With CRM becoming such a central feature of business practices these days, choosing the right CRM solution is one of the most discussed and researched topics in SaaS and business. And, it seems that most people pretty unanimously adore Salesforce above the other offerings out there. Even though other companies – big names at that – have released very competent software to compete, it either came too late, or just isn’t flexible enough to hold a candle to it. But, having Salesforce, and knowing how to properly handle a Salesforce campaign are distinctly different things. Sure, CRM software tracks existing customers, feedback issues and finances, but another big initiative of CRM is managing and tracking sales campaigns. Using a Salesforce campaign is a very useful tool, so if you’re not using these because you’re unsure how they work, then you’re missing out. We can remedy this. So, the technical part of a campaign in Salesforce is pretty simple, and wizard-driven. So, if you’re after that part, then look at our tutorial on how to use the actual interface to set these up. It’s very easy. That said, exactly what kind of marketing and outreach are you actually using in a CRM software campaign function? Well, with interoperability and stuff off the App Exchange, you have access to a lot of more task-specific campaigns for social networks and a number of other things. Those, however, work in various different ways specific to the medium powering them. The out of the box campaign is centered more around email marketing. Now, this integrates well with a multitude of mailing services like AWeber and MailChimp, which means you don’t need your own SMTP or POP3 server to outreach. Combining the template power of those tools, and the VisualForce markup to make mail templates in Salesforce gives you a pretty powerful outreach broadcast source. Consider first the service that’s best suited for you. The ones I mentioned previously are just examples of good ones, but they’re far from the only ones. Your data tracking is important, so make sure you can track sent, opened, clicked, unsubscribes, bounces and spam complaints. Along with this, consider the footprint your data has. Remember, every tracked metric I mentioned above exists per unit, and a unit exists for every target you reach out to. In a year’s time, this can add up to gigabytes of space. Ouch! Finally, with campaigns like these, work out a good cataloging system for the data. Salesforce’s campaign system has an existing storage format, which is adjustable. It works well enough, but consider how this default catalog is going to respond to the potential data footprint. If you know your footprint, and you see it being irksome with the default database layout, then you can use Salesforce’s malleability with its records, to build one that better suits you. A caveat, though, is that the more proprietary you are with this, the more potential frustrations you can invite upon yourself in trying times ahead. Migration, restoration or importing and exporting standard pieces of data from a very custom architecture can be annoying at best, disastrous at worst. Now, this is a lot of ado over email marketing through a Salesforce campaign, and you’re probably thinking, “now, wait, isn’t email marketing only good for B2B?” At one time, I would have agreed. However, in today’s topology where email, subscription feeds to RSS, social networking and internet multimedia are becoming one multi-dimensional self-entity on the global network, it’s just as good in B2C … as long as you remember that B2C brings in very special factors for the nature of the email itself.