Supercharge email marketing with CRM integration

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Written by Penni Stanton

If you use email marketing in your business, but it isn’t yet integrated with your CRM, this article is for you.

Email marketing is a valuable tool for any business, in fact this global survey from the DMA shows an ROI of £50 for each £1 ($38 for each $1) spent on email marketing.

Integrating your email marketing with your CRM can reduce administration time, increase conversion rates and bring harmony to your sales and marketing teams. It’s a win-win.

  • Save your marketers valuable time - without an integrated system this is a time-consuming and manual process
  • Simplify data management - Both GDPR and the ePrivacy Regulation (ePR) change the way many companies respond to data
  • Increase conversion with personalisation - A single view of the customer will help you to personalise your email based on relevance
  • Measure ROI with ease - Using an integrated tool makes ROI measurement an automatic process

Save your marketers’ valuable time

If you aren’t using an integrated tool, your workflow probably looks something like this.

  1. Plan an email campaign and design something stunning in your current tool.
  2. Segment your contacts in CRM.
  3. Export your contacts to a CSV file.
  4. Import the CSV to your email tool.
  5. Send campaign.
  6. Measure success in your email tool.
  7. Manually add critical data back in to your CRM system, such as click through’s and unsubscribes.

Depending how many contacts you are sending to, this manual process of getting critical data back in to CRM could take anything from an hour through to a day. Not to mention it is mind-numbingly boring. I’ve had the pleasure of this task early in my career and I remember my head nodding more than once as I repeatedly clicked, typed, saved, repeat.

The first time I used an integrated email marketing tool, it was one of those wonderful lightbulb moments. Ta-da, job done, now I can move on to doing something more valuable with my time.

Let’s look at the new workflow.

  1. Plan an email campaign and design something stunning in your integrated tool.
  2. Segment your contacts in CRM.
  3. Click one button for them to be lined up and ready to send to.
  4. Send campaign.
  5. Measure success in automatic CRM dashboards.

Job complete, you can watch your sales team jump on the click through’s in real time due to instant alerting in your CRM system. Move on with your day knowing all unsubscribe data is automatically updated without you touching a button.

supercharge email marketing

Simplify data management, ready for new data protection regulations

Unless you have been hiding under a rock, you will know that big changes are coming in 2018 for any company who processes data or markets to individuals in the EU. GDPR will have big impacts for data processing. It’s sister legislation, the new ePrivacy Regulation, will have a massive impact for marketing, and if it isn’t currently on your radar, it is time to look it up.

Whilst the regulation is still in draft form, the biggest practical implications for email marketing revolve around consent. In its current form, the only legal reason you will have to send marketing emails will be specific consent. For the first time this will include ‘legal persons’, meaning [email protected] The DMA are doing a brilliant job at keeping the marketing industry up to date as the ePrivacy Regulation takes shape.

Whilst legislation is not yet finalised, every marketer needs to start thinking about how they currently handle email marketing consent. If you have a CRM system used by your sales team, an email marketing platform used by your marketing team, and possibly additional systems such as event management or project management systems, how can you make sure an unsubscribe is respected across all systems? Can unsubscribes be changed manually, and is this a problem?

Using an integrated system solves the problem. Using Gold-Vision as an example, there is a central location against a contact that allows email, postal, telephone and SMS preferences to be recorded. When also using our integrated email marketing tool, Gold-Vision Connect, unsubscribes become an automatic process.

Connect automatically includes an unsubscribe link in all emails sent through the platform to make sure you are compliant with legislation. When a recipient unsubscribes, this information is instantly updated in Connect and Gold-Vision without any manual processes. A preference centre allows contacts to unsubscribe from all emails, but it tries to reduce this by offering the ability to unsubscribe from individual mailshot types.

Contact update links allow contacts to notify you if their information changes. This hits a sweet spot with GDPR data compliance, making it easy for individuals to manage the data you hold about them. Email bounce reporting helps you to keep your data clean, allowing you to identify contacts who may have changed their details. An integrated system enables you to set up tasks for team members to contact recipients whose email address bounces to check if their details have changed. A double win, meeting compliance requirements whilst making it easier to keep your central database up to date.

Increase conversion with personalisation

Personalising emails can be done to a basic extent with a simple email marketing tool and minimal data. You can add the contact’s name as a tag as part of your intro, such as ‘Hi {first_name}’. But with an integrated solution the data comes directly from your CRM database.

To be able to personalise experiences for your recipients, you must have a single customer view. According to a personalisation study by Experian Data Quality, the top three challenges in achieving this view are the inability to integrate data from separate platforms (40%), poor quality data (34%) and a lack of relevant technology (32%).

In-email personalisation is increased when you have an integrated email tool. Signing off emails from the relevant account manager or sales person can help to build vital relationships. Including the company name of the recipient, or the products they have purchased from you, can all help the email to feel relevant.

Segmentation also becomes much simpler in an integrated tool. Email lists can be drawn up based on accounts whose renewal is due soon, or specific to a geographic area. If your CRM is integrated with IP tracking software, you can email contacts who have recently visited key product pages with more information to try and close the deal while it is fresh in the customer’s mind.

Measure ROI with ease

To compare email marketing with paid ads, events or other forms of marketing, you need to be able to track and measure conversions and sales. It can be tricky to achieve this without a large amount of manual work when you are using an independent email tool.

When your email marketing is integrated with CRM, the central campaign management tool can link opportunities to click throughs from email marketing. This is typically achieved via link tracking. When a recipient clicks on a link from your email, this will show against the marketing campaign. Any opportunity that is opened, and won, is then linked back to the campaign. Your CRM is then able to show exactly how much cash you’ve banked as a result of your email. It’s a real game changer for marketers to be able to set up a dashboard that’s visible to the senior team showing the actual ROI of marketing activities.

Another useful way of measuring email marketing versus your other digital marketing activities is integrating Google Analytics. Connect makes it easy for our customers to measure their email activity. Once the integration is turned on, Connect adds the necessary utm parameters to email links. Whenever a recipient clicks on a tracked link, the website visit shows up in analytics as email marketing traffic with specific campaign names included.

With a reported average ROI of £50 for each £1 spent, email marketing is a tool worth optimising. Using an integrated email marketing solution can speed up your workflow, increase your conversion rate through personalisation and allow your team to evidence your ROI. Possibly even more importantly, with the ePrivacy Regulation hiding just around the corner, an integrated email marketing tool can help you on your journey to compliance.

Find out more about how we're helping businesses ease GDPR transition with integrated software.

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