Business owners and marketing directors often wonder if Infusionsoft is right for their company when there are many other marketing automation platforms available. It can be difficult to make sense of all the options.

Previously, we looked at how MailChimp stacked up to Infusionsoft. But what about a more customizable software platform design specifically for marketing automation like Pardot? 

Pardot, a marketing automation software company, was acquired by Salesforce in 2013.  Salesforce Pardot is one of the more expensive automation systems aimed at mid-to larger size companies (vs. Infusionsoft which targets the SME market).  

So let’s compare Infusionsoft vs. Pardot…

Cost

$1,000 per month is Pardot’s lowest tier base price which comes with limited functionality.  If you want A/B Testing, PPC integration, social support and other options outside of the basic CRM and email capabilities this will accrue significant extra cost. Parot’s most robust package costs $2,000/month.  Compare that to $299/month for Infusionsoft’s Deluxe edition — a huge difference.

Infusionsoft charges a $1,500 Onboarding fee for 4 hours of personal setup training to learn the software and launch your first campaign. In comparison, Pardot doesn’t charge any set-up or training fees, but when the monthly fee is so high, who needs a support fee?

Let’s use an example of a small business with 15 employees looking to expand sales in a new territory:

With Infusionsoft, the business can set up a one-stop shop targeting sales leads, creating sales processes, email and social campaigns, collecting sales leads from web and social content, tracking and monitoring engagement and sales – and more – all in one place.

With Pardot, this business can achieve most of these same goals, but the expense to achieve them will be far greater, and the time to earn positive ROI is significantly higher.  With Pardot’s costly add-ons, it can become financially difficult for small businesses to see a reasonable ROI.

Additionally, the labor and time included must be taken into account.  Integrating Infusionsoft with landing pages (Leadpages, Instapage, Unbounce, OptimizePress, etc.), social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, etc.), Google Apps, accounting (Quickbooks, Freshbooks, etc.) is easy.  Just drop in your account, password and secret code, and you’re off to the races.  The effort required to successfully integrate Pardot is a lot harder and more expensive generally. This makes it less worthwhile as an integration platform to automate the different parts of your business. 

Small businesses — who are often in niche markets — need an affordable marketing automation platform. Infusionsoft beats Pardot in the pricing department hands down.

Features:  Infusionsoft vs. Pardot Side by Side 

 Infusionsoft   Pardot 
Web based Y Y
Windows Y Y
Mac OS Y Y
Linux N N
Mobile app Y N
iPhone app Y Y
Android app Y N
Windows phone N N
Free trial? N N
Freemium account N N
Subscription based? Y Y
API Y Y
Campaign segmentation Y Y
Custom forms Y Y
Activity monitoring Y Y
Customizable fields Y Y
Lead capture Y Y
Lead generation Y Y
Lead scoring Y Y
Sales tracking Y Y
Software management Y Y
Software metrics Y Y
Visitor tracking Y Y
Web forms Y Y

While Pardot looks very similar to Infusionsoft in side by side comparisons, for growing your small business, Infusionsoft is close to a turnkey solution, especially if you leverage the Infusionsoft Marketplace.  Its ease of use and ability to manage your entire marketing plan and web presence in one place are better suited to small-and-midsize business needs.  

Pardot’s big selling point (beyond it’s automation features) is close integration with Salesforce CRM. Pardot integrates with Salesforce more efficiently than Infusionsoft (they’re owned by the same company).  That can be a big selling point for companies wanting to add some marketing automation to their Salesforce-centric processes.  However, this integration is a “work in progress” and isn’t perfect by any means.  Expect some gyrations if you plan to integrate Pardot and Salesforce.

One disadvantage of Pardot is that it is missing a mobile app. Being able to engage with prospects and tweak campaigns on the go can save time and labor – and ultimately money.

Support

Pardot gets great praise from customers for their support.  Infusionsoft also has strong 24/7 support.  With any software provider you may occasionally get a junior support person on the phone, but for the most part these are well-trained people who can sign into your application and help you with most problems over the phone or screen share.  Infusionsoft and Pardot are both very strong and score about equally on the support side.

The Verdict

For small-and-midsize businesses with budget constraints, Infusionsoft is a more complete solution with a much lower price point.

For mid-to-large sized businesses using Salesforce CRM, adding on Pardot to gain marketing automation capabilities is the logical next step.  At $2,000 per month for all the enhanced features, cost is more appropriate for larger businesses.

Learn More

Here at FunnelProfit, we offer turnkey and custom-tailored marketing automation solutions for small-and-midsize businesses. Find out more by getting in touch with us today.