In its annual B2B Lead Generation Survey, Chief Marketer reports that email remains the most popular lead generation channel for business-to-business marketers. Nearly 9 out of 10 marketers responded that they plan to use email marketing for lead generation this year.
While the effectiveness of email marketing is sometimes debated, it appears B2B marketers are still experiencing a good return on their email marketing investment. Of the survey respondents using email, the most common reasons for doing so were the relatively low cost, the ability to track responses, and the ability to personalize offers and content.
Fast-growing lead generation channels in 2014 include content marketing, online registrations, webinars and retargeted ads.
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As users of ClickDimensions know, we have several options for creating and sending your emails (we’re particularly partial to our drag-and-drop designer), but how do you know which designer will be the best option for your project? Never fear… this handy infographic will help you decide! Enjoy…
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For an email marketer, few things are as frustrating as when a carefully designed email returns a high number of bounces and spam complaints. One of the most important steps you can take toward achieving and maintaining low bounce and spam rates is to keep clean marketing lists. Here are some tips and suggestions for growing and keeping clean marketing lists:
Build your list up from scratch
Monitor your Excluded Emails and Email Events
Every time you do an Email Send, be sure to take a look at the related Excluded Emails and Email Events, particularly the Bounce events. Excluded Emails are email addresses that were not sent to due to excessive past bounces. You should seriously consider removing these email addresses from your marketing list. Invalid Recipient and Bounce type Email Events will contain a specific bounce code in the record’s Message field. This bounce code provides additional information on the exact cause of the bounce that will be useful in deciding between removal and remediation. Read more about ClickDimensions Bounce Codes
Remove fake, invalid, and “spamtrap” email addresses
Keeping up with the Excluded Emails and Email Events is a good way to catch fake or misspelled email addresses; particularly Invalid Recipient type Email Events. “Spamtrap” email addresses are valid email addresses that are created for the sole purpose of luring spam. While most often hidden from view so as to only wind up on marketing lists compiled with an automated e-mail address harvester (thus ensuring that all of the emails received are unsolicited), it is not unheard of for someone to submit a spamtrap email address maliciously. Some examples of spamtrap addresses include email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, etc. While there is no catch-all for identifying these kinds of addresses, it is always good to keep an eye out any time you look through your marketing lists.
Remove role accounts
While it may not seem like it, role accounts such as firstname.lastname@example.org often have a negative impact on email campaigns. These email addresses are often checked by multiple people and may change hands frequently. Even if it was collected legitimately, it is likely that this email address will become a source of spam complaints.
Prompt customers to update information and give subscription options
It is a good idea to prompt your customers to update their personal information and subscription preferences as often as possible. If customers are aware that they have the option to stop receiving your messages and are consistently presented with the opportunity to provide a new email address, it is likely that each person on your marketing list has given you a current email address and is on that list because they have chosen to be. This can be as simple as including a link to a Form or Subscription Management Page in your marketing emails and receipts.
Maintaining a clean marketing list is an ongoing process, but with the above steps you should be able to increase your delivery rate by weeding out harmful and unnecessary list members.
Written by Weston Packard, ClickDimensions Marketing Success Manager
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ClickDimensions is excited to welcome Leigh Ann Martin to the team as a Sales Development Representative. Leigh Ann was born and raised in Dothan, AL, and has a BA degree in Public Relations from the University of Alabama. Leigh Ann spent the majority of her career working in the political arena in Alabama, Massachusetts, and most recently Washington, DC. Leigh Ann is excited to join ClickDimensions in Atlanta, and we know she’ll make a great addition to the team!
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We want to welcome Daniel Gad to ClickDimensions! Dan has over 3 years’ sales experience, and will be a great addition to the team as Sales Development Representative. Dan was born and raised in Massachusetts, just outside of Boston. He first attended college at Butler University in Indianapolis, IN, but later graduated from Brandeis University in Waltham, MA. It was there Dan played three years of DIII baseball and received his B.A in Business and B.A in History. Dan is new to Atlanta and is enjoying exploring the area, being outside and staying active. Dan says he is “very excited to be a part of the ClickDimensions team,” and we couldn’t agree more!
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Years ago, Sales, Support, and Marketing came together in the late 90’s to become CRM. Prior to that, the emergence of Sales Force Automation from sticky pads and paper was the norm for sales people. We are seeing a transformation unlike any other in Service today with tablet and smartphones. Notifications and subscribed data to execs and organization leaders have closed the chasm creating a new category of Service and CRM under one roof. The new opportunities of mobile workforce management and field resource tracking and metrics literally closes the loop between pre and post sales in an era where all information is available anytime anywhere. Smart companies are leveraging this closed loop to learn from their field teams, the data from customer assets in the field and promote that information to build deeper competency with their clients and greater brand loyalty to further service renewals. The future will drive metrics that will reward smart companies the ability to not only predict service trends and lower expenses with precision scheduling, routing, and asset management, but also prolong the life of field assets through a combined CRM/Service offer that increases awareness with customers of their own resources. These are exciting times in the world of technology, and more important Real World-Cloud connectivity. Where usefulness is changing powerful workflows that truly increase bottom lines, and the emergence mobile workforce synergy with upsell CRM capabilities has created a new circle that has yet to be leveraged.
Read More: Field Service and Sales
In this article we will demonstrate one method to display the performance of emails sent through a ClickDimensions Nurture Program.
1. Give your templates a name that will let you order them by the Nurture Step.
a. We have a Nurture Program for onboarding new customers. Over the course of the first few months after they sign up for ClickDimensions, they will receive a series of emails introducing them to ClickDimensions and our solution features and services. We have used a naming convention for our templates to make it easier to build the nurture and report on its performance:
i. Onboarding Template: 01 Welcome
ii. Onboarding Template: 02 Training
iii. Onboarding Template: 03 Help
iv. …and so on
v. Onboarding Template: 13 CD Certification
TIP: If you have already built your nurture and go back to re-name your templates to enable you to order them, you will want to edit your nurture program and re-link each step to the newly renamed template, as the Nurture Program builder stores the name of the template at the time you create the Nurture Program.
ANOTHER TIP: If your nurture has branching in it (such as “If the recipient clicks = Yes, send template X, and if the recipient does not click, send template Y”) you might consider naming your templates something like “Nurture Template: Step 1A” and “Nurture Template: Step 1B” (where the 1A is the template they get if they clicked, and 1B is the template they get if they did not).
2. We have built a view of Email Sends called “Onboarding Nurture Email Performance” with this criteria:
Notice that the Nurture Program that originated the Email Send is a field that you can lookup from the Email Send entity. It is not on the Email Send form, but you can use it in views and report or add it to the form if you wish.
The columns for this view are laid out like this:
Notice that I have set the view’s “Sorting” to sort by Email Template. Since I have given the Email Templates names that correspond to the order the nurture will send them out, it makes it easier to make sense of the view when it is ordered this way too.
3. Next, I added a chart to this view as below:
4. Here is the final result, a chart that shows how well each step in my nurture is performing in terms of deliveries, opens and clicks:
The nice thing about charts that correspond to views in CRM is that you can drill into them. For example, if I click on the “clicks” column (the purple one) for the third template, the view will update to show me just the Email Sends that have a click. Likewise, I can filter the view to show me just those nurture Email Sends from last month, and the chart will update to show me the deliveries, opens and clicks for my nurture from last month.
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It has long been possible to streamline the form submission process for your customers by pre-populating forms sent out through ClickDimensions emails (if you are not familiar with this process, you can read about it here on our help site). This is great, but you can only populate data from the recipient’s record, so what if you are sending out a form in which you need some data from the recipient’s parent account as well? This can be accomplished using a pair of simple workflows.
How do I get the parent account data onto the form?
In order to pre-populate the data from the parent account record, it will need to be stored somewhere on the contact record. You may or may not need to make some custom fields depending upon what data you want and how you are currently using your contact record. Once your record is ready to house the parent account data, you can add it to your contacts using the following workflow:
The workflow is based on the Contact entity and is set to run when the Company Name field on the contact record is updated. Once the field is changed, the workflow will be triggered and an Update Record step will run that will update the contact record by populating the fields for parent account data with the corresponding data from the parent account (note that the workflow can be set to run as an on-demand process to update contacts who already have a parent account specified on their record). Now that the data is on the contact, you can set it to pre-populate the form like you would any normal contact data, such as first name or email address.
How do I get the parent account data back onto the account?
When your form is submitted, the updated parent account data will be mapped back to the contact record. In order to have this updated data mapped to the account record, use the following workflow:
This workflow is also based on the Contact entity, but it is set to run when one of the fields containing the parent account data is updated. This workflow starts with a Check Condition step that checks to see if the field was modified by the ClickDimensions service user (the specific name of the user will vary from customer to customer and will not necessarily match the name in the screenshot). This will indicate that the fields were updated by the form submission mapping data back to the contact. After this, the workflow runs an Update Record step that updates the parent account record with the updated data that is stored on the contact record.
Written by Rhys Saraceni, Marketing Success Manager at ClickDimensions
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We get a lot of comments and questions about our Work from Anywhere feature, which allows employees to unplug their desk phone and then reconnect to any high-speed Internet outlet outside of the office – at home, at a branch office, in a hotel room on the road.
In fact, we were recently contacted by a business reporter who had just read an article about employees taking their desk phones home the day of an approaching winter storm. He was fascinated by this and wondered what we charged for this feature. After a brief conversation, he realized that this work-from-anywhere capability represents a basic technological difference between our cloud-hosted VoIP phone solution and that of traditional copper-wire providers. (And he quickly understood why it’s a built-in feature, requiring no add-on charge.)
The concept of “working from anywhere” – and retaining the same business phone functionality you have back at the office – isn’t always familiar to those who still use a wireline phone service. But for companies using a cloud-hosted VoIP service, such as the Vonage solution, it’s a significant business advantage.
Technology that Boosts Productivity
Since our VoIP phone service is delivered over the Internet, and IP phone connections are registered by an Internet Provider (vs. a physical phone jack in the wall), the IP phone will register correctly regardless of which Internet connection it’s plugged into. And since our service is hosted in the cloud, instead of on-site at each customer location, employees have the flexibility to take their phone home, forward calls to their cell phone, or even set up their extension to simultaneously ring multiple phones.
Take Your Desk Phone with You?
Many employees simply find it convenient to take their desk phone home, particularly if they’ll be teleworking for an extended period (for example, if inclement weather is forecast that could shut down the office for a day or more). Some employees may spend weeks at their company’s branch offices and prefer having their own desk phone with them. Carrying your desk phone with you may not appeal to everyone, but it’s a fantastic option, courtesy of modern VoIP technology. Also remember: With a quality business VoIP solution, employees always have the option of using mobile apps when they’re away from the office.
Mobile Apps Deliver Full Office Functionality
It’s hard to think of “working from anywhere” without quality mobile apps that enable workers to use their mobile phones the same way they use their office phones. And that’s what customers get with Vonage Business Mobile apps for iOS® and Android® – mobile access to our full suite of business phone features, including specific mobility features. And whether it’s a salesperson on the go or a teleworker in her home office, no one they speak to will know they’re working remotely.
The Really Cool Thing About Work from Anywhere
Many of our business customers consider the Work from Anywhere feature one of the most interesting aspects of our business phone solution. It offers so much flexibility and potential to keep employees connected with customers and productive when they’re not in the office. Even when conditions don’t allow employees to make it to the office, there’s still no reason to expect a drop off in productivity or a related hit to revenue. That assures business continuity for both your company and the customers it serves, and that’s very cool.
About Amy Tankersley
As Product Manager at Vonage Business Solutions, Amy is always looking for ways to make our customers more productive. Her specialty is focusing on mobility solutions. When she isn’t building products, Amy is a dance teacher in Atlanta.
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Try as we might, many of us end up with a painstakingly developed email that unfortunately goes into a spam queue or junk folder while testing or sending. While it’s not possible to backtrack and get the email back into the inbox if it’s already hit spam, there are some preventative measures you can take to increase your overall deliverability.
Set up an SPF record
SPF (Sender Policy Framework) records are a fairly easy set up and can have a large impact. When you send out an email through ClickDimensions, our ClickDimensions processes handle and actually deliver that email message. When your receiving email client software gets that message (whether that’s Outlook, Gmail, Yahoo, etc.), it sees that ClickDimensions is the one actually sending the email, even though the branding on the message is from your company. This can appear suspicious to some particularly strict email clients or networks.
The SPF record acts like a little note that essentially says “We give ClickDimensions permission to send emails on our behalf.” This lets the email client know these types of messages are expected and allowed, not a take-over of your network.
For more, see our article on how to set up an SPF record here: http://help.clickdimensions.com/spf-records-for-clickdimensions/
Check the Spam Score while Testing
Once you’ve loaded your Email Template into an Email Send for a live test, make sure to check the Spam Score on the test window. The Spam Score is run by Spam Assassin and will give your email an overall score based on code and content. A score of 3.0 or higher is what you’d like to avoid, but the lower the score the better. The score will come with rules that will tell you what about your email is raising your score; you can check the Spam Assassin website or the web to see what exactly about your template you should tweak in order to get a lower score.
More information on testing an email with ClickDimensions is available here: http://help.clickdimensions.com/test-an-email/
This Spam Assassin page has information on some of the things they check your template for: http://spamassassin.apache.org/tests_3_3_x.html
Read through the Content—Critically
If your email still consistently comes in as spam, double-check your content. Most of the time the Spam Assassin report above will catch keywords that can trigger a spam delivery, but another read-through can help you spot potentially problematic words and phrases. Words like “discount,” “pharmacy,” and even “spam,” as well as large numbers or amounts of money can make your message seem less credible. Using professional language and punctuation as well as providing relevant content with an appropriate subject line will also help boost the legitimacy of your communication.
How Many Times Have You Sent the Email and Who Are You Sending To?
While we do always recommend thorough testing, when you continue to send the same, slightly modified email to yourself, it can over time land in the spam box. Your Outlook or Gmail won’t necessarily know that you’re intentionally sending the message to yourself and may decide after a few sends that the repeated message looks suspicious.
This can especially be a factor when sending to many of the same internal email addresses; it can sometimes be interpreted as an attack on your network. This is normally not indicative of a problem with the content, and in most cases the real send will go out fine. As a test, you can try sending to a few other platforms such as Gmail or Yahoo to see how those get processed.
ClickDimensions helps get you off to a great start by providing trusted sending IP’s, but sending consistent, relevant content will help boost your deliverability and trust amongst your recipients. If you can aim to send clear content to clean lists, your emails should continually go directly into the inbox.
Read these other best practices that will help your emails land in the inbox:
Written by Courtney Smith, Marketing Success Manager at ClickDimensions
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