Thing-a-ma-jigs and whats-a-mets – customer and marketing tools you need now

In Marketing like most other professions there are always acronyms, abbreviations and jargon that are commonly used and can leave the marketing novice a little confused.

SEO (Search Engine Optimisation), CMS (Content Management Systems), COIs (Centre of Influence), Lead Magnets – you get the picture.

In the confusion some of these tools may as well be Thing-a-ma-jigs and Whats-a-mets for all the sense the abbreviations make.

Today I want to talk about a couple of those tools that you could benefit from having right now.

Specifically I want to talk about CRMs and Email Auto Responders.

A CRM is a Customer Relationship Management system.

It is a system for managing a company’s interactions with current and future customers.

There are thousands of options out there,  Capsule, Infusionsoft, Insightly just to name a few.

CRMs often involve using technology or software to organise, automate, and synchronise sales, marketing, customer service and communication.

CRMs can also be used to allocate tasks to follow up customers and track them. Additionally they can integrate with book keeping and sales systems.

When you’re first starting out a spreadsheet might be all you need to track customers names, details, sales history, and recent communication – at least initially.

However a good CRM becomes a critical tool as your business grows.

It can be invaluable for managing content, engaging with your customers and creating automated email campaigns. It’s incredibly important for large databases.

CRMs don’t have to be as complex as they sound or expensive. Some are free and many are low cost – thought you should always compare the functionality and features before committing to purchase.

They are often used in conjunction with an Email Auto Responder (such as www.mailchimp.com or www.aweber.com) for bulk and automated emails.
Many CRMs integrate with auto responder programs so the communication history will also be logged in the CRM and a customer’s sales actions may trigger a particular email in the auto responder program.
The goal of an auto responder email series is to convert the recipient to a purchaser or customer.
You will start by collecting an email address, which is added to a list(s) (subscription forms are often included along with unsubscribe features).
It may include an automatic welcome email (with a double opt-in process to confirm the subscription).
The contact will then receive ‘personalised’ emails as part of an automated series or specific campaign you have set up. Often there are ready to go templates you can just fill out for your email campaign.
However you must always follow relevant laws, regulations and terms of use when collecting and using email addresses, particularly ensure you’re across Privacy and Anti Spam legislation.
Once you have a contact in your CRM or auto responder you want to segment them so they can receive communication more specific to them or their actions.
Segmentation can be completed using the following or similar criteria:
  • Add them to specific groups
  • Tag them eg. lead, customer or key influencer
  • Segment them based on whether they have taken a specific action or not during an email series eg. Purchased or Not
  • Actions such as opened, clicked or not opened, has or hasn’t replied
  • Date of when they were added or changes to their profiles
  • Location, language or member rating, even birthdays
  • Purchase activity if integrated with E-commerce platform
  • Performance against visit goals you have set
  • Social data such as age, gender, followers/fans, social networks
  • Number of deliveries, opens, clicks, forwards, most visited locations, subscribers with most opens, locations, sales.
These tools often include great tracking and analytics. A snapshot can be seen above.
So now that I’ve demystified thing-a-ma-jigs and whats-a-mets it’s over to you to go out and get a CRM and Email Auto Responder and take your marketing to the next level.
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