Posts Tagged ‘features’
Automated Reminders Are Here!
We are excited to introduce new features with reminders that we think you’ll find pretty useful. Not only have we improved the interface for creating and managing reminders, but we’ve added the ability to schedule reminders automatically as a part of your workflow configuration for your agency.
Changes Within Reminders
Each reminder now contains a reminder type, allowing you to classify your reminders into configurable categories. The reminder type contains defaults of “call”, “appointment”, and “to do”, but you can easily customize your reminder types to add to this list. Simply visit the Lists tab under “Agency Settings, and select the “Agency-wide Lists” section. There you will see a list for reminder types and you can create your own types.
By selecting a type on your reminders, you can easily sift thru your reminders on the dashboard by using the new “type” selector at the top of the Reminders tab. Once you begin using reminder types, this drop-down will appear, allowing you to narrow the reminders listed to those of a given type. Want to see all your reminders for calls? It’s a snap.
Also note that there is a new “Daily” option for listing all your appointments and reminders for a given day chronologically. This is useful if you’re working your call list for today, for example.
You can now set up new workflow actions that automatically set reminders, just as you can trigger autoresponders. Add the reminder in the action section of your workflow rule by selecting reminder from the Add Action drop-down, in the bottom left-hand corder of the actions section. You can add one or several reminders to suit your needs.
If you’re triggering actions based on a status change, remember that you may have other reminders set based on other workflow rules that had previously fired. You might want to start your actions off by issuing the action to cancel previously scheduled reminders which will, in essence, wipe the slate clean. Then you can add one or more reminders for the new status.
We think you’ll find the improvements to reminders an enhancement to your workflow. Let us know what you think!
Email Open Notification
Many have asked for it, and now we’ve delivered. Introducing Email Open Notification!
Email Open Notification is a way to be notified (passively or actively) when an email that you’ve sent to a prospect was opened in their email client. We’ve even extended notifications in AgencyIQ to be able to alert you on your cell phone via SMS text message when a prospect opens your email message, so that you can place a call right then and there and reach them when your pitch is top of mind.
First, a note of caution: We cannot accurately tell you if the prospect you emailed actually read your message. We also cannot tell you if they didn’t. We can’t accurately tell you if your message was marked as spam, or for other reasons was never opened. The technology of email just can’t do that reliably; the protocols that make up the email infrastructure on the Internet just don’t provide it. Any vendor that tells you they can is clouding reality.
On the other hand, if you receive notification that an email you sent was opened, you can be (reasonably) sure that it was actually opened. You see, the way this works is we place a tiny invisible image at the bottom of each email message sent. When the recipient’s email system displays your email message on their screen, their email system will come back to our server to get the invisible image. This image won’t alter the look of your email (it’s transparent and only a single pixel in size). However, when we serve this image up, we can record the open of the email message.
Now, if the email recipient uses a text-only email reader (which doesn’t support images), or has their email client set to not download images automatically, we can’t register the open. So make sure you’re approaching this from the right perspective: how many opens you got, not how many you didn’t.
How do I see opens?
Everywhere in AgencyIQ where a list of sent emails are shown you can see the open status of your email. Just look for the small open envelope.
This indicates that the email message you sent has been opened by the recipient. If you hover your mouse over the envelope, a small pop-up will show you the date and time that the email was opened. If you want even more detail, simply open the message and look at the bottom for the “Open Log”. This will list every time the email was opened. Note, we only register “opens” that are at least 10 minutes apart, since some email clients redraw their screens many times and this would lead to an inflated recording of opens.
How can I be notified immediately when a prospect opens my email?
This comes in two steps. First, you need to set up your notification address. This is an email address that the system will send a notice to when an email you’re particularly interested in is opened.
We’ve revised and simplified the notification setup, on the Notifications tab under “My Settings.”
We’ve broken out the various types of notifications you can receive, and provided separate settings for each one. You can set the specific email address as well as a window of time where you want to receive these types of notifications. We’ve also provided a checkbox to temporarily disable a particular type of notification, if you’d like.
The idea here is to send the message to your smartphone, via SMS text message. All major cell phone carriers have an email interface that allows you to send an email directly to your phone, which they will convert to a SMS text message and send to you. If you click the little “+” icon below the notification fields, we provide instructions to send SMS text messages to the cell phones of most major US carriers. Make sure your cell phone plan supports text messaging and that you’re aware of the rates your cell phone carrier will charge for sending and receiving text messages before using this feature.
Enter your information here, and use the “test” link to send a test message to make sure everything is working properly.
Once you have the notification address set up for your account, you’ll need to specify that you want to be notified when an email is opened.
When composing an email message (either as an individual email message or as an autoresponder email), you have the ability to check the box “notify me when this email is opened.” Checking this box on an email you send will tell the system to send a message to the notification email address you provided in “My Settings” when this email is first opened. In the case of autoresponders, the notification will be sent to the agent who is currently assigned to the contact that the email was sent to.
That’s it! We hope you find this great new feature useful!
Online Training for New Agencies
AgencyIQ makes email marketing and lead management easier, and now AgencyIQ makes learning and setting up your new agency a snap! Make sure to watch these quick videos and complete your set up within the system. You’ll certainly learn new tips and tricks by watching these videos.
Online training for new agencies and new producers is a vital part of making the AgencyIQ system successful for your agency. To aid in the initial setup of your agency, we have added a set up menu to walk you through the initial customization process for new producers and new agencies. This section can be found in the top right hand corner of your screen directly below the “My Settings” link.
The “Quick Training I” video provides a basic walk through of the system, covering how to set up your AgencyIQ account. This includes the producer based settings (time zone, email signature, security login) and the agency based settings (address, email footer, lead statuses, and basic email marketing).
The “Quick Training II” video will walk you thru the CRM portion of AgencyIQ, and show you how to work your leads within the system.
Each section that requires set up is itemized on the set up menu, and the text is a direct link to the specific screen where you can complete each task. As each section is finished a check mark will be placed in the appropriate location. As you check off more tasks, the status lights on the menu will turn from orange to green, until you’ve completed all aspects of the setup process.
Watch for additional updates to our support and online training library over the next few weeks as we add more videos and options for you to make the most from AgencyIQ!
Hey, where did my Auto-responders and Auto-assignments go?
If you’ve taken a peek at your agency configuration lately, you may be wondering where the tabs for Auto-responders and Auto-assignments went. And oh, by the way, what’s this new “Workflow Rulesets” tab? We’ve recently rolled out our next-generation automation system for AgencyIQ, which combines the concepts of Auto-assignments and Auto-responders into an even more powerful workflow process that will deliver huge flexibility and customizability.
What’s this Workflow Stuff?
Gone are the days of only being able to send and schedule e-mails when a lead first enters the system. With the introduction of Workflow Rulesets, you now have the ability to select from a large range of criteria to describe to the system how you want to manage your on-going automated communication with your prospects. Rulesets allow you to describe a series of conditions and actions that are evaluated whenever leads change inside the system.
For example, you may want to assign new leads to producers based on more granular criteria than lead provider, such as zip code or last name (i.e. “Distribute all leads A-M to Bob, and N-Z to Sally”). You may want to cancel pending scheduled e-mails and set up a new set when the lead moves from “New lead” to “Active lead”. The new Workflow system allows you to do this.
The Workflow system is made up of simple building blocks that you use to assemble your particular configuration. First, you start off by creating a “Ruleset,” which is just a fancy way of saying “If this happens, do this.” In the “my agency” settings in the system, select the “Workflow Rulesets” tab:
This tab displays any Rulesets that you have defined. In the above example, I have two rulesets set up represented by the large gray tiles; one for auto-assignments, and one for auto-responders. The small icons show an overview of what the ruleset consists of (you’ll see more of this later). As I hover my mouse over the ruleset tiles I notice actions hilight on the right-hand side, “edit” and “duplicate.” I can also drag the tiles around to reorder them on the screen. This ordering is important, as the system will process these rules in the order you have them listed, from top to bottom.
If I click “edit” on the “Autoassignment – Steve” tile, I’m taken to the definition for that ruleset:
Reading this screen from top to bottom I see that “If ALL of the following conditions are met” (followed by a list of conditions), “Then the following actions occur” (followed by one or more actions). In this case, I have a simple rule that states “If a new lead enters the system and the lead is unassigned, then assign the lead to the agent ‘Steve DeVoll’.”
Rulesets are made up of conditions and actions. All of the conditions for a given ruleset must be met in order for the given actions to be completed. If one or more of the conditions are not met, none of the actions are performed and the system moves along to the next ruleset in your list. Using this simple construct, you can build up complex scenarios that help automate your sales process.
Notice that the small icons representing the type of condition or action are present here as well. These map back to the Rulesets screen, allowing you to get an overview of what the ruleset is dependent on and what it will do, visually. You can hover your mouse over any icon to have a tool-tip pop up and describe it, if you need clarification.
Pulling down the “-add new condition-” drop-down menu, we see that there are a number of conditions I can use to narrow down this ruleset:
- A change in status (for example, if the lead’s status changes from “New Lead” to “New Policy”)
- Comparison of a Field to a value (for example, if the lead’s ZIP Code field contains “75001″. You can use comparisons such as Less Than/Greater Than, Begins With, Ends With, Contains, etc.)
- A new lead enters the system (to differentiate between when a lead is first received versus a lead being edited)
- Lead is from one or more Lead Vendors (so you can specify one lead provider’s leads from another)
- Lead is of a particular LOB (so you can differentiate Auto from Home, etc.)
- Lead is assigned to a particular user
- Lead is unassigned
These powerful condition building blocks should let you be very specific about when certain actions should occur. Notice that in the case of conditions, order is unimportant. All must be true in order for the actions to occur. However, you can drag the condition tiles around to reorder them to your liking, if you wish.
Pulling down the “-add new action-” drop-down reveals the following actions:
- Send/Schedule an auto-responder
- Assign the lead to a user or a member of a group
- Cancel any previously scheduled (but unsent) auto-responders
- Stop processing rules
The last option, “Stop Processing Rules” is a special action that tells the system that it should not process any rulesets after this one. Use that to end workflow processing in the event a certain set of criteria has been met.
For actions, as opposed to conditions, order is important. For example, if you combined assignment and auto-responders into the same ruleset, you’d want to assign the lead before you scheduled the auto-responders. Drag and drop the actions to reorder them to fit your needs.
In the coming weeks we will be adding additional powerful actions to this list to let you do additional things such as set up ToDo’s or Reminders, send out notifications, and more.
Beyond Initial Auto-responders
These rulesets are evaluated any time the lead is changed. Using the conditions for detecting a change in the status of a lead, you will now be able to cancel any pending auto-responders and schedule new ones. Or, if you have a user in your office that does the quoting, you can have the system assign a lead to them when the status changes to “Quoting”. The possibilities are wide open.
The Workflow system is in place now. We’ve jumpstarted you by migrating your existing auto-assignments and auto-responders into the new structure. If you’d like help or would like to discuss how to extend your workflow beyond what you could do in the past, let us know!
New Functionality in Mail
We’ve added some new functionality when composing both regular e-mail messages as well as setting up your auto-responders and e-mail templates.
Probably one of the more major enhancements is the inclusion of a spellchecker in the editor. Simply edit the text of your email or template, and click the spellcheck button at the end of the top row of icons:
Clicking this button will initiate a spellcheck of your text, hilighting the words that the computer thinks are problematic. Simply click on each word to get a suggested spelling or to tell the system to ignore that word.
Another feature I think you’ll find particularly handy is the preview button:
Clicking this button will pop open a window that will preview your e-mail or autoresponder the way it will appear when your prospect receives it, including formatting, signatures, etc. In fact, when previewing the auto-responders or templates, you can dynamically switch between agents in your agency to preview their signatures in context with the text.
In addition to these two features, we’ve also improved the system’s ability to take pasted text from Microsoft Word and other sources. If you’re really geeky, you also now have the ability to edit the resulting HTML directly, fine tuning the format of your text to be exactly what you want.
We’ve improved the way newly assigned leads are displayed on the dashboard. They’re now in the more readable table style, with a previous and next link to allow you to page around if there are more than 10.
On the Lead screen (“leads” on the main menu, or click on the lead status box under the search box at the top of any screen), we’ve separated the three sections (Unassigned Lines, Unassigned Contacts, and Unparsable leads) into three separate tabs.
This allows more information to be better displayed across the screen, and allows the user to better focus on the task at hand. The tabs themselves will let you know if there’s anything there by showing a count of the relevant leads in the title.
We hope you enjoy these latest enhancements! Please let us know if you have any questions.
AgencyIQ has issued some updates that we think will help agents access information faster.
-The Home Tab is now the Dashboard
-Tabs will turn red as an alert of activity
-Condense the contact tab to view only the sections that you want to view
-Ability to send email directly from your contact screen
New Tool! The Agency File Cabinet
-Agency File Cabinet in the Agency Set Up tab allows for one input of the documents you use most often. They will be available in the email for all prospects.
-Now attach local files or agency files to your emails.
-Select which producers you want to have access to each document
-Ability to tag your agency based attachments for content
We will have more updates and new tools available soon!
-The AgencyIQ Team