Before you are able to send emails through the Marketing section of the Control Panel, Engagement Tracking needs to be configured and Unsubscribe tracking enabled. You may create content for mailings and drip campaigns as well as upload and manage lists without setting this up. The only functionality that is unavailable prior to Engagement Tracking configuration is actual sending of email messages. Several actions must be taken to complete this process.
- First, decide what URL you would like to use for tracking. Many customers set up a special subdomain specifically for this feature such as "bounces.example.com”.
- Contact the company that registers/manages your domain. Your domain is likely handled by a domain registrar or web hosting company (such as 1&1 or GoDaddy) or possibly a server administrator (if your business handles this fully in-house).
Ask to set up a custom CNAME at the URL you chose in Step 1. They may do this for you or give you access to this setting yourself, depending on the specific company's policies. The CNAME must point to “tracking.socketlabs.com”.
- Log into the SocketLabs On-Demand Control Panel, click the Configuration button, and select Configure Engagement Tracking from the drop-down menu.
- Enter your tracking URL into the Custom Host Name field and click the Validate button. If your URL is pointing to “tracking.socketlabs.com” you will see a message indicating that your hostname is valid. If it comes up invalid and your CNAME settings have just been altered your changes may simply not have propagated fully. Waiting a while and trying again should solve the issue in this case. Otherwise, an invalid hostname indicates that CNAME settings are incorrect.
- Enable or disable each feature as you prefer. Unsubscribe tracking is the only tracking feature specifically required for sending in our Marketing system.
- Click the Update button to save your changes then confirm in the subsequent pop-up.
Creating and Sending a Drip Campaign Event
Once Engagement Tracking is configured properly, you are ready to create and activate your first drip campaign event! Follow the below steps to do so.
If you already have content saved on your server, skip to Step 5.
- Log into the SocketLabs On-Demand Control Panel. Click the Email Marketing button, and select Create New Content from the drop-down menu. This will bring you to a page where you can select the type of content you would like to create.
- The first option, Empty Designer Template, is the best choice if you want to create email content but are not experienced with writing HTML code. We provide a simple and elegant drag-and-drop editor with easy-to-use formatting tools to get you started. No experience required! There are also Starter Designs available in case you want to start with a different variety of snippets, color scheme, etc.
- If you want your content to include strictly plain text, choose the Text Only option. This is the simplest way to create content although it is the least customizable.
- The Raw HTML option, however, allows you to dive right into the code. This is ideal for experts who want to write HTML code for an email from scratch or copy-and-paste HTML that has been provided to you by a designer. This is the most flexible but also by far the most advanced method of content creation. Be aware that you are responsible for the final outcome of any code that you write. We cannot troubleshoot any custom HTML code and do not recommend it for beginners.
- You'll now be able to create and edit your email content. For Raw HTML and Text only you will see a plain editor with all available Merge Fields displayed to the right. In the drag-and-drop Designer, however, you can use the tabbed menu to the right of the editor to easily create attractive, personalized content. You can drag in new snippets, edit or delete existing ones, and we provide a full suite of options for further customizing your content.
You can save your progress at any point by clicking the orange Save Content button.
- To add a Text portion to Raw HTML or drag-and-drop Designer content, click the button at the top of the designer area labeled "Text". This is where you write the content you want plain-text recipients to see.
You may omit this entirely but many mobile devices and some webmail providers display only plain text content so we recommend including it. If you'd like to use the same text here that you included in the HTML portion of your content, simply click on the "Guess" button. Please note that this will overwrite any text you've already typed in this area.
To complete the content creation process, click the Save Content button.
- When you're ready to move on and send this content, click the Email Marketing button and select Drip Campaigns from the drop-down menu.
- Click the Create a New Campaign button. This will let you set the sender information for the drip campaign event, choose the content you'd like to send, and select the recipient list whose new entries should receive your email message.
The "Send after how many minutes" field refers to how much time you wish to elapse between two events: adding a recipient to your chosen list and the drip campaign event sending an email message to that recipient.
After inputting the required information, click the Create button.
- When you are fully ready to activate your event, click the Play* button next to it. If you later wish to pause the drip campaign event, simply press the Pause button. You can start and stop these events at will.
This event will generate and send your message to any new email addresses added to the chosen list from this point forward. Recipients who were already on the list before you created and activated the event will not receive the email message.
- The Drip Campaign Management page is also where you go to alter any drip campaigns you would like to change. Click the pencil button to edit an event. You can also click the trash can to delete an event you no longer want.
Our systems scan all outgoing traffic for potential SPAM messages to maintain the safety and security of customers across our platform, as well as their end recipients. If one of your mailings is identified as SPAM, it will not be sent. You can then edit the content to try to solve the issue. Once you have done so, simply attempt another Send.
At this point the number of messages being sent is checked against your remaining monthly message allotment. If you are within the limits governed by your current overage settings, the mailing will send successfully.
If you are not within current limits but would be if you raised the allowable overage percentage, you have the option to navigate to the Overage Settings page and alter this threshold. To do so, click the Configuration button and then click "Manage Overage Settings".
Should you try to send a mailing to so many recipients that the highest overage percentage (500%) would still not allow them all, you will not be able to send it before reducing the number of recipients or upgrading your current plan.