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Streak CRM: A Power Tool for Affiliate Marketers

Streak CRM for GMail

I’d like to introduce you to a program that I’ve been using at work since April 2016.

The program is called Streak CRM (Customer Relationship Manager) which lives inside of GMail. Streak also fully integrates with GSuite, Google Drive, and Google Calendar.

A little background and how I found and use Streak

I am a Catering Manager and Banquet Coordinator for a Best Western Hotel. When I first started working at the hotel, all banquet administration and bookings were done manually. Well, I had to change that right away, for I had just come from a large Holiday Inn which had a full suite of applications to run bookings.

I didn’t have that luxury this time around, so I started to build my own system using Google Drive and GMail, and Google Calendar. It worked quite well for a couple of years.

On my off time, I’m a bit of an internet junkie, and love to search for applications, new computer tech, and the like.

In my exploits I came upon a program called Streak CRM. I read the description and the tagline “Lives in your GMail” caught my eye. So I downloaded it and installed it (which was really quick by the way).

Streak CRM is an add-on AP for GMail, and when it installs, it adds a folder under your inbox named Pipelines with Streak’s icon beside it., and an Icon with Streak to the far right in the top bar of GMail.

A Pipeline is a series of steps, or stages that any type of transaction or communication will take to a natural end. If it’s a sales pipeline for example, you may start with a Lead stage, to several intermediate steps until the lead is either closed or the lead is lost.

To add a Streak Pipeline simply go to the Pipeline folder below your inbox folder and you’ll see a +New. When you press +New, a dialog box will appear with several predefined pipeline options ready to use.

When I read through and played with the program for a bit, I thought to myself that this is a cool program, but seems to be geared for Sales Reps for companies, HR professionals for recruitment, and even Real Estate Agents.

So, Streak went on the back burner for a bit. But I did keep it loaded in my work GMail, for I thought that I may have use for it yet.

A while later, I did open up Steak and selected new pipeline and looked a little closer at its predefined Pipelines. I scrolled down a bit further on that dialog box and under “Personal” Pipelines heading, I noticed a predefined pipeline called Event Planning. And, you bet, I loaded it into GMail to take a closer look at it. (Event Planning has since been moved under the Business Heading and renamed Event Booking).

The Pipeline View

Streak CRM Event Booking
The coloured band of arrows across the top is the Pipeline for Event Booking. Each colour is a specific stage in the pipeline. In this case, Red is Working, Orange is Finalized, Light Green is Booked, and Dark Green is Paid. The Stages are duplicated in the horizontal rows of coloured bands. The reason for this duplication of stages will become clearer in a moment.

The pipeline is easily edited, and you can add or delete stages to fit your needs.

The installed pipeline was close, but I quickly adapted it, renamed some stages, and added a few stages.

I renamed the stages to Inquiry, Pending, Booked, Completed, Canceled, and NonStart

The white ‘separator’ just below the pipeline are Column Headings just like those in a spreadsheet. In this case they are, Name, Stage, Amount, Budget, Type, Contacts and Organizations, Assigned to, and Date of Last Email.

The columns are also editable and you can add or delete as many as you need for your purposes. And I did.

Below is a screenshot of my Event Booking Pipeline

My Event Planning Pipeline
As you can see, the coloured stage rows are separated with rows of data beneath them. Each of these data rows are called boxes and contain all the information that I want to track for each box. You can collapse stages to hide boxes, as I have done with the bottom three stages. If you look at pipeline flow across the top, you will see that dark green Completed Stage contains 146 individual boxes. That’s a lot of scrolling to do if you just want to peek at a different stage.

All the boxes are searchable in the topmost search bar.

At the very left-hand column, you will see a row of box icons. When you click on one, it will open the box view of Streak CRM-and this is where the magic starts.

The Box View

Streak Box View
When you open a Box, you’ll get something similar to the above image and these are the boxes components:

  1. This area is the full history of everything that has been done to the box and contains
    1. Full email thread
    2. files that you’ve added to the box from Google Drive or GSuite
    3. Comments you may add
    4. Tasks (with reminders)
    5. Call logs
    6. Meeting notes
    7. All the above can be filtered using the heading bar just above the data feed
  2. This is the input box where you can add anything from 1 to 6 above
  3. The current Stage the box is in and who the box is assigned to
    1. The Stage Cell, when clicked on shows a drop down list of all Stages in a pipeline. Changing the stage in a box, moves the entire box to the stage you chose in the pipeline.
      1. Changing the Stage of a box can be done in any view.
    2. Streak CRM can be shared with multiple users
      1. Multiple users for a business is a paid feature of Streak
  4. All the custom columns you’ve made for your box in the Pipeline view.
    1. The dialog units below the custom columns are also columns in my pipeline but they have additional functionality in the box view. For Example, Contacts and Organizations has an Add feature where you can add additional contacts to that column. Streak even suggests contacts you can add for it will scan your email thread for businesses, or other contacts that may have been included as a CC anywhere in the thread.

Email Thread Showing Streak Items

Streak Email Thread
This is a regular email thread, but Streak adds a few items to the thread:

  1. Box which contains all the information of every column within a box
    1. On any view-including this one, you can edit the box information. This is very handy if the most recent email in the thread has information that needs to be changed.
    2. If you have many columns in your box, not all the items will show in this view, but the column scrolls so you can edit any item in the box. There is also additional information below your columns which I’ll explain in the next section.
  2. The ADD to BOX button
    1. If you’ve just opened a new email and want to add that email to a new box, just click on the icon and a dialogue will open to create and name a new box.
    2. A new email won’t have the box column on the right shown until you add the email to its own box.
    3. Once the box is created, the column will appear on the right and you can add information from that email immediately.
  3. Snooze Email
    1. This is a feature of Streak where you can snooze an email to read later. It will temporarily remove an email from your inbox and archive it until the time specified is triggered then the email is bumped to the top of your inbox.

The GMail Inbox with bonuses:

Inbox view with Streak
What Streak does add to GMail’s Inbox;

  1. This box icon tells you whether an email or email thread is part of a box. Orange is ‘YES’ email has a box,  and Grey is ‘NO’ it’s not part of a box.
    1. If you click on the Orange box, Streak will ask you if you want to remove this email or email thread from a box. If you do remove it from the box, only that email thread will be removed. The thread will be removed from the box view feed, but the box information will remain.
    2. If you click on a gray box icon, it will ask you which box you would like to add the email or thread to. As you start to type a box name it will provide suggestions for boxes from all the boxes in your pipeline, or you can create a new box from that icon.
    3. If you create a box with this icon and name it, you will need to open the email to edit the box information as shown in the Email Thread View image further above, or you can click on the pipeline folder to open the pipeline view to enter items into the columns without opening the email.
  2. The Folder label showing the Pipeline name that the email is in. You can have multiple pipelines for different purposes with Streak.
  3. Email has been viewed Icon
    1. Yes! Streak tells you
      1. When an email was viewed
      2. How many times an email has been viewed
      3. Who has viewed it
      4. Where it was viewed
      5. What device it was view on, PC, Phone etc.

Compose View

Gmail Compose View with Streak

Additional icons that Streak adds to GMail Compose:

  1. Send Later
    1. You can send and schedule emails to send at a later time or date
    2. Scheduled emails will be found in your drafts folder
  2. Snooze email-same functionality as previously described
  3. Add to Box (or Create a new box)
  4. Tracking Icon
    1. You can turn tracking off for emails
  5. Snippets

Snippets are one of my favorite features of Streak. Streak defines them as reusable drafts that you can send multiple times. My definition is Carpal Tunnel’s best friend. If you send a lot of emails there are many times that you will be typing a similar phrase, or many phrases over for each email. Not anymore. Just turn each phrase into a snippet and give the snippet a name that you’ll easily remember what the phrase contains. Now when you are composing an email and you need to enter one of your phrases, just click the snippet button and choose the appropriate name and it will add that phrase right into the email.

You can turn an entire email draft into a snippet and give it a one word name and Voila, your entire email is composed. Can you say ‘Thank you email in one click!’

Streak CRM has many more features, but what I’ve shown you thus far are all the features that are available on Streak’s free account. The only limitation with the free account is that Streak will only track 200 emails in one month and then turns tracking off for the duration of the month. You won’t be able to see who has viewed your email until it rolls over.

I know I’ve shown you a lot of how to use Streak in all of its views and tools, but I wanted to show you how easy Streak is to work with. It really does tame your email box, and, in my case, gave me the functionality to run an entire catering department within GMail. I only leave it to go to the other Google programs like Calendar and Google Drive. I then bring that information such as a catering contract right back into a Streak box.

Now that I’ve shown you how Streak works, I want to explain why I think that Streak would be an invaluable tool for Affiliate marketers.

If you are an affiliate marketer, chances are that you also have tools like an auto responder to take care of your email campaigns. And I’ll bet dollars to doughnuts that you have several websites on the go with separate email campaigns for each one. Or maybe you are just starting out with Affiliate Marketing and only have one website built and running with your affiliate programs.

In either case, you probably have your own email address at your-name@yourbuisnessname.com somewhere listed on your site for contact information.

For every Website that you do have, with your website specific email address for that website, create a folder in GMail for each website and have GMail pull the emails from the server directly to each folder using a filter. Now all the emails from a single website are going to its own specific folder in GMail.

Take Nearing Retirement and Broke as an example,

  • Sitename
    • NearingRetirementAndBroke.com
  • My Site Email
    • franksirianni@nearingretirementandbroke.com

In my Personal GMail Account

  • A Folder Named
    • NRABroke
  • A Streak Pipeline Named
    • NRABroke

I have all the emails from this website pulled directly to the folder NRABroke in GMail. I also have GMail set to send emails with @nearingretirementandbroke.com when I send emails.

If I had seven websites (I don’t yet, but I will) I would follow the same steps as above to create a Streak Pipeline for each website and have GMail send email with the appropriate @name.com for each one.

Now here’s where Streak comes in.

Someone has contacted you directly using your business email and is waiting for a response be it for help or other information.

Why not create a pipeline to keep track of these direct leads in order to help them and further gain their trust to join your email list?

Your pipeline may look something like this,

NRABroke Pipeline
The pipeline stages are: Direct Lead, Contacted, Followup 1, Followup 2, Helped, E book, Joined Mailing List, Opted Out.

And the Information that I’d want to track for each column in the box would be:

  • Name
    • Their real name
  • Stage
    • Where they are in the pipeline
  • Date
    • When they contacted me
  • Contact information
    • their email address
    • phone number
  • Program
    • A drop down list of what affiliate program they wanted information for
  • WebPost
    • Which post on my site led to them contacting me directly
  • Status
    • A drop down list of whether they may be a hot lead or not
  • Notes
    • Anything that I might add in note form that may be relevant for helping the lead
    • A reason for their direct contact in the first place

Don’t forget, there are other ways to market your business than just your website. What if you were doing word of mouth promoting and someone asked you for more information. Create an appropriate box (once you are near your computer) or do it on your mobile phone (Yes, Streak has a mobile AP for GMail)

You don’t have to receive an email or be sending one to create a box in Streak. Don’t forget, I’m a catering manager and many of my functions are initially started over the phone. I just turn the information I receive into a Streak box and go from there.

If you would like to download Streak CRM Free, just click on the banner or link below.

 

Try Streak Free

Get Streak Free Here

Thanks for Stopping In

Frank Sirianni aka Foxxfyrre

 

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12 Comments

  1. Great website Frank. Thanks for taking the time to research and to share such interesting information.
    I love Google Chrome and I have been using a Chromebook basically from its beginning. I never knew such an extension existed. I have downloaded it from the Chrome Web Store as I couldn’t find it the way you are explaining it. But it doesn’t matter, it is still a great discovery, thanks very much.

    I look forward to your next article.

    Best wishes,

    John ツ

    • Thanks for stopping in John!
      I hope you enjoy using Streak CRM. It really is a time saver and track a lot of information no matter what you are using it for.
      And it does clean out your GMail inbox, it makes it fun to use email again.

      I’ll have to see why you couldn’t find Streak from the post. The link I have should have brought you directly to it? Thanks for letting me know.

      Have a great day!
      Frank aka Foxxfyrre

  2. Hi Frank,
    I have just started my blog not too long ago and am still learning & figuring out how all these online businesses work. I have come across some recommendations on tools that can be helpful which I would either start exploring or bookmark for future references. I am glad I came across your recommendation.

    I haven’t done any email campaigns yet for my blog but will be picking that up really soon. I can see how relevant Streak CRM is for this purpose. Your explanation is really superb from its functionalities to how you should use for the website/blog. Thanks!

    • Hi Alex,
      Thanks for stopping in. I’m glad you enjoyed the post.

      I really do think that Streak will have many uses for bloggers, affiliate marketers, or even just writing.
      There’s a journal pipeline in the personal section and it seems to gear itself to writing-even for a website.

      When I installed it for work, I couldn’t believe how indispensable it has become in managing all my catering needs.

      All the best
      Frank aka Foxxfyrre

  3. Hello! Wonderful article. I was completely unfamiliar with Streak CRM prior to reading this!

    The pipeline component of organization seems to be a very efficient way to keep track of your communication with your different sales components.

    Also… I LOVE the fact that you can send automated responses to your email inquiries. That quick response sure does make a difference in the way that you are viewed by your followers AND definitely would increase conversions.

    I can’t wait to go check this out… I believe I will do that right now! Thanks again.

    • Thanks for stopping in Misty,

      Everything about Streak just seems to make everything you do with email easier, no matter what you are using it for. I know of one blogger that uses it for his business to keep his phone contacts in order in his sales. He doesn’t even use the email aspects at all. Any new contact, he creates a box and does all his following up by phone. Moving his leads through the pipeline for whatever stage he has worked them to.

      If you do get Streak for yourself, I’d love to hear how it’s working for you and if it’s made aspects of your business easier.

      Thanks again,
      Frank aka Foxxfyrre

  4. Hello Lynn B here. Enjoyed your bio story and I agree. I’ve never heard of CRM but it really looks interesting. I’ll be checking it out shortly for my blog.

    • Hi Lynn,

      Glad you enjoyed stopping in, and thanks!.
      If you do check out Steak, look closely at the pipeline options. There is business options as well as personal pipelines you can choose from and alter to meet your needs.
      Because I like to blog, I also use the Journal pipeline, it’s geared for writers and bloggers and help keep things organized.

      Let me know what you think of Streak if you do try it.

      Thanks again,
      Frank aka Foxxfyrre

  5. Hi Frank,
    I had never heard of Streak before either, and as a Direct Sales entrepreneur, I can certainly see immense value in this add-on program. I use Outlook for my business email, and short of reordering all of my business materials (business cards, postcards, labels, stamps, etc), is there any way that you can link the two? I see you mentioning Streak pulling emails directly from an independent website, could it maybe do the same from another email host?
    Thanks!

    • Hi Shawna,

      Thanks for stopping in.

      At this point Streak is an add-on for GMail only, but with GMail you can pull any emails from any other host such as Hotmail, Outlook etc. You just need to have a Google/Gmail account, and then open GMail to retrieve emails from Outlook. You can set GMail to responds as You@Yourhost/businessName.com so that sending emails from GMAil for that account will have it appear as being from YOUR host and not Gmail.

      If you do give Streak a try using GMail, I’d really like to hear how it is working for you.

      Thanks
      Frank aka Foxxfyrre

  6. Thanks for the great review, I too never have heard of this tool before. It seems to do a great job at helping people organize their emails and daily task and ultimately get more done.

    After you started using this tool, would you say your productivity has grown?

    I also like they color code everything out, as this is a very helpful method in showing what needs to be done immediately and what you can put off for a later time.

    • Hi Micheal,

      First off, thanks for stopping in!

      Before I started using Streak, I was basically running the catering office using a manual system built from Google programs such as Calandar, Drive, Docs and Sheets,  with Gmail and phone for communicating with clients. 

      Streak has made an enormous impact on my productivity, but more importantly it has greatly improved client interaction and accuracy. 

      I’ll give you a quick example. 

       A client phones and request to book a function with full catering. With the manual system, I would make hand notes on whether I’ve sent relevant menus for the function. Do I have their complete contact details? Does the event order I create have all their details and catering requirements? Do they have a direct billing account, or do I have to send an authorisation form for payment? And on, and on. 

      I would be constantly checking the email thread for that client to see if I’ve received everything back, or I’ve sent everything they need. If they’ve broken the thread by sending a new email, now there’s multiple threads I’d have to check.

      Streak completely solved that problem. Because it integrates with Google Drive and GSuite and Google Calandar, all documentation that I create and send can be directly added to the box for that client. All their contact details are included within the box. Streak will scan emails sent, and received for attachments, so you can see at a glance if they have returned all documentation signed and ready. 

      If they’ve broken an email thread, just add that email to the box for that function. Now multiple threads are included within the same box. No more searching. 

      Nothing is worse with a manual system than when you realise that on the day of the function, that the client didn’t send payment authorisation forms, or other items. and you have to clarify with the convener that day. 

      Clients really appreciate an early response for anything that either of us may have overlooked. 

      Streak CRM for me is as effective a tool as any purchased Catering Suite that I’ve used previously throughout my career.

       Again, Thanks for stopping in,

      Frank aka Foxxfyrre

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