Customer relationship management (CRM) is awesome. You know it, I know it. However, I’m a firm advocate that there are some fundamental marketing tools and best practices that small businesses need even more than they need CRM.
1. Email Marketing
Before you even think about CRM you need to ensure you have a regular email newsletter you’re sending to customers and prospects. This should be segmented, so the right audience gets the right message. You should also pay very careful attention to your subject line – make it engaging and one that causes your reader to want to open it. Also remember that the content inside should be about the READER, solving their problem, NOT about you.
2. Great Website
Why are you even thinking about CRM if your website is a miserable piece of junk? Your website should be easy to navigate, not cluttered, and be set up with the reader experience in mind. There’s no right or wrong way to build your website except to ensure it’s build to deliver your intended results. Do you want it to drive leads? Do you want it to convert to sales? Check out 10WebSiteMusts for help with your website.
3. Social Content
Having profiles on 25 different social networks is not necessary. However, having profiles on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn is a must. Once you’ve established your profile on these platforms, make sure you share relevant content. Similar to an email newsletter, post content that’s of USE to the reader. Be engaging – use pictures and other imagery that will bring your post to life.
4. Old-School Marketing
My friend Carmen Sognonvi is a guru in using “old-school marketing.” While digital marketing is great, don’t forget about using local flyers, billboards, event marketing, and other “old-school” marketing techniques to reach a targeted, local, audience.
5. Hire Caring Staff
“Caring staff” members are not a marketing tool, per say, but are an important part to you properly implementing CRM. While your CRM system can be fine-tuned as a great marketing automation machine, you still need staff, who have in their DNA a concern for customers. What happens when you need to send a personal email, answer the phone, respond to a complaint, or deal with something gone wrong? It’s your staff’s concern for the customer, not your “CRM” that will ensure the problem is humanely dealt with.
If you are not doing these five things right, there’s no use implementing CRM – you’ll just have a bad experience and not find CRM giving you the results you need. Of course, having an overall marketing strategy and an expert to assist are also important guidelines to implementing CRM in your business.
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