Outlook as your CRM system

Are you using your email programs contacts feature to its fullest? Did you know you can create your own Customer Relationship System (CRM) system?

You probably have a number of contacts that you would like to group in several ways, or by different elements. For example one contact is a prospect and has been referred by a colleague and gets your newsletter? Another is a client using service A and also service B.

Would you like to learn a new way to group them without duplication and see what interaction you’ve had with them?

First set up categories (Outlook) or groups (Gmail).

Next Assign categories to your contacts. Each person can have multiple categorises. Remember, you can create any and as many as you like.

If you want to contact a specific segment (category) of your contacts in Outlook, simply view contacts by category. If a client has three categories, they’ll be listed three times. You can do a personalised email merge to your selection. See mail merge on your ribbon. Sorry, Gmail doesn’t have this feature.

Want to see the correspondence, meetings, activity that has occurred with a specific contact? Simply open their contact and click on the activity tab. Voila. It will list all the emails, meetings, appointments and notes you’ve had. In Gmail the Activity tab is on the right hand side towards the top of the email. It is a small downward facing arrow next to the envelope.

By the way, all your Outlook contacts can be exported into an Excel file and vice versa – Excel pulled into Outlook.