Email marketing denotes sending messages by brands to promote products and services. From hot deals to new arrivals, emails help organizations reach out to prospects. But how do you stand out from hundreds of faceless texts?
That’s where personalization comes to your aid. Personalized emails take into account customer activities on the website, past purchases, preferences, and demographics. As you can see, it involves tons of customer data. Where do you get it? By using customer relationship management (CRM) software and incorporating it into your email marketing plans.
A CRM combines all the needed information to boost your email marketing. So if you’ve already been doing email marketing and storing data in a CRM, bring the two together to maximize sales. In this guide, we’ll zero in on the benefits of marrying CRM and email marketing, overview the tools, and analyze what a good tool should include.
CRM: a brief overview
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is a practice and a software to keep all client information in one place. It serves organizations to analyze past customer interactions, optimize marketing efforts, and increase productivity by automating the workflow.
Such tools eliminate the need to input something manually. They remember customer preferences and let salespeople manage the pipeline. One of the most notable examples of a CRM is Salesforce.
CRMs assist in digitalization. They enable companies to establish uninterrupted communication between customers and employees, which is crucial in uncertainty and when everything migrates online. Fortune Business Insights said the CRM market value was $63.91 billion in 2022. It will continue to expand and reach $145.79 billion by 2029.
Such popularity comes as no surprise. CRMs lead to better sales and productivity, predict future demands, and determine the best methods and messages to appeal to the audience.
What is CRM email marketing?
Many email marketing platforms have their own CRM built into the software. They can replace a separate tool and become the default CRM for the company with a single email marketing database.
Or, alternatively, you can integrate CRM with email marketing tools. Email marketing will function with CRM software by:
- synchronizing customer and lead data with other systems;
- notifying the staff on upcoming calls or follow-up emails;
- displaying a customer’s position at different points in the sales process;
- keeping track of a client’s interactions with the company;
- finding a prospective client within the funnel;
- supplying comprehensive data for individualized email marketing campaigns.
Five possibilities to make email marketing more effective with a CRM
CRM is a helpful tool for email marketing, where success depends on tailoring content to the audience. It aims at individual clients and companies rather than a big, generic audience. Here is how CRM improves email marketing:
1. Enhanced data collection to avoid a spam folder
The growing amount of data may seem perplexing. How do you cover all channels without confusing details and choosing the wrong message for a prospect? The key point is not to gather all information but to use the existing one properly. Employ email marketing CRM.
2. Personalizing communication by breaking the audience into segments
One of the few ways to stand out from the crowd is personalization. It may take the form of addressing a recipient by their names, sending reports, or other customer-specific information that can’t be applied to others.
That’s what Forbes says about personalization benefits:
- better visitor engagement for 55% of respondents;
- increasing conversion rates in 51% of cases;
- boosting customer acquisition for 46% of marketers.
Such emails encourage people to take the desired action and are essential for keeping current clients. Powerful messages can direct them to the website, where you can apply shopping cart UX best practices and other conversion tricks. CRM software can store data across several platforms, apps, and offline activities.
Check the example below from the Fitbit email newsletter. The service delivers weekly stats with the most effective days, the average number of steps, kilometers, calories, etc.
Sending personalized emails is possible after segmenting the audience. It involves separating customers according to age, gender, location (demographics), interests, past purchases, app activity, and other factors. Email service providers like Encharge can divide the audience into several segments, such as new subscribers or those who haven’t opened emails in a while.
3. Launching triggered email campaigns
Customers move through the sales funnel. They take specific actions which you can accompany with certain emails according to the context. For example, send onboarding emails to new purchasers or a cart abandonment notification if clients left something in the cart. That’s what triggered email campaigns are about.
They let you build relationships with prospects as you help them at each stage. Email marketing and marketing automation tools offer specialized capabilities to ensure each automated email you send is as successful as possible.
Here is what a triggered welcome email may look like. I’ve taken an example from the Domestika newsletter. It presents the recommended courses, sections, and questions to learn more about the client.
4. Potential for re-engagement and reducing the number of unsubscribers
According to research, consumers opt out due to irrelevance (in 56% of cases) and failure to meet subscriber expectations (in 51% of cases). How can you encourage people to open emails? Re-engage subscribers with relevant content and pique their interest in the business.
The best CRM for email marketing may assist you in understanding why your clients aren’t responding favorably and what your brand can do to liven things up once more. Check out how Marley Spoon, a delivery service, invites you to return to the company with a discount.
5. Improved organizational productivity
CRMs contribute to internal and external collaboration. By consolidating all business data in one platform, the CRM system reduces the need to switch between many apps. As a result, the company works more efficiently, and everyone stays informed.
Such enhanced corporate data visibility lets you monitor activities easier. What is the click-through rate? How many people unsubscribed? Employ this data from the solution to conduct A/B testing and create appealing and responsive emails.
As AI powers most modern tools, it can also predict trends so the company can handle traffic spikes. Predictive analytics helps you replenish goods in time to avoid stockouts.
What makes a CRM + email marketing solution successful?
Using your CRM with email marketing is about maximizing the return on investment. Email marketing can bring you around $36 for every $1 spent. CRM, in turn, brings $5.60 for every dollar invested. Thus, any company can expect positive outcomes from CRM email integration.
However, how do you choose the technology that will guide you on this journey? You need a feature-rich solution with customization capabilities to effortlessly connect with potential clients at the ideal moment. That’s what an efficient CRM and email marketing solution should have:
Reporting and analytics
It’s essential to see whether you are moving in the right direction. What actions increased sales or led to the growth of unsubscribers? The tool should have reporting and analytics features to make informed decisions. Below is the screenshot of the Encharge tool. This dashboard demonstrates your email marketing metrics. The software also provides more valuable features, which you can test now with a 14-day free trial.
Automation is the next big thing in CRM and email marketing software. It’s the basis of launching drip campaigns. The solution should let employees focus on analytical duties rather than checking on every customer when it’s the right time to follow up or send a thank-you note.
Contact management denotes storing customer data and activity in one profile. The tool should have a single database for these details, including social media interactions and contact information. The more precise it is, the better you can understand what users want.
Connecting with other business applications
The tool should be compatible with the company’s business analytics, collaboration, or other solutions. Because what’s the purpose of paying for numerous unused accounts? Successful integration only strengthens the potential of different tools.
You should be able to create and customize templates. Take a win-back campaign as an example. You will want to write several letters and save them for the future for similar cases rather than making them every time from the ground up.
User-friendly email editor
The best CRM for email marketing shouldn’t require extensive knowledge to launch emails and modify them to the recipient’s needs. Adding images, videos, files, and other components should be easy and intuitive.
Access from your phone
It’s great to access the system on the go, even if you don’t have a laptop by your side. The tool should be mobile-friendly to let you stay updated outside the office.
Top 6 tools for CRM email marketing
HubSpot is the industry pioneer in inbound marketing. The company offers a cloud-based platform to take care of your business:
- hosting website;
- social media posting;
- email marketing, and more.
It unites data from various sources, such as web forms, chatbot responses, and other client inquiries. The best part is that it comes for free, which is lucrative for start-ups and small and medium companies.
Paid versions are also available. They don’t contain free limits and provide more functionalities, such as email automation, custom reports, and advanced support. The tool is easy to grab and set up, so you don’t need the training to dive into its features.
Price: Free tools + paid plans from $50 to $5,000 per month.
Salesforce is one of the most famous CRM software providers in the world. It offers a cloud-based CRM and numerous services like:
- Sales Cloud;
- Marketing Cloud;
- Service Cloud;
- Analytics Cloud;
Everything is in the cloud, so you don’t need to install or buy hardware. The company also leverages AI for better marketing analysis and insights to connect with customers on a deeper level. Additionally, the application offers an analysis of the CRM email campaign effectiveness. Thanks to its 360° view of customer data, every employee can access the information and build more personalized communication.
Price: The tool lets you track every activity at an affordable price. For example, you can purchase a Sales Cloud from $25 to $300 monthly. There is a free 30-day trial period to run the software.
3. Zoho CRM
Zoho is another CRM with solid capabilities to improve email marketing. You can automate email delivery for immediate client connection, get intelligent recommendations with built-in AI, and understand the prospect’s place in the conversion funnel.
Zoho’s assistant Zia determines the best time to deliver emails to prospects. It analyzes when they usually open your emails, answer calls, or visit the website so that you can achieve better metrics.
Another feature under consideration is SalesSignals. It demonstrates how prospects reacted to your messages, mentioned you on social media, or whether they visited a new section of the website. You can access the information in one place and respond directly to those notifications.
Price: The tool is free for three users. If you need more, the cost will be $21 per user monthly for a Standard plan. The Ultimate version costs $68 per user a month.
Drip is a solution focusing on eCommerce and brands with a robust online presence. It allows you to streamline email marketing, identifies the most viewed content on the website, and helps you sell the best matching products. It’s user-friendly and serves for faster email crafting.
The tool is similar to most of its competitors. It shouldn’t cause any problems with understanding how to use it. However, the software stands from the crowd thanks to its eCommerce-specific features, making it more beneficial for online retailers. It integrates with eCommerce platforms like Magento, Shopify, and others. Drip is capable of running SMS marketing campaigns.
Price: varies with the number of email contacts. The minimal cost is $39 per month for 100 contacts. The maximum one is $1,999/month for 180,000 contacts. Do you need to cover more clients? Then, you will need to contact the team for custom pricing.
Keap is a solution for small businesses and start-ups seeking an all-in-one tool for email marketing. It automatically saves customer information and provides the context for acquiring them. The company promises to save you 10 hours per week on follow-ups, recording leads, or other tasks. It offers most of the needed features, such as:
- segmenting contacts;
- tracking customer interactions;
- sending emails triggered by customer behavior.
It also helps online stores with inventory management, payments, purchase fulfillment, and more.
Price: Depending on the number of contacts, you need to pay from $169/month to $249/month.
Another simple tool for small businesses and starters is BIGContacts. It lets you manage interaction from the browser in one click. It records calls, sends emails, and performs other actions, including:
- creating drip email campaigns that adapt based on contact behavior;
- providing reports to track the business performance;
- organizing information and tracking emails against individual contact records;
- informing when a particular message is opened.
BIGContacts is compatible with other email management solutions to monitor email from one center. Another advantage is the mobile version to control emails on the go.
Price: There is a free 15-day trial. Full versions range from $10 User/Month to $30 User/Month.
|Pricing plans||Target audience||Key features|
|Small and medium-sized businesses||Marketing Hub (forms, email marketing, ad management);|
Sales Hub (live chat, email scheduling, reporting dashboard);
Service Hub (ticketing, email templates, email tracking & notifications);
CMS Hub (drag-and-drop editor, mobile optimization, blog);
Operations Hub (data sync, contact management, email reply tracking);
|Any type of business||Contact Management;Opportunity Management;Lead Management;Reports and Dashboards;Sales Forecasting;Process Automation;Mobile CRM;Revenue Intelligence;etc.|
|Zoho||Free for three users|
Standard: $21 user/monthProfessional: $37 user/month
Enterprise: $52 user/month
Ultimate: $86 user/month
|Small and medium-sized businesses||Lead Management;Deal Management;Contact Management;Workflow Automation.|
|Drip||The price depends on the number of email contacts.|
The minimal cost is $39 per month for 100 contacts. The maximum one is more than $1,999/month for 180,000 contacts.
Custom pricing for more contacts is available.
|Small and medium-sized businesses (best for eCommerce)||Forms & popups;Segmentation and personalization;Email marketing;Insights & guidance;Automation.|
|Small businesses and start-ups||CRM;Internal formsRecurring payments;Email marketing;B2B capabilities;Mobile app;etc.|
|BIGContacts||Big: $10 User/Month|
Bigger: $20 User/Month
Biggest: $30 User/Month
|Small businesses and start-ups||Individual emails;Group emails;Email marketing automation;Automated reminders & alerts;etc.|
Tips for picking the right CRM for email marketing success
Suppose you’re a small business and choose CRM. Many CRM systems offer built-in email tools, such as templates, marketing funnels, SMS messaging, analytics dashboards, and sales forecasting capabilities.
The first thing you should determine is the level of complexity you expect from the tool. Software with uncomplicated features is the best option for beginners. At the same time, it should be complex enough to satisfy the needs of a scaling business.
Find the weak points in your processes. You may not need sales forecasting, thorough reporting, and marketing automation tools at the time, but they may arise in the future. It’s easier to purchase a small fee rather than migrate from one solution to another and transfer the substantial documentation. Plus, the email marketing CRM should ensure seamless integration with other software.
Email marketing is one of the most potent ways to sell goods and services. They expect to receive messages from you from time to time. And the purchase intent is higher than seeing unwanted ads in social media feeds or searches. Nevertheless, bombarding clients with irrelevant messages won’t bring you anything. You also risk being marked as spam, affecting all your campaigns. That’s why an individual approach is critical. Modern platforms like email marketing CRM let you personalize communication with comprehensive data, integrate with other tools, and reduce the number of unsubscribers.