It’s not enough to just launch a website, do some SEO and if there’s a budget buy some advertising, and then expect that people will just come and hopefully buy whatever it is you’re offering.
Nowadays, it takes on average 32 touch points until someone converts from being interested into a paying customer. This means you need to go where your target market is to educate about your product and services.
And for that, you need the right tools. Cue in Ontraport. It’s the classic email marketing service that also offers a page builder and forms so that you can build a customer journey with the required steps.
As is with many of these services, Ontraport was created by Landon Ray, the founder, to scratch his own itch. Started in 2006, it has grown to support SMEs in marketing automation, customer relationship management (CRM), Ecommerce, and payments with over 120 team members.
Ontraport is more of an all-in-one marketing service with a focus on CRM. Its CRM covers the complex customer journey or in its lingo customer life cycle.
Pros and cons of Ontraport
Ontraport is a multi-channel marketing automation service with a built-in CRM that allows you to track your audience as they journey down your funnel. You access its service via your browser and pay a monthly subscription fee based on the number of contacts you have.
- CRM with lead scoring
- Landing pages and forms available on all plans
- Email and land page templates mobile ready
- Even with many features, the interface is intuitive
- Systems the funnel wizard will build your funnels automatically after you’ve answered a few questions
- Price creep since it’s based on the numbers of your contacts
- Only works in Firefox or Chrome (or any Chrome-based browser)
Who is Ontraport for?
Both the feature set as well as the pricing structure suggest that Ontraport is more useful for SMEs. For SMEs, the CRM and landing pages come in more handy than for large organisations. That being said, it’s flexible enough to work for almost all business types and sizes.
Particularly, if you sell information products or run any kind of educational or training site, Ontraport is a good starting point, since you don’t need to cobble together your funnel from different tools and providers. For the same reasons, it’s also interesting if you run an online store.
Ontraport user interface
As with many email marketing automation providers you need to provide your real business name, URL, address, and phone for anti-spam regulations. After you’ve keyed in your URL, Ontraport will quickly scan your website to find your logo and brand colours.
Given that its focus is on the CRM, the first time you log into your account, you’ll land in the tab “Contacts”. You’ll also see that in the other tabs “Pages”, “Task”, “Sales”.
The interface is logically structured and you’ll find the controls well grouped and clearly labelled without any cryptic icons. That being said, the more features an application has, the more you got to learn.
You’ve got 3 kinds of campaign Ontraport. The first is as you’d expect messages. Ontraport lumps emails, tasks, and SMSs into messages. The second type of campaign is forms.
The third kind of campaign is just “Campaigns”. But these are actually entire funnels with automations.
Both in the case where you start from scratch or use a pre-designed template, you can customise with the help of the block editor. You’ll find this block editor also when you want to create a form or a landing page. Once you’ve finished the design, you can add it to a system.
Sign up forms, landing pages, and funnels
A user journey often starts with a form or landing page and also ends in one of them. Since there’s only the block editor for everything you build (emails, forms, or landing pages), you only need to learn it once.
You can add a form on your site. You can also add or a pop-up on your website or on a page built in Ontraport. Both landing pages and forms have a templates gallery.
Under the tab “Systems”, you can build entire funnels automatically. Ontraport guides you through each step, including setting up a page and email follow-ups, and then automatically builds all the necessary pages, forms, and mails.
List management, segmentation, and personalisation
The list management is powerful and customisable. The CRM allows you to track every detail of your interaction with your audience and apply lead scoring. You can add tasks to a contact such as a phone. Then, you can automate what comes after you completed the task, depending on its result.
You can segment your contacts into groups according to labels or fields. Segmenting is dynamic, so a contact will be automatically added or removed to a group.
To segment your list, you can add tags and custom fields. The segments are also used for automation workflows. Frustratingly, you can inspect the contacts in the different segments you’ve created. Ontraport only shows how many contacts are in a given segment. You also can’t sort your list in any way as you may be used to coming from other mail automation providers.
In Ontraport, you automate your marketing or business processes with campaigns. Out of the gates, there are pre-built automation workflow templates that you can customise.
Ontraport offers integrations to all kinds of services from appointments and bookkeeping to fulfillment and shopping carts. And of course the “Swiss Army knife” Zapier is also not missing.
You’ll find a quick overview of what’s going on under the tab “Dashboard”. It’s divided into trends and metrics. The overview of Campaigns (Messages and Forms), Tasks, Sales, and Pages have their own reporting.
You can reach Ontrapot’s support team via chat, email, or ask or a screen sharing session. You can also find a comprehensive and searchable support center.
You can test drive Ontraport for free for 14 days and afterward, you got the choice of 4 plans. The plans are based on how many contacts you have as well as how many features you plan to use.
Is Ontraport right for you?
Ontraport is a powerful marketing automation service, especially its CRM. It depends on where your business is if it’s the right tool for you. For one, if you know you need a powerful CRM and are expecting to grow, then it’s a good choice. Especially, if you know you’ll be using many if not all of its features.
But, if you know that your funnels are not as elaborate – simply put if you know you’re going to send broadcast email campaigns, there are more affordable options.
An all-in-one marketing service is only going to be helpful, if you know what funnels you need for your business.