A subsection of my pile.
Attending conferences is a lot of fun! There are countless people to meet and always something to learn. As much work as is needed during the conference, what you do after is just as important — especially if you leave with more business cards than you deal with.
I went to Inman Connect in New York last week and was encountered with this exact peccadillo. I amassed a healthy number of business cards and was trying to figure out the next steps. Sure, I can put everyone in an excel document and add to my growing address book, but what after that? Email? Sure. Adding on LinkedIn? Absolutely. But all of that takes time.
It turns out that the solution was to use Contactually, the very product I was repping.
Recently, while writing a two-week email series on productivity hacks, I came across this XKCD.com web comic making fun of productivity writers.
In his usual fashion, artist Randall Munroe exposes an egregious yet overlooked irony of life — one that felt particularly close to home for me in light of the project I was working on. I was caught on XKCD, by XKCD, while two tabs over I was trying to write about productivity.
Admittedly, the comic made me feel pretty bad at first. Then I realized that the blogger in the comic was actually a very good example of what I was trying to write about — not the entirely hypocritical figure I was, unfortunately, relating to. His schedule was clear, specific, and task-driven. All I had was a mental to-do list of broad, nebulous projects. He was getting up early and getting to work right away, whereas I had checked my email for an hour first — a virtual “snooze” button for the work day. And even if his rhetoric wasn’t edifying, his focused attention to a time-limited task and deferred distraction time (“screw around” time, as he put it) were exemplary. In contrast, I was mixing work with play, and not doing either very well.
Inman’s Agent Reboot and Real Estate Connect take place this week Monday through Friday in the heart of New York. And, if you’re anything like us, there are probably more sessions you want to visit than you know what to do with.
Outside of the Agent, Broker, and MLS tracks, here are a few sessions that caught our eye. And don’t forget to come see us in the Startup Alley!
Yup — it’s been THAT cold.
In case you’ve missed it — or, if you’re like me, have been temporarily stupefied by the “polar vortex” sweeping the nation — January 2014 is officially here and in full swing. In our last blog post, we told you that we’re striving to make 2014 the year of relationships. From our side of the fence, a major part of relationship building is ensuring that you can interact with your key contacts wherever you are, on the fly, and have all of your important contact data accurate and in sync across the many tools you use to communicate.
With today’s two-fold announcement, we’re bringing you that much closer to making 2014 your best and most productive year yet. Read on to learn more.
Happy New Year from the Contactually family! We hope 2013 was as incredible for you as it was for us, and we wish you the best in 2014.
One thing we’d like to do is make 2014 the year of building relationships. Not just building new ones, but also building upon the ones you have. And as a Contactually user, if you’re looking to do just that, sending New Years well wishes to anyone in your network is a great way to kick things off.
Don’t worry about doing the hard work — we have a template in the Contactually Library you can use right away to send to one person or to many people using the scale mail feature.
Step 1: Head to the Contactually Library
Look at that! 2014 is almost here (or already here, depending on when you read this), and if you’re like me, you want to make the next year better than the last. Maybe work out a bit more, maybe quit smoking, or maybe see the doctor more regularly. While those are all great things to do, let’s talk about something else: your referrals. How were your referrals in 2013? Good? Bad? Well, in any case, you should want to either improve the number and quality of referrals or keep the momentum going.
So let’s take a look at a few ways you can do that.
Inbox Zero (or Inbox Few)
Your inbox might be the biggest source of referral business, if you think about it, considering how often we send emails. And I’ve found that the best way to stay on top of my network is to keep my inbox tightly managed. I know that inbox zero might not be a possibility for everyone, so maintaining inbox few (as I’d like to call it) works just as well. It works in a few ways: fewer things get lost in your inbox and you’ll find that you’re better at replying to email, thus making your more efficient.
Alexandra wrote a fantastic post a few months ago on six hacks on how to get to inbox zero with great tips to get you started.
A few months ago, we gave you a great tool to track your email and follow-up engagement levels when we introduced click tracking. But our users wanted even more, so we made a promise to deliver.
Today, we’re very excited to announce the release of our new open tracking feature! You can enable open tracking on all of the follow-ups that you send from Contactually to make sure that your important contacts notice and engage with your emails.
How does open tracking work? When enabled, we’ll embed a unique, invisible pixel graphic at the bottom of your HTML email. Whenever your contact opens your email (and views the images in it, which is now the standard in Gmail), the pixel graphic is downloaded from the email server. This download indicates that the messages has been opened. This, especially in combination with click tracking, is a great and straightforward way to measure your network’s engagement with your emails and follow-ups.
To enable open tracking:
- Click the blue “Follow Up” button on the Dashboard or a contact’s profile to open the follow-up module.
- Click the check box next to “Track Opens” under the message body. Once checked, Contactually will save this setting and automatically enable open tracking for all future follow-ups.
- To see whether or not your contact has opened one of your emails, head to that contact’s profile. You’ll see icons next to the message indicating the open status for your message.
The Contactually team on Halloween
Contactually’s team features make it incredibly easy for you and your team to share important contact data across your company. They’re also great tools to show you where your team is doing well, and where it needs to pick up the pace. Overall, these insights will help increase your team’s accountability and raise productivity levels.
However, in order to reap these benefits, you’ll first need to ensure that you’ve properly set your team up on the system. We’ve compiled these best practices for team managers to help them get the most out of Contactually, both for themselves and for their colleagues.
Before we get started…
…there are a couple of questions that we’re frequently asked, so before we delve into set-up and features, we thought it would be best to clear the air.
- Currently, you can only have one team on Contactually. We expect this to change in 2014 as we continue to evolve our team features.
- At this time, a Contactually user can only be a part of one team at a time. We expect this to change in 2014 as well.
- When you click the star symbol next to a contact’s name, Contactually will immediately create a follow-up reminder for that contact on the dashboard.
Now that we’ve set things straight, let’s move right on into best practices for team managers.
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