Using a Marketing CRM to Better Communicate with Your Customers

Establish an audience‑centered foundation, build on it with behavioral targeting, and then iterate with your campaigns.

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You’ve probably heard about “audience management” or maybe even the term “CRM,” but how do these marketing tactics apply to your business? In very simple terms, using customer relationship management (or CRM) allows you to better understand and communicate with your audience, making them the center of your marketing. We’d all like to speak to our customers in a smarter way and make more money, right? CRM can help.

Your audience data is one of the most valuable tools you have for improving your marketing and growing your business. And you probably already understand some of the top benefits of using CRM software. But as you settle in and get comfortable with audience management, you might start to wonder how to optimize your workflows to accomplish more.

It turns out, we know a few experts. Below, we talk through how you should establish an audience-centered foundation, build on it with behavioral targeting, and then iterate with your campaigns to improve your insights.

Four customers/audience

Establish an audience-centered foundation

You love your audience. It’s why your business exists. But everyone could do a better job talking to their customers. CRM can help you get a better sense of who your audience is, send the right content to the right people, find new ways to talk to people with common traits, and use your data to find new customers.

“Establishing an audience-centered foundation for your marketing is essential,” Mailchimp Senior Marketing Manager Adrienne Joselow says. “Understanding your audience and delivering personalized, engaging marketing all starts with collecting the right data and organizing.”

Adrienne says that it’s all about starting early, then using that base to grow your business for years to come. “In order to show your audience you get them as individuals, you need to know who they are, what their interests are, and what’s important to them. Start by including the right questions at signup—like which topics interest you—to leverage this information in marketing later.”

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Turn actions into personalized marketing

Once you’ve established the foundation, it’s time to build on it. Behavioral targeting will help you send the right messages to your audience based on how they interact with your brand. Using behavioral data, you can automate targeted messages in response to specific actions, like a welcome message to introduce new signups to your brand, or a related product recommendation for a recent buyer. And if you’re pulling in custom event data through the API, behavior-based automations help you scale your marketing without doing the work every time.

“Behavioral targeting allows businesses to be able to marry what you know about your audience—demographics, geography, and interests—with what they are doing—or not doing—by specific date and time for highly personalized marketing content,” Mailchimp Marketing Manager Danielle DeSarzant says.

Danielle suggests setting up marketing strategies based on high-value actions—downloading your app, upgrading to a new pricing tier, and so on—that are customized to your business. Then, save those segments of your audience so you have them when you want to do some timely and relevant one-to-one marketing.

“Do you have great intentions to send personalized content, but often run out of time?” Danielle says. “Behavioral targeting can be automated, saving you time and yielding higher marketing ROI.”

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Improve your results with testing

As you start to get comfortable with CRM tools, it’s time to iterate on your findings. Testing your campaigns to see what works and what could be optimized is the best way to make sure you’re continuing to improve. San Francisco-based mobile app UrbanSitter, for instance, saw a 260% increase in conversions simply by using an automated drip campaign to follow up with customers. They got to that point with testing.

“As we continue to segment and test our campaigns,” Co-Founder and Vice President of Marketing Daisy Downs says, “we are seeing our revenue and engagement increase with our customers.”

When you have the tools you need to analyze your performance and learn more about your audience, it’s much easier to improve your marketing. And the nice thing about testing is that you can always do more. Start getting a holistic view of your audience today.