Google Sheets is a great tool for arranging data and making it more readable, user-friendly and attractive. With features such as graphs, charts, conditional formatting, pivot tables, built-in formulas and other options offered for free, spreadsheet tasks are significantly simplified and users get to save time.
But even if these features aren’t enough, there are add-ons to supercharge your Google Sheets and add power to your presentations. Each of these add-ons is unique in terms of its capabilities and potential and will appeal to the content marketer.
I’ve been a big-time Excel lover for as long as I can remember. One day, I happened to come across a YouTube video by Ryan Stewart of Webris on how they use Google Sheets to automate their agency workflow. I was floored. I never knew that Google sheets had such a large number of add-ons for data mining and manipulation.
Here are 6 add-ons that I use almost every day that can save you a ton of time in your content marketing campaigns. You don’t need to be a tech guru to use these, and I’m going to show you how I use them.
#1. Mail Merge with Attachments
This Google Sheets add-on doesn’t have a fancy name, but it does what the name suggests and more. In simple words, it helps you to send mass emails that are personalized.
You can schedule the emails and send different attachments for each of your recipients. Though you send emails to multiple individuals, each of the individuals will receive the message as if it were sent to them alone. With the email tracking feature, you can know when your emails have been read and track them.
You can use the add-on with your Gmail as well as Google Apps accounts. With the built-in scheduler, you can set when you send the emails. With the option of using HTML templates, you can also use schema.org markup in your emails to highlight them in Google Now and Inbox by Gmail.
Here’s how you can get started. Install the add-on from the Chrome store.
After you’ve installed it, and given the necessary account permissions, you can start creating merge templates and import contacts from Google Contacts:
First, the add-on creates a merge sheet with the essential columns like first and last names, email addresses, attachments and scheduling dates. You can add as many columns as you like.
You can manually enter the prospect details, or import them from Google Contacts:
And Google Contacts is quite robust. You can create Contact ‘Groups’ in Google Contacts. I regularly create groups for different link building and prospecting campaigns for use later.
Attachments are yet another unique feature that this add-on has. Most Mail Merging applications don’t allow you to send different attachments to your prospects. But this is quite easy to do with Mail Merge With Attachments.
You can then go on and schedule the email for different dates and time zones. The add-on will automatically send the email at the set time and date.
After you’ve filled in all the required columns, go to Add-ons>Mail Merge With Attachments and click on the Configure Mail Merge option to set up the campaign.
Here you can add all the other details like the Sender’s name, any CC or BCC email addresses, set reply-to addresses, select templates and even configure Google Analytics ID’d to track the email activity.
You can also enter the email templates in HTML or plain text and use merge fields (the column names) to personalize the emails as you like.
#2. Remove Duplicates
Remove Duplicates is a very useful free add-on that, as you may have guessed, helps you find duplicates in two columns or in a single sheet. This Google Sheets add-on comes with two tools.
The “Find Duplicates or Uniques” tool removes duplicates that are in a column or helps find duplicate rows.
As shown in the above screenshot, there are six options available to you to help you decide what to do with any duplicates you find. You can:
- Highlight the duplicate entries
- Copy/move them to another Google spreadsheet
- Remove them, or
- Clear the entries while not altering the cells
The “Compare Columns or Sheets” tool helps in running a quick scan of two columns to detect any same or repeated values.
With this you can:
- Compare lists
- Mark results with a status or color.
- Copy/move the repeated values
- Clear repeating cells, or
- Remove duplicate rows from the main table
Additional features include case-sensitive search and other features for empty cells. All this tracking and changes can be carried out real fast.
While these sound like simple tasks, imagine how much time this could save you in clearing duplicates from a 1000-strong prospect list so that you can avoid contacting the same prospect twice (particularly when you use tools like Mail Merge With Attachments for outreach).
#3. Hunter.io (for Google Sheets)
The Hunter for Google Sheets add-on helps you to find email addresses directly from a list of domains in your spreadsheet. This free add-on is simple to use and is one of the most robust tools you can use to find email addresses of outreach prospects.
Once you’ve installed Hunter for Google Sheets, you can select it from your Add-ons menu.
After you click ‘Open’, you can do a Domain Search for a single or multiple domains from the sidebar.
Here’s how you do a domain search:
After selecting the Domain Search tab, you need to enter the domain address in the text box.
You can select the number of email addresses you would want to secure for that domain and click “Find email addresses”. Since you’re using the add-on for the first time, you must enter your secret Hunter API key. Your API key will be in the API section of the dashboard.
The available email addresses will be provided directly in the spreadsheet and the cells will be filled with information such as the type of email – whether it is a generic or personal email, and the confidence score which indicates in percentage the deliverability of the email address. Hunter will also reveal the number of web pages where the particular email address was found.
Super nifty, huh?
#4. Aylien Text Analysis
The Aylien Text Analysis Google Sheets add-on contains tools for natural language processing and artificial intelligence. It makes the spreadsheet capable enough for sophisticated text analysis. The Aylien Text Analysis API is a slightly more sophisticated tool requiring some deal of technical competence. The Text Analysis Google Sheets add-on, though, is user-friendly yet feature-rich and sophisticated.
Even without any programming experience, you can:
Analyze and study tweets, news articles, documents and URLs, all from your spreadsheet.
Apart from summarizing and classifying documents, and articles, Text Analysis can crucially study the sentiments of tweets, which is a very important aspect for marketers.
Imagine being able to import all the tweets that include a particular brand’s hashtag, analyzing the sentiment using the add-on, and being able to identify the ones that require responses.
Here’s an analysis of tweets by language:
It also enables extraction of entities and context from any kind of text. And it supports 6 languages!
Needless to say, it’s a great tool for marketers, researchers, and analysts. This is how you get started:
This is where you can find the different analysis options.
Here’s how you can analyze URLs:
#5. Clearbit Sheets
Clearbit for Google Sheets helps create targeted email lists. It automates lead generation and research.
With a single click, Google Sheets can process emails. Clearbit will fill the spreadsheet with researched leads. It can return LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter account associated with emails as well as company profile data such as market category, number of employees, location and investment details from a simple company name or website URL.
From the Discovery tab, you can discover companies that fit your set criteria.
With the Prospecting tab, you can find outreach and sales prospects from a list of website URLs or companies. You can find multiple contacts from a single company.
From the Enrichment tab, you enrich email addresses with names, demographic and social details.
Blockspring, in simple words is a Google Sheets integrator. It enables you to integrate your spreadsheet and Google account to hundreds of web applications and SaaS tools available on the web, to automate reporting, sales, sourcing and many other processes.
While you can do tons of stuff like pulling data from Twitter, scraping using Import.io, and adding custom JS scripts (if you’re a developer), I use it mostly for eCommerce reporting.
Now for those of you who are unfamiliar with eCommerce — it’s much more dynamic than normal websites as there are physical products involved. You need to keep track of inventory and sales movements to ensure that every goes smoothly.
And this is where BlockSpring’s integration with Google Analytics comes in. I use Shopify for almost all my eCommerce stores (I think it’s one of the best ecommerce platforms out there) and use GA for all my analytics.
With BlockSpring’s GA integration, there’s no limit to what I can do and automate. Here’s an example:
I can pull in metrics and filter any way I like:
Could it get any better?
With these add-ons, there’s a lot you could do with Google Sheets. Content marketers have instant information, without leaving the spreadsheet, to help their business or organization make the right decisions. These add-ons can save you a ton of time with simple redundant tasks that can be automated.
And unlike formulas and Excel macros, everything is point-and-click, making them super simple to use.