Create a Brand That Customers Love

This is a guest post from Laura Windisch, a member of the creative team at 99designs, the world’s largest graphic design marketplace. 99designs connects people who need something designed with thousands graphic designers around the world, making it easy to get high-quality designs at an affordable price.

 

cupcakeLet’s face it — people make snap judgments. Sure, it might not be fair, but potential customers will judge the quality of your products or services based on the quality of your sales materials. So when it comes to your collateral, forget about skimping on your creative. You’ll soon find that the benefits of a professional design are well worth the investment.

 

 

Here are five ways your branded sales materials will help you succeed.

1. Establish initial trust

Today’s average consumer is more design-savvy than ever before. If you show up with a poorly designed brochure that looks like DIY-project gone wrong, customers will question your judgment just as quickly as they’ll toss that brochure into the recycle bin. If your business card lacks a logo, customers will be instantly weary of your commitment.

While lousy designs and undefined brands will raise red flags, a great design can get people to trust you. They’ll be open to learning more. So put your trust in professional design.
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Sprucing Up Batchbook

May is just around the corner, the cherry blossoms are blooming, birds are chirping, bees are buzzing… Best of all, it’s time for SPRING CLEANING! Some of you may have heard that we’ve been working behind the scenes to make things prettier and better for our app. Today marks the launch of Batchbook’s new look!

Product - Newsletter 1

Batchbook is pretty powerful and has many features – For new users especially, this can be a lot to take in. Our task was to improve our users’ experience without moving things around or requiring them to learn anything new. We chose to focus on reducing clutter, increasing legibility, and establishing consistency.

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Sneak Peek: Style Upgrade

Pretty soon, you may notice some updates to Batchbook as we move towards a more beautiful and easy-to-use app!

Some of the changes we are making include:

  • A brand new color palette
  • Easier-to-read font
  • More visual consistency throughout the app

Batchbook Dashboard To-Do's

For those of you already in there working with Batchbook every day: all your data, navigation, and functionality will still be in the same place (only with a fresh new look!)

Look for these updates soon.

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Nurture (and Grow!) Your Email List

Is Email Still Important?

watering2

Email marketing has the highest ROI of any marketing channel. So yeah, it’s important! This is because it’s inexpensive to implement and, when done right, a highly effective way to communicate with sales leads. We asked our friends from Emma to share some ideas on how you can nurture your email list so that it helps you bring in sales consistently. They kindly obliged and we’ve added their advice to our Guide to Doing Sales Right.

Some Highlights:

  • How to follow up from events
  • Capturing leads from webinars
  • Following up with existing customers
  • Why an opt out isn’t necessarily a bad thing
  • Ways to find new leads for your list

Sound interesting? It sure is! Head on over to our free sales guide to learn how to Nurture (and Grow!) Your Email List!

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The Lady Project Summit

You know when you meet a friend-of-a-friend, and you realize you’re about to have a new BFF? It’s such a great feeling, isn’t it? That’s what happened to us here at Batchbook when we got introduced to The Lady Project through a friend at MailChimp. The Lady Project was started in Providence and their mission statement really connected with us – “The Lady Project connects, inspires and showcases awesome women doing amazing things through membership, events and community engagement.” Once we met the co-founder, Sierra Barter, we knew we had to be involved in the organization and their second annual Lady Project Summit here in Providence.

Let’s Get The Party Started

The Summit took place last weekend and we hosted a pre-party at our office where we got to meet some of the attendees before the event. The ladies from Mint set up a pop-up shop filled with vintage treasures which were able to browse while enjoying drinks and appetizers.

mint

At the Summit

The Summit schedule was full of interesting key-note speakers and there were so many workshops to choose from. I thought I’d give you a few  highlights from the sessions our team attended.

Keynote – Tammy Tibbetts – She’s the First

She’s the First sponsors girls’ education in the developing world with the goal of creating first-generation graduates and our next generation of global leaders.

  • Dream Big – Start Small. Tammy shared how her non-profit started with just one YouTube video.
  • Follow your passion and share it with others. Instead of asking people what they do, ask them “What are you passionate about?”
  • Remember where you came from, be authentic. All the steps you took to get where you are today are part of your story and the person you’ve become.

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How We Addressed Heartbleed and What You Should Do

On April 7, 2014 information was released about a new vulnerability (CVE-2014-0160) in OpenSSL, the cryptography library that powers the vast majority of private communication across the Internet. This library is key for maintaining privacy between servers and clients, and confirming that Internet servers are who they say they are.

This vulnerability, known as Heartbleed, would allow an attacker to steal the keys that protect communication, user passwords, even the system memory of a vulnerable server.

We have no indication that the attack has been used against batchbook.com but are taking the matter very seriously.  In order to best protect your data, we’ve addressed the vulnerability on all of our systems running the affected code which will prevent any possible attacks.  We encourage you to log out and log back in and to reset your password to ensure your utmost security.

You may read more about the vulnerability here: http://heartbleed.com

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More MailChimp: See Email Activity, Create Email Lists, and Handle Subscriptions

UPDATED 3/31/2014

Good news MailChimp users, we’ve just rolled out an update to make our MailChimp integration even more useful. Here’s what you’ll get:

Send to Groups in MailChimp

Need to send a segment of contacts to a specific group or groups on your MailChimp list? Now you can. When you export from a Batchbook list, if your MailChimp list has groups, you will be able to pick which ones to send your Batchbook contacts to.

Product - MailChimp

 

Using groups in MailChimp helps you be even more relevant with your emails and helps organize your big email subscriber list so it’s more useful for your marketing team.

Create New MailChimp Lists from Batchbook

You may find yourself needing a new list, maybe for that segment of customers that you just created who all bought something from you last year. You can now do this easily right in Batchbook. From either the Contact Detail Widget or from the List view, just click on the Create a New List button.

You’ll need to provide your address and some other information to keep the CAN-SPAM folks happy. Once you do, your new list will be created in MailChimp and you can send contacts to it from Batchbook.

MailChimp Activity and Subscriptions for All Contacts

If you have MailChimp connected to your Batchbook account, you will now see the MailChimp widget on every contact record.

This means, if that contact is on a MailChimp list, you will see information about it right on the contact record in Batchbook.

Here’s what you’ll see:

Activity

MailChimp Widget - Activity

This is sortable by list name and will show recent emails the contact received and opened, and if/when the contact unsubscribed from the list.

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Removal of LinkedIn Service from Batchbook

I am sorry to report that we are removing the LinkedIn integration from both the classic and new versions of Batchbook. We are customers and big fans of the LinkedIn service ourselves. It was the first social integration that we implemented in the new Batchbook, and we know it is a valuable resource for our customers.

When we initially launched the integration we were in compliance with the LinkedIn API Terms of Service. But we learned that LinkedIn changed those terms as it applies to all CRM usage, and as a result of their changes we are no longer in compliance. We are reaching out to their developer support team to understand our options. In the mean time, we are removing the integration from our application.

We are disappointed by this change on their side, but do understand these decisions must be made based on their own business strategies and roadmap. We hope that we are able to reach an agreement with LinkedIn that will benefit our many shared customers.

Please let us know if you have any questions on this change or have suggestions on how we can continue to make Batchbook’s social integrations useful to our customers.

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Changes to the Dashboard, Plus a Few Design Tweaks

If you’ve been working in your Batchbook account recently, you’ll have noticed that it looks a little different. We’ve started to make some changes that we hope will make Batchbook even easier to use. You do real work in Batchbook; booking sales, handling customer questions, and collaborating as a team to keep your business organized. Our goal is to help you do all of that quickly and to make each task simple and enjoyable for you. To that end, we will be refreshing various experiences throughout Batchbook over the coming months.

New Dashboard Widget

We decided to start on the page that new users start on when they get their brand new Batchbook account, the Dashboard. There are a few things that we’ve found that users want to do first:

  • Import contacts into the CRM
  • See how those contacts are organized
  • Create new Deals to start tracking sales efforts

To help users access those three things more quickly, we’ve add a new dashboard widget. Batchbook Dashboard Quick Links Widget This widget shows up right at the top of the dashboard, and points the way to key tasks in Batchbook.

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How to Set Up Your Sales Process for Success

A successful sales process is a small business’s best friend. It keeps things humming. People move from interest to customer on a regular basis. Your team knows where to spend their time. It’s a beautiful thing.

When it works.

Sadly, there are many small businesses out there dealing with a broken sales process. Maybe yours is one of them. Here’s how to fix it. Keep Sales Moving

Fine Tune Your Sales Process for Movement

Sales processes break down because they get clogged up. You may have too many leads in your first step, or your third step, and instead of sorting through all the possibilities, sales reps work with what’s top of mind or, these days, top of email in-box.

When your sales pipeline gets cluttered up, sometimes it’s just easier to throw it away.

But what if it never got cluttered up?

The secret to successful sales is to have a process that efficiently moves people from one step of the sale to the next.

 

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