Tech Thursday Round Up – July 1 (wow..time flies)

  • True CRM: It’s Beyond Technology
  • MailChimp vs. Aweber – A Comparison Of Two Email Marketing Providers
  • 3 Online Marketing Management Services: Arkayne, Hubspot, Kutenda
  • Maximizer Software Sweetens the Sales Pie for Small Businesses with New Team Edition and Upgraded Entrepreneur Edition
  • Technology for Event Organizers: Do More with Less
  • LinkedIn: What Facebook For Professionals Should Look Like
  • RingCentral Keep in Touch Contest & Concur Breeze Tweet & Win Contest
  • Testing Email Marketing: The Only Way to Have Profitable Results

True CRM: It’s Beyond Technology (Danny Estrada, Net@Work)
On June 11, 2010, produced 12HoursOfTech as part of Internet Week. The full day event, followed by a reception, brought together speakers from Ez Texting, Kutenda, Infusionsoft, Orange Soda, Net@Work, Constant Contact, Vertical Response, IT2Max, Tap11, Affect Strategies, Pattie Stone, Odesk, Hill Data Management , Yelp, Rate Point and Antonio Neves.
12HoursOfTech was hosted by Microsoft NYC and sponsored by Net@Work
danny-estrad-netatwork.jpgDanny Estrada ,
Net@Work CRM Practice Director, spoke to the audience about CRM. CRM – customer relationship management – needs technology to work. But guess what, CRM is much more than technology. It’s also about a CULTURE of customer satisfaction.
Watch the video and/or read up on it in the transcript of his talk on


MailChimp vs. Aweber – A Comparison Of Two Email Marketing Providers

mailchimp.pngAs many of you who follow my email newsletter are aware, I recently switched my email marketing provider from Mailchimp over to Aweber and I thought that it would be interesting to compare the two services. For all of you who are not doing email marketing for your business, you really should consider doing so.
aweber.gifHaving an email list or newsletter is the best way to mobilize your audience to take action. It’s also a great way to maintain an active community of readers/customers for your site. In any case, this post is not about trying to convince you to use an email marketing provider, but if you are in the market for one, this review may help you out.
What Initially Attracted Me To MailChimp
Honestly, what attracted me initially to Mailchimp was that they offer a trial period in which their service is free for up to 500 subscribers. I know, I’m cheap. I can’t help it. The Asian in me always prevails. Even though all of the top bloggers use Aweber, I opted for Mailchimp because of the free startup cost. That and my buddy Sid Savara was also using MailChimp and highly recommended the company. Anyways, in using both email providers extensively and having learned the ins and outs of both services, I discovered the pros and cons of each which I’ll enumerate below.
3 Online Marketing Management Services: Arkayne, Hubspot, Kutenda
Hubspot recently spoke at my last Taste of Technology Series event. Kutenda was at the Fifth Annual Small Business Summit and spoke at 12HoursOfTech. Today I got an email about a service Arkayne.
It got me thinking to put them together in some way and let you know about them.
Arkayne is the lowest cost of the three, yet also provides the least comprehensive feature set. Having said that, if you have a small budget, but still want to get some analysis of your search engine optimization or assistance with knowing how to bring more visibility to your content you’ll want to try it out.
Founded in 2006, Hubspot is the leading online marketing software and has thousands of users. Kutenda was founded in 2009 and from what I’ve seen offers a very compelling service for growing businesses.
If you’re looking for ONE way to manage your website(s) and social media these tools can help you. No need to login and out of Google Analytics, Word Press and 6 other online content management tools. Read the rest on
Maximizer Software Sweetens the Sales Pie for Small Businesses with New Team Edition and Upgraded Entrepreneur Edition

Next-Generation Sales and Contact Management Enhancements, Combined with Intuitive New User interface, Empower Small Business’ Mobilized Workforces
maximizer.gifVANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA – June 29, 2010 – Offering small businesses marquis sales tools and upgraded contact management capabilities to leverage pipeline opportunities in real time, Maximizer Software Inc., a leading provider of simple, accessible customer relationship management (CRM) and mobile CRM solutions, today announced the availability of the first-ever Maximizer CRM 11 Team Edition and enhanced CRM 11 Entrepreneur Edition.
Entrepreneur Edition is tailored for organizations with individual or up to five networked users that primarily need contact management functionality. The new Team Edition is designed for organizations with 5-50 networked users that demand more advanced sales opportunity management and collaboration. These latest offerings complete the rollout of Maximizer CRM 11 across four editions, with Group and Enterprise Editions previously launched on March 29.
“With today’s small business landscape tougher than ever, professionals are demanding real-time access to critical customer and prospect information—as well as the ability to strategically act on sales pipeline activity—in a moment’s notice,” said William Anderson, executive vice president of technology, Maximizer Software. “Our new ‘Team’ approach to sales was developed with this in mind, as Maximizer CRM 11 enables powerful collaboration and knowledge sharing among colleagues so they can collectively focus on efficiently closing the highest priority sales opportunities, whether in the office or on the road.”
New Email Marketing Service From Pinpointe
pinpointe.JPGPinpointe, a feature-rich, email marketing service for businesses and enterprises, today announced availability of its latest on-demand system to help business marketers squeeze better results from their email marketing programs. Pinpointe On-Demand, already one the most robust and feature-rich email marketing systems, now includes the following enhancements at the same all-inclusive price points.

Drag and Drop Surveys

Pinpointe now includes easy-to-use, drag and drop survey builder, so business marketers can easily create, manage, send and measure unlimited surveys and online questionnaires to increase customer engagement. Unlike other ESPs, such as iContact or Vertical Response that charge extra, Pinpointe Surveys are free, so business marketers can develop and collect unlimited results without paying extra.
Dynamic Content Insertion
Extending Pinpointe’s flexible personalization and customization features, Pinpointe’s dynamic content allows customers to dynamically insert entire blocks in an email design – including the html, images and content, based on a field value. For example a campaign might include a special product offer where the offer, image and description change based on whether the recipient is an existing customer or a prospect.
There’s lot more so check it out.
Technology for Event Organizers: Do More with Less
In producing the Annual Small Business Summit, Taste of Technology Series, 12HoursOfTech and the Technology and Your Business Tour, we use a lot of technology.
At times we just use Excel as it’s so easy to make quick lists. For example, a nice list of speakers. However, we’ve learned that to be productive we need to have the list online so all on our team can easily share it. In this case Google Apps comes into play.
Of course when sharing files, we used to email files back and forth but we’ve gotten a lot smarter and realize that it’s better to use DropBox, Dropio or some other file sharing tool.
Our most critical tool is Eventbrite which we use for event registration.
There are a lot more tools on the market and BizBash has a nice list of tools. Read the rest of the story on
LinkedIn: What Facebook For Professionals Should Look Like
linkedin.gifI know this sounds weird. There’s Facebook, there’s Twitter and there is LinkedIn. Three separate social media tools. However, at last week’s “The Lies of Twitter and Facebook Event” the panelists (Laura Thomson, Dell; Brent Leary, CRM Solutions and Danny Zarrella, Hubspot) were discussing the various social media platforms.
One of the comments was that LinkedIn is one of the best tools for conducting business online – beyond just “finding a job”
With LinkedIn’s new changes to their group features, LinkedIn’s already powerful groups are even more powerful. I’m a part of several information rich groups, one is HP’s Small Biz Nation. Compared to Facebook, LinkedIn’s discussions are 100% focused on one thing – discussing serious business challenges.
LInkedIn’s changes include… read the rest on
RingCentral Keep in Touch Contest
ringcentral contest.jpgEnter RingCentral’s Keep in Touch Contest for a chance to win an iPad from RingCentral, the leading provider of cloud-based phone systems for small businesses.
One lucky winner will win an iPad each week for five weeks.
Contest runs from June 28-August 2, 2010. Enter contest here:
Concur Breeze Tweet & Win Contest
concur_breeze_logo.pngConcur announced the launch of Concur Breeze for mobile devices, which makes it easy for users to create, submit and approve expense reports anytime, anywhere with their Android, BlackBerry or iPhone device. In celebration of the launch, we want to know what you’re doing now that you don’t have to spend hours on your expenses. Would you rather be spending time with family? Playing with your dog in the park? You tell us! In return, Concur is giving away an SMB Stimulus Package every day this week which includes:
* New HTC Legend Android device
* An autographed copy of The Small Business Bible: Everything You Need to Know to Succeed in Your Small Business by one of the country’s leading small business experts, Steve Strauss
* One year-long subscription for one to Concur Breeze
Starting today, we’ll select one winner daily through Friday, July 2 – details and rules here.
For more small business contests check out Laura’s roundup of them every other week.
Testing Email Marketing: The Only Way to Have Profitable Results
Thumbnail image for Campaigner-Logo-Final.jpgAs part of a series of webinars we are doing with email marketing company Campaigner, Wendy Lowe, Director of Product Marketing presented a 30 minute webinar on WHY – and more importantly HOW – to test your email marketing campaigns.
As I was listening to her speak, I was fiercely scribbling notes and learning so much. Wendy said that most companies who do not test their email campaigns to see which one is best give two excuses for not doing so.
33% said, I don’t know how and 27% – I don’t have time. For those of you who say they don’t know how, this seminar will take away that excuse. When you finish hearing this webinar you’ll make the time to test.
Find out more and watch a video replay of the webinar here.

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Laura plans and manages Smallbiztechnology's live and virtual events, including the five-city Small Business Technology Tour, now in its third year. She also produces events for clients through her event planning company, L2 Event Production. Her popular roundups of events and competitions for small businesses is published weekly on and Small Business Trends.