Email Series Process Overview
Check out the Salsa Scholars Email Series training course.
Here is a high-level overview of the email series creation process:
- Plan and develop the series - In this step you'll give the series a name and description for internal use. For example, your email series could be a campaign with multiple, scheduled emails automatically sent out to supporters who completed a qualified Activity such as donating for the first time.
- Select the audience - In this step you will define which supporter actions will trigger the series ("Entry Trigger"), which supporters should never be enrolled in the series, under what circumstances a supporter will be removed from the series ("Exit Criteria"), and whether supporters in the series should receive Email Blasts that are not part of the series.
- Set up the series flow - In this step you will create messages using the Visual Editor, activate messages as you create them, schedule messages, and then activate the series. Note, to set a schedule for an individual email you must first activate the email. This is different from activating the series.
- Activate the series - When you're ready, you'll activate the Email Series.
Step 1: Getting Started
- Click the Email tab, and then click the Email Series tab.
- On the Email Series tab, click the + Create Email Series button to the right of the window.
If you want to reorder the priority of your email series', click the Rank Series button. A table will appear. Drag and drop rows to put your Email Series' in the order that you want. The order can determine which Email Series go out. If you want users to get emails from only a particular series, you would make the series exclusive and drag the series to the top of the list. Then, click Save Ranking. See Rank Exclusive Series, below, for more information.
Step 2: Set Up the Series
- Give the email series a reference name, this field is required to proceed with the process. In the Name this series field enter a reference name that will enable you to search for and easily identify the series. This name will be used only internally.
- In the Add a description field, add any additional information that might be helpful to your or your team at a later time.
- What type of email is this? Use the Message Topic pull-down control. Check out the information in the application for details.
Select the Audience
Salsa Engage provides several different controls that enable you to specify exactly who should and who shouldn't receive an Email Series. This section is powerful and somewhat complex. It enables you to really focus on who you want to reach out to and exclude anyone to whom you do not want to reach out.
- Select a SERIES ENTRY TRIGGER. This is the user action that will result in ("trigger") the user being sent the Email Series. The selection you make here will affect the options that you'll have next.
- Submitted Activity Type—Enables you to select the specific activity type that will trigger the email series, such as Sign-Up Form, Fundraising Form, Petition, Targeted Action, etc. For example, if you select Petition and a supporter signs any petition, that supporter will be automatically enrolled in the email series. If you want to send the Email Series for only a particular Activity (as opposed to an Activity Type), use Submitted a Specific Form.
- Submitted a Specific Form—Enables you to select a specific Form to trigger the email series. This option enables you to choose a particular Activity form to trigger the Email Series. For example, if you wanted supporters to be included in the series when signing a particular petition (as opposed to any petition), you would use this option. Click the pencil icon to open a new window that will list all of the forms from which you may choose.
- Submitted a Facebook Lead Ad—Enables you to select a specific Facebook Lead Ad to trigger the Email Series. In other words, when a supporter responds to a Lead Ad that you have selected here, that supporter will be signed up for the Email Series. Click the pencil icon to open a new window that will list all of the Lead Ads you may choose from.
- Is Added to a Group—Enables you to select a specific group to trigger the Email Series. In other words, when a supporter is added to the group that you have selected here, that supporter will be signed up for the Email Series. Click the pencil icon to open a new window that will list all of the groups you may choose from.
- Made a Donation—Enables you to select donations made On Any Form, On an Activity Type, or On a Specific Form or Forms.
- On Any Form—Enables you to choose between One Time and Recurring donations as well as parameters for the amount donated. For example, you can specify that a supporter should receive the Email Series if they make a one-time donation in an amount greater than $20.00.
- On Any Activity Type—This option is analogous to the Submitted Activity type, above. It enables you to trigger an Email Series when a supporter makes a donation on one or several types of forms. You can also choose as parameters for the amount donated. For example, you can choose Fundraising and Event forms and greater than $19.00. Then, whenever someone makes a donation on a Fundraising or Event form in an amount greater than $19.00, they'll be signed up for the Email Series.
- On a Specific Form—This option is analogous to Submitted a Specific Form, above. It enables you to trigger an Email Series when a supporter makes a donation on a specific form. Click the pencil icon to open a new window that will list all of the forms you may choose from.
- New Imported Supporters—Enables you to send the Email Series to only newly imported supporters.
- Manually Added—Enables you to send the Email Series to Supporters who have been recently.
NOTE: some options require that you choose Any supporters, New supporters only, or Existing supporters only. For example, you can choose to send the Email Series to only new supporters, existing supporters, OR new and existing supporters ("All") who submit a particular form.
- Select an option for Never enroll members of these groups and Never enroll these supporters. This will prevent specific groups or individuals from being enrolled in this series--even when they meet the triggering criteria. Supporters who are unsubscribed, hard-bounced, or opted-out of the selected message topic will automatically be omitted from the Email Series. Click the pencil icon to open a new window that will list all of the groups from which you may choose.
- EXIT TRIGGERED BY ACTIVITY—Enables you to choose activities that automatically take a supporter out of the Email Series. For example, if you had an Email Series for fundraising, you can take supporters out of the series when they make a donation. This will prevent them from getting additional emails from the Email Series.
- EXIT TRIGGERED BY GROUP(S)—Enables you to exclude supporters from the series based on groups that you've created. For example, if you have a group of donors who have never made a donation, you can select that group here so that the Email Series goes to only supporters who are donors.
- Is this Email Series exclusive?—Enables you to limit who gets the Email Series, based on what other Email Series they are getting.
- If you want supporters who meet the trigger criteria to receive this Email Series along with other Email Series' for which they may be signed up, select NO, KEEP SUPPORTER IN ALL OTHER EMAIL SERIES ALONG WITH THIS ONE.
- If you want supporters excluded from all other Email Series' when they are signed up for this one, select YES, REMOVE SUPPORTER FROM ALL OTHER EMAIL SERIES WHEN HE OR SHE IS ADDED TO THIS ONE. When you select this option, you also have the option to rank this Email Series against others. If this is the most important Email Series you have going out and you do not want any others to go out, click Rank Exclusive Series. A new window will appear. Find this Email Series in the table, click it, and drag it to the very top of the list. If it is less important than other Email Series' rank it below more important Email Series'.
- Suppress email blasts while supporters are in this series works like Is this Email Series Exclusive, except it applies to single Email Blasts instead of Email Series, and it has no ranking option.
- If you want supporters to receive Email Blasts even when they are enrolled in this Email Series, select SUPPORTERS IN THIS SERIES "SHOULD" RECEIVE EMAIL BLASTS.
- If you want supporters in this Email Series to not receive additional Email Blasts, select SUPPORTERS IN THIS SERIES "SHOULD NOT" RECEIVE EMAIL BLASTS.
- When you have everything set up the way you want it, click Next: Series Flow.
Step 3: Set Up the Email Series Flow
By default, Salsa Engage will set you up with three, unscheduled emails. In this frame, you'll find controls to create email content, schedule emails, add new emails to the series, edit existing emails, and delete emails:
A. To add a new email to the series, click the +Add Another Email to the Series button.
B. To edit the settings of an email, click the pencil icon in the title-bar of email that you would like to edit. (When you're done editing, click the Save button to save your changes.)
C. To delete an email in the series, click the trash-can symbol in the title bar of the email.
D. To duplicate content from an already created email in the series, click the double-page icon in the title bar of the email that you want to duplicate. Then be sure to rename the new email that appears at the bottom of the list.
E. To change the internal name of the email, click on the email name or "(edit)". It's a good idea to use a naming convention that will let you understand the order of the emails at a glance.
A: Create Email Content
To create content for the emails that will be sent in the series, click the Create Content link (F) for each email. You'll create content for the emails one email at a time. If you want to duplicate content from an already created email in the series, click the double-page icon on the email that you want to duplicate.
The process for creating the email for a series is nearly identical to creating a standard email blast. See the Email documentation for detailed directions. After you create the content for each email, click Save & Exit at the top right of the Visual Editor. You'll be returned to the Series Flow window.
B: Activate Emails
You will not be able to schedule an email until after the email is activated. (Activating an email is different from activating the series.)
Note that you can create a draft version of any email in the series. If you edit an already existing email by clicking the pencil icon, you'll be given the option to replace the active version or to save the new version as a draft. If you save as a draft, the draft will appear in the email in the Series Flow window. To activate it, click the pencil icon, and then click Save & Replace Active Version.
C: Schedule Emails
To schedule emails in the series, click Edit Schedule for each email. Be sure to start with the email at the top of the list. For the first email, you'll be able to set the number of hours, days, weeks, or months after a supporter enters the Email Series. The time controls look like this:
Choose from the following:
- Any Day - This will send the email at exactly the number of days and time you set.
- Weekdays Only - If the specified amount of time would land on a weekend, the email series will wait to send until it is a weekday.
- Unscheduled - Use this option if you want to suspend a particular email from the series. Unscheduled emails are moved to the bottom of the Series Flow window automatically. To reactivate the email, schedule it and select where it is to appear in the flow.
For subsequent emails in the series, you'll be able to choose only a timeframe that is relative to the first email in the series. The time controls on subsequent emails look like this:
Pro Tip: schedule when an email series is to be sent based on the time zone of the user that is saving the edit, particularly the time zone setting on that computer workstation. We store the request in a universal time format that will work for all users, regardless of location. A Central time zone user saving series scheduling for an east coast organization has to be cognizant of this relative to when the organization wants the blast sent. 10 AM Central time is 11 AM Eastern time! If the time zone setting on the computer is not correct, this can affect scheduling.
Step 4: Activate Series
When you are finished creating and scheduling all of the emails in the series, click Activate This Series. The email series will be activated, and you can now start monitoring Series Results and Individual Message Results.