Email marketing is a great way to connect with your customers and for customers to share your message with their networks. The List Builder feature in Method, allows you to send email marketing from within Method and has now been updated with some handy new features.
Send emails to all your contacts
In the original List Builder, emails were sent to all of your leads or customers within your Method account. While this worked well, it didn’t take advantage of the unlimited contacts feature we added a while ago. This meant that if a customer had multiple points of contact at their company, only the main contact would receive the email. Now emails you send out are received by all the contacts at a company leaving no contact behind.
Respecting opt-out preferences
When building a list of contacts to send emails to, the List Builder now checks to see what the contacts’ preferences are set to for marketing and billing emails. This ensures that contacts who aren’t supposed to receive emails are not added to the mailing list.
Sometimes lead and customer contacts will request that you no longer contact them through email marketing. Yes, it sucks but you want to respect their wishes. Now the List Builder allows you the ability to include an ‘Unsubscribe’ link within your email. If the recipient of the email would like to opt out of receiving your marketing emails, they can update their settings by clicking the link. The admin of that email campaign will automatically receive an email letting them know that a contact has updated their preferences and the activity comments are updated in Method CRM.
In the previous version of the List Builder, you were unable to review the email template before sending your email. Now you can preview or make changes to the template before sending your emails.
Helping with building your lists
A new help center article has been published with details on how to use the List Builder and it provides you with some helpful suggestions. We’ve also made a link to this article which can be accessed directly from the List Builder screen.
Attention Google Apps and QuickBooks users!
Google Apps has rapidly become the destination of choice for small and medium sized companies looking for hosted email, online spreadsheets, and a shared calendar. Even at Method HQ we dumped our Microsoft Exchange server, switched to Google Apps, and haven't looked back. It's one less thing for us to worry about and maintain.
Since Method CRM is made for small businesses using QuickBooks, it's no surprise that integrating with Google Apps has been a priority. After a successful beta period, I'm happy to announce that our Gmail Gadget has been released!
What it does
Method CRM now works where you work: right inside Gmail. The gadget does a lot of things, but here are some highlights to get your juices flowing:
An existing QuickBooks customer sends you an email
When you click on the email, the gadget displays the contact's phone number, address, balance, QuickBooks transactions, CRM activities, opportunities, cases and documents. Plus, it gives you the ability to add activities, follow-ups, cases, opportunities and documents without even leaving your inbox.
A new lead sends you an email
A couple clicks of later and you've created a new contact and assigned a follow up activity and opportunity. You can even create a new QuickBooks customer or vendor directly from your Gmail inbox!
A customer hasn't paid their invoice
Generate a link to include in your email response so that they can easily view and pay their invoice online through the customer portal.
A customer emailed about an issue they are experiencing
Easily create a case, and have the attachments from their email included. Plus, if you're using SmartVault, the attachments flow through to your SmartVault Toolbar in QuickBooks. Now that's automation!
What people are saying
"The MethodCRM google gadget is fantastic. We were expecting a simple way to move Gmail into our CRM. Our expectations were blown out of the water."
-Mark Crews via Google Apps Marketplace review
"This gadget was first released [in beta] just a couple of months ago and is already an awesome gadget with great features. I now use it throughout the day to record client emails as CRM activities and much more."
-Selwyn van Rooyen via Google Apps Marketplace review
"The gadget is a real time saver and a great extension of the Method Integration CRM system. If you are a QuickBooks and Google Apps user; adding Method Integration CRM and this gadget to your Gmail should be given some serious consideration."
-Randall Dickey via Google Apps Marketplace review
We're proud to get this out to you. I think you'll agree that it's some of the finest work we've done. I'm especially excited with the feedback I've heard when talking to beta testers - never before have I heard the word "love" used so many times about a product I've been involved with - that's a really good sign we've done something right!
Oh, I should mention.....it's FREE and included in your monthly Method CRM subscription!
The good news
More and more companies are jumping on Method, and we're seeing a steady and consistent user base growth month after month. We don't do much advertising, so we can attribute most of this growth to word-of-mouth. So, THANK YOU for spreading the word and letting other small businesses know about Method!
The bad news
We've got to do a server infrastructure change to increase capacity and performance. Unlike past changes, this one requires downtime.
Date: Sunday July 22nd, 2012
Time : 2:45 AM to 4:45 AM Pacific Time (5:45 AM to 7:45 Eastern Time)
We chose this date and time by looking at the times of lowest global activity. I sincerely apologize for any inconvenience,
In last weeks blog I was raving about the new capabilities we’ve added to Method CRM allowing you to attach documents to leads, customers, opportunities, cases and solutions. Now we’ve gone one step further and extended this capability to some of the most common transactions in QuickBooks. Which transactions? Thought you’d never ask.
- Receive Payments
- Sales Orders (sorry QuickBooks Online community, no Sales Orders available yet)
So what’s the big deal with attaching documents to transactions?
Many times when you’re creating a transaction for customer, you’d like to be able to attach a document to that transaction for historic purposes. A great example of this is an estimate. If I am Mary the web designer and I send my customer a quote for how much it will cost to create their website, I want to be able to attach the scope of work to that estimate. Why? This way if they call in later on, I can see exactly what I sent them with that estimate. Better yet, if I wanted to leverage some customization experience, I could customize the stock Method portal to make that document accessible to my customer while viewing the same estimate. Yes.....I see you nodding your head. :)
Okay....now you see the benefit of attaching documents to transactions but what’s the benefit of using SmartVault with Method CRM?
Lets take this example one step further. Manish is a sales rep for Best 4 You Services, a commercial painting company. Manish sometimes works in the office but is usually on the road providing quotes to prospective customers. He uses Method CRM to track all his contacts and never touches QuickBooks. When closing his deals, each customer signs an agreement which is usually saved on his computer for that customer.
The accounting department is now complaining that they aren’t able to access to the commercial painting agreements, especially if their is a customer dispute over the amounts on the contracts. Using the new document features in Method CRM and SmartVault, Manish is able to share these agreements easily. Here’s how.....
Want to learn more?
We really wanted to get you started on the right foot when it comes to maximizing the new document features so we’ve published five new articles to our help center focused just on documents. To check them out, click here.
Want more transactions? Let us know!
Right now the document features have been added to four transaction types in Method CRM. Are there other transactions you’d like to see added to the list? If so, which are the most important that we should consider adding first.
We’re so pumped out these new document features and the long awaited integration with SmartVault. We’d love to hear your feedback so please share your thoughts using the comments on the blog.
Document management has been a hidden gem in Method CRM since March 2010. The initial release of the document library allowed for documents to be attached through the opportunity, case and solution screens. But what happened if you wanted to attach a document only to a lead or customer? Well....you could but it wasn’t easy since you had to access the document library through the opportunity, case or solution screens. So we took your feedback and leveraged the new SmartVault integration to create some really cool enhancements and topped it off with increased storage! Interested? Read on.
Dedicated documents tab
We’ve made locating your documents much easier by providing you a tab displaying all of your documents in the document library.
Uploading new documents
Documents can be uploaded directly into Method, linked to an existing URL or uploaded directly into SmartVault. When uploading documents into Method, keep in mind that each upload can be a maximum size of 5MB. Uploading bigger documents? I’d recommend uploading these to your web server and then using the link option when uploading in Method.
Editing existing documents
From the edit document screen you can update the description, folder or who the document is assigned to. Documents can also be linked multiple times to different objects. So if you’d like to link the same price sheet to more than one customer, go right ahead!
Easily attach documents to leads and customers
A new documents tab section was added to the lead and customer screens. This solves a previous pain point for Method users since now you can view existing documents or upload new documents in a couple of clicks.
For users of SmartVault, if documents are linked to a lead, they will automatically appear in the SmartVault toolbar for that customer once they are converted into a customer. No manual sync process needed!
Improved document uploads in CRM screens
All of the existing CRM screens have been updated to take advantage of the new document upload screens. These screens require less clicks for uploading documents, are easier to understand and look way sweeter!
Increased document storage
We’ve increased your data storage in a BIG way! Each Method license now has 500MB of storage allowed. What does this mean? Well if you have 3 users, you now have 1.5G of storage. Previously each Method account was allowed 250MB total regardless of how many licenses you had. This gives you plenty of room to store your documents.
So what happens if you go over your allotted storage? Same overage fees apply as before of $0.01 per MB per day.
We’re not done with documents just yet. In the coming weeks you’ll be able to attach documents to customer transactions such as estimates, invoices, payments and sales orders. Check out this blog for more info in the coming days and weeks.
So you excited now? =) We’d love to hear your feedback on the blog by using the comments link.
We did a BIG release today, a culmination of several projects coming together. Here's an overview of what's new since our last release.
A new look with some new features - can you spot them?
Starting today, the latest version of Method is always "opt-in". We now give you the choice of which production version of Method you want to use. In additional to the usual "live" site, we now have a "staging" site. Next time you log into Method, check out the bottom of the login page. It now says "This is the December version | Switch to the January version". Clicking this will take you to the staging site, and give you a preview of what will soon become the live version for all users. Be special and click on this! Not clicking on it will mean you won't see any of the goodies I'll continue to discuss below!
What’s the difference?
"Live" – currently named the "December version" - this version has gone through our testing, and through at least a week of use by users on the staging site. Benefit: more stable. Drawback: you don't get the latest features, and bug fixes.
"Staging" - currently named the "January version" - this has just come out of quality assurance testing from our team. It is stable, but it has gone through only limited real-world use. Benefit: allows power users, administrators, consultants, and eager Methoders to run through business processes in Method before it gets released to the rest of the company. Drawback: you might find a new bug that nobody else has found yet.
Way back in October 2010, we announced that we were partnering with SmartVault, but it has taken over a year to get all the pieces in place to make it a reality. Method has partnered with SmartVault to provide an alternative to the standard "native" document management that comes built into Method. We’re using SmartVault’s new RestAPI for web apps – and it allowed us to make a really slick integration with them. SmartVault provides an intuitive, Web-based solution for users to store, view and share files securely any time and from anywhere. It also offers a unique plug-in for QuickBooks, creating a seamless user experience for scanning, attaching, and finding documents within a familiar application. If you haven’t seen it, it’s certainly worth a test drive.
Phase 1 of the beta is now available on the January version of Method. Stay tuned for more goodies on SmartVault and Document Management over the next 4 weeks. To get started now, and learn more, click here.
Style – new buttons and tabs
You'll see some style changes when you sign into Method on the January version....we hope you like them so much that you'll want to stay on the January version and never go back!
- All buttons are now using a new, more modern look. By default, buttons have a grey gradient, with a slight rounding to the edges. But under Customize > Display, you can change your default button style to be round, boxy, blue, green, whatever you want. Adjust it to make it fit your own color scheme.
- When customizing screens, you can now set different colors for each button on a screen. So maybe you want all your buttons grey by default, but the delete button should be bright red. Go for it!
- You'll see the tab links and tabs have been given a stylish, more modern look. We haven't changed the style of tabs and tab links since our prototype version years ago.....gulp - embarrassing to admit! And there's even more to come on the next release in a couple weeks.
OpenID - sign into Method with your Intuit Account
The January version has something very exciting - we now let you use your Intuit Account to sign into Method! It's one less password that you have to remember - and since your Intuit user name is your email address, it’s a lot easier to remember one password than your Method Company Account, User Name and Password. Plus, if you have multiple Method accounts, the same Intuit Account can be used to log into all of them. Try it out - I've been using it over the past week and love it. Click here to learn more.
Switch to the January version today to get a head start. Simply go to methodintegration.com, click Sign in, and click Switch to the January version in the login form.
What do you think? Use the comments below to give feedback. We’re all ears!
Seasons Greetings, Joyeux Noël!, Boas Festas!, Buone Feste, Ii holide ezimnandi, Sarbatori Fericite!, Frohe Weinachten!, Feliz Navidad, Mele Kalikimaka, Wesołych Świąt, Boldog Ünnepeket
On behalf of the Method Team, I’d like to wish everyone a happy holiday season! May your holidays be filled with love, joy and laughter as you celebrate the season with your loved ones.]
If you plan on reaching The Method Team during the holidays, please take note of our holiday hours:
Monday, December 26th (Boxing Day): CLOSED
Tuesday, December 27th: Skeleton Crew - 9:00am - 6:00pm EST
Aside from the above, it’s business as usual!
Have a safe and joyous holiday season, and we'll be in touch in the New Year!
Danny Do Couto
Back in June we blogged about Intuit announcing a new way of integrating with QuickBooks called Intuit Anywhere (“IA”). Starting today, all new Method CRM for QuickBooks Online users will be using IA to connect to QuickBooks. IA provides QuickBooks users a great new experience of connecting your favorite apps, like Method CRM, in one place. Plus, you get a cool blue-dot in the top right corner of your screen when you login to Method directly showing all your App Center apps. Told you it was cool! So what are some of the benefits of IA?
We’re really excited to be one of the six developers to first work with IA. In addition to this, I'd like to note how impressive it is to see how quickly the Intuit team is releasing new data to developers for QBO. Check back on our blog and release notes for other regular updates.
- Fewer steps to sign in. Since you sign in from the normal Method login form, it is faster and less clumsy for your staff to sign in. By the end of November, we’ll be using OpenID so that if you want to sign in directly from workplace.intuit.com, you still can.
- With Intuit Anywhere, your tokens don’t expire. So your Method CRM account stays in sync with QuickBooks Online for all users without your administrator having to constantly sync. Syncing happens automatically all day without any interaction by you.
- Easier to invite new users. Users don’t need to be registered on workplace.intuit.com anymore, so there are fewer steps to get your team up and running.
- No Intuit bar along the top of the screen. Instead there is a non-intrusive blue-dot that only shows up for the administrator. In time, Intuit plans on making the blue dot available to all users based on the apps they have access to, but this is a few months out.
One of the main reasons a business chooses to use a CRM product is because they want to make sure they don’t lose touch with any of their leads or customers. After all, customers are the lifeblood of any company. If you find yourself still putting reminders in Outlook or using sticky notes, alarm bells should be going off because your CRM isn’t doing its job.As a business manager, some of the common questions I ask myself are:
- Does every Opportunity in our pipeline currently have a follow-up? If the Opportunity isn’t closed, it should always have a future activity date.
- Has every Lead been qualified by us contacting them? I want to quickly see which leads have never been contacted and make sure that I always have a follow-up scheduled for myself or for a member of my team. If they are a dead lead, we should make them unqualified or inactive. Focus on leads that are most likely to become customers.
- Do our current customers have follow-ups scheduled? We want to see how they are doing to keep customer retention high. However we can also identify if there is any opportunity to upsell so there should always be a future activity scheduled.
- Does every open customer service Case have a scheduled follow-up? I want my team checking with the customer to see if their issue has been resolved and eliminate the chance for something to fall through the cracks. If the case is still open, it should always have a future activity scheduled.
Last Activity and Next Activity
I’m pretty stoked about this new feature we’ve been working on for the last couple of weeks. It solves for all of the questions I mentioned above and applies to 4 key screens in Method CRM.
- Leads and Contacts List
- Customers and Contacts List
- Opportunities List
- Cases List
Each of these screens now benefits from 2 new columns called “Last Activity” and “Next Activity”. If a lead or customer was never contacted, the Last Activity date will appear blank. When an activity is completed, the current date will get filled in automatically for the Last Activity date and if a follow-up is scheduled, that would automatically fill in the Next Activity date. If no follow-up was scheduled and no other activities are pending in the future, the Next Activity date will appear blank.
By filling in these dates automatically, we are able to quickly filter grids on these screens using some newly added filter views and see:
You can also click on the Last Activity and Next Activity dates directly from the grid to quickly launch that specific activity. Having this information available at your fingertips can really empower a business owner to quickly take action in areas that need it. I can’t wait for my team to use this internally.Have any feedback or suggestions on this feature? Let me know.Danny
- Leads that have no activities, no last activity or no next activity date scheduled.
- Customers that have no activities, no last activity or no next activity date scheduled.
- Opportunities in the pipeline that have no activities, no last activity or no next activity date scheduled.
- Cases that are open that have no activities, no last activity or no next activity date scheduled.
We're excited to announce the release of Method Scheduling & Invoicing for QuickBooks Online. While there are several apps available for Method users who use QuickBooks Desktop, this is the first app available for Method users of QuickBooks Online. Considering the large percentage of our QuickBooks Online users who are service companies, we know this is going to be welcomed news.
What does it do?
Method Scheduling & Invoicing adds onto Method CRM Pro - and provides the ability to schedule work orders on a calendar, and then convert the work orders into invoices.
Main features include:
- Scheduling - schedule jobs on a calendar or a work order list. Jobs can be one-time, projects or recurring. Recurring intervals can be daily (including multiple days per week), weekly (including biweekly), monthly (including quarterly), annually, or at variable intervals (for example, every 7 days from January to April, every 14 days from May to October, and every 7 days from November to December).
- Mapping / Routing - generate driving directions to and from your office using Google Maps.
- Assign work orders - assign work to your crews (teams, techs, etc.). You can either email the work orders, print the work orders, or provide your crew leaders with a login so that they can access their work online. Route lists are also an option if you want many jobs to appear on each printed page.
- Mobile - instead of printing work orders, why not give crews a mobile device so that they can use Method Mobile to access their work in the field?
- Complete the work - enter start and stop times, materials used, as well as any additional services sold while at the job. If the crews are using Method Mobile, they can simply click on their work orders, click Start Timer when they arrive, and Stop Timer when they are finished! Method Mobile saves the double-entry of having your office staff enter this back in the office at the end of the day.
- Invoicing - convert all completed work orders into QuickBooks Online invoices with a single click. You can create one invoice per work order at the end of each day, or you can invoice monthly for all the work orders completed this month. The invoices will go right into QuickBooks Online instantly.
- Job Costing - View Job Cost reports that give Estimated vs. Actual hours, so you know which jobs are winners and which ones are losers.
- CRM - Of course, it integrates nicely with Method CRM .
Who is it for?
Anyone who schedules jobs to be performed by staff, where the scheduled work turns into a QuickBooks invoice when it is complete. Typically, this is ideal for companies in the field service industry, but there are many other industries that apply.
How do I get it?
- The cost is free for QuickBooks Online users who are subscribed to Method CRM Pro for QuickBooks Online. It is not standalone. If you are a QuickBooks Online user, you need to sign up for Method CRM Pro via Intuit App Center.
- Once you are a Method CRM Pro user, sign in, and go to Customize > My Account, where you'll see the ability to install Method CRM Scheduling & Invoicing for QuickBooks Online.
Think of the time you'll save. Scheduled work automatically appears
on a calendar at the interval you specified when you first set the jobs
up. Instead of you or your office staff doing data entry, it's your
field staff who are the ones tracking whether work was completed and how
long it took. All you have to do is click one button to have all
their completed work orders flow into QuickBooks as invoices!
And best of all, since this app is made using Method, it is built using the same tools you have access to. So you can customize it to be specifically tailored for your service company.
Method HQ will be away from the office on Monday, September 5th for Labor Day. Labor Day is one of the rare holidays that both Americans and Canadians celebrate on the same day. So what happens if you run into issues, have questions or just want to bounce ideas off us? Feel free to post your questions on our user forum. We’ll be sure to get back to you on Tuesday when we are all refreshed from the extended weekend. If run into an emergency situation that cannot wait until Tuesday, please email email@example.com and we'll get back to you as soon as we can.
To post a question on our forum, click here.
Enjoy the last few days of summer!
Matt Raiser from Tech in the Field has been working diligently on a new app called You Rang. As the name might have suggested, this app works with your caller ID enabled modem to detect inbound calls and helps you to quickly locate customer information and log activities.
How does it work?
You Rang detects an incoming caller's phone number and searches your Method customer list for that number. If a match is found, you’ll be automatically taken directly to the customer screen for that customer with one click. In addition to this, you can also have an activity automatically created so you can begin taking notes on the call as soon as it comes in. This saves you time by having the information you need right at your finger tips.
How much does it cost?
As a Method CRM Pro user, you can install You Rang for $10/month for the first user and $2/month per additional user. If you are using Method CRM, you will need to upgrade to Method CRM Pro to install the You Rang app.
How do I get started?
If you’d like to learn more about You Rang, or if you do not have a Method account and would like to get started, please contact Tech in the Field.If you’re a Method CRM Pro user and you’d like to install You Rang, log in to your Method account and follow the steps below. Remember you’ll need to be the administrator on the account in order to follow these steps.
If you’re a Method CRM user and you’d like to upgrade your account to Method CRM Pro, you can do so from within your Method account.
- Click Customer > My Account.
- Scroll down to the "Add Apps from the Method Application Library" section and click add this app for You Rang
- Click add app now! to complete the installation process.
- Log in to your Method account, go to the Customize > My Account.
- Scroll down to Method CRM Pro and click switch to this edition and complete the final upgrade steps. Then, you can install the You Rang App using the steps in the paragraph above.
It's no secret that we've been working on a QuickBooks Online version of Method CRM for some time now. We announced that we were working on it at Scaling New Heights in May to our Method Solution Providers. We were then highlighted by Alex Barnett from Intuit with an early version using Intuit Anywhere. Finally, we entered Method CRM for QuickBooks Online into next week's Intuit Apps Showcase contest in San Francisco.
It's also no secret to our team that we needed a QuickBooks Online solution.......we field calls every day from QuickBooks Online users who wanted to get their hands on Method CRM.
So, I'm *very* excited to announce that we are now live! You can get Method CRM for QuickBooks Online from workplace.intuit.com today. Click here to sign up: https://workplace.intuit.com/db/bgadcdv5w?a=QBDPTryBuy&try=1
It is available as a 90 day free trial/beta. Currently, we sync with Customers, Employees, Vendors, Items, Estimates, Invoices and Payments. Over the next two months we'll round out the features, and sync with the remaining transactions available to developers, as well as add compatibility with our own Method apps, such as Method Field Services (soon) and Method Expense Reports (later).
P.S. What are you doing Thursday, August 11th? Nothing enjoyable? Great! In that case, you should watch Danny and me up on stage presenting Method CRM at the Intuit Apps Showcase. We'll be wearing chef's uniforms - any guesses as to why? We could use your cheering......and.....YOUR VOTE!! Sign up to watch the live streaming and vote from here: http://miurl.cc/appsshowcase
At Method HQ, we've talked for some time now about having a "Method Coach" feature. Most of the discussions start with big, bulging eyes and a "Wouldn't it be cool if..." declaration - but to be fair, being a tech company full of imagination, a lot of other conversations here start with "Wouldn't it be cool if..."!
The problem we were trying to solve: A brand new Method user signs up for a trial. They sign in. They see something they like. But they can't use it because they haven't yet setup other users, or haven't configured their portal, etc. In other words, they are trying to go to B without first going to A. This can be a frustrating initial experience, and sometimes causes new users not getting deep enough into Method before their trial period lapses.
To solve this, our first option was to create a traditional tutorial manual where we would give everyone a generic set of steps to read and follow. We shied away from that for a couple reasons. First, we're finding the desire to read is becoming a rare commodity! As the internet has evolved, we've all come to expect something more intuitive and intelligent. Second, Method has multiple editions and apps, so users can have totally different environments from each other. Based on how you use Method, the best tutorials are ones that recommend next steps based on who you are and what you do.
So.....wouldn't it be cool if...you got a personalized "next step" notification emailed to you as you completed a certain key setup task?
Enter the Method Coach concept.
Starting today, administrators will now get periodic email notifications with a recommendation of something we think you should setup next, along with step-by-step instructions, and a report card of tasks you've successfully completed to date.
We think it's an interesting solution to a problem every software company faces - and we look forward to tweaking it as we get more feedback.
Let me know your thoughts by writing in the comments below. Would this have helped you when you first got started with Method?
This past May while participating in a session on Method at Scaling New Heights, someone asked if there was an easier way to stay up to date with all the updates that Method released. I of course responded letting them know that the Method blog was the number one place since we publish all the latest and greatest platforms changes as blog entries. In addition to this, there were the regular tweets to Twitter but this didn’t help those who weren’t on Twitter. Plus, most people wanted to know every update, regardless of how big or small it was. So……our new blog called “Release Notes” solves for this. Creative name isn’t it?
Release Notes is a blog dedicated to tracking all updates made to Method apps, including fixes, updates, and smaller feature additions. As the Method Dev team makes these updates, they’ll post to this blog. You can choose to check the website directly on a regular basis or if you’re using RSS feeds, just subscribe by clicking the link below.
We’ll of course still be using the Method Blog as our primary source of news, articles, tips, tricks and major platforms releases.
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