FAQ content

Emails: Create and send email campaigns

In this article

The Email Campaigns tool within LibConnect incorporates the ability to create and manage two types of email campaigns:

  • Marketing: these are intended for promoting library services & resources. You can only send these to your distribution lists.
  • Operational: these are intended for non-promotional emails, such as changes to policies, hours, or internal communication. You can send these to distribution lists and/or individual people in your people profiles.

Creating a new campaign is as simple as following a guided 4-step process that will allow you to customize, design the email, select recipients, preview, and schedule your campaign in a few minutes.

To facilitate the customization of the email design, LibConnect integrates an easy-to-use drag & drop editor that allows you to either design an email from scratch or customize an existing template. LibConnect also provides some sample templates that can be used/customized so that you have some ideas to start from.

For campaigns that have been sent, LibConnect tracks, displays, and export general and specific statistics about the campaign performance.

Both Admin and Regular users can send email campaigns. However, whereas Admin users have access to view, edit, and delete campaigns created by any user, Regular users can only view, edit, and delete the campaigns they created.


Create a new email campaign

The creation of a new email campaign is broken down into a four-step process: name & setup of the campaign, designing the email, selecting the recipients, and reviewing & scheduling it. If at any point in the process you need to step away, you can save the campaign as a draft and return later to complete it.

  1. Log into LibConnect and go to Emails > Email Campaigns.
  2. Click on the New Campaign button.
The New Campaign button
  1. On the Email Campaign Type modal, choose the kind of campaign you'll be creating.
    • Marketing: Use this type if your email is promoting products, services, or any other form of marketing content. This type of email must adhere to the rules of sending marketing emails for your region/country.
      • Marketing emails can only be sent to distribution lists, and they will only be delivered to recipients that are subscribed to your emails 
      • Examples: Announcements, Newsletters, Product & Services Offers/News, Events, Re-Engagement Emails, Tutorials & Tips.
    • Operational: Use this type if your email communicates important policy information including changes to building hours, upcoming product or service updates with downtime, etc. Operational emails should not include marketing content.
      • Operational emails can be sent to any/all people profiles in your LibConnect system, even if they have opted out or chose to unsubscribe from marketing emails.
      • Examples: Announcements of System Maintenance/Downtimes/Event Cancellations, Internal/Personal Communication, Feedback Requests & Customer Service Updates.
  2. Click on the Next button.
selecting the campaign type

Step 1. Campaign name & setup

  1. Enter a descriptive Email Campaign Name. This is only used to identify your campaign in LibConnect -- it is not shown to recipients.
  2. Select the Email Category. The category selection is used to group the email campaign.
    • Categories are also used to allow patrons to indicate the types of marketing emails they would like to receive.
  3. In the Email Subject field, enter a subject line for your email (up to 150 characters).
  4. From the Email From dropdown, choose the sender address for your email.
    • The email address selected will be listed as the FROM address for recipients of the email campaign.
    • Only email addresses set as a Registered Sender on the Admin > Email Settings page can be selected.
  5. In the From Name field, enter the sender name for your email.
    • The name set will be displayed for recipients of the email campaign
  6. In the Reply-to field, enter the email address that should be set as the Reply-to value if/when a recipient attempts to reply to the email.
  7. When finished, click the Next button to proceed to the next step.
    1. To save your email as a draft and finish it later, click the Save & Exit button.
Options on the Campaign Name & Setup screen

Step 2. Design

  1. On the Design page choose the email design to use:
    1. Blank Canvas: Start the email design process from scratch.
    2. Template: Select from one of your pre-existing templates for the campaign type you're creating.
selecting a template or blank canvas for email campaign design
  1. After selecting a template to use or opting for a blank canvas, the drag and drop editor will open (with your template loaded in automatically if one was selected). While designing and editing the email you can:
    1. Use the tools within the editor to add content, adjust the look and layout of the email, and much more.
    2. If you want to save the email you've created as a template to be used again, click the Save as Template link to add the email to your system's templates.
    3. Click the Preview link to enter Preview mode so that you can see how your email will be viewed on both a desktop and mobile display.
    4. Click the Save link if you want to save your current progress with the email design.
      • Use this option if you're still working on the design, instead of clicking Continue.
  2. When you're satisfied with your email, click the Continue button.
using the editor to design your email
  1. When finished, click the Next button to proceed to the next step.
    1. To save your email as a draft and finish it later, click the Save & Exit button.
    2. Click the Edit link to return to the editor.
    3. Click the Delete link to start the design process over again.
completing the Design step of the email campaign

Basics of email creation

Add content to the email

To add content to your email, select it from the Content tab on the right-hand side, then drag and drop it into place in the editor.

dragging content into the template
Edit content

For content that has been added to the editor, clicking on the content item will provide you with additional Content Properties that you can adjust. (Text and Title content will also include additional text editing options below the item in the editor.)

editing content in a template
Adding images

When adding images you can choose to upload images from your computer, search free photos (LibConnect is integrated with Pexels, Unsplash, and Pixabay giving you access to over 500,000 Creative Commons Zero licensed images), or link to an image from LibApps' Image Manager.

  1. Use the Browse or Change image button to upload an image from your computer or to search for free photos to use.
    • You can also drag and drop images from your computer directly onto the image content item within the editor.
  2. To use an Image Manager image, grab the image's URL and add it to the URL field in the Content Properties.
adding an image to a template
Move, copy, or delete content
  1. To move a content item to another location, click on the content item in the editor, then click on the Move icon to drag and drop the content into a new position.
  2. To move an entire row, use the Move icon for the row to drag and drop it into a new position.
  3. Click the Delete icon to remove the content from the editor.
  4. Use the Copy icon to duplicate the content item in the editor.
moving, deleting, and copying a content item

Add and manage rows

Rows are structural units that define the horizontal composition of a section of the email by using columns. A row can include one to six columns -- using more than one column allows you to put different content elements side by side.

New rows can be added to the editor or you can reuse row templates that have been created to quickly load in a row's worth of content.

Add a new row

To add a new row, click on the Rows tab on the right-hand side of the editor, find the row type that you want to add, then drag and drop the row into your editor, after the row(s) have been added you can add your content to the columns within the row(s).

dragging rows into the template
Reuse a row template

To use an existing row template in your email:

  1. Select the row type from the dropdown of the Rows tab -- choosing from Header, Content, or a Footer row.
    • These row types are set when creating a row template,
  2. Find the row to reuse in the available row templates.
  3. Drag and drop the row template into the editor.
reusing a row template
Edit, move, or delete a row

After adding a row to the editor, you have additional settings available to you to tweak the properties for the full row and individual columns (colors, display, etc.), move the row, save it as a template, and copy or delete the row. 

Note: the Rows tab of the editor is not available when creating a Row template.

To adjust the settings/position for a row, click on the row in the editor. While the row is selected you can:

  1. Use the Row Properties to adjust the colors and stacking of the row.
  2. Use the Customize Columns section to tweak the number of columns in the row and make specific adjustments to the properties of individual columns within the row.
    • Background color, padding, borders, etc. can be adjusted for each column.
  3. Use the Move icon for the row to drag and drop it into a new position.
  4. Use the SaveCopy, and Delete icons to save the row as a template, make a copy within the editor, or delete it from the editor.
managing a row's properties

Settings

The Settings tab of an email allows you to adjust general settings for the entire email. They are inherited by Row and Content blocks. For example, the font family set in the message settings is then used everywhere in your message, except where you use a custom setting.

Settings that can be adjusted include: setting the content area width and alignment, background colors, fonts, and link colors.

The Settings tab for a template

Step 3. Recipients

  1. To send your email to one or more distribution lists, select them from the Select Distribution List(s) dropdown.
    1. To create a new list, click the New List link. This will open the New Distribution List window, where you can give your list a name and add recipients to it using the standard instructions for creating a new list.
    2. Recipients from the selected lists can be displayed by clicking the View Recipients link below the dropdown menu.
      • Clicking the View Recipients link will also allow you to exclude recipients that are on the selected list(s) from receiving the email campaign. See the Exclude Recipients section below for more info.
  2. For Operational emails only, if you would like to manually add recipients to your email, click on the Add Recipients link in the Select Recipients Manually section. Marketing emails must use a distribution list when selecting recipients.
    1. Any recipients that have been manually added will be listed in the Select Recipients Manually section.
  3. When finished, click the Next button to proceed to the next step.
    1. To save your email as a draft and finish it later, click the Save & Exit button.
The Distribution List options and Add Recipients link on the Recipients page
Exclude recipients

If there are certain profiles included in the selected distribution list(s) that you do not want to send the email campaign to, you can choose to exclude them from the recipients of the campaign.


To exclude recipients:

  1. Click on View Recipients link.
clicking the view recipients link to exclude recipients
  1. On the View Recipients modal, click the Edit Recipients button.
clicking the edit recipients link to exclude recipients
  1. For any profiles you want to exclude, uncheck the checkbox for their profile.
    1. Use the filters to search/narrow the list of profiles.
  2. Click Save then Close.
selecting the recipients to recipients
  1. The list of excluded recipients will be shown below 
viewing excluded recipients

 


Step 4. Review & schedule

  1. Before sending out your email, take a moment to review everything for accuracy.
    1. Review the Name & Setup details.
    2. Click on the Edit link for the panel to make any necessary changes to the campaign name, from address, from name, and/or email subject line.
    3. Use the Preview to quickly see how your message will look to recipients.
    4. Click on the Edit link for the panel to return to the design editor if changes are needed to the body of the email.
    5. Review the Recipients that will be getting the email campaign by clicking on the distribution list name, and in the Manually Added (if applicable) section.
    6. Click on the Edit link for the panel to adjust the recipients.
  2. When you're ready, click the Schedule button.
    1. To save your email as a draft and finish it later, click the Save & Exit button.
    2. To send a test email out before officially schedule the campaign, use the Send Test Email button.
      • Test emails can be sent out to multiple email addresses, allowing you to solicit feedback and share the email campaign with others prior to officially sending the campaign.
Options on the Review & Schedule screen
  1. On the Schedule Campaign modal, select the Send Date.
  2. Set the Send Time.
  3. Click Schedule.
    • Scheduled campaigns can be edited or switched back to a draft up until the scheduled send time.
scheduling the campaign send date and time

Edit draft and scheduled campaigns

If you clicked the Save & Exit button while creating an email campaign, it will be saved as a Draft. This allows you to return to your campaign to finish and send later. Alternatively, if you need to make an adjustment to a Scheduled campaign, you can return to adjust it as well.

Please note: you can not edit an email campaign that has already been sent.

To continue editing your saved draft or scheduled campaign:

  1. In the list of campaigns on the Email Campaigns page, unsent campaigns will display a Status of Draft or Scheduled. Find the one you want to edit and click on its Edit Campaign link.
    1. Use the filters to narrow down the campaigns returned on the screen.
    2. Click on the Scheduled or Draft links to return campaigns with only that status.
    3. To make a copy of the campaign, click the Duplicate Campaign link.
    4. For Scheduled campaigns, use the Move to Draft link to set it back to the Draft status.
    5. Click the Delete Campaign link if it is no longer needed.
  2. When first editing your campaign, you'll return to Step 1. Name & Setup screen. From there, you can return to where you left off by clicking any of the steps at the top of the page or using the Next buttons at the top of the page.
Returning to edit a draft or scheduled campaign

Manage email campaigns

Each campaign will have one of the following statuses:

  • Draft: the campaign has been saved, but not yet scheduled.
  • Scheduled: the campaign has been scheduled to be sent. You can still edit, reschedule, or cancel the email until the scheduled time.
  • Sent: the campaign has been sent to recipients and stats are available to view.

All campaigns, regardless of status, can be viewed on the Email Campaigns page. For campaigns that have been sent, LibConnect tracks, displays, and allows you to export general and specific statistics about the campaign performance.

  1. See totals for the number of campaigns sent, total reach (the number of unique recipients across all campaigns), total users that have opted to subscribe & unsubscribe, and the number of distribution lists created.
  2. See the total number of emails you've sent, your email allowance, and the date of your renewal.
  3. Use the filters to narrow down the campaigns returned on the screen.
  4. Use the SentScheduled, and Draft links to view campaigns matching the selected status.
    • When viewing the Sent campaigns, you'll be able to see a breakdown of recipients, delivered, opens, and bounces for all Sent campaigns on screen.
  5. Click on a Campaign Name to view general details about the selected campaign.
    • For Sent campaigns, you can see the general details of the campaign and a breakdown of delivered, opened, clicked, bounces, and unsubscribes.
    • For Scheduled and Draft campaigns, you can see the general details of the campaign and links to edit the campaign, if needed.
  6. Use the Actions ( ) icon for a campaign for links to:
    • View Campaign: available for all campaigns to see its general details.
    • Campaign Stats: available for Sent campaigns to see the statistics on the success of the campaign.
    • Duplicate Campaign: available for all campaigns to make a copy of the campaign.
    • Edit Campaign: available for Scheduled and Draft campaigns to make edits prior to sending.
    • Move to Draft: available for Scheduled campaigns to move them back to Draft status.
    • Delete Campaign: available for all campaigns to delete all records of the campaign from LibConnect.
  7. Click the Aggregated Stats link to view summary statistics for all of your sent email campaigns.
Managing your email campaigns.