Leads/Customer Management System with Email Campaign Capabilities

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by redwarrior, Apr 18, 2009.

  1. redwarrior macrumors 603

    redwarrior

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2008
    Location:
    in the Dawg house
    #1
    I'm overwhelmed, please help.

    I need to be able to
    • keep track of Leads (people who have requested more information about our services - Modular/Manufactured Homes and Real Estate.)
    • generate email campaigns with custom fields to contact these leads
    • track opens and clicks in these emails if possible
    • allow unsubscribe
    • convert leads to customers
    • store info on leads/customers in a database that others can view online
    • track sales, construction expenses, business accounts, etc
    I have the trial of Quickbooks and I like it. (I'm currently running Quicken Home and Small Business in Windows and I really want to get away from that.)

    I have been using Google docs some. I can create forms with Google docs and it will convert the data to a viewable, exportable spreadsheet. (This is free, which I like, but it's bare-bones.)

    I have been playing around with VtigerCRM installed on my server, but I'm having trouble customizing emails.

    I have also used poMMo to send campaigns and I like it, but it's completely separate from my "database."

    I payed to use Campaign Monitor for a campaign, and I like the analytical tools, but it is far from the database that I need. I can export data from google docs and import into this program though. But CM charges $5 per campaign, and I'd like to be able to send them out daily.

    I am looking at Salesforce, but it's $65 per month. I could do that, but I'm struggling with deciding what I really need/want to pay for.

    What about Sugar? I haven't had a chance to look into this yet.

    I was also wondering about office suites - OO, iWork. Would these do what I needed? But then I would have the issue of the data not being available to others.

    I have a background in Programming/Analysis and run my own server. I would love to be able to get something that will install on my server and that I can have complete control over. I think. I'd like an opinion on that as well. Maybe hosting my data somewhere else isn't a big deal?

    Can you guys throw some suggestions out there to help me figure out this mess I'm in?

    (My husband and I run our company and have no employees at this point.)
     
  2. Izzy macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2002
    Location:
    Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
    #2
    I use Daylite as my CRM software. It can do a lot of what you are describing. As far as tracking emails and clicks goes, I use Mail Chimp. Daylite and Mail Chimp aren't connected but I just keep updating the Mail Chimp database manually.
     
  3. MacAficionado macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2002
    Location:
    An awesome place
    #3
  4. redwarrior thread starter macrumors 603

    redwarrior

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2008
    Location:
    in the Dawg house
    #4
    Those products look great! And a lot cheaper than the options I was pursuing. I'm checking them out now. Thanks so much.:p
     
  5. SHIFTLife macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2008
  6. redwarrior thread starter macrumors 603

    redwarrior

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2008
    Location:
    in the Dawg house
    #6
    Why does everyone automatically assume that?:rolleyes:

    Nah, these are people who have filled out a form requesting more information.
     
  7. peetah macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2009
    #7
    This might be "too much power" for your needs, but I use salesforce.com for my CRM needs. Sure it's hosted on a cloud, but I don't have to worry about maintenance or upgrade issues.

    It's as simple as using a web page.

    I can also keep track of campaigns, handle e-mail, and have customers (or leads) update their own info.

    Just a thought.
     
  8. redwarrior thread starter macrumors 603

    redwarrior

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2008
    Location:
    in the Dawg house
    #8
    How do I set up Mailings to send from a Gmail account. It keeps telling me to issue the command STARTTLS first, and I don't know where to do that.

    I'm evaluating that right now. But it's $65 per month + addl fees for email campaigns. I'm trying to decide if it's in my best interest to spend that money for something that I many not really need at this point.
     
  9. peetah macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2009
    #9
    I took into consideration the cost of running the system in house, backup (system and data), and remote access plus the estimated costs of rebuilding the servers in case of failure and the cost of lost business per hour should the systems fail. Hosting it on a cloud through salesforce.com made much more sense.

    That's my experience so YMMV depending on your business needs.

    Good luck!
     
  10. redwarrior thread starter macrumors 603

    redwarrior

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2008
    Location:
    in the Dawg house
    #10
    I'm paying for a virtual server and make scheduled backups, so I'm in the groove already as far as that goes.

    I'm playing around a little more with vTigerCRM, since it installed flawlessly on my server. Importing and exporting seems easy enough. It offers me the ability to send out email campaigns, and since all the people I am emailing have requested additional information, I'm not concerned about spamming.

    Thanks for the ideas everyone, and please continue to let me know if you have any other ideas.
     
  11. tsubikiddo macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2008
    Location:
    Melbourne, AUS
    #11
    the Salesforce system is a pain,
    highly not recommended.

    It is a very organized, powerful databank - Yes
    in terms of ease of use and practicality of daily operation integration, prbly a No.


    EDIT: as peetah mentioned, sure, the SF sys is truly powerful,
    but from my exp, this is also where the prb is,
    it has too much, and wants to do too much (all in one go)

    the result is, there's quite a barrier of entry to get used to the SF sys.
     
  12. redwarrior thread starter macrumors 603

    redwarrior

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2008
    Location:
    in the Dawg house
    #12
    I think it's going to be vtigerCRM. I was able to add all my custom fields and generate reports and export for use with iContact.

    vtigerCRM has given me a few hoops to jump through though. I had to go in and edit the tables directly to change the display sequence of the fields. And email will not work for me yet. I found a lot of threads on the forums about it being screwy, so I'll go with iContact for now. It's $10/month for what I want, so I can deal with that. And it gives me all the statistical data I find so helpful when running email campaigns.
     
  13. isaiah macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 12, 2009
    #13
    WiredContact online CRM

    I think you should have a look at WiredContact online CRM. It will meet all your requirements; plus it can be customised even further. Did I say it is affordable? Yes, it is with a very good customer service team as well.
     
  14. redwarrior thread starter macrumors 603

    redwarrior

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2008
    Location:
    in the Dawg house
    #14
    WiredContact looks interesting. I'll look into it more, thanks.:) I wish we had the money to spend on it. Until then I'm going to keep using vtigerCRM. It's not perfect, but for now it's fine. I'm able to keep, track, and create reports with all of the required data. I can export reports for email campaigns, too.
     

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