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Here’s How Using Google Analytics Incorrectly Can Hurt

“Daddy, where does bad data come from?”

I’ve written before about how much trouble businesses can get in when they use data badly. You know X, you think X means Y, you do Y, and before you know it you’re getting phone calls screaming about how you carelessly allowed Z to happen.

This is a problem, but it’s not the one most small businesses face. Instead, they’re dealing with the two most common data scenarios :

1) they have no data at all
2) they have bad or inaccurate data

It’s hard to say which is worse (they’re both bad), but I’m going to go with “bad data” on this one. Why? Well, when you have no data, at least you know what you don’t know. When you have bad data, you’re not only wrong, but you think you’re right — after all, you have “data” to prove your point!

chart 1 Heres How Using Google Analytics Incorrectly Can Hurt

read more…

How to Make a Video for Your Business That Doesn’t Suck

Some advice from someone who has paid their rent with video work.

The number one thing I do to help out friends with small businesses is basic video work. Why?

Well, first of all, video is everywhere, and a surprising number of people — a.k.a. “potential customers” — simply aren’t willing to read very much these days. In the vast majority of cases, you don’t necessarily need a video, but from a marketing perspective, not having one puts you at an immediate disadvantage.

Don’t believe me? Send people to your video-less site, and wait for someone to say “where’s the video?”, or “is there a video?” You won’t have to wait very long.

nPs4pD How to Make a Video for Your Business That Doesnt Suck

I can even do action shots.

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5 Things You Should Do After Finishing a Conference

Sit down, pour yourself a drink… and then get back to work for a few more minutes.

You’re finally home, with tired feet and a bag bursting with business cards and/or their digital equivalents. Congratulations… you just finished a conference!

giphy 5 Things You Should Do After Finishing a Conference

It’s good to be home.

While most of the hard work is over, the last thing you want to do is fail to take advantage of all that effort by letting your new contacts and connections go by the wayside. Here at Contactually, we attend our fair share of conferences (both as exhibitors and attendees), and there are a few things we always do to make sure we get the most from our travels.

1. Follow Up!

In a lot of ways, we’re “the follow-up company”, so it shouldn’t come as a huge surprise that we take the task of re-connecting with network very seriously. And while it might seem obvious, reaching out is something that people are constantly putting off, only to eventually give up entirely. Don’t let this happen to you — follow-up early, often, and consistently. We happen to know a magical little something that might help with this.

read more…

Company Culture Matters — Here’s How We’re Building Ours

In the Beginning…

In Contactually’s early days (say, the first year and a half or so), we never really paid much attention to “culture”. To me, in fact, it was a foreign word. It’s an intangible, not a task or thing that can just be “done.”

Culture doesn’t sell a product. Culture doesn’t build a product. The online discussion around startup company “culture” was brewing, but without any clear path to implementing it as a to-do. We worked the way we worked. We had our beliefs. Most of it came from the founders. Because early employees had such a close connection with the founding team (most of our first ten employees were interviewed by all three of us), it was clear what we cared about, how we worked, etc.

e1 Company Culture Matters    Heres How Were Building Ours

Sometimes a small team can create and protect culture all by itself.

read more…

Revenge of the Giant TVs (How to Run a Drip Campaign, Part IV)

{Ready to get started building a drip campaign in Contactually? Remember, if you weren’t with us last time and want to learn the what & whys of drip campaigns (or just need a refresher), you can review Part 1 of this series here, or skip right to Part 2, or Part 3.}

Hindsight is 20/20… now let’s sell us some big-ass televisions.

I’ve owned my new, theoretically undesirable TV for a few months now, and so far, it’s been pretty great. To me, it’s enormous, bright, and works well. It does literally everything my old TV does, only better, and it didn’t even cost that much. As far as I’m concerned, I made the right decision, no matter what Best Buy (or some of you) may think. read more…

Lead Generation Webinars – Tips, Tricks, and Best Practices (part 1)

(Editor’s note — Brian took some time to lay out some best practices for aspiring webinar hosts looking to generate leads. In the first of this two-part series, we’ll take a look at the pre-broadcast tips. Next week, in Part 2, we’ll tackle the during and post-broadcast section.)

We love webinars, and you should too.

brian 800 300x300 Lead Generation Webinars   Tips, Tricks, and Best Practices (part 1)

Your humble author, and a face you may have seen in your inbox a few times.

For those of you who are already Contactually users, there’s a VERY high chance that you’ve seen my smiling, shining face at the bottom of a webinar invitation email. And for good reason! For the past year or so, our almost-weekly webinars have been an incredibly successful marketing initiative over here at Contactually HQ. They’ve been vital for educating our users (as well as our own team members) on important topics like relationship management and referral generation, which in turn has increased our thought leadership and positioned our company as frontrunners in the field.

Equally importantly, by partnering with like-minded companies or individuals and collaborating on these endeavors we’ve generated an impressive number of new users and customers from our lead generation webinars. Because they’re well educated on the topics that we present, they tend to be high quality leads that convert into customers with high staying power.

As one might expect, I’ve learned a lot, both positive and negative, from the trials and tribulations that come with running our webinar series. In the spirit of continuing education and helping our friends succeed, I compiled a few tips and best practices to consider when running your own webinars, to ensure that they go off without a hitch, and that you end up with the best results possible. read more…

So Many Apps! How Much You Pay for Software Might Surprise You

Everything is an app

One of the more common “let’s make fun of the millennials” tropes is the idea that today, people want everything personalized, and on-demand. And like a lot of tropes, there’s at least some truth to this — everything from television channels to burrito options are under increasing pressure to be offered a-la-carte, so you can get what you want without paying for what you don’t. read more…

Copywriting to Your Strengths (How to Run a Drip Campaign, Part III)

{Ready to get started building a drip campaign in Contactually? Remember, if you weren’t with us last time and want to learn the what & whys of drip campaigns (or just need a refresher), you can review Part 1 of this series hereskip right to Part 2 here, or gorge yourself on Part 4 here.}

It starts with finding your niche

I had a good friend in high school who was just sort of inherently good at any sport we played, even if he didn’t care about it. He wasn’t coached, and sometimes he didn’t even know all of the rules, but within minutes he’d pick up the basics of whatever we were doing, and his natural talent and coordination would take over. He wasn’t especially big, or especially fast — the quirky little mechanics of different sports just came naturally to him.

(Needless to say, this was really annoying when I was 16.)

Copywriting is a little like playing sports; some people are just good at it. They don’t agonize over every comma, or struggle to shake the feeling that their message “isn’t quite right”. They may not even care about copywriting, or think it’s valuable. They just make a point, that point makes perfect sense, and they move on to something else. read more…