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Create an Email or SMS
Create an Email or SMS
Create and send beautiful email or SMS messages. Track their performance using in-app analytics.
Eric Range avatar
Written by Eric Range
Updated over a week ago

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Getting Started

In this guide you'll you learn how to create an email or SMS, and how to track performance of your campaigns using analytics in Element451.

💡 Pro Tip:
Before you build an email, it’s helpful first to customize a template. Templates are the design that you’ll enter your content into. We have a library of template layouts to get you started within the campaign builder. You can also install several pre-built email templates from the Packs Library. Additionally, you can create a template as you build your email.

Navigate to Engagement > Campaigns and select either "One-time Communications" or "Ongoing Communications" to get started.

Create an Email or SMS

One-Time vs. Ongoing Communications

One-Time communications are sent once. Ongoing communications are shipped according to a workflow. See the user guide for workflows to learn more. A list of already-created communications will appear. Or, if this is your school’s first communication, you’ll be prompted to create a new one.

For One-Time Communications: You can send your message immediately or schedule it for a specific time in the future. You will also see how many people will receive your communication.

For Ongoing Communications: You do not need to indicate when to send your message. The workflow’s setup will determine the sending day and time.

Choose one-time or ongoing communication.

To sent or schedule a one-time communication, select "+ New Communication" to get started.

Click on on the blue button in the top right, New Communication.

Select Email or SMS

Under Communication Settings, you can change the Communication Type from One-Time to Ongoing and vice versa. The audience lets you set your communication as an email, SMS, or both.

  • Audience (One-Time only) is where you'll select who will receive the message by choosing a Segment of users.

  • Communication Priority (Ongoing only) lets you mark your communication as either Marketing or Transactional. Use Marketing for general messages and Transactional for things like notifications.

  • Personalization is where you can create sub-groups of your Segment to receive a different version of your communication.

Select Email or SMS

For email communication, select a template (default or custom)

Enter a name for your new communication and add any Tags by clicking on the tag icon.

Under Configure Email, you can set the Subject Line and Preview Text for your communication. The Add Token button lets you quickly add a token to these fields.

You can also set a unique subject line and/or preview text based on your Personalization groups.

The Custom Templates tab contains templates you or team members have already customized for your campaign(s). The Default tab includes templates you can customize.

  • Add your content, e.g., text and images, to the template. You can also make adjustments to the template as needed.

  • 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.

For email communication, select a template default or custom.

If custom is selected, the library of previous templates will appear.

Once the template is selected, click on Advanced Settings.

Under Advanced Settings, you can set the Sender Name, Sender Email Address, and Reply Address. All of these fields can have different versions based on your previously setup Personalization.

Once the template is selected, click on Advanced Settings to complete email address details.

To preview your email, click on 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.

💡 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.

  • To edit your email later, enter the saved email, scroll down to the content editor and make your changes.

  • You can click on any block of your communication and quickly duplicate it, set variable audience versions, and adjust specific settings.

  • A shareable Preview Link is available by clicking the chain link icon in the top left, if you want to send the message to someone else to review without them needing to log in to Element451.

  • Click the person icon in the top left corner to toggle between previews of the different audience versions of your communication.

  • SMS previews will automatically appear to the right of where you set up the SMS content.

Click the Test button to test your communication before sending it out.

To send an SMS, switch the communication setting.

To send an SMS, switch the communication setting.

Click on Configure SMS and complete the required fields.

For an SMS message, select the outbound phone number, enter your text, and add an optional image or other media file.

Outbound Phone Number

Select from either the phone number or a Short Code. This is the number recipients will see on their phones. Short Code is recommended for bulk messages.

The 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 be replaced with the recipient’s first name when they receive the message.

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.

Click on Configure SMS and complete the required fields.

Once complete, click send in the top right corner.


Creating Email + SMS communication

  • Be sure to fill out the details for each message type.

  • Be sure to test both (email and SMS) messages. You can also choose which version of your communication to test.

To test an email:

  • Enter a valid email address to send the communication to one person.

  • You can also send the test to a segment. For example, you may have a segment created for your team.

To test an SMS:

  • Enter a valid phone number with a country code. When testing, it is essential to include the country code (i.e. +1 for US numbers). This is especially true when testing MMS messages as the deliverability of portions of your message could be impacted.

📙 Note: If you include images or other attachments in your SMS (creating an MMS), the media portions of your message will only be delivered to US (+1) numbers.


Use the in-app analytics to see how your email and SMS messages are performing.

To view analytics, navigate to Engagement > Campaigns > Analytics.

You’ll see a list of communications and all their analytics on this screen.

Click on Analytics

See Also

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