e-CRM – Making it work for you

You may remember, a few months back, we looked at why SMBs should consider implementing an eCRM programme; we thought it was high time we revisited this topic to consider next steps in order to move your business to the next level.

So, you’ve finally developed an email programme that’s right for your business and it communicates all the right messages. But are these messages getting to the right people; are they taking notice of them and are they delivering results?

Segment
There’s a danger here to want to tell your customers about everything that you have to offer. But what’s the point of sending the same email out across your whole database? There isn’t one. If you’ve done your research correctly during the planning stages of the programme, then you’ll have a good idea of how varied and fragmented your database really is. It may seem obvious but not all of your customers behave in the same way; they interact with your product/service differently so the way you communicate to them should be reflective of this. It’s useful to segment your customers – you can choose any metric you like: how many times they used your service, quantity or type of products bought or how frequently they use etc. This way you can send an email that communicates in a more personal manner and shows that you know who they are on an individual level.

Review
How can you tell if your eCRM programme is working? There’s the obvious way – most software will have a reporting function (e.g. Dotmailer, MailChimp) which provides data on response rates (how many emails were opened, how many links were clicked etc.). But is this enough to help your business? What you want to see is whether any specific calls to action were noted and taken, e.g. did the number of products ordered take a spike, did you see a rise in how much a particular service was used? If you’re not seeing the desired results there could be several reasons for this; perhaps the text in your email isn’t compelling enough, the call to action isn’t clear or simply that the email was sent at the wrong time. When trying out new initiatives it’s always best to test and test again. Try sending out two different versions of the same email and see what happens. You may be surprised!

Respond
So once you have a good grasp of what emails are the most effective in getting your customers to do something, what do you do with this information? Insight such as this is invaluable for a business; if you don’t react to it, there’s no point in gathering it in the first place. Use this data and refer back to your business strategy and how it trickles down into each department; if a particular product/service is seen to be the most popular then invest in it to improve it even further. If a certain type of messaging garners the best response then make sure this is re-iterated across all communications, especially within the sales team. In essence, your customers are telling you what they want, and as a business which provides them with a product/service, it is your duty to deliver.