This website uses some cookies, also managed by third parties, and other technology such as fingerprinting, in order to collect statistical information and to target messages in line with the users’ online navigation preferences. To withhold consent to this cookies, click here. If you continue browsing by accessing any other section or selecting any item on this website (e.g. by clicking a picture or a link), you signify your consent to the use of cookies and other technology for profiling purposes.

Scope

In this tutorial, you will learn how to use Contactplan to create recurring deliveries to an audience who form at least part of a predefined segment. But what is a recurring delivery? A recurring delivery is one that is repeated over a defined period of time. Imagine, for example, you want to send a birthday greeting to your customers, together with a gift from your e-commerce site, such as an extra discount on their next purchase, or a special bonus. It’s very easy to do, thanks to recurring deliveries!

Procedure

To create a recurring delivery, do the following:

  1. Sign in to Contactplan, and click the Plans tab in the Control bar, at the top of the page, to display the My plans page.
  2. Click Create new plan to display the New plan page.

  1. Enter a unique and recognizable name for the plan.
    Using our example, it could be “Birthday Greetings”.
  2. Under When, select the Repeated tab to define a recurring delivery, and do the following.
    1. Under Date & hour, click the box to display the Calendar
      Enter the date and time that the recurring delivery should start, or use the calendar controls.
    2. Select the appropriate Time zone, if it needs to be changed.
      The default time zone is automatically set to the one defined under SettingsTime zones & week.
    3. Under Repetition, select whether the delivery should be repeated Daily, Weekly or Monthly.
      For the birthday greetings delivery in our example, we need to select Daily. That way, your customers will receive their birthday greeting on the appropriate day.
    4. Under End date, click the appropriate Never, After or On date radio button, and select or enter when the recurring delivery should finish, if required.
      If you select Never, you can stop the repetition manually, by using the appropriate Stop Plan button on the Recurrence tab of the My plans page.
      See the Contactplan Guide >  UI icons for more details.
    5. Click Load recurrences to display the dates of the first ten repeats, if required. The total number of repeats is also shown.

  1. Under Who:
    1. Select the appropriate Segment that was created previously, such as “Birthday segment“.
      After a short delay, the number of contacts in the segment displays.
    2. Select the appropriate DND policy, if one is required for the recurring delivery that you are creating. The number of relevant contacts displays, and the total contacts field is adjusted.
  2. Click the downwards pointing arrow to the left of Advanced options and do the following, if required:
      1. Under List generation, define when the contact list that is to be used for each delivery should be created.
        For example, if you want the list to be generated when the delivery is sent, select ‘0’. If you want the list to be created when the delivery plan is saved, to use it later, select ‘-1’. If you want the list to be generated a certain number of days before the delivery, use the scroll box to select when it should be created.
        For our birthday greetings example, the list should only be generated each time the delivery is sent, using the ‘0’ setting. This ensures that a new list, consisting of the contacts who have a birthday on that date, is created each day.
        Note: For recurring deliveries, the next one in the series is automatically planned as soon as the current delivery has completed. This means that:
        If you select ‘-1’ for the List generation parameter, the plan and the list are created immediately after the previous delivery has been sent, then the new delivery is generated in Contactsend, ready to be sent on the appropriate date.
        If you select ‘0’, the plan is created immediately after the previous delivery has been sent, but the list and the Contactsend delivery are generated when it is due to be sent.
      2. If you want to define the number of contacts that should be used for the delivery, under Set contacts number,do one of the following:
            1. Select All to use the contact list as defined by the relevant segment and DND policy (default).

        or:

            1. Select  Exact if you want a precise number of contacts to be used, then enter the number of contacts in the box provided.
            2. Under If the value is not reached, click the appropriate action:
              • Send anyway
                The available contacts are used, even if the desired number is not reached.
              • Add contacts
                The number of contacts in the list is increased by adding others from the database. Enter the maximum percentage of the total number of contacts that can be added in this way. Contactplan then adds contacts until either the maximum percentage or the defined number of contacts is reached.
              • Set error
                The plan is not run, and an error is returned, if the required number of contacts is not reached.
                Or:
            1. Select Range if you want to define a suitable range of contacts.
            2. Enter the range of contacts in the boxes provided.
            3. Under If the value is not reached, click the appropriate action.
              See above for more details about the available actions.

        Both the List generation and Contacts number advanced options can be used together.

  1. In the Actionpanel, click the arrow in the box under Consumer, and select the appropriate action for running the delivery plan:
    • Create Filter in Send
      Used to create filters in Contactsend. If you later delete the plan, the relevant filters still remain available in Contactsend.
    • Create Delivery in Send
      Used to configure a delivery in Contactsend.
      This option also enables you to add a message to the delivery, including HTML pages created in PageBuilder. See the Contactplan Guide > Example of creating a new plan for more details.
      Note: Contactsend click tracking for links with no dynamic parameters in the URL is automatically activated.
      When you save your plan as ready, it will be delivered using Contactsend.
    • Send to SFTP
      Sends the contact list associated with the delivery plan to the appropriate storage location. If selected, options display that enable you to choose:

      • The Field separator.
        Allows you to select the character that is used to separate two fields in the saved file.
      • The Field enclosure.
        Allows you to select the characters that are used to enclose a value in the saved file.
  2. When you have finished, click:
    • Save as draft if your plan is not yet complete, or you think that you may want to change your entries.
      Or:
    • Save if your plan is ready.
      Or:
    • Back to plans list to abort the process.

  1. You are returned to the My plans page and the draft or ready plan is added to the list.

Immediately after you click Save, the recurring delivery is stored and the first one in the series is planned. You can easily recognize the recurring deliveries in the list, as they have the suffix _(N), where N represents the number of the particular instance.

You can reopen any plan that has been saved as Ready at any time, but you can only edit it up until the time and date that it is due to run. Draft plans can be edited at any time.

See the Contactplan Guide “Plan details”  for more about Ready and Draft plans.

You can edit a single plan instance or all of them. For example, you can edit a delivery subject or HTML without changing those that follow, or you can update all the instances, so all the following deliveries are also modified.

If you later delete a segment or a DND policy, it continues to be used by any planned deliveries to which it has already been applied

In this way you are able to whish Happy Birthday to all your customers setting just one single delivery. For mere info consult the “Recurring campaign” section in Contactsend Guide.