Salesforce: Marketing at Group Edition Level

Question of the Week:  Finally got my CEO to approve the Group Edition and now he wants me to prove the value of Salesforce for our marketing efforts before even considering upgrading.  Are there even any marketing resources on group level? 

Salesforce is a tough sell to those that grew their careers, rather successfully, in the Rolodex world. If you happen to be on Group Edition Salesforce, you can be quite limited when it comes to marketing efforts – with no access to mass email, workflows/triggers, or custom dashboards – making it difficult to prove its value. Even on the developer side, group edition applications are tough to build and must adhere to certain criteria and approvals from Salesforce.com.  

However, it is all about how you use the tool as well. We suggest focusing on two key elements:

Email Templates:
Take a moment to measure how many outgoing emails are sent out by sales and service staff. After taking inventory and taking analysis, you’ll find that the same message is being sent out multiple times and can be easily “templated” company-wide. The rule of thumb is that pre-written responses can save up to one minute per email. Not only does templating emails save time, but it also controls your message. Most outgoing message has some marketing aspect to it, so why not polish it to a shine. They deliver a higher quality email (since a professional marketer has, hopefully, crafted a compelling message) which in turn will provide a higher rate of response.

Create the template in a shared read-only folder; require your team to clone templates under their personal folders in order to customize them. This keeps your original messaging intact and creates a history library. Keep customers clicking by providing fresh content every month to your team. If you have the resources, white papers and new blog entries are ideal for content marketing, but it can also be as simple as an “upcoming events” mention. Finally, always check for brand messaging consistency by taking a peak at outgoing emails attached to records. Create an activities report for your contact or opportunity record for easy review each month.

Integration to Mass Email: Of course you can opt for Constant Contact, with limited integration for Group, or Mail Chimp, a standalone product for Group. Or you can pick up Vertical Response for Group Edition, which starts at $.015 for each email sent and 10,000 free emails for non-profits (bonus!). It does all the must-haves:

  •     Native in Salesforce
  •     Building lists/campaigns directly within Salesforce
  •     Auto-population of results into Lead and Contacts
  •     Sent as HTML or via templates
  •     Social media integration
  •     Affordable and flexible pricing model

While Vertical Response’s platform is not the right choice for every organization, it’s the best option for those residing in Group and wanting to maximize their investment.