GreenRope — A Simple yet Powerful CRM for E-Mail Marketers
A while ago I had the pleasure of talking with Austin Willms who took me through a tour presenting GreenRope, a CRM solution for small businesses that offers three ‘suites’ of functionality across ales, marketing, and operations. The operations suite probably needs a bit of explanation but is essentially the customer service portion plus functionality covering project- and event management, knowledge management, a wiki, collaboration and — important — the majority of contact management functionality.
The Sales suite covers workflows, activities, leads, and contact handling and the marketing suite provides marketers with the tools they need to do their job.
‘Their job’ mainly being e-mail- and website-marketing, with some social media marketing added to it. This is something that GreenRope is particularly well geared for. The software has its origins as an e-mail marketing tool that evolved into a business suite of CRM-related tools that supports additional customer requirements. The objective behind it is to provide as many tools as possible in very affordable packages, while being able to support a nearly unlimited number of contacts. GreenRope has customers that run the solution for millions of contacts in their database.
The philosophy behind GreenRope is that it shall make people effective, by allowing them to organize easily and efficiently. It is not necessarily there to serve as an immediately revenue generating tool. There is no preferred industry for GreenRope, although its ability to deal with millions of contacts shows a B2C affinity.
This making it easy for users philosophy is also exhibited by GreenRope regularly sending mails that help in the onboarding process and the easily accessible and very performing help, which not only includes help pages but also cheat sheets, videos, webinars, etc.
Perhaps the two most powerful tools/functionalities within GreenRope are the automation and the groups.
A group is the first level of contact organization. It is a very powerful concept, that however requires a bit of thinking — because it is so powerful.
Every contact belongs to at least one group. Groups allow setting access permissions and can be used for custom content or fields. A group also acts as a filter to allow for viewing of customers in different stages and a kind of segment or target group for campaigns or workflows, including group specific web sites or landing pages. It can also be used to assign a customer to another GreenRope user.
I wouldn’t be surprised if the group concept also lies behind GreenRopes separation of their own customers’ data.
The internal automation tools offer a simple way of creating pretty powerful workflows and, well, automations. Building e.g. a to-do list or action items is extremely simple. Based upon an event it just takes a few clicks to create an action item for a sales rep to call a new lead. Multi stage campaigns and drip campaigns can get created easily simple using the Journey tool, Workflow Manager, and Drip Campaign tool. The Journey tool is a way of modeling a customer journey through a purchasing process. It offers four simple, yet powerful objects: A decision, which essentially is an if-then-else block, actions, which true to the focus on e-mail offer the sending of e-mails, the execution of a workflow, and the adding and removing of an object to or from a group. This, e.g., allows for advancing a customer through the sales stages. Additionally there is a delay that can get used to model delays for actions and a stop element to mark an end to a journey.
Interestingly there is a conversion analysis and prediction module, which I couldn’t review lacking data. It is intended to predict factors that drive conversions using web site tracking. I assume that it doesn’t allow for personalization and identification of customers but still should do the most imminent job: Giving insight into what helps and detracts from successfully converting a prospect to a customer.
GreenRope is an ‘all-in-one’ CRM system that consists of a lot of tools that are molded together to build something that is complete in itself, given its strong focus on website- and e-mail marketing. I like the modular build of the solution and the clean UI.
Main competitors, as the GreenRope team sees it for themselves are Infusionsoft, Hubspot, and Salesforce, although the all-in-one market is considerably bigger. This is a very strong and renowned group of competitors. One of the challenges that GreenRope faces when looking at Hubspot and Salesforce is that those two vendors have a far higher brand recognition, a wider ecosystem and at least in Salesforce’s case, also more capabilities. GreenRope to some extent reminds me of helpshift; both are hidden gems that deserve more of the spotlight than they get.