When small eCommerce shops first started popping up, CRM and marketing automation were definitely out of reach for these companies. Only very large companies like Amazon or eBay had these abilities, which created another barrier for entry into the eCommerce industry.
CRM, email marketing, and marketing automation were expensive and confusing for most entrepreneurs. Often, the user experience that independent eCommerce stores offered was complicated and disappointing.
However, the rise of services like Mailchimp, Active Campaign, and Platformly made it a lot easier for small businesses to integrate these tools into their stack. These services are reasonably priced, with plans that could be adjusted to each business’ number of users and subscribers. By adapting to smaller audiences and providing simple automation, these SaaS (software as a service) gave small eCommerce businesses an opportunity for fair competition.
These options came at a time when users were becoming more and more demanding. Your purchasing experience must be seamless, easy, and simple. The convergence of different channels like SMS and email created the need for a CRM in which all interactions are saved across the customer’s journey.
This convergence between digital channels also meant that each tool had to diversify its offer. Tools like Platformly merge channels like SMS, calls, emails, and other kinds of interactions registered in integrated apps.
However, if you’re looking for a CRM and marketing app for the first time, there are a few things you should consider. We’ll go through the main tips we have for small businesses trying their hand at marketing automation services.
Use a D2C strategy
D2C means “direct to consumer” and refers to marketing that avoids middlemen (such as advertising agencies). When you do your email marketing, you own your list. No matter where you go, you can take it with you. This is also an advantage for your customers, in the sense that it’s easy for them to contact you directly. This allows you to understand your customers better and improve the cohesion of your branding through these experiences.
Reach out to customers where they are
Users expect you to be present on the same platforms that they use. If someone sends you a question on Facebook, answer on Facebook. If a user messages your WhatsApp number, you should reply on WhatsApp too.
Email is suitable for certain types of messages, but it’s far from being the only digital channel available. Make use of all the messaging services your customers use.
Context is everything
CRM allows you to know where and when each customer got in touch with your brand. By getting a 360º vision of your customer interactions and their context, it’s easier for you to be relevant and helpful to your customers.
A user should be able to speak to you wherever you are available and move to other channels in a seamless way. This will prevent users from having to explain their issue or query several times, as the CRM tracks their interactions with the brand wherever they happen.
Personalize your messages
The days in which you could send a general message to your customers and wait for the sales to pour in are long gone.
Users expect personalization:
- use their name in your messages to each customer,
- personalize their product recommendations according to previous purchases,
- email users with an abandoned cart.
Your sales, marketing, and support teams should closely collaborate to allow for full personalization.
Automate as much as possible
If you automate what can be automated, such as email sequences and recommendations for customers, you can let certain tasks run in the background. At the same time, while you avoid these repetitive tasks, you can focus on the big picture: strategy, branding, and messages.
Of course, certain things shouldn’t be automated. Canned responses are not satisfactory when a customer has an issue with your product and is looking for assistance.
As you can see, a small business can automate its repetitive tasks in order to have more free time for strategy and planning. Tools that include CRM, email marketing, marketing automation, and more have been around for a while now and are absolutely indispensable.
Do the best you can to create a seamless experience for your customers, and you’ll find results are much better when it comes to conversions and sales. Be where your customers are, and interact with them the same way they interact with you. Once you’ve nailed this, you should be ready to face the competition!