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An Email Marketer’s Guide to CRM: What To Get Out Of This All-Important Software

An email marketer’s job starts & ends with the customer. Here are some ways in which CRM email marketing informs and aids their functions...

In marketing, every function is hyper-focused.  Email marketing, for instance, deals with a particular platform, a specific technology, and a unique way of reaching the customer. But, the customer is the common thread. Succinctly, everything starts and ends with the customer in marketing. 

Marketing and customer relationship management (CRM) have thus become intrinsically linked in most organizations. And, as we have seen in previous blogs, email marketing is leading as a preferred and lucrative way of reaching the customer. So, how do email marketing and CRM work together? How exactly does an integration of the CRM software and email marketing tool benefit the organization?

Looking at the Larger Picture of CRM

According to some studies, the CRM software market is pegged to touch a whopping revenue scale of $80 billion, from $48.2 billion in 2018. What started in the late ‘80s as a basic repository of customer contact information has now evolved into a complex, robust software that is both stand-alone and viable for integration with other applications. The last feature is a primary factor for its popularity among organizations striving to deliver a personalized experience to customers.

Let us now look at four different ways in which CRM email marketing operations help with reaching out to customers. These four stages of email marketing can be divided into specific functions that are aided and abetted by your CRM software.

For Mapping Customers

CRM email marketing helps an email marketer with the all-important first step of knowing your customer: identifying your target audience, knowing their attributes in the minutiae, and collecting essential data. 

Here are two different things that an email marketer can get out of the CRM software at this stage.

  • Lead data: It is important for you to categorize your subscribers’ list as leads, prospects, and customers. CRM serves as a one-stop store of this data. It essentially shows where each contact is in the sales funnel. This data gets generated automatically without manual entry, primarily from subscription and sign-up forms. With native integrations and syncing with other tools, you can track customer conversations, whether it’s with marketing, sales, or customer service. What’s more, lists are refreshed on a periodic basis. Only properly nurtured leads find a home in the CRM software, so you can focus your efforts on high-potential leads and prospects. 
  • Hyper-segmentation: Personalized email marketing is the name of the game these days. The first step towards this is defining and delineating your customer/subscriber list. And, this has to be done in as many ways as possible to ensure true personalization. Apart from their position in the sales funnel, customers can also be segmented based on their unique preferences, demographic attributes, past purchase patterns, etc. The tags and custom fields available in most CRM software make hyper-segmenting eminently easy. Some platforms also come loaded with new-age features such as interactive maps that can help you if you are targeting a geographically diverse market. And, all of these segmented subscribers lists can be created with one click.

For Mailing Customers

This is the quintessential part of an email marketer’s function, of course. It’s all about sending out those missives which land in the individual customer’s inbox, perfectly created and timed to deliver maximum impact. Saving on time and costs in drafting and sending emails becomes critical to reap a consistently high ROI.

Below are two different elements of this function that your CRM software can contribute to.

  • Templatize: With CRM, it has now become extremely simple to draw up effective and attractive email templates. Complex designs, packing in different elements, information tableaux, and prominent CTAs, can be drawn up with a content editor that takes seconds to drag and drop elements. Different templates can be drawn up for your different subscriber lists. The biggest draw and one of the latest trends? Interactive emails. Per some studies, adding videos to your email can drastically increase your click-through and reduce the unsubscribe rate. 

As an email marketer, you can also play around with GIFs and collapsible elements to make your campaigns more interactive, informative, and attractive. The two email templates below, by Bose and UXpin, are sure to have higher draw among their subscriber lists. The main thing you have to remember, though: optimize for mobile view

templatize

Source: Reallygoodemails.com

  • Personalize: Of course, it’s not enough to create templates to target your customer base according to list attributes. We can’t say this enough: in the age of low attention span and very-particular requirements, you can’t overlook the importance of personalization. From the subject line to the individual content, everything should be customized to ensure higher open and click-through rates. Every email, or as many as possible in every single campaign, should speak to the customer directly. Specific customer trends, seasonal trends, and other patterns recorded in your CRM platform can help you streamline your email marketing campaigns. With proper integration, you can also set up the personalization of your email marketing based on various triggers such as sign-ups, cart creation, etc. 

The below email template from Kansas City Chiefs, for instance, would serve to egg the specific customer to complete their cart checkout at the earliest.

click-through rate template

Source: Milled.com

For Making Customers

The first two stages listed above are actually preliminary ones in creating your customer or subscriber base. As an email marketer, you also need to focus on converting every piece of communication, every single campaign into satisfied, returning customers who do not ‘unsubscribe’.

Here are two ways in which CRM integration helps you broaden the scale, scope, and reach of your email marketing campaigns.  

  • Automation and follow-up: Reaching larger numbers of prospects and keeping customers engaged and happy becomes more possible when routine tasks are taken off your hands. CRM helps with this by building automation at every step of the customer relationship journey. Whether it’s updating lead status, tracking conversations and conversions, or running drip campaigns based on specific lists and varied triggers – CRM email marketing integration helps you save on efforts and, at the same time, makes sure your customer communications flow without a glitch. It can also run follow-up communication and set up auto-responders to maximize conversions. All this is based on the premise of ‘permission marketing’ as CRM enables you to generate data from tools that are accessible by customers.

The end-benefit for you as an email marketer: your customer remains your top priority, and they know they are top of your mind, so to say. 

  • Bulk mail for multi-campaign needs: The best CRM email tools broaden your outreach without sacrificing on personalization. You can set up and schedule drip campaigns at massive scales with targeted bulk emails. The sequences can be programmed to shut off based on the recipient’s response actions and when they actually reply or act on the CTA. What’s more, these sequential drips can be run simultaneously for various campaigns. Do you have a ‘subscriber welcome’ campaign in mind for your newest prospects? Are you also considering a re-engagement outreach for your subscriber list of the past two years? Not to fear, your CRM email integration can handle all this and more. It can trigger, test, taper off, and track the numbers, all at the same time.

For Maintaining Customers

So, you have gone all out with your campaigns and drawn in the crowd. Your email engagement numbers are looking good, subscribers are clicking on links, and the overall marketing stats are painting a bright picture. Now what? This optimal state will, of course, have to be maintained, theoretically in perpetuity. 

With this too, CRM email marketing can guide you by offering these two features.

  • Multi-platform integration: We live in times of ever-increasing platform penetration. According to MuleSoft’s 2020 Connectivity Benchmark Report, the average organization uses 900 applications. So, it has become all the more necessary to ensure coordination in customer-focused functions. This not only helps streamline efforts but also eliminates noise and redundancy. CRM, as we have seen, is amenable to links with a plethora of platforms, tools, and software suites – either through native integration or add-ons. Apart from email integration, you can also look at syncing up individual social media platforms and your customer service chatbot, for example. 

These integrations can inform your email marketing campaigns at every stage. Also, all your data gets concentrated and updated in one effective storehouse, without duplication. Plus, you don’t have to waste time logging in and out of multiple software. This allows you to get more done on the campaign front and target each sequence effectively. 

  • Analytics: Whether it’s sales data, social media analytics, or Google Analytics – your CRM email marketing benefits from integration-born analytics. Many of the CRM email software now enable you to even track subtle behavior patterns across platforms and touchpoints such as website and app clickstream, social media use, etc. They also have inbuilt and cutting-edge AI and Big Data capabilities that sift through massive data sets and draw up visualized reports that can guide your future campaigns and marketing investment decisions.

On your current email marketing front, you can benefit from real-time data on your campaigns. The CRM’s segmenting feature also makes it possible for you to test your campaigns with A/B split testing.  Whether it’s for the subject line, content, or sender’s identity – you can test and tweak practically every aspect based on CRM-generated data. Some software even allow for more than two test strategies.

Wrapping Up

So, there you have it: the things that, as an email marketer, you can get out of a good CRM software these days and how they help you build and run your every campaign. The better and deeper your CRM email integration, the more informed, effective, and lucrative your email campaigns can get. Remember, your job revolves around the customer. It’s all about knowing your customer well, connecting with them, and then managing these connections for the good of both the organization and the customer themselves. Email marketing, in other words, is all about customer relationship management.

Need help with setting up email campaigns in your ESP? Reach out to us.

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Kevin is the Head of Marketing at Email Uplers, one of the fastest-growing email design and coding companies. He loves gadgets, bikes, jazz, and breathes ‘email marketing’. He is a brand magician who loves to engage, share insights with fellow marketers, and enjoys sharing his thoughts on the latest email marketing best practices.

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