Author Archive

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.

Get Started

Verifying sending domain

Before sending Email Campaigns or using the Email Action under Journeys, you must add and verify a sending domain within the VBOUT platform. This action is needed for security and spam compliance purposes.

If you have added a domain to track, the system will automatically add that domain as an email sender. However you can always add a new sending domain by clicking on your profile icon in the top right, and select Settings. On the settings page, select the Domain Sender Verification tab from the left sidebar, and then click on the Add Sender button.

Next you will be presented with a popup window to enter your sending domain. After you save, you will see your sending domain on your dashboard, however this doesn’t mean you are ready to start sending. You still need to at least complete one step of the verification process which involves either adding an SPF TXT record, a DKIM TXT record, and/or DMARC. (We recommend you add them all when provided).

You can click on Settings to retrieve the actual record to be added on your DNS portal side. This requires access to your Domain Name Server (DNS).

 

SPF Settings Example:

All you need to do is adding an SPF record to your DNS, using the Hostname, Type and the Value.
Important note: If you already have an SPF record, you can’t add another one, in this case, you will need to edit your current SPF record and add only the highlighted part which is include:sparkpostmail.com
For example, let’s say you have this: v=spf1 a mx ptr include:bluehost.com ?all already verified in your DNS, then you will add only the highlighted part.
It will look like that: v=spf1 a mx ptr include:bluehost.com include:sparkpostmail.com ?all

 

DKIM Settings Example:

As for the DKIM, We will do exactly what we did for the SPF record, we will be adding the DKIM record to the DNS.
Important note: Even if there is a DKIM record in your DNS, you can create a new one and add your records.

For GoDaddy, do not put the domain name at the end of the Hostname when you are adding the DKIM record.
If we want to do that for the example/screenshot above, the Hostname will look like that: scph118._domainkey.

 

Once you add the SPF and DKIM records for the domain click on Test to check if your DNS changes have propagated across the web. Please note that these changes sometimes take up to 24 hours to propagate.

Once the domain has been verified you will notice a green check mark next to the sending domain indicating that the domain will be used as a sender.

NOTE: If you decide not to add a domain name, you can still send email campaigns through the platform, however the FROM EMAIL sender on your campaigns will be replaced with a system default email, ex: dan.marketing.com@vbt.io.

DMARC Settings Example:

For your convenience, VBOUT has a built-in DMARC policy check and generator.

To check and create a DMARC policy, go to Settings > Domain Sender Verification, add your Sending Domain and click on Generate:

Once you click on the Generate button, VBOUT will create a default record for your convenience. You can edit this record by clicking the Edit icon.

The changes that you make to “DMARC policy type”, “Email analysis percentage”, “Email aggregate DMARC reports to”, and “Email forensic DMARC failure reports to” will be reflected in the Value:

DMARC policy type: There are three types of policies, None, Quarantine, and Reject.

  • None: The mailbox provider won’t take action for emails that fail DMARC.
  • Quarantine: This will make the mailbox providers treat all emails that fail DMARC as suspicious. Quarantining an email delivers it into an area outside of the inbox, such as the spam or junk folder.
  • Reject: The mailbox providers will reject all emails that fail DMARC.

Email analysis percentage: The percentage of emails that will be checked.

Email aggregate DMARC reports to: The aggregate DMARC reports contain information about the authentication status of messages sent on behalf of a domain.

Email forensic DMARC failure reports to: A forensic report is essentially a copy of the email that failed DMARC validation and is typically sent immediately after the failure.

Once you finish, click on the value to copy it to your clipboard:

Once you finish, add the entry to your DNS record and click Verify on VBOUT.

Here’s an example:

Depending on the DNS server, changes might take anywhere from few minutes to 24 hours to reflect. If the verify does not work after that time, please contact support for further assistance.

To learn more about spam compliance and enhancing deliverability, check out this great resource.

Get Started

Connecting your social media profiles to VBOUT

You can connect and manage new profiles to your Social Media suite using Social. To access Social connect, you can either click on the Connect Profile as a new user:

Or click on the “+” sign:

Or navigate to your Streams→ Add New Account:

The Social Connect will open prompting you with the different profiles options to connect to the platform. From there you can preview how many profiles are connected, manage existing connections and track pages that have connection problems.

To connect a Facebook company page, you have to click on the Connect a Page and Authorize VBOUT through the 3-steps permission below:

Once you have completed the Authorization prompt, you will be redirected to your Social Connect where you must expand the page and choose which page(s) to manage:

Once you have chosen the profiles, click on Save. Each page will be counted as a profile:

Connecting a LinkedIn Company page works similarly like Facebook Pages. You must expand the profile and choose which company(s) to manage. Each company will be counted as one profile:

Connecting a Pinterest account will prompt you with the option to choose which Board(s) to manage. Each board is counted as a profile:

Get Started

Creating posts

When you want to Post for Social media, you have 3 options:

  • Post now: to immediately post.
  • Schedule: to schedule a date for posting.
  • Custom Posting: to schedule the same post on different dates.

  1. Access your Social Media Queue and click on Compose.
  2. Choose your social profiles to post to.
  3. Add your post content.
  4. Add your link. This is important if you want to track the click engagement from the different social media channels.
  5. Add your media file, you can either upload a new file or access your saved media inside the File Manager. You can also use the Giphy tab or Open Source Image/video search from Pixabay to get access to thousands of media options for your posts..
  6. Confirm whether you’d like to immediately publish your post by clicking Post Now, Schedule it to post on one specific date, or schedule it to post on a specific custom dates (by choosing Custom Posting).

If you choose Schedule, you will need to choose the date and time.

If you choose Custom Posting, you will need to specify the dates on which the post should be published.

Once your post has been scheduled successfully, you will see it on your social calendar page.

Get Started

File Manager

File Manager lets you organize and manage your files and media in one place to use them when sending Email Campaigns, designing Landing Pages and scheduling Social Media posts. All the assets you add to your File Manager are accessible on your Landing Page Builder, Email Template Builder as well as your Social Media publisher.

NOTE: There is no limit to the storage you have on your account, however, we recommend that you upload files and images that are optimized for web to give your recipients faster loading experience when opening your campaigns or visiting your Landing Pages.

  • Accessing File Manager:
    Go to EMAIL and click on File Manager.
  • Upload:
    To upload an image or a Downloadable PDF, click the Upload button located on the top left of the toolbar and then drag and drop the files to the uploader.
  • New Folder:
    To add folders click New Folder button located on the top left of the toolbar. We recommend using folder names without spaces, ex:” logos-artwork” vs “logos artwork”.
  • Design on Canva: This will open the Canva designer and you will be able to design an image from scratch on Canva:
  • show URL:
    If you wish to get the path to an image or a PDF file, right click on the file then click on show URL.
  • Filters:
    To navigate and find files use the Filters located on the top right of the toolbar.

Get Started

Creating lists with forms

Creating your lists is a fundamental step in getting started using your account. In this part, we will cover how to create a list and adjust its settings. To get started, click on the Contacts option from the left sidebar, select the Lists tab from the top, and click on the Create List button:

You will be prompted with a popup to insert basic list details, such as list name, sender email address (From email address), the sender name, and the reply-to email address. Those sender details are essential when sending a confirmation email for subscribers who sign up to your list. You can also add some details about this list to remind your users why they are receiving this email. After you are done with that, you can click on Create.

After you create your first list, you can build up the fields for records on that list using the Form Builder. To customize list fields go to your lists view, find the list you wish to configure and click on the actions –> Form Builder.

On the next page you will be able to edit your list/form fields by either adding new ones or delete/edit existing. To add a new field, you can single click on the type of field you’d like to add from the left options and it will automatically be added to the bottom of the form. By default, each list will have some premade fields, such as First Name, Last Name, Email and Phone. You can rename each field, and specify whether they are required or not. To edit a pre-existing field, click on it and it will switch into edit mode so you can make your changes. Once you are done, just click on the field again to apply your changes. Once you complete all your edits, you can save your form by clicking on Save Form in the bottom right.

If you are planning on embedding this form on your website or any other web page, you can get the embed code by clicking on the Embed Code button in the top of the form settings page.

The next step is configuring the general list/form settings by clicking on the blue Settings button right next to the Embed Code button. This will allow you to edit the content of the email your subscribers receive when they sign up to your new list. For example, you can choose the Subject line, edit your From, Reply-to and Name fields, and create the body of the email they receive. You can also edit the Success/Failure message they see right after they submit the form.

There are other settings that you can control from this page including whether you’d like to be notified of new sign ups (you can add multiple emails in here to be notified), and if you would like to turn the double opt-in on for your subscribers. You can choose to redirect the user after submission to a new page, such as a thank you page on your website or a landing page on your account. It is required that you hit the Submit button in the bottom right to save your changes.

 

Check this article to see all the type of fields you can use in a form/list.

Get Started

Zapier

Zapier is an online automation tool that connects different apps together, and you can use it as well with your VBOUT account. Once you signup for an account on Zapier, you will be able to create Zaps (an automated workflow between apps) and connect your VBOUT account (through our VBOUT Zapier app) to your other favorite apps. For example, you can automatically add your new Facebook Leads Ads leads to a VBOUT list of your choice, which saves you a lot of manual work. You can explore our Zapbook which includes a few templates in here.

To get started you need to have:

  1. A Zapier online account
  2. Your VBOUT account
  3. Any other third party app you’d like to connect to VBOUT using Zapier (Ex: Google Sheets, Calendly…)

To connect your VBOUT account to your Zapier one, you need to get your VBOUT API User Key. You can find more details in here

Get Started

Building automation

You can build customer automation workflow by clicking on the Automation option from the left menu bar. An automation 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 an automation from scratch, you can click on Blank Automation. This would take you to the workflow editor. On that screen, you can name your automation in the top, and to the left, you can find your Triggers and Actions elements.

Triggers define what starts the automation, 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 takes specific actions to a different path.

To start your automation, 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:

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 automation. (You could also activate the automation 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 automation starts and get turned on once the automation has ended.

Get Started