We recently did a survey with over 100 small businesses to learn more about what marketing tools, campaigns, and analytics they are using to market and grow their businesses. Everyone provided lots of great insight, so we thought we would share a few key findings.What type of marketing campaigns do you use?Not surprisingly, the vast majority of small businesses (81% surveyed) are using email marketing. It’s cheap, personal and can be highly targeted. Slightly more than half of small businesses (54.3%) are using social marketing, which generally includes things like posting to Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.Significantly less (36.2%) are advertising on social networks. Interestingly though, more small businesses are buying ads on social than on search (21%).Content marketing is still strong…
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.
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.
As part of our most recent update, we’ve made a couple of tweaks to Deals to make the interface snappier.
Deals are great for tracking sales, donations, or really anything with a monetary value.
Quicker Deals Filtering
The biggest update is to the filter. Here, you can narrow down your focus to see deals in a specific category or stage, or within a certain range, etc.
Now, as you adjust the filter, the list of deals automatically updates. If you have both the filter and the list panels open, you’ll see the list adjust as you add filter criteria.
How much do you get done in a day for your customers? How about a week, or a year? Turns out, you do a lot for your customers.
At times, you need to know not just what you need to do next, but what is already done for a contact. That’s why we recently improved our to-do widget on the contact detail page. You can now see your completed to-dos, organized by when they got done.Read More
Most of our customers have several users working in Batchbook. I thought I’d take some time to go in depth on how to set up a shared workflow for multiple users. With automations, you can pass tasks between team members, keeping the ball rolling.
A workflow is a series of steps that your team needs to complete. In Batchbook, those steps often revolve around the contact. For instance, you may have a workflow to work with a new lead until they become a customer. Or you may have a workflow that your team follows to onboard new members to your service, or to provide quality support and follow up.
For my example, I’ll be creating a workflow that takes someone from a new contact to a fully onboarded client for a business services firm.Read More