Announcing Zoho Campaigns: Email and Social Media Marketing With Tight CRM Integration

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Today we’re happy to announce Zoho Campaigns, the email marketing software from Zoho that features advanced CRM integration and social campaigns. With Zoho Campaigns, you can finally reach and engage your customers and prospects wherever they are – in email, Twitter, Facebook and more.

Zoho Campaigns has all the bells-and-whistles that you can expect: mass emails, templates and an easy-to-use editor to make you look good as well as reports and realt-time analytics to help you understand customers better. But what we’ve kept hearing from customers is that synchronization between your CRM and your email marketing list is a real pain. In fact, our experience with our very own email marketing efforts validated exactly that.

We’ve taken this pain away with a very easy, built-in integration between Zoho CRM and Zoho Campaigns – so maintaining both lists in sync is now quite simple. Beyond list maintenance, the power of having your CRM software and your email marketing provider be the same is the advance integration between the two. For example, as an account manager you can quickly see not only what emails you’ve sent to a particular customer, but also what kind of response those emails have elicited from him. This way you can tailor your sales calls with information that is more relevant for your customers.

Beyond emails, you know customers today have multiple communications options. They hang out in Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. That’s why Zoho Campaigns comes with built-in social media integrations so you can quickly create social media campaigns that are easy to deploy and maintain. You can, for example, schedule Tweets, Facebook posts and even run a page campaign within Facebook.

We also have Google Apps customers covered. We remain one of the biggest vendors in the Google Apps Marketplace and Zoho Campaigns is no exception. You can even create your email campaign in a Google Drive document, synchronize your email list from a Google Drive spreadsheet (or even your contacts) and send your email campaign through us.

And for those customers that are not on Zoho CRM yet, don’t worry – you can, of course also use Zoho Campaigns with your current CRM providers. We have open APIs that will allow you to get your data in and out of our service.

We invite you to try Zoho Campaigns today. If you already are a Zoho CRM customer, then this is a no-brainer! Please continue sending us your thoughts – there is still more good stuff in the pipeline.

Rodrigo
Twitter | LinkedIn

Announcing Zoho Campaigns: Email and Social Media Marketing With Tight CRM Integration

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Today we’re happy to announce Zoho Campaigns, the email marketing software from Zoho that features advanced CRM integration and social campaigns. With Zoho Campaigns, you can finally reach and engage your customers and prospects wherever they are – in email, Twitter, Facebook and more.

Zoho Campaigns has all the bells-and-whistles that you can expect: mass emails, templates and an easy-to-use editor to make you look good as well as reports and realt-time analytics to help you understand customers better. But what we’ve kept hearing from customers is that synchronization between your CRM and your email marketing list is a real pain. In fact, our experience with our very own email marketing efforts validated exactly that.

We’ve taken this pain away with a very easy, built-in integration between Zoho CRM and Zoho Campaigns – so maintaining both lists in sync is now quite simple. Beyond list maintenance, the power of having your CRM software and your email marketing provider be the same is the advance integration between the two. For example, as an account manager you can quickly see not only what emails you’ve sent to a particular customer, but also what kind of response those emails have elicited from him. This way you can tailor your sales calls with information that is more relevant for your customers.

Beyond emails, you know customers today have multiple communications options. They hang out in Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. That’s why Zoho Campaigns comes with built-in social media integrations so you can quickly create social media campaigns that are easy to deploy and maintain. You can, for example, schedule Tweets, Facebook posts and even run a page campaign within Facebook.

We also have Google Apps customers covered. We remain one of the biggest vendors in the Google Apps Marketplace and Zoho Campaigns is no exception. You can even create your email campaign in a Google Drive document, synchronize your email list from a Google Drive spreadsheet (or even your contacts) and send your email campaign through us.

And for those customers that are not on Zoho CRM yet, don’t worry – you can, of course also use Zoho Campaigns with your current CRM providers. We have open APIs that will allow you to get your data in and out of our service.

We invite you to try Zoho Campaigns today. If you already are a Zoho CRM customer, then this is a no-brainer! Please continue sending us your thoughts – there is still more good stuff in the pipeline.

Rodrigo
Twitter | LinkedIn

 

Deliver high quality service to your customers with Zoho CRM for Google Apps – Ben Wisbey

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There are many factors that make your business a success. The most predominant factor being the loyalty that your customer has towards you. Happy customers make a successful business. Next on the list would be, following the best cost saving strategy, effective use of labor and deploying best resources to run your business. Ben Wisbey, Managing director, FitSense, deployed Zoho CRM to run his business successfully. It assisted him to get happy customers with less labor and cost involved.

About FitSense :

FitSense is a Canberra-based organization that specializes in delivering research based corporate wellness programs. They partner with other organizations and assist them to increase the productivity of their workforce. FitSense evaluates and offers suitable health programs to people working in the organization. Established in 2004, FitSense Australia has proved itself as one of the best in their domain by delivering the best wellness programs to their clients.

Challenge :

Like every other organization FitSense also faced one the biggest challenges – Small workforce but tonnes of work to be accomplished. Ben said ”Managing service delivery and keeping track of our sales pipeline gets tedious for a large clientele base. We have to monitor all contact we make with our clients, run reports, keep track of the program schedules and complete it on time. Our competitors have multiple staff to handle these tasks, while we have got only a few members to do this role”

Solution :

FitSense was very keen on putting the best foot forward in delivering the best service to their clients. They started to look out for a CRM that would elevate their business process. They tried various CRM – ACT!, SugarCRM and last but not the least, CRM giant Salesforce. But it is their hard luck, none of the CRM seemed to be working out. And on the same time FitSense was using a number of Zoho Apps which intrigued them to try Zoho CRM. ”Since then, we have been Zoho CRM users and have not looked back. It is great.” said Mr Wisbey.

Result :

FitSense has been using Zoho CRM for nearly 2 years now and they love its ease of use. ”Zoho CRM allows us to provide a quality service without additional labor and at a reduced price.” said Ben. He also said ”With customization of contacts and Email Automation, we have been able to closely monitor the communication with our customers, quickly report the program details to them and complete the programs on time. Without Zoho CRM, we would have needed more assistance and labor resources.”

Making customers happy is one of the most integral part of any business. Zoho CRM assuaged Ben’s desire to get happy customers to his business.

Try Zoho CRM for Google Apps and deliver quality service to your customers!

Zoho CRM & Zoho Creator: the affair is getting better

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Zoho CRM and Zoho Creator continue to be two of our most loved services. To all of you who use both these services alike, we believe this will be good news. The integration started off with two DELUGE tasks solely for Zoho CRM. Now, there are 7 tasks that make communication between these two services, simpler like never before. To sum things up, you can

1. Create a record on Zoho CRM – For records submitted to a Zoho Creator application, you can create a corresponding record on Zoho CRM too.
2. Fetch records from Zoho CRM that fall in a specific range of index.
3. Search for records on Zoho CRM.
4. Search for records on Zoho CRM, by specific predefined columns.
5. Update an existing record on Zoho CRM, using the values submitted into Zoho Creator.
6. Fetch related records from Zoho CRM, based on a specific record ID.
7. Fetch records from Zoho CRM of specific record ID.

When used in combination, the possibilities of automating tasks are countless. Learn more about these Zoho Creator DELUGE tasks and their syntax, here.

The CRM You Use is the One You Love

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After working with a string of dreadful non-intuitive CRM applications, young entrepreneur Tara Berthier, President of Speakers Boutique, recently discovered Zoho CRM, the first CRM application she actually loves using every single day.

The business

For her six years out of college, Tara Berthier (@tberthier) has worked at a string of speakers agencies, Speakers Spotlight and the National Speakers Bureau. Just a year ago she started TLB Talent and last month she launched Speakers Boutique, a speakers agency with offices in Toronto and Halifax, Ontario Canada.

A troublesome history with CRM applications

Berthier was introduced to CRM applications right out of college. They were a must for any speakers agency that not only have to manage talent, but also customers and prospective customers.

First job out of school was at the National Speakers Bureau where they used a CRM application called Maximizer. It was Berthier’s first ever experience with CRM. She had never been exposed to CRM or even know it was called CRM. Regardless, she found Maximizer to be not user friendly and a little complicated.

Her next job was with Speakers Spotlight, and they used ACT! for which Berthier referred to as “the worst.” She complained that it was slow, complicated, and was loaded with useless features. Her greatest aggravation was how cumbersome it was to complete the simplest tasks. For example, with ACT! there was no way to move a large amount of tasks forward in the calendar, said Berthier. You had to manually move them one by one. She faced this tiresome task every time she came back from vacation and faced a series of assigned tasks whose dates had passed. Her first day back at the office from a vacation was spent manually rescheduling her tasks.

After learning the business from two established companies, it was time for Berthier to break out on her own. She started her own company, TLB Talent, for which she used Google Docs, an application she loved. Being that she was a young entrepreneur with loan debt, she began searching for free CRMs that would work with Google Docs. She stumbled across Insightly and decided to give it a try. Given her past experience with Maximizer and ACT! she didn’t have high expectations for any CRM application.

Unfortunately, Berthier wasn’t disappointed. She found Insightly to be just as frustrating as the previous CRM applications. She felt it was a dinosaur when it came to graphics and it was slow and non-intuitive. But since she was a young entrepreneur with poor cash flow she felt at the time it was worth it to slog through this application and get out of it what she could.

How discovered Zoho

After months of frustration with Insightly, Berthier had enough. She started searching for another Google App friendly CRM application and stumbled across Zoho.

“I decided to try Zoho and it was night and day,” said Berthier. “It’s cleaner. It’s fast. When I’m using it, it just makes sense.”

With all the previous CRM applications she found herself looking things up constantly on Google, calling support, or asking colleagues how to do certain tasks.

“With Zoho it’s almost as though it reads my mind. It’s so user friendly and intuitive,” she said citing the ease of importing all her contacts from Insightly into Zoho. It was a task she admitted she was dreading yet was happily surprised when everything came in perfectly, without a hitch.

A CRM application is only valuable if you use it

With only a couple of months of Zoho experience under her belt, Berthier is using the CRM application for its most basic uses. She puts in potential leads and logs all her communications. If she doesn’t hear back from someone she puts a task to follow up with them in a week.

“When I had Insightly I didn’t want to use it,” Berthier complained.

Prior to Zoho Berthier admitted she had poor organization with all her communications simply because she wasn’t actually inputting data into the CRM. “Those things were incredibly disorganized at my last company because I dreaded using the application,” she said.

Berthier became so discouraged with Insightly that she just avoided using it. As a result she found herself going through 800 emails just to try to figure out what her last communications was with a specific contact.

Zoho turned that all around. She actually likes using the application.

“Now, I go to my office and [Zoho] is the second thing I open after my email. It’s made me a more efficient worker. Much more organized. I feel much more in control with my work and my ability to be a good agent,” she said.

Advice for others 

Berthier used to look at CRM as being a necessary evil. She knew she had to have one for her company, but she also realized that you have to use it for it to serve its function.

“It’s a pain in the ass to have to log all your communications,” said Berthier. “But it’s essential to keeping organized and motivated and knowing what your next day is going to look like and being on top of things.”

Her advice for others is to “find a CRM that’s easy to use and doesn’t make you depressed by the site of it.”

“My [first] business would have looked a lot different if I had found Zoho,” said Berthier. “I would have done more work. I would have definitely reached out to more people. I would have felt more confident with my abilities as an agent instead of scrambling every day and feeling disorganized and just discouraged overall.”

We’re glad that Tara isn’t disorganized anymore.

As a side note, I thought you’d be amused that we discovered Berchier through a tweet, in which she announced:

With praise like that, we had to talk with her.

Listen to our full 15 minute conversation here on Soundcloud.

Code Red! How good is your emergency response?

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Zoho Support Escalation Alert

For decades together, the traditional customer support paradigm worked like a charm. Businesses were happy with a ‘good’ ratio of positive to negative experiences. Over time, that ‘good’ ratio has grown steadily, like seaweed on a pier.

Today, it’s a social world. There’s no ‘good’ ratio anymore. For your business, the difference between a negative experience and a catastrophe is almost nothing. As much as social media amplifies the good things about your business, it has a more powerful effect on the not-so-good things as well.

The concept of emergency response has to be finely ingrained in your customer support approach itself. Yes, this necessarily includes your helpdesk software too! Let’s take a small example, in the case of a web-based product/service.

A very common case is that of a service outage. One customer tweets about it. A few more pitch in. And, before you know it, the whole World knows you had an outage. If your first official response, in this case, is delayed or insufficient, you can as well get into a bunker underground.

What if your support rep doesn’t know what to do, or isn’t around, at the time? Well, that’s exactly why you need a really smart helpdesk software! Of course, if you use Zoho Support for your business, you wouldn’t need to worry about this situation at all!

Emergency Escalation Rule

Zoho Support has automatic social escalation built right into it. You can just setup an escalation rule wherein if several tweets containing your business’ name appear in a span of a few minutes, the support manager gets notified by email/SMS. This is just one example of where it can come in handy. You can think of many more relevant situations, I’m sure.

We use this internally at Zoho. In fact, our helpdesk coord simply loves it.

But, you don’t have to take our word at all. Try it yourself. Just set the rule up once. You’ll probably be as cool as a cucumber during your Code Red moment!

Mobile Websites: the Dos and Don’ts

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Mobile devices are catching up so fast that it is predicted that mobile web usage will surpass desktop web usage by 2015. It has become so important, a regular website that was doing great deal of good to a business, will no longer be as yielding without a complementary mobile website. Regional businesses in particular, have something to worry about, because more than 50% of local searches are made on mobile devices.

Regular websites, resized for smaller screens, don’t make good mobile websites. So, how is mobile websites different from regular websites? What accounts to a great mobile website? Before you begin working on a mobile website, one needs to understand how Mobile Internet is different.

* Mobile phones and tablets use a relatively slower connection than conventional wired ones.

* The arena is very small; but the audience is the same.

* Mobile devices are most used on the verge of decision-making, so the experience influences the decision.

Only the essentials:

The best mobile websites are ones that deliver the best navigation experience, despite the limited real estate. So the first thing to do is to prioritize the content that would make it to the small screen. What essential can be put in, without a horizontal scroll bar, and without making the page too long.If it is fairly long, have a link on the footer to take the visitor to the top of the page without having to scroll back.

Consistency:

Your mobile website should match your regular website in appearance. This makes it look familiar to returning visitors, and establishes a connection immediately. It could be the color schemes, logo and other trademark visual elements.

Readability.

Mobile devices are most likely to be held at arm’s length. So smaller text and too many links are going to make it all the more difficult to find a speck of information. Interaction is going to be “touch”, rather than point and click. So the interactive items like links need to be touchable icons.

And Writability too. Text input fields on forms can be a pain if there are too many. It is not so easy to type using an on-screen keyboard on hand-held devices.

Speed:

Having too many images as in your regular website can seriously slow the page down on mobile devices. Use very few, compressed images.

Mobile-Specific Features:

Smart phones offer features like “Tap to call” or “send an SMS”. A visitor can touch the contact number on your website to initiate a call instantly. Features like this ensure seamless navigation, resulting in higher conversions.

These mostly are the visual elements that enhance the mobile browsing experience of visitors. There is more to this; the search engine’s side of the story. Stay tuned.


Or, get a mobile-optimized version of your website, automatically, with Zoho Sites.