Wednesday, February 16, 2011

CRM and Communication -- One Tool, One Solution

News released early this morning has flooded my inbox with emails from friends, customers, and colleagues who all want to say, "Oh my gosh, did you see this?"  Constant Contact, a widely used email marketing company, is reported to have acquired a lesser-known CRM company in order to meld the two technologies together.

To which we reply: "Right.... just like we've been doing for a couple years already."

You see, it didn't take me long to realize as I was building AddressTwo in the early days that CRM goes hand in hand with outboud marketing communication for small businesses.  The same group of people that you need to record notes for and schedule follow-up tasks for, you also need to stay in touch with in a collective manner. 

That's why AddressTwo has had a built-in email marketing function for quite some time, since the earliest releases.  The later iteration, the Campaign Manager, added automation to that broadcast capability.  Not only can you send one email, but you can schedule entire series of communication.  And, the I intentionally chose the name "Campaign Manager" because I foresaw that this functionality would not always be limited to email.  It foreshadowed a greater solution that, today, as our biggest competitors announce that they finally have caught up to us, puts AddressTwo still one step ahead of the rest.

As of today, the Campaign Manager's two new features -- postcard marketing and SMS/text message broadcast -- are being beta tested by our Partner Providers.  By March, we hope to have these tools available to all users.  While the rest of the industry is just now combining email and CRM, we're combining email, postcards, and text messaging with CRM. 

Why?  Because we know what small businesses need.  We are a small business.  And we will always be THE solution for small business CRM!

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