In this article:
- Set up your Campaigns account
- Add a contact list
- Create a basic email campaign
- Create basic email templates
- Set up basic email automation
- Create an SMS campaign
Set up your Campaigns account
Abacus Email & SMS Campaigns are an optional add-on to your subscription. Contact the sales team to add Email & SMS Campaigns to your subscription.
You can access your Campaign manager in two ways:
- Upon logging into your account on app.abacus.co, go into the Email & SMS Campaigns tab (via Loyalty Marketing). Click Go to Campaigns, and you will be redirected to campaign.abacus.co. Log in with your "Campaign" details provided by Abacus.
- Conversely, go directly to campaign.abacus.co and log in with your "Campaign" details provided by Abacus.
You will be met with the Dashboard, which you can consider as your central hub. It will outline:
- The number of contacts you have registered
- Shortcuts to create campaigns
- Your previous campaigns and drafted campaigns.
Your Credits will be displayed to the left of the screen, below Settings. This indicates how many emails you have the ability to send, i.e. Every 1 credit = 1 email sent.
1. From your dashboard, click Settings located on the left panel.
2. From here, the essential fields you will need to configure are:
- Default Settings— Set your local time, and if you wish you can also set your defaults for: From name, from email, header, footer & reply-to email.
- Test List— This is the list of emails you wish a tester to be sent to for initial review. These emails need to be part of your contact list first before being included in this list, which you can learn about below.
- Your Senders— This will allow you to link your account to an email domain you wish to use as the sender of your emails (e.g. firstname.lastname@example.org).
Add a Contact List
- Click into Contacts in the left panel, and then into Lists. Here you can view your contact lists and sort them as you please.
- Click Add a new list, and a popup window will appear asking you to name the list, and then add contacts into that list. This can be done either by importing a CSV file with contact details, adding a single contact’s details manually or copying and pasting a list of contacts.
- Once you have created your contacts, you can now start creating your email campaign.
Create a basic email campaign
- Click Create an email campaign under the Email Campaigns section. Enter your:
- Campaign Name - These are only visible by you, to help you keep track of your campaigns.
- Subject Line - This is the title of your email, and will be the first thing recipients will see in their inbox e.g. “Final Days: 25% off”.
- From Email - Select the email address that you wish to use as the sender of your emails.
- From Name - This name will appear in recipients’ inbox to help them identify the sender.
2. To access more options, click Show Advanced Options. From here you can customise:
- Reply-To Email Address - Redirect recipient replies to another email address.
- The ‘To’ Field - Personalise the ‘To’ field with contact attributes.
- UTM Campaign Value - Activating Google Analytics in your settings will allow you to include a UTM value to allow Google Analytics to track your campaign.
- Default Header - You can add a custom header here.
- Default Footer - You can add a customer footer here.
- Unsubscribe Page - Choose from the default (recommended) or create your own.
- Attachments - Choose files to attach to your email
- Images - Determine whether you want to embed images in your emails
- Mirror Link - Enable to allow recipients to view the campaign from their browser (e.g. if there's an issue with an email, it will say "Can't view this email properly? Click here to open in a new window".)
- Dedicated IP Warm-up - Set automated quotas and daily increases. This is useful if you are sending from a new email address, because it prevents it from sending out hundreds/thousands of emails at once and being detected as spam.
3. Once you are happy with your setup, click Next Step.
4. Enter the Design Phase.
5. Here you can select to design your email through either:
- Drag & Drop Editor—Email builder that doesn’t require any coding, but rather choose from a selection of functions and place them as you desire.
- Rich Text Editor—You can create simple text emails
- Paste your Code—If you have already set up the HTML for your desired email, you can paste it here and it will generate your email design.
*Additionally, you can choose to use your own templates or predesigned templates if you don’t wish to start from scratch.
6. Once you are satisfied, click Save & Quit. You will then be presented with the preview of the email and you have the option to send a test email to view on your mobile or tablet device.
7. Click Next Step and you will be taken to the Recipients page. Here you can select the particular list of contacts you wish to send this campaign to. Additionally, you can choose to filter the selected lists further by ticking ‘Apply filters on the selected lists’ and selecting the options in the drop down list.
8. Click Next once you’re happy with your recipient list and you will be taken to the Confirmation page. You will get an overview of the Setup, Design and Recipients, and you may return back to any of these stages if any additional changes are required.
9. Once the email is complete, click Schedule to determine when you wish the email to send.
10. You can view its progress by going back to your Dashboard and finding it under Previous Campaigns. To get more detail click Report on the particular campaign you wish you view.
11. To view statistics of your email campaigns over a set period of time, go into Statistics (via Email dropdown menu on left panel).
Create a basic email template
Creating email templates can save you a lot of time designing new email layouts, and it is also essential if you wish to use email automation. More on that later.
- To create a template, click into Templates in the left panel under Email.
2. You will be welcomed with lists of your active and inactive email templates. Click New Template at the top right of the screen.
3. The process from here is almost identical to the steps listed earlier on how to create an email campaign. You may enter your:
- Template name—This is a name only visible by you, to help you identify your templates.
- Subject Line
- From Email
- From Name
4. Like previously, you can access more options by clicking Show Advanced Options and they are identical to setting up an email campaign. There are some exclusions, such as UTM Campaign value and Dedicated IP Warm-up, among others.
5. Once you are satisfied, click Next Step, and you will be taken to the Design page where you can create your email. Again, like creating an email campaign this process is exactly the same. Choose between: Drag & Drop Editor, Rich Text Editor or Paste Your Code.
6. Once you are happy with your template, you may click Send a test to view it on your email client or mobile device, or click Save & Activate.
Now that you know how to create templates, not only will it save you time constantly designing emails, you can now use email Automation.
Create a basic email automation workflow
This function will allow you to set up a system of emails and triggers that occur when specific events are met, and these processes will occur automatically. In this case, we will learn how to set up an automatic ‘Welcome’ email for each customer that is added or subscribed to your contact list.
- Start by clicking Automation in the top banner to access this function.
2. Once you have a few set up, this page will display all your active/inactive workflows and also the amount of people who are currently in each workflow. You can also view statistics and edit each workflow by clicking the aforementioned buttons within each individual workflow.
3. Begin by clicking Create a new workflow. You will be met with a range of workflow types to choose from, and if you wish you create your own, there is also a custom option. If you select a pre-set type, you will be given a set of prompts that walk you through what is required for this automation to work. If you choose a custom type however, there will be no prompts.
4. In this case of a ’Welcome’ message, we would normally choose the ’Welcome Message’ type, however to get a better idea of how workflows operate, we will choose ‘Custom workflow’. You will then be asked to name the workflow (For your own purposes) and add a description (optional). Then press Done.
5. This page will be where you view and create your workflow and its structure. First, you must start by adding an Entry Point. An entry point is a specific event that will initiate the workflow and put it in motion. In this example, we will choose for the workflow to begin when a contact is added to a particular list.
6. To create an entry point that begins when a contact is added to a list, click ‘A contact is added to a list’ (via Contact Details). You can then choose a particular contact list you wish this workflow to work with.
7. At any point, if you wish to delete a component or edit it, just hover over the particular component and press the X to delete or the pencil to edit.
8. Now that you have your entry point, you can now start adding steps to the workflow. Start by clicking the + symbol below your entry point.
9. Here is where you can choose what happens after a particular contact is added. You may choose an Action, which performs a particular activity or a Condition, which can be considered a rule. In this case, we are going to add a delay before we send our new contacts a ‘Welcome’ email. To do so, click Add a delay.
10. Here you will be asked to input how long you wish for them to wait before the next step can occur. For this example, we will put in 1 day. Therefore, in the first field type ‘1’, and in the dropdown menu select ‘day(s)’.
11. Now we have established our entry point, and our delay of 1 day after the contact is added. Now we need to determine what action occurs after our delay. Click the + symbol below our delay.
12. Now we want to add in our ‘Welcome’ email. We will look into the Actions and select Send an email. You will be met with a popup window asking you to choose an email template. When working with automation, templates can also be considered as proper emails and can be sent as the formal email. Relevant additional options are:
- Send a hidden copy—Like a BCC in a normal email client, this email will be sent to email addresses of your choice so you can keep track if they are actually sending.
- Choose when to send this email—This option allows you to choose what days/time you wish this email to be sent. For example, we can deselect the weekend so that the email is never sent on the weekend. This would avoid situations where our contact is added on Friday, and the 1 day delay indicates that the email will be sent on Saturday. With the weekend deselected, the email will wait until Monday to send.
13. In this case, we have selected our ‘Welcome Tester’ template. If have not got one set up, select any template for now. If you wish to create your template as you go, you can do so by clicking Create a new email template in the popup window. Click OK when you’ve selected a template.
14. You’ve now set up a simple ‘Welcome’ email automation workflow that will trigger every time a new contact enters your contact list set out in your entry point.
Note: If there is an ‘!’ symbol next in your Send Email step, this means the template you have chosen has not been activated, and therefore will need to be done on the Templates page.
15. Once you are satisfied with how your workflow looks, you can activate it by turning on the switch at the top of the page. Now you can sit back and relax as all the hard work is done.
16. To view its progress and statistics, go back into the Automation tab in the top banner, find the workflow you just created and click ‘View Stats’. It will show you how many contacts are in each stage, and the open/click rate of your emails.
17. You can also go into Logs on the left panel to view each action that has occurred and which specific contacts are in each stage.
Create a basic SMS campaign
- Go into Campaigns (via SMS on the left panel).
2. On the initial page, you can see all your SMS campaigns. If you would like to see a filter list, you can select the options at the top (e.g. Sent, Drafts, etc.) or search for it specifically.
3. Click New SMS Campaign.
4. You can then input:
- Campaign Name—Label used for your own organisation or sorting.
- SMS Sender—The name you wish recipients to see when you send an SMS.
- SMS Message—This is the message you wish to send to recipients.
5. If you wish to send a test SMS to yourself, you may do so by pressing Send a test located at the bottom of the page.
Note: Test emails do not use up credits, but a test SMS will deduct from your SMS credits.
6. Once you are satisfied with the message and sender name, click Next Step and you will be taken to the Recipients page. Here you can select which contact list you want to send the SMS to (that is, if you have their mobile numbers registered in their contact profiles). If you want to filter through particular lists, scroll to the bottom and tick ‘Apply filters on the selected lists’ and select the filters you wish to use.
7. Upon selecting your contact list and going to Next Step, you will now be on the Confirmation page. This is an overview of your SMS campaign, where you can check if all the details are correct.
8. When you are satisfied with your setup and recipients, click Schedule, where you can choose to either send it immediately, or select a specific time you wish it to be sent.