CRM & Email Marketing Options

Written By: Cory Caslow

from July 9, 2013

It is easy to be confused in the world of internet marketing.  For non-technical individuals, email-marketing can be difficult to understand and hard to keep up with.  Add business marketing and daily changes – it is not unusual to be lost in all the options. 

According to a May 2013 article in The Daily Investor Newsletter, email and social media marketing are paving the way for small business marketing in today’s world.  Here are some of the statistics on small businesses today:

·         71 percent conduct email marketing

·         73  percent conduct social media marketing

·         44 percent advertise through social platforms

·         34 percent have a mobile-optimized website

·         18 percent run a mobile tablet-based payment point-of-sale

·         18 percent use mobile apps to manage operations, like accounting

With so many tools available, it is hard to determine what is needed, what is wanted, and what an organization can afford!  To make it digestible, here is some very “low-level” information on email marketing companies and what they provide.

EMAIL BASICS

The “Email Basics” can be achieved by using one of several tools used for communicating with customers via email.  Most of these offer “free 30 day trials” or “reduced rate for first month” offers.   Keep in mind, none of these “basic email marketing” companies will integrate naturally with Microsoft Dynamics CRM.  Users must build lists through sign-ups or copy and paste into the contact fields. 

These can all be used for building email lists, creating email newsletters and campaigns from existing templates, sending and tracking email messages, sending online surveys, following up with auto-responders, and linking them to Social Media sites when sent out!  Most of these companies operate similarly covering all of the basics listed above – pricing services based on the number of contact sends.

Here are just a few of the more popular email marketing companies that include the basics listed above.  Also listed are a few things differentiating them from their competitors:

ü  Constant Contact – (www.constantcontact.com) Standard pricing based on contact number and offers a pre-paid rate for customers who want to take advantage of a better rate when paid in advance.

ü  Vertical Response – (www.verticalresponse.com) Promote a “Pay-As-You-Go” rate for companies not wanting a monthly or annual rate.  Event marketing tool for event promotions.

ü  iContact – (www.icontact.com) – Features an annual rate discount for companies wanting a fixed annual fee.  Offer a non-profit discounted rate.

ü  Aweber – (www.aweber.com) – Offers a “$1 First Month” pricing deal, 30-day money back guarantee, and no contract.

MARKETING AUTOMATION

For organizations that have progressed beyond the Email Basics and are looking for more functionality and a system that will integrate seamlessly with an existing Microsoft Dynamics CRM system, there are some great options. The functionality of some of these add-ons can be overwhelming.

Here are a few companies that offer marketing automation services that will work within an organization’s existing Microsoft Dynamics CRM database of contacts, leads and prospects.  Also included are some of the stand-out differences:

Click Dimensions – (www.clickdimensions.com) – A “Software-As-A-Service” marketing automation solution that adds Email Marketing, Web Tracking, Lead Scoring, Social Discovery, Campaign Tracking, and Form and Survey Capture functionality to Microsoft Dynamics CRM.  Pricing starts at $225/month for Email Only and goes up from there for Base, Standard, Professional, and Enterprise license types. Click Dimensions also has a Partner Program, a Support Submit Form, Support Search Forums, and a ton of Training information.

CoreMotives – (www.coremotives.com) – A powerful Email and Marketing Automation tool built natively within Microsoft Dynamics CRM, CoreMotives promises to increase marketing effectiveness and drive ROI.  Organizations can conveniently conduct all marketing efforts directly from Microsoft Dynamics CRM.  Get up and running quickly with no downloads or installations required.  CoreMotives gives sales and marketing teams visibility into prospect behavior and the ability to target with relevant messaging and track responses.  This also allows organizations to capture customer and prospect data directly from email campaigns and website activity.  It also has a feature to score leads and route them to the sales team based on the demographic and behavior.  CoreMotives pricing options are:  Standard starting at $550/month and going up from there for Professional, Enterprise, and Enterprise Plus license types.  They also offer Technology, Consulting, Agency, and Reseller Partnerships.

There is a lot of information out there from a lot of great companies.  Choices range from buying a solution with everything included (using only that which is needed but with the option of using more in the future) to buying only what is needed for now with the option of adding more on in the future as needs change.  Every company will be different.  Be sure to do more research, discover both the immediate needs and the future wants, and choose the best solution for the organization and the budget –  Good Luck!

 

By Cory Caslow, Integrated Business Group