Small and mid-sized businesses often have staff that must wear more than one hat, and this can be stressful and sometimes cause confusion and disarray. Who exactly is doing what? And how can all of these many roles be somehow coordinated effectively?
Enter technology – especially tools and apps that can assume many of the roles that humans have traditionally performed. There is now a multitude of business software that makes business management far more coordinated and efficient. Automated email is a prime example.
1. The Beauty of Automated Email Systems
A good automated email marketing tool provides great solutions for busy people, and then some. If you have a good tool, here is what you can expect:
- A/B Testing: It will run the analytics on the same email with different subject lines, CTA buttons, etc. and determine which generated a better response
- Auto-Responders: Many responses can be automated – order confirmation, shipping information, and such
- Drip Campaigns: It will send a series of emails over time, based on recipient response (or lack thereof) on a pre-determined schedule. It will also segment those drips based upon recipient response
- Event-Triggered Actions: Once there is a response from a recipient, other email actions will be in order. For example, a recipient may sign up for your newsletter or unsubscribe. A good automated system handles it all
- List Management: An automated system will continually segment your lists, based upon your input (e.g., adding a new customer) or upon pre-determined responses/actions of a recipient. For example, if a recipient has not responded to your emails over a specified period of time, that individual may be moved to a list or “dormant” customers who will receive specialized emails to “win” them back.
- Reporting and Analytics: You will receive regular reporting on the open rate for each email, and analytics-based upon such things as demographics, response to CTA’s, etc.
If all of this sounds a bit like a function of customer relations management (CRM), it should.
2. Purposes of a CRM Tool
The idea behind a CRM tool is to improve relationships with customers, past and present, and to establish connections and relationships with those who are not yet customers. As such, this tool establishes and maintains all interactions with customers and potential and houses a wealth of information about individuals with whom the company has had any interactions.
A business needs a CRM tool as it grows beyond the ability of staff to keep up with customer relations – finding and nurturing new leads, keeping track of all interactions, gathering personal information about people that can be used to personalize interactions, and more. When sales and marketing staff can have all of this information in a single place, it streamlines their interactions and promotes effective communication. For example, if a customer raises an issue, asks a question, or needs support of any kind, the history of all interactions with that customer is accessed through a single click.
3. Integration of CRM and Email Software – It’s Common Sense
While CRM encompasses more than just email campaigns, the software that you are using for CRM will provide extremely valuable information about current, past, and potential customers that you should be using to segment and personalize your email marketing.
Suppose, for example, a trial subscription for a customer is about to run out. That information is housed within your CRM software. If that software is integrated with your email software, that renewal reminder can be sent to the individual customer via email.
In all, integration of CRM and email software allow a company to improve and relationships and engagement of customers. Absolutely every interaction, action, communication is tracked and recorded for a complete picture of the interests and behaviors of each customer.
4. Benefits of CRM/Email Software Integration
Consider how integrating these tools will improve so many of your sales and marketing operations:
- Great Sales Opportunity
Your email marketing tool allows you to know who has opened emails from you, who has taken some action as a result, and who may have ignored you for a while. If this information is integrated into your CRM tool, you get a broader picture of your customers and audiences. This allows you to personalize marketing tactics to meet their individual needs.
- Assess Campaign Results and ROI
Both email analytics and CRM data present critical information on the success (or lack) of sales and email marketing campaigns. Such data will give a business not just the number of conversions, but numbers that performed other actions, numbers of purchases, and the total cost of campaigns.
- Easier Management of Data
With the reporting that both email and CRM tools produce, data is now all in one place for easy analysis. That analysis will inform future decisions that are made about campaigns. Plus, members of sales teams can enter new data (e.g., interactions with a specific customer) into a place where it will be integrated.
- Interactions with Customers Can Be Targeted
A salesperson can pull up any customer’s full history and use that information to reach out in a truly personalized way, through email or SMS pushes. Special offers, loyalty discounts, etc. can be just the thing to spur a new purchase.
- Actions are Triggered
Subscription renewals, updates on memberships, and such for individual customers can be set up as trigger events via the CRM tool and then an automated email will be generated and sent out.
5. How to Integrate DRM and Email
Integration is a common activity today, and both DRM and Automated Email software systems are set up for such integration. The initial steps are as follows:
A. Start with finding a CRM software tool that offers a wide range of options
You want a tool that will produce all types of analytics and reports. You want one that allows for easy storage of your input, will segment contacts based upon clear and appropriate factors that you determine, and will make it easy to upload data and information.
B. Gather Data and Information from Multiple Sources
You will need to input data into your CRM software tool. That tool should have an easy process for doing so. There will be forms, generated leads, and, of course, all of the data from your automated email tool. It is up to the CRM tool to organize all of this data, down to each and every lead, customer, or potential customer.
C. Update the CRM Tool Consistently
Every time a member of your sales or customer service staff has an interaction with a lead, customer, or potential customer, that information must be entered into the CRM tool. Every time an email campaign is launched, the details should be automatically entered into the CRM tool – every recipient, open and response rates, etc., so that segmentation can be updated.
6. What These Tools Will Not Do
CRM and Email tools provide businesses with streamlined and far more effective methods for establishing and maintaining personal relationships with leads and customers (past and present). Integrating these tools means that no one will be left out of your marketing efforts.
What they will not do is compose those emails – the compelling headlines, the engaging content, the newsletters that will be distributed, and such. For that, a business may need a customer service writing company. GetGoodGrade has an entire department of copywriters at which a business can hire writer experts for its needs. While distribution will be handled by CRM and Email software integration, the written copy will motivate opens and responses.
Integration is the Key to the Best Customer Relations
It’s all about the customer. And today’s customers have many demands of the companies with whom they do business. They expect to be treated as individuals with unique needs; they expect to be provided with great content, with company efforts to establish honest and trustful relationships, and to be presented with value. What they will not tolerate is being ignored. When CRM and Email are integrated, these customer needs are met.
Author’s bio. Jessica Fender is a copywriter and blogger at Writesunity with a background in marketing and sales. She enjoys sharing her experience with like-minded professionals who aim to provide customers with high-quality services.
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