Integration just means that technologies can ‘speak’ to each other. I can confidently guess that you use more than one technology solution, I mean, who doesn’t these days. But you might be missing out on functionality and paying more than you need if they are not integrated. Here are three examples about why it matters.

Example #1 Database and Email Marketing

Your database is your organization’s heart and soul. You guard its integrity and never doubt that any investment into it is a sound one. Therefore the database in your email marketing is, at best, redundant or simply secondary and not truly used as a database at all. Because of this separation, you can’t have any automated workflows that include drip emails that are triggered by website behaviors or actions. And this is a leading way to segment your audiences.

Effective marketing demands that you segment your audiences. Not all members are created equal. If a member reads an article announcing your keynote speaker, then goes on to download the ebook offered at the end with more information and new content from them, then that suggests that they are interested in that keynoter. Perhaps individuals who exhibit the same behaviors should receive marketing for early-rate registration that taps that interest? Come Spend Some Time with ASAE and Dan Pink.

Or those past attendees who always register early should be sent a message that highlights now is the time to get the early registration savings. Why Pay More? Register Now for ASAE15 To Save.

But you can only do all of that in an automated, efficient way if your email marketing and database are synched up. They must communicate with each other so that those who met the criteria you established (clicked on article X, read article Y, downloaded ebook Z) can be sent Message A emails, while in compliance with those individual’s email preferences.

Example #2 Website Analytics and Email Marketing

To segment your audiences by interest, as in the example described above, takes more than a database integrated with your email marketing technology. Your also going to need to integrate your website marketing with them both.

That’s done with an integrated marketing platform. Email marketing, website marketing, analytics, social marketing, landing pages, forms… all in one solution. In fact they even include a database. Examples include HubSpot, Marketing, Act-On, Pardot, and many more. These platforms enable marketing automation for rolling out automated workflows that use website content consumption as a way to segment audiences for targeted marketing.

Example #3 Website, Email Marketing, Database and SurveyMonkey

The advantages of the integrated marketing platforms are myriad, but it is notable that each of them come integration-ready with many, many other technologies that you are likely already using, like PayPal, SurveyMonkey, Go To Webinar, Shopify. Let’s look again at the example we have been using in this article. This time though, the database, email marketing, website marketing, analytics and SurveyMonkey are all integrated:

Based on past surveys, members value these things the most in taking a decision to attend your annual conference:

  1. Location
  2. Early-registration savings
  3. Keynote Speaker

Segment One: Messages that promote your conference by highlighting the exciting keynote. This campaign will be sent to those who meet this criteria (list generated from automated processes, never manual):

  • all respondents to your survey who placed keynote speaker in the top three
  • who also read the post about your just announced keynoter
  • and also downloaded the ebook about the keynoter.

This triggers an automated email two days after the ebook download with an offer customized to this segment. Register by tomorrow at noon, to receive a signed copy of Dan Pink’s To Sell is Human. Hurry before they’re gone.

Does your most relied upon technology integrate – at no additional cost to you –  with your other most-used technologies? If not, then it might be time to look around to ensure that you’re investing in the best solutions for your organization’s needs.

By Monica Bussolati