Contributors from members of the Copper team
Your business might be small, but your services are mighty. While it’s important to focus on the quality of your services, you’ve still got to promote your biz, too.
After all, you probably don’t want your small business to stay small forever.
You can get results with all kinds of digital marketing tactics, from social media to paid ads, but as a small business owner it can be overwhelming when you’re just getting started. That’s why email marketing is the way to go: it’s scalable, convenient and connects you with warm leads and potential customers.
But if you’re new to an email marketing strategy, you might wonder how to set everything up right. And yes, what you do now has a big impact on the success of your future email marketing campaigns, which is why you need a customer relationship management platform (CRM) to power your email program.
Learn the ins and outs of email marketing as a small business, plus how you can simplify email campaigns with a powerful CRM.
How does a CRM automate email marketing?
Email marketing is one of the best ways to grow a small business. With ROI figures in the 122% range, it isn’t unusual for email to bring in $36 of business for every $1 you spend on it, too. Eat your heart out, Facebook Ads.
If you’ve just started email marketing, you might not have a lot of traction. But if you nail your messaging, timing and setup before you build a huge contact list of new subscribers, you’ll get more results for less work. Nice, right?
To do that, though, you need to marry your email marketing platform with a CRM. A CRM is a software solution that manages all of your customer relationships at scale. Whether you have 100 clients or 10,000, a CRM helps you keep track of each lead’s:
- Contact information
- Sales history
- And more
A CRM is one central place where you can store information that gives you more context on each customer relationship. And if you use it right, a CRM gives your small business the firepower of a big enterprise.
Your email marketing tool, on the other hand, holds all of your email campaigns, automated emails and marketing email content — and handles all of the sending for you. Sure, you can do email marketing without a CRM, but blending the two helps you:
- Stay organized: Did you know that 40% of businesses store customer information in their email or in a spreadsheet? That might be okay for now, but as you find more clients, it’s only going to get harder to keep track of everyone. When you start with a CRM and an email platform, you centralize and organize everything from the beginning. Plus, a CRM organizes your contacts in a more intelligent way that most email software isn’t able to do on its own.
- Track omnichannel data: Are you marketing your biz on multiple marketing channels? Of course you are. A CRM helps you track every touchpoint — including email — where you interact with customers. If you want to see where folks go after reading your emails, a CRM helps give you a big-picture view.
- Gain smarter audience insights: A CRM tells you how, exactly, email fits into your overall customer journey. What does your target audience want to see from you? A CRM and email marketing tool together make it easy to see if your ideal customers are actually buying from you. Sometimes it’s shocking to see who your real high-value customers are, but you’ll never know without the right data.
- Save time: As a small business owner, you’re equal parts manager, worker bee, secretary and accountant. You don’t have a lot of free time on your hands! Fortunately, using a CRM with your email marketing platform will help you save time. CRMs like Copper automatically fill in customer data as it comes in from your email campaigns, which makes it a cinch to collect prospect details — no manual work required.
Plus, the average ROI for a CRM is $8.71 for every $1 spent, so it’s an ROI-positive addition to the ROI you’re already getting from email marketing.
Email marketing tips for small businesses: How to do email marketing with a CRM
All right, so we know that a CRM helps you do better email marketing. But how do you actually do email marketing with a CRM?
Everyone has a different setup, but we recommend following these 5 email marketing tips to squeeze more ROI out of your email marketing campaigns for small business.
1. Choose the right email platform
If you want to do email marketing, you need to choose a platform to send your messages. You can stick with Gmail if you want (using features like Copper’s bulk emails), or you can go with platforms like Mailchimp, too.
Make sure to choose an email platform that integrates with your CRM. For example, Copper integrates with Mailchimp and ActivePipe.
Whatever you do, choose a well-known, reputable email marketing platform. Sendability and reputation matter a lot in email marketing, so be choosy!
Try out a couple of different email platforms before you commit to one. Most platforms offer a free trial so you can make sure you like it before signing on the dotted line.
2. Segment your audience
Please don’t let your email marketing list become one huge, unwieldy database. If you keep every contact in the same list, you can’t send personalized emails — and that means you’re missing out on a lot of sales.
Use your CRM to do more intelligent segmentation in your email marketing campaigns. You can place customers into different lists based on factors like:
- Engagement figures
- Buying history
The best part? Your CRM will build these lists for you automatically. All you need to do is set the parameters and let the segmentation happen for you — presto! This will save you the headaches of moving contacts around after the fact, so do things right from the start and segment your email audience with a CRM.
3. Personalize your emails
36% of shoppers say businesses should offer personalized experiences, and email marketing is definitely low-hanging fruit for personalization.
Instead of cold emailing everyone and their mother, a CRM helps you create relationships with leads before you start emailing them. With the right data on your side, you can start emailing warm leads who have already expressed interest in your services, from a personalized welcome email to a targeted monthly email newsletter.
Translation: personalization will give you more responses and more sales.
With a CRM like Copper, you can see a complete detail of each contact’s history with you. Thanks to email marketing tags, you can drop details like the recipient’s name, order history and more into your emails for a dash of personalization.
Copper will even allow you to add personal details to templates — it takes just a few seconds and it drastically increases your chances of getting a response.
4. Automate email sequences
Automation is, hands down, one of the best ways to marry CRM and email marketing for small businesses. Automation cuts down on the time needed to manage your email campaigns — heck, it can even help you cut labor costs by taking on tasks your employees used to handle.
Use your email marketing platform to create trigger-based automation for your email campaigns. Every time a contact takes a certain action, like clicking a link, it triggers a new message (or action) to fire.
You can use automation for situations like:
- Sending customers their tracking information after they place an order.
- Sending onboarding documents to a new client.
- Welcoming new email subscribers.
The sky’s the limit! Just make sure you thoroughly test your email marketing automation. You don’t want to accidentally send 20 emails to your customer in one day.
5. Keep your email list clean
When it comes to your small business email marketing list, more isn’t better. Keeping disengaged contacts on your email list is like inviting people to a party who don’t want to be there. And where’s the fun in that?
Every now and then, use your CRM to help clean your email list. For example, if you’re using Copper, you can remove leads who haven’t engaged with an email in the last three months.
If that sounds too extreme, you can always set up an email automation campaign to “break up” with disengaged contacts. Give them one last chance to get in touch before you remove them from the list a few days later.
It might sting removing contacts from your list, but this will:
- Decrease spam reports
- Decrease unsubscribes
- Save you money if you’re using an email platform that charges by the contact
Master CRM and email marketing for small business
You don’t have to wait for your business to grow to start email marketing — if anything, email marketing is one of the best ways to make your small business bigger! So yes, email marketing is for everybody, including small businesses.
The thing is, it can be a lot of work if you attempt to do everything manually. As you add more subscribers to your list, it can get messy and complicated managing hundreds of customer relationships. Don’t drop the ball as you grow: follow these tips for CRM and email marketing for small businesses.
You can also use Copper to master your email marketing automation. As the only Google-approved CRM, Copper makes automation work for your small business, syncing with Gmail, Contacts and Google Calendar seamlessly in the background while you do the important work. See how you can save time (and sanity) with marketing automation for your small business.