Are you ready to get your contact data organized? Do you have a drawer full of business cards? Contacts in word documents, on scraps of paper, and…well, all over the place. Connections are your most important asset these days, so what’s stopping you from getting it ‘sorted’ out?
In today’s digital world, we are all having to work with more and more data. Whether you are a business owner or front-line support staff, working with contact data in spreadsheets and sorting that data into segmented lists, is becoming an essential marketing skill.
There are many reasons why we need to move our data from one application to another. To connect with our contacts on various social networks, to export and import our contacts into a new application, and–my favorite–to create a power-packed follow-up system. For example, for my workshops, I collect data at the workshop, and then right after the workshop, I will enter their data into Constant Contact or Infusionsoft so that I can follow up with them and send them the tools and resources I promised.
Before diving into the instructions, if you want to learn more about why you should organize your contacts, and how valuable an asset your contacts are to building your business, join me at the next Social Smart Start.
Setting up your Spreadsheet for Sorting
- Before you sort a spreadsheet you have to ensure that it is set up properly.
- I’m using Microsoft Excel. If you are using a different spreadsheet, it should have a similar function.
- Working with contact data in a spreadsheet is different than working with spreadsheets, say for financial purposes, where you may have some highlighting, and colors, and other identifying sections throughout the spreadsheet.
- With Contact data, we just want a very plain format. The only part that should be formatted is the column headers, which should be bold.
- All other text should be very plain, with no formatting.
- Enter your column headers. These should be planned out even before you start collecting your contact data.
- Here you can see we collect the First Name, Last Name, Company, Phone Number and Email Addresses.
- Just a tip: Don’t ever leave the line under the column headers blank. While there may be some cells that are empty, try to have your first ROW all filled in for each of the columns.
- Also, never have more data than there are columns, as that may prevent the sorting function from working also.
Now that our data is entered, let’s sort it! Sorting Your Contact Data
- Click in the upper left hand corner of the screen where the letters (A, B, C…) and the numbers (1, 2, 3…) intersect, to select the entire sheet.
- Now, from the menu click Data, and then Sort.
- A new window will pop up. Select from the drop down menu the column that you want to sort by.
- Here we will select “First Name” and then click Okay in the bottom right.
- Now you can see that the list is sorted by first name.
- That’s the most common and basic thing that people use the Sorting function for – to sort a list by first name.
- Another useful way to use this function is to segment your list for better targeting.
Segmenting Your List
- In this example, let’s say we want to split our list by city, to give to different reps in our company.
- Let’s sort the list, first by city, and then by first name.
- Again, – Click in the upper left hand corner of the screen where the letters and the numbers intersect, to select the entire sheet.
- Now, from the menu click Data, and then Sort.
- In this window, select from the drop down menu the column that you want to sort by, which this time is “City”.
- Now in the same window, click the “Add Level” button in the top left area.
- A new row of options will appear.
- From the drop down menu of the new row, select “First name”.
- Click “Okay” in the bottom right.
- Now, as you can see, the list is sorted first by City and second by first name.
You can sort your list by any kind of category you like. You just have to have a column associated with the type of segmentation you are looking for. For example, maybe you want to make a column titled Status that indicates if a person is a potential, existing, or past customer. Then you can sort your list and split it up according to those groups. When you set up and sort your lists properly, you can then upload them to Constant Contact, Gmail, Infusionsoft, and many other applications. Check with your specific application to ensure you are formatting the data according to any additional specifications they may have. One last note, it is important to be aware of and adhere to the Anti-Spam Laws in your country, when collecting data and storing data, and when communicating with your contacts. You always need to get the permission to send information. Today I showed you how to:
- Set up, sort, and segment your data.
- This skill will help you to be a more efficient and effective marketer.
If you need help with collecting contact data in a compliant manner, and using a professional system to more effectively reach and nurture your audience, please contact me today: Jennifer Henczel MarketingMotivator.com Phone: 778-823-2421