New extension for WordPress FluentCRM enriches the website with a very interesting tool for automating email marketing, as well as the basic functionality of the CRM system. The question is whether it is worth using this tool and what benefits does it bring? We will try to answer these questions.

Email MarketingIt is a communication channel without which it is difficult to imagine an efficient online business today. It's not just a tool for sending mass messages, but the key here is the automation processes, thanks to which we are able to implement our own communication strategies by sending specific content to specific groups of recipients or even individual messages.

Let's take a simple example. Person X has just made a purchase on your webshop. As standard when it comes to WooCommerce will receive emails with a summary of their order and little else. However, by using email marketing automation, you can respond a little differently.

You could send that person a personalised thank-you note, or even based on which product was purchased launch a sequence of emails (sent e.g. weekly) with tips on how to get the most out of the product purchased.

What for? If you give your customer an extra benefit, he or she will appreciate it, your relationship will become warmer and he or she will be more satisfied with the product. As a result, he will not only remember your shop, but also recommend it more willingly and is more likely to return for more.

Email marketing automation tools

The huge number of such solutions is the result of marketers' demand resulting from the enormous effectiveness of this communication channel.

On the market you will find solutions available in a service model such as: MailChimp, MailerLite, GetResponse, Automizy, Active Campaign, Drip.... and dozens of similar ones.

These are tools that are independent of your website and often offer incredible opportunities in the field of automation, and not just email. When properly integrated with your website, they are able to respond in countless ways. Take a look at the article "Email Marketing" to learn more about this communication channel and some recommended tools.

There are also solutions that you can install directly on your website. They may not offer as wide a range of possibilities as external systems (although this is slowly changing) but they have a few undeniable advantages, which I will mention later.

A novelty that has recently appeared on the market of extensions for WordPress is FluentCRM.

FluentCRM

FluentCRMis a plugin for WordPress developed by the team working on such popular plugins as WP Fluent Forms whether Ninja Tables.

On the one hand, it is a CRM system and on the other hand, an email marketing system with which you can not only send classic email campaigns, but also implement an automation strategy by integrating with many top WordPress plug-ins.

Below is a video I made shortly after the plug-in appeared.

Advantages of FluentCRM

I'm leaving aside the topic of email marketing automation itself, because here the benefits are obvious. However, FluentCRM as a WordPress plugin brings many other benefits, example:

Cost optimisation

This is primarily about the costs you may otherwise incur when using external tools. Even if you start out working with free plans from services like MailChimp, MailerLite, Moosend and others, sooner or later the costs will start to come in.

In the vast majority, the billing model operates on the number of active subscribers. Which, as in the case of Moosend and monthly payments, can look like this, for example:

Cost of Email Marketing with 50,000 subscribers

The larger the base, the greater the expenditure:

Cost of Email Marketing with 100,000 subscribers

Yes, with such a large customer base and well-run marketing activities, the costs of maintaining the tool will certainly be more than recouped, but you can optimise these costs by choosing FluentCRM.

The cost of a FluentCRM license is unknown to me at this time. Currently, due to the launch of the product, there is only a Lifetime offer available at $99, which will likely change soon and jump to $499. Keep in mind, however, that this is a one-time fee and not a monthly fee.

Once the promotional campaign is over there will probably be subscription billing models, perhaps at $199 per year. So if we assume our base is 50,000 subscribers, the comparison to the Moosend example above on an annual basis would look like this:

  • Annual charges for Moosend: USD 2 460
  • Annual fees for FluentCRM: USD 199

Unlimited number of subscribers and e-mails sent

You install FluentCRM on your own WordPress site, which is hosted on your hosting account. This means that you can store as many subscribers as you want in your audience database. It does not matter whether it is 1,000 or 100,000, the licence price will not change.

The same applies to the number of messages sent. Some external tools limit the number of emails sent in addition to the number of subscribers. In FluentCRM this type of limitation does not exist.

Easy integration with popular WordPress plugins

The undoubted advantage of FluentCRM is that it is part of our site environment, so it has access to resources that external tools cannot access. This makes integration with WordPress itself, but also with other plugins, more complete and effective.

At the moment, the built-in integrations are as follows:

FluentCRM - Integrations with plugins
integration2

However, this is not all. If we care about integration with other tools, we can easily use integrators:

integration3

Full compliance with RODO

When using external email marketing tools, you need to be aware that you are sending your subscribers' and customers' data out. Sometimes it's just email and first name, sometimes it's more data such as full contact details, information about purchases made etc.

Yes, it's not a terrible thing if you use a good, security-conscious provider, but as you may know, even giants like Google and Facebook leak data.

With FluentCRM your subscriber and customer data remains in one place and you have full control over it.

Disadvantages of FluentCRM

Everything we use has advantages and disadvantages. I have not yet come across a tool that I could say was "perfect", even if it was a tailor-made application. You always have to make smaller or bigger compromises and analyse what is beneficial for you and your business.

Potential conflicts

WordPress is the base on which you create your project based on your own needs. As such you install a variety of plugins, which in turn generates an often very unique environment. So there is always a risk that FluentCRM may be disrupted by one or other extension and you will need to contact the developer to help eliminate the problem.

SMTP

The rule is simple. Don't do email marketing by sending emails directly from your own mail server.

Firstly, such messages have a greater chance of ending up in spam (as a result, a lower open rate), secondly, if you manage your mailing list incompetently, you may end up on blacklists of spamming servers, thirdly, your hosting may block mass mailings, and even block access to the service altogether if you start to overload the technical infrastructure of the operator in relation to the service you have.

You need to use external SMTP providers specifically dedicated to email marketing. These are not a large cost, but require additional configuration.

Burden on the party

Although the creators strongly emphasise that their plug-in does not have any impact on performance, you cannot quite agree with this. The more we expand the automation processes and the more they take place, the loads will inevitably increase as well. WordPress will have more and more work to do, and you don't need any analysis to find that out.

However, you should be aware that intensive use of FluentCRM may ultimately require at least a VPS server.

Summary

FluentCRM is an extremely promising plugin. The capabilities that we can find in it already at the start suggest that the extension may soon become one of the top email marketing automation plugins for sites running on WordPress. Whether this will happen time will tell. Nonetheless, we are seeing very intensive development work. In fact, since the publication of the first release of the plugin, every few days there are updates bringing more news, fixes and improvements.

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