Empowering Sales with Business Directory Integration

September 23rd, 2009 by Roy Russo

Empowering Sales with up-to-date contact information on contacts and interested prospects is essential in this day and age of high-volume, low-touch sales processes. LoopFuse OneView offers Sales organizations deep integration with a great number of common 3rd-party business directory and news sites, easily accessible from any visiting Company’s analytics page.

The current integrated 3rd party directories and news sites are pictured below, and include direct-linking to information providers such as Hoover’s Business Directory, Jigsaw, Google News, and ZoomInfo.

Hoover's Business Directory


What, no Google news for Eloqua? ;-)

Because the level of integration is “native” and presented as a hot-link, LoopFuse is able to provide the added value and information to sales organizations at no cost to us and therefore no additional cost to LoopFuse customers… and sales people are much happier for it all. ;-)

OneView v3.20 – Context-Sensitive Help and Open Communities

August 31st, 2009 by Roy Russo

OneView v3.20 (release FAQ) was released last week after weeks of testing and hardening by our QA staff. It stands out among all of our releases, as the focus was not concentrated on the LoopFuse side, but shared equally and externally by providing tight integration with our new Community Support Portal.

The new Community Support Portal is now populated with over 100 articles, FAQs, videos, and screencasts. It hosts a complete reference documentation section for all aspects of LoopFuse OneView. Its goal was to cover every category, module, page, and possible user action in the product and out (Aspects of our Web Service API are also covered for techno-savvy users).

The highlight of our integration is that we now have a seamless integration for users in our OneView product and our Community Support Portal. That is, users (even non-paying trial users) can easily login to the portal from within the product and ask questions or share ideas and feedback openly.

One particularly innovate approach to online help we have taken is making the OneView Help System  contextually aware – no matter what section of the product you happen to be in, calling the online help menu will point you to the correct Help Article, Category, and pre-fill the correct Search Terms.

One-Click Context-Sensitive Help System

In keeping with our original beliefs, we have decided to make our Community Support Portal completely open and transparent. Anyone, even guests, may browse the documentation and online discussions. We feel it is important to show prospects all aspects of the product and level of community participation. From companies as large as Oracle to your local gardening forum, open communities benefit registered users and anonymous ones alike. They provide an open door for all to window-shop your offering before taking the next step.

At its core, leveraging communities for effective marketing and sales is not an original idea (it’s actually Marketing 101), which of course makes me wonder why our over-funded Canadian friends and those other guys (you know, the ones that rhyme with stiletto and spend their lives telling you how much they know about marketing) chose to lock-up their documentation and community conversations with an iron door that only paying users can unlock. C’mon guys, what are you hiding? ;-)

What is LoopFuse?

August 17th, 2009 by Roy Russo

I was recently asked to describe ‘What is LoopFuse’ for a the ReachForce B2B Lead blog and I thought that some of our readers might enjoy it as well so I’ve cross-posted it here.

Sophistication Made Simple

LoopFuse was founded on the principle that marketing automation should be powerful yet simple. In fact, it was the founders’ experience of implementing a marketing automation system at JBoss that led directly to the creation of LoopFuse OneView. Some marketing automation vendors achieve power and flexibility, but at the expense of usability. Others have a fantastic user interface, but a shallow feature-set. LoopFuse OneView strikes the delicate balance between sophistication and simplicity by hiding complexity with integrated contextual help, intuitive defaults, and wizard-driven configuration.

In addition to making LoopFuse OneView easy to implement and easy to use, we also make it easy to buy. Our complete pricing list is publicly available from our website so that our prospects know exactly how much LoopFuse will cost before engaging our sales team. (Refreshing, isn’t it?) Even better, there are absolutely no hidden fees. No setup fees. No support fees. No per-user fees. No API fees. You can even pay by credit card. Try LoopFuse OneView with zero risk by signing up for a fully functional free trial on our website. Your account is immediately provisioned without ever speaking to a LoopFuse salesperson.

Lead Management

Target, track, capture, score, segment, nurture, route, convert, close, and analyze your leads in a single tool that tightly integrates with your CRM. Start with anonymous web activity collection that provides the basis for web analytics such as most popular pages, best referrers, search terms, and most active companies (via IP address). Collect registration data and convert anonymous visitors into identified prospects. Continuously evaluate the quality of each prospect according to his/her profile and behavior and route qualified prospects to the CRM. Nurture unqualified prospects by providing a contstant drip of highly relevant and timely information (via email) to engage the prospect until they are ready to buy. Arm the salesperson with all of the relevent information necessary to close the deal. Finally, analyze the effectiveness of each lead source to determine the best use of your marketing dollars.

Sales Enablement

LoopFuse will automatically create new leads/contacts/tasks in the CRM based on the LeadFlow you define. Existing leads/contacts in the CRM are continuously updated with information such as lead score updates, new registration form data, email campaign activity, and latest web activity. Within 1-2 clicks the salesperson has access to every piece of data ever collected about a prospect, including the prospect’s company & location (even if prospect left it blank), and all of the activity (anonymous included) associated with the prospect’s company. The prospect data is further enriched with one-click access to the prospect’s LinkedIn profile as well as data about the company from Hoovers, Jigsaw, ZoomInfo, and Google. By adding a prospect to their watchlist, a salesperson can be immediately notified when the prospect visits the website. Calling a prospect while they are browsing your site ensures that you have their full attention.

Performance & Scalability

While much of our early success was concentrated within open-source companies, LoopFuse continues to add customers from traditional software companies, SAAS providers, media companies, etc. One of the advantages of having so many open-source customers early on was that it required us to build a highly scalable infrastructure to manage the millions of transactions (page views, emails, registrations, etc.) per day that result from our customers offering free software. This continues to be a strategic advantage for LoopFuse as we can easily scale to accmodate customers of any size.

Why LoopFuse?

  • Basic setup in less than 1 hour via configuration wizard
  • Unlimited database size at no extra charge!
  • Free trial to prove the value before you purchase
  • Because it works

Congratulations to Zimbra

May 29th, 2009 by Sean Dwyer

I would like to congratulate Zimbra, the popular e-mail and collaboration company (and a division of Yahoo!). Since they started using Loopfuse OneView, Zimbra has increased its Sales and Marketing efficiency by 50% – special thanks to Greg  Armanini and John Robb of Zimbra for collaborating with us on the case study.

With over 41 million paid mailboxes worldwide, there is no doubt that Zimbra is redefining the email and collaboration space.  Achieving such web business success requires the right strategy coupled with the right partners to make it happen – especially with over 200,000 unique web visits a week to its homepage, www.zimbra.com.

While Zimbra initially chose Eloqua for marketing automation, they subsequently replaced them with LoopFuse OneView, which is easier for the Zimbra team to use and it tightly integrates with Salesforce.com, its CRM partner.

According to Greg, Zimbra is using LoopFuse’s demand generation, email marketing and lead scoring capabilities to keep the Zimbra sales team focused on “the most likely prospects in order to function efficiently and profitably.” I look forward to following Zimbra’s continued success.

LoopFuse with LinkedIn Integration

April 16th, 2009 by Roy Russo

A few weeks ago, we released our OneView v3.17. Although originally marked as a “Beta” feature for this release, our LinkedIn integration has received extremely wide-spread adoption by sales people using the service. Clearly, the ability to quickly identify contacts you may have in common, leads to a more personal sales approach.

In keeping with our ease-of-use goals, I’ll walk through a typical process, that within 2 clicks of the mouse, will have you viewing all of the people you have in common with this particular prospect…

Of course, it all begins with a lead that our Marketing team either captured from a web-form or may have purchased and imported in to the LoopFuse system.

Here we see a portion of the Lead Dashboard within the system that describes our lead, in detail.

Click to Enlarge

Now, we simply click on the button labeled “LinkedIn Information”, and are instantly transported to the appropriate results on the LinkedIn website…

Click to Enlarge

Did I say two clicks? Ok, so it’s really just one click, but you get the point… One-click shopping for leads. ;-)


February 10th, 2009 by Roy Russo

Since our founding in 2007 as the pioneer in marketing and sales automation, we’ve seen rapid adoption of our On-Demand (SaaS) platform across both large and small organizations. Two years later, we mark a significant point in our history, having secured a Series-A round from True Ventures, led by John Burke, and the addition of our new CEO, Sean Dwyer,  to our ranks.

A Special Thanks

I won’t take this funding announcement to blog about how wonderful we are, drink our own kool-aid, and pat ourselves on the back, as some would expect. I will however, take this opportunity to thank the group of people that enabled us to get where we are today… our customers. Our customers have maintained a steady and unwavering belief in LoopFuse, the company and the vision from day-one. It is with their support, that we have not only reached this point in our history, but with their input and suggestions, have built the most innovative software they use every day to generate millions of dollars in sales. To our customers, allow me to say that everyone at LoopFuse thanks you for helping us build the strong partnership that exists today.


Through a rather serpentine twist of fate and coincidences, we were introduced to the partners at True Ventures (Thanks, Dave!). I can honestly say that they are the perfect partner for LoopFuse, with a perfect alignment of vision, goals, growth philosophies, and the importance of a solid team of dedicated A Players. I’ve met a lot of VCs in my career… these guys are truly different and an excellent partner complementing the LoopFuse executive team. We are extremely fortunate to have such a talented group of people working with us, along with our new admiral at the helm, Sean Dwyer; who loved using the product so much, he decided to run the company.

When Tom and I started this company, we were two guys (and a rather angry pit-bull) with an idea and a dream to revolutionize how online business is conducted. We’ve always maintained a belief that the success of the company and its customers is an inevitability. Even though the industry peddles the mirage of marketing automation, we actually deliver re$ult$, and believe that the influence this industry can have on business is much larger and broader than where we are today. Follow us, and you will see.

To Marketo and their overpriced Toy for Marketing Tots™, and Eloqua, with their Techological Torture Device™, I say, Get some coffee and try to stay awake. If it was bad for you when it was two guys (and a dog), it’s going to be an utter nightmare now.

Blocking registration spam – a better alternative to CAPTCHA

January 28th, 2009 by Tom Elrod

If you have a web site with registration forms you have probably been spammed by a bot (or will in the near future). Most people think of spambots as rogue programs that run on the internet harvesting email address from web sites to then later spam via email (i.e. “Get your diploma today” emails). While this still occurs on a regular basis, there is an increasing trend of forum spam which can pollute your lead capture data.

Many web sites deploy CAPTCHA tests within their web site form registrations to protect against spambots. However, what most people don’t know is that most of the spambot software used today, such as the popular XRumer, can defeat CAPTCHA.

It is a little surprising that software programs can get past CAPTCHA seeing how it is difficult for most humans to respond correctly to them. However, with the wide availability of OCR packages, it is probably easier for computers to now figure out CAPTCHAs than it is for humans. If you don’t believe me, just take quick look at the demonstration pages for PWNTCHA and Gimpy and you will see how accurate computers can be at guessing the correct responses for CAPTCHA on the web.

The good news is a better alternative to CAPTCHA is easy. Just add an additional form field with a simple logic question. For example, 4 + 5 = ? or Is fire hot or cold?. The answer to type in the form field is easy for humans, but much more difficult for spambots. Obviously the answer given will need to be verified on your server before accepting the rest of the information posted, but this is typically trivial to add if you are already doing data verification. Generally simple arithmetic questions are best since math is universal and won’t have to worry about language barriers to word problems.

Hopefully this tip will help those of you already facing problems with large amounts of bad data polluting your registration data from spambots. For those of you who don’t face this problem, this tip might well prevent you from ever having to.

We hire. They fire.

November 3rd, 2008 by Roy Russo

These are interesting times for the U.S. and World economy, to say the least… housing market collapse, stock market volatility, growing unemployment, and talk about spreading the wealth. ;-) It’s enough to negatively affect the purchasing and hiring plans of even the most well-funded of businesses. And against the back-drop of the economic chaos, I’ll publicly boast, We’re growing Fast!

Over 2008,  we have seen our employee ranks increase by 30% and demand for our marketing automation suite has never been higher. It is evident that during times of economic uncertainty, now more than ever, marketers are hungry for a low-cost, high-return, and easy-to-use product in the marketing automation space. So the build-out continues with key hires in executive positions and game-changing product innovations in 2009.

With that, I introduce our newest addition to the executive ranks at LoopFuse…

We Hire

We are proud to welcome Frank Merenda to our ranks, as our new VP of Engineering. Frank joins us from Red Hat, where he created the JBoss Customer Support Portal and became the development team lead for enterprise support at Red Hat. Frank brings over twenty years of IT experience to LoopFuse. Frank will be responsible for continuing execution and build-out of our core product, LoopFuse OneView.

They Fire.

Now I’m not one to kick a competitor when he’s down, (Oh, who am I kidding, of course I am!), but unfortunately, this period of economic malaise hasn’t been good to everyone in our space. Having to slash its headcount by 20%, it seems like Eloqua’s feeling the payne. In a market that’s changing fast with lower-cost and easier-to-use products, I’d say the reign of terror over customers may be drawing to a close.

Crumbling old companies aside, the state of the marketing automation space looks extremely bright. I believe the next few years will be pivotal, in separating winners from losers, and only those with superior products, designed to solve marketing and sales solutions during a market downturn will survive. But hey, what do I know? ;-)

Introducing Rollover Credits

September 18th, 2008 by Roy Russo

Today, LoopFuse announced a dramatic change in the way our pricing model works. We’ve always  maintained that our product is the most full-featured and easiest-to-use marketing automation suite on the market. The change echoes our drive for innovation and simplicity by allowing marketers to focus on campaign and program initiatives without worrying about artificial quotas and overage fees, that limit their ability to execute.

In keeping with our mantra of simplicity, I’ll spell out the basics of the pricing model change:

  • Unlimited Seats
  • Unlimited Support Incidents
  • Support Package with 24/7 access to our Customer Support Portal
  • Rollover Creditsâ„¢

The concept behind Rollover Creditsâ„¢ is simple… you don’t need to ever worry about exceeding limits on page-view tracking or email sending, as all unused credits for a given month will roll-over to the following month. Website traffic and email campaigns are not fixed variables, so why should bandwidth usage and email usage fees be fixed?

LoopFuse has always maintained strong partnership ties with it’s customers. With that belief as a base, we felt that our pricing model should support, rather than hinder, our customer success’. What we found with our old pricing model (still in use by our competitors ;-) ) is that we were penalizing growth by limiting usage. As customer of our munchkin-loving-competitors will notice, they are hindered by the artificial barrier to growth in usage, seats, and support cases, leading to lost sales opportunities and increased costs.

More information on the new pricing model, can be found here.

Drupal / LoopFuse Integration Module Released

July 22nd, 2008 by Roy Russo

Today, our friends at Drupal announced the release of the LoopFuse OneView integration module for Drupal. The module, now available from the Drupal website, allows for pluggable integration between the Drupal CMS and the LoopFuse OneView Marketing and Sales Automation platforms. This is a natural pairing for two technologies that are widely used throughout the internet – Our products have a considerable overlap in who they appeal to… Marketing and Sales executives.

The original impetus for this module, was started by Chuck D’Antonio under the Acquia umbrella. Much of it came about as Acquia became a LoopFuse customer and felt a tighter integration that would benefit the community would be fruitful. This is OSS, as it was meant to be. I couldn’t agree more. ;-)

Taking the press release at face-value would be a mistake, as there is an important message here, regarding the future direction of both companies. I believe it is evident that Drupal has continuously set itself apart from other Web CMS  by appealing to a more sophisticated crowd. The same is true for LoopFuse. At the same time, however, I would state that both companies have a fair understanding of what it means to have mass appeal… allowing a simple user to get up-and-running in minutes, yet enabling high-end users with unlimited flexbility and scalability. This is a delicate balancing-act for any company, but one that I believe our friends at Drupal/Acquia know very well how to master.