One of the key features of the Sage CRM v7.1 release is Sage E-marketing for Sage CRM.  In my previous blog article, I explored how e-marketing can benefit a company and how it should be included as an integral part of a company's marketing activity. This article talks about the importance of the mailing list, provides some tips to help prepare a good quality list and shows how to create tailored group lists in Sage CRM to use as the basis for an e-marketing campaign.

One of the most important elements of an e-marketing campaign is the mailing list. The list should be composed of people who have chosen to receive communications from your company, either because they are interested in what you have to offer or because they have already purchased products/services from you.

If your company is targeting people who have not bought from you previously, they should only be included in the mailing list, if they have indicated that they have an interest in your products or services.

You need to ensure that the message you are sending is relevant to your targeted list. Nobody likes to receive an endless stream of irrelevant emails clogging up in their inbox day after day and the last thing you want is your messages ending up marked as spam and hitting the 'junk' email folder. If you spend time working on creating a selective and highly-targeted mailing list, your company will soon reap the rewards.

Here are some tips to ensure that your list is in order before you get your e-marketing campaign started!

  • Don't send irrelevant offers to people in your database
  • Build your list internally, even if it takes time, so the quality of your recipient list remains at a high level
  • Keep an accuarte audit of how your company received permission to contact the subscribers of the lists - some people forget they signed up to receive information
  • Make membership of your list valuable by offering deals that non-members do not receive
  • Provide subscribers with clear instructions of how to be removed from future mailings, and make sure that your privacy policy is easily accessible
  • Don't send messages to anyone who did not request to receive information
  • Don't purchase or rent lists of email addresses from suppliers who are not reputable
  • Don't sell or rent your email lists to other organisations, unless you have been given specific permission to do so

Sage CRM makes it easy to to create, modify, and save lists of people, companies, leads, cases, opportunities, quotes, and orders based on defined filter criteria. The filter criteria can be simple, for example, "All IT Managers in Dublin", or complex, for example, "All Marketing Managers in the Telecoms sector in London, Dublin, or Manchester, who attended our seminar last year, but who have not yet replied to our invitation mail shot".

For this example, I want to create a group of customers that are based in New York.

Select the My CRM button and click on the Groups tab. Click on the New Group button. The New Group Stage 1 of 4 page is displayed. Complete the name and description for the group and choose whether you would like to create a static or dynamic group. Select the main Entity that the group is to be based on. In this instance, I want to create a group of companies so I select Company as my entity and Company Search from the Source View dropdown menu. Once you choose the relevant group from the Source View,  click Continue.

Select the columns that you wish to include in the group contents, search criteria and sort order. I have chosen City as the basis for my search criteria as I want to find all customers who are based in New York. Click Continue once this is complete.

Specify the Search criteria that you require and click continue. For this search, I want to match Address - City to New York.

Step 4 provides you with the group details which you can then save for your e-marketing campaign. 

This simple 4 step process can help you generate a targeted list of companies to match your e-marketing requirements and ensures that the right message reaches the right people for maximum impact. 

Don't expect every campaign to be an immediate success - creating quality messages takes time and requires feedback. In the next blog article, I will look at how testing of how e-marketing campaigns can help determine what campaign generates the most responses. Even the smallest of changes, can make a dramatic impact on your results.