Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Combining, Segmenting and Managing Salesforce Campaigns with AppExchange Apps

Recently, I faced a rather daunting task to launch a 2-part multi-segment marketing campaign of around 14,000 members.
It is possible to use out-of-the-box tools plus a few free apps to create segmented campaigns and get your sales team involved in campaign planning.

In our org, we've been managing our campaigns for 5+ years using the standard Campaign object, but we're definitely feeling the need for a marketing automation tool that would make this process a whole lot easier.

But for now, we've got Campaigns.

I thought I'd share my process if you too are not in a position to invest in a marketing automation tool.

Step 1: Define criteria to add contacts to campaign. 

We wanted to pull in active contacts (custom picklist field) based on the most recently won Opportunity for the Account that they belong to (custom rollup field on account). So, I created a report with those criteria. Then, I added them all to one big "For Review" campaign using the 'Add to Campaign' button. You'll find out why in Step 3.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Google Tasks Tip: Add a Hyperlink to Task Name to Jump To It

Here's a brief tip if you're a Google Tasks user.

I often create a task for myself that involves visiting a specific website, eg: modifying a Salesforce report or reviewing a particular record.

To save myself some time and avoid having to bookmark the link or look for it in my inbox, I add it to the task name.

I used to add it to the Notes field, which is just fine. But, it's not hyperlinked. I had to copy and paste it.

When I append it to the end of the task name, it creates a hyperlink that saves me a few seconds. I can click on it when I click on the task name in my calendar view.

Have a Google Apps tip that saves you time? Feel free to share it in the comments, or reach out on Twitter! Make sure to mention @RatherGeeky and I'll pass along your tip.


Jenna Baze is a rather geeky girl with average social skills and an affinity for: Google Apps,, Pinterest, natural light photography and finding creative ways to avoid doing dishes (which includes updating a handful of blogs).
Email: | Twitter: @RatherGeeky | Facebook: Rather Geeky Tips

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

An Awesome Way to Automate Your Life, @IFTTT

Have you ever been so passionate about an app that you start talking like this?

"Oh my gosh you have to install this app I totally love it and I can't believe you don't have it yet why haven't you installed it yet do it now while I'm telling you how cool it is..."

Well, that's pretty much how my conversations have started about IFTTT.

IFTTT stands for 'If This Then That'. It lets you create a cause and effect relationship between a list of applications. This relationship is called a 'recipe'. It isn't a mobile app (yet) but it is a freakin' awesome tool. And personally, I'd rather manage from my computer anyway.

Sometimes when I learn about a new tool like this, my first thought is 'Yeah, that's really cool but I have no idea why or how I would use it.' Were you just thinking that? If so, I'm about to blow your mind (I hope).

First, the basics:

  • It's free. 
  • It's a web app.
  • It connects one app to another, allowing you to initiate an action. (If this is clear as mud, it'll hopefully make more sense when you see my examples below.) These are called 'recipes.'
  • They are currently 49 'channels', or apps to connect with.
  • You can share recipes with other people by making it public, or use recipes that others have created. (Note: When you make a recipe public, it doesn't share your specific information. It only shares the framework of the recipe.)

Now, how I'm using IFTTT:

  • Craigslist -> Pushover: To notify me on my smartphone at the moment an item is listed for sale on Craigslist with the word 'expedit' (I'm on the lookout for one of those Ikea bookshelves!) 
  • Facebook -> Dropbox: When I'm tagged in a Facebook photo, add the photo to a specific folder in my Dropbox
  • Blogger -> Facebook Page: If I post something new on my photography blog, add the first image in the post to a specific album on my photography Facebook page and include a link to the post in the description.
  • Instagram -> Facebook Page: If I post a photo on Instagram with the hashtag #BehindTheScenes, upload it to my photography Facebook page in an album called 'Behind the Scenes'.
  • Twitter -> Evernote: When I favorite a tweet, append it to a note in Evernote.
  • Instagram -> Dropbox: Whenever I post a photo to Instagram, add it to my Dropbox. (This way I have access to all of my photos locally.)
  • Weather -> Gmail: If it's going to rain tomorrow, email me. (I live in Seattle... I'm a glutton for punishment.)
Here are a few screen-captures: 

Above: a sampling of my list of personal recipes.

Above: Here's my favorite recipe - it pops up a notification on my smartphone when an item is listed on Craigslist with the word 'expedit'

I'm constantly thinking of new recipes to add.

The only drawback I've found is that it doesn't support multiple accounts, such as connecting more than one Twitter account or Facebook page. Once you authorize it for a specific page, it's set. But, I contacted support and they told me that this feature should be coming in the future.

If you're interested in automating some connections in your tech-life, check it out!

Jenna Baze is a rather geeky girl with average social skills and an affinity for: Google Apps,, Pinterest, natural light photography and finding creative ways to avoid doing dishes (which includes updating a handful of blogs). | Twitter: @RatherGeeky | Facebook: Rather Geeky Tips

Friday, April 20, 2012

Templates for Sending Custom HTML-Formated Emails

In my last post, I shared a link to a tool that lets you design or send HTML-formatted emails.

When I was first experimenting with it, I used Vertical Response's templates as a starting point.

But, I found a few other great template sources that you can use. They are free and a great way to get started, especially if you aren't adept at manually crafting layouts in HTML. Or, if you're like me and you can never remember all of the attributes for a table.

I prefer to use a template to start, then switch to HTML-mode and make changes as necessary to spacing, alignment, etc.

email template

Without further ado:

  • When editing HTML, Ctrl + F becomes your friend. Use it to find specific code snippets or to locate the formatting properties for a particular text block.
  • Once you have the main template customized as you'd like, you can copy/paste it into a new Salesforce email template. Fancy!

Jenna Baze is a rather geeky girl with average social skills and an affinity for: Google Apps,, Pinterest, natural light photography and finding creative ways to avoid doing dishes (which includes updating a handful of blogs).
Email: | Twitter: @RatherGeeky | Facebook: Rather Geeky Tips

How to: Send HTML-formatted Emails with Gmail

I love Gmail. But sometimes, there's a feature that I *really* miss from desktop email applications.

Html-formatted emails is one of them. I'm not talking about bolded text or selecting my font. I want tables sometimes... and columns...

And so I was excited when I discovered a tool for designing and sending html-formatted emails with Gmail.

You can use the editor to design your email and then paste the html code to send or you can write the html manually. I used a template from Vertical Response to get started and customized it in their editor. Then, I pasted the code into the Google Docs sheet tool and sent.

It worked exactly as I expected! I used it to transform a bland text email to new users into a more professional welcome email.

It turned out like this:

Potential uses:

  • Company bulletins
  • Tip emails
  • Personal newsletters (no need to buy credits and use an email service!)
  • Pretty much anything...

Here's the link to the tutorial. Give it a try!

Jenna Baze is a rather geeky girl with average social skills and an affinity for: Google Apps,, Pinterest, natural light photography and finding creative ways to avoid doing dishes (which includes updating a handful of blogs).
Email: | Twitter: @RatherGeeky | Facebook: Rather Geeky Tips

Monday, February 27, 2012

Admin Journal: Crafting a Unique Id for Updating when Record Id is Missing (@salesforce)

Dear Admin Journal:

Sometimes, users do something silly... like exporting a report to Excel, making changes that they'd like me to import and forgetting something pretty important: the record id.

It's not impossible to update records without the record id. It's just not handy... and it can be error-prone.

Over the years, I've figured out various ways to get around the missing record id, usually involving several queries and some rather complex vlookups.

But, here's a pretty simple method that I used today when the csv I received from a user had only 7 columns + one column for reassigning record owner.

  1. I queried Salesforce to pull out the same 7 columns + record id with LexiLoader.
  2. In my user's spreadsheet, I created a new column. I concatenated 3 fields that I knew would have at least 2 unique values, so it looked kind of like this:


    Side note: I used the LEFT() function because my user had copied the data from a report in their browser and pasted it into Excel. The Billing Address had split into two rows in the spreadsheet. So, it wouldn't match my query.
  3. In my query spreadsheet, I created 2 new columns. In one of them, I concatenated the same 3 fields to use as a unique id. In the other column, I created a vlookup to match my manually created unique id and return the column that had been updated in my user's spreadsheet.
  4. Before updating using LexiLoader, I could remove the columns that I'm not using (Owner Name, Forged Unique ID, etc), or I could just leave them out of the field mapping.
It sounds kind of complex. But trust me, it's simple. 

Here's a rather lame screenshot (Skitch doesn't support blurring? What!?):

So, when I'm stuck with a spreadsheet without the record id and the user is waiting for me to update their data, I calmly remind myself of this.

In other news, I switched to a MacBook Pro last week. While I really like my Mac (I hesitate to say 'love'... but I'm sure someday I will), I've found that quite a few of the tools that I relied on are not available. I'm missing the Excel Connector, but I'm making it work with LexiLoader (a version of the Apex DataLoader for OSX) and Excel (although OpenOffice or Google Docs would work fine too).

Now, I'm off to finish updating.


Jenna, The Admin

Jenna Baze is a rather geeky girl with average social skills and an affinity for: Google Apps,, Pinterest, natural light photography and finding creative ways to avoid doing dishes (which includes updating a handful of blogs).
Email: | Twitter: @RatherGeeky | Facebook: Rather Geeky Tips

Saturday, February 4, 2012

How I Geekified My Wedding Planning

I've been married for 2 weeks to an adorably sweet and geeky man. #happyhappy

When we began planning our wedding (about 3 months before the big day... yeah, I just said 3 months), there was no question that we'd go about it in a Rather Geeky way.

So, here's a roundup of the apps and tools that helped us get things done.

Planning and Pre-Wedding 

Google Docs
I love the whole suite of Google Apps, but Docs came in especially handy. We used it to collaborate on the following:

  • Guest List
    We created a spreadsheet to store First and Last Name, Address, Category (family, friends, coworkers, etc). When preparing our invitations, we downloaded this and did a mail merge to print directly on the envelopes.
  • Reception Playlist
    We created a spreadsheet for Song, Artist, When to Play (Mingling, Dancing, Slow Dancing). I shared it with a few family members to make sure we had selections that would appeal to a large group of people.
  • Food Signup Sheet
    Since we had a potluck-style meal, I sent out a Google Form (to track Name, Contact Info, Dish) by email to our friends. It worked great!
  • Crafting Session Signup Sheet
    I had a number of DIY projects that I needed help with. So, I sent out a signup sheet and some of my friends volunteered to help.
  • Gifts Received
    We didn't want to lose track of any of the gifts that we receiving at our wedding shower and later at the wedding. So, we created a spreadsheet to track the gift, who gave it and whether or not we've send a thank you card. (I'm still working on that!)

Side note: When I first got in touch with my good friend's brother that I ended up marrying, he had a Hotmail address. His sister told me: "Don't hold it against him." Ha. It didn't take long for him to create a Gmail address too. :)

Pinterest is a visual bookmarking app that I use to catalog crafting ideas, recipes, inspiration and photos of things that I find interesting. I created a 'board' full of all the wedding ideas I liked.... and then copied the ones that I thought I might actually do to a smaller board.

Google Sites

Soon after we got engaged, I created a Google Site so that we could share our story with friends and family. It included a guest book that people could sign (as a Google Form).

We tried several task-sharing apps (such as Hunny Do and Checkvist) but we settled on Wunderlist. I like that it allows you to share individual lists and also has a web interface (as opposed to Hunny Do which is just for the iPhone). The UI is clean and easy to use. We did have some issues with it not refreshing properly on occasion but overall it was very handy.
We used a global registry site that allowed us to choose gifts from any store or website from the convenience of our computer or iPhone. When someone purchases something from the registry, you receive a notification (and it's easy to view a list for sending thank you cards). It also allows you to create a Cash Fund that people can donate to.

We planned on doing a flashmob after our first dance. We had friends in Alaska and elsewhere that planned to join. Since we couldn't practice in person, we recorded a video tutorial. Here's the final result:

We coordinated with our wedding planner using Skype. (Having a planner to handle all the details on the day-of was invaluable!)

The Day Of 

We document our daily life with the nifty Instagram iPhone camera app, which allows you to take 'polaroid'-style photos and apply various effects. I discovered that you can use hashtags just like on twitter, so we designated #weinerwedding (Weiner is my new last name.... pronounced like 'Wine-er') to be used for any photos taken on the wedding day. I downloaded the Carousel app on my iMac (which would show a live stream of photos on the screen). Over the course of the day, we ended up with over 40 photos that give a glimpse into what we and our guests experienced. En route to our honeymoon, I pulled the feed up on my phone. We were delighted to see what our guests captured.

The Honeymoon 

We headed up to a cabin near Mt Rainier for a week for our honeymoon. There was no cell phone signal... but we still wanted to take pictures of the sights with the app. So, we took them and queued them for upload, where they would sit until we had signal again.

While driving around one day, we happened upon a strong signal. So we stopped for a few minutes to reconnect and upload our photos.

Another benefit of using Instagram is that you can use a tool called Prinstagram to create miniature albums from your photos. I plan to do that with the tagged wedding photos and with our honeymoon photos.

Google Docs
  • Cabin Research
    When choosing locations for our honeymoon, I created a spreadsheet to compare features of the various cabins. That helped us make a decision on where we wanted to stay.
  • Menu Plan
    Because we were heading to a fairly rural area, we had to bring our own food (which was perfectly fine because we enjoy cooking together). So, we crafted a menu plan and created a spreadsheet with days of the week of slots for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It worked great! 

Despite the winter storm and the fairly short planning period, everything came together quite well thanks to technology... and the wonderful friends and family that did whatever they could to make our wedding day a success.

Jenna Baze is a rather geeky girl with average social skills and an affinity for: Google Apps,, Pinterest, natural light photography and finding creative ways to avoid doing dishes (which includes updating a handful of blogs).
Email: | Twitter: @RatherGeeky | Facebook: Rather Geeky Tips

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Teach, Don't Just Do | Tech Support & Boiled Eggs

I'm going to just ignore the fact that I haven't posted anything in four months. (Four months, really!?) I'm going to pretend that my website wasn't down for a few weeks because I totally forgot to renew my domain while I was planning my wedding. Just smile and nod and proceed to the next paragraph. Please. For me. 

Earlier this month, a coworker emailed me with some questions about basic Salesforce functionality. I didn't have time to do a GoToMeeting to train him (I always get sidetracked with demonstrating functionality that they don't need to know but is just so stinkin' cool... and I didn't want that to happen).

It would have been easy to just do the tasks for him and reply 'done.' 

But, I recalled a conversation with my boss, likely during my employee evaluation. While it might not be the easiest or quickest route, we discussed the benefits of training people rather than just doing something for them.  In addition to benefiting them, it helps you (or me) because the next time they need assistance with something similar, they'll be better equipped to handle it themselves.

When I was growing up, my mom never taught me to cook (or do laundry or start a lawnmower). She would say "Oh, just let me do it!" when I didn't catch on quickly. She didn't have the patience to let me fumble a bit and learn. (This is why I had to call her when I moved out in my early 20's to find out how to boil an egg. No joke.)

So, with a little life experience and encouragement from that conversation with my boss, I wrote out a tutorial with screencaptures (uh, got Clarify? It's awesome.) and sent it to him. I told him that if he needed further help, I was available.

I expected a response something like this: "I'm-too-busy-to-following-your-numbered-directions! I-have-so-many-things-to-do-because-I'm-an-important-sales-guy!! My deals-are-worth-more-than-you-make-in-a-year!"

But this is what I received instead. 

Good technique on your part - provide instructions and let me do it - that's the best way to learn.

That totally made my day.

I know that not everyone is going to respond this way. And that's okay. This experience reminded me that the effort I put forth to help other people become geekier is worth it. I'm going to do my best to provide support that will help my coworkers get something done and build their skill set. 

The moral is this: go forth and do. But also take the time to teach.

Jenna Baze is a rather geeky girl with average social skills and an affinity for: Google Apps,, Pinterest, natural light photography and finding creative ways to avoid doing dishes (which includes updating a handful of blogs).
Email: | Twitter: @RatherGeeky  | Facebook: Rather Geeky Tips