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Building Journeys

You can build customer Journeys by clicking on the Automations option from the left menu bar. A journey can be one or a collection of workflows that you can create to automatically target contacts, using a simple drag and drop workflow designer.

If you are building a journey from scratch, you can click on Blank Journey. This would take you to the journey editor mode. On that screen, you can name your Journey in the top, and to the left, you can find your Triggers and Actions elements.

Triggers define what starts the journey, while actions are the events that take place thereafter. Filters and rules can be added in between actions so that you redirect specific user who take specific actions to a different path.

To start your journey, you should always begin with a trigger element. Click on your preferred trigger from the left panel and drop it onto the grid. Double click on the trigger to preview the settings and configure any filters you want to set. Ex: start the workflow only if the person’s position at the company is CMO. This would look like this:

After finishing setting up the Trigger, you can start adding your sequence of actions. Ex: add a confirmation email to to be sent out to users who sign up to your specified list. You have to click on the Send Email under Actions and and drag it to the right of your Trigger. Double click on the Action to select the proper automation message or create a new one.

The last step would be connecting the Trigger to the Action. To do that, click on the trigger element, press on the black arrow head and drag it to the Action that should execute next.

You can also add Delays in between ActionsDelays are found within the Actions option list under Time Delay. Those as well can be configured by double clicking them and choosing the proper time to delay the next Action.

Additional action conditions are available when you double click on the connector. This will allow you to check for more specific case scenarios before executing an action.

Once you have your workflow ready, you can click on Actions in the top right and choose Save and Exit. Once you are outside the editor mode, you can activate the Journey. (You could also activate the Journey from inside the editor by clicking on Actions > Publish)

Note: If you are using the Specific Date trigger > This gets triggered on a specific date. You’ll need to specify the target list inside this trigger, and whether this trigger will execute once vs recurrent. Please be aware when using the recurrent option that the actions will execute each day, on the same user. So to avoid duplicate sending, you can use a flag within your fields set to turned off when the journey starts and get turned on once the journey have ended.

 

Add Custom Events to Contact Timeline Via API

You can add custom events to your contact’s timeline and activity log using the addNewActivity API call. This is beneficial if you would like to log data from your own platform to your VBOUT account, such as support tickets and more.

To add a custom event, use the function below using CURL or PHP and replace the data with your own API KEY  as well as the contact’s id:

<?php 
    require_once('../PATH/TO/services/EmailMarketingWS.php');

    // Replace {YOUR_API_KEY} with the API KEY provided from the link above.
    $user_key = array('api_key' => '{YOUR_API_KEY}');
	
    $app = new EmailMarketingWS($user_key);
    $parms = array(
        'id' => 'xxxxx',                              // Replace with the Contact ID
        'description' => 'this is my first activity', // Replace the Description with your Activity's description.
        'datetime' => '2018-08-23 18:00',             // Replace with the Date and Time the Activity is recorded
    );

    $results = $app->addNewActivity($parms);

    print_r($results);
?>

Then end result will look like this:

Note that you can use the activity filter to preview the custom events within the contact’s timeline.

Allow Repeat Form Submission From The Same Email Contact

By default, an email is unique to a list and can be added only once, using opt-in forms, mass upload, API or third-party integration. If you want to allow adding a contact, more than once to a list (ex: Contact us form on your website), navigate to your Lists page and from the right side options drop down choose Form Builder. Expand the Email Address field and mark it Not Required. 

Note: When you make your email Not Required, you will allow people to submit your form without providing their email address. You might want to add an input required attribute to your email form field where the form has been embedded.

View the modified embed form below.

<div class="vboutEmbedFormRow">
   <label class="title" for="custom-74068">Email Address</label>
   <div class="vboutEmbedFormField"><input required type="email" name="vbout_EmbedForm[field][74068]" id="custom-74068" value="" class="vfb-text   email email" data-error="Please enter your email." placeholder="Please enter your email." /></div>
</div>

Managing Automation Templates

When creating journeys with email sequences, you will need to have your email automation templates ready so that you can set them up inside your automated workflows. To get started with managing and creating your automation templates, go to Automations from the left sidebar and click on Automation Templates from the top menu.

 

  1. Click on Create Automation Template in the top right.

  2. The first step involves entering some basic campaign related details like the name of this template, a relevant subject line (personalization is recommended), the From and Reply To email addresses. For the template title we always recommend a relevant name that you can easily reference back to as you are integrating them into the journeys or creating your reports.
  3. Once you complete the email sender details click Next to go to the design step. This is where you can create your template from scratch or start from a ready made template. Below is a video on how you can create and customize your own email template design.
  4. The last step would be the summary step where you can confirm your design and settings before saving your work before clicking Save and Exit.

To preview the analytics report for a specific email template, click on Report from the templates view page. You will find details on open rate, clicks, bounces, spam and more.

Using Guides

When creating a journey you can start from scratch or choose from a library of prebuilt guides widely used by top marketing experts on the platform. Guides are based on end goals and can be a great starting point for your next successful journey. To get started with a guide, click on the Journey icon from the left sidebar and then select the right tab for Guides Library.

Use the left panel to filter the library based on category purpose.  Once you find the right guide for you, click on Use Guide.

Here are few examples of our most used Guides:

Happy Birthday Promotions

Free Trial Journey

Product Upsell

Reactivation Emails

Cart Abandonment

Education Journey

New User Onboarding

Webinar Signup Reminder

You will be redirected to the Journey Designer where you can make edits to the guide to match your own triggers, filters, delays and automation templates.  To find out more on how to build and manage a journey click here.

Creating Email Campaigns

To create a new email campaign, select the Campaigns icon from the left sidebar and click on Create Campaign. The wizard will walk you through the 4 stages of the campaign creation:

  1. Setup: This is where you specify the campaign details like the campaign name (used internally), subject line, the type (Regular vs A/B testing), and other details. If you are setting up an A/B testing campaign, follow the additional options prompted on the screen to complete the AB testing criteria.
  2. Lists: On this step, you can choose who are you targeting between your Lists and your Audiences. You can always choose a combination of both. If duplicates were detected, the system will send the contact one email only.
  3. Design: On this step, you have the option to start your email from a ready template, use a prebuilt template, recycle an old template or create a new one from scratch. If you choose New Design you will have the option to either create a simple text email via Plain Text or to design your own via Template Designer. 
  4. Summary: This is the last step of the campaign where you can review your setup, run a spam check on your campaign and send a draft email to yourself.

Once you confirm that the template is ready, choose to send the campaign now or sometime in the future. You will also have the option to save the campaign as a draft to continue working on it at a later time.

Note: The system always uses your account timezone to send out the campaign.

 

 

A/B Testing

To turn on A/B testing for your campaign, click on the A/B Campaign option during the first step of the campaign wizard (Setup).

Once you select A/B campaign, you will need to provide additional campaign related details like the Test Variable. It can be the Subject Line, From Email, From Name or Content. Once you select your variable, you need to provide a value for each version for this variable. For example, if you choose your Test Variable to be Subject Line, then you need to provide a subject line for Version A and a subject line for Version B. The split setting will ask you to configure how many emails will be sent to your target lists by splitting the total recipients into three groups. Subset A will get the first variation of your campaign, Subset B will get the second variation. Subset C will receive the winning version of both subsets.

If you chose the different content test, you will be prompted to insert both campaign content from the template builder screen.

Twilio SMS

Twilio SMS:

Twilio SMS is one of the integrations VBOUT offers. To connect your Twilio account with VBOUT, follow these steps:

Go to Social Streams > Add New Account > Twilio

Click on Connect to Twilio

Fill in the information

 

You have successfully connected your Twilio account to VBOUT.

Afterward, you go to Automation, select a Trigger and choose the Action: Twilio SMS

You can choose a template from the drop-down list

Or you can choose to CREATE NEW SMS TEMPLATE, where you will be taken to the following page:

Twilio SMS Status

Every Twilio SMS or MMS message request has a status value which describes the current state of the message. Here are the most common message statuses, and their meanings.

Outbound Message Status Progression

When sending outbound messages with the REST API, this is a typical sequence of status values:

Queued Twilio has received your request to create the message. All new messages sent from a specific Twilio phone number are created with a status of queued.
Accepted Twilio has received your request to create the message from a Messaging Service. Twilio is determining the optimal ‘From’ number from your service.
Sending Twilio is forwarding your message request to one of our Super Network partners.
Sent Twilio has received a confirmation from our Super Network partner advising they have accepted the message.