What is eCRM? eCRM stands for electronic customer relationship management. That means everything you do online to nurture your customer relationships.

Many people describe the difference between CRM and eCRM in many different ways. The countless definitions can be quite confusing because we use the same term ‘CRM’ for the strategy of taking care of cusomers and also for the CRM software. The same term therefore stands for policy and technology, and some CRM vendors will argue that you can’t have one without the other.

However, we believe that you do not necessarily need CRM software to be able to engage in customer relationship management – and eCRM.

Why? Because eCRM is simply about taking care of your customer relationships using digital channels – which you’re probably already doing today.


Ways to engage in eCRM

Ask yourself the following questions to see how your business might be engaging in eCRM.

  1. Email
    1. Do you keep in touch with your customers via email?
    2. Are you sending promotional email messages to your audience?
    3. Do you evaluate their performance and try to replicate your successes?

  2. Social media
    1. Do you spend time broadcasting your message to a wide audience?
    2. Do you listen to your target market and look for patterns in demographics, behaviour, target market needs etc.?
    3. Do you react to what your target audience says about your brand?

  3. Tracking customer behaviour on your website
    1. Do you test various page layouts and copies and try to work out which ones work best?
    2. Do you use tools to see which pages are most popular?
    3. Do you optimise your website based on this data to enhance your visitor’s user experience?

  4. Capturing new leads
    1. Do you actively seek out new lead and engage with them online?
    2. Do you have a subscription button on your website?
    3. Do you use data capture forms to get new leads so you can nurture them later?

  5. Tracking campaign success
    1. Do you measure success of your individual campaigns?
    2. Do you try to figure out the common traits of your most successful campaigns so you can replicate them?

If you said yes in at least one case, congratulations, you’re engaging in eCRM.

… So why do other businesses spend money on CRM systems?


What is the advantage of CRM software?

The answer to this question is rather straightforward: information is power. The advantage of having a CRM system lies in the ability to gather data about everything you’re doing.

The system gathers lots of valuable data for you, such as information about campaign performance, performance of teams & individual employees, etc. By automating some of the most tedious eCRM tasks, you can also get to a much larger audience much more quickly. This means you get to do more things and gain deeper insight into everything you’re doing as well.


How can a good CRM system leverage your eCRM?

Let’s see how the eCRM you’re doing without CRM software can be enhanced by using one.


  1. Email –Good CRM systems enable you to send bulk emails to any target audience you choose. You’re also able to reflect on the success of every email you’ve sent out by looking at its delivery, open and click-through statistics. Every next of your email activities is then based more on hard data and less on subjective opinions.
  2. Social media – If you choose a CRM system that integrates with your social media, you’ll be able to listen to your audience’s conversation, engage with them directly from your CRM system and measure the overall sentiment of the posts your audience sends out. This way Marketing can manage your brand better, Sales can find new (otherwise hidden) opportunities and Service can identify and resolve issues in record time.
  3. Tracking customer behaviour on your website – Modern CRM systems let you see the journey your website visitors take. Each visit journey gets recorded on the lead’s record and the score they get for each visit is automatically added to their overall score. This makes your lead prioritisation straightforward and means that your Sales people know where to pick up from where Marketing left and stay relevant.
  4. Capturing new leads – With an intelligent CRM system, you don’t need to manually process leads who sign up for updates on your website. Smart CRM systems automatically create new leads from data capture forms. That means you can just drop these new leads into your marketing nurture programme and the software will take care of the rest.
  5. Tracking campaign success – Arguably the most value you can extract from a good CRM lies in the analytics. Within a powerful CRM system, plenty of reports are available at a click and they take just seconds to be created. This way you can see success metrics of all your efforts which lets you enhance the quality of your eCRM in the short and long run.


Other tools to improve your eCRM

CRM is not the only tool with the ability to enhance your eCRM. The functionality we’ve mentioned in this article is provided by many other tools, such as Google Analytics, email marketing software, marketing automation software etc. However, we believe that a strong CRM programme should integrate all these tools in one place.

If after reading this article you find that you’re happy with your current eCRM routine and you don’t need anything else at the moment, that’s fantastic. In the future, if you notice that you want more, you know where to go next – get a powerful CRM system that will leverage your effort and help you forecast and improve your future performance. According to Forrester Research, companies who adopt Microsoft Dynamics CRM get an average ROI of 243%. That sounds like something to look forward to!