Google Analytics Solutions Gallery!?!>

Did you know that Google has a Google Analytics Solutions Gallery where you can find community generated custom dashboards and reports?  There are some real jewels in there.  I tried out the most popular, Occam’s Razor Awesomeness as well as a beginner one suggested by the Google Analytics team.  Honestly not sure why these reports don’t come pre-loaded, but to each PM his own..
If you find a sweet one you think we should look at, let us know in the comments.  Thanks!

What are your business' big rocks?

There is a common visualization where rocks are put in a jar that is already mostly full of sand, not all the rocks fit, but if you put the rocks in first then add the sand it all fits.
Usually this is applied to life, and putting the important things first.  But you can also apply it to business.  What are the things you HAVE to get done in your business to grow?  Work on those first.  Do something everyday that works towards achieving your rocks.
We have our rocks for Q3, and after we choose our big rocks we planned what needed to be done to achieve the big rocks.
So the question is…  What are the big rocks for your business?  What are the things you really need to get done to accomplish your rocks?


What do drones and marketing have in common?

Photo by Diana Măceşanu
Drones are a miracle of modern science.  They take user input (what you want it to do), and look at sensor data, and make adjustments so they can do what you want them to.   Consumer drones were an almost impossibility a decade ago because the low cost electronics weren’t fast enough to see what the drone needed to adjust.  By the time it knew that it needed to slow down one motor to stay level it was already turning upside down and ready to crash.  This same concept of rapid feedback is what enables cars to lower their emissions to what they are today.  Similar to drones, without this fast feedback in your online marketing there are some really awesome things you can’t do.
Most small businesses still have “slow” marketing feedback.  If sales are up for the quarter marketing is good.  If sales are down for the quarter something needs to change.  The way to speed up your online marketing feedback is to fully integrate your Facebook Pixel and Google Analytics with Infusionsoft to record monetary values for conversions.  It’s technically possible to set these things up so that when someone makes a purchase you can tell Facebook and Google how much money that purchase is worth.  For subscriptions you tell Facebook / Google the lifetime value of the subscription that was purchased.
We have already created a tool we use that does this for Google Analytics and we are working on one for Facebook.
If you want to help test the tool and give us some feedback when it’s done, leave a comment below (or on our facebook page) and we’ll email you when it’s ready.  I promise, it will be easy to use.

Master Your Infusionsoft Data

I have a couple questions to ask you –


What is the churn rate for your subscriptions?
How many of your customers come back for a second purchase?
What are your most effective marketing channels?
How much can you spend per lead and still make a profit?
How many of your subscriptions are NOT being paid every month?
What is your most popular product? What is your most profitable product?
If you are like most small to medium businesses then you have a pretty good idea of the answer to each of these questions, BUT you aren’t sure if you are right.  If you are like most Infusionsoft users, then you know that the answer lies within Infusionsoft somewhere, but you don’t know where.
Knowing the answers to these questions, and other questions like them, is critical to truly understanding your business, your customers, and your marketing.  Without specific data, then you are spending time and money on marketing efforts that may not even be turning a profit.

So – what can you do about it?

If you are a solo business owner, or work with only a small team, then Infusionsoft’s reporting does have a lot of tools that can help you. We’ve put a list together of the top 5 most useful Infusionsoft reports that you can check out here. This won’t give you the answer to all of your questions, but it does give you a push in the right direction.  To get the rest of your numbers you may still have to pull out a good ol’ Excel Spreadsheet and dump hours into trying to view your data and hope you get it right.  Alternatively, Novak Solutions can help you setup some more advanced reports specific to your needs, and you can avoid hours of Excel spreadsheet time.
If you work with a larger team and have access to a database engineer, then we have an awesome tool that you need to know about.  Novak Solutions DataWarehouse tool does all the heavy lifting for you – we’ve spent years putting together the most reliable and most complete tool for pulling data out of Infusionsoft. The end result – a MySQL database that has your Infusionsoft data, all ready to go
Your database engineer or reporting expert can connect the database directly to your reporting framework of choice or build custom reports into any in-house application.  You can get real data, live data and know exactly what’s going in your sales funnels.

Not sure if YOUR Infusionsoft database is large enough to warrant a backup solution?

Take our free assessment and find out for yourself!

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Top 5 Best Infusionsoft Custom Reports For Actual Meaningful Insight Into Your Business

Hey Novak Solutions readers!
I’m Paul Sokol and I’ve known these Novak guys for many years. Recently, Jordan has been writing a lot about data and wanted to do a post on the top 5 reports available inside Infusionsoft.
He reached out to me about it and well, here we are 🙂
The reason he asked me is because I’m pretty familiar with Infusionsoft and its native reporting functionality (been using the software since ’08). This was actually a really fun guest post because it forced me to take the entire lens of a small business and condense it to what I consider the most critical and insightful reports/data points.
Oh! One important thing to note: this intentionally doesn’t have ANY campaign reporting in it. That’s a topic for an entirely different guest post.
Alright enough flapping my digital gums, let’s get to these top five reports.

Best Infusionsoft Report #1 – eCommerce > Sales Totals (By Product)

This is one of the most important reports because it empowers a lot of crucial data points for the Product, Sales and Financial functions of your business.
From a Chief Product Officer standpoint, this report gives a high level breakdown of what specific Offers are actually selling which indicates the general health of their Product Line. If a business has 20 things to sell, but only 3 are being sold, that means something different than if 18 of 20 are being sold. Neither circumstance is bad (nor good) without additional context but this report empowers that kind of “troubleshooting” into your Product Line health.
From a Chief Sales Officer standpoint, this report shows how well you are doing you job, to be blunt about it. You can easily ascertain how many raw orders/sales came in and total volume sold per Offer. Again, great for “troubleshooting” the Sales process.
Lastly, from a Financial standpoint, this is a highly valuable report because it shows what Offers are driving the Revenue. You can also filter to see which Referral Partners are driving sales. Lastly, you are also able to filter the report by refunds and write-offs too which means you can see what Offers are experiencing those kinds of transactions. Knowing what is refunding/being written-off can also be an important data point for both the Chief Product and Sales Offers!
Please be aware this report doesn’t factor in any discounts so you cannot use it for your Accounting cycles. In other words, if you sold one thing for $97 but gave $20 off, this report will still show $97 as the amount sold.
Despite this gotcha there isn’t a better report, IMHO, that gives you a better pulse on the heartbeat of a business than this one.

How To Customize the “Sales Totals (By Product)” Infusionsoft Report

Since you can only pull this report by date range, I recommend setting it for the current full month so you can save it and then get month-to-date stats (MTD) on your dashboard using a Custom Statistics widget. Then, you build an Operational habit to manually update the date ranges and re-save the report at the beginning of each month to keep your dashboard up-to-date.
You can also setup a year-to-date version of this report as well if you want to keep track over the whole year.
Typically, I won’t filter by any referral partner or refund status (found under Misc Criteria) to keep it a general report. You can also do on-the-fly filtering to pull the data you need, when you need it, once the report has been saved.
As far as the data columns, you want to keep this simple and only need these three:

Best Infusionsoft Report #2 – Marketing > Web Form Activity Summary Report

This is one of the best reports for the Marketing function of your business. If you use internal forms this will also give you insight into your Operations performance.
From a Marketing standpoint, you are able to easily see how many new contacts have been added to the system. This is how you can track the general database growth. You are also able to see how many unique submissions a form received and the repeat submissions. If you see a lot of unique submissions but few new contacts, that just means the existing database is heavily interacting. Depending on your goals, that may be a problem.
Repeat submissions are either a good thing or a bad thing depending on context. Marketing wise, it may mean that something is broken as there aren’t too many real-world cases where someone fills out the same form multiple times. Operations wise, that might actually be expected. You may have a single internal form for workflow that gets filled out multiple times.
Like the previous report, this gives you high level insight into the pulse of your Marketing and Operations. Its a great place to start troubleshooting if things seem to be off!

How To Customize the “Web Form Activity Summary Report” Infusionsoft Report

Similar to the above report, you’ll want to do a MTD saved report that gets updated every month. There is also no need to do any specific filter either. Just a date range search and go!
As far as the data columns, there is duplicated name column and you want to use the specific one shown here since that will help you determine which ones are an internal form:

Best Infusionsoft Report #3 – eCommerce > Receivables

I’m always filled with apprehension when running this report for the first time with a new private client. Either they are on top of their books and don’t have a lot to collect OR they didn’t even know payments were failing and they are missing out on money they already earned.
In some cases, there are failed orders from years ago so that money isn’t coming. Ever.
Truly tragic.
That’s why the Receivables report is the next in line for this post. Basically, if someone owes you money they show up on this report and you know you have to do some legwork to recover the payment.
The beautiful thing about this report is that it also works with payment plans, so unless a payment is truly overdue, it won’t show up here.

How To Customize the “Receivables” Infusionsoft Report

Like the other two reports, you only need to filter by date range with no other criteria selected. The difference is you want to make the date range between far in the past (before you started recording Orders) and then through to 2099.
This way, you only need to setup one saved report ever since the date range covers “all of time” from Infusionsoft’s point of view.
The magic here is the data columns you want to use because you can easily overload the displayed information and make this report chaotic and useless.
Using the data columns shown below will create a clean, meaningful receivables report that is actionable:

Best Infusionsoft Report #4 – Admin > Task Note Report

I’ll admit, I never saw the true power of this report until recently.
How many different things can create a task or a note? Heck, how many manual WAYS in the system can you create a task or a note? There are even more ways to have a task or note created automatically, including built-in system stuff.
Here’s what you need to understand: from a database standpoint, Infusionsoft has tasks and notes on (basically) the same database table. Its a leftover impact from their early architecture. Which is an advantage to us in this report.
Realize that, data-wise a note and task are interchangeable (a task-note) and this is how you can unlock the true power of Infusionsoft and this report.
A task-note has a Title which is searchable using this report. This means that you can report on nearly anything you want using intentionally structured task-note titles.
For example, let’s say you want to see how many people went to the unengaged marketable status in a certain time frame. Using the email status automation triggers, you can have the system automatically apply a note with the title “Email Status Change – Unengaged Marketable”.
Now, using this report, you can search for notes with that exact title. And since you can filter by date range, user and all sorts of other stuff, you can slice and dice that unengaged marketable data for the insight you need.
Its becoming my “Swiss Army Knife” for reporting when private clients need a certain stat, especially campaign stuff.
What about tasks? Its the same principle.
Let’s say you are automatically creating tasks to call people when their email hard bounces. Those task titles can have a specific name which you can then report on, something like “List Engagement – Hard Bounce Call”.
Remember to mindfully create your Note and Task titles inside your Campaigns, and you’ll get an extra layer of reporting out of it!
Here’s the other thing you probably are forgetting or didn’t even know about: custom Task fields. Similar to a Contact record you can add custom fields (up to 100) to the task-note database object. This is the report you would use to pull data on those fields 😉
How might you use this? For an Operational example, you could add a custom Decimal and Dropdown field for the class of work. Each time a task is completed, the User is trained to also update the hours logged and the kind of work they did (Marketing, Operations, People, etc.).
Now, you can pull reports of how many hours are logged for each User which is segmentable by class of work. This is actually how I personally pull the labor to track my Revenue per Logged-Hour business metric.
Oh yeah, I also forgot I guess you could also use this report to dig into the actual Tasks your Users are performing as well. What’s complete/incomplete, when was it done, whats overdue, etc. that kind of Operational management stuff.

How To Customize the “Task Note Report” Infusionsoft Report

I can’t tell you the answer because this report is SO ROBUST!
That’s like telling you how to fold a piece of paper. It all depends on what you are trying to do. Make sure you only show the relevant data fields to keep you focused on whatever you need the report for.

Best Infusionsoft Report #5 – Email Status Search

This little guy is your list hygiene power tool because you can search for people based on their email statuses.
Looking for all your hard bounces? This does it.
What about your confirmed folks? Yup!
You can also segment by pretty much everything available in a Contact search too. This means you can now look at email engagement within certain cohorts of your database. Curious to see how your customers for a specific product in a certain state are behaving? You can get super deep answers like that using this report.
You are also empowered to find people who are considered “cold” which means their email will be throttled the next time you attempt to send. This is really good information to have especially if you are doing any kind of a launch to your list. The last thing you want is to hit “Go” and emails slowly drip out because the list wasn’t warmed up. Using this report, you can be proactive and get ahead of throttling issues (or at least work to mitigate them).
Lastly, you can segment by the last engagement too. Engagement is any kind of email open, click or web form submission. There are lots of ways you can intelligently leverage this kind of data 🙂

How To Customize the “Email Status Search” Infusionsoft Report

While this report is super robust, I actually recommend using the following fields because they empower whomever to “work” the list in whatever way they need. Even if you aren’t doing outbound stuff, being able to see if phone numbers or addresses are present can guide your strategy.
So there you have it folks, five native Infusionsoft reports that will give you real, meaningful and actionable insight into how your business is performing 🙂
Leave a comment and let me know what you thought!

Attention Infusionsoft Power Users!

Do you need advanced reporting beyond what Infusionsoft or a even 3rd party tool can provide? Learn more about our Data Warehouse which gives you mySQL access to Infusionsoft data via backup that is refreshed every 15 mins. Literally plug into any reporting platform you want to use, unrestricted!
Not sure if your Infusionsoft database is big enough to warrant a backup solution? Take our free risk assessment here>>

Website Backups – How To Do It Yourself

You never know when you’re going to have a website disaster.  At Novak Solutions, we’ve been called in to help with all kinds of website deaths.  We’ve seen websites taken down by viruses, websites taken over by viruses, websites lost due to unpaid hosting, websites lost due to an angry ex-employee or ex-contractor, and websites that just broke for no apparent reason.  Most small businesses in the Infusionsoft space have WordPress websites, which is awesome … until it isn’t.  WordPress is notorious for becoming bloated and buggy when a website is modified over and over and over again.  Our own WordPress website became so slow that we decided to completely rebuild it when did our last redesign instead of modifying what we already had.
The point is – your website is an incredibly valuable piece of your business, and you’ve probably invested thousands or tens of thousands of dollars in it. No matter where your website is hosted or who manages it for you, you need to keep a backup.  A website backup gives you two crucial abilities.

  1. If your website is corrupted or lost for any reason, you can get it back up with just a few button clicks (or paying a tech guy a couple hundred dollars to make the clicks for you)
  2. If you need to switch web hosts for any reason, you already have your website packaged up and ready. With a couple clicks (or just getting a tech guy) you have it back up and running exactly as it was before.

How do I backup my website?
Most web hosts provide a backup service for you. You just need to turn it on (and for some web hosts, you have to pay extra for the service).
GoDaddy provides a “Backup” tool in the Files section of your hosting account.  You can create and download a backup from this page, but it tells you that automatic backups must be enabled by your “server administrator”.  A quick check into their help pages uncovers that you have to add “Site Backup” to your account, which starts at $1.99 per month (considering the importance of backups, that is pretty cheap).
Here’s the link for more info:
HostGator says that they take automatic weekly backups “on a random day”, but they only keep one backup and the next week overwrites the old backup.  Some issues go unnoticed for months at a time – you need more than just a single backup. Their “Professional” CodeGuard backup service costs $4.17 per month in order to provide sufficient backups for a business critical website.
We highly recommend contacting your website provider (whether you login to your account and do it yourself or contact them over the phone or via support chat) and ask them about your backup options.  Make sure that you have at least 1 month’s worth of backups, and download a full backup to your computer every month or two or any time you make a significant change.  The last thing you want to experience is being locked out of your web hosting account with no way to get your website back from them.

Not sure if your Infusionsoft database is large enough to warrant a backup solution?

Take our free assessment and find out for yourself!

Click Here to Get Started

Using Calendar Links in Appointment Reminders for Better Stick Rates

Problem: You send appointment reminders to your customers, but you still get dropped appointments and customers saying that they almost forgot about their appointment.
Solution: Put super-simple buttons in your emails for your customers to add the appointment directly onto their calendar of choice.
Think about the last time that you received an appointment reminder from someone else.  If you use technology anything like we do, then you either took the time to open your Google Calendar, Apple Calendar, or Outlook Calendar and add the appointment manually, or you instantly forgot about it and simply didn’t show up.  But – those awesome people who put buttons right into their emails so that you can simply click a button and the appointment is added right into your calendar – those people get your respect, because they make it easy.
Novak Solutions makes it possible for you to be one of those awesome people with your Infusionsoft emails.  All you have to do is make sure the appointment times are being saved into a custom field and tell our Email Appointment Tool the details for the appointment.  Setup your Infusionsoft emails with your button of choice and use the URLs we provide in the Email Appointment tool.  When your customers get their appointment reminder, you’ll be giving them the best experience possible.

Don’t have a Novak Solutions account yet but want to try this appointment link tool out yourself?

Tap here and sign up today, its free for life!

Tuesday’s Tip: Playing the Long Game

Recently I picked up an old game my friends used to play.  Sid Meyer’s Civilization.  It is a fascinating game.  Combining politics, war, social dynamics, intrigue, supply, diplomacy, science, etc…  A unique difference about it vs most video games is that you have to be playing about 10 turns ahead (this equates to about 30 min of play time, and 50 years in game time).  If you want to attack someone, unless you have boat loads of money to purchase units, you have to start building an army ahead of time.  Armies cost money to maintain and so you can’t keep a large standing army and once you’ve defeated your enemy you have to cut back your army size or else you’ll use all your money just keeping them alive.  Do you need to make friends with someone so you can cross their territory with your army and not start a war with them.
In the world of small business (and life) things are similar.  Everyday we have a long list of tasks that seems never ending many of those tasks likely have little to no long term significance.  I read a great article here: that talked about how you should allow yourself to procrastinate to work on significant things.  As I was playing the game, I realized that in my own life, I’m not playing the 10 turns ahead, I’m playing it about a week ahead.  I realized this, and when I got to work this morning I shared my thoughts with Jordan and we identified where we are lacking in Novak Solutions and what we need to do to change.
So I pose this same question to you.  Where do you want to be in 5 years with your business, and what do you need to get there?
I want Novak Solutions to distribute $1m/yr in dividends in 5 years.  To do this, I am lacking some skills, specifically I need to learn to market effectively, and I need to learn how to effectively manage employees so they make us money.
Today, I asked our marketing specialist (Beth Shurtleff) to prepare a summary report on what each of the 5 top digital marketers say a high converting landing page needs. (Not just a check-list, but a 20 page or so report on what she discovers and what the different people think, and what the common threads are).
I also created an Infusionsoft campaign to remind me what my goal is.  It sends me an email once a month (on a Tuesday Morning) reminding me of my goal, and prompting you to think about what you can do today to do what I need to do to get there.
You use it too if you want, just sign up here (you can un-subscribe at any-time, and it really is just one email a month):
Of course I have other goals in other areas of my life that are more important then business, but I’ll keep those to myself.
If you are into sci-fi you may be aware of the multi-verse theory.  My religion clashes with it and I don’t think it’s true.  But flip it around and one thing I think we can all agree on is that there ARE an infinite number of possible universes in the future based on our choices.  It’s up to us to choose which one we want to be in.
You CAN make your dreams come true.  Life isn’t like a Disney Movie where things JUST HAPPEN. We have to MAKE them happen.  So Do It!  Play The Long Game, and Reap the rewards.

Tuesday's Tip: Add an SSL Lock And Text To Infusionsoft Order Forms or Shopping Cart

Ever seen those “Secured by SSL” locks / images?  That means a lot to some people.  So we created an easy way to add it to your order forms and shopping cart.
First, download this image (right click and select “Save image as…”):

Next, you need to upload it someplace.  Doesn’t matter where, as long as it is on an ssl site (Amazon S3 is a quick and easy place to put it).
Finaly, just paste the HTML below into the “Footer” area of your Shopping Cart or Order Form.  Change the “image-url-here” to the url of the image.  This will give you a nice looking compact image and text that re-assures people who are concerned about the security of their information.

   This site is secured by SSL (Using AES256 and RSA)
   <img src="image-url-here" align="top" width="16">

Tuesday's Tip: Identifying Your Most Interested Leads

It’s the end of the month, you need to close one more deal, and you KNOW there is somebody in your database who wants to buy, you just aren’t sure who…  What if you had a count of how many interactions you had with each customer.  How many links they’ve clicked, forms filled out, and you know the last time they interacted with you.  Do you think you could find that person you can close today?
While Infusionsoft has Lead Scoring, it doesn’t give you a running total you can use in this case.  However, an easy way to track this is to use a custom field, and our free “Field Math” tool that is included in our Free Campaign Tools.  Use the Field Math tool to increment that custom field value every time a contact does something that indicates interest.  This could be filling out a webform, clicking a link, or other actions.
Checkout how to use our Field Math plugin: