More and more website owners are infusing their site with live chat tools. This is an especially smart choice for websites with service and product offerings. The potential ROI is just too enticing to pass up.
A web chat pop-up feature might seem like a minor annoyance at first – to both you and your visitors – but studies are showing that this feature helps more than it harms.
Among the many benefits of adding a chat feature to a website, consider:
It helps build a more memorable brand experience.
It gives visitors a place to turn if they get stuck and need any questions answered quickly. In other words, it improves your customer service.
You can offer visitors special deals and deliver price quotes in real time through the chat module.
It gives you a sense of which pages and products that users are visiting most when they reach out with questions.
It allows you to consolidate your resources: You can have one person manage multiple chats at once, and you can develop canned responses to common questions.
You can use it as a lead-nurturing tool. HubSpot says 99% of first-time website visitors aren’t ready to buy. You can nudge them closer to purchase by chatting with them directly.
At Eminent SEO, web chat is just one component of a comprehensive marketing campaign we can develop for your business.
[clickToTweet tweet=”The beauty in adding live web chat to your website is that it provides a vehicle for consumer engagement, bringing a true and unique user experience at the precise moment you have their attention.” quote=”The beauty in adding live web chat to your website is that it provides a vehicle for consumer engagement, bringing a true and unique user experience at the precise moment you have their attention.”]
Why Adding a Web Chat Feature to Your Website Gives You a Market Advantage
Business & Marketing Tips: The Best Live Chat Software for YOUR Website
If you answer yes to any of these three questions, then your website is a good candidate for a new chat feature:
Do you sell goods/services on your site?
Does your website attract a community that would benefit from more engagement?
Are you (or somebody at your company) available to respond to chat inquires regularly?
The best web chat software for your site will depend on your website goals and your budget. For some small businesses, it makes sense to focus more on simplicity and ease of use, while other, more technical companies might want a more robust offering that can serve as more than just a live web chat platform. In our chart below, our criteria heavily favors software whose primary purpose is providing live customer support, rather than helpdesk/tech support or serving as a team chat or CMS platform. The chart features of 11 of the top web chat products to consider for your website.
Click on the image below to see a larger version. Please note that we have no affiliation with any of the following products; we just want to help you make an informed decision.
Keep in mind that all of these recommended products offer a free trial, which will allow you to see how well they fit your company’s needs before committing.
Web chat is just one piece of the larger marketing puzzle. You need to take a multi-channel marketing approach. This means leveraging your website, social media, email, Google My Business, PPC and several other direct and indirect “channels” in order to interact with prospects and encourage them to take a specific action.
As a business owner, you take pride in the products or services you provide to others. If you are a strategic marketer representing a business, part of your action plan includes positioning your client in a manner that maximizes their visibility and entices a specific audience to ultimately convert a sale. It isn’t as easy as it used to be. Here’s why.
Over the last decade, the sales cycle got so…much…longer. Conversely, though, human behavior dictates instant gratification. How could one possibly merge the two effectively? By adding a chat feature to your website, you’ll get in front of interested parties faster, increasing conversion rates by 30 percent or more.
Patience Has Lost Its Virtue
The adage “good things come to those who wait” was created long before internet technology came about. True, many savvy would-be buyers take their time before making a purchase decision, but the process has drastically changed from when Baby Boomers were young. (Ugh!)
Now, Gen X and Y dominate the eCommerce playing field, with Generation Z moving up quickly. To these three consumer targets, patience was never looked at as a virtue, but a complete waste of time.
The sales cycle has become lengthy; just ask any salesperson in the tech, automotive, real estate or retail fields – to name a few. Before people could pull up Google and search for answers, they would have to rely on physically entering a brick-and-mortar store and trusting the knowledge of the on-site sales staff.
Today, consumers intermittently search online for months, gathering information, comparing products, pricing and associated reviews. While some will continue online through the end of the sales cycle and purchase via a shopping cart, others take the time to go to the physical business to get a feel for the product or service, its people and culture before buying. And even then, they often go back to the virtual store to make the purchase.
How to Turn Today’s Searchers into Immediate Buyers
Let’s turn the focus on you for a moment. After all, you’re a part of the same buying pool as everyone else. You’re reading this blog online; we all live in the virtual space, more than many of us are aware of or would like to admit. As such, we put an incredible amount of emphasis on not only what we find online, but also on what others say about their life experiences offline.
Simply open Facebook or Twitter and there’s a variety of rant available to read. There are also the ever-popular puppy or foodie posts all magnified through the ability to reply, comment or chat. So why not capture customers in the manner they’ve already grown accustomed to?
Chat It Up
Introducing web chat for business. Think of it as a robust layer to online presence that gets you in front of customers and prospects faster than anything else. You already know the benefits of individualized customer service when a customer comes to meet you face to face: It gives you the opportunity to be of service and to sell with the advantage of ongoing engagement.
Web chat provides the same opportunity – by allowing you to meet consumers where they are the moment they are on your website. Any business without web chat defines “you snooze, you lose.”
Strike When the Iron Is Hot
The advantages of having web chat mirror the same principles as the three-second rule in advertising: As a business owner, you have about three seconds (if you’re lucky) to get the attention of your audience – whether it be through an old school print ad, radio or television commercial, pay-per-click channel, etc. Why? Because people have zero attention span. And the attraction of the next great swipe and scroll makes it easy to lose your audience to your competition.
The beauty in adding live web chat to your website is that it provides a vehicle for consumer engagement, bringing a true and unique user experience at the precise moment you have their attention. Moreover, people tend to make purchases when there is an emotional connection between themselves and a product or service.
Sample Sites that Use Web Chat to Increase Sales
Food & Beverage
An unexpected web chat pop-up might not be well received in every instance, but the conversion rates it brings are well worth the annoyance it sometimes invites. But, as you can see in the three examples above, there are various levels of discretion when it comes to offering a chat option on a website.
It’s up to your business (and the tool you choose) if you want the chat to pop up automatically or if you want the user to make the first contact. It will probably take some tinkering (A/B testing, perhaps) to figure out what speaks to your visitors the most.
Brand Recognition Lasts Longer with a Personal Experience
Imagine you’re looking for a pair of jeans. Yes, the search can be a conundrum, and more so when attempting to find the right fit from a website. What are the chances of having to return whatever you purchased? Pretty good, I’d say.
But if you have a web chat available at the time a shopper is looking at a specific item, before they click on a size, the user could ask how the sizes typically run or how much “give” there is to the fabric, for example. Now that buyer has been given accurate information, there is more comfort and trust in the product, and potentially an increase in product purchases and return visits to the site.
One more thing: Every good online experience will be shared with friends or family and followers. It’s amazing what a single, positive consumer transaction can do to build brand awareness, market reach and sales volume. And it can start with a chat.
Consider the Right Time and Space When Adding a Web Chat Feature
Most smart device users don’t need to wait to search for information until they are in front of their desktop or laptop. They seek and find what they need to online the moment the idea strikes them – via cellphone or tablet.
When considering a web chat platform, make sure to include design elements to maximize the user experience for smart devices. This means don’t let the chat pop-up take up too much valuable real estate on the screen. If the pop-up overwhelms the rest of your website content, then you’ve blown any goodwill with the user.
People Think They Know What They Want Until You Tell Them
Not all shopping involves purchasing. There is an art to shopping; some people thrive on it while others avoid it like the plague. Shopping is almost like a romance.
There’s an element of mystery, and when you finally make the decision in wanting to have it (product not people), you pay for it. The frustration is in the decision-making phase.
The Power of Indirect Persuasion
What might be appealing to the eye often differs to its reality, especially in product presentations that exist on the web. Deceptive? Perhaps. But it’s also about how humans perceive them.
We have expectations irrespective of what is real and how we want it to be. Marketers know this phenomenon well, as they’ve witnessed it during focus groups – in rooms filled with people who give their opinions and responses about a product based on what they’ve seen or experienced during the testing session.
What researchers have discovered about human behavior is that what we intellectually say to describe how we feel about something may differ from how our brain and bodies react. It’s called neuromarketing.
People are comfortable with what they already know. But what they don’t know is a web chat manager’s dream and a gateway to nurturing new customers and upselling more product.
Web Chat Is Just One Piece of the Larger Lead-Nurturing Puzzle
Looking at the world through word-colored glasses, I am continuously in awe of how we evolve as people in business. We strive to communicate in a direct approach and, when we see fit, through subliminal channels. As a content strategist, I look forward to sharing all perspectives to help entertain, enlighten and engage more in others.
In this post, I want to explore how and why sales and marketing strategies must align. I also want to share some tools that will help you build, monitor and track your campaigns and marketing ROI.
Who Does Sales and Who Does Marketing?
Generally, a business that doesn’t have an in-house marketing team will look for an agency, such as ours, to partner with. In this scenario, they are the sales team and we are the marketing team. Seems simple enough, right? Sadly, no.
Years of working with sales teams both internally and those responsible on the client side has taught me that the roles and responsibilities aren’t always as clear as you’d like them to be.
There’s one more thing: The sales and marketing goals aren’t always aligned.
When misalignment exists, leads slip through the cracks and become lost. While it’s impossible to create THE end-all perfect lead generation pipeline with a 100 percent closing rate, maximizing the full potential of ALL marketing and sales efforts means you’re getting as close to perfect as possible.
The key is through effective communication between both sides.
The Need for an Aligned Sales and Marketing Strategy
The sales team needs to know AND fully understand what kind of performance data the marketing team relies onto measure success, and vice versa.
The marketing team needs to make sure every lead they’ve generated has the capability to seamlessly transition into becoming the sales team’s responsibility to close.
If the teams are using any automated tools, both need to understand how the other side reads the data – and how to use it to maximize efficiency.
According to The Aberdeen Group’s report: [clickToTweet tweet=”In 2017, 92% of organizations reported below-average lead conversion rates because of misalignment between their marketing and sales teams. @eminentseo https://www.eminentseo.com/blog/build-aligned-sales-and-marketing-strategy/” quote=”In 2017, 92 percent of organizations reported below-average lead conversion rates because of misalignment between their marketing and sales teams. “]Similarly, the sales teams who were top performers in their field were 76 percent more likely to report a “complete or strong alignment” with their marketing team.
A campaign where both halves understand each other’s differences in roles, responsibilities, goals and overall strategy – and have successfully aligned their efforts in a cohesive manner – will be losing fewer leads overall. That’s a win for both sides.
Tracking Every Customer
I get it, we all want MORE SALES! It’s true, but not all businesses have the ability to track their sales to the source. It’s easy if you’re an eCommerce business and the entire sales transaction happens online.
But, what about the brick-and-mortar stores who are using digital marketing to get people into their shops? I guess you could have the cashier ask them how they heard about you, but in the end, is a handful of responses indicating “Google” as the lead source really going to empower you to make better marketing decisions?
I doubt it.
As marketers, how do we even begin to work toward getting “more sales” if we don’t even know which key performance indicators (KPIs) to focus on?
Marketing Key Performance Indicators
Marketers need DATA! The only way any of us are ever going to provide a client with an accurate lead generation report is to have the proper tools and processes in place.
Typical campaign KPIs we track and report on include:
Organic marketing keyword impressions and rankings
Website traffic data, per source type (direct, organic, referral, social, paid, etc.)
Website traffic trends and user behavior
Conversion rates, per type (phone calls, form fills, eBook downloads, chats, subscribers)
Off-site marketing conversion rates, per type (email opens, social followers, fan submissions)
Marketing platform insights, such as increased page likes and followers
Marketing return on investment (ROI)
In order to track these metrics, we use:
Google Search Console
Keyword tracking tools
Call tracking tools
Website and social platform chat tools
Other paid reporting tools
Sales Key Performance Indicators
These KPIs and reports are certainly useful and important to the sales team. But, among those responsible for conversions, you will hear this time and time again: “We only care about sales”.
Sales can be nearly impossible to track for some businesses without the sales team entering data into the tools. How can your marketing team track sales if they only happen offline?
If you are an addiction treatment center, for example, and you take phone calls as a primary lead source, what happens after the call? Do you make notes in a call tracking system? Then what? Does the “lead” get manually placed into a CRM? Do you have a CRM?
If you are a call-centric business or if your sales cycle isn’t completed entirely online, then you MUST have a CRM.
What is a CRM?
A CRM is a customer relationship management tool. This is where you can house your contacts and manage your leads.
Do I still need to notate my call tracking tool if I have a CRM?
YES! Your CRM will help you manage your leads.
If a lead closes and it came in from a phone call, you should always go back to your call tracking system and enter in the conversion information. This allows the marketing team to export the calls and determine which ones converted into sales…and which ones didn’t.
And not just calls, but the source of the call. Don’t you want to know where your conversions are coming from? Was it the Facebook ad campaign or the email marketing?
By scoring the calls and entering in conversion data, the sales AND marketing teams will know what is and isn’t working.
The Difference Between Marketing and Sales Qualified Leads
Now that we all agree the marketing team can’t perform its job without the sales data and input from the sales team, how do we know who is responsible for what?
Marketers generate leads.
Sometimes, however, lead generation focuses on different stages of the buyer’s journey. This means not everyone is ready to BUY NOW.
So, we develop various funnels and lead capture opportunities to catch the various buyers at every stage in the journey.
We then group the leads into two types:
Marketing Qualified Leads
Sales Qualified Leads
Marketing qualified leads are typically website visitors who downloaded a gated asset, such as an eBook or brochure, in exchange for their email info. They can also be newsletter subscribers, quiz participants, event attendees or webinar signups.
Really, an MQL can be anyone who connected with us and provided contact information, but has not yet requested a call or more information from the sales team.
Sales qualified leads can start as a marketing lead and turn into a sales qualified lead when they explicitly express interest in purchasing.
Similarly, they can start as a sales qualified lead if they:
Initiate a chat
Request more information
Fill out a sales form (such as insurance verification, intake form or consultation request)
As marketers, we need a system and the right tools to generate and nurture the marketing qualified leads. We can then convert them into sales leads through a manual process, or we can work with the sales team to align the systems and tools to automate the lead-management process for reduced human error and better lead management overall.
Generally, this system is a CRM.
Marketing and Sales Automation Tools
It might sound complicated, but it’s really not that difficult to manage the tools once you set them up properly and the teams are both trained on how to use them.
Unfortunately, there isn’t one singe tool that will provide the sales and marketing teams with everything they need.
As outlined above, your marketing may rely on several tools to track and report on your multi-channel marketing campaigns.
Today, most of the paid tools open up their API so developers can code integrations. Still, this does require an expert who understands the technical side of things if you want to automate the process.
Weighing the Pros and Cons
You can automate most of the marketing and sales funnel, but there will always be some pros and cons when doing so. Automation tools are pricey and require a professional team to setup and manage.
On the other hand, you can manually manage your leads and save costs on automation tools and supporting marketing materials – but at what cost to your bottom line? How many leads get forgotten when there is no CRM to store and manage them? How much time is wasted manually emailing leads that aren’t qualified for the sales team?
Automation costs more on the front end to set up and manage. But in the long run, you’ll save on:
Avoiding human error
Automating lead capture
Paying an employee to follow up with the unqualified leads
Automating lead nurturing
Reusing emails and assets in automation campaigns
Leveraging the tool data in the marketing strategy development
Even if you decide not to automate, you still need to manage and track your leads. And unless your business gets less than a handful of leads a month and you can manage them in a shared Google document or other free tool, you should consider getting a CRM.
There are free CRMs, such as the HubSpot CRM FREE, that allow you to test using a tool to manage your sales pipeline without making a huge investment into customization and integrations. It’s literally free, forever. We like that.
Creating an Aligned Marketing and Sales Strategy
We begin by outlining all of the marketing channels. This should include both digital and direct marketing sources:
We then like to think through the possible conversion actions, per source. This includes:
All of these user actions or conversions are trackable with:
Website form capture
CRM lead capture
The sales team is responsible for:
Managing sales leads
Entering in sales conversion data
Providing feedback to the marketing team
The Marketing Team’s Responsibilities
The marketing team is responsible for:
Ensuring the tools are set up and integrated properly
Monitoring social messages
Nurturing marketing qualified leads
Reporting on marketing and sales KPIs
Using sales data in developing the marketing strategies
Marketing keeps the channels up to date with branded assets, such as:
Images and graphics
eBooks and white papers
New landing pages
Marketing also performs ongoing strategy development and campaign management tasks, such as:
Editorial calendar development
When both sales and marketing agree to the strategy, we upload it into a shared Google doc and privately share it to the various members of the teams. This way, we all have an open, shared document to reference that outlines the marketing channels.
Using a Google doc also makes it easy to add columns for identifying who is responsible for which leads, the tool used, steps in the lead workflow management, and final “house” for the lead once it’s converted (or dead).
Defining and Measuring Your Marketing and Sales Goals
Each business is unique. Your service offering, your product, your marketplace, your competition, your history, your mission – these are all defining variables. It’s important for your sales and marketing teams to review all of the data, put the data in context and create a shared short- and long-term set of goals.
You’ll need to review:
What your unique value propositions are: What sets you apart from your competition? Why are you special?
Who your audience is: Are they searching for your brand or products? Where do they “live” online? Is there a demand for your services?
Who your competition is: What are they doing with their website and marketing? What do you have to do in order to compete?
Your existing website and digital assets: Are they optimized for the engines and your audience? Do you need a new design as well as marketing materials?
What your brand says to the world: Who are you and what is your mission? Does your brand and reputation say “work with me”?
Depending on your overall existing digital footprint, you may need to factor in a bigger budget or a longer amount of time to reach your goals.
Aim for a Mix of Short-Term and Long-Term Victories
It’s possible to speed up the process of lead generation with paid ads and low-hanging-fruit opportunities. The only time these shortcuts wouldn’t apply is with your organic marketing, because there is no amount of money you can spend to speed up the process of building trust within your niche. Trust comes with age, and age comes with time.
With a multi-channel marketing campaign, your goals should be aimed at short-term wins and long-term gains. Even paid ad campaigns take time to mature and gain better quality scores for improved ad placement and click-through rates.
You should aim for month-over-month increases in the important marketing KPIs, but you should estimate marketing ROI for a full campaign on a quarterly or yearly basis.
Goals vs. Objectives
Your goals may be specific desired business results, such as:
Adding more sales funnels
Automating the sales cycle
Gaining a specific percentage of repeat customers
Generating a specific number of leads
Whereas, the overall marketing objectives may be broader, such as:
Fan and social follower growth
Marketing lead generation
Lowering the cost per acquisition
Growing market share
Although it may seem like a good idea to target all of these objectives in your strategies, you may want to focus on one or two at a time and create a plan to expand into additional areas as you go.
Setting SMART Goals
Once you’ve developed a strategy and have a clear plan on which marketing objectives you want to focus on, it’s time to create the SMART goals.
SMART marketing objectives are:
Specific: The goals are clearly defined and prioritized.
Measurable: The goal KPIs are established and tracked.
Achievable: The team agrees these goals are within their abilities.
Relevant: The goals relate to the overall brand purpose and mission.
Time-Bound: The goals have a timeline, milestones and deliverables.
Final Tip: Assign a Leader
We’ve found the sales and marketing teams work best as a functional unit when there is one primary decision maker. Ultimately, the person who makes decisions on budgets, marketing KPI’s, business objectives and sales goals should understand the strategy and be empowered with the correct data to make an informed decision.
Once you’ve established your short- and long-term goals and have a strategy and a team in place, stick with it! The leader should give the team the freedom to work on its individual expertise, but always regroup and share strategy updates with both sales and marketing in order to ensure a continued, cohesive strategy.
Main Takeaways for Building an Aligned Sales and Marketing Strategy
An alignment between your sales and marketing strategies is crucial for generating high-quality leads and better conversions. When there is a failure in alignment, leads get lost in the pipeline; they slip through the cracks and never reach the closing stage.
To ensure alignment:
Build a solid line of communication between the teams.
Develop and manage one strategy plan with clear processes.
Use tools to monitor and track your progress.
If you are just getting started or your sales and marketing teams have already learned how to work independently of each other’s goals, this may sound like an arduous task. However, once the plan is developed, the tools are set up and the teams are communicating well, you will be thankful you took the time to align your marketing and sales strategies. And, better yet, your bottom line will benefit.
Owner and CEO at Eminent SEO in Mesa, Arizona. I started doing SEO and marketing in 2005. I'm a busy mom of four of my own and two step kids (and a grandbaby!). I owe my sanity to my partner in work and life, Chris Weatherall. I love sharing and engaging in business and marketing conversations, and I'm heavy into social media and blogging on these topics. I focus on quality, ethics, strategy, data and getting results. I work with a variety of brands and businesses with a special focus on addiction treatment marketing. I do this work because I care about making a difference.
You may rely on phone calls to generate leads and sales for your business, but do you know exactly where these calls are coming from? Was it your website that inspired the caller to reach out to you? If so, which page sparked their interest?
What about your traditional ads, like magazine or billboard spots? Do you know exactly how much business each of these advertising assets is bringing in for your company?
You’ll need to know the answer to these questions if you want to unlock the full value of your advertising dollars. Thankfully, this process is more automated today than ever before. No more asking callers where they heard of your business before calling. Instead, you can leverage versatile call tracking software that can be integrated directly into your website.
Why Use Call Tracking Software?
Call tracking can be used to analyze, optimize and grow an organization’s return on marketing investments. An established call tracking platform will make it easy to see what’s working and what’s not.
It should be clear which ad sources are worth the investment – the ones that are generating leads – and which strategies to pull your money out of – the ones that are generating crickets. This analysis ensures that you have the opportunity to direct all of your funds toward the most promising campaigns.
Who Could Use Call Tracking?
Call tracking can be very helpful for businesses of all sizes, from food trucks and mom-and-pop shops to SMBs (small and medium-sized businesses) and multinational corporations. Any company that relies on phone communication to provide a major source of revenue can streamline its operations by taking advantage of call tracking.
Your Business Needs Call Tracking Software: 6 Reasons Why
Call tracking provides a long list of benefits to any business that uses it, but we’ve narrowed it down to six of the top reasons, in no particular order, you should consider using this type of software:
Discover Customer and Business Information
Call tracking helps identify peak hours when users interact with your business, as well as how: through organic search, paid ads, local search, social media, etc. The ability to track each consumer’s personal engagement with your brand is an immensely powerful tool for your marketing team.
Additionally, most modern call tracking software programs are designed with the understanding that marketers are interested in collecting detailed demographic information about their callers. It is then up to your company to leverage this data effectively to optimize and improve your marketing strategy.
Monitor Marketing Channel and Campaign Performance
Many call tracking software programs allow you to track calls on multiple levels:
Using call tracking software, marketers are able see the keywords that drive the most phone calls and conversions. By being able to identify the keywords that are driving calls, marketers will have more insight for developing content strategies as well as improving engagement for pay-per-click campaigns that are already underway.
Campaign tracking allows you to monitor any type of marketing channel, both online and offline. By using unique phone numbers for each channel, you’re able to see the performance of each channel in real time. This data helps you analyze which lines of communication are reaching your audience most directly.
Since most customers these days interact with a business in multiple ways, multi-channel attribution enables marketers to track the path of a lead through every step of engagement. With information beyond the first and last touch points, this feature paints a clear picture of which specific channels result in conversions – and which ones are bottlenecks in the buyer’s journey.
Review Landing Page and Keyword Data
As online marketers, we recognize the relationship between upward-trending page visits and conversions via mobile search. Since this is a significant source of high-quality traffic, it is vital that we know which keywords result in conversions on mobile. Call tracking software is the perfect tool for answering these questions.
Additionally, the keyword data helps your company to identify trends between search terms and the quality scores of dedicated landing pages.
Assess Call Quality, Customer Service and Sales
Many call tracking software programs provide the ability to record calls. Analyzing this data along with call volumes can help your business make necessary adjustments to boost call and customer-service quality internally.
If you start “scoring” your calls and incorporating personnel development into the call tracking process, then you’re really taking your marketing to the next level. Scoring calls means ranking an employee’s performance, based on their ability to fulfill a designated criteria, such as:
Engaging with potential leads
Guiding a caller to a purchase
Providing information to unqualified leads
Responding to callers asking for general info
Recording and scoring calls provides a gold mine of otherwise-missed opportunities to grow your business. Comparing your call volumes, conversation lengths and call-quality trends will help you plan and implement successful marketing campaigns.
Additional examples of data that can be collected through a call-tracking platform includes:
Total calls answered
Number of calls converted
Number and type of outgoing calls made
Measure Marketing ROI and Effectiveness of Your Advertising Campaigns
In all likelihood, you’re already using several tools to manage various aspects of your business – such as email and inbound marketing, contacts through CRM, and team chat. The best call tracking programs will integrate efficiently with the tools you already use. This will help you understand which combinations are performing well and which tools are in need of more support.
Through this integration, you can also learn more about how visitors are interacting with your brand and where they are in the buyer’s journey. In addition, analytics and ROI stats help you measure and attribute engagement and conversion points to specific sources, campaigns or posts.
Comply with Industry Standards
If your business is in the health care field, then you already know the importance of complying with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Certain call tracking programs are designed to comply with HIPAA, and they will keep your callers’ information secure while protecting your business as well.
Maintaining compliance with HIPAA does not apply to every business, but some organizations will be subject to violations if they start using call tracking software that isn’t HIPAA friendly. Make sure you find the software solution that best suits all of your organization’s specific needs.
Help with Setting Up and Understanding Call Tracking
Call tracking can get pretty complicated, so don’t be shy in asking for help from experienced digital marketers to set up this software and understand how to use it. At Eminent SEO, we rely heavily on call tracking software to understand our clients’ callers and evaluate which ad sources are and are not making an impact on the campaigns. Our team is data driven, so we use call tracking stats to develop custom marketing ROI reports for our clients.
If you’d like to learn more about integrating call tracking software into your website and your other digital tools, we’d be happy to provide direction. Just reach out to us anytime.
We’ve all probably done it: sent an email that we’ve like to have back. Whether it’s because we hit “reply all” on accident or wrote some things in the heat of the moment that we regret soon after, many emails have reached the wrong eyeballs since the advent of the online service.
Google has been working to give people a way out of a regrettable email send, and this week it became a reality for all Gmail users. Several news outlets reported that Gmail’s “Undo Send” has become an official feature of the web mailing service. NDTV Gadgets pointed out that the feature actually was announced six years ago, but that it was parked under the Labs section of Gmail, meaning Google employees had been testing it out but weren’t ready to promote it to the “General” section under Settings.
Where to Find Gmail’s ‘Undo Send’
You can find the “Undo Send” feature in the browser version of Gmail by pressing on the sprocket in the upper right-hand corner and clicking on Settings. “Undo Send” is the 10th item down on the list, and you’re going to have to click a box to enable it. From there, you can choose a buffer window of anywhere between 5 and 30 seconds before each email is officially shipped off. After you’ve sent an email and if you want to cancel it, you’ll see an option popping up on the screen asking you if you’d like to undo your latest outgoing message.
Now, you not able to pull an email out of a recipient’s inbox once it’s been delivered, but with the “Undo Send” feature enabled, you are able to give yourself a second chance to really think about whether the email should be sent in the first place and if you sent it to the right people. If only this feature were more pervasive years ago, then we wouldn’t have such reason to laugh about the erroneous “reply all” send, as was the subject of this memorable commercial that ran during the Super Bowl in 2011.
Why the ‘Undo Send’ Feature is Significant
Gmail is undoubtedly a leader in the world of free email services. Gmail leapfrogged Hotmail in 2012 for the most active monthly users among email providers, and the Google creation hasn’t looked back since. Hotmail, however, still has a slight lead for the most people worldwide searching for it, as Tech Times reported last September. Nonetheless, the industry looks to Gmail when it comes to email features, and with the “Undo Send” option’s rise to prominence, you can bet other email services are going to follow suit.
It’s worth noting that the office worker seen in the Bridgestone Tires commercial above was likely using an email service like Microsoft Outlook to send out the email in question. If only there were a way to recall it, huh? But, wait, Microsoft Outlook does have a similar, yet more roundabout way to rescind emails: You have to basically set up a delay period on all of your outgoing messages, and then you can go into your outbox and trash any email that you don’t want to be delivered. HowToGeek.com pointed out a long-winded way to set up the defer option in Outlook 2010, which will work similarly in the 2013 version. Even so, Outlook’s defer option is a far cry from the ease of Gmail’s “Undo Send” feature.
Even though “Undo Send” feels like it should have been around at least a decade ago – on any halfway decent email provider – there’s still a ways to go before the function is mainstream. Hopefully, other services will follow Gmail’s lead and implement their own easy-to-use versions of the feature, and then we’ll all have a second chance to undo any damage done by pressing “reply all” accidentally.
Do you have any funny stories about instantly regretting sending an email? Let us know in the comments below.
The SEO/SEM world has not taken kindly to Google’s new Keyword Planner that officially replaced the old AdWord Keyword Tool yesterday.
To use the Keyword Tool now users must login to an AdWords account in order to access the Planner. The Planner has no match type data for any search volumes (search volumes are displayed for exact match data only), ZERO device targeting, ZERO local vs. global monthly searches, and the AMAZEBALLS option to filter by “closely related” terms has been terminated.
Of course, the reactions aren’t 100% negative. There are new features like more geographic segmentation and the ability to bundle geographic regions that allow local SEOs and ad planners to drill down to the city level to get keyword search volume data.
Users are able to upload more keywords from their own lists (up to 10,000 keywords) to get performance data. The Planner will also show search volumes by ad group, landing page and any other categorization you set up.
Still, search volume differences between the two tools have been a source of anger, and the variances are due to two key sources of contention — match types and device types getting eliminated.
Google tells us:
“In general, you’ll notice that the average search volume data is higher in Keyword Planner as compared to the exact match search volume data you got with Keyword Tool. That’s because we’ll show you the average number of searches for a keyword idea on all devices (desktop and laptop computers, tablets, and mobile phones). With Keyword Tool, we showed you average search volume for desktop and laptop computers by default.”
Hopefully Google will continue to update the Keyword Planner and add our old fav “closely related” to the offering. If you are accustomed to the old tool, using the new Planner will be a major adjustment that you will likely have a love/hate relationship with. If the Planner stays the way it is this will for sure drive up a few sales numbers for all those competing keyword research tools on the market.
I can’t begin to count how many times I’ve had a new client come to me that has handed over their logins (user names and passwords) for their social sites and website and the passwords are super generic or even guessable based on some basic info I can either Google about the company or the owner.
image source: Intel.com
Tuesday, May 7 – is Password Day. lntel has provided a tool that can help you find out if your password is hackable or uncrackable. After I took the tool for a spin looks like I’m guilty of having a hackable password and would take someone roughly 2 hours to crack my password.
I think one of the biggest pieces of advice that Intel provides about picking a password that is going to take some time to adapt to, is moving away from just one password.
WordPress launched Learn.Wordpress.com, a tutorial site with a breakdown of 12 guides to help get a newbie user hitting the ground running with a WordPress site pretty easily. The site also gives some great insight of how to add plug ins and upgrades to existing sites.
WordPress features 3 stand alone sections to get you up and going even faster:
Basically a breakdown of registering your site and getting all the pertinent information filled out in your official WordPress profile, while walking through the ‘basics’ of how to maneuver through the site.
You should probably understand the general jargon of website creation and this lovely glossary of terms will help you do just that.
So there you have it, some basics to get you started but of course we’re here for support and to take care of all this messy setup for you in your time of need.We are of course a full service web marketing company, and offer an expansive list of services ranging from domain registration to website maintenance. Just give us a call (800) 871.4130, so we can get to know your needs and get you started!
You want an info-graphic but you’re not exactly savvy when it comes to graphic design. Not a problem! There are options, and they aren’t going to cost you an arm and a leg.
Now who cares about info-graphics? Everyone! We’re over reading tired text to only skim for the numbers that count. We like a visual a lot like the one above. A nicely designed info-graphic with all the information laid out and easy to read.
We found 3 pretty powerful Tools for creating awesome info-graphics and even better, they’re free! Hope you find some use in these and have fun poking around!
Clean and crisp interface, and an easy registration with Facebook. They have five free templates – You can upload your data to the site which then you can have translated into a static chart or interactive infographic.
Have you used, or are you currently using any of these tools? Have another tool, that we may have completely missed? Share below in the comments!
A new movie trailer came out yesterday for the Will Ferrell movie “The Campaign.” If you want to watch the trailer, all you have to do is pull a dollar bill out of your pocket, aim your ipad, iphone, or android phone at the currency – using the app “Blippar” – and the dollar bill comes to life. Will Ferrell replaces George Washington on the bill and the various words and engravings turn into fighter jets and eagles soaring and many other “American things.”
This impressive technology comes from Blippar, a tech company in the United Kingdom, which has been hinting all over the web at the newest things they intend to become “Blippable.” The company considers it’s technology “highly advanced,” and promises that it will take us into a futuristic new world.
“Blippar™ is a revolution for traditional print and marketing offering the power to turn every single piece of print or physical branding in the real world into an instantaneous digital, interactive experience,” Blippar proudly states.
Using image-recognition technology, Blippar is able to recognize quite quickly what is on your mobile device’s screen and then enhances the reality by making the environment interactive, allowing 3d images and videos to swirl around you.
After only a single hour of Blipping nearly everything I could find, I am as confident as Blippar staff is, that this technology will definitely change the world.
While there is not a wealth of information on the company or the product yet — the start-up is still in its infancy as they are perfecting the technology — there are many videos of what this app can do, and what they plan to do.
Watch a video of “what exactly Blippar is,” and how it works.
Watch a video of how Blippar turned Virgin Media Magazine completely interactive. Billionaire Richard Branson is excited to be using this technology and is devoted to pushing Blippar’s possibilities to its limits.