The 2015 Lady Project Summit, AKA One Heckuva Time

By | Community, Events/Presentation | No Comments

ladyproject

We dare you to attend a Lady Project event and then try not to be a fan. The group is invaluable for networking, and everyone is genuinely open to sharing resources and lessons learned, which is pure gold for small biz owners & entrepreneurs.

We went to the annual summit again this year. Here are highlights from a few of our favorite speakers and workshops. Be sure to check out the link above for a full list of workshops, panels, keynotes and the rad ladies responsible for delivering the goods.

Improv Warm Up (Time is Precious)

Group activities with strangers make me queasy at best, but the ladies from Boston’s Fine Line Comedy pulled it off with character and ease. In 5 minutes they did two exercises aimed at getting our blood flowing & interacting with your neighbor. The interaction exercise demonstrated that any 2 things (in this case words) can be related, and working together to find a connection between two things is a great way to spark creativity & lose inhibition. I won’t be underestimating the power of 5 minutes again any time soon. Read More

Turn Your Emails into Tasks

By | Tips, Using Batchbook | No Comments

Turn emails into tasks with Small Business CRM

How often do you get emails that are basically to-dos? Whether it’s an email from a co-worker asking you for information, or an email from a lead who will need some follow up, your inbox is probably overflowing with tasks that you need to get done.

Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to put those emails on your to-do list so you can keep your inbox organized and stay sane? Here’s how Batchbook makes this super easy: Read More

The Knot Group’s PR CRM

By | Case Studies | No Comments

We’ve got another inspiring PR case study for you, courtesy of Toronto-based The Knot Group (TKG).  Tatiana Read, Partner at (TKG), worked with our Custom Experience team to set up a workflow in Batchbook that’s helped the TKG team collaborate and do great work.  TKG recently re-branded and cleverly pairs public relations strategies with events planning and production, so their take on a PR CRM is unique and worth a look.

Here are two of our favorite takeaways:

  • Email forwarding tags can be used to track a whole team’s current conversations and new contacts.
  • Filtered media contact lists help target press release distribution accurately.

It’s interesting to note trends in an industry.  The one that jumps out with PR is that we’re seeing agencies are really invested in getting their teams into the database and working together to eliminate redundancies in workflow, which we think is a great way to work and why all our plans come with unlimited users.

Have fun reading & let us know what you think in the comments below!

How to Locate Donors who Don’t Know Your Non-Profit Exists

By | Guests | No Comments

Because so many of our customers are in the non-profit sector, we thought you might be interested in a new service from our friends at Updentity. The following is a guest blog post from Don Roulo, Non-profit Marketing Specialist at Updentity.

You rely on your CRM to store information from those individuals you already have a relationship with. But how do you develop relationships with prospective supporters who may not know your organization exists? You could try reaching out to a list of cold prospects who may or may not fit with your demographics, but wouldn’t it be easier if people who were interested in your cause came looking for you?

More than 75% of donors are search online to determine where to give time and money. Through the power of the Internet and Google’s incredible option for non-profits, you can utilize Google’s Ad Grants program to bring more donors to your door – whether you’re finding a cure, leading a revolution or saving the world. Read More

PR CRM Tells the Whole Story

By | Case Studies | No Comments

carolfox

We’ve used Batchbook to effectively manage our own PR, so we know first-hand how useful and efficient a tool it can be in wrangling angles, reporters’ coverage, and press contacts.  Then we saw an uptick in Batchbook customers stemming from the PR industry, so we dug a little deeper and invited a few of our most engaged customers to share their PR CRM success stories as case studies.  It’s always fun to learn about how other teams use Batchbook to collaborate and get their jobs done, and this was no exception.  Overall, we discovered that a successful PR CRM welcomes team collaboration, shares rich contact data, and follows an established routine to get the job done and keep clients happy and well covered.

Our first case study looks at how Chicago’s own Carol Fox and Associates (CF&A) uses Batchbook as their CRM.  I had the pleasure of getting to know CF&A’s Senior Vice President, Niki Morrison, via email over the past several weeks.  She was so very thoughtful and thorough in sharing her team’s use of Batchbook to delight and retain clients.  I think anyone in PR will find some great takeaways in the CF&A case study that will provide inspiration not only for using a PR CRM, but also for simply delivering amazing PR that reporters respect and clients keep coming back for.

We’ve also put together a page highlighting some of the more useful features and use cases for using Batchbook as your PR CRM. Check it out, and honk if you love PR!

Hire Anyone from Anywhere

By | How We Do It, Work/Life Balance | No Comments

hire a virtual team

I was recently interviewed by Rhode Island’s own Josh Catone for his new website Pajamas.io, where he explores the workplace changes surfacing as more companies hire remotely-distributed employees to run their business.

Most of the Batchbook team works remotely, so we’re particularly passionate about vetting both the challenges and advantages of how we work. We’ve blogged about our virtual work habits before and were delighted to share our experiences with Josh.  Of course, reading about other companies’ takes on managing a distributed team is the real treat. Read More

Use Segments to Communicate with Your Customers

By | Using Batchbook | No Comments

Segments help you communicate

Want to do a better job communicating with your leads, customers, members, what have you?

You should be segmenting your contact database.

What is a segment?

A segment is just a group of contacts that share some similarity. On a very basic level, if you run a small business, you could have two big segments; leads and customers.

There would be some value in that. You communicate differently with leads than you do with customers.

Yet, you can get a lot more value if you create even more specific segments. Think in terms of what actions you would like to take. You may want to make some sales. Here are some segments that would help you with that goal:

  • New Leads (came in today, last 3 days, etc.)
  • Hot Leads (they’re basically knocking down our door)
  • Expiring Leads (came in a while ago but haven’t converted)
  • Referred by Leads (folks who came in because of a referral)

Read More

Create a New Contact From Any Web Form

By | Using Batchbook | No Comments

Web forms are a great way to collect info on new leads for your business. As you probably know, we have a really great integration with Formstack, and we’ve also recently added an integration with Ninja Forms.

But, what if you use one of the many other web form services out there?

Turns out, getting that form data into Batchbook is still pretty easy, thanks to another integration partner, Zapier.

The folks over at Zapier have built a pretty nifty email parser. No, that is not a robot that will take over the world. It’s a tool that let’s you pull data out of an email. This works great for webforms.

Say you have web form fields for first, last, and email on your website. With the email parser, you can identify each of those fields. Then you can set them up to import into Batchbook every time someone fills out your form.

Okay, this is probably where you say “slow down Brad, you’re losing me.” Let’s take it step by step.

1. Make sure your web form sends to email

Most web forms will send you an email whenever someone submits the form. For this to work, you’ll need to be able to add another email address for the form to send to. This is the special email address for Zapier’s email parser. To get your own special email for free, head over to https://parser.zapier.com/ and create a mailbox.

You’ll see something like this: ParserGrab that funky looking email address and add it to your web form.

2. Fill out your form

Once you’ve added the email to your web form, go ahead and fill out your form and send it over. Be sure to fill out all the fields you’ll want to send to Batchbook. Once the form is submitted, you should get a copy of it in the parser, like so:

parser2

Now all you need to do is to highlight data that you want imported to Batchbook. Be sure to highlight the actual data and not the field labels. It really is as simple as highlighting, giving the selection a name (I find naming it the same as the field label works best) and clicking save.

When you have done this for all of your fields, just save the mailbox. You are done with the email parser part of this!

3. Set up a Zap between the email parser and Batchbook

The final step is setting up the actual Zap between the email parser and Batchbook. Zaps are set up in a user friendly step by step process. If you don’t have a Zapier account, you can get one for free.

To bring your form data into Batchbook, you’ll be setting up your Zap from the email parser to Batchbook. You can choose to create a new person or company, depending on your form.

zap parser to batchbook

Zapier will walk you through hooking up all the right connections and picking which fields you want to send over. You can import data into any of our default fields OR into any of your custom fields, so there is no reason to leave any info behind. Hmm, maybe that should be on our next t-shirt, “Leave no info behind!”

Once you get things all set up and tested, just turn your Zap on. From now on, every time someone submits your webform, a new contact will be created in Batchbook!

 

 

Make Your Lists Ahead of Time

By | New feature, Using Batchbook | No Comments

We’ve just released a small update to lists: you can now build an empty list in Batchbook. But why would you want to do this?

Preparation, my friend, preparation.

Batchbook lists are fantastic. They update automatically and help you stay on top of important touch points, such as which new leads need a call today, which long time customers haven’t visited in awhile, who’s coming to your next event, which customers are waiting for a quote, and lots more.

Things you want to keep track of in the future

When you’re first setting up your Batchbook account, you probably have ideas about what you want to keep track off. If you need to see all the contacts who meet X criteria, a list is what you’ll need. But, you might not have contacts that match those criteria yet. Before now, you had to wait until you had at least one contact who met a search criteria before you could build your list. Not any more.

future list

For example, maybe you’re bringing on a new sales rep, and you’d like to keep a list of all the contacts that rep adds to Batchbook. Well, they haven’t added any yet, but that’s no problem.

Just add a list like you normally would. For this list, you’ll look for any contacts created by the new sales rep. It will bring back 0 results, but you can now save it as a list so that it’ll be ready to collect that first contact.

Examples for future lists

Here are a few ideas for helpful lists you can build today:

  • Customers who have been with us for a year
  • Members whose renewal date is coming up in the next 30 days
  • Leads who have not responded to a proposal
  • Donors who donated 12 months ago

We’ve also made advanced search faster by removing an unnecessary step. Now you can view search results, build lists, export, or jump over to a contact in less time.

Hope you like the update!

 

 

Resolve to Be Fantastic. We’ll Show You How.

By | CRM, Sales, Small Business | No Comments

Resolve to Be Fabulous!
We want to help make your 2015 a smashing success, so we’ve combined our customers’ five most common new year’s resolutions with Batchbook customizations and team strategies for turning those resolutions into achievable goals.

1. Get More Clients

Spread the word about your business in a way that respects and showcases your relationship with existing clients.

Referral Lists. It can be uncomfortable to ask customers to hit up their various networks on your behalf.  Why not ask them instead to be a referrer for your business?  Our friends as Grasshopper virtual phone systems have a great Twitter referral program.  If someone tweets about their brand, then they’re referred to a few customers who have agreed to be on their “happy customers” list (we’re fans & we’re there!). You can set up a similar program using any of these strategies:

  • Use Batchbook tags to place customers on a “happy” list. Our lists stay magically current and let you do tons of useful things with several contacts at the same time.
  • Avoid sending an interested bride to a plumber for a reference by using custom fields to deftly categorize the types of customers you have. This way, you can expertly refer prospects to a well-matched business twin in no time.
  • Track and tag Twitter conversations between happy customers and new prospects using our Hootsuite integration. This is a great way to get new, engaged prospects into your small business CRM.

Content Marketing.  Service businesses sell a service AND their hard-earned expertise. Whether you’re advertising in content networks like Outbrain or building up your SEO with relevant blog posts, Batchbook can help you keep track of the performance of your different content efforts.

Create a call to action (CTA) within a blog post asking readers to fill out a short web form for more information on your product. If you assign different tags to each blog post, then you can create a report in Batchbook showing all the contacts coming from web forms and which blog post they came from. Our integration partners, Formstack and Ninja Forms, are two great web form providers to check out.

2. Sell More to Existing Customers

Thousands of our customers sign up for Batchbook hoping to more effectively and consistently manage their existing customers. They use Batchbook to track information about their purchase history, business practices, or seasonal activities and interests. All that information is crucial for engaging customers in a genuine, personalized way, because it lets you suggest additional products and services that they have an excellent chance of needing and being interested in.

Personalize automation. Our MailChimp integration can add either existing or new customers to email messages based on specific criteria in your Batchbook account. This integration truly showcases the power of a good customer database, because it lets you reach out specifically to customers who you know are interested in your product or service.

Lists in Batchbook are dynamic, meaning that they automatically add new contacts based on whatever information is most important to you: web form data, purchase history, or location information to name a few. When new contacts are added to the Batchbook list you can send them to MailChimp in one click.

3. Increase Membership Engagement

Maybe, rather than selling products, you’re a membership organization. You’re frequently in the position of justifying organizational fees to your members by engaging them in new ways, like various online and offline programming, joint events with local partners or different discount specials. Your CRM can help by tracking member versus non-member participation in these efforts, including the growth in engagement over time.

Track Member Attendance at Events. Batchbook can manage invitation lists for both online events such as webinars and Twitter chats, or offline events like meetups and conferences. Any list of invitees in Batchbook can quickly be sent to Eventbrite. Post event, you can import the actual attendees (ticketed contacts) back from Eventbrite and tag them with the event name(s) so that they’re immediately searchable as event attendees.

Measure Social Engagement. Whether via e-mail, phone or social channels, it’s important to stay on top of who’s engaging with your team and who’s in danger of falling through the cracks.

Batchbook lets you categorize communication types, so you can quickly measure social engagement by looking at all the conversations specifically in the “social media” category. Read on for more handy social CRM tips below.

4: Get More Press

CRM isn’t just about customer relationships. It’s also a great tool for managing the complexity of press opportunities available in the Golden Age of Content. While the opportunities might seem endless, it still comes down to having the right relationship with the writers and journalists who have an interest in covering what your organization does. Batchbook can help you keep track of these different outlets, the contacts at those outlets, the communications back and forth with them and the coverage they’ve given you.

Press Relations 2.0. Good journalists can smell spam a mile away. You’ll be more successful if you take the time to learn more about the writer, their audience, the outlets they contribute to, the types of stories they’re interested in, the format of their coverage and when they publish. Keep your homework organized and at the ready in our custom fields. This way, whether you sponsor a local women’s entrepreneurial organization in your workspace or launch a new mobile version of your software, you can easily find the right bloggers and outlets to help you get the word out.

5: Be Social

Whether via e-mail, phone or social channels, it’s important to stay on top of who’s engaging with your team and who’s in danger of falling through the cracks.

Run a Social Search. The Social Search feature in Batchbook is a quick and fun way to fortify a contact’s profile with information that they’re posting on Facebook and Twitter. Those writers you’re doing homework on? Run a social search for them to discover what’s top of mind that week, what articles they’ve published recently and what they’re currently working on or interested in.

Use the Hootsuite Integration. Our Hootsuite integration prevents missed social opportunities. All communications and contacts sent from Hootsuite to Batchbook are tagged “Hootsuite” so that you can create a list of all contacts originating from your social media channels. Avoid losing touch by including on your list any contacts who HAVE NOT been communicated with in a certain time period.

Batchbook can help you keep your New Year’s resolutions and more. Start a free trial today and make this the Best Year Ever!