Automating Email

If you enable the Email action, you’ll see an Email admin panel within the ‘Actions’ tab. This is where you create a template and an automation schedule. When the scheduler determines it’s time to run an automation, Captivate fetches segment data from your database and an email will be generated for every person in the returned list.

Email templates that contain ‘Dynamic Fields’ will have the data replaced with the actual user information associated with each person. Populating a template with real data, ready for sending, is called ‘Compiling’. Once the emails are compiled they’re a queued up for delivery.

To craft an email template and schedule the automation follow these steps.

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Click on the Actions tab and go into the email section where you’ll find the email admin console.

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In the email admin console we can create and preview email templates, upload and embed media, insert dynamic fields and schedule the automation (each task’s actions can be scheduled independently). Lets take a look at each part.


Templates

The code editor lets you create an HTML/CSS email template. Each time the task is run, this template will be compiled and filled with the personalized info of each individual. Once that’s done, the emails are delivered.

Dynamic Fields

You might also have heard these called ‘merge fields’, or ‘merge tags’, we can add little snippets of code into our HTML templates that get swapped out with real data when the emails are compiled and sent.

Field Description Example
Data Fields All the Data Fields you specify for the task can be used as dynamic fields in your templates. These get swapped with real user data when the emails are compiled. {{ users::email }}
Media To embed an uploaded media file such as an image or a pdf into your template use the media dynamic field. Simply put the filename of the uploaded file into the snippet. It will be replaced with a URL to the uploaded file when the template is compiled. {{ media=filename.jpg }}
Links If you’d like to track link clicks within emails, use this dynamic field to put URLs into your emails. Anytime a recipient clicks the link the click will be logged. All urls must start with http:// {{ url=http://example.com }}
Unsubscribe This creates an anchor HTML tag that when clicked will let the recipient unsubscribe. You can wrap this field around other HTML, just like an anchor tag. All emails must contain an unsubscribe dynamic field as per spam laws. {{ unsubscribe }} Your html {{ /unsubscribe }}
Web Version This creates an anchor tag that when clicked will show the recipient a web-based version of the email in their browser. Useful for when they are having trouble seeing it in their email client. You can wrap this field around whatever you’d like to show as the link text. {{ webversionnbsp;}} Your html {{ /webversion }}

Media Uploads

Upload images and PDF files and attach them or embed them into your templates using Dynamic Fields.

The media library is opened by clicking the ‘Show Media’ button at the top-right of the email admin panel.

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Upload media by clicking the Upload button and selecting a file. You can select multiple files to upload at once. Once uploaded you can use the {{ media=filename.png }} dynamic field to embed the URL of the uploaded media in your templates, swapping the filename.png part for the actual filename of your uploaded media file.


Pre-built templates

Pre-build email templates that can then be used across any automation task with the click of button. To create these project-wide templates click the Email Templates button on your Home Dashboard.

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Once created you can use these templates as the basis for your email templates when creating an automation task. Select which template you want to start with. Clicking a template will automatically populate the code editor with the template’s HTML code and will also import all the media pre-attached to the template.

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Code Editor / Preview

The code editor gives full control over your HTML email templates. As you code, you can switch to preview mode and see how your template looks.

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Code view is also where you set the other email parameters, such as To, From and Subject. The To field should be populated with a dynamic field that relates to a user’s email address. The From field should be the email address that you’d like the email to be sent from – this should match the domain name that you’ve configured Captivate to send from, to avoid the emails landing in spam folders. The subject line is self explanatory, except to say that you may use dynamic fields in here.

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In Preview mode, you’re able to reduce the screen size to see how the email template will look on different devices.

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Timing

This is where you define the schedule for running your tasks. Each Action can trigger the automation task to run on a different schedule, segmenting the database and passing the data on to the Action component which scheduled it, which is why you set the timing as part of the action, not for the whole task. Here you set the regularity. This means you could send emails following one schedule and send SMSes or Webhooks on a different schedule, to the same segment.

For tasks that monitor user activity in real-time then it’s useful to set the schedule to run every 5 or so minutes (and set your filters to segment by 10 minute blocks). Other tasks might only need to run daily or weekly or monthly.

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You can set a restriction so that if the automation task runs frequently, and someone meets the segment criteria more than once, they get excluded from the successive segments – they won’t get the same email again. With the timing restrictions we can exclude someone from falling into the segment criteria until either it makes sense to receive the email again or they naturally fall out of the segment criteria.


Test emails

To send yourself a preview of the email for testing, simply add a comma-separated list of email addresses into this field and click send.

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