Tag Archives: Pardot

Top Tech Applications, Websites and Tools I Will Use After Epicom

26 Aug

These are in no particular order, but they are on here because they provide me the most use. I can’t wait to take the skills I gained from these great applications, websites, and tools with me in my career.

Pardot: www.pardot.com

Knowing how to use Pardot and learning about marketing automation is something that is going to get me other jobs. I am figuring how I can stay up-to-date with marketing automation software for when I leave Epicom. Pardot is the most hands-on and practical software I have ever used. It enables user to expand their marketing efforts, then gives important data to revise and continue communicating with more and more leads.

SugarCRM: www.sugarcrm.com

I mentioned this in my last post but I could run a business using only Sugar. It is easy to use. It showed me ways I never thought of to organize things. It also made everything simple with account-centric organization. Plus, Sugar give great insight into a business, which makes spotting strengths and weaknesses in a business plan easier, faster, and before it hurts the company.

Basecamp by 37 Signals: www.basecamphq.com

I’ve already signed up for a free account with Basecamp’s sister version Ta-Da for my next internship. I am looking for an Android app as I write this. Basically, it is the cleanest user interface I have ever used–uncomplicated. I like it because I can go into a meeting and add to-do items as they are being discussed so nothing gets lost in conversation. I can give my to-dos dates, and filter based on the due-dates I assigned.

Klout: www.klout.com

Klout is more of a “for now” tool. Klout connects different social media accounts and measures the user’s influence. I say “for now,” because it needs some improvement and is in a start-up stage. I am waiting to see what happens to Klout, but it is excellent at directing social media efforts towards communicating more.

Tweet-later: www.SocialOomph.com

SocialOomph is a tweet-later service. Facebook and Twitter can be set up under once account, and tweets and status updates can be made from the platform. It is really great for content generation, and allows me to not be plugged into Twitter all day. I can set up out tweets for the week, and with the Professional version I could set up a tweet schedule. It is a really great tool to get out content. However, it doesn’t replace interacting on Twitter and Facebook, because that is why people are on the sites.

Meet Up: www.meetup.com

I am disappointed about being college graduate. I don’t miss taking tests or writing (some) papers, but I do miss learning and discussing new ideas. I will continue to use Meet Up to find other people interested in the same things I am, and more importantly, find groups for new topics I am interested in learning about.

That wraps up the best tools I discovered at Epicom. Hope you find them just as useful.

Doing More with HTML

30 Jun

I played with Pardot a lot last Friday. At Epicom, we are doing some AB testing. This internship allows me to do a lot of the marketing techniques I learned in school, which is great. Currently, we are testing the open rate for times that newsletters go out. This type of AB testing is pretty easy to implement and to track.

Another way to test different variables of email campaigns is by using different templates. However, creating different templates is definitely one of the hard types of AB testing. As I was experimenting with creating a new design, I realized my HTML skills are not as good as I would like them to be. On top of that, my photoshop skills were rusty. Between creating new images and coding my email’s layout, it was taking too long.

This caused me to realize a fundamental problem with myself . I am sure many business owners without a design department face the same problem. Online marketing initiatives are not as effective because of low levels of design and technical (html/coding) knowledge. I am by no means saying no knowledge. I have created many websites but that didn’t prepare me to make a really great email template.

There is a difference between companies that deliver above and beyond customer service/products AND companies that deliver above and beyond but also have an email campaign that visually communicates the above and beyond. My goal is to learn more about web design, because it isn’t just about websites. Knowing code is about being able to communicate visually over the internet. I never thought about code past websites and blog posts. There is a lot I can achieve.

Now, I am going to find a web design class.

Hope you are having a happy Social Media Day.

Account-centric Contact Management

21 Jun

Learning about turning a lead into an opportunity made me wonder about contact management,

I’ve said before, as a public relations professional, managing different media and reports are a hassle. Some editors get annoyed when a story is also sent out to reporters, reporters get annoyed when other reporters have their story, and then the client management aspect. Quotes need approval by different departments. Above all, stories need to get out.

My first week I used SugarCRM and Pardot in “baby steps” as a Rolodex, but I realized I can make my Rolodex more advanced by moving away from being contact-centric and to account-centric.

Sugar allows me to create an account and put different contacts in it. This way, I can record information about the beat reporters I want to run my story, keep the news desk contact next to the reporters, and best of all keep all of my notes about the organization neatly next to each other. The ability to see all of this information increases the likelihood of my client’s story running.

To summarize the perks of being account-centric:

  • Stores all information in one group
  • Can see an organization’s combined history
  • Ties multiple contact together
  • Makes life a lot easier knowing where everything is
Here is a screen shot of an example account set up in my sandbox CRM.
If you click on it, it shows the account history and in the middle the contacts associated with the account. This picture is definitely more from a sales perspective.
So, life keeps getting easier learning CRM.

Drip Email Campaigns without being Spam

3 Jun

It is safe to say, if I bought something online, then that company is now sending me emails about more things I “might” want to buy.

In my quest to understand CRM, I am learning about all those emails that are left waiting an unknown fate in my junk folder.  I even consulted my junk folder for writing inspiration about this post.

I am an avid reader of the Consumerist. I am distrustful of big (or bigger) business. I am skeptical about new marketing tactics. I am a scrutinizer of all public relations campaigns and donation motives.

These are things that give me an edge for evaluating the effectiveness and trustworthiness of campaigns, but they are also the things that hinder me from using drip marketing campaigns successfully.  I am afraid of over whelming my clients.

That being said.

The more I read about drip email campaigns and the more I experience them, the more comfortable I become. Before, I thought of email campaigns as a way to plague and attack the inbox of anybody and everybody. Now, I am starting to understand the balance that must occur to be 1) valuable and 2) insightful for customers–and not be spam.

The unchallenged winner of the spam, unethical, interrupting category is coupon sites. Emailing every contact about every deal, which is the fastest way to end up in a junk box. Or my junk folder, at least.

As  I hang out with our marketing manager and she explains how their drip campaign is set up, the idea of a campaign becomes less unethical, less interrupting and above all more relevant.

I am only used to campaigns that email every week or more. I didn’t realize there are smarter companies that send out emails every few months. These campaigns are designed around long-term client recognition and above all not annoying customers away.

When the time comes to be valuable, my CRM will have the notes for me and the email will be there to send out when the lead is ready.

I am still resentful towards companies that send me emails everyday, but I now see the value in long-term plans. The value makes me more comfortable with emailing others while using a drip-marketing program.

How to Use Pardot

25 May

Using Pardot in Baby Steps

When I started at Epicom, they told me that most of their customers want to do specific things with SugarCRM but don’t know how to do it -or- they bought SugarCRM and aren’t too sure what to do with Sugar.

In my last post, I discussed learning about drip email marketing campaigns. Drip campaigns are one of the simpler ways to use CRM, but I am going to discuss the simplest and most frequent way I have been using CRM. I am using it as a rolodex.

Before, I made contact lists in Excel. I decided I could do the same thing here, at Epicom, but I realized I could use Pardot. I could create a campaign under the marketing tab, and then click to add prospects. (In most cases prospects would be leads for sales. However, I decided to just leave them unassigned and in my campaign.)

The switch from Excel to Pardot has made creating contact lists much easier and a lot less painful. Before, making media lists made me want to start rolling my face across the desk, but now…

The thing is, with Excel, I would have to format the spreadsheet. If a contact didn’t have all the information I needed or had more information that I wanted to include, I would have to reformat again and then have huge holes in all the other contact information. Those kinds of things drive me crazy. I want the information to be aesthetically pleasing, since I will be looking at the sheet frequently.

With Pardot, I have all the basic categories. Name, email, website, phone number, and a spot for extra information. I think the inability to keep extra information in Excel without crazy long lines of text was my biggest problem. Sure I could include the beats of different reporters, but there was no way for me to standardize my spreadsheet if I included information on the topics they write about most. (ex, Technology could mean Apple products, IBM, Applications…CRM)

I will admit here and now, I am a facebook baby. I am so caught up in so many things, I forget about who was doing what and need a little reminder.With the new system I have adopted working here, I can include all the information I want about people I need to be in contact with. Plus, collecting the information is standardized so finding the information is uniform across all campaigns or rolodexes I make.

But using Pardot in the simple basic baby step–as a rolodex–is allowing me to remember and know more about the people I am contacting over the internet.

Drip Email Campaigns in Pardot

23 May

I started familiarizing myself with Pardot.

But, lets back track in my life a little. Not too long ago, but a few months. Okay.

I like to StumbleUpon in my spare time. My favorite topics are marketing, career planning, fashion and interior design.

I am a big fan of the guys over at Vertical Response. Before, I would read their articles about email campaigns and think, “oh okay that is a good idea.”

The article I am remembering in particular was about testing the subject of emails by sending out different ones and seeing which gets more clicks and drives more action.

As a student of public relations –a profession that succeeds on media using a story, which requires first and foremost for the recipient to open the email– I thought the article was very interesting.

In school, we would always have to discuss how we would “evaluate” our campaigns. Generally, everybody’s response was “surveys.” I wish one of my professors had introduced us to CRM.

Now, working at Epicom, I realized I didn’t even know what I was reading about. I didn’t even ask myself, “how do I calculate which email is being opened?” or “what is a more efficient way to evaluate my public relations campaigns?”

Honestly, I say I took on this internship because of the opportunity to learn. I am on week two, and I have had my knowledge of reality and capability shattered by CRM and Pardot integration.

I had no idea of how to track email campaigns and maintain contact lists. I am experienced in creating media lists. My magnum opus of media lists is embarrassing compared to the simplicity of generating a campaign using Pardot and information gathered about prospective clients on a webpage that is stored in the CRM.

I now know that not only can I set up media and contact lists in CRM with more information than I was including in the past, I can set up a campaign with Pardot that will remind contacts of services/events/anything. I can monitor who is clicking on links in the email, which then allows me to know what I am doing that is successful.

I can then improve my whole campaign to offer what customers want and solve their problems, because when it comes down to it that is what my job is.

Now, if I only knew how to pronounce Pardot, Par-dot or Par-doe?

Learn more about using Pardot, SugarCRM and  drip email campaigns in this video:

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