By Richard Quipp, Senior CRM Manager
The current CRM climate is awash with new tools and techniques for optimising customer experience and return on investment.
Whilst these approaches can make life easier, they are not really necessary to ensure that your customer and prospect bases are being served effective CRM.
Often it is better to focus on the basics and to properly plan a campaign, setting out specific objectives and KPIs before you start, and work backwards from there.
Draft out your idea and objective on 2-3 slides and hold an internal meeting, inviting a good mixture of optimists and pessimists to discuss your concept.
Try to pull the idea apart right at the start before everyone wastes time creating something that won't work. If the idea survives it stands a good chance of delivering on your objectives.
Users will only fall for a particular trick or gimmick to get them to open your email or click on your push notification once. If you keep making lofty claims or over-use cryptic/intriguing messages to improve your open rates, your click rates will plummet and your opt-outs will soar.
It is advisable to consider segmenting the audience data for your messages. If the communication that you are sending will appeal more to one segment than another, or specifically not appeal to a certain data group, the message should be targeted accordingly.
For instance, a new member who has never used your services before should be served educational information about what you do and how to get the most out of your widget. A well-established user who exhibits engagement patterns such as specific days of the week, for specific product choices can be served relevant thematic suggestions.
Alongside these educational comms you should also serve a series of messages showcasing your best offerings and your most universally popular products, to the maximum number of members, in order to establish some engagement and behaviour patterns.
Bait...and learn from it
Occasionally use ‘bait’ content among your intended messaging to test your segmentation and assumptions.
You’ll be surprised what you’ll learn about your audience by doing this.
You can take insight from the exercise to segment future campaign data further and it will really help you to better understand your users as people rather than one dimensional stereotypes.
Segmentation can sometimes be the answer to a question that didn't need to be asked however, so always use common sense before you get too carried away.
It's possible to be too close to your product and service and lose sight of the basic requirements of your users. It can be a fine line between serving highly targeted bespoke content and coming off as creepy and intrusive.
Pull your audience counts before you do anything else. It sounds obvious but the last thing you want is to create multiple variants for a campaign and translate it into 17 languages only to find out that some of your cells are going to end up going out a handful of users.
Most of the time your products and services will appeal to a broad spectrum of people and spending a long time creating the perfect template for each micro-segment will clog up your creative and operations pipeline and put additional pressure on everyone, leading to backlogs, rushing and mistakes.
There's nothing worse than spending weeks preparing a campaign only to pull the data before you want to launch and finding out that you have a much smaller audience than you assumed, so get counts of your segments before you submit your brief!
Take a step back and consider whether the customer wants or needs what you are offering. If the answer is yes, use common sense to consider the best channel to reach out to them with, taking into account the time and day you are planning to launch for maximum impact.
App based products have a presence at the side of users for most of their waking time (on their smart phone) and it is a responsibility that you should take very seriously.
Try to strike a balance between providing interesting and relevant communications whilst being mindful not to irritate or bore people. With this in mind you should avoid sending more than one of any of the same type of touchpoint on any given day.
People are complicated and unpredictable and rigid pigeon-holing is no substitute for fluid and evolving segmentation.
My personal recommendation would be to test any assumptions that you and your business has about your database, review your findings and work on fine tuning your CRM approach on an ongoing basis.
If you over automate your messaging your communication will ultimately end up sounding and feeling robotic.