To start off with email marketing and how it’s important is so yesterday. The fact that we’re still talking about it makes the point very clear.
“Email is here to stay”
With that out of the way, now we can get to answering the real question. What’s that one tool that can give you the competitive edge when it comes to email marketing success?
That answer, to be 100% accurate, depends on a lot of factors. The one thing we can say for certain is that you’ll need a system that manages your email marketing, automates tedious processes, and shows you the big picture.
You need an email marketing automation solution.
In the magical realm of WordPress, this is possible with a simple plugin. This post is to introduce you to a versatile and efficient email marketing automation plugin called FluentCRM.
FluentCRM is unique among the other email automation plugins, hosting cutting-edge features and reliable functioning.
So, without taking any more of your time, let’s dive into the details!
Table of Contents
Email marketing seems easy on paper. Add a few hundred contacts in the mix and things get tangled up real fast. Email automation has been around long enough, but to make it viable for small and upcoming businesses there had to be something more affordable and elegant.
FluentCRM became that elegant answer for WordPress users when they put together a self-hosted email marketing automation system inside a WordPress plugin.
While all other plugins took the path to exclusive services locked behind paywalls, FluentCRM offers a single-purchase solution that’s affordable no matter how big or small the business.
Offering a beginner-friendly interface and multitudes of real-life applications, FluentCRM changed the way we think about email automation.
The plugin has the ability to give any business a giant advantage, especially if it’s a small business right on the verge of expanding email marketing. Going on 6000+ active installations, FluentCRM got a warm reception from the WordPress community very early on.
The premium package gives you access to the full arsenal of features that can reduce your workload drastically. All you need to do is learn a bit about the plugin, which is also made easy with detailed documentations and tutorials.
FluentCRM Free version
The free version is available on WordPress.org, which currently has 6k+ active installations.
Whereas Campaign Monitor doesn’t offer a free version and Active Campaign doesn’t allow you to see contacts in their free installation, FluentCRM has no such restrictions.
FluentCRM’s dashboard is a refreshing sight for any email marketer. Apart from being easy to navigate, the dashboard also displays some KPI metrics.
In the Quick Overview section you get the number of contacts, number of emails sent, and the number of active campaigns. You also get quick links to navigate across the features inside FluentCRM.
Some might even consider it one of the cleanest dashboard among all email automation plugins.
FluentCRM stores contacts as individual profiles. Each contact profile contains in-built fields where you can easily manage all their data.
You've got all the basic contact info along with tags & lists, FluentCRM uses these to sort out contacts. You can view a history of emails they have gotten as well as any sequences or automations they're on through the Emails tab.
FluentCRM also has a notes section where you can add custom notes to each profile. Notes can be anything such as a note, call, email, meeting, etc. letting you keep a nice running history of interactions with a contact (much like a CRM).
There’s more! You can add your own custom fields to contacts. FluentCRM takes it a step further by allowing different field types, such as text, numeric, dropdowns, radio buttons, checkboxes.
For each contact, you can set the type to either customer or lead. Each contact also has a status assigned such as subscribed, unsubscribed, bounced, etc.
All in all, it is very clean and is simpler than most other plugins like Drip.
Lists & Tags
The way FluentCRM manages these things is pretty similar to other tools.
Lists: FluentCRM sorts contacts based by adding them to specific lists. Many people will have just one list, but you can have as many as it makes sense.
Tags: Pretty self-explanatory. Add tags to contacts and sort based on them. Automation funnels let you add these automatically. More on that in a bit.
Dynamic Segments: This is a premium feature in FluentCRM which helps you create list segments based on various conditions and save them as dynamic segments. This means people will be added/removed from this segment automatically if they fit in the criteria.
Sending Emails And Campaigns
Anytime you send an email to your list with FluentCRM, it is called an “Email Campaign”. Basically, you have the following:
Campaigns: To send out emails campaigns, bulk emails or email blasts.
Email Sequences: Email series to auto-send emails based on a predefined schedule. This feature is limited to the pro version users only.
Email Templates: For crafting emails and saving reusable email templates.
You set up a campaign by giving it a name and then launch into the setup interface. The 4 phases to complete setup are:
Compose: For writing you email copy and designing the email using the Gutenburg editor.
Subject & Settings: Add a subject line for the email, pre-header (optional), etc.
Recipients: Choose the contacts to send emails to.
Review & Send: For reviewing and testing out emails and the campaign details.
Designing and editing your email is pretty simple with FluentCRM. A Block editor basically makes editing your email as easy as editing a blog post.
If you want to code your email using HTML, that's also possible. If you want a simple classic editor, just use the “Classic Editor”. The point is… styling your email won’t be a problem.
FluentCRM now has a conditional block where you can show/hide text in the email based on tags.
Opt-In Forms & Integrations
Whether it’s for growing your contacts list or collecting information from your customers you need forms plugins. This is why FluentCRM comes with a default integration with their own WP Fluent Forms.
If you visit the Forms screen without it having a form plugin installed, you’ll be prompted to activate WP Fluent Forms. You will get the free version automatically, although going WP Fluent Forms Pro is a good decision in its own right.
As far as using other form plugins goes, Elementor Forms is the only alternative for now. If you don’t want to use either, there is a geeky workaround using webhooks. FluentCRM does have the ability to accept incoming webhooks and add new subscribers that way. Technically, this means you can integrate with anything that will ping a webhook.
However, apart from form plugins, FluentCRM makes up for it many times over with other integrations.
FluentCRM integrates with almost all of the popular eCommerce and website management plugins. It’s very clear that these integrations were designed with small and medium businesses in mind. And we love that!
Here are the integrations available in FluentCRM:
The fact that plugins such as WP Fusion and Uncanny Automator work with it only broadens the scope for this plugin. FluentCRM is very promising, especially after the 2.0 release.
FluentCRM's automation work based on triggers such as a new WordPress user registration, CRM actions (add/remove, tags or lists), opt-in form submission, and integration-based triggers. WooCommerce triggers, LifterLMS triggers, MemberPress triggers are among the most popular integration-based triggers that eCommerce business owners would love to play around with!
The automation works on Actions, Benchmarks, and Conditionals. Benchmarks are goals or commands which you can put into the middle of automation and when that trigger happens, the person will jump down to that point in the automation. Actions on the other hand will execute simple commands. Lastly, conditional blocks will allow you to create branches in your automation for complex tasks. This means you can run automotive tasks based on whether a condition matches or not.
FluentCRM Pro and Pricing
FluentCRM free offers some powerful features with limited capabilities. As your business scales, you may require advanced features to automate more efficiently.
That's where the pro version comes to the rescue with cutting-edge functionalities like Dynamic segmentation, and conditional automation.
FluentCRM has pricing plans based on the number of sites. All plans function annually. For a single website's yearly license, you’ll pay $129, while 5 sites will cost $249.
Let’s take a quick look at what advanced features you’re going to get that are right out of the box:
FluentCRM Pro lets you automatically segment your contacts with custom conditions. The automation is real-time updating instantly when a contact fulfills a condition. Instead of giving you a few hand-picked algorithms to use, you get to create your own flow charts for segmenting your contacts.
All of these segments can then be used to drive email campaigns and sequences. So you can target your audience with unprecedented accuracy.
What makes Dynamic Segmenting so great is that it lets you automatically filter by unique properties.
The other pro feature is the Email sequence. Much like the Campaigns, you can drive email sequences through lists and tags. However, email sequences let you design specific paths into email automation.
You can use and reuse stored templates or create new templates from scratch to send in your sequences. FluentCRM’s email sequence makes it a true email automation plugin. Combining Dynamic segments with email sequences, you can send customized emails to the most relevant contacts.
It always feels great to see hard-working people build on their own work to provide a sophisticated product for their users. The team at FluentCRM has done exactly that in their 2.0 release. To make the best use of FluentCRM’s powerful automation funnels, now you can use conditional logic.
Using FluentCRM for eCommerce businesses has become an exciting experience for sure. But is it as good as it seems?
Well, we tried out some extensive automation funnels, and here's a nifty one:
This is a simple WooCommerce cross-selling funnel that can generate thousands of cross-sell revenue and give your business a nice conversion boost. The introduction of multipath conditional automation has made this really easy to execute. Hence, this upgrade to FluentCRM is incredibly powerful!
Cons of FluentCRM
As an email marketing automation plugin exclusively tailored for WordPress, FluentCRM is a wonderful plugin. It’s one of a kind plugin that can only improve with time. What it lacks is a bit of additional CRM functionalities. For example, support system integrations, chat integrations, etc. aren’t available yet. However, the way their team is coming up with more features every week only means that FluentCRM is only a few weeks behind in getting these feature updates.
FluentCRM is a prolific WordPress plugin considering how fast the community accepted it and how their team is dishing out updates. While it might still have a long way to go, FluentCRM is progressing fast.
You can choose the free or pro version according to your business needs. Keep in mind that with FluentCRM you get all the features with any package. The various packages only change the number of sites you can use it on.
With FluentCRMs, it’s plain and simple. Get everything, be it for 1 or for 50 sites!
There’s no question FluentCRM creates a unique value proposition compared to the rest of the plugin marketplace. Self-hosting email campaigns is a whole new type of control for businesses powered by WordPress and FluentCRM makes it seamless. We'll just end on you don't wanna miss this!