April 26, 2013

Contactually How-To: Getting Started with Buckets


You're logged into Contactually, and your contacts are imported. You know you have to get your contacts organized. So now what? We go about contact organization through a bucket metaphor, which is easy to understand. Separate your contacts into buckets and set the frequency at which you want to remain in contact with them. That's it. Easy, right?

We all naturally segment the people we know into groups, so that's a good way to start looking at how to set up your buckets. However, remember that the label isn't what matters. It's how close you are and how much you talk to them (or want to talk to them), which can also be applied to buckets.

So, go to the bucket page. Are you there? Great. Now, think about how often you talk to people. There are some people you talk to weekly, some every few weeks, some every few months, and some a few times a year. This is how you will organize your buckets. The name doesn't matter. It's for you to know who's in your bucket. But do make sure you have good follow up reminder intervals.

The closer or more important they are, it's logical that you'll want to keep in touch more often. So if this bucket represents those people, set reminders for 14 days. Setting the reminders for too short a period will result in too frequent follow up prompts. If you need it to be fewer than 14 days, you can. That interval works for most people. People who would fall in this interval: co-workers, current important clients, and some family members.

Increasing the reminder interval to around 21-45 days is where things get really interesting. Most people will fall somewhere in here. Anyone from close friends, to business partners, to warm leads would fall into here. Common interval days are 21 days, 30 days, and 45 days. The higher the need to remain in touch, the fewer days between follow ups.

Further out is the 60-90 day range. Here, you'll find people you need to keep in touch with infrequently. (Duh.) However, that may not mean that they're off your radar. Those could be people you may not have a deep personal relationship with or those who need quarterly updates. They could be investors, subscribers, colleagues, and not-so-close acquaintances.

[caption id="attachment_3036" align="alignright" width="150"] Make sure you have a "Non-Imporant" bucket handy.[/caption]

Well, what if you make a connection with someone with whom you don't need to set a follow up? Our incredibly smart Customer Gurus have recommended that you make sure to have a bucket labeled "Non-Important" handy to serve as a place to put contacts you don't need follow up reminders.

Now, go get your buckets in a row. This should be a good starting point on your way to nurturing your network. Remember: don't be afraid to play around with the intervals to see what works for you. Everyone's network is different.