"ABRACADABRA". EMAIL MARKETING MADE EASY


Etailers rely heavily on email for their correspondents with their existing customers, and potential customers. Email is used to communicate deals, sales and transactional confirmations of a purchase, shipment or a return. But CRM packages have grown so far beyond just email marketing and are now full funnels that help etailers convert a lead or a page view into a sale or a customer acquisition which is the goal of every etailer.

Chances are you're already using something for your transactional emails as part of your ecommerce package. But could be doing a lot more with your marketing and lead conversion side of things.

To help etailers increase the odds of a successful CRM deployment, we have come up with some tips to help in your journey.  Here are 8 tips to help in choosing a CRM software solutions and its successfully implementation

1.  Make a Clear and Extensive List of Requirements

Defining the scope of your project is the most important when starting.  The focus should be placed in a specific business process and the system requirements.  The more detailed put in to your requirements will make for a specific proposal from candidates.  Leaving out any details that are required in the long run will halt a project in its track and can become a costly mistake.

Selecting an CRM system is a long-term investment, choosing one based on factors such as price or current popularity can also be a mistake in the future. Take in to mind which CRM systems are specific to your business plan, an industry specific system.

2.  Include Mobile Users

Device mobility is increasing across industries, we have come to a time where waiting to get home to use a desktop to access information is in the past.  Choosing an CRM solution that provides access to those using smartphones and tablets is essential.

3.  Carefully Evaluate your Options before Selecting your CRM system

Going back to planning and creating a list of requirements, poor requirement definitions and vague priorities can lead to the a bad decision for your CRM system.  “Lack of participation and input from key stakeholders in the evaluation stage can lead to poor acceptance and user adoption. And don’t forget that delays running the evaluation project itself ultimately delay the go-live date and the time to benefit,” says Tom Brennan, Vice President of Marketing, FinancialForce.com, a provider of cloud based CRM solutions.

4.  Get Reference

A great way to get a true feel for an CRM vendor is asking for references.  None different than asking an employee for professional references, you want to make sure you are receiving, not only a good CRM provider but one with good standing with others.  If the company you are looking to can not come up with three verifiable references then may be the are not the solution for you.

5.  Think Before You Customize

When making request for customizable settings keep in mind each item comes at a cost.  When creating your lists of needs, consider whether those requirements can be mainstreamed to eliminate the cost with specific pieces of your CRM system.  Many company’s basic processes are virtually the same such as paying invoices, collecting revenue and procuring supplies.  Keep in mind the cost of customizations doesn’t only come with writing and testing code, but in continued support for the system. Keep It Simple.

6.  Factor In Change Management

Typical CRM projects facilitate massive change in organizations that can include changing of day to day job descriptions or eliminating job descriptions in total.  These changes impact the culture of your company and with out careful control and communication plans and workshops can create an adverse reaction to CRM, resulting in carriers to implementation.

7.  Appoint an Internal CRM Champion

Make sure you aren’t relying exclusively on your CRM vendor to manage your project.  Select a person within your company who knows how to manage the software system and be the person responsible for learning the new system.  They will also be responsible for collecting data and end user requirements to tune your CRM to work best for your organization.

8.  Provide the Necessary Time and Resources for Training on CRM System

A new way of operating and implementation will take time for everyone,  your project team should make sure they made a good comprehensive training to make sure are well informed to operating the new system.  This is also where your CRM champion will be your greatest resource, having a support contact with in the company time loss when trying to contact an outside resource.

There are many different solutions providers out there with varying prices ranges and feature sets. Not all solutions make sense for all etailers. Some of our favorites solutions providers are ActiveCampaign , Constant Contact, Mail Chimp and HubSpot who have a wide array for features and a proven track record.

Thee are nuanced differences between all of these solutions providers.  Hubspot, for example, may charge 10-20x more than most email marketing tools but they offer a built-in landing page builder, social media marketing tool and much more. On the other hand, ActiveCampaign offers an enormous amount of value while remaining one of the most affordable email marketing tools on the market.

Comparing email marketing software based on cost alone is a dangerous game. That’s why it’s important to look at all eight factors in this article to ensure that you’re buying the right tool for the job, rather than the cheapest or the most popular.

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