In this article, we provide a step-by-step guide on how to set up a simple email newsletter campaign. We've written this article for people new to Agillic so you can get comfortable with following our best practices for creating campaigns.
When creating any campaign in Agillic, you'll need to follow several steps, such as deciding what communication you want to send, who you want to send to, and when you want to send the communication.
These are the steps that will be covered in this article:
- Campaign Brief
- Step 1: Logging into the Correct Environment
- Step 2: Selecting your Segment
- Step 3: Creating your Communication
- Step 4: Testing your Communication
- Step 5: Creating the Send out Logic
- Step 6: Testing your Send Out Logic
- Step 7: Making your Campaign Ready to Send Out
- Send out a simple email newsletter.
- The email should be simple, only containing text, links, and pictures with no personalisation.
- Send out to all subscribers who have given their permission to receive emails.
- Send the email at 13:00 on the date 30.12.2020.
You're now ready to start configuring the campaign brief.
Step 1: Logging into the Correct Environment
Firstly, when you start working on a new campaign, always remember to log in to Staging and do your work from there. An example of a Staging environment could be: https://candy-stag.agillic.eu/agillicadmin.
Configuring from the Staging environment makes sure that all Agillic items you're about to make can be published correctly from the Staging environment to the Production environment. As a result, you avoid Production Configuration errors such as your campaign not being ready to send out your communication.
Read our best practice on Workflow here.
Step 2: Selecting your Segment
Once logged in to the Staging environment, you first need to decide what segment of your customers you want to send to. You do this by creating a Target Group and adding Conditions to the Target Group.
Your Target Group contains the segment of customers you want to send to such as all new subscribers who have given their permission to receive emails from you. A customer in Agillic is saved as a recipient.
Conditions determine which recipients to include in your Target Group. You can think of Conditions as the ground-rules set up to find recipients with data in common.
In the picture below, you'll find an example of a Condition which will find all recipients who have their Person Data field 'EMAIL_PERMISSION' set to true. In other words, this finds all customers in your Agillic database who have given permission to receive emails from you.
A Target Group finding recipients who have their Person Data Field 'EMAIL_PERMISSION' set to TRUE
Step 3: Creating your Communication
Once your Target Group is ready, you'll need to decide on the content you want to create and send to your chosen segment. In this use case, you're creating a simple email.
You create emails in the Channels module. Firstly, you insert one or more Content Blocks in your email. A Content Block controls the layout of your email and is specific to the template used. The template contains HTML code that decides which Content Blocks and styling are available to your communication.
To get the desired layout of your email, you'll need to insert multiple Content Blocks such as a Content Block with your text, a Content Block with your banner image, and so on.
A basic email newsletter
Step 4: Testing your Communication
Once you finish with your email, always remember to test it to make sure that it looks as intended.
There are multiple ways of testing a campaign, depending on how advanced your campaign is. In this case, the email is simple with no personalisation. This means the easiest and quickest way to test it is directly in the Channels module using the built-in test function. You can learn how to test your email in the Channels module here.
Even with a static email, it's still extremely important that you test it to ensure that everything looks as intended when sent to your personal inbox. This also ensures that there's no invalid HTML or other configurations that break the email.
Step 5: Creating the Send Out Logic
Once you've verified that your email sends and looks as intended when tested, you can go ahead and create the logic to send out your email. In Agillic, this is called a Flow. To determine who to send to and when to send, you add your Target Group to the Flow and determine whether the email should be sent on a schedule, based on a trigger, or manually executed.
We generally recommend that you wait with setting a schedule to a Flow until step 7 in this article.
To send your email, you will also need to add an Email Step to your Flow in order to send out the email.
Read more about Steps and Flows here:
When the Flow is on a schedule, adding a Target Group to the Flow makes sure that you send your email to the recipients in your segment. A triggered Flow will ignore any Target Group set on a Flow.
Finally, you add an email Step. Steps determine what type of outbound communication you want to send, but can also do many other actions in Agillic. Learn more about the different steps here.
A Flow sending an email to the Target Group 'Valid Recipients with Email Permission' on the 25.09.2020 at 09:00:00
Step 6: Testing your Send Out Logic
When you've finished your Flow, it's important that you test that the Flow acts as you intend it to. Since you've already tested your email and the Flow is very simple, a prediction will suffice as a test in this case. Learn How To Predict a Flow in our dedicated article.
A Prediction will tell you how many recipients are currently in your Target Group and how many would enter the Flow if you executed it right at the moment of the prediction.
Since Production stores your customer's data, you'll need to do a 'Predict on Production' to get the correct number. You can do this prediction while still logged into Staging.
Once you've made the Prediction to Production, make sure the numbers shown correlate with the number of recipients you expect to send to. For example, if you expect to send to 1,000 recipients and the prediction shows 0 recipients, you'll need to go back to your Target Group and investigate if the Conditions in the Target Group are correctly set up.
If the Flow is more advanced, we would recommend testing the Flow more thoroughly.
The email newsletter Flow predicted on Production showing that if the Flow executed, it would send to 1 recipient
Step 7: Making your Campaign Ready to Send Out
Once you're completely satisfied with your campaign, it's time to add a schedule to the Flow and publish the configuration you have made to the Production environment. We recommend that you first add a schedule to the Flow as you need to avoid the Flow being published by another team member with the wrong content. You can learn how to publish to Production through our dedicated article.
Publishing to Production makes sure that all configuration executed on Staging is also copied onto the Production environment where your recipient data is. Make sure you publish to Production when you're completely finished with your campaign. If you make any other changes to your campaign on Staging after you Publish to Production, you'll need to make a new Publish to Production to update your changes.
In this example, since you set a schedule on your Flow, your Flow is now ready to send out the email newsletter automatically on the given schedule.