Drive Your Business Forward with a CRM Email Integration Best Practices by Jen Ribble May 01, 2023Email might not be the flashiest tool in your tech stack, but it’s a foundational channel for business communications — even decades after its introduction. It’s also critically important to the sales process, as sales reps rely on email to connect with prospects, schedule meetings, and so much more.In fact, McKinsey found that email is almost 40 times more effective for securing new sales than Facebook or Twitter. And studies show that 80 percent of people prefer sales reps to contact them via email. With numbers like those, it’s not surprising that salespeople spend an average of 13 hours per week on email.What if you could harness the power of email without all the time and effort required to draft, send, and manage email communications? It’s possible when you streamline and automate email processes through a CRM email integration.What is CRM email integration? CRM email integration brings your inbox and CRM together, making email communications more convenient and more efficient. Whether you need to send a personal thank-you email to a new customer or a marketing email blast to a group of prospects, you’ll save countless hours by connecting your CRM with your business email through a CRM email integration.Insightly CRM provides seamless integrations with top business email platforms, including Gmail and Outlook. With our CRM email integration, you can manage your business without leaving your inbox — or send, track, and manage emails directly in your CRM. For example:Compose and send email from your CRMBuild templates for common email communicationsSchedule email sequences to send at a later time or dateBatch and send emails to multiple recipientsSave email directly to an opportunity, lead, or projectCreate a new CRM contact directly from an emailLet’s take a look at some CRM email marketing examples, so you can begin to understand the true value of connecting your CRM and business email platform. CRM email examplesEmail plays a vital role in almost every phase of the selling process — which means that sales emails come in all shapes and sizes. Common types of sales emails include: Introduction emails to introduce your company, products, or services to a prospectCold outreach to start a conversation with target prospects you haven’t contacted beforeProspecting emails to bring prospective customers into the sales pipeline after an initial contactPitch emails to connect with prospects individually and share your unique value propositionAppointment requests to set up a meeting or schedule a call with a prospectFollow-up emails to generate a response if your initial contact goes unansweredThank you emails to strengthen the relationship after a meeting or callLead nurture emails to keep warm leads interested or respond to inbound leadsCross-sell/upsell/renewal emails to create a deeper relationship with existing customersTransactional emails to confirm a sign-up, purchase, or other action by a customerValue-add emails to provide education, entertainment, or other value without trying to sellA modern, feature-rich CRM will let you streamline all of these email communications — and more — through an easy-to-use CRM email integration. You can even build email templates for communications you send frequently. Your options for email templates are endless, but here are a few examples:Introduction email templatesProspecting email templatesInbound lead response email templatesWarm lead nurture email templatesNew client welcome email templatesCRM for sending email CRM email integration makes it easy for sales reps to manage their email communications, build and send emails, and much more. And Insightly CRM provides all this functionality through a simple extension. We’ll dig into how it works later in this article, but here are some key capabilities:Compose and send emails directly from your CRMBuild templates for common email communicationsSchedule email sequences to be sent at a later time or dateBatch and send emails to multiple recipientsCapture and update contact recordsUpdate contact records for your businessCan I send groups of email with my CRM? Absolutely! With an email CRM integration, you can batch and send emails to a group of recipients, trigger scheduled email sequences, log email responses in your CRM, and more. The number of emails you can send may be limited by your CRM plan, so be sure to check for those details. CRM email marketing At this point, you might be wondering about the email functionality of a CRM versus email marketing. For some small businesses, connecting your inbox and CRM through a CRM email integration will provide all the functionality you need to manage your email marketing needs.That said, a CRM is not ideal for running a robust email marketing program, so it’s likely not sufficient for larger companies. If you need more sophisticated email marketing capabilities — for example, running drip campaigns or sending dozens, hundreds, or thousands of emails at a time — there’s no substitute for a full-service marketing automation platform.Insightly CRM integrates seamlessly with our marketing solution, Insightly Marketing, to automate marketing campaigns and deliver a cohesive experience for employees and customers alike.Best CRM for Gmail If you use Gmail as your business email platform, you need a CRM that works seamlessly with Gmail — and Insightly is the best CRM for the Google workspace.The Insightly Gmail integration works through a simple extension, which allows you to create contacts and leads, view records, and search your entire CRM from your inbox. You can also send email through any Gmail account directly from Insightly — and automatically save a copy of each email in your CRM.The foundation of the Insightly CRM Gmail integration is the Insightly Sidebar for Gmail, which brings your CRM data right into your Gmail inbox. After installing this add-on, the intuitive interface lets you easily:Add a contact or leadCompose and save email messagesCreate and send templated emailsSave an email as a CRM record (task, project, lead, opportunity, or event)Link CRM records to an email Sync Insightly with your Google calendar And so much moreTo learn more about the Insightly Sidebar for Gmail, watch this demo video. You can also visit our Help Center for how-to articles and detailed tutorials.Best CRM for Outlook If you use Outlook as your business email platform, you need a CRM that works seamlessly with Outlook — and Insightly is the best CRM for Outlook, including Office 365 and other versions.Insightly’s Outlook integration works through a simple extension. Depending on which version of Outlook you use, this plugin lets you add records right from your inbox, view contacts and leads, and sync Insightly with your Outlook calendar. You can also send email through your Outlook account directly from Insightly — and save a copy of each message in your CRM.The foundation of Insightly’s CRM Outlook integration is the Insightly Sidebar for Outlook, which brings your CRM data right into your Outlook inbox. After installing this add-on, the intuitive interface lets you easily:Create CRM records from an emailCompose and send templated emails Schedule emails to be sent laterSave a copy of email messages in your CRM and link them to recordsView CRM records from your inbox Sync Insightly with your Outlook calendarAnd so much moreTo learn more about the Insightly Sidebar for Outlook, watch this demo video. You can also visit our Help Center for how-to articles and detailed tutorials.Options for CRM email integration Many CRM providers offer email integration, and most have similar capabilities. When you research vendors like HubSpot, Zoho, Pipedrive, and others, you’ll likely find that they have extensions to connect your CRM and email platform.Insightly’s best-in-class CRM email integration offers robust functionality that’s easy to install and simple to use. And because we offer a plug-in for major email platforms like Gmail and Outlook, there’s no need to build an API-based integration.Get started with Insightly CRM for email There’s no question that sales reps spend too much valuable time on email — time they could use to develop customer relationships and close more deals. With Insightly CRM and our powerful email integrations, you can bring your CRM and your inbox together to streamline email processes, deliver a more consistent experience, and increase efficiency.As an added benefit, Insightly solutions are designed to grow along with your company. Start with Insightly CRM and use our email integration to connect your CRM data to your inbox. Then leverage the power of Insightly AppConnect to integrate your CRM with critical business tools like your databases, calendars, chat tools, accounting systems, and more. As your business expands, you can add Insightly Marketing for lead generation and marketing automation, or Insightly Service to help with customer support.Get started with a free trial of Insightly CRM today, watch a demo on demand, or request a personalized demo to see how Insightly can help your company achieve its business goals. CRM Integrations | Customer acquisition | Customer Relationships | Email Marketing Jen RibbleJen Ribble is a marketing veteran with more than 20 years of experience, specializing in B2B SaaS. After a decade creating content in-house for top marketing technology firms, she launched her own marketing content agency, Jen Ribble Writes.