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What is Customer Relationship Management?

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What is Customer Relationship Management?

Customer relationship management (CRM) is the system that a company sets up to manage prospect and customer interactions and analyze their data to improve business relationships.

By setting up this system, the company streamlines the process of staying connected to their prospects and customers, ultimately driving up retention and sales. According to Agile CRM and Salesforce, a company can boost sales by 29% and conversion rates by up to 300% with proper CRM implementation.

This blog post is an in-depth guide on customer relationship management, how it can help your business, my software recommendations, and more.

  1. What a CRM system does
  2. How customer relationship management helps your business
  3. Types of CRM platforms
  4. My recommended CRM software
  5. Key takeaway

What a CRM system does

A CRM system consists of two things: a strategy and a software. Without a strategy, CRM software cannot be maximized by the marketing and sales team. Without software, managing customer relationships and doing data analysis would be nearly impossible to do especially when your customers are in the thousands.

So, what exactly does a CRM system do?

To help you visualize these functions, I will show you photos of the customer relationship management software I use: Drip.

Manages leads and customers

A customer first enters your CRM software through a sign-up for a free demo, lead magnet download, account creation, and so on and so forth. Their data then enters your chosen software and gets updated either through their actions or yours.

Screenshot user profile Drip

For example, this subscriber first entered last August 13 when they visited my website. They placed an order the following day, updated their information, then subscribed to my marketing emails.

They went through various Workflows and received my marketing emails after that, depending on the actions they took. And since they are active in engaging my emails, they also automatically got the appropriate tags and was eventually noted by Drip as a lead.

Having a CRM software then isn’t just for storing customer data, but for applying some of the strategies that the team has planned to ensure that customers will remain as such, leads will be followed up on, and opportunities for sales will be maximized.

You can also create customer segments for a more personalized approach. For example, your marketing and sales strategy towards highly engaged leads and disengaged ones would be very different. You would want to coax back disengaged ones (or prune them) and turn the highly engaged leads into sales.

Highly engaged leads in Drip

Automates marketing

I mentioned above that our subscriber received my marketing emails depending on the actions they took. Instead of me or my marketing team having to check every single action of every single customer, we already discuss our strategies and ensure that we are at least one or two steps ahead of our customers.

This helps us automate tasks that can be automated, such as creating loyalty tiers for people who accumulate lifetime values. This also ensures that a marketing email is automatically sent to those who sign up for anything on our website, and follow-up emails are sent to those who purchased a product or downloaded our lead magnets.

State of SEO 2022 report

Optimizes processes through Workflows

This is perhaps my favorite feature when it comes to customer relationship management software: Workflows.

Customer relationship management Workflow

According to Pipefy, “You can think of a CRM Workflow as a line of dominoes you need to knock over to get from an initial trigger to your desired outcome.”

As you can see, I just added a trigger (Segments), and two actions (Delay and Email). Once a day, Drip will check the segment that I selected if there are new people, and the Workflow will automatically activate for those customers.

There are multiple uses for Workflows. You can use it to add tags to users who complete your preferred actions, send warm-up and follow-up emails to your customers, create abandoned cart strategies, and so much more.

Analytics

And of course, it’s incredibly important that we are able to see the performance of our marketing and customer relationship management efforts.

Drip analytics

Here in Drip for example, the Analytics shows different kinds of data that I may need to see to gauge how well I’m performing. Let’s say that I need to see how well my past two emails have been performing. I just need to click Email Metrics and look at my two most recent emails.

Customer relationship management analytics

When the Analytics show me that there are issues with the emails I’m sending, then perhaps I should start shifting strategies. This is why even if a CRM software can pretty much do everything that you need it to do, it’s still up to you—the user—to come up with good strategies that will ensure your customer relationship management is as fruitful as it can be.

Streamlines processes through integration

Lastly, a CRM software makes things easier for marketing and sales teams by streamlining processes through integration of different software. Going back to our Workflow, you can see that I can choose another software and choose from the list of actions that the integration permits.

Integrations Drip

How customer relationship management helps your business

Now that you know what a CRM system does, it’s time to discuss its top benefits for your business.

Improved customer service and relations

According to SuperOffice, 74% of companies using CRM report improved customer service. This is due to the fact that data analysis, segmentation, and automation give companies the ability to personalize and better customer experience every step of the way.

And of course, if your customer’s experience of your company is positive, then relations also improve. Because of your strategy and the CRM software that you’re using, you’re able to really show up for your customers as individuals and respond to their needs.

Increased customer retention

According to Act-On, 99% of B2B top performing companies utilize CRM for customer retention. Part of improving their experience, responding to their needs, and building your relationship with your customers is understanding their preferences and resolving their issues as fast as possible. Since you have a plethora of features to choose from in a CRM software plus your strategy, you get to attend to your customers’ needs in a way that is unparalleled.

Customer relationship management also includes reaching out to customers and ensuring that they repeat purchases through recommendations, or reconnecting to older customers who may have been neglected. According to SuperOffice, keeping an existing customer is about 6 to 7 times cheaper than acquiring new ones, so that is also something to keep in mind.

Heightened productivity

Since CRM software have integrations, automations, and other features, then it takes away some load off of marketing and sales teams. According to destinationCRM, 91% of businesses with more than 10 employees in the US have a CRM system in place as it already automates repetitive tasks and other manual processes.

Imagine not having to manually encode customer emails, send follow ups one by one, and check individually if the customer is ready to purchase!

Increased ROI

Last but not the least, proper CRM implementation can eventually yield your company an ROI exceeding 245%, although the timeline is around four months to a year according to Martech Zone. But still, that’s a massive increase that is well worth the effort, especially since the increased ROI is a result of a productive marketing and sales team, and better customer relations.

Types of CRM platforms

There are three kinds of CRM platforms: Open-source CRM, on-premise CRM, and cloud-based CRM.

Open-source CRM

Open-source CRM simply means its source code is publicly available and can be “distributed, modified, and redistributed by users according to their needs.”

One major advantage of choosing an open-source CRM is the price. It’s (more often than not) free or much more affordable than their proprietary counterparts. Considering that open-source CRMs have the same functions as proprietary CRM plus an immense amount of flexibility due to its nature, many companies opt to go for open-source.

One major disadvantage of open-source CRM is implementation. Considering that it doesn’t come “boxed” unlike proprietary CRM, you need to ensure that you have developers on your team (or at least, that the product has an active developer community) to ensure that you can maximize your software and set it up properly.

On-premise CRM

On-premise CRM means that the software is running on your office servers (hence, on-premise). This means that you have to be in your office to be able to do some customer relationship management.

On-premise CRM also needs plenty of IT attention. Since it’s on-premise, the company’s team is basically in charge of every aspect of managing the CRM platform. This is also why big businesses are usually the ones that opt for this type of CRM—they have the people, the budget, and the need.

It’s not all disadvantages, though. On-premise CRM, as it’s setup and handled by the company, can be customized and configured to fit the company’s processes better. This means that the CRM can be tweaked to fit and support a specific company’s needs.

Cloud-based CRM

On the other hand, cloud-based CRM is just that—cloud-based. Unlike on-premise CRM, the only thing you really need to access the software is internet connection.

You also don’t need a full in-house IT team to manage the CRM in this case. If things go wrong, you can simply contact the vendor’s customer service and ask for their assistance.

Aside from that, it’s easy to setup and can be accessed by anyone in the team who has an account. Typically, there is one owner who can add member users to their account and set the privileges of those users.

What are the disadvantages? For one, faulty internet connection will make using a cloud-based CRM frustrating. There’s also less customization as most likely you are purchasing a “ready-to-go” type of CRM. Lastly, in the event that there’s a bug or some other issue with the platform, you will have to wait for their customer service to come up with a solution. I have had the unfortunate experience once where I came across a bug that the vendor’s team did not know how to fix, and it was a huge headache for everyone involved.

My recommended CRM software

I have two recommended customer relationship management software: Drip and Overloop.

Drip: E-commerce customer relationship management

Drip is the platform that I currently use for my company. It markets itself as an ECRM—a platform that is built for the KPIs of e-commerce. According to Drip, “With ECRM, you can see what your customers are doing all the time—what links they’re clicking, what pages they’re visiting, what emails they’re clicking through, what products they’re yearning after. ”

Drip customer relationship management

Then Drip’s dashboards give you a sense of where your customer is in terms of your sales funnel.

Where Drip shines is in its segmentation capabilities.

Drip segmentation

There are a plethora of filters to choose from that makes segmentation so much easier. According to their website, “You win with intimacy.”

I agree.

Overloop (formerly Prospect.io): Made for conversations

I reviewed Overloop before back when it was still Prospect.io (they changed names back in October 2021). It’s incredibly user-friendly and intuitive, and they even have an extension available in the Chrome web store that you can use to easily find prospects.

Overloop CRM

Where Overloop shines is how they center their platform on conversation. Aside from being robust in features, they also have four areas that are for connecting to and reaching out to customers: Cold Email Campaigns, Email Finder, Live Chats, and Web Forms.

Overloop features

Aside from that, instead of having to use different platforms to check your pipeline and your tasks, you can just use Overloop as they have all those things integrated, making it a full-fledged CRM platform.

Try Overloop with our referral code!

Key takeaway

Customer relationship management isn’t just about using a software to keep customer data, it’s a holistic strategy that includes a CRM software to ensure that your relationship and interactions with your customers are kept healthy and alive. With all the areas and features of CRM, the main benefit really is that your customers get to have a good experience with your company, inevitably increasing sales and retention.

Don’t know how to implement a CRM system for your company? You can opt to let us do it for you!


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Why Every Marketer Should Be On Reddit

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Why Every Marketer Should Be On Reddit

In its nearly 20 years of existence, Reddit has built a robust, dynamic, and highly engaged community.

It has cemented itself as not only one of the key influencers for the internet culture we have come to know today, but also as one of the top 10 social media sites in the world, with more than 500,000 monthly visitors across more than 100,000 active communities.

Despite its size and influence, marketers have long avoided, overlooked, and failed to establish a presence on what is arguably one of the most influential social media sites today.

To be fair, Reddit has always been known as one of the hardest communities to have marketing success with, requiring months (if not years) of dedicated commitment to actually being a part of the community and engaging with your audience through meaningful, genuine, and honest interactions.

To many, that is just too much risk and too much work, but let’s be honest – most amazing things take risk and hard work. And for all of you who put in that work to be successful on Reddit, you already see the payoff it brings.

Regardless of the reasons, marketers who continue to overlook Reddit’s potential are missing out on an extremely influential community with ideal targeted demographics, where authenticity and genuine connections lead to valuable information, positive branding, and marketing success.

Not convinced? Let’s take a closer look at Reddit!

Reddit Stats You Cannot Ignore

Reddit users are dedicated to their use of the platform, with a reported 82 million (16.4%) of its 500 million users visiting the site daily, sharing over 1 billion posts, with over 16 billion comments across 100,000+ active communities, making it easily one of the top visited and most active sites in the United States today.

The user base is so loyal that they spend, on average, 20 minutes on the platform each day (and over 45 minutes a day for long-time users of more than 7 years) and, in many cases, are inactive on other social platforms.

This makes Reddit one of the only places to actually get in front of this massive audience, with 32% being inactive on Facebook, 37% on Instagram, 41% on TikTok, and 53% on X.

When it comes to demographics, a 2019 survey concluded that the overall Reddit audience was majority male (59%), ranged in age (36% aged 18-29; 25% aged 30-49), and well educated (42% college degree; 31% some college) making them an ideal audience many businesses looking for success.

They also helped Reddit improve revenues by 21% to $804 million in 2023, with a global addressable market for advertising estimated at $1.4 trillion by 2027.

Thought by many to be mostly a North American audience, Reddit claims more than 50% of its traffic comes from international users, a rather impressive climb from its earlier years.

It is important to remember, though, that Reddit is a platform that allows communities to grow and thrive, so those demographics change from subreddit to subreddit.

If that isn’t enough to grab your attention, surveys have found that 75% of users find Reddit a trustworthy source for making purchasing decisions.

For years now, it has been included heavily and prominently in Google search results, which have become even more visible due to reports following their inclusion in SGE results and with Google’s recent $60 million a year deal with Reddit to have real-time access to Reddit content and to use its content to train Google’s future AI models.

Speaking of Reddit’s visibility in Google’s search results, let’s take a closer look at why that deal is so important, especially to search marketers.

Reddit In Google Search, SGE, And Google’s Reddit Deal

For years, Reddit results have been prominently displayed in Google’s search results – so much so that users have even started adding the term “reddit” to the end of their search queries.

So often, you will see Google suggest search lines with the term “reddit” prefilled at the end.

Screenshot by author from search for [are purple mattresses good], Google, May 2024

Even without selecting the query that includes “reddit,” you will notice Reddit’s prominent placement in two places: discussions and forums, and Reddit sitelinks, which are both just below the ads and the first organic result.

Reddit resultsScreenshot by author from search for [are purple mattresses good], Google, May 2024

This was amplified by Google’s recent Helpful Content Update (HCU), which allowed platforms like Reddit and other forums to show up more frequently in search results,

Reddit’s ability to be helpful in satisfying a user’s search for information is so successful – in combination with reported shortages in new content for AI models from all major platforms – it is not surprising Google struck a deal with Reddit to show its content faster in search results and to use the content in training future AI models.

Since news of the deal between Reddit and Google was reported, there has been a lot of additional focus on Reddit’s visibility in Google’s search results.

Experts throughout the search industry report an increase in not only the total visibility of Reddit going up within search but also the speed at which a Reddit post is indexed and shown to users.

Google responded to concerns about Reddit showing up more in search results, saying that “some of the SEO folks who tend to be vocal on this platform (X) really dislike seeing more forum content in our search results. But actual searchers seem to like it. They proactively seek it out. It makes sense for us to be showing it to keep the search results relevant and satisfying for everyone.”

Google responded to concerns of Reddit showing up more in search resultsScreenshot by author from X (Twitter), May 2024

Although disputed by Google, Roger Montii wrote about one report of Reddit content being indexed within five minutes.

ChatGPT to Surface Reddit Content

Adding to the deal Reddit made with Google, it was recently reported that OpenAI has partnered with Reddit to surface their content in ChatGPT, adding to the clear value that both OpenAI and Google see in Reddit’s content today and in the future.

Of course, this has sparked a lot of interest in companies of all sizes. They want to figure out how their brands can participate and succeed on Reddit in hopes of increasing their visibility in Google’s search results, SGE, and ChatGPT and building their brand’s visibility amongst one of the most influential audiences on the internet today.

**Quick warning: Reddit requires genuine, long-term engagement and a strategy for success. So, I would definitely advise individuals and businesses to avoid trying to game, spam, or blindly jump into marketing on Reddit and take the time to really understand the platform, its audience, and your place of value within its communities.

Let’s look at how some major brands have been successful on Reddit in the past.

noosa Yoghurt

Noosa Yoghurt’s 2021 back-to-school campaign on Reddit was a great example of tapping into niche audiences to create engaging, user-driven content.

To capitalize on Reddit’s community of vocal yogurt enthusiasts, noosa launched a Flavor Poll that invited Redditors to upvote their favorite noosa flavors in the comments. This created a sense of community and interactivity around what could have been a standard poll.

Noosa Yoghurt’s 2021 back-to-school campaign on Reddit.Screenshot by author from Reddit, May 2024

After tallying the upvotes, noosa published a Promoted Post that showcased the results using a sleek custom infographic, highlighting the community’s favorites while also giving the brand important insight into consumer preferences.

Noosa published a Promoted Post that showcased the results.Screenshot by author from Reddit, May 2024

The results:

  • 49% increase in brand recall among Reddit users who were exposed to the campaign.
  • 30% increase in brand favorability.
  • 39% increase in purchase intent (15X the typical lift observed in the food vertical).
  • 50+ billion monthly views.

Sony Pictures Germany

To drum up excitement around the release of “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse” in Germany, Sony Pictures Germany crafted a Reddit campaign that combined organic and promoted content to engage the platform’s robust fan communities.

The brand created a Reddit account under the protagonist’s name, u/MilesMorales, and used it to share exclusive content directly within Spiderman-related subreddits.

It also organized an AMA with the German voice actor Miles Morales to create a more personal connection with fans and promoted video posts featuring the movie trailer to amplify the excitement.

Sony Pictures Germany crafted a Reddit campaign.Screenshot by author from Reddit, May 2024

The results:

  • Sony Pictures Germany achieved a click-through rate (CTR) that was 344% higher than that of its standard paid media.
  • 831 upvotes.
  • 618,000 impressions.
  • The film remained No. 1 on the German movie charts for three consecutive weeks.

It is important to note that promoting your content and your brand on Reddit is definitely not the only value Reddit can bring you and your business.

Reddit is an amazing place to get honest feedback.

Whether you are trying to figure out what your target audience wants from your brand, test out a new feature or concept before investing and launching it openly, or even just to have continued open communication with your customers to support them and keep them connected to your brand, Reddit can help you succeed in an amazing way.

Transamerica Helping Reddit Make Dollars Make Sense

Transamerica’s campaign on Reddit is a great example of a company identifying an opportunity to connect with its target audience on the subreddit /r/finance.

This allows the company to better understand its customers’ needs and focus on content creation and future marketing plans.

Transamerica’s campaign on RedditScreenshot by author from Reddit, May 2024

Aligning itself with its audience by demonstrating awareness of the topics around personal finance happening in the subreddit, as well as acknowledging the Redditors working at the company, it asked what topics it could create “specifically for the reddit community” around the topic of finance.

It stayed involved and engaged throughout the campaign, responding to threads and maintaining a lighthearted and sometimes humorous tone.

Transamerica’s campaign on RedditScreenshot by author from Reddit, May 2024

After getting all the feedback it needed, it created content around the more popular requests, going as far as branding and designing them similar to Reddit.

IRA vs 401K venn diagramScreenshot by author from Reddit, May 2024

It even took the time to individually comment a link to the published content on its site, bringing attention back to the overall campaign and the content it created.

This campaign was 10 years ago, and it is still referenced as a core example of engaging on Reddit as a brand in a respectful, thoughtful, and meaningful way.

Why You Should Be On Reddit Wrapup

TL;DR: If your brand has something meaningful to say and is interested in truly connecting with your audience, then yes, you should be on Reddit.

These successful brand campaign examples showcase Reddit’s power when used correctly. With research to understand the specific communities you want to reach, Reddit can have exceptional performance compared to other channels.

The stakes are high to get it right because Reddit communities can be highly negative toward self-serving promotion. But if you put in the effort and solve people’s needs and problems, Reddit has the potential to be a high-performance channel.

Edit: Updated daily active users figure based on Reddit’s Q1 Earnings Report

More resources:


Featured Image: Julia Tim/Shutterstock



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No Algorithmic Actions For Site Reputation Abuse Yet

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Looking up at an angle at the Google sign on the Head Office for Canada

Google’s Search Liaison, Danny Sullivan, has confirmed that the search engine hasn’t launched algorithmic actions targeting site reputation abuse.

This clarification addresses speculation within the SEO community that recent traffic drops are related to Google’s previously announced policy update.

Sullivan Says No Update Rolled Out

Lily Ray, an SEO professional, shared a screenshot on Twitter showing a significant drop in traffic for the website Groupon starting on May 6.

Ray suggested this was evidence that Google had begun rolling out algorithmic penalties for sites violating the company’s site reputation abuse policy.

However, Sullivan quickly stepped in, stating:

“We have not gone live with algorithmic actions on site reputation abuse. I well imagine when we do, we’ll be very clear about that. Publishers seeing changes and thinking it’s this — it’s not — results change all the time for all types of reasons.”

Sullivan added that when the actions are rolled out, they will only impact specific content, not entire websites.

This is an important distinction, as it suggests that even if a site has some pages manually penalized, the rest of the domain can rank normally.

Background On Google’s Site Reputation Abuse Policy

Earlier this year, Google announced a new policy to combat what it calls “site reputation abuse.”

This refers to situations where third-party content is published on authoritative domains with little oversight or involvement from the host site.

Examples include sponsored posts, advertorials, and partner content that is loosely related to or unrelated to a site’s primary purpose.

Under the new policy, Google is taking manual action against offending pages and plans to incorporate algorithmic detection.

What This Means For Publishers & SEOs

While Google hasn’t launched any algorithmic updates related to site reputation abuse, the manual actions have publishers on high alert.

Those who rely heavily on sponsored content or partner posts to drive traffic should audit their sites and remove any potential policy violations.

Sullivan’s confirmation that algorithmic changes haven’t occurred may provide temporary relief.

Additionally, his statements also serve as a reminder that significant ranking fluctuations can happen at any time due to various factors, not just specific policy rollouts.


FAQ

Will Google’s future algorithmic actions impact entire websites or specific content?

When Google eventually rolls out algorithmic actions for site reputation abuse, these actions will target specific content rather than the entire website.

This means that if certain pages are found to be in violation, only those pages will be affected, allowing other parts of the site to continue ranking normally.

What should publishers and SEOs do in light of Google’s site reputation abuse policy?

Publishers and SEO professionals should audit their sites to identify and remove any content that may violate Google’s site reputation abuse policy.

This includes sponsored posts and partner content that doesn’t align with the site’s primary purpose. Taking these steps can mitigate the risk of manual penalties from Google.

What is the context of the recent traffic drops seen in the SEO community?

Google claims the recent drops for coupon sites aren’t linked to any algorithmic actions for site reputation abuse. Traffic fluctuations can occur for various reasons and aren’t always linked to a specific algorithm update.


Featured Image: sockagphoto/Shutterstock



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WP Rocket WordPress Plugin Now Optimizes LCP Core Web Vitals Metric

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WP Rocket WordPress Plugin Now Optimizes LCP Core Web Vitals Metric

WP Rocket, the WordPress page speed performance plugin, just announced the release of a new version that will help publishers optimize for Largest Contentful Paint (LCP), an important Core Web Vitals metric.

Large Contentful Paint (LCP)

LCP is a page speed metric that’s designed to show how fast it takes for a user to perceive that the page is loaded and read to be interacted with. This metric measures the time it takes for the main content elements has fully loaded. This gives an idea of how usable a webpage is. The faster the LCP the better the user experience will be.

WP Rocket 3.16

WP Rocket is a caching plugin that helps a site perform faster. The way page caching generally works is that the website will store frequently accessed webpages and resources so that when someone visits the page the website doesn’t have to fetch the data from the database, which takes time, but instead will serve the webpage from the cache. This is super important when a website has a lot of site visitors because that can use a lot of server resources to fetch and build the same website over and over for every visitor.

The lastest version of WP Rocket (3.16) now contains Automatic LCP optimization, which means that it will optimize the on-page elements from the main content so that they are served first thereby raising the LCP scores and providing a better user experience.

Because it’s automatic there’s really nothing to fiddle around with or fine tune.

According to WP Rocket:

  • Automatic LCP Optimization: Optimizes the Largest Contentful Paint, a critical metric for website speed, automatically enhancing overall PageSpeed scores.
  • Smart Management of Above-the-Fold Images: Automatically detects and prioritizes critical above-the-fold images, loading them immediately to improve user experience and performance metrics.

All new functionalities operate seamlessly in the background, requiring no direct intervention from the user. Upon installing or upgrading to WP Rocket 3.16, these optimizations are automatically enabled, though customization options remain accessible for those who prefer manual control.”

Read the official announcement:

WP Rocket 3.16: Improving LCP and PageSpeed Score Automatically

Featured Image by Shutterstock/ICONMAN66

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