How to Use This User’s Guide
This user’s guide describes the SmartEmail software’s Graphical User Interface (GUI) and how to use SmartEmail and each screen.
• Use this Introduction to get a basic overview of the SmartEmail software.
• Use the Getting Started chapter to start sending emails right away.
• Use the Troubleshooting chapter to diagnose and solve specific problems.
• Use the rest of the user’s guide to see in-depth descriptions of the SmartEmail software’s features.
The chapters are roughly arranged in order of which you are likely to use them when configuring the SmartEmail software.
Welcome to the SmartEmail Software
Congratulations on your sign up to the SmartEmail software! The SmartEmail software gives you an unprecedented ability to create, manage and automate large-scale SmartEmail marketing campaigns, mailing lists, and automatic responses.
Note: If you want to start using the SmartEmail software to send out emails right away, see Getting Started.
SmartEmail Software Overview
Here’s an overview of how the SmartEmail software works. The figure below shows how the SmartEmail software’s most important components interact. The rest of this chapter describes the components in this figure.
Figure 1 SmartEmail Software Overview
Contacts are the people about whom you store information in the SmartEmail software. These are the people to whom you send emails.
The SmartEmail software stores all of your contacts in contact lists.
You can have multiple contacts lists, and you can configure each contact list to work in a different way. For example, you can configure one contact list to send out automatic emails to its members every month, and configure another list to take no automatic action. You can also configure information differently for each contact list (such as the “from” address of the emails you send out, and your company name).
Manual Input, CSV Files and Website Forms
There are three ways to add contacts to a contact list: by inputting them manually one-by-one, by uploading a CSV (Comma-Separated Value) file with information on multiple contacts, or by having contacts fill out a form on your website.
Note: You can output a CSV file from many database and spreadsheet applications (Microsoft Excel, for example). When you upload a CSV file to the SmartEmail software, you can specify how the SmartEmail software should populate the contact list with the information in the file.
The SmartEmail software helps you create forms you can put on your website to let your customers sign up for your newsletter or emails.
Note: You can design forms in the SmartEmail software, and then paste the HTML directly into your web pages. You can also put some kinds of forms into the emails you send out.
There are three ways to add contacts to a contact list: by inputting them manually one-by-one, by uploading a CSV (Comma-Separated Value) file with multiple contacts’ information, or by having contacts fill out a form on your website.
Note: You can output a CSV file from many database and spreadsheet applications (Microsoft Excel, for example). When you upload a CSV file to the SmartEmail software, you can specify how it should populate the contact list with the information in the file.
Use HTML and plain-text templates to form the basis of your SmartEmail campaigns. Templates make your emails attractive and promote your brand identity.
Either use the templates included with the SmartEmail software, which are designed specifically to display correctly in all popular SmartEmail clients, or design your own using the SmartEmail software’s fully-featured HTML development editor and plain-text editor.
SmartEmail Campaigns and Split Tests
SmartEmail campaigns are the emails that you send out from the SmartEmail software to the people on a contact list.
SmartEmail campaigns are based on an HTML or plain-text template, and are sent to members of a contact list. You control when you send SmartEmail campaigns; you can send them at the click of a button, or schedule them to be sent out at a specific point in the future.
Split tests allow you to discover which version of an SmartEmail is most effective. You can create different variations on a SmartEmail (three versions with different subject lines, for example) and send them out to your contact list at random, in equal numbers. The statistics that are returned let you see which version has the highest open or click-through rate.
The SmartEmail software also supports automatic split testing, in which the “candidate” SmartEmail versions are sent to only a small proportion of your contact list, and the “winner” version is then sent to the remaining contacts in the list.
Autoresponders and Triggers
Like SmartEmail campaigns, autoresponders are emails based on HTML or plain-text templates. However, autoresponders are sent out automatically at pre-defined intervals after a contact is added to a contact list.
For example, you may want to send out one autoresponder as soon as contacts are added to the list (“Thanks for joining our mailing list!”) and another a month or a year after they join (“You’ve been reading our daily newsletter for 30 days now; tell us what you think!”).
Triggers are similar to autoresponders, but allow you even greater flexibility to automate SmartEmail and administrative tasks to happen automatically when certain other events occur. You can set up date-related triggers (so that everyone in your contact list receives a “Happy Birthday” SmartEmail on their birthday, for example) and event-related triggers (so that a contact is automatically added to a “warm leads” contact list when he or she opens your email).
Custom fields are variables that are added to a contact list. You can add any kind of variable you want (“City”, “Date of birth”, “Zip code”, “Hat size” – whatever you need). When you add a custom field to a contact list, you can then add it in to a SmartEmail campaign.
The SmartEmail software already has a lot of built-in custom fields that you can use to personalize your emails. For example, if you required that a contact fills in a “First name” field in the website form, you can then send out a SmartEmail that automatically addresses the contact as “Dear Joe”. This function is similar to the “mail merge” feature found in some word processing and database applications
Note: If you are going to use custom fields in emails, it is strongly recommended that you make them mandatory (a contact must fill them in to sign up). This way, you can be sure that you will have no embarrassing gaps in your emails.
The SmartEmail software allows you to track and view a variety of information about the emails you send; how many are opened (and when), how many links are clicked in each one (and which link was clicked), and so on.
Bounced emails are those that never reach their destination.
This can happen for numerous reasons. However, if you keep sending emails to an address that does not accept them, there is a danger that your SmartEmail server could be blacklisted (making it much more difficult to send subsequent emails to anybody). To avoid this, the SmartEmail software can track bounced emails, discover why they were bounced, and automatically act by deactivating contact’s SmartEmail addresses. The contact’s details remain in the list, but emails are no longer sent.
The SmartEmail software can tell the difference between emails that bounced for temporary reasons (a contact’s inbox was full, for example) and those that bounced for permanent reasons (the account does not exist, for example). The SmartEmail software can then take different action depending on the type of bounce that occurred.
Cron (an abbreviation of “chronograph”) is a program that activates other programs, commands and processes at pre-determined times and intervals. It is a way of scheduling tasks to happen automatically. The SmartEmail software server uses cron jobs to take care of sending out scheduled emails, handling autoresponders and bounced emails, and a variety of other tasks.
The SmartEmail software’s event log is a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) feature that allows you to see all of your interactions with a contact at a glance. Information about SmartEmail software-related events (for example, each time a SmartEmail is sent to a contact) is logged automatically, and you can also manually log all sorts of other information (for example, each time you call or meet a contact in person).