This post was originally published on Search Engine Journal
Over the past few months I have been concentrating on improving my time management skills with the introduction of a number of different tools and processes. During that time I noticed CRM software becoming more integrated with online marketing tools and wanted to share those with you.
Online Marketing CRM Integration
Using CRM tools, like Workbooks CRM (the one we use in our office), not only allows you to manage customer relationships, but it also gives you the ability to measure campaign ROI across all of your marketing channels simultaneously, from direct mail to SEO and PPC.
The main benefit of a CRM system is that it takes the sales process through to completion, rather than just providing a snap shot of performance of a limited part of the process. For example, where the sales process continues past the online environment, systems such as AdWords and Analytics only show you a snap shot, such as the number of leads generated. A CRM system will take this to completion and show the number of those leads that resulted in a sale.
CRM systems allow you to marry actual sales and budget information with your AdWords and Analytics data to show ROI down to keyword level. This will then allow you to identify your key terms and aid decision-making when considering where to spend both your PPC and SEO budgets.
Another key benefit is that it can help with multi-touch attribution, making your ROI calculations even more accurate. Most systems will keep a record of all communication; for example, if a single user goes through the following steps:
- a user visits via a PPC for a non-brand term
- they return later via an organic brand term
- the user signs up for the company newsletter
- the user clicks through from an offer on the newsletter and finds the phone number
- the user calls and makes a purchase
In this example the sale may be attributed to the phone sales team or potentially the newsletter, but in reality at least partial credit needs to go to the PPC ad that was the initial visit method. An effective CRM will allow you to do this.
BuzzStream for Blogger Outreach
Blogger Outreach and relationship building is one of the most beneficial ways to build contextual links to your site.
The tool that I have used in the past for this type of work is BuzzStream. What I liked about BuzzStream is that it is a database driven CRM system specifically for blogger outreach and reduces the need for spreadsheets (bonus!).
There have been lots of posts on how to use BuzzStream from the likes of Paddy Moogan, so I won’t go into that, but I did want to talk about the use of CRM.
I believe one of the best features with BuzzStream, apart from the fact it is an awesome blogger outreach tool, is using the CRM features.
Track Twitter Conversations
Building relationships via social media channels such as Twitter is a large part of the blogger outreach process, so having a record of that communication is a great help.
BuzzStream tracks Twitter messages sent between you and your contacts, adding them automatically to your contact record for future reference.
Once you have started to create a relationship via your social media channels, it will be time to get in direct contact via email.
BuzzStream provides you with the option to email direct from BuzzStream, BCC or forward emails to be added to your contact record. This allows you to easily see who you have contacted and what was said, making it easier to refer back to past conversations.
Automated Workflow Management
Depending on the stage of the communication process, and whether you have managed to generate a link, BuzzStream will automatically change the “Relationship Stage”.
The relationship stage is a great way to manage at what part of the communication you have reached and whether you have managed to build a link or have a guest post accepted.
These are just these areas of BuzzStreams CRM software that I found to be of particular use, but I could go on. I recommend that you go and take a look yourself by signing up for a trial.
Social CRM has been a hot topic for a while now. Social CRM is essentially an extension of your existing CRM system with the ability to populate social media conversation.
The Social CRM could be used by multiple departments within a business to listen to conversations, create messages and join in with relevant conversation immediately.
Benefits of Socal CRM
- Making the company more personable, so the customer regards the business as a trusted peer.
- Ensuring that the customer only has to give details once, although spoken to by multiple departments.
- Transform good and bad customer experiences into relationships based on customer engagement.
Brands such as Workbooks and Microsoft Dynamic are great CRM systems, Salesforce and Appirio are leading the way in Social CRM.
Above are just a few ways that CRM systems are being used in online marketing. Are you using any of the above or can you recommend any that you are currently using? Could you now work without your CRM software if required? I look forward to hearing your thoughts below in the comments or on Twitter @danielbianchini.