Batchbook Staff Small Business Shout Outs

By | How We Do It, Small Business | No Comments

We’re spreading the small business love this week with a list of our very own favorites. These are the places we go to when we need inspiration, a break, a treat.  They make our lives better and our communities better and they’re one-of-a-kind.  We’ve sent thank you notes to each of the them, because we want them to know that their work matters and is appreciated.  Don’t forget to say “thanks!” to your own favorite small business this week or any week, and definitely share your staples in the comments below so that we can help spread the word.

Happy National Small Business Week!!!

Buttonwood Farm Ice Cream | Griswold, CT

In addition to the delicious ice cream and the beautiful setting, they spend 10 days every summer raising money for The Make a Wish Foundation. Last year they raised over $113,000 selling bouquets of sunflowers and hayrides.

I try to volunteer every summer to help bundle the sunflowers. That’s a photo of the supervisors up in the header. They like to tell the volunteers to “keep moooooving”! (Sorry, I couldn’t help it.)

– Christelle Lachapelle, Brand Manager

 

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Celebrating National Small Business Week

By | Contests, Small Business | No Comments

National Small Business Week

It’s finally starting to look like Spring here in the Northeast which means it’s  National Small Business Week. As we bid a less-than-fond farewell to Snowmageddon, the Batchbook staff is gearing up to celebrate!

Readers are Winners

We’ll be giving away 5 business books this week. The titles we chose are:

  • “#GIRLBOSS” by Sophia Amoruso
  • “Think Like a Freak: The Authors of Freakonomics Offer to Retrain Your Brain” by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner
  • “Poke the Box” by Seth Godin
  • “A Lapsed Anarchist’s Approach to Building a Great Business” by Ari Weinzweig (A personal favorite of mine.)
  • “Rework” by Jason Fried

Wondering how you can enter to win? Just head over to our Facebook page and enter your email, so we can notify you if you win. That’s it. Easy!

Speaking of Contests

Our friends over at Grasshopper are running a contest for National Small Business Week, too. All you have to do is share the logo of your favorite small business to be entered to win a prize package of small-biz-alicious necessities. What can you win? Why, all this:

  • A shiny new stapler, pen cup, pens, tape dispenser and notebook from Poppin
  • USB powered to-go mug (keeps your drinks hot!)
  • $25 Starbucks card
  • $50 Moo.com gift card
  • $50 Grasshopper credit
  • One year of Batchbook service FREE

What’s the Deal

We’ve got a special offer for people who start a new Batchbook trial during National Small Business Week (5/4/15 – 5/8/15). We’re giving away FREE access to an exclusive Batchbook Workshop with our CEO, Pamela O’Hara, “Making Sales Without Selling Your Soul.” The workshop normally costs $250, so if you haven’t signed up for a Batchbook trial yet, or you if you think a friend could benefit from this offer, this week is the time to get started.

All About You

What do you have planned for National Small Business Week? Are you running a promotion? Want to share your favorite business book? We’d love to hear all about it. We’re ready to celebrate. How about you?

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)

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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!