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Email Campaign Manager

The Email Campaign Manager module creates, sends, tests, and manages email campaigns. You build emails within OU Campus, using templates formatted to fit the constraints of email clients. These emails provide responsive design and render appropriately on all desktop, tablet and mobile platforms. The ECM interface then creates and sends campaigns. After Email Campaign Manager has been implemented for an account, users can track email analytics and add subscribers via LDP Forms.

As part of the Email Campaign Manager implementation, you set up a custom domain from which you can access the ECM interface. This domain is added as an add-on for your account, for easy administrator access. The ECM interface has separate users and permissions from OU Campus.

The ECM interface won't load within the OU Campus frame. Therefore, when creating the add-on, make sure "Open in a New Window" is checked.

Building Your EmailLink to this section

The structure, styling and content of your emails are created as pages in OU Campus. The HTML from the published page is then used by ECM to style the email. Our email templates use the Ink framework to ensure they are both responsive and compatible with multiple email clients.

Because the email campaign template has a very different code structure than a normal OU Campus page template, it is important to only select the "New Email Campaign Page" template when creating a new email campaign. If it has not already been set up, it is recommended to store all your email template pages in one folder. This folder can then be assigned a template group containing only the "New Email Campaign Page" template.

To create a new email, navigate to the email folder and click the +New button, then select "New Email Campaign."

Fill out the fields in the new page popup with the required information and press Create. Once the new template is added it can be edited like other pages in OU Campus.

Snippets

The email design is built using preconfigured snippets. To build the email, insert one snippet after another into the main editable region. Add different types of snippets within one email. The horizontal rule <hr> placed between snippets separates content. For the best-looking emails, only use these snippets, as they have been optimized for email content.

Using the snippets for design elements, write your email content. Background images and transparent images (such as .png files) are not supported in many email clients. Therefore, it is recommended to use only .jpg files that are resized before being placed in the email template. Images should not be wider than the container (580 px).

By combining snippets and potentially editing your email color scheme, you can create a wide variety of different looks for your email campaigns. The following are the six default snippets included with ECM. Note: Your specific snippets may vary somewhat in appearance from the examples shown below.

A blue rectangular button with the text "Click here!"

This snippet creates a button that links to a separate web page. It should be used for calls to action. The button is centered and can be inserted by itself or placed within a panel, a one-column, or a two-column snippet.

A long blue rectangular button with the text "Learn more about our programs"This snippet creates a button that links to a separate web page. It should be used for calls to action. The button takes up the entire width of the space it is inserted into. The button snippet can be inserted by itself or placed within a panel, a one-column, or a two-column snippet.

A block of text that fills the width of an area.

This snippet creates an editable region that fills the entire width of the email. You can add a header row by modifying row properties, and the color theme is automatically applied to that text. If the header is not desired, delete the row. Below the header, add text and/or images into the main email region.

A gray rectangular box filled with text.

This snippet creates a color-filled editable area that fills the entire width of the email. Choose the panel color (default or "theme," grey, green, or red) by inserting the appropriate word in the corresponding box. You can also add text and/or images.

A blue rectangular panel. There is a text title, and underneath it two columns of text.

This snippet creates two color-filled editable areas, side-by-side. You can define the width of each column as long as the total width of the snippet equals twelve. For example, if the left editable region has a width of four, then the right editable region needs to have a width of eight. Choose the width of each editable region by typing the number in the corresponding box. Write out the numbers (one, two, three) rather than using the symbols (1, 2, 3).

A section of text with a title, and underneath it text in two columns

This snippet creates two editable areas, side-by-side. The width of each editable region is half of the entire width of the email. You can add a header row by modifying row properties, and the color theme is automatically applied to that text. If the header is not desired, delete the row. Below the header, add text and/or images into the main email region.

There is a text title, with two columns of text underneath. One column is wider than the other.

This snippet creates two editable areas, side-by-side. You can define the width of the columns as long as the total width of the snippet equals twelve. For example, if the left editable region has a width of four, then the right editable region needs to have a width of eight. Choose the width of each editable region by typing the number in the corresponding box. Write out the numbers (one, two, three) rather than using the symbols (1, 2, 3).

You can add a header row by modifying row properties, and the color theme is automatically applied to that text. If the header is not desired, delete the row. Below the header, add text and/or images into the main email region.

Page Parameters

The page parameters of the email can be edited as well, altering page metadata, email template color schemes, and other page-wide settings. 

Each standard template comes with four color themes. The color themes define the header and footer colors as well as the text headings of each email. It also defines the panel and button colors, though these can be changed manually in the WYSIWYG. Select the desired color for use in the header and footer of the new email. The colors included in the base Email Campaign Manager package are:

  • Default (the colors selected during implementation process)
  • Green (HEX #055C05)
  • Grey (HEX #D8D8D8)
  • Red (HEX #A72222)

Non-default colors may be altered during the initial implementation process.

The following page parameters modify the email header content:

  • Browser Link Text: Show or hide a link at the top of the email (above the header) that links readers to the web version of the email. The text will read, “Having trouble viewing this email? Try it in your browser.”
  • Header Logo: Choose a header image to display in the email. Please note, in order for the image render properly, it must be in .jpeg format.
  • Display Date Stamp/Date Stamp: Show or hide a date at the top right corner of the email (below the header). If you choose "Show," enter the text in the Date Stamp field.

Footer Content

The content for the footer is managed by a separate include file and is located in the /_resources/ folder in OU Campus. The email footer is completed during the initial implementation.

  • Social Media Icons: To make changes to the social media icons displayed, locate the footer include file in the /_resources/ folder and insert the appropriate links to the page properties.
  • Unsubscribe Link: The unsubscribe is automatically inserted into the footer. Do not remove this link, as emails without an unsubscribe link will be blocked or marked as spam by many email clients.
  • Disclaimer Text: At the bottom of each email (below the footer) the disclaimer text can be enabled. Select "Show" to turn on a WYSIWYG editable region to enter the text. Select "Hide" to turn off the disclaimer text.

Once you are finished, publish the page. You need the URL of the live page to make your campaign.

Lists and SubscribersLink to this section

Email recipients are managed through subscriber lists, under the "Lists & Subscribers" tab in the ECM interface.

To set up a new subscriber list:

  1. Click "Create a new list" on the right-hand side of the "Lists & Subscribers" view.
  2. Enter a list name in the "Name" field, then choose single or confirmed opt-in as the list type.
    • Single opt-in: new subscribers are added to this list as soon as they complete the subscription form.
    • Confirmed opt-in: a confirmation email is sent with a link they must click to validate their address when they complete the subscription form.
  3. Click "Create list."
  4. Add new subscribers by either manually entering their details or by uploading a CSV file. For accurate analytics and system performance, it's best to enter individual subscribers, rather than using a single email that sends to a distribution list.
    • Import from a CSV by dragging and dropping a CSV file into the Add new subscribers window. When creating the CSV, use the first row to define categories (name, email, organization, etc.) and then fill out the entries, one per row. Drag the file into the window and the information is uploaded. If the category defined in the top row matches an existing field in Email Campaign Manager, it is automatically assigned. For fields ECM does not recognize, you have the option to reassign it to an existing field.
  5. Click "Finish adding Subscribers."

Subscribers can also be added manually when preparing a new campaign to send. Instead of choosing an existing list to which the campaign will be sent, click "Import new."

To add subscribers to an existing list:

  1. Click the list name.
  2. Click "Add new subscribers."
  3. Type or copy and paste the subscriber details into the text box, one subscriber per line. Separate details by commas (e.g. "natalie@starkinc.com, natalie rushman, 26, female, california").
  4. Match the subscriber details with the existing subscriber list fields. If the required field doesn't exist, make a new one.
  5. Click "Finish Adding Subscribers."

Segments

A subscriber list can be broken down into segments, based on subscriber information such as location, gender, or subscription date.This information can be specified when a user list is imported or when someone signs up for an email campaign. To make a new segment:

  1. View a subscription list and click "Segments" in the right-hand menu.
  2. If there aren't any existing segments, you'll immediately start making one. Otherwise, click the green "Create a new segment" button.
  3. From the first dropdown list, choose the field that the segment uses to select users. From the second, you can then choose how that field is used.
    • The options available here depend on what the chosen field is. For example, using some fields provides options to filter by the text value of that filter, and whether it includes or excludes a value you define. Other options include specifying whether a recipient subscribed before or after a specific date, whether their location is known, and what actions they took with a previous email campaign.
  4. Click either "AND" or "OR" to add additional rules. If you add an "AND" rule, the segment is made from subscribers who satisfy both rules. If you add an "OR" rule, the segment is made from subscribers who satisfy either rule. You can stack multiple OR and AND rules.
  5. Name your segment and click "Save and Preview."

Segments are dynamically regenerated from the parent list each time you choose them as recipients for a campaign, so they are kept up-to-date with the lists. A list can have multiple segments, but each segment can only belong to one list.

When defining recipients for a campaign, you'll see segments underneath the subscriber list they are pulled from, to be selected or excluded.

Creating a New CampaignLink to this section

Campaigns are created under the "Campaigns" tab of the ECM interface. If you've never created a campaign before, you'll see a Get Started button that walks you through the steps of creating a campaign. If you're returning, select the green "Create a new campaign" button on the right-hand side of the screen.

If at any point you need to leave and come back to a campaign later, ECM automatically saves your work. Access your campaign drafts by clicking either the Overview or Campaigns tab in the top bar. Opening an email draft shows you an overview of the email settings and content, with an option to edit each section, or the option to move on to the next step in the email campaign.

To create a new email campaign:

  1. Choose a campaign type.
    • Regular campaign sends one email to the entire recipient list.
    • An A/B test campaign sends two different test versions to a segment of the recipient list, and then sends the "winning" version to the rest of the list.
  2. Give the campaign a name, subject line, and sender. If you chose A/B test, select the variable you would like to test (subject line, sender, or email content), and then fill out the details. When entering the subject name, you can insert a personalization variable that autofills with the first, last, or full name of the recipient.
  3. Click Next →.
  4. Add the design and content of your email. To use the email you built in OU Campus, select "Import HTML" under More Options from the left-hand menu.
  5. Select "Import from the web" and enter the URL of your published email page. Make sure that "Move my CSS inline" at the bottom is checked as well.
  6. Click Import →.
  7. Email Campaign Manager now scans your code to detect any problems that need fixing. Some errors (such as a missing unsubscribe link) can be corrected from here, while others require to edit the email page and re-import the HTML. You can also preview or send a test email from this stage.
  8. Once you're satisfied with the email content, click Next →.
  9. Create a plain text version of your email, for email clients that don't use HTML formatting, by clicking "import it from your HTML," and clean up the formatting as necessary.
  10. Click Define recipients →.
  11. Either use subscribers you've already defined, or import a new list.
    • If you're using current lists and segments, select as many as you want. You can also hover over a list and designate it as "excluded," meaning any subscribers to that list won't receive the email, even if they're on any other recipient lists.
    • If you're importing a new list, either enter the email addresses into the text field, or upload a CSV file from your computer. This automatically creates a list that can be used for future email campaigns as well.
  12. If you are running an A/B test campaign, define the breakdown of which recipients get the test email, and which ones get the winning version. Choose what defines the "winner" and how long the test should go on for.
  13. Click Next →.
  14. Once you've chosen or imported your subscribers, you see a snapshot overview of your campaign. You can go back and edit any of the previous sections before testing the campaign.
  15. To send a test email, choose "Send a test" from the campaign snapshot. There are two options for testing your campaign, quick test and full test.
    • For a quick test, enter up to five email addresses to send the email to.
    • The full test view shows the campaign as it's rendered by a variety of email clients, which you can choose from the right-hand sidebar. It also performs automatic spam filter checks; a green checkmark next to each spam filter means the email passes.
  16. Click Next →.
  17. Either send your campaign now or schedule it for a specific time and date. If you schedule the campaign to send, you can choose to send at the specified time in the recipients' time zone.
  18. Enter a confirmation email to be notified when the campaign is finished sending.
  19. Send your campaign.

Email AnalyticsLink to this section

Once a campaign has been sent out, you can track and review its analytics. To see the statistics for a sent campaign, go to Campaigns > Sent Campaign and click on the name of the campaign in question.

Key statistics include:

  • Unique opens: Each recipient who opens the email for the first time is counted as one unique open. Total opens to date reflects the total number of times an email was viewed, including repeat opens.
    • Total opens to date: The total number of times a campaign was viewed by recipients, including repeat opens.
  • Bounced: The bounce data displays the total number of subscribers who did not receive the campaign because the email could not be delivered to the specified email address. Emails can bounce for a variety of reasons, such as the recipients' mailbox being full, the email address being defunct, or the email triggering a spam filter.
  • Clicked a link: Opening "clicked a link" shows you the Link Activity & Overlay view, providing more in-depth statistics about the links in the email campaign. The Link Activity and Overlay view also lists the most popular links in the campaign by number of unique and total clicks, and users can switch to a graphic overlay by clicking "Email Overlay" in the top-right, which shows click-through rates for each link superimposed on top of the published email campaign page.
  • Unsubscribed: Reports the total number of recipients that clicked the unsubscribe link in the campaign.

Other reports available in the right-hand menu include Recipient Activity, Social Sharing & Forwards, Worldview, Opens & Clicks Over Time, Email Client Usage, and Bounce Summary.