7 Tweaks to Make to Improve Your CRM Email Marketing

You open your email inbox and what do you see? 

A bunch of offers that aren’t even tangentially related to you and your personal wants and needs. As you craft your own outgoing emails to support your business, how do you rise above this and signal your targets that they really, really do want to click “Open?”

Through the targeting, customization, and personalization of CRM email marketing, you open the doors to an actual relationship with prospects. This way of marketing requires putting the brains and creativity you already have to work in new ways. 

Opt-in and read on. 

CRM Email Marketing Is Not Spam

Let’s get this out of the way right now.

In fact, CRM (which stands for customer relationship management – or sometimes marketing) email marketing is the exact opposite of spam.

It’s educated, tailored, crafted efforts to get customers exactly what they want or need (from YOUR business).

In fact, the University of Wisconsin calls CRM email marketing a way to “create highly personal experiences for your prospects.”

What Does It Do?

CRM email marketing puts a lot of power into your hands, including:

  • Conduct research on a specific stage of the customer’s journey (because you have access to all the insights and information along the way!)
  • Calculate all the return on investment of each project, customer, and implementation. Adjust as necessary.
  • Segment audiences and gather intelligence on touch points
  • Aggregate analytics across personas and market segments

What You Should Not Do

Your CRM tool cannot prevent you from doing really bad things.

Things that can make you end up on “Don’t” lists and as memes that will never, ever die as long as the internet is up and running.

So when you’re considering CRM email marketing, don’t:

  • Overload your email with pictures. Yes, it’s great to show products, but consider one click-through image or using hyperlinks. Pictures can bog down your email from opening, especially on mobile or wearables, and that user will be long gone before your bitmaps load.
  • Use a hype or misleading subject line. An example of a no-no would be something overly familiar such as “Hey, you forgot this!” or “Joe said to send you this.”
  • Forget to include opt out or opt in links, as this can get you into trouble with the Federal Trade Commission and its CAN-SPAM act.
  • Bomb your customers. You know how a little absence makes the heart grow fonder? Or how about, you know how annoying it is when that one person on your social media updates his account every five minutes, bombing your feed with junk? Don’t be that company sending those email bombs.

Welcome Them to Your Club

Hooray!

Someone “self-selected” and decided to join your email list, newsletter, blog, etc.

That’s a pretty good lead for doing nothing much except providing good content.

But you need to keep that lead, as well as push him or her down your sales funnel.

You can do this with CRM email marketing.

First up should be a welcome email. 

These are pretty standard, and we all get the emails, but they are still necessary. In fact, they can have a 50% open rate, which is 86% higher than the newsletters you send your fan base. 

It’s not that you’re kowtowing to the special snowflakes on your mailing list. But who doesn’t like to hear thanks every once in a while?

You can even use the welcome email to offer a behind the scenes glimpse at a new product, give the prospect a welcome discount, or let them know what’s in store.

No Going Away Empty Handed

If your company sells anything that people can load into online shopping carts (and yes, this includes services paid for online, too), you know the feeling of someone getting super close to giving you money and then, POOF.

Something happens and the shopper closes out of the window without buying. Gone forever.

Not so much, when you’ve implemented CRM email marketing.

An article from Entrepreneur magazine states that almost 69% of people abandon their online shopping carts, but users who implement “cart abandonment emails” can recover almost eight percent of those sales.

Eight percent is nothing to sneeze at and is definitely return on interest for the efforts you and your team set up with CRM.

These include:

  • A pop-up that appears (on browsers that allow them) as a special small window offering a perk such as a discount, percent off, or free item, if the prospect returns to the cart and checks out at that very moment
  • A follow-up email, in systems that are set up to capture user’s email before they get to the checkout page, also offering perks to come back to the site

You Don’t Have to Go It Alone

Thinking that CRM email marketing sounds like a match for your business, but worried about everything that goes into building all the infrastructures, such as workflows, campaigns, funnels, and more?

Take a breath, because there are marketing platforms that already exist and provide you what you need to take a running leap in the CRM sea. 

One extremely popular option is Salesforce CRM, which brings you the existing technical foundation to the customer experience. This frees you up to focus on what you do best.

One thing you’re NOT doing by implementing Salesforce CRM or one of its counterparts is being lazy. A CRM tool actually helps you work harder and smarter, all with the goal of complete customer engagement and experience.

Totally Tweaked

If all of the tips, tricks, and tweaks have you feeling a bit peaked, don’t worry.

Let us help!

We are experts in all things marketing, including CRM email marketing, Salesforce CRM, Pardot, and tons of other digital marketing tools.

Let’s get started with our short survey to determine YOUR pain points of getting started. Click here and don’t forget to check the box for “Customer Journey Consulting” and/or “Salesforce CRM Consulting” as well as anything else that may strike your fancy.

We’ll get back in touch very quickly and help you on your way to CRM email marketing success.

Want to know more right now? Download our free eBook, 10 Ways to Activate Salesforce CRM with Pardot Data. 

How to Develop the Best Salesforce CRM Practices for Success

If you’re in the digital marketing and sales space there’s no way you haven’t heard of Salesforce CRM.

Need a refresher?

Salesforce CRM is one of the top rated cloud-based services and can turn your business into a powerhouse. Salesforce was even voted “The Worlds Most Innovative Company” by Forbes magazine four years in a row and for good reasons.

Their platform is 100% customizable and can be adapted to fit all your marketing, sales and customer needs. Every company looking to increase their sales and overall presence should go out, buy and use it immediately. Right?

Wrong. 

Without setting CRM best practices, you’re essentially trying to put together a puzzle without seeing the image on the top of the box. 

As with everything in business, you need to have a plan in place.

According to a 2014 report from Nucleus Research, this CRM service touts a return on investment of $8.71 for every dollar spent. Sure, Salesforce can give you a pretty significant ROI, but not if you haven’t set yourself up for success. 

Setting CRM Best Practices

Putting together a blueprint for how your business will use CRM is the first and most important step in utilising this technology. Not sure how to set CRM best practices? Keep reading; we have you covered.

1. Set your goals. 

Firstly, what are you trying to achieve?

Is your business targeting new leads or trying to convert existing leads into sales?

Perhaps you’re looking to more fully integrate departments across your company to streamline the day-to-day?

By prioritising and defining your goals, you can focus on (and succeed at) reaching those targets faster. These goals will come into play again in a bit when you choose which service packages are right for you and your business.

Not sure how to clearly define your goals?

Check out this product which may help you narrow it down.

2. Choose the right Salesforce CRM platform for your needs.

Because the capabilities of Salesforce are so vast, you need to use your goals from the last step to assess your needs.

Is improving customer service at the top of your list?

Perhaps putting together a successful social media campaign is your top priority.

Since there are various plans available, carefully determine the features that are of most value to you. You may want to immediately go for the “biggest and best” package because after all, you want to succeed faster, right? In the case of CRM, that just isn’t true and in doing so, you’ll be hurting the cost-effectiveness of the plan.

Another major selling point of Salesforce products and applications is the fact that you can build on them. But we’ll focus on that a little later.

3. Train your staff.

Once you’ve decided on which products you’ll be using to kickstart your progress, it’s time to get your team on board. Introducing SaaS to employees should be well thought out and not without a plan in place.

Change is rarely easy for staff, but you can make the transition seamless by getting your staff to buy into the training.

You can do this by making sure to have a trainer who can impress upon your team the value they get out of these systems. Using the classic “what’s in it for me” strategy applies well here.

It’s also important to have a point person assigned to make the transition to this cloud-based service as easy as possible.

More than likely, employees will need more than just a one-off training session to fully understand the benefits of these services. Having an in-house “expert” can act as ongoing training so that all employees will experience a seamless integration.

Some plans offer service packages as well, so be sure to look for those if having extra support is something you are considering. 

4. Rely on the product & use the data.

This is when you begin to see the ROI come into play. Sales and performance metrics are essential tools provided that help propel business growth.

The best part of integrating automation?

It’s automated!

By implementing CRM and associated products, you’re freeing you and your staff up to focus on more important tasks. 

This means you need to utilise the reports, data, and feedback accordingly.

The trick to making it work is, you have to rely on the data you are given. It may be hard, at first, to give over control of even the most menial tasks, but you need to trust the product and then use the data you’re given. 

One of the clearest benefits of CRM is upgrading your customer’s experience. Focusing on the customer experience is a different approach to traditional business practices but will yield some impressive results.

5. Reassess

If you’ve set all the above CRM best practices in place, by now, you should be starting to see the rewards of your efforts. You’re reaching your goals and are on track. Time to sit back and enjoy.

Wrong again!

It’s now time to reassess your goals. If you’re about to or have already, reached your original goal, set new benchmarks. It’s also very possible your needs have changed and should be re-prioritized accordingly. 

Again, the beauty of Salesforce is that there is such a wide variety of apps and tools that are designed for scalability. By seamlessly integrating another app or product with your existing package, you can easily accommodate your ever-changing business needs.

There you have it!

A complete list of CRM best practices for Salesforce you can easily implement to reach success. Make sure you hit each one!

For maximum ROI, set your plan in place thoughtfully. Determining goals and needs should always be an ongoing process to continue growing your business.

While it’s important you follow these steps, it’s equally vital that your team is on board to achieve maximum benefits. 

How has having CRM best practices in place helped your business?

Which Salesforce products or applications have you used to grow your business?

Tell us in the comments below if there’s one you think ALL businesses should have.

The Marketing Automation Best Practices that Save Time and Money

We all know the proverb “work smarter, not harder.”

That’s essentially what marketing automation is in a nutshell.

It’s the latest buzzword circulating on every marketing blog throughout the Internet.

But marketing automation is more than just a trend.

At least 55% of all B2B companies use it in some form, with that number expected to rise by decade’s end.

That isn’t too surprising considering the many benefits offered by marketing automation, from increased leads to customer retention to what all companies want in the end: boosted revenue.

But what are the marketing automation best practices?

What part of your strategy should you automate?

Well, we’re going to look at five parts of conventional marketing strategies and show you how automation can save you time and money.

Analytics

Analytics are the backbone of every marketing strategy.

They let you know how customers are interacting with your site and your product.

They tell you whether or not to adjust your tactics.

Did you know they can also waste your time?

Research shows that companies spend 46% of their time preparing data and another 52% checking the quality. 

That’s productiveness that’s better used elsewhere.

Is it any wonder then that one of the top marketing automation best practices is to mechanize your analytics reporting?

Tools such as Salesforce in combination with Google Analytics will prepare and check the data for you, so you don’t waste time on repetitive tasks. 

Just imagine what you could do with all that time. 

Automating your analytics makes your company more efficient and productive, which translates to larger profits and a huge ROI.

Email Marketing

Digital marketers have been using email strategies for years.

Email marketing doesn’t cost much, is easy to create, easy to track, and allows you to target specific customers.

However, even though apps such as MailChimp allow you to create templates and email lists, a human still has to type and send those emails to the customers.

That can take hours and hours of work, depending on the length of your list.

Moreover, email is still the number one form of communication within a company.

It’s also one of the biggest time wasters.

Studies estimate that 4.1 hours a day are spent checking work emails.

Factor in the recovery time and before you know it the day is gone.

So how can you stay in touch with customers and foster communication amongst your employees?

Easy. Automate.

On the list of marketing automation best practices, email ranks pretty high.

That’s because automated email marketing slogs through your inbox in minutes.

Software such as Zapier augments your existing apps like Gmail or Dropbox, allowing you to archive important emails and ignore irrelevant ones.

You can also send out mass emails to everyone on your mailing list in a snap.

Social Media Posts

It’s no secret that social media dominates almost every aspect of our life.

Smart digital marketers have used the various social media platforms to form organic connections with their customers.

But finding and posting new content eats up a lot of time.

In fact, research shows that businesses waste about 6 hours per week on social media.

Yikes!

Social media is supposed to help you not hurt you.

But relying solely on artificial intelligence isn’t the final solution.

When it comes to marketing automation best practices, social media posts walk a fine line between AI and human engagement.

Here’s a quick guide of when to automate and when not too:

1) Don’t Automate Customer Interactions

Nobody wants to talk to a robot.

In fact, most people can tell the difference between an AI and a human.

Automating answers to customer questions makes your company seem apathetic to their concerns.

What you don’t want is a situation similar to what happened with Progressive Auto Insurance.

The company got into some hot water after it was caught sending automated tweets to customers in response to a controversial topic.

Always address people with other people.  

2) Automate Your Content Curation

What you can leave to the bots are your non-urgent posts and your content curation.

If you have posts that are time sensitive, automation makes sure they go live at the right moment regardless of if you’re around a computer or not.

You can also automate your RSS feed so that your latest blog posts hit social media the second you publish them.

Be careful though.

If you overuse this automation, it could turn off your audience.

Lead Nurturing

Marketing automation best practices work wonders when converting potential leads into customers.

The idea is to balance soft sell tactics with hard sell commitments.

You can do this through automated segmentation that sorts leads into specific categories.  

You can then target those categories with relevant messages.

Ultimately, you’ll generate 18 times more revenue than traditional broadcast emails.

The best tool for that job?

OmniboundLive.

OmniboundLive is our in-house automation tool that streamlines every aspect of your marketing strategy.

Create personalized email messages for your new and existing customers and receive up to the minute data reports.

It operates well with all other business apps, and its simple UI is easy to master.

OmniboundLive also excels at lead nurturing so you can increase your customer base.

Lead Scoring

In addition to nurturing potential leads, you also need to know which ones to prioritize.

Once again, automation saves the day.

One of the marketing automation best practices is to use lead scoring.

You assign a numerical value to different leads based on information they provide (e.g., location, age, occupation) and behavioral data (e.g., site interaction, search history, etc.).

In this way, you can increase your efficiency by focusing on quality, sales-ready leads.

You also strengthen the relationship between marketing and sales.

Because lead scoring establishes a common language, Department leaders can discuss the lead quality and quantity to ensure no one wastes their time.

Implementing Marketing Automation Best Practices

Marketing automation saves time and makes you money.

While it will never replace human hard work, it does make that work more efficient.

Augmenting your marketing strategy with these practices will not only put you on the cutting edge of the field, but it will also generate bigger ROIs and revenue.

Got more marketing automation best practices that we may have missed?

Want to learn how to get started?

Leave a comment below or contact us with your queries.

 We’re
always excited to talk marketing.

The Importance of Salesforce AppExchange for Cloud ERP Buyers and Users

By now, you’ve heard of Salesforce, the world’s #1 Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solution. You know it has a host of applications that span marketing, customer service, sales automation, and more.

Yet, did you know that you can also customize Salesforce to fit your specific business needs? That’s right: Your business-wide operations can all coexist on the same, cloud-based platform.

This is possible via the Salesforce AppExchange. The AppExchange is an online business app store available under the Salesforce cloud platform.

There are more than 2,800 apps available on the AppExchange. Each is designed to expand and enhance the software’s functionality. This allows you to seamlessly integrate other operations into your cloud platform.

With more than 3.5 million downloads to date, the platform is seeing a huge response rate. Companies around the globe are combining their operations onto the cloud-based Salesforce platform.

You can even integrate your cloud-based Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) functions. Utilizing an ERP solution written on your existing Salesforce platform allows you to spread your investment further. You can also help employees get to work on the system quicker and more effectively and reduce downtime. 

You can also help employees get to work on the system quicker and more effectively and reduce downtime. 

Ready to take a deeper look at how the Salesforce AppExchange helps cloud ERP buyers and users? Let’s dig in!

Salesforce AppExchange: Integrating CRM, ERP

Apps available through the Salesforce AppExchange are created with one common feature in mind: seamless integration onto the Salesforce CRM platform.

So regardless of the application chosen, or its functionality, it will not disrupt your existing CRM operations. Rather, it will expand and improve them. It will allow your teams across the enterprise to log into to a single platform, and access all the data they need.

Rather, it will expand and improve them. It will allow your teams across the enterprise to log into to a single platform, and access all the data they need.

What’s more, they’ll have this information at their fingertips in real time, on their preferred device, in the time zone and location they need. 

So how does this benefit ERP users and buyers?

Let’s take a quick look at CRM and ERP, and just how they relate:

In a nutshell, CRM is the software your business uses to record and store data related to customer interactions. It’s a standardized system, so various departments, from your sales teams to your help desk, can access it to pull client information they need. From customer addresses to troubleshooting requests and feedback, these insights are wide and varied. They can be used and measured to improve customer relationships.

It’s a standardized system, so various departments, from your sales teams to your help desk, can access it to pull client information they need. From customer addresses to troubleshooting requests and feedback, these insights are wide and varied. They can be used and measured to improve customer relationships.

While ERP is similar in that it’s a standardized system utilized across the enterprise, its intended purpose is a little different. While CRM focuses on customer relationship data, ERP captures internal insights. These can include performance metrics, response times, satisfaction scores, and more. These insights are monitored and analyzed to streamline back-office business processes. 

These insights are monitored and analyzed to streamline back-office business processes. 

So while they’re similar in nature, they don’t perform the exact same function. This is why companies often find that implementing a CRM system doesn’t provide them with the full range of insights they need. That’s where an ERP system comes in.

If you’re already running your CRM operations on the cloud-based Salesforce platform, an ERP solution that functions in the same space is a natural choice. 

Back to Work: Easing Employee Adoption

Think about it: If your employees are already working on the Salesforce CRM platform, they’re familiar with its components. They know their way around its interface and they used to the controls.

Introducing a cloud-based ERP system that runs on a new interface can be costly. It can also be time-consuming, and cumbersome. There are new controls, new data input systems, new communication tools, and more to learn. Now, you’re not only investing in the ERP system itself. You have to also account for the time it takes to teach employees how to use this second system.

There are new controls, new data input systems, new communication tools, and more to learn. Now, you’re not only investing in the ERP system itself. You have to also account for the time it takes to teach employees how to use this second system.

That’s valuable time that could be spent working, not in a training room.

This isn’t to say that selecting an ERP solution from the apps available on the Salesforce AppExchange will completely eliminate the need for employee training.

Yet, choosing a solution that maintains their existing interface and keeps the user experience consistent can reduce the time it takes to get them up and running. Now, they’ll only need to learn the new processes to use. They won’t have to worry about figuring their way around the software itself.

They won’t have to worry about figuring their way around the software itself.

More ERP Functionality, Less Headache

We’ve discussed how Salesforce ERP solutions fit with your existing Salesforce CRM solution. There’s still more to the story, though.

Once you’re up and running with your 100% native Salesforce ERP solution, that doesn’t mean you have to abandon your time on the Salesforce AppExchange. Rather, you now have a new world of opportunity to explore, as there are also apps available to enhance your ERP functionality.

For example, there are apps available to perform several back-office functions. These include cloud-based address validation and correction, sales tax calculations, and invoice recording. 

There are even apps that assist with delivery data. These solutions allow users to process shipments, create shipping labels, and track orders. All built with Salesforce, they integrate effortlessly into your Salesforce ERP solution.

Now, you can control all operations on the same enterprise-wide platform. So there’s virtually no limit to the functionality you can squeeze out of your ERP investment.

Changing the Customer Experience, One Investment at a Time

Integrating your operations onto a single platform ensures your clients always stay top-of-mind. Salesforce ERP solutions take the stress out of application integration. This allows employees the time and energy to focus on building and nurturing their audience base.

This is just one of the ways that marketing managers can improve the customer experience. There are also other customer touch points that influence how your brand is perceived.

If you’re looking to re-evaluate the effectiveness of your current marketing strategy, we’d love to help.

We’re marketing experts seeking to improve corporate connectivity. This means we want to ensure every interaction your company has is interactive, personal, and intentional. 

We offer three levels of marketing service, with something to meet almost every need. Feel free to browse our blog, then contact us or leave a comment below to join the conversation.&
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Fancy having your quarterly digital marketing expense funded by the QLD government?

The QLD government is currently supporting small business to work smarter, make the most of online business opportunities and engage with the global economy. 

Grants up to $10,000 are being offered to benefit your expanse into the digital arena including digital marketing and social media, digital content (websites, landing pages, mobile apps and media), digital technology (CX software and CRM). It also includes planning / training with your digital marketing agency (us – Blirt!!!).

Blirt covers all these services and more. We want to ensure all our clients and friends get full leverage and support to advance (a grant is a great way to get there) via Blirt’s expert knowledge. 

If your grant application is successful – the payment will be made directly to the small business (you!) on completion of the project and on presentation of proof of payment for the service from Blirt. 

To find out if you are eligible and how to apply go to: www.business.qld.gov.au/business/support-tools-grants/grants/digital-grants

Please note – all applications must be submitted by 9th December 2016 ( there will be further rounds in March and June 2017).

Check out the ins and outs of Blirt’s digital marketing services and products and pathways to your success here: www.blirt.co

Get applying and good luck!!!