CRM for a small business with 3 users costs around $140/mth. That’s a $1,680 savings every single year on CRM alone using WordPress. -- Drishti Sanghavi
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WordPress CRM plugins are getting better. Is it time to choose them over the established SaaS CRM platforms? And save over $1,500 a year in the process.

If you own and run a business with more than 3 employees and 5 customers, you’ve probably already considered investing in a CRM. (Unless of course, you plan on recording all your customer details in an excel file or worse, a diary.)

What does a CRM system do?

CRM allows you to understand your customer’s needs and helps you cater to them. Think of it this way, if you walked into an electronic’s shop looking for a new PC, and the salesman knew which model, brand, and configuration you wanted based on your demographics and past purchases, wouldn’t it be fascinating? (It would either blow your mind or creep you out, depending on how darn good that PC was.)

Infographic listing reasons why a business may need CRM

 

But for a small to medium-sized business, a fancy, 80 functions with 20 add ons and an all customizable CRM may not be the best solution (unless the goal here is to exhaust your resources and overwhelm your employees). You may find yourself looking for options among the Hubspot’s and Salesforce’s of the world, but WordPress too can be a strong contender, especially if you’re looking for a budget buy.

Why is a CRM system important?

In 2019, Automattic (the company behind WordPress) acquired the NO BS CRM (now Jetpack CRM). This clearly shows a trend towards interest in using WP as a CRM tool.

Moreover, with new data regulations (like GDPR in EU) and increasing awareness about the ethical collection and use of customer data in marketing and sales (with Apple blocking third-party cookies and Google considering changing their model), the way you store your customer data matters. Hence, the CRM you use matters.

The question here, however, isn’t ‘Can you use WordPress as your CRM?’. The question is, should you? And if yes, how?

Answering the second question first, to use WordPress as your CRM, you have a number of awesome solutions to choose from.

Here’s our best picks:

Groundhogg

Screenshot of WordPress CRM Groundhog

Groundhogg lets you have a CRM within your WordPress website. It lets you build automated customer journeys and marketing funnels, build email automation and track email links, build and view reports, segment contacts based on tags, access all past contact history, integrates with WP and plugins, and is compliant with GDPR, CASL, and CANSPAM.

Price: Has 4 pricing plans, but the most popular one is USD $40/m.

Star feature: Doesn’t charge you more as your list grows. Offers a flat-rate cost for unlimited contacts. Great customer support.

Learn more about Groundhogg CRM: www.groundhogg.io

WP-CRM System

Screenshot of WordPress CRM WP-CRM System

 

You can make WordPress work for you if you choose the right plugins, but the problem is, that there are tons of them. The WP-CRM system suggests a list of inexpensive premium extensions like Zapier, WooCommerce, and Mailchimp Sync that are all compliant with GDPR.

Price: Free. Can use add-on plugins if needed.

Star feature: WP-CRM System allows your team to manage projects, assign individual tasks and track marketing campaigns. It is more than just a CRM.

Learn more about WP-CRM System: wordpress.org/plugins/wp-crm-system/

Jetpack CRM

Screenshot of Jetpack CRM

Jetpack CRM lets you see contact statuses, manage your sales funnel, access your revenue overview, track progress, write and send proposals, quotes, invoices, and transactions.

Price: Has 4 pricing plans. Free, $5.40/m per site for resellers, $11/m for freelancers, and $17/m for entrepreneurs, billed yearly.

Star feature: Pricing based on per install basis and compatible with all security plugins.

(P.S.: Great CRM dashboard)

Learn more about Jetpack CRM: jetpackcrm.com

FluentCRM

Screenshot of FluentCRM

FluentCRM seems to be getting a lot of coverage these days, and deservedly so. It's a solid offering with an easy-to-use UI.

Marketing automation is its strong point, with email sequencing and segmentation allowing you to target the right folk at the right time.

The CRM component is its '360° User Overview' of contacts, where you can see their attributes as well as tracked activities.

FluentCRM integrates nicely with a range of third-party functions, including WooCommerce. With more integrations coming soon.

Price: Plans start from $129 / year for a single site license all the way up to $499 for 50 websites.

Star feature: Email marketing automation

Learn more about FluentCRM: fluentcrm.com

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Drishti Sanghavi
In my free time, I can be found baking cookies, fixing up furniture, or critiquing things I don't know all that much about. I write about Technology, SaaS, Marketing, and everything that interests me. In my natural state, I can be found slouched on a chair in front of my computer, pretending it's the 1960's and I'm a cool lady with a typewriter.
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As for the first question, ‘Should you be using WP as your CRM?’, here’s our take on it:

WordPress as CRM VS Traditional CRMs

For this comparison we considered Salesforce, Hubspot & Active Campaign.

WordPress as CRM VS Traditional CRMs infographic

Download as an infographic (PNG 490K)

 

Pros

There are multiple pros to using WordPress as your CRM, and here’s just a few.

  • WordPress lets you have all your data under the same digital roof in one spot. If you host your website on WordPress (like 455+ Million other sites), it’s just going to be easier for you to access and manage contacts integrated with your WP website and streamline your workflow. (It’s almost equivalent to the joy of buying an iPhone and not having to buy the power adapter separately. Almost.)
  • If your data is already on WordPress, you will not have to sync it with another untrustworthy third-party tool. This just means more security for you.
  • You use a CRM to better your customer experience, but WordPress can help you use your customer data to tailor the UX too. It just wouldn’t be possible if all your data was stored “securely” in 50 different locations. Security without convenience is just stupidity!
  • You own your own data because you’re basically storing all your customer data on your own server through WordPress. It’s easier to export this data and use it in other systems with other formats.
  • From a budget standpoint, using WordPress is just so much easier on your pocket. An average CRM for a small business with 3 users costs around $140/month. That’s a $1680 savings every single year on CRM alone. For WP, there are a ton of free WordPress plugins available that can help you customize and set up your CRM in no time.
  • Lastly, your marketing and sales team will probably thank you for not introducing yet another software to the process, especially if they’re already familiar with the WP environment.

Illustration showing reasons why you should consider WordPress asa CRM.

 

Cons

But just like Pros, using WP as your CRM comes with its own cons.

  • You get access to things you pay for. If you pay generously for your CRM, you get quality customer support (yes, an email reply after 3 business days counts as good enough customer support). With WordPress, you get access to a thriving community of passionate WP users. But no one is getting paid to solve your problems ASAP, so be prepared to fix things on your own.
  • You’re hosting your website on your server, add CRM to the mix and you’ve got a few problems. Extra load on your servers is just the first one on the list.
  • Expect to run into a few security concerns, since using plugins on WordPress can cause a few. Nothing too threatening (just all of your customer’s personal data out in the open), but pretty inconvenient.
  • WordPress is designed to be a CMS. You can use it as a CRM. Other CRMs are just made to be, well, CRMs. Huge difference. (A makeshift cushion chair is just a chair with a cushion, not an armchair.)

Summary

Conclusively, here’s what you need to take away from this blog:

  • In 2019, Salesforce Ventures invested 300M in Automattic (the company behind WordPress) for a 10% stake. WordPress has traditionally been a CMS, and in 20199time of funding), Salesforce was working on their in-house project, Salesforce CMS. Then, Matt Mullenweg (Automattic CEO) had mentioned the possibility of integrations with Salesforce in the future. Clearly, Salesforce Ventures sees an opportunity for growth in the WordPress system.
  • Automattic believes that WordPress is meant for greater things beyond publications. If WordPress can double as both a CMS and a CRM, it could mean wonderful things for the business.
  • The idea of using WordPress as your CRM may be fascinating, but it’s only preferable if your business is a small/medium scale enterprise. No matter how good your setup is, it’s only meant to compete against smaller players in the market like Nimble and Freshworks CRM. Salesforce and Hubspot are giants, and their services are such.
  • WordPress isn’t a quick-fix solution. You will need good WordPress hosting to run a CRM.

Comments

  1. Hi Drishti,

    Thanks for mentioning FluentCRM in your article.

    Yes, Contact Overview is the only CRM component in FluentCRM right now. But we are already developing a support ticketing system and you can also expect to see more traditional CRM components like sales tracking, invoicing, etc.

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