If you're running a small business in the United States right now, you’ll likely know that margins are tight and there's a lot of competition out there. Just 22% of new small businesses in the US fail in the first year, with a further 30% closing their doors in year two.
So, how can you ensure that your startup is part of the 50% that are still alive and kicking in year 5? The answer lies in effective marketing, and it's an area of your business that can be assisted greatly by using Keap, the leading automation, and small business CRM platform.
Allowing business owners to measure their success accurately, monitor revenue trends, and manage their email marketing performance, Keap is popular for a reason.
Keap Offers Ease of Use to Non-Experts
The Keap platform is an all-in-one Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform that also offers a range of automation features that are easy enough for non-experts to set up and use. Providing pre-built sales pipeline templates, in addition to automated emails, tasks and notifications, it delivers everything you need to streamline your marketing efforts. The benefits of the platform are many:
- Everything required for sales & marketing automation in one place
- Chat support direct from the Keap app
- Auto-collection & scoring of sales
- US-based phone support
Created to simplify business growth for small businesses across the country, Keap helps all types of entrepreneurs not just get organized but also set up automations that provide peace of mind, grow sales and free up much of your most valuable commodity - time.
Setting Up With Keap is Nice & Easy
It can be a little daunting when you swap to a new, unfamiliar CRM, however, both the Pro and Max plan comes with a dedicated success manager. They’re available to help you with every element of setting up on the platform. It’s a free service and covers you for the basic importing of contacts, and 10 items, along with a landing page that’s sufficient for most small teams to get up and running.
Getting your sales pipeline configured is also super easy due to the intuitive drag-and-drop tools and the Kanban scheduling system that lets you seamlessly and instantly communicate with your customers. Should you have a need for more complicated work to be carried out, there is lots of professional support available on a paid basis.
The Many Features On Offer to Entrepreneurs
The Keap platform is best suited to businesses with teams requiring a robust CRM software solution. Its software combines customer management with tools for sales, payments, 1-to-1 communications, appointments and customer engagement. So, let’s take a look at some of the main features on offer in greater detail.
You've got enough on your plate as a small business owner, and Keap gives you more time each day, freeing you from repetitive tasks. For instance, this easy-to-build automation can be triggered when a website visitor fills out and submits a form, emailing them a receipt and letting you know about this new contact.
This is just one example of what you can do. There's no real limit to the number of automation that can be created with just your imagination determining what's possible.
In terms of integrations, there’s no platform that offers more than Keap. With over 2,500 tools and platforms, there’s every possible function available in Keap’s marketplace. Certified third-party and partner-level integrations include options for lead generation, email marketing, pre-built campaigns and much more besides.
While their integrations can be on the pricey side, you’ll not be lacking when it comes to adding functions and features to your store.
Available on the highest ‘Max’ Keap plan, lead-scoring is a feature that allows you to assess the interest level of potential customers based on the links they click, the emails they open and the web forms they submit. This is a super-customizable feature lets you set any value/weight or remove any variable you choose.
For instance, if a contact fails to open a new email, or indeed engages with it, you’ll know. When paired with an effective sales strategy, lead scoring can boost revenue and efficiency.
Getting paid on time is fundamental for success in eCommerce, and Keap’s native payment and invoicing tools allow you to get paid faster. At the same time, your customers get the freedom to pay how they want to, whether that’s via Stripe, PayPal, WePay or Nexus.
As well as offering payment flexibility to your customers, the platform also allows you to boost your average cart value with checkout promos and upsells, as well as setting up abandoned-cart automation to encourage customers back to complete their purchases.
With these kinds of advantages on offer, you’d expect the monthly subscription to be high, but in truth, the cost involved is reasonable and within the reach of most small businesses.
Priced to Suit Small Business Budgets
The good news for cash-strapped businesses across the US is that Keap’s plans fall well within the reach of small business budgets. The company offers an interesting contact-based structure for their pricing, with the two main plans; Max & Pro costing $199 and $129 per month, respectively.
The Pro Plan offers two user seats and up to 1,500 contacts. On the other hand, the Max Plan gives you 2,500 contacts and three user seats, although the platform can cope with over 25k contacts. Want to add an extra seat to either plan? It’s $29 per month, irrespective of the total number of contacts.
Keap Customer Service Is Right On!
Another major selling point for Keap is its customer service, which is truly next-level. Offering US-based phone support during the week and round-the-clock chat support via their mobile app (with both of the above plans), domestic customers can reach help by phone between 8 am to 9 pm ET.
If your business happens to be in the United Kingdom or Australia, you can also access this local support, along with a dedicated success manager provided with both plans.
Keap’s Certified Partner Program
If you want to take things to the next level with Keap, their Partner Certification program comprises a range of online training modules that educate you about their business strategies, processes and products. You can take things at your own speed, but will usually take you anywhere from 8 to 20 hours, depending on your skill or experience level.
Generally speaking, most partners complete the certification program within a couple of weeks, and once complete, you’ll benefit from the following:
- An understanding of Lifecycle Automation
- Examples of successful partnerships that serve as inspiration
- A full grasp of the product suite and how you can grow with Keap
- A dedicated partner manager to guide you along your journey
Other advantages of being a Keap Partner include:
- Earning up to $250 when referring someone who joins the platform
- Obtaining an extra ‘growth bonus’ & market development funds
- 20%-30% of your monthly cost earnt when bringing in new Keap customers
- A huge 50% discount on your Keap application
Thanks to this super-useful training, you’ll get to learn how to fully leverage what Keap offers to your business, while their referral program allows you to generate extra revenue that you can reinvest into your marketing and get seen by even more potential customers.
What Certification Training Equips You With
When you engage with Keap Certification training, you acquire a knowledge of Lifecycle Automation that equips you with the ability to leverage the software to offer a scalable service that grows as your business does. As such, you’ll better understand how to:
- Recognize opportunities for business growth
- Talk with confidence with clients about small business growth
- Employ Keap Partner tools to sell to and look after your customers
- Build your automation setup with Keap products
- Productize and package your services
- Promote & market your business
As soon as you’ve completed this remote training (which can be carried out wherever you please), you can even start selling your services as a Keap expert. Delivered via the Thinkific platform, your certification course begins with live 1-on-1 coaching over the phone.
Keap Marketplace Offers Access to All the Expertise You Need
A great additional resource provided by Keap to small business owners is their popular marketplace - something that was launched as a new service in 2022. This community is designed to assist entrepreneurs and their employees to overcome the challenges faced in eCommerce.
As a growth-minded business owner, you have to be able to trust your marketing software to help you take the right steps to move forwards. The marketplace provides a place where business owners can easily find and connect with the experts they need for strategic advice.
Useful features found on Keap’s marketplace include:
- A services directory - business leaders can find the professional services they require from the hundreds of Certified Partners that exist to help you get the most from the platform.
- A Post a Project Function - If you have a specific service that you need, Keap’s Post a Project function allows you to post a description in the marketplace and receive bids from service partners. Moreover, these projects can include pretty much anything and aren’t limited to jobs involving Keap software.
Keap’s Marketplace shows that the company has a commitment to delivering value to every stakeholder, from customers to service providers to partners.
A Community That’s Dedicated to Your Success
The Keap community support you get as a partner also gives you access to resources away from the platform itself. For example, the CRM software provider runs Facebook groups that allow Certified partners to collaborate, with each getting their own dedicated territory account manager.
In addition to all these goodies, you get live coaching, onboarding, and advisory support. There’s even an annual partner conference that allows you to rub shoulders with peers and experts in the platform.
Are There Any Disadvantages Associated With Using Keap?
In the interests of balance, we had to cover any drawbacks that might dissuade you from signing up. Well, their structure of contact-based pricing can be a disadvantage for growing businesses that need to have a tight grip on their ongoing software costs. Should you jump from 1,500 contacts to a maximum of 25,000, the Pro Plan is going to cost you a huge 217% more!
Also, if you go over your 150-250 allotted text messages, you then start getting charged 4 cents for every marketable message you send. As such, you’ll need to have a watchful eye on how much your text message automation is costing your business.
No Current Sales Funnel is Available
Another restrictive part of being a Keap customer is the fact that you don’t currently get a sales funnel that allows you to create and connect numerous landing pages in order to convert more leads. According to the company, this function is in development. There's no firm date as to when this might happen.
For certain customers, this might seem like a deal-breaker, as there are other automation-rich CRMs on the market that do offer sales funnel functionality.
All In All, A Top Option to Consider For Small Business Owners
All things considered, Keap is a CRM software platform that gives you everything you need to supercharge your marketing and offer a great customer experience. One of its best features is its ease of use, but you can’t forget the huge array of tools and resources available to get you the commercial results you’re looking for.
There are drawbacks to using Keap, as the perfect platform has yet to be designed. However, when you look at the community support available, as well as the easy access to expertise, and undoubted ability to help you enhance your marketing, you start to understand how well-priced it is.