Introducing Jetpack CRM

Posted on June 10, 2020 by Mike Stott

Grow your business through better contact management

We’re excited to announce Jetpack CRM, a new customer relationship management tool built specifically for WordPress sites. Cultivating rich, ongoing relationships with your customers is now as easy as saving a draft or uploading a photo. 

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Why we don’t have a live demo

Posted on April 23, 2018 by Mike Stott

So, you’ve found out about Jetpack CRM and want to try out the demo, but wait, where’s the live demo of all the extensions? There’s isn’t one.  We’ve been toying with the idea of whether we should run a ‘live demo’ or not and decided not, for a whole raft of reasons.

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Finding the best WooCommerce CRM

Posted on August 16, 2017 by Mike Stott

In this case study we take a detailed look at finding a WooCommerce CRM. It covers the steps that Mike from Epic Plugins and Epic Themes took to find his way to the best CRM for WooCommerce.  Over to Mike and how he settled on using Jetpack CRM for WooCommerce.

Why do I need a WooCommerce CRM

The first thing that I wanted to share was my epiphany. I’ve been selling WordPress plugins and themes for quite some time now. I started using WooCommerce back in 2015 when VATmoss came in for digital product sellers. WooCommerce has loads of useful extensions and it was the obvious choice at the time for an eStore solution.

It was only half way through 2016 though that, by chance, I started a new project. This project was a CRM for WordPress. This was born out of the need for a simple to use CRM which was self hosted and didn’t have spiralling costs. The purpose of the CRM was initially for a “bricks and mortar” business working for clients. So it had the following:-

  • Customers
  • Quotes
  • Invoices
  • Transactions

It was good back then, but it’s moved on massively in the past year.  Through my involvement in the project I’ve helped to shape it into the best CRM for WooCommerce. Through the use of  a select number of extensions, Jetpack CRM powers up your WooCommerce customer data into a easy to use CRM.

Where did I start?

When deciding to take on this project, the first thing I did was have a look at other solutions out there. I personally didn’t use a CRM at this point so I was a bit sceptical that it was needed when I first agreed to work on the development.

Surely there’s CRM solutions already on the market for WooCommerce. There was a plugin on CodeCanyon, but it was very limited in it’s scope. I could call customers, or email them but it didn’t do anything worth paying $55 for. The main thing it did was created WordPress Users out of the WooCommerce orders and tabulate them.

I also had a look at some of the other WordPress plugins out there claiming to be CRMs. None of them had a strong WooCommerce integration at the time. Jetpack CRM comes with an easy to use WooSync extension. It takes less than two minutes to be up and running with Jetpack CRM and WooCommerce when using WooSync.

Finally, there’s the “traditional” software as a service solutions. SalesForce, High Rise, etc. These were too expensive for me. I didn’t want to be paying $20 per user per month, for a ton of features I’d never use.

There was so much I wanted to do with my WooCommerce CRM data and I don’t like logging into different platforms, so I ended up choosing Jetpack CRM for my WooCommerce setup.

What makes a good WooCommerce CRM

Finding a WooCommerce CRM which you want to stick with isn’t easy. I’m lucky in that I can develop Jetpack CRM into the perfect CRM for WooCommerce. It didn’t start off like this though. When I decided to drive the development of the CRM for WooCommerce there was a process I undertook to help make sure it would be the only CRM I’d need.  The main thing was I wanted to look after the customers that had spent money with me.

Look after your woocommerce customers

If you use WooCommerce and you haven’t seen Jetpack CRM in action or haven’t used it yet, here’s the process which helped me to decide on the features needed to make this the best woocommerce crm it could be.

  • It needed to create customer records, but not WordPress users
  • It needed to display which customers had purchased what (a “total value”)
  • It needed to be able to tag transactions with what they had ordered
  • It needed to have the ability for me to email select customers, based on what they had purchased
  • I wanted a “baremetrics style” dashboard for seeing sales progress. Importantly what each customer brought in on average

Having that list, meant I could sell more to my existing customers, and understand what they’ve purchased. For any customers who had purchased one of my products with add ons, I could see whether they’d purchased the add on or not.

If they haven’t purchased the add on, I could send them a tailored email to remind them about it. All great sales tools for an Entrepreneur wanting to increase the value of his business.

What about Lead Generation

This was what I was missing at the time too. I was collecting subscribers to my Mailchimp list, I was sending out broadcasts, I was creating automations. However I wasn’t capturing these leads into my CRM. Also it was really hard to see in Mailchimp and even ConvertKit which I use now, which customers had purchased.

I could use WooCommerce + ConvertKit to tag people who had purchased but it has the following drawbacks

  • I couldn’t see what they’d purchased.
  • I couldn’t see when they made the purchase
  • I couldn’t see their total value.

So I needed to also start capturing LEADS into the CRM and following up with them about my products. Then as I convert more leads to customers I am able to see what tactics work and which tactics do not work.

Why WordPress for a WooCommerce CRM

It’s worth touching on this part too. I wanted to run a CRM which sat alongside my install of WooCommerce. Having a self hosted CRM just works. I can control the features I want to use (through the extensions) and I don’t have to login to another website.

I just login once, and see all my customer and lead information in one place. It makes it so much easier when it comes to making website tweaks. If I have a customer reach out about struggling to do something with a product, or asking an FAQ. I can easily switch to the product and add that FAQ.

I don’t have to log into a different site, it just works. Not to mention self hosting the CRM means I’m not paying per user, per seat for a CRM like SalesForce. I can also be safe in the knowledge that using a WordPress based CRM is going to work well with WooCommerce as it shares the same admin dashboard.

The hidden benefits of Jetpack CRM and WooCommerce

The great thing about using a product like Jetpack CRM is that it evolves over time. The main benefit of using Jetpack CRM with WooCommerce is being able to turn your WooCommerce Orders page from this

Into something like this that has total value, how many transactions and filters by lead or customer as well as tags to be able to filter by the product which has been purchased.

What’s more, is you can then use extensions such as the Mail Campaigns extension to be able to email in bulk certain people who have specific tags.

For example I can email everyone who has purchased the Social Gallery Pro and sell them the add ons. It makes using the WooCommerce data much easier to work with and helps to understand and develop your business going forwards.


Should I use a SaaS based CRM?

Posted on August 12, 2017 by Mike Stott

In this article I want to take a look at whether you should use a SaaS based CRM or whether you should self host. Through putting this article together I’ve reviewed both SaaS providers and other ‘self hosted’ CRM systems that run on WordPress.

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Small Accountancy Business Case Study: Summary

Posted on July 25, 2017 by Mike Stott

In this mini-series of posts we started a few weeks ago, we wanted to show the benefits of a CRM to a small business, and specifically the benefits which Jetpack CRM would bring. For this purpose, we chose a hypothetical accountancy business run by the sole owner and director. We think that such a business is a good example of a company that can be run online, that the person running it would have the required computer skills to operate a basic CRM such as Jetpack and that the nature of the business would benefit from using Jetpack CRM.

We began by describing this accountancy business, showing that its customer relationship management was limited to an Excel spreadsheet containing client contacts and a few other details. There is no problem with using such a method, but as Leen Accountancy’s client base grew over the years, maintaining such a database and also basing communication and the planning of work on it became time consuming and even began losing Miss Leen money in penalties and decreased customer satisfaction.

For this reason, a customer relationship manager was considered appropriate to aid Miss Leen to keep on top of her business. There are different kinds of CRMs, ones which are mostly more efficient contact lists, ones which focus on the chain of communications with customers, and ones which are focused on the contracts and invoicing side of customer relationships. There are then SaaS or self-hosted CRMs, the key difference between the two being the user’s control of the data.

By looking at a few different leads and deals self-hosted CRMs, we concluded that the one best suited to Leen Accountancy’s needs is Jetpack CRM, as it offers a basic package that is free, quick and easy to install and use and it’s secure. A small number of further extensions are offered in pay yearly bundles, but they’re still in keeping with the no-nonsense ethos, still easy to understand and use.

In our fourth post we then went through some the core functions and a few of the extensions and how exactly those could be used by Miss Leen to streamline her customer relationship management. We took some specific examples of tasks a business such as hers would have and showed how Jetpack could make solving them more efficient.

Read back:

#1 – Introduction: Small Accountancy Firm CRM Case Study

#2 – CRM Requirements

#3 – Choosing a CRM

#4 – Learning to Use A CRM

#5 – This post!

 


Small Accountancy Practice Case Study #4: Learning to Use A CRM

Posted on July 18, 2017 by Mike Stott

For our case study, we’ve chosen Jetpack CRM to help this small accountancy business save time, improve customer relationships and, ultimately, boost its profits.

Firstly, Jetpack CRM requires the user to download and install the WordPress platform. Then downloading and installing the CRM on top of it is easy and quick, it takes under five minutes for an average skilled user to get started:

  1. Install the Jetpack CRM plugin
  2. Step quickly through the Welcome Wizard
  3. Add your first customer

The interface is intuitive and there are several videos the developers have created to help the user get started:

Jetpack CRM Walkthrough: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9miPZx_mkPc

Jetpack CRM Adding your first customer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WepIml_wWEM

Jetpack CRM Client Portal in less than 2 minutes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aIAbJhndZE0
So, once Miss Leen has installed the WordPress platform and the Jetpack CRM using the Welcome Wizard, she can go straight in and from the start she can add and manage customers, quotes and invoices, which will save her a lot of time in the future.

Having all her client information stored in an Excel spreadsheet however, she would save even more time setting up the database, by importing this data straight into the CRM. This is where the CSV Importer comes in handy:

This will also allow the download of client data from the CRM into a csv file.

Another way of getting the client data uploaded automatically and from then on kept up to date, is through the PayPal Sync. This extension updates regularly by checking PayPal transactions. This is a very useful tool for retail businesses especially, as the number of new and/or unique customers can be quite high, even more so when several types of products are sold to the public. In the case of Leen Accountancy, the initial input of client data can be efficiently done through the CSV Importer, and thereafter kept up to date with the PayPal Sync tool, as all of her clients use this method to pay her.

So, having set up the client data base and selected the method for regularly updating it, she’s almost ready to go. Next, a very useful way of managing the customer data is to enter notes and assign tags to each customer. This may be a job that can take a whole Friday morning, but in the long run will save Miss Leen time and energy searching and organizing the communication with her clients.

For example, she can go into the record for the client named Thomas Dawson, and assign the following tags, which are user defined: ‘Solo’ (as in sole owner and director), ‘PersTax’ (prepare and file personal tax return for the owner/director), ‘CorpTax’ (prepare and file corporation tax for the company), ‘AGM & BoD’ (prepare AGM and Board of Directors meeting agendas), ‘AA filing’ (annual accounts filing) and so on.

This then allows Miss Leen to later search through the database for specific information, depending on her communication or work planning needs. Say it’s September and she wants to check which clients with a 31st December annual accounts deadline haven’t sent her their documents through. She can go to Customers à Search and on the right hand pane there’s the list of assigned tags, she can click on ‘AA 3112’. On the left hand pane she will then get a list of all the customers which have a 31st December annual accounts filing date.

Furthermore, she can add notes to each client’s record in the CRM, such as ‘directors on business trips Jan – Mar’, ‘accelerated depreciation method’, ‘rent expense 30%’ and so on.

Let’s say the annual accounts for one of Leen Accountancy’s clients have just been signed and filed. Miss Leen needs now to prepare an invoice to the customer. This can now be easily done in the Jetpack CRM, by going to Invoices àAdd New and add all the details, as previously done in Word, except that the Jetpack CRM template already stores the logo, allows the selection of the client’s name from a drop down list and also generates a unique sequential invoice number automatically. This invoice is automatically assigned to the customer record, so that in the Manage Customers view, Miss Leen can have an up to date view of the invoicing process.

What’s more, with a client portal, once invoices have been created, her clients are also able to view them using their client logins, and initiate payments. Quick, easy and transparent. Which takes us back to Leen Accountancy’s core values. Once set up, customer management is streamlined, lean and transparent. It is also secure, being hosted on the user’s own server.

Now, for her own cash flow management and business planning, Miss Leen would like to see some basic sales analytics, to help her assess her performance on an ongoing basis, without having to spend time updating spreadsheets and building charts every time. Jetpack CRM offers just the solution for this, the Sales Dashboard extension, which is a very simple analytics tool, showing metrics such as Revenue, Net Revenue, Revenue Per Customer and Total Customers in a given period and comparatives. The period is customizable and the data is live. So, Miss Leen could really benefit from this extension:

  • She can assess the seasonality of her business
  • She can work out how much each client earns her on average
  • She can assess her marketing needs, based on revenue and number of new customers
  • She can use the revenue figure to try and assess the amount of dividends or director’s salary she can take in the year.

By using all of these features of the customer relationship manager, Miss Leen can have a clear, up to date view of the interactions with her clients, each client’s specifics, she can more easily and thoroughly organize her work, her cash flow needs and estimate the profitability of her business at any point, through a few clicks. This will save her time doing admin work, which will leave more space to do her accounting jobs more thoroughly and on time, avoiding potential penalties for late filing. It will help improve relationships with her customers, which could lead to her getting more work out of each client. She can also much easier assess the overall and per client profitability, meaning she can focus her efforts better and further increase performance.

What’s great about Jetpack CRM is that as it’s ideal for solo entrepreneurs and small online businesses, it’s set up to suit the skills of average users and it can be installed and learned very quickly. Its core functions are suited to a starting business and then there are a few extensions that are sold in bundles. It’s all designed to be lean, practical and time saving. No countless hours working out what all the options do, risking data duplication, and actually not being cost effective. Jetpack CRM does what it says.

So, this post has dealt with the basic features of Jetpack CRM and a few of its extensions and how those could be used by our hypothetical small accountancy business, Leen Accountancy, to save time, streamline and improve customer relationship management and boost profits.

Read our last post in this mini-series: #5 – Small Accountancy Business Case Study: Summary


Small Accountancy Business Case Study #3: Choosing a CRM

Posted on July 11, 2017 by Mike Stott

Last week we looked at Leen Accountancy, a small business run by its solo entrepreneur, Miss Leen, which moved to operating mostly online and seeing its customer base increase to the level where traditional management in Excel and Word added more work and so time management became critical.

Miss Lee is now looking for a simple customer relationship manager to organize her clients’ information and interactions, deadlines, together with quotes, invoices and a basic sales analytics tool to work out a rough measure of profitability in her growing business.

A CRM, or a customer relationship management tool, centralizes customer information at the least, and at the most it offers sales team management options and even call centre and e-mail integration options. It can be a contacts CRM, such as Google Contacts, a conversations CRM, such as SalesForceIQ, or a leads and deals tool, such as Jetpack CRM.

We made a list of requirements in our previous post. It seems that Leen Accountancy needs a leads and deals tool that offers basic features, is quick and easy to use and install and saves time, the over-arching requirement being that of security and confidentiality of client data. With hundreds of business contacts’ information, figures not publicly available and details of operations to manage, a key criterion in choosing the right CRM is control over data security.

Self-hosted CRMs run on users’ servers giving them full control of their data, as opposed to web-based tools, which, while they’re easy to access anywhere there’s an Internet connection, are based on the provider’s server, subject to their control of security, meaning that any large scale breaches can result in loss of data, or the passing of data to third parties. This can mean the end of an accountancy business and a disqualification of its director!

So what are a some of the self hosted CRMs out there?

  1. Oracle CRM:
  • Suited for businesses of any size
  • Offers importing of .csv, .txt and .xls files
  • Offers business analytics
  • Offers an e-mail campaign option
  • As extra features, it offers agreement management and call centre optimization, amongst others
  • Is on the pricey side

 

  1. Sage CRM:
  • Suited for small and medium sized businesses
  • Offers importing of .csv, .txt and .xls files
  • Offers an e-mail campaign option
  • As extra features, it offers relationship management graphs and customizable graphical workflow, amongst others
  • Is on the pricey side

 

  1. On Contact CRM:
  • Suited for small and medium sized businesses
  • Offers importing of .csv and .xls files
  • Offers business analytics
  • As extra features, it offers marketing automation and links to social networks, amongst others
  • Is on the affordable side

 

  1. Jetpack CRM:
  • Suited for small businesses
  • Hosted on WordPress, an easy to install platform
  • As basic features, it offers customer, quote and invoice management
  • Sales analytics, data importing, PayPal Sync and WooCommerce Sync come as extras, packaged in bundles, such as the Freelancer Bundle, designed to suit the needs of entrepreneurs
  • With the core function free, and the bundles on a pay yearly tariff regardless of the number of users, is on the affordable side

Having looked at what these CRMs have on offer, we decided that Jetpack CRM is exactly what Leen Accountancy needs at this stage in the business cycle. It can go for the Freelancer Bundle, which offers a choice of three extra features plus a choice of sync option, 12 months’ support and updates at a reasonable price.

Next, we’ll see how exactly Leen Accountancy can use Jetpack CRM to boost its profits and save time:

Read on: #4 – Small Accountancy Business Case Study: Learning to use a CRM


Jetpack CRM vs Spreadsheets

Posted on July 07, 2017 by Mike Stott

In this post I talk about Jetpack CRM vs Spreadsheets. If you’re a small business, or even a solo-entrepreneur then you might be happy to keep doing things using spreadsheets.

While there’s less friction sticking with spreadsheet (staying still, doesn’t require any effort) I’m here to tell you, quite frankly, that you should move to using an online solution, and why you should use Jetpack CRM

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