When basic one-off sending has become too much work, consider integrations with your CRM and/or an API to automate and further segment your email marketing campaigns. You’ll still be able to adhere to email best practices, but you’ll save yourself time and probably end up with happier subscribers.
By one-offs, I mean anything that isn’t automated into a campaign or trigger. For example, you might be sending out an email newsletter once per month. That’s a one-off because you create that email just for that purpose and manually send it to your in-house email list every month. If it’s one newsletter, once per month, it’s no big deal.
However, if it’s four email marketing messages plus a newsletter and you’re doing them all as one-offs, you might want to integrate, build an API or turn to a CRM tool like Salesforce.com or SugarCRM to reduce your workload. By doing this you can also send more personalized content in the one-off emails.
First off, you’ll need to decide which CRM to use, or if you have one already in use, find out if your ESP has an integration in place. If not, many ESPs can accommodate you with your own integration through an API, but this will require a person on staff (or outsourced) to create the integration.
Integrations can be a great asset to any email marketer in that they allow for your data to be managed all in one place, reducing workload and the chance of errors. They also allow for more advanced segmenting and targeting of emails. For example, an integration can enable you to send a particular email only to customers who have purchased a specific product. Or you can also suppress these customers from sends if you don’t want them to receive these types of emails again. This helps avoid added costs (and the risk of being annoying) for sending to subscribers who obviously wouldn’t have a need to purchase the product again. On the other hand, integrating means you can send relevant products to customers who have purchased a product from the same family of products.
Email best practices work when they put the customer first. Although it might feel more automated and therefore less personal, integration with a CRM or building an API for such integration will likely lead to more personal, not let, email marketing messages.