Marketing Automation + CRM Integration: The Formula for Speedier and Superior Inbound Marketing

When I discuss the importance of inbound marketing with boutique asset managers, many tell me that they use email marketing platforms like Constant Contact and Mailchimp to cultivate leads.

These email services are great because they are easy to use and inexpensive. Asset managers like to compare open and click rates on each send. In addition, they are good to report “either/or” results. The message arrives or is “bounced” back. A recipient either opens or doesn’t open a message. She either clicks on a link or doesn’t. She either opts out of further emails or doesn’t.

This kind of binary data isn’t actionable, however. It doesn’t tell you how long visitors stayed on your web site, where they went afterward, which additional content they consumed and if they’ve ever come back to your site on their own.

If you really want to measure someone’s level of online engagement to determine their position in your sales funnel, consider a marketing automation software platform like Marketo, Pardot, Sharpspring or Hubspot. And if you want to make it easier for your salespeople to know which digitally active prospects they should contact first, ensure your CRM system can dynamically import the results of your inbound marketing campaigns into the activity tracking areas of your client and prospect records.

These were the main points of a recent webinar, Give Your E-Marketing a Speed Boost, presented by the Satuit Technologies Learning Center. In this session, I provided an overview of marketing automation strategies for asset managers and Satuit CEO Karen Macguire discussed the benefits of integrating inbound marketing and CRM platforms.

Marketing automation: The Fitbits of inbound marketing

Think of marketing automation as inbound marketing Fitbits. Like email platforms, they can automatically execute email marketing campaigns and generate social media posts. But rather than simply reporting “either/or” results, these applications can also track and report the online activities of anyone in your client or prospect database.

At a glance you can find out:

  • Which emails they opened;
  • Which links within an email message they clicked on;
  • Which web site pages, blogs, videos, podcasts and social media posts they viewed and interacted with; and
  • How often they came back to your site on their own, rather than through an email or social media prompt.

These applications can also automatically execute specific follow-up activities based on a person’s behavior. For example, if an email recipient doesn’t open an email, the program can automatically re-send the message with a different subject line. If someone opens a message and clicks a link – for example, downloading a whitepaper on small cap investing – the program can automatically send a relevant follow up message offering a link to performance data for your small cap funds.

The best marketing automation programs can assign “lead scores” to your clients and prospects based on their level of online engagement. These scores can help you determine if and when follow-up contact is warranted.

For example, your salesperson may want to call an advisor – prospect with a high lead score and ignore those with low lead scores. Or, if a formerly highly engaged advisor- client is no longer opening your emails or visiting your site, this may be an attrition warning sign that elevates them to the top of a salesperson’s client retention list.

Integrating e-marketing and CRM

 Whether you’re using a standalone e-mail platform or marketing automation software, you want to get lists of your most engaged recipients to your salespeople as quickly and efficiently as possible. The biggest bottleneck in this process is the time and effort it takes to manually enter each recipient’s activities and lead scores list into your CRM system.

According to Satuit Technologies CEO Karen Macguire, Satuit’s CRM system can clear this virtual logjam by establishing dynamic links with many popular email and marketing automation platforms.

Email “objects,” including the results a particular campaign (open, click, bounce, opt-out) can be added to the “mailings and events” section of each recipient’s CRM activity record. And lead scores and historical online interactions can be imported from marketing automation programs. As new inbound marketing campaigns are launched, Satuit’s CRM system can automatically update the results for each recipient.

Combining this digital activity intelligence with the results of sales – initiated activities like meetings and phone calls give a salesperson a much richer picture of their clients’ and prospects’ level of engagement with your firm. Satuit can even flag high lead scores and move them to the top of a salesperson’s “priority contact” dashboard.

Elevating your inbound marketing gameplan

Often boutique asset managers can benefit from digital marketing to attract leads, engage and support their sales teams. Email marketing makes it easier to deliver their story and value-added content to consultants, brokers and investment advisers. But to truly tell which of your email prospects are bona-fide leads requires more information than only marketing automation can provide. Marketing automation can deliver these insights, and dynamically importing them into your CRM system can help your salespeople make the most of their valuable time.

Dan Sondhelm is CEO of Sondhelm Partners, a firm that helps asset managers, mutual funds, ETFs, wealth managers and fintech companies grow through marketing, public relations and sales programs. Click to read Dan’s latest Insight articles and to schedule a complimentary consultation.