A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system can improve the return on investment (ROI) of all your content, especially your email marketing. One of the best uses of your CRM data is to improve your relationships with customers so more people open, click, read, and engage with your email messages more frequently.
A CRM system allows businesses to manage data associated with customers. It organizes customer information, accounts, leads, and sales opportunities in one place. CRM platforms improve email marketing ROI because they allow your sales and marketing teams to see which stage a customer is in within the sales funnel: education, pricing, ready to buy, converted, or evangelist. This helps marketers and salespeople know where to focus email-marketing efforts to lead a customer through the funnel and make a sale. (Learn more about CRM benefits here.)
You can also use a CRM to Integrate your AdWords and Analytics data to show ROI for keyword terms. It tracks everything a website visitor does, including if they visit your website through a PPC ad for a non-branded term, via an organic brand term, or if they clicked from a download. Some CRM systems sync with social media sites to track what people say about your company, and many notify you about scheduled events with clients like follow-up phone calls or upcoming membership renewals. CRM software ensures your team can collaborate to build stronger, more personalized client relationships, and organizes everything you need for those relationships in one place. A CRM is the “vital nerve center.”
CRM vs. Marketing Automation
The terms “CRM” and “Marketing Automation” are sometimes used interchangeably even though they aren’t identical services. The biggest difference: CRM software can be used by any department and serves as an overarching data management system. Marketing automation software, on the other hand, is for marketing efforts. Most companies sync their marketing automation platform to their CRM data, or they use CRM software that includes marketing automation features. You can learn more about the differences between the two systems here, as well as how to successfully marry marketing automation software to your CRM here.
How to Use CRM Data to Increase Email Marketing ROI
When you use a CRM platform such as Salesforce, you have access to important metrics. Here are some key data sets to monitor. Use them to increase your email campaign open and click-through rates.
A customer’s purchase history is a good indicator of future behaviour, and you can use it to create more relevant content with this data. Send emails with discounts, promotions, and ads based on what a customer purchased in the past. You should focus this type of content on new customers, or on those who are early in your customer relationship. Regardless, this content can still be beneficial for all customers. If the customer’s situation changes suddenly or if they seem to pull away, consult their purchase history and offer more relevant content.
Social Media Activity
Gather insights from social media conversations to determine what your customers are discussing and what interests them. You’ll learn more not only about your company, but also about the industry in general. Additionally, you can use this information to create customized content for your email marketing messages. For example, if your CRM system shows that your blog post, which you promoted on Facebook, receives twice as many comments as your other updates, this topic is clearly interesting. You can then take that topic, carefully read the comments, create a follow-up post for social media, and include links to both of those posts in an email-marketing newsletter.
Another good trick when it comes to using social information is to let your social media audience know you will cover a particular topic more in your next email-marketing message. If people are interested, which your CRM system will show, then this should help entice people to sign up for your newsletter to get more information.
Demographics and Contact Information
Send customized emails based on a customer’s contact information. Not only does this help keep you organized and make sure you send information to the most up-to-date addresses (both email and physical), but you may also be able to gain insight based on the contact information you have. For example, sending snail-mail to a physical address allows you to be creative with newsletters, as opposed to email-only content. If you couple this with an email marketing campaign, that may change what content you want to include in your email.
You also want to look at location and the people you want to contact. Location information offers a lot of insight, such as whether a business is in a rural or urban setting. Use location information to tailor relevant content to the target audience. When looking at whose email address you have on a file—the CEO, someone in marketing, the head of sales, a secretary—you can make decisions about the type of content you want to include in an email newsletter. What will appeal to that person most? This can help you segment your clients as well, which brings us to our next point.
Creating customer personas is an excellent way to better understand your audience and segment it into different email marketing campaigns. CRM systems can help you define your customers, and then it’s up to you to decide where each of your clients fits into the personas you’ve created.
First, get to know your customers by researching their habits and patterns. Then categorize them into three to five groups. Look at your marketing funnel to segment your audience into personas to see a clear division of customer types. For example, you may have one persona still in the shopping and education stage, but they’re in charge of purchasing decisions. Another persona could be secretaries and researchers finding information to report back to a CEO. Yet another includes repeat customers. It’s up to you to create the personas that work best for your email campaigns.
This step may mean more work for you, but you should create email marketing campaigns that cater to each of your personas. You can offer more relevant information and increase your ROI.
Where a Customer is in the Sales Funnel
Arguably the most crucial CRM finding is where a customer lands in the sales funnel. Use this information to segment your audience, much like with personas, and email them the most relevant content for their needs. This personalization of email content increases your email marketing ROI more than any other method. Google Analytics provides similar information, but CRM software identifies critical data points that affect users’ decisions at various stages of the funnel.
For example, instead of sending out a generic email message to everyone in the education stage of the sales funnel, focus on the subset who reads your blog, then tailor an email campaign to them specifically. Send another campaign to the subset that visits from external websites and wants more information about your company.
Knowing where a lead lands in the sales funnel is important, and so is determining which leads are worth your attention. All CRM systems have a feature that identifies the strength of a lead. In Salesforce this feature (which calculates ROI by figuring the total value of won opportunities versus costs) is called Lead Scoring. More detailed information about this calculation and how to use it are in this article.
Use a Lead Scoring feature to concentrate on leads with high ROI potential, denoted with a high Lead Score. Then use their Lead Score, location in the sales funnel, the persona that fits them, and other relevant data you glean from your CRM to send them relevant, personalized emails. When you use these methods you’ll see higher open and click rates. CRM software organizes critical data about your customers. Use this data to your advantage and manipulate it to find targeted audiences for your email marketing campaigns and improve your email marketing ROI.
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