Thursday, June 30, 2011

Emailing Addy to Assign a Task

Thanks for Daniel Herndon for suggesting and helping to develop this very powerful new feature. Let's say you want to remind yourself to do something. Do you email yourself from your blackberry so it will be there in your inbox in the morning? Not any more.

Remind myself to do something...
Send an email directly TO Addy with the subject line "Task" and whatever you type as the message will get appended to your task list for the following day. If you write any recognizable date in the body of the message, Addy will assign the task on that date instead. So, if I write:
TO: addy
FROM: me
Subject: Task

I need to order a new print cartridge by 5/16/2012.
Addy will add a task to your task list due on 5/16/2012 with the description written.

Assign tasks to others on your team...
But what if I want to assign that task to my office manager, not to myself? Simple. Send the email to the assignee themselves, copying Addy. Of course, as you probably already realized, that means that your office manager will receive the email. They'll get your full instruction via email. But, in addition, it will be added to their AddressTwo task list for accountability.

Assign tasks related to Contacts or Projects...
Now, for the most amazing functionality. What if the task had nothing to do with something inert like print cartridges? What if it was indeed a sales or production task? And, (as our good friend Daniel Herndon taught us) these sorts of tasks often require far more instruction than the 100 character description allowed in AddressTwo. So, construct an email like this:

CC: addy
FROM: me
Subject: Task: John Doe

John needs to get a current price list for the widgets. He and his wife have been shopping around at our other competitors, and I had a conversation with him today. Here is what I think you can do to win this business:
- Throw in a free 1-year service contract.
- Include tickets to the game this Saturday.
- Complement his good looks.
Have all of this done by 5/16/2012 please.

The result will be a task, due on 5/16, related to the contact matching the string John Doe, assigned to the recipient. The description will only be the first 100 characters of this email, but that's irrelevant, the assignee has already received the full email. Now, the AddressTwo task is simply a matter of accountability and tracking.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Email Opt-out A self managing system

The emails that are sent from Address Two include a line at the bottom that looks like this:

This email was sent to To stop receiving emails from this user, unsubscribe.

If some one clicks the link to unsubscribe, the email address is opted out. This corresponds to the opt in check box on the contact record. If a contact is opted in, the email is green. If a contact is opted out, the emial is red. You can see and change the opt in check box on the account view if you click the edit (pencil) button.

Opted out contacts are automatically blocked when sending email from Address Two, so there is nothing you have to do to keep these contacts from receiving email. It’s a self managing system.

Happy Emailing!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Reading Campaign Reports

Who viewed it? Who clicked? How well did my email perform? These are all questions you should be asking yourself just moments after clicking send. This tutorial, I want to give you a quick overview on how to use the campaign reports.

First, where to find them...
From the Campaigns Dashboard, look to the activity area on your right. You can view scheduled emails (which will be empty if you're not an active user of Triggered Campaigns) as well as sent emails. Click the Sent tab and look at the stats icon to the right of each email listed.

Ok, so what am I looking at?
If you have found your report, now what are you looking at? First, the graph at the top gives you a high-level view of the email's performance. Next, you will see a glimpse of the email content itself as it was delivered. To the left, a list of all the email addresses who have viewed this email, and finally, at the bottom a list of those who clicked a link.
  • Unique Views vs. Total Views - in the top graph, you will see two numbers, unique and total views. Total views are the total number of times that the email was looked at. This can be multiple times per recipient. If I read an email in the morning, then come back and read it again in the afternoon, that's 2 views. Unique views are the unique number of recipients who viewed. So, in the example of myself reading an email once in the morning and once in the afternoon, that would count as only one unique viewer. So, why is that useful? Know this: we can only track the original [intended] recipient. That means that if I view an email in the morning and in the afternoon, but also forward it to 15 friends, then it's now up to a 17 total views. The 15 friends all get tracked as though they were me because they're viewing the email intended for me. Whenever your total views are significantly higher than your unique views (15% or more) you have created a viral email. Congratulations.
  • What's that "create query" link do? One very useful way to use email marketing is to send an email to a broad list and then use the viewers or the clickers on that email as a more highly qualified lead list, either for calling or for a higher-impact follow-up campaign such as postcards. When you click "create query" under the viewers or the clickers, it consolidates the clickers or viewers as a resultset of a query, giving you the option to use that list in the same way you would any ordinary query: call them, email them, send a postcard, mail merge, etc.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Items & Materials (the "SKU Manager")

The Project Manager plugin got a dramatic upgrade last week, and we're excited to tell all of you about it.  It's what we have affectionately started calling the SKU Manager around the office because of it's use of SKU's (stock-keeping-unit) to uniquely identify products that you sell and assign costs & descriptions to each.

Previously, the Project Manager relied on a simple break-down for line items by Category.  That functionality still exists, and for those of you using it, you'll notice no change in expected behavior.  That is, until you go and add your first SKU. 

Under Admin >> Projects >> Items & Materials (formerly called "Project Categories") you can edit your category selections as well as insert individual items, or SKU's.  Once you have loaded an inventory of pre-set items here, you can select those items for sale when entering a Project.  What's the benefit?  Simple: save typing.  If you sell the same item over and over, you may have found yourself re-typing descriptions and prices in the Project / Opportunity form.  Now, you can save that typing and ensure consistency. 

There are a few other perks you'll soon find.  With a unique identifier on these line items (the SKU number) we can now report on exactly how much of one item you are selling or forecasted to sell in a given time frame. 

If you're a user of the Project Manager plugin, the SKU Manager will make your life much easier.  If you're not, now could be the time to try.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The Cloud is a Beautiful Thing

Last week, a frantic customer called the office.  They had lost everything on their computer to a virus attack and she was dealing with the devastating realization that much of her work was lost.  Her question for me: "Did I lose all my AddressTwo data, too?"  It seems like a silly question if you understand the nature of how our system is designed.  But for her, the benefits of the cloud hadn't quite sunk in yet.

But today, I'm in her shoes... and the view from the other side of the fence makes me appreciate all the more how beautiful cloud computing can be, if only I'd used it.

I have a computer that's been running Quickbooks Simple Start 2007 since before 2007 (those silly release dates are always jumping the gun).  It was a good old fashioned Windows XP system and never had a single problem, likely because it only got used a few times a month.

But today, the first day of June (bill-payment day around here), I was met with a not-so-friendly surprise.  Failed to boot.  Bad sector.  I'm currently 3 hours into the project of removing the old hard drive and recovering files.  What do I plan to do with them?  Import to Quickbooks Online, of course!  To the cloud!

Cloud computing for me is more than just connectedness and collaboration.  It's the simple peace of mind that my data is not dependent on the feeble capabilities of my desktop computer.  If your customer data were gone today, what would that mean for your business?  If you lost the contacts in your cell phone or your Outlook, could you recover?  Maybe, but why test it.  Make AddressTwo your primary resource for contact management today.