Customer Spotlight: Zoho Wins the CRM Battle and Helps Company Scale Up

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thefarm

“It came down to Zoho or Salesforce, and ultimately I know I made the right decision”

Four years ago, John Hood’s company, The Farm, was looking into finding a permanent CRM solution because the internal database they were using was “simply not cutting it and was ultimately hampering some of our sales efforts.”

Hood explored a myriad of CRM solutions including Sugar, Goldmine, Salesforce, and Zoho.

After a thorough exploration into CRM solutions, Hood made a decision on a CRM to go with, and hasn’t looked back since… Read more

Domain Names. Big Deal.

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A domain name is to a website, what SSN is to you; no two websites can have the same domain name. It is to uniquely identify you in the online space. It is essential that you do it right the very first time, because it is the only best time to do it. So, what factors should influence you in choosing a good custom domain?

1. Subdomains Vs. Custom Domains

www.yourbusiness.someotherbusiness.com is a subdomain. www.yourbusiness.com is a custom domain. Where you host your business website is the last thing your client is bothered about. He needs credibility (She needs even more). Which of the two domains look credible? Which of the two websites above would your visitor feel comfortable in sharing credit card information with?

2. Keyword-laden domains Vs. Brandable domains

Every domain name translates to an IP address that machines understand better. But domain names are for us; humans.

Domains that are easily remembered are the ones that are easy to remember. Straightforward? Short and Brandable domains create an excitement; domains like apple.com. Keyword-laden domains have their advantage as well. If you are a multi-product company, then you might want your domain to be generic, so that all your products can be marketed with the same brand value. But for single-product organizations, having a relevant keyword or an industry-jargon, in combination with a brandable name could be a great bet.

But the best part is, that there are exceptions. And plenty of room for creativity. What would you call a domain name that is an entire sentence, and is about 30 characters long? A bad domain? Before you answer, check this out!

When it comes to SEO, Google says it will treat both kinds of domains equally. So algorithmically, it really doesn’t make a big difference. Watch this Google Video. It is a year old, but should be relevant.

3. Extension

The importance of extensions is immense in Google searches. The results vary depending on you being signed in to Google or not, your region settings on your browser, and lately, the +1′s of your friends and contacts on Google. It is all a measure to display the most relevant results to a searcher.

yourbusiness.com isn’t the same as yourbusiness.org. Each extension has it’s meaning. .com is widely used; .org is for non-profit organizations; .gov the government; and there’s more. If your business is serving a global audience, it is best to pick a .com domain name.

4. Brand Establishment

As and when you choose a custom domain name for your business website, you also need to ensure that the same name is available on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and other viral social media platforms. It would hurt your brand if one of them does not belong to your organization, and is posting stuff that is not just appropriate.

5. Business email hosting

When you have your own domain name, you can host your business email too, so that it reads, you@yourbusiness.com, and not you@gmail.com or you@zoho.com. The former promotes your domain name and helps in establishing an identity.

These are why picking a domain name is one of the first things you should do when setting up a business. Like falling in love, all the worse when you do it late. The one in your mind might be taken already. Hope this helps you in picking a great domain name for your business website. And business email, because business website building and email hosting always go hand-in-hand.

Maximize Your Productivity With Zoho Mail For Business

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As Business-Owners or Professionals, we’re constantly looking for ways to enhance our work productivity by accomplishing more in lesser time. A recent article at GigaOm, titled ‘15 Tips For Accomplishing More In Less Time‘ gives some advice on how this can be achieved. Many of the tips mentioned in the article talk about how email can affect your productivity. With the right features, of course, email can be transformed into a powerful Business tool that helps you maximize work productivity. This was also the main objective with which we recently launched Zoho Mail for Business, a powerful hosted email solution that includes several inbuilt productivity-oriented features.

Today, we’d like to highlight Zoho Mail’s Business features that go hand in hand with GigaOm’s productivity tips:

  1. To start with, Zoho Mail can help you stay focused on the important work with its integrated Tasks app. ​The Tasks app lets you add or assign tasks with options to include start/end times, not just dates and set reminders by pop-up or email. Task-tracking is made highly effective with features such as color-coding, status-tagging and a compact graphical report of the overall status of tasks. Here’s what one of our users, Angela had to say about the Tasks app..”I have been searching for a task management software and found some really expensive ones that are not nearly as effective a tool as the Zoho email task app. I love this system!

  2. Using Keyboard shortcuts for 35 commonly-used actions in Zoho Mail can save you quite a lot of time from not having to maneuver your mouse around, enabling you to check, read and respond to messages faster. You can even customize these shortcuts with your own keystroke definitions in the Mail Settings section.

  3. Unlike many other webmail interfaces, Zoho Mail supports multi-level folders and its Filters feature includes additional options such as ‘Begins with’, ‘Is not’, ‘Ends with’, etc. By being able to filter incoming messages and automatically organizing them into specific folders or sub-folders, you can spend more time focusing on critical stuff.

  4. More often than not, as you tend to respond to messages one at a time, the most important messages get lost in the Inbox pile, which builds up to an unmanageable scale. With Zoho Mail, you can take immediate action on every email by assigning flags and labels, moving them to archives or other folders with a simple drag & drop. By effectively utilizing the three types of flags, that is Info, Important and Follow-up, you can greatly simplify categorization of your messages.

  5. The Integrated Calendar app with shareable calendars helps to keep people together and up to date with important events, within teams or with customers. The app includes features such as the ability to check when people are free / busy while scheduling events, a smart add that automatically fills in available slots in your calendar with a single line input as well as email reminders for events. Together, these features help ensure that you can be in control of your calendar and stay organized while handling events.
  6. Ever been overwhelmed with situations where you had to interact with individuals from different teams or projects within a particular company? With Zoho Mail, you can now work in chunks and focus better by creating a main folder with the company name and sub-folders within this folder with the team names. Then, you can filter and organize incoming messages to these sub-folders and manage them more efficiently, one team at a time. Additionally, you can create email templates for different situations, common questions and insert relevant template chunks at compose time.

  7. When it comes to keeping it simple, Zoho Mail is equipped with features that simplify many otherwise complex tasks down to a click of a button. The best example of this is the ‘optional’ conversation view that unveils the history of a thread in a neat tree format, saving you the burden of manually searching for related messages. Also, the ‘Edit as new’ feature, that makes it easy to pick up and edit a previous email. Zoho Mail includes many such easy-to-use but powerful shortcuts for important actions.

So, those are 7 tips / features that make Zoho Mail an ideal choice for your Business communication needs. We hope you found these tips and features handy. If you haven’t already looked at Zoho Mail for your Business, now would be a good time to give it a try! To receive more updates and productivity tips, connect with Zoho Mail on Facebook and Twitter.

Label Enhancements & Contextual Options in Zoho Mail

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Our Zoho Mail team recently added a couple of new features
to the Mail app. Improvements to labels and contextual options for
your folders. Let’s take a look.


Labels Specific to Email Accounts

You
may know that Zoho Mail supports multiple email accounts. This means,
apart from your zoho.com email account, you can use Zoho Mail to fetch your emails from external POP accounts. By default, Zoho Mail lets you
maintain a different folder structure for each of your mail accounts
providing you a better way to manage your mail accounts. 



Along with Folders, Zoho Mail also supports Labels, for those who
prefer organizing their mail boxes using labels. But previously, Labels
were common across all mail accounts. This is no longer the case. With
the recent update, you can create Labels specific to your mail account.





To create/modify/delete labels for a specific mail account, select the mail account, go to Settings > Personalize > Labels.



Contextual Right Click Options



Do you know that you can right click on mail folders in Zoho Mail? We have a contextual menu offering folder-specific actions. If you
right-click on a folder, you’ll typically see options to create sub-folders, Mark Folder as Read, Rename, Delete, Archive etc. Apart from these standard options, you’ll also notice an additional contextual option.



When you right click on ‘Outbox’ for example, you’ll see the ‘Send Immediately’ option to send mails immediately
without holding them in the Outbox temporarily. Similarly,
right-clicking on Draft, Spam or Trash folders offers an ‘Empty Folder’ option.



Apart from the features mentioned here, we did add a few other features.
We will let you discover these new goodies. If you do, drop us a comment.

Lauren McKay in destinationCRM about Zoho

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The spate of recent announcements from us like Zoho Projects 2.0, Zoho CRM+Mail Integration & the Zwitch program got noticed by Lauren McKay of destinationCRM.com. From her article titled, ‘Are You Ready to Zwitch to Zoho?‘,

 Zoho, the upstart provider of online Web applications, seems to be
continually integrating and upgrading its products in the cloud, says
China Martens, an analyst with The 451 Group. Martens jokes that it’s
as if all of the Zoho developers sit in separate rooms for several
months, each one pounding away at his respective application (Zoho
Mail, for example, or Zoho CRM), only to have the walls come tumbling
down just as the developers are ready to join their applications.


 Unveiled at the start of July, the 2.0 release of Zoho Projects, the
collaboration and productivity platform, reflects multiple integration
efforts, as well as the following improvements:

  • Twitter-like status bars enable project members to be more social within the application.
  • Project-member activities are presented in a project stream, which is a visual representation of project activities.  
  • The
    integration of Zoho Chat and the enablement of group chat, through
    which project members can add tasks, assign them out, and even attach
    documents to them. Members can also move beyond Chat to create a
    discussion forum.
  • An expansion of the user interface to allow
    project members to bring in external information, write notes on
    documents, and assign documents to a particular task.
  • The ability to create a wiki for centralizing information, eliminating the need to import an outside Zoho Doc. 
  • The
    addition of a timesheet, integrated with Zoho Invoice, to log and track
    time spent on specific tasks, and to easily create, send, and track
    invoices.


 Zoho also made some significant enhancements to its Zoho CRM product recently. With the Zoho CRM Mail Add-on,
officially announced on July 21, Zoho CRM now integrates with email –
and not just Zoho Mail. The selection of any email account for
integration will add an “email” tab to the Zoho CRM application. Users
running off a non-Zoho email client can configure Zoho Mail to be the
interface for sending and receiving. According to the company, the most
significant element of the integration between Zoho CRM and Zoho Mail
is that the contact information involved in each email is automatically
added to the Zoho CRM system, where a user can see all of the
correspondence with a particular contact. Users can respond to email
from within the CRM system, or even add tasks to a given contact.

Read the nice article in full here. Thanks to Lauren and destinationCRM.