Better contact management and email automation

Better contact management and email automation in Pipedrive

I often get asked about how I manage all the contacts in my business and how I market to these people using email newsletters and automation.

In short, I use a combination of Pipedrive and ConvertKit (affiliate links) to manage my database and email communication with potential prospects and clients.

I explain the system in the following video:


The problem I see all the time

A lot of the clients I talk to don’t have a centralised system for managing their contacts. They usually have this information spread out over a number of sources like Outlook/Google Contacts, various spreadsheets or old CRM tools. This makes it very difficult when you want to do something simple like:

  • See a list of all your previous clients (let alone clients who have purchased specific services or products).
  • Email prospects or clients to send periodic updates about your business.
  • Nurture important relationships and cross-sell or up-sell your products or services.

My email list is the most valuable asset in my business. This is why I put such a big emphasis on maintaining an organised database of contacts and syncing this with a tool like ConvertKit.

Maintaining a central database of contacts

To start, it doesn't make a massive difference what tool you choose but you should decide where your ‘point of truth’ is going to be (i.e. the master list for your contacts).

For example, Pipedrive is my point of truth. This means, whenever someone reaches out to me about my consulting service, I add them to Pipedrive. From there, I can sync that person to Google Contacts or to my ConvertKit account if I want to add them to a newsletter list. Pipedrive is the hub of my system and these other tools are the spokes around the edge.

To maintain the qualify of my Pipedrive account, I don’t have any form of two-way sync set up with this database. Some tools let you create a two-way sync where if a contact is updated in one place, it updates in the other. While this may work, I’m very cautious with my contacts and the only way to update Pipedrive (my ‘point of truth’) is for me to update it myself. i.e. changing a contact in Google or ConvertKit will not update Pipedrive. This means contacts can’t get updated, changed or deleted by mistake if the sync goes wrong.

Segmenting your database

I’ve chosen to use Pipedrive as my ‘point of truth’ as it’s the system with the most amount of data about my contacts. Besides contact information, as a sales CRM, there’s also a lot of data about the services I’ve sold to clients and a clients lifetime value.

For example, I’ve created some filters that use the metadata in Pipedrive to segment my contacts:

  • ‘All Clients’ shows me any contact that has at least 1 ‘won deal’.
  • ‘High-Value Clients’ shows me people who have a deal value greater than $5,000.
  • Or I can filter by product to find people that have purchased specific services in the past.

I also use a custom field called ‘Groups’ to manually tag contacts into different categories, for example:

  • ‘MP Client’ for people who are actively subscribed to my Master Pipedrive course.
  • ‘VIP’ for manually tagging important relationships.

This means when I have an important update to share with previous clients or if I want to try and up-sell my services, I can tap into these various filters or groups to find just the right list of people to contact.

In Pipedrive, you can use the bulk email feature to contact up to 100 people at a time. Or you can use a third-party option like me.

Using ConvertKit for my newsletters

Using Zapier you can link Pipedrive to email providers like Mailchimp, Active Campaign or ConvertKit.

Because I consult on a few tools like Asana, Pipedrive and Zapier, I want to add all my paying clients to one of these newsletter lists when they start working with me. I have my system set up so that when a deal is ‘Won’ the person linked with the deal is added to ConvertKit and tagged with a newsletter tag related to the service they’ve paid for. e.g. If the deal has the ‘Asana Consulting’ product attached to it, you get added to my ‘Newsletter: Asana’ tag. This is a tag I use to send periodic updates when I release new videos or have useful tips to share and is great for maintaining ongoing communication with clients.

With my new online courses, I’ve set up guided emails so that when you start the course, you get an email each week explaining what to do next. I’ve actually set up this sequence so that you can be fast-tracked through these emails if you mark the appropriate lessons as complete and progress through the course really quickly.

Having a sequence like this means I can automate the client success portion of my business but still maintain good communication with those paying clients.

People who buy my course also get added to a ‘List: Pipedrive Coaching’ tag so that I can easily email all my members when I share updates about that product or am hosting a group call.

As you can see, throughout my system, I have many ways to segment my contacts using filters, tags or custom fields. This means, no matter what kind of email or update I want to send, I can segment my contacts in Pipedrive or ConvertKit and email just the right group of people.

If you’d like to learn more about how to actually set up this kind of system, check out my new Master Pipedrive online course and coaching program.