Integrated business functionality can minimize the time required to manage marketing campaigns and help close sales in a more efficient manner. Two tools are crucial in this regard.
The first is a solid Email Marketing platform. An Email manager allows you to keep your message in front of interested parties on a periodic basis. Links in each message, which connect to additional details on your website, allow the use of analytics to measure interest in a particular topic.
The second business tool is a CRM (customer relationship management) system that allows you to store marketing intelligence and provides additional insights into your customers’ preferences.
There are many third-party Email and CRM platforms that can be used independently or sometimes patched onto your site. However, a fully integrated system (website/email/CRM) provides opportunities beyond individual stand-alone solutions.
Marketing intelligence generated from your integrated system is used to identify interests from your campaigns and gain a measure of intent. A good CRM can record links clicked in an email campaign and specific actions of visitors to your website. Link analysis can then track customer interest, allowing you to focus future efforts on high potential prospects.
Here’s an example from one of our clients. In this case, the contact list has been generated from sales of high end road bicycles at their retail location. The new campaign is marketing a bicycling vacation to France. Because the bikes are somewhat expensive, we know we’re addressing an appropriate audience! A newsletter is composed that includes three main topics and a short description and picture of the vacation. Each topic provides a “click here” for more info, which links to a page on the bike shop’s website.
As recipients view the newsletter, some click to see more details for each topic, including the French vacation. Behind the scenes, our website analytics records email “click-thrus” and activity on the website in the CRM.
Here is where integrated website analytics and reporting becomes important. A custom CRM report is used to identify motivated prospects by the number of times they clicked for more information on a particular topic. From our report, we identify individuals who chose the vacation link multiple times. A follow-up message is sent to this smaller list, with a link to a photo gallery (from a previous trip) and an invitation to receive notices regarding the upcoming trip. This is creating engagement with potential trip members and building a relationship.
Marketing automation assists in nurturing prospects from their first interest through to the conversation (sale, registration, form completion, sign-up, etc.). As with most procedures, the more you can automate these tasks, the more useful they become.
Various forms of the marketing automation described above can also be used to track user engagement in campaigns such as social media, digital marketing, print advertising, broadcast media, etc. Areas where automation could be employed include:
1) Website promotion strategies
3) Content Marketing
4) User-generated content (reviews/testimonials)
5) Social media management
6) Tracking and reviewing Publicity (article placements)
Another area for consideration is automated workflows. These involve automation of company marketing processes. Typically, these systems include rules to trigger specific actions: auto responses, custom letters, and inclusion in future targeted email campaigns.
A great example of an automated workflow involves warranty reminders. In this case, the company Ecommerce System (part of the website) is integrated into the email/CRM ecosystem.
Imagine that a client purchases a new hearing aid with a one-year warranty. An integrated system can make note of the original purchase date, and 11 months later, automatically send an email invitation to stop in for a device check-up before the warranty expires. The key here is that no staff effort is required to make this happen. This automated workflow builds the relationship, offers greater customer service, and provides an opportunity for the client to see new technology.
Fully integrated Website/Email/CRM systems offer a wealth of opportunities to automate, increase engagement, and potentially close more sales.