Using Email Campaigns
This chapter describes the Email campaigns menu in the navigation bar.
Email Campaigns Overview
Email campaigns are the emails you send out to your contacts.
Each email campaign you plan, create, and send out transmits an email, based on an HTML or plain‐text template (or both), to each of the addresses stored in the contact list you select (see Contact Lists).
Archiving Email Campaigns
When you archive email campaigns, all emails sent to a contact list are available on the Internet, and can be viewed by campaign recipients in the contact list. In order to set this up, you must archive the email campaigns (click the Archive field in the View email campaigns screen, or use the Create an email campaign screen; see Creating and Editing Email Campaigns). You must also include a link to the archive (using the %%mailinglistarchive%% variable) in the email campaigns you send to the contact list.
Activating Email Campaigns
Only email campaigns that are activated may be sent. This means that an administrator can assign specific permissions to different users that allow one user to design a campaign, and another to authorize it.
Split Testing Email Campaigns
Split testing, also known as “A/B testing”, is a scientific method of testing your email campaigns’ effectiveness using statistical analysis.
When you perform a normal campaign send, you send one email to your whole contact list. You can then see how well it performed using Interspire Email Marketer’s statistical analysis tools. However, when you perform a split test you “split” your contact list into different parts and send a different email campaign to each part. Then, you can see how well each email performed and select the most effective.
Split testing is essentially a competition between email campaigns, in which the losers arediscarded and the winner is used in future campaigns. You can select the criteria on which tojudge the winner (open rate or click‐through rate) and Interspire Email Marketer tracks each email’s performance and decides the winner.
Split tests are usually performed on variations of the same basic email campaign, not on vastly different emails. For example, you might split test two emails that are identical except for their slightly different subject lines, in order to see which variation is opened most often. However, you would not split test one email advertising a seasonal discount on store merchandise and another offering a free holiday; this would not produce meaningful results.
The term “A/B testing” suggests a split test must be a competition between two emails. However, this is not the case with Interspire Email Marketer, which allows you to create tests using any number of emails. This means that you can perform highly detailed and efficient split tests that compare multiple email variations simultaneously.
Manual and Automatic Split Testing
Interspire Email Marketer supports both manual and automatic split testing.
When you use manual split testing, Interspire Email Marketer sends the email campaigns you have included in the test, tracks each email, and lets you view their effectiveness in the Statistics > Split test statistics screen. Manual split tests have no cut‐off time.Manual Split Testing
Once you have discovered the most effective email campaign, it’s up to you what you do next. You could use the winning email for your next campaign, send the winning email to another contact list, or perform further split tests on variations of the winning email (an example of which is shown in the following figure) in order to further refine its effectiveness.
- When you use automatic split testing, the test emails are sent to only a percentage of your contact list’s contacts (you define the percentage). You also define the test’s duration. Interspire Email Marketer sends the test emails and tracks their performance. Once the test duration has elapsed, Interspire Email Marketer declares a winner based on the criterion you selected, and automatically sends the winning email to the rest of your contact list.
Split Testing Tips
If you have not used split testing before, here are some tips that might be helpful:
Don’t “compare apples and oranges”.
Make sure that the emails you are testing are variations of one email, not completely different emails. Split testing is designed to help fine‐tune your email marketing, not make broad decisions on marketing direction.
Keep it simple.
As with any scientific test, results are only meaningful if they compare two things that differ only in a single feature. For example, test two emails that differ only in their font colors, or two emails that differ only in their subject lines. Don’t test one email against another that has a different subject line, graphic design and body text; the results would not let you know which element is affecting performance.
Interspire Email Marketer lets you test an unlimited number of emails simultaneously. For the most informative results when testing multiple variations, create an email campaign for each variation or combination of variations.
Include a “control”.
In scientific testing, a “control” is an element of the test that provides a base result against which other results can be compared. For instance, in a pharmaceutical test a section of the test group is given a placebo instead of the real drug. This allows the scientist conducting the test to exclude the influence of other variables on the results. In email split testing this means that you should always include the original version of the email, which has had no changes or variations applied to it.
This is particularly important if you are split testing variations of an email campaign that you have used in the past. In order to accurately gauge the effectiveness of each new variation, you must compare it against the control email (which is sent at the same time as the variations) and NOT the email you sent in the past. If you compared the new variations’ performance against that of the email you sent in the past, your results could be affected by a multitude of variables (time of day the email was sent, the day of the week, the season, economic conditions, and many more) that would severely impair the comparison.
Use a large test group.
Like any statistical analysis (political polls, for example) the larger the test group you use, the more accurate and reliable your results will be.
Use the correct metric.
Interspire Email Marketer lets you base your split test on open rates or click‐through rates (links clicked). Make sure you select the metric that makes sense based on the type of variation you’re testing. If you are testing variations in your subject line, it makes sense to use the open rate (since recipients open ‐ or don’t open ‐ emails based largely on the subject line). If you are testing variations in your email’s graphic design, it makes sense to use the click‐through rate; it would be useless to base the test on the emails’ open rate, since recipients do not see an email’s design until after they have opened it.
Viewing and Managing Email Campaigns
To view an existing email campaign you already created, click Email campaigns in the navigation bar, then click View email campaigns. This screen allows you to view and manage all email campaigns you have created in the past (whether you already sent them or not).
- Create an email campaign: build a new email campaign. See Creating and Editing Email Campaigns.
- Delete: remove the campaign (or campaigns) from Interspire Email Marketer. The campaign cannot be retrieved.
- Archive: turn on automatic archiving of the campaign on Interspire Email Marketer’s server.
- Unarchive: turn off automatic archiving of the campaign on Interspire Email Marketer’s server.
- Activate: allow the campaign to be sent (give your permission).
- Deactivate: forbid the campaign from being sent (deny your permission).
You can also view, send, edit, copy and delete email campaigns.
Viewing Email Campaigns
|Create an email campaign||Click this to begin building a new email campaign. See Creating and Editing Email Campaigns for more information.|
|Create a split test||Click this to begin configuring a new split test. See Creating and Editing Split Tests for more information.|
|Choose an action||Select one or more email campaigns, select an option from the list and click Go to perform the selected action.|
|Select a box belonging to an email campaign before choosing an option from the Choose an action list.|
Select the box at the top of the column to select all campaigns.
|Name||This displays the name of the email campaign.|
|Subject||This displays the subject of the email campaign. This is the text that displays in the email’s subject line.|
|Created||This displays the date on which you created the email campaign.|
|Last sent||This displays the date on which you last sent the email campaign.|
If you have not yet sent the email campaign, Not sent displays.
|Email format||This displays the format of the email campaign.|
- If the campaign is configured to send HTML emails only, HTML displays.
- If the campaign is configured to send plain text emails only, Text displays.
- If the campaign is configured to send both HTML emails and plain text emails, HTML and text displays.
|Active||A icon displays if the email campaign may be sent.|
A icon displays if the email campaign may not be sent.
|Archive||A icon displays if the email campaign is automatically archived on the Interspire Email Marketer server.|
A icon displays if the email campaign is not automatically archived on the Interspire Email Marketer server.
|Action||- Click View to see a full‐screen preview of the email campaign.|
- Click Send to select a contact list and send the campaign to the contacts in the list. The screens that display are similar to the Send an email campaign screens (see Sending Email Campaigns).
- Click Resend to try sending an email campaign again. This option displays only when an email campaign that you sent previously failed to send completely.
- Click Edit to update the campaign. The screens that display are similar to the Create an email campaign screens (see Creating and Editing Email Campaigns).
- Click Copy to create a new copy of the campaign. The new campaign displays, with “Copy of” appended to the original name.
- Click Delete to remove the campaign from Interspire Email Marketer.
Creating and Editing Email Campaigns
Interspire Email Marketer’s email campaigns are usually based on templates (see Templates). You can take a template and customize it for use in your campaign; replacing its text with your own, adding or removing sections and images, and modifying its formatting if required.
Alternatively, you can create a new email campaign without using a template. If you choose to do this, you can build the campaign yourself using the text or HTML editor, or import an HTML file from your computer or a web page.
Take the following steps to create a custom email campaign:
- Click Email campaigns in the navigation bar and select Create an email campaign. (You can also create a custom email campaign via Template link in the toolbar. See Custom Email Template)
- Enter a new Email Campaign Name.
- Select the type of campaign you want to create.
- Select HTML and Text if you want emails to be sent with both HTML and plain text elements (multipart). Email clients that can display HTML messages use the HTML element, and clients that cannot display HTML use the plain text element.
- Select Text if you want emails you send to be sent in plain text only.
- Select HTML if you want emails you send to be sent in HTML only. If you select this option, your emails will not display in email clients that cannot display HTML messages.
- If you want to base this email campaign on an existing template, select the template in the Email template list. A preview of the template displays. If you do not want to base this campaign on an existing template, select No template in the Email template list.
- Click Next.
Note: If you selected Text only in the previous page, the HTML Content section in this page does not display. Likewise, if you selected HTML only, the Text Content section in this page does not display.
- Specify how you want to build the HTML email.
- If you want to use the built-in WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) editor in this page, select Create content using the WYSIWYG editor below.
- If you want to use an HTML file on your computer, select Upload a file from my computer. Click the Browse button that displays. A file upload window displays; locate and select the file you want to use and click OK. Click Upload. The HTML editor screen updates to show the new file.
- If you want to use a file from a page on the Internet, select Import a file from a website and enter the full URL (for example, “https://www.example.com/examplepage.html”) in the field that displays. Click Import. The HTML editor screen updates to show the new file.
- Customize the HTML email using the editor. See HTML Editor for more information.
- Customize the text email using the editor. See Text Editor for more information.
- Check that your email campaign will not be marked as spam by a recipient’s email client. Click Check your email for spam.
Note: This checks the text in your email campaign against a list of known spam keywords.
However, it cannot guarantee that your campaign will be delivered to all recipients.
If either the HTML or text versions of your email break any rules, take note of the offending text and edit the email campaign to not include the term. Click the icon to close the Check your email for spam window.
- Check that your campaign displays correctly in a variety of common email clients. Click View your email in different email programs. The Email Validation screen displays in a new window (see Validating an Email). When you have finished, close the window.
- Configure the Miscellaneous options.
- Select Yes, this email campaign is active if you want the template to be available for use once you have saved it. Otherwise, deselect this option. You can activate the template later.
- Select Yes, archive this email campaign if you want to place the campaign in the archive for the selected contact list. Contacts in the list can see all emails sent to the list in the past (if you provide them with a link to do so).
- If you want to test the campaign by sending it to your own email address:
- Enter the email address from which you want to send the test email in the Send preview from this email field.
- Enter the email address to which you want to send the test email in the Send preview to this email field.
- To send the test email, click Preview your email campaign. Check the inbox of the account you entered in the Send Preview to this Email field.
- Finish the campaign.
- Click Save & keep editing to save the new campaign and remain in this screen to make further changes.
- Click Save and exit to save the new campaign and go to the View Custom Templates screen (see Managing Custom Email Templates).
- Click Cancel to return to the View Custom Templates screen without saving the template. Any changes you made are lost.
Sending Email Campaigns
Take the following steps to send an existing email campaign:
- Click Email campaigns in the navigation bar, then select Send email campaign.
- Select the contacts to whom you want to send the campaign in the I want to section:
- To send the campaign to the entire list you select in the Contact list field, select Send an email to all contacts in the selected list(s) below.
- To perform a search and send the campaign to only the contacts matching the search, select Send an email to contacts who match my search criteria in the selected list(s) below.
- To send the campaign to the entire list you select in the Segments field, select Send an email to all contacts in the selected segment(s) below.
- Select the contact list(s) or segment(s) to which you want to send the email campaign. Use the search box below the list to search for contact lists or segments.
- Click Next.
- Use this screen to configure your campaign settings.
Send an Email Campaign: Campaign Settings
- Click Next when you have finished configuring this screen. Alternatively, click Cancel to return to the View email campaigns screen without saving your changes.
- A screen displays, showing a report of the email campaign you are about to send.
Review the information and click Schedule my Email Campaign to continue.
Alternatively, click Cancel to return to the View email campaigns screen without saving your changes.
- The screen that displays next depends on whether or not you have enabled scheduled sending (in the Settings > Cron settings screen).
- If scheduled sending is enabled, the View scheduled email queue screen displays (see Scheduled Email Queue). The email campaign will be sent the next time Cron runs scheduled sending.
Note: This happens even if you selected Send your campaign now. For this reason, it is important that you configure scheduled sending to run frequently (in the Settings > Cron settings screen) even if you do not want to schedule email sending.
Alternatively, you can avoid this issue by turning scheduled sending off if you do not require it.
- If scheduled sending is disabled, a warning displays. Click OK.
Interspire Email Marketer begins to send your campaign. A new browser window displays, showing how much time is remaining.
Note: Do NOT close this window, otherwise your campaign will not be sent correctly.
The browser window closes automatically when the email campaign has been completely sent.