Five Ways We Use Infusionsoft

When we decided to start a company to provide insanely practical resources to move the church forward, I knew we needed to use InfusionSoft to power the business.

We use Basecamp, Evernote, Google Apps and a few other tools (whole list here), but InfusionSoft is like the engine in the car.  Here’s how we use the all-in-one sales and marketing software in real life. 

  • List Building. Michael Hyatt says, “I have literally built a multi-million dollar business on the strength of my email list.  90% of my income comes from it.  Even today, my list is still my number one business priority – and asset.” Whether your business exists online or you’re a brick and mortar shop in a small town, you should build an email list.   That’s why we set list building as our top priority.  Nobody really wants to join another mailing list. But pastors and church leaders are finding a ton of value through our helpful giveaways and weekly newsletter.  Each time someone downloads a freebie from our landing pages (like this one), we use InfusionSoft to automatically deliver it and offer even more help on the same topic.
  • Shopping Cart.  InfusionSoft powers our order forms and handles each transaction.  When people purchase a digital product, InfusionSoft sends the delivery email.  We also schedule follow up emails to help people implement what they purchased. Since every purchaser is tagged with a product-specific tag, InfusionSoft makes it easy to reach out to customers and make sure they have what they need, see how the product is working, or ask for a testimonial.
  • Communication. Most people join our mailing list because they ask for a giveaway.  And each giveaway or download is tied to a unique follow-up campaign. But when that campaign is over, we apply a #nurture tag so they continue to receive helpful broadcast emails.  That means once someone has moved through our planned communication, we can still communicate with them when we have something new to offer.  Most times, we segment the list based on activity or tags, but every once in a while, we send one message to our entire list.
  • Ad Tracking. By connecting some financial data, we can measure the ROI of a specific giveaway, Facebook promotion or ad buy.  Figuring our our customer acquisition costs and our lifetime customer value start with Infusionsoft. These are key numbers for us to track and they give us a picture of how the business is really doing.  Just to keep it real, one of our paid email advertisements led to a negative 94% return.  While I’m not happy about it, I’m glad I know that number.  Most people wasting money on ads don’t know they are wasting money.
  • Lead Scoring.  This is one of my favorite features, because it tells us who the best leads are inside our system.  All contacts are not the same, and Lead Scoring factors in click activity to tell us what leads are hot.  The more people click on links in our emails, the higher their lead score.  If it reaches a certain point, we can send a note or a gift.

Those are five ways we’re using InfusionSoft at Church Fuel. I’m a big believer in the software, but even more than that, I love the company and their heart to help small businesses succeed.

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The One Number that Can Help You Make Better Decisions

You make thousands of decisions every day.

Most of them are insignificant. Things like…

  • What do I wear?
  • Where do we eat for lunch?
  • Do I put two spaces after a period or one?

But some decisions are truly meaningful. They can change the trajectory of your life.  Things like…

  • Do I take that job?
  • Do we buy this house?
  • Should we have another baby?

Decision making has got to be one of the most important skills we can develop.  And while much as been written on the subject, we still make wild guesses far too often.  Learning how to make wise decisions in life and business is one of the keys to a better life and future.

One of the best decision-making books I’ve read in recent years is Decisive, by Chip and Dan Heath.  I read everything they write because it’s well-researched, well-written and engaging.  Decisive is certainly all three of those.

One of the strategies they mention in the book actually comes from Suzy Welch, a leadership expert in her own right.  She advocates something called 10/10/10.  When you have a big decision to make, filter it through these three questions.

  • Question #1: How will I feel about this decision in 10 minutes?
  • Question #2: How will I feel about this decision in 10 months?
  • Question #3: How will I feel about this decision in 10 years?

The reason I love these questions is they have the ability to push our thoughts away from the present and into the future. Since we tend to overemphasize today at the expense of tomorrow, these kind of questions can bring much-needed perspective.

To help you understand how it works, let’s take three decisions and apply the three questions.


Decision #1:  Should I eat at Krystal (or some other greasy, terrible but awesome restaurant in your area)?

If you decide to eat those small, square “hamburgers,” how are you going to feel in 10 minutes?  Well, you’re going to feel terrible.  You’re going to feel terrible from the bathroom.  What about 10 months?  It’s likely you’ll feel nothing, because we don’t remember where we ate lunch 10 months ago.  And ten years?  Nothing. So according to Suzy Welch, we should all eat at Krystal for lunch.  No harm and no foul.


Decision #2: Should I date this really nice guy who doesn’t really share my values? Many of you will have to use your imagination since you’re not a single female.

In 10 minutes, you’re probably going to feel great.  Provided he doesn’t drive a white van.  But in 10 months, a possible relationship might start to feel strained.  The newness is gone and there’s tension.  And in 10 years, it could be trouble.  In this scenario, the 10/10/10 questions help you understand the long-term ramifications might not be worth the short term excitement.


Decision #3: Should you give some of your hard-earned money to charity?

In 10 minutes, you’re going to feel great.  In 10 months, you’re still going to feel great.  And in 10 years, you may find you’ve built a life of generosity, which you and everyone around you truly love.  In this scenario, the short term and the long term align so you should go for it.

If you’ve got an important decision to make, try the 10/10/10 method and see if it doesn’t lead you down the wise path.

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The Medium is the Message

“Everything is changing: you, your family, your education, your neighborhood, your job, your government, your relation to others. And they’re changing dramatically.  All media work us over completely. They are so pervasive in their personal, political, economic, aesthetic, psychological, moral, ethical and social consequences that they leave no part of us untouched, unaffected, unaltered.  The medium is the message.”

– Marshall McLuhan, 1967.

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Who Do You Use for That?

I love helping leaders.

Sometimes, that help is in depth and spans months.  This is my favorite way to work with clients because we can get so much done. But sometimes, help comes in the form of a quick answer to a quick question.

One of the quick questions I get from leaders around the world is “Who do you use for ________?”  Every time I get this question, I’m reminded that a personal recommendation from a trusted source is more important than any kind of marketing.

So in the spirit of helpfulness, here’s my current list of who I use for various services.


Email Marketing: At Church Fuel, we use InfusionSoft to handle all of our email marketing.  It also handles our order forms, shopping cart and several other vital services.  On my personal site, I still use MailChimp.

Landing Pages: We use LeadPages to generate sign up pages for giveaways, webinars, and eBooks. I’ve been really happy with them.

Web Hosting: We recently switched the Church Fuel site to WP Engine and that’s been a great decision.  On my personal sites, I still use BlueHost.

Website Management: I absolutely love WP Curve.  At least twice a week, I sent them an email with something to update or fix on the site, and they do it within a few hours.  It’s like having a website guy for a fraction of the cost.

Membership Site: We deliver our courses and resources through a WordPress plugin called WishList Member.  I like that it works with WordPress which means I can

Design:  For websites, there’s nobody better than FoType.  I’ve worked with Chad for nearly a decade now.  For graphic design, I often use Canvas Agency.  I also use tasks at 99 Designs to make quick changes and get fast projects done.  I absolutely love that service.

Webinars: We’ve been really happy using Google Hangouts, but we recently upgraded to Webinar Jam.  They use Google hangouts but add a bunch of features on the top.

Recorded Webinars: I use ScreenFlow for Mac to pre-record a lot of teaching content or webinars.  I’ve been very happy with this tool throughout the years.

eBook Creation: Believe it or not, I create a lot of free eBooks in Keynote.  Even though it’s presentation software, it’s really easy to use and exporting to a PDF is a snap.  For more detailed designs, I use Adobe InDesign.

Merchant Processing: We actually have two credit card processors in case something happens with one.  On my personal site, I use Stripe.

File Storage: I use Dropbox to share files with the team.  In fact, ALL of my files are stored on Dropbox so I can access them anywhere.  But when we need to share a link with customers to access something they purchased, we put those files on Amazon S3.  If we’re giving people links to download videos, we actually just use Vimeo (we have a PRO account).

Accounting: Quickbooks is still the standard and that’s what we use.

Communication:  Our team is remote, so to stay connected we use Basecamp, work chat in Evernote (also keep feedback and ideas in a shared folder), Google Hangouts, and Dropbox.

If I left anything out, leave a comment and I’ll let you know what we do.  And if you’ve got a good recommendation, be sure to share.

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Your Business is Not For Everybody

Several months ago, I signed up for an online course.

I pulled the trigger for a couple of reasons.

First, I knew our startup was getting ready to release several courses of our own.  So going through another one would give me some fresh ideas. I don’t want to be like the guy who writes books but never reads them.  Always keep learning.

Secondly, I wanted to learn what this course promised to teach.  It was a business course full of product creation, marketing and list-building ideas.

The course is called Zero to Launch and it’s from a guy named Ramit Sethi.  I’d read Ramit’s book several years ago and liked his style.  It looks like he’s got a good thing going so I wanted to learn from him.

As I was debating about signing up (the course is expensive), I saw this tweet interaction.

@ramit: Who joined Zero to Launch this week?

@divinetechygirl: @ramit busy working mother, FT job, learning to code, more craziness. Will ZTL work for me? 

@ramit: @divietechygirl Not if you describe yourself that way. My best students are not frantic/frazzled.  They are calm, deliberate, and methodical.

In several other tweets, I saw Ramit encourage potential customers NOT to sign up. Now this is actually a great marketing tactic, but it also helped me realize something.

Everybody is not your potential customer.

No matter what you create or what you do or how you market, not everybody is going to like you.  Not everybody is going to buy from you.  Not everybody is going to listen to you.

Not only is this okay, it’s good.

When you know who is NOT your ideal customer, that frees you up to go after the best ones.  The people most likely to buy from you are also the people your product or service is most likely to help.

Trying to be all things to all people means you’ll be nothing to all people.  Trying to offer something for everyone puts you in the position to offer everything to no one.

You’ll end up like this guy.


A bagpipe playing, unicycle riding Darth Vader.  An interesting side show people might notice without any lasting impact.  Someone trying to be all things to all people in order to get attention.

A better strategy is to focus on the people you’re most likely to help. Your riches are going to be found in the niches. Your maximum impact is going to be made because of your 1,000 true fans.

In our business, we are zeroing in on our target customer.  We’ve created a few products and some have been great hits and others have not worked so well. But with each release comes new data and new feedback.  Every time we launch something, we learn more about the niche we’re trying to serve.

We’re saying no to good ideas in order to pursue things that will help some people.  We’re okay if we offer something that doesn’t apply to everyone.  We’re okay if we leave out a specific feature someone really wants.

With each step in the right direction, our market gets a little smaller but our effectiveness takes a giant leap forward.

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