Posts tagged customer engagement

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4 Ways to Engage With Customers As a SaaS Biz

By Trish Fontanilla, VP of Community & Customer Experience at Vsnap

If you’re a web-based business, you’ve probably faced some relationship building challenges when it comes to customers. It’s hard to recreate some of the interactions that brick and mortar businesses easily have just by having a physical location. So you’ve sent vsnaps, done some Google Hangouts, had phone calls, and written thank you cards - what other ways can you connect with your customers?

One company that I believe is doing an awesome job is Grasshopper, which offers a phone system for entrepreneurs. Here are 4 ways they’re engaging with their community both online and offline.

Featuring customers beyond their platform
Some companies get quotes and testimonials from their clients to feature on their page, but Grasshopper goes the extra mile. With their Tell Us Your Story program, they highlight their customers on their site, but they pitch their company stories to the media as well. They’ve gotten their customers featured everywhere, from their local paper to The Wall Street Journal.

Grasshopper’s core purpose is to empower entrepreneurs to succeed, and like a lot of great companies out there, they go past their platform to carry out that mission. For their customers, it’s like having an extra PR person on the team and it shows them just how invested Grasshopper is in their success.

Buying customers coffee the online way

Grasshopper sends thank you cards with Starbucks gift certificates to both customers and community members that engage with them in different ways. As a way to scale some of that effort, they’ve started to use Tweet A Coffee. Using Tweet a Coffee, you can connect your company’s Twitter account with to send $5 online gift cards to anyone in the US and Canada.

Not only did Grasshopper tweet a coffee to me recently, they also offered to connect me with someone for a coffee meeting. What an incredible way to up the ante, and be totally on brand (remember their core purpose I stated above?). Sending your customers a coffee can be a great way to connect with them before a call, an online demo, or just to say thank you.

Making sure their customers have fun at work

This past January, Grasshopper declared the last Friday of the month, “Fun at Work Day”. They sent off boxes of toys to their customers that they could enjoy while they were at work, in addition to showing off games that were happening at Grasshopper HQ in case people wanted to play along. What I love about this is how it was unexpected, but if you were to recreate this box it wouldn’t break your budget. I also love that they shared pictures of how their team was celebrating throughout the day. Yes, even B2B companies know how to have fun and it’s important to connect with your audience outside the product.

Empowering customers through event sponsorship

(pictured - L to R - Robby Bitting from MassChallenge; Taylor Aldredge from Grasshopper)

If you’ve been to one of our Customer Love Meetups in Boston, you’ve probably met Grasshopper’s Ambassador of Buzz Taylor Aldredge. Taylor sponsors our events on behalf of Grasshopper to make sure everyone is fed. But it’s more than that. For them, sponsorship is more than a good use of their budget, it’s an awesome way to form relationships with their customers. Not only are they showing support for what we’re working on, they’ve found it’s a great way of building grassroots support in each city they sponsor events in. Companies are always looking to sponsor industry events and conferences, but take a note from Grasshopper and check in with your customers to see if there’s something you can do to help them produce an event or project.

What are some out of the box ways you connect with your customers? Feel free to post below!

And a brief plug, if you’re a Vsnapper, we’d love to feature you in our Spotlight series, click here to fill out the form.

Filed under trish blogs grasshopper custlove14 customer love customer service customer engagement saas business

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Premium Feature Walkthrough for Account Admins

by Trish Fontanilla, VP of Community & Customer Experience at Vsnap


Premium features are finally here!  Here’s a quick walkthrough for Admin Members, showing what they’ll be able to see and do once they’ve subscribed to either the Solo Business or Business Plus plans (Platinum coming soon).

Whoever sets up a premium account becomes the Admin Member for that account. Right now you can only have one Admin Member, but we’ll add more as we go forward. If you are the person who sets up the account, you are the Admin Member by default.

View Analytics Dashboard


With our free account, if you send a vsnap via email you can see whether or not that person has watched it. With Twitter and LinkedIn you see total number of views, not specifically who clicked on the link. The premium plans allow you to see an overview of the total number of vsnaps that have been sent within your company/organization and whether or not they’ve been viewed. For a complete breakdown on the whats/whys of Analytics, you can check out the blog post that we published last week.

Manage Vsnaps


Under Manage Vsnaps, the Admin of an account can see all the vsnaps that have been created within their company/organization. They can also watch any of the member vsnaps and delete them if necessary.

Manage Members


Under manage members, you’ll be able to see:

  • … how many members you have in your organization, and how many memberships you have left.

  • … who you’ve invited and which invitations are pending.

  • … individual member metrics (as opposed to the Analytics Dashboard which shows you the company overview).

Email Delivery

With our Send As Email Delivery Feature, vsnaps can be sent from your domain, so for example instead of  Here’s a post we wrote last week and we’ll publish a more detailed walkthrough of this feature later in the week.

Customize Player Branding


If you scroll down on the Premium Settings page, you’ll see a Branding section. You can now add a logo to your vsnaps that’ll appear in the top right hand corner of the screen. The Admin of the account can set the logo and it’ll appear on all vsnaps created within a company/organization. Logos can be in .PNG, .JPG, and .GIF format.

Some more features are coming out over the next few days, so we’ll be sure to keep you posted!

If you have any questions, feel free to email me at Also if you’re interested in our platinum plan, which includes white label branding, you can contact our CEO Dave McLaughlin.

Filed under trish blogs premium features video messaging customer engagement

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Vsnap’s Premium Analytics: A Detailed Description

by Dave McLaughlin, CEO & Co-Founder at Vsnap

Users of Vsnap’s Free product can see certain analytics about each message they send. But there’s no ability to look across a group of messages or a group of colleagues and get a balcony view on aggregate Vsnap usage and recipient actions. That’s what our new Premium packages will give you.

Before I describe that in more detail, I want to first remind people that what you can track for the vsnaps you send varies depending on how you share each message – via email, Twitter or LinkedIn message. (Our current mobile apps only allow you to share via email, but from the web/mobile web you can also share via tweet or LinkedIn message).

When you share a vsnap via social, the best practice is to direct it to a specific recipient. On Twitter, this means starting your tweet with an @message. On LinkedIn, it means putting a vsnap into a LinkedIn message and customizing the text, rather than posting it to your profile. These behaviors help your messages feel authentically personal, which is what really drives behavior on the part of your recipients.

But even when you steer a social share to the attention of a specific recipient, it is still essentially a public share. And for these shares, there’s no way for us to tell you what a specific recipient did or did not do. So when you share via social, we give you general numbers: total views and total feeling responses (if somebody marked your video message as helpful, thoughtful, amazing).

On the other hand, when you share a vsnap via email, we can tell you about the actions of each specific recipient. We can tell you whether he or she watched the video, and whether he or she clicked on any of the files or links you may have paired with the video. This is very practical for people in Sales, Account Management and Support. Because their focus is all about a specific client or prospect.

In our Free product, all of that is available to users at the level of the individual message. There’s no dashboard that gives these users a clear picture of what their overall view rate is like. This means it’s hard for them to really know what impact they’re having on their key business relationships. But that dashboard is now available in our Premium product (launching July 15). In fact, it exists at both the Member level and the Company Account level.   

This means that an individual who’s part of a premium account can see his or her aggregated data, broken down by share type, as in the picture at the top of this post. Number of email shares & views, number of LinkedIn shares & views, number of Twitter shares & views. Below that, we show the number of people who marked one of your messages as helpful, thoughtful or amazing.

And if you have a Vsnap premium account with multiple members – this is called the Business Plus account – then one individual is designated as the Admin Member for that account. The Admin Member can see a dashboard and a set of reports that look across the activity of all of that account’s members. So what the member sees for his or her own aggregate activity, the Admin Member sees for all of the Vsnap users in that company.

The Admin Member can also drill into the activity of any individual member by clicking on that person’s name, and can see reports on things like the most and least active Vsnappers in the company.

Our goal here was to help managers with a set of looks that make it easier to support their team members’ ability to rapidly adopt this powerful behavior.  So we’ve made it easy for you to see who should get a pat on the back, and who needs more training, and so on. All in the spirit of the old adage that you can’t manage what you can’t measure.

These features go live in 10 days and we have an awesome Early Adopter discount available through the end of July. There’s more detail about the full feature set in this prior post. And if you have any questions, just email me at

Filed under Dave blogs premium features analytics vsnap video messaging customer engagement

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Premium Features: Enterprise-Ready “Send As” Customization

By Trish Fontanilla, VP of Community & Customer Experience at Vsnap


When you share a vsnap via email, as opposed to via Twitter or LinkedIn, the default email notification comes from But Vsnappers who sign up for our premium features launching in mid-July will be able to configure their accounts so that notifications come from their actual email addresses. As you can imagine, this will have a big impact on your vsnaps’ open rates.

We previously had a version of this “Send As” feature, which used SMTP. We felt it wasn’t secure enough, and we feel strongly that nothing is more important than the security of your information. So that feature will be discontinued as of July 10th.

This new, enterprise-ready “Send As” capability allows you to authorize the Vsnap email server to send email notifications as though it’s your company’s email server. This means when you do this properly, SPAM filters recognize that these emails are valid and properly authorized by the sending domain (aka your company email). If you have dedicated IT support, and you walk through this process with them, it will take about 15 minutes. If you do not have dedicated IT, you can do it on your own but you should allow a half-hour for that process. Once the feature goes live, we’ll provide a more detailed walk-through tutorial.

The Admin Member of your Vsnap premium account will perform the set-up process. Once he or she has established your company’s domain as an approved sending domain for Vsnap notifications, then members of that account just add their email addresses and they’re good to go.

More details on “Send As” and premium account types

Starting in mid-July, you’ll be able to choose from a Free account, a Solo Business account, or a Business Plus account. The Send As feature will be part of the Solo account and the Business Plus account.

The Solo account is designed for individuals - consultants and freelancers - who need some business features, and the Business Plus account is designed for teams that want to have multiple people on the same account. Business Plus lets you add as many members as you like at a flat per-user cost of $15/month for annual subscribers. This is the account most people have asked for, and so we’re offering early adopter pricing of $10 per user per month for annual subscribers through the end of July.

And remember…

We want it to be easy for people you vsnap to respond directly to you, so whether you have the Send As feature or not, anyone you vsnap can reply to the email notification they receive and it will be sent back to you.

Example: your email is You send me a vsnap. In my email inbox, I will receive a notification either from (if you have a Free Vsnap account) or from (if you have a Premium Vsnap account). In either case, when I hit ‘Reply’ on that email, it will open up an email with in the ‘To’ field.

Premium Accounts will have some new ability to customize their email notifications by changing the text and adding your company’s logo. And you can get your picture into the email notifications as well. All of that is important to the recipient’s perception of the email, and we’ll go over all of that in a tutorial to accompany the feature launch.  

If you have questions or feedback, I’d love to hear from you. You can email me directly or comment below.

Filed under trish blogs premium features vsnap video messaging early adopters customer engagement branding send as

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How to Make the Most Effective Vsnaps

by Trish Fontanilla, VP of Community & Customer Experience

We’ve blogged about engaging people via Vsnap and what you should say in your vsnaps, but we haven’t pulled together a comprehensive post on what a vsnap should look like. I usually say it all comes down to great lighting and a personal message that makes someone feel valued. But here are some details that really up the effectiveness of a vsnap.

The Video

  • Make sure you vsnap in a place with good lighting. Being able to see your face is one of the things that really sets video apart from email. Click here for a trick Dave uses when he’s using the mobile apps.

  • Be aware of what’s in the background. You don’t need to manicure the background. In fact, a little activity is good - it helps the message feel more authentic. But don’t let what’s happening behind you distract people from what you’re saying to them. Also you want to make sure you aren’t showing signage or anything that’s off-brand for you.

  • Don’t feel like you have to take up the full 60 seconds. I always say if someone has to re-watch your vsnap in order to get the gist of it, then it should probably be an email.

  • Don’t forget to smile! And smile through the first couple seconds. Not only does it start the video off on a warm note, we grab the thumbnail in the first few seconds.

The Title and Description

  • Currently the title of our vsnap is the only customizable part of the email, so make it count. Be as specific as possible by including the person’s name and why you’re vsnapping them. For more on that you can check out this post: coming up with a vsnap title.

  • The description box is there to clarify the attachment or leave a quick note. Don’t feel the need to use it to reiterate what you’ve said in your vsnap.

The Attachments

  • If you are attaching something to the vsnap, make sure to title it appropriately. Something like, “2013 Customer Engagement Study”, is better than “Whitepaper23875638”, and it will make people feel better about clicking download.

The Email Signature

  • If you record a signature vsnap, the thumbnail of that video will go into all your vsnap notifications. How do you create a signature vsnap? 1) Record a vsnap as your normally would. 2) Send it to yourself. 3) Click on the vsnap in your feed. 4) On the view page, scroll down to the share icons and to the left you should see a button that says signature. Click on that, and now that vsnap is your signature vsnap.


    The sign off in your email notifications will now look like the picture below. Full name, then thumbnail of your signature vsnap: 


If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions you’re always free to let us know via email, Twitter, or the comments below.

Happy vsnapping!

Filed under vsnap help trish blogs customer engagement vsnap