This year, I’m trying to streamline the marketing process to make it more doable. That’s why I’ve simplified the 2012 Marketing Plan Bundle to include only the most effective tasks. One of the main marketing tasks in the bundle is direct outreach. But once you’ve reached out to these new prospects—how do you keep them organized?
I did research about 6 months ago, and most of the options seemed more complex to implement and manage than made sense for my business. I wanted something that I could customize and that could capture more information than Apple's Address Book, but didn't require a large time investment to set up and maintain. For me, Bento was the answer. I'm not formally trained in sales, and what I really wanted to track were notes about my interactions with the contact, when my last attempt and contact with them was, what that consisted of, and when I needed to follow up and how. And I didn't want to have to go to a whole separate database to track these things. Now, everything I enter via Address Book shows up in Bento and vice versa.
It's from the Filemaker Pro folks, and is a simple database that has various templates you can use for all sorts of data. It's designed to integrate with Apple's iCal, Address Book and Mail. I was able to get a Customer & Contact Manager template. I had to ask specially for a version that automatically syncs with Address Book, but they do have one they'll give you. I ended up with a more robust database containing all the info already in my Address Book, and was able to add fields such as "subscribed to newsletter" or "received letter about (my company) change of ownership." You can link tasks to a contact, as well as emails, documents, etc and create any field you need in several formats. So, for instance, you could track all the people who find you via your lecture series.
Do you use Bento? Do you have any simple contact management systems to recommend?