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7 Honest Reasons Why You Haven’t Found The Right WordPress CRM Yet (With Recommendations!)

“Hi, I’m looking for a WordPress CRM plugin that can…”

That’s the start of many group posts in the WordPress space, and there’s a reason that it keeps coming up. As WordPress site owners, we know that we’re working with a powerful and extensible platform that can do almost anything we imagine.

But there’s also a reason that you might not have found the perfect WordPress Customer Relationship Management Plugin (CRM) for your business yet, so let’s dive in and I’ll share my best recommendations at the end.

What Is a WordPress CRM?

First, let’s get on the same page and make sure we’re talking about the same thing.

CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management System, and although that’s a mouth-full it’s a pretty central part of most businesses these days.

Most standard WordPress CRM plugins have a simple drag-and-drop functionality designed to help you and your team keep track of your potential customers and current clients’ data, so you can better serve them.

That usually includes their name, company, email address, physical address, customer notes, and then any number of additional custom user fields that are relevant for your business.

For example, you might use your CRM to track which phase in the sales process a prospect is in, or which products and services they’ve expressed interest in.

Many CRM plugins offer more advanced functionality, like unlimited contacts, form builders, client portals, advanced user management and additional integrations to third-party software.

While there are a few feature-rich open-source WordPress CRM solutions, that’s not the norm. Most open source options have limited functionality. If you want additional features, you’ll likely have to pay per month per user.

What are the benefits of having your CRM in WordPress?

Incorporating a CRM system into your website should be a top priority if you are looking to bring on your first salesperson or looking to scale.

By doing so, you also lay the foundation for building a customer database that holds the potential to enhance your revenue streams over time.

Here are some of the benefits of adding a CRM.

  • A seamless customer experience: You need to invest in technology that can help you analyze your prices, manage customer relationships, and overall understand the buying process accordingly so that you can turn interest in sales.
  • Streamline data entry work: By having a partially automated sale system, you are going to reduce a wide range of manual copy-and-paste individual tasks within your marketing and sales teams and actually have real-time user activity reports that can help you focus on the data that truly matters to your business. This also means personalized emails or even email templates that can be created for individual users in your sales funnel and triggered within an email automation form.
  • Personalized sales and marketing campaigns: By analyzing customer data, preferences, and behaviors stored in your CRM, you can tailor marketing activities and communication to resonate with each customer segment, leading to higher engagement and conversion rates.
  • Data-driven decision making: Access to real-time data and custom reports empowers you to make informed decisions based on accurate insights. This data-driven approach aids in identifying trends, understanding customer preferences, and refining your business strategies.
  • Customer Segmentation: By categorizing your customer base into segments based on customer behavior,  demographics, buying signals, and purchase history, a CRM system aids in targeted marketing efforts, enabling you to tailor your messages for higher impact.

Or Your CRM System?

Although we can all agree on the definition of a CRM system, not every company uses their CRM in the same ways… which is part of the problem when selecting the right WordPress CRM plugin.

Here are just a few different ways that you might be planning to leverage a CRM system:

  • 1–1 Sales: You have a personalized one-to-one sales process, where you need to book calls and keep track of potential clients in a pipeline.
  • Follow-up: You need to be able to follow-up individually or with groups of people, and make sure that your follow-up is timed properly and contains the right information.
  • Team Collaboration: You have multiple people in your organization who need access to client information, and who might be interacting with customers, too. You don’t want anyone stepping on toes, or customers falling through the cracks.
  • Automation: You want to stop doing repetitive tasks, and have an automated process that walks customers and prospects through your on-boarding or sales sequences.
  • Integration: You have other tech tools and systems that need to “talk to” your WordPress CRM and either push or pull data… and help keep everything in sync in one central location (usually the CRM itself).
  • Saving Money: Whether you’re trying to save money by choosing a self-hosted WordPress CRM or you’re moving from a more costly solution… a CRM can not only save you money but also make your business money in the long run, with more successful sales.
  • Modernizing: You might still be trying to track all of the data you need on paper, across spreadsheets, or even in your head! With a world class CRM solution, you’ll be able to leave some of your old ways behind.

If you’ve identified a few key WordPress CRM plugin goals you’re after, that will help you narrow down the options to choosing the right one.

Why You Haven’t Found The Right WordPress CRM Plugin Yet

Okay, so let’s talk about the very real reasons you might not have found the WordPress CRM plugin for your business yet.

1. The WordPress CRM Marketplace is Still In Its Infancy

The first reason is that the WordPress CRM plugin marketplace is still nascent… and that’s because the CRM space has primarily been dominated by bigger corporate CRMs like SalesForce for years.

Now don’t get me wrong: things are changing and you can see how many new options are opening up in my full CRM Comparison guide.

But the reality is that it’s only been a few years since developers started creating WordPress CRM plugins to address the needs of small business owners.

Some CRM plugins are being updated frequently, but if you look at the number of installations for many of them… it’s obvious that they aren’t taking the WordPress world by storm. Without a ton of uptake, it’s hard to make plugins more competitive and useful.

So you end up with WordPress CRM plugins that are a little too bare bones for most people.

On the other hand, some WordPress CRM systems are trying to do too much – like WP ERP, which includes CRM functionality but is also an enterprise planning system that includes HR and accounting functionality.

2. You’ll Still Need Another Email Marketing System

Another rather important part of the WordPress CRM plugins conversation is that you’ll often still need to pay for an extra email list management tool, like ActiveCampaign or Mailchimp, for the ability to create email signup forms (on your landing pages) and additional email marketing features.

If you’re trying to save money by self-hosting your CRM system on WordPress, you might be better off choosing an email marketing platform that can also double as your CRM.

Some examples of CRMs that could serve this function well include ActiveCampaign, Drip, Ontraport, and Keap. When it comes to email marketing automation platforms, there’s no lack of options but you need to make sure it integrates with your set up.

Even if you want to use your WordPress site to send follow up emails through your WordPress CRM plugin, often you’ll realize an unfortunate reality:

Sending emails from WordPress tends to land in the spam box…

So you’ll still want to use a 3rd party contact email add-on like Amazon S3 to send your emails on WordPress. Either way, it’s one more thing to figure out.

3. WordPress CRM Plugins Put The Onus on You To Adhere To Security and Privacy Laws

With more strict data privacy laws coming on the scene like GDPR, managing your customer data is becoming increasingly complex.

When you’re tasked with keeping your customer data safe on your WordPress host and also complying with laws where you need to be able to fully erase client data… it can get tricky.

Whether you’ve got backups that might be keeping client data around longer, or you’ve managed to find a way to comply and keep things tidy… it’s still an extra task on your plate.

If you’re working with a hosted CRM, it’s their job to stay on top of changing regulations and they’re going to be able to develop the necessary infrastructure for it because that’s their sole focus.

You, on the other hand, have a business to run!

4. A WordPress CRM Plugin Is One More Thing To Manage and Maintain

Following on from the previous point, when you add another plugin to your WordPress site or even set up a dedicated site just for your CRM… it’s one more thing to manage.

On WordPress, you’ve often got to make sure that your plugins are compatible with new versions of WordPress itself and also any other plugins on your site.

So when your CRM plugin comes out with a new version, you need to backup your data before upgrading and make sure that everything went smoothly.

There’s both a pro and a con here: you get to decide when you want to do this maintenance, and it’s fully in your control. But it’s also another task on your already long to-do list!

5. The WordPress CRM Marketplace Isn’t Focused on Integration

WordPress CRM

Another big issue with finding the right CRM, no matter what platform you choose, is the integration piece.

How things talk to each other in your tech stack can make or break your business.

If you’re able to find a CRM that integrates with the other important aspects of your business (like client booking, payments, delivery, etc.) then you’re in great shape.

Unfortunately, not all WordPress plugins have this integration-first approach. Sometimes integrations are bolted on at the end, are a little clunky, or don’t do what you really need them to do.

6. Even Top WordPress CRM Plugins Might Slow Down Your Website or Contribute To Bloat

Depending on how you plan to use your CRM, you might have thousands if not tens of thousands of prospects and customers to keep track of.

That kind of data might contribute to a site slowdown, especially if you keep everything on your main WordPress website.

A better approach would be to have a more dedicated site just to manage your client data, and possibly to integrate with a membership aspect if that’s part of your business model.

Any time you add new plugins, you’re contributing to bloat on your website. Of course, I’m not saying that you should never install plugins because that would defeat the purpose of an extendable platform like WordPress.

But choose wisely, and your site’s speed will not be impacted as much.

7. You’re Busy Running Your Business, You Don’t Have Time to Test Each Different WordPress CRM Plugin On The Market

Finally, the real reason you haven’t found the right WordPress CRM plugin yet is likely because you’re busy and you don’t have time to do a trial run of all the possible plugins out there.

Especially when some of them have paid add-ons, and you don’t want to invest both time and money buying and installing each of these.

Don’t worry, I’ve gone ahead and made a shortlist of the best WordPress CRM plugins on the market as well as some non-self-hosted options in case you realized that maybe hosting your CRM yourself is not the best use of your time.
 

Recommendations On What To Do, Instead

If you’ve decided that maybe in your quest to save money by choosing a WordPress CRM, you might be sacrificing ease of use and scalability… then you might want to look at some more traditional cloud-based CRM options.

Here are a few of my best recommendations:

If You’re Starting Out as a Blogger

ConvertKit is a great automation marketing platform for bloggers and content marketers. It has everything you need out of the box, and you won’t get lost in any of the complexities of the other options.

If You Need Sales Force Automation

ActiveCampaign is great for more visual email newsletters, and if you want some flexibility in your automations, with a lightweight solution that won’t bog you down.

ActiveCampaign comparison

If You Do One-on-One Sales

Keap is a great marketing automation platform for converting your incoming leads into clients. It’s ideal for small businesses interacting 1:1 with their clients. If you have a 1 to many business model, I’d recommend taking a look at the other systems in this review, unless you plan to use AccessAlly to support your e-commerce and affiliate management needs.

Keap logo

If You Want to Hire a Specialist To Set Things Up For You

Infusionsoft by Keap is still the “big kahuna” in a lot of ways with what it can do, but chances are you won’t want to take on the learning curve yourself and you may want to hire someone to set it up for you. We do all of our own Infusionsoft setup, but we’re also techies.

Infusionsoft comparison

If You Need Ecommerce with an Affiliate System

Ontraport is a great option if you what it all, and you highly value email deliverability. I think they’ve come a long way, and are a very strong contender in the all-in-one marketing automation and CRM space. I also think their community is super supportive and positive!

Ontraport logo

If You Want Advanced Streamlined Geeky Functionality

Drip offers a lot of geek-level functionality that makes it very powerful under the hood, without overwhelming you if you don’t want to use all of these bells and whistles yet. I think this platform offers a lot of room for growth.

Drip logo

Remember, in some cases even if you were to go with a WordPress CRM plugin you might still need one of these systems to send emails or do automated follow-up.

So it might save you some time and headaches to go straight for some of these and see if they might suit your needs from the get-go.

Our WordPress CRM Plugin Recommendations

Here are our top picks for WordPress CRM plugins, based on our research:

Zero bs crm

Zero BS WordPress CRM

Free with add-ons, this plugin has over 1000 active installs with frequent product releases and updates. What I like about this plugin, beyond the simplicity and effectiveness is that it was designed by EpicPlugins to be used internally. That’s always a good sign for a WordPress plugin.

This plugin has a clean and organized interface, and it does a lot of what you want for free and for a paid add-on can really add a lot of flexibility and overcome the integration issues of other WordPress CRM solutions.

Its user-friendly interface and customizable features make it a valuable asset for a range of industries, whether you’re a small business owner, a customer service provider, an e-commerce entrepreneur, or a content creator.

Pricing

Jetpack offers a starting price of $11 per month, with the option to acquire additional extensions at $17 each.

Pros

  • Jetpack CRM’s Starter Plan offers an affordable entry point, making it an attractive option for startups and small businesses looking to implement a comprehensive CRM solution.
  • Jetpack CRM enhances its adaptability with the option to purchase additional extensions for $17 each. This modular approach allows businesses to customize their CRM functionality based on their specific requirements.
  • The availability of optional extensions means you can seamlessly upgrade your plan and add specific functionalities when needed, ensuring a scalable solution that evolves with your business.

Cons

  • Only English and Spanish are the languages supported, and to ensure optimal functionality and compatibility, it’s recommended to integrate this CRM plugin on a dedicated WordPress installation.
Wp crm system

WP-CRM System

WP-CRM System stands as an adaptable solution suitable for a wide range of businesses, from small enterprises seeking efficient customer management to larger entities aiming to streamline their operations.

This versatile plugin extends its capabilities beyond the realm of customer relationship management, incorporating eCommerce platform functionalities to enhance revenue generation.

Its integration-friendly approach and event-related add-ons make it particularly well-suited for businesses that prioritize comprehensive customer engagement and event management.

Plus, its robust integration capabilities enable a seamless connection with third-party tools and services.

Pricing

  • The base plugin is priced at $99 per year, and you have the option to acquire extra extensions like Zendesk Connect integration and invoicing for added functionalities.

Pros

  • User-Friendly Interface: WP-CRM System offers a straightforward and intuitive interface, making it easy for users to navigate and manage customer data without the need for extensive technical expertise.
  • Seamless Contact Import: The plugin’s ability to import contacts effortlessly ensures a smooth transition of customer data, saving time and reducing manual data entry.
  • Customizable Integrations: The availability of paid add-ons allows users to tailor the CRM’s functionalities to their specific business needs and integrate seamlessly with other essential tools and services.

Cons

  • Limited Marketing Automation: While WP-CRM System offers essential CRM functionalities, it lacks advanced marketing automation features that some businesses may require for comprehensive lead nurturing and engagement.
Wp crm

WP CRM

WP CRM Plugin is a fantastic plugin for businesses seeking a user-friendly, free, and efficient customer relationship management (CRM) solution. It has more than 4000 active installations and continuous updates.

WP CRM Plugin’s standout feature is its focus on streamlined contact management through customizable contact forms. By allowing users to create and customize contact forms, WP CRM Plugin empowers businesses to capture pertinent client details seamlessly.

Whether you’re an e-commerce store, a professional service provider, or a content creator, WP CRM Plugin offers the tools to optimize customer relationship management and elevate your marketing campaigns.

This streamlined approach enhances your ability to provide a personalized experience to customers while driving growth through targeted marketing efforts, data-driven decision-making, and comprehensive activity tracking.

Pricing

The pricing for this plugin is free.

Pros

  • WP CRM Plugin’s emphasis on easy contact forms simplifies the process of capturing and organizing customer data, enabling businesses to establish robust contact databases effortlessly.
  • Customization: The ability to create custom fields empowers businesses to personalize their CRM to suit their unique requirements, resulting in a more tailored and efficient customer management system.
  • Active development: With its growing user base and regular updates, WP CRM Plugin is suitable for both small startups and established enterprises seeking adaptable CRM solutions.

Cons

  • Limited scope beyond contact nanagement: While WP CRM Plugin excels in contact form-based data collection and organization, its functionalities may be somewhat limited for businesses that require more comprehensive CRM features, such as advanced marketing automation or detailed sales tracking.
Presspoint

Presspoint CRM

Presspoint CRM is designed mainly for ecommerce businesses with its CRM, email campaigns and customer engagement features.

As one of the more premium plugins, it blends cloud-based CRM functionalities into the WordPress landscape, coupled with its diverse add-ons and benefits.

Pricing

The pricing for this plugin starts at $49/month.

Pros

  • Beautiful user profiles: Presspoint CRM offers a comprehensive view of each client/customer.
  • Business workflow automation: From client onboarding to post-purchase follow-ups, you can set up automated processes that ensure consistent and timely interactions, boosting internal customer satisfaction and operational efficiency.

Cons

  • Integration options beyond WordPress and MailChimp are limited, potentially restricting seamless connectivity with other essential tools.
WP ERP

WP ERP

WP ERP stands as a cost-free plugin catering to businesses of all sizes, blending CRM, HRM, and accounting solutions seamlessly. With a substantial user base of over 10,000 active installations and commendable ratings, it makes a mark in the WordPress CRM arena.

Furthermore, this WordPress plugin extends its capabilities to encompass project management, marketing endeavor monitoring, and the assignment of tasks to team members.

Embarking on your WP ERP journey requires no initial payment. The free version equips you with essential tools to maintain customer connections and record interactions.

Additionally, you can seamlessly create contact list groups, jot down user notes within customer profiles, and more—all without any cost.

Pricing

The WP ERP core plugin is free to use. The WP ERP Pro version is accessible at a monthly rate of $9.99, encompassing nine premium extensions, with the flexibility to acquire supplementary extensions as well.

Pros

  • Smooth installation process
  • WP ERP equips you with robust tools to oversee your business partners and client connections.
  • Accept customer payments in over 40 currencies

Cons

  • Crucial elements such as marketing automation and lead scoring, which are integral to a robust CRM toolkit, are not included.
  • Navigating the WP ERP plugin requires deep technical knowledge.
Upicrm

UpiCRM

Despite being a newer tool, UpiCRM is gaining traction, boasting tons of 5-star ratings and thousands of installs.

An added advantage of UpiCRM is its versatility. Should you opt to upgrade to a premium CRM down the road, this WordPress plugin has bulk export functionality.

It caters to those seeking a cost-free WordPress CRM solution.

Pricing

UpiCRM is free to download. But it also offers a direct integration to Google Sheets at $29, and the Facebook leads import tool that you can purchase for $49.

Pros

  • This plugin creates simple dashboards and KPIs so you will need fewer extensions and off-site reporting.
  • A tangible benefit of UpiCRM is the meticulous documentation of your customer interactions lifecycle, readily accessible within your WordPress dashboard at your convenience.
  • You can have a special URL tagging feature designed to track critical traffic sources.

Cons

  • Is not user-friendly.
  • It is not compatible with most of the popular eCommerce plugins such as Easy Digital Downloads and WooCommerce.
Nathalie Lussier

I’m a writer, technologist, and regenerative farmer. I founded AccessAlly with my husband in one frantic weekend to solve my immediate course platform issues. Over a decade later the company has grown, and our product has evolved to serve millions of learners across the globe.

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