Customer Relationship Management
It’s a love letter to your Audience
CRM software collects and helps you organize a database of information on your contacts and your interactions with them. Building and organizing a comprehensive database is the groundwork of an effective Customer Relationship Management platform. As you build a database, you use campaign analysis to build an effective marketing plan.
Data-driven marketing strategy increases customer retention. When you send all things to all people you clutter up in-boxes and more contacts are likely to unsubscribe. When your content is focused and relevant, clients stay interested, engaged, and they stick around. CRM improves customer service by focusing the right content to the right audience members.
CRM is the UX of marketing
You’re using the data your customers provide to build an excellent experience for them as they interact with your brand. Mailchimp’s email marketing platform, the CRM system I use, allows business to tag and group customers by interests, sale history, engagement, clicks, and any other thing you can think of. It’s a versatile system that’s built for customization.
In a rich CRM platform, you can try different things to see what your audience prefers. You can test design options such as adding a link in the text versus adding it as a button, send the same message at different times of day, or send the same campaign with different subject lines. After the campaign launches, you analyze which method your customers prefer, then you use that method moving forward.
Not just for large companies, CRM is important for small businesses, too. Say you’re a one-person bakery that sells to restaurants and at a farmers’ market: having two groups of clients, you already have reason to use a CRM. Do you make gluten-free products, too? There’s another group. You’re well on your way to a solid organizational structure.
Data collected for a CRM database can include:
- Contact information such as name, email address, physical address
- Personal information such as age or birthday
- Sales data such as purchase history
- Engagement history such as which campaigns your contacts opened
- Lead source, i.e., how each contact found you
With this info, you can target marketing campaigns
With an effective CRM strategy, you can choose very specific audience segments for campaigns. For example, you can:
Send a campaign to everyone tagged “farmers market”
Using e-commerce integration, send a campaign to everyone who has purchased a hoodie in the past
Build a segment of contacts who live within 100 miles of your venue
Build an automated email that is triggered on the customer’s birthday
Your local clients want to know this, but probably not your e-commerce customers. Send a campaign to customers within your geographical area.
CRM helps in customer retention by personalizing content. To understand more about how Mailchimp’s audience organizational tools work, see my article on Groups, Segments and Tags here.
CRM tools can also help you understand your business better. Where do your customers live? How did they find you? What kind of buttons, colors, and fonts, do they respond to? Which campaigns have they engaged with the most? By analyzing your audience’s interactions with your campaigns, you can tailor future marketing for increased engagement.
Finally, automations such as abandoned cart emails can drive sales. Say a customer puts an item in their cart but doesn’t buy it. You can build an automated email to be sent after X amount of time (say, 2 days), reminding them that they have that item in their cart. This campaign takes very little time to set up, and once it’s launched, you don’t have to do a thing. It is sent automatically and produces a surprising number of sales.
So why do I say that CRM is a love letter to your audience?
Because good customer relationship management is based on understanding your audience. And what says I love you better than taking the time to truly understand someone?
Automations – campaigns that are sent automatically, such as a birthday greeting
Campaign – an email, post card, automation, etc., used to advertise or announce
Content – the words and images in your campaigns
CRM – Customer Relationship Management
Customer Relationship Management – a system for collecting and using client data to build effective marketing strategies
Customer retention – keeping customers on your mailing list and/or buying your products
Data – a piece of information you know about your contact
Database – a collection of data
Engagement – any interaction between you and your contact
UX – User Experience. UX is the practice of tailoring your content and design based on your user’s preferences, to make their experience the best it can be