In this article can find details about how to create, test, schedule and launch your email campaigns.
For details on how to create the email message itself, see: Email Content.
This guide describes the functionality found in the Email Campaign module of the Emarsys Marketing Platform. If you are using an email as part of an Automation Center program, please refer to the Automation Center documentation where appropriate.
- Email campaign types
- The Email Campaigns page
- Creating a campaign from a template
- Updating a campaign with template changes
- Creating a campaign using the old email editor
- Creating a campaign using your own HTML
- Multi-language campaigns
- Email Settings
- Sending Testmails
- A/B Testing your emails
- Launching and scheduling campaigns
- Simple Scheduling
- Advanced scheduling
- On-event scheduling
- Recurring scheduling
- Pausing and resuming launches
- Time-based limitation of campaign launch
Email campaign types
There are three main types of email campaign, each of which can be triggered in a number of ways, depending on your workflow.
Ad hoc email campaigns
Ad hoc campaigns are batch campaigns, which means that one email campaign is sent to many recipients. This happens at a fixed time and only once. They can be launched immediately or scheduled for a future date.
The content of these campaigns is usually standard for all contacts, but Emarsys offers a number of features to tailor this, including personalization, conditional text and block targeting.
Ad hoc campaigns can be triggered as part of an Automation Center campaign, via the API, or launched directly from the Email Campaigns module.
Recurring email campaigns
Recurring campaigns are also batch campaigns, which are set up to launch at the same time at regular intervals. Content can be added manually or automatically via RSS feeds. A child campaign is generated 30 minutes before launch to let you check the content and make any last-minute alterations.
Note: Recurring campaigns must be set up in cooperation with Emarsys Support. Please contact us for more information.
On-event emails are triggered by recipient action. The following on-event emails can be triggered from the Email Campaigns module:
- On registration – The email is sent after a recipient registered via a form of your choice. Example: an email confirming registration.
- On birthday – The email launch is linked to the “date of birth” field in the contact database. The system looks for available date-of-birth entries and sends “on birthday” emails as appropriate.
On tell-a-friend – The email is sent after a designated email has been forwarded via the Emarsys tell-a-friend page; addressee is the forwarding contact.
Important note: Due to ever more stringent data protection legislation, the use of this feature might be inadmissible and might trigger legal proceedings in some countries. Please obtain legal advice in your country before activating this feature. Emarsys does not take any responsibility for the legality of usage of this feature in your country.
- On change profile – The email launch is linked to a change in a contact profile and sent to the contact after they made the change.
- On contact us – The email launch is linked to a contact-us form and sent to a contact after they have submitted the form.
- On date – The email is sent on a specific date. Once a date field has been created, you can select it from the drop-down box.
- On abandon shopping cart – The email launch is linked to a session in a web shop which has been started via another email. If a customer opens a shopping cart and fails to make a purchase, a reminder email can be sent. You can choose between sessions that have been accessed via a particular email or by any email in a category.
On import – The email is sent after an import has been performed. Example: You want to send a welcome or confirmation email to contacts who registered for your newsletter from outside Emarsys (i.e. an offline campaign, your own database).
Note: To trigger an email you must enter the import identifier from an Auto-Import on the Settings page of the campaign. This identifier will then be available for selection on the Import page and the email will launch as soon as that Auto-import is complete.
- On program event – These emails are part of Automation Center programs and can only be launched by the program.
- On external event – These emails are used by the API as part of an external integration.
All on-event emails can be sent a defined number of days after the event has occurred or, in the case of date-based campaigns, a defined number of days before.
On date (including on-birthday) emails are sent each day at the same time in the account default time zone. This setting is not affected by changes to the time zone in your My Profile page.
The Email Campaigns page
All the email campaigns that have been created in your account are listed on the Email Campaigns page (Campaigns menu, Email Campaigns).
The email list
Emails are listed with their Email name, Recipient source and Status, as well as the Admin (user) who created them, the Template they were based on and the date they were Created and last Changed. The list can be sorted by clicking the respective column title. By default, the last 200 emails are shown (and can be searched for). To access older emails you can change this setting in the advanced filters (see below).
In the standard account setup, only the user who created the email campaigns can edit or delete it. If you wish to share editing rights among all account users, please contact Emarsys Support.
Filtering the list
To view only a certain type of email, you can filter the list. Initially only the Filter free-text search box and the Category are visible. Click More Filters to use the advanced filter options.
- Language – Displays only emails which were created with the selected language setting.
- Type - Displays only emails which were based on the selected template type.
- Recipient source - Displays only emails using the selected recipient source.
- Status – The status of an email is defined by a) it being active or inactive (i.e. deleted), and b) its current workflow phase. You can select a workflow phase from the drop-down menu.
- Created - Displays the emails which were created during the selected time range.
- Changed - Displays the emails which were changed during the selected time range.
- Show all campaigns - By default, only the last 200 campaigns are shown. To display all your campaigns, check this check box.
If your account has a large number of active campaigns, you may want to display only the last 200 campaigns to improve the speed with which the page loads.
- Show only my campaigns - Displays only campaigns which were created by you.
- Show child campaigns – Shows the child campaigns for on-event and recurring emails.
- Remember settings – Saves the current settings for later use.
Deleting and restoring emails
When you delete an email, it is not fully deleted but moved to a different folder internally. If the deleted email has already been launched, very little changes; the images in the email will still be downloaded and the links will still work and be tracked, including the online version and unsubscribe.
Deleted emails will not be listed on the Email Campaigns or Email Analysis pages. To display the list of deleted campaigns, click Show deleted Campaigns.
Please note that the option to restore the deleted campaigns is available for 30 days. The restore button will not be active after that period.
Creating a campaign from a template
To create a campaign from a template, go to Campaigns > Email Campaigns, click Create Email, then select Block-Based Email.
On the Your Templates page you can choose from any of the available templates. Just hover your cursor over the template and click Create Campaign.
If you want to use one of the prebuilt templates, you will first have to make a copy so that it appears in the Templates section and is available for selection.
Updating a campaign with template changes
If changes are made to a template, you can apply these directly to any email campaigns built using that template.
Whenever you open a campaign whose template has been modified, the following notification will show.
Click Show updates for a list of the updates.
Click Update and the campaign will reflect the changes right away.
If, for some reason, you decide not to apply the changes immediately, you can do it a later date. In the Content Creation page, click the three dots in the upper right corner.
Click Show updates to see all updates that need confirmation. You can also click through the link to the template used for the campaign.
Please note that the Undo option is only available until you save the campaign.
Creating a campaign using the old email editor
We recommend all our users to take advantage of our new Visual Content Editor, but we recognize that there are some features that are still only available in the old campaign editor. For a full comparison between the two editors, please check here.
To create an email using the old editor, choose the Template-Based Email option for campaign creation.
This will take you to the old editor where you can create an email using the old structure of sections and groups.
You can refer to the documentation for this editor here:
This editor will not be supported indefinitely. As soon as all our features are available in the new Visual Content Editor, we will switch this editor off. Emarsys Support will then help you convert your old Emarsys templates into the new block-based templates.
Creating a campaign using your own HTML
To create an email using your own HTML code, choose the Custom HTML Email option for campaign creation.
This will take you to the old editor where you can work with your own HTML code.
You can refer to the documentation for this editor here:
Many of our customers send to recipients all over the world and in different languages. There are two ways to handle this.
1. Send a separate campaign for each language
The simplest and most flexible solution is to create a master campaign in one language, and then copy it for each additional language, replacing the content as appropriate.
As long as you have not included any content in the Frame, you will be able to use the same template for all languages.
Make sure that the right language is selected in the Email Settings (see below), so that the correct forms and landing pages (e.g. the unsubscribe page) are displayed, and make sure that you have correctly segmented your launch list according to their preferred language.
This method is quick and easy to do, but it does mean that each campaign will have its own reporting. However, you can view some aggregated reporting and the response metrics side by side in the Trends page,
2. Send one campaign for all languages
It is possible to duplicate all the blocks in your email and create a specific one in each language, and then use block targeting to display each one to a different segment of the same launch list.
This method will ensure that all reporting for this campaign is displayed together, but it will make your campaign extremely large and unwieldy to work with.
Additionally, since the campaign will only have one language selected in the Email Settings, all the forms and landing pages will be displayed in that language only.
3. Supported languages
For a list of all languages supported by Emarsys for email, see: Language Codes.
This does not mean that you cannot send emails in other languages, but Emarsys provides the text in these languages for additional features such as unsubscribe landing pages and contact forms
The first step of the campaign creation workflow is to define the Email Settings. These are divided into two parts.
1. General settings
Here you define the following settings:
- Email name - The internal name for the email campaign
- Language - Used for automatic texts such as unsubscribe landing pages, as well as the fields used for personalization.
- Email category - Used for behavior segmentation.
- Additional tracking parameters - These will be added to every link in your email, if you are using an external tool such as Google Analytics, for example.
- Send text-only - If you want to send only a text version of this email, activate this checkbox.
2. Recipient source
Here you define the following settings:
- Recipient source - The type of source defines how launch list is generated - either from a list or segment, a form submission, an API call or via an event.
- Segment - This changes dynamically with the Recipient source; here you select the actual source.
- Exclude - If you have chosen a simple segment or list as source, you can also choose to exclude contacts in a different list or segment from the launch list.
- Ignore frequency cap - If this is activated, the frequency cap will be ignored for important event-triggered emails to ensure that your contacts do not miss any critical messages, such as password recovery.
This check box is only available for users with BI Administrator and Administrator access roles. Account owners can check the user access roles under Admin > User Management.
- Ignore opt-in - If this is activated, Emarsys will ignore the opt-in status of your contacts when sending email campaigns.
Activate this check box only if you want to send the email campaign to your contacts regardless of their opt-in status.
- Do not send to duplicate email addresses - If this is activated, Emarsys will ignore email addresses that occur more than once in the launch list, and send only to the first contact in the list.
CC - Activate this if you want to send a copy of the mail to another email address, e.g. for archive or reference purposes. Copies can only be sent to contact lists, not segments. If you use Send Time Optimization, only the first launch will be cc-d. This option is only available for one-time emails.
- Send this email also to - The contacts selected from the drop-down will not be included in the email analysis. This drop-down is available only if you have activated the CC check box.
- Frequency - If you have chosen a segment or list as source, you can define if this is a one-off or a recurring campaign.
Recurring campaigns launched via the email campaign editor must be set up by Emarsys Support. It is quicker and easier to create them yourself in the Automation Center using a Recurring filter entry point.
Prior to launching an email campaign, we recommend sending a test email. These test emails are not recorded as part of the launch and no contact responses (opens, clicks etc.) are displayed in the Email Analysis. Scheduling settings, the launch list or A/B testing versions are not affected by testmails.
- To send a test mail, open the Content Creation page and click Testmail.
- In the pop-up, set the Subject line and the Recipient source. This can be either a Contact list, a Segment or you can Enter email addresses manually.
- Click Send to launch the testmail.
- If you select a segment or list as recipient source, the test mail will only be sent to the first 50 contacts.
- If you enter an email address manually, the testmail will not contain any personalization, even if the contact exists in your Emarsys database.
- If you test an on-event campaign using a contact list or segment, you may receive an error stating that the From (email address) is missing. This occurs when you try to test an older on-event campaign whose sender address has not been approved for Triggered Email sending.
To get round this restriction, you can either trigger the email from the even itself, or ask Emarsys Support to enable the sender address for Triggered Email.
If you want to send a testmail with personalization to a single contact in your contact database, first create a segment that only contains that contact. One way to do that is to use the
Email Equal firstname.lastname@example.org filter condition. Then, in the Send Testmail dialog, select this segment as the recipient source.
A/B Testing your emails
A/B testing your content is a great way to try out different strategies and continually optimize your marketing efforts. There are different ways to do this, depending on the type of campaign you are sending.
A/B Testing batch campaigns in the email editor
To A/B Test an ad hoc, batch campaign in the email editor, proceed as follows:
1. Create your versions
On the Content Creation page, open the Versions tab. Your email will be shown as Version #a.
On the Versions tab, copy the email and create a second version.
Make your changes to the new version and save them. You can change anything you like in the version, but the version name (Version #b) is internal and cannot be changed.
Repeat this for every version you want to create.
You can edit, copy and delete versions on the Versions tab. The original version (Version #a) cannot be deleted.
2. Launch the test versions
When you are finished with your versions, open the Scheduling page and click Advanced Scheduling.
Under Select launch type, add the percentage of contacts who will receive the first version, and give that version a name. This name will be added to the campaign name to differentiate between the versions.
Select the version you want to send for this test.
Check Personalization for the version and set the launch date. You can choose to Launch Now or Launch Later a specified date. If you choose to Launch Now, the campaign will be launched when you have activated the Final mailing option.
As you schedule versions for launch, they are listed in the Scheduling page:
There is no limit to the number of versions you can create and test but you cannot send tests to more than 90% of the launch list. If you simply want to send different versions of the same email without waiting to see which performs better, see Sending different versions to fixed percentages of the launch list below.
When you have launched all your versions, select the criteria for the Final mailing. You can set the toggle to Manually and decide which version to send yourself, or set it to Automatically and let Emarsys choose the version based on these possible criteria:
If you choose the automated version, Emarsys will send the best-performing version as soon as enough time has passed to collect some sample responses. The default time for this is one hour but it can be specified per account.
A/B Testing emails in the Automation Center
For recurring and event-triggered emails, you will need to use the Automation Center A/B splitter node to test your email content.
This node lets you create multiple paths in your program and assign a percentage of incoming contacts to each one.
For more information on how this feature works, see: Testing Programs.
Sending different versions to fixed percentages of the launch list
If you want to send different versions of the same campaign to your entire launch list in one go, rather than testing them on smaller groups, you can use the Automation Center A/B splitter node as described above and set the paths to 50% each (for example).
This will randomly split the versions between the launch list and launch them all together. You can then analyze the results afterwards.
Launching and scheduling campaigns
Once you have created your campaign, you can either launch it immediately or schedule it to launch at a specific date and time in the future. The options available depend on the type of email campaign and the recipient source.
- Generated through a multi opt-in form, Generated through an event or Using the API - if you are using these recipient sources, or if you are using A/B Testing, you will automatically see the Advanced Scheduling options.
- Generated through an event / On Program Event - you will not see the Scheduling page at all, since this is managed by the program settings.
- Generated through an event / any other event - you will see the Event scheduling page.
- Frequency / Recurring email - you will see the Recurring schedule page.
For all other campaign types, you will see the Simple Scheduling page, and will have the option to switch to Advanced Scheduling if you so wish.
When you create a simple ad hoc email campaign, you will see the default Scheduling page of the campaign editor.
Your launch list will be generated every time you open this page so you always see an up-to-date summary of your recipients and their opt-in status.
The number of recipients shown here is just an approximation, as some of the checks that are performed at launch, such as email syntax, blacklist and frequency cap control, are not performed at this stage. Also, please bear in mind that these numbers are valid at the time when the page was opened. The number of contacts in the launch list may be different at the time of launch, especially if you schedule the launch for a later date.
If you are sending your campaign to a segment, the Launch Details overview will show the number of contacts the segment contained the last time it was run. If the segment has since been modified, no figures will be displayed. In this case, you can refresh the table manually by clicking the Update button. All segments are refreshed again at the moment of sending the campaign.
Launching your campaign manually
You can launch a campaign straight away by clicking Launch Now. You will be asked to confirm your action and then the launch process will begin immediately.
Scheduling a launch
To schedule the launch for a later date, proceed as follows:
- Click the date and time picker at the bottom of the page to select the date and time you want your email to be delivered.
- Select the time zone if necessary.
- Click Launch Later.
- Confirm your action in the pop-up dialog.
Unscheduling a launch
Once your campaign is scheduled, the date and time are shown on the Scheduling page. You can stop the launch by clicking Unschedule at any time.
Send Time Optimization
If you are using Send Time Optimization (STO), Emarsys needs to analyze the launch list and calculate when to send to each recipient. This can delay the launch by 15-30 minutes in some cases. For more information on STO, click here.
If you want to use the advanced launch options, such as testing different versions of your email on a small percentage of recipients before sending the final mailing, click Advanced Scheduling.
Before you can take advantage of any of the features here, you will have to Generate the launch list manually. Once this is displayed in the table, you can proceed with your launch.
Click the Invalid address column to open your Bounce Settings page, and click Estimated recipients to view the launch list
Once you have switched to Advanced Scheduling and performed any actions there (such as generating the launch list), you will not be able to switch back to Simple Scheduling.
If your email campaign is set to be triggered by an event, the Scheduling page simply lets you decide whether to send the emails exactly on the event or a certain time before or after.
In this way you can send an email one day before an anniversary event, for example, or a day after a registration.
After you have set the schedule, click Activate to enable the campaign. From this moment it will send an email every time the trigger event occurs.
On-date (including on-birthday) emails are sent each day at the same time in the account default time zone. This setting is not affected by changes to the time zone on the profile page of the logged-in user.
In most cases, recurring campaigns are created using the Automation Center Recurring filter entry node. However, you can set one up in the Email Campaign module, but you must ask Emarsys Support to set the actual launch time.
If you have set up such a recurring campaign, the scheduling page is replaced by controls asking you to define when the child campaign is created and who should receive an alert. This is designed to give you time to check the child campaign and correct any errors in time for the launch.
Pausing and resuming launches
While your email campaign is being prepared and being sent out to all the recipients, you can still halt the email sending process by clicking Pause. To continue with the launch, click Resume.
If you pause a campaign after some emails have been sent out, these contacts will still be listed in the Analysis pages. Once all the email have been sent, you can no longer stop or recall any of them.
To pause an on-event campaign, open the Scheduling page and click Deactivate at any time.
Time-based limitation of campaign launch
When a campaign is created, a lot of processes are started in our databases that can put a heavy load on them. In order to manage the load, we are disabling all campaigns which are not launched within 30 days of their creation.
If you want to launch such a campaign, you will need to copy it and then launch the copy.