Well… like all good customer I don’t know exactly what I want just that I want it!
In short I want 1 part CRM, 1 part Mixpanel, 1 part CampaignMonitor but all software specific. See most of the marketing automation stuff out there does this already. They do track contacts and let you add info to them, they can track ‘events’ they can automate the sending of emails based on contact data.
None of them that I can find though are software specific. They’re all generic so that a software company can use them or a deli. I get why you’d want to make it so, but I find I end up hitting all kinds of walls because of this.
Some examples. Pretty much none of them have the concept of an Account as being separate from a Contact. So there’s no way to say these 5 people work for Company XYZ. You just end up with 5 separate contacts which causes all kinds of problems when you get to events and sending emails based on events, etc. Most people seem to just punt on this and lie to the systems and act as if all 5 people are the same. So they login and you just apply the admin’s email to all the people. But then you get a lot of inaccuracy.
None of them specifically track the process of someone finding you (and how), signing up for a trial, purchasing. You CAN set that up yourself kinda, but even so all the reports end up being very generic and the whole thing would be cleaner and simpler if the software understood my process instead of me bending it in ways it doesn’t always like.
Almost none of them are optimized for more than 1 product. Have 2 products? That’s too bad, you’ll need 2 accounts which means you need to set everything up again! Go through all their weird mumbo jump.
The costs on most of these tools are outrageous. I don’t so much mind that they’re expensive. I can see how in theory they’re providing a lot of value. But again, they’re optimized for deli’s. Starting me out with a max of 10K contacts is silly. To make the most use of this tool I’d want to import all our customers and past contacts. Well over that, so right from the start I’m in the penalty zone paying outrageous per contact fees.
To me contacts should be added in huge swaths at different tiers not $100 or every extra 500 and what not. I’m not a big fan of per-contact pricing anyway as I think it encourages the users to make bad decisions. Most likely I’ll have to go through from time to time and delete contacts who I think may not be useful anymore. But isn’t the point of the software to tell me who is and isn’t and let me track if someone who I thought wasn’t’ going to be a customer becomes one! Why encourage me to constantly be deleting my data to avoid crazy overage charges?
So there you go. That’s pretty much the core of it. Most of it can in theory be wired together with different services but that has a lot of other downsides. I could also build it into the apps but that’s a lot of work and there are some things that we just wouldn’t want to do that with. Looking forward to suggested solutions!