Archive for Marketing

How to import Do Not Call lists

This blog gives step-by-step instructions on how to import Do Not Call lists into Acarda Outbound. These instructions apply to both the Team and Solo Editions of Acarda Outbound. For Acarda Outbound Team: In Acarda Outbound Manager click on the Manage tab then in the Import group of icons, click on the Do Not Call icon. For Acarda Outbound Solo: Click on the Administration tab (rather than the Agent View tab) and then the Manage tab, then in the Import group of icons, click on the Do Not Call icon.

The import Do Not Call file must be a text file such as a csv file. If there is more than one column of data then only the first column will be imported. Formatting of the telephone numbers will be removed during import.

Take the following steps to import the Do Not Cal list:

  1. Select the Import File.
  2. Modify the defaulted “Comment” if you want to. Note the “Source Tag” cannot be changed. This is used to identify the import file source is useful for managing your Do Not Call lists.
  3. Click the Import button.

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Figure 1: The Import Do Not Call Tab.

Once you have imported a file, the Import and Cancel buttons will be disabled to prevent you accidently re-importing the same data. After selecting a new source file name, these buttons will be enabled again.

To view the imported Do Not Call list data you need to open the Do Not Call directory. For Acarda Outbound Team: In Acarda Outbound Manager click on the Manage tab then in the Directories group of icons, click on the Do Not Call icon. For Acarda Outbound Solo: Click on the Administration tab (rather than the Agent View tab) and then the Manage tab, then in the Directories group of icons, click on the Do Not Call icon.

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Figure 2: The Do Not Call directory.

In the grid list on the left side is a list of import sources, the date of import, comment and a count of the number of records imported. As these lists could have millions of numbers in them we do not show the actual list of numbers unless you use the Display All icon at top of the right side panel called Source List Numbers. Usually you would enter in a telephone number to check in the “Search Telephone” box at the top of the gird. You can also delete an individual telephone number from this source’s list by clicking on the Delete icon.

Take care above the left hand side list is a Delete Source icon. Only use that if you want to delete the entire list! If you upload Do Not Call numbers each month then use the Source to identify the imported list. It is helpful to include the Month and Year in the Source tag. e.g. 702 Jan 2016. Then when you come to import a more recent list you can delete the old list by using the Source Delete. If your Do Not Call lists have millions of numbers then you may need to delete the older list prior to importing the replacement list.

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How to get a website up and running quickly

This isn’t the usual blog for Acarda however recently I have had several non-technical-but-computer-savvy people ask about website creation options. Their goal, to get a web site up and running quickly without paying a fortune for design or hosting.

One option is to use a free template design for your website. There are often 100’s of free templates to select from so it’s an easy way to get start without paying for a website developer to build you anything. Usually these service providers require you to host your website with them and if there is a free plan expect to find adverting added by the provider to your site.

One example of this is WIX.com (www.wix.com). They have loads of beautiful pre-designed templates you can use. It’s a fast way to get a web presence. You must host these template websites with them and their plans start at $4.08/month (displays Wix Brand Ads) or $8.25 for their Combo plan without ads. They have other options which give greater storage and bandwidth however the Combo plan should be enough for small sites.

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Another example is GoDaddy (www.godaddy.com/hosting/website-builder.aspx). They have several plans, a Personal which is just $1/month but only has access to 50 personal themes, and a business plan which is $6.99/month and you select one of 300 templates.

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WordPress themes are everywhere so using a WordPress website is another option to consider. Again GoDaddy (www.godaddy.com/hosting/wordpress-hosting.aspx) provides these. Their Starter plan is good for basic websites and blogs at only $1/month (when on sale). They have a Business plan for $9.99/month. These plans give you access to 1000s of themes and plugins.

Of course you could use WordPress.com https://wordpress.com/ where you can create a subname of your choice e.g. howtocreateawebsitequick.wordpress.com on their free Basic plan (may show ads) or pay $99/year to have basic themes and no ads with your own full domain name (http://store.wordpress.com/plans/).

You could set up a hosting plan with someone like Dreamhost (www.dreamhost.com) . They offer a WordPress Hosting plan (www.dreamhost.com/hosting/wordpress/) for $19.95/month and you have access to a huge number of templates for your website. It’s worth considering just using a normal blog for your website and adding a few static pages to the blog. This requires a bit more technical known-how but is only $8.85/month and you can host unlimited number of domains, unlimited all-sorts of stuff including a 1-Click WordPress Installer with access to the many WordPress themes. If you have some technical ability then this is certainly an option to consider.

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Another WordPress hosting site to consider is bluehost (www.bluehost.com/wordpress) who have plans starting on special offers at just $3.95/month. For larger and higher traffic sites look at their Optimized Hosting for WordPress plan at $24.99/month (www.bluehost.com/managed-wordpress-hosting) For a helpful beginner’s guide for WordPress take a look at www.wpbeginner.com. Once you have signed up you can access WordPress Video Tutorials.

There are other website creation and design tools that you can use to build websites quickly such as Weebly (www.weebly.com/features/#) and Joomla (www.joomla.org). Weebly is a web-hosting service that allows you to “drag-and-drop” with their website builder to create a website. Joomla is a free and open-source content management system for publishing and managing web content. Many website hosting services, including the above mentioned bluehost (www.bluehost.com/cgi-bin/signup) and dreamhost can host sites designed with these tools. If you are looking for an educational website with WordPress video tutorials and other web development resources you may like to look at FirstSiteGuide.

With the likes of Weebly, Joomla or WordPress you should be able to get your website up quickly and have a lot of fun while you do it. The hardest part isn’t so much developing the site but rather working out the right content to present.

 

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