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Here at CallRail, we’re always building and iterating on our product to help businesses of all sizes understand their marketing campaigns and leads. As part of our growing product roadmap, we recently added a brand new navigation bar to your account. This global navigation is an important first step to building seamless user experiences for different CallRail features. As with any interface change at CallRail, your account settings, tracking numbers, and web forms remain unchanged.

To kick off this exciting change, we want to show you the ins and outs of this new navigation.

 

Managing your accounts

Many CallRail customers are agencies that manage multiple clients across different CallRail accounts. To help agencies manage different accounts more efficiently, we’ve moved your account management from a drop-down to a full-sized account panel. To open this new panel, simply click the account initials in the top lefthand corner of the page.

This panel will be your new starting point for managing your account and personal profile. If you’re managing more than one account in Account Center, this is also where you’ll go to create or switch between accounts.

Space to continue growing our product offerings

As we move down the navigation, you’ll notice new buttons for Analytics, Lead Center, and Chat Center (depending upon the pricing plan you’re currently subscribed to). These icons take you to different places in CallRail’s ecosystem of products. Use the Analytics button to access everything you’re used to seeing in CallRail, including your reports, call and form tracking settings, and account settings.

The phone icon opens Lead Center, which is available as an add-on for your account. Lead Center is home to CallRail’s softphone and text message dashboard. Clicking the phone icon launches Lead Center in a separate browser tab so have a focused view of your phone calls and text messages. This also makes managing calls easier for users who don’t need to see reports or settings as part of their everyday workflow.

If you’ve joined our Chat Tracking beta, you’ll also have a third icon that opens Chat Center. This new dashboard is where you’ll go to view and respond to incoming chat messages if you’re using our new chat widget. Stay tuned for more 2020 news as we grow our chat offering!

Create new tracking features with ease

To make it easy to add new features to your account, you’ll now see a “Create” button towards the bottom of your new navigation. Clicking this button opens a panel where you can create a new tracking number, web form, or custom report with ease. As we continue to grow our product offering, you’ll likely see more features available in this panel throughout the year.

Get important account alerts and updates

One major piece of feedback we’ve heard is that you want to know more about the status of your account. To help surface important updates, we’ve added an “Account Alerts” panel that you can access by clicking the bell icon. In this panel, we’ll let you know about things like important billing updates or account settings.

 

An exciting 2020 ahead

December was an exciting time for our team as we prepared for the next year at CallRail. As the leading provider in call analytics, we take every change we make to our product seriously and use your feedback to help us grow. Stay tuned as we build out more exciting features in 2020!

The post CallRail 2020: New Year, New Global Navigation appeared first on CallRail.

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A homemade cookie or a bakery treat? A hand-knitted sweater or designer duds? A do-it-yourself home improvement project or hiring a contractor? Let’s be honest: any one of these choices can be awesome. Choosing whether to create something yourself or calling in the professionals completely depends on your needs, skillset, schedule and finances. The same goes for partner platforms. Whether you’re considering a homegrown portal or a cloud-based, next-generation PRM, you’re doing an amazing thing for your channel partners. A partner portal is the best way to onboard, educate and equip them for success. Which type of partner portal is better? That’s completely dependent on your bandwidth, growth projection, budget and what you want from your platform. Here are some things to consider.

Customization, Compared

The allure of anything custom-built is that it is designed to perfectly fit your needs. A big argument for homegrown portals is that they are tailored solutions. That being said, PRMs are also extremely customizable and offer a vast majority of the tools anyone would ever want or need. They’re also built to meld right in with your branding – even completely matching your website – so partners aren’t even aware they’re using an external system. 

Choosing the right set of tools is an important part of platform-building, but you can’t just tape them together and hope for the best. If you’re creating a homegrown solution, you have to be confident your team has the expertise to create a seamless partner experience. A good PRM has ensured its tools are completely synchronized, creating the ease-of-use partners need.

Let’s Talk Timelines

Let’s be honest: adopting any new system requires planning and fine-tuning as it gets off the ground. A homegrown partner portal is most likely going to take a bit more time, patience and elbow grease before it’s built, fully tested and live. There can also be system instability while you iron out kinks. PRMs give you the assurance that the system is already stable and quality-tested, providing the best possible experience for channel partners from the get-go. PRM companies are also experts in getting companies up-and-running and that guidance can significantly shorten your partner onboarding process.

How’s Your Bandwidth? 

It’s one thing to put in the manpower to build a new solution. As part of the planning process, you have to allocate resources to the continued maintenance of your partner portal. Does your team truly have room on their plates to keep your portal running top-notch? Will they have that bandwidth in 6 months, a year or five years from now? That’s all going to depend on some factors that are likely relatively unknown, like your future growth, budget and resources. A PRM solution is going to take that maintenance work off your plate, now and for the long-term. 

Making Sense of Dollars and Cents

Let’s get to what everyone really wants to hear about: the cost. The fact is that homegrown portals are often cheaper to set up. Just judging the initial sticker price may be a bit misleading, though. There’s a cost to the employee hours that go into creating a portal, maintaining it and to calling in experts to fix it if anything really goes awry. PRMs seem more expensive during a basic comparison of price tags, but they also give you the freedom and confidence of understanding all costs upfront, no uncertainty or surprises involved. When you budget for a homegrown portal, you’ll also have to consider the cost of expansions or revamps as your company grows. That’s where PRMs shine. With Allbound, for instance, we don’t charge per license so your cost never changes. We don’t believe customers should be penalized for growing!

Only You Know What Will Work Best

Whether a homegrown portal or a PRM is the right fit is ultimately something only you can answer. Thinking through all the points above is a big step in helping you come to that decision. Regardless of what you choose, give yourself a pat on the back. You’re doing something incredible for your channel partners.

The post Homegrown Partner Portals vs. PRM: Here’s What You Need to Consider appeared first on Partner Relationship Management Software (PRM).

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From social media to paid search, there’s no shortage of marketing technology on the market today. But do more platforms mean better measurement? Not necessarily. Our new Attribution Report found that 75 percent of marketers using four or more platforms say they spend too much time on reporting. For marketers using five or more platforms, a whopping 89 percent say they waste part of their budget on unnecessary tools. 

These stats don’t mean you should outright avoid adding new technology to your stack –– measurement is and always will be critical, especially as companies add new channels. However, these stats do indicate two main problems with marketing technology: Insufficient integrations and platform bias. 

Integrations don’t always work perfectly

If you’ve ever had to plug multiple data sources into a spreadsheet, you know that getting an accurate, holistic view of your marketing data can be difficult and messy. Fortunately, many major marketing platforms integrate with each other, or at least offer APIs for your developers to create their own integrations. 

That said, even when platforms do integrate with each other, they don’t always integrate correctly, leaving you susceptible to inaccurate reporting. They may also use different attribution models that create inaccurate reports. For example, your paid search tool may give credit to the first touch, while your social media tool gives credit to the last. This creates discrepancies that make your reports messy and unreliable. 

Platform bias skews your marketing data

At the end of the day, social media and advertising platforms need to prove that your investment in them actually drives the conversions you want to see. Unfortunately, this means that platforms often default to show the most optimum view of the results they’re driving and don’t offer a complete picture of what marketing tactics really drove results –– unable to show how one platform worked in tandem with another to generate, say, a lead. That’s why your analytics data can vary depending on the platform you plug it into or the attribution model you use. The more of these platforms you add to your tech stack, the more contradictory your analytics findings can become. 

For example, let’s say you’re running a Facebook Ads campaign for a new product. A customer clicks the ad, abandons the page, searches for your product via Google a couple weeks later and then makes a purchase. If you ask Facebook Ads, their platform should get credit for the sale, considering it was the first touch and Facebook cannot track data from Google. If you ask Google Analytics, organic search should get credit because it was the last touch before conversion. You will get different answers depending on the platform you’re trusting for the insight.

In reality, neither Google nor Facebook are “correct” in this case. First and last-touch models don’t uncover the totality of the steps that were taken to generate a certain conversion. That’s where marketing attribution platforms like CallRail come in.

You can connect data from your disparate marketing tools into a single lead tracking platform, eliminating the need to bounce from report to report or spreadsheet to spreadsheet. Even better, CallRail is a platform-neutral arbiter that measures your campaigns accurately. You can choose which attribution models you want to use to get a holistic and accurate report on your marketing efforts, instead of your marketing tools deciding for you.  

Integrations and platform neutrality are the tip of the iceberg when it comes to achieving marketing attribution. To learn more about the state of marketing attribution, download our full Attribution Report for free.

The post How platform bias and faulty integrations undermine your marketing tech stack appeared first on CallRail.

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