Creating newsletter campaigns with ePages
The ePages shop system provides you with a comprehensive newsletter tool that you can use to keep your customers up to date about your newest products, special sales and more. After you've considered the general framework of your newsletter, as described in the previous article, it's now time to create the newsletter campaign for your shop.
The ePages system differentiates between newsletter campaigns and the actual newsletter. Your customers can always register in the shop for individual newsletter campaigns. The actual newsletters are then created and sent out later as elements of this campaign.
The system allows you to decide how many campaigns you would like to create. For example, you can offer you customers the ability to subscribe to more than just a general, monthly newsletter. It might be interesting to set up a special newsletter for certain departments (for example, computers and electronics) which your customers can subscribe to. Send out newsletters in different languages for international customers and give your customers the choice of selecting their language and campaign.
Create a new campaign in the "Marketing/Newsletter" menu by creating a new entry in the overview list and then saving it. Then click on the new entry to proceed with additional settings and design the actual newsletter.
Enter a sender address and a subject line. Describe your newsletter in the provided field to explain to your customers why they should register for the newsletter and determine the language that the newsletter will be sent out in. Be sure to enter an e-mail address that you can use as a test address during the actual newsletter creation process.
Finally, make the campaign visible so that your customers can register for it (using a double opt-in procedure). You can find all customers that are already registered in the "Recipients" tab. You can also add addressees manually. Be aware though that you may only send newsletters to customers who have signed up for them using the double opt-in process.
Now switch to the "Newsletter" tab to create a new newsletter for this campaign. First, simply create a new entry in the overview list and click on it to adapt the content and design.
Different templates are already available to you in the shop and you can adapt these to your liking using the editor. Alternatively you can also use and adapt one of the many free templates available on the Internet. (you can find free templates, here, here and here, for example). Simply copy the source text of the template into the text window and then click on the "Edit text" button to start the editor.
Try to adapt the layout of the newsletter as close to your shop as possible so that your customers feel "right at home". During the design process, be sure to test the how the design will look on different mail clients like Outlook Express or Thunderbird. And don't forget to test different web frontends of free mailers like web.de or googlemail.com You'll soon see which width and length your newsletter should have as a maximum. And please also don't forget to check the subject line and sender address during testing. You can find the send button for the test mail on the settings page of the actual newsletter; you can change the e-mail address in the settings for the campaign as described above.
Do you have everything the way you want it? Then specify a delivery date and save the newsletter. The system automatically handles the delivery. Just a quick tip: Enter your own e-mail address to the list of addressees so that you can check the delivery yourself.
If you have already sent out a newsletter, you can simply copy this design for the next time. Just select the last newsletter in the overview and select "Copy" in the drop-down menu. Then all you need to do is update the content. Don't forget to adapt the subject line accordingly.
Volker Schwarz studied German, History and Politics at the Ruhr-Universität Bochum. From 2004 to 2009 he worked as a freelancer for several marketing and communications companies in Hamburg, including e-commerce companies. Between August 2009 and December 2011, he worked as an online editor at ePages.
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