I am on a quest for a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool.
I have reached over 5000 contacts and because I don’t followup and keep in touch, I am losing possible business because of it.
I have some specific requirements for the CRM. It is probably a little out of the ordinary because I need it for multiple purposes.
- I have a business that I am trying to grow with a new area of growth opportunity.
- I also have past customers and employees that I would like to keep tabs on.
- I have my personal network that I want to send out a newsletter once or twice a year and keep them updated on my activities.
- My retirement plan is to write more books, do some public speaking, and continue my podcast. I am getting ready to launch two more books in the next couple of months.
- I would like to know their social media profiles so I can follow them there
- I don’t like to pester people so I need to be sure I only contact them once in a while. I need to system to keep track of when I contact them last and what they say.
In preparation, I moved our company email to GSuite so that I could integrate my email with any of them. None of them integrate with POP3 email without workarounds. It just isn’t a nice integration at all. What that enabled me to do was to log into Gmail and other GApps with my firstname.lastname@example.org account. I didn’t have to utilize my personal Gmail account and could fully charge forward. It also meant my email was synchronized on all my Outlook clients as well. I am not a fan of the labels in Gmail vs the folders in Outlook but I am getting used to it and setting up all my rules as filters.
It DOES NOT track if the email was opened or not. I could not deal with that.
Another student mentioned SuiteCRM.
You should install SuiteCRM either on your host or a host on the cloud. It is open source. Being a Microsoft software engineer for most of my career I am not a fan of the many authors of open source and the rolling versions of the software.
The student said “have your IT guy install it.” Well…I am the IT guy and I don’t wanna. I want something to be up and running and have someone else do the system administration of it. I want to be a client. That being said my self talk rolls in with “Linda…stop being a baby. It is free.”
Well. No, it isn’t free.
- RT GSync: Google Apps Integration Plans = $9.99 a month
- Sugar Chimp (Email Chimp Integration) = $49.99 a month
Okay. I say. Stop there. It is no longer an option. Too expensive and labor intensive.
I would have to rage quit in about 2 hours of trying to install the thing.
I go to the Contactually website. It was my popular choice from the beginning but probably more expensive. $39 – $59 for the version I want.
I look at their case studies. Tate Parker could be my twin.
That combined with what I really want. Bulk, friendly follow-up email templates:
I have a free 14-day trial so I will let you know how it goes. For now…I am sold and will just sell more books to pay for the difference.