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4 Ways to Use Your CRM to Enhance Marketing Automation

By Alessandra Ceresa

Powerful All-in-One

Building your marketing tech stack is one of the most important set of decisions any marketing department can make. The tools you use will inevitably affect what your team can do and how they work together. One of the most recent additions to the stack, automated marketing, is also one of the most appreciated tools available, something that can save modern marketers in the digital world weeks of work by handling all the routine marketing tasks that customers have come to expect. Your marketing automation can send newsletters, follow-up emails, holiday promotional offers, and sale announcement to every contact on your list, but there's one catch: if your CRM isn't fully integrated, you'll have to enter every single name, email address, and phone number manually into the automation software's database.

If your Martech stack is getting just a little too tall and your methods are starting to look a little "swivel chair" in style, it's beyond time to integrate. When your marketing automation and your CRM are working perfectly together, there's no limit to the kind of personalization and nurturing you can do with a computer capable of sending thousands of unique and custom emails per second. To show you what we mean, here are five of our favorite things to do with CRM-integrated marketing automation.

1) Birthday Wishes

Everyone likes to have their birthday remembered and many people don't live close enough to home to get personal birthday wishes on a regular basis. However, birthdays also offer an interesting opportunity to marketers. Everyone has one, meaning it's automation-friendly, but because each birthday is unique to the person, giving them a special gift is a great way to build customer relationships. Rather than tasking your marketing team to remember each birthday, use the birthdays entered into your CRM to trigger an automated marketing response, sending a customized birthday wish and perhaps a special promotional code like "HappyBirthdayLisa" to each customer that you care and want them to be happy on their special day.

2) Personalized Offers

CRMs are full of personal information, and the more a customer has chosen to fill out their profile, the more information you have. Each purchase and item viewed builds a preference history and even customer service encounters can be used to leave little notes about customers in the CRM. With the right marketing automation software, you may be able to use this information to programmatically guess what each customer will like best, then send them special offers on exactly the items they are most likely to buy. This means that when you send out discount offers, they are much more likely to be taken up and much less likely to be seen as impersonal junk mail.

3) 6-Month Reviews

There is a new phenomenon in the marketing world that has risen up from a trend of negative reviews when a service falls through or a product breaks after a few months. 6-month reviews occur when a customer shares their experience of how well a service or product has worked for them not just the day after purchase, but several months later. This is bad news for unreliable services and products and great news for anyone who works hard to provide durable items and reliable services. 

To generate positive 6-month reviews, use the date a CRM profile was opened to let your marketing automation know when to send a unique follow-up email asking how things are going. Six months after making an account, after buying a durable item, or starting a subscription service are all good times to try for one of these big-picture reviews.

4) Referral Connections

Our final favorite way to combine your CRM with marketing automation is the ability to track referrals. If you have a referral program or are thinking about building one, you'll a plan for both tracking referral chains and rewarding people who have made successful referrals. Use your CRM to keep track of connections between people who have referred each and through your integrated marketing automation, you can then send out rewards, promotions, and group-offers based on referral achievements.

Building your Martech stack is a constantly evolving process. As new tools are invented and developed, old tools will either become obsolete or need to be integrated. When marketing automation joined the fray, everyone got stand-alone software to check it out. Well the tests have proven positive and most marketing teams should now be ready for full integration with their CRMS for optimal personalized automated marketing.

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