All email service providers talk about integration, but what does that actually mean? When Emailcenter talks about software integration we’re referring to the process of connecting our email marketing platform with your CRM system, eCommerce platform and other software applications used by your business.
Removing the need for manual imports of data has several benefits. It saves you time as you no longer need to carry out the task of downloading data from internal systems and uploading it to the platform. Information will be kept up-to-date automatically, which means you can build and send emails quickly without having to worry about the data side of things.
So, here’s what to look for in an extensive integration with your email marketing platform.
Ease of Syncing Data
Look for an email service provider who is experience in software integrations. Some processes are more simple than others, and if you require something bespoke make sure this can be carried out. This is essential if you want to simplify the email marketing process not complicate it.
Emailcenter provides bespoke integrations for clients and there are many ways data can be automated into Maxemail – either through scheduled imports from an FTP or URL, or through the API that allows both updating of individual records one at a time or in batch.
Integration isn’t just one way. A good email service provider will supply all data in relation to sends, opens, clicks, bounces and unsubscribes back as part of reporting feeds you can put into your data warehouse. For example, in Salesforce you can store and view email interactions and use this information to follow up with customers.
Use of Real-Time Data
Integration isn’t just about customer data – it can also be content helping you save time on building your messages or enabling one-to-one personalisation with products unique to each individual. A content data feed is essential for triggered emails with dynamic content to provide real time information relevant to each customer.
Usually the first starting point in any integration is getting any web forms to push data directly into your email platform, and ideally trigger an email.
With Maxemail there’s a multitude of options – you could use our form builder tool to create new forms within the platform itself, or our form handler tool that can be attached to your existing forms. The other option is to collect the data and feed it through our API.
As a retailer, you probably already have systems in place that send out order confirmations and other transactional emails. Getting your email service provider to send these emails directly from the platform, along with all other campaigns, makes a lot of sense from reliability, deliverability and tracking purposes.
Along with this there are then opportunities to take advantage of the personalisation tools your email service provider has to include cross-sell and other relevant promotional messaging.
When you stream data into your email platform it presents a number of opportunities for sending automated emails. This can be in the form of welcome emails, order status updates, shopping cart abandonment emails, and much more. There are two types of email campaigns you can set to trigger:
The first are real-time emails where the information is sent immediately following a customer’s action, such as a newsletter signup or holiday booking.
The second are recurring emails where the information is scheduled to fire at different points of a customer journey. For example, you might send an email to remind customers that their holiday payment is due one week before the due date. You can then set a series of other emails reminding them of excursions, holiday extras etc.
You’ll definitely need to connect to your website, eCommerce platform and other data externally if you are to run automated email campaigns effectively. It’s certainly not practical to try and do this manually.