Grow your email database with Rocketseed List Builder

With Rocketseed List Builder you can literally “make every email count”. Building a new, relevant and highly targeted database is as simple as doing what you do every day – sending email. Rocketseed List Builder automatically captures every email address from emails you send and adds them to a database on the system.

Rocketseed List Builder automatically deletes duplicate email addresses leaving you with a clean, up to date database of qualified recipients. Combined with RocketMailer, introduce prospects to promotional campaigns using an opt in introductory newsletter.

Benefits of List Builder

  1. Saves time.
  2. Saves money from buying expensive databases.
  3. Effortlessly and seamlessly integrates everyday email with your newsletter strategy.
  4. Organically grows your database.
  5. Lowers the risk of damaging brand reputation. No unsolicited emails.
  6. Keeps you connected to your customers at all times.

 

We often underestimate the time and effort that goes into building highly qualified and targeted databases. Importing and exporting email addresses, duplication, collating and managing spreadsheets can be a cost intensive process.

With Rocketseed List Builder, all you and your staff need to do is to continue doing what you already do every day – sending email. Rocketseed List Builder will silently and automatically build reputable, high quality databases without the added effort.

All this using a channel you already own.

Rocketseed Employees Make a Difference at the enke: Forum

This July, Rocketseed employees gave their time to help young South Africans develop projects tackling issues in their communities at the enke: Forum 2012 in both Johannesburg and Cape Town.

The enke: Forum is a week of networking, training, and planning, bringing together young people from all walks of life, uniting them around a shared vision for a brighter future for South Africa.  At the enke: Forum, there is intensive, hands-on leadership training and practical skills to help learners turn an idea for social change into action. Learners are inspired by their peers, young South African role-models and well-known contemporary thought- and action-leaders like Dr. Mamphela Ramphele, Yvonne Chaka Chaka, Setlogane Manchidi, Somizi Mhlongo, Janet Jobson and many more.

The enke: Forum is just a start; it kicks off the enke: Youth Award, a nine-month program where young people take action on the most urgent social issues in their communities. A key part of this program is that participants are challenged to implement a Community Action Project (CAP), projects that they implement to tackle issues they identify in their communities.

This is where the Rocketseed employees came in as “enke: Consultants” helping these young leaders to come up with a realistic plan. By being an “enke: Consultant”, employees were part of a 2 hour interactive consultation process working with 4-5 youth, hearing the about the passion-driven projects. Through this our consultants were able to have a real impact on the young people we work with and their future community projects.

Asked about her experience as an enke: Consultant, Nicolette Rotter,  “It was an absolute privilege and a pleasure to spend a few hours with 4 of these students at the Cape Town Forum, where each student shared their Community Action Project with me. These projects were diverse and some quite serious – from tackling teenage pregnancy to tutoring students – they were all inspiring and each came with its own very personal message. The ONLY negative is that you get introduced to these amazing students over only a few hours and then someone calls time and it is all over! I hope next year we can get more involved as this is an excellent forum that is very well run and a joy to partake in.”

Now, participants are putting that advice and guidance into action as they are starting to implement their Community Action Projects a reality. “One of my highlights was the consultants. They asked me questions and helped me have a better picture of what I can do to make my project a reality,” commented one of the program participants.

Why social media should be sociable?

“Adapt or die”, they tell us. “If you’re not on the information highway, you will fall behind.” “People are talking about your brand and if you’re not paying attention your business is doomed.” Ouch. If this were true, millions of businesses the world over would cease to exist. But it’s not. And they’re not.

Undeniably, the Internet era is in full swing and marketers evangelize the role of social media whenever the opportunity presents itself…which it often does, especially online, but the reality of it all is that most of us do just fine with the “business as usual” approach.

A staggering number of us don’t need to “join the conversation”, simply because a conversation relevant to us doesn’t exist. The reason is simple: Our businesses aren’t ‘big enough’ or ‘remarkable enough’ to matter to any significant groups of people. So we dismiss it, at least “for now”.

And that’s where we get it wrong. A conversation does exist. No, probably not about our brand, but an alarmingly huge group of real people do flock to social networking sites at a staggering rate every single day, literally spending hours communicating with one another. And here-in lies the peach: If a conversation about you or your brand does not exist online, why not initiate it?

Social media propagandists often points to the Internet as a platform where consumers run rampant, uncontrollably perpetuating damaging slurs about brands. And while these do exist, the larger part of the audience is really just in it for their friends and themselves.

And that’s the bottom line. Social media is not (just) about brand reputation management and damage control. It’s not only about connecting with clusters of consumers and hoarding new clients. It is about building a brand that actually means something to your customers. It’s about a lasting legacy that extends beyond the exchange of money and products. Real, measurable value that makes you, and your business, remarkable in the eyes and minds of the people that supports you.

Friendship and a sense of community is important to people. And social networks have provided us with a platform to sustain that in a more effective manner than before. As it happens, business and customer relations will reform around these values.

And that is what social media is all about.

QR codes and the art of value added marketing

With smart phone technology now becoming virtually ubiquitous we’ve been seeing quite a substantial push for QR (Quick Response) codes of late. These 2D barcodes have been created and popularized in the East, especially Japan and Korea, but have been rather slow to adopt to western countries. Now however, there seems to be a stronger advocacy for its use, and businesses are moving toward incorporating this “new” technology on a more frequent basis.

How does it work?

If you have a smart phone, simply search your app store for a QR code reader, start the application and aim your phone’s camera at the code. The application will decode the pattern and return the embedded results.

FM Media, a Rocketseed reseller, has provided an example where they smartly used a QR code to embed the Gautrain timetable into their everyday email marketing headers using the Rocketseed software. In this instance, scanning the code to your mobile phone will activate the Gautrain timetable on a mobile site, ideal to bookmark and recall while on the move.

What is important to note, especially for marketers, is to understand the role of QR code technology, and how to apply it. It should be noted that QR codes are not a display marketing tool in its own, but rather acts like a bridge to connect one medium with another, typically from print, outdoor and other traditional marketing media, to the mobile web.

This does not imply that QR codes cannot be used on digital formats, but marketers need to be attentive to the objective of their campaigns. For example, simply positioning a QR code in your email branding or signature that links to your website is somewhat futile since, for the user to access the QR code, means they’re already online. Transferring the medium from online to mobile, while new and interesting perhaps, serves little to no purpose.

Where would it work:

The opportunities for QR codes that exist in traditional marketing media (print, outdoor, t-shirts, business cards, wine bottles etc.) is vast. Only the creative imagination could curb innovative campaigns.

On the digital front, consider using QR codes to add value to the end user:

1. Like FM Media, provide a QR code that can help the end user while they’re on the move: I.e.: links to a train’s timetable.

2. Link to your mobile application download page: Many people search for apps online because of the larger screen real estate. When they find the app, a QR code can be used to access the download link directly on their phone.

3. Provide your contact details in your email signature: Embed your vCard in a QR code and your email recipients have a simple way to add your contact details to their mobile phones.

4. Get the phone ringing: QR codes can also make a phone call. (Oh, imagine the mischief!) If you want to get the phones ringing–at your business or at campaign headquarters – you can create a code that will dial a predetermined number. Likewise, QR codes can generate SMS text messages.

Can you think of any other uses for QR codes? Share them with fellow resellers in the comments section.

Measure Customer Satisfaction using your everyday email

Customer service is one of those things that businesses talk about.

We all agree it is one of the most important components in business, it is also one of the things that is often left on the boardroom table and sales figures become the number one objective.

Customer service is more than just making sure that your clients are well looked after.

When customers don’t complain, it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re happy. How many times have we received a notice of end of service, seemingly out of the blue?

Make no mistake; those were contemplated decisions, based on a series of incidences, most often quietly unnoticed from within our office walls.

When it happens, the proverbial writing has been on the wall for a while, there’s no doubt about it.

Rocketseed reseller, Cardinal Insurance Management Systems (CIMS) has taken a proactive role in building customer loyalty by using their Rocketseed banners and the survey feature to measure their customer satisfaction.

By encouraging their clients and suppliers to rate service levels, CIMS makes sure that their staff are aware that performance is measured with every email they send, thus increasing productivity throughout the organization.

Innovative thinking from CIMS is just another way in which resellers can position Rocketseed as value-added marketing- and customer service solutions to their clients.

Building Brand Consistently and Effortlessly

It’s 2011, and your brand (the perception clients, prospects and consumers have of your business) is more important now than it has ever been. The ability to customize, integrate and share is top of mind with marketers, and while it’s always a good idea innovate, adopt new technologies and move along with marketing trends, it’s also imperative to keep your fundamentals in check. Without a foundation, a platform to build a strong brand framework from, these trendy new age tactics will dissolve into thin air.

Building brand is something that is achieved over time. Delivering on the business’ mission and vision, and more importantly, building a healthy rapport with clients is a constant process, one that requires hard work and ongoing attention.

Reaching masses of people have been reserved for channels which we’ve perceived as a collective sales and brand building system…prime time television, bulk email (newsletter) marketing, mobile marketing even. These days, social media is probably another channel where businesses see an opportunity to “mass influence” communities as a whole.

 

We mistakenly assume that when we address masses of people at once, flooding them with our products, services or value propositions, we’ll be building our brand shares. That is simply not true. Without a foundation of core brand values deeply rooted within the heart of your business, no amount of promotion would make your business any more sustainable.

Fortunately, there are marketing tools that help businesses achieve that. Unknowingly perhaps, people fail to realize just how much of the ground work they’re already doing. They devise strategies around building brand, and unknowingly perhaps, neglect to look within to see if there’s anything they can leverage off. Take email for example. With the average employee sending 15,000 emails per annum, the email channel provides the best opportunity for building brand over time, better than perhaps any other communications channel in history.

Together with Rocketseed and proper brand building modules such as Rocketseed Signature Manager and List Builder, we take email, something we do on a daily basis to correspond with existing clients, prospects, suppliers and distributors, to build a strong, reputable brand.

Celebrating the anniversary of the humble email attachment

Anyone in the UK thinking of getting their Christmas cards out extra early this year might have noticed that the price of a first class stamp is soon to go up from 46p to 60p at the end of April – so they had better hurry! It’s an unwelcome announcement for many but one that in this age of digitalisation, could hardly be seen as surprising. In our modern world it is common knowledge that the hand-written letter has largely been replaced by a quick email, an instant Facebook message or a cheeky tweet, and it makes perfect sense that the Royal Mail must put their prices up to survive. However, it’s also an ironic coincidence that this unpopular announcement of the rise in the cost of traditional postage coincided with the 20th anniversary of the invention of the ‘email attachment’. That is, the ‘free’ email attachment that made email more post-like, invented by Nathaniel Borenstein 20 years ago this month. At Rocketseed we think this is an anniversary in the history of email and a hero worth celebrating!

When the very first email attachment, compatible across most email programs was sent, people were of course sceptical, but the invention of the email attachment has since revolutionised modern communication. At the time, people didn’t understand that the ability to send photos, music, and other types of documents by email rather than relying on traditional postal systems would change the way we work today. When Borenstein first suggested that his dream was to email people pictures of his grandchildren, people laughed at him. But now (according to the Guardian article) ‘each day in 2012, we send around a trillion Mime* attachments’. The humble Email Attachment actually turned out to be one of the brilliant inventions of our time, providing businesses around the world with the means to operate faster and transfer information more efficiently. It also allowed Borenstein to fulfil his dream. It’s an inspiring idea!

At the start of Rocketseed in 2002, we also had a vision, developing new possibilities for employee email. Ten years ago, few individuals would have understood that an email could drive sales and web traffic for businesses, but this is now what we do for our clients every day. While social media plays its role, Borenstein also thinks that ‘email will always be the best way of contacting specific individuals’ and we tend to agree. But our favourite quote from the father of the email attachment is this. “Similarly, email, which some people say is dying, continues to grow. And most dying things don’t really do that.” At, Rocketseed, we’re positive that email is a growing medium (Check out Rocketseed Email 2.0 here) and one that businesses need to use to the best of their advantage, to promote their social media activity and drive sales.
p.s We’re sad to hear about the price of a postage stamp going up, but our other favourite quote of the day is from @Queen_UK who tweeted ‘60p is more than reasonable for a picture of your gracious and loving Queen’. Perhaps we should also create a nice email signature for Her Majesty.

*(the technical term for the standardisation system invented by Borenstein and his collaborator Ned Freed).’