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!

More Power in Your Pocket with Contact Editing on Mobile

By | New feature | No Comments

To start this year, we are focusing on making some improvements to your Batchbook mobile experience. To get things kicked off, we’ve released an update that should please all you road warriors and mobile users. You can now add, edit, and delete contacts in Batchbook from your smartphone.

placeit

Mobile Contact Editing

If you use Batchbook on your phone, you are probably familiar with our mobile contacts view. Up until now, you have been able to search and view contacts, send email, make a call, or pull up a map to their location.

We’ve had a lot of requests to provide the ability to add new contacts or edit existing ones, and this feature update does just that.

placeit (2)

Now, when you meet an interesting new person, you can add them right into your Batchbook contact database from your smartphone.

You can also edit any contact’s details, including name, title, company, tags, email, phone, website, and address, right there on the spot.

Adding notes about a contact is easy too. Just click edit and then add your notes in the about field.

And if you have a falling out with someone? Just click and they are deleted, no questions asked!

What’s Next?

I can’t go into details, but we have some exciting things planned for 2015, especially around mobile. This feature update is just the start of that. Keep an eye on our blog for the latest updates.

Plan Your Small Business Holiday Promotions – It’s Not Too Late!

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

It’s that time of year again, time to plan those Holly Jolly Holiday Promotions. Well actually, it’s a little past the time to plan them. Funny how the holiday season can sneak up on you. If you’ve been procrastinating or just too busy running your business to make a holiday promotion plan, we’re here to help.

 

The Clock is Ticking

Holiday Time

The Procrastinator’s Guide to Holiday Promotions has a bunch of useful tips and information to help you hurry up and get started with your holiday promotions. Like what, you ask? We cover topics like:

  • Making a plan
  • Holiday emails
  • Social Media
  • Holiday Cards
  • Gifts! (Who doesn’t love a gift?)

We’ve got dates and statistics to help you decide what will work best for your business. We even have an infographic if you’re too busy to read the guide. If that’s not enough, we have a whole series of more in-depth blog posts to inspire you.

We know it’s a busy time of year. We want to help you get your promotions going quickly so that you, your employees, and your customers can enjoy the season!

What are your holiday plans?

Are you going to try any of these ideas? Have you already made a list of promotions (and checked it twice)? Or, are you skipping the promotions and heading straight to the dessert table? We want to hear all about it in the comments.

 

 

 

New Feature: Get Notified When New Contacts Are Added

By | Product Updates | No Comments

Staying current with what is going on in your CRM is really important. That is why we have added our latest feature: email notifications for new contacts.

Set Up Your Notifications

You are in control when it comes to which new contacts you get notified about. This works with tags. Pick which tags you want to monitor, and we will send you an email any time a new contact is added with any of your selected tags.

Contact Notification

To get started, head over to your settings in Batchbook and look for the Notifications area. Check the box to be notified about new contacts and choose at least one tag.

Each user can customize their own notifications. So, while you may be interested in seeing new leads that come in through your website’s form, a colleague may want to get notified every time a new contact is created via a Batchbox email. Keep in mind that you won’t get notified for contacts that you create.

Using It

This new tool should be helpful in a lot of different scenarios. We’ve kept it simple and flexible so that you could use it in a way that makes the most sense to you. Here are a few ideas: Read More

Accomplish Your Customer Tasks with Batchbook To-Dos

By | Using Batchbook | No Comments

Are your to dos an endlessly growing list of tasks that are impossible to stay on top of? Task management is hard, and there are a lot of great products devoted just to helping you get your tasks organized and get more done. But one of the most important things a small business can do is to make sure they are getting all of their customer related tasks done. This is why we have designed To-Dos in Batchbook in a way that will help you organize tasks around your customers.

Customer First Strategy

Many small businesses have a fear that important tasks will “fall through the cracks”. We have all experienced this happening on some level. It is one reason why you start using a small business CRM like Batchbook. Things fall through the cracks when you get disorganized or when you have too much to do and no way to prioritize it effectively.

One of the most important things a small business can do is to make sure they are getting all of their customer related tasks done.

The first step to prioritizing your customer related tasks is to tie them to specific contacts. Associating To-Dos with customers in Batchbook is easy. When you create a new To-Do, just start typing in the name of a contact and then select them to add the To-Do to their record. Attach your To-Do to as many contacts as you want.

Add a to-do

You can also add a new To-Do from the widget in a contact view. The contact will automatically be attached to the to-do. Whenever a contact has a task assigned to them, you will see it in the widget on their record.

Contact To-Do

You can also create a To-Do via email using your Batchbox address.

To Dos for Champions

Even when you associate your tasks with customers, you can still end up with a lot to get done on any given day. You need a way to further organize your tasks. There are several ways to filter your To-Dos in Batchbook. The first is to use our Champions feature to tag your high value customers. When you do, you can filter your To-Do list to show the tasks you have due for your customer champions.

Champion to-do

Of all your customer tasks, these should get first priority. But that doesn’t mean you can ignore the rest of your tasks. You need a way to filter and sort those as well. That is why we offer categories and tags for Batchbook To-Dos.

To-Dos in Batchbook are a great way to remember and accomplish your important customer related tasks.

Filter with Categories and Tags

Categories and tags help you keep your To-Do list super organized. You can create categories for your general types of tasks. You might have a category for all customer related tasks and one for all vendor related tasks. Tags help you get more specific. If you had the customer category, you might use tags to note whether the task is related to getting a sale, providing customer service, or doing follow up with a customer.

Once you start using categories and tags, you can filter your To-Do list to see just the tasks that are most important right now. You can look at multiple categories and/or tags, so you can really customize your view in a way that makes sense to you.

To-Do Categories and Tags

Add Power to To-Dos with Custom Field Sets

Sometimes you have more complicated tasks that you need to track. Maybe you have a project you are working on or a sale that you need to get booked. By combining Custom Field Sets with To-Dos, you can track a lot more information related to a task and even use it as a mini project management tool.

For instance, when you are preparing for a presentation, you can assign a To-Do with the due date, which will remind you about the date, but won’t do much else. By adding a Custom Field Set, you can bring your preparation checklist right into the To-Do. As you look at the task, you can instantly see if you are ready for the presentation and what steps you still need to take. With To-Do reminders, you can set up notifications to remind you to look at that To-Do not just on the due date, but on any number of important milestone days prior to when it is due.

To-Do Custom Fields

Teamwork Built In

Of course, getting customer tasks done often takes teamwork. Since Batchbook is a social CRM built with collaboration in mind, we’ve got you covered there too. To-Dos can be assigned to any user. Each user can filter to see just the tasks that are assigned to him. If you want to keep a user informed of a task, but not assign it directly to her, you can just associate her with it as a contact. Collaborating on customer related tasks couldn’t be easier!

To-Dos in Batchbook are a great way to remember and accomplish your important customer related tasks. If you find yourself overwhelmed by your to do list, give To-Dos in Batchbook a try. They are just another step toward organized bliss!