These days, entrepreneurs need the right online tools to stay competitive. With sales and marketing, this is doubly true, as the more inconvenient you make it for yourself, the more time you waste on management over business growth.
Depending on who you ask, Keap (formerly Infusionsoft) is the ultimate tool for marketing automation. It handles everything from building your landing page to getting customers to the landing page through an automated process. But does Keap meet the hype? Find out in this review.
What is Keap?
Keap has been around for longer than most marketing software, starting back in 2001. Back then, we knew them as Infusionsoft. In fact, this name change only occurred in 2019, leading to many current users still referring to them by their old name.
Keap refers to itself as a pioneer of CRM and marketing automation software. Given the fairly early founding year, this seems to make sense.
Over the past few years, Keap’s user base has stuck around 125 thousand customers. A great number for sure, but much smaller than comparative marketing software like HubSpot.
Who is Keap best for?
Despite being smaller, Keap caters mainly to those with established businesses. So, if you have 500 or more current contacts, Keap is good for you.
Much like other marketing automation platforms, Keap doesn’t bring people to you. So with this in mind, you’ll already need established forms of lead generation (ads, SEO, etc.). However, Keap is ideal for bringing people through a sales pipeline once they get there.
Keap Pricing Plans – How Much Does It Cost?
Much of what makes Keap ideal for established businesses comes down to its pricing. Keap starts at $129 per month, becoming more expensive if you pay month-by-month. Thankfully, you can get a 14-day free trial to test out the platform before paying.
Beyond this, Keap has three major plans you can choose from, which we will go through below.
At its cheapest, Keap Pro will put you back at $1548 per year, with about $40 off per month for an upfront payment. When choosing Keap Pro, you get these features:
- Two Users
- Starting at 1500 contacts (can pay for more)
- Email marketing
- Automation features
- A dedicated phone line for customer support
- The ability to set appointments
- A sales pipeline with analysis features
- Ability to take payments, invoice, and send quotes
- Landing pages
- Text marketing features
Keap Max differs by providing you with more data and power.
Keap Max costs $2388 per year, saving about $50 per month over the monthly plan. In paying for this plan, you get all the features you expect from the Pro plan, only with a few minor adjustments:
- Starting at 2500 contacts
- Three users
- The ability to send promo codes and upsells
- Deeper marketing analytics
Determining whether Max is better than Pro will most likely come down to your need for upselling.
Keap Max Classic
Keap Max Classic requires you to contact sales to get a quote. For those familiar with what Infusionsoft offers, the Classic plan is a translation of that into Keap’s new pricing structure after 2019.
Max Classic is ideal for larger businesses, meaning it tosses the integrations with Google Calendar and Reviews in favor of a tool that automatically assigns potential leads to your salespeople based on predetermined criteria.
Because this review isn’t built for massive businesses, we won’t be looking at the Max Classic plan.
Keap Pros & Cons
- Keap is incredibly easy to use
- Excellent contact management system with custom entries
- Can track appointments and tasks
- You can establish a business number on Keap
- Easy to control when and where your emails go to
- Sales pipeline is ideal for creating processes
- Can create product checkout forms with automated features
- Automation features are dynamic and simple
- Expensive, no entry-level pricing
- Task manager doesn’t have many features
- Form creation has limited design options
- Few pre-made landing page templates
- Annoying cancellation policy
Keap CRM features walkthrough – what does it offer?
Keap offers a lot of different things in its platform, let’s dig into them.
To sign up is a breeze. You simply enter your email, name, phone number, and your chosen password. You don’t need to enter a payment card to get started. From there, Keap will ask you a series of questions to point you in the right direction.
Answering this question will kick you right to the associated feature, bringing you through a quick user tutorial. Keap also has live guided “free trial experiences” that will show you how to use the platform. This is handy, but we are going to explore it blindly to see how it works.
Using the Keap dashboard
The Keap dashboard gives you a simple, high-level review of your business happenings. This includes everything from the number of contacts, sales, repeat clients, and invoice data. For those who need that high-level view, this can be pretty handy.
As you scroll down, you’ll see references to some of Keap’s more useful features: appointment setting, a to-do list, and a Google Review manager. You can customize the dashboard to remove and add widgets using the three-dot menus found throughout the dashboard.
To make this review simple, we will start from the top left of the navigation bar and work our way down.
Contact management features
Just below the home menu to access the dashboard is contacts. The contacts section is arguably the most important part of your CRM software. After all, without customers, you don’t have a business.
adding contacts with keap
To start, you can add contacts individually through the “add a contact” button. From there, you can categorize your contacts in one of three areas: lead (potential sale), client (current customer), and other (everyone else).
You can also choose to import contacts in bulk from other popular platforms like MailChimp or Constant Contact. You can also use an Excel spreadsheet or your existing phone contacts.
tags and custom fields for your contacts
You can also setup tags for each customer, associating them with different areas of sales pipelines. This can be useful if you want to label customers by different pipeline stages. For example, you might label someone a new customer differently from a prospect who has been through the first conversation.
When you have unique needs for your contact list, Keap allows you to create custom fields. For example, if you have different services, you can label them by a custom field. You can also choose to have a special field for individual contacts with special needs.
There’s also a link to forms under this tab, which we will revisit in a later section.
The “my day” tab for booking appointments and managing your calendar
Keap’s “my day” tab is a collection for both your appointments and tasks. The appointment setting screen you see above defaults to 15 and 60 minute consultations. However, you can also add custom appointment types.
Using the appointment tools
You can either choose to invite customers to your appointment or simply book them for your information. Either way, it’s a handy tracking feature.
The appointment setting also works with third-party applications like Calendly. However, you can also insert those appointments into your emails and landing pages.
Using the task management tools
The task manager is a simple form of what you get through project management software like Trello. The most useful part of it is the ability to connect contacts, which can be handy if you have a task related to them you need to finish.
The Keap task manager is not an alternative to more powerful project management software like Trello. If your schedule gets busy, it won’t take long for your “my day” page to become overwhelming.
Business communications – setting up a phone line and email broadcasts
The business communications, under comms, is one of the more interesting features of Keap. Through this tab, you can set up a business line and send out email broadcast.
Establishing a business line through Keap
One of the more interesting features of this sales and marketing automation tool is the business line. Small businesses and services who have yet to establish a phone line will find the feature useful.
Keap creates a phone number for you can select from a list. From there, you can enter your current phone number to forward your texts and phone calls. In keeping your numbers private, this can be handy.
Using the email marketing and broadcasts feature
Keap’s email marketing features start in the email broadcast category. From this page you can build an email from a series of templates, create your own template, or choose a text-only email.
Keap provides a wide range of email templates to choose from. These templates are sorted by industry and usage (e.g., abandoned cart emails or e-commerce emails), allowing you to find what you need pretty easily.
Later, we will revisit the design elements, as Keap uses the same design tools for emails and landing pages.
When you send the emails (step number three after creating your email), your contacts are sorted by tags. So in this way, you can segment different groups in your email marketing campaign.
Keap’s system is built for small businesses who have no experience using a SaaS platform like this. Since it is so easy to use Keap, you don’t have much of a learning curve, which is ideal for most people.
The business profile (found under communications and settings) is a way you can set up a regular signature. The data that shows at the bottom of your emails complies with international spam laws.
You can also upload your logo, creating a more professional email signature. So take the time to fill in the information you are comfortable with.
Sales pipeline features
The Keap sales pipeline is ideal for those who need help to establish a defined process. In creating a pipeline, you can set custom stages for each customer to go through. Small businesses who have a proven process will align easily with this tool.
The sales pipeline resembles a Kanban board, something popular project managers like Trello use regularly. You can easily rename and shift the order of your stages, giving you complete control.
There are automation features on this page, which will address in a later section.
Creating quotes and sending invoices with Keap
Keap allows you to create quotes you can send to clients to give them an idea of the work. You can upload a custom logo for white page work and choose to enter notes or your terms and conditions page. You can also choose to attach documents for approval.
Keap also allows you to send invoices, following the same format that the quotes feature does. These two features combined make it useful if you want to handle a coaching business or you sell services.
In either case, Keap works through WePay, allowing you to accept all major credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover) and PayPal. You can also use these same methods to set up recurring payments, which is useful in the event you sell a subscription service.
adding products and creating checkout forms
For a businesses built on automation and e-commerce features, Keap’s solution is to allow you to create checkout forms. Through these forms, you can collect an income and automate your entire payment receiving process.
The only thing that makes this different from standard form creation is the need to include payment details. From there, the automated system will follow up however you set it up.
Some of the default options include an email to you for following up with the client or an email sent to the client with an info product attached.
However, in order to buy a product, you need to create one. Just under this area on your navigation bar is the products and services section. You’ll need to create something here if you want data for your invoices, quotes, and checkout pages.
The one thing you can do under this page is add your products or services and include an optional sales tax. You can also setup multiple sales taxes, which is often the case when selling in multiple locations.
The full service payment platform makes this tool incredibly handy. Combine this with the appointment setting features, and you have an incredible tool to assist any consulting business.
Marketing – creating forms, emails, and landing pages
The marketing tab on the left of the navigation bar brings you to a page to create forms, landing pages, and emails. The form creation page is unique, but the landing and email creation page are identical.
Creating forms using Keap
Out of the two page builders, the form creation tool is the simplest. What makes this tool useful is the ability to create any form with custom fields, much like with your contact list.
While the form can display a company logo with a checkbox, its design options are pretty limited. While other page building tools let you add more custom features (like headers), Keap keeps (pun intended) its form building system simple. For some businesses, this might limit branding options.
Thankfully, all other parts of the form are great, especially the automation features, which we will discuss shortly.
To publish the form, Keap can either provide you with a URL or an embed form to put into your current website.
Creating a landing page or email using Keap
Much like with creating emails, landing pages include a variety of different templates. However, there are fewer templates for landing pages, as they’ve put more effort into their email marketing business.
When you select a landing page template, you are brought to step two: create. The creation step allows you to make use of the landing page builder.
You’ll find an interface similar to Sendinblue or HubSpot. The drag-and-drop editor splits your interface down the middle, putting the page on the left half and the tools on the right half.
Below, we will give you a breakdown of each section and what it does.
Content refers to the unique elements you can add to your page. Headings, dividers, buttons, and social media buttons are all found here.
The landing page editor is simple enough that it has everything on one page, so you won’t have to scroll.
This is where you can make use of your appointment setting tools, as there is a specific section for those. You can also install your checkout screens here, creating sales driven funnels.
The blocks tab on the left has different combinations of content in the lower levels. For those who want to work with a pre-made design or tweak what is already there, this is a good starting point.
You can even choose to insert blank blocks, which allows you to customize the elements within. Otherwise, you can choose between generic holiday blocks, special event blocks, or signature blocks (sort of like an about you section).
The search function at the top will also allow you to find specific content blocks. Given that there are fewer than 10 of these blocks at the time of this review, the amount of pre-made items could stand to see a boost.
The body tab allows you to adjust some very general elements. This includes setting background colors, font styles, and link colors. Given the lack of information here, this could be better suited to the settings tab found later.
Images and uploads
The next two tabs are for images and uploads. The upload tab allows you to send media to your Keap account.
To start, the images tab is handy if you need free stock photographs. These images come from free-use databases like Pexels, Pixabay, and Unsplash. Including easy-to-access images is a good deal, as small business groups rarely have the resources to source professional images.
The pages tab allows you to create multi-faceted landing pages. This is like ClickFunnels, allowing you to connect many pages to each other.
You can change the order of the pages through the dotted area on the left side. To edit these pages, click the pencil icon on the right.
This feature allows you to produce an important aspect of your marketing campaigns, like thank you pages. You can also produce sales funnels with multiple add-ons.
The settings tab allows you to add the Facebook Pixel ID, the Google Analytics ID, and general analytics for your Keap dashboard. That’s it.
Using the drag-and-drop editor
Keap’s drag-and-drop landing page editor is incredibly simple on the left side of your screen as well. To start, you can move different content blocks between each other by holding down the left mouse on different movement icons.
Much like with other platforms, text editing is also part of the editing portion. From having this selected, you’ll be able to perform simple text edits. The right side of the screen will also adjust to the areas you are highlighting.
With the simplicity of this platform, you won’t have to spend more than a few hours before you understand how to use it. While there is a few unusual design choices, this page building tool is incredibly handy.
Sales and marketing automation tools
Keap’s automation tools are one of the major reasons you buy them. These tools work as your campaign builder, moving people through your sales pipeline with less work.
There are two categories of these automation tools: easy and advanced. To start, we will look at the features under easy tools.
The easy automation features all work the same way: “when” something happens “then” another thing happens. For those into programming languages, this is the less complicated version of if-than statements (shout out to the programmers reading this).
The easy automation tools include eight different standard options. These include landing page leads, invoice reminders, and new lead follow-ups. Keap, by default, also has automatic reminders sent to you of upcoming tasks.
Typically, what happens if they meet the conditions of these automations is that the system sends emails. The emails can eventually lead to your landing pages. However, the true power of this system is in the advanced automation tools.
Advanced automation features enable you to automate a lot of features on customer relationship management. The advanced tools allow you to create sequences, which hide automation within automations.
In this way, you might have repetitive automations to send regularly. For example, the situation above is a yearly birthday email, adding and removing tags to indicate their birthday having status.
You can also set emails and change landing pages depending specific rules. For example, you wouldn’t send a thank you email to someone who didn’t buy your product. However, you might send them a “ask for their opinion” email to see why they didn’t buy.
The automation features alongside your tags make for an incredibly powerful set of tools. For Keap, its automation features are simple, visually driven, and easy to understand. Other automation tools could learn a few things from Keap.
Marketing and sales reports
Keap’s marketing and sales reports cover a wide range of important information. Typically, you’ll see them broken down into three areas:
- Pipeline analytics reports
- Sales reports
- Contact tracker reports
Pipeline reports allow you to break down the results from individual sales pipelines. If you are running multiple sales funnels, these reports can help you identify what’s working.
For those with enough creativity, you might recognize the ability to conduct a/b testing with this, a staple of good marketing. However, you’ll have to put in a bit of extra effort to run those comparisons.
Be aware that marketing analytics reports require you to pay for the highest level plan. So the pipeline analytics require you to pay extra for the privileges of a breakdown.
Sales reports are likely where you’ll spend most of your time. These reports break down the money you made, the money you are owed, and a combined view of all your sales pipelines. You can also look at the failed invoice report to catch issues, identifying your best clients.
Contact tracker reports cover the data driven from your tags and contacts. Email engagement rates are likely the most important area here. However, you can also track how many people switched between tags. For example, your tags might switch them between different stages.
Lead scoring tools
Lead scoring refers to a feature unique to the Max Classic plan. It scores leads based on the number of criteria they make, assigning them to different salespeople based on their expertise.
Because this is part of the Max Classic plan, we won’t be digging into this feature. However, it sounds like an amazing feature to leverage your salespeople’s skills working with clients at different levels.
Other interesting features and settings
There are a few other features you get with using the platform. Below, we will go through a quick roundup of what they offer.
- There is a downloadable mobile app for both Google Play and iOS. User reviews say the android app needs some improvements, but it’s fairly handy for on-the-go management.
- Under the user settings, you can invite other users.
- There are settings you can change in order to be complaint with the HIPAA protocol, which makes Keap usable with medical data.
- Keap has multiple integrations with existing tools like ClickFunnels, Calendly, and GoToWebinar to supplement this marketing software.
- You can connect existing domains (for your email) to your account for tracking and automation purposes.
Keap user review – what do others say about it?
Compared to some of our other software, Keap’s user score is somewhat low. However, it isn’t so low that it’s knocked out of a top slot, sitting at an honorable 3.8 out of 5 stars on Trustpilot.
Much of this comes from what people share to be an annoying cancellation policy. After all, you need to set up an “exit meeting” on the way out.