In many ways, MailChimp is the ideal email marketing solution for small businesses and startups. Its pricing model is reasonable, while building emails is both simple and effective. Designing attractive emails is possible even for novices in digital marketing. But at the same time, using the software in isolation may cause you to lose out on some significant opportunities. MailChimp, at its core, is an email marketing tool. If you’re looking for a more comprehensive marketing approach, you may want to consider combining it with Customer Relationship Management software. Here are 5 reasons your business benefits from this type MailChimp and Microsoft Dynamics CRM integration. 1. Build Beautiful Emails for a Relevant Audience The intuitive and simple email design tool may be MailChimp’s biggest selling feature. Through a simple drag and drop mechanism and a variety of existing templates, users can build completely custom marketing emails designed uniquely for their audience. The wide variety of examples online today showcase just some of the possibilities of the design tool. Unfortunately, using the software in isolation may mean beautiful emails that never quite reach the intended audience. MailChimp’s contact management system is basic, allowing for some list segmentation but generally limiting itself to uploading lists and sending one-off or scheduled emails. Integrating with Dynamics allows you to take advantage of MailChimp’s strength while eliminating its weakness. Now, you can use the same design tool while also making sure that your emails will reach a relevant audience at the right time. 2. Collect Lead and Customer Information for More Targeted Marketing Wouldn’t you love to know which of your potential and current customers, open, click, and maybe even convert on your emails? MailChimp can record all of that information. But if you use it in isolation, it’s difficult to actually take advantage of the data you collect. Microsoft Dynamics, on the other hand, strives on data integration. It collects relevant actions by your audience in their lead and customer records, allowing you to build targeted marketing campaigns. For example, you can build an email campaign designed specifically for users who have clicked on another, relevant email in the recent past. MailChimp collects the information, while Dynamics allows you to put it to sound marketing use. 3. Combine the Simplicity of MailChimp With the Power of Dynamics MailChimp continues to outpace the email marketing software landscape significantly, with almost 50% in market share among businesses. The reason, as mentioned above, tends to come back to its simplicity, allowing even marketing novices to build beautiful and convincing emails. And yet, an email marketing tool is far from possessing the same power as a CRM. Microsoft Dynamics, for example, allows marketers to perform actions that range from response tracking and lead scoring to conditional, branch and child workflows. If you’re ready to advance your marketing from simple one-off emails to complex workflows designed to engage your audience, you need a CRM. Similarly, if you want to optimize your lead to customer conversions, you better have a system in […]
The core benefit of using a CRM to work with current and potential customers is its ability to automate your marketing, sales, and other business processes. But what if you could actually use it to gather intelligence about your audience, and create more targeted outreach as a result? Traditionally, CRM and survey software are separate tools. Even if you offer your customers the ability to provide feedback about their buyers’ journey and sales experience, that feedback will likely be collected in an external solution, with little connection to the customer record within your CRM. Microsoft’s Voice of the Customer looks to change that disconnect. By integrating with your Dynamics CRM solution, it can help you not just gain information about your audience, but put that insight into action immediately using your CRM features. Keep reading for a more in-depth overview of the add-on. Understanding the Core Features At its core, Microsoft’s Voice of the Customer add-on is a survey tool. What makes it different from most others, of course, is that it’s directly integrated within a CRM. In fact, Dynamics users can build a survey, set up auto responses and workflows, and view both individual responses and analytics all within the CRM. The result is a more integrated survey experience, on both ends. Members of your audience will easily identify the survey not as a stand-alone communication, but as part of an overall communication plan in which they’re participating. On the backend, users can more easily build surveys that make sense within the communication plan, both in terms of time frame and in terms of branding. Flexible Surveys to Elevate Communication A core reason why this add-on can be so beneficial is its flexibility in creating surveys. The branding is completely customizable, complete with a progress bar across the top of each question page. These pages are designed responsively, automatically adjusting to the audience’s screen size. Meanwhile, each survey can be personalized with data piped directly in from the attached CRM. That flexibility, of course, doesn’t end at the survey design. Users can build up to 200 individual surveys, helping to create a response mechanism for every need. Each survey can include up to 250 questions, to be distributed to up to 10,000 potential respondents at any given time. Customizable Post-Survey Response and Analysis Building the survey, as described by this tutorial, is relatively straightforward within Dynamics. The tool’s true strength comes in what happens once your audience answers the questions you send them. For starters, responses to non-anonymous surveys are captured directly on each respondent’s CRM record. Next time a sales agent looks to gain information about that lead or customer, the responses can act as valuable feedback on that contact’s experience and preferences. In addition, installing the Voice of the Customer Add-on automatically creates a new section of dashboards within Dynamics that allows for effective survey reporting. Here, you can gain a quick overview of the total number of respondents, response rates, and responses to your individual questionnaires. Finally, Microsoft lets […]
Implementing Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software, particularly for small businesses, is not always easy. It’s a comprehensive process that, while ultimately benefiting your operations and customers in a variety of ways, can quickly become frustrating. But it doesn’t have to be. If you approach your CRM implementation strategically, you can ensure a successful process that ultimately benefits both your business and your stakeholders with minimal friction. To help in that process, here are 6 ways to prepare your small business for a CRM implementation. 1. Understand Your Goals As any strategic process, planning your implementation has to begin with goal setting. Exactly what do you want to get out of the new software? Try to stay away from general answers such as improving business practices, and get specific instead. Which processes could and should be automated? Which current problems do you face in interacting with current and potential customers? To succeed in this step, we recommend following the SMART goals framework. Each objective of the CRM implementation should be specific, measurable, agreed upon, realistic, and set within a specific time frame. Only once you understand exactly what you are looking to get out of the software should you proceed with the implementation. 2. Examine Your Current Processes Implementing your CRM will likely include at least some process automation. A core reason why businesses take this step is to move away from manual outreach to potential and current customers, or hand recording of relevant information about this audience and their interactions with your brand. To ensure lasting success, examine what exact processes you are currently undertaking, and how they are structured. For example, you may send a weekly email newsletter to current customers with coupons and other loyalty-based promotional items. You may also have a lead nurturing strategy in place that helps you increase your contact-to-customer conversions. In the course of your CRM implementation, you can automate these processes, but only if you know exactly how they are constructed. Examine the processes you look to implement, in order to smoothen the project as it occurs. 3. Strategize Your Timing There is no perfect timing for a major software implementation. The long-term benefits of a CRM are significant, but that doesn’t take away from the resources and efforts you will need to get it up and running. There is, however, a least bad time for your implementation. Don’t start your project without first understanding when that time would be. For example, you would not want your employees occupied and sales systems down during the holiday season. Most businesses experience lulls in revenue, which tend to be great opportunities to divert resources that may be difficult to give up in the short term, but encourage long-term growth. You should also keep in mind the employees who will need to spend time on the implementation, and whether their time is needed elsewhere during your suggested frame. 4. Choose the Right Product A large part of your implementation preparation should be dedicated to finding the right […]
Your customers know more than ever before, and are making buying decisions before you can even engage. With all of this information available to customers, your sales team must adapt to the new customer journey. Using Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Sales, your sales team can stay focused on the right customers and priorities, win faster by collaborating with colleagues to harness the power of the entire organization, and build a trusted relationship with customers through personalized and relevant engagements.
It’s here! The first look at Microsoft Dynamics 365 — the next generation of intelligent business applications in the cloud. Dynamics 365 uses artificial intelligence to re-imagine what’s possible for your business. Microsoft Dynamics 365 unifies CRM and ERP capabilities into applications that work seamlessly together across sales, customer service, field service, operations, financials, marketing, and project service automation. Start with what you need, add applications as your business grows.