Newsletter Tab

The Newsletter tab is the hub for sending and tracking newsletters on Vae. Vae allows all accounts to create an unlimited number of E-Mail mailing lists. the only charge for newsletter sending is if you exceed the number of individual sends allotted in your plan.

The default subtab is the All Campaigns tab, which we consider the main dashboard for newsletter activity. However, it is easier to conceptualize the newsletter process by starting with the Lists subtab, so that is how we proceed in this manual.

Lists

The Lists subtab allows you to manage Newsletter Lists. Clicking the Lists tab brings you to a list of all of your Newsletter lists. You can click on the list name to be taken to the List Dashboard for that list.

Creating a Newsletter List

To create a new newsletter list, click the Create New link at the top right corner of the Newsletter Lists list:

An Add List form will be displayed with the following fields:

  1. List Name - The name of the list. This will be displayed internally in the backstage on the Lists tab. It will also be displayed to users on the subscribe and unsubscribe pages.

  2. Default E-Mail “From” E-Mail Address - This is the address that E-Mails sent to this list will appear to be coming from. If you would like to be able to receive replies to your list, provide a real E-Mail address here. You may also provide something like [email protected]. You may also include a name that will be displayed by entering the name and E-Mail address in the format John Doe <[email protected]>

  3. Accepting Signups? - If unchecked, the signup pages will not allow any new members to subscribe. Good for creating closed or secret lists.

Click the Add List button to complete the process of adding the list.

Editing a Newsletter List

To edit a list, simply click the Edit icon next to that list in the Newsletter Lists list. This will open an Edit List form with the same fields as above

Click the Save List button to complete the process of editing the list.

Removing a Newsletter List

To remove a list, simply click the red Delete icon next to that list in the Newsletter Lists list:

The list will be deactivated immediately. All subscriber information, view/click tracking data, and past campaigns will be deleted and cannot be recovered.

List Dashboard

Clicking the name of a list on the Lists tab or All Campaigns tab opens the List Dashboard for that list:

The list dashboard contains links titled Campaigns and Manage Subscribers that will take you to the Campaigns and Subscribers tabs, respectively.

The section labeled List Impact shows two graphs detailing performance of the list. The top graph shows views and clicks over time, while the bottom graph shows subscriptions and unsubscriptions over time. You can change the timeframe of the graphs by adjusting the dropdown menu at the top right of the List Impact section.

On the right side of the List Dashboard, Vae displays the URL that people can use to subscribe to this list. You should publish or link to that URL on your website. The end part of this URL also makes up the code necessary if you want to enable subscribing to this list via the <v:newsletter> tag.

Subscribers

Clicking the Manage Subscribers link on the List Dashboard opens the Subscribers tab. It lists all subscribers to the selected newsletter list:

Adding a Subscriber

To add a new subscriber to the list, click the Create New link at the top right corner of the Subscribers for XYZ Mailing Lists list:

An Add Subscriber form will be displayed with the following fields:

  1. E-Mail Address - E-Mail address of the subscriber.

Click the Add Subscriber button to complete the process of adding the subscriber to the list:

Import Multiple E-Mail Addresses as Subscribers

To import a list of E-Mail addresses as subscribers, click the Import E-Mail Addresses link at the bottom right corner of the Subscribers for XYZ Mailing Lists list:

You will be taken to a page with an Add Many Subscribers box. Paste in your list of E-Mail addresses, one per line, and click the Submit E-Mail Addresses button:

Each E-Mail address will be added to the list.

Caution

This function is intended to support easy migration from other list software. You may only add subscribers that have opted-in to your list on another platform. You are not allowed to import lists that you have purchased or otherwise acquired from a third-party. Any violation of this policy will result in suspension or cancellation of your account.

Editing a Subscriber

To edit a subscriber, simply click the Edit icon next to that subscriber in the Subscribers for XYZ Mailing List list:

This will open an Edit Subscriber form with the same fields as above. Click the Save Subscriber button to complete the process of editing the subscriber.

Removing a Subscriber

To remove a subscriber, click the red Delete icon next to that subscriberin the Subscribers for XYZ Mailing List list. The subscriber will be removed immediately and will not receive any new messages from the list.

Campaigns

The Campaigns tab is the core of the Vae newsletter system. A campaign is one newsletter that is sent out to a list or group of targeted recipients.

Tip

The Campaigns tab can be accessed in two forms: as the All Campaigns tab when you first click onto the main Newsletter tab, or by clicking Campaigns from the List Dashboard. When accesed as All Campaigns, all campaigns are shown, and the Schedule or Begin New Campaign link will ask which list to launch the new campaign on. When accessed from a specific list, only campaigns specific to that list are shown, and the Schedule or Begin New Campaign link will assume that the new campaign is on the selected list.

Campaign Lifecycle

Campaigns go through many stages from creation to final delivery. When you first create a campaign, it will have the status Waiting for Confirmation, which means that the campaign is on hold until you approve it. After you view the campaign and confirm it, it will have the status Scheduled, which means that the campaign is ready to be sent and will be sent either as soon as possible (for campaigns without a future send date) or at the date you specified in the campaign. You may still edit the campaign at this point as long as it hasn’t begun to send. Editing a campaign automatically returns it to the Waiting for Confirmation status.

Once our system begins to deliver the campaign, the status is changed to Sending. Once this has happened, you may no longer edit or delete the camapgin. Once our system has delivered the entire campaign, the status is changed to Sent. Once the campaign is in this stage, you may view analytics on the campaign. Note that because receiving E-Mail servers can be busy, this does not necessarily mean that all your recipients have received the campaign at that time. It does mean that the messages have all been handed off to our sending mail servers, which will keep trying to send the message for up to 3 days.

Schedule or Begin New Campaign

To create a new campaign, click the Schedule or Begin New Campaign link at the top right corner of the Campaigns list:

Tip

If you were on the All Campaigns tab, a box labelled New Campaign - Select Recipients will be displayed. If you have the Customers tab enabled, it will be divided into 2 sections. These sections are Send to an Existing List and Target Specific Customers:

If you do not have the Customers tab enabled, only existing lists will be displayed.

Click on a list name to begin a new campaign on that list:

Or enter targeting criteria into the boxes under Target Specific Customers to begin a targeted campaign. You may target customers by Country, Stage, Tag, Number of Orders, Total Order Amount, and Order Timeframe. The targeting criteria must all match for a customer to be included in the mailing. The number of customers matching your targeting criteria will be displayed on the following page.

A Schedule or Begin New Campaign form will be displayed:

It will have the following fields:

  1. Campaign Name - The name of the campaign. This will be displayed internally on the backstage and will not be shown to subscribers in any way.

  2. Campaign Start Date- Date to send the campaign. Entering today’s date or a past date will start the campaign as soon as it is confirmed. Entering a future date will start the campaign on midnight of that date.

    Tip

    We plan to offer more fine-grained timing options within the next couple of months.

  3. Design Template - The template to use for this campaign. To add or manage templates, go to the Templates tab. Changing this value will refresh the page to allow any additional structures for that template to be loaded into the form.

  4. E-Mail “From” E-Mail Address - This is the address that E-Mails will appear to be coming from. If you would like to be able to receive replies to your list, provide a real E-Mail address here. You may also provide something like [email protected]. You may also include a name that will be displayed by entering the name and E-Mail address in the format John Doe <[email protected]>

  5. E-Mail Subject - Subject line of the E-Mail that will be sent.

  6. E-Mail Main Body - Main Body of the E-Mail that will be sent. This field uses a modified version of the rich text editor that is used on the Content tab for the Rich Text structure. You may style your E-Mail text using Bold, Italic, Underline, Strikethrough, Superscript, and Subscript. You may also add ordered lists, bulleted lists, headers, links, and images. Unlike on the Content tab, images uploaded here will not be resized in any way, so please ensure that the images that you upload are properly sized for your E-Mail.

    Caution

    Many E-Mail clients cannot receive images, or at least do not enable images by default. Vae will automatically send a text version of your E-Mail to accomodate this situation, however, this means that you should avoid putting important content in the images in your E-Mail.

If you selected a template that was built using the VaeML integration method, additional fields may be shown. These fields are specific to your template and will be used to populate the template.

Click the Add Campaign button to complete the process of creating the campaign:

You will be taken back to the Campaigns list.

Confirming Campaign

Before a campaign will be sent, you must confirm the campaign. In the Campaigns list, click the link for Confirm Campaign on the line of the campaign you would like to confirm:

You will be brought to the Confirm Campaign page:

Please review the E-Mail and make sure you’re satisfied with the grammar and layout.

If all is well, confirm the campaign by clicking the Confirm this Campaign button at the bottom of the page. Once you click the button, the campaign will be cleared for sending and may send immediately.

If you are not satisfied, you may click the Make Changes link to edit the campaign. This will take you to the same screen described in the following section.

Editing a Campaign

To edit a campaign that has not yet begun to send, simply click the Edit icon next to that campaign in the Campaigns list:

This will open an Edit Campaign form with the same fields as the Schedule or Begin New Campaign form. Click the Save Campaign button to complete the process of editing the campaign.

Once you save the campaign, it will need to be confirmed before it can be sent. Please refer to the above section on confirming the campaign.

Removing a Campaign

To remove a campaign that has not yet begun to send, simply click the red Delete icon next to that campaign in the Campaigns list:

The campaign will be removed immediately and will not be sent.

Viewing a Campaign that is sending or sent

To view a campaign that is sending or has been sent, simply click the View icon (looks like a blue page with a green arrow) next to that campaign in the Campaigns list:

This will allow you to view the campaign as it was sent.

Once viewing a campaign, you may go back to the list by clicking the back button on your browser or by clicking the Campaignstab in the tab navigation bar.

Viewing Analytics for a Campaign

To view analytics for campaign that has been sent, simply click the Analytics icon (looks like a bar graph) next to that campaign in the Campaigns list:

This will take you to the Campaign Impact page for that campaign. This page includes information about the number of views and clicks by day, as well as a list of the total number of links that were clicked.

From the Campaign Impact page, you may go back to the list by clicking the back button on your browser or by clicking the Campaignstab in the tab navigation bar.

Templates

Newsletter templates are HTML-based templates that are used to style newsletters. Generally these templates are created by the same designer that designs the rest of the website. The Templates tab is only available to Vae users that have access to the Site tab. A template must be created before any newsletters can be sent.

As Vae has evolved, we have developed two different methods for integrating your templates. The original method, called the Simple integration method, allows you to specify simple HTML code as your design template. As the name suggests, it is much simpler to integrate. If you wish to use this integration method, you may skip the next section of this manual.

VaeML Integration Method

A more advanced, newer method called the VaeML integration method, allows you to create structures and provide your own VaeML markup that will be rendered for each newsletter.

This is awesome because it extends the full flexibility of Vae’s content management model to newsletters. A downside is that it is more difficult to set up.

To use the VaeML integration method, you should go to the Site tab and create a new collection that will represent your newsletter template. By convention, name your collection the plural form of the template name followed by the word Newsletters. Example: ABC Widgets Default Template Newsletters. Set the collection to be hidden and give it a permalink. This step is important because without a permalink and hidden, you will not be able to integrate this collection on the Add Template form.

Add as many structures as you would like to your collection. If you use nested collections, you must make sure that they are exposed via the Edit entries inline when editing parent? option, as you will not be able to access them otherwise. Indirectly, this means that you may not place file structures (including image and video) or collections inside nested collections, because these structures will not be displayed. In practice, this limitation doesn’t seem to be much of a problem.

Create a HTML template file named according to the permalink that you created. Inside this file, you may access VaeML and PHP as normal, and all the structures you created will be available. Additionally, you must use the <v:yield /> tag to insert the contents of the body of the E-Mail as prepared on the campaign screen.

Your template will be rendered when the campaign is confirmed. If you would like to test your template, you may create a test campaign and go to its confirm page. Any refresh of that page will reload your template.

Creating a Template

To create a new newsletter template, click the Create New link at the top right corner of the Templates list:

An Add Template form will be displayed with the following fields:

  1. Template Name - The name of the template. This will be displayed in the select box that prompts users to select a template on the Schedule or Begin New Campaign screen.

  2. Integration Method - Choice of Simple or VaeML integration method. Please see above discussion of the two available integration methods.

  3. HTML Code - Displayed only if the Simple integration method is selected. This is the actual HTML code of the E-Mail template. All CSS should be inline. We recommend using tables for positioning, avoiding the use of floating <div> tags, and designing for a 510px width.

    For helpful guidelines on E-Mail template design, check out this article from Campaign Monitor.

    Your code should include a <v:yield /> tag. This is where the body of the message will be inserted into the template. The <v:yield /> tag must be formatted exactly as such: <v:yield/> (without a space) will not work.

  4. Collection - Displayed only if the VaeML integration method is selected. This is the collection that you created to represent your template. See the discussion about the VaeML integration method in the previous section for more information.

  5. Footer - Text that will be inserted below the unsubscribe link. Generally this is used to include copyright information as well as a contact address. U.S. law generally requires that companies sending mass mailings include a contact address. Please contact your attorney or other advisor for specific information.

Click the Add List button to complete the process of adding the list.

Editing a Template

To edit a template, simply click the Edit icon next to that template in the Templates list:

This will open an Edit Template form with the same fields as above. Click the Save Template button to complete the process of editing the template.

Removing a Template

To remove a template, simply click the red Delete icon next to that template in the Templates list:

The template will be deactivated immediately.