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Archive for January, 2014

Case study: Best ever

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My favorite case study ever:

From: Alexander Xxxx <xxxxxxxxxx@gmail.com>
To: Dmitri Eroshenko <dmitri at relenta dot com>
Date: Sun, Jan 19, 2014 04:34am
Subject: Information
 
Hello.
my name is Alexander Xxxx.
I am 8 years old.
And i like your database.
I have just set it up here in england and i am adding lots of people to it.
My mummy and daddy use relenta for their business.
Have a nice day from Alexander.

Thank you Alexander! You are the best 🙂

Written by Dmitri Eroshenko

January 20th, 2014 at 4:16 am

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System update: Calendar sync and recurring events

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New Year’s is our favorite holiday. Not because a few weeks leading up to it is our most productive time of the year. Not because of the best parties. We love New Year because it offers the possibility of change and transformation.

You’re gonna love this update especially if your New Year’s resolutions include things like “become more productive” and “get things done.” They do, right? So now you have fewer excuses.

Go to your Relenta calendar, click Export button, then right-click on Subscription link and copy the webcal:// link:

Then open your calendar program. We use Google in this example – other apps all work along the same lines. From “Other calendars” in Google Calendar menu choose “Add by URL” and paste your webcal:// link, like so:

That’s all there is to it.

It will be good for you to know that the sync frequency depends on the calendar program you use. Google seems to be updating external calendar feeds every few hours. Also note that this is a one-way sync. You can view your Relenta calendar events in other calendars, but you need to create and edit them in Relenta.

Next comes another feature that you’ve been asking for since the beginning of time: the ability to create recurring events. Not much to write about here other than “now you can.” Just check Repeat box on edit event screen and set the recurrence rules:

That’s it for the first system update this year. We hope you like.

Enjoy and stay tuned!

Written by Dmitri Eroshenko

January 17th, 2014 at 2:26 am

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Relenta Demos Launch

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Relenta is arguably the most customizable email-based CRM and Contact Management system for SMBs. Packed as it is with so many customizable features, there is, admittedly, a learning curve, especially during setup. From working with different businesses over the years, each with a unique scenario, there can be a moment during setup when you want to throw up your hands and walk away.

While a brief chat with Dmitri or me can usually resolve most problems fairly quickly, maybe you’re under a deadline, it’s 2am, and we’re not available to answer your questions. Or maybe you’d like the answers before you have questions. Up until now, we’ve been reticent to provide too much detail in our support documentation for fear of pigeonholing product usage. That’s changing a bit.

W.B. Yeats wrote, “Education is not filling buckets; it’s lighting fires.” Starting today we are promoting a way of learning about Relenta that hopefully will light fires for you, expanding the way you think about dealing with customers and email.

Instead of guiding you through all the technicalities of using the product, we will walk you through scenarios of how people use Relenta to get things done. Some of the scenarios will cover basic features; others will get into the guts of the system. Our goal is simply to show you the path of solving your own problem in your own way with a system that can learn and grow with you. We will be with you every step of the way as you explore and develop your own system. Often, we will be learning with you.

We’ve set up a new gateway page at http://www.relenta.com/demo. Our weekly Wednesday demos will focus on common challenges businesses face when choosing a CRM system and how Relenta helps. As we see the impact of these new concepts, we will post specific snippets and clips of this information in support articles and videos in both the blog and support section.

Given the right amount of education, we see very productive things happening.

Written by Brent Miller

January 15th, 2014 at 11:57 am

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Mass email testing

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Just a quick note on the best way to test a mass email using the Newsletter feature.

1. Create your newsletter or mass email in the response library, using merge tags.

2. Next, set up a Group called “Mass email test.” Add yourself and whoever else you’d like to send a test to as contacts.

3. Click your test group and create the test email by clicking the Newsletter button. Select your newsletter from the Response Library.

4. Click send and check your email on different devices to see how it looks.

While you typically send out tests immediately, remember that for your real mass emails or newsletters, it’s best to pick a send time that is best for your recipients.

Written by Brent Miller

January 10th, 2014 at 2:23 pm

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Relenta mass email stats with Google Analytics

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Relenta’s mass email functionality is great for sending out service notifications to customers. It really is as easy as composing an email and using “Dear [FIRST]” instead of  “Dear Customer.” (Learn about email merge tags here.)

Yet what if you want to track the performance of a promo email? It does take some setup. You’ll need to use Google Analtyics. Plus, you’ll need to be using their new Universal Analytics/analytics.js to get this all to work properly.

Once you get the hang of it, however, it’s great. All your web and email analytics will be under one roof, opens, clicks, conversions. Plus there’s a neat trick that will allow you to track users as they move across devices and your website that I’ll post at a future date.

1. Make sure all of your contacts have a unique identifying number. If they don’t, first, create a custom contact field called “User_ID”. Then download your contact list, and use Excel to populate that custom field. (Hint: Start the first contact off with 101 and use consecutive numbers.) Upload the contact list and your contacts should have a unique identifier in their records. Now for the fun part. (Hint #2: Make sure to add unique identifiers to all your future contacts.)

2. In Google Analtyics (GA), click on Admin, make sure you select the appropriate account, and click Custom Definitions > Custom Metrics.

Step #2 Screenshot

3. Click New Custom Metric, name your metric Email Opens, set the formatting type  to Integer, set 0 for the minimum, and 1 as the maximum value. Make sure you’ve checked the Active box. One even will be registered for each open.

Screenshot of step 3.

4. Place this snippet of HTML code at the end of your email (but make the following changes first):

<img src=”http://www.google-analytics.com/collect?v=1&tid=UA-XXXXXXX-YY&cid=[User_ID]&t=event&ec=email&ea=open&el=[User_ID]&cs=promo&cm=email&cn=140107&cm1=1″ />

Replace the letters after UA- with your tracking ID. You can find it in Google Analytics under Admin > Property Settings. Also, if you’ve named your unique indentifier something other than User_ID, make sure it matches. Replace the six-digit date after cn= with the date of your campaign.

Please note: make sure any links in your email have Google Analytics tags that match your properties above.

For example, you’d add this to the end of every link, making sure to swap the date for the date of your campaign:

?utm_source=promo&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=140107

So a link from the email to the page http://www.samplesite.com/landingpage.php would look like this:

http://www.samplesite.com/landingpage.php?utm_source=promo&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=140107

In GA, click Behavior > Events > Top Events to see your Open report. Not only will you be able to report opens but you’ll be able to report clicks and conversions from your campaign all for free through Google Analytics.

My data, my precious data!

Now that’s working smarter! (Thank you to the good folks at Lunametrics for originally posting about this.)

Written by Brent Miller

January 7th, 2014 at 3:40 pm

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Conquering the fear of doing

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Let go of fear and take the plunge

David Allen makes a great comparison: putting thought into action, “doing” something, is like walking off the edge of a pier. “How deep is the water? It’s gonna be so cold!”

But once you’ve taken that leap of faith something amazing happens.

“Real intelligence, creativity, and solidity show up—in a much greater way than they ever could, trying to be managed merely in your head. Putting the limitation of physicality onto what you’re thinking about does not constrain the mind—it actually galvanizes it,” says David.

So go out there and get to it. Yes, the water may be cold and deep, but there is an ocean of possibility.

Written by Brent Miller

January 2nd, 2014 at 8:05 am

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Need a digital detox? Here’s a 5-step plan

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You’ll need 4 hours and…
  1. A notepad
  2. Post-it notes
  3. Index cards
  4. Some colored Uni-ball pens
  5. A quiet room

No electronics. Not even music.

After the detox, transfer any inspired ideas to your digital domain.

Done.

Written by Brent Miller

January 1st, 2014 at 7:23 am

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