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Two big advantages to storing data in your own region

We blogged already in the past about this topic here, here and here but how is the situation for the US market? Companies and organisations on the Business and Enterprise plans can choose to have all the servers that store their activities in the US or in the EU. 7Sheep not only focusses on the importance to host personal data for EU organisations in the EU but also to do the same for the US. This is important for two reasons: Speed When your 7Sheep account is physically located in your region it will be faster. Data does not need to travel around the world and the application feels snappier. I admit we talk about very short delays but they add up and many short delays can affect your user experience. Regulations In the US there is no single, comprehensive federal (national) law regulating the collection and location of storage of personal data. E.g. some states have rules regulating the transfer of personal data outside your jurisdiction for state agencies or state contractors (see Practical Law) However, it should be noted, especially for marketing that some parts of the US are tightly regulated: “The CAN-SPAM Act is a federal law that applies labelling and opt-out requirements to all commercial email messages. CAN-SPAM generally allows a company to send commercial emails to any recipient, provided the recipient has not opted out of receiving such emails from the sender, the email identifies the sender and the sender’s contact information, and the email contains instructions on how the recipient can easily and without cost opt out of future commercial emails from the...

How to test automated mails? 5 tips

Hands up who received a terrible Season’s Greetings/New Year mail complete with strange templates, missing images or broken links? I know that I did – and I received way more than I should have done. It reminded me of an excellent post from the Litmus blog from October – which I saw around Twitter again this week. Lauren Smith gives us 11 reasons to test every e-mail before you send. And really, you should. At a minimum please send the e-mail to yourself and some colleagues to check it on a desktop, webmail and mobile inbox. But, how can you test these when you’re using marketing automation? Here are our top tips! Testing automated e-mails Have a test list Obviously, this is more difficult when you set up an automation to flow over a longer time period. But it doesn’t need to be. Here, we recommend that you initially set the time delay/scheduling to a shorter timespan, we suggest that all e-mails are sent over the course of one day as this will also give you time to make amendments/re-check. You can then check each and every one of them before you go live with your drip feeding e-mail chain. And after succesfull testing change it to the real values. (Note, here we are only talking about checking of the e-mail content and not the scheduling.) Include fake demographics in your test So, you send it to yourself to check the e-mail content. Everything works! What about targeted content to a segmented list? At 7Sheep, we have a test database in our own account. This database includes e-mail addresses...

Why the 80/20 principle matters in Marketing Automation

Pareto and his nifty discovery, far from being consigned to the dusty tomes of my economics text books, have actually become fairly central to our life at 7Sheep. Pareto said that 80% of the effect is created by just 20% of the effort. This ratio plays out all over, here are a few examples: In business, an oft cited 80/20 is 80% of your income from 20% of your users 80% of sales come from 20% of your products 80% of your time is spent on 20% of your workload 80% of the time people only use 20% of the features available in a software 80/20 Marketing Automation Advantages Marketing automation takes these and flips them to work for your advantage for two main reasons We optimise your processes, so you can reduce that 80% of time spent and concentrate on things that need more brain power. Offloading the time-heavy repetitive to increase that 20%. Greater productivity means you can get 80% of your productivity from 20% of your tasks. Busy work can be automated, so why not? And, with 7Sheep the idea we believe in is that you should get 80% of your productivity out of 20% of your tasks. The 80/20 use of Marketing Automation Software The final examples above, that 80% of people only use 20% of the features available in a software, it is crazy. And in research after research we see that this is strongly the case with Marketing Automation software. Have a look at the following two statistics: 85 percent of B2B marketers using marketing automation platforms felt they were not using them...

The best and definitive ‘how-to’ for Google Analytics to track Campaigns

I tend to have a serious love-hate relationship with Google Analytics. Recently I resolved to make it far more positive. Thanks to a link via The Next Web, I came across Annie Cushing. She runs an amazing site (http://www.annielytics.com/) and her blog is a great resource I’ve been digging into and will help me and my analytics through this year I think. Especially for marketers, you need to be able to keep an eye on some key metrics. Being able to analyse each of your campaigns and seriously track the results from your online campaigns is part of this. Annie has a phenomenal (not a word I use often) tutorial for Campaign Tagging in Google Analyticshttp://www.annielytics.com/guides/definitive-guide-campaign-tagging-google-analytics/. It is a huge post and incredibly meaty. Even better? There’s a video to go along with...

A simple website to make data entry easier

Data entry, it can be a miserable and dull task. But on occasion you can’t escape it and have to suck it up. This week, I’m comparing merchandising for 7Sheep, which means comparing a lot of data from different websites. This is where www.import.io comes in handy. It’s super simple for pulling a lot of data from a page – here’s their example using the Ikea catalogue’s chair page. From here, you can download it or copy it to paste it into an Excel sheet. Two additional tips: 1) I found that I got additional empty rows in between the results if pasted directly into Excel. To avoid this, first paste into a text editor (e.g. TextMate) and then into Excel. 2) One reason I use Excel for this and not Numbers is the “Text to Columns” feature which you can find in the data menu. Even using www.import.io I have had some columns merged. With this function, you can easily define the delimiter (e.g. a comma, tab, semi colon etc) and separate them into different...