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Updated Dec 13, 2023

How CRMs Streamline Email Marketing

How to Use CRMs and Email Marketing Together

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Kiely Kuligowski, Business Strategy Insider and Senior Writer
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Editor Reviewed
This guide was reviewed by a Business News Daily editor to ensure it provides comprehensive and accurate information to aid your buying decision.

Table of Contents

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Email marketing is a great way to reach your customers, but only if you send the right content to the right people. One effective way to do this is by combining your email marketing campaigns with data captured by a customer relationship management (CRM) solution. CRM software benefits your email marketing efforts by providing you with a treasure trove of data on your target audience so you can tailor your messages to their needs. 

This guide will help you use your CRM system to improve your email marketing campaigns.

Editor’s note: Looking for the right CRM software for your business? Fill out the below questionnaire to have our vendor partners contact you about your needs.

What is CRM software?

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CRM software helps you manage your company’s relationships and interactions with existing and potential customers. The goals of a CRM system are to optimize and improve relationships with your customers and to streamline your sales and marketing processes. [Read related article: How to Use CRM Systems to Improve Customer Service]

A CRM platform performs the following functions:

With CRM software, your business stores key customer information, including contact details and records about previous interactions and sales, in a centralized location, where anyone at your company can access it. Given that CRM is one of the fastest-growing enterprise application software categories, it may be advantageous for your business to adopt one of these systems.

Did You Know?Did you know
Companies use CRM systems to track sales team interactions with individual customers in a way that is relevant and meaningful to both parties.

How does a CRM system work with email marketing?

A CRM system is a useful tool in email marketing, where personalizing content to suit your audience is key to success. CRM software provides much of the data that makes targeted email marketing campaigns possible. CRM email marketing places the focus on the email recipient, rather than on a large, generic audience, which helps drive better profits and creates more engaged customers. [Read related article: The Ultimate Guide to Customer Engagement]

Many email marketing platforms either integrate with or have their own CRM built into their software. CRM software works with email marketing by doing the following tasks:

  • Syncing lead and customer information with other systems
  • Sending automated internal alerts for things like scheduled calls or follow-up emails
  • Showing where an individual customer is in the sales funnel
  • Tracking a customer’s history with your business
  • Identifying a potential customer within the funnel
  • Providing detailed information that allows the company to create personalized email marketing campaigns

“A CRM helps you customize and automate email marketing campaigns to work more efficiently,” said Tom Winter, chief revenue officer and co-founder of DevSkiller. “Email marketing is a tedious process, and letting your CRM handle the brunt of the mass emailing saves a lot of time. CRMs nowadays use AI and support omnichannel communication, which is great for boosting customer service.”

Key TakeawayKey takeaway
CRM software provides customer data and information that is used to inform a personalized email marketing campaign.

Why are email and CRM software important for marketers?

Email marketing is a mainstay of the marketing world, despite rumors that it would be shouldered out by social media marketing. The email marketing industry has grown steadily, and there are now 4.3 billion global email users.

To be a successful marketer, you must incorporate both CRM and marketing automations into your overall marketing strategy, and that includes email. Together, they provide valuable knowledge, resources and tools for getting your content and message out to the right audiences.

“A CRM simply holds the contact record — name, company info, correspondence, etc.,” said Logan Mayville, a business development and marketing specialist at Post Modern Marketing.  “Marketing automation allows you to program actions (email, text, webpages) based on that record. You need both to be successful.” [Read related article: How to Build an Email Marketing Contact List]

The primary purpose of a CRM is to manage and improve your business’s relationship with your customers, and solid customer relationships boost your business’s success. CRM software collects information about every customer and every lead, such as which products they buy most, how often they contact your company, whom they speak to, and what they click on.

You can then use this detailed information to send targeted email campaigns that show the customer a related product they might be interested in or to alert them to something left behind in their cart. The software can also help you identify gaps in your sales funnel.

Email marketing and CRM software present an opportunity for marketers to find and engage directly with customers through targeted campaigns that drive conversions.

What are the benefits of using a CRM for email marketing?

Using a CRM-enabled email marketing platform (or an email marketing platform that integrates with a CRM) can provide numerous benefits for your business.

Hub for audience data

Using an email marketing platform with a CRM system provides a single, centralized storage hub for all of your customer data, which can then be accessed by sales, marketing and other teams. The CRM software stores contact information, phone calls, sales activity, customer notes, user behavior and more, and can reveal patterns and key findings about your customers.

Easy connection to marketing channels

If your customer data is separated from your marketing channels, it can be difficult to convert your customer insights into actionable tasks, like personalized communication or segmentation. It also increases the risk of getting lost. A CRM that is integrated or built into your email marketing platform ensures that all of these functions work together while providing you with the information you need.

Clear picture of your audience

With your customer data in one place, it’s easier to see more about your customers and what they want from you. You can track all of your customer interactions and see which strategies work, which ones don’t, and areas where your business can grow and evolve.

Targeted, personalized campaigns

The most effective email marketing campaigns are those that are tailored to the audience’s individual interests and preferences. CRM software makes that easy by automatically collecting, organizing and storing pertinent user data.

Appealing, responsive email templates

A CRM-enabled email marketing tool provides easily customizable email templates that are responsive across all devices, including mobile phones, tablets and computers. This is vital for a consistent, engaging user experience and can help boost your campaign engagement.

Did You Know?Did you know
The benefits of using CRM software for email marketing include targeted campaigns, an easy connection with marketing channels, and a better understanding of your audience.

What are the features of CRM email marketing?

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There are many key features to look for in a CRM and email marketing platform, but you should pay special attention to these seven features:

Analytics and testing

Marketing is an ever-changing game of learning and adjusting. A CRM-enabled email marketing platform provides a steady stream of up-to-date customer information, as well as the tools necessary to analyze data, test various campaigns, and change your approach as needed. For example, you can use analytics to see how many recipients clicked the link in your last email campaign and determine how successful that campaign was. [Read related article: How CRM Analytics Work]

Lead nurturing

Lead nurturing is the process of developing and growing relationships with customers at each stage of the sales funnel, or buying journey. Many CRM-enabled email marketing platforms automate parts of this process, which can save you time and money.


If you’re looking for an all-in-one tool, verify that it integrates with other software and services, like Outlook, Salesforce, Zoho or other marketing platforms. CRM integrations allow you to broaden your capabilities and better serve your audience. For example, by integrating with Outlook, you’ll be able to send automated email campaigns to segmented contact lists, all in one system.


Marketing automation is the process of automatically completing tasks that would otherwise be completed manually. Automation allows your employees to devote their time to other, more important tasks. You can automate functions such as drip campaigns, lead scoring and task alerts.

Mass emailing

Sometimes you need to send a bulk email. Look for a service that offers this option so you can quickly and efficiently get content out to your entire audience at one time if you need to.

Recipient engagement tracking

Email marketing requires marketers to change their approach quickly (and sometimes radically) if their current strategy isn’t working. With CRM email marketing, you see who opened your email, who clicked the links, and so on, allowing you to modify your approach until you find something that works. Look for a tool with conversion tracking, which helps you understand your customers’ behavior.

Automated email responses

You may want to create drip campaigns, which are emails that are automatically sent to appropriate customers based on certain triggers, such as reminders for abandoned carts or order updates. One example of an automated email response is a message telling a customer that their order has shipped.

When you're evaluating CRM email marketing features, look for mass emailing, automation and integrations.

CRM and email marketing tools for small businesses

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When you’re looking for the best email marketing software and best CRM software for small businesses, there are a lot of software platforms to explore, so we did the work for you. Here are some of our favorite tools in each category.

CRM software

  • Our Salesforce CRM review covers one of the most popular CRM tools available for businesses today. It includes a useful workflow builder that helps to automate repetitive tasks and thus save time. The Salesforce mobile app is incredibly easy to use, granting you access to your CRM data wherever you are.
  • Our review of Monday Sales CRM offers a look into the project management capabilities a CRM platform can offer, making it a perfect extension of your email marketing planning. Monday Sales CRM offers an easy-to-use interface and unlimited boards to organize projects across teams.
  • If integrations are important to you, make sure to read our HubSpot review. This CRM excels at hooking into other business software, including your email marketing tools. This makes data sharing seamless and instantaneous, which is essential if you plan to leverage CRM software for your email marketing needs.

Email marketing software

  • Our Salesforce Marketing Cloud review highlights the leading CRM tool’s commitment to marketing capabilities as well. There’s no need for third-party integrations when you use Salesforce for both your CRM and marketing needs, so if you’re looking for a unified solution, this may be the one for you.
  • Our Freshworks review found that this email marketing software includes a wide range of effective third-party integrations, meaning you’re likely to find exactly what you need to link with your CRM tools. Whatever business software you use, connecting Freshworks should be relatively easy. Check out our review to see if your favorite platforms offer pre-built integrations.
  • Our review of Constant Contact features a cost-effective and user-friendly email marketing platform that’s perfect for small businesses that need a useful tool to get the job done. While this software doesn’t have as many bells and whistles as others we reviewed, it does allow you to tailor email marketing campaigns to your target audience, made all the richer by your CRM data.

CRM and email marketing go hand in hand

Your CRM software is an incredibly useful source of marketing data, as it contains personalized information about your customers and leads. When you harness the power of that data to inform your email marketing efforts, you can produce more relevant content that drives higher open rates, more conversions and improved user satisfaction. By leveraging the tips and tools in this guide, you can start taking advantage of your CRM tools to improve your email marketing campaigns today.

Jacob Bierer-Nielsen contributed to this article. Source interviews were conducted for a previous version of this article. 

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Kiely Kuligowski, Business Strategy Insider and Senior Writer
Kiely Kuligowski is an expert in project management and business software. Her project management experience includes establishing project scopes and timelines and monitoring progress and delivery quality on behalf of various clients. Kuligowski also has experience in product marketing and contributing to business fundraising efforts. On the business software side, Kuligowski has evaluated a range of products and developed in-depth guides for making the most of various tools, such as email marketing services, text message marketing solutions and business phone systems. In recent years, she has focused on sustainability software and project management for IBM.
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