5 Ways to Maximize Your Investment in CRM Data Beyond Email Campaigns

If you are a retention or loyalty marketer, you already know how valuable your CRM data is. After all, you’ve been dedicating budget and manpower to build comprehensive customer profiles fueled by email addresses, purchase history, call center activity, loyalty memberships, lifetime value scores and more.

This rich CRM data is instrumental in powering your email campaigns, allowing you to get more segmented and more personalized in your messaging streams. And for good reason – research shows that segmented email campaigns get 15% more opens than non-segmented, as well as 60% more clicks.

What if you could extend these same, proven, precision-targeting and segmentation techniques beyond email campaigns to address customers wherever they are right now on the internet?

That’s exactly what people-based advertising does. By taking this wealth of customer data and onboarding it into the online world, retention marketers can find and reach their best customers – or even lapsed customers – on their favorite news and information sites where they visit regularly. Disruptive technology is making it possible to serve ads to your most valuable customer segments with tailored messaging that appeals to the unique interests and needs of each.

By partnering with digital media teams, marketers can make real cross-channel magic happen. They can address customers in meaningful and personalized ways throughout their journeys, and in more places than their inbox. And they can help their digital media peers turn generic or wasteful ads into efficient, targeted messages that engage customers, increase conversions and boost ROI.

Here are five ways that marketers can use addressable media to get more value from all that valuable first-party data sitting in their CRM systems:

  1. Reengage with lapsed customers

By onboarding your email lists for matching and activation in the ad platforms used by digital media teams, it’s possible to target customer segments and serve them online ads with pinpoint accuracy. One way to leverage this is by targeting inactive customers with messages and offers designed to re-engage them.

For example, internet retailer Rue La La was able to optimize its targeting criteria in real time and focus ad spend on individual dormant customers. This was more effective than wasting impressions by retargeting every person visiting the Rue La La website. It gave marketers the ability to target inactive customers who had not visited the site in recent months with engaging messages to bring them back. The result? A 10% lift in conversion rate for its retargeting campaign.

  1. Be timely and influential throughout the customer journey

When a membership, contract, or lease is coming to the end of a term, you want your customers to renew. An email may remind customers of that date, but that is only one part of their journey. And with an average of 22% open rate in email campaigns, we know that not everyone will read that email. Once CRM data is connected online and continuously updated in real time, you have the opportunity to target and influence those customers when they are online, researching their options, in the midst of the decision-making process.

  1. Decrease waste to increase relevance

Just as valuable as targeting the right customer is being sure you are not targeting the wrong one. Your CRM data (or point-of-sale data) can enable your digital media team to stop targeting ads at customers who just purchased, or to anyone else who should be in a different messaging stream. It can be intrusive, annoying and impersonal when customers see ads for items they already bought. And, it’s a huge waste of ad spend. CRM marketers can become heroes by partnering with their media teams to help eliminate the problem and make the customer experience more seamless.

  1. Upsell and cross-sell to engaged customers

When customers make a purchase, addressable media opens a window to increase spend and engagement while they are still in buying mode. This is a great opportunity for digital advertisers to serve them an ad relevant to their recent activity, based on known preferences or information housed in the CRM or POS system. For example, if a customer with a recent change of address just purchased a new couch, it could be a good indication that she is in the market for other “new home” items. Take advantage of this information to promote items relevant to the customer.

  1. Create a seamless experience online and off

The fact that more online brands are opening brick and mortar stores further emphasizes what we already know – customers shop in multiple formats. It is essential to make their experience as seamless as possible, wherever that may be. Enhancing CRM data with known online behaviors is one way to accomplish this. It could be as simple as knowing what items a customer marked online as “favorite” before her in-store appointment, but it does make a difference. The 2015 Salesforce.com Connected Shopper Report shows that 42% of surveyed respondents agree it would help them if store employees knew about the online research they have done prior to going there so they could receive better service. And 31% agree that they expect a sales associate to know if they have an online account or have purchased something in the past.

Think Outside the Inbox

From the customer’s standpoint, email doesn’t stand alone. Today’s connected customers don’t view their brand interactions as separate messages or separate channels. They consider every interaction – from email received to research completed to purchases made – as part of their relationship with the brand as a whole. And they expect the brand to know who they are and react appropriately to their every interaction.

A true people-based marketing approach is fueled by CRM data, with countless possibilities to keep the customer experience seamless, cohesive and engaging throughout the entire customer journey. Building on the known successes of targeted email campaigns – from segmentation to personalization to measurement – could have many benefits across your entire organization.

Originally published February 23, 2016

Kelly Davis

Kelly leads Signal’s Client Services team to meet the needs of its clients, and has shaped its reputation for exceptional client support.

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