crmWhen talking about email marketing, Dr. Torsten Schwarz comes straight to my mind. The email marketing guru, pioneer of the discipline, book author and lecturer, should not be missed in this month’s issue of Asian eMarketing, since he shares again his exceptional expertise succinctly explaining this time how CRM and email can be used best in combination.

"If you really want to achieve high click and opening rates, consider sending mailing to selected target groups directly via the CRM system, and don’t forget to take account of the email delivery system", he explains.

The email system manages addresses

Besides the secure delivery of emails, the strength of an ESP (email service provider) is the automatic management of new registrations, returns and cancellations. This makes the system perfect for sending a newsletter to a larger mailing list. However, it usually becomes cumbersome when complex target groups are to be selected, which brings the CRM system into play since it is better suited for this.

Manage consents safely

The basic data protection regulation forces us to more discipline: Which system leads with the consent -CRM or ESP? When a newsletter is cancelled, this information ends up at the ESP. Submitting this information error-free then to the CRM is still challenging for many companies. Time and again there are legal proceedings because customers complain that they receive emails despite having opted-out earlier. An automated interface could be the solution here, as during the night, all subscriptions and unsubscriptions could be imported into the CRM system. If this isn’t possible, unsubscriptions can also be manually imported into the CRM system as a CSV file.

Record consents properly

A correct consent must also be logged, which means the date and the exact circumstances should be recorded in the CRM system. An email address alone is worthless. It is important that all data is supplied when importing consents from the ESP. The same applies, of course, for cancellations.

ESP prevents delivery errors

Most de-registrations are coming from the ESP, but there are also enough people who prefer to do this personally in the branch, by telephone or letter. Your job is to create secure processes and to make sure that even contradictions are documented transparently. It is best to save them in both CRM and ESP. If an employee inadvertently uploads the wrong list, the ESP automatically prevents sending to addresses without consent.

Select conveniently

The more specific people are addressed, the higher the reaction rate. Making selections in the CRM system is usually easier as there is more data available there. In fact, only a few ESPs offer a convenient selection of target groups. Not to mention that it is sad to see that after the target group selection, even in large companies, CSV lists are exported from the customer database and then manually uploaded to the ESP. Or even worse: it is not selected at all and all target groups receive the same mailing.

Submit selections to the ESP

The connection of the CRM to the ESP ensures that those selected in the CRM system receive an email with just a few mouse clicks. To do this, the ESP uses templates in which it is easy to adapt the content to the respective target group from selection to selection. Take, for instance, an invitation to a fair: Whoever was at the booth last year, gets "... I am pleased, to welcome you again at our booth.". Those who have never been there receive "... I am pleased to welcome you to our booth." Anyone who feels personally addressed, usually likes to respond.

What does a data management platform bring?

Those who have all their data in the CRM system can run an excellent analysis that delivers good results. The icing on the cake, however, is getting more data from the Web, which provides information about current interest. However, for privacy reasons, it is not appreciated to transfer web analytics data to CRM. There are also users who are tracked but who have objected to merge with personal data. By using a DMP (Data Management Platform), however, pseudonymized profiles can be selectively imported according to the focus of interest and data from external providers can be included.

If that all sounds easy to absorb and pretty logic, Torsten Schwarz did again a good job. You might want to receive his monthly newsletter on ‘email marketing’ to stay informed.

By Daniela La Marca