Hello – I thought I would get out a quick post and give you and update as of July 15. We completed numerous hurdles this weekend. We have cemented some repeatable install approaches that take less then 5 minutes to get rich reporting working for your calendar invite. See here to download the preview calendarsnack.com debrief. We will be be launching soon!
So I started off my ISV journey 7 years ago. Just an innocent attempt to get people to my events by sending them a Calendar Invite. If they accepted, I knew that they were coming. Or at least had a better chance of showing up to my events. Along the way I had a Web based Calendar engine built by a local contractor on an old Cold Fusion stack. It worked and we were off on many use cases on how I thought it should work. Some 2200 hours of personal time in testing, UI design, and disastrous blunders on my part as a weekend and after work project I needed break. If this was going to be bigger idea I needed help. Enter a friend named Arnie. Arnie came into the calendar “Thunder Dome” 2.5 years ago. Or about 1800 hrs ago. It has been a part time project for him and he caught the bug as indicated that those hours are after work and weekends.
He helped with so many things – testing , coding , web site, blogging and overall front end animal. I voted him to Co-Founder last year. He is a true inspiration. Then we decided to blow up the old site and start over -literally scrap all the code some – $80K in custom contract coding down the drain.. Not easy. We were both at a loss for 60 days. We knew after talking with several large test customers we needed to get to scale on AWS with SES.
We then started our Pizza Journey into AWS in August 0f 2017. About 3 months ago in February of 2018 we were fortunate to recruit Jonn , who is our lead developer and CTO. We have been iterating using Slack, and brain storming on how to use SES, Python SDK, SNS, Lambda and Arnie’s Vue front end with his run time engine. We have the prototype running now in AWS. Pretty exciting to see the Pizza project running! The test site will be up and running in a few weeks. www.calendarsnack.com. More to come as we attempt to give every marketeer in the world their own calendar server for sending and tracking of Calendar invites!
Hello. As we wrap us this year, I would like to introduce you to our Video Log Idea Book that we just completed. A big thanks to Arnie for putting all this content together. We both learned a lot from our customers. At the bottom of this blog is the Video I did. Enjoy! Greg & Arnie.
So we have a minimum of 8 touches throughout the sales funnel to establish a customer transaction with a current customer, or even more for a new customer. In addition – we only have 8 seconds to grab a customers attention. We should be using a Calendar Invitation with the CTA to get to the Mobile phone when possible. The CTA will not get lost in email and the Calendar invite will use the reminder engine that is built in.
Are you using the Calendar to talk to your customers? Likely not. We all use Google Calendar and Microsoft Exchange for day to day dialogs for business. But no one is using a Calendar Server to send Calendar Invitations as a marketing department to communicate to customers. Most are using the Calendar to develop and download and .ICS and put them in the Registration email, or asking them to “Click to Download” the ICS. This does not work well and never will . Did you know that when you send a correctly crafted Calendar invitation that it actually “Splits” and goes directly to your customers calendar? It does. This is the greatest thing for a marketer. Your offer, with the correct address and call to action with a possible URL for a coupon or an map – can go directly to your customers mobile phone.
The Landing page shown here is with our magic Box. The email box is actually the Calendar Invite! Think of it as a replacement for “Add to Calendar”, which never worked well and you could not track. Give it a try. Simple, easy, and effective. Direct to your customers calendar. Customer puts email address in it and they get the Calendar invite on their Mobile Phone. We track track it with our reporting engine.
Simple Idea. Insert the PNG, JPG or Gif as a URL into the Calendar invitation as the CTA. Get the correct physical address into the Calendar invite. Let the customer put in their email address. They receive a Calendar invite directly to their phone. We track it. You could do this on Your Web site , or integrate into your email campaign with out CTA script. It does not get lost, and they can retire the coupon at the correct CTA time, since it popped up on their phone with the reminder.
So – we think you might think we are crazy. But tell us what you think in our Disqus thread. The calendar server has a built in specification that is 30 years old. Its called the IETF, or the Internet Engineering Task Force. The specification for Calendaring was just updated a few months ago. Its got lots of cool built in features that as a marketer allow you to talk to a customers mobile calendar application. Drip is an extension of a “temporal” pattern in email. We are advocating you take a look on how it could be used with us, on sending out Calendar invitations. We bring all of this alive for you with our Calendaring API. Which you don’t need to understand at all…
So multi-event listings or pseudo schedules seem easy but they are hard to make simple. In this picture Arnie, my marketing friend here @31events put together this diagram to show how we can assemble 3 different calendar invitations with our easy to use “magic box”. Think of this as a “Add to Calendar Replacement”. Or Add to Calendar on some Big Mega Steroids. Customer see’s 3 different time slots. They pick one or more. They receive a calendar invite directly to the mobile phone with a BOOTH MAP as a PNG stuffed into a URL. Your customer get a chance to come by your booth because they have a Booth # , Map and a CTA to come buy and get a Free tShirt or a Personal One on One demo. Think about how many times you have asked your sales team – hey send out come emails and tell your customers to come by the BOOTH. Well now you can develop that offer and get the Calendar invitation right to the customer’s phone! You can send the code out to your sales team and they can put the invite right into their Vcard, to help you help your customers get to your booth.
We all use the Count Down Clocks. Think about combining them with us. We actually have one running in combination as an integrated Modal with the Countdown Clock at the top and the Calendar invite embedded in a Popup Modal for a website with a built in coupon. This diagram shows how it could be used on a WebSite. But there are many more. Give us some feedback on how you would use them. The first one that does give us feedback gets a $25 Amazon Card! Just contact us on the Disqus thread or Tweet us directly @31events.
So in this diagram we are advocating you try using our embed script for CTA in your Email Marketing program. We can send a calendar invite when the customer clicks the Call to action button in the Email Template. Its simple and we track it. The great part is that we don’t require you do anything different. Just give us a test run in your email campaign testing. We believe you are going to see better results.
Well believe it or not was our original invention. We built a calendaring web service to send direct invitations to our customer base. Since they knew us, they responded better and they just accepted it onto the calendar for the event. If they they were not sure, the event was still on their calendar in a grayed out position. When the event came closer – sometimes they accepted , or sometimes they denied it. But we were communicating with them – all through the calendar. Early on – PRIOR to the mobile phone it was working well. Over the past 10 years it is working well since all people have their phones and have a calendar on them – and the events do not get lost in email. Uses cases include OPT in lists of customers that prefer direct calendar invites. Another big idea is SUBSCRIPTION customers that order on a regular basis, where by sending calendar invites with information and offers would be welcomed for extra discounts in CTA or coupons in the calendar. The ideas are endless! Thanks for listening to the first 7 Ideas from Arnie and Greg @ 31events. Here to the next 100! Again if you have ideas on how to use them or want to do some GUEST BLOGGING with us. Please reach out @31events on Twitter or within the DisQus Thread.
Get the Ideabook, just click the button the button below for the PDF version.