How Can You Use Gmail as an Awesome Simple CRM Tool?

As a small-business owner, you or your business will need always to be in contact with your current customers and your potential customers. So, you will need a CRM tool as a system that will help you in these matters.

You want to manage your current customers to ensure that everything is ok, and they are satisfied.

You want always to expand your business with new customers, contacting your potential customers.

How you can do these simple but important tasks for your business? You need Customers Relationship Management – CRM tool.

Why You Need a CRM Tool?

The purpose of your CRM tool is to enable your business to:

  • Identify and target your best customers.
  • Make segmentation of the customers.
  • Manage different marketing campaigns for different segments.
  • Tracking conversion metrics.
  • Build personalized relationships with customers to improve their satisfaction and maximize your profits.
  • Increase knowledge about your customers.
  • Learn more about your customers.
  • Know what they want and what don’t want.
  • Know exactly who are the customers, and who are the potential customers.

Gmail as CRM Tool

If you don’t have enough resources to buy some commercial products that exist on the market, a good starting point for your business can be a simple Gmail account, especially if your biggest need is simply to track who you contacted, when you contacted, what was the subject of contacting, what was the answer and what will be the future steps of your company.

  • What you can easily make with a Gmail as a CRM tool for your business?
  • You can collect data about your customers.
  • You can collect data about your potential customers.
  • Also, you can simply segment your customers.
  • You can track your marketing activities with each of them.
  • You can learn more about them.
  • Build better relationships with them.

Let’s take a look at how you can use these activities within your Gmail Google contacts account.

Collecting Informations

As a part of your CRM process, you will need to collect contact information from your customers and potential customers. Because today one of the most-used forms of making a contact is email, this job with Gmail becomes much easier.

Each Gmail account is connected to a Google Contacts account that comes with a simple contact database. This database can automatically store some contact details from anyone with whom you have some type of correspondence through Gmail. You can find your contacts database when you click on 9 dots in the right corner of your Gmail account and select “Contacts”.

Open Google Contact through Gmail

You can import external contacts if you click on the “Create contact” button in the left corner and select “Create multiple contacts”.

Importing Contacts from CSV file

Then, you will need to click on the “Import contacts” link, and on the next window click on “Select file” where are your contacts.

Import contacts from file

Also, you can add your contact manually If you click on the “Create contact” button and select “Create a contact”.

As you can see in the screenshot below, in the basic information for each contact there are many more data fields that you can add to each contact instead of only the email, name, and surname of the person. You can add a company name, job title, phone number, and notes.

Create a new contact - basic information
Adding Contacts

If you click on the “Show more” link you will get many more options related to data fields for each of the contacts you have inside your contacts database. Regarding your CRM tool, more details you have for each of your contacts, it is better and more efficient your whole system of collecting contact details and contacting your current and potential customers.

But what is the best about these extended data fields is that you can add a custom field that will be according to your business needs.

Create contacts - more data fields

For example, you can add a custom field related to the last campaign results. So, when you open the specific contact you can see if there was sent the campaign to that specific customer, and what his response to the campaign was.

Contacts campaign results - custom field

Now, you have a contacts database as a part of your CRM tool using Gmail and Google Contacts apps. But, this is not enough for an effective CRM tool. You will need to integrate some type of segmentation possibilities within this system.

Segmenting Customers, Tracking Activities

The best thing when it comes to Gmail and Google Contacts and using it as a CRM tool for your small business labels. Labels are something that will enable you to make different segments from your contacts. For example, you can have a “customers” label, “prospects” label, “partner” label, etc.

CRM Google Contacts - Adding label for segmentation
Adding Contact in Specific Group or Segment (in this case using labels)

Another way or addition to your segmentation with labels is to use different folders inside Gmail for different segments.

If you want to track your activities, you have several options. Both options are integrated here in your Gmail account and the other is to add them to a task or appointment. I like to use the Add Note field on each contact where I can write about when was the person contacted, what was the subject of contacting, what was the answer and what will be the future steps that I need to take.

Adding notes to specific contact

Learn More About Them and Build Better Relationships

One of the best solutions to learn more about your customers and potential customers, and thus to build better relationships is to use free 3rd party browser plugins you can find online. When you know the data for your customers, you can simply go one step ahead in your relationships with your customers from your contact list.

Dragan Sutevski

Posted by Dragan Sutevski

Dragan Sutevski is a founder and CEO of Sutevski Consulting, creating business excellence through innovative thinking. Get more from Dragan on Twitter. Contact Dragan