Digital marketing is data driven. Merchants can now use data to market to their prospects with greater insight and more intelligence than ever before.
Customer relationship management tools can help with this. The benefits of using CRM tools include:
- Deeper insight into a customer’s interests, purchase history, social network connections, and interactions with the company;
- Multichannel marketing automation, which gives merchants the ability to create personalized, relevant marketing messages at each stage of the customer’s buying journey;
- Sales opportunity process flow and tracking;
- Unified flow of information between departments and business lines.
While CRM platforms are commonly associated with larger companies, any business, regardless of size, can benefit from them.
Here are five CRM tools for smaller businesses.
Batchbook is a cloud-based social CRM platform that provides an organized way to make sales and build customer relationships. It enables merchants to keep track of important customers, partners, and deals using any device — desktop computer, tablet or smartphone.
From a marketing standpoint, Batchbook integrates with a number of tools and platforms across a range of categories that include:
- Email. MailChimp, Mad Mimi, ActiveCampaign, and Yesware;
- Social. Facebook, Twitter, HootSuite, and Disqus, a blog commenting platform;
- Direct mail. Direct Mail Manager;
- Events. Eventbrite.
Even though it is affordable for most small business, with prices starting at $35 per month Batchbook is the most expensive of those on the list. A free 30-day trial is available.
Many small business owners use a system of email, documents, and spreadsheets to manage contacts. ContactMe, part of the Webs Online marketing platform, enables companies to update contact lists from a single source and organize contacts into categories such as leads, potential prospects, and customers.
ContactMe offers integrations with Facebook, WordPress, Webs, Constant Contact, and MailChimp.
A free version is available. Paid versions start at $3.95 per month. Small businesses would likely benefit from the Pro version, which costs $7.42 per month.
3. Zoho CRM
Zoho CRM includes features such as sales tracking, Salesforce automation, Google service synchronization, and social profiles.
One important feature is the Opportunity Tracking tool, which gives businesses a complete view of all sales activities. An editable Notes section displays the time and content of past customer interactions.
Zoho supports social media engagement through integration with Twitter and Facebook. Marketing automation is internal to the system, which enables more highly targeted email marketing campaigns based on customer profile and history. Users can also track marketing expenditures in real time.
Zoho CRM is free at the base level; premium packages start at $12 per month.
Nimble, a cloud-based social CRM, helps businesses better manage social network contacts including all online conversations you have with them over email, Twitter, Skype, Facebook, and other services.
The platform manages all contact information and history via a single screen, which gives users a more inclusive, comprehensive view of customer interactions.
Nimble integrates with a variety of marketing tools including MailChimp, ActiveCampaign, AWeber, HootSuite, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Unique to Nimble are integrations with ecommerce platforms Magento and Shopify.
Pricing is $15 per month per user. A 14-day free trial is available.
Insightly helps small businesses deal with managing contacts, organizations, partners, vendors and suppliers. Users can see everything about contacts, including their backgrounds, email histories, important dates, and any projects or opportunities in which they have participated. Features include Salesforce automation, marketing automation, order management, sales forecasting, and more.
The platform offers the most robust social media integration of all those on the list. Once you enter a contact’s email address, the platform detects virtually every social media profile related to it. Supported social networks include Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+, Foursquare, Picasa, Klout, and nearly any social channel where the contact has participated.
Insightly offers free and paid versions, which start at $9.00 per month.