Campaigns are a great way to map out a sequence of messages for your contacts. In addition to the benefits you get in the planning process, you also create a more interactive experience for your contact.
Campaigns are built using Steps, which direct the flow of emails and keep your contacts moving seamlessly through the campaign.
NOTE: Because campaign creation is diverse and unique to the needs of each organization, this article focuses less on the step-by-step process and more on familiarizing you with Campaign Designer's available tools.
Create a campaign overview
To create a campaign:
- Access the Admin interface.
- Navigate to Campaigns.
- Click Create.
- At this point, choose a Starter Kit (descriptions of each campaign Starter Kit are provided in the dialog):
- A blank campaign gives you the ultimate custom freedom,
- while the many pre-built campaign types serve as a great starting point for some of the most common campaign efforts. Think of these as templates you can tweak to meet your needs.
TIP: See Best Practice Campaign Starter Kits for a complete description of the Starter Kit campaigns.
After selecting your Starter Kit, you're now using the Campaign Designer to create your campaign. It features a grid on the right called the Canvas, with a list of Steps on the left. Building a campaign is accomplished by dragging-and-dropping the desired Steps onto the Canvas, connecting them to direct the flow, and configuring them to meet your needs.
NOTE: See Campaign Steps to learn more about each available campaign step.
Campaign Designer tabs
When creating or managing a campaign, you'll do so using four tabs:
- Design - This is where you'll do the bulk of your work, creating your campaign process flow by dragging-and-dropping Steps onto the Canvas.
- Mailings - Any messages associated to the campaign are listed for easy reference on this tab.
- Test - This tab is only available if the campaign has no errors. Use this tab to send individuals or groups of testers through the campaign. See Test a Campaign to learn more.
- Activate - This tab is only available if the campaign has no errors. While you'll use this tab to formally activate your campaign so it can begin processing contacts, you'll need to define a few important settings beforehand:
- the Target Group,
- when contacts are added to the campaign from the Target Group,
- the time period through which to add contacts,
- and whether you want to exclude or remove specific contacts (via one or more Target Groups or by listing up to 15 email addresses).
Campaign Designer overview
Sometimes, the design of a campaign requires a large number of Steps to create the flow and routing needed, but this can make it challenging to see the entire campaign on the Canvas. Let's take a look at some tools you can use to help you navigate the Canvas and manage your campaign more efficiently.
Panning and zooming
Click into the Canvas and drag your mouse cursor to pan the entirety of your campaign. Just be sure to click an empty part of the grid; if you select an object, you'll move it instead.
With the Canvas selected (indicated by a light blue border), you can also use your mouse wheel to zoom in and out.
At the top right of the Canvas are a few notable features (discussed from left to right):
- Zoom - This slider increases and decreases the size of the campaign on the Canvas. For campaigns with a lot of steps, decreasing the zoom level to around 0.5 makes it much easier to see more Steps at once.
- Print - Print the Canvas view of your campaign.
- Take a Tour - Provides a step-by-step on-screen tour of the Campaign Designer interface. This is particularly helpful for new users of Campaign Designer.
- Align - Reorganizes the Steps on the Canvas. The Steps remain in the same left-to-right order that they were placed on the Canvas, but the spacing is adjusted to be as equal as possible and the connecting lines are straightened as mush as possible. Keep in mind that any comments on the Canvas will be grouped together and placed in the lower-right corner of the Canvas. Note that this feature is more useful for some campaigns than others, and may not always provide a better view. To undo an alignment, press Ctrl Z (Windows) or command Z (Mac) on your keyboard.
You'll configure several campaign details and settings when saving it for the first time, and then via the gear icon subsequently.
In the resulting dialog, you can configure several details and settings:
- A campaign's name
- The campaign folder in which to organize it
- The person who should receive the email notifications sent from Notify Steps,
- A description
- In the Goal Settings area, whether the campaign has a Goal
NOTE: See Campaign Goals to learn more.
- In the Report Sharing Settings area, whether a report is generated each week while the campaign is active (you can choose the day and time), and to whom this report should be sent (you can add one or several people)
- In the Re-entry Settings area, whether contacts are allowed to go through the campaign more than once, and if so, how long they need to wait for subsequent entries and how many additional times they can re-enter.
How are campaigns different from messages?
Most clients begin using Campaign Designer after having sent numerous "one-off" messages from Communications Professional or other email marketing program. There are a few key differences in the campaign mindset:
- There is a little more planning involved to create a campaign, but this has inherent benefits.
- Once a campaign is activated, it does not require any direct support by a staff member.
- The need to have a send date is greatly diminished. Recipients in the campaign receive the next message based on the flow of the campaign. It's intentionally variable in order to best respond to the contact's interaction patterns.
- While opens, clicks, and forwards are still important metrics, the most important metric is the conversion a campaign is aiming for. Whether it's registering, volunteering, purchasing, or participating - THAT'S what you ultimately want to measure and that's what will determine your overall effectiveness.
The combination of making your team more efficient and providing a more contact-centric experience make Campaign Designer an extremely powerful marketing tool for you and your organization.