What would you do with more time?
Imagine that you finish work an hour early today. Done — no lingering tasks. Will you cook supper instead of grabbing fast food? Take the dogs for a walk? Go to bed early?
Extra time is precious. It’s a gift that Raven strives to give busy marketers every day.
That’s why our automated marketing reports have long been one of our most popular features. As one agency customer wrote, “It’s simple to set up, white label and automate Raven reports so that we can focus on our client work.” Another customer said that her team produces monthly reports 40% faster with Raven.
When we set out to build the next generation of Raven reports, we knew they had to be even faster to create, with exactly the metrics that matter to you. They needed to be easy to read and understand, anywhere — online, interactive and mobile friendly. And they needed to impress the hell out of your clients.
Our product designers and developers rose to the challenge. They built more than a new reporting tool. They built a new reporting engine. It uses new code, new logic, new charts, new everything.
Today, Raven releases that reporting engine. It powers a new Dashboard tool (surprise!), as well as the new Reports tool you’ve been hearing about. For those looking to have a full-on use case walkthrough, we’ve created a great post that covers how marketers should build their SEO Reports.
Exploring the New Reports
Let’s take a closer look at the main features.
Raven’s existing Report Wizard was beloved, but it had its limitations. Marketers couldn’t control how their metrics looked, nor could they see exactly what they were reporting until they downloaded a PDF. The new Reports tool is WYSIWYG — pick a metric, choose its format and see exactly what your clients will, immediately.
Most metrics are available in at least two of these formats:
We’ll add more options and flexibility to more metrics in the coming weeks.
When you create a report, you can choose from preexisting groups of metrics, called widget groups, from a variety of data sources.
Want to get a fast baseline report for a new campaign? Create a new report and choose a handful of widget groups. Instantly, you have an overview to kick off your planning.
Or you can create an individual custom widget. We’ll use Google Analytics as an example. You can drill down as deeply as you need to show off the effect of your campaigns.
You can rearrange your entire report with a simple drag-and-drop of the sections. And you can rearrange the widgets within an individual section of your report.
Raven’s new reports output to a single HTML page, not a bulky PDF. Simply send your clients the link (or automate that process with Raven)! Whether they’re on a desktop or laptop computer or a mobile device, clients can quickly click between sections of your report. They can sort columns in tables or hover for more information on graphs and charts.
Right now, you’ll find a Print Friendly button on the HTML page. Our goal is to create exports to multiple formats, including PDF and PowerPoint.
If you’re a current Raven customer, you might be wondering about your existing PDF reports. We’re building a simple conversion tool for moving existing PDF reports to the new format. We want to release that by the end of the fall. And you can access the existing Report Wizard — with all of your automated PDF reports going out on schedule — at least through early next year.
When many online marketers are still using Excel to create client reports, beautiful may sound like a stretch. The truth is, your clients may never see 98% of the work you do for them — but they will see all of the reports you send them. It’s important to make a great impression. Our UI designer worked hard to create a sophisticated style that will keep your agency looking professional and up-to-date.
You can embed Twitter and Facebook posts right into your reports to highlight big social media marketing wins. They look great, and your clients can click through to the original posts.
Oh, and for those times when your report needs a touch of whimsy, see what happens when you upload an animated GIF as your logo.
We’re already planning to make visual improvements, including these:
- Multiple color schemes from which you can choose
- More and better looking widgets, such as those for Site Auditor data
What else do you recommend?
Exploring the New Dashboards
If you can create one of the new reports, you can create one of the new dashboards, and vice versa. They’re identical in format, but there are important differences:
- Each campaign has one dashboard.
- Dashboards are unique to each Raven user.
- Dashboards cannot be shared externally.
- Dashboards refresh automatically, on a daily basis at the very least.
This way, each marketer using Raven can create a rolling, internal view of how each of their campaigns are performing, whereas reports are snapshots of a fixed time period to share with clients.
How To Access the New Reports and Dashboards
If you’re a current paying customer, a current trial customer or a customer whose trial has expired within the past 30 days, here’s where to find the new tools:
- Log in to your account. You may see a notice pop up about the new tools.
- Go to any Profile and Campaign, but preferably one with a lot of data!
- Go to Campaign > Dashboards NEW. Start customizing your personal dashboard.
- Go to Reports > Reports NEW. Start creating reports.
If you’re brand new to Raven, sign up for a free, 14-day trial. There’s no credit card required now, and no contracts later on. When you create your account, be sure to add multiple data sources, such as Google Analytics, Facebook or Twitter. You can start creating a Dashboard and Reports right away, but without data, there won’t be much to see!
How To Get Help
1. Training Classes Start Tomorrow
Raven’s co-founder Jon Henshaw will be teaching several live, 30-minute classes online over the next several days. Sign up for the course that’s most relevant to you:
- Existing customers, especially those wondering about the transition from the Report Wizard to the new Reports
- New and trial customers, or folks who just want to learn more
2. Get 24/7 Answers at the Help Desk
Recently we replaced Raven’s clunky Knowledge Base with a streamlined Help Desk. Our how-to and troubleshooting articles are now shorter, simpler to read and easier to understand. Many feature quick videos to help you visually. Bookmark the Help Desk to go to it directly, or click on the ? icon next to your name to search it from within Raven.
If your question isn’t answered in a Help Desk article, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
3. Keep Up with Bug Fixes and New Features
We expect to make quite a few bug fixes and improvements to the reporting engine in the near and far future. Keep up with what’s new — small and big — on our Software Updates page.