Someone at Red Pill Email has written pretty good article, yet a bit too tekki for most, on integration for email. Here’s my take on integration…
As far as I am concerned integration is about getting that full Central Customer View. Integrating email results with all of the other measureable interactions between one person and the organisation looking to get them to spend money with them and to understand what does and doesn’t work in order to get more people spending money. Obvously the key here is making money.
So, on-line: you have your email stats – easily trackable per person through their email address; you have on-line purchasing habits as they would need an email address to purchase; you might alos have web-analytics whoch can be tracked indiviually once they are loggin into your site – if it you have it; Also if you are savvy you’ll put tracking on your email links so that someone clicking through from an email will get picked up by your web-analytics and you can store their email address or a userid of somesort in the web tracking and get that too.
Off line you have telephone conversations, these should be in some sort of CRM – preferrably with an email address or addresses, you have postal campaigns; trade shows; face to face meetings etc.
Integration is getting all of these query-able from one spot. Everything has an API nowerdays and it is a matter of cost on how and when to do it. I recommend Apteco’s Faststats, it is the no.1 must have query tool in the publishing world at the minute. It sits on top of one or more databases and you can query all of them from one spot with some really easy to user but pretty tools and then export the list for emailing. With my Pure360 I can hit a button and it appears in my account, like magic! All the report data from my account gets sent back to Faststats in real time, as it happens too. Every night my system updates it self and writes all of the new data in Faststats back to right databases ready for the next day. Simples!
Other integration I have been involved with is on the content level. Your online shop or blog type CMS or recruitment database has conent published to it every day kewping it up to date and you want to only email people content that they want or will be interested in but you can’t make one email per person, it’ll take forever. So, you want to integrate your CMS with your email delviery platform. There are load of ways to do this, I have worked primarily with Pure360’s API to get this going and it is a bit tekki as I have to understand the user’s database and CMS structure in order to provide the correct soluion and there is always three ways of doing it but it is always worth it as long as you have right user profiling at the data end.
Here is the article from Red Pill Email from July 31, 2009
What is Email Integration, It seems like a simple enough question, but the answer you get usually depends on who you ask.
Ask a traditional marketer and the answer will likely be that it is blending email with other marketing disciplines so that there is one unified message to the consumer. Ask an IT or tech person and the answer will probably be something to do with automating the flow of data between different tools, platforms, or environments.
Ask an email marketer and you’ll probably get a blank stare…. Naw, just kidding, maybe…read on