WP Fusion makes it possible to integrate any of 40 different CRMs and marketing automation tools with your WordPress site, but some work better with WordPress than others.
When selecting a CRM it’s important to consider the ease of use, the available features, the level of integration available, and (of course) the price.
With that in mind we’re going to be recommending our six top CRMs for WordPress in 2020, broken into three categories:
- Full featured: Your CRM is the hub of your business online. You’re using it to track customers across multiple touch points, send automated emails, run revenue reports, assign owners and tasks, and manage opportunity stages.
- Middle of the road: You’re primarily interested in sending emails and moving contacts through automations. You don’t need to manage as much data and are looking for an affordable tool.
- Self hosted: You want full control over your CRM and your data, and are willing to spend a little extra time setting things up.
For each we’ll take a look at our two recommended CRMs, the available features, how well it integrates with WordPress, and the monthly price for a list with 5,000 contacts.
Let’s get started!
Note: If a CRM in this article has an affiliate program, you may see an affiliate link to their website. Our recommendations aren’t in any way affected by these affiliate programs— we’ve been recommending these six CRMs for years, based on our own experiences and those of other WP Fusion users.
Full featured CRMs
By full featured we mean your CRM is the hub of your business online. You can manage and view all your contacts, including their ecommerce orders, create metrics dashboards, and run reports.
These CRMs have strong automation capabilities with visual workflow builders including field and tag based triggers, conditions, timers, and goals.
They have deep integrations with outside services as well, so you can connect your scheduling, fulfillment, meeting, and other external services together via Zapier or built-in integrations.
#1 — ActiveCampaign
ActiveCampaign is our top pick for a full-featured CRM in 2020. It’s the perfect combination of power and ease of use. With ActiveCampaign you can:
- Manage your contacts across multiple mailing lists, and segment within those lists based on tags
- Create emails using a visual email builder and send campaigns to lists, including split testing and date-based campaigns
- Create customized contact record views that put the information you need up front, with support for several types of custom fields like radios, dropdowns, and dates
- Track ecommerce data like orders, products purchased, lifetime values, and abandoned carts from a variety of ecommerce integrations
- Create automations that email or update your contacts based on changes in tags, field values, or date triggers
ActiveCampaign has a strong CRM component, meaning you can store data relevant to your business on records for each customer or contact, and find contacts easily using searches and saved segments.
ActiveCampaign really shines at automation. You can create automated workflows that are triggered based on a variety of conditions, and then use timers and logic within those workflows to send highly targeted communications to your subscribers.
For example this automation is triggered when WP Fusion adds a new contact to ActiveCampaign, and syncs the customer’s language preference from TranslatePress into a custom field:
The automation checks the value of the customer’s preferred language, moves them onto the appropriate language mailing list, and sends a welcome email.
This automation is triggered when a customer abandons a cart in WooCommerce, via WP Fusion’s abandoned cart addon:
It waits one hour to see if a customer has made a purchase, and if not sends an abandoned cart followup email. With ActiveCampaign and WP Fusion it’s also easy to automatically give discounts to customers who’ve abandoned their carts.
ActiveCampaign has a free plugin for WooCommerce which will sync your WooCommerce orders into ActiveCampaign via “Deep Data”, though this requires a Plus plan with ActiveCampaign, and it’s only a one-way sync.
Thankfully WP Fusion is optimized to work with ActiveCampaign and can sync data from 80+ plugins into your CRM.
Via the use of webhooks, you can achieve a bi-directional sync with ActiveCampaign— meaning a tag applied in an automation can trigger events back in WordPress, like awarding a badge or enrolling a student in a course.
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ActiveCampaign’s pricing is based on your list size and includes unlimited sending. There are two plans to consider:
The Lite plan has everything you’d need in terms of the CRM and marketing automation features, but lacks “Deep Data” and the ability to see ecommerce orders in your account and send abandoned cart recovery emails.
- Price for 5,000 contacts: $69 / month
The Plus plan adds the “Deep Data” integration with WooCommerce, and works with WP Fusion’s Enhanced Ecommerce addon. It also allows you to send SMS messages as part of automations.
- Price for 5,000 contacts: $135 / month
#2 — Ontraport
Ontraport has many of the same features as ActiveCampaign in terms of contact management and building automated campaigns, but builds on the CRM functionality by allowing you to have multiple custom objects that relate to your contact records, sort of like a more friendly version of Salesforce.
If you need to manage multiple pieces of related data, then Ontraport is a good choice over ActiveCampaign.
For example if you had a yoga studio business, a single contact record could be linked with:
- The studio where the customer is currently attending classes
- A trainer who is responsible for checking on the customer
- Several classes the customer is enrolled in, with dates and times
- The referral partner who originally introduced the customer to your studio
Ontraport also includes many built-in features that would require a third-party tool with another CRM, such as:
- Integrated landing page builder
- Integrated checkout forms and payment gateways
- A membership site plugin for WordPress
- Integrated referral program and partner center
Ontraport has a free plugin for WordPress, PilotPress, which lets you run a basic membership site inside of WordPress. Purchases via Ontraport order forms can assign PilotPress membership levels, and then your customers can log into WordPress to access their membership content.
While this is sufficient for a basic membership site, PilotPress doesn’t have any learning management capabilities, and also doesn’t integrate with other WordPress plugins.
The good news is WP Fusion supports Ontraport in the same way as ActiveCampaign. Using WP Fusion you can build your site using your favorite ecommerce, membership, and LMS plugins, and know that all of your member and customer data is kept in sync bi-directionally with Ontraport.
If you’re selling products or subscriptions with WooCommerce, you can also use WP Fusion’s Enhanced Ecommerce Addon for Ontraport to sync your WooCommerce orders directly into Ontraport. All of your WooCommerce orders will show up on contact records and in sales reports inside of the CRM.
While Ontraport has a ton of built in features, the downside is that this increases the price.
If you’re already building your landing pages in WordPress, selling your products via WooCommerce and managing your affiliates via AffiliateWP (and connecting it all to your CRM with WP Fusion), it may feel excessive to be paying for the same features with Ontraport.
Ontraport’s pricing is based on your list size and includes unlimited sending:
- Price for 2,500 contacts: $147 / month
- Price for 10,000 contacts: $297 / month
“Middle of the road” CRMs
For this category we’ll be looking at CRMs that might be a little bit weaker on sales and reporting features, but still have good list building and marketing automation capabilities.
Both of these CRMs are priced more affordably than ActiveCampaign and Ontraport, and both have a free plan that’s good for a business that’s just getting started.
#1 — SendinBlue
SendinBlue is a CRM and marketing automation system from France that’s been around since 2012.
Its CRM features are more limited than ActiveCampaign or Ontraport, for example you can’t see order history or lifetime value on contact records, but it still has a capable automation builder that lets you use triggers, conditions, and timers to send emails to your contacts.
SendinBlue also has built in features for:
- SMS marketing
- Live chat
- Landing pages
- Signup forms
- and Facebook ads and retargeting
SendinBlue has a free WordPress plugin that lets you manage your contacts from within the WordPress dashboard, and embed signup forms on your site.
There are also some helper plugins like the Gravity Forms SendinBlue Add-On which connect specific plugins to SendinBlue.
But for the tightest integration between WordPress and SendinBlue, we (of course) recommend WP Fusion. With WP Fusion any of your WordPress plugins can send data directly to SendinBlue, allowing you to:
- Create lead forms with Elementor Forms
- Assign customers to SendinBlue lists based on purchases in WooCommerce
- Track event attendees in SendinBlue from FooEvents or Event Espresso
- And sync data between SendinBlue and 80+ other WordPress plugins
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SendinBlue’s pricing is based on the number of emails you send, not the size of your list.
This makes it a good choice if you have a large list but you’re mostly sending transactional emails as part of automations, and your overall email volume is low.
- The free plan allows you to send up to 300 emails per day
- Price for 40,000 emails a month: $25 / month
Sendinblue also offers Pay As You Go pricing for email sending, you can buy a 5,000 email sending credit for $40. This might be a good alternative to a monthly plan if you’re only sending out a few email blasts per year.
#2 — MailerLite
MailerLite is another great choice for a business that needs marketing automation capabilities, but doesn’t need to do as much in the CRM with custom field values, assigning owners and tasks, and tracking revenue.
MailerLite’s features are similar to SendinBlue— it has a drag and drop email builder, landing pages, signup forms, A/B split testing, and subscriber organization in the form of segments and groups.
Our only complaint with MailerLite is that they don’t allow a subscriber’s email address to be updated over the API, meaning if someone updates their email address in WordPress, WP Fusion won’t be able to sync the changed email to MailerLite.
That may not be a deal-breaker but it’s something to keep in mind, especially if you’re running a membership site and need to ensure you always have the most recent email addresses for your subscribers.
Like SendinBlue, MailerLite has a free WordPress plugin that lets you embed signup forms on your website. But this is just a one-way transfer of data when someone submits the form.
For a true bi-directional integration between MailerLite and all your WordPress data, the best option is WP Fusion.
MailerLite is priced based on your list size, and all paid plans include unlimited sending.
- The free plan allows you to send up to 12,000 emails a month to 1,000 subscribers
- Price for 5,000 contacts with unlimited sending: $21 / month
An alternative to using a cloud-based CRM is hosting it yourself on your own site. There are several benefits to this:
- You have complete control over your own data and data security
- No limits to the number of contacts on your lists
- No monthly fees
The downside is that these CRMs take a little more work to set up and maintain. You may need to upgrade your server resources as your contact list grows, and you’ll likely still need to pay for a third-party sending service for optimal email deliverability.
#1 — Groundhogg
Groundhogg has many of the same features you’d find in a cloud-based CRM, like contact records with custom fields, segmentation using tags, email and SMS campaigns, reports, opt-in forms, and a visual funnel builder.
The only difference is all of the data is stored inside your WordPress site, and contacts are managed and email campaigns are sent from within the WordPress dashboard.
Because Groundhogg is a WordPress plugin, it can communicate very closely with the other plugins on your site, without the extra delay and authentication required when connecting to a cloud-based CRM.
Out of the box, the free version of Groundhogg can detect new user registrations on your site, add them to your Groundhogg contacts list, and send them a welcome email.
Groundhogg also has dozens of addons which enable integrations with specific WordPress plugins, like WooCommerce, AffiliateWP, Elementor, and LifterLMS. These extensions can be purchased a-la-carte, or as part of a bundle.
WP Fusion also fully supports Groundhogg, with the same features and integrations that WP Fusion offers for cloud-based CRMs. As the number of addons for Groundhogg has grown, the case for using WP Fusion with Groundhogg has become less certain.
For example if you just need to integrate WooCommerce with Groundhogg, it might make more sense to purchase the Groundhogg WooCommerce addon. However if you need to integrate multiple plugins, or a plugin that’s not yet supported via a Groundhogg extension, WP Fusion is worth looking into.
There is no limit to the size of your list with Groundhogg, or the number of emails you can send. Instead Groundhogg’s pricing is based on which extensions you need, or the bundle plan you purchase.
To send emails from Groundhogg it’s also recommended to use a dedicated email sending service, such as Amazon SES.
- Core Groundhogg CRM plugin: Free
- “Plus” bundle with extensions: $30 / month
- Email sending via SES: $0.10 per 1,000 emails
#2 — Mautic
Mautic is an open source CRM and marketing automation tool, but it’s not a WordPress plugin like Groundhogg, it needs to be installed as an application on your server— similar to installing WordPress. It’s maintained by a community of volunteers, and is supported by a commercial version provided by Acquia.
Mautic has all the features you’d expect from one of our “full featured” CRMs: contact management with custom fields, organization via tags and segments, a visual email builder, a drag and drop automation builder, lead scoring, and reports.
While Mautic is open source and completely free, you do need some technical know-how to start using it. To install Mautic you’ll need to create a subdomain or subdirectory on your server, upload the installation files via FTP, and set up a database in MySQL to hold your data.
For Mautic segments and campaigns to run automatically you’ll need to set up cron tasks via your server’s cPanel or an external cron service.
If things like “cron job”, “MySQL”, and “PHP version” sound foreign to you— Mautic may not be a good choice unless you’re willing to spend some extra time or hire someone to assist with setting it up.
Mautic has a free WordPress plugin which enables visitor tracking on your site, and allows you to embed Mautic forms and “dynamic content” from your Mautic app.
Because Mautic doesn’t have the market share of a lot of other CRMs, the options for integrating with your WordPress user and customer data is more limited.
There are unofficial addons for some popular plugins, like Gravity Forms Mautic by GravityPlus, or Mautic WooCommerce Integration by MakeWebBetter, but you can end up with a tangle of integration extensions with varying quality and levels of support.
Thankfully WP Fusion fully supports Mautic, and with WP Fusion you can use just one plugin to keep all of your data in WordPress synced bi-directionally with your contacts in Mautic.
For more information on using WP Fusion and Mautic, check out our Introducing Mautic post from 2017.
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Mautic is completely free and can be downloaded from mautic.org. You can either install it on your existing website, or set up a new hosting account just for Mautic.
For best deliverability it’s recommended to use an external sending service, like Amazon SES.
- Mautic: Free
- Email sending via SES: $0.10 per 1,000 emails
Which CRM do I choose?
If you ask a dozen people which CRM or marketing automation tool to use in 2020, you’ll likely get a dozen answers.
Our recommendations in this list are based on our own experiences with helping thousands of WP Fusion customers integrate their WordPress site with their CRM— all six of these platforms are reliable, being actively developed, and provide a good balance between features and price.
Whichever platform you use, you’ll want the best possible integration with your WordPress site, and for that we hope you’ll choose WP Fusion.
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