In this guide, you'll learn how to create one-time and ongoing communication campaigns through email and SMS channels.
To access your campaigns, navigate to Engagement > Campaigns and select One-Time Communications or Ongoing Communications.
One-Time vs. Ongoing - What is the Difference?
Ongoing communications are sent according to a workflow. You do not need to indicate when to send your message. The workflow’s setup will determine the sending day and time. See our Workflows Collection to learn more.
One-time communications are sent once. You can send your message immediately or schedule it for a specific time in the future. For information on how to send bulk messages to all profile types (ex, all students), please watch this video.
Creating a New Campaign
Navigate to Engagement > Campaigns.
Click on One-Time Communications or Ongoing Communications, depending on how you wish to send your campaign.
Select + New Communication or use Copilot for Campaigns to get started.
Name your campaign at the top by replacing the text "Untitled Communication."
Click on the tag icon (to the right of the campaign name) to add any relevant tags to this campaign. Tags help filter and quickly find a campaign later.
Complete the communication settings section (details outlined below).
Complete the configure email section, if applicable (details outlined below).
Complete the configure SMS section, if applicable (details outlined below).
Test your campaign (details outlined below).
For one-time campaigns, click Send to send immediately or schedule the send. If you're not ready to send it, click Save, close the slide-out sheet using the X, and return later to send your campaign.
For ongoing campaigns, click Save. Ongoing campaigns will not have the option to send because they must be sent via a workflow.
Complete the following fields under Communication Settings:
Communication Type: Permits you to switch between one-time and ongoing if you have changed your mind.
Communication Priority (Ongoing Communication Only):
Marketing: promotional or marketing content
Transactional: informational or functional purpose - such as application updates, appointment reminders, etc.
Channels: Select the channels you wish to use for this campaign. When you select a channel, an additional section will appear for you to configure that channel's settings.
Audience (One-Time Communication Only): Select which segment will receive this communication.
Personalization: Add version conditions to your campaign. With Version Conditions, you can automatically create personalized versions of your message for different groups of recipients. Tailor everything from subject lines to email content. To add a version:
Click Add Conditions.
Under Version Conditions, click Add Condition.
Name your version at the top by replacing the text "Untitled Version Condition." This will be referenced throughout your campaign configurations, so name it in a way that helps you identify the version.
Choose a condition type:
If using a date condition, add a date filter(s).
If using a user segment, add a segment filter(s).
User Segment Reference
If using a segment reference, click load segment to select a segment.
If you need to add additional conditions to this version, click Add Condition.
When finished with this version, click Save in the top right corner.
Once you click Save, you'll be returned to your Campaign, where you can disable, edit, duplicate, or delete the version you just created. Additionally, you can add another version by clicking Add Conditions.
If you selected email as a channel under communication settings, your next step will be to complete the configure email section.
💡 Tip: If you are using the personalization feature with version conditions, you can customize various aspects of your email, including the subject line, preview text, send to, sender name, sender email address, reply address, cc, and bcc for each version. Just select the version you want to modify from the version drop-down on the respective field. This allows you to tailor your email depending on the specific version you are sending, ensuring that your recipients receive the most relevant and personalized message possible.
Subject Line: Add your subject line (emojis and tokens can be added), or let Copilot generate your email subject. Learn more here.
Add your preview text (emojis and tokens can be added), or let Copilot generate your preview text. Learn more here.
Choose Template: Choose a template for your email. The default tab includes templates you can customize. The custom tab contains templates you or team members have already customized for your campaigns. Learn more about creating templates. Once you've selected a template:
Add content, like your text and images, by double-clicking on a column and then clicking Add Element.
Note: Use the social element to place your social media icons/links in your email. This will help ensure icons display as expected across various email clients.
Add new content blocks by clicking the plus symbol in the top left corner and selecting which of the many prebuilt blocks you want to add and customize.
Advanced Settings: Configure the email send settings. Pro tip: use tokens in this section to further personalize and customize your email.
Send To Select the email of the recipient you wish to use for this campaign
Sender Name: The name displayed in the inboxes of your recipients
Sender Email Address: The from email address used to send this email
Reply Address: The email address that the reply message is sent when you want the reply to go to an email address different from the sender's.
CC: Sends a copy of this email to this email address. This email address will be visible to your recipients in the email header.
BCC: Sends a copy of this email to this email address, but it will be hidden from your recipients.
To preview your email, click the Preview tab in the top right corner. You can also use the Mobile, Tablet, and Desktop icons at the top center to preview how your email will look on different devices.
Email Pro Tips:
Editing your email's content is much easier in full screen. Just click the two arrow icon in the top left corner to enter (and exit) full-screen mode.
You can click on any communication block and quickly duplicate it, set variable audience versions, and adjust specific settings.
Use tokens to send your email from the student's assignee.
If you want to loop in the guardian or counselor, add their respective token to the CC or BCC field.
Email Renderings in Outlook
Element451's Campaigns module is designed to work best with modern web and mobile-based email clients. Outlook uses an older rendering engine that does not support modern HTML and CSS features commonly used in email design, like those used in Element451. As a result, emails may not display correctly in Outlook, even though they may look fine in other email clients (including the Element451 preview mode).
If you selected SMS as a channel under communication settings, your next step will be to complete the configure SMS section.
💡 Tip: If you use the personalization feature with version conditions, you can customize various aspects of your SMS, including the outbound phone number and text for each version. Just select the version you want to modify from the version drop-down on the respective field. This allows you to tailor your SMS message depending on the specific version you are sending, ensuring that your recipients receive the most relevant and personalized message possible.
Outbound Phone Number: Select the phone number or a short code. This is the number recipients will see on their phones. Short Code is recommended for bulk messages.
SMS Text: Fill in the text for the SMS.
To add an emoji or token, use the icons to the right of the text field. Tokens personalize messages by inserting the first or last name of the recipient. For example, "[user:first_name]" will replace the recipient’s first name when they receive the message.
URL links can be added to SMS messages. Once a link is pasted, press the space bar to convert the URL to a hyperlink. Additional display options can be found by clicking the link and choosing "Edit Link."
Unsubscribe Prompt: By law, all bulk SMS messages are required to provide instructions on unsubscribing from future messages. A default prompt is provided; however, if you choose, you can edit the prompt. Note: Your prompt should include the word UNSUBSCRIBE or STOP. Learn more about SMS opt-in and opt-out.
Attachment: To attach an optional image, audio, or other media file to the text, click Select File. Choose a file from the media manager or upload a new one. If you choose to add an image or attachment, read the notes below:
📙 Notes on Multimedia Messages (if you add images or attachments)
The media part of your message will only be delivered to US (+1) numbers.
Some mobile operating systems automatically crop the preview image. Therefore, when attaching images to text messages, we recommend the following aspect ratios: 1:1, 9:16, and 4:3.
Testing and Previewing Your Campaign
Sending a Test
Once you're finished, we suggest testing your message. To test, click the blue Test button in the top right corner.
Channels to test: Select whether you want to test Email, SMS, or both. If you are sending to both channels, we recommend testing both.
Send to Segment: Select if you wish to send to a test segment. For example, you may have a segment created for your team for testing purposes. If enabled, you will be prompted to select the segment.
Choose versions to test: If you use different versions, you can select which version of your communication to test.
Recipient Email Address: If you are not using a test segment, you will be prompted to enter a valid email address to send the communication to one person.
Recipient Phone Number: If you are not using a test segment, you will be prompted to enter a valid phone number to send the communication to one person.
When entering a phone number, include a country code. When testing, including the country code (i.e., +1 for US numbers) is essential. This is especially true when testing MMS messages, as the deliverability of portions of your message could be impacted.
To run the test, click Test in the top right corner.
When finished, click the X in the top left corner to close out and return to your campaign.
Previewing Your Campaign
When editing your campaign:
Preview Versions: If you have multiple versions, you can toggle between previews of each one by clicking the person icon in the top left corner of the email editor. Be sure you're viewing the Preview tab.
Public Preview Link: Click the link icon to copy a shareable URL accessible by anyone with the link; logging into Element is not required. If using both email and SMS channels, both will be visible using this link.
If you're not editing your campaign, you can access the public preview link or a quick preview of the campaign when you're not editing the campaign. From the campaign's page, use the preview or url icon.
You can use the in-app analytics to see how your email and SMS messages perform.
To view analytics, navigate to Engagement > Campaigns > Analytics. You’ll see a list of communications and all their analytics on this screen.
Video Guide on Sending Bulk Messages to All Profile Types