Creating Email Campaigns

Bloomreach Engagement enables you to easily send personalized email campaigns to targeted customer segments using a simple visual editor or the traditional HTML builder.

In this article, you will learn:

  • how to create email campaigns in Bloomreach Engagement
  • how to set the basic settings

Watch this short introductory video about this feature:

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Integration is required

Remember, to send emails from Bloomreach Engagement, you must integrate a supported email service provider. Check out the available integrations If you need help, feel free to touch base with your dedicated consultant or our support team.

Creating an email campaign

You can create an email campaign in three ways:

  • Create a standalone email campaign in Campaigns > Email campaigns.
  • Use an email node as part of a scenario.
  • Reuse an already created Project Template or pick a Predefined Template in the Asset Manager. You will be able to edit the template before sending it.

In all cases, the process of creating the template and related settings is the same. The only difference is that in scenarios, you can specify the audience for the email by a complex set of conditions, being part of a bigger campaign (including SMS, push notifications, etc.). When creating a standalone email campaign, you can only use the customer and event filters to determine your audience.

Creating an email template

After creating a new campaign in the Campaigns section or double-clicking the email node in Scenarios, you will be presented with three options:

  • Use the visual builder to build a new email
  • Use the HTML builder to build a new email
  • Reuse a template that you have already created in the Asset Manager. You will be able to edit it before sending it.

Using the visual and HTML editor

To learn how to create an email template in Bloomreach Engagement, please go to the Email Editors article. This article will continue explaining the settings related to sending an email campaign.

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We would like to highlight a handy 'Do not stack on mobile' option, visible under the Rows tab. You can achieve a responsive template by switching it off, as shown in the image below. Otherwise, your template might not be as pretty because of its unresponsiveness.

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Image size limitations

The maximum size of the uploaded image to the email editor is 20MB. Also, images that are wider than 1920px will be automatically resized. If the resized image is a GIF, the animation might stop working.

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Logical operators

Please bear in mind that the HTML content in the Visual Editor does not accept the logical operators <= and that the workaround for it is to use character code for the < and sign &lt;=.

Subject and sender details and the three-dots menu

In the panel just above the email editor, you can define the subject of your email and the sender's email address and name that will be shown in the email. Next, you can choose which of your integrated email service providers (ESP) you will use.

After clicking on the three dots, you can add language versions (more information below), change the template you are working with, save your current work as a new template, which you can use later, or download your current work as an HTML template.

Language versions

You can create a separate version of the email campaign for each language defined in your project settings. You can access this function by clicking on the three dots on the top-right side of the email builder and then on Add language version.

The correct language version for individual customers will be chosen automatically based on the language attribute set in their profile. When a customer does not have any language set, the default template will be used.

When creating a new language version, the default template will be copied. However, if the default template is changed, the copies will not be updated.

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Please be aware that if you use jinja code {{customer.language}} attribute in HTML Email builder, Editor View is forcing the email to render as if the customer had the language equal to the current Editing tab you are working with (Default one or the one you selected). Therefore, a client with the Slovak language can render Empty Space or another selected language in the Editor View. If you need to see the corresponding language of the customer, use the Test Tab.

View email in browser option

This feature enables your customers to open an email that does not display correctly in their email client (e.g. Gmail). Content of the email is stored on platforms and remains accessible via a Content Delivery Network (CDN) for 90 days.

Quick Implementation Guide:

  1. Insert the Jinja tag {{email.view}} in your email or email template; it will be replaced by the "View in Browser" link.
  2. Send your email campaign.
  3. If a customer has trouble seeing the email, they can click the "View in Browser" link to see it correctly in their browser.

Default email settings

You can set default email settings after clicking on the settings icon in the top right corner under Project Settings>Channels>Emails as shown in the pictures below.

Here you can set the default email sender together with the default email integration.

Pre-header and reply to

Click on "Show more" in the upper control menu to reveal these features. You can set a custom pre-header, which is the text that is displayed next to the subject in email clients. Having a relevant preheader can increase the open rate and engagement with your email. We recommend keeping it between 80-100 characters long, although some devices might show as few as 30 characters.

Use the reply to function to set a different reply-to email when your recipients click "reply" to your email.

Consents and frequency policy

Bloomreach Engagement has advanced consent management, as well as the possibility to set frequency policy to cap the number of emails (or SMS, push notifications) sent to a single customer within a certain timeframe (we call this "Policies"). Each campaign can belong to a single consent and policy group. You can set this in the campaign settings as described below.

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Good practice

We would like to advise you to set your customer filter so that you target only customers with relevant consent. That way, you will not generate unnecessary events.

Settings

You can access email campaign settings through both Email campaigns -> Settings and Scenarios -> Email Node -> Settings

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FunctionDescription
Schedule
(only visible when creating the email in email campaigns)
You can send the email:

- Right after launching the campaign
- Every time a specified event is tracked for each customer
- On a specified day and time
- At the predicted optimal time when the customer is most likely to either open or click in the email. Learn more about how to use optimal send time
Recipient
(only visible when creating the email in a scenario)
Default option Customers matching campaign will send the email to all customers who enter the email node in the scenario. Email address will be extracted from customer attribute - email.

Option Set recipient manually will allow you to define a specific email address (or jinja) that will be the recipient of this email. This can be used to get daily reports to your email or when you need to use other properties than email to send the email. See the warning about the usage of custom email recipients below.
Frequency policyDefines the number of emails that a customer can receive within a specified timeframe. Read on how to create the policies
Category (group)Choose which consent is required for a customer to have to receive this campaign.

Read more on consent here. If you don't use consent yet, you will see the campaign groups setting here.
UTM Define the UTM tags utm_campaign, utm_medium, and utm_source. Read more about UTM parameters here.
Custom headersYou can define your own headers. This is an advanced feature that only affects the background processes of email campaigns. You can read more about email headers here. This is not to be confused with pre-headers, which is the text visible in inboxes right after the subject.

Check the Use bulk settings box in case you are sending in-bulk emails to multiple people. Otherwise, it is likely that the email will be directed to the recipient's spam folder. Read more in our Email Deliverability tips article!
Audience
(only in email campaigns)
Define your custom audience that will receive this email campaign. You can use our standard customer and event filters. You can also filter your audience on a project level through Email list hygiene filter.
Transfer identity to URL links The default setting states that only the first click on your URL link will cause customer identification on your website (for instance, if your client shares this link among their friends, the original clientΒ΄s customer properties will not be influenced). Therefore, for each scenario run a unique token will be created per an individual email. We highly recommend using the default setting for security purposes and to prevent corrupting customer data. You can also select an option to disable all identity transfers (meaning that clicking on a given link will not cause identification on your website) or enable all clicks (meaning that every time this link is opened through a different device, customers will be merged together).

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Custom Headers support

Custom headers are not supported by Sendsay email provider.

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Transfer identity to URL - Limitations

Unfortunately, mobile SDK does not support IITT and TIFC, so events through the phone will not be tracked. Moreover, the Jinja code is only supported for IITT.

Regarding setting up the tracking of transfer identity is good to know that:

  • when you select enabled - only first click , parameter xnpe_tifc will contain the customer token and be added to the URL,
  • when you select enabled - all clicks , parameter iitt will contain the customer token and be added to the URL.

Pre-populating settings from a template

When creating an email template within the Asset manager, you have the option to enable template settings, which will let you predefine some of the campaign settings directly within the template. These settings include Link transformation, Transfer identity to URL links, Custom headers, and Custom Campaign Tracking attributes.

If you are creating a campaign using a template with these settings enabled and defined, this will pre-populate and pre-configure your campaign settings with how they are defined in the template. This means you do not have to configure the campaign settings every time for the same template.

Read more in the Asset Manager article.

Using custom recipient

In case you prefer to pick a different property than the standard customer attribute "email", you opt for using Custom Recipient. In case you have a property called secondary_email or father_email (in the case of students); you can tell the campaign to pick up this property instead of the "email" one. You can specify, e.g., {{customer.secondary_email}}, and the campaigns will be sent to the value stored in the other attribute.

In case you are going to utilize this feature and send an email to someone else other than the original customer, it may be best to set the identity tracking setting to "none" to prevent the cookie from being merged with the original customer in case the recipient clicks on something from the email.

You need to fill in the customer attribute value for the recipient and the same for the name. If you have a custom name like {{customer.secondary_email_holder_name}}, you need to specify that.

Every profile is tied to one "email" property. This is the standard property used for a customer, assuming one person will only have one email for communication. So unless you have any other requirement where you have to send the email to a value other than the one stored in the email property, do not use this feature. Since "email" is our "reserved" attribute, all consent management flows are tied to it. This means that consent is not followed if you use a secondary email. Let's say the user has email= [email protected] and consented to newsletters. This means whether the secondary email person has said yes or no, you would still target them for all comms if you specify the custom recipient. You are using consent for the profile, and each profile only has one value for consent. It is not easy to represent consent status for other recipients as well.

You can use Jinja in both "Recipient's email address" and "Recipient's name to display" fields. These fields can only hold one property and not a list.

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Using custom email recipient with option - Set recipient manually

This email setting may disable the automatic check of customer consents and email policy.
Specifically, if your custom recipient or its rendered jinja value is anything different than the customer's email property, there will be no validation of consents nor email policy for this customer. If the custom recipient equals to customer's email property, normal validation will apply.

Therefore be very careful in case you plan to use a custom recipient for more than one customer because you can easily:

  • send emails to customers without validation of their consent (GDPR breach)
  • send emails to customers too frequently (no validation of policy)

If you have no other option and you have to use a custom recipient, we recommend at least implementing a scenario condition node, which would check for correct consents and email frequency. For more details contact our support.

Using optimal send time

If you choose the optimal send time in the Schedule, you can set it up in the same way as in a Wait node in Scenarios.

Based on your customer's past behavior, the optimal send time option under the Schedule setting allows you to automatically send out email campaigns to individual customers at a time, rounded to an hour, when they are most likely to click/open your email. Learn more about Optimal send time

Videos in emails

Currently, most popular email client apps do not support embedded videos in emails. Therefore, while it is technically possible to embed videos in emails using Engagement Visual Builder (provided by BeeFree) or HTML Builder, it is not recommended as these videos are not accessible by most users through emails. In the best-case scenario, users can see a fallback static image.

You should consider the users' devices when planning to embed videos in emails. Most users access their emails through their mobile or handheld devices, leading to a poor user experience due to data connection quality and mobile data consumption.

To learn more about using embedded videos in emails, refer to this article.

Testing your email

There are various options on how you can test your email template before launching a campaign. Learn more in our email testing article. We strongly recommend using at least one of the testing options before launching the live campaign.

A/B test setup

For email campaigns created via scenarios, A/B tests are configured using the dedicated A/B test operator node.

To set up an A/B test for Email campaigns, navigate to the A/B Test Setup tab under DESIGN. You can choose between two types of tests Automatic winner distribution or Custom distribution. Read more on A/B tests in our detailed guide.

To set up A/B testing, you have to enable the A/B testing feature by turning the button on in the set-up or by clicking the "Enable A/B test" button.

To navigate between the designs for each variant or add new variants use the A/B test menu in the top right of your email editor. You can switch between the different variants and design the campaign for each version separately.

Evaluation

After starting a campaign you will be able to evaluate its performance. Under the NEW EVALUATE tab, you will find an out-of-the-box dashboard containing different data and tools that are useful for evaluating your campaign. Under the Results sub-tab, you will find all key metrics for evaluating your email campaign in a comprehensive and easy-to-read layout. Clicking on the Click map sub-tab will allow you to preview and use click heatmaps for analyzing your customers' interactions with the campaign.

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Legacy Evaluate

Under the tab EVALUATE you can still access our legacy email dashboard, which will be deprecated in the future.

Automatic bot detection in emails

Automatic bot detection in emails feature checks for bots scanning the content and email links identifying spam and phishing emails. It helps tackle the issue of opens/clicks you are tracking that are generated by such bots. Please note that email opens are quite an unreliable metric as the privacy standards evolved, and thus, clicks should provide much better insight into how your email campaigns are doing.

We use the honeypot link solution. It is based on adding an invisible link that real humans cannot click, but bots do. Every tracked click on the honeypot link is identified with a status containing a special value clicked_honeypot. This feature does not suppress any events but rather provides the necessary data to let your analytics sort it out.

It is important to state that it won’t identify 100% of bots as this is technically not possible. There is no universal solution, and bots are constantly changing and trying to identify themselves as real humans - to prevent being identified by spam creators.

This feature can be turned on/off in project settings under Campaigns -> Channels -> Email -> Automatic bot detection. After turning it on, it automatically starts identifying bots with a specific status.

Reliable Email Clicks

We developed the Reliable Email Clicks feature to keep up with the ever-changing email privacy standards to help with evaluating click behavior.

Based on the honeypot clicks (from the automatic bot detection feature) or also other factors (such as the speed of the consecutive clicks and recognized bot user agents), the platform recognizes the non-human behavior and the bot-generated clicks are automatically filtered out, allowing you to focus exclusively on clicks from legitimate human users. The reliable email clicks feature works also without automatic bot detection turned on.

This option is available in email click map or predefined email evaluation dashboard. By default, the toggle is turned on to provide reliable and trustworthy data for your evaluation.

By enabling the Reliable Email Clicks filter, you can ensure that the metrics more accurately reflect genuine user engagement, free from the influence of bot activity. However, if you need to include bot clicks for specific purposes or research, you can easily disable the filter with a single click.

When a user-agent is identified as a bot, the property bot = true is added to the campaign event, and it is subsequently excluded in reporting.

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Advanced evaluation

To evaluate like a pro, read this article to be able to properly distinguish between scenario evaluation and custom evaluations.

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IPs that click on the honeypot link are flagged as a bot for 1hour. Therefore, the property bot =true is added to campaign events coming in within that hour from that IP as well.

Tracking

Email campaigns generate campaign events for all customers in the audience of the campaign, covering actions from the email being sent from Bloomreach Engagement to customers opening and clicking the email. Learn more about email campaign tracking and bounce management.

Clone to another project

This feature allows you to clone Email campaigns to other projects to which you have access. Read more about cloning.

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Most common email issues

If you are interested in how to fix certain issues in email campaigns, please take a look at this article.

Dark mode

Dark mode in emails is a relatively new feature yet to be standardized. Currently, popular email apps interpret it differently, and changes can be introduced anytime. The way how an email appears is under the control of the email app, it can even decide to ignore styles that were included in the email.

How to approach the building of dark mode-friendly emails?

Test, test, test! Our email preview generator includes snapshots from email apps in dark mode.

You can refer to this excellent article by our visual builder provider BeeFree, with tips on creating dark mode-friendly emails.