Email templates for sales and marketing: hit the ground running

Speeding up your Saleswah CRM adoption

Custom e-mail templates for edit and reuse

Let’s face it; setting up Saleswah CRM is not your idea of fun.

We have tried making it easy, menu driven, wizard based. We have tried taking the not so essential steps away. But, the essentials still need to be done and they number quite a few.

The other complaint we get is, simply put: WHY? Or, more belligerently worded: FOR WHAT? What is the benefit of this particular step in setup that you are asking me to do?

Setting up is one bugbear; learning to use the full power of Saleswah is another. Take email templates and proposal templates for example.

Why upload your logo?

When we ask you to upload your logo and full company address, it has a purpose. Other than personalizing your experience of using the Saleswah CRM, we also use that information to create the quotation format that goes out from you. We get a lot of requests to work with them to create e-mail templates using the built-in HTML editor of Saleswah. They also request us to show them how to insert the personalization/ mail-merge tags.

Free auto-generated email templates for edit and re-use

To help you, we decided to create 2 email templates and 1 proposal template. These are of course dummy templates – but they will hopefully give you an idea of what to expect. You can edit them, freely and save them under a different name. More pertinently, you can get an idea of  how to design your own templates.

There is a trick to inserting your Company logo in the email templates. Unlike in the other personalization tags, you can not simply insert the company logo icon into the template you are designing. You need to click the “insert image” button,  and insert the company logo icon tag in the pop-up- in the field labeled “Source”. Complicated? Not really. If you still think so, we have added a couple of blank templates with the logo inserted on top.

How to get the email templates?

Simply upload your company logo and your company address. Do this carefully, as this information will be used to create your “official stationery”.

Once you update both, you will see a button like this on top. Click on it.

Create new templates from logo and address automatically: Sign up for a trial now!

Once you click on the button, you should see a confirmation message that the templates have been created.

New email marketing templates were autogenerated for you to edit and use.

Happy emailing and “proposaling”!

What we learned about mail servers

We received a call from a client complaining that he is unable to send email through Saleswah. As you know, you can

– mail literature (any file in your hard disk- upload, select a contact to send to and send)

– send quotes

-send proposals (create and save HTML formatted templates for sending out for various sales situations)

– Send email campaigns.

He complained that inspite of following our advise to the T about how to set uo his SMTP server to work with Saleswah, he is unable to send emails. So we investigated.

Our invetigation led him to his email service provider and a simple “traceroute” command identified the actual provider. We went and checked the provider’s website and found the following policy:

… Internet e-mail sent, or caused to be sent, to or through the XXXX Network that makes use of or contains invalid or forged headers, invalid or non-existent domain names or other means of deceptive addressing will be deemed to be counterfeit. Any attempt to send or cause such counterfeit e-mail to be sent to or through the XXXX Network is unauthorized. Any mail with recipient list exceeding 15 (fifteen) will be considered as bulk mail.

The other issue, we found was that their server does not allow SSL.

We worked with the client to get him to select another mail provider for outgoing mail- basically helped him set up an Amazon AWS account for email service.

Our experience is the best with Google Apps based or Gmail servers- they always work, no complaints ever. But, Google Apps is not free! Not any more.

If you have a similar issue with mail configuration- investigate. It might just be that your mail service provider is blocking SMTP relay from another server. In that case, change your outbound SMTP service provider or give us a call to help.

Targeted email marketing

Advanced targeted email marketing features

Hit sales targets with targeted email marketingWe are rolling out some truly advanced features to our targeted email marketing engine.

To recall, we have always had fairly advanced capabilities for targeted email marketing on Saleswah. To sum up, these are:

Ability to create an html email using the built in tool (or import an html email). Saleswah also allows embedding personalization tags (mail merge features) and will let you automate event registrations by individual tracking of clicks on the email body.

Ability to send the email out to a carefully selected group of contacts who are expected to react favourably to the marketing message in the email by virtue of their profile or activity history. Saleswah has an easy to use query builder to ensure your marketing message reaches the right audience.

– Finally, the email sending; which is basically “associating” the right target list created in step 2 above with an email template created in step 1.

After Saleswah sends out the emails, on the same page, it opens a real-time dashboard: a list of contacts (email recipients) who may have clicked on an embedded “Register” link to let you know of their desire to attend a seminar or any such marketing event.

If all the above was not impressive enough, here’s what we just rolled out:

1. After associating the target list, now you can do last minute clean-ups: remove contacts one by one or even add new ones who you want the email to go to.

2. You can remove duplicates from the mail-list; click on “remove duplicates” and you will be presented the duplicate emails in the database the emailer is going out to.

(Pssst.. we have in fact implemented another feature to reduce email overload: now Saleswah will screen out, at the time of mailing, the duplicate emails from going out 🙂 , just in case you don’t trust that!)

3. You get a glance of your mailing list, in segments: so you know how many contacts in Delhi will receive this mail or Mumbai, for that matter. You can zero in on a specific segment and perform further clean-ups.

[slideshow_deploy id=’8907′]

Mass email marketing using Saleswah CRM

Can you? Should you?

Simple answers to the first two questions first; yes you can (remember Obama?) and well, it depends.

Firstly, what does Saleswah CRM offer you in terms of mass email marketing capabilities?

1. Create email template using a html email template builder; powerful enough that we send all our own marketing communication and sales proposals using it. Use this to compose your message, insert custom tags (for mailmerge- like in MS-Word) and even insert “action links”- which the recipients can follow.

2. Target list creator – to filter and zero in on the contacts from your contact list in Saleswah CRM that match your intended message.

When you put 1 and 2 above together, you get, 3!

Jokes apart, you get the campaign sender, which is the part that takes the created html template from 1, marries it to a target list from 2 and sends it off on email. And, did I tell you that you could have sent an embedded link, which once clicked, would have registered them for a seminar or a tradeshow that you may have invited them to in this email? Powerful.

Okay; so, cool. So, why the long answer, huh? This means not only I can, but it seems like a great idea, too, right?

Hold that thought for a minute more; and let me tell you a couple of other things.

Each contact in the list within your Saleswah CRM database has a checkbox against her name; to denote permission to email. And, each email that goes out from Saleswah CRM, carries a “Unsubscribe me” link. Once the recipient clicks the link, the contact will be automatically marked as someone you are not allowed to send emails to. Doing it, heedlessly, nevertheless- is bad practice.

Yes, and by the way, do you know where the emails go out from?

If you want them to go out from your company mail box, and that is how you have configured Saleswah CRM, then be sure that your company mail server can handle the volume. All mail servers  have limits; Gmail allows only 500 emails sent out per day, for instance. If you want to do serious heavy duty mailing, then it is best to get yourself a mail server and configure that to work with Saleswah CRM.

Do we provide mail-servers? No we don’t.

So, back to the original questions. Again, yes you can do mass email marketing using Saleswah CRM and perhaps you should- but, do keep some of the above things in mind.

Anatomy of a marketing campaign

Does the word campaign evoke images of large armies marching through inhospitable terrain? For months on end for small gain?

A marketing campaign is certainly a sustained effort. The objective being to narrow down the list of prospects to those that may be profitable to chase. As the list keeps getting smaller, the  personal attention to the members of the list grows.

How do you know which are the right people to pursue? Continue reading “Anatomy of a marketing campaign”

Some thoughts from: Seth’s Blog: The unforgiving arithmetic of the funnel

I would not even change a word from what Seth Godin writes in this, as always well argued piece. Do read. Seth’s Blog: The unforgiving arithmetic of the funnel.

The reason I thought of sharing this here is because of a recent customer interaction. We were on a sales call and as frequently happens, the customer, a distributor of office equipment from a reputed MNC, had his views on how he can ramp up sales and what role, he expected Saleswah CRM to play in this.

“I will first buy a mailing list”, he said and then, import them into your software. As he saw consternation in my face, he asked, “you can import contact lists, can’t you?” Yes, we can. Easily that too; thousands in minutes. Okay, go on.

Then, he said, warming to the theme, “I will use your campaign manager to mass email to them, once every week- special prices, promotions and so on”. But, but… “why, you just said your campaign manager can create nice looking html emails or even re-use emails created by someone else?” True or false? True, sir!

“And, then I can select the customers that you want to mail to and then at the “press of a button” email the customized emailer to all of them. Right?”

All true, sir! But, we are not talking about the software capabilities. We are talking about marketing effectiveness, even ethics. The point Seth makes, most effectively.

To start with, purchased mailing lists are junk; less than useless. There is no short-cut to growing your customers who would want to hear from you; one by one, touch by touch.

Secondly, not everyone on your list wants to hear about every single piece of your offering; or even want to purchase anything from you every single week of their lives. There has to be timing, there has to be context and there must be relevance  to their work, not yours.

Saleswah CRM wants to promote engagement between you and your customers- but, are you ready with relevant, engaging and useful content?

How does Saleswah CRM campaign management work? Find out here.