There are over 70 million search results for the marketing axiom, “right message, right person, right time,” and in my digital marketing career, I know I’ve used it several hundred times to explain how digital marketing campaigns are supposed to be built. Of course, it’s never as simple as just picking the right AdTech platform, hitting “launch,” and walking away. Instead, launching a campaign requires a plan that addresses every stage of the customer funnel.

So, what’s the right plan?

Well, it’s not always one size fits all for every product and service, but it usually starts and ends with your CRM lists.

Why CRM lists?

The power of CRM Onboarding is that you can segment your audience into lists of the “right people” you want to target, such as mobile site visitors and audiences on popular social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram. This allows digital marketing to be the right arm to any other strategy that together employs a multi-channel media mix.

At the minimum, you’ll need 100 emails to get started with any of these lists. It’s also important that each person on your list has either subscribed to hear more about your offerings or has purchased from you in the past. Without this prior experience with your brand, you may not be reaching your target audience anymore.

CRM Lists for the “Right Time and Message”

The basic marketing concepts behind each of these CRM list types are activation, reactivation, cross-selling, and word of mouth.

  1. Activation of subscriber inquiries
    CRM 101 advises us to get leads and close them. For years, this meant a combination of sales tactics and direct marketing literature. When email marketing came into the mix, it was just another way to send more direct marketing. However, each new method along the way has brought different results. The problem that remained was reaching these same leads outside of direct channels—the choices were very limited on digital platforms. But, by adding a CRM list to digital campaigns, marketers were able to stay consistent with both their audience’s inbox and their social feed.

    The clearest advantage to adding this list to your digital marketing campaigns is that these CRM groups are already in the “prospecting” stage of your marketing funnel. Therefore, by engaging them on mobile and social media channels, you’re simply increasing the frequency by which they see your brand. This allows you to stay top of mind in a passive mode that negates the audience from being overwhelmed or annoyed in a single channel. Ideally, this is where you should see the highest conversion yield as these customers are the closest to the purchasing phase.

  2. Reactivation of previous customers
    Losing a customer for any reason should be a time of reflection and action. Unless they unsubscribed from your CRM, now is the time to try harder to win them back. A reactivation campaign will also depend a lot on the buying cycle. If your product or service category has a long use phase, it’s important to understand when your customers might be ready for a replacement.

    If you know where you customers went, from something like a CRM feedback exit survey, then use that information to your advantage. Develop campaign messaging focused on the core strengths of your company. If your product or service has improved since they left, focus on those benefits. If there are high transactional costs associated with reactivation, then look to lower them in favor of the returning customers.

  3. Cross-sell of people that purchased similar products/services
    E-commerce sites have become masters of cross-selling practice with “customers like you” prompts at points of purchase. If you haven’t set up this tactic yet, these communication tracks should already be in place and act as the source of your lists.

    Still, it’s important to limit the number of campaigns that are targeting the same customers for cross-selling different products and services. The priority should be given to the campaigns with the highest lead score. These campaigns should use messaging that reinforces the brand value that they’ve experienced from their previous purchases—along with perhaps a loyalty discount code campaign based on the number of repeat purchases.
  4. Product influencers to create word of mouth
    This is perhaps the most difficult CRM list to gather and deliver the right message to. In the early days of social, it was the person with the highest Klout score or the most followers on an open platform—the plan usually to get noticed for a retweet. Now the complexity of influencer marketing has made the top echelons difficult and expensive to reach. And yet, influencers are people too. They are using the same platforms as the rest of your customers and therefore can be exposed to your marketing message.

    Once you’ve identified the customers in your CRM who might best act as influencers for your product, it’s important that the message conveys the same level of importance that they’ve earned in your funnel. This is the group you want to sent “special” invites “first-looks” before it’s release to the rest of public. Make them the celebrity of your brand.

Right Plan, Right Reach

Now that you’ve prepared your next digital campaign with the right CRM lists, it’s important to remember there is no right channel for any product or service. Instead, it’s important to focus on maximizing reach and optimizing analytics. The explosion of digital marketing channels to well over 500 networks and exchanges can spread any digital marketing team thin having to evaluate, setup, and launch on a plethora of networks.

Focus instead on an ad-tech platform that simplifies this process. In order to know if you got everything right the first time, analytics on campaign performance need to be well displayed with clear conversion metrics that are ready to be presented to leadership. The most important factor for me when evaluating an ad-tech platform is always service: am I being treated like a professional in the relationship or a burden, can I communicate with a person and not just a self-service portal, are they actively trying to help my campaign perform well or just sell their platform? Consider these factors when looking at bringing on a partner to help you with your marketing efforts. 

Finally, while these are the 4 CRM lists you should be running, they aren’t the only lists. I’m always eager to learn more, so reach out to me on Twitter or LinkedIn, let me know your favorite CRM list to run in digital marketing campaigns. The next right CRM list might be yours.