What Nobody Tells You About Ontraport (Updated July 2021)

Ontraport Review - What Nobody Tells You About Ontraport

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Here it is… finally an Ontraport Review!

After the popularity of my posts about the best email marketing tools for small business and why I’m moving to ActiveCampaign, people constantly contact me asking me what tool they should use, do they pick Ontraport vs Infusionsoft vs ActiveCampaign vs Drip vs Mailchimp etc…?

I’ve been a paying customer of Ontraport since 2011, starting with their old SendPepper product and then upgrading to OfficeAutopilot as it was called and then when they rebranded to “Ontraport” a few years back things got a bit buggy and that’s when I discovered and wrote my post about ActiveCampaign.

It was at that point that I moved my done-for-you agency systems over to ActiveCampaign and started putting the majority of my clients onto ActiveCampaign as well.

However… I didn’t abandon Ontraport, I kept using it for my personal site (this site) and for my entrepreneur training and support community business but it definitely wasn’t getting much love from me in terms of referring people for a number of years.

However over the past 12 months in particular Ontraport has made HUGE improvements on most of the major things I disliked about it and now it’s in line if not surpassed many of its competitors in terms of user-friendliness, flexibility and feature sets.

In this post, I review Ontraport as it stands today and outline what’s improved and good about the system and what are still some areas I don’t quite like and think can still be improved further so you can get a fair and unbiased review of if Ontraport will be right for you.

FULL DISCLOSURE: Some links on this page are affiliate links, if you click a link to sign up to a paid plan it won’t cost you any extra or impact you in any way however they may give me a little thank you commission for referring you. If for some reason you don’t want that to happen, just google the tool I mention and find the site directly.

What Is Ontraport?

The Only Way To Automate Your Marketing - Ontraport Review

Ontraport is a Marketing Automation & CRM platform that allows you to collect names, emails, addresses etc… and send both broadcast-based emails (those one-off marketing emails) as well as automated series emails (also known as autoresponders or email sequences).

The power of a platform like Ontraport is it’s not just about emails, or collecting a database of contacts, it’s in its ability to automate and improve all the systems in your business and really grow your business to the next level.


Review of each feature: what I love and what I’d improve


Ontraport Dashboard For Tracking Metrics

What I Love

  • Completely custom metrics that suit your business model specifically
  • 7 different metric types you can calculate (Number of contacts who did something, Number of times something happened, Average Number of times something happened, Conversion Rate, Average time between two things happening, Total value of something across contacts, Average value for a numeric across contacts)
  • Ability to check metrics across different timeframes without creating a new metric, just click to the left or right to scroll
  • Easy to update and change based on your current promotions or activities you want to track
  • Could even use to track 3rd Party metrics, by having the 3rd party tool add a tag and using the “Number of contacts who did something” to count the tag

What I’d Improve

  • Just numbers on the screen feels too sterile and boring for non number people. Needs some visualization options like Graphs and Charts (a bit like what you can do with Klipfolio – which by the way you can integrate with Ontraport via their API if you wanted to)
  • Ability to Group certain metrics together would also be good, so if you had a specific promotion or specific business unit you are tracking you could easily see the relevant metrics all together in the sea of metrics on the page.

Contact Management

Ontraport Contact View

What I Love

  • Use of tabs along the side, sections with titles and fields (see Contact Information section in screenshot) to sort fields into relevant and easy to find places.
  • Both system and Custom Fields can be moved around to different sections, or tabs as required. Nothing is fixed in where it has to live on this screen. This really allows you to customize your business’s specific requirements.
  • Editing information on a contact is as simple as clicking and typing, no page refreshes required.
  • Action bar along the top makes it easy to Send an Email, Send an SMS, Create a Task, Log a Phone Call (inbound or outbound), Add to a Custom Audience in Facebook, Charge the contacts credit card or log an offline transaction
  • Automation Log for help in troubleshooting why an automated sequence or form didn’t do what it was supposed to. This can make life sooooo much easier on whoever is helping you implement or manage your Ontraport campaigns.

What I’d Improve

  • A contact profile picture would be useful especially if it automatically populated from Gravatar if they have it or a public social media profile like Facebook.
  • Some sort of Social Links for auto detected based on email address to easily click through to view a social profile like LinkedIn or Facebook but also to be able to import any missing information on their contact record that is public would be great too (eg. Country, Profile Image, Last Name, etc…)
  • Multiple email addresses for a contact (technically you can achieve this with Custom Objects feature but I’d prefer it built into the core product)


Ontraports Visual Campaign Builder

What I Love

  • A contact can be in multiple places on the campaign map at once, this means almost (if not all) of your automation setup for a specific business unit or function (eg Webinar) can live in ONE campaign rather than multiple places.
  • A Campaign can have multiple triggers and each trigger can go to a different step in the existing flow or an entirely different flow that never connects to the main flow.
  • Goals can be achieved by various settings (Any contact on this map, Any contact in account, Only contacts on previous wait, Contacts on any upstream element) giving real flexibility and ease in what can be automated
  • The elements auto lay themselves out, this avoids the mess that can occur on an Infusionsoft Campaign builder that lets you put elements anywhere you want
  • You can easily map out all the steps and elements in your campaign, then go through and actually configure the details of each element later.
  • Campaign reporting gives you real actionable insights that you can use to improve your marketing, not just superficial open rates and click-through rates, but instead we can know which lead source brought in the most conversions on a goal or which steps are performing the worst.

What I’d Improve

  • To be honest, right now there isn’t much that I see can be improved here they’ve done a really good job and addressed many of the flaws that their competitors’ solutions had in their implementation. If I come across some I’ll update this post.
  • Maybe some clearer training on how to best leverage the campaign reports for newbies but that’s just me nitpicking.


Ontraport Complete Task Screen

What I Love

  • Task Outcomes that make it simple for sales and non-technical people to just state the outcome of the task, and have that trigger whatever needs to happen next
  • Easily add Tasks manually from Contact Screen, or from a Campaign or Sequence or Rule
  • Tasks when emailed to a user have a link to click that you completed it (this is what loads the task outcome screen)

What I’d Improve

  • I don’t love the design of the task screen, I don’t have specific feedback on how to make it better it just doesn’t feel very task-focused to me, it just feels like another screen inside ontraport that is very text-heavy rather than visual. It could also be the green colour that I don’t like too.

Sales & Billing

Ontraport - Manual Order Processing Payment Plan

What I Love

  • One Time Purchases, Subscriptions and Payment Plans all easy to set up
  • Specific Failed Subscription Payment settings that allow for different actions at different number of attempt to charge the card (allows for canceling a subscription on final retry, and send email on first retry and then internal task to call on further fails etc..)
  • Ability from a Campaign to cancel an Open Order (meaning cancel a subscription)
  • Ability to edit an Open Order (meaning if you have a subscriber paying you currently via Paypal and you want to change that to Stripe you can edit the Open order to use Stripe instead and all further payments will go via Stripe)
  • Easily process a transaction on a contact manually who you have a credit card on file for

What I’d Improve

  • I’d like at least the option to at least store the credit card on a stripe contact as well as in Ontraport so if I changed to a direct to Stripe platform or had existing contacts in Stripe I wanted to move to Ontraport it was a super easy migration. **UPDATE** This is now possible to store the credit card in Stripe to allow for moving away (although you lose the subscriptions as they are still managed by Ontraport) but you can also now more easily move existing stripe users into Ontraport
  • Better handling of Multi-Currency, allowing for each gateway to select the currency, or even better if you have a gateway like Stripe that can handle multi-currency allow it from an order form level to pick the currency to use.
  • Ability to handle Tax inclusive product pricing (for us Aussies that legally have to show prices as inc GST) it handles aussie tax but it adds the tax on top of the product price, so can mean the calculation of the total price isn’t quite exact all the time 🙁
  • Order Forms are pretty unflexible right now, many fields are required and unable to be toggled off, and the product matrix at the bottom is ugly so you often choose to hide it and just put text on the page explaining what they are buying.

Partner / Affiliate Management

Ontraport Partner / Affiliate Program - Payout Settings

What I Love

  • Handles 2 Tier commissions, meaning you can refer referral partners and earn a commission on their referrals too
  • Tracking of First Referrer and Last Referrer on the Contact Record so you can see who referred and when talking to a contact

What I’d Improve

  • This is definitely the weakest part of Ontraport as a whole. It does the job but doesn’t give you the same flexibility and features that you get from a dedicated Affiliate platform
  • The Partner Center that you get with PilotPress is fast and easy to set up but is also pretty ugly and hard to customize, I’d rather the partner center not be a part of the WordPress plugin but it’s own hosted by Ontraport login area that we can just customize with a CNAME of our own and choose a few themes and customize logos etc…
  • Handling multi-currency on an affiliate level isn’t possible either, just like in billing
  • Ability to pay a partner out via Stripe would be great as well as Paypal

Landing Pages

OntraPages Landing Page Templates

What I Love

  • Way way better than the old Office Autopilot days of landing pages, it definitely means you no longer need to use a 3rd party landing page tool like Clickfunnels or LeadPages
  • All templates are designed as mobile responsive out of the box so you don’t have to fiddle with making it work on a mobile device.
  • Ability to make edits to the page on a mobile version, that only affect the mobile version. Eg. make a headline smaller on mobile, but don’t change the font size on desktop.

What I’d Improve

  • I’m not a fan of their block template approach. I can see how it is probably beneficial to those who don’t know what they want but it is very restrictive when you want to build something specific. You now can use custom HTML blocks but the approach of a tool like Thrive Architect or Clickfunnels where you can just add an element is my preferred approach to a visual page builder.


What I Love

  • Use this for tracking the best lead sources and how they impacted your Campaigns using the Campaign Builder reports
  • Keep track of all your UTM links in one place rather than use a spreadsheet.

What I’d Improve

  • I don’t have much to comment here, I don’t really make major use of the tracking tool personally so I haven’t dug into it deep enough to say where I would improve it as I just haven’t had any need to use it any deeper than I do right now.

Additional features (eg Lead Scoring, Rules, Custom Objects)

What I Love

  • As well as the built-in leadscoring you can use custom number fields and then the mathematical equation rules to +10 or -10 to a number field and effectively create your own additional custom leadscores
  • Global Rules are a great feature, that when you just need a simple thing to occur almost like a Zapier zap, when this happens then do this other thing.
  • Custom Objects (see video 56:35) is a pretty powerful feature, it’s advanced and not for the non technical but it really does give you complete customization power over your Ontraport database and the information you collect and store.

What I’d Improve

  • I’ll post here as more improvement ideas come up that don’t fall into any of the other categories above or below.


Ontraport's Zapier Integration - Triggers and Actions

What I Love

  • Zapier Integration handles most things you need to be able to integrate with other zapier enabled tools
  • 3rd party tools like PlusThis, FuzedApp allow for deeper integrations with popular Webinar Tools, Video tools like Wistia etc…
  • XOSync a 3rd party tool allows for an Ontraport to Xero sync (if you use Xero for your invoicing like I do then you’ll love this)
  • WordPress Membership Site Integration (PilotPress plugin) is FREE and built-in. Meaning you don’t need to buy a 3rd party tool to build a wordpress based membership site, and you can easily automate giving or removing access and if you use Ontraport for the subscription billing then this gives you lots of power when payments fail etc…
  • Great documentation on the various integrations and how to set them up far better docs often that the company you are integrating with provide
  • Powerful API so you can integrate your own tools or other tools that maybe don’t have an integration yet and you can hire a developer to build you one.

What I’d Improve

  • I’d love to see a Zapier contact Search (or even better all contacts + custom objects search) so you can get data stored in Ontraport and use it in your Multi-Step Zaps.
  • The current integrations with e-commerce shopping carts are pretty woeful, there isn’t a nice deep integration with any one tool yet compared to ActiveCampaign who has some great deep data integrations with Shopify, WooCommerce and BigCommerce.
  • PilotPress as a membership plugin is good and works for some pretty big sites, but it could definitely be improved. For example if you have a rather large site with lots of content, managing permissions across these pages in bulk is painful so most people do it on a one page at a time basis, also the Customer Center you can give a member the ability to update credit cards and see their billing history is hard to customize.
  • Another thing that I don’t like about PilotPress is that the way it processes shortcodes doesn’t seem to be in line with standard wordpress conventions so some of the shortcodes don’t work with other plugins or visual page builders. This doesn’t affect everyone but can affect a few.
  • Pilotpress also doesn’t store First Name and Last Name data on the user in wordpress, so this also can make integrations with other plugins like Forums and tracking scripts that look up the users’ name not play nice with Pilotpress either. Overall Pilotpress is a good basic solution but really needs an overhaul and rebuild to bring in line with wordpress standards and a bit more comparable in setting options to Membership plugins that Infusionsoft and ActiveCampaign have available like ActiveMember360.


The all important deliverability. I mean features are great but it’s worthless for your business if the emails aren’t making it into the inbox.

Now I’m not an expert in email delivery and all the mechanics that are involved to ensure it gets into someone’s inbox but I do know that over the years what impacts this has changed and taken a lot less of the cause of poor delivery off the ESPs like Ontraport and put it back on us as the Marketers and Business Owners and the engagement we are getting in the emails we are sending.

So if you are having deliverability issues on a different system I’d be looking at your approach to sending emails and how that is impacting engagement. Having said that Ontraport does make their postmaster available to do a session with you to review your deliverability and help improve it for you either through Ontraport setting tweaks or changes to your approach.

After Sales Support

What I Love

  • Their facebook group, it’s highly active and users, staff and even Ontraports CEO gets highly involved in discussions
  • Company culture, as above Landon (Ontraport’s CEO) is very approachable and genuinely wants to understand where the problems are and how they can improve their product and their service to serve small businesses. Every employee on Ontraport I’ve ever met has been an awesome person and genuinely good to connect with and have a beer with as well as talk techie business stuff.
  • As mentioned before in the Integrations section, they have great documentation… not just about integrations but about all their features. If you are stuck there is a good chance that the support docs will show you exactly what you need to do to set up what you want.
  • Good network of Ontraport Certified consultants who you can engage to assist you, ranging from subscription implementation services like my done-for-you agency, to the high end consultants that work your projects on a one-time fee basis as well as people in between who can help.
  • They have an office and dedicated staff here in Australia to better support us Aussies

What I’d Improve

  • My only feedback here is that if you are highly technical like I am that Level 1 support people can at times be frustrating, just be aware of it and ask to escalate to a Level 2 if you are hitting your head against the wall.


ontraport.com Pricing

What I Love

  • 90 Day Money Back Guarantee. This is a great risk-free trial period. You can sign up and start testing it out for 3 months and if it’s not for you, just cancel and request a full refund. This is a great offer.
  • $79 plan that you can start on, it’s not quite the $9/m starting that ActiveCampaign can give you, but if you were planning on going to Ontraport in the long run, starting from ActiveCampaign then moving is hard work so having a good starter for newer business is great.
  • Free 2 hour account set up to help you get up and running. This is much better than Infusionsoft’s approach of charging a high setup fee that is non-negotiable as well as the ongoing subscription.
  • Their sales team aren’t paid on commissions, meaning they aren’t incentivized to sell you to use Ontraport if they genuinely don’t think it’s right for you. (I wish I could say the same about some of their other competitors)

Things To Be Aware Of

  • I don’t love the 100,000 email sends per month in the pricing of PRO and TEAM, this can catch some people out when they are comparing Ontraport’s price compared to other tools that provide Unlimited Sends and more users but for a slightly higher price than Ontraports appears.
  • Also be sure to review the feature by feature comparison of BASIC vs PRO as Basic doesn’t include all the features we’ve mentioned above so you’ll want to make sure you’re taking advantage of the 90 day trial period on the right plan for your needs. You can always upgrade or downgrade later if you need to.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to integrate Ontraport

  • Ontraport is highly-customizable software and can be integrated with a number of applications and software services to improve your experience with using the software. There are integrations with platforms for payment, membership and elearning, lead generation, social networking, accounting, and scheduling.

If you need help with setting up & integrating Ontraport, my team of Ontraport implementers can help.

What does Ontraport do?

  • Ontraport provides all the essential features to run an online business. Landing Pages, Email Marketing, Affiliate / Partner Programs, Billing and Task Management.

Ontraport offers powerful marketing automation for your business, helping you to take customers through a journey from lead to customer and after-sales nurture.

With Ontraport, you can design campaigns that create brand awareness and nurture your leads.

You can also utilise Ontraport to take payments and turn them into customers, and then create post-sales sequences and client onboarding processes all from within Ontraport

How does Ontraport work?

  • Ontraport is what’s known as a Software As A Service (SaaS), it means there is nothing to install, you simply sign up and account and can start using it.

If you’re interested in signing up, click here.

What is Ontraport used for?

  • Ontraport is a CRM platform that can effectively handle content, marketing, sales, and client management. It provides your business the ability to generate and nurture leads, develop brand awareness, split test, automate your processes, and manage tasks. There are a myriad of functions that a CRM like Ontraport can manage for your business, and even if you’re already an Ontraport user, you likely may not be using it to its full capacity.

Who uses Ontraport?

  • Entrepreneurs and businesses that use Ontraport are located all over the globe in a variety of industries. Their first primary user base was online coaches and consultants, they have since expanded to a lot more service providers and a few e-commerce.

Overall Summary

Ultimately no matter what tool you choose be aware that it will have bugs. If not today but one day in the future, none of them are immune. I’ve been using Marketing Automation tools for so many years now that I’ve seen the wave of when Infusionsoft was buggy as hell, then when Ontraport was buggy and had problems, then when ActiveCampaign was buggy and had problems or their support team got bad due to too huge fast growth.

Bottom line understand that it’s software and that software is made and used by humans and humans make mistakes. It’s a matter of which company do you trust the most to work through these mistakes and problems and is building the product most in line with your current and future needs.


Ontraport vs Clickfunnels

  • Clickfunnels is a great tool for landing pages and I know a number of people who happily use Clickfunnels in combination with Ontraport. So they aren’t mutually exclusive, although you technically don’t need ClickFunnels as 99% of what it does you can do with Ontraport’s OntraPages (with exception maybe to the order form bump feature)
  • Clickfunnels Etison Suite, that they sell for $297/m, that however compared to Ontraport is in my opinion a waste of money. Ontraport for the same price will give you a better product, better support and a far more robust, flexible and stable system.

Ontraport vs Infusionsoft

  • Without a doubt I believe that for the majority of people who are considering Ontraport vs Infusionsoft will find that Ontraport as a company suits them better.
  • Infusionsoft definitely has it’s areas that it handles better than Ontraport, but now with Ontraport’s Visual Campaign Builder the only areas that Infusionsoft is superior is in the marketplace of integrations available (although pretty well all Infusionsoft integrations are additional monthly addons) and their Opportunity Management features for Sales Teams
  • If you have a large Sales team who will be using the system then do your research further to compare Infusionsoft vs Ontraport to decide which system suits your sales team better.

Ontraport vs ActiveCampaign

  • This is a trickier one to compare as they aren’t the same thing. Ontraport is focused on building an all-in-one system for small businesses, whereas ActiveCampaign is focused on building the best Marketing & Sales Automation platform and integrating deeply with other best of breed tools.
  • Ultimately if you are just getting started and you think the majority of Ontraport’s features are overkill for you now and you don’t see much need for them in the future then consider ActiveCampaign instead, it starts from $9/m and gives you a lot of great features.
  • If you prefer having one tool, one monthly fee and one place to go for everything and you see that you’ll be needing subscription billing, membership sites, and you’re happy to use OntraPages for landing pages then Ontraport is probably the better fit for you.
  • Keep in mind when comparing pricing that ActiveCampaign includes Unlimited Email Sends, while Ontraports PRO and TEAM plans are for 100,000 emails only.

Try it out: Is Ontraport right for you?

I hope this review has been helpful in you deciding if Ontraport is a tool worth having another look at for your business.

If in some small or large way due to this review you decide Ontraport is a good fit for you, it would be great if you could click my referral link for Ontraport before you sign up as your way of saying thanks for this review. It doesn’t add any extra cost to you and it encourages me to keep doing tech reviews like this by allowing me to earn a little bit of income from them when they are helpful to others.