Getting started with Flexmail
Checklist for your first steps in Flexmail
1. Choose your communication languages
Flexmail offers support to send email in different languages. When you first login to Flexmail, we'll ask you in which languages you want to send emails from in you account.
When you're creating new resources, like contacts or opt-in forms, you can only choose from the languages you select in this screen. When a contact consults his own profile and would like to change his or her language, they can also only choose from your communication languages. If you only select one language, we won't bother you with settings you don't need.
If you select more than one communication language, we'll also ask you which of those languages you'd like to select as fallback. Selecting multiple communication languages implies that you'll need to insert your own translations once you create resources in Flexmail that are also viewable for your contacts, like your own custom fields. If you haven't inserted the necessary translations, we'll display the fallback language (which is required when creating a field) to your contacts when a necessary translation isn't available.
If your company is based in Belgium, chances are you are sending communication in Dutch and French. But when selecting a fallback language, it's probably better to use English as fallback. This is a language that most people master, compared to Dutch or French. If you'd like to do that, just select English as communication language and select that as fallback.
2. Import your existing contacts
Chances are you have a database of contacts you'd like to send emails to. You could add them one by one, but it's best to import them in batch. You can upload a .csv file into Flexmail.
Not sure how to put together your file?
You can find our CSV tips here
Would you like to know more about how our import works?
- Read more on matching the columns of your CSV file with the fields in Flexmail
- About the possible import errors
- What does a contact consist of?
- Read more on how the import deals with duplicate contacts
3. Create your first segment
Bulk email, where you send the same email to your entire database, isn't going to get you the best results. Once you've got your audience right where you want them (inside Flexmail), you probably want to differentiate specific audiences. In Flexmail, you can create segments based on default contact fields like language, on the fields you create yourself, on interests and preferences.
You can find all steps you need to take in order to create a segment here
4. Import existing unsubscriptions on the blacklist
If you're switching to Flexmail from another email marketing platform, you want to make sure your subscribers, but especially your unsubscribers aren't negatively impacted by your switch. In Flexmail, we use the blacklist to make sure unsubscribed contacts cannot get imported or emailed from within Flexmail. Simply import your unsubscribers on the blacklist tab and you're good to go.
5. Set up Sender Validation
In Flexmail you send campaigns from your own email address. To make sure you have access to an email address and/or we have the approval of the owner of that email address to send emails from, we ask you to go through a simple validation process.
Simply insert the email address you wish to use as sender. We'll then send an email to that email address asking them to click on the validation button. Once they do that, you can start using that email address as a sender for your campaigns. You can add as many sender email addresses as you like.
6. Set up Email Authentication
If you care about your email getting through the various spam filters, you should also care about Email Authentication.
Simply put, Email Authentication handles with security mechanisms (called SPF, SenderID and DKIM) that ensure that bad guys cannot send emails in your name. And that the receiving mail servers also know that the email they are seeing in front of them actually comes from you.
7. Create an opt-in form
Your website probably gets its fair share of visitors a day. Wouldn't it be nice if you could place a subscription form there, and have your subscribers appear automatically in Flexmail?
In order to do that, you can create an opt-in form. Simply choose the fields you need (less is better) and place the code on your site. When someone fills out the form, we'll send them an opt-in email. Once they confirm using the button in that email, they are added to your account.
8. Create your first template
Now it's finally time to create your first email. To make sure your communication is on-brand, recognisable and trustworthy, it's best to create a couple of templates for email types you intend to use regularly.
The defining feature of a template is its reusability. They provide a base on which to add copy, images, and links specific to that email campaign. Using an email template allows you to produce campaigns faster, because you don't have to put a lot of effort into your designs and they make your communication consistent.
Some template ideas to get you started:
- Newsletter - aimed at listing a couple of articles (we advise a max. number of 5 per email)
- Update template - to highlight a single topic (to make sure nothing distracts from your message)
- "Alert" type template - something you can use when you need to get information out the door quickly (like a maintenance or service update)
- Email invite templates - for events and webinars, listing the reasons why you want to be there, or a schedule
- Promotional template - to introduce new features or products
Ready to get started? With our drag & drop builder you can create your own email templates from scratch!
9. Create a welcome email
A welcome email is one of the first impressions your business makes on a new subscriber. It's an email that is sent automatically for every contact that is imported into your account or that fills out an opt-in form - depending on how you wish to start it. It's a friendly hello to connect with new customers and encourage them to interact with your product or service.
It's the very first email a new contact gets, and it sets to tone for everything you're going to send afterwards:
- 76% of people expect to receive a welcome email immediately after subscribing to your list.
- Users who receive a welcome email show 33% more engagement with the brand.
Just imagine you're somewhere new where you're entering a big room, and all the people are talking and discussing there. What you want is for someone to welcome you, to introduce you, and to give you all information you need to get started in the discussion as well. That's exactly what your welcome email should do.
First, create the message you'd like to send them with the Builder.
Next, you can find all info you need to set up your welcome automation here
10. Send your first campaign and consult your first report
That's it! You're all set to start sending emails to your contacts. First, create your email using drag & drop. Preferably, you'll start from one of the templates you've built. Next, you need to compose your campaign by putting it all together: select your email and a sender address, choose a good subject line and the audience you wish to send it to. Next, decide whether you wish to send it now or at a specific time. Last but not least: start seeing the results roll in!
What's next to discover:
- Create your own forms to get to know your audience better
- Set up new automation scenarios
- Map clicking behavior with interests
- Allow contacts to indicate what they'd like to receive using preferences