Having an organized email subscriber base is important. Being able to see how people subscribed to your list, when, and for what reason is key.
Many email marketing tools have subscriber management where you can see the information you have collected from each subscriber. Some would call this a rudimentary CRM.
Flodesk happens to have this feature, which is great but… the real question is whether this subscriber management area can replace a traditional CRM system. Is Flodesks basic “CRM” system good enough?
This post explains Flodesk’s subscriber management and how you can use it as a CRM, but also some of the reasons why you might consider investing in a more powerful CRM solution.
What is a CRM system?
Before we start talking about Flodesk’s “CRM” it is important to address what a CRM technically is in the first place.
According to Salesforce “Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is a technology for managing all your company’s relationships and interactions with customers and potential customers. The goal is simple: improve business relationships”1
The idea is that the better your relationships are with your customers are, the more profitable your business will be. Ultimately the more complex your interactions are, the more you will likely need an advanced CRM system. For instance, if you are regularly calling prospective customers to determine if your product or service is right for them, and you need to document these interactions, an official CRM platform might be needed.
I keep on putting Flodesk’s “CRM” in quotations simply because Flodesk’ss subscriber management system is simply not a traditional CRM. With a loose definition of a CRM you could consider Flodesk to be a really basic CRM in which you can organize your subscribers. I will show you exactly what I mean…
This picture is Flodesk’s Subscribers section under the Audience tab. Here you can do the following:
- View all the individual subscriber’s emails, and other information they submitted
- Add new individual subscribers or multiple subscribers through a CSV file
- Filter subscribers based on status (active, bounced, unsubscribed, marked spam), activity, source (form, CSV, etc.), segments, and data fields.
- Under segments, you can add a new segment, and view and sort existing segments.
These tasks are about all you can do to manage your subscribers. For a full overview of Flodesk’s features click here!
Traditional CRM features that you don’t get with Flodesk
Traditional CRM systems are often used by small to large companies that have sales teams. That being said there are many features of traditional CRM systems that have to do with managing your sales pipeline.
Some of the more advanced features that you would get with a traditional CRM platform that you don’t get with Flodesk include:
- Lead scoring: Users of the CRM can identify and score which leads are most likely to convert into paying customers. This is for the purpose of optimizing your sales process.
- Sales forecasting: Forecasting allows you to create benchmarks to gauge whether your sales results are aligned with your efforts.
- Interaction tracking: This means being able to add notes on the records of interactions you have had with your leads and customers.2
Are traditional CRM features necessary?
Traditional CRM systems are typically used by small to large companies that have sales teams and customer service that regularly interact with prospects and customers throughout the sales process. That being said, some of the more advanced CRM features listed above are typically only helpful for somewhat developed organizations that process lots of data on their customers.
That being said, if your company doesn’t have more than perhaps three people, and you aren’t processing tons of data, you might not need some of the more advanced CRM features.
For most small-time bloggers for instance, advanced CRM features suitable for a more developed company just aren’t necessary.
More powerful CRM solutions
If you are serious about more advanced CRM capabilities, the following companies might be worth looking into.
HubSpot, is known to be an innovative leader in the CRM software industry and in internet marketing in general. Made for small to midsize businesses, HubSpot CRM is an extremely robust, feature-rich platform. Track customer interactions either through email, phone, or social media and view these interactions on a timeline. Additionally, get real-time notifications for when your contacts interact with your company by opting into your email list or opening an email. The best part is that you can use HubSpot’s CRM for free!
Pipedrive is another excellent CRM tool used by small businesses. This platform gives salespeople a view of all the different stages of the sales process and recommends next steps based on data gathered. This sales-focused CRM has all the core features you need to effectively manage your leads and customers such as task management, lead scoring, segmentation, and powerful analytics. Although the platform doesn’t have a free version it has a free trial and the starting price is quite affordable.
Freshsales is CRM used by businesses of all sizes to gain and manage customers. A few of Freshsales most noteworthy features include its AI-based lead scoring, customizable visual reporting, and visual sales pipeline. Like many CRM tools, Freshsales claims that its CRM gives businesses everything they need to manage their leads and customers without the aid of other marketing tools in the background.
How to integrate Flodesks with your CRM platform of choice
If you have subscribed to a CRM platform in addition to Flodesk, you will want to integrate the two tools so that data can be shared between them.
However, to integrate your CRM platform of choice with Flodesk you must use a third-party integration tool called Zapier. Although this might sound potentially challenging, don’t worry! It’s not difficult at all.
Zapier helps connect hundreds of applications to facilitate the flow of information between services.