While many of us can happily spend our time enjoying the luxury of an occasional shopping spree, being able to afford such luxuries on a long-term basis is becoming a thing of the past. Retail businesses, especially larger ones, are struggling to keep up with the evolving demands of consumers.
Customer relationship management (CRM) is a term often used when referring to the collection of systems and tactics used by businesses to maintain a long-term, meaningful relationship with each individual who becomes a customer. Simply put, a CRM system provides a centralized location for customers to access your business’ information about them. This includes all the information a business might want or need to know about a customer, such as their purchase history, profile, contact details, etc.
Having a CRM system allows you to create highly targeted marketing campaigns that will reduce your churn and improve your conversion rates. The trick is getting the right data to drive those campaigns.
This article will discuss how CRM can be used to optimize email marketing.
Why Email Marketing?
Email marketing is still one of the most effective and efficient ways to acquire new customers. Companies like HubSpot have pioneered digital marketing and sales, and their popularity is growing. As a business owner, you can rest assured that HubSpot will have tools to fit your specific needs. They also provide a free trial, so you can take them for a test run without risking any money.
Email marketing software allows you to send highly personalized emails to your customers. You can segment your lists based on what they’ve purchased in the past, or what products they’re interested in. Create a custom landing page for each email or mailer with tons of useful information, and make sure to follow-up with an email a few days later.
The above examples illustrate the power of email marketing. You can easily see how a business can engage with their customers via email, and how individualized the emails can be. This makes it easy for someone to remember and connect with your business. In today’s digital world, consumers are often bombarded with information, so having a business reply to even one of their inquiries can put you head and shoulders above the competition.
How Does CRM Fit In?
CRM plays an important role in customer retention, as well. Once you have a good handle on their wants and needs via email marketing, you can develop strategies to keep them coming back for more. Having a clear view of how each customer interacts with your brand, as well as the metrics surrounding those interactions, gives you a complete picture of which strategies are working and which ones need to be adjusted.
Why are companies like HubSpot popular? First off, they make it easy for businesses of all sizes to thrive in the digital age. Their solutions provide the tools your business needs to grow and succeed in this ever-changing world. They also offer premium services for businesses who want a little more from their vendor.
Let’s get into how to use customer relationship management (CRM) to optimize email marketing.
Set Up Your CRM System
Setting up a CRM system isn’t as difficult as you might think. There are a few basic steps you’ll need to take to get started.
The first and most essential step is to decide which data you’ll need to collect about your customers. This is mostly focused on understanding user behavior, so you can tailor your marketing efforts to improve conversions. Once you have that data, you can start setting up your individual accounts.
Decide which type of data you’ll need to collect about customers. It’s important to collect as little data as possible, so you don’t end up with a humongous database clogging up your hard drive. Weigh your options carefully, and make a list of everything you’ll need to know about your customers.
You’ll also need to decide how you’ll track your customer’s information. Will you use a CSV file or a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet to keep all your data organized? Make sure you store your customer information in a safe and secure location, and update it frequently.
Create Your Personas
To put it simply, a persona is a rough version of a typical user who will interact with your product or service. Create several personas, each one resembling a real customer who will interact with your product or service. Remember, you’re optimizing for behavior, so make sure your personas are as similar as possible to the segment you’re trying to reach. You can also use your personas in user testing to determine which approach to take with your users.
Choose Your Inbound Marketing Platform
Your inbound marketing platform is responsible for generating leads, converting those leads into customers, and keeping track of your customer’s interactions with your business.
An inbound marketing platform, like HubSpot, helps you automate your processes and takes the drudgery out of marketing.
The above diagram illustrates how inbound marketing differs from traditional marketing:
Inbound marketing focuses on drawing people into your business and keeping them engaged until they make a purchase. Typically, inbound marketing is set up like a funnel, with your lead generation platform pulling in potential customers and routing them towards your sales team. From there, you can grow your customer base and promote sales along the way.
Deciding which inbound marketing platform to use is somewhat subjective, but there are a few key considerations to make.
First, make sure the platform matches your business objectives. Do you want to focus on generating leads, or would you rather focus on engaging with your audience and encouraging them to act?
Also, make sure the platform is easy to use—your staff should be able to navigate their way around without any difficulties. Consider the amount of training you’ll need to provide your staff before they can use the platform effectively. Keep in mind that you’ll be relying on them to help drive traffic to your site and capture sales.
The two above examples illustrate how using an inbound marketing platform can generate leads and grow your business. You can set up a lead magnet to capture initial interest, and then continue to develop content that encourages potential customers to take the action you desire. Creating useful content that draws in hungry leads and encourages them to engage with your business is the key to growth—it’ll save you both time and money down the line.
Once you’ve set up your CRM system, you can begin to tailor your email marketing campaigns. Begin by segmenting your lists based on what they’ve purchased in the past or what products they’re looking for. Once you have those lists, you can create personalized landing pages for each type of list segment with useful information about your products or services.
Set Up Your Email Marketing Templates
Your email marketing software will have templates you can use to send out your messages. These templates are great for beginners as they make tailoring your emails to individual customers easy. If you’ve never done this before, getting started can be a little tricky.
To get started, simply click on the “new email” button in your email marketing software, and select the template you want to use from the list. If you want to create a new template, you’ll need to follow the instructions your email marketing software provides. Once you’ve created a new email template, you can begin to customize it with the information you need. Don’t worry, you don’t need to be an expert—even the most basic templates are easy to use.
Configure Automatic Email Follow-ups
With every order, your business generates a certain amount of follow-up emails. These are automated emails that are sent out based on a set timetable or sequence.
For example, if you sell clothes and your customer requests information about a specific item, you’ll be sent an email asking about that item. But if you’re not sure if they’ve received a particular email or not, you can set a follow-up email to be sent out at a later date. This makes it easy to track the status of your orders and follow-ups, and can help you to determine if an email campaign is working or not.
Monitor and Measurize Conversions
A properly configured and personalized email marketing program can help you to monitor conversions and determine the effectiveness of your campaigns. For example, if you send out an email asking your customers to please click on a link in the email in order to download a white paper, you can track the number of downloads directly from the CRM platform. This will tell you whether or not to keep testing similar approaches, and it’ll also help you to determine if a certain product or campaign is bringing in the results you’re looking for.