you’ve done in the past.
Not to mention that Ontraport extends this marketing far beyond email. They have SMS texting, landing pages, website forms, and even direct mail marketing.
You might be thinking, “okay, well, that all sounds great, but it sounds complicated.” If you’ve ever used Active Campaign or Salesforce, you’ll understand what I mean by complicated.
Tools that combine this many features into one dashboard often have a steep learning curve that leads most people to sign up for the free trial and discontinue use because they can’t figure it out.
According to the team at Ontraport, they’ve continually tweaked the platform to make it easy to use and beginner-friendly. We shall see!
Now let’s get into the good stuff.
You’ve received your introduction into Ontraport, let’s have a look at some of the features that stand out the most.
We’re starting with the CRM features of Ontraport, and one of those is 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.
Luckily, Ontraport provides that for you 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 manually or directly using the forms.
Something that I like about the contact management feature is that you have total control over the contact fields and variables you use on your profiles.
I have used a lot of CRM’s in the past, and they only provide you with fields like:
When you have control over the fields, it allows you to customize your offerings better when you eventually go to compile this list into an email marketing campaign.
Ontraport doesn’t stop there. While you’re building your list of subscribers, it’s compiling its own data as well.
The platform provides you with details such as 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 one step further. With all of that information that Ontraport compiles for you, segmentation is possible before the lead even makes it onto your list.
You can set custom rules that qualifies and disqualifies leads based on their behaviors and interests.
Overall, the contact management system is highly versatile, flexible, and effective.
Now we’re pivoting away from the plain jane side of things to the more creative aspect of Ontraport.
You might be 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 exactly the same as the email editor.
I thought this was a cool feature because it makes it nice and beginner-friendly, which is important for those who are just starting out.
Ontraport uses a block-based editor that offers you the choice to start from scratch and use one of the pre-built templates. I expect that most of you will choose for the templates.
They offer plenty of block-based templates that make it easy for you to build from and create an amazing piece of content that converts.
Even if you wanted to choose the “start from scratch” option, you’re not responsible for taking care of every little detail.
There’s no programming or developing necessary here.
Since everything is built out in a block system, all you need to do is drag the blogs over to your landing page to create a section.
For example, if you wanted to add an area of text. You would grab “text block” and move it over to the landing page. If you wanted an image gallery, could grab that and pull it over.
Best of all, their templates and all the design features are free with your purchase.
They’re not trying to upsell you on things throughout the creative process, which I appreciate.
As far as I’m concerned, designing landing pages, emails, and forms on Ontraport is simple and easy to pick up on as a beginner.
From the outside, the platform looks somewhat intimidating, but once you get inside, you’ll find it easy to pick up and learn.
Now, let’s move onto the actual campaigns. You’re sitting over there with your forms, emails, and landing pages, so now you need to put them to work.
The campaign builder is where you’ll go to do this, and you’ll likely spend most of your 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 get to 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.
Something I found cool is that 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 against each other.
You have the choice of choosing between a few different roadmap styles, but if you’re a beginner, I would suggest 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 when you’re 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-in to something, they would go in a different direction than someone who opts out.
If you want, Ontraport even provides visual flow templates for your email marketing campaigns as well.
They come with customizable goal tracking that can take down 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.
Overall, I am highly impressed with Ontraports campaign builder.
As I said, you’ll spend most of your time here, so you want to familiarize yourself with this section of the platform. It’s easy to learn and understand, even if you have no experience.
We talked about this a lot in the previous section, but marketing automation allows you to create fully integrated campaigns that guide your leads and customers through a journey to become 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 purchase, and even after that.
Something cool about Ontraport is the flexibility to create a campaign that works for you.
Since they have SMS, you can even add that as a part of your sales funnel for a select group that prefers to communicate via text rather than email.
It all makes sense, and the versatility of the platform is what impresses me so much.
Now, if you have a remote sales team that you manage as part of your process, you’ll want to have the salesforce automation sequences in place.
Ontraport provides you with the ability to generate more prospects, nurture more leads, and ultimately close more sales.
With the 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 a bit 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 regarding 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 divvy up time and resources to the most important sales.
The platform also provides task automation, which helps you keep your sales team on track with automated prompts to remind them to reach out to specific leads.
When the task is complete, the salesperson will select an outcome that will move the lead onto the next step, which 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 always have the perfect 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 I have ever seen for inbound and outbound sales.
Sometimes we recruit the help of so many different tools that we end up using none of them to their full potential. Ontraport looks to stop that issue with their business automation tool.
This suite is an all in one solution 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 about you, 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.
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.
During my research, I discovered that many customers using the platform are impressed by how easy it is to move people around and change things once you’ve done something.
One thing I’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 block system for almost everything, it’s as simple as dragging a person from one section to another if you need to make a change.
I 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 some different metrics for you to analyze.
You can compare desktop versus mobile, regional performance, global performance, specific performance of a demographic, age range, opportunities based on each salesperson, the exact results of a specific marketing funnel.
The options are endless, as you can see, and that's because of the sheer amount of data you can gather 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 your own KPI’s and only use the ones that are important 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 only to take the information you find useful to your business.
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 are outrageously expensive, so I was 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 determine how you’ll move on.
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 I’ll explain all of that towards the end.
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 the “when” of your emails.
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 are not doing everything you can to reach that audience at their best.
Maybe when you send the email at 9 am your time, you’re actually sending it to a bunch of people in the middle of the night.
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 (their time).
Can you believe we’re talking about an advanced CRM and marketing tool that offers postcard marketing? It’s interesting but brilliant at the same time.
Why is it brilliant? Because no one else is doing this, so it gives you a leg up.
I have a great example to share. We’ve all heard of Chewy.com, right?
Well, 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 I got this for the first time, I was floored because I 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 your continued business with us.
You don’t even need to offer them anything because the card says it all.
Sometimes it’s the little things like this that separate a great company from a good one.
Overall, I think this is a big win for Ontraport and something unique that positions the platform above the rest.
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.
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.
Now let’s talk about the question that is on everyone’s mind, how much does all of this cost?
I want to give you the most complex breakdown, but there are a million features, so I’ll try to cover as much as possible.
Folks, 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 I’ve said throughout this review, while all these features are great, sometimes it’s a bit much, and I’m starting to see that.
An all-in-one marketing platform needs to be what you need to get the job done, but it doesn’t literally need to be every marketing feature packed tight into one tool that does it all.
I’m starting to think if you’re new to the game or still trying to grow your business that you won’t be able to use Ontraport.
I guess at this point, it’s time for me to provide you with a verdict.
All in all, Ontraport is an incredible marketing tool that offers more features than I ever thought possible.
Their greatest accomplishment is what becomes their biggest downfall.
This platform is not beginner-friendly, and it’s about as “not” friendly as possible.
It will take you ages to learn how to use this, and if you’re a business owner, you don’t have that. They don’t provide advanced training like some platforms do either.
Some marketing platforms like Salesforce and Builderall will offer one-on-one training with representatives that will teach your team how to use the platform.
If you’re a small business owner or someone who is trying to get their business off the ground, I would not recommend going with Ontraport.
One, because it’s expensive. Two, because it will take you far too long to learn. Three, because they include too many features at the lower price tiers, which jacks up the price.
If I was Ontraport, I would offer a much more beginner-friendly package that is lower cost and provides a limited repertoire of features that you need to get started.
Systeme.io's home page
If you are a beginner (or not) and you’re looking for a way to manage your business and sell your online products and services, Systeme.io is the best alternative to Ontraport.
The platform is much easier to use, much more simple, and instead of providing a vast array of features you’ll never use, we focus on offering only the most important components that help you run and grow your online business.
Best of all, Systeme.io is an all-in-one marketing tool as well.
This means you can build sales funnels, email lists, send unlimited emails, launch a blog, host webinars, and create membership sites while automating the whole thing.
Another significant difference between Systeme.io and Ontraport is the price.
Even some of our premium packages don’t cost as much as Ontraport. Here is a quick breakdown of our pricing structure:
The start-up package is perfect for new businesses or small companies.
The webinars package suits medium-sized businesses.
The enterprise package offers the most benefits of all and is ideal for more established businesses.
I found you found this Ontraport review useful. I also hope you find what you’re looking for in either Ontraport or Systeme.io.
If you’re interested in taking a more in-depth look at Systeme.io, check us out here. You can sign up for a 14-day free trial, and we don’t ask for your credit card either!