Imagine CRM (Customer Relationship Management) as the central engine that the vehicle of your brand runs on. A well-oiled, maintained engine ensures smooth running. But is it enough? There are multiple wheels that also need to work in tandem with the engine for the vehicle to move forward. These wheels are your CRM integrations. Together, your CRM and its supporting integrations will take your small business ahead and help it grow.
As a small business, you might not use a high-end CRM that sports a plethora of features. This only means that you need more integrations than big businesses do.
In fact, the average small business utilizes about 100 different applications in addition to its primary CRM.
Essential CRM Integrations for Your Small Business
The secret is that you need not necessarily have all 100 integrations to make your systems perfect. Each integration that promises fancy analytics and complex dashboards need not be an essential one.
“The biggest mistake is a major focus on analytics reporting or other kinds of high-level tools and not enough emphasis or focus on actual daily use cases,”
- Alex Haimann, partner and head of business development for Less Annoying CRM
In order to stay within your restricted budget and extract the maximum value from your CRM, here are some essential CRM integrations.
- Email marketing platform: Email is one of the primary ways of keeping your customers engaged, especially when your CRM is equipped with robust consumer data sets. You can easily connect it with your email campaigns and send automated emails, follow-up emails, offer emails, etc. on time and conveniently to your consumer segments.
- Calendar platform: A CRM-integrated calendar platform will collate events and schedules from the CRM, the calendar app, and any other application or task manager into a unified dashboard.
- Internal messaging platform: A central communication system for the entire organization to avoid multiple conversations on multiple apps – something that every office in this world needs.
- Accounting and billing software: To avoid repetitive and manual entries for transactions in separate software, an accounting software integrated into your CRM is ideal.
- Call recording software: Agents spend a lot of time on calls with clients. Time spent recording and classifying call data can be saved with a tool that automatically updates recordings against customer IDs in the CRM.
- Documentation software: You can easily connect apps like Dropbox to your CRM and not waste time searching for paperwork at major stages such as deal closures.
- Live Chat: Live chat is a highly preferred medium of communication for customers. Integrating it with your CRM helps to make it smoother and keep a record of interactions as well.
- Social Media: Your social media dashboard is where you can track customer engagements, impressions, following, and a lot of their crucial metrics. Add them to overall customer data in your CRM instantly and analyze your entire marketing dashboard together.
Email Marketing – The Key Integration to Your CRM
By 2023, more than 4.3 billion, i.e. more than half the world’s population would be using email. Not only this, 85% of a surveyed group of GenZ citizens said that they prefer email over other modes. It is very evident that email marketing is NOT dead.
But, why integrate it into your CRM? When you use conventional email marketing tools, you are essentially just blasting emails to a group of prospects and consumers. With a CRM integrated email marketing facility, you can take past purchases, subscriptions, previous interactions, and preferences into account and send personalized emails to different segments. Email marketing becomes much more specific, richer, and more engaging.
Email Marketing CRM Integration – Things to Remember
Here are a few essential things to keep in mind while integrating an email marketing system into your CRM.
- Ensure that you have the appropriate CRM system which offers various options such as reports, segmentation, storage, and makes it easy to work upon CRM data.
- Create multiple tags and segments relevant to your business. Always stay current.
- Use multiple sources to procure information about your segments right from the beginning. These could include opt-in forms, lead generation ads, social media promotions, etc.
- Use all of these sources in an organized and consistent manner.
- Always update your contact lists and CRM data.
- Use trigger actions for email categories such as renewals and subscription updates.
Benefits of Email Marketing Integration in Your CRM
Here’s how you can bag promising ROI by integrating your email marketing software with your CRM strategy:
- Better audience data streamlining: When you have huge amounts of data available, it is sometimes difficult to figure out how to get the most out of it. It isn’t about more data, it’s about leveraging the data you have to its full extent. With an email marketing CRM integration, you can keep customer data updated with real-time accuracy. All data can be synced with other systems by feeding it back into your ESP. Keeping all your customer and activity data in one source is what all the other benefits of an email marketing integration hinge upon.
- Superior Personalization: Sending the same email to thousands of subscribers is passé. By this point, consumers have begun to expect personalized emails, personalized coupon codes, and unique rewards. A CRM software can collect consumer data across multiple channels and collate it for you to personalize your emails.
Take this Spotify email, for example. It has delved deep into a subscriber’s listening journey to send them a specific email about an artist they like. With an artist-themed email, Spotify has made a huge design experiment. It only adds to the personalization and customization element.
- Improved automation: Automated emails shot out upon trigger events are an essential part of acquiring and keeping customers. A CRM software provides advanced tools for sending effective automated emails and monitoring consumer behavior.
This Zapier mail triggered by a user making their first zap is the perfect example. It appreciates the user for their actions and also provides a clear pathway for the next steps.
- Boost in Re-engagement: CRM integrated email marketing software can help you understand the possible reasons for subscribers disengaging with your emails. It can also help you re-engage them with specific data, templates, and content. Re-engagement also includes follow-up emails to earlier ones triggered by certain actions.
In this Netflix email, the agenda is simple- engaging with a viewer again based on their personalized journey with the product. By giving a bunch of suggestions, they are establishing brand emails as a source of suggestions and guidance.
- Enhanced segmentation: Most ESPs will provide you the ability to create basic subscriber segments such as new subscribers, subscribers who haven’t engaged, etc. But with CRM software, hi-tech mechanisms such as AI technology come into the picture. It can pick up behavioral cues from different platforms and put together more refined segments.
- Refined analytics: An email marketing CRM integration can store huge amounts of data that enables you to manage a lot of segments and campaigns at the same time. It provides in-depth information based on metrics such as open rates, click-through rates, conversion rates, bounce rates, etc.
- Avoiding spam filters: The identifying factors of spam with email clients are constantly changing. CRM-integrated email software will help you keep up with changing criteria and send quality emails that are sure to reach your subscribers’ inboxes.
- Avoiding unsubscribes: When you send more relevant content to your subscribers, they are less likely to unsubscribe. Keeping subscribers interested in your brand requires engaging with them seamlessly across platforms. That is where a CRM comes in, tying other engagement sources with email and creating a cohesive communication channel.
In this Urban Outfitters email, the brand has very smartly connected email content with UGC (User Generated Content) on Instagram to connect better with its consumers. This would help the brand increase subscriptions, follows, and engagement across social media and email, which is a win-win.
To Sum Up
Your CRM is a potent, data-driven engine. However, its potential will not be realized until it is leveraged with strong wheels of integration. An email marketing integration will streamline your email marketing efforts, and also enhance your overall marketing strategy. This is thanks to all the rich data collected from email marketing campaigns that are fed back into the CRM. So let your business be pumped with the best features and speed its way to marketing glory!Need help with managing your email campaigns in your CRM? Let us help.
Latest posts by Kevin George (see all)
How to Use Visual Hierarchy and Mind Motion to Optimize Your Banner Ads
4 Proven Engagement Strategies to Create Perfect Email Campaigns with Salesforce Marketing Cloud