Transactional e-mail, working with social networks and advanced CRM

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Using call centers for sales, how to approach loyalty and more
Using call centers for sales, how to approach loyalty and more

How can transactional e-mail be an effective marketing tool?

“Transactional messages almost always have signifi­cantly higher response rates because they provide a service to the customer,” says Eric Presbrey, SVP of sales for Purple@Epsilon. “Other e-mail communica­tions are extremely important to the overall success of a customer relationship, but transactional messages are largely the key communication path between market­ers and their customers.”

In today's environment, Presbrey explains, transactional messages need no longer simply be bland text that confirms a purchase or action. “They can beartfully crafted to promote other products and services to those best customers who have the highest average spend and greatest likelihood to be loyal, repeat shoppers,” he says. “With some of the new branding features offered in the e-mail space, a transactional message can quickly take on the profile of a powerful marketing, branding and transactional vehicle.”

What advanced CRM capabilities should I be looking out for in the future?

“Businesses and customers are becoming more tech savvy, relying heavily on mobile devices and interact­ing with different Web-based communities,” answers Tim Vertz, director of business development for OnContact Software. “As Web 2.0 technology evolves, one should expect to see more mashups — Web appli­cations that combine data from more than one source into a single integrated tool — integrated into CRM software. Mashups will create new possibilities, allow­ing one to use business data more efficiently.”

Integration with Google Maps is one noteworthy mashup, Vertz continues. “This capability empowers users to automatically incorporate Google Maps into their CRM system to plot out the locations of all hot business leads via a mobile device,” he says. “With this type of technology, users will build client relationships faster and more proficiently, resulting in increased sales and a higher ROI.”

How can I reach the desirable, if elusive, social network audience with my campaigns?

“Traditional online advertising, such as banner ads, text ads and interstitials, does not work for many advertisers in social networks,” replies Mike Sprouse, CMO of Epic Advertising. “People are using social networks mainly to interact, communicate and social­ize — most often for free. The onus is on the marketer to create subtle ads that encourage audience participa­tion and are relevant.”

Sprouse goes on, “Widgets and portable applica­tions will become the norm for advertisers, because they often involve things to engage the user, which then lead to targeted advertising – it's more about the game than the ad. Advertisers need to think in terms of how many times they engage users, not wide scale impression reach, CPM or flat banner ads.”

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