Updated: Apr 30, 2019
A CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management, it is a tool that stores information about your customers in a way that is easy to read, sort and take action on. There are a lot of CRM tools on the market but the one I like best for small businesses is HubSpot CRM. HubSpot is great because it is inexpensive ($50 per month with the entry level plan) and it provides not only a tool to store and view your contacts but it also has the ability to create important marketing automations.
HubSpot itself stores and organizes customer data like name, address, email, phone, purchasing history, whether they are active in your wine club, etc. and can be completely customized for your workflow. The automations are created through a free HubSpot extension called Zapier. Zapier acts as a pass through for data to travel from one “app” to another, like from your website to your email platform, social media, eventbrite etc. you can find a full list of apps here. So you could post an event to the events calendar on your website and the data would automatically pass through a zap and be posted to your social media accounts, added to Eventbrite and go out in an email to your list. Or when you make a sale through your website, the customer data is automatically added to your email list and a custom Facebook audience that you can use for advertising.
Setting up a HubSpot CRM isn’t difficult, you can set up a free trial for 14 days and then upgrade to the starter plan for $50 per month. It is easy to import your customer data and you can also easily add sales data as well but if you are just using the CRM for the automations you don’t need the sales information. Once you have set up your workflow and added your contacts, in the left column there is a link to the integrations interface. On this page the dialogue will walk you through setting up your zaps, you only get 5 with the free account and I would recommend using them for your website, facebook ads, instagram ads, email and Eventbrite.