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Communicating With Customers and Members

SmartSpace  allows businesses to communicate with their customers and or members in a number of ways.

  • Newsletters
  • Bulk Email through Customer/Membership Reports
  • Bulk Email through Groups

Information on how to fully use the newsletter system will be available soon. This content deals with using the simple Bulk Email system available with most SmartSpace modules.

Selecting Email Targets

Department and Groups

If you are using the Groupie module, you can send emails to all stored in related groups. Using the Department hierarchy, you can refine the targets you wish to send emails to.

  • Click on the "Email" link in the group instance
  • Select the required scope and level of the mailout with the drop down list
  • Create your email as described below

Customer/Membership Reports

Navigate to Customer/Membership Manager > Reports. Here you can filter those in your database by a number of selectors.

  • The link, Show Advanced Filters, is situated near the top of the reports page
    • Click this link to reveal a wide range of filters
    • When selecting filters, be aware that choosing mulitple filters will result in records which meet all filter values
    • Filters are purely optional
  • To use this system for bulk emails, you must select a report whih prints to screen, not an export report
    • Only use the Membership reports area when wanting to exclusively get those who fit the memership type selected
    • Otherwise use the Database reports button
  • When the report is provided and there are records returned use the button "Email to This List" which appears at the bottom of the report
    • This leads you to the bulk email system where you can
      • Review email targets
      • Create emails
      • Add additional information
  • This system sends individualised emails to each target commencing with "Hi [FirstName]" where FirstName is the first name of the email target

Important Points on Bulk Emails

  • Each email automatically starts with the salutation above
  • The emails sent through this system are plain text emails - html code will not be recognised so do not attempt to use it
  • Attachments are not supported in this system
    • Attachments are not desireable with bulk emails as it means sending sometimes large attachments multiple times
    • This can put extreme loads on a mailserver causing it to crash or time out
  • Instead of attachments, upload files onto the server and send a link - it is easy, quick and simple for all to use - see below
  • Break the email up into small chunks - do not show one mass of text
  • Footers can be added to the email
  • Read the additional options carefully so that the required selections are made.

Recommendations on Communications

Unless your communication is short (perhaps up to about 4 short paragraphs), it is best to create separate content on your website and link to it in the email (where the content module is available)

  • Website content is often more readable and can be laid out better
  • Your customer lands on the website where they can access all menus and associated navigation

Creating and Linking Content

  • Create the required content (a page or a number of pages) in a content category of the Content Manager
    • Either use the Newsletter or Latest News category or  create a new category
    • Take note of the ID's of the content you wish to link to and check the links to ensure they work correctly
  • Go to the Customer Manager > Reports  or Group Departments > Department Instance > Email and select those you want to send the emails to(see above)
    • Filter or define as required
  • Once in the Bulk Email system, ensure you insert a memorable or an interesting subject line which will encourage your customers to open the email
    • Break the different topics of the email into different paragraphs
    • ***********************************************************************************
    • If necessary, use asterisks or other characters to highlight important points
    • ***********************************************************************************
    • Always write links using the full url and always place on a separate line as line breaks within the link will break the link effect eg
      • This will appear as a link in most email programs although it will not look like a link when you are creating it
    • Make short points using stars or arrows
  • If you wish to include other documents, usually save them as a pdf, then upload onto the website using the upload file feature in the Content Manager
    • Upload them onto the server
    • Right Click on the resultant link to view the file and ensure your upload was correct and successful
    • Copy the address of the file using Ctrl+C for later pasting in your email
  • You can send extra information using the selectors at the bottom of the form
    • Always send the unsubscribe link  when sending non-vital emails
    • Sending the unsubscribe link also means that those who have unsubscribed from your system, will not get the email
  • You can review the content of the email and make changes if necessary, before sending
  • Depending on the number of emails sent, it can take some minutes to send all emails
    • Do not atttempt to press the send button more than once
    • Do not hit the back button during this process - use the navigation provided
    • Do not click the back button after you leave the page as the emails may get sent more than once
  • Once sent, the system provides a report on
    • Those who the email has been sent to
    • Those who could not be sent the email
    • Those who are unsubscribed
    • Those who do not have an email address
  • You can export these lists and use in creating Mail Merge documents in popular word processing systems, if required
  • You can access a record of this email and all the targets, using the "Manage Communications" link in the Reports Menu at the right of the page

Tracking Visitors From Emails

You can track the success of your email by viewing the stats for your landing pages in Google analytics (if you are have a Google analytics account)

  • Open up your Google Analytics website account and click on "Content"
  • Insert the name of the landing page in the filter, near the bottom of the report to get stats for the required page

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