Email deliveries

IMPORTANT:
Do not concurrently work in the Create section using multiple windows or tabs, as this may cause problems with the session and result in an email delivery not working correctly.

To create an email delivery, do the following:

  1. Click Create > Email campaign.
    The list of Email groups displays.

Example of the Email delivery Email groups list

  1. Locate the appropriate group and click Create delivery.
    The Procedure selection page displays.

The Procedure selection page

  1. Click Create a new campaign.
    The Delivery parameters page displays.

Example of the Delivery parameters page

  1. Under Delivery title, enter a name for the delivery, if required.
    This enables the delivery to be identified. It is not seen by the recipient.
    If you do not enter a name, the message subject is used.
  2. Under Reuse contents, select Reuse a previous campaign or Reuse a draft, if required.
    A selection window displays that enables you to choose the appropriate message.
  3. Under Campaign filter, do one of the following:
    1. Click + Create new filter, to configure the required filter.
      The Create new filter window displays.
      See User database > Using the filter management panel for more about the Create new filter window.
      or:
    2. Use the Select a filter field to choose an existing filter.
      Select All users to send the message to everyone in the email group.
      or:
    3. Use the Create a combined filter fields to choose two existing filters.
      Note:
      Ensure that you select the correct operator:

      • And.
        A contact must match both existing filters to be selected.
      • Or.
        A contact must only match one of the existing filters to be selected.
  4. To edit an existing filter, do the following:
    1. Click the Update filter button, positioned to the right of the filter name.
      The Update filter window displays.
    2. Edit the fields as required, then click Update filter to save your changes.
      Note:
      If you want to retain the original filter, enter a new Name for the updated version.

Example of the Update filter window

Regardless of what you select here, test delivery recipients can be defined later.

  1. Under Message format, select:
    1. How the message will be encoded:
      • HTML only.
      • HTML and plain text.
        Allows a plain text message to be displayed if HTML is not enabled for the recipient’s address.
        This option is selected by default.
      • Plain text only.
    2. The Configured character set, if required.
      Note:
      Changing the character set may result in the message not displaying correctly.
  2. Under options, select the following, if required:
    1. Use dynamic text.
      Dynamic text is a string that is inserted in the message in the appropriate place, which instructs the system to enter the contents of a particular field in the database when the email is processed. For example, the ${FIRSTNAME}$ dynamic text retrieves the content of that field. As a result, you can personalize and tailor your messages for each recipient.
      Dynamic text can also be used to add various kinds of scripts to the message, such as mathematical calculations, the date and functions such as ‘IF-THEN’ and similar.
      This option is selected by default.
    2. Include attachments.
      If required, define how many attachments you want to add to the email. The files themselves are added later.
      Note:
      To avoid the email potentially being regarded as spam, we recommend that you do not use attachments. A better approach is to make the material available online, then include a text-based link in the message.
  3. Under Statistics, deselect Track opens and/or Track clicks, if required.
    These statistics can be used in the other Contactlab platform modules to, for example, analyse delivery results and plan future activities.
    These options are selected by default.
  4. When you are finished, click Next to proceed.
    The Message content page displays.
    Note:
    You can also click Save and return to creating your delivery later.

The Message content page

  1. Under Sender details, do one of the following:
    1. Select a previous sender from the drop-down list, if required.
      Once you make your selection, the From and Reply to fields are completed automatically.
      or:
    2. Manually complete the From and Reply to fields.
      The entries are recorded and will be available in the Select a previous sender drop-down list in future.
  2. Under Email subject, do the following:
    1. Enter the subject in the appropriate field.
    2. If you want to add dynamic text to the subject:
      1. Click the appropriate place in the subject.
      2. Under Insert, select the required field from the drop-down list, then click +.
        The appropriate  string is added to the subject.
        Note:
        If you have disabled dynamic text on the Delivery parameters page under OptionsUse dynamic text, the Insert drop-down list is not available.
  1. Under HTML version, do one of the following:
    1. Use one of the available editors to create the email content:
      1. Email Designer.
        A modern, responsive design compliant editor, which enables you to easily and intuitively create reusable templates and email content through simple drag and drop technology. No HTML skills are required.
        See Email Designer for more details.
        Note:
        You cannot use Email Designer to reopen a message for further editing, if it has been changed using a different editor, or updated manually.
      2. HTML editor.
        A flexible and capable WYSIWYG editor, which does not require any HTML knowledge.
        See Templates & Editor for more details.
        PageBuilder.
        Used to edit specially created templates. Does not require any HTML knowledge.
        See PageBuilder editor for more details.
        or:
    2. Copy and paste the HTML you have created elsewhere, into the panel provided.
      or:
    3. Enter the HTML manually.
      Note:
      The panel is not itself an HTML editor. It does not, for example, have any error correction functionality.
      or:
    4. Click the appropriate button to upload:
      1. A file from your computer.
      2. A web page.
      3. A template.
        Once opened, the contents can be added manually to the template, or by using the HTML editor. See Templates & Editor for more details.
  2. If you want to add dynamic fields or preset text to the HTML version panel, and/or links for sharing your message on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Google+, do the following:
    1. Click the appropriate place in the text.
    2. Do one of the following:
      1. Select the required dynamic field and/or preset text, then click the appropriate + button, positioned to the right of the relevant field/s.
        The selected field and/or text is added to the HTML.
      2. Repeat as appropriate.
        and/or:
      3. Under Share on, click the Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and/or Google+ logo as required.
        The appropriate social network links are added to the HTML.

Note:
If you use one of the available editors to create the email content, you should also use it to add dynamic fields.

  1. Click Open Graph properties, if required.
    The Open Graph properties panel displays.
    See the panel for a description and further details.

The Open Graph properties panel

  1. Do the following:
    1. Complete the Sharing texts and Image for sharing fields.
    2. When you are finished, click Insert.
      The relevant metadata is added to the email.
  2. Click Gmail Feature, if required.
    The Gmail Feature panel displays.
    See the panel for a description and further details.

The Gmail Feature panel

  1. Do the following:
    1. Select the Type of action and complete the required fields.
    2. When you are finished, click Insert.
      The relevant code is added to the email. See the Gmail blog for more details.

Note:
If you have disabled dynamic text on the Delivery parameters page under OptionsUse dynamic text, the dynamic fields and preset text drop-down lists, the social media sharing controls, as well as the Open Graph properties and Gmail Feature panels, are not available.

  1. Click Preview, positioned to towards the bottom right of the HTML version panel to view the email content in the appropriate window or editor, if required.
  2. Under Plain text version, do one of the following:
    1. Copy and paste the plain text you have created elsewhere, into the panel provided.
      or:
    2. Enter the plain text manually.
      or:
    3. Click the appropriate button to upload:
      1. A file from your computer.
      2. A web page.
      3. Plain text from HTML.
        Automatically generates plain text from the HTML version.
  3. If you want to add dynamic fields or preset text to the Plain text version, and/or links for sharing your message on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Google+, see Step 15.
    Note:
    These fields and controls are not available if you have disabled dynamic text on the Delivery parameters page.
  4. If you want to view a preview of the email content on a range of desktop, mobile and/or webmail clients, without needing to send test deliveries, do the following:
    1. Under Preview on different clients, click Generate preview.
      The Instant preview on clients window displays a series of thumbnails.
      Thumbnails are usually generated within a few minutes, but the time required depends on, for example, the complexity and amount of HTML code. A progress bar shows the current generation status.

Example of the Instant preview on clients page

  1. Do the following, as required:
    1. To hide incomplete thumbnails, select Status > Completed only.
    2. Under Devices, select the the appropriate categories, or All.
      If you only want to view one or a limited range of devices and/or clients, use the Specific field.
    3. Click an individual thumbnail to view the details for that client.
      Depending on the client, further display controls, positioned in the top right-hand corner of the view, may be available:

      • Show as portrait (Vertical device layout).
      • Show as landscape (Horizontal device layout).
      • Show with images not displayed (To simulate clients that block images downloading by default).
    4. If you close the preview window and do not make any further changes to the HTML, click Open preview to reopen the window.
      The number of used previews remains the same.
    5. If you close the preview window, then make changes to the HTML and want to see the result on different clients, click Force a new preview.
      The number of used previews increases accordingly, or the number of remaining free previews decreases.

Note:
If you want to use the instant preview functionality, you need to subscribe to the service. Contact your Contactlab sales manager for more details.
Companies that have not subscribed to the service have 10 free previews, which can be used to try it out. A counter displays how many free previews you have left or, for subscribers, the number of previews already generated in current year.

  1. When you are finished, click Next to proceed.
    Note:
    You can also click Save and return to creating your delivery later.
  2. If there are any problems with the HTML version, notices display. If so, correct any issues, then click Next again.
    The Link tracking page displays, with lists of links found in the HTML text and, if appropriate, the alternative text.

Example of the Link tracking page

  1. Select the links you want to track for use in statistics.
    Note:
    All links are selected by default. Under Track, click the associated checkbox to deselect the link.
  2. Select how to track all the links, if required.
    For example:

    • Track all links with the analytics system, if available.
      See Configure > Integrations.
    • Google Analytics.
  3. Under Categorize all links, select a category to apply to all links, if required.
    For example, Shoes.
  4. To define the analytics settings for an individual link, do the following:
    1. Locate the appropriate link, then click +, positioned to the left of the relevant row.
      A configuration panel displays.
    2. Under Analytics, select the required system.
      If you select, for example, Google Analytics:

      1. Click the Configuration button, positioned to the right of the field, to access further Analytics settings.
      2. When you are finished, click Close to leave the additional Analytics settings.
    3. Enter a Description, if required.
    4. Click , positioned to the left of the relevant row, to close the configuration panel.
  5. Select a Default category for each link, if required.

Note:
If the same link is available for both the HTML text and the alternative text, the HTML category and description settings will be used.

  1. Click Check the links to test that they work correctly.
    The Check column is updated with a status symbol for each link.
    You should resolve any problems before continuing. For example, by returning to the Message content page and editing the link.
  2. When you are finished, click Next to proceed.
    Note:
    You can also click Save and return to creating your delivery later.
    If you chose to include attachments on the Delivery parameters page, you are asked to upload them.
    Otherwise, the Summary page displays.

Example of the Summary page

  1. Under Summary, review the details and, if you want to make any changes, click Back until you have returned to the appropriate page.
  2. Click Preview, if required.
    The message displays as it will be seen by a recipient.
    Note:
    The preview shows how the message displays in a browser. Its appearance may be different in an email client. See Step 23 above, for more about how to preview the email content on a range of clients.
  3. Under Analysis, you can check whether the message may be flagged as spam, or whether any links may, for example, include IP addresses instead of text-based URLs.
    Public and Contactlab private lists are used for this analysis.
  4. Under Labels, click Label management to associate labels with the delivery, if required.
    The Add label window displays.

Example of the Add label window

  1. Do the following:
    1. Under System labels available, select the Product type and/or Delivery type value, as required.
      If you want to add further values to each of the system label categories, click the appropriate + button to display further value fields.
    2. Under Add labels, enter the Label name and Label value, as required.
      If you want to add further labels and values, click the + button to display further label and value fields.
    3. When you are finished, click Save.
      The Add label window closes and the labels are saved.
  2. Click Publish on web to save a static version of the email content on the web.
    The Publish on web fields display.

Example of the Publish on web fields

Note:
A static version of the email content is mandatory if a ‘taf_url’ code is present in the message content, or if you have inserted a social network sharing link.

  1. If you want to use a custom template for the web page, click Browse… to locate it, followed by Upload.
  2. Click Web-version preview to see how the web-based message will appear.
  3. When you are finished, click Next to proceed.
    The Delivery page displays.
    Note:
    You can also click Save and return to creating your delivery later.

Example of the Delivery page

  1. If you want to send a Test delivery, do the following:
    1. Under Test filter, select the one that includes the appropriate text recipients.
    2. Click View to see a list of recipients, if required.
    3. When you are finished, click Send test delivery.
    4. Check the test message and modify it, if required.
      Note:
      We recommend that you test a delivery at least once before deploying it, in order to check that the message will be seen as intended.
  2. When you are satisfied with the test delivery, under Deploy method, do the following:
    1. Select Automatically remove de-duped addresses, if required.
      Blocks duplicate addresses, without physically removing them from the database. The first entry is automatically used, while any that follow are blocked.
    2. If it is a one-off delivery, select Confirm your campaign deployment from the Communicate section.
    3. Click Extract the addresses from the database only at the time of mailing, if required.
      If you do not select this, the system will extract the addresses as soon as you click Finish. If however, automatic database updates take place (for example, using DataExchange) this option must be selected to ensure that the addresses are only extracted when the email is to be sent.
      or:
    4. If it is a recurring delivery, select Set as recurring.
    5. Use the timing and calendar controls to define the delivery frequency.
  3. When you are finished, click Finish.
    An Email campaign confirmation page displays.
    Note:
    You can also click Save and return to creating your delivery later.

Example of the Email campaign confirmation page

  1. Use the Define the main sector and Define secondary sectors controls to select the relevant industry, as required.
  2. When you are finished, click Go to communicate section.
    The Communicate section displays, where you can confirm deployment of the delivery. See Communicate > Manage Email campaigns for more about the Communicate section.
    Note:
    Once you have clicked End to deploy the email, it will be queued for delivery, and modifications will no longer be possible. If you need to change anything, remove the email from the delivery queue and create a new one.

Retrieving a working session

If you break off from creating your delivery for whatever reason, you can retrieve the interrupted session as follows:

  1. Click CreateEmail campaign, followed by Create delivery, positioned next to the same email group.
    The Creation in progress page displays.

Example of the Creation in progress page

  1. Click Retrieve the process in progress.
    The interrupted session reopens.

Note:
If you log out of Contactsend, you will no longer be able to retrieve the interrupted session. If you want to want to keep work in progress in the Create section, you need to click Save, before logging out.