Getting your CRM practices right, and getting the results you want out of them, can often be a complex task. Everything from consolidating your data sources to modernising your emails requires work, but if you take the time to build personalised, relevant and timely journeys for your customers then you’ll reap the benefits in the long run.
So what are the key steps to creating an effective CRM solution?
1 – Understanding your data
- A successful CRM programme is one based on a data driven strategy, and built with the consumers’ needs at its heart.
- Understand your data before you map out your lifecycle journeys. Knowing what data you do and don’t have will drive different insights, and those insights will ultimately drive the creativity of your CRM.
2 – Managing data into a workable marketing solution
- Try to ensure that your different data sources (from transaction history to previous contact details, etc.) can be managed in one central marketing solution. This will give you the Single Customer View (SCV).
- The SCV allows you to view and treat your customers as individual people rather than statistics. You know who they are and what they’ve previously done on your website, so treat them as individuals and tailor your communications to their specific needs. Send them relevant content that they’ll find interesting, and reduce the number of generic communications that you send out to everybody.
3 – Get familiar with Visio
- A great tool for mapping out lifecycle journeys is Visio, which allows you to simplify and communicate complex information with data-linked diagrams. Although a bit painful at first (I was no Visio expert and it takes a bit of time to learn your way around), you’ll be able to clearly map out the communication journey and assess where the gaps are. You can use your map to serve appropriate communications and to understand how regularly a user can expect to hear from you.
4 – Be bold and try dynamic email communications
- Try to move away from creating static HTML emails and use data to power more complex dynamic email frameworks. Back in December 2014, we set about creating a Dynamic Email Template Framework that would be used across our lifecycle emails.
- The template was built as a HTML boiler template which is broken up into separate content blocks. The content blocks then alternate depending upon the user’s previous actions on the website. They’re also fundraising category specific, meaning we always serve our user content that’s relevant to what they are doing.
- The framework was built with mobile responsive design in mind as at the time 65% of JustGiving users read our emails on their mobile or tablet devices.
- The impact of a dynamic template framework is quite significant. We now have just under 1 million different message combinations served to our users across just 10 emails!
Here’s an example of our fundraising tips email:
5 – Analyse and iterate
- Effective CRM solutions require constant performance analysis to ensure that users are engaging with your communications. If they’re not, change them.
- Don’t be afraid to test new things – even something as simple as an A:B test of subject lines can make a big difference to the number of people reading your emails.
What has been the impact on our CRM solution for JustGiving?
When the new lifecycle journey went live in 2014, CRM drove around 1.5% of site traffic. In September 2015, this figure had increased to 8%. To put that into context, that’s enough to fill Wembley stadium nearly 14 times! In 2015 CRM has also driven around £12 million worth of donations for good causes.
So what does the future hold?
It’s clear that our lifecycle journey seems to be working, but CRM is no longer just about email. Be prepared to use new channels of communication with your users, either alongside your emails or replacing them entirely.
We recently launched Push Notifications designed drive people back to the JustGiving App. Not everyone reads, or wants to receive emails, so try using different channels to keep your lifecycle journeys fresh, engaging and relevant for your users.