Looking for campaign module beta testers

21-May 2012 • Product

We've been working for a little while now on one of the missing planks in the Accelo promise - a single, integrated system that manages everything you do for your clients in one place.

What's this big missing piece? Marketing.

We all know that it costs a lot less sell to an existing client than a new one, and that word of mouth is one of the most powerful ways to spread a message. Until now, Accelo hasn't had a way for you to market to your existing clients, but that's all about to change.

We're excited to let you know about our new campaigns module, which we've been testing in alpha for the last few weeks. We're currently looking for beta testers - please contact us if you're keen to have this feature enabled for your Accelo account.

Initially supporting direct mail and e-mail marketing campaigns, the Campaigns module will allow you to target specific groups of contacts for your e-mail newsletters, promotional info, events, feedback forms, greeting cards and more. Below you'll find why we chose to partner with Campaign Monitor, and the features we're planning to add in the future.

How Does It Work?

In short, you create a Campaign in Accelo using the new Campaigns module, select who you want to receive the campaign, and then we'll push the contacts in a special list over to Campaign Monitor, where you then do your drafting, sending and reporting.

For more details please see the documentation on our help website.

To briefly outline the integration:

  • You create a campaign in Accelo, and then create a Campaign Action (so you can send multiple and different broadcasts per campaign - handy for promoting events, etc). An empty campaign is pushed to Campaign Monitor in real time.
  • Filter your Accelo contacts and come up with a target list to be included in the e-mail campaign.
  • Once you've saved the targets, they're pushed to Campaign Monitor where you can add your e-mail content and then all you have to do is click "send!"

Accelo for contacts, Campaign Monitor for Sending

In thinking through how we'd implement this module, we had a few choices. For a while, we worked on our own e-mail drafting and sending functionality, but we realized that sending a professional looking campaign without being an HTML guru was tough work.

There's a lot of great companies in the competitive e-mail marketing space, with names like MailChimp, Constant Contacts and Campaign Monitor all coming to mind. However, when it came down to it, Campaign Monitor was the best choice - their API allowed for full bi-directional list, campaign management, and their interface for creating rich, beautiful e-mail campaigns easily, is just perfect for our users.

After some dog-fooding and a few hiccups (which you probably noticed!!), we're now getting ready for some real-world beta testing.

If you're interested in being part of the new Campaigns Module and Campaign Monitor integration beta, please contact us and we'll start setting you up.

Only the beginning - future features and roadmap

The functionality we're testing in beta now is only the beginning, and in the future we're looking at a range of enhancements and features, including:

  • Importing of key reporting details - such as unsubscribes and bounces - back into Accelo. The idea here is to provide both a simple reporting view, as well as the ability to notify account managers that their clients are unsubscribing or bouncing.
  • Introducing the concept of a "conversion". Often, marketing is about triggering the next step in a sales process, such as a request for more information. One of the features on our roadmap is the ability to have a request, or new sales opportunity, created whenever a user clicks on a certain link in an e-mail, "converting" this person in the campaign.
  • Telemarketing as a campaign medium. While we're currently only supporting Direct Mail and E-Mail formats, we're also in the planning stages for outbound telemarketing campaigns, which will make it much easier for your sales staff to set up a list/queue of folks you want to call, and then manage the conversion and enquiry process,as well as record time against, and all from within the Accelo system.

 

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