The word integration means combining parts so they work together to form a whole. Email integration is the process of combining your email marketing with the rest of your marketing, so that you present a unified front to customers and leads.
With email integration, you can combine efforts and communications for a client, prospect or user to interact with them more efficiently.
There are two types of email integration; manual and automated.
Even though manual may be quicker to setup, automated in my eyes is always the way to go.
Automated integration offers many more benefits over the long term and will save your team more time, increasing productivity and communication levels.
Email Integration Software
Not all software for email integration is created equal.
When at all possible you want to limit the amount of software programs you invest in, so by choosing one that does it all, you will be better off and your team will thank you.
I have talked about software for marketing in the past. Make a wish list of all the tools and functionality you wish it to have before you start searching and you should be ok. At minimum, you want these basic tools for the email integration part of the software:
- Customizable automations
- Ability to attach a history of each communication (in/outbound) to each contact
- Delayed or scheduled sending capabilities
- A robust email template editor/creator
- Integration with outlook or current email provider
- Robust tracking and reporting based on email campaigns created
- Lead nurturing automations & campaign management
The Benefits of Email Integration
Implementing email integration software will provide increased communication company wide.
When an email comes into your system, all who have access to the software will be able to see where a colleague left off or get an update about the latest communication.
This feature of email integration will save plenty of time for your team.
When communications improve and employees have more time, naturally productivity will go up.
Automated email integration will give your sales and marketing teams more time to focus on the customer and/or prospect.
You and your entire company will have more time to focus on their true job requirements as well, rather than figuring out an email or who has talked to whom last.
Better Lead Nurturing
I have talked of email lead nurturing many times in the past, an automated email system will nurture leads better and faster than if it were to be done manually by your team.
With integrated email marketing, your email blasts and communication will fit seamlessly into the lead nurturing process you have created.
Better Pipeline Management
The type of email integration software being discussed comes with so much more than your normal email add-on tools. You want to choose a program that will also integrate with your social networks, marketing campaigns, nurture your leads and much more.
Because the program you choose will have these features, you will better be able to manage your sales and marketing pipelines and give clearer forecasts of what is to come.
Tracking & Reports
You will never truly know your success or defeats if you don’t have a software that includes tracking and reports.
You need to track how many emails were sent, when and to whom.
You also want to know things like your open rates and what people are doing with your emails; such as where they are linking to or what actions they take after reading your email.
Detailed History & Storage Management
Finally, one of the major benefits of email integration is the detailed history and storage benefits you receive. In today’s world, email communications can be stored virtually instead of in a traditional file cabinet. With most software programs you can choose to attach and save email communications on a contact level basis and/or in folders for future use for you and your colleagues. It makes pulling a history of communications easier than ever.
With email integration, your lead nurturing will be more effective and your sales team will take more initiative to work together to close more business. Regardless of how the email comes in or goes out, your new integrated system will be ready to nurture, score, track and give you and your team the access they need to increase productivity and communication amongst one another and to your prospects and clients alike. Companies today need to invest in a piece of software that will take the manual process out of emailing people and produce high level marketing results as well.
“Tools build productivity like keyboards build software.” – Author Unknown