Friday Oct 23, 2009 by Eric in Marketing

No Excuse Not to Reach out To Customers

It’s getting less expensive to communicate to your customers and contacts on a regular basis, especially with MailChimp’s new plan that lets you have 500 contacts for FREE and send out 3,000 emails a month.

Now you can send a simple email to your best customers and contacts at least once a month, letting them know what’s new with your company (comon’ there has to be at least ONE newsworthy thing?), while staying in touch and top of mind.

If you’re not doing any blogging, twittering or email marketing now for your company, I suggest you start with a simple blog and or a monthly email. Twittering is great too, especially for folks who can’t seem to churn out a longer blog post, but it takes a certain personality and strategy to make it worthwhile, let alone finding the time for yet another social media time sink.

If you’re in the services business, like our company cre8 is, we always have a project or two getting completed each month we can talk about and share some best practices derived from it. We can also talk about new technologies that may be relevant to decision-makers at small to medium-sized businesses.

The same on the product-side, like we have with Lead Zeppelin. Digital products, much like physical products, are always being updated, upgraded and improved. If it’s a slow month, product development-wise, you can always highlight how a customer is (successfully) using your product.

Friday Oct 2, 2009 by Eric in Features, News

Zeppelin Progress Update

Chief Mechanic John has been busy these last few weeks!

Additional Users

Let your team help you close your leads by adding them to your account. Now you can keep track of who posted what note and when about a lead. Soon, you will have the ability to assign a lead to a user, so you can delegate some of your workload.

Enhanced Security

We’ve added an SSL certificate to our site, so you can begin logging in at https://www.leadzep.com. Having additional security after logging in will be a feature for paid plans only, when we officially launch.

Lead Sources

You can now add a source to your leads, such as Phone, Referral, Tradeshow, etc. If the lead has been entered automatically via your linked web form, it will display the name of your form as the source. You’ll see the Source field if you’re manually entering a lead, or can change an existing one by editing the lead.

Form Generation

You now have the ability to create your own basic forms that can be added to your website and various landing pages you may have. Click on the Forms tab to check it out. After defining the fields you’d like and their order, you can designate a confirmation email to be sent. When that’s all complete, you can cut and paste the generated code and give it to your friendly webmaster (for many of you, that’s us, cre8).

Other Business

We’ve applied for our merchant account and have recently added a Privacy Policy and Terms of Service page to the Lead Zeppelin site in preparation.

Thanks again for your suggestions and please let us know if you need any help using any of the new features.

Saturday Sep 19, 2009 by Eric in News

Lead Zeppelin Announcement

The Cat’s out of the Bag

…or rather, the air is in the bag. Our home-grown web app, Lead Zeppelin has taken off and is accepting beta testers!

What is Lead Zeppelin? Our attempt for an easy-to-use customer relationship management (CRM) web application to manage your leads and customers. What drove me to want to create our own (yes, there are others out there), is that a number of our customers have a basic website with a basic contact form. But your inbox is no place to manage your leads.

Some of our customers have asked for a place that they can manage these leads separately, outside of their inbox. For most of our small business owners (SMB), building a custom webapp can be cost prohibitive. After seeing a few requests like this, we decided we’d build one “for the masses”.

The key part, to me, is connecting your form on your website to your CRM. There are some CRMs now that have this ability, or you can stitch it together thru a couple APIs, but most of our customers are small, busy, businesses and don’t want to hassle with multiple app integrations and signups. They also don’t have the time to learn an app that has more features than they need. They just want to go one place and see their leads.

Further, some of our customers are having great success with lead generation from using Google Adwords, landing pages, and the like. But, they suck at follow up. And they admit it. So, this is somewhere we feel the Zeppelin can help. Along with reminding you that you have new leads to qualify and keeping track of your closing ratio, we plan to build in tools and reminders to help cultivate your leads into customers.

We’re excited to have gotten this far and welcome your suggestions and feedback!

Thursday Sep 17, 2009 by Eric in Features

Room for Co-Pilots

Divide and Conquer

Let your team help you close your leads by adding them to your account. Now you can keep track of who posted what note and when about a lead. Soon, you will have the ability to assign a lead to a user, so you can delegate some of your workload.

Enhanced Security

We added an SSL certificate to our site today, so you can begin logging in at https://www.leadzep.com. Having additional security will be a feature for paid plans only, when we officially launch.

Thursday Sep 10, 2009 by Eric in Features

Convert a lead and other updates

It’s a short week over here at the hangar, but we still managed to get a few small new features out:

Account Tab

You’ll now see a Account tab over by itself on the right-side of the navigation bar. Here you can change your password if you don’t like the one we initially assigned to you. If you’ve forgotten your password, that’s OK too, as you can now request a temporary one from the login screen.

New Status: New

Leads that get entered into the system from your website form will have a status of New, so you can hit those up first after you login. Also, any leads that you may be manually entering, but haven’t qualified yet can be assigned this status.

Converting Leads to Contacts

Following on the heels of our recent addition of the Contacts tab, you now have the ability to convert a lead to a contact. Now you can keep your lead list tidy as well as keep any notes or files you may have added to a lead after you convert them to a contact (customer).

We’re storing the date you convert customers so in the future we will have some metrics that show your New > Convert (close) ratio for the month… as well as average days to close.

Feedback Loop

Per beta tester Lou, we added a little feedback mechanism to the site. Its the little “feedback” tab that’s sticking out on the right side of the site after you login. If there’s any features you’d like us to consider, please feel free to post them up there.