FluentCRM has quickly become a popular name in the WordPress ecosystem. With the growing necessity of marketing automation and CRM systems, it has been receiving a lot of praise for intuitive features. In fact, there’s so much excitement over the plugin that it has recently won the Torque’s Plugin Madness 2021.
If you were just curious about FluentCRM, looking to upgrade to Pro, jumping ships from other marketing automation platforms, or getting started with marketing automation using FluentCRM, this blog is for you. In this article, we will reveal all about FluentCRM Free vs. Pro.
What is FluentCRM?
Marketing automation and CRM tools are essential for growing your business. They help you capture leads from various sources, view complete contact profiles of your leads and customers, and communicate with your audience across marketing channels effectively. FluentCRM is no different.
The difference, however, is that it works within your WordPress dashboard. Unlike other marketing automation platforms, you don’t need to connect your WordPress site, e-commerce store, or contact forms to an external server. FluentCRM provides all the features you need to automate your business within your WordPress dashboard.
Essentially, this means you’ll be hosting your contact lists and all other data on your hosting server’s database while using FluentCRM’s functionality to view contact data and automate marketing automation tasks.
Note that, FluentCRM doesn’t have a native email sending service. Instead, it leverages the task to your host or an external email sending service. We recommend that you pair FluentCRM with a good email service like Amazon SES, SendGrid, or MailGun to ensure maximum email deliverability.
FluentCRM Free vs. Pro
In FluentCRM, there’s no limitation to how many contacts you can store, how many times you want to use a feature, or how many emails you can send. On the other hand, other marketing automation tools limit the number of contacts, features, and email sending limits based on pricing tires. So it makes sense to ask how FluentCRM free compares with FluentCRM Pro.
The core FluentCRM plugin is free, and it’s packed with a lot of excellent features. In fact, you can automate a lot of tasks like dynamic tagging in the free version. However, if you upgrade to Pro, you’ll get the most intriguing features of the plugin to boost your business.
So without further ado, let’s start the complete FluentCRM free vs. Pro comparison. Since this comparison is going to be a long read, you may use the table of content for easy navigation:
Generally, CRM systems and marketing automation tools come with multiple core components like customer relationship management, data organization, marketing, reporting, analytics, workflow automation, etc.
Similarly, FluentCRM comes with six features for a smooth marketing automation experience.
- 360° contact overview
- Contact segmentation
- Email campaign management
- Email sequencing
- Email marketing automation
- Granular reporting
Most of these core features are available in the free version, except for the email sequencing feature.
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Now, if you’re wondering why FluentCRM’s email sequencing feature is limited to the Pro version, as you can easily create one inside email marketing automation, there is a difference, and we’ll get to that in a bit.
360° contact overview
Contact overview is the place where FluentCRM stores all the details of your contacts. Upon clicking to view a contact profile, you can check the contact’s general details such as his name, address, email address, phone number, custom profile data, engagement stats, lists and tags assigned, etc.
By switching tabs, you can also see a log of the emails you’ve sent to that contact, purchase history (Obtained from WooCommerce, Easy Digital Downloads, and WPPayForm), form submissions (Obtained from Fluent Forms), and notes or activities.
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There are no significant differences in the contact overview between FluentCRM’s free and Pro versions. However, FluentCRM Pro adds the ability to send direct emails to your contact and lets you check any emails that the contact is about to receive from your automation funnels, email sequences, or email campaigns.
This comes in handy if you send direct emails often. On the other hand, it will be easier for you to check if your contacts are properly receiving your emails or completing steps of your automation.
Contact segmentation plays a vital part in any marketing automation tool. This is where you can create separate groups of all your contacts according to their source, behavior, activity, and many more.
FluentCRM takes a relatively simple approach to contact segmentation. You can create lists and tag-based contact groups and add contacts to those lists and tags. And to filter out a particular type of contact, FluentCRM lets you filter your contact lists based on list, tags, and contract status. If you want to get more insights into your contact lists, you can enable more columns that show additional contact information such as source, country, date of last activity, etc.
Again, you can create as many lists and contacts as you want in both the free and Pro versions. There’s no limit on that.
The FluentCRM Pro addon lets you have dynamically segmented contact lists. This is particularly useful if you want to have automatically segmented contact lists based on your criteria.
For example, suppose you want to create a list of contacts who weren’t opening your emails for the last 30 days. In that case, you can enable the last email activity filter and set your conditions to have an automated list of such contacts so that you can send a re-engage email campaign to only those contacts.
Email campaign management
Email campaigns are a great way to get in touch with a large group of your audience at once. FluentCRM comes with an easy-to-manage, four-step email campaign management feature. Let’s get to them step-by-step!
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Unlike other marketing automation tools, FluentCRM comes with a block-based email composer to give you a smooth email composing experience. Before composing the email, you need to choose a template from 4-types of email templates to define how the email will appear in your subscriber’s email client. You can also write or export a custom HTML email template or set custom email styling options by clicking the gear icon.
FluentCRM gives you 14 easy-to-use blocks to design and compose beautiful emails. Plus, you can also use dynamic tags to personalize the email body. If you plan to reuse your email template, you can simply click the save button!
There are no major differences in the email composer section between FluentCRM free and Pro. However, FluentCRM Pro enables you to use the conditional content block. This block helps you personalize your email body based on tags. The conditional content block is helpful if you want to modify crucial sections of your email body while keeping other sections as it is.
In the subject and settings section, you can write your email subject line and split test (also called A/B testing) subject lines. If you want to send your emails from a custom email address or custom name, you can also set them here. And finally, you can track your campaign’s click-through rates using UTM parameters by Google analytics.
Apart from the Split testing part, all of the features are available within FluentCRM’s free version.
The following two sections have nothing to be limited by free or Pro; one lets you select recipients by including or excluding lists and tags or simply selecting a dynamic segment you created. Another one is to review your entire email campaign at a glance so that you can send or schedule the campaign!
Note that you can also make post-campaign actions such as adding and removing tags based on email open and link click once the email campaign is archived. However, that’s only available in FluentCRM’s Pro version.
Email sequencing (Pro)
An email sequence is a series of emails automatically sent out on a schedule to a particular group of people or customers on your email list.
Email sequencing is the only Pro feature among FluentCRM’s core features. That’s because the email sequencing feature in FluentCRM is an advanced one that gives you the ability to control an email sequence.
Your automation emails will be sent at the time it was triggered. On the contrary, FluentCRM’s email sequence is a template that lets you send your emails at the exact times of specific days.
Let’s say you send your audience a series of emails after they download a free ebook. You also want to ensure higher email opens by sending them the emails on Saturday mornings.
If you set a behavioral trigger to send your emails, you can’t control when they go out. That’s where email sequencing comes in. With an email sequence, you can define the exact days of the week, and the exact time your audience will receive the email. In that way, you can ensure higher email engagement and improve conversion rate!
Email marketing automation
Email marketing plays a pivotal role in any business’s growth. But cold emailing doesn’t cut it anymore. In today’s email marketing, you need to reach out to your audience with the right message at the right time.
But if your business deals with many people at once, it’s practically impossible to send personalized emails every time. Instead, you can simply use an email marketing automation tool to automate relevant emails!
Not only that, you can utilize your email marketing automation tool for segmentation, contact profiling, and many other tasks.
In order to create and design marketing automation funnels, FluentCRM provides you with four kinds of components:
- Action Blocks
Apart from conditionals, all other components are available in FluentCRM’s free version.
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However, some of the triggers, action blocks, benchmarks, and conditionals are only available in the Pro version. We’ll break them down for your convenience.
Also, note that FluentCRM integrates with many WordPress plugins automatically. Most of these integrations add additional triggers, benchmarks, and conditionals. We’ll get to them in the integrations section of this article.
Triggers help you initiate email marketing automation based on your audience’s behavior and activity. Let’s say your audience submits a form; you can use that as a trigger for automating a few tasks.
The core FluentCRM plugin comes with WordPress and CRM triggers. These triggers include:
- New User Sign Up Trigger – To initiate automation when a new user signs up on your WordPress site.
- Tag Applied – To initiate automation when a tag is applied to one of your contacts.
- Tag Removed – To initiate automation when a tag is taken off from one of your contacts.
- List Removed – To initiate automation when a tag is taken off from one of your contacts.
- List Applied – To initiate automation when a list is applied to one of your contacts.
- New Form Submissions(Fluent Forms): To initiate automation when someone submits a contact form you’ve created using Fluent Forms.
FluentCRM’s free version comes with only two triggers, the New User Sign Up Trigger and New Form Submissions (Fluent Forms) trigger. With FluentCRM Pro, you’ll get four more triggers to initiate advanced automation.
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For example, suppose your contacts have been opening your emails and clicking your links. In that case, you can apply a tag to those contacts and trigger another automation using that tag to persuade them into buying a product.
2. Action blocks
Action blocks will let you make the automation do something you want. For example, give a tag to a user, wait a few days, send an email.
Currently, FluentCRM offers 13 action blocks:
- Wait X Days: To add a delay between automation steps.
- Apply List: To add contacts to selected contact list(s).
- Apply Tag: To assign selected tags to contacts.
- Remove From List: To remove contacts from selected contact lists.
- Remove From Tag: To remove the selected tags from contacts.
- Send Custom Email: To send custom emails to the contacts in the automation.
- Send Campaign Email: To send a pre-made email campaign to the contacts in automation.
- Set Sequence Emails: To trigger an email sequence for the contacts in automation.
- Cancel Automations: To cancel the selected automation for the contacts in the automation.
- Cancel Sequence Emails: To cancel the selected email sequences for the contacts in automation.
- Update Contact Profile: To update the profiles of the contacts in automation.
- Add Notes and Activity: To add notes and activities to the contact profiles in automation.
- End This Funnel Here: To end the automation for the contact that reaches a certain point.
While FluentCRM’s free version comes with six action blocks for setting up delays, sending custom emails, and applying or removing lists and tags, FluentCRM Pro offers a wide range of action blocks for creating diverse and efficient marketing automation funnels
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You can use the Premium action blocks for better contact profiling, email automation, email sequencing, and many more!
Benchmarks are important for checking if your contact qualifies for the next action in your automation. For instance, to qualify for receiving your next email, your contact needs to have a specific tag assigned to them.
However, depending on how you want to use them inside your automation, you can set your benchmark type to essential or optional.
FluentCRM’s available benchmarks are:
- List Applied: To check if the contact in the automation is in the selected lists.
- Tag Applied: To check if the contact in the automation has the selected tags.
- Tag Removed: To check if the selected tags were removed from the contacts in the automation.
- List Removed: To check if the contacts in the automation were removed from the selected lists.
- Link Click: To check if the contacts have clicked a specific link.
FluentCRM’s free version has all the benchmarks apart from the link click benchmark. If you want to run your automation based on whether the contact clicked your link or not, you need to have FluentCRM Pro.
The conditionals tab is where you’ll get to use the most advanced automation logic available in FluentCRM. These blocks will help you create automation based on if/else conditions.
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The conditionals come in handy if you want to define what happens when your automation’s audience matches a condition and what happens when they don’t.
Let’s say you want to send an email if your contact has a specific tag. And you also want to make sure that you want to stop automating for the contacts if they don’t have the tag. In that case, you can simply select a tag-based conditional and set those actions for different scenarios.
Currently, FluentCRM offers three basic conditionals. Which are:
- Has in Selected Lists: To automate actions based on whether the contacts in the automation are in the selected tag or not.
- Has in Selected Tags: To automate actions based on whether the contacts in the automation have the tags you’ve selected or not.
- Check Contact Properties: To automate actions based on whether the contacts in the automation have the contact property values you’ve defined or not.
The conditionals are only available in the Pro version of FluentCRM. You’ll also see more conditionals if you’re using any plugins that FluentCRM integrates with.
Any CRM or marketing automation platform is incomplete without the ability to track contacts, campaigns, sequences, and automation. FluentCRM comes with granular reporting and analytics to give you an overview of your subscriber growth, email sending stats, open stats, link click stats, revenue, and many more.
If you launch an email campaign, you can get a quick overview of the campaign in the campaigns tab. For more in-depth analytics, you’ll also find a detailed report of your email campaign that shows the campaign overview along with reports of every single email, link click, and A/B test metrics. Similarly, you can also get a detailed report of your email sequences or emails in the sequence.
On the other hand, FluentCRM’s marketing automation features a wide range of reports and analytics, including comparative step and email analytics to show you how your automation is performing or which step of your automation needs improvement.
Fortunately, you can see all stats, even if you’re using FluentCRM free. All of the reports and analytics are available in FluentCRM’s free version.
FluentCRM’s marketing automation features aren’t limited to email marketing campaigns or marketing automation. In fact, it comes with many other features and functionalities that can help your business in many ways. So let’s compare which are available in the free version and which are Pro only!
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- Email preference management (Free): Email preference management is the feature that lets your audience choose what they want to receive from you and what they don’t. FluentCRM email preference management feature helps you offer your audience a personalized email preference management dashboard.
With this feature, you can allow or disallow people to manage all or specific list subscriptions. The best way to use this feature is to allow the users to manage only specific lists.
- WordPress user signup (Free): If you allow WordPress user signups, you can create contact profiles for the users in FluentCRM.
- WordPress user data synchronization (Free): When you work with a CRM, you’d want to auto-synchronize data between platforms. By enabling this feature, you can sync your WP user data in FluentCRM.
- Comment form subscription (Free): WordPress users leave comments under blog posts, videos, etc. With FluentCRM, you can allow these users to become your subscribers.
- Custom fields (Free): Every business is different and businesses may need to collect custom data from their audience based on their needs. With FluentCRM, you can add unlimited custom fields to your contact properties.
- Smartlinks (Pro): Smartlinks is an amazing feature for tagging or un-tagging your contacts based on link clicks. This can change the way you automate things, both on FluentCRM and on your site.
For example, if your contact clicks a sales page link, you can simply assign a tag and trigger an automation to persuade him into buying your product!
- Incoming Webhooks (Pro): Although it’s a technical term, webhooks aren’t hard to use. It allows you to connect FluentCRM with any tools or apps that don’t integrate with FluentCRM natively.
For example, if you want to use a form that doesn’t integrate with FluentCRM, you can use webhooks to collect leads into FluentCRM. Here’s a tutorial on connecting Gravity Forms:
- CRM manager role (Pro): Often, you won’t be the only one using your CRM system. For smooth collaboration, you might want to allow your salesperson or author with limited ability on FluentCRM. And that’s where the CRM manager role feature comes in. This feature lets you limit CRM access.
- Data cleanup (Free): Since FluentCRM is self-hosted on WordPress, you might want to save your hosting resources clean by deleting some data you don’t need. With FluentCRM, you can set automatic data cleanup for clearing data you won’t need.
- Conditional content (Free): The conditional content feature is another addition to FluentCRM’s wonderful feature set. This allows you to show or hide content on your website based on tags you’ve assigned on FluentCRM.
For many use cases, this can work as a good conversion optimizer since you’ll better understand your contacts if you have a well-segmented contact list in FluentCRM.
FluentCRM’s additional features make it a more efficient tool considering what you can do with them. And Most of these additional features are free. However, features such as CRM manager role, incoming webhooks, and Smartlinks are only available in the Pro version.
If you have a website, there’s a pretty good chance that you’re using a lot of tools, apps, and platforms for smooth customer interaction. Integrations make it easy to effectively manage customer relationships by connecting with apps and platforms you use.
Like most other CRM and marketing automation, FluentCRM integrates with a lot of apps and platforms. Most of these apps and platforms are WordPress plugins. This means it will be easy for you to centralize data and keep them in sync with FluentCRM.
So without further ado, let’s check out which integrations are available with FluentCRM Free and which are Pro only.
Small and medium businesses often depend on e-commerce platforms for creating and selling their product. FluentCRM automatically integrates with popular e-commerce plugins like WooCommerce, Easy Digital Downloads, and WPPayForm.
FluentCRM integrates with e-commerce plugins in two ways. Firstly, it helps you track your customer’s purchase history, and secondly, it provides triggers for initiating marketing automation.
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WooCommerce is one of the most popular e-commerce platforms in the world. It is the most popular plugin for selling retail products without breaking a sweat. FluentCRM lets you track your WooCommerce customer’s purchase history, and you can also trigger marketing automation based on new purchases and order refunds.
For effective automation, you can also check if your contacts purchased your products and automate conditionally based on product purchases.
Easy Digital Downloads(Pro)
Easy Digital Downloads is another amazing plugin that helps you sell your digital products in WordPress. With FluentCRM, you can track EDD purchase history and initiate marketing automation when someone purchases a product. Like the WooCommerce integration, you can also check if your contacts purchased EDD products or automate based on product purchases.
WPPayForms is a simple payment form plugin that lets you collect payments through Stripe and Paypal. Currently, FluentCRM can only track purchases made through WPPayForm. However, you might see some marketing automation triggers added in the coming days.
Although the e-commerce purchase history integration is available in both FluentCRM free and Pro, the automation triggers, conditionals, and benchmarks are only available in FluentCRM Pro.
Essentially, this means you can only track your audience’s purchase history if you import them into FluentCRM’s free version. The Pro version automatically integrates with these plugins. As a result, your e-commerce contacts, purchase history, automation triggers, benchmarks, and conditionals will automatically be available in FluentCRM Pro.
2. Form Integrations
Forms are vital for collecting leads into FluentCRM and updating contact data properties. Currently, FluentCRM integrates with Fluent Forms, MailOptin, and Elementor Forms. Note that you can collect leads via any form that offers an outgoing webhook.
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Fluent Forms (Free)
Fluent Forms is one of the best WordPress form builder plugins. It is the only native form builder in FluentCRM.
The integration between Fluent Forms and FluentCRM lets you generate leads, populate custom profile data and assign tags to contacts. In addition, you can also tag contacts dynamically or conditionally.
Fluent Forms integration also offers a trigger for creating automation which we talked about earlier.
MailOptin is another popular WordPress form builder plugin that allows you to create popup forms, subscription forms, and user registration forms. The plugin has built-in integration with FluentCRM to collect leads, custom data, and assign tags.
Elementor Forms (Pro)
Elementor is the most popular page builder for WordPress. It has a beautiful form widget that allows you to collect leads and data. With FluentCRM’s Elementor forms integration, you can collect leads and data and generate solid contact profiles.
If you have Fluent Forms or MailOptin, you can use most form integration features in FluentCRM’s free version. However, the Elementor Forms integration is only available in FluentCRM’s Pro version.
3. Membership and eLearning Integrations
Many course creators and product sellers are making WordPress sites for selling their online courses and membership-based products. They often need email marketing automation for automating their business, selling, upselling, cross-selling products, or relationship building.
If you’re a course seller or membership site owner, you can use FluentCRM as your marketing automation platform. It integrates with some of the most popular LMS plugins, and you can easily automate your course marketing and membership management with FluentCRM.
Currently, FluentCRM integrates with the below LMS and Membership plugins
- LifterLMS (Pro)
- LearnDash (Pro)
- TutorLMS (Pro)
- Paid Memberships Pro (Pro)
- WishList (Pro)
- Memberpress (Pro)
- Restrict Content Pro (Pro)
It offers multiple triggers and conditionals for automating your LMS and membership marketing. The triggers and conditionals include:
- Course Enrollment Trigger
- Membership Enrollment Trigger
- Lesson Completion Trigger
- Course Completion Trigger
- Topic Completion Trigger
- Membership Level Trigger
- Membership Expiration Trigger
- Course Enrollment Conditional
- Membership Enrollment Conditional
However, none of them are available in the free version. Here’s a table showing the available triggers and conditionals based on integrated plugins:
4. Automator Plugins
Automator plugins act as the connector for the WordPress site. With such plugins, you can automate many things in your WordPress site.
Suppose you’re using a plugin that doesn’t natively integrate with FluentCRM; you can easily use automator plugins to create contacts from those plugins, insert contacts into a list or assign a tag inside FluentCRM.
FluentCRM currently integrates with the below WordPress plugins:
- Uncanny Automator
Most of them offer some free actions with FluentCRM free. However, if you’re looking for sophisticated automation, you may need to have the Pro version.
5. Other Integrations
FluentCRM has integration with some other plugins too. If you’re using any of them, you can enjoy a variety of marketing automation functionality.
- Presto Player: Presto Player is one of the best media player plugins for WordPress. The player has a feature to collect video leads which you can automatically store inside FluentCRM.
You can also add contacts to lists or tag them through this integration. However, this integration is only available in FluentCRM Pro.
- AffiliateWP: AffiliateWP is an affiliate management plugin for WordPress. With FluentCRM, you can manage your AffiliateWP contacts better, trigger automation, and improve relationships with your affiliates. The AffiliateWP integration is also limited to Pro users.
- Oxygen Builder: Oxygen Builder is one of the finest page builders for WordPress. FluentCRM provides a conditional content block for Oxygen Builder users so that they can show or hide contact based on a number of FluentCRM conditions. And this is available in both free and Pro versions of FluentCRM!
Final Verdict: FluentCRM Free vs. Pro
FluentCRM is a wonderful plugin with incredible marketing automation functionalities. The plugin works as a native WordPress plugin. So you’ll never have to leave your WordPress dashboard for sending out email campaigns, setting up email sequences and marketing automation, or just to manage and view contacts and email analytics.
Obviously, FluentCRM’s free version does not offer the more advanced features and integrations one may need to manage their e-commerce, membership, or eLearning management website. But even in the free version, you’ll get a lot of unmatched email marketing automation functionalities.
If you’re looking for a basic email campaign and marketing automation tool, the free version is a good choice for you.
On the other hand, the Pro version is a complete marketing automation platform with some of the most desired marketing automation features. With the integrations and advanced functionalities that come with FluentCRM Pro, any business would have no problem automating their business on WordPress. Offered at a flat and affordable price, FluentCRM really is a game-changing marketing automation plugin for WordPress.
Both free and Pro versions of FluentCRM are very capable in terms of features. But we believe that everyone’s needs are different. And to get the best value out of a FluentCRM, you now have all the data to choose the right product for your business.
So that concludes our comparison on FluentCRM free vs. Pro. Now it’s your call to make.
Ready to upgrade?
Let us know if we missed something or if you have any questions in the comments section. If you want to watch some amazing FluentCRM tutorials, subscribe to our youtube channel and follow us on Twitter. We roll them out regularly!
P.S: we release new feature updates as we speak! The post wasn’t updated after our latest releases. To find out what we added, check out our latest release notes:
- FluentCRM 2.2: Introducing Flexible Tagging & Loads of New Features!
- FluentCRM 2.3.0: BuddyBoss, ThriveCart, LearnPress Integration and more!
- FluentCRM 2.5: Powerful Contact Management Features and More!
- FluentCRM 2.5.6: Introducing An Easier Way of Migrating to FluentCRM!
- FluentCRM 2.5.7: New Bulk Actions and More Email Shortcodes
- FluentCRM: 2.5.9: Lot of New Features and Improvements!