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3 things you might not know about contact management systems

Many professionals use sub-par tools and keep their businesses duct taped together, but it’s not necessary. Know these three things about contact management to make sure you’re not losing out on opportunities.

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Contact management is a way of doing business

Contact management is more than just a list of names, phone numbers, and email addresses. It’s actually an approach, a mindset, and a way of doing business. It’s the commitment to learn about your contacts over time, build relationships with them, and keep in touch. A contact management system (or CRM) is the technology tool that lets you practice effective contact management.

In this article, I’ll address three things you might not know about contact management systems.

1. Microsoft Outlook Just Doesn’t Cut It

Outlook is a great email client, sure. But is it an effective contact management system or CRM? Not exactly. With Outlook, you can’t search and filter your contacts across multiple groups, easily send out personalized mass emails, view email analytics, and/ or automate your email marketing. For a busy business professional, Outlook has a lot of shortcomings.

If you’re refusing to pay for a CRM because you believe Outlook is sufficient, you may want to think again because a CRM will prove extremely valuable to your business. In fact, the return on investment (ROI) is tremendous.

Let’s say you’re a REALTOR®. In order to grow your business, you need to keep in touch with everyone in your database. You also need to stay organized and proactive.

Keeping in touch involves perhaps sending out a monthly real estate newsletter, setting your contacts up on drip email marketing campaigns, and scheduling phone calls and face to face meetings. Staying organized involves managing your listings and buyers from one place, viewing tasks and appointments related to a specific contact or listing, and following Listing and Closing Activity Plans (or Action Plans). All of this is hard or impossible to do with Microsoft Outlook alone.

2. Email Marketing is a Critical Component

Great contact management systems have powerful email marketing capabilities built-in. When people think of a CRM, they often think of names in a database and being able to filter and group those names.

But it’s much more than that. It’s the ability to send out beautiful monthly real estate newsletters via email, convert leads into customers with pre-designed, highly effective marketing campaigns, and generate awareness of your services by sending out Just Listed and Just Sold e-Cards and e-Flyers.
And one of the best things about it all is that you are not designing the newsletters, e-cards, e-flyers, and marketing campaigns. It’s all done for you, which means no time or extra cost commitment.

3. Your Only Tangible Asset

For many professionals, such as Realtors, their contacts database is their only tangible asset. Successful agents making six figures can sell a well-managed contacts database upon retirement for hundreds of thousands of dollars.

If you’re nurturing the clients and leads in your database and building strong relationships with them over time, you’ll get clients coming back to use your services time and again and referrals will flow your way. You can say goodbye to cold calling and prospecting all day.

The takeaway

If you’re serious about growing and managing your career properly, you’ll want to adopt a CRM into your business. It’ll help you get that “easy business” or “low-hanging fruit” – referrals and repeat transactions from past clients. If you weren’t well informed on what contact management systems are all about before reading this article, I hope you now have some food for thought.

Matthew Collis is part of the Sales and Marketing Team at IXACT Contact Solutions Inc., a leading North American real estate CRM firm. In addition to overseeing many of IXACT Contact’s key sales and marketing programs, Matthew works with REALTORS® to help them achieve their real estate goals through effective contact management and relationship marketing. IXACT Contact is a web-based real estate contact management and marketing system that helps REALTORS® better manage and grow their business. The system includes powerful email marketing capabilities and a professionally designed and written monthly e-Newsletter.

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3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Maxyuf12

    September 5, 2012 at 1:16 pm

  2. estate_chase

    September 6, 2012 at 10:36 am

    @CENTURY21 @AGBeat See our new search real estate search for DFW at https://t.co/Mwu55YV5 or LIKE us at https://t.co/hwSrSipe

  3. Roland Estrada

    September 6, 2012 at 10:59 am

    These blatant advertisements masquerading as posts are really starting to get annoying. An why it’s particular product? I believe the emperor has no clothes.

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Social Media

Facebook’s Résumé takes another shot at LinkedIn

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Facebook took another swipe at LinkedIn by introducing a new Résumé feature.

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Any job hunter is likely familiar with the little section somewhere during the application process where you’re asked to enter in social media information. Thankfully, Facebook is usually an optional field.

While I try to keep what the public can see of my social media profiles toned down enough as to not cause my grandmother to blush, I’m still not quite comfortable sharing my profile with prospective employers.

I’m sure many out there feel the same, and Facebook knows this.

Tinfoil hat theories aside, LinkedIn may be shaking in their boots as Facebook begins to advance their growth in the professional sector in their pursuit of social media domination.

Facebook has begun experimenting with a new Résumé/CV feature that works as an extension of your standard “Work and Education” section on a Facebook profile page, allowing users to share work experience in more detail with friends and family but most importantly: potential employers.

Luckily, the new Résumé/CV feature won’t be sharing personal photos or status updates, but will rather combine all the relevant information into a single, professional-looking package.

So far this feature appears to be rolled out to a small number of users, and it’s unclear when it will be officially launched, but this isn’t the first time Facebook has dipped their toes in the waters of the job sector, or took a jab at LinkedIn.

Several months ago, Jobs was launched, a feature that allows Business Pages to post job openings through the status composer, and keep track of them on their Page’s Jobs tab.

A Facebook spokesperson commented on the intent behind the new Résumé/CV feature, “At Facebook, we’re always building and testing new products and services.

We’re currently testing a work histories feature to continue to help people find and businesses hire for jobs on Facebook,” and so this is just the beginning of Facebook’s plan to become a one-stop-shop and create a more seamless way for people to find and get jobs.

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Tag photos, connect with friends, order food?

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Facebook seems to be sprawling into every nook and cranny of life and now, they’re infiltrating food delivery.

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Facebook is now bringing you food! Although, no one was really asking them to.

In the age of Instagram and Snapchat, Facebook is attempting to transform into more than just a social media platform. They have partnered up with food delivery services to help users order food directly from their site.

They hope to streamline the process by giving users a chance to research, get recommendations and order food without ever leaving the site.

Facebook has partnered with their existing delivery services including EatStreet, Delivery.com, DoorDash, ChowNow and Olo in addition to restaurants to fast track the process.

The scenario they imagine is that while scrolling through the newsfeed, users would feel an urge to eat and look to Facebook for their options.

After chatting up friends via Facebook Messenger to ask for the best place to go, users would visit the restaurant’s page directly, explore their menu and decide to order. When ordering, you will have the option to use one of the partnered delivery services either with an existing account or by creating a new one.

The benefit is you stay on one site the entire time. With the time you save, the food can get to you faster, which is a plus for everyone.

Assuming that people already live on Facebook 24/7, this seems like a great update. If you like getting recommendations from your favorite social media resources, it’s even better.

The problem is that in recent years their younger audiences have dropped off in favor of other sites. Regardless of what they think, not everyone is flocking to Facebook for their every need.

My guess is that this service will benefit those already using Facebook, but is less likely to draw new audiences in.

Adding more services may not be the key to success if Facebook can’t refine their other features. They have already been criticized for their ad reporting practices, though they seem to fix everything with a new algorithm.

Facebook has continued to stray away from their original intent, and food delivery won’t be their last update.

Facebook wants to be everything, but not everyone may want the same.

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Social Media

Hate Facebook’s mid-roll ads? So does everyone else

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Those pesky ads that pop up in the middle of that Facebook video, aka mid-roll, seem to be grinding everyone’s gears.

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In an ongoing effort to monetize content, Facebook recently introduced “mid-roll” ads into videos by certain publishers, and it has now been testing that format for six months. If you aren’t a big fan of those ads interrupting your content consumption experience, you aren’t alone; publishers aren’t crazy about them either.

In a report on the program, five publishers working with Facebook’s new mid-roll ad program were sourced and all five publishers found that the program wasn’t generating the expected revenue.

One program partner made as little as $500 dollars with mid-roll ads while generating tens of millions of views on their content.

Two other partners wouldn’t specify exact revenue number, but they did acknowledge that the ad performance is below expectations. As far as cost goes, certain publishers mentioned CPMs between 15 cents and 75 cents.

That range is large because a lot of the data isn’t clear enough to evaluate their return on investment. According to the Digiday report, publishers receive data on total revenue, along with raw data on things like the number of videos that served an ad to viewers.

The lack of certain data points, along with the confusing structure of the data, makes it difficult to assess the number of monetized views and the revenue by video. For context, YouTube, as arguably the biggest player in video monetization, provides all these metrics.

Another issue is that licensing deals are cutting into margins. Facebook pays publishers, via a licensing fee, to produce and publish a certain number of videos each month. In exchange, Facebook keeps all money until it recoups the fee, after which revenue is split 55/45 between the publisher and Facebook.

While these challenges doesn’t change the fact that revenue is low, it does make it difficult to dissect costs in a meaningful way.

Why is revenue so low to begin with?

For starters, a newsfeed with enough content to feed an infinite scroll probably isn’t the best format for these kinds of ads. As a user, when I’m watching the videos and the ad interrupts the experience, I’ve always scrolled right on through to the next item on my feed. It’s a sentiment echoed by one of the publishers in the Digiday story.

Because of that, Facebook’s new Watch program, which creates a content exclusivity not found on the news feed, might produce better results in the future. Either way, Facebook will need to solve this revenue challenge for publishers, or they might pull out of the programs altogether.

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