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Tag : Zoho Campaigns

Zoho MarketingHub: Zoho’s Answer to HubSpot, Adobe & Salesforce Marketing Cloud

Zoho MarketingHub: Zoho’s Answer to HubSpot, Adobe & Salesforce Marketing Cloud

zoho marketinghub marketing automation

Unless you have some fantastic luck, you could say the beginning of every good sale starts with good marketing.  Zoho Corporation, what with their regular schedule of updates, is well aware of this fact.  In fact, they have been putting together a very exciting new platform that aims to capitalize on this notion and give their customers more marketing power and control – and in that way increase sales and put more money back in their customers’ pockets.  

This brand-new addition to the Zoho marketing stack is designed to encompass every marketing tool they’ve built so far, combine those tools with elements of Zoho Analytics, then come with a very attractive, updated UI smacked onto it… The new tool’s name: Zoho MarketingHub.

Obviously, the implications of Zoho releasing such a tool in the context of its present suite of apps – not to mention the not-so-subtle jab at HubSpot itself in the app’s own name – are far-reaching.  

In today’s post, we’ll go through the new features Zoho Marketing Hub brings to the table, how the app can affect (and improve) use of Zoho CRM, and what the app’s existence means for other related Zoho apps.

zoho marketinghub collaboration

Solving a common problem: Lack of a Marketing Hub

Many of our customers already come to us looking for help connecting the various software components of their business.  The marketing “stack,” or suite of individual apps, is an important part of this.  Though with the sheer number of tools available to help, each with somewhat overlapping functionalities, your confusion over where to start and which ones to use would be forgiven.

And, Zoho has a reason for presenting all the tools to you in this way.  As businesses and commerce itself both trend toward being more digitized, it becomes more and more important to have all the digital tools necessary to market effectively to potential and current customers.  Previously, Zoho offered different apps to fulfill different marketing duties.  This includes Zoho Campaigns for email marketing, and Zoho Social for social media posts and monitoring.  However, even with integration between these apps, it isn’t the same as having everything controlled by a single app.  Zoho putting all these different tools together under one umbrella is their ultimate answer to the question, “how do I manage the entire marketing funnel effectively, from A to Z and beyond?”

What does Zoho MarketingHub bring to the table, then?

Marketing Hub covers all of a customer’s journey, not just some of it.

And, there are a lot of features to note here, so strap yourself in…

zoho marketing hub lead scoring

Lead tracking.  

As with both Zoho CRM and Zoho Campaigns, Zoho MarketingHub provides webforms with which to funnel your prospects, leads, and contacts into different marketing “buckets,” each bucket with its own objective and type of content.  These webforms can be placed on your website, but they can also be integrated directly with services like GoToWebinar and EventBrite for a more unified experience. As far as features go, this is par for the course from Zoho, but this next one is downright exciting…

Web behavior tracking.  

Once you’ve obtained a lead’s information via a webform, you can use Marketing Hub’s Web Assistant feature to tell you exactly where that person went on your website, how long they were there, and where else on your website they clicked.  This borrows a bit from services like Google Analytics.  But, combined with information your lead already submitted, it allows you to identify their path to becoming a customer. And, for everyone who didn’t submit information to you, Zoho MarketingHub still gives an aggregate page popularity map, page click-through likelihood tracker, and many other useful reports.  

zoho marketing hub website marketing

Custom email campaigns based on interest.  

You can use behavioral data gathered by MarketingHub to send very targeted email campaigns based on the products or services your leads are most interested in.  Once they receive this info, you can give them lead scores based on how they interact with your content: did they skim or really read it?  Did they click a link and stay on the page for long? You can then choose to send leads who score the highest to your sales team automatically.  This will ensure the team doesn’t waste time reaching out to anyone unqualified.

Tailor the customer journey by persona.  

You can also use Zoho Marketing Hub’s data to modify your website itself so leads convert more quickly and easily in general.  Modify your customer journeys not only by product or service interest, but by their very persona. This is one of those things that will make your potential (or current) customers more satisfied with your content and your company on the whole, though they may not know exactly why.  One of the few instances where mind games are okay to play!

zoho marketing hub lead nurturing

Continue engaging your customers long after they’ve bought from you.

 When you look at a list of customers, you’re really looking at a list of people who already trust you.  If you have services or products that pair well with those that your customers have already consumed from you, you can use Zoho MarketingHub’s data to make decisions about sending more email campaigns, custom surveys, and other promotions to help you sell more and sell easily.  

Plan future campaigns based on your exact ROI.  

Arguably the most important stat to a marketer, Zoho MarketingHub’s Marketing Planner calculates the ROI of individual marketing channels, and the respective campaigns within each channel.  This enables you to focus more of your effort on campaigns that deliver and kill off the ones that don’t produce.

These new features of Zoho Marketing Hub are sure to improve the lives of the marketers who plug it into their campaigns.  And, this is not just by informing them of what’s working and what isn’t, but by telling them exactly how profitable they are to the company.  From then onward, it’s incumbent upon the sales department to take all this great information that MarketingHub gathers, and run with it.

So, how does that look, exactly?

Zoho MarketingHub feeds Zoho CRM.  Then, the CRM beefs up your sales potential

zoho marketing hub dashboard

If utilized correctly, introducing MarketingHub to your suite of apps has the power to turn a fledgling sales department into a breakout team, and an already powerful team into a group of downright all-stars.  And, while it’s true that MarketingHub integrates with CRM and can sync a good deal of information directly into the hands of your sales team, it’s not the raw data that concerns them most.

Of course, there’s value in knowing things like:

  • The amount of time a lead has spent on your website
  • The number of pages they looked at, and their exact click path
  • Which email campaigns they acted upon and which ones they ignored

But, it’s even better to combine this data with the power of Zoho CRM – and some workflow automation programming – to inform your sales team:

  1. Exactly how to open the lead based on how long they spent on your website
  2. Just what products or services to pitch based on the exact combination of pages viewed
  3. How likely that person is to become a customer based on their email campaign interaction.  And, when they might say yes based on behavior of others in that persona category
  4. Which warm leads to go after, and exactly when to go after them

Of course, a well-seasoned salesperson can glean a lot of this information by looking at the raw data from MarketingHub.  But, any salesperson worth their salt knows time is money.  So, why spend time figuring out yourself what Zoho CRM’s calculations and workflow rules can figure out for you in a snap?  You could even integrate blueprint into the mix and place hotter prospects into different stages in the Leads or Deals module, and save even more time.  The sky’s the limit when it comes to translating the data from Zoho Marketing Hub into actionable CRM data for your team. (And, if you’re confused about what exactly to do, our team of Zoho consultants can help you with that and anything else.)

So, does this mean I can throw away Zoho Campaigns and Zoho Social?

zoho marketinghub

It’s not a bad question.  Earlier, we mentioned Zoho Marketing Hub combines many aspects of Zoho Campaigns with Zoho Social.  And, essentially, it adds a lot of intelligence to those apps.  But, does that mean you should just stop using Zoho Campaigns or Social?  

My answer: If you’re afraid Zoho is just going to turn off your apps or delete your old campaigns, I wouldn’t worry too much about that.  Zoho’s usual MO when it comes to building apps that improve upon existing ones is to either allow users the option to use either app (or both apps) in question.  (A good example of this situation is in Zoho Books vs Zoho Invoice.) Or, they may even choose to merge Zoho Campaigns, Zoho Social, and Zoho MarketingHub formally into one app.  

But, I would guess the latter move would be very complicated and labor-intensive.  Not to mention, having only MarketingHub as an option might even be overkill for some companies.  We wouldn’t want Zoho to turn into Salesforce…obviously!

Another value add: look for MarketingHub in Zoho One

zoho marketinghub zoho one cloud

Zoho Corporation has added Marketing Hub to the Zoho One platform.  This just further cements Zoho as one of the best values out there, in my humble (and admittedly biased) opinion. Leveraging the power of MarketingHub and CRM, you have the opportunity to feed data already coming from your website through both apps and present your sales team with new action items.  Nothing could be better for a sales department.

In Summary

In 2020, getting through 1000+ words might be a little too much to handle, so I’m happy to provide a short synopsis of this article.

MarketingHub is Zoho’s answer to the big marketing automation competitors like HubSpot, et al, and it packs the features to go along with its punchy name.  Apart from tracking click paths and seeing how to best convert web traffic, you can also send email campaigns and launch social posts right from the app.  This means you could theoretically replace Zoho Campaigns and Social with MarketingHub.  With Zoho MarketingHub, you’ll get just what you put into it.  So, as long as you connect it to your website and allow the relevant data to flow in, the resulting reports should be pretty easy to understand.  And, if they aren’t, you can always contact us and we’ll sit down and help you.

As always, we’ll keep you informed of any MarketingHub, CRM, or other developments in Zoho.  If you have any questions about anything here, we’d love to hear from you. 

Contact us today for more information.

Exterior of Cross Campus Downtown Los Angeles location

Zoho Community Meetup at Cross Campus DTLA

Zoho Community Meetup at Cross Campus DTLA

At 1PM on Wednesday, October 3rd, ZBrains will host our next Zoho Community Meetup in the heart of downtown Los Angeles Cross Campus:

800 Wilshire Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90017

Come learn how ZBrains provides solutions to the most common Zoho CRM challenges. This event is FREE and open to the public!

Community Meetup Agenda

Join ZBrains as we help you better understand the Zoho CRM, journeying through the following topics:

Zoho Projects

  • Plan, track, and ensure positive collaboration among your employees. Projects allows for better time management and resource utilization.

Zoho Creator

  • Whether you need complex processes automation or just less tedious work on your plate, Zoho Creator lets you craft a custom app that fits your business.

Zoho Campaigns

  • Building a strong customer base is made that much easier with smart email marketing campaigns, and Zoho Campaigns helps you do that and then some.

POP and IMAP for Better Email Management

  • Achieve a greater understanding of POP and IMAP, and how Zoho integrates with them through various email clients.

SalesInbox to Prioritize your Emails

  • The email client built exclusively for salespeople to bring the most valuable emails to the forefront.

MS Outlook plugin to manage emails, contacts, and events

  • Collaboration is key, which is why this plugin pulls from your emails, tasks, and calendar for one convenient data hub.

Layouts for dynamic customization

  • Custom layouts allow you to tailor your CRM for your business, including the fields that are relevant for your industry.

Subforms to associate multiple line items to a primary sale

  • Custom-create subforms to add accessories to a primary product, or add contact details to accounts, among other uses.

API version 2 for enhanced integration capabilities

  • Released in February 2018, this updated API includes better call methods, output responses, and more!

Zoho CRM Integrations

  • Zoho Projects
  • Zoho Creator
  • Zoho Books
The New Zoho Campaigns UI

The Zoho Campaigns UI Has A Fresh New Look

Keeping your customers and clients-to-be engaged when they have so many other things going on in their lives is one of the most valuable things one can do when managing a business – otherwise, what are you to them?  Will they even remember you after your most recent conversation?  Zoho Campaigns is Zoho’s email marketing tool, and although it’s historically been a fine tool for sending emails and tracking statistics, it’s just added a load of customizable options and a good dose of marketing automation –  so you can engage your audience even more easily, and do it in style through the new Zoho Campaigns UI.

Here are 6 great ways the new Zoho Campaigns UI helps keep your marketing machine in gear and can help keep you at the top of your audience’s minds.

1. Updated interface designed your way.

The new Zoho Campaigns UI allows you to work smarter with a new, customizable dashboard, to maximize your efficiency. With this dashboard you can get an overview of your email campaigns, and add only the widgets that you want to see, so you aren’t wasting valuable space on your screen. With the My Short tab, you can achieve smooth transitions with tabs that group your favorite features together, allowing for effortless focus on just the tasks that make up your workday.

2. Advanced Email Design Capabilities

Creating email campaigns has now become even easier. The new Zoho Campaigns UI allows you to create responsive and more complex email templates. The new drag-and-drop editor makes building email templates easy, and the new UI also makes it much easier for you to add pre-header text, attachments, and links to your social media pages. You can even preview what your campaigns will look like on any device using the built-in Litmus test. Want to go back to a previous version of your email? Well, Campaigns now saves all past iterations so you can!

3. New Image Editing Precision.

In the previous version of Campaigns, you could only upload and resize an image.  Now, you can combine your creativity and knowledge with added tools that allow for editing images from within Zoho Campaigns. That means you can crop, retouch, and even add text to the images that you upload! With more image editing options available your creative capabilities are extended, as is your ability to connect with your audience using engaging images.

zoho campaigns ui dynamic-content-updated4. Automation Puts More Flow Into Your Workflows.

Gain back valuable time in your day with expanded automation. With a number of added customizable autoresponders, triggers, and workflows, you can target your audience based on their behavior, clicks, and actions. Take automation a step further with the introduction of dynamic content, which can change the content of your emails based on subscriber or list segmentation. You can also set rules to ensure that your clients aren’t bombarded by emails.


5. Define User Roles and Permissions.zoho campaigns ui roles-and-privileges

Ever worry that a new Zoho Campaigns user will accidentally delete one of your email campaigns? Well, the new Zoho Campaigns UI even takes care of this problem with new settings for team member permissions and roles, just like in the CRM. You can also set managerial approvals so no campaign ever goes out without being approved first!

6. Reporting Features to Campaign Smarter.

Knowing how your campaigns are performing is integral in the structuring and design of future campaigns. The new UI allows you to track your campaign’s success with comprehensive analytics on a customizable dashboard. You can drill down into your campaign data even further than before with reporting on specific devices, email clients, and browsers that your clients used to view your campaigns. Add Google Analytics to Campaigns and track activity back to your website, and suddenly you have access to much more data – and ways to bridge gaps to connecting with your clients – than ever before.

The new Zoho Campaigns UI is available for all users! Pricing for Zoho Campaigns begins at $5/mo for unlimited emails and up to 500 users. Interested in learning more, implementing Zoho Campaigns, or starting on another Zoho app like MarketingHub? Contact a member of our team! We are Zoho Certified Consultants here to help. Give us a call at (888) 207-4111 or click the button below and we will reach out to you!


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Thanksgiving blog

Zoho Apps That We Are Grateful For!

It’s Thanksgiving! It’s the perfect time to chow down, visit family and friends, and be happy and thankful for everyone in your life. In the spirit of the holiday, we would like to share some of the Zoho Apps that we are most grateful for with you! They can help you to optimize your potential and can keep you on-track and ready to close more, win more, and earn more.

Here are 4 Zoho Apps that we are grateful for!

Zoho appsZoho CRM

Zoho CRM is a powerful cloud-based customer and prospect management solution for your business. It is your most basic database where you can reach out to your customers and reference past work or projects, as well as forecast future sales – which you can use to make key decisions about your business. With Zoho CRM, you can set tasks and reminders to reach out to your customers in a timely and convenient manner, all for the purpose of giving your customers a smoother journey through your sales funnel. With a multitude of integrations, add-ons, and applications you can customize this CRM to fit your specific, unique business needs. Check out just how easy it is to migrate to Zoho!

Zoho appsZoho Sprints

Simplify project management for your business! This agile project management app designed to manage software sprints and help everyone get over their respective hurdles. A simpler project management solution than Zoho Projects, you can manage and track your team’s time and see where everyone stands using the Scrum Board. Use analytics which update in real time to help you make predictions, make adjustments, and identify bottlenecks. All of these features will make sure that your team is operating efficiently. Learn more here!

ZohoZoho apps Campaigns

Being able to keep in touch with your customers and prospects is important: it can convert uninterested leads into warmer prospects, and it can turn one-time customers into lifetime family members. Instead of toggling between various different apps for email marketing, you can use Zoho Campaigns. It integrates with your CRM to ensure that your data is always up to date. Campaigns also gives you massive insights into your email marketing campaigns so you can know how they performed and automate follow-up campaigns. Best of all, the integration with Zoho CRM offers unparalleled visibility into those engaged with your content and pipeline. Learn more about the power of Zoho Campaigns!

Zoho appsZoho Desk

Good customer service is important! Happy customers make life so much easier. Zoho Desk is that all-encompassing solution for your business in need of a ticketing system. Desk is context-aware and designed so your service never misses a beat. With in-depth reporting for management, detailed tickets and time tracking for agents, and a knowledge base for customers – this Zoho app help cover every level of customer service.

Love all of these Zoho Apps? Well, they are all included with Zoho One! If you are interested in learning more feel free to reach out to our team. Give us a call at (888) 207-4111 and schedule a consultation at a time that works best for you. You can also sign up for a free trial of Zoho by clicking the button below!

We here at ZBrains wish you a safe, happy, and delicious holiday!

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Woman Drinking coffee learning how she can enhance customer experience with Zoho's apps

From Sales to Social – Enhance The Customer Experience

In today’s ultra-digital environment with endless information and limitless options, the businesses that provide the best customer experience are king.  As you may well know, there are lots of different ways to interact (or not) with your customers, and there are many schools of thought on this.  But, generally speaking, people want to feel like they’re buying from a trusted brand, someone with a social media presence, someone able to nurture them from point A to point Z without it feeling like a sales process.

Bearing all that in mind, Zoho Corporation has tuned three of their apps – CRM, Campaigns, and Social – to give your business these very powers and cut away from the myriad others trying to do what you’re doing.  The difference truly is in the experience you give your customers with these apps.

How Zoho Can Help You

Here’s How Zoho Can Optimize The Customer Experience

Zoho CRM Accounts ScreenshotZoho CRM – The Customer Experience Hub

Zoho CRM is your most basic database, the place where you can reach out to your customers and reference past work or projects. You can set tasks and reminders to reach out to your customers in a timely and convenient manner all for the purpose of giving your customers a smoother journey through your sales funnel. You can also use the information inside to plan campaigns: Calling, emailing, social media, or even updating content on your website.

For example, you might see through Zoho CRM web-to-lead forms that only small number of prospects are coming to you through a landing page for one of your most profitable products, so you’d know that you’d need to improve your content around that product.  And for another example, you might have received a glut of new leads and want to contact them all at once – perhaps a job for a mass email from the CRM – or something a bit more sophisticated, like an email marketing app.

Zoho Campaigns – Email Marketing SimplifiedZoho Campaigns email marketing template screenshot

The benefits of email marketing are abundant. You can improve sales and conversion rates at a reduced cost. Being able to run campaigns easily in Zoho Campaigns helps to simplify your email marketing. Here you can create emails with beautiful customizable templates, track what content your prospects are engaging with, and receive up-to-date reporting and performance data. This information will keep your customers engaged and informed.

Campaigns integrates with Zoho CRM, so you can import your customer lists directly into it. You can create automation and workflows to ensure that your customers can receive personalized content that’s also relevant to them. Additionally, you can compliment your email campaigns with social media posts. Share your email campaigns, invite your subscribers to your pages, and create Facebook landing pages – all on one platform! Check out more on the power of Zoho Campaigns here.

Zoho Social Media Notifications Screenshot

Zoho Social – Post Easily and Effectively

Zoho Campaigns is not the only place that you can place you can manage your social media. Zoho takes it one step further with Zoho Social. Here you can manage all of your platforms in one place. Schedule social media posts as you see fit or by using SmartQ, which will suggest dates and times to post for optimum reach and engagement. Social’s new bulk scheduling tool will allow you to upload multiple posts at once, saving you tons of time!

Track customer engagement and respond to customer messages directly from the app. Did someone like your post or mention you in a tweet? Zoho Social will let you know! Social media marketing can be very valuable for your business when done right. It allows customers to connect with your business without feeling pushed. With in-depth reporting and analytics, you’ll know which posts received more engagement, and on which days. Stay the top of your customers’ minds and give them the knowledge they need to come to you when they need you.


Keeping your customers engaged is important to ensure that they have a positive customer experience. Communicating with them in a timely manner will show that your business is dependable while keeping them engaged through email or social media campaigns will build trust with your business as a reliable source of information. Zoho can help you optimize these processes.

Interested in learning more? Contact a member of the ZBrains team today!

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Woman sitting at her desk reading about common crm issues and zoho solutions

3 Common CRM Issues and Their Solutions

When new clients come to us at ZBrains, we often hear one of two things – either they have faced significant challenges with a previous CRM software they have used and they’re ready to move on, or they have just signed with Zoho and are unsure where to start. With these two challenges, you could say that we’ve heard it all – from A to Z; so, you can be sure that we have answers to your common CRM issues.

After thousands of conversations with various clients, we’ve wrangled our experts at ZBrains to tell us their top 3 most common CRM issues from new clients. If you’re brand new to CRM management or perhaps you have questions about your current CRM, we’re sure you’ll identify with one (or more) of the challenges below.

Here are the top 3 common CRM issues (and their solutions).

Business woman on phone looking at Zoho mobile applicationChallenge: I can’t access my CRM on-the-go.

Imagine you want to access a client contact history while en route to a meeting, or away from your desk – but you can’t access your CRM through your phone. Ugh.

Solution: Discover a CRM that works on-the-go.

Challenge: My team does not know how to use my CRM properly.

Whether it’s because of lack of process or lack of training, your team just doesn’t understand or know how to use the major features of your CRM, it can be difficult to get your employees on-board entirely with your CRM.

Solution: Educate, Track, Customize.

Save time by tracking everything- from emails to phone calls, and meeting logs in between. Zoho has it all – enabling your team to make the most of your CRM. Have a program that educates your team on the benefits and use-cases before diving in head first. In our experience, this has truly made a difference in overall adoption and usage. Develop a solid process for your team and have customizable solutions for your business processes. Get started on the right foot by signing up for one of our Zoho implementation plans.

Challenge: My CRM doesn’t integrate with the software I use every day.

Are you always flipping through tabs, browsers, applications and spending far too much time logging-in, or recovering lost passwords?Is it just another application that you need to manage?

Solution: Find an all-in-one solution.zoho one

This is especially true for sales and marketing teams, who certainly use many, many applications on a daily basis. From CRM to email, social media posting applications and more, it can be a challenge to keep track of it all. Zoho One has 35+ integrated applications that encompass everything from CRM, email newsletters, documents, inventory, and more. Here at ZBrains, we offer additional add-ons and custom integrations for your favorite business products, such as QuickBooks, MailChimp, Magento, and more.

It’s important to find a CRM that can integrate with a variety of solutions to optimize the potential of your business. It will keep you on-track and ready to close more, win more, and earn more.

From employees using your CRM (properly) to finding software that works for all teams in your company, these are our top 4 common CRM issues and their solutions. They’ve been compiled by our Zoho certified consultants here at ZBrains who are here to help you with your burning questions.  Feel free to drop us a line!


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A guy, sitting at his computer, reading about the Zoho Campaigns and Zoho CRM Intergration

The Power Of Zoho Campaigns and CRM Integration

The evolution of marketing and business development has grown leaps and bounds over the last few years. As software has offered increasingly more features and benefits, the days of disconnected CRM software and email management systems are over. You can now have information, data, and reporting at your fingertips through multi-platform accessibility. Zoho Campaigns, for one, has not only grown with the evolution – it has led the way in terms of features and functionality. From creating emails with beautiful customizable templates to tracking and reporting what content your prospects are engaging,

Zoho Campaigns allows you massive insights into your email marketing campaigns. Best of all, the integration with Zoho CRM offers unparalleled visibility into those engaged with your content and pipeline.

Here are 4 reasons why you’ll love the power of Zoho Campaigns and CRM integration

1. Reach out to your leads, prospects, and customers with ease.

With Zoho Campaigns and Zoho CRM integration, you can track engagement and email exchanges all-in-one. Your entire marketing team can use Campaigns to send email messaging through a multi-user account, which means that visibility into all activities is second-to-none.

Efficiency is key when it comes to this integration. If you have customer lists in Zoho CRM (of course you do!) you can see these campaign results within each prospect record – so the next time you’re on a sales call, you won’t need to switch between multiple applications to find answers to your prospect’s questions. Everything is in one record through your CRM.

Zoho Campaigns

2. You’ll know how well your campaigns performed against your sales contact list.

When deciding who to actively prospect and who to set aside, for now, the data and subsequent decisions will be right before your eyes. Email marketing provides a detailed look into who’s interested – and who isn’t. After all, for every $1 spent, email marketing generates $38 in ROI. Now that’s impressive.

Within Zoho Campaigns, you can also customize your lists to reach the right audience. You can segment your lists based on specific criteria, such as business type. This makes custom, targeted engagement a very simple task.

3. Your data will always be up-to-date.

The advanced sync between Zoho CRM and Zoho Campaigns allows users – you – to maintain up-to-date versions of contact and lead information. When a prospect engages, this data will pull into your CRM. When a prospect opts-out, they will be automatically unsubscribed from your mailing list and you will receive a notification. You won’t be working with old data, meaning quality will be assured every single time.

4. Your sales staff won’t need to toggle between various software.

Your sales staff have other, more important tasks to worry about – like closing deals. That’s why they won’t spend time toggling between various pieces of software. They won’t need to pull open your CRM alongside your email marketing software while trying to make sense of the data. Instead, Zoho Campaigns gives your sales team one unified platform to monitor and provide all of the information in one place, making them more efficient – and closing more deals – in the meantime.

We love the integration between Zoho Campaigns and Zoho CRM – and we are sure you will, too. To learn more about how this will work for your business you can contact us. Or you can enable your team today by signing up for a private Zoho CRM training support session!  Lastly, for even more great, integrated marketing features, we strongly recommend checking out Zoho Marketing Hub, the latest marketing funnel management app from Zoho.

Zoho’s System Security Capabilities – What You Need To Know

zoho security

When it comes to security with online software, you’ve likely heard it all. “Change your passwords“, says your Information Technology group. “Don’t connect to public Wi-Fi“, your colleagues suggest. Yet, with your CRM – Zoho, specifically – we are lucky that the platform has built-in, ready-made capabilities that will protect you and your business. Particularly, Zoho’s system security capabilities are second-to-none for Tech and Marketing teams alike.

But, why should your business even care about security?

Well, let us tell you a story about a little ol’ company named Sony.

Sony created a globally popular movie, The Interview, featuring Seth Rogan and James Franco. The Interview depicts two friends who run a popular tabloid show; these two friends pitch and land an interview with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un. During this time, they are recruited by the CIA to turn their trip into an assassination mission. Naturally, North Korea (in real life) wasn’t impressed with this storyline. As the story goes, hackers who claimed to be from North Korea hacked Sony Corporation in one of the most popular cyber attacks in entertainment. From releasing salaries of Sony’s executives to spoiling the release of upcoming movies, to distributing medical information about Sony employees – the consequences of the hack were felt far and wide.

Yet, it was Sony Corporation who wasn’t prepared, and were completely unaware about what could happen if a company disregards security through online software. Needless to say, Sony changed their practices immediately, and focused on safety and security of their online software.

Now, your business might not be as large as Sony; but the principle remains the same. Safety and security of your online information is integral to the reputation of your business.

So, with that said, if your team uses Zoho, you can sleep well knowing that you are in safe hands with this software. Below, we’ll show you the system security capabilities you need to know, along with where they can be found in Zoho. Some features are through Zoho Vault, the online password manager for teams, and others are built right in Zoho CRM.

Here are Zoho’s system security capabilities – and what you need to know. zoho security

1. Zoho securely stores passwords.

Application used: Zoho Vault

Passwords are encrypted with the strongest encryption standard (AES-256), which means that you can securely store passwords through the software without worrying about changing them frequently for safety and security.

There are many password solutions out there – from OnePass to Security Server Online. Yet, many are clunky and – to be quite frank – a pain to use. After all, who wants to log-in to multiple platforms only to reach one?

Zoho’s system security capabilities gives you the ability to securely store passwords should keep your Tech team at rest.

2. Track user actions.

Application used: Zoho CRM, Campaigns and Social 

If your company sends an email, tweet, updates a lead or tracks an opportunity, you want to track who does what, and when. For example, if your Marketing team creates a lead and your Sales Representative needs to know who performed this action, Zoho will tell you. Similarly, if you need to assign or re-distribute a password, your Tech team can see how and when this was done.

Tracking user actions allows your teams to see how and what changes were made, helping identify potential breaches if they are taking place.

3. Passwords are shared securely.

Application used: Zoho Vault

Within your team, you might share passwords through email, text or over the phone. But, you don’t need to worry when it comes to Zoho.*

You can define access privileges through the platform, meaning you can share passwords with team members quickly and easily online.

*PS: Never share private or sensitive information (like passwords) over email! This is integral to Zoho’s system security capabilities. 

zoho security

4. Database security.

Application used: Zoho CRM

Hackers attempting to reach CRM systems and databases happen frequently. Much like the example of Sony Corporation above, it’s important to have security systems and checks in place.

With Zoho’s CRM database, encrypted data (AES-256 bit) is always sent over the internet. In addition, the connection is through SSL. This makes safety and security a priority and focus within Zoho.

5. Control access.

Application used: Zoho Vault

Many companies using Zoho have large teams, meaning that many passwords or access abilities need to be shared within such teams. Instead of sharing passwords or providing access to 100+ individuals on just that – an individual basis – Zoho allows uses to provide passwords to users and groups in bulk and deny access when a user is removed.

By using Zoho CRM, Campaigns, Vault and more, it’s clear that safety and security is a priority when it comes to this software. Whatever the case might be, and regardless of your company’s industry, security needs to be at the forefront of all business decisions.

Questions about Zoho’s system security capabilities? Connect with us here.

Insightly vs Zoho CRM

Insightly vs Zoho CRM

insightly vs zoho crm

insightly vs zoho crm

Will insight trump customization in this battle?

The cloud-based Insightly has a variety of easy-to-use sales features designed to make office life a bit easier than you might be used to when it comes to fussing with a CRM system.  And, when comparing it to Zoho, it seems a battle of Insightly vs Zoho CRM might be the closest thing we’ve seen to a draw yet.  Both of these cloud-based CRM systems seemingly have it all: great sales tools, marketing automation abilities, social integrations, and, of course, the ability to sync with other programs.

So, how do we determine a victor?

We’ll take a deeper dive into the specifics of Insightly vs Zoho CRM so we know exactly what’s going on.  Come on down!

Round One: Sales Tracking

insightly vs zoho crm

A CRM’s sales monitoring capability is its bread and butter, so, it’s very important for your customer relationship management system to come with a fully stacked system.  In this regard, both Zoho CRM and Insightly are no exception.

Both Insightly and Zoho CRM have basic sales modules like Leads and Contacts, as well as built-in calendars for viewing appointments and other events, the ability to search your entire CRM for any bit of text, file sharing, and – of course – custom fields.

To augment its powerful CRM-wide text-searching tool, Insightly packs a great feature, contact tagging, which is exactly what it sounds like: It allows users to tag CRM contacts with text of their choosing, making finding contacts that fit in a certain group or have certain characteristics all the easier to find – and reach out to – in your system.  Zoho CRM does not have a feature like this.

And, to answer Insightly’s specialized tagging feature, Zoho CRM gives its users the ability to create entire custom modules, allowing for customized functions (and fields) and, for that matter, a truly unique workflow experience.  Insightly users can’t create custom modules.

insightly vs zoho crm

Both Insightly and Zoho CRM contain another useful feature called feeds, which sets the normal CRM engine in a collaborative, social network-like environment.  This allows users to follow certain tasks and contacts, and allows users to communicate easily with each other through commenting and tagging.

All other things being equal (and, they do seem to be that way), it’s difficult to compare the value of contact tagging to that of custom module creation, as different types of businesses will clearly require different functions from their CRMs.  For that reason, this round is a tie.

Round Two: Marketing Automation

insightly vs zoho crm

Second only after keeping track of sales, marketing automation is a huge part of what value a CRM system can bring to a business.  As sales tracking allows the business to take in information, marketing automation allows that business to reach out to groups of its customers without much work on the part of a salesperson at all – hence the word automation.

Both Insightly and Zoho CRM provide for themselves similarly well in this arena.  Both systems provide users mass emailing capability, the ability to create email templates, and web-to-lead capability in the form of customizable webforms.  These are fairly standard features of a CRM system.

Zoho CRM and Insightly can each integrate to social networks as well, giving its users access to those networks (and the ability to see which networks its clients and prospects use) without having to navigate between multiple windows.  In this regard, Insightly comes out on top, boasting integrations to many social networks, including Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, and Twitter, while Zoho CRM only provides integration capability for Facebook and Twitter.

insightly vs zoho crm

Zoho gets a leg up on Insightly, however, with its Zoho Campaigns add-on, which doesn’t have an equivalent in Insightly.  Zoho Campaigns allows for mailing list synchronization straight from Zoho CRM, and houses email templates designed especially for marketing campaigns.  The Zoho Campaigns engine also provides detailed analytics on individual campaign performance, allowing users to know exactly how effective their marketing efforts are.

Although Zoho Campaigns ends up adding to the overall price of Zoho CRM, the fact that users can organize automated marketing campaigns at all inside Zoho CRM gives this round to Zoho.

Round Three: Project Management

insightly vs zoho crm

Project management capability inside a CRM is key for service companies involved in budgeted or fixed projects, whose members often collaborate with each other.  The project management arm of a CRM can house data imported right from the CRM itself, and vice-versa; it provides a more detailed view of projects and the amount of work (and hence productivity) applied to each project.

For something that provides such value, it’s important that any competitive CRM have this sort of function.  And, thankfully, both Zoho CRM and Insightly have project management capabilities.

Aside from standard task listing and team member assignment functions, both Zoho CRM and Insightly can keep track of project milestones (smaller tasks within tasks), can be programmed to send out email reminders when certain tasks are approaching their due dates or when someone adds to a conversational thread.  Both Insightly and Zoho CRM allow users to view past completed projects – but, Zoho CRM only allows this functionality for an additional fee.  (Zoho users can still access Zoho Projects in a more limited capacity for free.)

Obviously, price is important in the grand scheme of things.  (We’ll cover price as a whole later in this article.)  For that reason, Insightly wins the Project Management round.

Round Four: Mobile Power

insightly vs zoho crm

In today’s business climate, the ability to take your business outside the office is just as important as working at your desk, if not more so.  By using mobile apps that connect to their CRMs, business owners and salespeople can perform most any task they would in the office from the palms of their hands, making CRMs that have mobile capability much more accessible at trade shows and other out-of-office situations.

Both Zoho CRM and Insightly have mobile apps associated with them, making them perfect for those sorts of scenarios.  Zoho CRM has a family of mobile apps, including Zoho CRM itself, a Leads app, and a dedicated Card Scanner app for business cards.  (You can read more about all three of these by looking at this Zoho mobile CRM apps page.)  Insightly has a fully functional mobile CRM app itself (found here) that has a built-in business card scanner – and, the whole thing can be viewed as a widget, adding convenience that Zoho’s mobile app doesn’t provide.  For this reason, the mobile round is a tie.

Insightly vs Zoho CRM Bonus Round: The Cost

insightly vs zoho crm

Product cost notwithstanding, Insightly vs Zoho CRM has been quite an even match; both CRMs provide a great assortment of features, both are very customizable, and both have robust sales and marketing tracking features.

Bearing that in mind, one would think the deciding factor in the match to be the cost of the products.  Let’s take a look at some real numbers:

  • To include the features listed here, Zoho CRM costs $35 per user per month.  This also includes unlimited CRM records.
  • For the features listed here, Insightly costs exactly the same: $35 per user per month.  Insightly also gives its users the option to pay a one-time annual fee of $348, which works out to $29 per month.

With these two products so evenly matched, it seems we have our first bona fide tie.  While Zoho CRM emphasizes customization and plasticity to draw in customers, Insightly emphasizes ease of use and consolidation – and, in this case, both products succeed.

However, before jumping to conclusions, it’s important to note that Zoho offers an entire suite of business apps for less than the cost of Zoho CRM – only $30/user/month when paid annually.  This offering, called Zoho One, contains 40+ apps under the Zoho umbrella, and the number grows nearly every month.  Apps include not only the aforementioned CRM, Campaigns, and Projects, but Zoho Books as well.  This variety of apps to use, all with the ability to integrate to each other as needed, lends much more power to Zoho as a choice overall.  (The only caveat to this choice is that all of your organization’s W-2 employees are required to use Zoho One, so it isn’t a good fit for everyone – but it does help in many cases.)

Before you make a decision about which CRM, Insightly vs Zoho CRM, to implement with your business, note that this article doesn’t compare things like ease of use or quality of customer support, which are quite subjective.  Do your due diligence before jumping into anything and you’ll be better off than you were before because of the knowledge you will have gained.

SugarCRM vs Zoho CRM

sugarcrm vs zoho crm review

sugarcrm vs zoho crm review

Just how sweet is Sugar?

This matchup of SugarCRM vs Zoho is interesting because, although SugarCRM is more expensive than Zoho CRM (seemingly) as a rule, SugarCRM Professional Edition (PE), a mid-level business program, costs the same per user as Zoho CRM Enterprise Edition (EE), a higher-level business program.  We won’t rush to conclusions yet, because words like professional, standard, and enterprise are all quite subjective terms.  We’ll take a look at actual product specs to see how these two really match up.

SugarCRM vs Zoho Round One: The Costs

sugarcrm vs zoho crm review

As aforementioned, we’ll be comparing two different-tiered programs with the same price: both Zoho CRM EE and SugarCRM PE are priced as follows: $35 per user per month.

  • It costs $4200 to board 10 users of either Zoho CRM EE or SugarCRM PE for a year.
  • For the sake of comparison, it costs $7200 to board ten users on SugarCRM EE, the supposed equivalent to Zoho CRM EE.  That won’t be factored into our decision at the end of this bout, but, keep it in mind.

Another thing to keep in mind: Zoho CRM offers a monthly pricing plan (truly $35 per month) whereas the price per user for SugarCRM is still $35 per month, but, it can only be paid in one sum annually.  Thus, you have slightly less flexibility with SugarCRM’s payment plan.  However, this won’t affect every business owner.

As the price is dead even between SugarCRM vs Zoho CRM in this round, we’re calling it a tie.

sugarcrm vs zoho crm review

Round Two: Tracking the Sales

Sales is the bread and butter of most businesses, so, having a robust system for tracking sales is of utmost importance.  Both SugarCRM and Zoho recognize this; SugarCRM packs the ability to track Leads, Contacts, and Opportunities, plus the ability to generate Sales Forecasts and Quotas.  While this is a sizable list of features in itself, Zoho CRM packs all these and the ability to track competitors, sell as a team, create macros, and keep track of certain activities using a feature called feeds.

Feeds is a feature that turns Zoho CRM into a sort of social network, giving users the ability to track (or “follow”) certain users, tasks, or records, and lets users communicate about those items by adding comments to them.  This is an especially useful communication method for larger or disconnected offices; comments left this way are searchable inside Zoho and linked to specific activities, making looking up past conversations a bit easier than searching through multiple email threads about the same subject.

Because of Zoho CRM’s added features for the same price, this round goes to Zoho.

Round Three: How Social do you wanna get?

sugarcrm vs zoho crm review

In today’s business climate, having a presence on social networks is absolutely key to engaging prospective customers and keeping current clients in the loop about your goings-on.  That said, in the battle of SugarCRM vs Zoho CRM, both programs have a share of social interaction options.

SugarCRM PE lets its users interact with followers via Facebook and Twitter with integrations to both programs.  By itself, this is a fine starter pack of sorts for social networking, but, that’s all SugarCRM offers in that regard.  Zoho CRM EE offers the ability to monitor social mentions, making it easier to track customer interactions (or places where you’ll want to engage a customer who calls on you publicly), as well as a built-in tab for both Facebook and Twitter.

Overall, Zoho CRM gives users more social networking capability.  Being able to track social mentions would seem worth paying an additional price by itself, but, as Zoho CRM is still the same price as Sugar CRM, this round also goes to Zoho.

Round Four: Wanna Automate that Marketing?

sugarcrm vs zoho crm review

Marketing automation is key for businesses that want to reach a wide audience quickly while also managing email and marketing campaigns.  Marketing automation as a concept seems to have evolved at a perfect time, as social media and other electronic marketing channels are more important than ever to the health of – at the very least – any tech-minded business, and many other kinds as well.

That said, hopefully your answer to that question above is a resounding yes.

Both Zoho CRM EE and SugarCRM PE come out of the box with a host of marketing automation tools, from web-to-lead capturing ability to mass emailing, email templates, and tracking campaigns themselves.  Zoho CRM comes with one extra tool: autoresponders, which send messages to mailing lists based on time or click-through statistics.  Some businesses may find this tool extremely useful, but, I don’t think its inclusion alone is enough to push Zoho over the top; thus, this round is a tie.

SugarCRM vs Zoho CRM Bonus Round: What About Workflow Management?

sugarcrm vs zoho crm review

For those not in the know, workflow management is simply a term for when your CRM reminds you or prepares you to do certain tasks in order.  The tasks you can program a CRM with workflow management capability to carry out are limitless, from simple email reminders upon moving records from one stage to another, to making certain information appear inside custom modules upon modifying a record, to programming a particular action to occur a certain time after another event has occurred.  (It’s kind of like having your own personal assistant.)

Zoho CRM EE comes with all those abilities, including automatic lead assignment, case escalation (which prioritizes certain activities above others in certain circumstances, which you may set), and completely customized functions.  This round is a bit of a mismatch, as SugarCRM PE doesn’t contain any of the marketing automation abilities listed (and none others, either).  This makes Zoho the unequivocal winner of the round.

Who’s the champ in SugarCRM vs Zoho CRM?

sugarcrm vs zoho crm review

Determining the victor between SugarCRM vs Zoho CRM was simple.  For the price, Zoho CRM EE offers more features than SugarCRM PE, plain and simple.  Based on this alone, we dub Zoho CRM the winner of this bout. As always, this review doesn’t take into account things like ease of use, general Zoho consulting services, or Zoho support plans, which can be very subjective topics.  Be sure to schedule a walkthrough of the CRM that interests you most before you make any big decisions.

Bonus Round: There’s even more to Zoho than meets the eye

Just when you think the bout is over and you’ve decided the victor in this Sugar CRM review with Zoho, hang tight!  There’s still one more thing to consider.  We’re admittedly a bit biased over here, as we’re Zoho consultants, but we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention that by choosing Zoho over Sugar, you’re not only gaining access to all of Zoho’s apps aside from the CRM, but you can also tap into Zoho’s extensive network of partners – including us.  You can use your Zoho partner’s expertise to figure out the best way to solve your business problems using Zoho now, and also put together a sort of road map for the years to come, that way there’s no reworking of your system and no abandoning ship after a small handful of years.

Aside from the CRM, Zoho offers a help desk app (Zoho Desk), as well as a finance app (Zoho Books).  Zoho’s platform as a service (Zoho Creator) can be used to improve the functionality of existing Zoho apps, or create entirely new ones to suit your business needs.  If you were considering something like Sugar CRM to begin with, chances are its malleability caught your eye.  Zoho offers that same sort of feature in Creator, and Zoho’s partners can help with this, too.  All of these apps are available as part of Zoho One, a suite of 40+ apps available for $35/user/mo.