How to Manage Email with CRM Best Practices by Val Riley November 15, 2022 Managing Email With CRM Effective communication in the digital world can’t be underestimated, which is why investing in ways to organize and manage emails is critical for every company. Since your CRM is the single source of truth for your business, it makes sense that you want to record email communication with customers and prospects in it. Modern CRMs make this easy by allowing you to sync your CRM and your email client together so that communication that happens in either platform shows up in your CRM. This is just one of the many ways CRMs work with email. Let’s explore 3 tactics for making your CRM email communication more efficient and effective. Tactic 1: Linking your CRM with your email accounts Customer Relationship Management, or CRM, software is useful for companies that handle a high volume of communications. Sales and customer service teams find CRM tools useful for keeping track of communication threads the company has had with a specific lead or customer. Instead of having to search through spreadsheets, emails, social media and databases to look for pieces of information, employees can find everything they need to know in one easy interface. CRMs can greatly improve the efficiency of your customer-facing teams and improve customer satisfaction too. When used effectively, CRMs save both your customers and your employees time. By integrating email with your CRM, you enable even better communication across your business. Connect to one or more email clients Most modern CRMs offer an email feature that lets users connect their existing email accounts to it, so they can access all of their email in one central web interface. This feature typically supports popular email services such as: Gmail Office 365/Outlook Yahoo Mail Even if you are not using one of these popular brands, you should be able to connect to most other email providers using their email’s login credentials, including self-hosted solutions. Once you connect an email to the CRM system, users can receive emails addressed to that account and send emails as that email account without having to leave the CRM. You can also send emails from your email client and have those emails automatically be recorded in the CRM. Linking off-CRM email to a contact or project Even if your team uses CRM software for the majority of their work, there may be some occasions when work takes place off-platform or you want to add a new contact or piece of information to an existing lead or opportunity. Email allows you to do this easily. As an example, in Insightly, each project has its own email address. Users can forward or CC email to a CRM project email address to have that email attached to the project. You can also automate this by linking an email address to an opportunity, lead or project in the CRM. Any emails sent to that address will then be attached to that opportunity, lead or project, making it easy to search for information contained in those emails. Tactic 2: Building, sending and tracking email with CRM Save time with CRM email templates Having a consistent image is an important part of your company’s brand. Email templates in your CRM can help your teams maintain a specific tone, look and feel with all their communications, while also saving them time by providing them with pre-written, recurring messages. While the number of templates available in the system can vary based on your CRM and the plan you select, this feature is extremely popular with sales people who are trying to engage with as many leads as possible. Once you’ve created a template, it typically can be used to send an individual email or emails to a group of contacts or leads. You may consider an internal process or policy for who is allowed to create and/or approve templates in order to have consistency across sales people. Monitor your campaign’s success with email tracking Tracking open rates and response rates is an important part of your email strategy. By monitoring these metrics, CRM users can develop a better understanding of what their contacts are interested in and how their messages are being received. For example, if a sales person sees that emails about events are being opened and clicked on, however offers for a demo are not, the conclusion could be that these leads are earlier in the buying process and need to be sent back to marketing for nurture. Sending emails to groups from within your CRM Insightly is a CRM system first and foremost, and while it does support some email marketing features, it isn’t a dedicated email marketing tool. The platform does support some useful features for users who want to gain efficiency by sending the same email to a group of people who are in the same phase of the buying cycle. The mass email feature, when combined with templates, could be used to send emails tailored to whether the subscriber is an existing customer, a prospect or perhaps a lapsed subscriber. Keep in mind that the number of emails users can send can vary based on your CRM and the plan you select. You would simply create an email, either from scratch or from a template, determine which contacts or leads need to get that email, select them, use a merge field for personalization, and hit send. For example, let’s say you just worked a trade show and met 25 leads while there. Rather than craft an individual email to each of them, you can create and send one email to all of them offering the next step in the buying process. Tactic 3: Think about timing and clarity Email is a powerful communication tool, but it’s one that’s often misunderstood or misused. Because it’s so inexpensive and easy to send emails, some sales people make the mistake of flooding customers with mail without putting a lot of thought into the value the communication offers the prospect. Timing and content matters Using a CRM with email integration can improve the quality of the emails you’re sending out by making it easier to keep track of recent communications with each lead and by helping you separate leads into different categories such as fresh leads, leads that are partway through a conversion funnel, current customers and lapsed customers. Each type of prospect could receive a different offer, tailored to their situation. Once you’ve decided who to send emails to and what email you’d like to send, the next challenge is making sure the email is seen by the prospect. Taking advantage of the email scheduling feature in your CRM. Try to send emails at a time of day when your prospects are likely to be checking their mail. If your recipient is in another business, this means sending emails during normal office hours. If you’re trying to reach a consumer, it may be better to send your emails during an evening or a weekend when people are more likely to be checking their personal email. Keep your brand message clear Spam and “phishing” emails are serious problems for both consumers and businesses. Even less tech-savvy individuals have learned to be wary of unexpected emails. If you’re going to send messages to your leads or prospects, be sure to make them clear and succinct. Keeping this in mind will help build trust with your leads and prospects and make them more likely to buy from you. In addition, take the time to craft an email template that matches the tone you use in all other communications or use one that has been provided by your sales leadership or enablement team. Combining email templates with information about each prospect from the CRM helps you send tailored emails that reinforce existing brand messaging and build trust in the brand. Email with CRM? Step up to marketing automation While the email marketing features of most CRMs are quite versatile, high-growth companies and those that do a lot of their business digitally are likely to find themselves needing the ability to send more emails per day than the CRM platform allows. Insightly Marketing is built with those users in mind. It integrates seamlessly with Insightly CRM, so customer data can be passed seamlessly between the two services. Marketers can track their prospects through the entire customer journey and take advantage of predefined actions to intelligently drive leads from their first contact to becoming loyal customers. Powerful tracking and analytics tools and A/B testing features help marketers see how leads are responding to different campaigns, making it easy to tailor future campaigns to make them as successful as possible. If you’re interested in learning more about Insightly CRM and how its email and marketing features could help you grow your business, you can free trial today or request a personalized CRM demo. During your demo, ask to see Insightly Marketing as well so you can decide if the email tools in the CRM will work for your team, or if the additional power of marketing automation would drive even more revenue. Additional helpful links More information on this topic is available on the following pages: Customer Relationships | Sales team Val Riley Val Riley is a tech marketer with more than 20 years of experience. She specializes in Content Marketing at Insightly and previously worked for a marketing automation platform as head of Product and Content Marketing. Also known as The Decaf Marketer, Val is a regular contributor on LinkedIn.