What You’ll Learn

  • How to create an email or SMS

  • How to view analytics for your message

On this page, we’ll show you how to create and send an email and SMS message.


Before you build an email, it’s helpful to first 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. If you prefer to make your template while you create your email, that’s fine too.

1. In the left-hand menu, click Campaigns and then select either One-Time Communications or Ongoing Communications.

One-Time communications are sent once. Ongoing communications are sent 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.

2. Click on the + New Communication button in the top right to start your communication.

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

4. Under Communication Settings, you can change the Communication Type from One-Time to Ongoing and vice versa.

Channels lets you set your communication to be an Email or 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 (formerly known as Dynamic Content) is where you can create sub-groups of your Segment to receive a different version of your communication.

5. 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 each of your Personalization groups as well.

6. Under Choose Template, you can apply one of our prebuilt templates to your communication. You can also change the Choose Template tab to Custom and select a template you've previously setup.

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

If you are creating an Email + SMS communication, be sure to fill out the details for each message type.

Below are directions on how to add content for basic SMS and emails.


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 full phone number or a Short Code. This is the number recipients will see on their phone. 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.


Follow these steps to add content to your email.

  • Start by selecting a template for your message. The Custom Templates tab contains templates that you or team members have already customized for your campaign(s). The Default tab contains 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.


  • 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, simply 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.

8. 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.


  • 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 setup the SMS content.

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

If your communication uses both email and SMS messages you can test both. 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 country code.

10. Once you're satisfied with your communication, click the Send button.

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 sending day and time will be determined by the workflow’s set up.

 That's it! You've sent out or scheduled your communication.

Now you're going to want to see how it's performing. In the Campaigns menu of the left, click on Analytics. You’ll see a list of communications and all of their analytics right on this screen.

For an explanation of what you can learn from your analytics report, check out this closer look at analytics.

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