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 Knowledgebase
Knowledgebase
Marketing FAQ

Below are the answers to some important questions regarding the Marketing section of the SocketLabs On-Demand Control Panel. For detailed, step-by-step instructions on creating and sending email using our tools see our articles  Your First Mailing or Your First Drip Campaign. We also provide instructions for Managing Recipient Lists and a Content Design FAQ.


Q: What is the difference between mailings and drip campaign events?

A: A mailing is composed of content that you would like to send to recipients on a specific list (or multiple lists). Mailings are sent a single time after which we provide reporting data regarding how many emails were Sent vs. Failed as well as open and click tracking.

A drip campaign, however, is a set of messages that you would like to send out periodically over time. These are repeated messages that are sent once to each new recipient that you add to a particular list. For example, you may want new customers to receive a welcome email an hour after being added to your list, or perhaps you'll send a few timely new-user tutorials over the course of several days. That's where drip campaigns come in handy!

 

Q: When exactly will my drip campaign events be sent out?

A: When you choose the send after time for an drip campaign event, that refers to how much time you wish to elapse between two events: a recipient being added to your list and the content you chose being sent to that new recipient. So if you set an event to occur after 10 minutes, an emaiol address you've added to your list will receive that message 10 minutes after you add them.

If you enter '0' as the Send After time, the drip campaign will be sent immediately.

 

Q: How does pausing a drip campaign event affect which messages are sent?

A: If a drip campaign event is paused, we will stop sending it out right away. Once you click Play to reactivate the drip campaign event, it will attempt to "catch up". All events that were missed due to the pause in the past 12 hours will go out. If a drip campaign event is paused for longer than that, any messages older than 12 hours will not be sent upon reactivation.

 

Q: What happens if I make changes to a piece of content after I've told a drip campaign event to send that content?

A: Absolutely nothing about your drip campaign will change unless you manually update the event's content setting. When you create a drip campaign event, our system saves a copy of the content that you chose as it is when you create the event. It uses that saved copy when sending email messages. This way you can continue to tweak and change your original content without worrying that an event will send out a version that is halfway through editing or that you're simply not ready to take live yet.

When you are ready for the event to send out the newest version of your content, edit the event and select the desired content from the drop-down menu. Example: If your content's name is "January Newsletter" the cached version will look like this, "January Newsletter (Cached on: 10/1/2016 12:00)". Selecting "January Newsletter" and submitting your changes to the drip campaign event will instruct our system to save a new copy of the current version of this content.

 

Q: How should I format the information in the contact lists I want to upload?

A: Our Marketing system allows for the upload of a spreadsheet containing your contacts' information. This file must be in .csv format. In order to differentiate between fields of information, each cell must be comma delimited. Most spreadsheet applications (such as Microsoft Excel and OpenOffice Spreadsheet) do this automatically in the background if you are using default settings.

Additionally, the very first cell in each column needs to contain a header to indicate what variety of data is listed beneath: EmailAddress, FirstName, LastName, PhoneNumber, FavoriteColor, etc. One column must contain email addresses but all other types of data are optional.

If you leave a cell completely blank, all other cells in that row will be shifted over by one space. This is why it is crucial to comma delimit every single field, even those with no content. Again, this is the default setting in most applications so you will not likely have to do this yourself.

Should you need to include commas in the actual data for a particular field, simply enclose the entire contents of the cell in double quotes. This will prevent our system from using any commas contained within the quotes as delimiters, which would separate your data into multiple fields. Below are examples of content you can add to a single cell and how our system handles it after an upload.

  • Recognized as an empty field:    ,  (in background for automatically comma-delimited files)

  • Recognized as 1 single field:      Brown Blue Orange

  • Recognized as 3 distinct fields:  BrownBlueOrange

  • Recognized as 1 single field:     “Brown, Blue, Orange”

More information on list formatting is available here.

 

Q: How do you handle duplicate recipients?

A: When you upload a list our system will check each new recipient against your existing recipients, if any, by attempting to match the email address. If an exact match is found, we update all fields with the newest information provided. For any fields that have been left blank in the newest file you uploaded, the most recent non-blank entry will be kept.

 

Q: Why did your system reject the contact list I tried to upload?

A: There are a couple possible reasons for this, most of which will appear on the page when you attempt to initiate a file upload. One possibility is that you have selected an unsupported file type. We currently require all contact lists to be in .csv format. This format is available when saving a file in Microsoft Excel, Open Office Spreadsheet, and numerous similar applications.

Another possibility is that the content of the file could be unacceptable. For security reasons, bulk contact addition will be temporarily disabled for your server if you attempt 5 bad file uploads.

 

If you have a question we have not yet answered in our knowledgebase, please feel free to contact us!


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