Use Excel & VBA to download hundreds of images (nearly) instantly

At Balihoo we are changing providers for our blogging platform, and one of the challenges that came up was how to extract all the images (Over 600) we had uploaded to our existing software without having a built-in tool for pulling them off the server. While I was able to get a complete list of the URLs by using some scraping tools, clearly copying each URL and “save image as…” for 600 wasn’t very efficient. The Solution We needed to download the entire list of images and get the file name of each image and associate it with the original […]

3 Data Challenges that are Limiting your Automation Platform

Brief discussion of Three Data Challenges That Could Be Limiting You From Getting the Most Out of Your Marketing Automation Platform that over on the Balihoo blog.

Balihoo Blog Post: 4 Marketing Technology Tactics Brands Need

Head on over to the Balihoo blog to read my latest post on Marketing Technology Tactics here. Let me know any thoughts below in the comments!

Correlation and causation: Why testing is important

Despite what every person passionate about anything would like you to think, just because two sets of data are correlated it does not mean one caused the other. There may be a link, or they may be just co-incidental. As a marketer, you do not want to be making decisions unless you know there is a causal relationship. Example 1- Whenever we send out a holiday email, our web visits drop off! For the last 4 years, we have sent out a holiday-themed email toward the beginning of the month of December. It is the only time we sent out […]

Visual Basic & div tags Part 2- How to scrape data off of webpages

This post is includes the second half of the scripting required for the web-scraping project described in last weeks post. With a completed list of the blog post and their corresponding URLS, the next step is to code a scraper that will visit each page, search out the blog content and any relevant tags then copy that data to the Excel sheet. For each URL in List   Open URL in Explorer   Look for <h1> tag, write to Excel file   Look for <h2> tag, write to Excel file   Look for post body div write HTML   Trim HTML into plain text write […]

Visual Basic & div tags Part 1- How to scrape data off of webpages

At Balihoo, we recently encountered a problem. We needed to extract all the text and formatting from past blog posts we had written, but our service provider didn’t have a tool to do that. Since there were over 600 posts, this isn’t the kind of project you want to do by hand. With a bit of coding I was able to scrape all the content from every single blog post- In less than 5 minutes. If you are unfamiliar with VBA and Internet Explorer, be sure to check out my introduction post about Excel, VBA, and IE. The task was […]

Visual Basic and Excel- Introduction to macro writing

VBA or Visual Basic for Applications is a fantastic tool for automating a number of tasks across the Microsoft suite. Some of the greatest uses come from integrating Excel with Internet Explorer allowing a user to be able to scrape data off various websites and dump the data into Excel. This post will show how to write code allowing Excel to launch Internet Explorer and navigate to a webpage. First off, you’ll want to start a new Excel file, and save it as a “Macro Enabled Workbook”, recognizable by the .xlsm file affix. Next, under the Developer tab in Excel […]

Analytical segmenting, web UX, 2014 predictions and more. 5 great reads!

While I usually try to post less articles, but I couldn’t help it this week, there is just too much I want to share. This afternoon grab a cold one and spend a few minutes reading through these great posts! Why “Simple” Websites Are Scientifically Better I’m always a sucker for case studies and examples, and this article doesn’t disappoint. The author explains (with stats! Yay!) how a simpler web pages just perform better in a variety of industries. Easier said than done sometimes (especially for sites designed by committees) but fantastic advice. Bit longer of a read, but worth […]

6 marketing lessons from a multi-level marketing scheme

Around 6 o’clock last night the multi-level marketing salesperson we had spoke with a few weeks ago showed up. While we didn’t end up buying the vacuum she was selling, I did get a fun “free gift” and a lot of great marketing insights. If this pitch can sell a $200 vacuum for $2500, what can your brand do to market and sell a product that’s (hopefully) more accurately priced?

Mobile data collection: Are your forms working on phones?

Every company has a different business case for building a mobile site. For some, mobile is simply a way for consumers to find their business. Other may rely on mobile for ecommerce purchases or even as a way to browse and explore content. Regardless of purpose, the difficulty is getting users to submit data on a mobile device that has a 2 inch keyboard. How bad is the problem? If your company uses Google Analytics and has set up goals to measure conversions, seeing your form conversion rates for mobile, tablet, and desktop traffic is easy, and a great place […]