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Newsletter Wizard

Overview

ProductCart makes it easy to send messages to targeted customer lists with the new Newsletter Wizard. Using Newsletter Wizard you can build filtered customer lists (e.g. only customers that purchased a certain product, or within a certain date range, etc.), then send a targeted message to it, in text or HTML format. You can also, easily test the message before sending it to the entire list.

The integration with MailUp was developed to replace the built-in Newsletter Wizard with a professional, robust, proven e-mail marketing system. This section focuses on the built-in e-mail marketing features. For more information on the integration with MailUp and on how to use ProductCart if you are a MailUp subscriber, see the MailUp section.

How customer opt-in and opt-out

When you activate the Newsletter Signup checkout option, customers will be able to opt in to receive information from you by checking the corresponding check box when they register with your store, or as they checkout. If you use MailUp, you will also have the ability to ask customer to subscribe to different lists.

If you updated from an earlier version of ProductCart, customers can opt in by checking the same check box on the account details page after logging into their account and selecting Modify Personal Information. You can encourage customers to opt in by offering them special discounts. For example, you can publicize the fact that special promotions on your store are only available to the recipients of your store newsletter.

Similarly, customers can opt out of your list of newsletter subscribers by logging into their account and unchecking the same check box. Please note that when you send a message to your customers using then Newsletter Wizard, unsubscribe information is NOT automatically added to the message. The language to use (if any) to instruct customers on how to opt out is left for you to decide. We strongly recommend that you do not send messages to customers that have not opted to receive information from you, or that have opted out of the list, except in special emergency situations. For example, an emergency scenario would be that of an online toy store that issues a recall on a dangerous baby toy, or a software store that provides customers with a security update for a certain application, and so on.

NO SPAM: DO NOT USE this feature to send SPAM email. Regardless of whether or not spam is considered illegal in your State and/or Country, sending unsolicited messages is not what this feature is meant for. It is also not a good marketing practice and it will harm your business in the long run.

Using the Newsletter Wizard

To start using then Newsletter Wizard, select Customers > Newsletter Wizard. You can choose of the following two options:

  • Start the Wizard to create a new message. You will be taken through the steps described below. Select this option if this is the first time you use this feature.
  • View previously sent messages. Select this options to see a list of previously sent messages, the number of recipients the message was sent to, and the date it was sent. This feature allows you to select a message that you have already sent to a customer list, then send it to another list, with or without editing it.

Generating a targeted list of customers

When you start the Wizard to create a new message, the first step will be to generate a targeted customer list. You can use the following filters:

  • Opted in. You can include only customers who have opted to receive information from the store, or you can include all customers. We strongly recommend using the second approach only in emergency scenarios, as mentioned earlier in this section.
  • Product purchased. You can include only customers that have purchased a specific product, or any product within a specific product category. The default selection is “Any”, which means that customers that have purchased any product, from any category are included.
  • Customer type. You include all customers, only retail customers, or only wholesale customers.
  • Date range. You can include only customers that have made a purchase within a certain date range. If you leave the field blank, the date in which an order was placed is not used as a filter.

Reviewing the list

Click on the Continue button to build a customer list using the selected filters. The Newsletter Wizard will now display the results of the filtered search, indicating how many addresses have so far been added to the list. The addresses are shown in a text area.

At this time, you can easily add or remove customers to the list. In order to add e-mail addresses to the list, paste the new addresses into the text area that contains the current e-mail list built by Newsletter Wizard. Make sure to include only one address per line. You can copy and paste addresses from another application, but they will have to meet this formatting requirement. You cannot have two addresses on the same line, even if they are separated by a comma or semicolon.

When you are done adding/removing addresses, click on the Update button. Verify that the number of addresses detected by ProductCart matches your changes. If you click on the Continue button prior to selecting Update, you will loose your changes. To proceed to the next step, click on the Continue button.

Creating the message

You are now ready to compose the message that will be sent to the list you just created. You can either compose a new message, or select an existing one from the list. If you have previous messages available and opt to use one of them, the page will refresh itself automatically when you make a selection from the Copy from sent message drop-down menu, and will pre-fill the form fields with details from the selected message.

  • From Name. Enter the sender’s name that you want this message to display.
  • From Email. Enter the sender’s address that you want this message to carry with it.
  • Subject. Enter the message subject. The message you send will be saved to the system for future use. The message subject will be used to identify the message after it has been sent. Therefore, it is a good idea to use a unique subject (e.g. add an identifier at the end of the subject).
  • Message. Enter either a text or HTML message. You can cut and paste HTML code from your favorite HTML editor, or use the built-in HTML editor. Do NOT use HTML code generated by Microsoft® Word.
  • Send as. Select whether you are sending an HTML or text message. Note that if CDONTS or CDOSYS is your email component, you cannot send HTML messages.

Sending the message

You are now ready to send your message. To make sure it will be received by customers exactly the way you expect it to be received, you can test the message before you send it to your entire customer list. Enter an e-mail address in the corresponding text field, and click on Test Message to send the message to that address. Only enter one e-mail address. If you would rather continue without performing the test, select Continue Without Testing.

Check the e-mail account to which the test message was sent. If everything looks according to your expectations, click on Send Message to start sending the message to your customer list. ProductCart will regularly update the page to show you how many messages have been sent of the total messages that will be sent.

Depending on the e-mail component set up on your store, sending a message to your customers can take up to a few seconds for each address included in the list. Messages are sent one by one to avoid triggering filters that may be in place on your Web hosting company’s e-mail server.

ProductCart's Newsletter Wizard is not intended to handle large email lists (for that purpose, consider taking advantage of the integration with the MailUp E-mail Marketing system). Messages are sent one by one, to avoid exceeding limitations to the number of concurrent recipients that may be in place on your Web server's mail server. In our tests, sending a message typically took between 1 and 2 seconds each. Therefore, sending a newsletter to 100 customers could take up to 3 minutes.

Random Number

When using the Newsletter Wizard to send emails to my customers, a random number is added to the subject and copy of the messages. Why?

A random number is added to each message to reduce the chance that the SMTP server will block messages from being sent due to identical subject and copy.

To remove it, edit the file pcadmin/newsWizStep5a.asp as shown below (remove the variable “Tn1”).

Locate the following lines:

MsgBody1=”" & MsgBody & "

" & Tn1 & "” else MsgBody1=MsgBody & vbcrlf & vbcrlf & Tn1 end if call sendMail(session(“News_FromName”), session(“News_FromEmail”), AddrList(dem), session(“News_Title”) & ” - ” & Tn1, MsgBody1)

… and replace them with:

MsgBody1=”" & MsgBody & "

” else MsgBody1=MsgBody & vbcrlf & vbcrlf end if call sendMail(session(“News_FromName”), session(“News_FromEmail”), AddrList(dem), session(“News_Title”), MsgBody1)


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QR Code Newsletter Wizard (generated for current page)