Date Fields To Automate Email Campaigns, Part 1
What do the following have in common? Birthday cards, renewal notices and email follow-ups?
The answer: Date fields to manage targeted, auto-generated email campaigns that message customers in a very timely fashion.
In this two-part article, we’ll discuss how to:
- Create date fields
- Manage list uploads
- Create triggered content
- Package it all up in an automated triggered send
Sending your customers a birthday wish (and perhaps gifting them with a discount coupon to celebrate) both builds loyalty to your brand and generates fresh business. Start the data collection process with a website signup form that includes a birthdate field.
If your company is service-oriented and your POS or CRM data includes renewal dates, bring that information into an address book to automatically advise your customers of pending contract renewals.
POS systems often collect last purchased dates. Website social sites record the dates your registered users last logged in. This type of information is useful to produce triggered follow-ups, both personalized and targeted.
Creating a Date Field
To begin the data collection process, we’ll need to create a contact data date field. Here’s how:
- Create a data field by navigating to Contacts > Contact data fields.
- Click the green ADD NEW button to create a new field
- Input a name for the field.Tip: the field name can be a maximum of 20 characters not including blank spaces.
- Use the drop down selector to option a DATE data type.
- Do not setup a default value, as the correct data is crucial to the process.
- Make the access either PUBLIC or PRIVATE. Public data provides your contacts a way to update the information that you are collecting, as in a signup form that includes input for birthdate.
- Save your good work!
- Create a newsletter signup form that includes a birthdate data field. Alternatively, you can upload data directly from your POS or CRM.Tip: When uploading date fields from a spreadsheet, format the cell in date format. Excel will do this for you quickly.
With the cells formatted correctly, save your spreadsheet in CSV (comma delimited) file format.
Now that we’ve got the data squared away, we’re ready to focus on the content and automated mechanism that fires it all off. Stay tuned next month! In Date Fields That Automate Email Campaigns, Part 2, we’ll define how to create a triggered campaign and wrap it all up with a triggered send.