I get by with a little help from my Co-Presenter…

Have you taken advantage of ReadyTalk’s Co-Presenter feature yet? If not you are missing out on one of the most effective ways to manage your webinars. Co-Presenters can be promoted from within the ReadyTalk meeting after joining as a participant. Once promoted to Co-Presenter they are given nearly the same privileges as the Chairperson. They can help manage the chat feature, mute and unmute participants, push polls, present slides, and share their desktop or applications.

How do I?

Simply invite your Co-Presenter to the conference as you would invite any participant. Once they join the conference as a participant, follow these instructions:

  1. Find their name in the web participant list
  2. Right click on their name
  3. Click the “Promote to Co-Presenter” button


 

That’s it, they will get a notice on their screen that they are being promoted to a Co-Presenter and a moderator will load that looks very similar to yours as the chairperson.  If you accidentally promoted the wrong participant or you no longer need that participant as a Co-Presenter you can just follow the same steps except this time you will click “Demote to Participant”. Using this feature will give your conferences a professional look and feel with no added cost. Check out ReadyTalk's Resource Center for more information on Co-Presenters and all kinds of other interesting features.

Customer Care Spotlight: Josh

We talk a lot about the importance of customer service here at ReadyTalk. Today's post is last in a series highlighting members of the customer care team and giving you a chance to get to know them better.

Name: Josh
Title: Customer Care Representative
How Long Have You Worked at ReadyTalk: 8 months

Favorite sports team: Honda Off-Road Racing Team, University of Texas Longhorns
Hobbies: Brewing beer, riding motorcycles, and reading good books, because who wants to read bad ones?
Pets? Kids? Other small creatures at home?: Just the roommates, but they smell like pets sometimes.
Interesting fact about Josh: I've studied 5 languages, 3 of which are dead.

Longest customer care call: 1.5 hours
Favorite Customer Question: The Customer Care number used to be confused with a Dating Line's number. We got lots of interesting requests from that.
One ReadyTalk tip to share with customers: Do a free training. It's a powerful product, and there are so many things you can do with it. Don't let lack of understanding keep you from the fullest extent of what we can do for you!
Favorite thing about working at ReadyTalk: Good people, great company!

Wonder what languages Josh has studied? Think you can stump him with an audio and web conferencing question? Ask below.

Integrating Salesforce.com with Webinar and Conferencing Data

Last week’s Dreamforce conference had people talking. From Steve Wonder to Bill Clinton, it was an action-packed show chalked full of useful Salesforce tricks, tips and apps.

ReadyTalk used the show as a platform to solicit feedback for the upcoming launch of ReadyTalk for Salesforce.com, an integration that will save ReadyTalk customers time and make web conferences and webinars even easier.

For marketing managers who run webinars and use Salesforce.com, ReadyTalk’s integration will be able to:

  • Automatically capture registration & attendance data—no more manual imports
  • Get instant visibility into key metrics right in Salesforce and speed follow-up on webinar leads
  • Send up to 10,000 polished email invites through ReadyTalk or use a third-party provider

 

Salespeople who schedule and run audio/web conferences and use Salesforce.com will be able to:

  • Schedule and start virtual meetings directly from a SFDC Lead or Contact record
  • Automatically document and measure key sales activities in SFDC
  • Invite prospects to marketing webinars through their Lead record as you speak with them
  • Get instant visibility into webinar attendance data for your prospects and clients

 

Want to learn more about ReadyTalk for Salesforce.com? Sign up for a free demo and give us your feedback on the soon-to-be-released feature.

Plan, Plan, Plan – Best Practices for Webinar Invitations

I am sure you have received one or two (probably many more) invitations to attend webinars. They are a part of our daily business lives. So when the time comes to send out your own invitation, what do you do to make it stand out from the others? Following are some “best practices” to consider when preparing your webinar invitation.

Grab ‘em with a WOW title!

The first place you can “grab” your audience is with the title of your webinar. Keep it short and to the point – ideally with some sort of takeaway or action item. If your title approaches 15 words in length, it is too long. Are there any hot-button items related to your topic? If so, mentioning one of those in the title just might get them to keep reading – and register! Just make sure the title is clear and not misleading.

Time (zone) is of the essence

Selecting the date and start time is important. If you are inviting participants from across the country – or even the world – you should including the participant time zones in your invitation. I have seen some invitations that even list the start time by the time zones across the country. Pointing this out to your audience shows that you care about their schedules and truly want them to attend your webinar.

Map out your description

Okay, you piqued someone’s attention. He or she is still reading your invitation and now comes the full description of your webinar. This is where you can go on and on and provide tons of information, right? Well….not entirely! Following is great advice from an article written by Karen Gedney:

    I’ve seen a number of eye-tracking heat maps for Webinar invitations, and they all show basically the same thing: people pay the most attention to the first two horizontal lines of your first paragraph, which you would expect. Then, in the main copy area, readers seem to focus on the left side of the page, taking note of the first few subheads between paragraphs and beginning words of any bullet points.

    It’s important, then, to frontload your copy, putting the most important keywords at the beginning of a paragraph or bullet point. Also, make sure those subheads highlight your audience’s hot-button issues.

    It’s a new way of writing, but it could be worth the effort. As I’ve talked about in past columns, when I frontload subject lines with keywords, response rates soar. Now it could be just as important to train yourself to write keywords in the beginning of sentences.

    Another place that people focus is on photographs of people. If you have headshots of your speakers, put them in. And write compelling captions for those photos to encourage registrations.

Colorful logos and catch words

A little color can go a long way, and too much black-and-white text can quickly bore someone. Make sure your branding logo is attractive and colorful, and think about using a colored font for some hot-button words that will attract someone and entice him or her to keep reading! But, don’t get too carried away or it will hard to read.

The invitation you send for a webinar is quite possibly the most important part of the preparation process. It is the first communication to your prospective participants, and it is your one chance to grab their attention. Take your time when preparing your invitation and don’t be afraid to be creative!

What do YOU do to make your webinar invitations stand out? Please share your ideas with us – the possibilities are endless!

Agile All Around Us

A quick walk around the ReadyTalk office might lead one to believe that we have stock in 3M. Our hallways look more like an elementary school than a software development company, but there is a business purpose behind our mass consumption of Post-It notes and construction paper:

We are Agile.

It didn’t take long for other departments to notice its success. Marketing was the next team to move to Agile, customizing a scrum/Kanban hybrid model to fit their unique needs. Managing their work in-progress with color-coded Post-Its and index cards has given their team more visibility to what everyone is working on and why. Their manager says, “Taking an Agile approach to our projects creates a team consensus on priorities and how we are spending out time. Our work has become less silo-ed.” She also pointed out how the use of regular retrospectives forces the team to look back on what they have done so they can constantly improve the process.

The visibility that the process provided into Marketing’s work was apparent to other teams too; the Events Team and Customer Care Teams took notice. Both teams recently adopted a Kanban board to manage their internal projects that were historically lost in the shuffle of their day-to-day responsibilities. One member of the customer care team says, “Our team is more connected to each other and more knowledgeable about what our teammates are doing throughout the day. Due to the nature of support, we sometimes find ourselves tied down to our computers and phones with limited opportunities to collaborate with multiple colleagues at the same time. The daily scrum is our chance to physically stand in a circle together and get everyone on the same page very quickly.”

Agile is all around us here at ReadyTalk, but each team has embraced it and made it their own. While the details of each implementation vary, individual teams and departments have taken the basic principles behind Agile and hit the ground running. The “evaluate and adapt” methodology means that the each team’s process is constantly improving to meet their changing needs for agile flavor all that’s their own.

Is your organization using Agile? If so, where and how? What’s working? What isn’t?