Urban Element Review of Zoho CRM

Guest Post by Natasha Ellard- Co-owner and Managing  Director and of Urban Element


Managing projects and pipelines in a digital agency is not always easy. With so many current and potential clients to keep in contact with, it’s an art form in itself to be there at the right time, remember what’s happening in each organisation, and be able to provide communications that meet client needs at every stage of the relationship.

 Urban Element is an Oxfordshire-based digital marketing agency, specialising in PPC, SEO, and web design, managing a busy client schedule while upholding high standards for client engagement and delivery. With such expectations for our agency, we use Zoho CRM to complement our efforts, boosting our communications and conversions, and ensuring no contacts get lost in the process.  

 Whether you’re considering using Zoho CRM yourself, or you’re looking to understand the benefits of working with businesses who employ these tools, what follows is a dive into what we’ve been able to glean for our digital marketing agency in Oxford through the use of Zoho, so you can get an idea of what it could do for you.

Zoho CRM from the perspective of an Oxford Digital Marketing Agency  

Zoho CRM, at a basic level, offers the same solutions you expect from every CRM system. It’s a way to manage clients’ information, monitor deal progress and activities, and pull reports on the progress of these relationships.

 What sets Zoho CRM apart from other CRM systems (from our perspective) is that it’s extremely flexible and has allowed our agency to amend fields and categories to really fit our business needs. That includes customisation of all reports, dropdown boxes, and tabs.

 From the dashboard, we can add leads to better organise potential work into a pipeline, and we can also better manage old leads ensuring we’re in periodic contact, delivering prospects with upcoming offers and business opportunities to keep them engaged with our agency.

 From an internal perspective, the ability to log activities and have them instantly viewable by all staff is hugely beneficial for internal transparency. This keeps everyone informed across client conversations and allows our team to allocate activities to colleagues, which will automatically flag with a reminder to them as the task is due to be complete. This feature alone has helped us drastically cut down on duplication of work and messy email requests for colleagues to do tasks.

 Another huge internal benefit is the ‘Deals’ section, which gives our agency a clear overview of what’s in the pipeline, and the likelihood of that deal going ahead so that we can effectively manage staff resources and forecast finances for the coming months. In the ‘COVID climate’, this feature is particularly important.

On an individual level, each person’s homepage is fully customisable so that it’s not an agency-template-fits-all type layout. Staff can tailor their view and choose apps that help them to be most productive, without impacting the views of other staff.

Zoho features we use and why  

With a bunch of features available, it’s handy to know what others use them for, to consider if they’re valuable to your business. What follows is a bit of a rundown on the tools we love and why.

Zoho PageSense  

Zoho PageSense is used in our agency to measure key website metrics, monitor analytics, and understand visitors’ online behaviour to help provide our clients with a personalised and optimised website experience; thus, it helps us to boost conversions.

 This service has played an integral part in helping to improve our paid social media marketing and pay per click (PPC) campaigns.

 For our clients, we have applied Zoho PageSense features to their landing pages to gain better (more granular) insights, improve their user design and interfaces, and strategically plan further improvements.

 PageSense tools we use a lot:

  • A/B testing

  • Heatmap recording

  • Split URL testing

Through the heat mapping tool, we have been able to glean user behaviour while running a paid LinkedIn Campaign, promoting our SEO services to businesses across Oxfordshire. It has allowed us to see:

  • Heat zones to most clicks areas

  • Number of visitors during any custom date range

  • Percentage of engaged visitors

  • Number of visits

  • Number of clicks

  • Elements clicked the most

  • Scrollmap tab (helps us see which segments of the page are most visited)

  • Attention Map tab (tells us average time spent on page segments)

 With these insights, we have been able to improve our campaign bounce rate, increase the average session duration on-page, and provide clear CTAs to improve conversions.

 Zoho Cliq  

Here at Urban Element, we have been using Zoho’s Cliq as our primary chat tool for almost two years. Cliq is a real-time communication tool that has allowed us to split internal team, management and client comms into separate chat channels, which has significantly improved and optimised our day to day workflow (especially during lockdown).

What we love about Cliq is that it’s easy to learn, it’s intuitive, and it’s far more cost-effective than similar chat clients currently on the market.

 Cliq allows us to:

  • Share files

  • Pin messages, files, and URLs

  • Send messages to teams or direct

  • Create and organise separate channels

  • Project manage

  • Plan events

  • Set reminders and connect to our favourite tools

 Zoho Vault  

As a digital marketing agency, we deal with a lot of client accounts, passwords, and usernames. Zoho’s Vault service has played a pivotal role in keeping internal and external digital data and accounts safe, secure, and encrypted.

 Zoho Vault feature allows us to safely, securely, and quickly store and back up vital login and account details so that we (and our clients) never lose access to an account or risk data breaches.

Final considerations  

From the outside, it can seem as though CRM systems are for internal use to help with customer relationships and marketing. The reality is that Zoho CRM—when used to its full potential—can be a powerful tool that helps us to boost results both for ourselves and for our clients. Whether our clients ever use Zoho themselves or they just use it through us, they can get the benefits of automating their marketing efforts.

 For us, Zoho has not only helped us to be a better-organised agency, with first-class customer relationship management, but it’s also played a pivotal role in the rise (and success) of our paid online marketing campaigns and is now considered an absolute must for our organisation.

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