Express is built to follow the Marketing 3-4-5™ Content Distribution approach where content lives on your website and you distribute it out via email (as well as to social media, through Local Connections™, etc).
You can send quick messages without selecting content but most of your newsletters require you to include blog posts (articles) and events. You can also include content from your Local Connections™ to amplify their efforts.
Explore this 30-minute recorded webinar to avoid common email marketing mistakes and get a walk-through of setting up and using Express to streamline sending emails for your business or organization.
Using Express Email Newsletters
The Express Email feature is available on all paid accounts but currently must be requested.
There are already a lot of capabilities that help you get the most out of this easy-to-use feature. Once set up, we expect you can send email newsletters in under 5 minutes.
You access Express Emails (1) using the nav bar on the left (click the hamburger icon on mobile to access it).
Using Contact Lists (2)
In order to send targeted messages - don't call them "email blasts", that just sounds spammy - you need to set up Contact lists.
If you send different types of content you may want a list for each interest i.e. Coupons and offers, Upcoming Events, etc.
Alternatively, you may want to set up Contact Lists based on the type of relationship, i.e. customer, volunteer, members. Your Contact Lists can be public, i.e. the subscriber can adjust which list they appear in, or they can be private. Many businesses will have a combination of public and private lists.
Once you have your lists, you can add Contacts to them.
Adding Contacts to your CRM
Contacts and subscribers live in the Contacts section in the left-hand nav bar (click the hamburger icon on mobile) and can be added to your Locable Contact Database in a few different ways:
You add them manually
You import them in bulk
Someone completes a form
Someone initiates a customer review from your review generation page
Someone opts into your email newsletter from a subscribe form
With the exception of #5 above, you'll need to manually subscribe your contacts if they've previously opted-in or given you permission.
On their contact record, click to mark them as a Subscriber - you can skip sending them a confirmation email but you will get a warning as we want to avoid being spammy.
We use double-opt-in so that when someone opts in via a form on your website, they'll get an email to confirm their subscription - they can also select their interests after confirming if there are any public lists.
Once subscribed, you can add them to specific lists.
Create Opt-in Forms (3)
From the Express Email dashboard, you can Create Opt-in Form to add to your website.
Each form can be configured with a few options
Name is the internal name you give it - this is to stay organized
The Header is a prompt to your audience and should be clear and concise
You will need to select 'Email Subscribe Form' in the Form Type field. This will create a subscribe form that will automatically add the submitted contact details to your 'All Subscribers' Contact List.
Description can explain more details - you want to manage expectations about what you'll send and perhaps how often so people actually open your emails.
Show public contact lists allows people to opt into the things they care about most - they can always change this later.
You can choose which Lists to automatically associate people with - this is useful for private lists but you may want to auto-subscribe people into a certain public list, for instance, if you have a specific form on your blog page you can assume they want to get more blog updates.
You can decide who, if anyone, will receive an email notification when this form is submitted.
You may adjust the fields in your form, adding or removing input fields. It will default to require the subscriber's name and email address. The shorter the form the higher the conversion rate, and they can't receive a newsletter through email without an email address, but obviously knowing their name is helpful.
Be sure to click Create Form once you have finished your subscribe form setup.
Embedding your Subscribe Form on your website
Once you have created your Subscribe form, you will need to embed it on one of your web pages.
Sending Express Email Newsletters (4)
Let's do this thing!
Sending an email is the easiest piece of this whole process. Simply click Create Newsletter the follow the steps.
This section is where you define the basic information about each newsletter:
Give it a Campaign Name - This is private to you and useful for staying organized or reviewing past email campaigns, we like to include a date for skip reference
Your Subject Line is what people see in their inbox, it's important. It should be compelling and not too long or too short.
Summary - This is the intro to your email. Use it as a preview or include any quick message that doesn't need to be posted to your website. This is where you can add custom messages, hyperlinks, and other material that doesn't currently appear on your website as a blog post or event, for example.
NOTE: The text editor does not support pasting images into the Summary area. This is an area for text only.
Continue to select which content to include in your email
On the left column, you'll see Available Content (1) which can be added to your newsletter by clicking its associated "+"
By default, this column shows your content and your Local Connections™ content but you can filter available content by Source (2) i.e. just your contact, find content by specific business in your CRM, or by showing results from all businesses in a given Local Network.
You can then filter by type of content (3) including Business Blogs, Events, Jobs/Volunteer Opportunities, and Offer... and/or by keyword search (4)... be sure to click Search to apply any filters.
As you add content, you'll see the Selected Content column (5) grow. By default, the content will display in your newsletter in this order: Events, Blog posts, Jobs/Volunteer Opportunities, and Offers.
NOTE: Blog posts will display the most recently posted content first. Events will display the soonest event first.
One piece of selected content can be featured by clicking the star icon (1) and will appear as the very first piece of content in the email.
The rest of the email will be organized and grouped events with events and blog posts with blog posts - if you've added a Section Header it will appear on the next page when you click Continue(2).
Once you've selected your content, you can give it a once-over before sending or scheduling your email.
The Preview is a near approximation of the email so you can review how things appear
You can jump back to edit the subject & summary or the content included
We recommend that you Send a Test Email using the button at the top right of this page, which will send it to yourself for review in a real email client before you send it to your chosen Contact List
You can review email details including the title and the sender/reply-to email address (this is where emails will go if someone hits reply)
You can see how many sends you have remaining based on your plan - during BETA we're not limiting sends but don't abuse it ;)
Select your recipients - this is where the Contact Lists come in
You can schedule the email to send in the future or leave it blank to send it now
Click the Green button to send your email or make the schedule live.
From there, your email will send to your list and you'll start seeing open and click rate information. You should also receive a confirmation of the send via email when it goes out.
This is a BETA feature so we welcome any and all feedback with respect to your experience, features, etc. Our goal is to deliver the fastest and easiest way to send email newsletters.