(The Definitive Review and Ratings 2019)
Is Ontraport CRM the most powerful visual marketing automation
and reporting platform for your business?
Ontraport CRM is known as the business automation software for entrepreneurs, solopreneurs and small businesses. The EntrepreneursGateway.com Team check out these claims in this Definitive Review!
Just how powerful is their platform?
Does Ontraport’s features really give you everything you need to publish, market, sell and organize?
Let’s check it out (we’ve even got a COUPON for you)….
An EntrepreneursGateway.com Review you can Trust!
Ontraport offers great CRM together with campaign automation and lead generation.
You don’t get a lot for your money with Ontraport especially if you have an email campaign focus.
Ontraport is easy to set up (with support) and to use thereafter.
Ontraport provides you with your very own dedicated Support Hero at the start, but after that, it can get difficult.
Are you looking for a more efficient way to manage and grow your business? Well, you can start by using the right customer relationship management (CRM) software. One that will make a difference to both you and your company. Whether you are looking for a free version to fit in with your budget or a simple one that is designed for small businesses – don’t worry and keep reading as there will be a CRM software that is right for you.
Sounds simple, doesn’t it? Well, for some maybe, but for others setting up the necessary techie stuff can be a huge stumbling block and stops them before they have even begun.
Well, this review is for everyone – from beginners or those who possess limited techie knowledge, to those who feel completely overwhelmed with all the CRM Software that is currently available on today’s market. It really can be quite confusing!!
In this review, we will look at the features and benefits that Ontraport offers, so that you have a better understanding of how it works and whether it is the perfect CRM software for both you and your business.
So, without further ado, let’s get on with it!!
I will put Ontraport through our rigorous testing and will look at the following aspects.
Performance: How does Ontraport perform and what features do they offer to help create the perfect CRM?
Usability – Does Ontraport offer everything necessary that users expect from CRM software?
Support: Does Ontraport offer quick customer support solutions and help, and can you count on them when it matters most?
Cost – Does Ontraport offer the best pricing in the marketplace? AND more importantly, what deals are available that can help you save money?
We Don't Like
Ontraport is an all-in-one innovative business automation platform and CRM system which was founded by Landon Ray in 2006, in Santa Barbara, California. Features include membership site, business & marketing automation, affiliate management, direct-mail printing, payment processing, and much more.
Its software is similar to Infusionsoft in that it offers visual automated email marketing and reporting.
In this review, you will learn whether or not your business is the right ‘fit’ for Ontraport CRM and how Ontraport can automate your business processes and marketing AND improve your profits!!
I have also listed what I dislike about Ontraport – which, may I add, is getting smaller and smaller thanks to them continually updating the system as well as launching new stuff.
So, if you’re ready, let’s dive on in and see what Ontraport has to offer…
#2 Additional Features
Ontraport CRM is a big game player in the CRM world. And with its new features (which were much needed) we don’t see it going anywhere. We rate it highly, and it is used by one of our sister companies! However, with all of its great features and benefits, it does have its own pitfalls
In this section, you will learn about some of the most used features that Ontraport offers to help you automate your marketing and grow your business.
So, to begin with, let’s take a look at Ontraports 5 newest features…
1 - ONTRAPages
Ontraport has now launched a Landing Page editor – ONTRAPages. The best part is that it’s FREE and it’s incredible. I kid you not!! One look and you’ll immediately see how slick and easy it is to use.
ONTRAPages is the only FREE landing page software application I know of, and it has quickly become a firm favorite of mine. I don’t know why anyone would want to use ClickFunnels when you have everything you need and more with Ontraport. You can enjoy this FREE FOREVER! They also added a marketplace where certified ONTRAPORT consultants can upload their own funnels and landing pages to sell inside ONTRAPORT.
Keep in mind though…
If you are already an ONTRAPORT customer or are thinking of subscribing, then you will automatically get ONTRAPages plus everything else we mention – yay, another added bonus!!
This solves a massive problem. Business and marketing automation platforms have always struggled to incorporate landing page editors that produce attractive landing pages. Well, I can announce ONTRAPORT have pulled it off, meaning less third-party tools and a saving of both money and the time spent learning yet another software application.
Is ONTRAPages perfect? Does it have all the bells and whistles?
Well, no is the simple answer.
However, it’s excellent, it’s fast, and it comes with great tools that will appease the most demanding marketers – better still it all just works so well.
2 - ONTRAForms
This is something no other marketing automation software has got right either. Well until ONTRAFORM. Ontraform is a beautiful, responsive, feature that contains rich forms that will grow your email list fast.
Pop overs (which are pop-up a form from anywhere), Exit pop (when they try to leave your site they get a pop-up form), Double opt is…OMG, it is awesome, it’s mobile responsive, it’s beautiful, and Ontraport is the first CRM platform to pull it off.
3 - ONTRAMail
Ugly email has plagued us all in the past. I remember using salesforce and being embarrassed to send emails to clients, it was UGLY then and still UGLY now. This is something that has plagued every platform. NOT ANYMORE! Not only are the emails responsive they look just as great on mobile as they do on a desktop.
4 - ONTRAPORT.com
They have a brand new user-friendly interface. – ONTRAPORT.com – and it looks terrific. Don’t believe me? Why not take a look for yourself?
5 - ONTRAPORT App
Yes, you read that right….just $79/month
Ontraport has now added an incredible little feature called ONTRAPORT Projects. It is a little widget found at the bottom right-hand corner of your software which contains lots and lots of the most common applications for Ontraport’s marketing automation. It also contains plenty of detailed walkthroughs on how you can implement it. No more hair pulling!
Verdict: Ontraport really does seem to have everything under control with its new FREE landing pages, effective pop-up application, attractive email builder and handy mobile-friendly app. Everything a business could wish for – all in contained in one CRM, I do believe that all is well in the Ontraport camp.
#3 Ease of Use
The software is a huge piece of kit and can do so much; it takes time to learn and time to automate your business process. As long as you can accept this and be prepared, you’ll be ok. In this section, we will look at how to navigate around Ontraport together with what help and support are available.
Are you ready? Good, then let’s dive straight in…
So, what can you expect during your Ontraport Sales experience and setup process?
#Well, to begin with, no sales representatives!!
If you don’t like talking to a sales representative, then you’ll love the sales process that Ontraport uses, they don’t have one. The only time you’ll speak to a rep is when you would like a demo, and, in that case, you sign up for a hands-on custom demonstration.
Let’s talk about the sales process…or precisely about the absence of one.
Once you go through either a self-service recommendation or the free consultation and decide that Ontraport is the right fit for your business, then you just go online. It will take you just a couple of seconds; there’s no set-up cost or training fees. The sales procedure is quick and painless; no sales rep is necessary.
Below are a couple of things that make the sales process a bit less overwhelming compared to a few others that I have tried…like Salesforce and Infusionsoft.
- ONTRAPORT emphasizes on giving out clear instructions. Take a look at their blog, and it is a wealth of knowledge.
- ONTRAPORT allows you to buy right away, via the website, without having to speak with a sales representative – the exact opposite of Infusionsoft and Salesforce.
- There is no upfront cost besides the standard monthly subscription. As you would expect.
- You can move at your own pace, because of the consultative sales process without any pressure from an interfering salesperson.
- Sales representatives are readily available if you need them for questions.
- You have a 90-day money back guarantee if you do not like the software. You can simply close your account and get your refund without any stress.
There is one thing you need to know…
That is, of course, if Ontraport is right for you. Their ‘platform’ section is a fantastic teaser and sure is entertaining… but what it’s missing is genuine, real-life content.
Let’s face it; there is no logical way to try out a piece of software this big as it is designed to run your business.
Who would undergo months of configuration just to “try out” the software? I know, I certainly wouldn’t, would you?!
The only people that cancel, generally are those that didn’t put the software to work.
Here is some of the cool stuff your support hero does:
- Business development – finds the best uses for how Ontraport can help your business.
- Go over the set-up with you to help you quickly learn how to use the software.
- Sets you up with automation campaigns AND then connects them to your site…this part is made easier with the new Ontraport projects.
- Demonstrates ONTRAForms, and how to set them up on your website.
- Does the WordPress Integration for you, if you have a WP website.
Ontraport’s willingness to help their clients is just fantastic, all without asking for a dime in upfront fees.
The ‘Training Programme’…
Ontraport even has its own initial training programme called the ‘9 Moves’. It is very entertaining, thorough and easy to follow. Whatever your background is they will have you up to speed on the foundations of marketing automation.
Expect to get lots of emails during the first few weeks intended to keep you on track with the training. Just use the resources, follow the process, and it will be a breeze.
What about customer service?
Call me demanding, but I am the customer, right? There is never a customer service agent when you need one, well it seems like that.
Infusionsoft has customer service agents 24/7 so, if you’re like me and burn the midnight oil or live in a different time zone there is always someone on help to help you when you get stuck. Ontraport now only really has a live chat option and they are not always there, so you’re left hanging, not cool Ontraport.
They have now started discouraging you from calling them directly. Whereas before they had various support channels, now everything is directed to the live chat and support. Generally speaking, I like answers fast, so I prefer to pick up the phone rather than spending hours playing ping pong chat, it is
super frustrating and a drain on my time, for me it’s more convenient to speak with someone.
Your dedicated support hero is meant to be there to support you but waiting to get hold of them, waiting for them to come back to you, having general support would be nice especially when you’re paying upwards of $297/month for it!!
Verdict: Ontraport was simple, quick to learn and easy to set-up, making it a great experience, despite their ugly user-friendly interface. For me, it was an enjoyable experience and not too overwhelming, however, their support could do with some tweaking.
#4 Mobile App Functionality
In today’s digital world, it really is essential to have a CRM that is mobile responsive.
In this section, we will look at Ontraports mobile app functionality and see if it really does keep you connected while on the move.
Back in 2014, at the Ontrapalooza (which for those who don’t know is Ontraports yearly conference!!), it announced the launch of both an Android and iPhone app that would allow its users to manage their CRM, subscribe new users to their sequences and add new contacts.
Verdict: The apps are useful for sending quick messages (by text or email) to different groups or for keeping your contacts up to date. For anything else though, I would recommend sticking to the desktop version.
#5 Third Party Integrations
Third-party integrations and add-ons can make running a business much easier as they integrate with programmes and services that are already being used and automatically share data between systems in real time.
It is always important to look at what features are included with your specific subscription as well as those that require a third-party add-on.
In this section, we will look at what apps, services, add-ons, and campaigns are included with Ontraport and whether they live up to expectations.
Come on, let’s get going..
Well, there’s no easy or pleasant way to say this, but…. There is very limited third-party integration, and it definitely needs to change!!
Phew, I’m glad that’s out in the open!!
If you need third party integration to look elsewhere. This has to be one of my biggest bugbears. If you use other software solutions that you are happy with or you need a new piece of software that you want to integrate with Ontraport, think again.
They have very limited API integration. That said, if you’re a small one-man band, Ontraport does almost everything you need to for now, so this might not be a big issue for you BUT…
If you are a small business, you will still want/need to look elsewhere.
You will hear Ontraport and their agents tell you that you can use API cowboys such as Zapier.com to integrate third-party tools – which technically is correct BUT…Ontraports Zapier integration is very very basic and limited to only a one-way integration.
While Ontraport does have an API plus 24 partner integrations, their infrastructure for third-party apps isn’t anything like that of Infusionsoft, who off the top of my head have 348 apps and integrations within their marketplace.
Verdict: Ontraport’s integrations do include most of the common services, such as WordPress, Quickbooks, PayPal, LeadPages, and 1ShoppingCart. However, with their very small number of integrations you will definitely be slightly limited unless of course, your developers can play about with the API.
#6 Reports and Analytics
Once you have been using CRM management to manage your deals and leads, you will want to see how successful you’ve been together with the areas that perhaps need improving on. Look for software that includes reporting features, especially ones that can be customized so that you can see what types of customers and responding and how employees are performing.
So, let’s have a look at what analytics and reports that Ontraport has to offer to ensure that you can always be kept in the loop.
Ontraport has the ability to track much more information than most popular platforms, BUT the downside is still that they restrict the number of emails sends because each email has a huge quantity of data linked to it.
You are able to view exactly where the traffic originated from and tracked it back to the sale; this can give you the lifetime value as well as profit loss for each campaign or lead source.
Each contact is continuously tracked, and their website actions are monitored, so you will know if/when a person has visited your website (or if they haven’t visited your site for a specific period of time, so you can email them).
Clever automation capabilities: Ontraport uses ‘if-then’ algorithms, which makes all other software automation look stupid. That is why marketers, who use Ontraport can think up new smarter campaign ideas that will lead your clients to start thinking you are stalking them…Your automation can get scary, seriously.
With Ontraport, split testing capacity is standard. You could split test literally anything! From landing pages, the email subject lines, to body text, etc. Every little thing is tracked, with stats that are offered at a quick glance. I can’t tell you just how convenient this is.
Split testing is crucial for any successful marketer. Infusionsoft doesn’t even let you do this. It can seriously affect the long-term conversion rates which put more money in your bank account. Marketing is a test and learn game.
It’s really simple to learn. A few years back when I first opened my Ontraport CRM, I was able to get to grips with it in under an hour. Now though, the set-up does take considerably longer.
Ontraport fully integrates with WordPress. This really is a great feature since 90% of the internet use WordPress including ours. Pilot Press is their plugin that integrates with your WordPress site and lets you set up order forms, track, build landing pages and even set up your own membership site.
Only Ontraport has this out of the box. Membership sites can be set up in minutes by just using your existing WordPress site, just using the plugin (Pilot Press from Ontraport). Everything integrates flawlessly and functions. Previously you would have had to bootstrap the software together and spend hours managing it; now it can be set up in a flash and automated.
An example is, when you are looking at the overall performance of an email inside of the “Messages” view, information like the number of opens, opt-outs, clicks, and complaints is there, albeit in a rather plain, text-based table, which to access you need to scroll horizontally.
However, what I like, is that you are able to customize what columns are displayed in all the tables. Which means that there’s a lot of data but presented in a rather bland way.
So, we’ve looked at the great things that Ontraport has to offer, now I did mention that I would list what I didn’t like about it…so here you are:
It looks cheap.
We all like the look of beautiful things, everything I go I try to make it look great, just look at the website you’re currently on (COMMENTS BELOW ha, ha). I am a die-hard Apple fan, from the packaging to the product to the stores, everything is beautiful. I care about how things look, and aesthetics are important. Compared to Infusionsoft, Ontraport is its ugly sister, the one no one likes to talk about or invite to public events. You may not care about what it looks like, but it has been scientifically proven if the software looks great we are more inclined to use it – weird but true. I understand that there is a brand-new user interface in the pipeline, so we will see what that looks like, but it is worth mentioning that the CRM looks dated.
When people sign up to one of my lead magnets, it is astonishing how many people don’t capitalize the first letter in their name, SO when you send out an email, you guessed it their name is in lower case, not cool, what would you think if you got an email, and they didn’t capitalize your name. There is no way to fix this in Ontraport you have to manually go through each record, can you imagine just how time-consuming this is, not to mention how frustrating!
You cannot modify tags.
99.% of all client CRM systems that I’ve seen, their tagging is a mess, and this is one of the biggest pains in the b*tts to fix. If you want to scale your business, you need a good systematic tagging process. In Infusionsoft, it is easy; you can go in and edit your tag, job done. Ontraport you can only delete or add tags. Trust me you don’t want to go deleting tags; you will end up with campaigns that look like tangled up Christmas lights, you won’t know where you are.
Duplicate record issues.
Update – Although not perfect they have added the ability to now merge records. It isn’t as bad as it used to be as you had no option to merge and delete duplicate records. This new fix is time-consuming and involves manual input, but at least it is better than nothing. This option has been around years so why Ontraport can’t get this fixed is very annoying. Time is money.
The CRM is not opportunity, sales or company aware.
UPDATE: They have launched a new feature called ‘Customer Objects’ that allows you to track relationships as well as allowing you to track companies. BUT…it is complicated and not out of the box. If you do any networking, you can forget tracking that, Ontraport is just not very good at tracing sales and pipelines – It is not a STRONG CRM. If you have a salesperson or sales team, you should look at alternative platforms purely for this 1 reason alone!
Affiliate center isn’t hosted.
If you offer affiliate commission as part of your business model, then you might want to consider Infusionsoft…
The affiliate center has to be self-hosted which means you have to integrate it into your WordPress sites. This is super annoying, can be complicated to set up and will need a developer and on-going maintenance.
Verdict: Although Ontraport does offer a variety of analytics I did feel that the reporting was rather minimalistic. It did feel that with such an effective visual campaign builder, that the opportunity had been missed in providing an equally inspiring reporting system.
#7 Is Ontraport the right CRM for you?
Remember, Ontraport may not be the right CRM for everyone, so let’s try to get down to who precisely this tool is going to be suitable for.
Ontraport probably isn’t the best choice for those on a budget, as you don’t get a lot for your money – especially if you have an email campaign focus.
Ontraport is great for beginners as it is quick and simple to learn, easy to set up and not particularly overwhelming and their blog is really a wealth of knowledge.
Ontraport is a good fit for high-level companies that are looking for a good strong automation tool and who are selling information or running a membership site. Its fast and will appease even the most demanding of marketers.
Well, that’s it. I’m now nearing towards the end of this review, and I hope that it has given you an overall idea what Ontraport has to offer. I’m guessing that the final and most important question is – Is it THE ONE, I mean the CRM for YOU and your WEBSITE?
No software is perfect, and I guarantee you that. Although there are lots of reasons to love Ontraport, there are still those few things that drive me crazy.
There are a lot of things missing and broken that frustrate me with Ontraport, their user interface is awful. However, I am more than happy to report that the list is getting smaller, it keeps improving with every update.
There are no two ways about it, and I like this software, it has been very easy to use.
It works for me on one of my authority sites; it does exactly what it claims to do. I was nervous that Ontraport 3.0 might be teaming with bugs when it was first released. However, based upon their numbers, just 3% of assistance tickets are in relation to bugs, which isn’t too bad.
I have actually never, ever had something that is non-functional. Uptime is wonderful even throughout the move to Ontraport from Office Autopilot and has never cost me cash, unlike other platforms, have done.
It functions a lot better for businesses that want to, not only keep in contact with their clients but wants to make them feel like they are being appreciated by your business. The automation in Ontraport is outstanding, so it allows you to do just that.
Ontraport is a strong contender for those looking for a good automation tool and for those selling information products, or running a membership site, or even have any kind of online training or education company.
For bloggers or small businesses with small list sizes, I don’t think Ontraport would be the right fit. There are other alternative services such as ActiveCampaign or Seva that would offer much better value for your money.
There is a lot to like about Ontraport, it is powerful and can pretty much handle all email marketing tasks that you might throw at it.
However, whether you should leap on board and check out the service depends, I guess, at what stage your business is currently at.
That said, it’s really is easy to get started with Ontraport plus their 90-day money back guarantee ensures you have enough time to evaluate the software for your business before committing yourself completely.
(The EntrepreneursGateway.com team are committed to produce independent, thoroughly researched and comprehensive guides and reviews for the best products and services that will help you in your business and your life. If you like what we do, you can support us through our chosen links, which earns us a small amount of commission which helps us fund our research and maintenance of the blog to better help you. Learn more about our Review Process.)