Archive for November 2010

Tuesday Webinar 2pm EST

November 23, 2010

Join us for another LeadMaster capabilities webinar – see how LeadMaster makes managing sales leads easy. Every Tuesday at 2pm EST.  No pre-registration required.  No dial-in required.  Listen through your computer.  Q&A available via chat.

Invitation  http://www.leadmaster.com/LeadMaster-Library/Tues-Webinar/webinar.html

Enter the Webinar Now

 

The all-in-one solution for managing leads and customer relationships, automating marketing, email marketing, call center and inside sales.

 

More E-Marketing Best Practices

November 22, 2010

Good news, you’ve discovered just how easy LeadMaster is to use for E-Marketing.  Now your challenge is to make sure your messages get delivered so they’ll be opened.

Here are a few suggestions.

First, use an opt-in list.  You can either build your list from your customer base or you can buy an opt-in list.  Don’t use a program that scours the internet for email addresses.

Second, check ‘Bounced Email Messages’ in the Admin section of LeadMaster.  If you got a hard bounce it means that email address no longer exists.  Sending to it again will mark you as a spammer.  Solution?  In ‘Bounced Email Messages’ select all the hard bounces and then ‘Disable Email Addresses’ and then ‘Delete Bounce Records’.  What about soft bounces?  Check the date – if they bounced a while ago then just delete the notice, whatever the problem it has been cleared up.  If you’ve received a soft bounce for every message you’ve sent in the last month then it’s time to Disable and Delete.

Third, make sure your messages aren’t caught by spam filters.  Typically spam filters use an algorithm to determine an email’s ‘spam score’.  If your email scores high enough it will be determined to be spam and either a) not get delivered or b) get delivered to the junk mail / spam folder.

There are tools available to give you an indication of your spam score.  The one I use is Mailing Check.  You can download it from this link  http://www.mailingcheck.com/check-spam-score/  It provides both a numerical rating and text rating (good, bad, not-bad).  To use Mailingcheck you’ll need a .eml file.  To create that, send yourself the email and save that email to your local computer.

Here are some of the things that will significantly increase your spam score

  • Act Now!
  • One of a Kind Opportunity!
  • Lots of CAPITALIZATION and exclamation points!!!!
  • Multiple references to money – eg. money back guarantee, lowest price etc.

The LeadMaster newsletter for November gets a MailCheck score of 2.2 (not bad).  It has lots of links and images which also increase the spam score.

Announcing Lead-Xpress | LeadMaster Newsletter

There is no definitive number that you need to keep your spam score below in order to avoid the junk folder because each mail server setup is uniquely determined by the person who installed it.

The criteria for ‘what is spam’ is constantly evolving.  Many spam filters are in constant communication either with the software company that developed them or with each other sharing their list of rules.  So the spam filter rules grow over time as more people click on the button ‘This is Spam’ in their email program.

With this information you should see maximum returns from your E-Marketing campaigns.  Good selling.

 

The all-in-one solution for managing leads and customer relationships, automating marketing, email marketing, call center and inside sales.

New E-Marketing Feature – Ability to Use an Alternate Email Server

November 17, 2010

With the release of the latest round of E-Marketing enhancements to the LeadMaster Lead Management / CRM application, some customers had requested the ability to use their own email server so that email is delivered from their domain instead of the LeadMaster domain.

This feature is now available in the administration section via the selection ‘Alternate Outgoing Email Server Settings’.

By default, all outbound email message sent from LeadMaster are sent via a LeadMaster email server. These messages include the following:

1. Individual email messages sent to a contact (from the “Sales Update”, “Edit Profile” and “View Profile” pages)

2. Bulk email messages sent from the “Search Results”, “Accounts” and “Contacts” pages

3. Email messages sent via the “E-Marketing” feature

4. Notification email messages sent as a result of assigning a lead or requesting an update to a lead or assigning a callback

5. Email messages sent as actions for workflow automation processes

To configure an alternate email server for sending outbound email messages from LeadMaster:

1. From ‘Administration’ / ‘Alternate Outgoing Email Server Settings’, configure the settings for the email server.

Alernate Email Server Configuration Page

Alernate Email Server Configuration Page

Please note:

a. The ‘Default “From Name”’ and ‘Default “From Address”’ fields are required but in most all cases overridden.

b. The ‘SMTP Mail Server’, ‘SMTP Port’, ‘Uses SMTP Authentication’, ‘Username’ and ‘Password’ field values depend on the requirements of the outbound email server.

c. Once configured, you can test the settings by sending an email message to yourself. Any errors reported by the test will be displayed.

d. The ‘Use this account for outgoing email messages’ field must be checked in order for LeadMaster to use the alternate email server for sending outbound email messages.

When an alternate outgoing email server is configured, LeadMaster will attempt to use that email server for sending email messages. If there is an error sending an outbound email message using the alternate outgoing email server, LeadMaster will default to using its own email server to send the email message. Any errors encountered using the alternate outbound email server will be logged.

If you’d like to take advantage of this feature please contact your authorized LeadMaster reseller so that they can enable / configure this feature for you.

 

The all-in-one solution for managing leads and customer relationships, automating marketing, email marketing, call center and inside sales.

Using Lead-Xpress ~ The revolutionary new way to manage leads.

November 9, 2010

The Lead-Xpress allows a user to request updates to a record from the account manager who is assigned the record and / or the assigned partner rep.  (LeadMaster customers, if you have not already enabled Lead-Xpress and would like to do so click here)

There are 3 ways to request an update to a record:

a. From the ‘Search Results’ or ‘Accounts’ page (see ‘Options’ / ‘Request an Update to Records’)

Request an Update to Records from Search Results or Accounts page

Request an Update to Records from Search Results or Accounts page

b. From the ‘Sales Update’, ‘Edit Profile’ or ‘View Profile’ page (see ‘Options’ / ‘Request Update to Record’)

 Request Update to Records from the Edit Profile Page

Request Update to Records from the Edit Profile Page

c. From the ‘Assign Record’ popup dialog

Assign Records and Request an Update

Assign Records and Request an Update

Here is an example of the type of email the sales rep will see.  This email is completely customizable.

Sample Lead-Xpress Email

Sample Lead-Xpress Email

This email also includes a link to an update page so the account can be updated over time as many times as necessary provided the rep is authorized.

 

The all-in-one solution for managing leads and customer relationships, automating marketing, email marketing, call center and inside sales.

Enabling Lead-Xpress – The revolutionary way to manage sales leads.

November 9, 2010

The Lead-Xpress (or “Request Update to Records”) feature is now available.  This feature allows a user to request updates to a record from the account manager who is assigned the record and / or the assigned partner rep.

Access to the Lead-Xpress feature requires the following 4 steps to activate both account managers and partner reps who don’t already have a logon:

  1. Enable ‘Allow Updates to Records Via Email’ in Administration / Manage Workgroups.
  2. Create an Email Notification in Administration / Email Notification Content
  3. Enable the Account Manager that doesn’t have a logon to receive Lead-Xpress emails in Administration / Account Managers / Edit Account Manager
  4. Enable the Partner Rep that doesn’t have a logon to receive Lead-Xpress emails in Administration / Partner Rep / Edit Partner Rep

Each of these steps are explained in detail below.

1. Workgroup privileges “Allow Updates to Records Via Email’ must be enabled. Click on ‘Administration’ / ‘Manage Workgroups’ / select the workgroup you’d like to enable with Lead-Xpress.  The ‘Allow Updates to Records Via Email’ is on the Privileges page.

Enable Workgroup to Access Lead-Xpress

Enable Workgroup to Access Lead-Xpress

2. You’ll need to create an email notification. From ‘Administration’ click on ‘Email Notification Content’, configure the email notification message called ‘Request Update to a Record Email Notification’.  You should see a page that looks like the image below.

Email Notification Content

Email Notification Content

You’ll notice that you have several sections in the email:

  • The Email Content and Account Contact Information
  • Click Actions
  • Lead Status Summary
  • Customer Specific Custom Forms with Customizable Fields
  • Sales Rep Comments and Notes

Each of these sections can be customized.  Let’s examine each in turn.

The email message can be customized and it includes a link to the record so the update can be performed from either the email client or from a browser using the link.  The link is valid as long as the account manager or partner rep are authorized to view the record so they can come back again and again to update this record.  The contact information section also includes the names of the other people who might be working on this account.

Email-and-Contact-info

Email-and-Contact-info

The Click Action Check Boxes

•  Multiple tasks can be accomplished with a single click of the mouse. • Send an email • Add to Lead Nurturing • Schedule a callback • Assign the record • Add a note • Send a text message • Can be used to update sales progress – Lead Status, Sales Status etc. • And more.

Click Actions provide the ability to automate tasks

Click Actions provide the ability to automate tasks

The Lead Status section provides customizable drop down menus.  Updating Lead Status requires no training.

•  Easy-to-use drop down menus eliminate the need for training.

•  Fast & easy-to-use means more reps will update their accounts.

•  Track Accounts & Leads • Lead Status

• Lead Value • Sales Stage • Forecast Date • Probability • And More… remember these drop downs are customizable

Easy update with pull down menus - no training required

Easy update with pull down menus – no training required

The Customer Specific Form with Customer Defined Fields

•  Customer Form is Flexible Enough for Any Industry

•  Custom Fields Include • Fill in the blank • Text Areas • Drop Down Menus • Radio Buttons • Check Boxes • Single/Multi Select • And More.

Customer Specific Fields - Customize for any Company in any Industry

Customer Specific Fields – Customize for any Company in any Industry

The Sales Rep Comments and Notes

• The history is included with the email

• Perfect when more than one person is working an account – e.g. • Inside Sales • Field Sales • Sales Engineer • Specialist • Partner Rep etc.

Store Sales Rep Comments & Notes

Store Sales Rep Comments & Notes

Here is a sample of the email the sales rep will receive.

Easy Configuration - Add / Subtract Fields with a Click of the Mouse

Easy Configuration – Add / Subtract Fields with a Click of the Mouse

Here are some additional details:

a. The ‘Subject’ field can now include merge fields from the record
b. The ‘Comments’ field and its purpose
c. The ‘Options for Updating the Record’ choices
  • Via a link to the record’ displays a hyperlink in the email message
  • ‘From the email message’ displays an html form for updating the selected fields in the body of the email message (this option is dependent on the email client capabilities – for example, later versions of MS Outlook may restrict access)
d. The ability to specify what sections / fields and order of sections to update
e. When requesting an update ‘From the email message’, it is a good idea to include a link to update the record in the body of the email message (see merge field category ‘Miscellaneous’ and field ‘Record Update Link’) as a backup in case the email client does not allow the display of the html form.
For additional details click on the bubble help.

3. In order for an account manager to receive an email requesting update to a record, the account manager must be configured as follows (see ‘Administration’ / ‘Acct Mgrs’ / ‘Edit Acct Mgr’):
  • If the account manager has a logon, he / she must also have an email address:
  • If the account manager does not have a logon, he / she must have ‘Can View / Update Assigned Records’ set to ‘Yes’ and an email address
Account Manager with Logon is eligible to receive Lead-Xpress email

Account Manager with Logon is eligible to receive Lead-Xpress email

An account manager with a logon is automatically eligible to receive Lead-Xpress email.
Account Manager without Logon needs authorization for Lead Xpress

Account Manager without Logon needs authorization for Lead Xpress

4. In order for a partner rep to receive an email requesting update to a record, the partner rep must be configured as follows (see ‘Administration’ / ‘Partner Reps’ / ‘Edit Partner Rep’:

 

Partner Rep has Logon is authorized to receive Lead-Xpress emails

Partner Rep has Logon is authorized to receive Lead-Xpress emails

  • If the partner rep has a logon, he / she must also have an email address:
  • If the partner rep does not have a logon, he / she must have ‘Can View / Update Assigned Records’ set to ‘Yes’ and an email address.

 

Authorizing a Partner Rep for Lead-Xpress without a LeadMaster Logon

Authorizing a Partner Rep for Lead-Xpress without a LeadMaster Logon

That’s it – you are ready to use Lead-Xpress

LEADMASTER INTRODUCES LEAD-XPRESS – AN INDUSTRY FIRST LEAD MANAGEMENT CRM AT RADICALLY LOW PRICES

November 8, 2010

Lead-Xpress Provides Industry-Leading Lead Management CRM at a Rock-Bottom Pricing.

Lead-Xpress is Ideal for Companies that Sell through Sales Agents, Have a Large Sales Force or Distribute Leads to Channel Partners.

Roswell, Ga. – November 9, 2010 – LeadMaster announces the launch of Lead-Xpress, an enhancement to its existing cloud-based CRM and lead management solution.

Typically a cloud-based CRM cost between $65 and $125 per user per month, one vendor even has a version for $250 per user per month. By comparison, companies can use Lead-Xpress with a monthly subscription of $10 or less per Lead-Xpress user or for $2 or less per outgoing lead.

For the first time in the history of cloud-based lead management, companies can maintain the top-tier functionality necessary to maintain and grow their business while lowering costs.

Andy Brownell, LeadMaster CMO says, “In this economy we wanted to help companies save money on their CRM licenses. We are introducing Lead-Xpress for those users that only require access to the CRM to update the status of an account or lead. In an organization with a large sales force, the savings could add up to millions of dollars over the course of a typical contract for cloud-based CRM. Additionally, LeadMaster doesn’t require long-term contracts. The number of users can be reduced or expanded at any time.”

Here are some of the key questions to answer in order to determine if Lead-Xpress is right for you.

  • · Do you have a large sales force?
  • · Does training sales reps on your current CRM solution take more than 5 minutes per rep?
  • · Do you want a simple way for sales reps to update accounts and leads without paying for a full-featured CRM?
  • · Do you sell indirectly through sales agents, resellers, dealers, distributors or business partners?
  • · Do you track your sales leads?
  • · Is your sales team reluctant to use your current CRM solution?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you need Lead-Xpress.

Lead-Xpress solves the issues of inefficiency, miscommunication and staggering costs involved with managing leads through a distributed sales force, independent sales agents or multiple sales channels by providing access to the CRM through an email – without having to login to the CRM.

Lead-Xpress also allows managers to send leads and requests for updates to accounts or leads directly from the LeadMaster system to the sales rep via LeadMaster’s built-in email function. The sales rep receives the email, which contains a link to a simple form. The form is linked to the CRM so the rep can update the status of the account or lead. It takes seconds to complete and can even be done from a mobile phone at no additional charge.

No training is necessary; the manager no longer has to hound reps to record the account and lead’s status; and sending leads and update requests through LeadMaster is fast and simple, requiring only 2 or 3 clicks in the system.

By providing a simple lead management solution at rock-bottom prices, Lead-Xpress drastically reduces the cost for a company to track leads as they move through their sales force and/or channel partners.

Moreover, the Lead-Xpress form can be customized to better meet individual company requirements. The customizable Lead-Xpress form can be viewed and submitted from any Internet browser or web-enabled phone; again there’s no additional cost for the mobile client. In fact, the system can be configured so that reps immediately receive a text message each time a new lead is assigned. Studies have shown the faster you respond to a lead the better the chances you’ll close the sale. Sending text messages with leads will help reps respond to leads faster resulting in more sales.

With Lead-Xpress information is more accurate and up-to-date. As a result, forecasts and reports are more accurate, leading to better business decisions and a more efficient lead management process across all sales channels.

And by automating the update and assignment process, Lead-Xpress minimizes errors and streamlines the lead distribution and update process.

Russ King, CEO of LeadMaster, comments, “We’re very proud of this latest innovation to provide the very best CRM solution at the industry’s most affordable prices. In terms of improving lead management with a large distributed sales force or a large number of sales agents, Lead-Xpress truly is the only solution that provides full function CRM as well as easy-to-learn and easy-to-use features.”

About LeadMaster
LeadMaster offers on-demand customizable SaaS solutions combining sales lead management software, lead tracking solutionssales force automation tools (SFA), customer relationship management features (Sales CRM) and virtual call center solutions. This powerful web-based application has helped companies large and small from virtually every industry. The LeadMaster solution is intuitive and easy to use, providing real-time lead capture, lead distribution, lead tracking, lead nurturingcustom reporting and email marketing. LeadMaster makes it easy to qualify and convert leads from virtually any source – landing page, call center, webinar, sales lead suppliers and more. The LeadMaster product is straightforward and easy to learn yet has robust features like workflow automationround-robin lead distributionmobile access, CRM analytics and Outlook integration. 
 LeadMaster’s products and services are available through a global network of value-added resellers, consultants and system integrators. For more information, please visit the LeadMaster at http://www.LeadMaster.com.

 

The all-in-one solution for managing leads and customer relationships, automating marketing, email marketing, call center and inside sales.

E-Marketing Bounce Management Best Practice

November 8, 2010

LeadMaster’s email marketing feature allows you to easily send email to your contacts.  This is great for newsletters, lead nurturing, product announcements, updates etc.  However, you need to make sure you aren’t sending email to an address that has already bounced.

Bounce management is a lead management best practice.  There are two very good reasons to manage your bounced emails.

1) Mail servers may block all mail from you if you repeatedly send mail to a bad address on their domain.
2) For response tracking, you need to subtract out the bounces for an accurate report.

LeadMaster helps you manage your bounced emails.  Bounce Management is built-in to the email marketing component of LeadMaster CRM.  That means you can manage bounces anytime you send emails from LeadMaster.

To access the Bounce Manager click on Administration in the top navigation bar, then click on ‘Bounced Email Addresses’.

Bounce Management Menu in Administration
Bounce Management Menu in Administration

This menu takes you to the Bounced Email Addresses page lists all bounced email addresses captured from bounced email messages sent from the workgroup.  Each record in the list contains the following:

  1. Name of the contact associated with the email address
  2. Email address
  3. Soft bounces – the number of soft bounces for this email address
  4. Last soft bounce date – date of the last soft bounce
  5. Hard bounces – the number of hard bounces for this email address
  6. Last hard bounce date – date of the last hard bounce
  7. Send Email Enabled – attribute of the contact that indicates if the email address has been marked as bad
  8. Disable / Enable – link to mark the email address as bad / good
  9. Delete – link to delete the record of bounces for this email address

Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you manage your hard bounces.

 

Bounced Email Manager - Hard & Soft Bounces

Bounced Email Manager – Hard & Soft Bounces

A hard bounce means the email address is invalid.  You should immediately mark all of those emails as bad.  Here’s how.
 

Bounced Email Manager - Select the number of rows

Bounced Email Manager – Select the number of rows

Select the number of rows that most closely matches the number of hard bounces.
Bounced Email Manager - Select the Page & Disable the Email Address

Bounced Email Manager – Select the Page & Disable the Email Address

Click the ‘Select Page’ menu, for the remaining few email that were either included or excluded you can use the check box on the left to either select or deselect.  Then click ‘ Disable Email Addresses’.  This will prevent LeadMaster from sending email to these email addresses again.
Now you need to remove these records from the Bounce Manager after you’v disabled the email address.
Bounced Email Manager - Remove bounce records

Bounced Email Manager – Remove bounce records

Click ‘Select Page’ and either select or deselect the additional records that you wish to include or exclude.  Then click ‘Delete Bounce Records’.
Continue disabling and deleting until you have no more ‘Hard Bounces’.
A soft bounce means that the email could not be delivered but the email address was valid.  There are several potential reasons for a soft bounce – the email box was full, the email server was offline, there were network problems etc.
The all-in-one solution for managing leads and customer relationships, automating marketing, email marketing, call center and inside sales.