What is Customer Relationship Management (CRM)?

Customer relationship management (CRM) is a strategy for managing a company’s interactions with (potential) customers. It involves using technology to organize, automate and synchronize business processes. Sales, marketing, customer service and technical support usually make the biggest use of CRM software.

CRM is often implemented with goals to reduce costs and increase profitability. By managing customer interactions, CRM has its finger on the pulse of the customer relationship. CRM can be used to win new clients and solidify customer satisfaction, loyalty, and advocacy. CRM software goes hand in hand with CRM strategy. It’s a long (and not always successful) process.

Just as different CRM systems have evolved differently over time, the concept of a campaign has been applied differently to different applications over time. CRM marketing campaign functionality was initially developed before online/inbound marketing was as prevalent as it is today.

Generally speaking, in CRM systems, a campaign is an entity or object that tracks a variety of information about an event, mailing, emailing or other marketing initiative. Leads and contacts can be members of one or more CRM campaigns

Email marketing, one of the primary channels of communication for many companies, is dependent on customer data (email addresses, profiles, and behavioural data). This is true for individual messaging as well as broadcast email marketing campaigns. Your Email Service Provider must incorporate the email channel in CRM strategy.

A CRM campaign can include fields such as cost, expected revenue, start date and end date. A campaign can also have activity history associated with it. Common CRM elements such as custom fields, workflows and validation rules can be added to a campaign.

In CRM, it’s very common for users to manually add leads and contacts to campaigns and for administrators to import lists into campaigns.

CRMs have expanded to include many features – the templates, automation, and analytics – essential to email marketing. Whether you’re in the market for a free CRM with a mobile app or a subscription service with fuller features and more support, here are 6 CRM features to look for that can roll out your email marketing strategy.

Feature 1 – Send Mass Emails

No matter what it’s called, the concept is the same – sending the same general message to a select group of contacts at a scheduled time. This is effective to sending newsletters, offering promotions, re-engaging past customers, notifying partners to organizational changes, and so forth. Even besides email marketing, mass email is fairly baseline within CRM – you can expect even a free option to provide some mass emailing functionality.

CRM providers commonly refer to this feature as:

  • Mass Emails
  • Bulk Emails

One CRM that provides mass emailing is Insightly. For a deeper look, check out our Insightly overview.

Feature 2 – Track Recipient Engagement

Email marketing largely depends on the ability to tailor your approach according to what works. You can determine what percentage of recipients open the email, click certain links or download attachments through email tracking. An email tracker might take the form of a read receipt or return receipt, but with email marketing it’s typically done through tiny invisible tracking images with separate codes for links or attachments. These individual response events are aggregated; over time, the CRM (or email tracking software) provides fairly accurate metrics on click-through rates, conversion rates, bounce rates, engagement over time, and so forth, all of which can be visualized in reports to give a sense of campaign performance.

One such CRM that offers email tracking tools is Agile CRM.

Feature 3 – Automate Email Responses

This feature allows you to configure specific triggers that prompt the automatic sending of an email tailored to that triggers (this ties in to Email Templates below). When comparing CRMs, look for the word ‘trigger’, which should suggest the ability to determine what prompts the email – a customer visits your pricing page, visits your website a certain number of times, has items remaining in their shopping cart, and so forth. The ability to customize triggers further allows you to refine your automatic responses to your specific business use. Successful email marketing largely depends on sending the right messages to relevant parties at the right time – with the right email and the right offer, you could hit all three at once and increase your chance to cross-sell, upsell or re-engage a lost lead.

CRM providers commonly refer to this feature as:

  • Email Triggers
  • Triggered Emails

Infusion soft is one CRM that allows users to set email triggers. For a closer look, check out our Infusion soft overview.

Feature 4 – Allow Custom Email Templates

Email templates tie into the automated email responses mentioned above. Many CRMs provide email templates for specific use cases – a welcome message, a notification of payment received – but custom email templates allow you to refine the message for your specific business use. After all, you know your customers and services best. Many CRMs also enable you to personalize the message to include the recipient’s name and other details through an easy copy/paste of a small bit of code. Custom email templates also allow you to conduct A/B tests to determine which type of messages are best received by certain customers.

Hubspot offers templates that work within Gmail, Outlook, or the Hubspot CRM; feel free to check out our Hubspot provider overview.

Feature 5 – Provide Real-Time Alerts

Real-time alerts within the CRM can be sent to company agents to direct their attention to a specific event – a customer opens an email, clicks a link, and watches a video – which allows a more personalized follow-up. CRMs often come with built-in notifications but many allow custom ones. Knowing which customers are engaged with your message, and in which formats, allows a follow-up more suited to their tastes.

CRM providers commonly refer to this feature as:

  • Alerts
  • Notifications

Base CRM provides real-time notifications on email recipient activity, which allows you to reach out to potential customers with knowledge of specific types of behaviour. We wrote a Base provider overview, too.

Feature 6 – Integrate with Third-Party Software

Third party software can expand the functionality of your CRM. While you don’t necessarily need a dedicated email marketing platform to implement a campaign, there are certainly advantages to using one – and it’s better to have the option of native or ‘official’ integration than not. An official integration refers to a built-in collaboration between the CRM and the external software. Some CRMs have a small number of them, while others have thriving developer communities and Marketplaces bustling with integrations for download, subscription or purchase. Most CRMs provide a developer API so users can create custom integrations; for most other cases, an external workflow automation service like Zapier can connect your CRM with other software.

With regards to email marketing, email marketing solutions like MailChimp, which allows drag-and-drop email design and triggered emails, or GetResponse, which simplifies email scheduling for drip campaigns, provide features beyond what many CRMs offer out of the box. While both services are paid (MailChimp offers some free features), you may be better suited finding a lightweight CRM for contact management and customer views that integrates with a dedicated email marketing service.

CRM providers commonly refer to this feature as:

  • Integrations
  • Add-Ons
  • Apps
  • Extensions

Capsule CRM is one such CRM that integrates with MailChimp. For more information, check out our Capsule CRM overview.

CRM and marketing automation complement one another. Depending on your use case and the systems you currently deploy, you might prefer a lighter CRM that integrates with robust marketing software, or a 2-in-1 CRM with seamless built-in marketing features. There are plenty of solutions that combine the strengths of CRM with marketing automation to increase customer engagement and improve your marketing ROI. Visit our CRM provider’s page to compare for yourself which options can best achieve your email marketing goals.

This list of features was brought to you by Adstuck which itself is an email campaign service provider. And it provides its customers services related to email/email campaign as required by them. So let us know more about Adstuck:

 Adstuck: Adstuck is a digital marketing practice agency working from all over the world with four locations India, Singapore, Estonia and US. Its mission is to provide instant access to a talented workforce to enterprise. They have 491 clients and worked over 700 projects, with 30 fortunes 500 firms.

Adstuck provide services in:

  • Improving marketing results
  • Creating social media marketing strategy
  • Proper assessments of current trends
  • Market research
  • Campaign creation
  • Growing market share
  • Launching new product or enter new market.

It is a strong and leading digital media marketing service provider which can help you with cost cutting, plan execution, perfect reporting, strategy making, data collecting, and response collection from consumers. It handles all the aspects of your business. They don’t focus only on new on emerging brands who wants entail success and distribution in the market but also on brands that have successfully established the customer retail space, and need some assistance in managing their business

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