CRM to Email Integration Tips

By Jelani Harper
Updated: March 28, 2011

One of the most useful functions of Customer Resource Management (CRM) is its email integration capability, which allows for an unparalleled degree of accessibility for today’s modern enterprise. Email integration enables CRM data to be retrieved from desktops and productivity applications which employees use most frequently, effectively reducing the learning curve for newcomers to a particular CRM system. Users are able to communicate more efficiently and effectively with valued customers by taking advantage of virtually instant access to the latest customer, product, and support information.

With most products, CRM integration to email simply requires selecting the appropriate option in the CRM and following the subsequent wizard. Integration can be achieved in a matter of minutes without additional hardware, software or information technology support, although the latter is usually offered. Attendant benefits include the synchronization of all CRM system capabilities (contacts, activities, tasks and appointments) into a single view of a customer’s entire company interaction, accessible through employees’ email accounts. Staff can determine the most recent activity regarding a customer’s experience and follow email conversations, while defining outgoing emails into multiple identities eliminates the need for carbon and blind carbon copying (“cc” and “bcc”).

Flexible Integration

Email integration is also highly flexible. Options include the designation of which areas of a customer’s experience and emails are to be synchronized with CRM, allowing for case-by-case privacy as needed. Structures of user defined folders and storage management of records accessed through CRM can be configured to go into the desktop system, ensuring that customer information is centralized and current. Other features include the ability to assign emails to specific cases and contacts in the CRM, while some systems automatically create new contacts when an email is received from a new source, allowing for rapid organization of potentially new customer information with the appropriate association of customer emails within the database system.

Advanced Options

Additional options include automatic spam filtering and flagging, as well as the prioritization assignment of emails. Depending on which CRM product is employed, integration can include support for an unlimited amount of email accounts as well as for HTML and Word email format. CRM integrations with email marketing systems allow market listing and bulk emails to be sent based on CRM data. Such systems track email reads and links clicked, and allow recipients to unsubscribe from the CRM data base as needed. Marketing productivity is accordingly increased, granting seamless campaign targeting and the maintenance of consistent data between several locations.

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