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Software

Digital marketing tools

By Internet marketing, Software 2 Comments

Here is a list of digital marketing tools including several which are free.

Advertising management

Adroll – Self-service online advertising platform for running online ads, advert retargeting etc.

Frank.ai – Frank’s brain is connected to Facebook, Google and two million other websites. Frank takes care of the setup, optimization and reporting for your ad campaign. (Should marketers be worried about losing their jobs?)

Google Ads – From time to time Google offers a free trial of their advertising service.

Appointment scheduling

Calendly – Take to toing and froing out of client appointment making.

Animated GIF maker

Ezgif.com – is an easy to use website where you can upload GIF/JPG/PNG/APNG/WebP files and convert them into an animated GIF.

Audio recording

Audacity – Free, downloadable voice recording and editing software. Great for podcasters.

Garageband – Mac podcast production tool as a free alternative to Audacity.

Broken link checker

Brokenlinkcheck – find those broken links in your website.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software

Capsule – Free for up to 250 contacts, then inexpensive to run. Integrates both ways with MailChimp.

Email marketing

MailChimp – Comprehensive email marketing platform. Free for the first 2,000 subscribers.

Test email Subject line – Handy online tool for seeing what the email subject line + Sender name + Preheader text will look like.

Emojis

Get Emoji – Emojis can be used in email subject lines and social media, amongst other places.

Forms (website)

Optinmonster – Lead capture, email marketing signup and more. Works with MailChimp.

Wufoo – Website form creation platform. Works with MailChimp.

Grammar checker

Grammarly – The free writing assistant. AI-powered Chrome browser extension that checks grammar, spelling and punctuation in Gmail, Outlook, Google Docs, LinkedIn, Facebook etc.

Hashtags

Hashtagify.me – Monitor the performance of hashtags, see suggestions and identify Twitter influencers.

Image file compression

TinyPNG – Compresses PNG and JPEG images which help to improve website loading speed, newsletter performance etc.

Landing pages

Unbounce – Landing pages, popups and sticky bars.

Language translation

Deepl.com – AI-powered translation service.

Google Translate – Google-powered translation service.

Podcasting

Anchor.fm – Free podcasting distribution service.

Libsyn – For podcast distribution.

Sales leads

Leadfeeder – Leadfeeder tells you which specific enterprises have visited your website, how to contact them and what content on your website they’re looking at. Leadfeeder integrates with many CRMs and communication tools such as MailChimp.

Search Engine Optimisation

ahrefs – Long list of professional tools to grow search traffic. Learn about your competitors and more.

Alexa – Keyword research, website audit, competitor website analysis, backlink checker etc.

The Google Keyword Planner is part of Google Adwords.

Yoast – WordPress SEO plugin used by 10 million+ websites. The free version is good the paid version is better.

Social media

Buffer – Social media management software. The free version allows you to upload 10 posts. I use this for my Twitter account. 10 posts = 2.5 days. So you could use Buffer first thing on Monday morning and during Wednesday lunchtime in order to Tweet four times a day during the business week.

Sprout Social – Social media management and engagement, customer care, advocacy and analytics.

Surveys

Smart Survey – At the time of writing, there is a free option.

SurveyMonkey – Comprehensive online survey platform (no longer free).

URL shortening service

Bit.ly – Easy to use and provides basic stats.

Video hosting

Vimeo – Professional grade video hosting platform.

YouTube – One of the benefits of hosting your videos within YouTube (which is owned by Google) is that you will improve your chances of being found. It is the world’s 2nd most used website, according to Alexa (the 1st is Google.com).

Website broken links

Brokenlinkcheck – see which of your website links are not working and keep Google happy.

Website CMS

WordPress – Free to use website CMS (Content Management System) used by a third of the world’s websites.

Website loading speed test

Pingdom – Find out how long your website takes to load, from various places around the world.

Website stats

Google Analytics – Website analytics service provided by Google. Shows website visitor metrics and other stats in detail.

Jetpack WordPress plugin – Jetpack includes website analytics.

Which digital marketing tools have I missed? Please reply below and let me know!

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marketing software training

Solving software problems

By CRM, Software, Technology No Comments

As a marketer, do you find yourself increasingly working with software? This may include your CRM (Customer Relationship Management system); CMS (the Content Management System for your website); email marketing systems such as MailChimp; and marketing software tools.

Do you enjoy working with software? If from time-to-time you feel like throwing your computer out of the window (the French have a word for this: defenestration), here are some ideas for you:

* For the important software that you will be using regularly, invest in professional training.

* When you get stuck, take a break, even if it is only for 10 minutes. It is surprising how different approaches can come to mind, when you are not focused on the problem.

* Find someone who is good with software who can help you.

* YouTube can be very helpful, if someone has posted a solution to your problem.

* Many software platforms offer online chat support for paying customers. I have found these to be very helpful; they can usually email you a transcript of the discussion.

* Learn some HTML via W3Schools.

* Spend a higher proportion of your time learning, as opposed to fixing problems (which never seem to end, do they?)

* If all else fails, find a good window fitter.

Click here to see Nigel’s marketing training services.

Your enterprise is a competing data processing system

Your enterprise is a competing data processing system

By Learning, Marketing strategy, Software, Success No Comments

As everything continues to become digital, think of your enterprise as a competing data processing system. This idea is contained within Yuval Noah Harari’s book, Homo Deus.

As a marketer, I think a great deal about the customer, brand and promotion. However, when I want an answer to a question, or I am looking for a product or service, I reach for my 2nd brain (my smartphone).

The enterprise with the best data processing system is:
A) Going to be on page 1 of Google
B) Their website will engage my attention
C) If I want to find out more, their data processing system will engage with me and learn about my needs. It will communicate, follow-up and be there for me.

On this basis, don’t think ‘website’, ‘Search’, ‘CRM’, ‘Email’ etc. Instead, see  it as a holistic integrated whole that delivers a better service than anyone else.

In order to achieve this, you need to learn continually as software never stays still. As systems, apps and services move into the cloud, there has been an explosion of options and alternative ways of serving the customer.

You can throw money at IT if you wish, but it is better to understand it first. Talk to people and ask questions about what they use, how they use it and where they bought it.

This article first appeared within my marketing ideas newsletter, which you can subscribe to here.

Too many browser windows open?

By Internet marketing, Learning, Software, Success, Technology, Writing One Comment

Do you find that that, as your working day progresses, you end up with dozens of browser windows?  I used to have so many that I would have several different web browsers on the go.

Station can be downloaded for use on your computer. It is free to use and it enables you to work with several hundred apps such as email, accounting, online storage, MailChimp, social media accounts (i.e. LinkedIn, Twitter), Skype and many others (about 300 in total).

The result is that your website browser is much less cluttered. In addition, you can search across multiple apps within Station and move from one app to another in a variety of ways.

Station groups all your pages by app, automatically.  You can turn notifications off, when you need to concentrate.

No more getting lost in 50 open tabs. Decision making speaker and NavigatorPlus member and decision making speaker David Knowles-Leak kindly brought this to my attention.

Visit Station’s website here to find out more and download the app.

This story first appeared in my marketing tips and ideas newsletter. You can subscribe here.  “Your newsletter is the most useful I have ever subscribed to!” Steve Munden https://ibizify.net

Digital marketing checklist

By Internet marketing, Marketing strategy, Software, Technology No Comments

Are you ticking the right digital marketing boxes i.e. plan, CRM, website, content, SEO, social media,  email marketing, smartphones and advertising? Increasingly, the boxes are connected. Here is a digital marketing checklist to get you started:

Digital marketing strategy plan

The digital marketing plan should include:
*  Objectives
*  Sales targets
*  Target markets
*  Online promotional mix
*  Budget
*  Metrics (including analytics)

A digital marketing plan includes an integrated approach to online brand awareness, customer acquisition and retention.

It sees things from the customers’ perspective, as marketing always has done. The perspective, however, has changed with the new ways in which consumers and business decision makers research and buy products and services.

CRM

*  Has a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system been chosen and deployed?
*  Have all customer facing staff been trained to use the CRM?
*  Which cloud based marketing apps and services connect with our CRM?
*  Are we using our CRM every day?

Website

*  When was our website last updated?
*  Is our website optimised for mobile devices?
*  How many sales leads / sales do we receive from our website every day / week / month?

Website content

*  Does the website navigation bar still make sense?
*  Do we have an uncluttered homepage?
*  Is the website content easy to read?
*  Does Google like our website?
*  How often do we publish new content?

SEO

*  Do we have an up-to-date understanding of  Search Engine Optimisation?
*  Do we have an SEO strategy?
*  With regards to SEO, what are we measuring?
*  What are our SEO results?
*  Here is an online SEO course

Social media

*  Do we have a social media strategy and plan?
*  Which social media platforms are we focusing on?
*  How often do we post original content within each platform?
*  Do we use social media metrics?

Email marketing

*  How many opt-in subscribers do we have?
*  How often do we send out newsletters?
*  What are our open and click through rates?

Smartphone marketing

*  Do we have a mobile first digital marketing strategy?
*  How do customers interact with our website when they use a mobile device?
*  How are we catching and keeping customer’s attention via smartphones?

Online advertising

*  Which paid for online advertising platforms are we using?
*  Is our online advertising strategy effective?
*  How much do we budget each month for online advertising?
*  What is our CPC (Cost Per Click)?
*  What is our CPA (Cost Per Acquisition)?
*  How can we improve results in this area?

Marketing automation

*  Do we have a marketing automation strategy?
*  Have we deployed software for sales lead nurturing, scoring and lifecycle management?
*  Can our software help with cross-selling, up-selling and customer loyalty?

Additional digital marketing checklist questions

*  What is working?
*  What isn’t working?
*  How can it be improved?
*  Current cost of customer acquisition
*  Target customer acquisition cost
*   Do we have a digital marketing learning strategy?
*  Should we get some impartial advice / training?

Digital marketing is a vast subject and I have been thinking about it whilst I have been rebuilding my Digital Marketing Consultant page.

Here is an online SEO course that I have created.

If you need some help, you are welcome to get in touch with me.

Cloud-based marketing apps and services

By CRM, Customer care, Customers, Internet marketing, MailChimp, Marketing strategy, Software, Technology One Comment

How many cloud-based marketing apps and services do you use? How many of them connect to each other? Has it all grown organically, or was it planned? The last few years has seen a dramatic rise in the number of marketing related services that are available in the cloud.  Some of them are free, others are cheap as chips and some are relatively expensive.

Here are some of them:

CRM (Customer Relationship Management systems)
* Capsule CRM
* Salesforce
* Zoho

Website
* Squarespace
* WordPress
* Wix

Forms
* Formstack
* Gravity
* Wufoo

Email marketing
* ConstantContact
* Dotmailer
* MailChimp

Many enterprises now capture (in a GDPR compliant fashion) customer contact information which triggers a series of events. For example, an automated Welcome email; a record being created within a CRM system; and a task for a salesperson to contact the customer. If you are already doing this, that’s great – however most businesses are not doing so (or anything close to it).

It is important to see the whole thing from the customer’s perspective. Is the software helping them? Is it easy for them to use? Does it actually work? What do the metrics tell you about customer behaviour? How can you improve performance and results?

To what extent does the software give you a competitive advantage? What is the strategic thinking behind the deployment of these services? Have you implemented back-up and recovery processes?

My work as an internet marketing consultantMailChimp trainer  and Capsule CRM consultant and trainer has meant that I have had to learn a great deal about cloud-based marketing apps  and services, as my clients ask me questions about how to solve a business issue or how to get X software talking to Y software.

I suggest that you list all of the apps / services that you use and think about how they are currently connected. See the whole thing as one big picture.

Is it worth having a CRM?

By CRM, Customers, Marketing strategy, Selling, Software No Comments

Is it worth the time, trouble and expense of having and using a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system?

The answer is that, yes, it is.

In my experience, it is a challenge to keep track of details and information when you are marketing and selling, as the information escalates exponentially. You end up with lists or a spreadsheet full of dozens, hundreds or even thousands of people.

If you are busy and the sales leads are coming in, you need to keep track of current sales opportunities. At the same time, it is important not to ignore dormant customers and your future sales pipeline.

For example, you may ask yourself: Who else is involved in making this decision? What did they tell me six months ago? Are they on LinkedIn? Is there a direct dial telephone number for this person?

The best CRM for your enterprise is the one that you actually use.

All too often, the software can be difficult to setup and too complicated to use on a day to day basis.

Have it open at all times. Record details as you receive them*.

In an interconnected age, choose a CRM that integrates with other software applications that you use.

For example, Capsule CRM integrates properly with MailChimp and Gmail.

Once I have sent a proposal by Gmail, with one click I can add that person into Capsule. When I look at their profile in Capsule, it shows me the email and the PDF proposal – which I can open with one click. I can then add this opportunity to my sales pipeline, which means that I won’t forget about it.

The benefits of having a CRM system

Capsule CRM training

* Please bear the GDPR legislation in mind when you record and store data.

A CRM system that works with MailChimp

By CRM, Customers, Marketing strategy, Software No Comments

For several years, I have been a MailChimp trainer.  During the training sessions, I am often asked about CRM solutions that work with MailChimp. There are several options and one that I like is Capsule CRM.

Capsule is a cloud based system. You can login to it via a website browser or via their App (which is very useful). You can create a free account and experiment with it (with up to 250 contacts).

The best CRM (Customer Relationship Management system) for your business is the one that you actually use.

I have read countless stories in the marketing and business press regarding complex databases, that have cost a great deal of money,  which have failed.

Many CRMs are too complicated and take too long to learn.

You can install a CRM on your own office server and there may well be good reasons for doing this, i.e. if it integrates with your accounting / e-commerce system.

Alternatively, you can use a cloud based system. This option can be easy to implement and inexpensive to run.

MailChimp and Capsule and be linked together via an API (Application Programming Interface).

I have got to know the Capsule CRM well as we use it every day within The Marketing Compass and I offer Capsule CRM training.

 

Windows Snipping Tool for screen grabs / screenshots

By Internet marketing, Software, Technology, Training No Comments

Rather than emailing someone with a detailed description of something on a web page, wouldn’t it be easier to sent them an image instead? Perhaps with an area of the image circled in red and / or some text highlighted in yellow?

Similarly, if you write blogs, e-books or books about software, having the ability to save screen grabs would be helpful.

The Microsoft Windows snipping tool makes it easy to select an area of your screen, i.e. a section of a web page or PDF document and copy it into an email or Word document.

You can add notes, save the snip or email it from the Snipping Tool window. Or you can use Ctrl V to paste your snip into an email or document.

You can capture any of the following types of snips:

    • Free-form snip. Draw a free-form shape around an object.
    • Rectangular snip. Drag the cursor around an object to form a rectangle.
    • Window snip. Select a window, i.e. a browser window or dialog box.
    • Full-screen snip. Capture the entire screen.

After you capture a snip, it is copied to the Snipping Tool window.

You can annotate your snip by using the pen feature.

Here are the ways to open the Snipping Tool in different versions of Windows:


Here is an article from Microsoft, with more detail:
https://support.microsoft.com/en-gb/help/4027213/windows-open-snipping-tool-and-take-a-screenshot

 

 

Salesforce and MailChimp integration

By CRM, Email marketing, Internet marketing, MailChimp, Selling, Software No Comments

Imagine being able to use the world’s leading CRM and email marketing system together. This is how it is done.

Salesforce can be integrated with MailChimp via the Salesforce AppExchange. When I did this, I found it to be a straightforward exercise.

STEP 1  Getting Salesforce and MailChimp to talk to each other

According to MailChimp: “If you need to import Salesforce leads, or sync list information regularly, install the MailChimp for Salesforce app through the Salesforce AppExchange.” In other words, the integration happens within Salesforce.

STEP 2 MailChimp for Salesforce Query Builder

The Salesforce Query Builder allows you to copy Salesforce contacts and leads into a specific MailChimp list. You can run a query right away, or schedule it to run at a specific time of day. I found this to be an easy to use process and a test list within MailChimp was populated immediately. Within MailChimp, there is a (data) source field which is clearly labelled as ‘MailChimp for Salesforce’, which is useful for future reference.

MailChimp for Salesforce features the ability to:

* Update MailChimp subscriber information based on the contact / lead fields in Salesforce
* Create new leads from MailChimp subscribers
* View MailChimp campaign activity and reports within your Salesforce account

Within Salesforce, using the MailChimp view

ALLOW MAILCHIMP TO CREATE LEADS IN SALESFORCE
This feature allows MailChimp to create new leads within Salesforce for email addresses that don’t match existing leads or contacts.

TURN ON/OFF DATA SYNC
Enabling the data sync feature schedules a series of batch tasks. The data sync updates your MailChimp subscriber fields with the corresponding contact/lead field data hourly. It also updates the Salesforce contacts/leads with the MailChimp subscriber campaign activity each night.

REFRESH ALL LISTS
The ‘Refresh All Lists’ button updates all of the list field data. This button updates Salesforce with the MailChimp lists, list fields and groups. This may not happen instantly. Refresh the page after one minute.

MAP FIELDS
The ‘Map Fields’ link takes you to the field mapping page for each list. You can edit the field mapping for existing list fields or create new MailChimp list fields. The field mapping settings are used to match MailChimp list fields with their corresponding contact/lead fields.

The permissions for the leads, contacts and accounts should be set to ‘Public Read/Write’ in order for the MailChimp for Salesforce app to work properly.

SYNC LIST
The ‘Sync List’ link updates Salesforce with the MailChimp list settings, fields, segments, and groups. If the sync settings for the list allow subscriber activity, then this link will update the contacts/leads with the MailChimp campaign activity.

NEW QUERY
The ‘New Query’ button takes you to the Query builder. Queries function to subscribe contacts/leads to the MailChimp list and to update existing MailChimp list subscribers based on the corresponding contacts/leads within Salesforce. When updating existing subscribers, the Salesforce data will overwrite the MailChimp list field data. Using the filters on step two of the query builder, it’s possible to query all of the contacts/leads or to query specific contacts/leads based on their Salesforce field data.

REFRESH MC CAMPAIGNS
The ‘Refresh MC Campaigns’ button allows you to update the campaign activity data manually for all campaigns.

UPDATE STATS
The ‘Update Stats’ link enables you to manually update campaign activity data for a particular campaign.

This is a comprehensive integration which enables businesses to build a better email list and to communicate with customers in creative ways.

Nigel Temple offers MailChimp training open workshops, in-house training and consultancy.