The common (and expensive) mistakes and how to use Workbooks CRM to reduce your internet marketing CPC spend...
April 12,2011 by kwells • Leave a Comment
First and foremost – choose the right keywords. Before switching on a campaign, think about the unique products or services your organisation offers that will encourage the potential visitor to click your advert. By identifying and leveraging your USP, you can easily rise above the competition by using keywords or phrases unique to your business. Always have a look at what you consider competition, see what keywords they are using (www.keywordspy.com offer free information on this). The danger however is bidding on generic keywords without using copy that will help you stand out.
Workbooks CRM will actually let you know what keywords the prospects used to first find your site, tracked all the way through the sales process to close. It will identify what combination of unique keywords attracts the most targeted traffic that is most likely to convert into a sale. For example, most tools at best will let you know what keywords are driving traffic to the ‘Contact Us’ form – but that information offers no insight if you then can’t track which Contact Us forms converted into sales.
However, a great campaign needs more than just Workbooks’ innovative reporting tools – we need to know how to best use these tools to continuously improve a campaign, and the common mistakes to avoid that organisations are likely to make when trying CPC advertising for the first time.
Here are 5 common CPC mistakes to avoid:
Forgetting to identify Negative Keywords
Negative keywords help filter out irrelevant traffic. When you enter your list of negative keywords into your CPC campaign, your advert will not show if that negative keyword is used alongside your bid keyword. Common negative keywords are ‘free’, ‘cheap’, ‘tutorial’ for example. Taking ‘Web Design’ as an example keyword, you want to show for that keyword, but why pay for someone looking for ‘Web Design Tutorial’. Constantly refining and adding to your negative keyword list means you’ll only end up paying for relevant traffic.
Putting everything into one group
You are able to make multiple ‘groups’, so use this to categories customer types reflective to your various services. If you simply put all your keywords into one group, everyone sees the same advert, lands on the same page, and ultimately you will have a low-scoring advert that costs a fortune per click (Google will charge more the lower the percentage of click through). It takes time, but separating into AdGroups (as Google calls them) is the quickest way to drive and track specific traffic.
Only using a few adverts
If you use only a handful of ads (some companies just have the one!), then you have no comparison to check how it’s doing. Google will rotate several adverts and over time, prioritise the advert that gets the most clicks. While this is good in practice and fixes 90% of the problem, Google has no visibility on what that user then did when they arrived on your site. One advert may send more traffic than another, but what if that traffic isn’t relevant and they click straight off, or the advert is attracting an audience from the wrong price bracket? Experimenting with advert copy, and reviewing their success in both Google Analytics and Workbooks is the only way to continuously fine-tune and optimise.
Starting off with a large budget
More budget will mean more clicks, and if a marketing department’s KPI is to increase traffic, then why not just fix the problem with a large budget? The problem with this is you’d be wasting a lot of money; no matter how much time you spend setting up a campaign, it will never be 100% efficient first time. It’s frustrating when you know the customers are out there, but start small and increase budget with confidence.
But the cost doesn’t stop there – the campaign may convert into lots of leads to follow up, each one taking a call, email, possibly even a meeting – the cost of sale will sky rocket. This is of course a great problem to have if they are all converting, but the chances of driving quality, targeted and qualified traffic from day one are fairly slim. Overtime, reporting features in Workbooks will show results as to what adverts led to the meetings that converted into sales, enabling you to stop wasting money and time on unqualified leads. Regular tinkering with an advert campaign using the valuable information Workbooks collects about the source for each lead, will soon drive down your cost per acquisition way below the competition who may just be relying on Google Analytics (which has no idea what leads actually convert if your website is used for lead generation).
Getting discouraged too easily
Too many people make a few botched attempts at using CPC, see no instant results and give up immediately. CPC will fail if you’re not doing it as well as your competitors, and giving up is giving your competitors and easy ride. Regardless of sector, getting your website in front of the right people is key - and those that ignore how to effectively market themselves in this internet age will quickly fall behind. CPC takes a lot of time and patience to master, but get it right, and there’s no limit.
2011 UK Budget - Good News for UK Tech Companies
March 23,2011 by jcheney • Leave a Comment
Having just read through the highlights of the budget I wanted to point out some good news for all us high tech UK businesses.
Three changes in the budget caught my eye:
Improvements to the EIS Scheme - 30% Relief
The Enterprise Investment Scheme is a government scheme designed to encourage private investors to invest is UK limited companies. There are significant tax breaks associated with the scheme, which include income tax relief.
Under the old rules for every £1,000 you invest you could off-set 20% against your income tax bill. Therefore in real terms it only cost you £800. This relief has now been increased to 30% from April, which will makes EIS a more attractive option for private investors.
We have raised £4m using the EIS Scheme, so keeping and improving EIS we see as vital if the UK is going to become a significant source of technology innovation.
R&D Tax Credit Improvements
The government is also improving the terms of the R&D Tax credits. For those that don't know R&D Tax credits allow us to get rebates from the Government for investing in research and development. As a business that invests heavily in developing new technology any improvements in this area have got to be a good thing.
Lastly Entrepreneur's relief has been extended to £10m. This is the second increase under this government from the initial £1m proposed by Labour. At this point we have no plans to use this relief - as we far to busy building the business. But I believe it's important to provide tax incentives to encourage people to take a few risks and build valuable businesses, create employment and wealth.
In all, three good changes I think for UK technology businesses.
Workbooks Winter Release
February 04,2011 by kwells • Leave a Comment
Today, we're pleased to announce that the Winter (February 2011) release of Workbooks has been successfully deployed.
Our latest release includes some fantastic new features, including the much anticipated 'Contract Management' module and some exciting new custom field developments.
Here's a brief overview of some of the great new functionality;
This is a new module that allows customers to maintain and manage customer contracts within Workbooks. A customer contract is a new type of Transaction Document which allows customers to track the start and end dates of contracts, as well as, for example, the revenue and profitability of contracts at a line item level.
One really useful element of this new functionality is the integration of Contracts with Cases. This means you can track cases against a specific contract and even specific contract line items. For instance, if one of your customers call’s up with a problem on a specific product, you can easily search by serial number or product key to find the relevant support contract. At this point, you can check if the support contract is still valid and if they are entitled to the level of support they are requesting.
Learn more about Contracts, here.
User Interface Improvements
A number of productivity features have been added including click-to-dial functionality; click-to-email; and a 'New' split-button on the Main and Summary tabs which speeds up the creation of new items, for instance New Email, New Meeting etc. related to the currently-viewed record.
The loading of the rich-text editor is now significantly faster in all web browsers.
Two new custom field types - IFrame and URL - have been added. The IFrame is useful for viewing information held in other web-based systems alongside the record being shown. A neat example to demonstrate this is the ability to use an IFrame to show a Google Map, based on the Postcode and Country fields in a given record. The URL field holds a link that when clicked will automatically link to a web page. Both fields can be configured so the link relates to the current record.
The text within custom fields can also now be searched using the 'Search' dialog and taskbar search - just tick the new 'Searchable' checkbox when you create the custom field.
There is a new and flexible configuration system for generating PDF output documents including, Quotations, Invoices, and Credit Notes. Customers can configure document colours, texts, and boilerplate text such as their Terms and Conditions; there is also the option to configure custom templates.
In addition to the aforementioned enhancements, many parts of the service have seen incremental improvement, often as a result of customer feedback. As ever, please continue to help drive our roadmap by contributing your suggestions and ideas to our community site.
New! Workbooks Community
January 25,2011 by kwells • Leave a Comment
- Knowledge Base - Find help and documentation on how to use Workbooks, guides on how to configure the system and training videos.
- Customer Forum - Ask questions and discuss issues with other users and the Workbooks team.
- Customer Ideas - See which new features are most frequently requested, vote for your favourite and request your own.
- Workbooks Blog - Keep up to date with the latest news and information from Workbooks.
- Improved cataloguing and search functionality within the Knowledge Base, making it even easier and more intuitive for you to find exactly what you're looking for.
- Enhanced content within the Knowledge Base, including information on our two most recent features; Workbooks Outlook Connector and Contract Management.
- Alongside many of the Knowledge Base articles you will find 'Tips' and 'Related Forums', giving you easy access to a wider variety of resources.
- A new Customer Forum where you'll be able to share information and best practice techniques, ask questions and discuss issues with other Workbooks users and the Workbooks team.
Do you understand the return you're achieving from your Marketing?
January 20,2011 by kwells • Leave a Comment
Are leads alone really the end game? what about the quality of sales opportunities? Or a campaign's overall return?
Adopting a fully integrated web analytics and CRM approach, is the only way organisations can truly understand Marketing ROI.
The overall objective here is to easily understand what’s working and what isn’t, so that marketers can better allocate marketing budget towards those keywords, channels and platforms that achieve a more realistic and useful Key Performance Indicator.
- Is the number of web leads a good KPI to work from?
- Is the number of qualified opportunities and ultimately sales revenue a more helpful measurement?
Harmonious interaction between sales and marketing within an organisation is crucial, and bottom-line sales performance reflects how well sales and marketing work together, but this isn’t true of just departments, it’s true of information management too.
The First Steps
At it’s most basic, what we need to do is append accurate marketing data to an opportunity or lead. For example ‘Website’ as a source in a CRM isn’t accurate enough if you have several channels contributing towards website traffic.
Most CRMs will have ‘web to lead’ functionality, whereby a web form can post information directly to your CRM solution, but that doesn’t wholly achieve what’s needed aswe’d always be reliant on the customer filling out the ‘how did you find us’ form, which let’s be honest, isn’t always going to happen, and doesn’t capture data to the level that’s of real use.
Full Web Data Integration
Achieving 100% accurate visibility on marketing ROI is easy when selling products online, as ‘Goals’ (purchases) can be tracked by Google’s analytical software. This is because Google can give you full visibility on what clicks, keywords, adverts, emails lead to a direct online Goal or conversion.
Getting this same level of accuracy when the goal is lead capture rather than an immediate purchase isn’t so straight forward, as tracking the rest of the sales cycle through to a lead becoming a customer stretches far beyond Google’s visibility. Moreover, customers aren’t exactly going to let you know what keyword they entered, or have any idea how much they cost you in click spend.
Full Web Data Integration is the automatic collection of all campaign details associated with a lead and then having the tools to report to the penny the cost per lead, per sale. Imagine having the data within your CRM on what advert produces the best opportunities? Or what keywords produce the enquires that are most likely to convert to sale, rather than just settling with what keywords produce the most leads, qualified or otherwise.
This is all achievable with Workbooks CRM. Within Workbooks, you have the tools at your fingertips to examine and interrogate all advertising channels, including full visibility of any Google or Online Advertising spend per converted customer, not just per lead.
Say for example, your website collects 50 leads over the course of a month after a £2,000 advertising campaign. 10 of these leads convert to customers. That’s a pretty good conversion rate, and at £200 per sale, the return appears positive.
However, Workbooks will give you the visibility that perhaps 8 of those customers came from the visitor initially searching for your brand name in Google after a tradeshow, and only 2 of the converted leads came direct from the online advertising campaign, the other 40 leads generated from the advertising campaign didn’t convert – suddenly that £2k advertising budget isn’t looking like such a good investment. This level of valuable feedback isn’t possible with separate web analytic and CRM tools.
Without full marketing ROI visibility, that may have looked like £2k of web advertising equated to 50 leads and 10 sales, and the campaign would be run again. However, a complete view of the sales funnel shows the true and realistic cost of £1,000 per lead. Time to rethink the Marketing Campaign, perhaps those keywords are attracting the wrong type of traffic!
To learn more about how Workbooks can help you reduce operational costs and give full visibility on marketing spend, please get in touch or visit www.workbooks.com for more information.
New! Contract Management functionality
January 07,2011 by Product Management • Leave a Comment
In the next release of Workbooks, currently scheduled for the end of January 2011, we will be adding a new module called Contract Management.
This will be an optional module which can be added to either the CRM Edition or the Business Edition for a small fee. We have been working alongside a number of customers to define the functionality of this module and it has been designed to address the following types of problems:
"We sell support contracts – but the only way we have of tracking the data is in spreadsheets. We need a more effective tool that will enable us to record contract information and track renewals, helping us to understand the value of our contracts."
"We have customers calling for support whose contracts have expired, however the support team have no visibility of the contract status. This is a double whammy as we are providing free support, ultimately costing us money and we are missing a sales renewal opportunity."
"We use Workbooks Business to process orders and create invoices, but we record contract data in spreadsheets. This means we have to re-key data and manage two different systems. We would like it all in one place."
"We would like to understand the profitability of our contracts, so we want to track the amount of cases raised against a specific contract."
So with these types of problems in mind we are adding the following functionality:
The contract management module will allow you to record all this information in a new record type called a ‘Contract’.
A contract record is in fact a new type of Transaction Document (like invoices and orders) and as with all other Transaction Documents, you can run all the same types of reports and analysis. Key features of a contract record are:
- The ability to record start and end dates of contracts and track the status – e.g. expired, active, suspended.
- Customisable contract types e.g. Bronze, Silver, Gold, or 24x7 or standard.
- Associate multiple people with a contract and define their role. E.g. Commercial contact or Technical contact
- Track the individual items covered by the contract. You can also have different start and end dates for individual line items.
- Create custom fields on contract items to record important information such as serial numbers or license keys.
- You can also define custom fields as ‘searchable’, this would enable you for example to find a contract by searching for serial number of an item included in the contract.
- Associate contract line items with a specific location, so you know where the item is located.
By using the contracts module, customers will be able to store all the customer contract information in one place, alongside their CRM and business transaction data. Because contract records are just like every other record in Workbooks, you will be able to create reports to measure and manage your contracts, for instance:
- All contracts coming up for renewal in the next 30 – 90 days.
- Total value of customer contracts, including total revenue and gross margin
- Total value of contract by product line
- All contracts which haven’t been renewed
Contract - Sales Order Processing
If you are a Workbooks Business customer you will be able to create contracts from other transaction documents such as orders. When you create a contract from another transaction document, Workbooks copies across all line items which have a ‘Contract start and end date’ set. Start and End dates are new fields which have been added into the line item grid, to identify line items which are contracts. By using this approach, you can have an order which contains a mix of contract line items and standard line items. So if you have an order for a projector, which contains a line item for the projector itself and a second line item for the 12 month support contract, when you create a contract Workbooks will only carry forward the support contract line item.
Contract & Case Management
The contract management module is integrated with cases. This means you can track cases against a specific contract and even specific contract line items. If one of your customers call’s up with a problem on a specific product, you can easily search by serial number or product key to find the relevant support contract. At this point, you can check if the support contract is still valid and if they are entitled to the level of support they are requesting.
We will be releasing contract management at the end of January and we will be scheduling demos of the new functionality over the next few weeks for existing customers.
We hope you like it!
Tracking the success of your online marketing with Workbooks CRM
December 03,2010 by jcheney • Leave a Comment
The combination of SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) and Pay Per Click advertising has made online marketing one of the most effective ways for small and medium-sized business to build a brand and generate new sales leads.
Increasingly, online marketers use Google Analytics to track their performance. Google Analytics gives you great insight into your websites traffic volumes and the sources of that traffic, but it does not help you understand if that traffic converts into real business.
If you advertise using Google Adwords or the Bing equivalent, you are able to gain slightly better insight. These tools allow you to track something called conversions. Conversions are tracked by putting some specific web code on a ‘check-out’ page or on a ‘thank-you’ page once a lead capture form has been completed. If you actually sell your products online, then conversion tracking is very effective because you can track real sales. However if you don’t sell online, then all a conversion tells you is that someone completed a form on your website. You still don’t know if it is a quality lead, or if the visitor ultimately becomes a new customer. By using Workbooks you can move beyond Google Analytics to answer key business questions, including:
- Which sources of online marketing deliver quality leads?
- Which online marketing activities result in sales?
- How much does it cost me to deliver quality leads to the business?
- How many sales do I make from a specific online campaign?
- How is my overall return on investment? (i.e. for every pound spent on a campaign, what value of new orders do I receive?)
Tracking sources of new leads
Let's start by looking at the typical lead capture process:
The diagram above illustrates the four main routes via which visitors can find your website:
- Organic search engine results (not Adwords advertising)
- Online advertising such as Google Adwords or banner adverts
- Referring sites - other websites that have links to your site
- Direct traffic, where the user enters your website address directly into their browser
Once the visitor has reached your site, then a typical ‘call to action’ is to ask them to complete an online form. Often the visitor is encouraged to complete the form, through the offering of something in exchange, such as a free trial or access to a white paper.
First visit & last visit
It is worth remembering that a new visitor isn’t always going to complete a form on their first visit. They may look around your site, before visiting a few minutes or days later.
In many cases the visitor will revisit the site using a different method. For example they might discover your site for the first time via Adwords and remember your company name. They may next visit several days later, having searched for your company name and arrived via search results.
Understanding this concept is important for measuring Marketing ROI. For example, if you want to measure the return on your Google Adwords spend, you really need to be tracking how they first found your website.
Google Analytics & visit tracking
Google Analytics provides free tracking code which is placed on every page of your website. This code is used to send visitor data back to the Google Analytics engine and drives the reports you find inside the Google Analytics portal. Part of that code creates a specific cookie in the visitors’ browser which stores information about how the visitor found your site. The cookie is called ‘_utmz cookie’ and normally stores the following variables:
|SOURCE||utmcsr||This is the source site from which the visitor arrived. Examples values would be ‘google’, ‘bing’ or the address of a referring site.|
|MEDIUM||utmcmd||This is the method by which the visitor found your website. Example values would be
|TERM||uutmctr||This is the search term entered by the visitor if they arrived via a search engine. E.g. ‘Web based CRM’|
|CAMPAIGN||utmccn||This is typically set to the Adwords campaign name, to indicate which advertising campaign delivered the visitor.|
|CONTENT||utmcct||This is typically set to the content of the advert and is used for A/B split testing.|
|GCLID||utmgclid||This is only set if Google Adwords has auto tagging enabled.|
Google Analytics resets these values stored in the visitors’ browser each time they revisit the site via search, advertising, or referral. If the visitor arrives directly, the _umtz cookie is not set. If you want to track first visit and last visit information, it is necessary to copy the values contained inside the _utmz cookie into a second cookie. This can easily be achieved with some basic HTML code on your website. You can then use the values contained in the _utmz cookie to identify last visit, and the value stored in the second cookie to identify the initial visit.
Google Analytics & Workbooks CRM
By using the Web2lead functionality of Workbooks you can capture leads from a website and, at the same time, capture the values contained inside the tracking cookie. Web2lead functionality is something which is provided by the Workbooks CRM application and is available to all Workbooks customers. It allows a web form to be created in Workbooks and hosted on your website. It uses standard HTML form functionality and calls a specific action on the Workbooks site which allows you to post the form including various hidden fields. The action of posting a form creates a Sales Lead inside Workbooks which contains the displayed and hidden fields from the web form. You can see a typical web2lead form here. If you look at the source code of that form you will see that, alongside capturing the ‘displayed’ fields it also interrogates the _utmz cookie to extract the visitor source information. The information contained in the Google cookie is then passed into Workbooks and added into custom fields created on the Lead record. The form is also able to associate the lead to a specific campaign. In this example the form links the lead to a marketing campaign based on the following logic: If the utmz SOURCE is ‘google’ and the umtz MEDIUM is ‘organic’ – The campaign is set to ‘SEO Marketing’ If the utmz SOURCE is ‘google’ and the umtz MEDIUM is ‘cpc’ – the campaign is set to ‘Google Adwords’ By associating leads with campaigns and in turn allocating budgets to campaigns it is possible to measure the cost of a lead, as well as track which campaigns deliver the most effective results. As the lead passes through its life cycle:
- Unqualified Lead > Opportunitity
- Opprtunity > Order
- Order > Invoice
It is possible to track the original website visitor information across the entire life cycle. So at a very simple level you can track which web marketing activity generates real sales opportunities, all the way through to which ones deliver real business.
Workbooks CEO, John Cheney talks to Startup TV
November 16,2010 by kwells • Leave a Comment
Last week John Cheney, CEO of Workbooks, drove all the way to sunny Bristol to meet with the team at Startup TV. With the camera rolling, John discussed topics including, how start-up businesses can benefit from CRM and why Workbooks is different to many other CRM solutions on the market. The interview will be 'showcased' in the 15th issue of Startup TV Magazine, a digital video magazine targeted specifically at start-up businesses and entrepreneurs. Click here to watch the video in full.
Refer a Friend, Receive an iPad!
November 09,2010 by kwells • Leave a Comment
Here at Workbooks, customer referrals are incredibly important to us and we love it when our customers share the same enthusiasm for Workbooks as we do – after all, who can provide a more accurate, unbiased review, than our customers who use the system day in, day out.
To show our gratitude to our loyal customers that continue to recommend Workbooks to friends and family, we have introduced a customer referral programme, whereby our existing customers can now benefit from evangelising about Workbooks!
Depending on the number of CRM users that your referral signs up for, you could receive an 8GB iPod Nano, an 8GB iPod Touch or a 32GB wi-fi iPad.
Here’s how it works...
- Recommend Workbooks to a friend or business associate.
- Fill in our simple Referral Form with your details and those of your referral
- We will contact you to confirm your referral is eligible
- Sit back and wait to receive your iPod Nano, iPod Touch or iPad* when the sale completes
*Terms & Conditions Apply
To take part in our Customer Referral Programme, or for more information, including terms and conditions, click here.
Workbooks.com is looking for CRM Resellers and Integrators
November 03,2010 by rawnet • Leave a Comment
How do SMB customers choose a CRM or business application solution?
For simple contact management, for the smallest organisations, there are many providers that offer simple and potentially free web CRM applications. But where a customer’s requirements are a little more complex, they’re likely to need help – not only in choosing the best solution, but in reviewing requirements and specifying the solution, configuring the CRM application, importing data from existing systems and training users. There may be a requirement to integrate the CRM solution with existing in-house applications, such as Sage Accounting. There is a huge opportunity for resellers and integrators to bring CRM solutions and implementation services to the SMB market; and of course such a channel exists, supplying in the most part, product solutions from Sage (Act!, Sage CRM), FrontRange (Goldmine) and Microsoft.
Why hasn’t the channel been quicker to embrace SaaS (Software as a Service)?
A scarcity of decent SaaS offerings for the SMB channel may be part of the issue; especially offerings which are proven and channel-ready.
How does Workbooks change the game?
Workbooks is growing quickly through adoption by small to medium-sized organisations. Customers buy Workbooks CRM and Business applications as an alternative to Salesforce.com or Microsoft Dynamics, and often as a replacement for older implementations of Act!, Goldmine or Maximizer. Whilst Workbooks’ windows-like interface makes it easier to use than alternatives, the breadth of the functionality is also well differentiated, offering the ability to manage order fulfilment and invoicing on the platform (including supplier ordering) – see a typical customer testimonial. We have many customers who take our CRM service and use it without consulting or training; but the bulk of our larger clients recognise the value of consulting services and are happy to pay for help to get started. A typical 15 user implementation requires six days of consulting and training services - although more time may be required where a customer has more complex data migration, bespoke integration and/or customised training requirements.
We would like to meet CRM-centric resellers and integrators with skills in delivering CRM projects, especially those involving integration into other systems.
We think we make a good partner, bringing a differentiated, referencable web-based CRM suite, great partner discounts (on new business and renewals) and responsive, capable support to help you win deals and deliver successful implementations.