FreeAgent + Mailchimp Resource Guide

You already know all about the latest release FreeAgent CRM Bonsai and the much anticipated best-in-class integration with Mailchimp (the industry-leading email marketing solution).

To help you get started – or take your campaigns to the next level – we’ve created a resource guide with helpful topics that range from pairing Mailchimp within FreeAgent to template design tips to getting the most out insight of campaign reporting.

FreeAgent + Mailchimp Overview
If you missed the fiesta, find out about the benefits and features of the latest FreeAgent CRM release.

Mailchimp 101
If you’re just starting out with Mailchimp as a marketing tool, this article is a great place to begin.

Getting Started with FreeAgent + Mailchimp Together
Unleashing the power and simplicity of Mailchimp within FreeAgent CRM is as simple as pairing your Mailchimp account.

Email Design Guide
Look and feel professional when using your Mailchimp templates with campaigns launched within FreeAgent. Here’s some great advice on conveying your message with great looking emails for better conversion.

Create Your First Mailchimp + FreeAgent CRM Campaign
Annnd launch! When it’s time to create your first campaign, here’s all you need to know to get started.

Email Marketing Benchmarks
Ever wonder how your campaigns are doing compared to other businesses in your industry? Mailchimp has compiled benchmarks for you.

Getting the Most from Your Mailchimp Reports
See your campaign reports directly in FreeAgent CRM. Follow up perfectly with customers who opened-and-clicked.

Additional Resources

We’re just scratching the surface of what’s available on both platforms. For deeper information, start here:
FreeAgent CRM Tutorials
Mailchimp Marketing Resources

Happy campaigning!

FreeAgent CRM Bonsai Release

Welcome to FreeAgent CRM Bonsai

If you saw last week’s Taco Tuesday, you’re probably dying of suspense about our big release. Well, wait no more! We’re excited to officially release Bonsai, delivering an always-on marketing platform for small business teams to grow their business efficiently, increase customer loyalty, and gain deeper customer insight.

1. Mailchimp Integration

Included in the release, is a best-in-class integration with Mailchimp, the industry-leading email marketing solution, for email activities within a Campaign.

2. All-in-One Small Business Platform

Small business teams need everything in one place. That’s why we’re continuing to innovate FreeAgent CRM as the only all-in-one platform of it’s kind. This extends to the way we integrate your favorite tools, like Mailchimp. Generic CRM simulates this by tagging on apps around their original hard-coded systems on a surface level – but these micro-integrations can’t grow with you as your business grows and are not extensible as small business needs evolve. At FreeAgent, we do things differently.


FreeAgent CRM Bonsai Release

February 19, 2019


Release Overview


Email Marketing

Free Agents already love their email drip campaigns, orchestrating unique steps based on segmentation. This has always been a key feature for making sure your customers feel catered to – not marketed to. Staying true to this customer-first approach in bulk outbound mailing was our top priority.

That’s why we’re really proud to support Amazon Simple Email Service and Mailchimp – makers of the industry-leading email marketing solution – who also believe what we believe:

“We make innovative, beautiful products that empower small businesses”.

 .  

A lot of small businesses we talk to started with Mailchimp before looking at CRM software. As business grows, it becomes necessary to add more robust contact management with a central system of record – not to mention sales and customer service. For small businesses, to be able to work with the tools they’re already using has been a huge help in a successful CRM adoption (and when 80% of CRM adoptions fail, we take that pretty seriously here at FreeAgent.)

“Our customers are especially excited about the Mailchimp integration. We’ve combined their beautiful email templates and simple outbound bulk emailing with power and simplicity of the FreeAgent platform.”

– Ryan Manning, CSO and Co-Founder of FreeAgent CRM


Import Contacts Automatically, from Anywhere

Relevant and comprehensive contact data is key to running an effective marketing campaign. FreeAgent CRM can increase the accuracy of your house list by 45% by connecting to a variety of resources such as:

  • Web Forms: Connect FreeAgent CRM to your website to create or update contacts in real-time
  • Mailchimp Lists: Sync your Mailchimp mailing lists to FreeAgent in just a few clicks
  • Spreadsheets: Import all your CSV files into FreeAgent
  • Suggested Contacts: A dynamically updated list of people that seem like high potential prospects or important contacts. It works auto-magically with the email you paired with FreeAgent CRM.

Quickly Build Target Lists that Stay Relevant as Contact Data Changes

Filtering and segmenting contact data doesn’t have to be complicated. Campaign targets can be setup in minutes, not hours. More importantly, dynamic lists can increase email open and click rates 2x by ensuring the right contacts are receiving the right message.

  • Advanced Filtering: From out-of-the-box to custom fields, users can apply an unlimited amount of conditions to target and filter contacts into segments, or views into a certain set of contact data. These segments can be saved away for later use in FreeAgent CRM.
  • Dynamic Lists: Don’t you hate it when a former client receives content related to an existing client campaign? FreeAgent views are dynamic, not static! So, as new leads are added OR existing contacts are edited to include data specific to that view, they’ll be automatically added to or removed from your segment lists.

Automate A Single Message, or a Nurture Series

Make life easier with intuitive workflows that leverage automation triggers. You can set up campaigns that automate loads of manual tasks and increase customer retention rates by 10- 15%. More than just emails, FreeAgent CRM can automate all your work as you nurture contacts towards your campaign goal.
You can do things like…

  • Create a welcome email that fires out as soon as a contact fills out an online form
  • Build a drip series that send emails at specific times and auto-creates Next Step reminders to Call
  • Re-engage with contacts who haven’t opened your emails or answered calls from you in a while by asking how you can serve them better
  • Send a follow-up series to contacts who have engaged with a previous campaign

Optimize Your Marketing Efforts

With FreeAgent CRM analytics, you can get a little smarter with every campaign. Unlike stand- alone email marketing solutions, FreeAgent can track data beyond just email open and click rates by:

  • Tracking and analyzing ALL customer interactions, not just email: phone call outcomes, meetings, and more
  • Correlating data outside of the Campaign container
  • Previous, existing, or future purchases or customer satisfaction rates

 

Want to learn more? Check out our growing tutorial category:

Mailchimp Tutorials


Send us your feedback!

Like the new updates? Let us know! Have an idea to improve the usability of FreeAgent CRM? Chat us up, send us an email, or give us a call.

(Customer) Relationship Advice from the Experts – Valentine’s Day Edition

All great relationships require nurturing. And while we don’t usually think of customer relationships the same way we think about love… when it comes to the best expert advice on the subject, we couldn’t help but notice a lot of similarities.

For Valentine’s Day, enjoy this timeless advice from the experts about customer relationships – or any other relationships on your mind today!

1. Challenge your limiting beliefs

Cultivating great relationships with customers even as your company grows is every businesses’ top priority. If you want to scale, you’ll need the right tools, like a great CRM. But you’ll also need the right mindset.

In The Psychology of Selling, Brian Tracy talks about “self-concept.” A person with a good self-concept believes that every day presents a myriad of opportunities – sales opportunities! – no matter what the pipeline looks like, because they believe in their own mission and they believe in themselves to achieve it. They know – and project – that they’re providing immense value. When you’re confident in your own value, customers will believe in your value too. It’s contagious!

2. Be of service

In To Sell is Human, by Daniel Pink, a man is looking to buy a vacuum. But instead of just selling him a vacuum, he suggested being a “problem finder” instead of only a “problem solver.” How can we become more attuned to the hidden problems, rather than the stated problem?

The problem in this case is: He has too much dust in his house. There are many solutions to this – new windows, a housecleaner, or perhaps a new vacuum. Which is the best for him though?

As Pink says,

“This is what it means to serve: improving another’s life and, in turn, improving the world.”

3. Sell benefits, not products

Zig Zeigler, one of the original motivational speakers, and author of many books on sales, says in Selling 101,

“Prospects do not buy products. Prospects buy products of the products — known as benefits… Prospects buy what the product will do for us.”

We can only know how our customers will benefit from our solution when we truly understand their problems. When we really listen.

A benefits-first approach helps your customers get to the heart of your business much faster. After that, be honest about what problems you can solve, and which ones you can’t. We must be authentic in order to foster brand trust and of course, our product must actually benefit our customers in order for them to keep coming back.

(As an aside, Zig also wrote Courtship after Marriage: Romance Can Last a Lifetime. It seems there are crossover qualities in sales and love!)

4. Face your fears

In Jeffrey Gitomer’s Little Red Book of Selling, he says,

“You will not get rid of the butterflies, but you can get them flying in formation.”

We all fear rejection, or failure. Avoiding risk, though, is no path to success. Edison tried a thousand times before he successfully built the first light bulb; Michael Jordan missed over 9,000 shots; and Babe Ruth was known as The King of Strikeouts. What these greats have in common is that they were not afraid of failure.

You won’t always be able to help every customer, and you might even get some tough feedback from time to time – or maybe even your whole first year of business. Those companies willing to face challenges – and fix their mistakes – are long-term business material.

 


FreeAgent CRM is a platform that helps small businesses nurture quality customer relationships. Get set up in less than 20 minutes and start working with a company that believes that CRM means Customer Relationships Matter. Check us out.

Taco Tuesday: Valentines Day

Taco Tuesday: V-Day Special Offer and a sneak peek at the next big release!

Get ready to win your customers hearts with Email Campaigns

FreeAgent CRM Platform Update February 12, 2019

Here at FreeAgent CRM, we really love our customers. And our customers love their customers. And of course, we all love tacos! So, in honor of Valentine’s Day, this Taco Tuesday is dedicated to love.

In this update:

Spread the love – Special V-Day Offer
Get ready to win your customers hearts with Email Marketing
New Vlog: 5 ways to let your customers know you care


Spread the love – Special V-Day Offer

Give 15%, receive 15%
For the month of February, refer a friend (or friendly business) to FreeAgent CRM – they’ll get 15% off their subscription* and you’ll get 15% off your next renewal**

* For annual or monthly
** For annual renewals only – get 15% off the whole year (if you’ve been thinking of switching to annual to save costs already, it’s never been a better time!)

To redeem this offer, your friend must sign up in the month of February. Share this offer with them early so they can get started with our amazing product specialists.


FreeAgent Bonsai

Next Taco Tuesday is a downright fiesta for our most anticipated product release yet – Free Agent Bonsai. And you’re invited!

Here on the team, we’re going bananas for the new features. When it comes to being the best all-in-one CRM platform, we are not monkeying around…

We can’t tell you everything about next week’s big release just yet 🙊 (stay tuned next Tuesday!) but we DO want to give you 3 great ways to get ready for it now, so you can hit the ground – and the trees – running.

 


3 Ways to Win your Customers Hearts with Email Marketing

Next Taco Tuesday is a downright fiesta for our most anticipated product release yet – Free Agent Bonsai. And you’re invited!

Here on the team, we’re going bananas for the new features. When it comes to being the best all-in-one CRM platform, we are not monkeying around…

We can’t tell you everything about next week’s big release just yet (stay tuned next Tuesday!) but we DO want to give you 3 great ways to get ready for it now, so you can hit the ground – and the trees – running.

Get crystal clear on your goals

What are you trying to achieve with your email marketing campaigns? While selling to new customers is a goal for every business, it’s not the only kind of email to send. There are post-sale and nurturing emails that keep customers engaged; offer emails that provide incentives to buy; re-market campaigns for customers who weren’t quite ready to buy.

You can get an idea how to set goals for your metrics by checking out some benchmarks for your industry. But outside of having great open, click and conversion rates, some other goals might be to:

  • Re-engage customers who haven’t heard from you lately
  • Make your offerings known by announcing new features or products
  • Learn more about your customers so you can better target offers at a later date
  • Spur sales by offering a discount or gift

Oh, and the number one goal of any email communication? Provide value. When you have this covered, you are guaranteed to get a higher ROI out of your marketing campaign – and it’s already SKY HIGH as far as lead channels go. Check out these stats about email marketing ROI:

Send the right message to the right customers

According to the email campaign silverback MailChimp, segmented email marketing campaigns get 14.64% more email opens and 59.99% more clicks compared to non-segmented campaigns. Relevant emails drive 18 times more revenue than broadcast emails.

We’ve all cringed at the email marketing the product or service we already purchased or opted out of. By segmenting your customers, you know where they are in the sales cycle so you can be sure that you’re sending the right message and the right irresistible offer at just the right time.

Look and sell like a pro with well-designed branded templates

Every email campaign is a chance to put your best foot forward, and you should always deliver! Your customer has invited you into their sacred inbox. (Gosh, they even DOUBLE-OPTED invited you in!) Let them know you respect a few mb of their inbox space with professionally designed communications, and be consistent! They’ll learn to love your emails on first sight.


5 ways to let your customers know you care

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, let’s talk customer love with Gwen (our resident Free Agent Ambassador!)

Check out the blog (and vlog below!) – and in the spirit of spreading love, feel free to share with a business who might need a reminder. 😉

Five Ways to Make Sure Your Customers Know They’re Loved

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, let’s talk customer love with Gwen (our resident Free Agent Ambassador!)

Check out the blog below (and vlog!) – and in the spirit of spreading love, feel free to share with a business who might need a reminder. 😉

 


 

If you don’t have customers, you don’t have a business – and it doesn’t take much to lose a customer in 2019. Feeling unappreciated is the number one reason customers switch away from a business.

No matter what your role is on your small business team, customer love is your top priority! And while loyalty programs and fun gifts can work in spurts, it’s way more important to get the basics right and be consistent and reliable in their execution. Don’t wait for a special occasion, like Valentine’s Day or a birthday to let your customers know you care. Build it into your business’ DNA.

Here are five ways to let your customers know you care.
– 

1. Respond right now

When an inquiry is made, acknowledge the receipt of the question right away. 90% of customers today expect an immediate response – and they tell us that “immediate” means within the first 10 minutes! To ensure consistency here, you need automation – with marketing, customer service, or CRM tools, you can personalize auto-responses that let customers know you’re on the case and taking action, and that their inquiry didn’t go into a black hole. Making customers wait, even a little bit, is no longer acceptable.

2. Respond to the actual inquiry

Customers want to know they’ve been heard, and that their question/concern is actually being addressed. Automation is not the right tool here – don’t just send back suggested knowledgebase articles based on keywords in the inquiry. Instead, consider how historical customer data available at your fingertips can provide instant context into the customer – tracked emails and notes can even show you if they’re tech-saavy or usually require more explanation.

3. Tell them what to expect…

Whether it’s a follow-up to a question, timing for delivering a product or letting someone know that you’re running late, be specific in telling your customer what to expect. Even when you’re responding right away (See #1!), let customers know when a live human will be back to them.

4. … And then follow through

One of the best ways to lose business is to say one thing and do another. Customer relationship quality and the reputation of your brand are based in trust. You might want to throw the cliché “under-promise and over-deliver” out the window, but not doing that is a sure-fire way for your customers to feel very unimportant.

5. Check in after the sale

A customer that has made a purchase is the best kind of customer to have. These are your loyal fans and making sure that things went smoothly after the deal is done will ensure your success through referrals, brand trust, and high-value social proof. Engaged customers who feel connected to your business are not only 50% more likely to make more purchases themselves, they’re also 10x more likely to recommend you to friends.

Taco Tuesday: Preview Cards you’ll love at first sight!

Preview Cards you’ll love at first sight!

Plus, introducing a whole new kind of data relationship

FreeAgent CRM Platform Update February 5, 2019

In this update:

6-Part Preview Cards
Icon Library
M2M Relationships


Preview Cards you’ll love at first sight, because they know exactly what matters most to you!

Your data is important. But the same information isn’t equally important to every company. You’re unique! That’s why we launched Configurable Preview Cards in the Aspen Release. This Taco Tuesday, we’re launching enhancements to Preview Cards that makes them WAY more powerful – and a little prettier, too!


A refresher on Configurable Preview Cards:

  • See what matters to you – Each object has its own card configuration so you can decide which fields are most important to your business.
  • Set it and forget it – Your custom Cards show all throughout the application (Rolodex, Board, Related List) but you only have to configure it once.
  • Your team on the same page – Your custom Card configuration is shared with your whole team, making collaboration even more seamless.
  • Don’t forget mobile – Unlike any other CRM, Cards even show on your mobile app with your custom configuration, so it works for you wherever you work.

What’s a Preview Card?

We call it a preview because these cards provide a quick overview of your Detail Card which is complete with segments of data for Filtering, Sorting, and Reporting. This includes data such as Lead Source, Dates, and even quick links to Account and Referral Contacts.

You can include any of FreeAgent’s out-of-the-box fields or your own Custom Fields, so each card is truly unique to your business.

This latest enhancement to Preview Cards brings your most important information front and center while minimizing what’s less important, so your experience stays uncluttered and visually-pleasing (one of your favorite things about FreeAgent CRM!)

Here’s what’s new:

  • All objects will now have the 6 field layout (previously only on Contacts) with the option to select “None” (so you can have 4 or 5 if you prefer)
  • Ability to hide/show the Next Step footprint icon on the card
  • Ability to select an icon from the Icon Library that will be used as a default image for records of that object
    • This replaces the initials that were previously used on records that did not have an image
    • You can still use auto-magic google search to populate an image on any record and it will show instead of the icon
    • Have instant context across Contacts, Accounts, Deals and Custom Tabs


Watch the Video!
Discover the Power of Configurable Preview Cards with Ryan


Want to learn more?

Check out the tutorial:
How can I customize the configuration for the Cards?


M2M Relationships

This Taco Tuesday also introduces a new type of data relationship to FreeAgent CRM.

M2M, or Many-to-Many, is an incredibly powerful relationship type you can now enjoy across the platform with both Standard and Custom objects.

Here’s an example from ZenPPM – a company with a custom object Products. Deals can be related to many Products AND Products can be related to many Deals.

Here’s what that could look like in FreeAgent CRM on the Products and Deals tabs:

Things to Know

An M2M relationship is created between two objects when a field is added of type: Reference – Multi Select.

When this field is added:

  • There will be a Related list on both objects so that you will always know which records are related
  • You’ll always have the ability to select “Manage object_name” in the “Things You Can Do” dropdown

Want to learn more? Check out the tutorial.

What is a Reference – Multi Select Custom Field?


Automatic Activity Roll-Up

By Free Agent request! You asked for the ability to turn off and on the automatic roll-up of activities between the following objects:

  • Leads to Deals
  • Leads to Companies
  • Companies to Deals

You got it! Make changes to your roll-up settings in Settings > Activity Roll Ups

Things to Know

  • Turning activity roll-ups on or off will only impact activities made after the change, and will not update/change any past activities that were already rolled-up

Enjoy!