Archive for May, 2010

New Feature: Convert Contacts to Customers With Auto Responders

Monday, May 17th, 2010

Ofuz 0.5.8 has quite a few new features, and over 90 across the board improvements. In this blog post, I want to tell you about the new Auto Responder feature in Ofuz.

An Auto Responder is a mailing list feature that sends timed followup messages to your mailing list. You create a sequence of email templates and tell the Auto Responder how long to wait before sending each one. Then, when new people join your mailing list, the Auto Responder sends out your emails at your chosen intervals using the merge fields from your email templates to personalize each email.

Auto Responders can be a great way to convert contacts into customers. Remember the following important facts:

  • On average, it takes 7 contacts within 18 months to make a sale. Reference
  • 2% of sales are made on the first contact, 3% on the second, 5% on the third, 10% on the fourth, and 80% on the fifth to twelfth! Reference

Auto Responder sequences should provide interesting or valuable information to your contacts, and it should remind them about the benefits of becoming a customer.

Here’s how to set up an Auto Responder in Ofuz.

  1. Sign in to your Ofuz account.
  2. Set up any email templates that you plan to use for your Auto Responder.
  3. In the top right of the Ofuz page, click Settings.
  4. On the left navigation bar, click Auto Responder.
  5. Click Create New.
  6. In the Auto Responder Name field, type a name for your new Auto Responder.
  7. In the Tag Name field, choose the tag that you want to associate with this Auto Responder. Contacts tagged with this tag will receive your new Auto Responder sequence.
  8. Click Create.
  9. The new Auto Responder appears in your list of Auto Responders. Click the new Auto Responder’s name.
  10. Click here to the right of You do not have any auto responder Email Templates for Auto Responder1.
  11. Either click Select Email Template and choose an existing email template to add to your Auto Responder, or create a new email template using the form that appears.
  12. Fill in the Name field with a name for this template.
  13. Fill in the Subject field with the subject you want this email to have.
  14. In the Send it in field, type the number of days you want to wait before sending this message.
  15. In the Message editor, create your message.
  16. Click Create.
  17. To create additional emails for this Auto Responder, click Add a new email, and then repeat steps 11 – 16.

That’s all there is to it! Ofuz contacts that are tagged with the tag assigned to your new Auto Responder will automatically receive personalized emails at the intervals you’ve chosen. You can really save yourself some time by combining the Ofuz Web Form feature with the Auto Responder feature.

Thanks for tuning in, and be sure to get a free Ofuz account to take advantage of over 90 enhancements, just released in Ofuz 0.5.8!

How to Create a Free Squeeze Page Using Ofuz, pt3

Thursday, May 6th, 2010

We’re wrapping up our three-part series on how to create a free squeeze page using Ofuz with two screencasts, walking you through the process step-by-step.

Creating a squeeze page on a free Blogger.com account:

Creating a squeeze page on a self-hosted WordPress blog:

Thanks for tuning in, and be sure to get a free Ofuz account to take advantage of over 90 enhancements, just released in Ofuz 0.5.8!

Major Invoicing upgrade in the new Ofuz 0.5.8

Wednesday, May 5th, 2010

We’re excited to announce a new version of Ofuz that includes almost 100 changes, new features, improvements, and bug fixes.

We listen to our users, and your feedback really drives our development. In this release of Ofuz, about 90% of the changes are directly based on your feedback. Please keep the feedback coming!

Some of the new features include:

  • Taxes on Invoices (global and per line)
  • PDF invoices can be downloaded from Ofuz and sent by email
  • Payments can be applied to multiple invoices
  • Client view includes a list of all the invoices due
  • Auto Responders allow you to create a series of email templates and attach to a tag
  • View all your invoices for the year by default instead of Month by Month
  • Update the invoices status, so you can manually set an invoice as Sent
  • Cancel invoices and delete proposals
  • Copy a note, file or document from a contact to a project
  • Attached Tasks to Contact and Project
  • Notes can now contain some HTML tags
  • View Tasks grouped by projects

Private client link with invoice view and online payment

We are very exited about this new release as we have now reached feature parity most of our competitors in the Online Invoicing space. Remember that Ofuz does invoicing and has powerful contact management, group emailing, and task management features!

We are now getting closer to our next major release, Ofuz 0.6. That release will be available as a web-based application at Ofuz.com and as an Open Source download.

Stay tuned, and if you haven’t already, sign up for a free Ofuz account now.

Create a Free Squeeze Page, pt. 2

Monday, May 3rd, 2010

In the first part of this blog post series, we talked about why you might want to create a squeeze page to build your mailing list.

Now, let’s talk about how to do it. Here’s what you need to get started:

First, we’ve created something of value to give away to people we think would make good customers. That Thing of Value is a short ebook we’ve written specifically to appeal to people who might make good paying customers.

All they need to do to get the free ebook is provide us with their name and email address, and permission to contact them in the future.

Second, we’ve got an Ofuz.com account. That’s the other big part of this solution. You can sign up for mailing list management through Aweber or Mailchimp, but those products are often overkill for what the small business or freelancer needs to do. Ofuz, on the other hand, is just right for folks who need to manage several small or medium size mailing lists. That’s us, so let’s get started!

Here’s the process:

  1. We’ll create a WordPress page where potential customers can download our free ebook. It will be “invisible,” meaning that it’s not linked to by any page or post on our site.

    Note: WordPress.com, for security reasons, blocks all embedded forms, even safe ones like your Ofuz web form. So, to use this technique, use another free hosted blog service like Blogger.com, or use a self-hosted WordPress installation. We’ll show you both methods in the screencast later this week.

  2. Create an Ofuz web form. Directions for doing that are found here. Make sure the thank you page for the Ofuz form is set to the URL for the download page you created in the previous step.
  3. Create a WordPress page where your squeeze page text and the Ofuz web form will go. The squeeze page contains text that describes the value of what you are giving away, politely asks for permission to use their email address in exchange for the freebie, and contains the embed code for your Ofuz web form.

That’s all there is to it!

In the final part of this blog post, we’ll have a short screencast that walks you through setting up a free squeeze page using WordPress and Ofuz.

Stay tuned, and in the meantime sign up for a free Ofuz account now!