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.

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

* Squarespace
* WordPress
* Wix

* 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.


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

This feature allows MailChimp to create new leads within Salesforce for email addresses that don’t match existing leads or contacts.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

Marketing Software Map

By CRM, Internet marketing, MailChimp, Marketing strategy, Technology, WordPress No Comments

Here is a Marketing Software Map:

Marketing Software Map by Nigel Temple

The central red circle is your CRM (Customer Relationship Management system). There are thousands of CRM systems available to you. Key issues to consider include: 1). Is the CRM easy to use? 2) Will your customer facing team actually use it? 3) Does it integrate with your newsletter system, i.e. MailChimp?

To what extent does information flow between your website, your CRM and your email marketing campaigns? Within the above diagram, the dark arrows represent software connections where information flows automatically, without the need for re-keying.

The objective is to have a single, integrated system that helps you to increase brand awareness, attract new customers and learn about them and their preferences. The software within the Marketing Software Map is either free or inexpensive. The tricky bit is making it all sing in tune and appealing to customers.

The skills required to build your Map include a knowledge of marketing strategy, software, copywriting and creative thinking.

I help enterprises of all sizes to build their own Marketing Software Map.

If you would like to find out more, email me or ask via The Marketing Compass.

I train and give talks on The Marketing Software Map. Email Joanna if you are interested in this.

Build bridges between your software platforms

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

How many software platforms / systems do you use?  For example: database / CRM (Customer Relationship Management system); accounts system; website(s); landing pages; social media communities; email marketing.

How many of these ‘talk to’ each other?

This is how it could work:

* A potential customer searches for a product / service that you provide
* They find one of your website pages
* They join your MailChimp newsletter
* MailChimp ‘talks to’ your CRM and auto-populates a new record
* MailChimp starts sending a sequence of pre-written emails to the potential customer

There are numerous benefits of this approach. All of the information is in the right place. The customer receives a rapid response from you. Changes in one place (i.e. your CRM) auto update information in other places (your emailing marketing list).

My advices is to build bridges between your software platforms.

Photograph © copyright Nigel Temple

HubSpot CRM review

By CRM, Email marketing, Selling, Software No Comments

hubspotHubspot CRM is a free to use Customer Relationship Management solution. It is cloud based, so that you can access it from a website browser or a mobile phone.

Hubspot CRM enables you to store all of your contacts in one place and easily access this information. See:

Customer interactions are tracked automatically. Sales deals are displayed within a dashboard. You can sort by name, owner, amount or stage and use customisable filters.

All of which means that you will be in control of your sales pipeline and won’t have to worry about losing sales prospects.

In addition to the CRM there is HubSpot Sales:

HubSpot Sales free account

The package includes:
* The HubSpot CRM system
* Email scheduling – if you use HubSpot Sales with Google Apps
* Email open notifications
* Unlimited real-time email open notifications
* Email tracking history of up to 200 notifications per month in your Activity Stream
* Create up to five email Templates
* Upload up to five Documents
* 15 minutes of Calling
* The account stays free forever (unless you upgrade)

Therefore, you can have an easy to use CRM + HubSpot Sales free account and not spend any money.

HubSpot Sales Professional

The package includes:
* HubSpot CRM
* Email scheduling – if you use HubSpot Sales with Google Apps
* Email open & click notifications
* Unlimited real-time notifications and email tracking history
* Prospects: access to the companies visiting your website
* Email Templates: 1,000 per user per month
* Calling: 2,000+ minutes of voice over IP calling from your phone or browser
* Document tracking: 1,000 per user per month
* Sequences: 1,000 per user per month
* Meetings: your recipients can access your calendar to book time with you

As part of the family, there is also HubSpot Marketing

Sidekick by HubSpot enables you to see who has opened your emails. The information includes the date and time of open and how many times the email was opened. It works well with Gmail and other popular email clients. Sidekick is a free Google Chrome extension. Having installed it and sent an email, a popup appears within Chrome to tell you that the email has been opened.

Integrated digital marketing strategy

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

Within an increasingly digital economy, enterprises need to have an integrated digital marketing strategy in order to manage the flow of information and the customer journey (prospect, ‘tell me more’, customer, client, brand advocate).

Your digital marketing strategy should include:

* A strategy that brings sufficient visitors to your website in order to generate the required number of sales leads / sales
* A content marketing programme including regular, in-depth, interesting and relevant blogs
* A social media strategy that generates brand awareness and reach via follows, likes, comments, messages and shares
* List building; this can be done in a number of ways, i.e. via list rental and email sign up forms
* List management – which is best done within a CRM (Customer Relationship Management system – there are many to choose from)
* Email marketing; my preferred platform being MailChimp, see
* Fast enquiry response times: instantaneous is good, within the hour is acceptable
* A sales process that works

You need to use integrated software. In other words, software platforms / databases / systems / communities that ‘talk to’ each other, i.e. via an API  (Applications Programming Interface). For example, the data within your email marketing system should be mirrored within your CRM.

Information regarding your business contacts is probably in many places. For example, your email system (Outlook, Gmail etc), spreadsheets, a database / CRM, business cards, smartphones, filing cabinets, email marketing software, LinkedIn, Twitter and other social media platforms.

Where should all of your business contacts be? The answer is your CRM system. I have previously written about this subject here…

The benefits of having a CRM system

Finally, you need to be able to measure what is working and what isn’t.

There is a lot to think about, isn’t there? If you would like some help, you are welcome to talk to me.

Capsule CRM review

By CRM, Internet marketing, Technology No Comments

I am a MailChimp consultant and trainer and I am often asked about CRM systems that work well with MailChimp. Capsule CRM integrates with MailChimp. Capsule is based in Manchester, UK and was founded in 2009. It is an easy to use system. (I often tell clients and seminar audiences: “The CRM that is best for you is the CRM that you actually use.”)

From the start, I found Capsule to be intuitive and practical. I like the list import feature, for example, in that the software helps you to assign data to the right fields.

The Contact View feature allows you to get a 360 degree view. As marketing is “all about customers”, putting the customer in the centre of things is a good idea.

When it comes to segmenting your customers, the use of Tags is very helpful. You can create Tags that make sense to your business and then search for people that have the appropriate Tags.

Capsule integrates well with social media, which is important from a Social Selling perspective.

The free version of Capsule allows you to have up to 250 contacts. Beyond that, you are looking at £8 per user per month and you can have up to 50,000 contacts. This is attractive pricing (and I have looked at dozens of CRM solutions).

Incidentally, because people keep asking me this question – I provide Capsule CRM consulting / training services (with or without the use of MailChimp). To find out more either call 01628 773128 or email or use the form:

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