FluentCRM Review: Email Marketing automation and CRM for WordPress
Got a WordPress website or eCommerce business that you want to grow? Then you’re probably done exploring SEO, SMM, Youtube marketing, and other marketing channels. But one channel stands apart from all, email marketing.
Because it helps create such a personal touch, every internet marketer depends on email marketing! And to no one’s surprise, this incredible channel repays the faith with a handsome $38 return over a $1 investment(ROI).
However, most email marketing solutions are somewhat complicated and expensive. And it gets more complicated if you depend on your website for generating leads. You have to set up a handful of stuff on your website to get the data, and then you need to set up your application to get the data working for you.
But if you’ve built your site with WordPress, we have good news for you. There’s a new CRM solution that could answer all these complications that usually occur while using a third-party application.
FluentCRM is developed by WPManageNinja, the team behind one of the best form builder plugins ever made for WordPress- WP Fluent Forms. FluentCRM is a plugin that stays on your website, works in the backend, and helps you improve customer relations through email marketing; without slowing down your website a bit!
So without further ado, let’s find out what it’s all about!
What is FluentCRM?
The concept of CRM isn’t a new one. The use of CRM software is very common in businesses both online and offline. There are enterprise CRMs like Salesforce that provide an all-in-one solution for larger organizations. On the other hand, smaller and medium organizations choose more affordable solutions like ZOHO, Hubspot, or the newborn FluentCRM.
Although the definitions differ, CRM solutions offer personalized tools for communication, sales management, data organization, document management, etc. And to save time and tie things together, CRM software also includes automation tools, reporting, and analytics. The basic features of most CRM solutions are:
- Capturing leads
- Lead segmentation
- Contact Profiling
- Email marketing
- Process automation
- Analytics and Reporting
So how does FluentCRM relate to all these?
FluentCRM is a self-hosted customer relationship management plugin for WordPress websites with email marketing automation facilities. It lives inside your WordPress dashboard and centralizes data you already have in your website. This plugin has several integrations that tie your customers, e-learning prospects and students, affiliates, and members’ data together to show a complete contact database.
With FluentCRM, you can create forms, use the integration triggers or connect webhooks to collect leads (via apps like Zapier, Integromat, Pabbly, etc.), segment your contact database, send out campaigns or a sequence of emails. To tie these things together, FluentCRM lets you set up email marketing automation to grow, nurture, and turn your leads into paying customers; or customers into recurring loyal customers. You can download the plugin for free from the WordPress plugin repository.
Let’s find out how it works!
Setting up FluentCRM
Once you have installed and activated FluentCRM, it welcomes you with a simple on-boarding process. The plugin needs basic information like your business name, address, and logo to get you started.
Later, it asks whether you want to add a list and tag for segmentation. You might want to create a list named “Leads” and tag them with a “Subscriber” tag. This means whoever is on your list is a lead and an email subscriber. Once done, the plugin asks whether you want to become one of their subscribers to get new marketing tips and tricks (Optional).
Once you’ve gone through the onboarding process, you’ll get a dashboard showing options such as the number of lists, contacts, campaigns, email templates, and sent emails. You can also see quick links and subscriber growth. Note that, we set up the plugin in a freshly installed demo environment, all the parameters are showing 0 here.
But you won’t want them to be empty, right? Well, we will show you how to import or connect your existing leads and contacts to FluentCRM. For demonstration purposes, let’s go through how you can set up a fresh lead capturing mechanism.
To set up the CRM in a fresh domain,, you’d want to set up your From name and From Address by accessing FluentCRM’s Global Settings. To do that, you can click the Settings from quick links or menu and switch to the Email Settings tab
You can also set your Reply-To Name, Reply-To Address, Maximum Email Sending Limit, etc., in this window.
That’s it. If you have SMTP set up for mailing, FluentCRM will be fully configured for email marketing.
Leads are the most valuable resources for effectively using CRM and maximizing your growth. So you’d want to capture new leads or import your existing ones after setting up FluentCRM.
FluentCRM provides you with several ways to capture or import leads. It can capture leads submitted via forms or automatically create contact profiles when a new user signs up or comments under your blog posts. You can also import leads via CSV files if you already have one.
Creating a form
Creating a form is nothing new if you were using WordPress for long enough. The problem often lies within connecting it with your CRM tools. However, being the developers of Fluent Forms, WPManageNinja has managed to pull off a deep integration between FluentCRM and Fluent Forms, giving the users greater control over the forms they will create.
You might have noticed a button to activate the Fluent Forms integration within the FluentCRM dashboard. It is basically asking you to install Fluent Forms to create forms.
Once you click the button, Fluent Forms will be automatically installed and integrated with FluentCRM. To create a form, switch to the Forms from the menu bar and select Create a New Form.
You can select a form from three pre-built form templates (which you can customize later) and assign them to your desired list and tags. Whenever a form is submitted, this will add the subscribers to the list and tag you have specified.
FluentCRM’s forms come with a double opt-in connection. You can decide to enable or disable this feature. We recommend using the feature to decrease spam submissions and build a genuine subscriber base.
Once you’ve created the form, you can preview or customize it by clicking the Actions button. Fluent Forms works with shortcodes. So you can just take the shortcode of your form and paste it anywhere on your website to generate leads.
It doesn’t necessarily mean that FluentCRM can only be connected with Fluent Forms. If you are using some other form plugins on your website, you will be able to connect them with FluentCRM and automate your lead capture. Here goes an example of how you can connect your forms with FluentCRM in case you are using Gravity Forms.
Creating leads from new user signups/comments
We like that FluentCRM allows creating contact profiles when someone joins the website as a user or comments under blog posts. You can do this by going to FluentCRM Settings>General Settings and enabling new contact creation when these events happen. You also need to specify on which list and tags these contacts belong to.
It’s truly an excellent feature because whoever joins as a user or comments under blog posts will probably be interested in receiving news and updates from you too.
Importing Existing Leads
Besides acquiring new subscribers via form submissions or adding WordPress users and commenters to your mailing list, you can also import your existing email list to FluentCRM via CSV file. This is an easy onboarding process if you were already building a list and do not want to start over.
In order to import leads, simply head over to FluentCRM’s Contact screen from the menu bar and click Import.
This will open a new window asking whether to import leads from WordPress users or CSV files. You can simply drag-and-drop your file or click and upload it. Once uploaded, you need to map the data, such as assigning the correct rows for email address, name, country, etc. fields. As always, you need to specify which list and tags these contacts should belong to.
While importing leads via CSV files, you can set subscriber status. FluentCRM has five types of contact statuses, which are:
- Subscribed (Users who have confirmed their subscription via double opt-in)
- Pending (Users who need to confirm their subscription)
- Unsubscribed (Users who have unsubscribed from receiving emails)
- Bounced (Bounced emails addresses)
- Complained (If the recipient’s mail server receives a double opt-in email but the server’s API rejects the email delivery)
If you send emails from a recognized email address, you’d want to set the imported contact’s status to Subscribed. However, it is recommended to set pending status if you’re going to resend a double opt-in confirmation.
Viewing contact profiles
Every CRM system has to come up with detailed contact profiling or similar features. It helps the user understand the lead’s journey with the associated organization.
Once you have captured or imported a few leads, FluentCRM can show a complete contact profile by centralizing their data. You can see your lead’s general information, email history, form submissions, and keep logs to keep track of your lead.
You need a robust segmentation system to manage leads effectively. FluentCRM allows you to segment via Lists and Tags.
Think of lists as a group of your leads and tags as an indicator of your lead’s activity.
Let’s say your WordPress site aims to become a valuable web-resource for traveling. While some people would be interested in reading the travel experiences, some of them would also be interested in sharing them. You can ask the readers to join as a subscriber, so that you can send out weekly newsletters to them. And when someone wants to become a writer, you can give him a tag to differentiate between your subscribers and writers. This helps you manage your contact lists better and understand their journey with your site at a glance.
Setting up marketing campaigns
Email marketing is one of the core features of any CRM system. Sending out mass email campaigns can take out a lot of time out of your schedule. And that is exactly where good email marketing functionalities pay off. FluentCRM allows sending out mass email campaigns and email template management.
We were impressed by FluentCRM’s block-based email composer. Unlike other CRM solutions, FluentCRM offers the Gutenberg features for composing emails.
To get started, simply hover over to the Email Campaigns and select Email Templates.
Upon clicking the Create New Template button, a block-based email composer shows up. We can use prefix tags, image, media, heading, lists, buttons, columns, HTML, and many more to craft professional emails in any way we like.
However, what we like most is the Conditional Section block. Think of it like crafting one email for multiple audience groups.
For example, you can segment email lists based on the audiences’ interests. As a result, you need to create multiple emails based on different tags to send out emails based on different interest groups. With the Conditional Section block, you can craft one email with all information and send out emails based on tags so that your audience receives the correct section.
Sending out mass emails
FluentCRM also made it easy to send out mass emails. Once you’re done with crafting your email, you can get back to email campaigns to broadcast it.
FluentCRM made it really easy to broadcast emails. The four-step email campaign broadcaster enables us to compose a new email or import one from saved templates, specify subject line, A/B Test (Pro users) and Link Metrics, Select Recipients, Review Campaign and Send!
All in all, FluentCRM provides a very professional email marketing experience within the WordPress arena.
Marketing Automation is what CRM’s are mostly recognized for. If you’re unfamiliar with this term, it can be a bit tricky to understand. Let’s just say it is a feature that enables a user to set up a bunch of “If this” then “do this” statements and allows tying them together to automate day to day marketing tasks.
For example, you might want to send out a welcome email if a new user signs up on your website. Or, you might want to send out an email confirmation when a user submitted a form. FluentCRM has Triggers for such activities that can start automation.
Once the automation starts, you can string together a bunch of If/then statements that will direct the automation. You’ll run the automation with two elements.
Actions – these are the dos. For example, add the person to a list when someone joins your website.
Benchmarks – these are the conditions that will direct the automation. For example, send an email if the user is removed from the list.
You can combine these actions and benchmarks to build your marketing automation funnel and save a lot of time. Here’s an automation example showing how you can persuade a lead into becoming a writer:
In the above automation, someone is added to our list (Leads) immediately and received a welcome email when he joined. Then we decided to wait a few days before inviting him to become a writer. And because we have another automation for what happens when someone becomes an author (apply a Writer tag), we can then send another email to educate him about our content writing guideline by adding another email to the sequence!
Manually doing such tasks can be tiring and time-consuming if you have a lot of subscribers lined up. The automation can help you relax while these tasks go on.
Viewing reporting and analytics
Any email marketing software is incomplete without granular reporting and analytics. Email marketing needs to be scalable so that you can make changes based on how your emails are performing. And that’s why FluentCRM comes with in-depth reporting and analytics for every email campaign and funnels, which is stringed together nicely on its dashboard.
The dashboard can show your subscriber growth, email sending stats, open stats, and link click metrics that you can filter by date. This allows for a greater overview of your growth as you are sending out more and more emails.
Apart from the quick overview, you can find reports for every email campaign you have sent out. You can view campaign analytics in bulk or check reports for every lead on a campaign.
But the most exciting analytics of FluentCRM lies within its automation. FluentCRM tracks automation stages so well that it can show you how your automation has performed at every step. So you’ll know exactly what percentage of users have opened, clicked, or unsubscribed from receiving your emails!
This gives you a better indication of which stages of your automation are performing well and where you should improve, allowing you to maximize your conversion rate!
Benefits of upgrading to FluentCRM Pro
FluentCRM is genuinely a fantastic plugin for what is possible even in the free feature. If you aren’t planning for an eCommerce, membership, eLearning, or affiliate website, FluentCRM’s free features should be good enough for you.
However, if you are using eCommerce, LMS, membership, eLearning, or Affiliate plugins, you need FluentCRM’s Pro add-on to extend its features.
Here are the benefits of upgrading to FluentCRM Pro:
- Capture or import leads via other forms & Webhooks: FluentCRM has a default form integration with Fluent Forms and allows you to add new contacts via CSV import. However, it can be integrated with other form plugins like Elementor Forms. Also, FluentCRM has a global webhook receiver through which you can add more leads.
- Improved contact profiling: FluentCRM’s free version shows your leads’ general data, email history, and form submissions. The pro version includes a more improved contact profile that can show purchase history from WooCommerce and Easy Digital Downloads.
- Conditional/Dynamic contact segmentation: In the free version you will only be able to manage contacts by lists and tags. FluentCRM’s pro version adds a more dynamic segmentation system that allows you to segment contacts automatically according to their activity. (e.g., create a list of contacts who didn’t open any email in the last six months)
- A/B Testing: A/B testing allows you to play with your email subject lines and determine which works best. This feature can be useful since subject lines play a big role in getting higher email open rates.
- Create email sequences: Email Sequences are basically one kind of automation. However, unlike the regular automation, email sequence is a mixture of scheduling a few emails and waiting days to run for a specific set of leads.
- More Integrations: Integrations will make FluentCRM way more productive than it is on its free version. Since FluentCRM targets data centralization, contact profiling would become more detailed, and automation will become more effective. FluentCRM currently has 20 integrations. Including:
- Easy Digital Downloads
- Fluent Forms
- Paid Memberships Pro
- Restrict Content Pro
- Elemenor Forms
And many more.
- More automation triggers, actions and benchmarks: FluentCRM’s pro add-on includes more automation triggers, actions, and benchmarks. With the Pro add-on, the automation can trigger from activities such as new orders on WooCommerce or EDD, new enrollment or Course finishes via LMS plugins and new memberships on Paid Memberships Pro. etc. The pro add-on also includes more actions and benchmarks such as Setting up an email sequence, cancelling the automation, link clicks. It adds a lot of variety in the automation and makes life a lot more easier.
Q: Is there any limitation to how many contacts you can store?
No, there isn’t. FluentCRM lets you manage unlimited contacts.
Q: Is there any limitation on sending out emails?
No, the email deliverability depends on the email service provider. FluentCRM does not have any restriction on how many emails you can send in a day.
Q: How are the emails sent?
FluentCRM doesn’t have any email sending service. You can use any email sending service such as Amazon SES, MailGun, SendGrid, etc. However, the developers recommend using Amazon SES as it’s a relatively inexpensive, yet effective email service provider.
Q: is FluentCRM GDPR Compliant?
Yes, FluentCRM is Self-hosted. Which means there’s no cloud server; you own and handle the data on your own.
Q: Does FluentCRM cause any speed issue?
FluentCRM is built with VueJS and is a single page application. It only uses the resources when the CRM is accessed. As a result, it doesn’t cause any speed issues for WordPress.
Q: How does FluentCRM handle bounced emails?
FluentCRM connects with email service providers via Rest API and collects real-time updates. So when there’s a bounced email, it will change the contact status accordingly.
Final Thoughts: FluentCRM – Marketing Automation for WordPress
FluentCRM is still in its early days. But if the start is something to go by, this marketing automation tool has already created a new dimension for WordPress users. It doesn’t require much technical knowledge to run, and the UI provides a genuinely professional email marketing experience. And because it’s such a great tool, the hype is reflected on the WordPress repository with over three thousand installations within three months of the plugin’s release.
Unlike cloud CRM solutions, FluentCRM’s pricing tiers are flat and yearly. You can grab the Single Site License for only $77/Year. This is a great deal considering other CRM solutions have complex monthly pricing tiers, and their features are limited based on those pricing tiers. FluentCRM also has a Multisite License and Agency License that you can grab for $129/Year and $299/Year, respectively.
Even with the free features, FluentCRM is really capable of improving your marketing experience. And because FluentCRM helps improve your growth potential, we recommend giving it a try from the WordPress repository. If you like the plugin, you can always extend its functionality by grabbing a pro license.