Using Marketing Automation Forms & CRM to Update Customer Data

It’s often stated that a mailing list will depreciate in quality by as much as 25% every 12 months.

That underlines the importance of acquiring new contact data and in our previous post I featured how marketing automation services connect with CRM to capture mailing list registrations.

There are many factors which determine the rate of list churn but the most significant is likely to be how valuable your content is perceived by your audience.

Sending regular, relevant and personalised messages to contacts and prospects will clearly result in better engagement and less degradation of list quality in comparison to repeatedly sending untargeted emails.

This obviously represents an obstacle if you only hold very limited detail about your email recipients, especially if your email sign-up form just consists of a name field and email address.

In addition to your other engagement channels like telemarketing and account management, marketing automation and CRM can be used to encourage email recipients to share more data about themselves and update existing information.

The result is improved customer segmentation that enables targeted messages to be sent that increase the value of your marketing lists.

In this example I'll focus on how Click Dimensions forms work with Microsoft Dynamics to achieve this objective.

A line has been added to the foot of an email that was sent by Click Dimensions asking recipients to check and update the information that the sender has stored about them in their CRM database:

The email was sent using Click Dimensions and is personalised for me so when I click the unique link the main fields in the form are pre-populated:

That’s because Click Dimensions is integrated with Microsoft Dynamics so this data is pulled from CRM enabling the recipient to edit this information, and if appropriate add more detail, before posting these changes directly back to CRM.

This form will typically be embedded within your organisation website to ensure it reflects your branding and menu navigation.

To demonstrate the integration with CRM I’ll go ahead and change the ‘Favourite Apple Variety’ from Gala to Bramley and submit the form:

Once completed the email recipient will see the confirmation thank you page that has been created in CRM using Click Dimensions.

Further automated actions can also be applied at this point.

Using the form designer these automated actions can be triggered when each form is posted:

• Email an auto responder, e.g. send a thank you email & voucher code
• Add the contact / lead to a mailing list
• Remove the contact / lead from a mailing list
• Send an email alert to a named CRM user, a CRM team and / or the record owner
• Create a CRM campaign response
• Schedule a follow up activity

In CRM a list of each completed Click Dimensions web form in shown in the marketing menu.

Opening the record details each posted field entry:

All recent posted field updates can be viewed in a list which is a useful view to check the data quality and correct any obvious typos.

Opening my CRM contact record confirms that my updated Apple preference has been applied:

Even using this basic example it has improved our understanding of an individual's preference so if you did happen to be running an apple farm this would be valuable information that could be applied to future marketing messages. In this scenario, the data could be used to alert individuals when their favourite apple is available for picking, or share recipe ideas featuring this variety.

Can you think of at least one additional piece of customer information that would improve the segmentation of your marketing lists?

Through this level of personalisation we can be far more confident of increased email engagement and protecting the value of our marketing list.

In the previous example the link to the web form appeared in an email footer but a more direct email could be used to check if the information held in CRM remains accurate.

Email templates can be personalised with any data held in CRM so that messages can be sent to confirm if a specific piece of data is still correct.

To customise an email marketing template choose which CRM fields should be inserted. In some instances this might just be a salutation but for this example I also want include the favourite apple variety field:

I’ve created a separate template to ask our audience if we still know their favourite apple.

The template shown below references the favourite apple field in 3 instances to dynamically show this data from CRM:

Alternatively, if you want email recipients to share more data about themselves this message could be presented as an offer, such as '20% Off Your Next Order When You Tell Us Your Date Of Birth'. In these instances where CRM is lacking detail the form fields would appear blank for recipients to complete.

In the recipients inbox the message has been correctly formatted with this personalised detail which can also include the subject title:

Chances are you're not dealing in apples but this data in this example could represent any customer preference, an important date or perhaps the ownership of an item that is relevant to your own business.

Acquiring this information, or confirming if your existing data is correct, will help you send personalised messages that resonate with your audience.

A trusted email sender who consistently shares content which is valued by recipients will find their audience far more motivated to share greater information about themselves in comparison to when they first signed up to a mailing list.

Using marketing automation forms that are integrated with CRM illustrate a smart way how organisations can build up a clearer picture of their customers over time, cleanse their data and add greater personalisation to their communications.

Contact Preact to learn more about the Click Dimensions solution highlighted in this post and arrange a demonstration.