Caleb Wise

Keep Your CRM and EDM Close

Utilising current and accurate customer information in a CRM can improve the effectiveness of email marketing campaigns.

I was on the receiving end of a mail-out sent by an organisation calling its customers to vote for them for outstanding service in an upcoming awards night for their industry. They had my email address from an old enquiry I had made, but upon searching my archives, they had never replied back. Needless to say, I didn't cast a vote for them on this occasion.

Although this was a relatively harmless affair, it does highlight the relative ease in which electronic direct marketing (EDM) can be ineffective, and potentially damaging if the wrong recipients are targeted.

Imagine if your email announced a half-price promotion for creating new accounts, and it was sent to customers who started an account just a few days prior? Or sending regional customers your promotion on increased service levels in metropolitan areas? How about requests for positive feedback on a public website, only to be sent to known ill-served customers?

Within your own organisation, you may be able to identify cases where the subscription list in your EDM efforts have caused material being sent to the wrong kind of recipients. This is typically a case of "dumping" an entire customer list of emails to your EDM system and hitting "send" - without really thinking of who you've just sent to. Such an approach reflects the "see what sticks" stigma of many an email campaign.

To alleviate some of these problems, your customer relationship management (CRM) system must play a part in this process. With current, accurate details on the sales and operational activities of your customers, you can utilise your CRM to segment your EDM recipients specific to the campaign in question.

Depending on the tools that you use, this may mean creating custom fields or tags to describe the customer and how they work with your business. Ensure your systems have the capability to "talk to each-other" through the use of APIs, so for example, a change by Sales staff in the CRM will update segmented lists found in the EDM tool for Marketing.

Discover the features of systems you use in your organisation for email campaigns, and you can produce targeted email campaigns with the confidence that the most applicable customers were recipients, and any metrics reported reflect a true audience.

 


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