Tuesday's Tip: Keep up on Infusionsoft news using an RSS widget

There are so many ways to keep up with your favorite news sources: email subscriptions, Facebook, Twitter, blogs, and more. You can even view the latest news and articles inside of Infusionsoft.
To follow your favorite news sources within Infusionsoft itself, you can add an RSS widget to your dashboard.
First, click the Add Widgets button on your dashboard.
add-widgets
Next, click Add to Dashboard for the RSS Feed item.
The RSS widget will be added to your dashboard. By default it will show the latest news from Infusionsoft’s blog. You can click the Edit button to change which feed you are following. For example, you can use https://novaksolutions.com/feed/ to follow the Novak Solutions blog and to get our weekly tips in your dashboard.
You can also drag the widget around to get it where you want it.
Is your dashboard feeling cramped? If you have a reasonable sized monitor, you can also click the Change Layout button to change to wider columns or more columns.

Tuesday's Tip: Selectively hide the PayPal button on your Infusionsoft order forms

In some situations you may want to hide the PayPal button for a specific order form or shopping cart. Perhaps you are running an A/B test to find out if the PayPal button affects conversions, or maybe your PayPal account has limitations do to your geographic location.
Whatever reason you have, hiding the PayPal button is incredibly easy and can be accomplished with just a few lines of JavaScript.
If you want to hide the button on an order form, add the below code to the Custom Header section on the HTML Areas tab of the order form settings page.
Shopping carts are a little different. You’ll need to create a theme to use for orders that shouldn’t have the PayPal button. Add the below code to the Custom Header section on the HTML Areas tab of the theme’s settings page.

<script type="text/javascript">// <![CDATA[
jQuery(document).ready(function() {
	jQuery("#checkoutWithPayPalLink").hide();
	jQuery("#payPalType").parent().hide();
});
// ]]></script>

That is it! The PayPal button will be hidden as soon as the page loads.
Keep in mind that Infusionsoft frequently updates the shopping cart and order form code. If this isn’t working for you, it may be time to update.

Tuesday's Tip: Automatically wish your Infusionsoft contacts a happy birthday

An easy way to keep your business in the front of a contact’s mind is to send them an occasional friendly note. A birthday is an excellent opportunity for this type of communication. Infusionsoft makes it easy to both collect a contact’s birth date, and to automatically send an email on the proper date.

Collect the birth date

Log into your Infusionsoft app and go to the Campaign Builder page. Click the Get Campaign Templates button in the upper right corner.
get-campaign-templates
Search for birthday. Hover over the Birthday Collection campaign, then click the Install button. This will copy the campaign into your app.
Open the campaign and follow the instructions provided in the campaign. You’ll need to take a few minutes to customize the emails provided in the campaign sequences. You can manually add people to the campaign, or use another campaign to add a tag to your contacts that will cause them to enter the campaign.
Once you publish your campaign, you are good to go! Any contacts that enter the campaign will get a friendly email asking them to provide their email address. This is all handled automatically so you don’t have to manually type anything into Infusionsoft.

Send a birthday message

Log into your Infusionsoft app and go to the Campaign Builder page. Click the Get Campaign Templates button in the upper right corner.
Search for birthday. Hover over the Birthday Reminders campaign, then click the Install button. This will copy the campaign into your app.
Open the campaign and follow the instructions provided in the campaign. Customize the birthday email to be relevant to your business. You could even include a special offer for your contact.
Once you publish the campaign, you are good to go! All the logic is already in place to send the birthday emails on the appropriate dates.

Tuesday's Tip: Create a completely custom web form notification email in Infusionsoft

It is often helpful to get a notification when a web form is filled out by a contact. However, the default notifications in Infusionsoft can be less than useful. In fact, the only part you can customize is the subject line! This trick gives you the ability to create a completely custom notification email that includes all of the contact information you want.

Disable web form notification

The first step is to disable the built-in web form notification. Edit your web form, go to the settings tab, and make sure the Send an Email To: field is blank.
web-form-settings

Create a follow-up sequence

Next, create a sequence after your web form in your campaign and add an email to it. This sequence will send your notification email.
notification-email
Change the To: field to your email address. You can use merge fields to put contact info into the subject line and the body of the message.
Mark your email and sequences as ready, and publish your campaign.

What happens next?

When your contact fills out the web form they’ll move through your campaign to the notification sequence. Infusionsoft will fill in your merge fields with their details, then send the email to you.
And that is it! You now have a completely customized web form notification email.

Tuesday's Tip: Getting help with the Infusionsoft API

The Infusionsoft API gives you the power to extend your marketing efforts outside of Infusionsoft and to tie all of your business tools together. Want to use SurveyMonkey responses to trigger campaigns? Want to sync your customers between your front office software and Infusionsoft? Want to let your customers schedule their own appointments? The API makes all of this possible.
There are many integration solutions available for Infusionsoft that use the API. We offer several (including a SurveyMonkey integration), and there are a pile more in the Infusionsoft Marketplace. These solutions make it possible to quickly and affordably use the API to improve your business processes.
But what if you need something unique? You have two options: hire a developer or write the code yourself.

Hire a developer

If you choose to hire a developer, we recommend choosing one that already has experience with the Infusionsoft API and that focuses on Infusionsoft development. You can find several in the Infusionsoft Marketplace.

Do it yourself

If you have some programming knowledge or need something very simple, you may be able to work with the API on your own. Everyone at some point runs into a problem or needs to reference the documentation, so I’ve put together a list of the most useful API developer resources.
 

DIY resources

  • API documentation – Tells you what API features are available and how to use them.
  • Table reference – To get data into or out of Infusionsoft, you need to know how the data is stored. The table reference gives you this information. It can be a bit confusing because some table names don’t match the current vernacular (for example, groups are actually tags).
  • Community forum – When you get stuck and you just don’t know what to do next, the community forum gives you a chance to ask for help from fellow developers.
  • Facebook group – For the serious API aficionado, the official Facebook group often has discussions about the latest API features, tips, tricks, and problems.

Tuesday's Tip: Copy a contact to another Infusionsoft app based on your criteria

Did you know that Infusionsoft has the built-in ability to copy contacts between Infusionsoft apps, based on any criteria you specify, without having to manually use the API?
There are many situations where this could be useful. For example, you may want your UK contacts to go to one app and your US contacts to another. This would allow you to show region-specific pricing options to your contacts.
Or maybe you’ve partnered with a business in a related field. Using this technique you can automatically send them any contacts that don’t qualify for your services but do qualify for your partner’s services.
To accomplish this we are going to use the relatively unknown and undocumented lead distribution feature. Configuration and usage is fairly simple once you know what you are doing, so I’ll walk you through it. For this tip to be useful you’ll need at least two Infusionsoft apps. For this example we’ll call our apps Washington (to represent an app targeting US contacts) and George (to represent an app targeting UK contacts).

Establish a relationship between the apps

Open the primary Infusionsoft app. For our example, all of our contacts will be coming into Washington and will be copied to George if they live in the UK, so we need to open the Washington app.
Go to Admin→Settings, then choose Relationships in the Collaboration Settings section. This feature uses the API key from the second app, so enter your second app name and API key. For this example, the second app name is George. Click Save.
relationship

Create a lead distribution rule table

Next we need to tell Infusionsoft what our criteria is for copying a contact to our second app. This is done using a lead distribution rule table. Go to Admin→Settings, then click Lead Distribution Rules in the Collaboration Settings section. Click New Rule Table to create new rules.
Every rule table needs a name. This is for your own reference, so give it a name that will help you remember what the rule table does. We’ll call ours “UK contacts to George”.
You can now create your rules. We want to send UK contacts to another app, so the rule type is going to be based on data from the contact record. For the “when” section, we’ll select the contact billing address country field, and we want it to equal United Kingdom. For the “then” section, we select our George app.
rule-table
You can add additional rules if you’d like. Click Save when finished.

Create an action set

Next you need to create an action set. Go to Marketing→Settings, and select Action Sets from the Marketing Settings section. Click Add an Action Set.
In the popup you’ll be able to name and configure your action set. Again, the name is just for your own reference so make it meaningful. Select Distribute record to another Infusionsoft application from the drop-down box. Select your rule in the first box. You can optionally run an action set in the second app by filling out the second box. This is useful for adding additional tags or triggering campaigns in the second app.
You may want to add an additional rule to add a tag to your contact in your first app (Washington). This can be used to indicate that the contact has been copied to another app.
To finish, click Save, and Save again.
action-set

Trigger the action set

You are almost done! Now that your relationship is defined, your rule is configured, and your action set is created, you can trigger the action set.
Our example is collecting leads via a campaign. To distribute the UK leads to our George app, we are going to add an Action Set item to our sequence and select our UK contacts to George action set.
campaign-action-set

What happens next?

When someone enters this campaign, they’ll go through the action set. If the contact is from the UK then they’ll be copied to the second app. Then, regardless of where they are from, they’ll continue through the sequence. You can get creative with applying tags in your action set to make it so your UK contacts achieve a goal that allows them to skip the rest of the sequence.

Tuesday's Tip: Keep track of relationships in Infusionsoft

Infusionsoft makes it easy to track any kind of relationship between contacts. For example, your business may want to track which contacts are business partners. Or maybe your business needs to keep track of which contacts are family members, such as husband and wife. Infusionsoft calls this a “relationship link” and gives you the flexibility to configure them in whichever way makes the most sense for your business.
To setup a relationship link, pull up a contact in Infusionsoft, and then click the Linked Contacts tab. If you haven’t created any link types yet, you’ll need to click Manage Link Types, then New Link Type. Give your link a name (such as “Spouse”). You can also limit how many contacts can be linked together with this link type. For example, a spouse link type should probably have a limit of 1 because you can only have 1 spouse. Click Save.
link-type
Next, create the relationship link. To do this, go back to the Linked Contacts tab and search for a contact. Select the type of link and click Save Link. That is it!
Once you have a relationship link established, you can merge a linked contact’s details into your email. For example, you might include a reference to a contact’s spouse, or cc a business partner. This will show up in your list of available merge fields under the name of the type of link (such as “Spouse”).

Tuesday's Tip: 5 tips for keeping your Infusionsoft data secure

Today we have five tips to help you keep your Infusionsoft data secure. There are many threats to your data: hackers that want to steal your customer data, employees that make mistakes, poorly coded integrations, and software vulnerabilities. These simple steps will help protect your business and your data.

Keep your software up-to-date

There are many plugins for WordPress and other platforms that make it easier to interact with your Infusionsoft app. Whether you are using free or paid plugins, it is vital that you keep them up-to-date. New versions frequently fix security issues that can leave you at risk to hackers, nosy customers, or unscrupulous competitors.
This also applies to your web hosting and server software. It sometimes feels like a major security threat is being discovered every other day. Regularly updating your server software will protect you from these serious vulnerabilities.

Use Infusionsoft’s user permissions feature

Infusionsoft provides a method of controlling what a user can do inside of your Infusionsoft app. For example, you can restrict your employees so they aren’t able to delete contacts, or even limit what contacts they are allowed to see. In general, a user should only be given the permissions required for them to perform their job function. This limits your risk of data loss or theft by your employees.
You may want to consider disabling access altogether for employees that don’t have a genuine need to interact with Infusionsoft. If you have several users that are only using Infusionsoft for viewing data (such as reporting), it may be cost effective to deactivate their Infusionsoft accounts and instead set up reports using a tool like Data Warehouse.

Be careful who you give API access to

Giving a third-party access to your Infusionsoft app’s API should be done carefully. Anyone that has access to your API also has access to nearly all of your data. Working with well known developers and vendors will limit your risk of data loss or theft.
If you are hiring a developer to create a custom integration, you may want to give them access to a sandbox app instead of your real Infusionsoft app during development. This will prevent any bugs from damaging your real business data. This is especially important when hiring a developer that isn’t well known to the Infusionsoft community (such as one found on Freelancer or oDesk).

Use a backup solution

Even when following good security practices, there is still a chance of data loss. You or an employee may accidentally delete records or create a campaign that makes undesired changes to tags. A third-party integration may contain a bug that overwrites records or tampers with tags in an unexpected way. Or perhaps you ignored our advice about being careful with your API access, and an inexperienced developer mangled your Infusionsoft data.
With regular backups you’ll be able to get your business back on track even after accidental (or intentional) data loss. We offer a Cloud Backup solution that is fully automated. New and updated records are backed up every 15 minutes, and you can easily download your backup whenever you need it. We trust Cloud Backup with our own Infusionsoft app and are confident in its abilities.

Don’t add a contact’s details to the end of URLs

Last, protect your contacts by leaving their details off the end of URLs when creating links in emails. This option is provided to make it easier for non-developers to customize their landing pages with a contact’s details, but it also makes it easy for a contact’s password to get stolen. Instead, manually add just the details you need to the URL.

Tuesday's Tip: What if you add an email to an existing Infusionsoft campaign sequence?

Have you ever wondered how changes to a live campaign might affect your contacts currently in the sequence? Adjustments sometimes need to be made to campaigns that already have contacts in them. How does Infusionsoft decide whether a new sequence item applies to a contact? Today we clarify what happens to a contact’s position in the sequence as new sequence items are added.
When an item is added and the campaign is published, Infusionsoft will recalculate each contact’s position in the sequence based on past steps accomplished. The recalculation retraces the steps of emails, timers, and other actions from the beginning to determine the contact’s current position.
The rule of thumb for an additions to a sequence is seven days. If the new step will be accomplished in the future, then it will occur at the appropriate time. If, instead, the step was set to happen in the past seven days, then it will proceed immediately. However, when the step was set to happen longer than seven days ago, the action will be skipped and the contact will be pushed along in the sequence.
To make this easier to understand, let’s look at an example.
Our imaginary live campaign is set to deliver two emails: email #1, wait five days, email #2. The sequence is readjusted to include a third email, #1.5, only two days after the first email is sent.
sequence
Adam entered the original sequence. He received Email #1. After three days, you decide to add an additional email, Email #1.5. You add the email, adjust the timers, and publish the changes. Infusionsoft recalculates Adam’s position in the campaign and concludes that Email #1.5 should have been sent in the past seven days (yesterday in fact) and sends it out immediately.
Brett entered the original sequence a few days before Adam. He received Email #2 the day before the campaign was changed and republished. His recalculation concludes that Email #1.5 should have been sent four days prior (within the week), so it too is sent immediately even though Email #2 comes after Email #1.5. The thing to note here is that when the sequence continues on to Email #2, Infusionsoft recognizes that the email has already been sent to this contact and does not send Brett Email #2 again. Infusionsoft campaigns are smart enough to avoid sending the same item twice when you make changes to your sequence.
And lastly we have Charles, who received Email #1 a month ago and Email #2 followed appropriately. His recalculation shows Email #1.5 should have been sent weeks ago, so the step is skipped. He does not receive the added email.
These rules apply for any item you add to a campaign sequence, whether at the beginning, middle, or end.

Tuesday's Tip: Start an Infusionsoft campaign sequence based on the time of day

Have you ever wanted to run a certain campaign sequence but only if the contact enters a campaign during a specific time period? Perhaps not, but there are some interesting things you could do with this capability.
For example, you may want to email a new lead to let them know that your office is closed for the day, and they can expect to hear from you on the next business day. This email should only go out if the contact requests information after your office is closed for the day. Postponing the sequence won’t work, because that will just guarantee that every contact will eventually get an after hours email. Instead, we only want to send the email if the contact enters a campaign during a specific time period. If they enter the campaign during business hours, we never want the email to get sent.
If you are handling support for your products through your Infusionsoft app, you could do something similar. If someone fills out your support web form after hours, you could send them an email letting them know not only that you got their request but also an estimate of when it will be handled.
Follow below for instructions on how to set this up.

Get the free script

I haven’t been able to figure out a way to accomplish this without using the API. If you know how, please let me know! It’d be great to cut the API out of this process.
Until a better way is discovered, I’ve written a simple script and included it with the examples in the Novak Solutions Infusionsoft SDK.
Get a copy of the SDK, configure your API key, and place the script (examples/time-based_campaign.php) in a location that is publicly accessible.

Create the entry points and empty sequences

Create your lead capture entry point. For example, a web form.
Your lead capture entry point will lead to a sequence that does an HTTP post. This will then lead to another sequence that performs the normal tasks you’d perform with a new lead, such as creating an opportunity.
Create a second entry point that is set to be achieved when an API call is made. This entry point leads to a sequence that will send an email if the contact enters the other entry point during a specific time period.
campaign-overview

Configure the API call entry point

Edit the API call entry point. Set an integration and call name. These values are arbitrary, but should be unique to this campaign.
api-entry-point

Configure the sequence after the API entry point

Add anything you’d like to happen if the contact enters the campaign during your selected time period. For example, you might send an email letting them know that your office is closed for the day but you’ll get back to them on the next business day.

Configure the HTTP post

Open your Check time sequence. Drag a Process→Send HTTP Post item into it.
http-post
Edit the Send HTTP Post. You’ll need several parameters.
The startTime and stopTime define the time period you want to restrict your API calls to. The API call entry point will only be entered if the contact enters the lead capture part of the campaign during this time period. Use 24-hour HHMM format with leading zeros. For example, 4:30 PM would be 1630. The time zone will match whatever time zone your server is set to.
The integration and callName need to match the values you picked when configuring the API call entry point.
http-post-config

Test the campaign

As always, test to make sure everything is working. You can always use the campaign tab to run the HTTP post multiple times without having to create multiple contacts.