OntraportOntraport Review

  SmallBizCRM Top CRM and Highly Recommended

Maximum business automation, minimum effort!

Product
Ontraport
Type
CRM Software
Product Author
Ontraport
Reviewed by

on 2014-30-06
Rating

When we first viewed the dashboard of Ontraport (previously Office Autopilot), we were a bit disappointed by the plain interface and slow loading pages/server-side refreshes. But as we played around, our excitement grew and we were impressed by some very powerful features. One of the most impressive things about Ontraport is that it offers extremely simple ways to automate your business.

All of Ontraport’s sequences, rule-based email marketing  & business processes, WordPress integration, self-hosted forms & landing pages, membership sites, and split testing make other business automation software pale in comparison. The closest rival of Ontraport is Infusionsoft – another great CRM – we’ll compare these two after doing an in-depth analysis of the features of Ontraport.

About the company

Launched in 2006, Ontraport has grown tremendously during the last few years and now they have nearly 80 team members who run the show. They have won several awards including #2 nationally for CareerBuilder’s ‘big strides in small business’, #102 on the Inc500 list of fastest growing companies in the nation, a spot on the 50 Most Engaged Workplaces list, a Red Herring Top 100, and a Forbes Most Promising Companies listing.

At a glance

  • Our Rating: 9/10
  • Free Trial: No (90-day money back guarantee)
  • Ideal for: Small businesses, entrepreneurs, Solopreneurs, online marketers and retailers
  • Training required: No (the free demo will suffice)
  • Mass import/export: Yes
  • Email marketing campaigns: Yes
  • Capturing leads from web: No (you can capture leads if you integrate it with WISTIA)

Who is it ideal for?

Ontraport is ideal for those who want their business automation software to do everything from managing contacts to broadcasting email marketing campaigns to selling products/services to offering paid membership (and even more).

If you have a small clientele, Ontraport can prove to be rather costly, and they might send you to SandPepper – Ontraport’s sister email marketing software. In addition to almost any type of small business, it’s ideal for online retailer stores, and professionals (speakers, trainers, coaches, consultants, information marketers, seminar leaders, authors) who want to offer some sort of membership to their clients.

Getting started (3/5)

Though Ontraport doesn’t offer a free trial, they do offer 90-day money-back guarantee. While most CRMs offer a free trial and some, such as OnePage CRM, offer alternate ways for instant sign up i.e. using your Google or Facebook account, Ontraport has a rather lengthy form.

Ontraport Signup Form 1

The good thing is that there is no setup fee. A support representative will help you set up your account, and even create opt-in forms and landing pages for you. We imported a test file using the import menu and the process was pretty straightforward and hassle-free. You choose a CSV file, match fields and that’s it.

Unfortunately, the only way to import contacts is by uploading a CSV file, while many modern CRMs such as Karma CRM, CleverTim CRM etc. allow you to import contacts using different methods, or even directly import from several third party sources such as Gmail, social media channels, Yahoo, Highrise and so on.

Ontraport Contact Imports

If you want to take a look at the system before you purchase it, you can request a free demo.  Now demo with a customer care rep gives you the opportunity to ask more questions and get a deeper insight, however, you might have to wait quite a bit because they only have a few empty slots every week. On the other hand, Infusionsoft offers instant demo in the form of preloaded videos. The free demo and set-up service give Ontraport an edge over Infusionsoft that charges a $1,999 setup fee.

Workspace (18/20)

The software is somewhat less responsive than Infusionsoft. You’ll experience a little lag when you switch between the menus. On top of that, there are no tooltips (the little texts that pop up when you hover your mouse on a button/menu). These little things can make life easy, especially when you’re using an app for the first time. Also, when you open a dropdown or popup menu, you need to click on the same button to close it as to open it. Why not simply clicking on empty area or another button would close that menu/open a new one?

Apart from these minor qualms, Ontraport’s workroom is simply a breath of fresh air – though we would have loved to see a way to automatically populate contact details from any of their social media profiles (as you can do in Groove CRM) or capture hot leads from social media channels (as you can do in Reamaze, which is more of a simple helpdesk software).

The menus are strategically laid out, sensible and standard naming conventions have been used, there are quick add/manage buttons for every different module, and simply hovering your mouse pointer over the main menus (in the left menu bar) opens the submenus.

But the most impressive and unique feature in the work area is a magical menu that appears at the top of the page when you click on the little button in the top right-hand corner (highlighted by red circle in the screenshot below).

Ontraport Quick Menu

This quick menu features your workflows, any unedited items, and pinned items. You can easily pin any item by clicking the pin button (highlighted by a red circle in the screenshot below), so that you can instantly access your favorite forms, contacts, landing pages or any other menus.

Ontraport Pin Function

The work area really excels when you want to go beyond simply managing and contacting your customers. For example, you can create landing pages, sales cart, web forms and a lot more by just dragging and dropping items.

User interface (10/10)

The user interface is pretty good. Nothing flashy or superfluous here, yet highly customizable, but it’s not as  customizable as some CRMs (e.g. SalesOutlook) that allow you to drag and drop modules and widgets. Editing fields requires just two clicks: click, edit and save. Unfortunately, if you make any changes in your data and click another menu before saving, the changes made will be lost.

Related info of every module is on the same page so you won’t be wasting a lot of time scrolling up and down, or jumping between different menus. Suppose if you open a contact, you can access their basic details plus their entire history, notes and tasks, purchases they have made, memberships, and referral info from the same page. On top of that, for any open contact you can quickly add new sequences and tags. All in all, the user interface gets full marks because of simplicity, ease of use and user friendliness.

Price (10/10)

Apparently, the price is on the higher side – but if you, keeping in mind all the features it offers, compare it with other CRMs, the price is reasonable. There are two packages to choose from:

Pro

$297/month, 25,000 contacts, 100,000 emails/month, 2 users, 2 hours free implementation

Team

$597/month, 100,000 contacts, 100,000 emails/month, 10 users, 2 hours free implementation

Integration with 3rd party apps (9/10)

Ontraport offers REST, the open API that allows integration with virtually any other software, but for which you might need a coder. Unlike the other CRMs such as OnePage, Capsule etc. that allow integration to a wide variety of third party apps, Ontraport can be integrated with just a handful of apps:

Gateways: Authorize.Net, Elavon, eWay, NMI, PayPal, Pay Junction, PayLeap, QuickBooks, USA ePay

Shopping carts: UltraCART, 1ShoppingCart, ClickBank

Others: WordPress, Facebook, WISTIA, Twilio, KAJABI, EVERGREEN, GoTo Webinar, Optimize Press

Customization (10/10)

You can add columns to any module by clicking the plus button at the top right-hand side, or you can edit/remove the already added columns by hovering the mouse over any column’s name, a pencil icon will appear, clicking it will present different options to edit/update the column.

Ontraport Cistomizable

What’s more, you can add your most used menus or even favorite contacts to the pinned items to quickly access them anytime. Further, you can add up to 150 custom fields (or up to 200 custom fields on request).  Also, you can create custom views for everything including purchase and contact history as well as any custom data you need to collect.

Mobile support (2/5)

We were surprised not to find a mobile version or mobile app of Ontraport, when smaller CRM apps like Karma CRM, Relenta and BizzCRM offer very handy dedicated mobile apps. We accessed the system using an iPhone as well as an Android phone and it worked pretty good, however, took even longer than when accessing it via a laptop.

Scalability (8/10)

Ontraport allows up to 10 users if you choose their Team plan, however, one account can be used by several users at the same time. So scalability is not a major issue, but again it’s ideal for small businesses and teams, not for enterprises. We were told that Ontraport management has around 80 employees, and they use Ontraport themselves.

Customer support (10/10)

Ontraport really cares about their customers and offer a great customer support round the clock. We always received quick and comprehensive responses every time to our queries. We also requested a free demo before actually trying the software ourselves, which was very helpful.

Backup and security (10/10)

Backup and security policy of Ontraport is plain impressive. Data is backed up hourly, daily, and weekly and is stored at different locations on hard drives as well as tape backups. The data is transferred via secure 128-bit SSL encryption. Your, as well as your clients’ Payment information is stored in separate PCI-compliant servers – inaccessible by even the management of Ontraport.

As far as in-house security is concerned, Ontraport offers role-based security management to ensure date integrity. You can create custom roles (for example managers, sales rep etc.) and set levels of access, so the users can only access the info they are supposed to access.

Features of Ontraport

Contacts

Ontraport allows you to store almost every detail about all the interactions and all the information about your clients as well as prospects in one highly customizable screen. Unfortunately, there is no innate method for lead capturing, but you can capture leads by integrating with WISTIA. WISTIA captures leads by prompting the users to give their emails when they watch a video you’ve posted.  Another way to capture lead is by integrating Facebook with your Ontraport.

Ontraport Contact Management Console

When viewing a contact, there is hardly any feature that isn’t right there on the same page. From basic contact info to contact history to notes to membership details to referral info, everything is right at your fingertips.

Omtraport One Page Contact Manager

But that’s not all, while viewing a contact, you can send him an email as well as a text message, log a phone call, manage their credit card, add a task… and the list goes on and on.

Ontraport Actions Menu

And to update any field, you just need to click the value in the particular field, enter the new value and hit save button that appears right next to the field. Adding sequences and tags is also a matter of couple clicks. In other words, the contact menu is simple yet comprehensive.

Sequences

This is a handy menu that lets you create a series of actions i.e. email, SMS, tasks, rules as well as fulfillments. This module is, in fact, a highly customizable, automated follow up for every lead, customer, and partner inquiry immediately via email, phone calls, direct mail postcards, SMS, and more.

Since it’s completely customizable, the opportunities are unlimited. These sequences can be triggered by customers through your blog, email or any other source, and the customer’s request will be processed by your software as per the rules you have defined, even while you’re sleeping.

Rules

Rules in Ontraport are more customizable than some other CRMs, mainly because they make use of if, then conditions.

Ontraport Rule Management

They can either trigger a relevant sequence when a certain action takes place, or perform a simple action such as recharge all declined transactions, remove the contact from sequence, send email notification to any of your teammates, add a tag and so on.

Ontraport Automation

Smart forms

Just as the name suggests, these are interactive forms that you can create by dragging and dropping fields, content, cart, payment options, captcha, conditions, and templates.

Ontraport Creating Functionality Rich Smart Web Forms

You can also easily manage field settings such as marking a field as necessary, adding a placeholder and so one.

Ontraport Smart Form Opt-in-Settings

Then you can preview, and once you’re happy with the form, just click Publish Form and you’ll be presented with a link that you can paste anywhere  you want the form to appear. Its’ as simple as that.

Ontraport 13 To Publish a Smart Form

Messages

Here you can create new email or text messages as well as new tasks. For text messages, you need to pay 2 cents per message – which Ontraport claims is the cheapest in the industry.

Ontraport Messages

The best thing about the messages is that they are not simple messages which you can send to your clients and then forget about them. Instead, they are two-way messages and the reply from your customer can trigger a sequence. On top of that, you can automatically insert merge fields to emails as well as text messages i.e. fist name/last name or any other info of the contact. Now that’s what you call real customization!

Ontraport Two way Text Messages

Event management

Event management is yet another handy feature of Ontraport that allows you to conduct and manage online events. Whether you want to arrange a webinar, a teleseminar or a live event, Ontraport won’t let you down. You can easily monitor people who attended and those who could not, and then you just tell the software to automatically follow up with each group accordingly.

Settings

It’s a little menu that allows you add/edit/delete custom fields, import contacts, manage lead routing and scoring, manage scheduled broadcasts, and change the default value of the merge fields.

Ontraport Contact Settings

Tasks

The task management automates most of the processes and saves a lot of time. You can assign prospects to your concerned teammate, route leads based on several indicators (zip code, job title, website visits etc.). Quite amazingly, you can even make decisions of routing leads on a percentage or round-robin basis.

Ontraport Adding Column to Task Management Console

This not only saves time and effort, but also ensures that your hot leads are dealt with as soon as possible. It’s disappointing  that you can’t add a new task when you’re viewing your tasks, rather you need to go to Messages module and add a new task from there. Also, there is no integrated calendar where you can see your tasks and appointments.

Sales

If you run an online ecommerce business, you’ll totally love the sales module of Ontraport. Here you can see all the purchases made by your customers, products that you sell, generate different reports such as sales report, subscriber retention report, transaction log, open orders and more.

Ontraport Product Management

You can either choose onetime payment or recurrent billing. Flexible payment settings allow you to offer free trials, accept delayed billing, customize your shipping and tax options and a lot more. Not to mention that you can accept payment over the phone for manual orders as well.

Ontraport Saimple Product

Just like other processes, credit card management is also carried out on autopilot so you won’t be chasing clients with expired credit card anymore. Abandoned cart follow up is a great way to encourage those customers doing business with you, who quit right before they finish the checkout process – a quick email or phone call to such customers might result in a sale. And if someone has placed an order, offering them another product at discounted price to get second sale is just a matter of few clicks. This handy feature for upselling isn’t available even in Infusionsoft.

Ontraport Sales Reports

Partner & Affiliate Program

This module is for those who have an affiliate program and want to give commission to their affiliates or partners. Increasingly companies are opting to work through remote sales teams and individuals on a commission only basis and, like InfusionSoft which sports a similar feature, this module caters well for this function.

Ontraport Creating Different Affiliates Programs

Here you can control almost everything from selecting the percentage of commission to the method of payment. Create a branded partner center on your own website in minutes and offer them the desired tools to promote your business. You can create multiple affiliate programs for different products or partner types. You can also automate commissions or manually sanction them after viewing.

Ontraport Commission Structure

Sites

This module lets you integrate WordPress sites as well as create amazing landing pages simply by dragging and dropping. You can not only integrate your already existing WordPress site, but you may also create multiple WordPress sites and microsites from within this menu that are hosted by Ontraport.

Ontraport Create Different Types of Landing Pages

Though this is a very powerful feature, however, it didn’t work on Google Chrome and gave an error that it only works with Firefox or Internet Explorer.

Some Advanced Features

Apart from this glitch, we totally loved this module as you can create customizable members-only websites to deliver your products or trainings in minutes. You can create unlimited membership levels and upgrade members over time, when they pay for access, or however you like. Hosting your videos, and offering them for downloads can also be done right through Ontraport.

Ontraport Instantly Create Landing Pages

Tracking

This menu tells who is engaging with your content. Unlike most other analytic programs, Ontraport tracking not just shows you how many users are viewing your website, but it also tells you who they are, exactly what pages they have viewed, when they viewed it and a lot more.

Ontraport Tracking your Customers Visitors Behavior

You can track users either by campaign, by lead source, by medium, by content, or by term. This is where most other CRMs and analytic programs drop the ball as they just give you the insights, end of the story. Ontraport on the other hand, allows you to set up alerts that will notify the concerned team member to follow up when some downloads your product, a hot prospect visits a particular landing page or anything else.

Personal settings and user management

This is where you can set your personal preferences, edit your contact info, add remove users, change role of users, change permissions, change your password, and change your payment methods or payment plan, and a lot more.

Ontraport-27-Powerful-user-management

The most comprehensive menu here is the Admin, which allows you to manage your data (for example upload files and videos, export lists, manage tags etc.), email campaigns (from address, opt in options, and importer settings), integrations, user management (add/remove users, change roles etc.) and so on.

Ontraport Powerful Account Management

Ontraport vs Infusionsoft – a quick comparison

  • Infusionsoft has a better looking, more vibrant interface as compared to Ontraport
  • Infusionsoft also has a customizable dashboard but that loads slightly faster
  • Ontraport has a comparatively weaker customer management system
  • Infusionsoft has a dedicated mobile app, which is still missing in the case in Ontraport
  • Both Infusionsoft and Ontraport have rather weak reporting systems.
  • Creating landing pages is pretty simple no matter whichever software you use, however, Ontraport offers PURLS (personalized URLS). These are simplified URLS e.g. customername.yoursite.com – and for each customer, you can personalize the landing page, say with their name and contact info. It’s amazing that when a customer opens a landing page, you can awe them by greeting them by name!
  • There are built-in postcards in Ontraport – design and send it to your clients and prospects. This feature is missing in Infusionsoft
  • In the latest versions of Ontraport, you can set up and send two-way messages right from your dashboard – that’s a big edge over Infusionsoft
  • Infusionsoft has a fully functional and slightly better shopping cart
  • Ontraport features built-in one-click upsells, Infusionsoft does not
  • Ontraport offers split testing, Infusionsoft does not
  • Another feature that’s currently found only in Ontraport is built in WordPress sites as well as integration to your already existing WordPress sites
  • Your customers can enter your system on Ontraport with just one click through Facebook, not possible with Infusionsoft
  • Ontraport doesn’t offer traditional sales features such as visual pipeline and opportunities, while Infusionsoft has pretty powerful modules for this
  • Basic membership site functionality is only found in Ontraport – for Infusionsoft, you need to invest in an add-on
  • Ontraport offers a better drag and drop designer for forms, order forms, landing pages, as well as postcards
  • Ontraport doesn’t feature voice broadcast, whereas Infusionsoft includes voice and fax broadcasts
  • Infusionsoft has probably the best campaign builder that we have  seen in only the biggest corporate level automation systems
  • Ontraport offers free setup and two-hour starting help for free), Infusionsoft charges a whopping  $,1999 as kick-start fee

What we loved about Ontraport

  • Best value for money – you get a CRM, an Auto-responder, a shopping cart, WordPress membership sites, affiliate management and task automation for only a few hundred dollars.
  • Intuitive and easy to learn.
  • Fantastic rule-based email marketing / business processes
  • On-demand postcards in sequences or broadcasts.
  • On-demand voicemails in sequences or broadcasts.
  • Extremely affordable two-way SMS text messaging
  • Powerful stats, analytics and tracking
  • Infinite automation capabilities
  • Split testing capability comes standard
  • Full WordPress integration
  • Fast membership sites
  • Self-hosted order forms and landing pages
  • You don’t need your own site – let Ontraport host your site as their sub-domain
  • We tested their email deliverability using emailreach, and got nearly 100% delivery rate to different domains

What we didn’t like much

  • Looks cheaper than it is
  • Lacks traditional sales modules like opportunity management and company management. So it’s more feasible for B2C models and can possibly be a deal breaker for B2B businesses
  • We were amazed to see little integration with social media channels
  • No mobile app as yet
  • With all the e-commerce and membership site features, Ontraport deserves to have a customer care module where your customers can raise a ticket (or maybe we are being too fussy!)
  • For monthly payments, they only accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express
  • No recycle bin or alternate method to restore accidently deleted info
  • Duplicate records can eat up a lot of precious space. If, while adding or importing, you add one contact 10 times, you’ll waste 10 slots of your 25,000 total slots and there is not built-in mechanism that would alert you about duplicate entries
  • No visual sales funnel
  • Their two packages allow 25,000 contacts with 100K emails and 100K contacts with 100k emails. That means if you hit the upper limit for your contacts, you can only send one and four email per month respectively.
  • Shopping cart is not full featured

Verdict

Ontraport is one of the very few CRMs/business automation software that managed to get 9/10 ratings – that clearly shows it’s a very powerful system, suitable for a wide variety of industries. However, before you choose it for your business, make sure you keep in mind its pros and cons and how they will you.

Apart from this glitch, we totally loved this module as you can create customizable members-only websites to deliver your products or trainings in minutes. You can create unlimited membership levels and upgrade members over time, when they pay for access, or however you like. Hosting your videos, and offering them for downloads can also be done right through Ontraport. – See more at: http://www.smallbizcrm.com/ontraport-crm-review.html?unique=14044644024527884#sthash.Nu1dRmQO.dpuf

Apart from this glitch, we totally loved this module as you can create customizable members-only websites to deliver your products or trainings in minutes. You can create unlimited membership levels and upgrade members over time, when they pay for access, or however you like. Hosting your videos, and offering them for downloads can also be done right through Ontraport. – See more at: http://www.smallbizcrm.com/ontraport-crm-review.html?unique=14044644024527884#sthash.Nu1dRmQO.dpuf

Apart from this glitch, we totally loved this module as you can create customizable members-only websites to deliver your products or trainings in minutes. You can create unlimited membership levels and upgrade members over time, when they pay for access, or however you like. Hosting your videos, and offering them for downloads can also be done right through Ontraport. – See more at: http://www.smallbizcrm.com/ontraport-crm-review.html?unique=14044644024527884#sthash.Nu1dRmQO.dpuf

Apart from this glitch, we totally loved this module as you can create customizable members-only websites to deliver your products or trainings in minutes. You can create unlimited membership levels and upgrade members over time, when they pay for access, or however you like. Hosting your videos, and offering them for downloads can also be done right through Ontraport. – See more at: http://www.smallbizcrm.com/ontraport-crm-review.html?unique=14044644024527884#sthash.Nu1dRmQO.dpuf

Need a CRM?

Do our free CRM

Needs Analysis Quiz

START HERE!

Capsule Fluid LogoBase LogoIntouch LogoOntraport LogoBigContacts LogoSalesOutlook LogoSalesNexus LogoInfusionSoft LogoFiitfu LogoBPMonline LogoCommence LogoGoldmine Logo

?

Centerbase Logo ACT LogoRelenta LogoDealerSocket LogoRSS LogoLaserpoint LogoSugar LogoUpside doen question markRadium Logo

Need a CRM?

Do our free CRM

Needs Analysis Quiz

START HERE!

Capsule LogoBase LogoIntouch LogoOntraport LogoBigContacts LogoSalesOutlook LogoSalesNexus LogoInfusionSoft LogoFiitfu LogoBPMonline LogoCommence LogoGoldmine Logo

?

Centerbase LogoACT LogoRelenta LogoDealerSocket LogoRSS LogoLaserpoint LogoSugar LogoUpside down question markRadium Logo

amoCRM

InfoFlo

Popular Reviews

BigContacts CRM Review

BigContacts CRM Review

Target Audience BigContacts is a web-based contact management system for companiesRead More
Relenta Review

Relenta Review

Relenta CRM Review SmallBizCRM highly recommends Relenta. While Relenta doesn't haveRead More
Capsule CRM Review

Capsule CRM Review

Capsule CRM Review “ Capsule does an amazing job of puttingRead More
InfusionSoft CRM Review

InfusionSoft CRM Review

SmallBizCRM Review Of InfusionSoft "Ultimately Infusionsoft is a powerful all-in-one solutionRead More

Popular Articles

When should you appoint a CRM Consultant

When should you appoint a CRM Consultant

Let’s presume that you are keeping customer, supplier and employeeRead More
Salesbox Interview

Salesbox Interview

Salesbox was started out of a frustration how bad mostRead More
3 Overlooked Ways SMBs Can Leverage Their Social CRM

3 Overlooked Ways SMBs Can Leverage Their Social CRM

Any good small to medium business (SMB) will invest inRead More
Smart Rules feature in Happyfox Help Desk Software

Smart Rules feature in Happyfox Help Desk Software

A comprehensive support system to control and manage customer queriesRead More