Quick Tips: Email Marketing and CRM Integration

email marketing best practices, crm integration

Did you know? Email is the number one online activity on desktop and mobile, surpassing search engine usage. By 2018, the total number of email accounts is expected to increase 26% to 5.2 billion accounts. Email marketing is ostensibly the most effective digital avenue for retaining customers, and aids in new customer acquisition and sales. In this post, we will cover email marketing best practices regarding the use of audience data and CRM integration.

Despite email being the preferred conduit of communication with a brand, email marketing reach has declined due to spam filters (like Google’s Promotions tab) and oversaturated inboxes. As email marketing practices have evolved, data driven initiatives are becoming the standard execution to target highly relevant and likely to convert audiences. Yet nearly 89% of advertisers are not harnessing big data to target audience segments or even customers on a one-one level through email marketing.

Consumers willingly sign up for email subscriptions or loyalty lists because of the implicit rewards that will soon come straight to their inbox, and your brand should be invested in nurturing and fortifying this direct line of communication to convert their audience data into a sale with valuable, targeted content for your email marketing performance strategy.

Your customers are at different points in the sales cycle.

Your brand’s audience data is made up of contacts who are at individual phases of the sales cycle. Each email subscriber should be recognized as an individual rather than a homogenous cluster, and they require personalized information and communication dependent upon their interactions. This is what is called CRM integration. 

Leveraging historical and behavioral data is an orthodox, but necessary approach to present content that satisfies your audiences’ needs, but recognizing each email recipient as an individual means acknowledging their unique interests and engagements. As an email marketer, the crux of your job is understanding the context of your consumer and acting on it in a timely manner.

Strategies to optimize for segmented email marketing:

Geo-location

Segmenting emails by geographic location is a valuable tool for reaching consumers whose purchasing behaviors might be influenced by location or time. Perhaps your brand is hosting a webinar or an event that requires timing to be adjusted based on the audiences’ location. Using geo-location in these type of campaigns can strike up email marketing performance. Geo-location targeted emails receive a 68% open rate in comparison to the 22% open rate for general event announcement emails. 

Phase of the Sales Cycle

Depending on where the consumer is in the sales funnel, targeted emails should render different themes, such as a generalized welcome email versus a follow-up email to remedy cart abandonment.

Demographics

Information such as age, gender, job title and income level are indicative of a customer’s needs and interests. Acquiring comprehensive information on a consumer during the sign-up process is helpful, although inquiring too much information can be invasive. Strategically decide one to three demographical depicters (or more contingent upon your brand’s needs) that will add value to your brand’s segmenting efforts.  For example, a clothing retailer might value knowing a consumer’s gender while a B2B technology company might be interested in a consumer’s job title.

Survey Results

The email sign-up process offers limited information on a consumer, but a quick survey or quiz is insightful (and less invasive) to conceptualize and pinpoint problems your brand can help solve for.

CRM integration in email marketing reveal a wealth of audience information that can be used to modify messaging and execution. Deploying enterprise email campaigns begins with identifying your data points, understanding customer personas, tailoring content to each audience segment and A/B testing to assess effectiveness.