If you are a digital marketer, you know how challenging it can be to manage all of your customer interactions without a proper CRM for marketing in place.
Traditionally, CRM tools are associated with sales teams and not marketing teams, as the name (Customer Relationship Management) would suggest. But there's more to CRM systems than purely managing a sales pipeline (though this is certainly something that sales and marketing teams can both make use of). The right CRM software will not only keep customer information organized and streamline your sales cycle; these days CRM tools have evolved so that they will also help with:
Workflow management by automating repetitive tasks
Maximizing an entire organization's network
Providing insights on customer data to create targeted marketing campaigns
Maintaining relationships, and bolstering customer satisfaction
...and much more
But with so many options out there, choosing the best CRM can be overwhelming. That's where we come in - in this blog, we'll explore the top reasons why a digital marketing agency needs a reliable CRM and the essential features to look for. Additionally, we’ll compare the top CRM software options out there, and we'll crown the winner
Why does a Digital Marketing Agency Need a CRM?
As a digital marketing agency, you are constantly juggling a wide range of clients, projects, and campaigns. Without a solid CRM, important information such as customer profiling, sales cycles and interactions, milestone achievements and follow-up reminders can easily slip through the cracks.
A CRM system helps to avoid these pitfalls by acting as your digital assistant, with an automated process to keep on top of your valuable data. Additionally, by keeping track of the sales cycle, a CRM system can help you forecast revenues, giving you better growth capacity and when combined with automation helps to streamline your operation and in turn drive-up profits.
Essential Features to look for in a CRM:
When selecting the right CRM for your marketing agency, there are a few features that should definitely be on your checklist to handle everything from lead generation to customer retention. These are:
This is fundamental since it enables the streamlining of processes such as capturing, categorizing, and keeping track of potential and existing clients.
Automation is key in any CRM, it saves time and increases efficiency in the overall workflow allowing you to maximize your time whilst maintaining data accuracy.
The more seamless the integration, the easier it is for the CRM system to be adopted by the team; automating task as they occur and reducing risk failure human interaction errors.
Mail Merge is a very important feature for any CRM since it enables the ability to communicate to larger audiences within one engagement and reduce wasted time sending communication individually.
Interaction tracking enables the tracking of marketing efforts and allows sales reps to direct their efforts to those that have had greater touchpoints, ensuring a higher overall success rate.
A Comparison of the Top CRM Software Options:
To crown the best CRM solution for your digital marketing agency, we've compared and ranked the leading software options on the market today. Here is our assessment of each option, based on the essential features mentioned earlier:
folk is the perfect CRM solution that incorporates a balance of automation, integrations, mail merge, interaction tracking and contact management to give digital marketing agencies complete control over each campaign and client.
In folk, maintaining a well-organized contact list is a breeze. Consolidate all your current contacts from Google or Outlook with a single import, synchronizing them with your calendar and emails. Also, adding new contacts is a cinch: simply upload a CSV file or use the Chrome extension, which automatically detects and extracts contact information from any website. With just a few clicks, you can swiftly import their details straight into folk, ensuring your contact list stays comprehensive and up to date.
Once you're in folk, the power to efficiently organize your contacts is at your fingertips. You can enrich them with a click, group them, assign color-coded tags, and arrange them in customizable views. With custom fields, you have the flexibility to store any desired data about your contacts, from details of previous projects completed down to their favorite ice cream flavor. The ability to keep and share notes, as well as store documents for each contact, lets you keep a detailed record of all your clients and projects, so nothing slips through the cracks.
Duplicates, a classic CRM pain point, are a thing of the past with folk's auto-deduplication. Plus, by integrating with Zapier (more details below) you can further automate workflows, which are easy to set up in a custom drag-and-drop Kanban board. With folk's remarkable AI-powered Magic Fields, you can automate manual tasks. These custom fields blend the power of AI with your contact data in folk, giving you the ability to request a wide range of actions, from data cleansing and categorization to data enrichment and writing personalized emails at scale.
With folk's seamless integrations with Google and Outlook, your contacts and interactions are not only synchronized but also easily accessible. You can view all past interactions, including emails and calendar events, right within the contact details.
By leveraging the power of Zapier integration, you can connect with over 1000 other apps. Set up personalized "Zaps" to your favorite applications without the need for coding or technical expertise. This opens up a world of possibilities, allowing you to establish quick and hassle-free connections between folk and your preferred apps.
folk's Messages function is a powerful mail merge system that lets you send out emails in bulk, that are highly personalized. You can make use of variable fields to extract data you have stored in folk (such as name, company, URL, or any other data stored in a custom field) to tailor every email to each individual. You can then get detailed reporting on delivered, bounced, opened, and clicked emails.
On top of the automatic synching to your email and calendar, you can add any interaction (including offline chats like a coffee or run-in at an event) to folk so you have full context of all your interactions with clients, contractors, and more, at any given moment. folk also uniquely gives you a Company view, which gives you a global view of all interactions with all the people inside the same company. You can also easily keep shared notes with your teammates on specific contacts, and set reminders for yourself and teammates, so you never miss a follow-up again.
There are a whole host of insights within folk across various functions and which are clear and straightforward: you won't need a data scientist to help you interpret complex charts and graphs. As mentioned above, you can see detailed metrics of your email campaigns. Powerful features such as Strongest Connection automatically calculate who in your team has the closest relationship to any given contact, and you can get an overview of all people and interactions within a company at a glance.
It's quick and easy to get started on folk. There are even readymade templates for a variety of use cases to further speed up the set up. Try out folk's unlimited free CRM plan by signing up here.
Hubspot offers solid marketing automation for your campaigns; however, to some extent these are hindered by contact management features, requiring team members to manually reconcile data that's used in campaigns.
Hubspot offers limited capabilites in this area, allowing you to store and organize essential contact information, ranging from names and emails to phone numbers and addresses as well as keep details of past interactions.
HubSpot CRM's Workflow feature provides automation options. Set up action sequences triggered by specific events like a contact advancing in the sales pipeline or submitting a website form. Automations streamline tasks, save time, nurture leads, and send reminders.
HubSpot CRM integrates with handy tools and platforms, including email marketing services, lead generation tools, It also syncs with Gmail and Outlook to track and log email interactions. You can search their app marketplace to see if the apps you use have an integration with Hubspot.
Hubspot also allows you to send email campaigns at scale, with the option to include variables for more personalized communications, a key feature in email marketing.
In Hubspot you can monitor and record various interactions, including, email opens, clicks, and submissions. It also has a revenue attribution function, more of a classic sales CRM feature, which lets you see directly how much revenue each teammate brought in.
With dashboards and reports that can be generated in Hubspot, you can get insights into your contacts and marketing campaigns, to help you make data-backed decisions.
Pipedrive's CRM tool offers a streamlined interface, which ensures that the priority always dispending on managing the sale pipeline process. In contrast, it only has a very basic ability to manage contacts which requires you to move contact details around rather than enrich and organize with automation.
Pipedrive allows you to store, organize, and track contact information, interactions, and communication history.
Pipedrive enables the creation of automated workflows triggered by specific actions. For instance, you can automate follow-up emails, assign tasks, or update deal stages based on predefined rules.
Pipedrive CRM integrates with various third-party tools and applications, though you should ensure compatibility with your preferred tools by checking its extensive integration offerings. Furthermore, Pipedrive offers an open API, facilitating custom integrations and data syncing with other systems used in your real estate business.
Pipedrive offers Group Emailing but this is only available on its most expensive plans. Once you've validated your email address you can message multiple recipients at once, though with limited personalization features.
Pipedrive lets you track interactions with individual contacts by showing you a visual record of your past interactions, such as calls and emails, that are logged in the CRM.
In Pipedrive there is an Insights section which allows you to generate dashboards and reports so you can track deal progress, etc. Again, it's more of a sales team-forward feature, but still useful for a marketing agency.
Though Monday.com is fundamentally a project management solution, it's all-in-one CRM interface has basic tracking. However, its interface is not as real-time as other marketing CRMs, resulting in lost opportunities due to less-than-efficient touchpoint management.
Monday.com lets you manage your contacts on a basic level, allowing you to store contact info such as email addresses, company and phone numbers, as well as categorizing them by type of contact — customers, prospects, or partners.
Monday.com doesn't offer any automation features, so you'll have to rely on third-party integrations or use another tool.
Monday.com offers extensive integration options with a variety of third-party applications, including Salesforce and Zapier — each one tailor-made for specific use cases within the platform. This means you can easily connect external applications with your CRM data without having to manually migrate the data.
Monday.com offers a mail merge feature that allows you to quickly send out personalized emails to multi-level lists of contacts. You can customize emails and track open and click rates, as well as keep a record of all the emails that have been sent out from your account.
Monday.com offers interaction tracking features that can help you keep track of customer activity, including emails sent, website visits, and calls made. With this data, you can easily measure the effectiveness of your outreach efforts.
For reporting and analytics, Monday.com offers dashboards with charts and graphs that provide insights into your team's progress in real-time, allowing you to make decisions quickly about where to allocate resources or set new goals. It also has the ability to drill down for more detailed metrics on individual projects.
Overall, Monday.com is a great solution for project management and basic contact management, but it lacks in automation and real-time tracking features that other marketing CRMs offer. If you’re looking for an all-in-one platform with a wide range of functionalities, it may be worth considering. However, if your main focus is customer relationship management, it might not be the ideal choice.
We also explored in this article the best Google Sheets templates for building a CRM.
When it comes to the best CRM software for your digital marketing agency, make sure you select a solution that not only has automation, integrations, mail merge and interaction tracking, but also offers good contact management. Based on these fundamental features, folk takes the crown with its intelligent features to best fit the needs of any digital marketing agency. So there you have it - with the right CRM system in place, your digital marketing agency can focus on what it does best, growing your business with fewer manual tasks and more efficiency!