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Astonish Results (Now called Intygral)

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Updated: This firm is no longer providing website development services.

Astonish, offers a complete business growth system built specifically for the insurance industry that focuses on three core offerings: marketing, technology, and training. Hundreds of agencies across the country are leveraging the Astonish system to increase their revenue. Learn more at: www.Astonish.com.

59 Customer Reviews

  • Check out what one of the old CEO’s of Astonish is doing now. Be sure to read the About Us page. I think he left a few details about Astonish out.

    http://envisionable.com/

  • Hello Former Astonish Customer – I don’t know if you are still looking for an email marketing automation system that bridges/integrates with AMS360 (online). If you are please contact me. I am the Director of Digital Marketing Sales at ITC and would be happy to try and help you address this concern of yours. Please reference agencyreviews so I know who you are. 😉
    Thanks and I look forward to your reply.
    Phone:972-820-1160
    Email: mark@getitc.com.

  • New company (Intyrgal)was sold to Zywave.

  • Hi Former Astonish Client:

    Agency Revolution has a good integration with AMS360.

    Disclaimer: I used to be the marketing manager at Agency Revolution before I moved on to copywriting/consulting full-time. But I’m not an affiliate or anything…

    I just know, from talking with agents, that it offers one of the best integrations with 360.

  • Keep an eye out for Vertafore and AMS360. They announced at NetVU they were releasing a “developer portal” that would provide easier access to AMS360 for 3rd party program through an API. This is a big change and could help in situations like you describe.

  • Steve – to your question about what technology I’ve not been able to replace. The VPC integrated with our management system and pulled in policy data, customer information like birthdates. It made targeted email marketing campaigns very simple. For example, I could send an email to customers with auto policies and no home, auto and home but no life. Or BOP but no workers compensation. The system sent out automatic birthday emails, holiday messages.

    I’ve not been able to duplicate that kind of automation and integration with other off-the-shelf email marketing platforms. If anyone knows of an email marketing system that can integrate with AMS360 I’d be very interested in knowing more.

  • Yes, Astonish is dead. Literally. New Company, new name, new leadership, and most of all, new product. The new platform is amazing, it’s leaps and bounds above the VPC or anything else that is out there right now. No more leases, no more long term contracts, and no more huge monthly payments. Guys like Biggest Sucker who don’t evolve in this ever changing industry will die out with the rest, but I intend to compete in this new online market. I can’t wait to see what the future holds now that the riff-raff is gone from Astonish.

  • Just curious, What did the Astonish VPC provide that you have not been able to find a technology replacement?

  • Even though I’ve not been an Astonish customer for nearly 2 years, I continue to follow the evolution of the company. The management team has completely changed and now the name has changed to Intygral. If the new management team runs things completely differently, I’d consider giving them another shot. Frankly, I’ve not been able to replace the technology provided by the Astonish VPC and I kind of miss it. What I do NOT miss is the price, long term contract and over-hyped sales process they preach. If those things have been fixed, Intyrgral might be a good option for a comprehensive marketing system.

  • Astonish is officially dead. The website has a blog post that states that the name will change as of March 23 to Intygral. I guess the Astonish name was as bad as Phillip Morris and had to start over. Beware of Intygral. You can’t just put lipstick on a pig.

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    I think some of you may want to visit with an attorney based on reading these comments. Might as well go to one that has experience with these guys.

    http://astonishresultslawsuit.com/

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    Astonish sucks. Astonish doesn’t equal Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, WordPress, etc… Use the resources you have in your community and the insurance companies you write for. The insurance companies, i.e. Safeco, Progressive, MetLIfe, etc… have awesome programs to help your business grow and communicate in our technology age. It will save you $$$$ and time. Astonish Results is not a company I would invest in ever and wish we hadn’t been hoodwinked. Their technology was great for 2004 but that’s where the story ends.

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    So Larry , what brought you to this site? Someone who has something positive to say, probably would not go to a consumer complaint blog to post. We all know you are part of the Astonish illusion. No one believes what you guys have to say here, so why bother….
    It’s time for our agency to re in list with Astonish. Already they are grooming the new young boss to fork over his money. The call comes in innocently enough, they just wanted to know if our boss has any ideas that would improve the Astonish product. What young boss doesn’t have a few good ideas, right? After the phone call, the boss comes out and tells us how the marveled at his ideas, and they planned to implement several of them. Oh yeah, they want him to be a part of a team that comes up with new and innovating ideas. Boy, he’s ready to whip out the ole checkbook now.

    Here is where Astonish becomes sinister. In their tutorials for the principals of the agency, It says that some in the agency will be resistant to the changes. However if the resistance is not put aside, the employee is to be terminated. That employee is a stumbling block to success.

    So, if you are an employee, and you can see that things are just not right with Astonish, and if you complain, or resist, Astonish wants you terminated. The make the boss believe you are not on board and you are a liability. Funny thing, this practice is not hidden. Anyone who has the system can pull it up.

    I’m in a 2 agent 2 CSR office. I’ve checked our stats. Nothing has improved. But do I dare tell the boss? If he sees me as resistant, he’ll fire me…..

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    Worst financial decision of 29 years in business. Nothing even close. Salesman way over promised and Astonish has way under delivered. First 6 months showed promise and then slowly downhill for a while and now I cannot even get anyone from Astonish to contact us. 3 years into a 5 year contract. Constant turnover of personnel. I have requested a pro-rata cancellation of our contract but do not really expect that to happen. Nothing but webinars and roundtable discussions anymore. The last roundtable was a joke. Many were invited but only 1 other agent was in on it (with me). Lasted all of 5 minutes. I really wonder if it is not a matter of weeks until they close shop and nothing is left. Or maybe they already have and I do not know it yet. Do not let these people into your office and do not take their call!

  • Made a huge mistake by signing up with Astonish! No results! No leads! No phone calls! Unable to reach them at all!

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    We’ve used Astonish Results for three years and love the system. Nobody paid me to say that and was fully aware of what I was getting into when we first signed up. I did my due diligence when we first looked at this company. It was started by a dynamic young man, Adam Degrade who in fact had started and sold a similar business. Adam is no longer with Astonish from what I’ve been told and he is now starting another business like Astonish but for doctors. That is not surprising. To me he is a startup guy. He has the charisma to get a company like this off the ground which is impressive. They did the “hard sell” but I’m a big boy and told them no on their first try. I actually called them back about a year later when I was ready to sign up and had checked them out. Astonish has provided a real shot to the arm of an industry that needed a wake up call. For that I am grateful and glad that we use them. It is extremely time consuming to take full advantage of the system and they provide all the training needed to use it properly. I cannot say that I agree with everyone they do and was not especially happy that they closed the Florida office, but my new rep. in Rhode Island is up to speed and doing a great job.

  • Is Astonish going out of business? The founders have left Astonish to start a new company to sell these goodies to doctors.

  • I am the owner of the John Scott Insurance Agency. I became a client of Astonish on January 22, 2013. It is by far the worse business decision my wife and I have ever made. So far I have wasted $36,000 this year and have not received a single phone call from their SEO of our website. I expressed this concern in August and requested information regarding our rankings on the search engines. I was quickly informed that rankings no longer matter! Well, maybe not, I dont’ know, but after NO calls for our $36,000 wasted investment, maybe the rankings should be a focus. Then yesterday they informed me that there is $$ from my deposit “that they just found sitting there” that is dedicated to SEM (search engine management) that they would like to start using to help maximize the key words. Well, where was this solution in August and $15,000 ago. AND I still haven’t heard back from them in regards to this issue. I was also told in the sales process that this system is to help with training and e&o with the use of recorded lines. Well, it turns out that they are only set up to recording the sales line off the website, which means recording our New Business Director whom is a 10 year experienced and the most talented agent we have. What about the need to listen to the rest of our staff and our two 1 year agents? I had to work very diligent and rig their system in order for us to record our agency calls. The call volume then blew up the system and didn’t work. They claimed that their 3rd party was able to handle the large volume of calls (from our small agency of 6 employees) and after fighting with them for two weeks, they finally admitted the problem was on their end and not our phone companies end. So they finally fixed it. Then to find out that we can only record incoming calls…. seriously! What about the outbound calls? What a joke. We then want to start up the holiday card nurturing program and the system is only set up to send the cards on behalf of the agents and not on behalf of the agency! Our agents get to spend a lot of time nurturing with clients. So wouldn’t it make sense to have the option for the agency to be able to nurture the relationship if that is there choosing? At the end of the day, we had to rig the system to get around that issue as well. Not to mention the hundreds of duplicate wasted emails the receptionist has to go through after the calls have already been serviced. This was truly a lack of incite on Astonishs’ behalf when setting up their system. Well, I can go on and on. This is only a snapshot of the ridiculous, lack of understanding, that this “insurance expertise” marketing company understands about running an agency. I am currently hiring an SEO company to straighten this out and get our phones ringing. All of the previous posts dating back to 2011…. are still valid and legit! Feel free to call me at 26-782-2123 if you would like to know more.

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    I have been with Astonish for a few years now and i have seen the ups and downs of the company. They recently have gone through some staffing changes and it has been for the better. I am currently on the Ignite platform and the system works. It’s affordable and the implementation process is fantastic. My emails are answered right away and there is always someone available to help me. Joe Bento has been amazing. The Astonish university and help desk allows me to learn at my own pace and on my own time.The one thing you would need to benifit from the system..Is work.There is no system out there that you can sit back and watch your sales sky rocket. It does take effort but with that effort you will yield results.I would highly suggest giving Astonish or Ignite a try, put some effort into it and you will be satisfied.

  • We have been an Astonish user over a year. I knew that marketing in our field was changing, even if I did my best to fight it. I also knew that going forward we would have to change strategies & cultures completely and that it would take time to completely implement. I figured I would give it a three year window, before I started to see results I could accept.

    At first we were seviced by the Florida Office. The service was good until the website was up and running; then the service fell off the map. We were under the assumption that there was going to be allot of training on all of the different aspects of the program. At first there was one on one training, then it went to webinars. When you are trying to change the culture of an agency, webinars alone don’t cut it.

    I had to really take a look at the whole situation, decide if this was the right direction for the agency. The facts were that I could not hold my staff responsible for thier tasks if they did not get the support from me as well as Astonish to complete them. As I am sure you all know that this type of program takes allot of work, motivation, and deligation of duties.

    In May I received a phone call with the Rhoad Island office of Astonish to go over a new program. You are probably wandering why I even took the phone call after having the problems listed above. The facts were that even thought we were not using the email marketing, the blogging, or the paid leads system, our production was up from the year before and our phone calls increased. One of the primary reasons for using the Astonish progam for us was to replace the yellow pages.

    We decided to give Astonish another chance along with a commitment from me to help the staff and agency achieve goals. So far I have been working with Joe Bento and his staff for the past 4 months; he has given me and my staff the support that we expected the first time. Through his help we have been able to get our new website off the ground and make the modifications needed almost immediately. We have also started email campaigns and blogging; best of all we are still seeing an increase in activity.

    Thanks Joe for your help.

  • It seems John Boudreau. From Astonish feels he needs to monitor this site. I wonder why? You’ll notice that at least 2 glowing reports about astonish follow his rebuttals. As an Astonish agency for the last year, we’ve seen and experienced a lot .
    When we set up our web site and our Facebook page, our Astonish reps, told our social media person to write comments about how good our agents were and just put a name on it. Then for our Facebook page, we were to contact all our friends and relatives and have them “Like us”. A total misrepresentation.
    So pardon me if I believe all the positive comments about Astonish came from Astonish employees. You get to this site because you have a complaint. If you were happy with astonish! Why would you even come here.
    Watch out for their subtle ways of making you want to stay. Our female Astonish rep kept calling our up and coming agency owner and the guy that signed us up. She would stroke his ego, take him out for drinks, and call him at home, all to keep him happy with a product that doesn’t work..

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    We are now entering our 4th year of 5 with Astonish. Honestly the beginning 2 years were a disaster. We focused too much on things about Astonish that didn’t work. Once we had a mind set change, we were able to absorb the positive things that Astonish was offering. With every system there are problems and things that work and don’t work. We totally shifted away from those we were unhappy with and focused on those that worked well. We also at this time changed agency personnel responsible for Astonish and requested a new Raving Fan Manager. Both of these items helped us jumpstart our Astonish program.

    Around this same time I travelled to Rhode Island for a seminar at the Astonish office. The seminar was great and only helped me focus on many positive things. I learned things at that seminar that to this day we use and was able to meet a lot of Astonish people at the same time.

    I am not the agency owner and wasn’t present at the time of the Astonish sales pitch to our agency. I have to think that everything that was said would happen did not. But I do know that once we decided to take full advantage of what Astonish had to offer, everything including our attitudes changed.

    I quickly looked over some of the other reviews on this site and one common thread seemed to be that all the work has to be done by the agency with only the ideas coming from Astonish. I do agree with this and not every agency can hire a separate social media engineer. We didn’t so I formed a social media committee which meets every other week and works on the ideas that we get from Astonish and our own. This has worked great and everyone on this committee performs other tasks in our agency.

    Even though you start with a website template we have changed ours many times during our Astonish contract. Astonish has always been happy to do what we ask and our website usually brings over 1,000 unique visitors a week. We think that is amazing.

    I will end with one true story about a local business account that we have tried to write throughout the years. We landed that account this year and when I asked the owner what finally brought her to our agency she said it was about the presence we have in the community. She is a big user of facebook and other social media sites and is very visible in the local community. We do the same and she wants to be connected with an agency that thinks like she does. Needless to say we were thrilled!

    I think I would cau

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    Our agency has been in business since 1984. We have used some marketing strategies that yielded great results and some that were epic fails. We started using the Astonish Squid program 3 years ago. Our primary interest in Squid was website development and marketing. We decided at the time, email marketing and use of the VPC was not a right fit for us. Squid worked with this and was able to provide us what we wanted in a website and trade out what we did not use for paid leads. The internet marketing company we had previously was bland and simple and our leads were few and far between. With a new and much improved interactive site, we noticed our hits and lead submission (separate from the paid leads) increased dramatically. We are constantly getting positive feedback from clients, marketing reps, and even other sales reps.

    In addition to the website development, our rep walked us through optimizing our site via social media and blogging. They helped set up each site and taught us how and what to blog to get the best results for our internet presence. I have to admit, I did not realize at first how much was going to fall on us once they “launched us” but it makes sense that I would be primarily responsible for my own agencies growth.

    I will also admit that customer service and response time for questions or issues was a little lacking for awhile, but this seems to have improved.

    I agree with previous comments that Astonish is an “idea machine”. But I see this as a positive. I strongly believe, in our industry, different techniques work in different areas for different products. I welcome a company willing to share with me ideas with the primary goal of helping my agency grow. If you do not try how will you know if it works? Just keep in mind, in my opinion; they are not doing it for you. Rather they are giving you the tools to use and the support to get it done. It’s up to you to do the rest.

    Starting this year, we will be implementing some additional marketing including the use of the VPC. I am excited to open this door and continue to grow our agency. Feel free to contact me to discuss my experience with Astonish Marketing @ amy@familyinsurancecenters.com

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    Astonish has promoted a positive change to our agency culture. Before Astonish, growth was stagnent and weak employees hid behind the success of others. The complete review of our agency staff, management, and work flow by Astonish was well worth the money alone. Management is once again excited and our current staff is second to none. Our new sales are up significantly and we continue to excell. Yes, the VPC adds extra work to the flow and we can’t always keep up with the expectations of Astonish as they continually raise the bar. However, we are at the end of our second year with Astonish and have no regrets. Their guidance through the social media maze has been most helpful and as a result we are getting more and more leads daily. We would encourage any agency to consider Astonish. They can help you also, but owners and agency managers must be willing to learn new ways and accept advice to get the most out of Astonish.

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    As a first year Astonish agency, we have seen our ups and downs as with any new venture. But, most of the downs were self-induced. Yes, you do have to put a lot of time into the system but if you do you will reap the benefits. What I have learned since we first signed on with Astonish is that it is more than just a tool to help generate and manage your new leads… It has helped create a new culture in our agency. A “sales through service” culture. It has helped us to open our minds to think outside the box, and to stay ahead of the game. Yes, Astonish is not for everyone. But, for the right people, the ones willing to put in the extra work required to acheive success…to those people, the right people, I highly recommend Astonish.

    Sincerely, Charles Carmouche

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    Charles,

    I think these types of forums are good and allow people to voice their opinions. I need to clarify something; we have NEVER paid anyone to give us a review or reference. These are real customers who are willing to give a testimonial on the product. I’m sure you have customers who you point prospects to for references – we do the same.

    Please reach out to me at jhboudreau@astonish.com and I will personally get to the heart of what is going on with your account. I’d be happy to discuss it with you and try to resolve your frustrations. Your feedback is critical and it’s what makes us better, but without discussing the details with you it’s impossible for us to improve your customer experience.

    Respectfully,

    John Boudreau

  • Please read this post above, On June 17, 2013 Biggest Sucker wrote:
    It seems that that the Shill Quotient for glowing reports on Astonish are quite high. Be cautious when getting references on the product. The main glowing reference we got when considering Astonish was from an agent that said it was the greatest thing ever. Found out later that this agent was being paid by Astonish as a “Consultant”.

    The agents that Astonish rolls out at their meetings and refer you to are in fact paid by Astonish, shame on them for taking part in such a shell game!

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    We have been with Astonish for 3 years, shortly after we signed up we regretted doing so. Their system is SO LABOR INTENSIVE and for an internet company, I agree that they move at a glaciers pace. We are a better organization because of what they brought to the table, we have met lots of great insurance agents across the country that we would have never met. But we could have saved over $100K by bringing in professional trainers and going at this on our own. Will we renew our contract NO WAY. You can do much, much better by hiring the professionals and getting podcasts afrom people like Marcus Sheridan, Matt Brown, Ryan Hanley.

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    Astonish has not only helped us with digitial marketing, they have helped us change the culture of our agency. We started tracking source of business and found that more and more business was coming from referrals and rounding out existing client accounts. Astonish has helped us with that process with that process. Yes, they won’t do the work for you, but they will help you map the way towards getting this done. I have not had any problems with Astonish changing or doing modifications to our website. My raving fan manager offers motivation and support to our office staff which has helped us implement a new sales culture within the agency.

  • Yes it is a hard sell; yes they are good sales people. Would you want to hire a company to help you sell more insurance that had week sales people themselves? I think with any organization that represents it will help an agency improve on pretty much everything we do in the office there will be areas that we will be left disappointed.
    As a business owner I have to look at the big picture. Am I better off today than I was a year and a half ago before I became involved with Astonish? My answer is yes, much better. As a matter of fact I don’t even think our offices are recognizable from a year and a half ago. We have been in business for over 30 years and had become very stale and dated. You could even say we had been left behind as it relates to internet, social media and sales response time among other things. I had no idea I could have a recorded line for staff training purposes. Will I renew? No idea at this point. Seems to me that after several years learning from them I may be able to teach the teacher. Hmmmm is that possibly why it is so expensive? In summary, yes Astonish can be a little trippy to work with at times, some times I want to be treated like I am their only client and want things done immediately like I am waiting in the drive through and yes I wish it was free or much less expensive, or that I didn’t have to work so hard myself to right the neglect I had imposed on my agency by not learning what to do myself earlier and doing it. As for results though, my agency now has energy, accountability, a road map with clear directions and the tools and continued advice from an amazing and motivating raving fan manager named Jenn.

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    We are a 31 year old agency that hit a wall after the 2008 financial crisis.No one else offered the comprehensive suite of
    tools,coaching,and blended strategies that Astonish does.After researching multiple vendors with their limited options,Astonish
    proves to be very cost effective if you intend to use all they
    have to offer.The tools and website optimization are great,but
    it is the people that make the difference.Changing the culture,
    workflow and philosophy of a well estabished business is a seriously difficult task.The staff at Astonish is there to help you stay on track and provides the essential moral support when things look hopeless.The agents I’ve spoke with who criticise Astonish had unreal expectations in the first place and have not provided the leadership and determination to follow through.They will not wipe your tail for you!Who does? This is the most difficult project I’ve ever conquered,but after 2 years
    I have already achieved my ROI and haven’t even scratched the surface on my long term capabilities!The Astonish program allows me to leverage the tools and knowledge of an agency 10 times my size.For those who want to drag their agencies into the 21st century,I know no better way.

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    Too many promises, not enough delivery. For being “cutting edge” these people move at the speed of a glacier. I find their “experts” to be inexperianced and unresponsive. This was a big mistake.

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    Our agency is a “2nd generation” family business. We were already on track to do business a different way than my father did business. We know that people are not looking in the phone book anymore to find people to do business with… they “Google” them. So, we started with a company that competes with Astonish Results. After a year of horrible service with that competitor or shall I say NO service, we found Astonish. We have been with them for about a year and a half. It is exactly what we needed to shake up our agency! They have completely changed the culture in our agency. The staff was a little hesitant with the changes in the beginning but once they knew that these changes weren’t going away and this is how we were going to operate everyone got on board. The facts are that they are a company that promises results. They give you the tools, tips and training to help your agency become the most successful that it can be. With Astonish it is a Marathon…not a sprint; our agency realizes that. We have a fairly “young” staff and it has been great to get them involved with the social media, blogging, videos, & even giving back to the community. They have fun with it! Does it take a lot of work…yes! But with the help of AR & my RFM we are able to be so much better as an agency that helps us stand out from our competitors. I know that we will have much success with AR by our side in the years to come.

  • Our agency has been an Astonish Agent for the last three years and I am very pleased with our website and more importantly, the ongoing ideas and processes that allow us to be in top sales shape. We have been more focused on New Business more than ever whithout compromising and actually strengthening our current client relationships.

  • Interesting reading all the comments both pro & con. From my perspective it is way overpriced. I was recently looking at their agency command pro level and found it to be an excellant program but higher overpriced. To give you an example I can do anything with my get response marketing system that they can for only $23.50 per month that they charge $189.95 per month plus a setup charge of $297. The only diference is I have to develop each system. But from what I understand in their system you – still have a lot of work to do. My $23.50 per month handles 1000 clients or prospects and goes up slightly to move to 2500 etc. From a pratical point I have not set up and used each system because i am not ready for the full blown program yet.
    Did I mention my agency website is in the number one SEO slot in my town in all the impotant key words phrases and I did it myself for free. Ya, in front of State Farm, Allstate and all the rest.

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    I came across these reviews and must respond. As an astonish client that signed on with them the same month we opened our doors for business(over 4 years ago), we had the benefit of setting expectations for our sales culture, processes, and mindset right from the beginning, which can be one of the biggest obstacles for an established agency. Changing an agency process, staffing, or sales culture to be able to utilize and implement the Astonish system is extremely difficult for many agencies, but it is necessary and worthwhile. I have been called by numerous people asking about the system (which I never got any compensation or benefit from nor did I want any) and always told people this simple fact: If all you want is SEO, or a website, or sales training,….then you can get it cheaper elsewhere. However, as an agency owner, if you want to be on the cutting edge of all areas of growth and want to use a blended strategy with all that Astonish has to offer, then I highly recommend their system. It has made our sales process better, our closing more effective, our communication better and our retention better. Thru my RFM, I get ideas and feedback specifically based on my agency, current results and goals to keep moving forward. Does it take work?….absolutely, but anyone that has worked with a consultant or life coach knows that the person doing the work isn’t the coach or consultant, it’s you and me. If we do nothing with the info and resources they provide, tnen we have wasted our time and money. The value is that at ANY stage of our business and with any idea or need we have, Astonish has had the interest and capacity to assist, help us train, and implement further ideas. Are they perfect, indeed not. I have had issues along the way, but I look at it as a partnership and have always been able to get resolution. I wouldn’t want to be in business without them!

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    My agency signed a 5 year contract for Astonish’s services two years ago and since the time we signed the “Non Guaranteed Paid Up Front Contract” with them everything has progressed as we had reasonably expected.

    Our results have tracked along with our agency’s personal commitment to behavoral change and growth. In other words the more we put in the more we got out.

    We are seeing consistent positve results from new business that we write as a result of our digital marketing efforts. Through the use of e-mail drip marketing, electronic newsletters, holiday greatings and social media we have improved our agency’s retention levels that adds to our growth.

    In some of the reviews that I read a number of people expressed displeasure with Astonish’s sales representatives. I will admit that the sales representative that presented Astonish to us was enthusiastic and truly believed in the product that he was selling. He was very clear with us that the contract was fully paid up front for multiple years of their services. This made sense to us as he explained that it would take us about 3 full years of working the component parts of the system and tools they provid for us to hit our stride. In the words of Astonish he said we would “Crawl..then Walk and then Run”.

    I can tell you from personal experience that we have gotten everything out of working along with Astonish that we put in. For us working with them has been a journey in driving positive behavoral and cultural change.

    Make no mistake implementing the tools and maximizing the services that Astonish provides is a lot of hard work on behalf of the agency. The senior leadership in an agency has to absolutely commit to a sales culture and to driving positive behavoral change.

    The “Astonish System” is pricy just like most other quality products and services are. However I can appreciate quality and value and that is just what Astonish has delivered to us. By being exposed to their tools and systems we now have a very effective email marketing campaign in place. We have a mobile version of our website up and running and we get 5 times the insurance quote requests from our current Astonish website than we did from the website we had prior to working with Astonish. When you factor in the lifetime value of a P&C client including renewals and referrals the financial investment an agency makes with Astonish is well worth it and a no brainer.

    Astonish has provided us tools, training and a track to run on that works for us. And in my opinion if you choose to work with them your results will be directly correlated to your business’ efforts and committment to behavoral change and growth.

    Even though Astonish was paid up front our RFM (Raving Fan Manager) and the Astonish support staff have been working along with us constantly to help us drive positive change…they have truly delivered for us on service after the sale.

    I am pleased with my Astonish experience so far and look forward to continuing to grow along with them in the years ahead.

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    We have used Astonish for the past two years and simply put, our growth speaks for itself. Prior to Astonish we were writing between 10 – 15 apps a month, and now we are writing between 60 – 80 apps. Did we take a magic pill? Did we sit back and watch the phones explode? NO!

    With the help of Astonish, using a blended strategy of internet and social media marketing techniques, sales training and good old fashion insurance sales, we have taken our agency to the next level. The biggest change we saw as a result of signing up with Astonish, was the office culture change. Astonish training helped us to focus our staff on the need to cross sell and round out accounts and make sure that we are the only agent our clients will ever need. Also with the help of the VPC, (Astonish software program), our sales team is able to automatically and without effort, get in front of clients and prospects via email, so they can focus on writing more policies.

    I too did my research before signing up with Astonish and of course came across negative reviews, but I urge anyone that is serious about changing their agency to give Astonish a serious look. In my opinion, the agencies that are the most successful are the ones that are ready to work harder than they have ever worked before and be open to change. Like I said before, Astonish isn’t a “magic bullet” that automatically makes the phones ring and internet leads to come flying in. What it is, is a company that provides you with dozens of tools, that YOU choose to use with the help and direction of the Astonish team.

    Lastly, if you go looking for a negative review, you will find one; and if you go looking for a positive one, you will find that too. Take the time to speak and listen to everyone you can, not just the agencies that will reaffirm what you already think.

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    Glad to see this thread still developing. Here is my impression of how Astonish handles a problem: “Hey, I’m having a problem with my emails getting caught in spam filters” Answer: “Have you seen how (insert new media, app, blog, video here) is blowing up? You have to start this new thing – it’s rock ‘n’ roll!” Then they wind you up on the new thing until 3 months later you’re frustrated again, and still have your emails getting spammed. Then they wind you up on the next phantom project, all the while your staff is getting nothing doen while waiting fo rtheir turle-slow system to crank.

    If it sounds too good to be true, folks… Trust your gut with these turkeys. I was an early adopter and know all the guys who jumped in with both feet, as I did. They lie, they deflect and finally they ignore you. Once thy have your $$ you are old news.

    My success story is that I met a lot of good agency owners around the country who are trying to grow their agency and were just as stupid as I was when I paid Astonish. And, the note didn’t break us, but it was the biggest mistake I’ve ever made.

    I love how they’re asking the current fans to jump on here – very typical. I would have sung their praises in the beginning, too. Shame on me.

  • It seems that that the Shill Quotient for glowing reports on Astonish are quite high. Be cautious when getting references on the product. The main glowing reference we got when considering Astonish was from an agent that said it was the greatest thing ever. Found out later that this agent was being paid by Astonish as a “Consultant”.

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    Our agency has been using Astonish for almost two years now. Astonish has completely changed the culture in our agency for the better. There was a bit of a learning curve and we had to weed out some of the employees that could not handle the changes we made, but now we are at a point where the Astonish system has become a part of our daily routine. After reading some of the negative reviews on here I realize that this system is not for everyone. This is not something that you can just throw some money at and expect it to run your agency for you. As a business owner you would think that that would be obvious, however obviously there are some business owners that would rather have someone or something else run their business for them.

    Things that we are doing in our agency now, we never even realized that we could or should be doing. our interoffice system pre Astonish days was to wait for the phones to ring and hope we could round out accounts from there. Our new system is cutting edge. Im not gonna write out every detail of what the system does, other people have done that enough. Ill just finish with this. Because of Astonish, we are miles ahead of where we were and we are just getting started. If you agency has become stagnate like mine was and you are looking for major changes Astonish is the right choice. But dont think the system will work itself, you and your staff will work harder than ever once you start with Astonish, but your focus will be on the right path that has been laid out by marketing professionals. And if you lose sight you have a very big support team to help keep you on track.

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    Ok we are in a new day and age…WAKE UP PEOPLE…we insurance agents have lived in the dark ages and YES Astonish can be a bit HYPED UP but quite frankly we NEED it! Astonish promises RESULTS and YES they have delivered FOR US on just that. NO it isn’t easy…but it does work…and YES you do have to work at it and partner through it. Yes you are in a contract for how ever long you choose…but quite frankly it forces accountablity and action. Not going to lie it is hard work but Astonish’s way of thinking outside the traditional insurance box has changed the way we do business and opened UNBELIEVABLE OPPORTUNITIES for our agency and for me personally.

    People in our industry tell me all the time… “I see how something like Astonish and digital marketing can work for personal lines, but there is just no way it can work for commercial.” Here is the FACTS…We are 100% commercial middle market and have been “live” with Astonish for less than 2 years. We are writing consistently an average – $15,000-$20,000 in new REVENUE per MONTH from the “digital marketing” platform that Astonish has helped us create. I would say that is worth the $3,000 we pay every month on our 5 year contract. Not a bad ROI!!!

    I did my research before, after and still with regards to what else is out there – YES you can probably get a website and a CRM a lot less expensive – BUT you don’t get the change in SALES CULTURE and DRIVE. Our staff has FUN at work – every day – yep I said it we have FUN!

    I would recomend them every day of the week and even on Sunday’s and NO they did not PAY me to write this review and NO I am not family… BUT I do BELIEVE in what they do.

    So Buyer BEWARE!!! You COULD actually HAVE SUCCESS!!!

  • Wow interesting comments and feedback…I am an agency owner in Cincinnati and technically I’m a competitor of astonish, several former astonish owners have hired my company to build all in one systems. Web and drip systems.

    Probably the greatest strength that we offer is our pricing structure and the fact our systems are owned by the agencies.

    This message of course is self-serving, but if anyone has an interest in discussing systems feel free to call me at my insurance office at 513-662-7000.

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    I TOO AM SEEING A PATTERN JOHN .. when there are a series of negative postings about astonish all of a sudden there are a group of positive ones giving them 5 star ratings!

  • Five glowing Astonish reviews posted between April 25th and April 30th including one from their COO, another from the CEO’s father-in-law at ISU Armac. Seems legit…

    I’m 2.5 years into my 3 year contract with Astonish. The problem I have with them is several-fold. First, they are notorious for promising ridiculous success with their system. Phrases like “dominate SEO in your local market” and “double the size of your agency in 3 years” used to be the standard Astonish hype. I’ve noticed that the astonish.com website has been toned down as of late and maybe the sales pitches have too. Maybe the numerous lawsuits between Astonish and unhappy customers have forced them to reconsider their sales tactics and ridiculous promises.

    Second, the salesman that present the system to us almost 3 years ago lied to us. There is no other way to put it. We were told in no uncertain terms that the VPC integrated with our management system. Turns out that integration was a work in progress and it was about 8 months later before any sort of integration was possible and it even then it was constantly broken and buggy. He was also less than forthright about having to personally guarantee the leasing arrangement Astonish. Like other reviewers have posted, we were also told that blogging, training, coaching and social media management were part of the “system”, not additional cost add-ons.

    Third, my overall service experience has steadily declined. My first RFM was great – responsive, caring, incredibly smart. He quit about 6 months after we signed up. I still stay in touch with him on a personal level and it has been interesting hearing about why he left Astonish and the experiences he had there. My current RFM is almost completely MIA. Instead of a weekly personal phone call I get to be part of “round table” discussion with other Astonish customers. It feels to me like they are attempting to kill 6 birds with one stone, instead of treating me like the individual customer that I am. On top of that, website edits take forever to get done, to the point that I’ve given up trying to add or correct stuff.

    For the price there is just no way I can recommend Astonish to another agency. For roughly $3k per month we are getting a marginal CRM system that spits out very basic emails to customers and generic looking website that took 2 years to begin generating decent traffic. Add in the cost to myself and staff to do a ridiculous amount of blogging and social media work and I put the “real” cost closer to $4k every month.

    Astonish likes say they are about “changing the way insurance is sold”. Well, if I sold insurance the way Astonish sells their system, I’d be out of business from E&O claims and lawsuits. Here’s some advice to the management team: Change the way you sell your own services. Cut out the hype, the fluff and the outright lies by the salesmen. Present your product honestly and price it fairly based on the services you actually provide. And for the love of pete, get rid of the stupid leasing arrangement that pays Astonish up-front. If the system is as great as you say, customers will stay without feeling locked into a ridiculous contract.

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    It’s definitely worth knowing that you will have to make it work. I think it’s a bit over-priced, but then, I’ve yet to find anything else that pulls together all of the concepts of digital marketing the way Astonish does, AND that is specific to the insurance agent. If we hadn’t jumped in, I don’t think we would have survived the economic downfall. It was sort of “do or die” for us. But again, this is not a plug and play system. Roll up your sleeves and dig in, or don’t buy it. That is just my 2 cents.

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    Our experience with Astonish has been very positive. I always say that it is the best decision that our agency made. We signed a 3 year contact 3.5 years ago. Yes, we did renew.

    I will say that there is a lot of work associated with their system, but it has absolutely paid off. We have more than doubled the amount of new business that we write every month since we have signed up with them. We are also seeing continued growth. We saw a 7% increase in sales in 2011 over 2010 and then a 15% increase in 2012.

    Their system is not just a website. If you are just looking for a website, I would not encourage you to go with them. They partnered with us to set a whole new culture of sales and profitability within the agency. There are so many things that we do today that we COULD have done on our own without them but we NEVER had before.

    They are not cheap, but I don’t think the price is really that unreasonable for anyone that is looking to significantly grow their business. $100,000 over 3 years is only $2778/month. Yes, you have to pay it all up front, but I’ll again state that it was the best decision that we ever made.

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    We have been using the astonish system for several years. As I read through these comments I see a lot of my original feelings. I did type in “Astonish results scam” and met with my bosses a few times to tell them a lot of the same feelings I see in the reviews above. I even created a list of reason why is was ineffective. I was wrong. It did take a while for everything to be up and running and for the staff to get comfortable with it… that is the hard part but once you get past the set up and things are running smoothly it is amazing. Yes, we do write our own blogs but who knows our clients and their interests better than we do locally. I guess astonish could use a bunch of the same blogs for every agency but then the content wouldn’t be fresh and new. We didn’t know what type of writing talent we had until we started having the staff write blogs. They are also having to research info they use so they are becoming more knowledgeable of the industry and the way insurance works. Astonish has given us some really amazing ideas that we have in the works. The give you what you need to succeed but it is up to you to make it happen. We are involved with their lead programs and we receive the leads as they said they would come… It is up to you and your staff to close the deal. If you have the right person working the leads you will grow your business. I have watched our agencies online presence grow. Our facebook is growing with leaps and bounds. I watch our website move from page 4 on google to page 1. We get leads through our website on a regular basis. I receive thank you letters all of the time from client who received a holiday card or birthday wish via the email campaigns that go out. I am sure you can probably get all of the services offered through astonish for less by going to multiple agencies…one for seo, one for contact, one for website etc…. but why, they have it all and it is ready to go. It would be like having all of your insurance policies scattered with multiple agents…. it would be messy and difficult to keep track of all of the companies you would need tp get the jobs done and you might not end up saving anything in the long run…how many times have you had clients who thought they were saving money by having stuff spread out only to find out that packaging was a much better option. Astonish has helped our agency grow.

  • Like many of the comments above the Officers of our agency were very frustrated in the beginning. But after realizing we are in this contract and both parties have to be willing to participate we decided to go full force. It started with the CEO training that Astonish put on. I personally was pumped after that 2 day training and realized that the only way for our agency to jump to the next level is to be fully engaged in the system.

    I came back from that training and from that point on things changed. I decided my staff better be on board or I would show them the door. We were investing a ton in this system. We invest a ton in our employees. They love the technology we bring to the table and this was no different. Once my employees realized I was serious they got serious. I made blogging a requirement. Being an agency of 21 team members everyone was required to write 1 blog a month. They all groaned but now that it has been implemented they all love it. It is a way for them to express their daily insurance experiences and I was very surprised at the writing ability I had on our team.

    Our social media presence was non-existant prior to Astonish. We went from having 133 fans to now 1987 in 1 1/2 years. We are actively selling insurance on Facebook and Linkedin just about every day. We are being engage on these sites with questions and feedback.

    With respect to the VPC and website our agency has had its share of issues as well. But our experience has not been the same as other’s. Our rep was always quick to make changes needed and update the site. The VPC was a challenge in the beginning but now with the integration with our management system and new upgrade we absolutely LOVE it! Just yesterday we had 4 emails from clients that had received birthday emails thanking us and then one referred her son over to us to get a quote. It is a great “Constant Contact” option that you would never be able to do on your own.

    Here is my advice, don’t go into something like this kicking and screaming like the Officers in my agency did. If you truly want change for the better you have to be on board and you have to provide the very best LEADERSHIP. You have got to buy into the system first and then the employees will follow. All employees hate change, I don’t care how old you are or how young. But what I have learned is change is always constant so they have to adapt to that especially in this economy. Our agency has consistently grown the last 3 years and it was really shocking to us to see the numbers because we thought we were just breaking even. Astonish is a CULTURE CHANGE! And I have to say that I love the change that has taken place in our agency!

  • My name is John Boudreau and I am a co-founder and the COO of Astonish. Astonish is focused on truly making a positive difference in our customer lives. Our mission is to “change our clients’ lives by changing their businesses”. To accomplish that mission, our team continues to build and improve a unique system that delivers value by leveraging technology, training and marketing to help our customers FIND, SELL and KEEP more customers profitably. We believe in the local insurance agency and we truly love and serve our customers. This is not lip service, it’s the truth. We have almost 100 employees focused on accomplishing this mission every day.

    I have the privilege of speaking with many of our customers and have seen a pattern. Since our system has many parts, folks tend to focus on one or two areas like the website, SEO or email marketing, but the Astonish system is so much more. The system does take commitment and an engaged and passionate leader – just like anything. It is not a quick fix or magic bullet, but for those who use all of the components of the system, results and growth follow. Since we’ve installed so many systems we understand the unique challenges and can help customers navigate the changes that are necessary. Are we a perfect company? Of course not, we have challenges and work hard to accomplish our mission every day. We encourage our customers to get involved in helping to make the system better and value our customer’s feedback.

    I would welcome those folks who are frustrated to please feel free to contact me. This is what makes us better. My email is jhboudreau@astonish.com – and my cell 401-559-3880. We can do an in depth account review together and really understand what’s going on. We will be honest about what went right and what went wrong and put you on a path to success.

    Lastly, if you are considering investing in an Astonish system, we have HUNDREDS of customers who are successfully using the system and are willing to share their experiences. Please contact me and l will be happy to put you in touch with them.

    Thanks for reading this post. John Boudreau.

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    Same as the majority. I investigated them and found good and bad reviews but was told the ones with bad reviews were the ones who did not want to work at it. I started with them in April 2012 and have only gotten the website up but when I asked them to change a few very important things on the website in June of 2012, it has yet to be done and it is now January of 2013. They kept apologizing but with not results.

    Their online marketing tool “Virtual Profit Center” is okay but I ask a question and the same happens. No response.

    They have asked for two surveys on how they are doing and I have given them very bad reviews but it is with the same story, sorry and we will try to do better but they never do.

    I cannot wait to get out of this contract. I signed up under their “Squid Insurance Marketing” Platinum Package. What a joke

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    Mike – wondering if you can give updates on your case? I’m a current agency and have my share of frustations. However, my overall experience hasn’t been as negative as some of the agents posting here, but I can understand how some agents could feel “oversold”. Astonish has evolved alot in the last year, mostly for the better. The latest VPC update is a step in the right direction – much better user interface. There really is no system out there quite like what Astonish offers, but it is alot to implement, especially if your agency has no digital marketing plan to begin with. They have great idea’s and alot to offer, but it is true that many services are not included in the monthly fee (which was a surprise to me also). You also need to understand that what Astonish offers is a fundamental change in the way you market, sell and service insurance. Some of your staff will be reluctant to change and that makes implementation tough. I agree with the other comments about marginal SEO, but I think Astonish would be the first to say that SEO is only part of their strategy. If you are interested only in SEO, they are probably not the best fit. In my opinion, focusing solely on SEO is a losing battle (good luck beating internet insurers on Google). The price can be a little daunting for smaller agencies, and I’m not sure we are getting our money’s worth yet, but that is as much my fault as Astonish.

  • The truth is out. This company isn’t made for the insurance business. Buyer beware !!!!!

  • It sounds like a few agents have had some challenges with Astonish. I am currently in litigation with them and I would love to hear more about your experiences. Email me your contact info at info@WeShopInsurance.com.

  • These guys are consummate con-men. Their pitch is BS. Ask them this: Who writes the blogs for us? Who handles Facebook content, Twitter feeds, etc? Most important, who has renewed their contract with you? (Answer: almost nobody to nobody at all) I’ll give them this: they are fantastic salesmen. Crooks, but great salesmen. They’ll be out of insurance and destroying some other industry in 3 years.

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    I had the Astonish sales pitch a few months ago and was unimpressed. The price is beyond crazy – $100k+ for 3 years??? Whoever comes up with the pricing at Astonish is on the pipe… I spent a few days looking at the websites done by Astonish and calling agencies. All very template and not very well optimized for search engine rankings. My suggestion – call around to agencies using their system (not the agents in their glowing video reviews). My experience was that most agencies were not very happy with the results they were getting, compared to what was promised in the sales pitch. I would stick with a local web company that can really dominate SEO for you.

  • Finally found a few negative reviews on Astonish Results that they haven’t managed to hide, bury or delete. Stay AWAY from this company!! Their SEO absolutely sucks, websites are SLOOOOW to load and changes to content take weeks to complete. My contract with them is up in a few months and I’ve already found a local website designer that has created a new site for me for much less than Astonish wants. Plus, the local guy will provide guarantee’s on SEO and no-long term contracts. Astonish has a ridiculous contract that pays them all up front (using a leasing arrangement) and guarantees NOTHING to the agency. How I ever fell for their sales pitch is beyond me. I feel like the last 3 years has been a drain on my time and generally unproductive. The only good thing Astonish did for me was get me to jumpstart my social media program. But guess who did all the work? That’s right, me. When Astonish tells you they will replace the role of “20 other vendors”, don’t believe it. All they have you doing is the work of 20 people.

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    Astonish is the worst decision we have ever made, and this review is accurate. Try googling “Astonish sucks” or Astonish scam, and you’ll find that they have blogged those terms to optimize against bad reviews getting out. They are total BS.

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    Beware the sales pitch – Astonish charges a premium price but does not deliver a premium product. What they really are is an idea factory (and they do offer great advice) but what the sales person won’t tell you up front is that YOU have do all the work, or pay them even more for blogging, social media, SEO optimization. Be aware too that they use very template websites that are not very well optimized for organic SEO. They rely too heavily on blogging as the sole SEO driver. Guess who gets to write all the blog postings? You or an employee you hire. After a year into this system, I regret the purchase. The email marketing has caused problems for us with blacklisting, the SEM campaigns have been poorly executed and I’m having a hard time getting an accounting of where the money has been spent. I’m beginning to lose my trust in Astonish, their employees and the system as a whole. When my 3 years is up, I’m confident I can find the same services for much less and get better accountability.

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