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Using Email Campaigns for Marketing

Learn about the types of email campaigns in Vtiger, how to run an email campaign, and measure its success by getting the metrics.
S
Sabqat Ruba
11 Feb, 2021 - Updated 2 months ago

 Introduction

Email campaigns are a sequence of marketing emails. They are designed to market a business or a product and contain promotional offers and valuable content for the subscribers. 

 

Terms and conditions for sending an email campaign

When you land on the Email Campaigns page for the first time, you will see the terms shown below. You must accept the terms to use email campaigns for marketing purposes.

Email Campaign Types

Vtiger CRM allows you to create two types of email campaigns:

  1. Regular

Regular email campaigns are the promotional emails that you send to your contacts. You can send them immediately or at a scheduled time.

 

For example, if you are selling some of your products at a discount and you want to let your customers know,  you can send them an email campaign. 

 
  1. Autoresponder 

Autoresponder email campaigns are the emails that you send in response to the contacts’ reaction to your previous email campaign. They are sent automatically when triggered at the scheduled date and time. You must set up trigger conditions, the date, and the time at which they must be sent.

 

For example, you send a Christmas offer to your customers through an email campaign. When they buy a product from the offer, you send them an autoresponder email with a Thank You note. The autoresponder is triggered automatically when they buy a product from the offer mentioned in the email.

 

Handy information!

You can identify regular and autoresponder email campaigns by their icons. 

Feature Availability and Limits

 

Sales Starter

Sales Professional

Sales Enterprise

All-in-One Professional

All-in-One Enterprise

Feature Availability

Email Campaigns

Autoresponder Email Campaigns

 

-

 

 

 

 

Email Campaign Scheduling

 

 

 

 

 

Free Monthly Credits

10,000 or 1000/user

20,000 or 2000/user

25,000 or 2500/user

20,000 or 2000/user

25,000 or 2500/user

Prerequisites for Sending an Email Campaign

GDPR 

General Data Protection Regulation or GDPR is a law that requires you to get affirmative and provable consent to send EU citizens marketing emails. You can do this by obtaining a double opt-in from them.

 

What is a double opt-in

A double opt-in is a confirmation of a subscriber’s wish to receive your email campaigns.

 

To obtain the subscriber's confirmation, you must:

  • Send an email to the subscribed email address
  • In the subject of the email, explain that the subscriber must click the link in the email to permit you to send them marketing emails

If the subscriber clicks the link in the email, then they are ‘double opted in’, which confirms that they have agreed to receive email marketing. This ensures that you can legally send your marketing emails to them.

 

To learn more about GDPR, click here.

Email settings

Before you send an email campaign, you must set the email opt-in required for email delivery. When a contact has opted-in, it means that you have their consent to send them marketing emails.

 

Follow these steps to set the required email opt-in:

  1. Log in to your CRM account.
  2. Click the User Menu on the top right corner of the page.
  3. Click Settings.
  4. Look for the Configuration section.
  5. Select Email Settings.
  6. Scroll down to the Required Opt-in for Email Delivery setting.
  7. Choose the suitable opt-ins from the Email Opt-ins drop-down.
  8. Click Save.
 

What are the different opt-in types

You can see the Email Opt-in field in a contact record. Here are the different values it can take: 

  • None - Set automatically when a contact’s primary email is edited or changed 
  • Single opt-in (user) - Set manually by a user when a contact agrees to receive marketing emails or automatically when a contact is created
  • Single opt-in (webform) - Set automatically when contacts submit a webform with the email marketing checkbox selected
  • Double opt-in - Set automatically when a contact clicks the double opt-in email link
  • Opted out (user) - Set manually by a user when a contact requests to opt out of email marketing
  • Opted out (contact) - Set automatically when a contact unsubscribes from their email preferences page

Which opt-in types allow you to send email campaigns

You cannot send marketing emails to contacts with the Email Opt-in field set to ‘None’, ‘Opted out (user)’, or ‘Opted out (contact)’. 

 

Vtiger delivers email campaigns only to contacts with the opt-in set to: 

  • Single opt-in (user)
  • Single opt-in (webform)
  • Double opt-in
 

Note

  • When a hard bounce occurs on a contact’s email address, then the Email Opt-in field in the contact record changes to Opted out (contact).
  • When a soft bounce occurs on a contact’s email address five times, then the Email Opt-in field in the contact record changes to Opted out (contact).
  • When a contact unsubscribes from your emails, then the Email Opt-in field in the contact record changes to Opted out (contact)
 

What are soft and hard bounces

  • Soft bounces occur when emails are dispatched but the recipient’s mailbox is temporarily down or the server is full to receive your emails.
  • Hard bounces are emails that are permanently undelivered. Typos in the email address or invalid domain names cause hard bounces.

Ensuring email delivery for opted-out contacts 

To ensure that your ad hoc, workflow, and other emails get delivered to your contacts who have opted out of marketing emails, you must configure some settings.

 

Follow these steps to ensure email delivery:

  1. Log in to your CRM account.
  2. Click the User Menu on the top right corner of the page.
  3. Click Settings.
  4. Look for the Configuration section.
  5. Select Email Settings.
  6. Go to the Required Opt-in for Email Delivery section.
  7. Enable the following checkboxes:
    • Allow sending ad-hoc emails to contacts that have opted-out
    • Allows sending workflow emails to contacts that have opted-out
    • Automatically send a double opt-in email after webform submission

Creating a Regular Email Campaign

Follow these steps to create a regular email campaign:

  1. Log in to your CRM account.
  2. Click the Main Menu.
  3. Go to Marketing.
  4. Select Email Campaigns.
  5. Click +New Email Campaign.
  6. Enter the Campaign Name.
  7. Select Regular
  8. Click Next.
    • The email campaign gets created in Draft mode.
  9. Enter the following details:
    • Recipients
  1. Select a marketing list from the drop-down or click Create New Marketing List to create a new one. To learn about creating a marketing list, click here.
  2. Enable Email will be sent to all subscribers to send the email campaign to all the subscribers on the marketing list.
    • Enable Choose a segment to send the email campaign to a filtered list of subscribers on the marketing list. Click Create a segment to filter the list of subscribers by applying conditions. To learn about creating a segment, click here.
  3. Click Save.
  • Sender Information
  1. Enter From Name, From Email, and Reply To email address. 
  • Note: You must verify the From Email before sending an email campaign.
  1. Assign the email campaign to a user under the Assigned To field.
  2. Enable Real Time Alerts to receive alerts when the recipients open the email. 
  3. Enable Google Analytics Tracking to allow Google Analytics to track the clicks on links in the email body.
  4. Click Save.
  • Content
    • Selecting an existing template: 
  1. Click Select Template to choose an email template for your emails. To learn about creating/editing email templates, click here.
  2. Look for your desired template by using the search bar.
  3. Select a template.
  4. Edit the template if required. 
  5. Click Done.
    • An unsubscribe link is added to the bottom of the email.
  • Designing a new template:
    1. Click Design from scratch.
    2. Click one of these tabs – Themes, Blueprints, My Templates, or By coding. You can create a template by picking one of these options.
    3. Click Done after designing the template.
      • An unsubscribe link is added to the bottom of the email.
  1. Click Send Now
 

Handy tip!

You can also test an email campaign before sending it to your contacts. Click the Test Email button on the top. The email campaign is sent to your username configured as the Primary Email in My Preferences

Scheduling a Regular Email Campaign

When you do not want to send an email campaign immediately, you can pick a future date and time. The email campaign will be sent to the subscribers at the chosen time. 

 

Follow these steps to schedule an email campaign:

  1. Log in to your CRM account.
  2. Click the Main Menu.
  3. Go to Marketing.
  4. Select Email Campaigns.
  5. Click +New Email Campaign.
  6. Enter the Campaign Name and select Regular
  7. Click Next.
  8. Fill out the recipient information, sender information, email content, etc.
  9. Click the downward arrow beside Send Now in the top-right corner.
  10. Click the Calendar icon to pick a date.
  11. Click the Clock icon to pick a time. 
  12. Click Schedule Later.
 

The status of a scheduled campaign is set to Queued. A scheduled campaign is sent only after its cron job runs. Go to Settings > Automation > Scheduler > EmailCampaigns to view the cron job.

 

You can reschedule or cancel the campaign by using the Reschedule Campaign or Cancel Campaign options. 

 

Note: When you cancel a scheduled campaign, its status changes to Draft and you will get your email credits back. 

Canceling or Rescheduling a Scheduled Campaign

If you no longer want to send a scheduled email campaign, you can cancel it. If you want to change the time of a campaign, you can reschedule it.

 

Follow these steps to cancel or reschedule a campaign:

  1. Log in to your CRM account.
  2. Click the Main Menu.
  3. Go to Marketing.
  4. Select Email Campaigns.
  5. Open a scheduled campaign.
  6. Click: 
    • The Cancel Campaign button to cancel it.
  1. Click Confirm to confirm the cancellation.
  •  The Reschedule button to reschedule it.
    1. Click the Calendar icon to pick a date.
    2. Click the Clock icon to pick a time. 
    3. Click Save.
 

Let us now look at creating and managing autoresponder email campaigns.

Creating an Autoresponder Email Campaign

Autoresponder email campaigns are sent automatically when triggered and scheduled. You must set up the trigger conditions and the date and time at which the autoresponder must be sent. 

 

Follow these steps to create an autoresponder email campaign:

  1. Log in to your CRM account.
  2. Click the Main Menu.
  3. Go to Marketing.
  4. Click Email Campaigns.
  5. Click +New Email Campaign.
  6. Enter the Campaign Name and select Autoresponder
  7. Click Next.
  8. Enter the following details:
    • Recipients
    • Sender Information
      • Skip to this section to learn about Recipients and Sender Information.
    • Trigger
  1. Select event to trigger autoresponder - Choose what must trigger the autoresponder. For example, when a recipient clicks a link in the previous campaign, opens the previous campaign, etc. 
  2. Select a campaigns list - Select the campaign in response to which the autoresponder must be sent.
  3. When to send - Choose how many days, hours, week, minutes, etc., after the previous campaign the autoresponder must be triggered. 
  4. Select day(s) on which the campaign has to be sent - Select all the days.. 
  5. Click Save
  • Content - Skip to this section to learn about Content. 
  1. Click Start Autoresponder
  2. Click Ok to confirm.
 

Note

  • When an autoresponder has started, you will see the ‘Started’ sign beside the email campaign name. An autoresponder is sent only at the date and time you select in the Trigger.
  • An autoresponder campaign is sent only after its cron job runs. It runs every 15 minutes. Go to Settings > Automation > Scheduler > AutoResponder Campaigns to view the cron job.
 

What is a cron job

A cron job is executed at the back end at frequent intervals to perform different tasks in the CRM. Each cron job executes at a predefined interval. 

Stopping an Autoresponder Email Campaign

Follow these steps to stop an autoresponder:

  1. Log in to your CRM account.
  2. Click the Main Menu.
  3. Go to Marketing.
  4. Click Email Campaigns.
  5. Open the autoresponder that you want to stop.
  6. Click the Stop button on the top.
  7. Click Ok to confirm.
 

When you stop an autoresponder, its status changes to Stopped.

Duplicating an Email Campaign

You can reuse the details of an email campaign by duplicating it. When you duplicate an email campaign, you must change the email campaign name. 

 

Follow these steps to duplicate an email campaign:

  1. Log in to your CRM account.
  2. Click the Main Menu.
  3. Go to Marketing.
  4. Select Email Campaigns.
  5. Open an email campaign.
  6. Click the More icon in the top-right corner.
  7. Click the Duplicate icon.
  8. Enter the new email campaign name.
  9. Click Save.
 

This creates a new campaign with the same details as the previous campaign.
 

Different Statuses of an Email Campaign

Regular email campaigns

The Status field of a regular email campaign can take the following values:

  • Draft - When the campaign is created (drafted) but not sent or scheduled
  • Sending - When the campaign is sent but yet to be delivered
  • Queued - When the campaign is scheduled
  • Completed - When the campaign is successfully sent

Autoresponder email campaigns

The Status field of an autoresponder email campaign can take the following values:

  • Draft - When the campaign is created (drafted) but not sent
  • Started - When the campaign is started or sent at the selected time
  • Stopped - When the campaign is stopped 

Email Campaign Account Details

When you go to Main Menu > Marketing > Email Campaigns, you will see the information shown above. It contains details about your email campaign credits, plan, subscription status, and renewal date.

Credits

Email campaign credits are the number of email addresses you can reach with a single email campaign.

For example, if you have 100 credits, you can send an email campaign to 100 email addresses.

 

Here are more details about email credits:

 

Available vs. Allowed credits

  • Available credits are the total email campaign credits that you have.
  • Allowed credits are the number of email campaign credits you are allowed at present.
 

Tip: Click Buy one-time credits to buy more credits (1 credit= 1 email). Buying extra credits doesn’t require you to change your current plan.

 

Purchased credits expire in 12 months. Also, purchased credits are used only after the free credits or credits from the current plan are exhausted.

Plan

Vtiger CRM offers different plans for email campaign credits. If you send email campaigns every month and your free credits are not sufficient, then you can opt for another plan.

 

For example, one of the Vtiger plans is you can pay $100 and purchase 50,000 credits.

 

What is the Free Plan 

The Free Plan for email credits provides 10,000 credits. However, if you have signed for a free trial or newly subscribed to Vtiger CRM, then you are allowed only 10 email credits. You do not have to pay for these email credits. 

 

Tip: Click the Change Plan button to choose a plan and pay accordingly.

 

Email campaigns subscription

When your payment for the plan is complete, then your email campaigns subscription is Active. Otherwise, it becomes Inactive.

If you want to active/deactivate your email campaigns subscription, you can contact support@vtiger.com

 

Note: Email campaigns subscription is always active if you are using the Free Plan.

 

Credits renewal date

This is the date when you must renew your email campaign credits. The subscription becomes Inactive if you do not renew your credits by this date. 

Viewing Campaign Metrics

You can find an email campaign’s metrics in the campaign record.

 

Follow these steps to see the email campaign metrics:

  1. Log in to your CRM account.
  2. Click the Main Menu.
  3. Go to Marketing.
  4. Select Email Campaigns.
  5. Open an email campaign.
 

You can see the campaign metrics on the right hand side. They give you the following details:

  • Sent - Number of emails sent through the campaign 
  • Opens - Number of unique opens
  • Clicks - Number of click actions (on any link) in the email 
  • Bounces - Number of emails that have bounced
  • Unsubscribes - Number of recipients who have unsubscribed from the email campaign
  • Complaints - Number of emails that were reported as spam  
  • Unopened -1 Number of unopened emails
 

Tip: You can export the metrics – Sent, Opens, and Clicks – individually  by hovering on the numbers and clicking the Export icon.

Viewing Email Campaign Reports

To view the details of the contacts to whom you have sent the campaign, contacts who have opened the campaign, etc. you can use Reports in Email Campaigns.

 

Follow these steps to view and download email campaign reports:

  1. Log in to your CRM account.
  2. Click the Main Menu.
  3. Go to Marketing.
  4. Select Email Campaigns.
  5. Open an email campaign.
  6. Click a number under Campaign Metrics. For example, click the number under Sent. You will see the Reports page.
  7. Click the downward arrow on the top-left of the report columns to view different reports.
  8. Click Download to download the selected report.

Viewing Customer Touchpoints 

When you send out an email campaign and enable email tracking, you can get updates about the recipients’ activities on the emails. These updates are available under the Activity section of a contact’s Summary View. 

 

Follow these steps to track touchpoints for email campaigns:

  1. Log in to your CRM account.
  2. Click the Main Menu.
  3. Go to Essentials.
  4. Select Contacts.
  5. Open a contact record.
  6. Click Filters in the Activity section.
  7. Tick the Email Campaigns checkbox under Customer Touchpoints.
 

You will see updates such as when the contact opened your email, clicked a link in your email, etc., in the Activity section. 

 

Note: You can enable email tracking for email campaigns by going to Main Menu > Essentials > Actions

Viewing a Contact’s Email Campaign History

Follow these steps to view the list of email campaigns sent to a contact:

  1. Log in to your CRM account.
  2. Click the Main Menu.
  3. Go to Essentials.
  4. Select Contacts.
  5. Open a contact record.
  6. Look for the List and Campaigns tab on the right sidebar of the contact’s Summary View.
 

You will find the following information:

  • Email List Subscription - Displays the marketing lists that the contact has subscribed or unsubscribed from.
  • Campaign History - Displays the list of email campaigns sent to the contact and the date on which they were sent. 
    • Engagement Level is the overall engagement of the subscribers on the email campaign.

Troubleshooting Tips

Microsoft Outlook does not display images correctly in emails when they are sent in HTML format used for other email clients, such as Gmail, Windows Mail, Yahoo Mail, etc.

Syntax that works in other email clients:

Syntax that works in all email clients including outlook:

The Style tag does not work in Microsoft Outlook. So, you must use the Align, Width, and Height attributes separately in your code. 

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