I’m a fan of differences. I love hearing about and celebrating the uniqueness of the people I’ve known forever and the new people I meet. But I’d be willing to bet most of us share one common trait regardless of our differences – we all want our software to play nice with each other! How many times have you sighed in frustration and thought ‘ugh, if only my CRM would send all this info to my helpdesk (or project management software or marketing software or, well, you get the picture)’.Our customers report utilizing up to 30 different software solutions to manage their day to day business activities, it’s no wonder that integrations are the lifeblood of any organization. Today we…
Working from the coffee shop this morning I gaze down a quaint southern street filled with a combination of pumpkins, mums, hay bales and, already, Christmas lights. This small town is often celebrated for their holiday Lights Festival but I’m guessing you’re seeing hints of the holidays on your street corners as well. Each year as we’re deciding how we’ll share holiday cheer as a company I start prepping my family & friends list too. While I love plastering my loved ones with pics of my adorable brood, I run into the same stumbling block every year — old addresses! My friends move around a bit and I’ve been quite lax about keeping their addresses current. This means each year I’m met with…
Fall is in the air, friends! If the newly crisp mornings and cool evenings weren’t enough to convince you, then surely the advertisements for all things pumpkin spice should do the trick. And while I’m spending most of my free time plotting fantastic costumes and upcoming feasts, I’m all too aware that holiday gift time is right around the corner, which means it’s time to have my holiday mailing list ready.
Every year I struggle to get my cards & gifts out on time. But this year I’m getting ahead of the game. While my card design is in progress, my holiday mailing list is ready for me in Batchbook. Whether you’re planning small gifts, cards or singing telegrams as your holiday gift to customers & clients, I can share with you how to build your lists & print your labels quickly using Batchbook.
Tracking Contact Details
You’ve been making your list and checking it twice all year long. In addition to tracking your contacts basic contact details like name and address, you’re also using tags or Custom Fieldsets to refine who your contacts are and what they like. Because the whole team has been able to help in updating information, your data is ready to go at any time.
Define Lists by Gift Type
First, decide what gifts or cards you’re sending and to whom they are being sent. Are you sending cards to your entire contact list? Or maybe you are sending special gifts to small groups? Or are you feeling generous and planning a special gift for your favorite board members? Whatever your gift giving plans, you’ll want to create a list to define that specific group.
Tip: Not sure who to gift? Ask your team to take 10 minutes to flip through Batchbook while tagging their favorite, most important, most helpful contacts with a ‘Holiday 2016’ tag. Now you have an easy and personal holiday mailing list ready to go!
The holidays are right around the corner. Many businesses use this time of year to show their thanks to loyal customers by sending out holiday cards or gifts. This is a wonderful idea! But maybe you struggle actually getting it done every year.
Sending out holiday cards is probably not a normal part of your business. It’s easy to procrastinate this task. Sometimes it’s hard to justify writing a few hundred cards by hand when your team has a bunch of other things to do. After all, the holidays is the busiest time of the year for many businesses.
Technology is Santa’s Helper
There’s good news! You don’t have to run out to the store, buy a stack of holiday cards and then spend your weekend filling them all out. There are plenty of apps that will help you send your cards this year. You can even find apps that will use your own handwriting, for that extra personal touch.
Here are a few that you might want to try out this year:
Felt is an iPhone and iPad app that helps you design beautiful cards. Add the personal touch of your own handwriting and your own photos. One unique thing about these cards is that they are square.
Felt has an easy to use interface that makes it easy to write your note with your finger or a stylus, right on your device.
Felt prints your personalized cards on high-quality paper and sends them out first class in custom kraft paper envelopes within 24 hours. These square cards are sure to stand out amongst a pile of rectangular holiday cards.
There are more than 4,000 business-related cloud-based apps on the market. Choosing the right ones can present a challenge for your business. Here are a few tips on building a winning combination of cloud-based business apps.
See our Infographic on the Do’s and Don’ts of Assembling the Right Cloud Apps for Your Business
Choose An Anchor
Determine the existing systems you are using that contain the data most critical to your business. Like the “anchor stores” designed to stabilize the financial stability of the shopping mall, your anchor apps are the ones that are critical to the financial stability of running your business.
What determines an anchor app?
- If you have spent a significant part of your budget on it. For example, your retail POS system or a custom developed registration system.
- If it is the only option in your industry. For example, the MLS database for Realtors®.
- Outside influences. For example, if your accountant requires all financial data be managed in a specific system.
Your workflows in Batchbook just got a power-up. We’ve added more automation triggers and actions for to-dos.
- A to-do is flagged
- A to-do is created
- Add a tag
- Remove a tag
These all work with existing to-do triggers and actions.
In Batchbook, you can mark any of your contacts as champions by clicking on the star next to their name. This helps you mark your favorite customers, or maybe your strongest influencers, or your biggest spenders.
You can now set up automations for your champions. This will let you do things like creating a new to-do when you mark someone as a champion. Or you might want to send out a quick email to say thanks to a champion.
Our friends over at Yesware just published a short e-book with 9 data backed email subject line tips. They looked at open and response rates from 115 million emails. What they found are some new email subject line tips, including ones that go against what most of us accept as “best practices”.
Open and reply rates for sales emails
Yesware is primarily used to send sales emails. These are often sent as one-off messages and can be more personal than mass newsletters.
The average open and reply rates tracked by Yesware reflect this. The average open rate for these types of emails was 51.9%. The average reply rate was 29.8%. Both of these are good benchmarks for what to expect when sending sales emails. This is a mix of cold emails and back and forth emails after a relationship starts.
Top email subject line tips
Download the report to get all the tips, but here are a few things I’ll be trying in future emails.
Shorten those subject lines
There is a strong correlation between shorter subject lines and higher open rates. Emails with a 50% or higher open rate had 5 or fewer words in their subject lines.
Using Outlook.com on Microsoft’s Office 365 for your email? Great news! You can now keep your contacts there in sync with your Batchbook contacts using PieSync.
PieSync is an app connector that syncs and updates contacts between apps. Other apps that you can sync with Batchbook include MailChimp and Google Contacts.
Bi-Directional Sync with Outlook.com
With this integration, updates you make to Batchbook or Outlook.com contacts will sync. Update a contact’s name in Batchbook? It will update in Outlook.com automatically.
You won’t have to worry about having outdated info in either tool. And best of all, you won’t have to remember to update that email or those address details in more than one place.
This is part of a series of Excel tips focused on helping you clean up your contact data. Today’s tip explains how to use Excel proper case to convert names from UPPERCASE or lowercase to Proper case.
The other day I was getting ready to send an email to a small group of people. I like to personalize emails, even when sending to a group. So I set up my emails to address everyone by their first name.
Looking at my list of contacts, I noticed that some of the names were all UPPERCASE, and some we all lowercase. Being a bit of a perfectionist, I wanted all the first names to have the same formatting. With names you should use proper casing. That means an uppercase first letter, with the rest of the name in lowercase.
Remember, I was sending this email to a group of people, not one at a time. That doesn’t mean that my message wasn’t personal. I wanted it to come across as being from me to the each recipient personally. I was asking for some specific feedback from this group.
Nothing would throw off that personal feeling like starting the email with Hi STEVE or Hi steve. I had to fix those first names so they would look natural, à la Hi Steve.
Excel is on the Case
Luckily, there is a quick and painless way to change the casing on names (or any text) in Excel.
To do so, use the Excel proper case formula that looks like this: =PROPER(CELL)
Let’s walk through how to do this step by step.