The pot of gold at the end of the rainbow for every e-mail marketer should be relevance: sending the right message to the right person at just the right time. The best way to accomplish that relevance is by leveraging data, which can be a daunting task for many because the data doesn’t likely exist in one place. But when you do have access to data through a CRM system, the possibilities are endless, which also can be counter-productive in trying to get a program under way.
Instead of getting overwhelmed, focus on the following three key areas when integrating your e-mail program with your CRM processes:
: When dialing into your CRM system, another great way to apply available data is to drive your content. Yes, I know, it is a departure from what you would typically use a CRM system for. But when you look at your audience, holistically, from 50,000 feet and from ground-level, you can gain a lot of perspective around what your customers may want to hear from you. Don’t discount your CRM efforts—opportunities exist there to help you mold and direct your content, too. Through a single view of your customer, you may be able to identify a substantial audience of mothers with children five years old and under. Knowing that you have this audience, you could craft content in a way that would specifically resonate with the core values of this subset.
The possibilities for integrating your e-mail programs with your CRM data are only limited by your imagination (and unfortunately, your resource bandwidth). But you have a chance to dive in and get started with your timing, targeting and content. So why not?
Kara Trivunovic is senior director of strategic services at Redwood City, Calif.-based StrongMail Systems, a provider of online marketing solutions for e-mail and social media. She can be reached at email@example.com.