Does your Audience want to take your Surveys?

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“You can lead a horse to water,
but you can’t make it drink.”

You have designed a great survey. You have considered your target audience carefully. Now there is just one little problem: How do you get your target audience to actually complete the survey? If it acts like a chore, it feels like a chore, then it must be a chore. Getting a human being to pay attention to perceived chores is a lot harder than getting horses to drink (or may be we just underestimate horses!)

Test your surveys

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So how do we solve that problem? There is no silver bullet – we have to test, test and test.

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Social media for the small business: Start by listening

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When I meet small business owners and tell them about my work with social media, a lot of them ask me how they should be using social media to grow their business. Before I answer that question, I usually ask them about what they’re already doing. The responses are often along the lines of:

“We have a Twitter handle and a Facebook page”
“I setup a Google+ page for my business!”

At this point, I have to ask them: But did you start​ by listening?

social_blog

Listening is the most basic and ​the most underrated social media activity for any small ​business. And it’s important to start listening even before you decide which social networks to focus your business presence on.

Step 1: Know where your audience is.

​If you’re ready to build a community online, the first thing you should do is figure out where your audience is.

Spend time listening on a few networks. Listen to discussions around industry trends, look for relevant keywords and conversations around your business and your competitors.

For instance, if I ​were running a local pizzeria, I’d listen to conversations about good food in and around town. I’d figure out where these conversations happen ​most often. I’d also check out a few specific foodie networks (such as Epicurious, Foodily or Open Source Food) to see if they are more popular among foodies in my city.

Once I have some idea ​which networks my business can ​benefit from, I’d focus my efforts there. Read more

Approved! Effortless Timesheet Approvals with Zoho People

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You’ve never heard an HR manager say, “Timesheets don’t need to be approved.”

For those businesses that need to keep track of employees’ work time on jobs, timesheets are the answer. While timesheets alone can keep track of work flow, a manager’s approval adds credibility and certifies that the work is satisfactory.

Zoho People has a number of useful features that make timesheet approvals easier:

1. Multi-level approvals

multi-level-approval

With Zoho People, even with a large multi-level hierarchy in your organization, you can easily structure the flow of the approval process by role and designation. The visual representation of the approval hierarchy gives you a quick overview.

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Introducing Hashtags on Zoho Connect

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The internet is overloaded with information. To find anything on the web, we need to streamline information.

Hashtags are a popular way of searching through social conversations. It’s been working well in social networking sites, and its importance extends to businesses as well.

Now in Zoho Connect, we’ve made searching easier. Hashtags organize your news feed and helps you easily find threads and stay updated on the latest.

Single

With hashtagging, you can easily browse through large chunks of archived conversations across your organization. Search and follow tagged conversations. This way, you can look for conversations around a particular topic, and also get email notifications every time someone uses a tag you follow.

Try hashtagging, and stay up to date on all interactions that matter.

Zoho is now a Google Apps Premier Technology Partner

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19 integrated apps. 50+ integrations. Over 100,000 common customers.

Zoho is one of the leading vendors in the Google Apps Marketplace. Over the past four years, we’ve integrated 19 Zoho apps with Google Apps across every category.

Zoho and Google Apps

Together with Google, we have over 50 points of integration — every one of them deep enough to be useful. More than 100,000 businesses are taking advantage of these integrated apps right now.

Google Apps Premier Technology Partner

What does it mean to be a Google Apps Premier Technology Partner?

For you, it means you’ll see even more integrations between Zoho and Google Apps (our recent integration with Google+ Hangouts is an example) all providing a more seamless experience.

For us, this new program helps us stay connected with Google on both the technology and product front as well as for marketing and sales.  This will enable us to build deeper, richer product integrations and serve more joint customers.

We look forward to creating even more ways to make you productive with Google Apps and Zoho.

 

5 Ways to Craft Effective Survey Questions [Infographic]

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In 2009, Walmart made a $1.85 billion mistake due to a bad survey. To compete with Target, Walmart surveyed their customers and asked “Would you like Walmart to be less cluttered?” Consumers agreed that they would enjoy shopping at a more organized store. So, Walmart removed 15% of their inventory, shortened shelves and cleared aisles.

Why did this lead to a steep decrease in sales?

The problem lies with the question “Would you like Walmart to be less cluttered?” Walmart had an idea of how they wanted to compete with Target — providing a neat and organized shopping experience. Instead of designing their survey to understand their customers’ actual behavior, Walmart turned their solution into a biased question. If you think about it, why would anyone say they would want to shop at a cluttered store?

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Subject line real estate is precious. Make the most of it in your email campaigns.

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Like most people​, I usually decide whether or not to open an email from a company depending on what the subject line says. I’d even go a step further and form an opinion about the company based on how they word their email subject lines and how consistent or unique they are with this as a branding activity.

Lately, I’ve noticed many companies trying to experiment with their subject lines. Here are a few important things I’ve learned from watching these experiments and trying out some of my own:

Short subject lines go a l​ong way

Depending on which email program your recipients use and their personalized display settings, they might not read a long subject. For example, my current display setting on Zoho Mail shows me the first 3-5 words of the subject.

The first few words are very relevant because those are the ones your recipient will almost always see. A recent study by Retention Science found that 6-10 word long subject lines tend to have the highest open rates. Keep your email subject lines short so they don’t get cut off.

Especially at an unintentionally awkward point:

“Summer’s here. Drown yourself in our soothing summer sorbet!”

“Summer’s here. Drown ​yourself…”

Oops! I’d just go with:

“Our soothing summer sorbet is here!” Read more