We upgraded our CRM features, interface, and doubled productivity!

We just announced a major upgrade to our CRM product, based on research with government customers throughout the U.S.

Our CRM release 1.4 product puts email interactions at the center of constituent casework with email threading that organizes communications throughout an office.

Common issues for our customers include helping veterans get their benefits, assisting immigrants’ families with complex legal issues, and ensuring those eligible for public benefits receive care.

“Government offices manage hundreds or thousands of emails a day – and organizing those communications into critical case files can make logistics the focus, instead of helping the public,” said CTO Jeff Green. “Our customers tell us that managed workflows double their productivity, and solving email efficiencies was the greatest thing we could do to create a surge in results for constituents.”

Aaron Stowers, support and product manager, said our new CRM 1.4 product now supports features of desktop email such as attachments and multiple addressees, as well as the added bonus of merge fields that allow caseworkers to reuse workflows critical to complex cases.

Our CRM 1.4 product organizes all the notes from a case into a simple interface where phone calls, in-person visits, and email interactions all tell a constituent’s story for anyone in the office to review.

“Our goal is to totally replace the pink notepad where constituent staff have traditionally jotted case notes,” Stowers said. “…CRM does that.”

Our research shows that while the overall CRM market is growing by 12 percent a year, many government offices still use a mix of paper files and written notes alongside legacy IT systems and desktop email. “This is faster – everything in one place, with search.” Stowers said.

Our CRM 1.4 product works seamlessly with government email providers such as Outlook, but each email is automatically associated with related notes and case journals.

Green said the new product also includes features that make digital government easier across the board, including:

  • HTML letters for case management
  • A streamlined design for adding phone notes to a constituent record
  • Custom handwritten signature blocks for all office staff
  • Improved workflow tracking for case notes, and
  • A robust incoming casework viewer

“Our customers have already resolved more than 1.3 million cases for constituents,” Green said. “The new government CRM will save local, state and federal governments thousands of hours of work.”

Government CRM Provider iConstituent Announces Premium Email Newsletter Product

iConstituent today announced its premium eNewsletter Plus product, with new features for social media analytics and tracking, and other extra features for helping government communicators reach constituents consistently across channels.

eNewsletter Plus supplements the standard newsletter product included with iConstituent’s flagship Constituent Relationship Management platform.

“Government needs to reach constituents where they are – whether that’s at the desktop or cell phone for email, or on Facebook and Twitter,” said iConstituent CEO Zain Khan. “eNewsletter Plus helps government officials across the U.S. take their communications to the next level and connect with people everywhere they are. It’s an example of continuous innovation by our team to provide government communicators with the best quality and best price.”

Khan said officials interested in eNewsletter Plus and the product’s social media optimization features can visit iconstituent.com to book a free demo.

Key features of eNewsletter Plus include:

  • Advanced email templates with instant eNewsletter sharing on social networks
  • A robust social dashboard for tracking email, Twitter and Facebook subscriber growth
  • Powerful analytics that help identify social influencers
  • Custom lists with targeting by demographics, behavior and activity history
  • Embeddable custom surveys
  • More than 65 configurable reports integrated with Google Analytics

iConstituent’s eNewsletter Plus users benefit from the DC-based company’s enterprise-scale email delivery network, which delivers millions of messages each month for government offices and agencies. The offering is available as a standalone product, and as an upgrade for current CRM users.

“Comprehensive analytics and social integrations help our government customers better serve their constituents with timely and relevant information,” said Khan. “We’re excited to see how our customers will use the extra power in eNewsletter Plus.”

About iConstituent: iConstituent connects people and government with great software. It brought the first e-newsletter to Congress in 2003, and provides CRM, email, telephone town hall, and other IT services to hundreds of government offices across the U.S.

Federal government officials & entities can now dial mobile phones for telephone town halls.

NEW DECLARATORY RULING

Federal government officials & entities can now dial mobile phones for telephone town halls.

Breaking News: The FCC issues Declaratory Ruling authorizing federal government officials and entities like you to reach thousands more constituents on their mobile phones. The ruling released today allows the 47% mobile-only constituent demographic to receive automated phone calls to organize telephone town hall events for federal official business purposes. A copy of the ruling can be found here.

ICONSTITUENT CAN HELP YOU REACT TO THIS RULING RIGHT AWAY:

  • Learn how to invite mobile phone users to a telephone town hall meeting
  • Get a free assessment of your mobile phone data needs
  • Learn how many new numbers we can add to your data base

We’ll work with you to create a custom mobile communications strategy in just days – or even hours.

Call us at (202) 355-9355 and mention the FCC Declaratory Ruling to get your free consultation.

E-Mail Address: Sales@iConstituent.com.

Did you miss it?

Posted by Becky Baylor; Help Desk Support Manager

Last week, we presented "Signal CRM: What's Next?" to Signal CRM users in DC to highlight the new efficient mail processing features that will be available in Signal 1.3, which is currently being rolled out to offices. Our staff will be reaching out to offices on an individual basis to schedule your upgrade date.

This was an informative session providing a detailed breakdown of the features, as well as highlighting a few developments on the way. Everyone will be upgraded to Signal 1.3 over the next few weeks, so if you work with mail processing or are simply curious about the changes, this is a session you definitely don't want to miss.

If you didn't get a chance to participate in last week's session, don't worry, we've got you covered! "Signal CRM: What's Next?" will be presented via webinar every Tuesday for the next several weeks to coincide with the rollout. Click the button below to sign up!

Other resources include our previous post: "Signal 1.3 Is on It's Way!" and our Help Center article "What's New in Signal 1.3?" If you have any additional questions, please email support@iconstituent.com

Signal 1.3 is on its way!

Posted by Becky Baylor; Help Desk Manager

We're excited to share our latest release Signal 1.3! This release is focused on streamlining mail processing, so you'll notice there are fewer clicks, more grouping and selecting options, and new efficiency features like macros and shortcut keys. As always, we've been listening to your feedback, so we've included quite a few requested features, as well. Overall, we think you'll find that our latest release has made Signal an even more powerful tool for managing constituent communication. Signal 1.3 will be released as a staggered roll out to offices over the next few weeks, so join us for on February 12th at 3:30 pm ET for "Signal CRM: What's Next?"

10 Ways Signal 1.3 Improves Mail Processing

  1. More viewer options because not everyone is a primary mail sorter. A standard view will present a more comfortable view of the mail for users that just need to see the basics – the contact's name and message. A custom view is available for those who need to see a lot of information at a glance.
  2. No more pop-up windows for assigning and editing activities, which results in fewer clicks and an uninterrupted view of your mail.
  3. Multi-level grouping and breadcrumb navigation to more easily drill down to the specific records you need.
  4. Saved grouping for each folder since you have different goals when sorting new mail in the inbox than you do when working with your assigned mail.
  5. Keyboard shortcuts that allow you to quickly perform common actions with a few keystrokes.
  6. Personalized macros that save frequently used assignments for future use.
  7. More automatic merge fields for casework that provide a new set of options for including information in your letters to constituents.
  8. More intuitive letter writing process with relabeling of common editing actions and dynamic changes to the editing screen based on your current step in the editing process
  9. Signal CRM and Gateway eNewsletter integration that includes automatic updates to contact records in Signal based on e-newsletter interactions and a new Mailings module that allows you to create and send digital, high volume, email communication natively from Signal CRM with managed IP addresses, full and real deliverability tracking, and all the benefits of the Constituent Gateway eNewsletter platform.
  10. Email interaction tracking so you have more information about email addresses in your database such as the date the email address was last validated, when and who made changes to the email status, and when an email may have bounced.

To learn about these improvements and more, see our Help Center article What's New in Signal 1.3?

iConstituent & FiscalNote Present: Prophecy

Posted by Christopher Brooks; Manager, Web Production & Marketing

iConstituent & FiscalNote Present: Prophecy

Join iConstituent & FiscalNote as we celebrate the product launch of Prophecy in the U.S. House of Representatives! So join us for complimentary food and drinks at Hawk 'n' Dove, Wednesday July 15th at 5pm.

Prophecy is a new application for policy and legal professionals who need insight into legislative activity. Prophecy’s searching, tracking, and analysis capabilities provide relevant and timely legislative data from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Congress. Prophecy uses data, coupled with machine learning, to determine legislator sentiment and forecast policy outcomes with over 94% accuracy.

This is a widely attended event, so bring you collegues, friends, and family.

Register Here.

Meet Rachel Brand

Posted by Christopher Brooks; Manager, Web Production & Marketing

We're proud to announce the newest member of the iConstituent family: Rachel Brand. Rachel is joining us as an Account Executive and will work under Greg Fickel, Chief Operating Officer. I sat down with Rachel to ask her a few questions about her interests and what it’s like to work at iConstituent:

Where did you grow up? Springfield, Virginia

What was it like to grow up there? Fairfax County is a great place to grow up in. Since it is only half an hour away from the Nation’s Capital, I was able to go to all of the great museums this city has to offer. It has been cool to see through the years how this city has evolved and continues to change. I am thankful to have DC in my backyard – this kind of explains why I came back to the area after graduating college.

What college did you go to and what was that like? I went to Coastal Carolina University, located right outside of Myrtle Beach, SC. Since I have lived in VA my whole life, I wanted to explore what other parts of our country had to offer and the close proximity of the beach definitely made this an easy decision. I was able to meet many different groups of individuals from a lot of different places. I enjoyed my experiences and many friendships gained here. I also was able to gain a lot of knowledge and a marketing degree!

Rachel and her dog, Remy
Rachel & Remy, her beautiful purebred Chocolate Labrador

You’ve been with iConstituent for a few months now as an Account Executive, can you give me a brief overview of what it is you do in your work — or what a typical day is like?
A typical day for me is meeting with various offices on the Hill. A lot of walking comes with this…but I love to exercise and talk to people, so it definitely beats your typical desk job. Every day is a different day! I love meeting new staffers in offices and finding the best solutions for them.

What skills or talents to you bring to the Account Executive position at iConstituent? I graduated with a marketing degree –so I see what is marketable and what is not. Marketing and sales are very similar fields. I also have worked in sales positions, and love talking to people and finding solutions to their needs and wants. Something key: “Sales is about relationships!”

Since starting, what is something that you’ve learned or experienced that you’ve found surprising? Being on the Hill everyday means I am constantly learning more about what is going on in the offices I meet with. It truly is a unique experience! A little off topic, but I never could have imagined the amount of support I would receive from my workplace, iConstituent, and from the offices we provide services to. I actually love coming to work every day, something most people cannot say.

As a potential customer reading this, why should I choose iConstituent over any of our competitors? It is hard to compare our services to another vendor on the Hill. iConstituent is not like any other CRM/eNews provider. We have the best support, and most user friendly platform interface—easy for your staffers to pick up. And if there are any troubles, we offer training classes. We are not just looking to sell you on our product, we want you to have the most success using our product. Best practices are always provided, no question goes unanswered! Our bread and butter is not just our Signal CRM and Gateway eNewsletter, but it is our Hardware services and Data Services. It doesn’t just stop there; we have many other services- Website services, iTownHall, and Social Media Ads. Oh yeah, and we constantly are coming up with new ways to service our customers—FiscalNote is one of the newest additions. Let’s not forget that each and every one of our team members at iConstituent is an expert in their field. iConstituent is a great company to work with and work for!

A Trip in the Wayback Machine

Today we take a look at the first iteration of the iConstituent Gateway eNewsletter platform. Back in 2001 we worked with former Los Angeles Mayor, Jim Hahn, on his DineLA campaign. Mayor Jim HahnThis campaign was one of the first applications of email marketing for an elected official. Our job was to get as many people to sign up to receive coupons promoting local restaurants and eateries as a part of Mayor’s community outreach initiative. Our secondary objective was to begin to lay the foundation for a contact list that the Mayor could then use to keep his constituents updated on important information and his work for the city of Los Angeles.

Even in its infancy, the Gateway provided in-depth statistics, including views and forwards, to help determine the success of the email campaign and to help our staff make tweaks to increase engagement.

iConstituent Becomes National Cyber Security Awareness Month 2014 Champion

Posted by Christopher Brooks; Manager, Web Production & Marketing

iConstituent today announced that it has become a Champion of National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) 2014, joining a growing global effort among colleges and universities, businesses, government agencies, associations and non-profit organizations to promote online safety awareness.

Celebrated every October, National Cyber Security Awareness Month was created as a collaborative effort between government and industry to ensure everyone has the resources needed to stay safer and more secure online.As an official Champion, iConstituent recognizes its commitment to cybersecurity and online safety.

Coordinated and led by the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) and the Department of Homeland Security, NCSAM has grown exponentially since its inception, reaching consumers, small and medium-sized businesses, corporations, educational institutions and young people across the nation and internationally. This year marks the 11th year of NCSAM.

For more information on National Cyber Security Awareness Month, check out the National Cyber Security Alliance website.

iConstituent CEO Zain Khan to Speak at Connect14

WASHINGTON, DC, (Sep. 22, 2014) –  Zain Khan, Chief Executive Officer for iConstituent, will be one of the keynote speakers at the Connect14 Conference, a workshop held at Facebook’s campus located in Menlo Park. The Connect14 Conference focuses on how technology impacts local government, schools, non-profits, and the constituents these communities serve. Zain will advise government and nonprofit leaders on the impact of technology on government to citizen engagement. “I am honored to be one of the speakers at this year’s Connect14 conference,” Zain states. “I am especially excited to speak on a subject that I am so passionate about: the impact of technology on government to citizen engagement.”

This year’s Connect14 conference is hosted by San Mateo County’s Assembly Member Kevin Mullin and Supervisor Warren Slocum. The conference will explore the technology strengths, gaps, and gains of San Mateo County public schools, and showcase some of the best real-life uses of technology in the public and nonprofit sectors. Last year’s Connect13 explored the theme of Strengthening Communities through Social Media.

A recognized technology pioneer, innovator, entrepreneur and executive with nearly 15 years of experience in technology , Zain Khan is the founder and CEO of iConstituent a leader in cloud based government to constituent communications.

Through Zain’s leadership, iConstituent went from a start-up with just one product and a handful of clients to a company that powers the vast majority of Congressional eCommunications.
Prior to founding iConstituent, Zain had a background working in the tech industry with a number of eCommerce endeavors and startups. On the personal side, Zain always had an interest in government and politics. Founded in 2002, iConstituent allowed Zain to merge his professional experience with his interest in politics and begin his career in government-constituent communications. His expertise managing fast growth, internet software companies, coupled with a passion to enhance government-constituent communications has been critical to the company’s success.

From the beginning Zain has lead both the day to day business affairs for the company as well as developing and implementing iConstituent’s vision and business strategy. Through Zain’s leadership the company has successfully acquired a number of other companies, beginning with InterAmerica Technologies in 2010. Through that acquisition, iConstituent has become one of the leading providers of CRM to governments at all levels across the country.

As a result of his success with iConstituent, Zain is widely recognized as an expert in government-constituent communications and has been frequently interviewed on the subject by many respected news outlets, including National Public Radio, the Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post.

For more information about Zain Khan, contact Christopher Brooks or visit http://iconstituent.com.  

ICONSTITUENT® is a privately held corporation founded in 2002 and headquartered in Washington D.C. iConstituent’s mission is to foster communication between government and constituents through new channels and thereby transforming government-to-constituent communications and citizen engagement.  

###