|SharpSpring is a large application, and there are many different features and parts to it. Your overall experience with SharpSpring will benefit from good organizational skills. Without organization, the content you add to SharpSpring may slowly become cluttered and unmanageable.
Even when using only the organizational tools within SharpSpring—and by utilizing careful planning and naming conventions—unsorted chaos can become organized and easy to manage. This article will detail best practices for organizing files and using name conventions.
Organization is an absolute necessity in keeping files manageable. Though it is best to start organizing your files and content when you first start using SharpSpring, there is never a bad time to start tidying up. SharpSpring recommends the following:
Folders are the main organizational system within SharpSpring. When selecting an item to sort into a folder, you are prompted to either create a new folder or select an existing folder. Folders are used with the following application features:
|Used to house similar action groups together.|
Keeps emails together. Emails can be grouped together based on what
When creating a landing page, the main page may need satellite pages
|Folders are used to keep similar lists grouped together.|
|Similar action groups can be kept in specific folders.|
Tags are used to apply searchable and organizational metadata to something in SharpSpring. Tags are used with the following application features:
Email tags can be used to group emails for reporting.
Tags on lists allow for further organization beyond folders.
Categories are used differently throughout SharpSpring. Consider the following uses of categories:
Categories are integral for blogs to function. Every blog article that is
Although not required, categorizing custom fields organizes them within
Organization does not end with moving files into folders in SharpSpring. Organizing and standardizing practices for naming files, campaigns, and the like does much the same for how you organize content outside of SharpSpring.
Naming conventions are words, phrases, or abbreviations that are made standard to stand in as a name for something. Naming conventions and their individual standards depend upon who develops, maintains, and uses them. This is because each and every agency and client have different needs.
When developing your own internal naming conventions, consider the following:
- Be sure to document everything. Even if the conventions change over time, having a master list of conventions and standards allow you to refer to them at a moment's notice. Keeping this documentation updated is also important, as new conventions may be necessary.
- Naming conventions must be easy to understand for you, your users, and your audience. If the naming convention is overly technical, a confusing term, or randomly associated with what it is supposed to represent, it will be more trouble than it is worth. Keeping things simple is best.
- Naming conventions should be as short as possible, while also being as specific as possible. There may be times when a long term is necessary, but, in general, keep naming conventions to a short phrase or abbreviation. The conventions should also directly reference what it is that they represent.
- Naming conventions are only successful if used consistently. The naming convention is useless if it is either never used or used with multiple variations. It is important to keep to one naming convention for a term and to keep using it.
- Naming conventions must also be able to handle special cases where exceptions to the rule must be made. There may be times when a naming convention needs to have new items attached to it or otherwise may need to apply to other content. The naming convention must be flexible enough to accommodate variations, such as FB-P and FB-M for Facebook posts and messages. These should be few and far between, however, to keep confusion and clutter to a minimum.
- Naming conventions should be searchable and sortable. Naming conventions are what will appear when searching metadata and moving files. Having them appear as results when searching helps to find specific content.
Abbreviations are key to creating short and specific names. Abbreviations can turn a long phrase into a short term that is much easier to remember. Some examples of abbreviations for SharpSpring content and marketing terminology include, but are not limited to:
|TFU||Top of Funnel|
|MFU||Middle of Funnel|
|BFU||Bottom of Funnel|
These are examples. You may want to use your own abbreviations for various items, content, and terminology that pertain to your business specifically. When creating abbreviations, keep them short, simple, and easy-to-remember.
Metadata is data that describes other data. Metadata can also be used as terminology that describes your information. When organizing content, first identify all parameters that can be used to identify an item. Separate two pieces of content from each other and decide which are optional. Depending on the case, identifiers can be:
|Start first with the most general information. From there, begin to determine specifics and how content will display its information. Consider the following image as an example:
IG Banner City Triathlon 6-25 ENG V1-3
Banner Image | City Triathlon Campaign |
Triathlon | June 25 | English | v1.3
When broken down into its base parts, the content abides by the following structure:
Content Type | Campaign | Focus | Date | Language | Version
There is a meaning to the metadata structure. It is broken down as follows:
What the content actually is.
The campaign the content is attributed to.
The major event, activity, or item attributed to the content.
The date the campaign is taking place or the content was uploaded.
The language that the content or campaign is meant for.
The version of the content that is different from the original.
Saving metadata in this kind of structure allows for many different ways of retrieving the file when searching or indexing. While your individual structure can vary and detail different aspects of something, keeping to a similar informational hierarchy will keep things standardized.
Putting It All Together
When using metadata, it is important to keep the structure straightforward and simple enough for general searches. There are many ways to go about doing so—and you many not need to use all of the available metadata formatting. Consider the following metadata conventions:
- AG TFU EM Drip 2018 V01
Action Group | Drip Campaign | Email | 2018 | Version One
The first version (V01) of an action group (AG) that was used for an initial email (EM) drip campaign made in 2018.
- VW FB Winter 2018 MFU MQL V03
Visual Workflow | Facebook Campaign | Nurturing Open Leads | Winter 2018 | Version Three
The third version (V03) of a visual workflow (VW) to nurture (MFU) open leads (MQL) in a Facebook (FB) paid ad campaign during the winter of 2018.
- VW User Notice FM Demo Req
Visual Workflow | Demonstration Request | Form
A visual workflow (VW) alerting SharpSpring users of leads generated from a Demonstration Request form (FM).
- SM FB General
Social Media | Facebook | Posts
A campaign for general social media (SM) posts to Facebook (FB).
- SM FB AD Winter 11/2018–3/2019
Social Media | Facebook | Advertisement | November 2018–March 2019
A winter social media (SM) campaign for a paid Facebook (FB) advertisement (AD) running from November 2018 to March 2019.
- TS KY SHRM 10/2018 BC/List
Trade Show | Kentucky | Cards and Lists | October 2018
A campaign for the leads added from either business cards and/or the list of attendees provided by the organizers of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) trade show (TS) in Kentucky (KY) in October 2018.
- EM TFU Drip 1, EM TFU Drip 2, EM TFU Drip 3
Email | Drip Campaign | Lead Generation
The three drip emails (EM) for Top of Funnel (TFU) leads.
- EM FB Responder
Email | Facebook | Auto-Responder
The email (EM) responder when a lead is added to the Facebook (FB) general campaign.
- WP SEO Forecasts 2019 B2C PDF ENG Final
White Paper | Forecast | .PDF File | 2019 | English | Final Version
The final version of a .PDF file of a white paper (WP) about forecasts for 2019 regarding search engine optimization (SEO) written for business-to-customer (B2C) communication. Written in English (ENG).
- LP TW TY ENG 2018-10-5
Landing Page | Twitter | Thank You Page | October 2018 | English
A thank You (TY) landing page (LP) for Twitter click-throughs made on October 5, 2018. Written in English (ENG).
- IG CTA More Information FM PNG
Image File | Call-to-Action | Form
A .PNG image (IG) for a call-to-action (CTA) button that brings you to a Find Out More Information form (FM).
- IG Logos PNG ZIP
Image File | Company | .ZIP File
A .ZIP file of your company’s logos in .PNG format.