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”.

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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.

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. 😉

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!

 

Suggested Contacts is your intuitive contact-list based on actual relationships

Suggested Contacts is your intuitive contact-list based on actual relationships

Easily and effortlessly keep your inbox in sync and your contacts up to date

FreeAgent CRM Platform Update January 22, 2019

In this update:

Suggested Contacts
Select All Bulk Actions


We’re super fired up to announce our latest feature which not only makes it even easier to get started in FreeAgent, it also helps you easily and effortlessly keep your inbox in sync with your CRM, and ensures important contacts aren’t slipping through the cracks.

“Traditional CRM’s get out of date very quickly. They become dependent on labor-intensive manual intervention, or they require you to leave the CRM entirely – disrupting your workflow to use email or plugins separately. This makes them not much better than Excel as a tool for small business.

As a productivity platform that’s way more than just sales pipeline management, FreeAgent acts as an integrated central hub for front office and external facing interactions such as calls, emails, meetings and more.

That’s why we’re so excited about our newest feature: Suggested Contacts. It works by intuitively generating a list of contacts based on actual relationships not dependent on existing email contacts (because if you’re anything like 90% of us, you don’t actually create contacts manually anymore in your email either).” – Ryan Manning, Chief Strategy Officer at FreeAgent CRM


What is Suggested Contacts?

Suggested Contacts is 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.  It gives you the option to immediately and effortlessly create a contact in FreeAgent by selecting just the one suggested contact, or you can rapidly select and add many at a time.

Don’t worry! Your list is completely personal to your account and is not shared with your team. In fact, Suggested Contacts is a great way to get an overview of contacts in FreeAgent, so you always know what’s being tracked (“In FreeAgent”) what’s not being tracked (“Not In FreeAgent”) and you can easily choose with 1-click which contacts FreeAgent CRM ignores.

Why it’s better than email plugins
1. You never have to leave your CRM
2. Doesn’t matter what your email provider is, even IMAP
3. If you have multiple emails paired, it combines them together in a unified Suggested Contacts list

Pro Tip

Combine Suggested Contacts with Saved Views to keep your inbox and FreeAgent in sync

What’s Ryan’s favorite saved view?

“I like to Filter ‘Not in FreeAgent’ and sort by Last Inbound Email to find the most relevant contacts quickly.

Also, sorting by outbound emails makes it easy to rule out spam.”

Things to Know

  • See and sort by key analytics (Total # of Emails, Last Inbound Email, etc.)
  • Create new contacts with a single click
  • Quickly filter, sort, and search to find the right contacts to bring into FA
  • “Ignore” any contacts you don’t want tracked in FreeAgent
  • Works with and combines multiple paired email addresses

Want to learn more? Check out the tutorial.

How to use Suggested Contacts in FreeAgent CRM


Select All Bulk Actions

It’s been a month since your big networking event and you want to update the lead status of all of the prospects you met there. No problem!

Bulk Edit has always been a powerful feature. Now with Select All, you can filter, select (Select ALL), and edit even easier. Here’s how it works:

  • Clicking the top checkbox in the list view will first select 50 records (or up to the amount listed)
  • An additional option will show to Select All records (FreeAgent will always obey filters with Select All)
  • Bulk Edit all records selected (unlimited) – Boom!

Things to Know

Bulk Actions have the following limits:

  • Edit – Unlimited
  • Delete – Unlimited
  • Email – 50 Records
  • Merge – 10 Records

 

Changing the M in CRM

If you’re reading this, you probably already know that CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management; and that a CRM is a system that supposedly manages your contacts and sales cycle.

But in a world of social media where customer relationships die as quickly as they’re started, do customers want to be “managed?” And do customers really want to be managed by a “system,” a robot so-to-speak?

I think not!

Customer relationships actually matter. Feeling unappreciated is the number one reason customers switch away from products and services, and as any successful business owner can tell you, as business expands, time seems to contract.

Customers don’t need to be managed… but time, now that’s another story.

As business grows, there’s a lot less:

  • Time for follow-ups
  • Time spent with customers
  • Time to train employees
  • Time for product improvements
  • Time to answer emails

Holy crap… It’s a wonder you ever have any time to sleep!

If you’re pressed for time, can a CRM help?

In a word, YES! Technology is not a be-all/end-all (like some people may have you believe), but automation can definitely help enhance customer relationships. And one of the biggest ways it does this? By freeing your time to focus on what matters most: your customers.

Automation is not a robot

You may be thinking: But the reason I’m successful is because I give everyone a personal touch. They want to do business with ME. But when you’re busy, then what? Emails fall behind, or even worse, get written hastily, without care.

But what if your customers receive a personalized email, at exactly the right time – without you having to remember? AND without you having to repeat the same task every single time, for every single customer? What if you could look down a to-do list with all your follow-ups in one place and never miss a beat?

A CRM that truly fits your business can be easily set up with your personal touch, your voice, your language, and your schedule. Handling business in a timely manner is about as personal as it gets and automation can help you get there.

Data is not your enemy

You might think that tracking every little thing might be a burden, but what if you didn’t have to do anything differently? What if you just did your job and all your communications were logged and filed; and when you wanted, you could just go to a dashboard and see what was happening at any point in time?

An easy-to-use CRM system can do this for you. Look for a CRM that integrates with the tools and services that you’re already using. You know how to do business and a good CRM fits into the way you’re already working. Spend time on cultivating relationships, and leave managing data to your CRM.

Two heads are better than one… until they’re not

Wouldn’t it be nice if everyone could just know what everyone else was doing with customers, so you didn’t have to explain every single thing to every single person? And when there are 30 balls in the air, anyone can grab one and run with it?

A good CRM can make this happen. A CRM that can be simply set up to map to how you do business makes collaboration a way of life, or better put, a way of work. Once you have collaboration running smoothly, you’ll wonder how you managed before.

But my employees won’t use it

If my boss came to me and showed me how my job would be more efficient by following a few simple steps (and maybe if she gave me cookies!), I’m pretty sure I’d get on board pretty quickly!

A CRM platform that is easy to set up and simple to use makes everybody happy. Remember: a good CRM fits into the way you’re already working. (See above!) Productivity goes up without any extra effort; who wouldn’t be happy with that?

So sit down and take a breath

You have time… you deserve it!

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.