Friday, May 27, 2011

Parent & Child Accounts

AddressTwo is account centric, allowing multiple contacts per one "account" or what we often call a "buying center." But what if there are multiple buying centers within a company. This is the case in large businesses that have multiple divisions or departments, each making their own buying decisions. It's also quite prevalent in franchise or multi-location businesses.

One account doesn't work because they are indeed two separate "buying centers." However, you want to maintain the relationship from one to the other. So how do you do that? Child accounts.

When viewing the contacts under an Account, you will see a small option in the lower-right called "Clone this account." Cloning is the way that a parent births a child in AddressTwo. The clone will begin with the same data as the original, but you can then edit the contact info as appropriate to the newly forming (and fully separate) Account. However, when you're finished creating this new Account, you'll notice a small link below the Company Name field to the Parent Account. From the Parent Account, you can now use the "view child accounts" link (in the Contacts box) to see those childs?

What if you already have the child and need to create a parent relationship after the fact? It's possible, just follow these steps:

First, create the new Account that will be the parent eventually. This is the corporate office, or the headquarters for the many-faceted account.

Next, query for all of the soon-to-be child accounts. This could be a simple company name search, but be sure to exclude the one just created. Perhaps add a parameter to set zip code or city "IS NOT" the location of the recently added parent. This will ensure that all other accounts in that company except the parent you just created are found in the results of the query.

Finally, use the "Global Update" option under the "Use This List" drop-down to assign a parent account to all matching results. That's it, you're done.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Task Automation (Workflows)

Tucked away at the bottom of the Task Dashboard is a tab you may have hardly noticed and most of you may be afraid to touch. It's the "Task Automation" box, and it's incredibly powerful. But, like most features in AddressTwo, the trick is harnessing that power.

First, what's task automation all about. Well, let's say you get a call-in lead from an ad you placed. Perhaps every time a lead comes in, you want your sales team (or you) to be reminded to do a fixed pattern of follow-up. For example: day 1, call; day 2 send a postcard; day 5 call again; day 10 send an email. You get the idea...

Second, how does task automation work? First, you have to determine which direction the tasks increment. In the example above, these tasks cound "up from" a due-date. The other option would be to count down to a date. This comes into play when some future event is known, and you want to do certain tasks prior to that date in preparation for it. Changing this option will toggle the text in your task series to either say "X days after due date" or "X days prior to due date."

Finally, once you have designed the series of tasks, how do you schedule those tasks for a given contact? Two ways: manually or automatically. Manually simply means that you would go to the contact for whom you wish to queue this entire series, click the "Add a Task" icon and then select the newly created task series from the bottom of the "Type of Task" drop-down list. In addition, you can also choose to queue these series of tasks automatically as a trigger on a web form.

Happy tasking.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

HTML in Address Two email

Learning some basic HTML coding will make it much easier to deal with your email templates. HTML is easy to learn and easy to use.

In an HTML web page this code:

<h1>My First Heading</h1>

<p>My first paragraph.</p>


Produces a page that looks like:

My First Heading

My first paragraph

In an HTML email in Address Two, you don’t have to worry about the tags outside of the <body></body> tags. You can start with the meat of the email.

When you start a plain letter email template in Address Two, you get the following HTML code:

<p style="font-size: small; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif;">
Hello %%FirstName_%%,
<p style="font-size: small; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif;">
This default greeting will auto-merge the first name of each recipient. Write your message here.
<p style="font-size: small; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif;">
<br />Chad</p>

This code produces this email:

Hello %%FirstName_%%,
This default greeting will auto-merge the first name of each recipient. Write your message here.

To learn more about HTML coding check out w3schools HTML tutorials

See Also:

Email Design Basics

Email Design Advanced

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

FriendTwo - What is it and how do I use it?

If you have been using AddressTwo for a while, you may have noticed that the original "Social Media Plugin" has been renamed as something called "FriendTwo."  If you're new to AddressTwo, you probably just wonder what the heck this second, seemingly separate product is.

First, what does it do? Simple.  FriendTwo imports a list of all of your followers, friends, and connections from Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.  It then combines those lists and looks for duplicates.  You're likely friends with a lot of the same people on these various networks.  Finally, it creates a CSV (spreadsheet readable in Excel) of the data. 

So, is it a separate product? Yes and no.  It's a "micro-site" designed to have some benefit for any person who wishes to use it -- AddressTwo user or not.  The whole world can benefit from FriendTwo.  However, it does have extra benefits for those users of AddressTwo.

How so?  When you use FriendTwo in combination with AddressTwo, you can link your contacts in your AddressTwo CRM database to their "friend" records stored at FriendTwo.  As you view any contact in AddressTwo, you can reference that data at a glance. 

The product is currently considered beta, which around here means: "here's an idea we think might be useful, let's see if people use it enough to bug us for updates."  So far, they have.  When people use a beta product and then ask for improvements, that's a sure sign that it's a product in-demand and worthy of further exploration.

Future enhancements considered for FriendTwo include a real-time sync, the auto-population of data from social networks into AddressTwo, and better support for large friend/followings.

Try it.  Test it.  Break it.  We just want you to use it.