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Creating your Campaign

Creating your campaign

So are you ready to create a campaign? Awesome! (Just remember you will need to create a list [add link to hello/welcome article?] before you can create a campaign.) Depending on your experience level, a lot of functionality in Mail Blaze offers a lot of different ways to skin a cat (if you're into that sort of thing). For the sake of simplicity we recommend you use the email builder to begin with. Ready? Great! Here we go:

  1. Select the "campaigns" menu on the right of your screen. If you cannot see this menu item click the "hamburger" icon at the top of the page to reveal the main menu.
  2. Above the "your campaigns" grid click the "Create New" button. This will take you to the "Create new campaign" form. Creating a new campaign is a 4 – 5 step process. The first step is to put in your campaign's basic details.
  3. Step 1 - Basic Details: Enter all of your campaign's details, paying special attention to the required fields, marked with red asterisks. From the "List" dropdown field select the subscriber list you have just created. The number of subscribers in your list should appear next to its name. Once you have selected the correct list, click the "Save and Next" button at the bottom on the screen.
    All fields have hover-over tooltips to help you along the way!

  4. Step 2 - Campaign Setup: Focus your attention on the "Campaign setup" and possibly the "Campaign attachments" sections for the meantime. The rest of the options will default to the optimal setup. (If you want, you can tweak them once you're more familiar with the system.) Click on the "available tags" hyperlink to see which fields you can include.
    You can start using the mail merge functionality now. For example, if you want to include the subscriber's name in the subject line you could do this by writing the field value in square brackets as part of the campaign's subject. i.e: "Here's looking at you, [FNAME]".

  5. Step 2.1 - Campaign Setup - upload attachments: Attachments cannot be over 3 megabytes in size and need to preferably be one of the supported files types (pdf, doc, docx, xls, xlsx, ppt, pptx, zip, rar). Click the "Choose File" button, navigate to where your file is and click "Open".
  6. Step 3 - Campaign Template – Create your campaign: There are three ways you can create your email campaign: HTML and text, our email builder, and with our premade templates.
    • HTML and text: If you have created an html and plain text email campaign you can upload it to the WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) text editor. You just need to click the "Source" button in the toolbar, and paste in your HTML code.

      Note that all of your images will have broken links (or, placeholder links if you have used a template) as the assets are not on the Mail Blaze server. Click on the source button again and select a broken image. Now select the image icon from the WYSIWYG toolbar.

      Click on the "browse server button". You are now in your media gallery.

      Click on the "save" icon, locate your image, click "Open" and refresh the window by pressing F5. Double click the image to use it. Enter your settings (if necessary) and click "OK". Repeat this for all the images in your campaign.

      It is also now possible to use the mail merge functionality. Click the "Available Tags" hyperlink to see what fields are available for use. A good example of mail merging is to automatically add the subscribers name to opening greeting: this is achieved by writing "Hi [FNAME]" in your email

      You are required by law to give users the ability to opt-out of receiving your emails. This is done by using the [UNSUBSCRIBE_URL] tag. Select the copy you want to serve as your unsubscribe link, and click the "chain" icon. Select "Link Type" as "URL", "Protocol" as "<other>" and enter the "URL" [UNSUBSCRIBE_URL]. You can now click the "OK" button.

      You can now also view and change your plain text version of the email by clicking the "Show plain text version" at the bottom of the page. This will expose the plain text version of your email. Feel free to make changes as required. (The plain text version of your email is important to decrease its SPAM rating.)

      Click the "Save template changes" button at the bottom of the page and go to step 4 of this tutorial.

    • Email builder: If you have no HTML experience and need to create an email with your own look and feel, using the email builder is by far the easiest option. It is very important to note however that if you have started putting HTML in the WYSIWYG text editor the email builder will no longer be usable. To begin using the email builder, go to the "Campaign" page and click "Open the email builder" button.

      The email builder works using drag and drop functionality. Choose the type of content you would like to add from the grid on the left and drag it into the ‘BODY' window.

      For example, drag the ‘Title', "divider" and an "image/text" block in to the window.

      Now click on the "Title" text to edit it. You will now be able to edit the text content and the styling of that block using the panel window in the left hand pane. Repeat this process for all text in the email.

      Don't be afraid to experiment with the email builder. Try different padding, fonts, and backgrounds. Experimenting is the quickest way to learn. You can also duplicate, move and remove block elements by clicking the associated icons on either side of the block element.


      Let's add an image. If you haven't already got a block that contains an image, drag the "Image" block into the ‘BODY' window and click on the image placeholder. Information about the image will appear in the left hand pane. Click ‘Browse' to add your image.

      In the Image Gallery window, click the ‘Choose File' button and browse to the image you would like to upload. Click ‘Upload selected file' to upload the image. Click your uploaded image and it should appear in your email.

      Add the width of the image in the 'W:' field and the height of the image in the 'H:' field. The width and height are in pixels and should be the same dimensions as the image. Please note, images which are wider than 600px may break the layout of your email. For best results, resize any images to be no more than 600px wide. Once you have added the dimensions click 'Apply' and then 'Done'.

      Leave out the width (or height) if you'd like the picture to scale dynamically.


      You are required by law to give users the ability to opt-out of receiving your emails. This is done by using the [UNSUBSCRIBE_URL] tag. Edit the block you would like the unsubscribe link to go. Select the copy you want to serve as your unsubscribe link, and click the "chain" icon. Select "Link Type" as "URL", "Protocol" as "<other>" and enter the "URL" [UNSUBSCRIBE_URL]. Now click the "OK" button.

      [UNSUBSCRIBE_URL] is a tag that will be rendered into a link. You do not need to know your unique link, you just need to provide the tag. (If you are interested in more mail merge features, refer to the tutorial under Campaign Template > HTML and text.)


      Once you are happy with your email, click ‘Save' in the top right corner of the browser window. You might need to refresh the page (f5) if you don't see anything immediately.

      It is now a good idea to create the plain text version of your email. You can do this by clicking the "Show plain text version" at the bottom of the page. This will expose the plain text version of your email. Feel free to make changes as required. (The plain text version is important to decrease the email's SPAM rating.)

      Click the "Save template changes" button at the bottom of the page and go to step 4 of this tutorial.

    • Existing template: Why not use one of our professionally designed templates for your campaign? They have all the correct inline styling, are tested across a variety of email clients, and are incredibly easy to use. To choose one of our beautiful templates, click the "Gallery" menu on the right of your screen. If you cannot see this menu item click the "hamburger" icon at the top of the page to reveal the main menu.

      Find a template you'd like to use and click the "Import into my templates" button.

      You will now be redirected to your "My templates" page where you can see the existing templates which you currently have access to.

      Go back in to your campaign page and click the "Change/Select Template" button.

      Click "Choose" under the template you would like to use.

      The template will be loaded in to the WYSIWYG editor. You can now go about editing images, adding copy and using mail merge functionality. If you need help using the WYSIWYG editor, please see the HTML and text tutorial below.

      Try not to change the layout of the template as this can affect the way the campaign will render once it reaches clients.


       


      Click the "Save template changes" button at the bottom of the page and go to step 4 of this tutorial.

  7. Step 3.1 - Campaign Template – Send a test campaign: Your newsletter is looking awesome and you're ready to start testing! To test your email campaign click the "test template" button at the top of the page.


    Enter your email address, and the address of anyone else you want to see your campaign before you release it into the wild, in the "Recipient(s)" field. If you want, you can also add a "From email" address. Once you are happy with the recipients, click "Send Test". These emails should come through within 5-10 minutes. If they don't, check the junk/spam folder in your inbox. If your email lands in the junk folder, you might have an issue with your content.
    Different email clients (i.e. Gmail, Outlook, iPhone, etc.) may render the email slightly differently, so it is advisable to test your campaign on as many email clients as possible. This process will help you in determining how your email renders, if it gets delivered to your inbox, and for proofreading and signoff purposes.



    Once you are happy click the "close" button and then "Save and Next" at the bottom of the screen.
  8. Step 4 – Campaign confirmation: It's time to schedule your campaign for sending. You can either send the campaign immediately or you can schedule it for later. To send your campaign immediately, simply leave the "Send at" date and time as it is. To schedule the campaign for a specific time and day, click in the "Send at" text area. A popup will appear prompting you to enter the date and time you'd like the campaign to be sent.



    If you don't want to send the campaign yet click the "cancel" button at the top right of the page and the campaign will be kept as a draft.


    If you want, it is possible to view the spam score of your email by clicking the "Click to check spam score" link. Please note that this is an approximation of how receiving servers might interpret your email and is not a guarantee that your email will not be marked as spam.



    Once you are happy with all the settings click the "Send Campaign" button at the bottom of the page. The status of the campaign will change to "Pending-sending", and then "Sending" when it reaches its turn in the queue.

Recommended next article: Viewing reports.


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