While the Internet of Things (IoT) affords new and innovative opportunities for customer communication including push notifications across mobile and even wearable devices, some traditional campaign approaches, such as e-mail marketing, are here to stay, strengthened and supplemented by today’s technological advances.
A longstanding staple for business contact, e-mail continues to provide unparalleled opportunities to reach and connect with prospects and clients. In fact, research predicts that by 2016, there will be 4.6 million e-mail accounts, and according to Forrester, 89 percent of marketers count e-mail as their primary channel for lead generation. However, while potential is ripe for visibility, ensuring your messages is read and acted upon, not immediately deleted, requires tailoring it specifically to each customer, and central to this approach is an in-depth knowledge of buying patterns, shopping preferences, activity history, and more—information made more accessible and readily available via powerful CRM integration.
Some key ways to leverage CRM to strengthen and maximize e-mail marketing efforts include:
Create a Strategy to Ensure Data is Clean and Useful
Your time is important, and as anyone who’s ever sifted through a bevy of unopened messages or spent countless minutes crafting the perfect subject line knows, e-mail can quickly absorb a lot of it. When working on an e-mail marketing campaign, sifting through a CRM database cluttered with unnecessary and irrelevant customer data to locate key nuggets of information not only slows you down, but can result in messages sent with erroneous, outdated, or inapplicable information—a surefire way to end up in the virtual garbage bin.
Leverage Built-in Analytics to Segment Buyers and Boost Personalization
With a plethora of options to choose from, your customers are rightfully discerning, and demand customization. A recent study shows that emails with personalized subject lines are 22 percent more likely to be opened. Capturing their attention requires sending direct, pointed messages tailored to their interests and activities. Use CRM analytics to lean as much as possible about them, and then easily segment the data by criteria. It might be helpful to sort by geographic region, persona, or simply by likes or interests depending on the campaign.
Pinpoint the Customer Journey to Ensure Message Relevancy
One size doesn’t always fit all when it comes to email marketing. Once you’ve sorted your audience into key segments, it can be helpful to use CRM to determine where each is at on the customer journey. For instance, someone who’s still a prospect might not require the same content as someone who just completed a project and is in the service phase of the journey. Equally important as tailoring your message to each customer’s personal tastes is positioning it to be as relevant and meaningful as possible according to where they are in the project lifecycle.
As much as we chat, Skype, IM, and text on the go, email communication remains a key player for both B2B and B2C communication. By providing a data-rich look at each customer, CRM enables users to strategically approach each campaign, armed with the inside information needed to ensure maximum influence—so they can press “send” with confidence.
Hrushesky, Cassie, “3 Must Dos Before Your Next Email Campaign,” Bluewolf, http://www.bluewolf.com/blog/3-must-dos-your-next-email-campaign.
Nelson, Amanda, “25 Mind Blowing Email Marketing Stats,” Salesforce Blog, July 12, 2013, https://www.salesforce.com/blog/2013/07/email-marketing-stats.html.
“Email Statistics Report, 2012-2016,” The Radicati Group, Inc.