Go HIghlevelStarts at $97 a month
CRM’s are everywhere.
If you are running a small business and looking for a CRM to automate your business, there are a plethora of options and it is simply impossible to try and choose the right one.
Thankfully, there are CRM’s built now exclusively for certain niches specifically for a certain customer journey.
HighLevel is one such CRM built exclusively for marketing agencies that serve small, local businesses in their digital marketing needs.
It’s a really interesting direction for a new SaaS product to take. Although the market is not very huge, there isn’t a similar product like this apart from a few SEO, reputation management tools, etc. There are similar products such as Close, Outreach, etc. but they serve a different type of customer and not specifically local marketing agencies.
HighLevel promises to bring a lot of functionality under a single tool that will enable a marketing agency to stop using many other individual tools designed for a specific purpose like email marketing, two-way text messaging, etc. Is it possible? Well, let’s find out.
The sign-up process was fairly straight forward with just the basic information requested. There are a few done for you set-up features available for an additional cost which might be useful for many agencies that do not have the time to get used to and learn the tool.
Upon completion, you are instructed to join the official Facebook support group. Overall, a nice and uncomplicated sign-up process.
The dashboard on the first login is clean and intuitive with a minimalistic UI design. It is quite a refreshing approach as CRM’s add more and more functionality, the dashboard can become cluttered and sometimes completely confusing.
The first thing to be done before the tool even gets usable is to connect the details of your Twilio account. HighLevel uses Twilio as the back end service provider for text messaging and calling features.
Once the Twilio account is connected, it is now possible to add the account of your clients, agency team members, etc.
There is a neat way to add accounts by searching the name of the local business and it pulls in all the information from the client’s Google My Business listing. It definitely saves a lot of time. Of course, you can always add the information manually as well.
The next step is to add the Mailgun API key for sending emails. Quite straightforward but it is important to add the TXT records in the DNS settings of your domain provider. Mailgun has detailed tutorials on how to do this for all major domain providers.
The final important thing is to add a phone number from settings that will complete the set-up to start using the software.
Again, the clean and minimalistic UI makes the initial set-up process quite a breeze.
The dashboard offers a great graphical representation of the marketing funnel for each client with stats and numbers on prospects, pipeline value, opportunities, appointments won, conversion rate, etc. It shows a great bird’s eye view of everything that is happening that results from your marketing efforts for your clients.
It also gives a clear view of which stage of the marketing funnel the client is losing prospects and potential customers so that your agency can focus more on that specific stage.
Reviews are an integral part of gaining a presence online for local businesses.
HighLevel makes it extremely easy to generate reviews by sending out review requests to customers at a defined time limit that can be set.
It also integrates with invoicing tools like QuickBooks that makes it very useful.
There is also a review widget which can be installed on the client’s website that will pull the reviews from Google and Facebook. Conditions can be set on the minimum stars allowed to be displayed.
HighLevel has a built-in funnel builder that is incredibly easy to use and build an entire marketing funnel for your clients including forms, landing pages, etc.
So, if you would need to run a promo for a client that would involve a landing page with a form connected to it and a thank you with a booking calendar, all of this can be achieved within HighLevel without ever leaving once.
That is really great as it saves a lot of time and money by avoiding the use of so many different tools for all the functionality that puts a funnel together.
Although the pages built are mobile responsive by default, the various elements in a page can be optimized easily for desktop and mobile mode separately. It is even possible to hide or show different sections only in desktop or mobile mode.
The steps you build in each funnel can be easily cloned into other funnels and campaigns to save a lot of time in building funnels for multiple clients in the same niche.
Another really unique feature in the funnel builder is the ability to import the funnels from ClickFunnels directly into HighLevel’s builder. This is of great help when you have all the funnels set up in ClickFunnels and have to transfer everything to HighLevel. Importing from more landing page builders like Instapage and Unbounce are to be added soon.
Native stripe integration is in place, so it is easy to make checkout pages and sell your products and services.
There are snapshots planned for 30 different types of local business niches including real estate, home services, restaurants, dentists, etc., which can be used as a starting point for any funnel that will include the whole funnel from landing pages, campaigns, etc.
Facebook messenger ad campaigns
In addition to SMS and voice calls, Highlevel also allows automating your Facebook messenger ads with two-way messages. This is a really unique feature which none of the similar CRM’s offer.
Just connect your Facebook account and the messenger ad to set up the follow-up sequences. Of course, it is not as powerful as a standalone chatbot platform like Manychat or Chatfuel, but it is a nice additional feature that covers the basics.
The number and robustness of the integrations could make or break such a tool. Thankfully, additional to many native integrations available, HighLevel has a well tested Zapier integration that makes integration with almost any other app possible.
HighLevel also has integration with Yext Listings which is great in easily updating the contact information of local businesses across so many channels & directories Yext has a partnership with.
It also improves the search rankings of local businesses by building citations. These citations act as backlinks to the local business websites which will tremendously improve their search engine optimization.
There are two plans available.
The single location plan costs $99 a month and as the name suggests, can be used only for a single location. The agency plan costs $297 a month and has unlimited access to a number of locations.
Agency plan gives the most value for money as you can serve many clients across various locations.
This is something HighLevel absolutely excels in. The customer support to solve issues for users and getting feedback to improve the product further is simply fantastic.
The official Facebook support group is highly engaging where many issues are discussed and fellow users help each other with tips and solutions. Even the founder is very active in the group answering any potential issue that users need help with.
There is a dedicated ideas board where all the users actively give out ideas for new features and the founders are really responsive to these. The most voted ideas are monitored, taken into consideration and implemented depending on the priority.
There is a good level of helpful documentation available which provided answers to most of the general queries.
Additionally, there is also a Slack channel for any support queries discussions and that is extremely active as well.
Apart from the co-founders, users can also interact directly with the development team to get issues sorted out. That’s not many SaaS companies do, even early-stage startups, so massive praise for it.
There are many new features that are released very frequently. Although it is good to know that the founders and developers are at their toes, it could overwhelm the users.
Although there is power dialer for automating calls, predictive dialer is missing. Although it’s quite a challenge to build a robust and fully functional predictive dialer, it looks like the team is working on it to be released later.
Also, there is occasional slowness while refreshing the app that has been reported by a few users.
So, is it good?
Absolutely. It is a fantastic tool for agencies that serve local businesses. It is easy to use, has a lot of functions and possibilities for time-saving automation capabilities.
Yes, there is room for improvements to be made as with any new SaaS product, but the core idea and execution of it are absolutely spot on.
Definitely worth a try to run your agency more seamless and effective.