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.
Using Express Email Newsletters
The Express Email feature is a brand new feature in BETA but 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 is 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 targetted 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 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.
Contacts 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-in to your email newsletter from a subscribe form
With the exception of #5 above, you'll need to subscribe your contacts manually 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 just to stay organized
The Label is a prompt and should be clear and concise
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.
Layouts is how the form is presented, there will be more coming soon
You may choose to require the subscriber's name (in addition to email address) or skip that part. The shorter the form the higher the conversion rate but obviously knowing their name is nice.
Show public contact lists allows people to opt in to 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 you have a specific form on your blog page you can assume they want to get more blog updates.
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.
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 it's associated "+"
By default, this column shows your content and your Local Connections™ content but you can filter available content by Source (2), by type of content (3) Marketing Messages or Events, 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.
One piece of selected content can be featured by clicking the star icon (1).
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 which will send it to yourself for review in a real email client
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.