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Good morning, Marketers, and this is getting absurd
The Banning Surveillance Advertising bill introduced to the House of Representatives this week is worth reading. It’s not long. Take a peek: “An advertising facilitator may not target the dissemination of an advertisement; or knowingly enable an advertiser or a third party to target the dissemination of an advertisement, including by providing the advertiser or third party with (the) contact information of an individual.”
If that doesn’t have the effect, inadvertent or not, of banning targeting based on first-party data I wish someone would explain to me why not. What’s more, the text of the bill nowhere defines “advertising.” But it gets better.
Browsing for coverage of the bill, I came across this site that reflects support for the legislation from a whole bunch of action groups. And what’s that at the top of the page? Oh, it’s a form to fill out so they can target you with…ads? As I said, the bill doesn’t define what an ad is. With the additional result that, if passed, it would seem to ban any kind of targeted political advertising. Oops.
What we’re reading. The “Global Digital Futurists Power List” published by Engatica. But we’re not agreeing with all of it. Sadella, yes; Zuckerberg, if you must — but Neal Stephenson, the sci-fi novelist at number four? Okay, he came up with the term “metaverse” 30 years ago. He beats Tim Sweeney, CEO of Epic Games, who is in the number five slot, despite the prospect of Epic Games playing a major practical role in the metaverse (once it’s open for business).
POSTED BY admin January 24, 2022
Global usage of social media, which was already high, exploded during the pandemic in 2020. In fact, as of 2021, 69 percent of North Americans used social media – and these numbers will likely continue to climb as new features and social media platforms are released.
Other mediums, like radio and tv, saw a 4 percent decline in reach during the pandemic, highlighting the importance of using social media to reach your audience.
If you are not already using social media for your business, now is a great time to start and leverage the massive audience available to you.
Whether you are a marketer or a brand looking to revamp your social media strategies, we have good news for you: Neil Patel is hosting a live webinar to show you some innovative social ad strategies you can use to beat your competition. He will share ten ideas that his agency NP Digital uses to help clients expand their reach and increase conversions.
Join us on Tuesday, January 25th at 8 am PST for a FREE webinar on 10 Brilliant Social Ad Strategies to Outsmart Your Competition!
One of the top benefits of advertising on social media is you are able to target specific audiences with your ads.
If you run ads on TV, radio, or another medium like podcasts, your targeting ability is narrowed to those who listen to or watch the same program. You do not have the ability to customize your message based on the type of person you are interacting with.
With social media, on the other hand, you can target your ads to users based on criteria like:
By introducing these targeting features to your ads, you will be able to expand your brand’s audience while sending more qualified traffic to your website, increasing conversion potential every step of the way.
Another benefit of paid social media ads is your ability to engage with your audience. With other mediums, you create and run your ad and hope for the best. With social media ads, you can interact with your audience and see their reactions in real time. You can also test your ads and make quick adjustments if necessary.
In this live webinar, Neil will highlight unique strategies for advertising on Facebook, Instagram, SnapChat, LinkedIn, TikTok, YouTube, and LinkedIn.
Every social media platform is unique with a different type of audience. The type of user you will reach on Instagram or Snapchat is different from the user you will reach on LinkedIn or Twitter. Understanding how you can approach each platform will help you stand out from your competitors.
Neil will also touch on how some strategies can be used across different platforms for even better results.
New and existing social advertisers or marketers who want to learn new strategies will benefit from attending this webinar. Even if you have a lot of experience running social media ads on different platforms, you will learn some new strategies that will help take your conversions (or your client’s) to the next level in 2022.
If you are someone who has started to notice a drop in ROAS from your ads, you also stand to gain a lot from this webinar. Neil will teach you some new approaches to advertising on social media platforms you already have experience with.
If you are a business owner who is looking to increase market share in your industry, you also stand to benefit from this webinar. You will not only learn how to get more success from your current social ad campaigns, you will also learn how to outsmart your competition along the way.
In short: all types of businesses.
While the platforms you choose to work with will vary depending on your target audience and goals, any type of business can benefit from dedicating some of their ad spend to social media.
Let’s dive into some specifics.
If you’re an ecommerce company, Instagram could be an excellent platform for your ads. The visual component of the platform lets you showcase beautiful product images that captivate users and can even allow them to access your very own Instagram shop directly from your ads.
How can you stand out from the competition you may wonder? We will teach you in the webinar.
Platforms like Snapchat and TikTok have gained a lot of popularity with younger generations like millennials and Gen Z. So if you are an ecommerce company or brand focused on targeting younger audiences, advertising on these platforms might be the choice for you.
Our webinar will show you how to capitalize on unique trends and features from Snapchat and TikTok which you can leverage to reach a wider audience in 2022.
Are you a B2B or SaaS company? You may experience more success using more traditional platforms like LinkedIn and YouTube who have a more professional audience. We will cover some unique strategies on how to approach advertising through these platforms in our webinar as well.
While the strategies Neil uses to help each of his clients may be different, the process he follows when getting started remains the same:
Are you excited to learn more? Sign up for our live webinar today.
If you are interested in working with a company that specializes in creating innovative social media ad campaigns, you can contact our agency for a consultation.
Human resources is a vital part of every company, whether there is an HR department or not.
HR outsourcing allows you to transfer some or all of your HR-related workload to a professional organization. They’ll take care of everything from payroll taxes to benefits administration. Read on to find the service most suited to your business needs.
You’ll find that some of these options allow you to offload HR tasks one by one, whether it is payroll, benefits administration, or something else.
Alternatively, you can outsource all of your HR responsibilities to a professional employer organization by using one of the best PEO service providers.
My list includes the full spectrum these services. Below, I give in-depth reviews of each, covering their features, benefits, and other key considerations.
Paychex excels at this because they offer solutions to handle virtually any payment situation you can think of. Do you have:
A mixed workforce of contractors and full-time employees? Paychex handles that with ease.
A unique payment cycle goes beyond the typical “twice a month paycheck” routine? Paychex can handle that, too.
Employees that want to be paid via prepaid debit cards? Paychex makes it simple to honor those requests.
Beyond payroll processing, Paychex also delivers fantastic HR outsourcing services. So if you’re in need of more than accurate payroll processing, Paychex is also a great option for:
Paychex offers a solid mobile app that can be used to track things like hiring, labor costs, and employee turnover. Employees can also easily use the app for self-service and training. For mobile and remote workforces, this is a huge win.
For businesses with an existing HR department in place, Paychex can act as an extension of this department by providing a dedicated outsourced HR manager. This professional can assist with hiring, onboarding, and retaining top-level talent.
They can also manage workforce analytics, benchmarking, corporate culture strategy, benefits, and basic employee training. It’s everything you need in an HR manager, without the overhead of hiring a full-time, in-house employee.
If all this sounds good, you can learn more at Paychex.
Insperity offers excellent PEO and HRO services.
While they do offer individual HR offerings like other products covered here, Insperity is a real winner because of their full-service solutions. Their offerings are often bundled, which gives you broader HR services in one package. For example, payroll comes with their human capital management software.
With everything you could need under one umbrella, all your HR tasks will work seamlessly with each other. This bundling of services is what makes Insperity a true “set it and forget it” option for HR task management. It is also what allows you to fully customize your HR package.
Insperity also offers your employees great benefits including medical, vision, and dental coverage and lets you outsource processing payroll, handling W-2s, W-4s, and employment verification.
They’ll also help you with liability insurance, workers’ compensation, and other areas of risk management. This service provider helps with HR-related compliance for things like unemployment claims and government reporting.
Insperity also assists with talent retention, by helping you create recognition programs and an employee handbook, and improving your employee training process.
I recommend Insperity to mid-market organizations. While they have solutions for businesses of five to 149 employees, their main focus and expertise is for companies with 150+ workers.
In addition to the full-service HR packages, you can also use Insperity for individual solutions including:
With more than three decades of expertise under its belt and over 70 offices across the country, Insperity is a top consideration for HR outsourcing that your midsize organization will never have to worry about.
ADP offers a full-service suite of HR software and solutions.
However, I really like them because they’re great for companies that need piecemeal HR services.
Think of it like an a la carte HR solution. You might not need the full spread from payroll to retirement to insurance—and ADP allows you to choose one service or all of them!
This is great for small businesses that might not have the budget for everything under the sun. As you grow, you can add more until it makes sense to go with their PEO arrangements.
ADP also offers enterprise plans for companies with more than 1000 employees.
Some of ADPs HR services include:
This provider offers business insurance as well, along with group health insurance for your employees. Since ADP is such a large company, they have leverage and bargaining power with all major health insurance providers.
I also love ADP’s support team of knowledgeable HR professionals who can be reached via phone, email, or live chat. They can create and distribute all of the necessary forms, policies, and job descriptions for your organization. You can even create a custom employee handbook in compliance with local and federal laws.
They also give you guidance to help you get the optimal HR experience.
From benefits packages to compliance and setting up employee self-service tools, ADP has it all.
Their pricing is obscured on the website, but you can get a free quote from them today.
TriNet is another full-service HR outsourcing solution. They provide flexible plans and services to meet the needs of any sized business.
What makes TriNet really stand out though is their ability to provide some of the most competitive benefits on the market to attract top talent.
That means they’ve partnered with some of the biggest health insurance carriers throughout the country to help you get the highest quality coverage to your employees. Some of TriNet’s top carriers include MetLife, Kaiser Permanente, Transamerica, Aetna, Aflac, MassMutual, and UnitedHealth Group.
They also offer premium benefits for dental, vision, life, disability, retirement, and transit insurance along with a massive list of voluntary benefits like home policies and even pet insurance. That’s right. You can make sure that Fido is set up, too.
TriNet’s 401k plans are flexible and transferable, and they also give you a ton of discounts for computers, books, office supplies, and even services from places like Verizon, AT&T, and AVIS.
And, of course, you get key HR services beyond benefits administration, like HR consulting, benefit options, payroll services, and risk mitigation. You’ll also benefit from TriNet’s comprehensive HR platform. This technology contains tools for employee self-service and mobile access.
The best part is that TriNet caters to startups and small businesses specifically. That means they’ll give you competitive rates even though you’re getting big-league benefits.
If you want to offer your employees the same level of service and convenience that the Fortune 500 expects, get started today at TriNet.
Zenefits is a bit unique compared to some of the other options on our list.
That’s because, technically, Zenefits is not an outsourcing service—it’s software for human resources.
They offer a way for you to integrate and centralize your HR systems into one intuitive platform. It serves the same purpose as an outsourced service in terms of ease and cost reduction. It’s also a cheaper alternative than a full-service outsourcing firm.
The best part is that it streamlines everything. You and your employees will be able to take a look at your org chart, access your benefits, request time off, and take care of onboarding all from one easy-to-navigate dashboard.
Zenefits’ software has everything you need to get your HR tasks and administration in order:
They also offer dozens of integrations out-of-the-box. The platform also has options for payroll, employee benefits, employee scheduling, and time tracking.
Most HR outsourcing services require you to get a custom quote from the provider. But, because this is software, Zenefits’ pricing is straightforward and available on the website.
You can also add modules for payroll, HR advisement, and third-party benefits administration separately for monthly fees.
If your small business needs to improve the way you handle HR tasks but don’t have the funds to completely outsource the service, Zenefits is the perfect solution for you.
Engage PEO is a full-service professional employer organization. They provide a PEO experience that always aims to put the client’s needs first with its innovative business model.
What makes Engage PEO so unique as an HR services provider? It’s the people… who are also all lawyers.
Seriously. Every member of their HR consulting team is an attorney. These legal professionals have significant experience with labor and employment law.
It also means that they’ll make all of your nitty gritty compliance headaches disappear like a magical ibuprofen for annoying legal issues.
That makes this a perfect solution for companies with complex HR legal needs. We’re talking about industries with strict compliance like construction, marijuana, healthcare, security, finance, and more. Engage PEO will be a top choice for you to consider.
Here’s a quick overview of some of the top outsourced HR functions offered by this provider:
As a PEO provider, Engage PEO also offers payroll and tax administration, workers’ compensation, risk management, employee benefits, and integrated technology solutions.
Bottom line: If you have complicated compliance matters, Engage PEO is your choice.
G&A Partners offers full-service HR outsourcing for things like payroll, benefits, compliance, workplace safety, performance management, and recruitment.
There are two different ways that your company can work with G&A Partners—you can also work with them through a PEO or an ASO (administrative services only) model. So, they offer a little bit of flexibility in terms of what you’d like them to help you out with.
But, what I really like about G&A Partners is that they offer an automated training and development system for all of your employees. They give you access to almost 1,500 training courses that can be scaled and customized to your company’s exact needs and specs.
You can assign any number and combination of courses to your employees, and track their progress as they learn. This is a great centralized way to develop and train your employees no matter where they are in their careers.
There are also plenty of reporting tools and dashboards for you and your employees, so you all know exactly what they need to work on.
Training content includes things like quizzes, videos, interactive assignments and AICC and SCORM courses.
Is there something you want that they don’t offer? You can work external training into their programs as well.
Overall, it’s a great option if employee training and development is important to your company (and it should be).
Another unique standout of G&A Partners is its employee development services. This HR function includes candidate sourcing, job description, job postings, resume screening, and pre-hire assessments.
Once an employee is hired, this outsourced firm can handle onboarding, benefits enrollment, and performance management as well.
In addition to human resources, G&A Partners offers payroll services, benefits packages, and HR technology. They’re a particularly great and experienced choice for these types of industries:
Boost your employees’ ability from the moment they’re hired by utilizing G&A Partners.
Tandem HR offers a wide range of human resources solutions for small businesses. This provider has the tools and expertise to help small businesses as they scale.
What sets them apart is their standout risk management solution. They give you solutions such as safety audits, OSHA record keeping, accident investigations, and more to make sure that your company is ready for the worst-case scenario.
And if things go bad, they even offer you worker’s compensation conversation and claims resolution services.
Remember: a safer workplace is a better workplace is a cheaper workplace. It benefits not only your employees, you, and your business, but it also helps everyone’s pocketbook. That’s like a quadruple win.
As a full-service PEO provider, Tandem HR also has tools and solutions for:
These custom HR solutions will help you save time, save money, boost employee productivity, retain talent, and remain compliant at the state and federal level. Get started with Tandem HR here.
With so many options at your disposal, how can you possibly know which HR service is the best?
This is the methodology that we use here at Quick Sprout. You can use it as well to help narrow down your choices.
Every HR outsourcing company is going to offer fairly similar services: payroll, insurance, worker’s comp, and 401ks, and the like.
Where they often differ is how hands-on they’ll be with your organization and employees.
For example, some of the companies on our list are personal employer organization (PEO) providers such as ADP and Insperity. They provide businesses with HR services like payroll, benefits (such as insurance and 401k), and worker’s comp. They also can go the extra mile and assist with recruiting and onboarding, for example.
However, they’re distinct because PEO providers are considered a “co-employer” of workers. That means if there’s a legal issue with your employees, both you and your PEO provider assume responsibility. You agree beforehand on the liabilities you each assume.
A PEO provider’s hands-on role means it’s more hands-off for you, allowing you to focus your time and energy on other things.
There are also administrative service organization (ASO) services that also provide assistance in payroll and benefits, like G&A Partners. However, they’re not co-employers of your workforce.
An ASO doesn’t typically offer as comprehensive an array of services as a PEO provider—though they’ll still be able to take care of most administrative work and provide benefits like health insurance.
They’re both typically the same in cost. It just comes down to how much responsibility you’d like to assume over administering your employees’ benefits.
Of course, not every company is looking for comprehensive medical/dental/vision/veterinary insurance, with a 401k, and a gym membership to every place in town.
The HR provider you use will determine how many (or how little) services you’ll be able to access and provide for your employees.
For example, ADP TotalSource is great if you’re looking for a comprehensive PEO with payroll, time trackers, recruiting, retirement plans, medical/vision/dental insurance, and more.
G&A Partners offers a great ASO service that allows you to pick-and-choose HR services in an a la carte fashion. That might be great for building out an HR package if you have specific needs you want to home in on.
For example, maybe you own a company in an industry with strict labor compliance laws. In a situation like this, you’d benefit from an outsourced HR service like Engage PEO. They have attorneys that specialize in employment law.
Or, maybe you need an HR service that can improve your payroll process. Paychex would be the best option if you fall into this category.
Whatever unique circumstances your business might have, there is usually a human resource outsourcing service that specializes in it.
Another thing worth noting is how easy the HR service you’re considering is to use. Is it intuitive to new employees being onboarded for the first time? Can you easily approve time off requests? Can everyone find their insurance information quickly?
Make sure to request a demo from a service rep beforehand and play around on the dashboard. Make sure you can access insurance and PTO information easily at a bare minimum. Many of the services above allow you to do so.
The level of HR systems a business currently has in place should play a big role in outsourcing considerations.
Your business might be a startup looking to offer employees medical insurance and 401ks. Or your business could be an enterprise-grade operation looking to supplement (or replace) the HR department with a good third-party solution.
Outsourcing firms typically have experience working with certain types of businesses. It all really boils down to if you have an HR system already and, if you do, how long you have had it in place.
For example, if you’re a small business owner with no HR infrastructure, you want to choose a service that has experience building from the ground up with smaller organizations, such as Tandem HR.
Large companies might not need that type of assistance. Instead, a larger business might just need a certain role or task outsourced. TriNet is a good solution for flexible HR services. ADP is another good one if you already have a few HR systems but just want a platform to manage it all from a single dashboard.
No matter what, decide whether or not you’re looking to simply add onto your current HR infrastructure or if you’re looking to fully outsource it.
Like a jumper cable or toilet paper, the worst time to realize you don’t have adequate customer support is when you need it but don’t have it.
Some common headache-inducing examples include:
That’s why the level of customer support played a large role in determining our list of HR outsourcing services.
Some HR service providers are on hand at all hours to help you at all hours of the day such as ADP. They have live payroll support available 24/7/365 to help answer any questions you might possibly have.
Paychex also has 24/7 customer support along with a massive HR online library that gives you resources and tools for everything you might need related to HR.
Also worth noting is whether the HR service you’re considering gives you a dedicated account manager. If they don’t, who is your point person when issues come up?
Be sure to note how support is doled out throughout each of the HR providers you research. Some of them offer the same level of support no matter what pricing plan you choose. Others, such as Gusto, offer more intensive, hands-on support with more expensive pricing plans.
Paychex, Insperity, and ADP provide the best human resources outsourcing services. Whether you need an entire HR department or just need to outsource a single function, the best HR outsourcing services in this guide have you covered.
From payroll assistance to benefits administration and HR software, there’s an option for every business to lighten its load.
Not everyone has a lawyer on retainer. Even if you do, your lawyer might not specialize in the type of law required for your business or personal needs.
That’s why online legal services are so helpful. With just a few clicks, you can access legal documents, find a nearby attorney, set up your business, and seek legal counsel for any need.
In this guide, I highlight the top features, benefits, use cases, and considerations for each service. I also call out any weaknesses or issues that might be relevant.
Read on to learn more and find the best service for your needs.
Rocket Lawyer offers an online legal service that helps people create legal documents and get legal advice as fast as possible.
As their name suggests, they give you a variety of ways to quickly access attorneys and their advice including phone, email, or chat. RocketLawyer will connect you with attorneys that cover a wide range of topics including family law, wills, business contracts and documents, criminal law, personal injury, employment law, and real estate.
They also have an excellent legal advice portal where you can type in your legal question and get answers back within a business day.
If you need even more help, they can help connect you with an actual lawyer to talk to about your matters. Their helpful lawyer directory allows you to choose the legal topic you want a pro to consult with, along with your state so they can connect you with someone knowledgeable with local laws. It takes just a few minutes to do.
Rocket Lawyer also has an extensive resource library for its customers. This online legal service also helps individuals and business owners create legal documents for a wide range of use cases.
Here are a few documents they help you create and process:
Their service can also help with more personal matters such as estate planning and healthcare directives.
Rocket Lawyer offers two ways to pay: You can pay a monthly membership fee of $39.99 per month to access free services and discounted documents. Alternatively, you pay per use based on what you need.
When you go the a la carte route, Rocket Lawyer charges $39.99 per document. If you know you’re going to need multiple documents at once or need legal documents created on an ongoing basis then the monthly membership is definitely worth it.
Rocket Lawyer comes with a great mobile app. This gives you fast access to your documents from anywhere. You can even sign agreements directly in the app.
Incfile offers an online legal service that specializes in business formation. If you have ever tried to set up a business yourself, you know how helpful it is to have someone who understands the law on your side.
Simply choose your entity type (LLC, S-Corp, C-Corp, or Nonprofit) and select your state of formation to proceed. Not sure which entity type is best for you? Incfile will help you choose the best entity type based on your needs.
Beyond choosing your entity type, there are a lot of other steps to starting a business. Incfile helps you get the legal stuff locked down the right way, and helps you grow your business on a firm foundation.
Incfile has three different packages. The rates for each vary by state.
All plans include:
The basic plan is $0. The only cost is your state’s registration fee.
However, you’ll have to pay extra for things like an EIN/Tax ID, IRS Form 2553, operating agreements, and the like. Incfile also provides long-term assistance with compliance and trademark registration.
I recommend going with at least the Gold package. It comes with all those extras along with unlimited phone and email support, express shipping, expedited filing, and FedEx Delivery.
To find the exact cost for your startup, just select an entity type and choose your state. You can get a quote from Incfile in seconds.
Whether you’re looking for quick legal assistance from an attorney in your state or unhappy with your current lawyer, Lawyer.com’s database gives you plenty of lawyers near you to choose from.
And by plenty, I mean well over 1 million lawyers nationwide. Most states in the U.S. have tens of thousands of attorneys listed on Lawyer.com. Their practice areas span the entire legal spectrum.
To get started just submit some basic information and legal issue details, and Lawyer.com will match you with a qualified attorney in your region. Unlike some other lawyer matching sites, you can even browse the database freely by city/state and area of practice.
This allows you to do your homework on potential counsel to see if they’re a good fit before committing to a consultation.
Lawyer.com puts an emphasis on personal and family legal issues, but they also accommodate business needs. This makes Lawyer.com appealing to entrepreneurs who may want both personal and business counsel.
You can get a legal protection plan from Lawyer.com starting at $14.99 per month. Generally, these plans focus on personal or family counsel, but plan members can also use any plan for business representation.
The plans give you get unlimited free consultations, 25% discounts on qualified legal fees, and no cancellation fees. Business legal areas that plan members can utilize include contracts, incorporation, partnerships, and intellectual property. That’s in addition to personal coverage in areas like accident and injury, family law, and estate planning.
Personal protection plans run $14.99 for one month, $29.99 for three months, or $119.99 for the year. Family plans include services for you, your spouse, and your children, starting at $19.99 per month or $44.99 for a three-month plan and $179.99 for a full year.
Lawyer.com’s plans may not be robust enough for some businesses and professionals, but their vast database of attorneys can be a huge help to anyone. Find a lawyer based on convenient location or pick one most suited to your preferences after doing your own due diligence and research.
LegalZoom is the most diverse online legal service on the market today. This website can accommodate your personal, professional, and business needs.
Where LegalZoom really shines is in their intellectual property (IP) services. Do you need a copyright or a trademark for your brand? A utility or a design patent?
LegalZoom walks you through all the crucial paperwork needed to protect your IP.
They’re also one of the most comprehensive services for prior art, patent, trademark, copyright searching. You can also get help filing utility, design patents, and provisional patent applications in just three steps.
LegalZoom’s online legal services can be segmented into four main categories.
Wills, Trust, and Family
LegalZoom offers six-month and annual plans for businesses and individuals. Individual plans start at $9.99 per month with an annual contract, and business plans start at $31.25 per month with a one-year commitment.
LegalZoom is a top choice to consider for one-time services, as well as ongoing legal needs.
LegalNature gives you all you need for legal filings and templates. It’s fast, reliable, and easy for anyone to use.
For the business owner that needs a critical document that is done right, done fast, and doesn’t break the bank, LegalNature is a great option.
When it comes to non-disclosure agreements, termination forms, commercial lease agreements, and other important business documents, LegalNature helps you create without worry.
Here’s a quick overview of some of LegalNature’s top categories:
Choose the legal document you’d like to create and LegalNature walks you step-by-step through the entire drafting process. When you’re done, you can easily download and store the completed documents.
LegalNature offers a few different pricing options.
Whether you need legal documents for a single use or an ongoing basis, LegalNature gives you an easy way to draft offer letters, NDAs, and other HR forms that are a regular need for a growing business.
A lot can get thrown at you as a small business owner and not all of it will be great. In times of turmoil, having legal counsel in your corner is a huge plus. This is why LegalShield offers three affordable plans with 360-degree legal service.
On their small business legal service plans, LegalShield connects you with a trusted law firm in your state or in any states where you do business and need consultation. You can use them for unlimited advice and counsel on matters such as:
The plans also cover 30-minute consultations on out-of-state legal matters and more specific areas of law—like tax, IP, immigration, and antitrust. Additional services needed in these areas are billed at a member discount of between 10% and 25%.
You also get a flat 25% discount on legal services not covered in your contract with your designated law firm.
All of this is included in the SMB Legal Essentials plan for $49/month, plus:
Attorneys are guaranteed to return calls in four hours or less, documents get reviewed in no more than three business days, and you’ll be connected to someone within 15 minutes in cases of legal emergency.
Step up to the two higher tiers—SMB Legal Plus for $99/month or SMB Legal Pro for $169/month—for more letters, phone calls, document reviews, and collection letters, plus interstate services, IRS audit services, and converting some discounted services to flat fees.
Connect with LegalShield to learn more, or head to their website to sign up for a small business legal plan today.
Unless you’re a lawyer, you probably don’t want to do litigation yourself or represent yourself in court. But there’s a lot to business, real estate, and family law that you can handle on your own. And that’s where Nolo comes in.
While many of the other options on my list offer ways to find or retain legal counsel and advice, Nolo offers a vast library of legal products that anyone can pick up and use.
Nolo’s products are broken down into three categories: books with legal advice and guidance for common needs, all the forms you’d need to file for business and personal actions, and software for estate planning, trusts, and managing finances.
Nolo’s library of resources is extensive and are written by their team of lawyers and legal experts. You can find deep-dive guides on everything from being a landlord or negotiating a commercial lease to dealing with workplace conflict or learning to make patent drawings.
Each book contains hundreds of pages of expert advice in easy-to-understand writing, with updated editions coming out when legal guidelines or best practices change. Purchase the physical book, ebook or PDF version, or a bundle of both.
Plus, the books are supported further by the deep archive of legal articles on Nolo’s website. You can always refer to those for greater detail or context on subjects.
Many of the books also contain relevant forms on the topic, which you can easily download after purchase. You can also go straight to the forms and purchase them a la carte.
Nolo covers all the bases. They have forms for the most common legal actions, including:
The best part is Nolo’s pricing structure. You pay a single price for a one-year subscription that allows you to create and fill as many of the form type you need.
That’s incredibly convenient for forms you need often. For example, the $34.99 for an independent contractor agreement quickly becomes dirt-cheap if you’re scaling up your W-9 workforce in a hurry.
Learn and file to your heart’s content through Nolo. You can pocket the rest of what you would’ve spent on a legal consultation.
Avvo is unique on our online legal services list.
The platform has an extensive lawyer directory to help you find an attorney in your area. But it also gives you free online answers to your legal questions.
You can browse questions that were asked by other people or post your own question and get responses from multiple lawyers.
Popular questions and legal advice on Avvo are related to:
There are hundreds of legal topics that Avvo can help you with.
In addition to the lawyer directory and free Q&A, Avvo also has tons of free articles, resources, and guides with legal advice. For those of you who need legal questions answered online but don’t want to pay expensive attorney consultation fees, Avvo is your best option.
UpCounsel is great for a wide range of legal services.
From one-time personal legal consultations to an entire freelance legal department for your business, UpCounsel has it all.
It’s even used by top brands that frequently deal with complex legal matters. If companies like AirBnB rely on UpCounsel, you know you’ll be in good hands, too.
Popular legal categories offered on UpCounsel include:
Here’s how it works.
You start by posting a “job” that is a summary of your business and legal needs. This information, and anything else you share on UpCounsel, is strictly confidential.
The UpCounsel algorithm automatically matches you with attorneys qualified to handle your specific needs. These lawyers send you proposals, and from there you can schedule a free consultation with no obligation.
Once you’ve selected the best lawyer for your needs, you hire them. All pricing is straightforward, so you never have to worry about hidden fees. You can collaborate with your lawyer directly through the UpCounsel platform.
UpCounsel makes it easy to manage all of communications in one place. The platform offers time-tracked phone calls and free document management.
You’ll also be able to manage your invoices, track your spending, and benefit from flexible payment options. If you worked with a lawyer in the past that you liked, UpCounsel makes it easy to work with them again.
If you need dedicated legal support that’s always available when you need it, reach out to UpCounsel today.
LegalMatch is designed to match you with an attorney close to home. It’s the best choice for those of you seeking legal counsel in your local area.
The process is simple, quick, and straightforward. Just provide your location and choose a category from the following topic areas:
LegalMatch automatically connects you with a highly-rated and licensed lawyer near you. The best part? This connection and referral process is totally free.
LegalMatch has been helping people find local lawyers for the last 20 years, and more than four million cases have been posted on the site.
Once you post your case, you’ll have a response within 24 hours. This makes LegalMatch a great option for time-sensitive matters.
After you’re matched, you have full access to the attorney’s profile and background information. You also have access to user ratings and reviews shared by previous clients, so you can make an educated decision. LegalMatch also provides a complete breakdown of each lawyer’s fee structure.
LegalMatch is an ideal option for finding lawyers without pressure. Simply choose which lawyer is best for your needs after reviewing all the provided options.
You’re never under any obligation to hire a lawyer or sign a contract when you’re matched with an attorney through this platform. Try LegalMatch risk-free today.
With so many different online legal services to choose from, it can be tough to narrow down your options.
Luckily, we can help.
This is the methodology that we use here at Quick Sprout when determining this list.
I’ll go through each factor in greater detail so you can understand what matters the most as you’re going through this process.
Online legal services vary according to their offerings—with each one focusing on specific areas of law.
That’s why it’s important to find one that has a category based on your needs. After all, someone going through a divorce wouldn’t need the same attorney as a freelancer drafting a contract for a new client.
Take a look at what each online legal service focuses on. Companies like RocketLawyer, LegalZoom and IncFile can help you form LLCs and corporations.
Some of them like LegalZoom and IncFile let you go deeper and help you register trademarks.
LegalZoom can even help you establish a copyright for original creative work or a patent for an invention or product. They’ve worked with creators to establish more than 650,000 IP filings and processed more than 90,000 copyright applications.
On the other hand, platforms like Avvo and LegalMatch are primarily used for finding an in-person lawyer to assist you in your area. Think of them as the Craigslist of legal services (only without the creepy, weird posts).
Also, consider whether or not you need business or personal legal needs. Some platforms offer online legal services for both businesses and individuals. Others specialize in one or the other.
This doesn’t apply if you need an online legal service for personal matters like immigration or divorce services. If that applies to you, I recommend skipping this.
However, many of you will be using these services for your business. If that applies to you, there are two things you need to consider when researching:
For those of you who are launching a startup, you could benefit from an online legal service like Incfile for registering your company.
Midsized companies might need infrequent but reliable legal services. A service that connects them with a good attorney like LegalMatch they might hire on occasion could be good enough in this case. One that might need some specialization from their legal advisor can depend on Rocket Lawyer.
But larger organizations that need an entire legal team or outsourced department would be better off with something like UpCounsel, which will connect you to the attorneys you need to represent your business. They specialize in helping you outsource your legal department.
How often you expect to actually use the online legal service should play a big role in your ultimate decision.
Some of you might need an attorney for just one event. Whether it’s filing paperwork, drafting a contract, or settling a dispute, we suggest Avvo or LegalMatch to find a great attorney for you.
Some of you are going to want to establish an ongoing relationship with an actual lawyer. This is especially true for business owners, who can’t necessarily afford retaining in-house counsel. Or, you might be in a specific legal situation where you need to have a lawyer on retainer or for a prolonged period of time (e.g. litigation).
You might want the ability to contact a lawyer on-demand whenever a problem or question arises. If you fall into this category, look for an online legal service with one-off plans like RocketLawyer or LegalZoom. They can connect you with lawyers who can work with you on your unique schedule.
Knowing how often you’re going to use a legal service is going to help you save money, too.
The pricing structures for online legal services vary from platform to platform. Some charge an ongoing fee for a membership, while others charge on a per-case or per-use basis. There are even some online legal services that offer free legal consultation and matching
Timeliness is crucial when it comes to legal assistance. After all, emergencies can pop up that require legal help as soon as possible.
Platforms like LegalMatch promise that an attorney will respond to your case within 24 hours of your posting.
Avvo works a lot like Quora, allowing you to post a question and have it answered by lawyers on their website. You can also jump into their backlog of questions other users have already asked for answers to situations similar to your own.
Getting your question answered for free on an online legal forum isn’t the best option for those of you who need to speak with a lawyer within the next few hours, though. Make sure you find a platform that’s easy to use and allows you to choose a lawyer without any pressure or obligation.
There’s always a service like UpCounsel that you can choose, which will allow you to have a dedicated lawyer or team ready to help whenever issues arise.
In a lot of cases you won’t ever need to meet up with a lawyer. However, if you need to meet face-to-face with an attorney (due to security concerns or a complex issue), you’ll want to find a service that can connect you with a live attorney.
With the last year seeing the rise of work-from-home culture, these services will also connect you with a lawyer over Zoom or the phone—though that might depend more on the specific lawyer and firm’s communication infrastructure.
Getting matched with a lawyer that’s all the way across the country won’t be ideal in these scenarios (also, if you’re a smaller business that needs to adhere to specific local and state guidelines).
So, look for a platform that allows you to find a qualified lawyer based on your ZIP code or state. Our choices for the best services with directories— LegalMatch, Avvo, and LegalZoom—are good places to start.
If you need to find a lawyer, start a business, or get legal advice, Rocket Lawyer and Incfile are the two best online legal services to consider. These platforms give you access to legal help without having to leave your home or office. Plus, you won’t always be limited to attorneys in your area.
Putting all the legal aspects of your business in order is one of the best things you can do for your company. You’ll be surprised at how affordable some of these services are, especially when you consider how much money they might save you down the road.
POSTED BY admin January 23, 2022
Digital experience cloud Piano has announced a partnership with data cloud company Snowflake. Snowflake will support the Piano Analytics solution, making it possible to store, share, enrich and activate customer data in the Snowflake eco-system. The partnership is part of the “Powered by Snowflake” program that enables software companies and app developers to build and operate their applications in the Snowflake cloud.
Piano Analytics users are also expected to benefit from faster query times allowing swifter campaign optimization. Piano clients include LinkedIn, Jaguar Landrover and a number of major publishers and networks.
Why we care. We’re curious about the possibility of customer data platforms, and possibly other marketing tech solutions, being outflanked by businesses’ investment in tools like Snowflake. Able to operate in data lake, data warehouse and data mart environments, Snowflake ingests data into a cloud architecture, reorganizes it and provides querying services and analytics. Once a brand makes an IT investment in Snowflake, the question arises whether it would be smart and efficient to duplicate storage for a subset of data — customer data — in an alternative solution where marketing has made the investment.
We expect to see more initiatives presenting ways of activating Snowflake data for marketing purposes.
The post Piano partners with Snowflake to activate customer data at scale appeared first on MarTech.
Managing facility operations at scale is a tall task. From work orders to equipment monitoring, scheduling, and more, there are too many aspects to track using spreadsheets or other outdated systems.
Facilities management software simplifies everything by providing a central source of truth for all aspects of your facilities. It allows you to leverage automation, improve your workflows, and spot potential issues before they become more significant problems.
This in-depth guide will walk you through the best facility management software on the market today.
After extensive research and testing, we’ve narrowed down six facility management solutions that we can recommend with confidence. The reviews below will help you find the best option for your unique situation.
As a computerized maintenance management system, Hippo CMMS helps organizations improve efficiencies by extracting more value from capital assets. In simple terms, this software streamlines preventative maintenance, equipment maintenance, work order management, and inventory control for businesses across a wide range of industries.
Compared to other tools in this category, Hippo really stands out from the crowd with its ability to monitor assets and equipment for preventative issues.
The software makes it easy for you to schedule preventative maintenance, so you’re always one step ahead of the curve before a bigger problem occurs. It allows you to coordinate each job and work order with the right member of your team, regardless of the time and location.
It’s a great option for larger facilities with tons of assets, like HVAC units, boilers, and more.
You can attach templates and how-to instructions to each work order, ensuring every technician knows exactly how to complete the job and maintain your equipment.
Hippo CMMS is used in facilities like office buildings, churches, gyms, sports arenas, music venues, government buildings, healthcare facilities, agricultural facilities, industrial sites, and more. This versatility is another reason why the software ranks so high on our list.
Here’s a quick overview of the Hippo CMMS plans and pricing:
The Starter plan supports all of the basics you need for a single site. For those of you with multiple locations and facilities, you’ll need the Plus plan at a minimum.
Request a free live demo to get started.
FMX is another industry leader in the facility management software space. More than 400,000+ users rely on FMX for facilities management, which is a reputation that speaks for itself.
It’s used by restaurants, property managers, manufacturing companies, zoos, schools, and industries across every category.
Compared to other tools in this space, FMX shines with its ability to reduce maintenance costs by automating workflows. Everything from work orders to schedule requests can be put on autopilot. You can set parameters, so everything is automatically routed to the right person.
Not only does this reduce clutter for incoming requests, but it also eliminates the need for a human to manually assign work orders.
The system makes it easy for you to prioritize tasks based on your team’s availability and the importance level of each work order. It decreases resolution times and ensures all must-do request items are handled first.
FMX has a basic maintenance plan that’s free forever. The free plan even supports unlimited work orders, unlimited vendors, work order history, and more.
Paid plans start at $35 per user per month, and plans supporting advanced workflows start at $60 per user per month. Try any paid plan free for 14 days.
eMaint CMMS is another computerized maintenance management system, best known for its enterprise asset management features. The software is trusted by over 50,000+ users across the globe.
eMaint gives you more control over your facility management processes. If you have multiple employees working across different facilities sites, the software simplifies the challenges associated with tracking their work.
The maintenance planning and scheduling features let you organize calendars by days, weeks, or months—including all of your labor resources or pending work orders.
You can filter calendar and scheduling views by employee, work order type, and other custom views to see the best way to schedule your resources. Then you can look ahead to all preventative maintenance work orders that will be generated down the road so they don’t sneak up on you and create a bottleneck in your backlog.
In addition to the advanced scheduling features, eMaint has solutions for asset management, predictive maintenance, advanced reporting, inventory management, and so much more.
Here’s a basic overview of the eMaint CMMS plans and pricing:
The Team plan is ideal for smaller teams of up to three people. But most organizations start with the Professional package, as it comes with significantly more features.
Sign up for a free trial to get started.
TheWorxHub from Dude Solutions is a niche-specific tool in the facility management software category. It’s a cloud-based software built specifically for senior living facilities.
This is an industry that has its fair share of challenges when it comes to maintaining facilities. In addition to taking care of HVAC units, boilers, energy solutions, and traditional facilities assets, the organization also needs to take care of its residents.
TheWorxHub solves everything under a single roof.
From housekeeping requests to broken light bulbs and more, everything can be managed from a single center. The software lets you automate requests and prioritize work orders as well. It even has built-in features to improve communication between the requesters and your staff.
TheWorxHub has tools for quality assurance, resident satisfaction surveys, and other features to ensure your senior living residents are happy with all requests. This helps you train your team better and market the living facility to prospective residents as well.
More than 280,000+ senior living professionals rely on TheWorxHub for facility management.
Pricing for TheWorxHub is not available online. You can request a live 30-minute demo to get started and get a custom quote for your facilities.
Common Areas is another industry-specific solution for facility management. The software is built specifically for real estate property management.
Within the real estate category, Common Areas supports operations large and small alike. This includes single-family residential units, commercial real estate, multifamily properties, and more.
The software helps you connect your residents, staff, partners, and processes while reducing risks and streamlining your work orders. It helps eliminate spreadsheets and manual processes that are inefficient and impossible to scale.
One of the best parts about using Common Areas for facility management is that it’s a single tool for all of your property management needs. You can also use it for:
The reports and data-driven insights give you the information required to keep tabs on your properties. From equipment to office assets and tenant needs, Common Areas has you covered.
Plans start at just $49 per user per month. Schedule a demo to learn more and get started.
More than 200,000 professionals rely on UpKeep for facility management. It’s trusted by well-known brands like McDonald’s, Marriott, Yamaha, Siemens, and organizations across a wide range of different industries.
UpKeep shines as a mobile-first solution, which is crucial in a category where facilities workers are constantly on the go. Let’s take a closer look at some of the top features, benefits, and capabilities of UpKeep to show its versatility:
UpKeep is used by manufacturing businesses, farming and agricultural facilities, restaurants, property managers, hospitality businesses, and more.
For small businesses seeking a simple solution for work order management, UpKeep is 100% free. Beyond that, there are three different paid plans to consider:
Things like workflow automation and purchase order management don’t start until you reach the Business Plus level. Schedule a demo and get a seven-day trial of the Business Plus plan to get started.
Facilities management is a broad category. After all, businesses in seemingly every category have a facility to manage.
This holds true for manufacturing businesses, restaurants, hotels, commercial real estate properties, senior living facilities, and more. All tools in this category will have similar features for work orders, preventative maintenance, and scheduling. But as you break down this software beyond the basic requirements, it will help you evaluate the best option for your organization.
Use the following factors as a buying guide for facility management software. This will ensure that you get exactly what you’re looking for to solve your specific pain points.
All of the best facility management tools on the market today offer some type of automation. So when a new request comes in, a work order can be generated without someone in your command center doing it by hand.
But the best solutions take this one step further by automatically assigning it to the right technician. This can be based on their skills, location, availability, or a combination of several factors.
Automation will only get you so far if there’s no way to prioritize work orders. For example, a busted light bulb shouldn’t be fixed ahead of a leaking boiler or hot water heater. So your software needs to push emergency requests and prioritize work orders accordingly.
One of the biggest challenges with managing a facility at scale is fixing problems that could have been prevented with simple maintenance over time. Not only is this a burden to your staff, but it’s also really expensive.
For example, a 30-minute monthly inspection with the HVAC units on your roof will be far less expensive than replacing the entire system due to negligence. But with so many things to track, these preventive tasks can easily be forgotten.
Facility management software can automatically schedule preventative maintenance and help you prepare for these events in the future. Look for software that lets you attach checklists and instruction manuals to work orders, so your technicians know exactly what to look for as they’re checking your equipment.
The requesters in a facility management solution can come in different forms. It could be a tenant, resident, employee, manager, vendor, or anyone within your ecosystem.
Not all of these people understand the complexities of terminology associated with maintaining a facility or piece of equipment (and it’s usually not their job to).
Historically, this often leads to miscommunication and technicians showing up to jobs unprepared. It creates scheduling bottlenecks and frustrates everyone involved.
But the best facility management tools help eliminate these problems by facilitating communication between the requesters and technicians. From messages with instructions to photo and video attachments, these extra touches go a long way.
This ultimately improves your productivity, helps you clear open tickets faster, and ensures satisfaction from the requester.
What’s the best facility management software? It depends on what you’re looking for.
Hippo CMMS is ideal for preventative maintenance and equipment management. FMX is the best option for automating the workflows in your facility maintenance process. We recommend eMaint CMMS for its maintenance scheduling features.
TheWorxHub is the best option for senior living facilities, and Common Areas is the best facility management software for property managers. Try UpKeep if you want a mobile-first solution for work order management.
Regardless of your facility size, industry, or specific needs, the recommendations in this guide will steer you in the right direction.
POSTED BY admin January 23, 2022
The majority of agencies are looking to partnerships and outsourcing as ways to improve marketing technology services and capabilities, according to a new study commissioned by marketing analytics and business communications platform CallRail.
The study surveyed U.S-based agency professionals in December, 2021 and came away with strong majorities in the response to their 2022 priorities. The verdict was that 87% of respondents said that partnerships are a top priority for their agency, while 78% said outsourcing was a top priority in the new year.
They also expect the job market to get more competitive for in-house hires. Of those surveyed, 81% believe that hiring will be more challenging in 2022 than it was during the previous year.
This doesn’t mean that agencies feel like they’re playing catch-up, they’re just keeping the momentum going. For instance, 86% of agency pros surveyed said their agency added a new offering for clients. An overwhelming 98% said they are satisfied with their agency’s positioning in the market.
Why we care. It almost goes without saying that there has been whiplash in every organization as marketers pivoted their strategies to navigate the pandemic over the last two years, and continue to do so. Agencies often play a role by providing digital services and executing digital strategies for clients as part of their digital transformation.
Services that digital agencies provide shift with the priorities of their clients. The change from 2020 to 2021 is telling. From the same survey, for instance, 43% of respondents said website design and development was a top service provided by their agency in 2020. This dropped down to 25% in 2021. Marketers, with the help of their digital agency, made website redesign a priority early in the pandemic, and didn’t have to do as much development the following year.
The top priority for late 2021? Social media, for 34% of respondents.
The post How are digital agencies helping marketers transform in 2022? appeared first on MarTech.
POSTED BY admin January 23, 2022
A customer data platform, usually called a CDP, is a marketer-managed system designed to collect customer data from all sources, normalize it and build unique, unified profiles of each individual customer. The result is a persistent, unified customer database that shares data with other marketing technology systems.
The idea of a single view of the customer has been on marketers’ wish lists for years. But disruption caused by the global COVID-19 pandemic has raised interest in precisely the types of solutions that CDPs deliver, which includes that single-view of the customer. With pandemic concerns spurring the movement of customer interactions – both B2B and B2C – to digital channels, marketers are increasingly interested in technologies that collect data from those interactions, unify them, deliver insights and enable campaign orchestration.
CDPs enable marketers to create a single view of the customer by gathering data from software deployed
throughout the organization. High expectations, along with the proliferation of possible customer touchpoints, make cross-device IDs and identity resolution — the ability to consolidate and normalize disparate sets of data collected across multiple touchpoints into an individual profile that represents the customer or prospect — critical for helping marketers, sales and service professionals deliver the ideal total customer experience. CDPs offer this consolidation and normalization and also make the data profiles freely available to other systems that deliver campaigns, webpages and other interactions.
As the marketer appetite for CDPs has grown, existing companies with various backgrounds — from tag management to analytics to data management — have seen the opportunity and refashioned themselves in the CDP mold. Meanwhile, others have started up with the CDP category in mind from the start, and some well-established players have responded to market pressure and developed a CDP capability.
A CDP is not a CRM, DMP or marketing automation platform. A CDP provides a unified, persistent customer database that provides data transparency and granularity at the known, individual level. A CDP can identify customers from many different data sources by stitching together information under a unique, individual identifier. The CDP then stores its own copy of the data.
CDPs also give marketers control over customer data collection, segmentation and orchestration through native (out-of-the-box) integration that minimizes the need for IT or developer involvement. And lastly, CDPs offers data integration of both known and anonymous customer data with any external source or platform, including CRM, point of sale (POS), mobile, transactional, website, email and marketing automation.
We support the CDP Institute’s definition of a “RealCDP,” which requires it be able to do the following five things:
Virtually all of the CDP vendors that meet that criteria provide the following core capabilities:
CDP vendors differentiate by offering more advanced capabilities that include, but are not limited to, the following:
Now, let’s look at the key considerations involved in choosing a CDP.
Data collection and maintenance is a core CDP customer data management platform function. All CDPs provide a central database that collects and integrates personally identifiable customer data across the enterprise.cFrom there, however, CDPs vary in their abilities to manage the following:
The importance of each of these data management capabilities will depend on a particular organization’s business goals, and whether it has a significant mobile presence, direct mail budget or brick-and-mortar stores and/or agents.
CDP vendors offer data analytics capabilities that can do some or all of the following: allow marketing end-users to define and create customer segments, track customers across channels and glean insights into customer interest and intent from customer behavior and trends.
The functionality provided can include predictive models, revenue attribution and journey mapping. To one extent or another, many of these capabilities may utilize machine learning or artificial intelligence to surface insights about audiences and proactively offer suggestions about the best next step to move a prospect through their purchase journey.
A select group of CDPs provide campaign management and customer journey orchestration features that enable personalized messaging, dynamic web and email content recommendations, as well as campaigns that trigger targeted ads across multiple channels.
The customer data platform often automates the distribution of marketer-created customer segments on a user-defined schedule to external martech systems such as marketing automation platforms, email service providers (ESPs), or web content management systems for campaign execution.
For example, the CDP could deliver targeted content to a web visitor during a live interaction. To do this, the CDP must accept input about visitor behavior from the customer-facing system, find the customer profile within its database, select the appropriate content and send the results back to the customer-facing system. A customer data platform may also facilitate digital advertising through an audience API that sends customer lists from the CDP to systems (i.e., DMP, DSP, ad exchange) that will use them as advertising audiences.
CDP vendors vary in the support they provide for compliance with the wide range of vertical market and international regulations that safeguard customer data privacy. Some build compliance features into their platforms, while others rely on outside systems. The European Union’s GDPR was implemented in May 2018 and impacts all U.S. marketers and data firms handling European data or serving customers in the EU. Brands marketing to Canadian consumers through email must also comply with the country’s CASL (Canada Anti-Spam
Legislation). Meanwhile, the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) went into effect in January of 2020.
Marketers in the highly regulated healthcare market must follow HIPAA and HITECH regulations. In addition, all organizations that accept, process, store or transmit credit card information must maintain a secure environment that meets Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS), as well.
CDPs streamline integration of customer data by providing out-of-the-box (or native) connectors for many martech systems, including CRMs, DMPs, marketing automation platforms, DSPs, and campaign analytics and testing tools. Most marketing organizations have assembled a marketing stack that contains many of these types of platforms. But integrating the data that resides in the martech ecosystem is a huge challenge — one that costs U.S. brands millions of dollars annually. The majority of CDPs profiled in this report also provide at least a basic API to enable custom integrations.
Explore platform capabilities from vendors like Blueconic, Tealium, Treasure Data and more in the full MarTech Intelligence Report on customer data platforms.
Marketing executives today are in charge of dozens of martech applications to manage, analyze and act on a growing volume of first-party customer data. But despite increasing efficiency, the emerging martech ecosystem has created problems with data redundancy, accuracy and integration.
Automating customer data accuracy and integration through a CDP can provide numerous benefits to marketers and to other functions across the enterprise.
These include the following:
Expanded enterprise collaboration. A CDP fosters cooperation among siloed groups because it gathers data from throughout the enterprise and supports customer interactions across many touchpoints. The unification of data allows enterprises to see how strategies for audience, customer experience and execution all fit together – and enables audience portability to ensure a more consistent, informed customer experience.
Improved data accessibility. A CDP is a centralized hub that collects and houses customer data from every corner of the enterprise. Pieces of data are normalized and stitched together to build unique, unified profiles of each individual customer. The result is a persistent customer database whose main purpose is to gather and share data more easily and efficiently across the organization
Streamlined systems integration. A CDP unifies data systems across the enterprise, from marketing and customer service, to call centers and payment systems. By creating a single “system of record” for first-party customer data, data redundancies and errors can be minimized, and data can flow more quickly into — and out of — marketing automation platforms, email service providers (ESPs), CRMs and other martech systems.
Increased marketing efficiency. A CDP unifies individual data with unique IDs that create more robust customer records. Many manual tasks are also automated by the CDP, allowing marketers to focus on the creative and analytical tasks they are trained for. The result is more accurate modeling, targeting and personalization in marketing campaigns, and more relevant customer experiences with the brand across channels.
Faster marketing velocity. In many cases, CDPs are “owned” by marketing, minimizing the need for IT or developer intervention to collect, analyze and act upon data. With control in marketers’ hands, the time to segment and build audiences, execute campaigns and analyze results significantly decreases. That said, engineers may still be needed to perform deep data analysis and facilitate integrations. This is especially true as CDPs extend beyond marketing and into sales and service functions.
Stronger regulatory compliance. A CDP creates greater internal control over customer data, streamlining data governance to comply with the many regulations now impacting brands worldwide. Marketers in the healthcare industry must comply with both HIPAA and HITECH regulations. Businesses that handle European data or serve customers in the EU must also comply with GDPR and those dealing with Californians must deal with CCPA
(California Consumer Privacy Act). The majority of CDP vendors are both ISO and SOC certified for best practices in handling personally identifiable information (PII).
The post What is a CDP and how does it give marketers the coveted ‘single view’ of their customers? appeared first on MarTech.
Signing documents with a pen is obsolete. It’s not practical for business or personal use in a world that grows more and more global each day.
Electronic signature software allows people in different corners of the world to sign documents instantaneously. There’s nothing to mail, travel is unnecessary, and the process is paperless. Best of all, these signatures are just as valid as handwritten ink.
After reviewing the best e-sign software on the market today, our team narrowed down the top nine options that we can confidently recommend. Use this guide to find the best e-sign software for your business.
For those of you who only need the occasional document signed, SignWell is the perfect option. It’s safe, secure, and works on any device.
Most importantly, even thought the software is free, all SignWell signatures are legally binding.
More than 9,500+ businesses rely on SignWell for e-signatures. The software is simple but still comes with all of the features you need to sign documents and collect signatures.
The free SignWell plan supports up to three documents per month for a single sender. For unlimited signatures, the Personal plan for a single user starts at $8 per month. Business plans start at $24 and include three users.
If you only need a few documents signed, the SignWell free plan is perfect, It gives you up to three signatures each month. Check out SignWell today.
SignNow is cross-platform e-sign software that has a robust API. This makes it easy for businesses to embed electronic signature capability into their websites and apps.
It’s so easy you can create complex e-sign workflows and facilitate online signature requests without writing a single line of code. While there are other e-sign platforms out there that offer similar functionality, none are as straightforward as SignNow.
SignNow also integrates with a wide range of third-party apps. You can sync it with your CRM, accounting software, payroll system, ERP system, and marketing automation software with ease.
For such a powerful solution, SignNow is surprisingly affordable.
All plans come with unlimited templates and the SignNow mobile app. SignNow also offers enterprise-grade security. It’s GDPR compliant, OAuth 2.0, PCI DSS compliant, HIPAA compliant, and more.
DocuSign is one of the world’s most popular electronic signature solutions. More than 500,000+ individuals and businesses across the globe trust this platform.
As a pioneer in the e-sign industry, the software has facilitated millions of signatures over the years.
DocuSign is one of the most versatile solutions in this category. It’s used in industries including financial services, real estate, government, education, healthcare, and insurance. The software is trusted by human resources departments, sales teams, and legal teams alike.
With DocuSign, you’ll enjoy features like:
The software is safe and secure. It has compliance certifications including GDPR, ISO 27001, PCI data security, CSA STAR, SSAE 16, FedRAMP, and HIPAA, just to name a few.
DocuSign has solutions for individuals, small businesses, and global enterprises. Whether you need to collect signatures on a daily basis, or need to sign an occasional contract, DocuSign accommodates your needs. It also has tools for complete contract lifecycle management, contract negotiation, and AI agreement analytics.
Here’s an overview of DocuSign’s plans and pricing:
If you need an iron-clad agreement signed electronically, HelloSign is a top option to consider.
The software makes it easy for anyone to add a legally binding signature to any document. From new employee onboarding to NDAs and loan agreements, HelloSign accommodates a wide range of needs.
HelloSign is feature-rich and built for business. It gives you the ability to collect signatures from up to 20 people on a single document, either simultaneously or in a designated order. You can start signing and collecting signatures in minutes with bank-level security.
You’ll also get business-class features like:
HelloSign has exceptional customer support, and you can use the API to build e-sign functionality into your own app.
Here’s a closer look at the HelloSign plans and prices:
All of the plans come with unlimited signature requests. Try HelloSign free for 30 days.
Adobe is a name that’s synonymous with high-quality software. Many of you have likely used Adobe Acrobat to view, create, print, and edit PDF files. So it’s no surprise to see Adobe Sign rank so high on our list.
Adobe Sign is perfect for small businesses that need a simple, straightforward, and secure way to sign documents.
The software comes with features and benefits including:
Adobe Sign integrates with Microsoft Teams, Word, Powerpoint, Dropbox, Salesforce, and other popular business tools.
Acrobat Sign is priced upon consultation, but you can try it for free for 30 days. If you want basic signature collection, you can try Acrobat Pro DC free for 7 days, and then subscribe for $14.00 per month.
SignEasy is one of the quickest ways to sign documents online. It’s easy for anyone to figure out, and it’s not exclusively for business use. 110,000+ professionals and 30,000+ businesses rely on SignEasy for digital document signatures.
Even for such a simple solution, nearly 22 million documents have been signed on this platform. For anyone with occasional signature needs, SignEasy is a trusted, top choice.
The SignEasy mobile app is available for iOS and Android devices. This allows you to send signature requests and sign documents from anywhere, directly from the palm of your hand.
From basic NDAs to complex multi-person approvals, SignEasy can handle it all. The software even supports in-person signatures, eliminating the need for you to carry paperwork to meetings.
Here’s a basic overview of the SignEasy plans and pricing:
The Essential and Pro plans are designed for single users, whereas Premium supports up to three users. Try any SignEasy plan free for 14 days with no credit card required.
KeepSolid Sign is a multiplatform e-sign solution. The software has a unique feature compared to other tools on our list—offline signatures.
You can access documents and prepare everything, even when your device is offline. Everything will be sent automatically as soon as you get an Internet connection.
The software allows you to create your own unique electronic signature and store it for future use. Draw it on the app, import it as a picture, or take a photo of your actual signature.
Other top benefits of KeepSolid Sign include:
KeepSolid Sign is used by real estate businesses, HR departments, sales teams, and service industries.
Pricing starts at $9.99 per month for single users. The software is always free for signers. You can save 25% with an annual contract. Try KeepSolid Sign free for 14 days.
GetAccept is a bit unique compared to other solutions on our list. This electronic signature software is designed specifically for B2B sales.
It’s an all in one solution for closing deals. In addition to e-sign capabilities, GetAccept has tools for live chat, video, proposal designs, contract management, and more. This is by far the best way to engage with your B2B clients remotely.
Instead of just sending off a document to be signed, you can be there to offer support to your clients if they have questions or anything needs to be explained—all from a single platform.
GetAccept integrates with Salesforce, HubSpot, Zapier, Microsoft Dynamics, Slack, and more. They also have an open API that allows for custom integrations.
Here’s a closer look at the plans and pricing:
GetAccept also has an API plan for high-volume developers. You’ll need to contact their team for a custom quote, and it requires a minimum of 3,000 documents. It’s worth noting that the Starter plan is a bit limited. You won’t have access to the GetAccept mobile app unless you upgrade to the Business tier.
But for B2B sales teams, this software will definitely be your best option. Try GetAccept free for 14 days.
More than 300,000 people across the globe trust SignRequest for e-sign.
It’s not quite as feature-rich as some of the other platforms on our list. But if you’re looking for a simple and straightforward way to get a something signed online, you can upload a document and get started in minutes.
Best of all? SignRequest is free.
You can use it for up to 10 documents in a month at no charge. That’s more triple the amount of Docsketch (our top pick for free e-sign software). But Docsketch does come with better features.
SignRequest has two paid plans—Professional and Business. Both of these support unlimited documents. They start at $7 and $12 per month per user, respectively. You can try any paid SignRequest plan free for 14 days.
I also like how SignRequest has quick video tutorials on how to use the software. Examples include:
The list goes on and on. This makes it easy for anyone to get their questions answered quickly.
While it may seem like all electronic signature software does the same thing, each solution is unique. So it can be challenging to find the best option for your business if you don’t know what to look for.
There are certain factors that must be taken into consideration as you’re shopping around for electronic signature software. Use the methodology below to help narrow your search.
You want to make sure that the software is compatible with as many platforms as possible. If you send a document from a Mac computer, can the recipient sign from their Android smartphone?
It’s also important that your software supports a wide range of document types. Again, some document formats may not render properly on specific devices. But if the software supports multiple document types and platforms, you shouldn’t run into any problems.
Generally speaking, most electronic signatures are legally binding. But with that said, you want to make sure the software you’re using is taking extra steps to protect you. If you ever had to go to court with an electronic signature, it helps to have things like audit trails, two-factor authentication, and other features to prove intent.
You should also consider the compliance regulations required for your industry. For example, some solutions offer HIPAA compliance, GDPR compliance, PCI compliance, and more.
Always protect yourself and your business when it comes to legally binding contracts. If you’re unsure about something, consult with your lawyer.
How often are you sending documents that need to be signed? If it’s just a handful of times per year, you shouldn’t be using the same software as a business that collects hundreds or thousands of signatures per week.
Do you need to collect multiple signatures from different people on the same document? Does it matter which order those names are signed in? These are the types of questions you should be asking yourself as you’re evaluating options.
There are plenty of unlimited plans on the market for high-volume users and even some free plans for infrequent use.
Look for a solution that seamlessly integrates with third-party tools and software that you’re already using. For example, let’s say you’re using Salesforce or HubSpot as a CRM. It will make your life much easier if your e-sign software is compatible with those solutions.
If you need to embed e-sign functionality on your website or applications, then the software must have an open API that you can customize.
Getting a physical signature on documents requires in-person appointments, printing, scanning, faxing, or mailing paperwork. All of this is time-consuming, labor-intensive, and unrealistic in many scenarios.
Most workplaces have to fold many documents each week, costing them a lot of time and money.
Paper folding machines are here to help—as the name implies, these machines automatically fold paper for you. They can deal with multiple documents and papers and prepare them to be professionally sent out at speed, saving you more time and money than you can imagine.
Let’s take a look at some of the best machines.
So those are the best paper folding machines available today—let’s dive in a bit further.
It’s tempting to think that paper folding machines are all the same, but the truth is: many paper folding machines offer different folding styles and even more besides that. The Martin Yale 1611 is all about folding techniques.
Designed for offices, churches, schools, and mailrooms, this paper folding machine can fold your paper in seven different ways. There’s the Letter Fold, the Half Fold, the Z-Fold, the Double Parallel Fold, the Gate Fold, the Engineering Fold, and the Church Fold. The number of different folds gives you options, and you’ll be able to test them out to see which is ideal for you.
The Martin Yale 1611 isn’t just about different folds, though. In terms of speed and capacity, we’re looking at 9000 sheets per hour—more than impressive—and a feed table with a capacity of 150 sheets so you won’t be constantly refilling the machine. There’s also automatic feeding that helps to fold and stack documents as required, and enhanced precision paper skew adjustment that keeps your paper folds crisp and as accurate as possible.
The Martin Yale 1611 is a favorite around the world, and as a result, remains in low stock. It’ll set you back between $800-$1000, depending on where you purchase it. For more availability information, it’s best to contact Martin Yale.
The Formax FD 38X Automatic offers speed and precision coupled with an easy-to-understand LCD screen.
This paper folding machine is for those who want more information and control as their paper gets folded. The LCD screen gives you access to 18 pre-programmed fold settings, and you’ll be able to choose from a variety of options, from size to the speed of the folding. Most appealing of all, the LCD screen allows you to see what’s going on as the paper gets folded, keeping you updated at all times.
The screen itself is a 2.8″ backlit LCD and features a control panel with a step-by-step user interface—the aim is a high level of ease of use, and the screen helps facilitate this. Not all paper folding machines offer a screen like this, so this could significantly benefit some users.
The multi-sheet feeder on the machine allows up to four sheets to be folded simultaneously with side guides and skew adjustment as needed. It can easily handle large projects with up to 20,100 pieces per hour, although this depends on the requested operation and fold style.
The Formax FD 38X Automatic costs up to $4500, putting it on the premium end of the price spectrum. But if you want a seamless, straightforward user experience combined with the power to handle large projects quickly, that price may well be worth it for you.
Paper folding machines need to be durable, among other things, and the Intelli 102 AF can take more than a few knocks in use, making it a great choice.
It may not be the fastest paper folding machine on the market, but it makes up for that with solid and highly durable metal construction. The machine is about durability and reliability—it’s intended to be used on a long-term basis every day of the week.
On top of the durable design is a paper folding machine with a folding speed of up to 6000 pieces per hour—still fast enough for most projects. Its fold types include the Single Fold, Half Accordion Fold, Double Parallel Fold, Z-Fold, Letter Fold, and the Gate Fold.
The Intelli 102 AF has an input capacity of up to 500 sheets, an automatic friction feed system for better ease of use, and any adjustments to the paper are made quickly and easily without much in the way of hassle. The self-adjust feature allows the machine to adjust to the thickness of the paper without user input.
The Intelli comes in at $1095 with a 1-year Intelli-Zone limited warranty.
The MBM 98M Automatic is ideal for schools, churches, and small businesses due to its compact yet reliable nature. It’s a paper folding machine that offers a lot in a small package and is an excellent choice if you don’t have a lot of space. It’s worth mentioning that the exit conveyor and exit tray are both removable to save more space when needed.
On top of that more diminutive size, we find a machine that’s easy to use thanks to its digital panel, allowing users to input pre-set folding options quickly. It offers a capacity of up to 150 sheets and a rate of 7200 sheets per hour—the latter is a respectable speed and more than enough for most schools and churches.
We also like the stop feature that automatically stops after the last piece of paper in a batch gets finished, helping to prevent overheating and damage to the machine—surprisingly, not all paper folders offer this simple feature, so it’s a nice extra.
The MBM 98M Automatic costs $899 but is highly limited in stock due to its popularity.
The Duplo Manual DF 755 made by LEGO has a lot to offer users and helps you keep an accurate count of folded papers.
Aimed at offices, universities, and churches, the Duplo Manual DF 755 features an LCD counter that boosts overall accuracy during operations. The LCD counter helps you keep track of your folded documents through its 4-digit digital display, and users can place up to 500 sheets of paper at once into the feed tray—a more than acceptable amount that rivals the best paper folding machines on the market.
Other strengths of the machine are its speed of 120 sheets per minute, or 7200 sheets per hour, with many fold types also available, including Single, Double, Irregular Accordion, Letter, and Gate Fold styles. It’s an easy-to-use paper folder with helpful adjustment knobs and a reasonable price to match, making it ideal for those that would rather have reliability over cutting-edge tech.
The Duplo Manual DF 755 automatically sets the fold position of each of the programmed fold styles for added simplicity.
This paper folding machine is an entry-level device that gets the job done in more areas than one. It costs up to $2500 and is limited in stock at the time of writing.
Picking the best paper folding machines can be more complicated than you might first assume. The good news is most paper folding machines clearly do the same thing, and it’s primarily the features, fold styles, and speeds that separate them more than anything.
Which machine you opt for primarily comes down to the size of your operations and needs. For example, some paper folding machines on our list offer fast speeds and greater capacities for more extensive procedures, while others are more limited with slower speeds. The better the speed and capacity, typically, the higher the price.
Think about what you need a paper folding machine to do, and work from that point onwards. We’ve listed the most critical areas to consider below to make it a bit easier.
Speed is all about the amount of time you save and the extent of your paper folding operations. Some machines excel in this area, while others offer more moderate speeds.
Paper folding machines start at around 1800 papers per hour and go up to over 8000 papers an hour. The size and power of the device will dictate the speed in the vast majority of cases.
The perfect folding speed for you will come down to what you need, your budget, and the size of the machine you’re looking for overall. Think carefully about this as the folding speed can be a dealbreaker, certainly for larger businesses that have a lot of paper folds to get done.
There are many different ways of folding paper, and not every paper folding machine will do them all.
The standard number of different foldings is around six per machine, but some will offer more than this. Popular examples include the Letter Fold, the Z-Fold, the 4-Panel Accordion Fold, and the Double Parallel Fold.
The type of fold you need will largely hinge on your business operations and what you need to accomplish within that. If you need a specific type of fold, be sure to double-check the machine you like can do it before committing to the purchase.
Some offices have more space than others, and the same goes for schools and churches. Paper folding machines differ in their sizes, but this won’t be a problem for some due to the available space.
The best machines to go for are those with removable stacks and trays, certainly for those who need more compact devices.
Of course, this comes down to your circumstances, so if a larger paper folding machine offers what you want, and you have the space, then you shouldn’t hesitate. For others with less room, space can be quite a significant factor to consider.
Paper size varies more than you might think. There are multiple paper sizes, types, and varying levels of thickness. Even the weight of the paper is something to consider—although it’s not the most significant factor.
Papers start at around 8″ x 5″ and can double in size from there. The grams per square meter (known as the GSM count) go up to 170-180 GSM.
Different machines will accommodate different paper sizes and types, although the best ones will adjust as necessary without any extra fuss. It may not be the most important factor to think about, but it still needs some thought.
The best paper folding machines save businesses time and money and help them complete their independent projects.
For multiple fold styles and great folding speed, go for the Martin Yale 1611, while the Formax FD 38X Automatic is the best user-friendly LCD paper folding machine.
The Intelli 102 AF offers durability and reliability in abundance, while the MBM 98M Automatic is ideal for schools with its compact design.
The Duplo Manual DF 755 offers accuracy with its LCD counter along with high-level ease of use.
Whichever paper folding machine you desire, be sure to factor in the speed of folding, the different folding types, the device’s size, and the paper size and weight before ultimately deciding.