If you are a marketing guru with loads of experience in the trade, you probably know all about inbound and outbound marketing. And the world absolutely needs people like you. But if you are like the rest of us, just trying to get your product noticed and understood by the teeming masses, these terms are just more industry jargon gibberish.
Fortunately, Merchant Maverick is here to provide definitions and cut through the jargon. Basically, an inbound marketing methodology requires you to market yourself in such a way that customers naturally find their way to you, rather than employing more aggressive marketing efforts and strategies (like cold calls).
What Is Hubspot?
Apps like HubSpot are designed to be the backbone of your inbound system. Visit the HubSpot website and you will see multiple references to the company’s commitment to inbound marketing. Specifically, HubSpot offers three separateÂ products that each address a distinct aspect of a business’s inbound marketing strategy. The first is HubSpot’s “free-forever” customer relations management (CRM) system; the second is HubSpot Marketing. Finally, HubSpot offers a Sales tool. But what exactly do these products offer subscribers? And are HubSpot’s inbound marketing services right for you? Join us as we dive into the deep end of inbound marketing. We’ll cover HubSpot pricing, support, and more.
HubSpot CRM Tool
As mentioned above, HubSpot’s CRM tool is free forever. Now, I have been writing and reviewing tech products for a while now, and I have come to expect a few things when I see the “free forever” label. Usually, that just means there is a free version of a software, but with most useful features removed. HubSpot’s CRM is not like that. There are no other subscription tiers, no other fees. HubSpot CRM is 100% free.
But what does it do?
Basically, this tool is designed to help you manage your interactions with customers. When adding a new contact into your database (that can hold up to 1,000,000 people), the CRM begins cataloging every interaction. As you communicate with prospective customers, you retain access to your entire history with them. No more losing emails in the depths of your inbox. All the details are saved and easy to access. In addition to the microscopic view of each contact, the CRM also provides you a broad perspective on what HubSpot calls yourÂ “sales funnel.” Using the dashboard, you can quickly identify which customers are locked in on the road to closing a deal and which ones might need more assistance. You can use this tool to automate those communications as well, ensuring no customer falls through the cracks.
So do you need HubSpot’s CRM? Basically, if you are attempting to sell any sort of customizable product where different customers will receiveÂ individually tailored products, then you definitely want some kind of CRM service. And HubSpot’s is free. Not only that, but it works, and works well. So yes, you probably want to at least try it out.
But what about HubSpot’s other products? Let’s take a look.
HubSpot Inbound Marketing
You may have a way to manage your relationships with all your customers, but how do you get those customers in the first place? The obvious answer is that you need to market yourself somehow. Fortunately, HubSpot also offers an inbound marketing service that works seamlessly with their CRM product. You can use the free-forever version of this product, but really you will want to start at the $200/month “Starter” level, which includes such crucial features as Calls To Action pages for your website and email marketing. HubSpot pricing for larger subscriptions (which run into the $2,400/month range) includes marketing automation, A/B testing, and custom event triggers.
This is where HubSpot’s “inbound marketing” philosophy really starts to show through: Most of the marketing that you will do with this product involves creating content that draws prospective customers to you. Inbound methodology could entail content marketing, like writing blogs, orÂ optimizing your website to bring in customers rather than investing in outbound marketing through social media sites Facebook, Google, or other advertising platforms. It is organic lead generation, in other words. Keep in mind that you will need a website already in order for this to work. If you’re using a hosting service like Squarespace or Wix, you will need to add a few lines of code (provided by HubSpot) to the source in order to integrate with HubSpot. If you use WordPress, on the other hand, you can simply install the HubSpot plug-in. So far so good.
But what do you actually get from there?
Like I mentioned above, the idea of HubSpot’s marketing service is to attract customers organically to your own content by optimizing your website. HubSpot provides blog and email templates designed to look great across devices, then allow you to insert the all-important ‘Call to Action’ boxes that encourage people to enter their information to your email list and start that customer relationship. The more money you spend per month, the more automated this process becomes.
So do you need inbound marketing services through HubSpot? In my opinion, yes. This service is worth at least the $200/month subscription. From there you will have to decide how much you want to spend on increased automation.
So now you have a way to attract potential customers and manage your relationship with them. But really the whole point is to convert those leads and prospects into sales. Once again, HubSpot offers a product to fill that gap. HubSpot Sales Hub is all about communicating with customers, lead nurturing, and centralizing the process of negotiation so that you can focus on the warmest leads without sacrificing the others. The free version of this product is relatively viable, including meetings, calls, task tracking, and more. However, by paying for the $50/month subscription, you also gain features like live chat, prospects, and dedicated customer support. For a whopping $400/month, you can automate your sales process, as well as unlock HubSpot’s excellent Salesforce integration.
Like all of HubSpot’s products, the Sales Hub is built with centralization in mind. All your leads are kept in the same place, organized to keep them from getting mixed up or lost. The focus in sales, though, is on communication with clients. All subscribers gain access to HubSpot’s calls feature, which simplifies the process of scheduling phone meetings with customers. You also get access to powerful email marketing tools, allowing you to track which customers read your messages or downloaded your attachments.
So do you need it? I think the free version of the software is definitely worth a try. If you find you like your experience with the free version, you might consider paying a higher price for some more advanced features.
HubSpot Service Hub
Offered at $400/month, HubSpot’s Service Hub is the final square in the grand customer management quilt that HubSpot has created. As with all their other products, the key to understanding the Service Hub is organization. The goal is that you will be able to keep all your customer interactions organized and arranged so that no one gets left out.
The Service Hub comes with several communication tools, including a live chat and enhanced email inbox to ensure your customers never feel ignored. Additionally, you can create a “knowledge base” of self-service articles to allow your more independent customers a chance to figure out their problems on their own. There is even a feature allowing you to create chatbots to increase the efficiency of your customer service interactions. Finally, use comprehensive data insights to make sure you are getting optimal interactions every time.
So do you need the sales hub? Really, it will only be useful if you have a lot of customers every month. Of all the HubSpot products I have reviewed in this post, this is the one I would recommend skipping out on, at least at first. Having said that, if your products require extensive customer service, this might be a great option for you.
Why Go Hubspot?
HubSpot provides products that cover every facet of customer interaction, from marketing to sales to leads to customer service. Supporting all other products is the Hubspot CRM, which serves as the bedrock product that makes the others work smoothly.
But do you need HubSpot? Frankly, I think you do. If you are trying to market or sell a product on the internet today, you will want to use these kinds of products in some way, even if you use low-level or free subscriptions for some of them. The only possible exception would be the customer service hub, depending on the level of service required by your product.
Fortunately, most of HubSpot’s products have a free-forever option, so you can try before you buy. I recommend signing up and putting the different apps through their paces before committing to paying a monthly subscription.
The post Are HubSpot’s Inbound Marketing Services Right For You? appeared first on Merchant Maverick.
Finding accounting software is never easy. Finding nonprofit software is no walk in the park either. But finding nonprofit accounting software that you can actually afford can seem downright impossible.
Sure there are plenty of fund accounting nonprofit options, but if your organization is looking for something easier to use and more affordable, QuickBooks Online may be the perfect way to go.
While QuickBooks Online doesn’t have features that are specifically designed for nonprofits, it does have several key nonprofit integrations. With QuickBooks Online covering the accounting and a nonprofit software covering your nonprofit management, you may be able to find a great alternative to traditionally expensive, convoluted fund accounting.
In this post, we’ll cover the top four nonprofit integrations for QuickBooks Online and how to choose which nonprofit software is right for you.
Overview Of QuickBooks Online
QuickBooks Online (see our review) is one of the most popular accounting programs on the market — and for good reason. The software offers strong accounting, tons of features, and is completely mobile. This cloud-based accounting software has been giving other programs a run for their money since 2004, and since then, QuickBooks Online has grown to support over 2.2 million users.
What makes QuickBooks Online such a popular choice? It’s easy to use and requires very little previous accountingÂ knowledge. ItÂ hasÂ a large feature set at an affordable price — and what features it doesn’t have are covered by 200+ integrations. While the customer service has left users wanting in the past, QuickBooks Online is working hard to improve their support.
In terms of nonprofits, QuickBooks Online doesn’t offer nonprofit-specific features. When you create yourÂ QuickBooks Online account, you can mark your company as a nonprofit, which will create a customized nonprofit chart of accounts, but that’s about it. Instead, the main benefit of using QuickBooks Online for nonprofits is the strong accounting (and the nonprofit integrations, which we’ll cover in this post).
For the most part, QuickBooks Online is intuitive and its features are easy to use. QuickBooks Online covers all of the features you’d expect from an accounting software, like invoicing, estimates, contact management, expense tracking, project management, time tracking, and then some.
You’ll also find key accounting features like accounts payable, bank reconciliation, reports, and a chart of accounts.
Some of our favorite additional features include:
It’s also worth noting that QuickBooks has one of the best invoicing features out there. Not only are the templates customizable and attractive, you can also autoschedule invoices to automate your billing process.
The only downside of QuickBooks Online is that some of these features are only available with the most expensive plan, and the software doesn’t support more than 25 users. See our full QuickBooks Online review for details.
QuickBooks Offers three pricing plans ranging from $15/mo – $50/mo. Each tier gives you access to more user and features. There is a free 30-day trial if you’d like toÂ test the software before buying.
The highest plan only supports 5 users, so you’ll have to pay extra for additional users. Payroll is also an additional $39-$99/mo depending on your plan. Luckily, QuickBooks Online often offers a discount on the Intuit website. Be sure to take advantage of this, especially because you’ll have to pay for QuickBooksÂ OnlineÂ and the nonprofit integration of your choice.
Now that you have an idea of what QuickBooks is capable of and how much it costs, let’s see how your nonprofit organization can benefit from one of the QuickBooks Online nonprofit integrations.
Nonprofit organizations looking for a highly customizable nonprofit software and CRM solution.
Sumac is a locally-installed nonprofit software founded on the motto “do more good.” The software offers everything from basic CRM to pledges, course registration, auditions and submissions, and more. The best part about Sumac is that the software is incredibly customizable and can be tailored to fit your organization’s specific needs. Well, maybe the best part is that the basic CRM package is completely free. We’ll let you decide.
Sumac has an incredible number of features that are relatively easy to use. The design of the locally-installed version of Sumac is less attractive than the other nonprofit software options in this post, but if you can look past the outdated UI, you’ll find that Sumac is easy to navigate.
The software begins with basic CRM features:Â invoicing, contact management, reporting, email marketing, donation management, event management, and time tracking. These features are included in every plan.
You can then add these additional modules to Sumac:
Auditions and submissions
In general, users seem incredibly happy with the number of features they receive from Sumac. They also praise Sumac’s customer support, how easy the software is to use, and how customizable it is.
Sumac offers four different pricing plans: Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum. Each plan varies in the number of add-ons, contacts, and users available. Each plan integrates directly with QuickBooks Online to connect all of your data.
Bronze:Â The Bronze plan is free and includes all basic CRM features, email support, 1 user, and up to 500 contacts.
Silver: The Silver plan is $20/mo and gives you the basic CRM features, 2 add-ons, phone and email support, support for 1 user, and up to 1,000 contacts.
Gold: The Gold plan is Sumac’s custom pricing option where you can add the exact number of add-ons that your organization needs. It also includes the Basic CRM features, phone and email support, unlimited users, and up to 30,000 contacts.
Platinum: The Platinum plan is $400/mo and includes the basic CRM features, 5 add-ons, phone and email support, unlimited users, and unlimited contacts.
If you prefer cloud-based software over locally-installed software, you can upgrade to the cloud version of Sumac for an additional $25/mo.
Sumac is a great option for nonprofits who need a customizable software with ample features. Sumac has the only free nonprofit software option on this list and is also the only locally-installed option. If you are looking for a cheap nonprofit CRM, you can’t beat Sumac. Pair Sumac with QuickBooks Online and you may have a winner on your hands.
To learn more about Sumac, visit their website and take the software for a spin with their free trial. You can also schedule a demo of Sumac.
Get Started With Sumac
Nonprofits in need of a cloud-based nonprofit software with ample integrations.Â
Kindful is a fully-featured, cloud-based nonprofit software that is used by organizations like the Special Olympics, the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, and Habitat for Humanity. Kindful has been helping nonprofits since 2011. Their motto is “your mission is our mission” and they offer tons of features to help nonprofits succeed.Â The software is intuitive with a beautiful design and offers the most integrations of any nonprofit program on this list.
Kindful’s UI is both appealing and easy to use. While Kindful doesn’t have quite as many unique features as Sumac, the features it does have are done well.Â Kindful offers contact management, donation management, event management, pledges, letters, and more.
Kindful is well-suited out to meet the needs of real nonprofit organizations. You can accept online donations and recurring donations, create contact groups, enter gifts, and email receipts automatically. There is also an unlimited number of customer donation pages, and donors receive their own Kindful login where they can view and manage their pledges and donations.
Some other great Kindful features include:
For the most part, Kindful has positive customer reviews. Users appreciate how easy the software is to use, which saves them time so they can focus on their nonprofits.Â They also find the customer support team helpful and enjoy the 30+ integrations Kindful offers.
The only downside is that the software can be a bit spendy for smaller nonprofits with a large number of contacts.
Kindful offers four different pricing plans. Each plan comes with all of the same features; the only difference is the number of contacts available. Each plan integrates with QuickBooks Online as well.
Up To 2,000 Contacts: $150/mo (billed annually)
Up To 5,000 Contacts: $200/mo (billed annually)
Up To 15,000 Contacts: $300/mo (billed annually)
Up To 25,000 Contacts: $400/mo (billed annually)
There is no additional charge for tech support and the only payment processing fees you pay are those charge by your specific payment processing company (i.e. Stripe, PayPal, etc.).
Kindful’s UI and customer donations pages make it a great choice for nonprofits. The software offers great CRM features and good donor management, as well as a unique donor login feature. If integrations are important for your organization, Kindful has the most offerings out of all four programs in this post.
To learn more about Kindful, visit their site and schedule a demo. You can also see how other real-life nonprofits are using Kindful in their customer stories.
Get Started With Kindful
Small to medium-sized churches in need of church-specific nonprofit software.
There are plenty of nonprofit programs out there that churchesÂ could make work, but Breeze wanted to make a software specifically create with churches in mind. This church management software is ideal for small to medium churches. The software is cloud-based, easy to use, and — best of all — it’s affordable.
Breeze offers an impressive number of features designed specifically for churches. It allows you to manage contacts, tithes, and events, as well as online giving and volunteers.
One of the features users love most about Breeze is the children’s ministry check-in feature. Breeze allows parents to check in their children to Sunday school and even lets you print name labels. You can also create custom forms to suit your church’s needs.
Church members get their own Breeze login where they can view their statements and donate online.
Other Breeze features include:
Built-in emailing and texting
Existing Breeze users praise the software for being so easy to use that everyone in their church can learn it, no matter what level of tech experience. Users also praise the customer support and the low cost of the software.
The only potential drawback we see with Breeze is that larger churches may outgrow the software’s capabilities.
Breeze has a single cost of $50/mo. This includes every Breeze feature, unlimited users, phone support, email support, upgrades, and even data transfers.
When it comes to churches, there are very specific needs and requirements that a software must meet. Breeze offers the key features churches need, all while maintaining an affordable price. The software is easy to use and has a beautiful UI, and you can’t top unlimited users.
To see if Breeze is right for your church organization, schedule a demo or sign up for a free trial on Breeze’s website.
Get Started With Breeze
Nonprofits in need of a comprehensive CRM solution.
NeonCRM is a cloud-based nonprofit software founded back in 2004. Over 85% of NeonCRM’s staff has a nonprofit background, so they know exactly what nonprofits need. With several pricing plans and a nice selection of features, there’s a little something for everyone with this software.
NeonCRM has an attractive UI that is well-organized and highly developed. A few users have complained that the software is unintuitive at times, but the majority find NeonCRM easy to use.
The software offers a good number of features, including contact management, volunteer management, donations, event planning, and more.
If you go with the smallest NeonCRM pricing plan, you’ll have to choose between either the fundraising or membership module, though with any other plan you get access to both. NeonCRM has good automations like automatic receipting and batch donations. You can also create custom fundraising pages and can even indicate the relationship between contacts.
Like Kindful, users get their own contact login where they can view their history and manage donations.
In addition, NeonCRM offers:
ThankÂ yous and gifts
Volunteer project management
In terms of customer reviews, NeonCRM receives relatively high praise. Users appreciate the software’s ease of use and praise the customer support team. The software also offers a handy MailChimp integration.
The only drawback of the software is that it can get a bit expensive.
NeonCRM has three different pricing plans: Essentials, Impact, and Empower. The exact cost of each plan varies depending on how many contacts you need and if you need data entry assistance.
Essentials:Â Starts at $50/mo. Must choose between fundraising or membership. Includes event management, campaigns, automatic receipts, reports, contact management, and volunteer management. Does not include a QuickBooks Online integration.
Impact:Â Starts at $110/mo. Includes both fundraising and memberships. Includes all of the features from the Essentials plan, plus web forms, online store, customer survey builder, peer-to-peer fundraising, and a QuickBooks Online integration.
Empower:Â Starts at $200/mo. Includes all of the features form the Impact plan, plus donor search, live chat, and visual phone support.
Customer support may cost extra depending on the plan. Download NeonCRM’s pricing .pdf for all of the details.
NeonCRM is a comprehensive CRM solution with a few great nonprofit additions. The software is beautifully designed and is a great choice for organizations seeking to build an appealing online presence and brand. While Neon CRM can get expensive (especially considering that the QuickBooks Online integration is limited to the two higher plans), it may still be worth it for some medium to large-sized nonprofits.
Learn more about NeonCRM on their website, or contact NeonCRM directly for a free trial or demo.
Get Started With NeonCRM
Which Nonprofit Software Is Right For Me?
When it comes to choosing the perfect nonprofit software to integrate with QuickBooks Online for your organization, think carefully about your nonprofit’s needs. Which features do you need? How many users need to use the software? Do you need cloud-based software or mobile apps? All of these factors, as well as your budget, will determine which nonprofit software is right for.
QuickBooks Online does have two other donor management integrations — Method:Donor and Donor Receipts — if you need an even simpler solution. That said, Sumac, Kindful, Breeze, and NeonCRM are your best bets if you want to integrate fully-featured nonprofit software with QuickBooks online.
If you’re still not certain if QuickBooks Online is the best choice for your nonprofit, take a look at our Top 10 Best Nonprofit Accounting Apps For 2018 for more options.
The post Best Nonprofit Integrations For QuickBooks Online appeared first on Merchant Maverick.
Itâs 4:30 on a Friday and youâre knee-deep in packing peanuts and cardboard boxes. Youâve got twenty orders to pick, pack, and ship before the post office closes, and you keep misplacing your packing slips.
There must be a better way.
If your storage space is covered in packing materials and you record all your shipping information in spreadsheets and Post-It notes, it might be time to try something else.
In the era in which an app solves everything, it makes sense to turn to software solutions to soothe your shipping woes.
Shipping software solutions integrate with most popular eCommerce software programs and can help simplify your day-to-day operations. They let you calculate accurate shipping rates and print shipping labels and packing slips in bulk. They can even grant you discounted shipping rates.
These programs are typically available as SaaS solutions that range in price from $25/month to $99/month — a small price to pay for the shipping issues they resolve.
Itâs clear you should subscribe to a shipping software, but with so many options available, how do you choose?
Weâve tested out a handful of shipping solutions, examining price, ease of use, and customer service. Keep reading to learn more about the best shipping software for 2018.
With a near-perfect score of 4.5 stars, ShippingEasyÂ (see our review) is our top-rated shipping solution for eCommerce businesses. This software is true to its name: itâs easy to learn and use and customer support representatives are ready to help with any potential hiccups.
Businesses of all sizes. It works especially well for eCommerce merchants who run their own online stores.
Pricing for ShippingEasy is simple and affordable; plans range from $29/month for 500 shipments to $99/month for 6,000 shipments. Each step up in pricing includes more monthly shipments and higher level customer support.
ShippingEasy has a free plan available for merchants shipping fewer than 50 shipments/month. For high volume sellers, ShippingEasy also offers enterprise options. Read more about ShippingEasyâs pricing in our full review.
As I mentioned above, we found ShippingEasy to be highly user-friendly. You can easily import orders, create shipments, set shipping parameters, and buy and print postage, shipping labels, and packing slips.
We also like how many features come included with ShippingEasy. And we especially love the fact that ShippingEasyâs partnership with USPS lets you benefit from lower shipping rates. You can save up to 46% on shipping rates when you sign on for one of ShippingEasyâs paid plans.
Other features include:
A Free Endicia Account
Shipping Status Updates & Real-Time Tracking
Individual Or Batch Shipping
If youâre worried that ShippingEasy might not integrate into your eCommerce software, fear no more! ShippingEasy integrates easily with the biggest names in eCommerce, including 3dcart, Magento, BigCommerce, Shopify, Volusion, and WooCommerce. View all of ShippingEasyâs integrations.
ShippingEasy also has a good record when it comes to customer service. Their support representatives are knowledgeable and helpful.
With so many positives to ShippingEasy, itâs hard to find any downsides. You should note, however, that ShippingEasy still has room to grow when it comes to simplifying their daily operations. In particular, users would like to see improvement in expediting the data entry process.
Otherwise, ShippingEasy is an excellent option. Take a look at our shipping software reviewsÂ to learn more about the software or sign up for a free 30-day trial.
Read our full ShippingEasy review
Visit the ShippingEasy website
OrderCup (see our review) is one of our favorite shipping software solutions. OrderCup offers an easy to use interface, multi-carrier shipping options, and discounted shipping rates. And best of all, OrderCup provides users with reliable and responsive customer support, so you can get answers to your pressing questions quickly.
Merchants who ship between 500 and 12,000 shipments a month and who only need up to 12 users on the platform. With five tiered pricing plans, OrderCup is accessible to many merchants.
As I mentioned before, OrderCup separates pricing into five tiers. To add a little fun to the pricing, OrderCup has named each tier after a Starbucks drink size. Plans range from Short to Trenta, and each step up in pricing includes more sales channels, more monthly shipments, and more users.
The Short plan begins at $20/month for 500 monthly shipments, and Trenta costs $180/month for 12,000 monthly shipments.
For more information, view OrderCup’s pricing page.
OrderCup’s dashboard is well-organized and quick to learn. During setup, you’ll be able to integrate your hosted shopping cart. Your online store’s orders will be automatically transferred to your OrderCup dashboard.
Then, you’ll be able to connect with your favorite carriers and start processing orders.
OrderCup’s feature list includes everything you’d expect from a multi-carrier shipping software. They have made arrangements with several carriers, including the USPS, DHL, UK Mail, and DX to offer their customers discounted shipping rates. You’ll also be able to integrate with worldwide shipping carriers across Europe, Asia, and Australia.
Here are a few more features you can expect from OrderCup:
Automate Your Shipping Process
Print Return Labels To Include With Shipments
Bulk Import Orders Using CSV Files
Schedule Shipment Pickups
Integrate With Third-Party Fulfillment
OrderCup integrates with many eCommerce solutions, including Shopify, BigCommerce, Magento, WooCommerce, and Volusion. Integrated marketplaces include Amazon, eBay, and Etsy. Check the full list for more information.
Out of all these features, OrderCup users seem to be most enthusiastic about OrderCup’s support team. Support representatives are responsive and patient, often spending up to an hour on the phone with users to make sure everything is working properly. Users also praise OrderCup’s Canadian shipping options; it is easy to ship to and from Canada.
There are few negative comments about OrderCup online, though we have seen customers complain about having to pay extra in order to access phone support and get priority attention for their technical issues.
OrderCup is one of our favorite shipping software programs, scoring an excellent 4.5 out of 5 stars. If you think this software might be the right fit for your business, we recommend you try it out. You can sign up for a free 30-day trial in minutes.
But if you’d like a bit more information before you proceed, take a look at our complete review. We include in-depth information about pricing, customer service levels, and more.
Read our full OrderCup review
Visit the OrderCup website
OrdoroÂ (see our review) is a shipping and inventory application designed for SMBs. Known for its drop-shipping features, Ordoro is particularly popular among Shopify users.
Small to medium-sized businesses. Merchants who are planning to dropship can benefit especially from the software.
With Ordoro, you have two options. You can use Ordoro to handle just your shipping, or you can have Ordoro handle shipping, inventory management, and dropshipping. Ordoro sets up their pricing structure differently, depending on which features you choose.
In my opinion, itâs best to use Ordoro for shipping only. Paid plans for shipping begin at $25/month and go to $129/month. Each step up in pricing includes additional features and monthly shipments. Thereâs also a free plan available for merchants shipping fewer than 50 orders/month.
Pricing for shipping and inventory management is structured much differently. The lowest plan costs $199/month for 700 orders. This plan includes drop shipping features. Plans can go as high as $499/month for 4,000 orders. For more information, view Ordoro’s pricing page.
Ordoro comes with a minimalistic user interface. You can easily link your shopping cart to your new Ordoro account during setup. Then youâll be able to sync your inventory and push new orders automatically to Ordoro. You can create shipping labels and packing slips one-by-one or in bulk.
Ordoroâs best feature is without a doubt their dropshipping functionality (available with shipping + inventory plans). You can set select items to ship directly from your supplier, and you can automatically split orders to dropship from multiple suppliers.
Here are a few more features that come with Orodoro:
Process Orders From Multiple Sales Channels
Integrate With USPS, UPS, FedEx, DHL, Canada Post, & Amazon Seller Fulfilled Prime
Best-In-Industry Shipping Rates (Up To 67% With USPS)
Tracking Number Automatically Sent To Customers Upon Shipment
Inventory Management (If You Choose To Purchase It)
Ordoro integrates with a wide variety of eCommerce solutions, including Shopify, BigCommerce, FBA, 3dcart, Magento, WooCommerce, and more.Â See if your preferred vendor is on the full list.
Ordoro users have a lot of good things to say about the platform. In particular, they praise Ordoroâs technical support options. Customers report that a real person will be available to answer your support concerns. On the off chance you canât reach anyone, Ordoroâs knowledge base is detailed and well organized. You might find the information you need there.
Iâve seen a few negative reports of Ordoro. Some customers cite trouble syncing their Ordoro account with other software programs (namely Shopify and FedEx). Other customers complain that while Ordoroâs interface is easy to navigate, that simplicity is due to a lack of features.
In our opinion, Ordoro is best suited to small businesses, especially those that engage in a lot of dropshipping. To learn more about Ordoro, readÂ our full review, or try out the platform yourself byÂ signing up for a free 15-day trial.
Read our full Ordoro review
Visit the Ordoro website
ShipStationÂ (see our review) is arguably the best-known shipping solution, partly due to the company’s excellent marketing campaigns and partly due to the numerous integrations they offer with major eCommerce vendors.
Small to mid-sized businesses, particularly those which sell online.
Pricing for ShipStation is on par with industry standards. You can choose from six pricing tiers, ranging from $9/month for 50 orders to $145/month for unlimited shipments. ShipStation does not offer a free plan, but they do offer a free 30-day trial of their software.
When it comes to ease of use, ShipStation prioritizes functionality over aesthetics, which is perfectly fine by me!
If you have any trouble learning your way around, ShipStation provides video tutorials to help you figure out the admin. In general, we think that ShipStation is highly usable, though it may take some time to get the hang of the advanced tools.
ShipStation offers the basic collection of features, including the following:
Integrations For USPS, UPS, FedEx, & DHL Accounts
Discounts On USPS Priority & Express Mail
Stamps.com Account Included
Batch-Print Hundreds Of Shipping Labels & Packing Slips
Print A Return Label To Include In Your Shipments
ShipStation really shines when it comes to integrations. Check out this full listÂ to see which eCommerce platforms, shipping carriers, and payment solutions integrate easily with ShipStation. Happily, it integrates with the most popular eCommerce solutions, includingÂ BigCommerce, Shopify, Magento, WooCommerce, Volusion, Miva Merchant, and PrestaShop.
ShipStationâs customer service is available by email. They also provide live webinars, a knowledge base, and a community forum.
We see only one potential issue with ShipStation: it’s lacking customer management features. You cannot add identifying characteristics to a customer’s account, and ShipStation does not always recognize a customer when they make a second purchase on a different sales channel. However, for most users, this difficulty is not a deal breaker.
If youâre looking for an efficient, reliable shipping solution, ShipStation may be the way to go. Once you invest some time into learning the system, youâll be able to reap the rewards of a feature-rich shipping solution.
Learn more about ShipStation in our full review or take it for a spin withÂ a 30-day free trial.
Read our full ShipStation review
Visit the ShipStation website
ShipRushÂ (see our review) is an affordable software solution that is designed to make shipping selection efficient. ShipRush displays rates from multiple different carriers on the same page in your admin, allowing you to quickly and easily choose the most cost-effective shipping rates. What’s more, ShipRush offers support for many different types of shipping, including individual package shipping, freight shipping, and LTL shipping. Keep reading to learn more about the merits of ShipRush.
Merchants who need to ship freight. I would recommend ShipRush primarily to smaller businesses, as the pricing model is designed for three users (though more can be added on at an additional expense).
ShipRush’s pricing model is simple. It is divided into two options: Web and Desktop.
ShipRush’s web option is based on a monthly payment model and costs $29.95/month for up to three users (additional users can be added on three at a time for an additional $29.95/month).
On the other hand, the ShipRush Desktop version can be purchased annually for $795/year per workstation.
You can test out ShipRush for 60 days by signing up for a free trial.Â Once you sign up, you’ll be presented with this dashboard.
The dashboard is a bit austere, but we don’t mind much as ShipRush has proved itself to be very functional.
Once I got over the initial learning curve, I was able to calculate shipping rates and print shipping labels and packing slips easily.
Here are a few other features that ShipRush users benefit from:
Discounted Shipping Rates (Save Up To 60% On USPS Rates & 21% On FedEx Rates)
View Rates From Multiple Carriers On One Screen
Send Notifications To Customers When Orders Ship
Print Scan-Based Return Labels
For the full list, head over to ShipRush’s website.
ShipRush integrates with over 75 eCommerce platforms, payment processors, shipping carriers, and accounting and CRM software apps. These integrations include 3dcart, Ecwid, LemonStand, Big Cartel, Shopify, FedEx, UPS, and USPS.
ShipRush has a lot of positives. Customers especially like the quality customer service and the relative ease of use. One downfall potential users should note is that merchants who maintain a large inventory (thousands of products) may have a hard time with the software. Creating shipping rules for all these different types of products could be more effort than it’s worth.
ShipRush is a great software for many businesses. It’s affordable, functional, and reliable, and you can test it out for yourself using their free 60-day trial.
For more information on ShipRush, take a look at our complete review of the platform. Otherwise, keep reading for more shipping options.
Read our full ShipRush review
Visit the ShipRush website
ShipHawkÂ (see our review) is a bit different than the alternative shipping software we cover above. While those softwareÂ programsÂ provide easy to use interfaces and hundreds of features, ShipHawk focuses its energy on one thing: an algorithm. ShipHawk is a complex shipping calculator, designed for large businesses and businesses that ship oversized or unique items.
Larger businesses. ShipHawk’s cheapest plan is targeted at merchants who spend up to $500K on shipping annually. ShipHawk is also good for merchants who ship uniquely shaped or oversized items.
ShipHawk offers three pricing tiers. With each step up in pricing, you’ll be able to ship more parcels and freight and have access to more advanced features and technical support.
The Starter plan starts at $250/month and is for merchants who spend up to $500K on shipping annually. Then there’s the Pro plan, which begins at $2K/month and is intended for annual shipping expenses up to $2M; finally, there’s the Enterprise plan, for an annual spend of up to $25M. Enterprise begins at $4,500/month.
As you can see, ShipHawk is not a cheap platform. It is designed for high volume shippers who need a high volume platform.
In order to test out ShipHawk, you can sign up for a free demo of the starter plan. I didn’t find ShipHawk to be as intuitive as other shipping software apps I’ve tested. However, given time, I was able to figure out a few features. And as a whole, the dashboard seems well designed.
As I’ve mentioned before, ShipHawk works a bit differently than most shipping software when it comes to features. While ShipHawk does offer some of your typical features, they primarily advertise the calculator behind the software. ShipHawk will help estimate expenses for hard-to-ship items.
Here are a few of the more notable features:
Get Quotes From Multiple Carriers
Real-Time Tracking Updates
API: Integrate With Shipping Carriers & Shopping Cart Software
Set Up Automatic Shipping Rules
Provide Shipping Options To Customers
ShipHawk advertises that you can integrate with most software solutions through their API. You can expect to find pre-built integrations with a few shipping carriers and shopping carts, including DHL, FedEx, UPS, USPS, Magento, Shopify, and more.
Customer feedback regarding ShpHawk is very limited. However, after some time searching the web, I was able to find a few comments. Customers primarily love ShipHawk’s customer service and robust calculation abilities. I myself was a bit disappointed with ShipHawk’s support material. There did not seem to be enough tutorial information to help me set up the program.
ShipHawk is not the right fit for many of our readers. However, if you ship thousands of products each month and you need access to freight and individual shipments, ShipHawk may be right for you. Test it out with a free demoÂ and read our review for more information.
Read our full ShipHawk review
Visit the ShipHawk website
If youâre tired of losing yourself in packing peanuts and misplaced notes-to-self, try out one of these software options. Youâll find that shipping is much less of a chore when order processing and fulfillment is automated, organized, and synchronized. With many solutions beginning at $25/month, shipping software is a small investment that could do a lot for your business. Click one of the buttons above to get started with a free trial, or search our site for more quality shipping software reviews.
Good luck, and happy shipping!
The post Best Shipping Software For 2018 appeared first on Merchant Maverick.
The crowdfunding industry continues to grow and expand as a means of soliciting donations, product sales, and investment, so it’s only natural that nonprofit organizations are looking to get into the crowdfunding game. In taking advantage of a crowdfunding platform’s fundraising and social media tools, nonprofits can bring theirÂ message to a much wider (not to mention younger) swath of the population than would otherwise be possible.
However, it’s not a simple matter of picking from a list of interchangeable platforms and getting started. Not all crowdfunding websites are created equal. Some crowdfundersÂ are purely for creative/business projects and cannot be used for nonprofit fundraising, while other platforms specifically cater to the nonprofit market. Some platforms don’t let you collect the money you raise unless you hit yourÂ funding goal amount, while others let you keep whatever you raise regardless. Some platforms charge a percentage of what you raise as a fee (and some charge more if you fall short of your funding goal), while others charge a flat monthly fee to use their services. Some platforms facilitate the giving of rewards to your donors, while others do not.
Point being, your choice of a crowdfunding platform matters. We here at Merchant Maverick want to help you cut through the dizzying array of crowdfunding sites available by highlighting the crowdfundersÂ best suited for nonprofit fundraising.
A Warning Before You Begin
It’s vitally important that you familiarize yourself with the laws regulating nonprofit fundraising in the state or states in which you will be operating. You may well have to register your charitable nonprofit with the state before you begin soliciting donations. If you’re looking to crowdfund for your nonprofit and you’re confronting these questions for the first time, I recommend starting by checking out the information provided by the National Council of Nonprofits and going from there.
It’s easy to find yourself unwittingly running afoul of fundraising laws if you’re unaware of them, so take caution!
GoFundMe (see our review) is best known for hosting campaigns related to personal medical expenses and other tragedies. That’s what has propelled GoFundMe to become the world’s top crowdfunding platform in terms of dollars raised (more than 5 billion and counting). What’s less well known is that GoFundMe hosts nonprofit crowdfunding campaigns as well. On the subject of nonprofit campaigns (referred to as Certified Charity campaigns), GoFundMe states the following:
Certified Charity campaigns can be created by anyone, whether you’re a good samaritan wanting to support your favorite charity or an employee of a non-profit. A ‘Certified Charity‘ badge will appear on the campaign to give your cause an extra layer of verification.
Donations made to Charity campaigns are processed through PayPal Giving Fund, a 501(c)3 public charity (Federal Tax ID:Â 45-0931286). The Campaign Organizer doesn’t have to touch the money at all, and donors will automatically receive a tax-deductible receipt.
In order to launch a Certified Charity campaign, the outfit you’re fundraising for must be a 501(c)(3) US-based nonprofit organization. It must also be registered in PayPal Giving Fundâs database. If your 501(c)(3) nonprofit isn’t in this database, GoFundMe outlines how you can rectify that here. AndÂ if your nonprofit is based outside the US, GoFundMe asks you to contact them to discuss your options.
GoFundMe’s Certified Charity campaigns carry with them a 5% platform fee on the money raised. While GoFundMe eliminated their 5% platform fee for their US-based personal campaigns in late 2017 (and has subsequently expanded that policy to Canada and the UK), the platform fee still applies to nonprofit campaigns. Now, given the current trend in crowdfunding (and with GoFundMe in particular), I wouldn’t be surprised if GoFundMe eliminated the platform fee for its Certified Charity campaigns sometime in the future. For now, however, the 5% platform fee remains.
In addition to the platform fee, a 2.9% + $0.30 processing fee will apply to each donation made. Therefore, a total fee ofÂ 7.9% + $0.30 will be taken from each donation.
GoFundMe provides the followingÂ primerÂ for those interested in starting a crowdfunding campaign for a nonprofit organization. Check out our full GoFundMe review for more information.
YouCaring is another crowdfunding site specializing in personal and charitable fundraising campaigns. Having facilitated over $900 million in donations since its founding in 2011 — and having recently acquired Indiegogo’s charitable crowdfunding spinoff Generosity — YouCaring’s profile is rising as a cause-oriented crowdfunding platform. Thankfully for you, they host nonprofit crowdfunding campaigns as well as campaigns for individuals.
YouCaring has one big advantage going for it vis-Ã -vis GoFundMe. Unlike their larger competitor, YouCaring charges no platform fees to the crowdfunding campaigns it hosts,Â including nonprofit campaigns. That’s 5% more funds going to your charity — not too shabby. Just keep in mind that you’ll still be payingÂ 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction to the payment processor. You can use PayPal (see our review) or WePay (see our review) for payment processing, though YouCaring recommends WePay.
One drawback of using YouCaring compared to GoFundMe, however, is the fact that with YouCaring, your donors won’t automatically get tax-deductible receipts. The nonprofit in question will have to do this themselves by collecting their donors’ contact information through YouCaring.
While YouCaring doesn’t have as much nonprofit-specific information on their site as does GoFundMe, they do include this guide for setting up a WePay account under your nonprofit organization.
Since its founding in 2006, Razoo (see our review) has been something of an all-of-the-above crowdfunder, hosting crowdfunding campaigns for nearly any cause under the sun: business crowdfunding, personal crowdfunding, team crowdfunding, and, yes, nonprofit crowdfunding. Recently, however, they seem to be paying special attention to capturing more of the nonprofit crowdfunding market.
In order for your nonprofit to directly raise funds on Razoo, it needs to be registered as aÂ 501(c)(3) publicÂ charity in the US. However, if your organization doesn’t yet have 501(c)(3) status or is based outside the US, you may still be able to use Razoo for fundraising. To do this, you’ll need to find an organization willing to act as your fiscal sponsor. Razoo provides information as to how to do this here.
Razoo charges a standard nonprofit crowdfunding campaign 4% off the top as a fee, with an additionalÂ 2.9% + $0.30 per donation going to the payment processor. A standard Razoo nonprofit campaign will be paying slightly less in fees than a GoFundMe campaign. However, Razoo has recently unveiled a new feature exclusively for nonprofits: premium subscription plans that eliminate the 4% Razoo transaction fee and give your nonprofit unique fundraising software through which your organization can run a totally branded crowdfunding campaign.
Here are Razoo’s three nonprofit premium plans and their respective details:
$99/month, billed annually
No platform fees
Unlimited P2P & Team pages
Advanced CRM tools
Donor data collection
Data Connect integration
Branded donation page, donation receipts, and donation widget
$249/month, billed annually
All of the above, PLUS:
Pro CRM tools
Advanced donor data collection
Branded P2P fundraising
Advanced white label controls
Contact Razoo for pricing
All of the above, PLUS:
Dedicated project manager
These aren’t cheap packages, so if you’re considering going this route, it’s best if you have some experience with nonprofit fundraising and have a reasonable expectation of funding success. If you do, these premium nonprofit packages offer a pretty compelling deal. Your organization will be able to host its own crowdfunding campaign — one operating under its own brand, not that of Razoo. Plus, you’ll have access to the advanced campaign features listed above.
Donors who contribute to nonprofit campaigns will immediately be emailed a receipt which can be used to claim a deduction on their taxes.
Read our full Razoo review to learn more.
Declaring themselves “Canadaâs leading crowdfunding platformâ, FundRazr (see our review) has facilitated the raising of over $116 million USD in their near-decade of existence. FundRazr hosts crowdfunding campaigns for personal causes, business causes, and, yes, nonprofit organizations. The company also has a great reputation among both campaigners and donors. In fact, FundRazr is one of the few crowdfunding outfits that proudly links to its Trustpilot page. That should tell you something.
FundRazr goes into exactly who can raise money on their site for a nonprofit organization here. Essentially, if you’re not an Authorized Officer of the organization in question, you’ll need to submit a Letter Of Subordination that expressly authorizes you to fundraise on behalf of the organization.
A nonprofit fundraising campaign on FundRazr will have to contend with fees equal to those of GoFundMe. There’s a 5% platform fee and aÂ 2.9% + $0.30 payment processing fee. Sorry!
FundRazr doesn’t give a great deal of guidance for nonprofits looking to use their platform, so if you represent a nonprofit, you’ll want to get in touch with the company to iron out the details. One thing I can tell you, however, is that PayPal and WePay (available in the US, UK, and Canada only) are your options for payment processing.
Read our FundRazr review to get the full story.
For most of its existence, following its founding in 2010, CrowdRise was a crowdfunding platform for both personal causes and charity/nonprofit fundraising. However, in early 2017, CrowdRise was acquired by GoFundMe. CrowdRise now directs all would-be personal campaigners to GoFundMe while focusing solely on crowdfunding for nonprofit organizations.
CrowdRise details the following requirements for using their services:
In order to become a CrowdRiseÂ nonprofit, [an organization] must first be a registered 501c3 in good standing with the IRS or a Canadian charity in good standing with the CRA, and have a valid listing onÂ GuideStarÂ (US) orÂ Canada.CaÂ (Canada).
CrowdRise is somewhat similar to Razoo in that you can set up a crowdfunding campaign for free and pay a transaction fee on what you raise or you can spring for a paid subscription that reduces (or eliminates) the transaction fee and gives you access to special fundraising features. Here are the details on CrowdRise’s offerings:
Starter (the free-to-start no-subscription package)
Contact CrowdRise for subscription pricing and fees
All of the above, PLUS:
Complex campaign structure
Parent/child level campaigns
Adjustable donor fees
Phone support with 4-hour response time
Premier account management
Live setup, training and success planning
Success resources w/ live assistance
Quarterly success review
It’s unfortunate that CrowdRise doesn’t just list the pricing for premium plans on the website. Still, you get the idea. Pay a monthly fee, and you’ll get the platform fee reduced and gain access to special features you can employ in the course of your crowdfunding campaign.
At first glance, CrowdRise’s standard nonprofit crowdfunding campaigns don’t look too appealing, what with that 6% platform fee and the payment processing fees. However, when a donor pledges to a campaign on CrowdRise, they’re given the chance to cover these fees themselves — and, according to CrowdRise, most donors do just that. CrowdRise states that on average, 98% of funds donated to causes go to the campaigner due to this policy. If true, this is a very competitive rate indeed!
FirstGiving is a fundraising platform wholly devoted to nonprofit crowdfunding. It’s somewhat similar in structure to CrowdRise in that you can fundraise for a nonprofit freely without a subscription orÂ get a subscription which gives you access to more advanced features.
According to FirstGiving:
All donations made through FirstGiving are processed through our charity partner Global Impact, a 501c3 nonprofit, and are fully tax-deductible to the full extent of the law.
No word on whether donors get sent a tax-deductible receipt or not.
Without a subscription, one can launch a crowdfunding campaign for “any of the 1.5 million nonprofits in the US” A “performance fee” of 5% and a credit card processing fee of 2.5% apply to what you receive; however, as with CrowdRise, donors are given the option of covering these fees when they donate, and FirstGiving estimates that 45% of donors do so.
As for the paid subscription packages, here’s what FirstGiving has to offer. Unfortunately, you’ll have to contact FirstGiving to get pricing estimates.
For small- to medium-sized nonprofits
Branded fundraising pages
P2P and event registration
Corporate gift matching
GiftWorks Cloud integration
For large nonprofits
Fully customized fundraising and event pages
Built-in coaching tips
Predictive suggested donation amounts
Mobile optimized donation forms
Monthly giving programs
A Note Regarding Indiegogo
If you’ve cruised the internet looking for crowdfunding platforms that cater to nonprofits, you’ve probably seen Indiegogo (see our review) listed as one such platform. However, this was before Indiegogo sold its charitable crowdfunding division, Generosity, to YouCaring. As of March 2018, you can no longer launch a nonprofit crowdfunding campaign with Indiegogo.
Crowdfunding for nonprofits isn’t as straightforward as crowdfunding for a business or for a personal cause. Thankfully, modern crowdfunding platforms make it easier than ever to navigate the legal complexities to help nonprofits raise money, whether you’re an officer of the nonprofit or not. Just be careful and make sure you’re doing everything by the book!
The post 6 Platforms That Do Crowdfunding For Nonprofits appeared first on Merchant Maverick.
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Watch the ball drop in New York City on New Year’s Eve, but don’t drop the ball with your small business in the new year! After holiday celebrations wind down and before tax season begins, take the time to reflect on your last year of business and make vital preparations for the year ahead. Learn how to make the most out of your accounting software by using it as a tool to plan for 2018.
Table of Contents
Reflect On Last Year
Before you can move on to planning a successful 2018, it’s important to reflect on what happened with your business in 2017. Luckily, your accounting software makes this easier than you think. Now’s the time to grab a journal, a cup of coffee, and a few key accounting reports.
The following common accounting software reports can provide great insight into your business:
Profit & Loss (or Income Statement): The Profit and Loss report (or Income Statement) shows your total net profit (or loss) for the year. Use this report to see how your company performed overall.
Balance Sheet: The Balance Sheet shows your company’s assets, liabilities, and equity. It’s good to know these totals in general, but you can use this report to apply for funding as well.
General Ledger: The General Ledger report shows all transactions from all accounts during the year. This report is helpful for a more detailed analysis.
Statement Of Cashflows: The Statement Of Cashflows report shows all transactions affecting cash accounts. Use this to learn how much cash your company has gained.
Statement Of Owner’s Equity: The Statement Of Owner’s equity shows owner’s equity at the end of the year
Budget Overview: The Budget Overview report compares your yearly budget with the actual money you spent. Use this both to see how you performed and to plan your 2018 budget.
Sales By Customer: The Sales By Customer report is self-explanatory and can be helpful for gauging your biggest clientele.
Sales By Item: The Sales By Item report is helpful for learning which items did well and which didn’t sell as successfully.
Sales By Employee: The Sales by Employee (or Sales Rep) report shows which employees have been most successful so you can use their methods to create a successful sales strategy.
In analyzing these reports, ask yourself:
What worked this year and what didn’t?
Where did my business succeed?
Where could it still improve?
Did we meet our goals? Why or why not?
I recommend filling a journal with notes. Not only will you be able to see your successes and the areas that need improvement clearly on paper, you can also refer back to these notes in the future to follow your business’s journey through the years.
Consider encouraging your managers and employees to do the same — or even make a day of it in the office!
Create New Goals For 2018
Now that you’ve taken some time to consider what happened in 2017, start creating goals for 2018. Start with the big picture. Ask yourself:
Where do I see my business by the end of next year?
Do I want to increase sales? By how much?
Do I want to increase employee focus? In what ways?
Do I want to expand my business? If so, how?
Think of general goals for the business as a whole and personal goals for yourself as a business owner. Ask your managers or employees to weigh in on their goals and ideas for the company as well.
Now that you have a few big goals jotted down, start thinking of smaller, practical steps that can lead you toward those bigger dreams. Big projects — like improving sales — can be daunting (which I’m sure I don’t have to remind you). But when you break a goal into many smaller, achievable checkpoints, the big projects can be completed with relative ease.
Take the time to parcel your goals for 2018 into manageable, practical baby steps, and you’ll stand an excellent chance of having a banner year. You can record these in your business journal to look back on later, or you can create tasks for these goals in several accounting programs.
If you need some extra inspiration, create a 2018 goals list on your office bulletin board, or keep a copy on your desk to stay motivated. Send a company goal list to each of your employees so that the whole business is on the same page, working toward the same goals.
Make A Budget For The Year
While budgeting can be incredibly daunting, accounting software makes the process easy. Most accounting software programs even have a built-in budgeting feature.
For example, with QuickBooks or Xero, you can create yearly budgets from scratch or generate them automatically based on last year’s data. If you created a 2017 budget using your accounting software, make sure to also take advantage of that software’s budgeting reports, which can help you analyze last year’s income and expenses and better plan for 2018.
Brainstorm A New Sales Strategy
Now is the time to update or create a brand new sales strategy for the next 12 months. Consider what’s working about your current sales plan and what could stand improvement. Which processes and marketing strategies were successful last year? Are there any sales tactics or marketing strategies that you haven’t tried yet?
I recommend taking a look at the sales reports your accounting software provides. Reports like Sales by Item and Sales by Customer can help you see what products are successful and give you a better idea of how to reach your target audience. It can also be very useful to look at Sales by Sales Rep reports with your sales team and have each member share which sales methods have been successful for them. Don’t be afraid to ask for input. Your employees may have terrific new ideas to implement or ways to improve current processes.
It’s nice to create a formal, written sales plan that you can then distribute to your sales team and refer back to this time next year.
Integrations may be the answer to achieving your 2018 business goals. Integrations are software add-ons that connect directly with your accounting software to bring you more features. Integrations vary, and may involve anything from CRM to email marketing to scheduling to project management to time tracking to analytics and more.
When should you use an integration?
If you need features that your accounting software doesn’t have.
If you spend too much time on tasks and need to automate processes.
If you want to offer more payment gateways for customers to pay you faster.
Go back to your list of 2018 goals and your analysis of 2017. Consider whether an integration could be the answer to fixing an area that needs improvement or achieving a brand new goal.
Update Contact Information
If you read our Small Business: How To Close Your Books At The End Of The Year post, then you’ve already updated your employees’ information. Now is a great time to take a break and make sure the rest of your contact information is accurate. Ensure that the contact information for your customers and vendors is completely up-to-date. Mark customers or vendors as inactive if needed, to clean up your software.
This is a great time to check up on customers as well. Send consistent customers a thank you card or reach out to old customers to see if they are interested in your products or services once more. Not only will you feel better having everything organized, you could potentially start the year off with some new sales and happy customers.
The start of a new year is a great time to get organized.
We’re talking about more than cleaning your desk, folks. Evaluate your current filing system to see how efficient and up-to-date it is. Maybe create a better way to store online accounting records and reports. Upload your receipts directly to your accounting software to store them in the cloud and save some paper. Whatever this looks like for your company, you won’t regret starting the year off with a clean, organized slate.
Give Your Invoices A Face-lift
If you want your company to get off to a fresh start this year, consider updating your invoice template. It seems like a small thing, but having an appealing, modern invoice is a huge plus for businesses. Say goodbye to boring black and white, Times New Roman templates or Excel monstrosities, and ring in the new year with a new look. Don’t be afraid to use color, be bold, and show off your company logo. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Invoice templates are more than a means of getting paid — they’re a reflection of your company’s professionalism and brand. Start off 2018 with a template that you’re excited about.
Taking a little time to reflect on 2017 and plan for 2018 can make all the difference if you want to run a successful business this year. We hope that these suggestions inspire you to think deeply about your business’s goals and act practically to achieve them.
From our company to yours, we wish you a very happy New Year!
Chelsea Krause is a writer, avid reader, and researcher. In addition to loving writing, she became interested in accounting software because of her constant desire to learn something new and understand how things work. When she’s not working or daydreaming about her newest story, she can be found drinking obscene amounts of coffee, reading anything written by C.S. Lewis or Ray Bradbury, kayaking and hiking, or watching The X-Files with her husband.
With regards to shopping cart software platforms, Shopify may be the someone to beat. This hugely popular eCommerce software serves over 400,000 retailers worldwide and it has facilitated $34 billion of sales since its founding.
Shopify’s easy-to-use design and cost-effective cost turn it into a highly accessible option for small company proprietors who wish to expand online. With prices options varying from the couple of dollars per month to some couple of 1000, Shopify can certainly accommodate growing companies.
Just how much does Shopify cost? The reply is, in a nutshell, “it depends.” Keep studying for an entire introduction to what Shopify offers each and every cost point and then any additional expenses you need to get ready for.
Table of Contents
Shopify Prices and Essential Features
Shopify offers prices levels that meet the requirements of promising small to enterprise level retailers. Check out Shopify’s prices chart below for any brief summary of the 3 mid-level plans:
As you can tell, prices isn’t based on the amount of products you list or by the quantity of bandwidth and storage you’ll need. Rather, prices is determined by the amount of staff accounts you’ll need. Each step-up in prices provides you with use of more admin seats (and much more advanced features).
While Shopify doesn’t charge for bandwidth overages, they’ve maintained their transaction charges through the years. Greater level plans take advantage of lower transaction charges. Or, if you opt to use Shopify Payments as the payment processor, you could have individuals transaction charges waived entirely.
Note: Not everybody is qualified for Shopify Payments, so don’t bank on individuals transaction charges disappearing.
All Shopify users have the same core set of features. For $29 per month (using the Fundamental Plan), you obtain access to the next:
Limitless products, bandwidth, and storage
Promo Code Engine
Free Shopify Card Readers
Online Shop and Blog
Free SSL Certificate
Shopify comes with a level cheaper plan, known as Shopify Lite, that is only$9 monthly.Shopify Lite enables you to sell on Facebook, add products to some blog or website with buy buttons, and accept payments. However, it doesn’t have an online shop builder, therefore we won’t concentrate on it in the following paragraphs.
To get use of more built-in features, you’ll need to pay a little more monthly.
The next phase up, the$79/month plan, enables you to sell gift certificates, both physical and digital. Additionally, you’ll get access to better professional reports as well as an abandoned cart recovery tool.
The Advanced Shopify Plan’s considerably more costly at$299 monthly.The extra cost provides you with not just 15 staff accounts minimizing transaction charges, but the best discounts on Shopify Shipping. In addition to this, you can get a sophisticated report builder and you can feature third-party calculated shipping rates at checkout.
Investing in a yearly Discount
Our bargain-hunting readers might have observed that Shopify offers discounted rates to retailers who invest in their software for any year or even more. If you buy a yearlong membership with Shopify, they’ll discount your rates 10%. If you purchase 2 yrs out, the discount is 20%.
I’m able to already hear you Costco shoppers and coupon clippers celebrating, but prior to going purchase Shopify for any year or even more, I highly recommend you move back. Don’t invest in a whole year of Shopify unless of course you’re very sure the software will meet your needs.
I frequently see complaints from retailers who dedicated to an application too soon (this is correct of numerous software packages, not only Shopify). They’re frustrated the software doesn’t work for his or her business, and they’re not able to obtain a 100 % refund around the purchase.
Make an effort to to sign up for Shopify’s monthly plan not less than twelve months prior to going all in. That provides you with a high probability to make certain the woking platform works for the company. That annual discount only helps you save $34/year around the Fundamental Plan, anyway.
What’s Track Of Shopify Plus?
If you’ve looked far into Shopify, you’ve likely heard reference to Shopify Plus. Shopify Plus is definitely an enterprise level offering for retailers who require scalability, greater support levels, and server abilities.
Shopify Plus is meant for retailers who sell over $500K each year. This platform are designed for as much as 10,000 checkouts each minute, and offers 13+ PB of storage and also over 29,000 CPU cores. Whenever you join Shopify Plus, you’ll have individuals annoying transaction charges waived and receive premium support having a dedicated account manager.
Prices for Shopify Plus varies based upon your company’s needs, but you need to know that plans start at $2K monthly. For more info about Shopify Plus, check our full review.
Additional Fees to think about
Although SaaS solutions take pride in being all-inclusive, that monthly subscription isn’t the only expense involved with running your web store.
Listed here are a couple of additional things you are very likely to cover while you construct your Shopify store:
Shopify is a superb store-building software with regards to fundamental features. However, this cart isn’t perfect and it has lots of space for improvement with regards to advanced features. To be able to build-your Shopify store and access advanced features, it’s important to add-on a couple of extensions. Opt for integrating with third-party solutions for shipping software, CRM software, marketplace connections, and accounting software. Many of these add-ons will definitely cost yet another fee every month.
It is money to earn money. To be able to accept online payments out of your customers, you’ll have to enroll in a repayment processor or credit card merchant account. These types of services have a small cut of every transaction they process, frequently additionally to some fee every month. To understand more about payment processors and merchant services, check out our comparison page or download our free eBook, The Beginner’s Help guide to Payment Processing.
Although Shopify offers numerous free styles with excellent website design tools, you might not enjoy Shopify’s free options. Within this situation, you’ll need to do a number of the next: buy a premium theme, create your own theme, or purchase anyone to build a website for you personally. These options can rapidly become costly.
It may be tough to get multiple software systems to be effective together. Sometimes, you’ll need a specialist to part of. Shopify experts are for sale to hire. The price of their assistance varies from a couple of $ 100 in to the thousands.
How to find a Plan
With this point, you most likely know which Shopify plan fits your company best. However, should you aren’t sure yet, listed here are a couple of points to consider:
What features do you want?
What advanced features are you able to add-on?
The number of user seats do you want?
What else could you afford at the moment?
It’s also wise to join a totally free trial of Shopify to make certain the program works seamlessly together with your business. Upload your product or service, try out the look tools, and get in touch with to customer support. And don’t forget, if you choose to register, always opt for the monthly plan first.
For additional info on Shopify’s features, design tools, and customer support mind on to our full review. Or, to determine the way it stacks facing your competition, try our comparison page.
Liz is really a recent college graduate residing in Washington condition. As recently, she will frequently be located haunting eCommerce forums and securing with customer support representatives. When she’s free, Liz likes to rock climb, watch Spanish dramas, and browse poorly-written youthful adult novels.
With regards to nonprofits, typical accounting software just doesn’t work. Nonprofit organizations have very particular accounting needs, including the opportunity to handle grants and contributions, record volunteer time, create budgets, run reports for board advisors, complete specialized tax forms, and much more. Furthermore these businesses require specialized features, they’re also under special scrutiny from contributors and governmental agencies alike. Nonprofits require a software that may provide transparency where revenue and expenses are concerned.
At Merchant Maverick, we all know that although nonprofits need reliable accounting software, the women and men behind these companies ought to be available altering the planet, not stuck inside searching at accounting programs. That is why we’ve done hard meet your needs. We’ve spent hrs testing and researching the very best nonprofit accounting programs available and just the the best make the cut.
These four programs all offer several features and therefore are designed particularly with nonprofits in your mind. Each program meets the required nonprofit accounting standards and displays strong security. We’ve incorporated programs which are perfect for different sizes and types of nonprofits, so each business will find the accounting solution ideal for this. Cut back time handling the books and much more time creating a difference.
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Aplos is really a comprehensive cloud accounting program for nonprofits and places of worship. The program has over 42,000 users from 20,000 different organizations. Aplos started in Belgium in ’09 and it is now utilized in 50 plus different countries, receiving strong testimonials overall. It features a solid status within the nonprofit world, and even for good reason.
Of all of the programs, I discovered Aplos probably the most visually appealing and well-organized. This program supports multiple organizations and it has free limitless phone and email support.
Besides Aplos get things right when it comes to accounting, they likewise have lots of features to create nonprofits run more easily. This is a taste of the choices:
Chart of accounts
Manage contributions and donations
Customizable donations page
Fixed assets or allocations
Tax support for 1099’s and 990’s
Aplos offers three prices plans: $25/mo, $40/mo, and $120/mo. Feature access varies by plan so make sure to visit Aplos’s prices page for details. Each plan only supports one user (along with a contact or donations manager) you can include additional users for an additional $15 – $80/mo (based on your plan).
Aplos offers donor management software, member keeper, and fundraiser software too.
Is Aplos suitable for me?
Aplos is really a superbly designed, robust accounting solution. The reduced monthly obligations allow it to be well suited for smaller sized nonprofits and places of worship looking for fundamental nonprofit accounting software. Bigger nonprofits will likely discover the software too feasible for their complex needs. Aplos isn’t well suited for companies in need of assistance of a lot users.
The robust features, strong security, and cost-effective prices get this to software great for nonprofits searching to handle their donations and expenses. To understand more about Aplos, request a demo or make the most of their free 14-day trial.
QuickBooks Online + Sumac
By itself, Quickbooks Online is a superb accounting program with beautiful invoicing, a chart of accounts, bank reconciliation, expense tracking, reporting, project management software, budgeting, and much more. However the program doesn’t offer any nonprofit-specific features. What it really has, however, is definitely an integration with Sumac.
Sumac is really a in your area-installed nonprofit accounting solution founded on the phrase “do more good.” The program offers from CRM to pledges to course registration and much more. The awesome factor about Sumac is that you could personalize it to suit the requirements of whatever kind of nonprofit you take.
With Sumac, you begin by buying the Fundamental CRM after which buying every other add-ons your nonprofit needs.The Fundamental CRM includes:
QuickBooks Online integration
Listed here are the extra features that you could increase Sumac (note: prices of these add-ons vary see section below for more information):
Auditions and submissions
Should you require something beyond these choices, you can buy a custom add-on too.
(Remember: You will not be hurting for features should you follow this path because all of these functions is going to be additionally towards the QuickBooks Online features.)
QuickBooks Online offer three prices plans varying from $15/mo – $50/mo. Make certain to think about it that you will need to buy a Sumac account additionally for your QuickBooks Internet account (Sumac alone doesn’t provide the accounting capabilities a nonprofit needs).
When the Fundamental CRM Sumac set of features is sufficient for you personally, you can buy it for $/mo, that is a steal. You can buy the Fundamental CRM plus two add-ons for $20/mo, or even the Fundamental CRM plus five add-ons for $400/mo. You are able to also calculate a custom cost for a variety of add-ons you select.
If you like cloud-based software over in your area-installed software, you are able to pay an additional $25/mo for any cloud-based form of Sumac.
Is QuickBooks Online + Sumac suitable for me?
We’ve given QuickBooks Online the title of Best Accounting Software for Small Companies. This program is simple to use while offering the strong accounting features most promising small to mid-sized companies need. For nonprofits already attempting to make QuickBooks Online work, Sumac is a superb addition that provides much-needed tools.
For nonprofits which don’t yet come with an accounting solution, Quickbooks Online with Sumac is a great solution if you want complex features like tour booking, course registration, auditions and submissions, etc. The disposable Fundamental CRM is enticing, however the other plans could possibly get a little costly. Sumac’s compensated plans aren’t well suited for nonprofits on a tight budget, especially thinking about the price of QuickBooks On the internet and the possibility price of making the in your area-installed program focus on the cloud.
That being stated, the benefit of Sumac would be that the software programs are incredibly customizable for your specific nonprofits’ needs—and QuickBooks Online helps to ensure that the accounting side is taken proper care of. To understand more about QuickBooks Online, read our complete QuickBooks Online review and make use of the company’s free trials to understand more about Sumac, have a tour from the software or plan a demo.
First founded almost 30 years ago, Blackbaud has already established a lengthy while to secure its name and status within the nonprofit accounting world. The organization offers a large number of different products created for various organizations and nonprofits. However the bread and butter of the nonprofit fund accounting is known as Financial Edge NXT.
Financial Edge NXT is really a cloud accounting solution for mid-sized nonprofits which is used by over 5,500 organizations. The program offers strong accounting and fundamental nonprofit features. The interface is superbly designed and well-organized. The organization also provides strong security and free phone support.
Financial Edge provides several features and meets the accounting standards nonprofits need. A few of these features include:
Chart of accounts
A / R
100+ customizable reports
Manage grants and allocations
Track revenue and expenses
Project management software
Blackbaud doesn’t openly disclose their prices information. What we should can say for certain regarding their prices is there are three plans, billed yearly, which begin at $99/mo per user. Certain modules could cost extra and implementation charges are additional too. Contact Blackbaud to get a quote.
Blackbaud also provides another nonprofit fundraiser and member keeper known as Raiser’s Edge NXT.
Is Blackbaud suitable for me?
Based on Blackbaud, their software is fantastic for mid-sized nonprofits which have a good sized staff and take care of $1,000,000+ in revenue every year (or are continuously growing to satisfy standards). The program is fantastic for users who require more features than Aplos, but aren’t quite big enough yet to pay for FundEZ.
Among the leading names in nonprofit fun accounting, Blackbaud delivers wonderful features. The issue of prices continues to be an enormous factor for a lot of nonprofits (and personally it appears shady in my experience they don’t readily share these details), however the features count phone minimum. To understand more about Blackbaud, attend a web seminar or contact their salesforce directly.
FundEZ is probably the most complex and developed from the four programs. The program is becoming increasingly more developed since 1991. The organization takes pride in being completely current on nonprofit accounting industry standards. Whenever you join FundEZ, part of the FundEZ staff creates the program for you personally and trains yourself on this program you are able to relax knowing your chart of accounts and tax needs are 100% accurate and reliable.
Since FundEZ is really comprehensive, it will come in a steeper cost, however the options that come with the program cover just about anything you are able to consider. While complex, FundEZ uses intuitive organization and style so that you can discover the software faster. FundEZ also offers modules for State medicaid programs and Promote Care. Since FundEZ includes a State medicaid programs Billing solution, the program is susceptible to HIPAA laws and regulations, meaning it’s a few of the most powerful security and user permissions available.
FundEZ provides an large number of features, even though some require yet another cost:
Detailed chart of accounts
A / r
Manage grants and allocations
Manage donations and pledges
Contact and vendor management
Write and print checks
Fixed assets (costs extra)
Fundraiser (costs extra)
State medicaid programs Billing (costs extra)
Promote Care (costs extra)
FundEZ comes both like a cloud-based product or like a in your area-installed program. The particular price of the program varies with respect to the quantity of users you’ve.
For that cloud form of FUndEZ, payments start at $225/mo. With this particular purchase, you’ll also receive licenses for Ms Word and Office. Users that like the in your area-installed route pay a preliminary fee $1,995+ based on their demands. This cost includes limitless phone support and upgrades, but there is definitely an annual maintenance fee that starts at $495/yr.
Is FundEZ suitable for me?
FundEZ is fantastic for large nonprofits and nonprofits with complex accounting needs. This is among the only programs Personally i think truly helps to ensure that nonprofits have accurate accounts and therefore are meeting all federal nonprofit rules.
While these comprehensive features really are a huge plus, they are available in a steep cost, making the program an impractical solution for smaller sized nonprofits or nonprofits on the strict budget. The organization did say that almost all their users manage promising small to medium nonprofits, however this makes me question what their meaning of “small” is. The program can also be not well suited for nonprofits that need payroll.
Ultimately, FundEZ offers probably the most complex nonprofit accounting available and is worth the money should you prefer a strong chart of accounts and pristine accounting. To understand more about FundEZ, contact support for any demo or try out this program having a free trial offer.
We all know that selecting software can be challenging, however, you can’t fail with these four great options. Ultimately, the choice can come lower that features your nonprofit needs and just how big your software finances are. Smaller sized companies may such as the benefit of Aplos, while bigger companies may require an answer like Blackbaud or FundEZ. However, you might be searching for any more customizable option like Sumac.
Whatever program you’re leaning toward, we recommend scheduling a demo or testing the program yourself prior to making any final decisions. Of course, you want the finest of luck during your search for that perfect software. Tell us which software you choose within the comments below, even (and particularly) if it is one we didn’t mention, and you can achieve by helping cover their any queries you’ve on the way.
Chelsea Krause is really a author, enthusiastic readers, and investigator. Additionally to loving writing, she grew to become thinking about accounting software due to her constant need to learn something totally new and know how things work. When she’s no longer working or daydreaming about her newest story, she are available consuming obscene levels of coffee, studying anything compiled by C.S. Lewis or Ray Bradbury, kayaking and hiking, or watching The X-Files together with her husband.
Selecting accounting software isn’t easy. There are plenty of options, and (despite exactly what the advertisers may say), there’s not really a single program which is the best for all companies. Not even close to it.
How do we discover which small company accounting software program is the good for you? If you are seriously interested in locating a good fit for the business, I’d recommend putting aside 2-3 hrs to research your choices making your decision. That could appear just like a lot, however a good accounting program should save most companies a minimum of a couple of hrs of labor every month sometimes more. For your type of benefit, it’s most likely worthwhile to actually take time to examine your choices.
Below is really a step-by-step help guide to finding the right accounting software for the company. Here goes:
Table of Contents
In your area installed or web-based?
You will find benefits and drawbacks to every. Quick-and-dirty summary: In your area installed = better quality, more abilities featuring, required for most large companies. Cloud-based = portable, access from multiple devices, simplicity of use, perfect for medium and small companies. All of those other article will concentrate on cloud-based software, however the same concepts affect selecting in your area installed software.
Could it be really accounting software?
Regrettably, some popular cloud-based “accounting” programs aren’t accounting whatsoever they’re simply expense tracking. It’s not easy to differentiate together if you are unfamiliar with the area the important thing factor you have to search for may be the term “double-entry bookkeeping.” If software has it, then it’s accounting software. Whether it doesn’t, then it isn’t true accounting. Finish of story. Should you aren’t sure whether a course uses double-entry, ask. Or check its review on this website.
The length of your organization?
Some programs are equipped for companies of the specific size. Make certain the program you’re searching at supports the amount of users you’ll need.
What features do you want?
Lots of people don’t go to consider accounting software having a obvious concept of the key they need. If you would like software that’s accurate, reliable, and pretty simple to use … well, there are plenty of options that suit individuals criteria. To narrow the area just a little, I’ve found it’s better to start by wondering exactly the thing you need your accounting software to complete. For many, job costing abilities is going to be indispensable. For other people, the supply of mobile phone applications is essential. Think not just about the thing you need now, but additionally about what you are able want later on. It’s frequently easiest to select software that may scale together with your business, so when you expand, you can keep to make use of exactly the same system.
Create a list: the characteristics you will should have, adopted through the features you need. Remember to incorporate in their list the potential of integration using the other platforms your company uses, like CRM or shopping cart software software. Good integrations can help you save lots of data entry, and for that reason, considerable time.
To obtain began, here’s a summary of abilities you will probably get in a few of the cloud-based accounting software available. It’s in no way exhaustive, but if this sounds like the first time selecting accounting software, it might aid you in getting a concept what’s available.
Automated invoicing options
Live bank feeds
Tools that will help you budget
Tools to assist with tax preparation
Florida sales tax in multiple states
Attach scanned receipts to expenses
What exactly are your choices?
So now you must your attributes. Time for you to start to see the way the various options fall into line.
For those who have some programs in your mind already, begin with them. Otherwise, I’d recommend beginning with any accounting software rated 3.5+ on this website. Visit the accounting software reviews page and perform a quick search (Ctrl-F) for that features you would like (e.g. “inventory”). I can’t guarantee I’ll have worded every feature using the search phrase you utilize, however this method means you can think of a couple of potential options within a few minutes – and eliminate others. Should you anxiously want accounting software which will do your laundry (I understand I actually do) and also the word “laundry” isn’t found in review … well, there’s a high probability the program doesn’t handle that kind of factor.
Jot lower what they are called of the very most promising options. It’s possible multiple programs may have all you want. It’s possible none will, and you’ll need to determine what to stop. Right now, though, you need to most likely possess the field narrowed to for the most part 4-5 options.
Cash-based or accrual?
How can you do your accounting? Whenever you send a bill on June 10 and obtain compensated on This summer 10, would you reckon it as being earnings for June, or This summer? If June, you’re using accrual accounting. If This summer, you’re using cash-based accounting. Either in situation, you will need a cpa program which assists the accounting method you utilize.
You can deal with this limitation by doing a bit of of the reckoning by hand. Consider whether that’s really something for you to do. Personally, the only real cases when I believe it’s worthwhile are FreeAgent and Wave, because they are so great for micro-companies in virtually every other respect.
Just how much will it cost?
Cloud-based accounting subscription packages vary from liberated to over one hundred dollars per month. Once you have their email list of software that provides you all you absolutely should have, you’re able to choose how much you need to spend the money for additional features. Check out the prices, and think about the monthly and yearly cost. Remember, cheaper isn’t necessarily better. If you’re able to buy $20/month accounting software or $40/month accounting software, however, you spent an additional half-hour every week around the $20 software … well, you need to think about: is the time more vital for you than $10/hour? If so, you would like the $40 program. If no, stick to the $20 one.
Probably, you’re lower to two-3 options at this time, and you’ll actually have a obvious forerunner. Since the figures tend to be more manageable, read overview of accounting software or more in your top chioces.
Give it a try
Okay. You’ve most likely had a favored candidate right now, or possibly you’re still waffling between two programs. Here we are at the exam drive. Select the program you prefer to date, and register. Almost all cloud-based accounting programs possess a free trial offer option. Experiment. Browse the functions you apply the most frequently. While there is a learning curve with any new software, have you noticed that design is sensible for you overall? Or are you constantly frustrated and confused? How lengthy will it decide to try perform the tasks you need to do probably the most frequently? Would you such as the overall feel from the software?
If you like your try out, you’ve found your match. Should you not, then check out #2 in your list.
Best of luck! And, of course, for those who have questions on how to choose accounting software for the business, don’t hesitate to make contact with us!
An itinerant wanderer, Katherine spent yesteryear year in Colorado, Chicago, and Nz. Many years being an independent contractor have familiarized her using the headaches that frequently accompany small company accounting, and she’s managed to get her mission to get the best tools to create things just a little simpler for brand new entrepreneurs. When she’s not busy investigating the intricacies from the latest accounting software, she are available focusing on a singular, trekking up mountain tops, and learning Krav Maga. (Though not often all at one time.)
Constant Contact was among the first companies to get involved with the e-mail marketing business. The organization was founded 1995, and started operating in 1998. Up to now, it’s still probably the most broadly recognized ESPs — particularly among individuals who know hardly any about e-mail marketing. Which, to be honest, is most likely most of Constant Contact’s users list.
MailChimp, however, took its begin in 2001. It’s very easy to inform the people behind MailChimp possess a great spontaneity — they’re known as The Brain Surgery Group. And despite rocket science’s status to be complicated, MailChimp really isn’t. It’s set itself apart like a cool, funny brand while still offering the type of features that attract serious Online marketers.
Constant Contact has a respectable 550,000 customers in a wide array of industries. But MailChimp claims greater than six million customers, including some huge names, including TED. We’ve reviewed both services formerly (take a look at our individual reviews for MailChimp and Constant Contact), but let’s check out where both of these e-mail marketing platforms stand out, what sets them aside from one another, and which is the greatest solution for you personally.
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Web-Based or In your area Installed:
Constant Contact and MailChimp are generally cloud-based e-mail marketing suites. You may also download mobile phone applications for services on Android and iOS, though it normally won’t possess the full suite of features. Consider them a lot more like supplements as opposed to a substitute. You’re have to a laptop to make use of these types of services for their full extent.
Software and hardware Needs:
I will refer to this as a draw because support is fairly universal. We stated within our Constant Contact review the software has “known issues” in Explorer (around the support site it particularly mentions issues on Home windows XP) — but you aren’t really using Explorer, right? …Right? (Go download Chrome, Firefox, or Safari at this time.)
Specific Size Business:
E-mail marketing isn’t just something do since your competition is doing the work, too. The thing is to retain customers and also be your company. For this reason MailChimp wins this round.
Constant Contact is a perfect suite for small companies which are just beginning by helping cover their Online marketing. However, it isn’t very scalable. The client support Constant Contact provides causes it to be well suited for newbies, but when you’ve become used to e-mail marketing and wish to increase your time and efforts, you might find you’ve outgrown it.
MailChimp is much better suitable for companies of any size — from single-man (or single-lady) startups to large institutions. The prices structure is a lot more flexible and scalable too. Should you enter into this having a plan and carry it out well, you’ll find MailChimp provides you with the infrastructure to develop without getting to handle the need for importing your database from another service (unless of course you’re already searching to change, obviously).
When it comes to pure functionality, MailChimp dominates Constant Contact. Whichever plan you select, you have more value for your money, as they say. Let’s check out you skill beyond just delivering emails.
Analytics and Reports
Social Networking Support
Multiple User Accounts
Yes – compensated plans only
Yes – greater tier plans only
Sign-Up Forms (including QR codes)
A/B Split Testing
Send Time Optimizer
Mobile Phone Applications (iOS, Android)
A couple of notes here:
* When you can authorize multiple users using the greater-tiered plans in Constant Contact, you cannot set multiple permissions. MailChimp, however, enables you to designate multiple roles and restricts use of features according to individuals permissions, that makes it a lot more helpful for collaboration.
** Constant Contact does not have built-in tools to evaluate this data, however that doesn’t mean you cannot get it done by hand. You may create two separate drafts of the email and segment your list to transmit one version to every segment, then evaluate your open and click on-through rates by hand. Likewise, you can try your open-rate data to get the best time for you to distribute data according to that. Still, it’s far easier to possess built-in tools that handle it for you personally.
Analytics and Reporting
Another subject we discussed within our previous reviews may be the depth from the reporting obtainable in both services. Constant Contact’s metrics are fairly fundamental: open rates, CTRs, bounces, opt-outs, etc. You do not get tools to evaluate any A/B testing, Return on investment, or conversions — all available in MailChimp, additionally towards the standard fare. You need to do get Google Analytics integration with, that is useful, but MailChimp may be the obvious champion here.
Constant Contact’s Plus Campaigns
Both ESPs have pretty thorough social integration. However in its Plus Campaigns feature, Constant Contact also gives you some additional features that MailChimp does not have:
Facebook: Run sweepstakes, offer digital coupons, and share other downloadable content which you can use to develop your client base.
Event Promotion and Registration: Share, register visitors, accept payment and set of metrics in one place.
Donations: Run charitable organization campaigns via social networking or email.
Trackable Coupons: Digital coupons that the visitors can share and you can track.
Surveys and Polls: Get much more data out of your subscribers.
There’s a couple of additional features incorporated in Plus Campaigns, too. You’re likely to pay more of these features in Constant Contact. However, MailChimp can also add these functions through its integrations along with other services.
The prices structures for Constant Contact and MailChimp really are a bit different, and they’re complicated enough that It is best to go take a look at our original reviews of every for that specifics. Meanwhile, here’s the rundown from the major variations:
Constant Contact is entirely list-based. You have to pay in line with the quantity of total subscribers you’ve (important to note: a subscriber on two lists continues to be only counted as you subscriber), and select 1 of 3 tiered plans for that features and additional services you would like. You can include features from greater-tiered plans for the next fee.
MailChimp, however, has three kinds of plans. The Entrepreneur plan’s free of charge (available for approximately 2,000 subscribers and 12,000 emails monthly).It’s not necessary to go in a charge card, however your emails have a little MailChimp badge incorporated at the end.
Beyond that, you’ve got a send-based option (essentially pay-as-you-go) along with a monthly subscription in line with the number of individuals inside your lists. Unlike Constant Contact, their email on two separate lists counts as two subscribers. The monthly subscription includes a couple of features another two plans don’t, but you can include them for a small fee.
Within our Constant Contact review, we noticed that its services have to do with 120 percent to 150 percent of the items competitors charge for comparable services. You receive more quality with MailChimp (including more reporting options and integrations) at a lower price — but we’ll enter into that later. And also the free choice is very appealing, considering that MailChimp’s most fundamental plan’s $35 per month for approximately 2,5000 subscribers.
Simplicity of use:
Certainly one of Constant Contact’s selling points is it’s very easy-to-use templates (65 of these, actually). They’re great and also the WYSIWYG editor is fairly intuitive. However, you’re going to need to jump through hoops (or at best screens) if you wish to code your email in HTML yourself.
Finding what you would like within the template menu can be challenging, and mobile options indicate pretty clearly that it is an area Constant Contact hasn’t really stored on. There isn’t any method to even preview your mobile emails. Much more frustratingly, the overall email preview feature is hard to rely on and sporadic, too. And you may easily miss a “save” button and lose a number of your projects.
Quite a few users appear to become at odds with regards to MailChimp’s simplicity of use. Some repeat the email creator is simple to use, while some appear to consider the personalization choices are hard to use unless of course you’ve got a solid knowledge of coding. You receive 12 fundamental templates and hundreds more styles according to individuals templates.
Here’s why MailChimp arrives ahead: You can get a typical email preview along with a mobile preview. You may also observe how the e-mail will appear in various clients. MailChimp auto-saves every 20 seconds, so you aren’t likely to lose your projects.
Integrations and Add-Ons:
MailChimp’s site claims it’s greater than 700 integrations with assorted third-party services. Constant Contact’s list of apps and integrations appears just below 250 during the time of writing.
Are both going to provide the fundamentals. There’s Google Analytics, obviously, WordPress, and Salesforce (in addition to Zoho). MailChimp has more CRM integrations, including Capsule and Contactually. Have e-commerce integrations with BigCommerce and Shopify, too.
By sheer figures, MailChimp may be the pretty apparent choice if you would like lots of integration with all of your data.
Customer Support and Tech Support Team:
Champion: Constant Contact
This is when the option of best ESP really boils lower to your demands. From the bat, Constant Contact has won three Stevie awards because of its customer support. It features a phone support option that MailChimp doesn’t, and also the hrs are pretty, too: Phone support can be obtained 7 days per week. Hrs are:
Monday-Thursday: 7 a.m.-11 p.m. EST
Friday: 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. EST
Saturday-Sunday: 10 a.m. to eight p.m. EST
And also the phone support is excellent, too. If you want someone to secure your hands and take you step-by-step through everything, Constant Contact is what you want.
Service isn’t perfect, however. Our reviewer had some negative encounters with Constant Contact’s support personnel, too, mostly concerning slow responding time.
That stated, Constant Contact also provides an intensive understanding base that you could consult as needed. There’s decent social networking support, even though you will from time to time you need to be told to email customer support. Constant Contact’s blog is filled with useful tips and there is a online community, too.
Want in addition to that? You have it: Webinars (including free and compensated options) can be found regularly. If you go searching for the greatest-tiered plan, there is also use of a 1-on-one personal coach. Constant Contact even hosts in-person classes that will highlight the fundamentals (for $199, obviously).
MailChimp does not have telephone service. However, their support is usually prompt and professional and also the individuals are knowledgeable. You are able to achieve representatives via email 24 hrs each day. Live Chat can be obtained Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to six p.m. EST (for those who have a compensated account, that’s). Social networking support can also be quite responsive.
Beyond that, MailChimp comes with an extensive understanding base, like Constant Contact, and a range of video training or even a reference of important terms. And there’s your blog, that also offers plenty of tips and information.
In case you really require the extra hands-holding, Constant Contact is the foremost option. In case your search-fu is powerful or else you have a handle on which you’re doing, you’ll get on all right with MailChimp.
With programs such as these, security is vital. In the end, it isn’t just your computer data on the line — it’s your customers’, too. These two services are EU Safe Harbor compliant. Both of them use SSL file encryption to safeguard charge card data.
However it shouldn’t surprise you by using roughly 12 occasions the amount of users as Constant Contact, MailChimp is really a bit more transparent about its safety measures.
If you are seriously interested in security or else you anticipate a really large list inside your future, opt for MailChimp. It even includes a documented continuity plan “in situation of nuclear attack on the data center” — something it mentions outright on its security page. Large lists are stored by themselves individual servers to lessen the risk of data corruption. (For smaller sized lists, including free plans, MailChimp uses shared servers.)
Check our earlier reviews, or visit the MailChimp and Constant Contact security pages for yourself, if you would like.
Let’s also talk as it were about junk e-mail. Nobody wants it, and both Constant Contact and MailChimp take quite strong stances against it. You have to make certain that you’re following your ESP’s tos (including incorporating remove yourself from list links inside your emails) as well as in compliance with U.S. laws and regulations and individuals associated with a country where you’re delivering email. Go browse the anti-junk e-mail policies for Constant Contact and MailChimp.
Negative Reviews and Complaints:
Watch will have its detractors. MailChimp will get flak from users for that difficulty in building custom templates using HTML and CSS. Some also complain about getting to inquire about users to re-opt-in to receiving emails when transferring lists.
But it is not bad thinking about that among the greatest complaints about Constant Contact is manipulative salespeople. It’s extensively recorded (take a look at our earlier review), and may be described as a switch off.
Complaints of unfair charges when a free account is frozen for spammy tactics really are a common one. You cannot make use of your account even though it is under review, but you’ll be billed for this. You are able to cancel your bank account if you are on the month-to-month plan, but there is not much to complete for those who have a pre-compensated plan. Beyond that, you have complaints of poor usability, bugs and glitches, and merely too little features.
Positive Testimonials and reviews:
It’s worth mentioning again that Constant Contact’s customer support has won Stevie awards, and also the fundamental email designer is simple to use. Typically people think MailChimp’s software programs are simple to use, too. Furthermore, MailChimp’s reporting services tend to be more robust also it comes with a totally free option.
It is also important to note that MailChimp beats Constant Contact in G2 Crowd reviews (4. across 103 reviews in contrast to 3.6 from 67 reviews), which its mobile phone applications for Android and iOS tend to be better reviewed.
Constant Contact earned a decent 3.5 stars within our earlier review, but MailChimp earned 4.5 stars, and it’s easy to determine why. With better prices, better quality features, as well as an impressive quantity of integrations, MailChimp is the foremost choice for anybody who would like to boost their e-mail marketing business. If, however, you’re brand-new towards the game and most likely will not be delivering even more than an periodic e-newsletter, Constant Contact provides the type of give you support might take advantage of. But you’re prone to outgrow it in case your efforts remove. Plus, MailChimp’s entry-level package is free of charge, that makes it the safer option to test out e-mail marketing if you are just beginning out.
We like to know what you think. Got questions? Would like to learn more? Take a look at our other e-mail marketing reviews or be at liberty to contact us!
Melissa Manley is definitely an independent author and editor who loves e-commerce, internet marketing, technology, and social networking. Not so long ago, she earned a journalism degree, but she continued to uncover that they could work at home, researching, editing, and covering the items she found most fascinating. When she’s not associated with her laptop, Melissa usually can be based in the kitchen, studying a magazine, or doing something from the nerdy persuasion.
In the realm of CRM (crm) solutions, or perhaps the wider whole world of cloud-based software, Salesforce is really a freaking giant. With revenues in excess of $3.05 billion in 2013 as well as an a great deal larger sales figure expected for 2014, this cloud-computing veteran continues to be an increasing pressure to become believed with, fifteen years after its founding.
Presuming you’re a minimum of a bit interested in this software behemoth’s rise to preeminence, Salesforce began in 1999 by Marc Benioff, Parker Harris, Dave Moellenhoff, and Frank Dominguez being an SaaS (software like a service) company, focusing on sales automation. The organization went public around the New You are able to Stock Market in 2004. This Year, Forbes rated Salesforce because the state-of-the-art company in the usa. Today, Salesforce has assets totaling greater than $9.15 billion and you can state that it is among the most recognizable names in software, period.
Salesforce’s fully cloud-based CRM tools are highly regarded and wide-varying, making Salesforce a high-ranking CRM solution for medium to large companies. Nonetheless, should you own a smaller business, you most likely don’t require all the myriad features Salesforce offers, and could prefer a different that is included with a more attractive cost tag.
Besides being less expensive, some Salesforce competitors offer additional advantages that might fit for the organization’s needs much better than Salesforce’s tools. Let’s review a few of the top Salesforce alternatives that will help you select the right CRM program for the business.
Table of Contents
1. Zoho CRM
Thinking about that the organization hasn’t acquired any loans, investment capital, or private investors, I’d say Zoho’s success is fairly impressive. You may be surprised to understand that Zoho was really founded before Salesforce, in 1996, but because an IT and telecom company. In 2005, the firm rebranded itself and then now use productivity apps, including its excellent, feature-wealthy CRM.
Though it began 3 years before SalesForce and hasn’t made as much cash, you do not always need to consider Zoho CRM as SalesForce’s older but less effective cousin. Zoho CRM distinguishes itself from the competitors by its large number of effective features along with its incredibly affordable cost. Zoho is appropriate for just about any size business, though it’s aimed toward bigger organizations. A number of its many features include inventory management, a document library, dynamic pipeline tracking, and social networking connectivity.
Why choose Zoho CRM over Salesforce
To become honest, the main need to choose Zoho CRM over Salesforce is it is a lot, less expensive. Actually, the only real cheaper CRMs would be the couple of that are offered free of charge. The following are Zoho CRM’s prices plans (To compare, Salesforce’s most widely used plan’s the $125/user/month “Enterprise” solution):
Entrepreneur: Free, as much as 3 users
Thinking about that Zoho can compete mind-to-mind with Salesforce of all features, I’d rate Zoho CRM being an excellent, less expensive Salesforce alternative, for bigger companies.
If you are the kind of person that values coolness and simplicity (e.g., the normal iPhone user) this CRM may be for you personally. Solve360 is really a youthful, edgy CRM developed with small companies, including freelancers, in your mind. You receive a sense from the company’s edgy attitude by going to the sleek Solve360 website. Its natural hipness aside, Solve360 also offers a top-notch CRM experience.
Solve360 is amazingly simple to use and it has no software or hardware needs, apart from a functional internet browser and web connection. A number of its notable features include pre-integrated cloud applications for example MailChimp and Constant Contact, email linking, reporting, custom fields and category tags, templates for automating repetitious activities, along with a mobile application that integrates client information with incoming calls.
Why choose Solve360 over Salesforce
Solve360 is a superb choice over Salesforce if you’re a small company but shouldn’t lose out on advanced features. Plus, there’s a lot cheaper to make use of for those who have a little salesforce. Prices breakdowns are listed below:
Fundamental – $39 / month, 3 users
Plus – $69 / month, 6 users
Select – $100 / month, 4 users
Pro – $149 / month, 18 users
Furthermore, the program now is easier to make use of than Salesforce and won’t require much, or no, practicing profits team, enabling you to get the CRM system ready to go as fast as possible. Should you operate a youthful-minded, cutting-edge business, you could also appreciate Solve360’s awesome flair.
In my opinion the old saying “It’s all whom you know” couldn’t become more true with regards to business, and Contactually takes this theory – that contacts are your best business asset – quite seriously. Contactually is really a relatively recent, business, nevertheless its managing contacts-focused services have previously accumulated quite the next. Contactually began only a couple of years back and it has less than 20 employees – who serve thousands of users.
Easy-to-use and positive in the method of CRM, Contactually is the best CRM for managing your communications. A number of its top features include fully customizable contacts, instantly generated tasks, a handy resource library, pipeline tracking, and “Buckets” (a good method to organize contacts into groups).
While it doesn’t include complex marketing features or advanced sales analytics, Contactually cost less than Salesforce’s greater-tier packages, and could be an excellent accessory for your CRM tools should you not require these more complicated features or you don’t mind using multiple CRM programs.
Why choose Contactually over Salesforce
Contactually couldn’t be looked at “cheap,” but it’s less costly than Salesforce’s upper packages. Here’s Contactually’s three-tier prices breakdown:
Small Company: $39.99/user/month
You might reason that Contactually is preferable to Salesforce at managing contacts because relationships are this CRM’s section of niche. Contactually is extremely intelligent software, which analyzes your everyday communication patterns to build up daily tasks that make you stay on the top of the customer communications whatsoever occasions. (Salesforce is not really “smart” in this manner).
Another advantage of Contactually is the fact that additionally to presenting it within the cloud, you may also download this program to operate in your area, for simplified experience your smartphone.
4. Capsule CRM
Founded in 2008, Capsule is yet another relative newcomer around the CRM scene. This CRM is one particualr small company that suits other small companies. Despite its small size, Capsule’s strong CRM functionality coupled with its affordable prices and API architecture get this to CRM a high Salesforce alternative for smaller sized firms.
Capsule offers all of the standard CRM features (managing contacts, sales pipeline, email organization, task management, history tracking), which operate in harmony to provide a higher-quality CRM experience. However, the primary area where I believe you’ll find Capsule shines is its seamless integration along with other software, because of the program’s API architecture. A few of the programs Capsule interacts with include:
Why choose Capsule over Salesforce
Like the majority of the Salesforce alternatives on my list, Capsule provides more value for your money compared to leading CRM. Hey, Capsule boasts a totally free plan. Its two plans are listed below:
Support for just two users
Somewhat limited (10MB) storage
$12 monthly per user
Support for approximately 50,000 contacts
2GB of storage per user
Besides being cheaper, Capsule offers excellent integration along with other CRM software. When compared with Salesforce, Capsule might be a better fit for your online business, particularly if you already use other sales software programs.
The ultimate CRM on my list, SugarCRM, could be the most viable Salesforce competitor of. Like Salesforce, SugarCRM is really a leading CRM solution – SugarCRM has greater than 1.5 million users and annual revenues approaching $1 billion. However, unlike another leading CRM, SugarCRM has got the distinction to be a wide open-source solution.
While, at $150/user/month, SugarCRM’s priciest package is much more costly than Salesforce’s popular Enterprise package (Salesforce’s second most-costly package), I believe SugarCRM may be worthwhile if you like the versatility and customizability of the open-source solution.
Though many small companies use SugarCRM, it’s a fully featured CRM geared for bigger companies, and can be overkill for smaller sized firms and novice CRM users. Sugar’s exhaustive listing of features includes sales pressure automation, real-time pipeline management, marketing management, open architecture and API to integrate add-ons (or use add-ons you produced yourself), and per-user personalization.
Why choose SugarCRM over Salesforce
I would suggest SugarCRM because the open-source Salesforce alternative for bigger businesses that have knowledge about CRM and wish to develop a more bespoke means to fix perfectly match their business’s needs. SugarCRM has the benefit of offering third-party Google Apps support, and in addition it offers both on-premise and cloud-based editions. At $150/user/month, the entire SugarCRM experience costs only half that of the very most costly Salesforce package.
Salesforce is a superb cloud-based CRM solution however, it isn’t for everyone. Cheaper cost, better simplicity of use, simpler features, and much more customizability are a few reasons many companies choose Salesforce options to meet their CRM needs. If you are thinking about replacing Salesforce or are simply beginning by helping cover their CRM and aren’t sure which program you’ll prefer, it’s smart to check out a number of different solutions. Salesforce provides a free trial offer of their services, just like all the Salesforce alternatives pointed out in the following paragraphs incidents where offer free accounts. Begin using these risk-free possibilities to test as numerous Salesforce competitors as your heart desires and discover which is really a champion for the salesforce.
Would you use one of these simple Salesforce alternatives? Let me know regarding your experience of your comments ought to!
Shannon is really a freelance author and editor located in North Park, CA. Shannon type of wants an apple iphone 7, but she’s not necessarily prepared to lose the headphone jack.