Note: The following information is considered a PLUS feature and additional licensing is required. For more information, contact your AiSP or ASI Technical Support.
Advanced Email makes interactions with your constituents efficient and effective. Advanced Email enables you to send email more reliably, track the effectiveness of individual emailed communications, and apply what you learn to continually improve your communication approach.
With Advanced Email, you will know:
- Why a message failed to reach a recipient
- When a message was delivered
- Whether a message was opened
- Which links included in a message were clicked
- Who marked the communication as spam, if applicable
You can analyze communications at an individual level by reviewing the details of a single message to a particular recipient to see what email events occurred, or at an overall level by analyzing one or more communications to determine its effectiveness, identifying which links were presented in a way that enticed readers to click the links, and so on.
The data collected from the Advanced Email interactions are displayed in several dashboards within the Staff site. The dashboards display statistics for an individual email, or across all emails sent within the last twelve months.
Do the following to configure your Advanced Email:
- From the Staff site, go to Settings > Advanced email.
- Provide the required information. The Disabled notifications option provides Staff users the ability to enable or disable email notifications. When this option is selected, email notifications will not be received.
- (optional) Advanced Email is disabled by default for test databases in order to avoid redirection of live email notifications to the test database. A Reactivate button is displayed whenever a change in the configured SQL server or database name is detected. Click Reactivate only when the database is the primary live database. This database will then receive notifications, whereas any previously configured database will not.
- If Reactivate is accidentally clicked and you want to revert to using the original database, go to Settings for the original instance and click Save. This will update the Advanced Email service account with the original notification URL.
- Enabling and disabling notifications turns notification tracking for all new Advanced Emails for all instances of iMIS for an organization on and off. Deactivate and Reactivate updates the Advanced Email server setting for the URL to which all email notifications will be sent. Deactivation happens automatically whenever iMIS determines that the current database or SQL server name has changed, whereas reactivation for any instance of iMIS sets the email notification URL to point to the instance from which you reactivate, as the live database.
- Click Save.
- Submit an ASI Support ticket, and include the following information:
- Subject: (AEM) CNAME records needed for DNS
- Content: I have just completed configuration of Advanced Email in my iMIS settings. Will you send me my three CNAME records so that I can add them to the DNS?
- When you receive your three CNAME records from someone at ASI, add the CNAME records to the DNS. Please contact your DNS Provider and make the necessary updates.
- After you have added your three CNAME records to the DNS, reply to your ASI Support ticket with the following information:
"I have added my three CNAME records to the DNS. Please verify I have configured the CNAME records correctly."
Warning! Do not send any Advanced Email communications until you have been verified by someone at ASI.
Note: If someone at ASI tells you that your account is not verified, you will need to make sure you have properly configured your CNAME records. ASI highly recommends someone from an IT department adds the CNAME records to the DNS.
- After you have been verified by someone at ASI, you can begin using Advanced Email Marketing.
ASI cannot update your DNS for you. Please contact your DNS Provider and make the necessary updates. The following is an example of what your DNS should look like after the CNAME records have been added:
hostname: [ imismail.yourorg.org ] / data: [ u1234567.wl143.sendgrid.net ]
hostname: [ s1._domainkey.yourorg.org ] / data: [ s1.domainkey.u1234567.wl143.sendgrid.net ]
hostname: [ s2._domainkey.yourorg.org ] / data: [ s2.domainkey.u1234567.wl143.sendgrid.net ]
Only information inside the [ ] needs to be entered.
- Subdomain: By default, ASI chooses "imismail" as your subdomain. If you would like to change this subdomain name, you must submit an ASI Support ticket. You are only able to have one subdomain name.
- Email addresses: It is important that the email you enter in the From field matches exactly to the email address you sent ASI. For example, if you told ASI that "email@example.com" would be sending Advanced Email communications, then you can only enter "firstname.lastname@example.org" in the From field, and not "BobSmith@imis.com," "BOBSMITH@IMIS.COM," or any other variation of casing that is not "email@example.com."
In order to get the best performance from your communication efforts and have the most secure communications with your constituents, consider the following when setting up Advanced Email:
Generating lists of communication recipients
- Consider how you are generating your lists of communication recipients. Ideally, communication recipients will opt to receive communications from your organization. Recipient email addresses must not be purchased.
- If you collect email addresses from social media sites, such as LinkedIn or Facebook, it is recommended that you verify all email addresses.
- Advanced Email communications will not send to email addresses with non-ASCII symbols, such as é.
- You must comply with any and all regional email legislation if you send communications internationally, for example, CASL (Canada’s Anti-Spam Law) or the CAN-SPAM Act (a law in the United States that sets rules for commercial email).
- You must comply with regulatory bodies’ requirements for opt-outs and physical addresses. Removing unsubscribed addresses is a legal requirement in the United States, Canada, and in the European Union. For example, the CAN-SPAM Act requires that all opt-out requests be satisfied within ten business days of the request being initiated.
- You can send large communication jobs with a maximum of 50,000 contacts. When sending a large communication job, it will take about 10 minutes for the statuses of the first several communications to appear in the communication log. The remaining communications statuses will appear in the communication log throughout a one-hour period. These times will vary depending on the amount of communications being sent.
- You cannot send more than one large communication job at a time. After all statuses for a communication job are present in the Communication Log, you can begin the next large communication job.
- Remove any and all role accounts from your email recipient list. You should not send communications to role accounts.
- Remove any and all email addresses that have misspelled or improperly formatted domain names. Do not attempt to correct misspelled domain names.
- Unsubscribe hard bounces. It is recommended that addresses that generate hard bounces (5xx bounce types, also called Non-Delivery Report/Receipt or NDR) multiple times over a given timeframe be unsubscribed.
- You must have a public domain name. Your domain registration cannot be anonymous, and you must have a role account for each registered domain.
- Any communication that includes links to blacklisted domains will be blocked by most ISPs. You can use the following sites to help determine if a domain might be blacklisted:
- Regardless of the quality of your communication, you can expect to receive complaints. It is a recommended best practice to implement, monitor and maintain role accounts, for example, email addresses that begin with abuse@, postmaster@, noreply@, and so forth to receive complaints.
- Typically, promotional and marketing communications face a greater rate for complaints than other types of emails, even with similar rates of permission and opt-ins.
- Communications sent to discrete, targeted groups perform better than larger communications.
- Communications from third parties or unexpected senders can generate complaints, regardless of the permissions provided by recipients.
- Set a limit on the number of messages that can be sent to a recipient in a given timeframe. The best results can be seen when you send timely, expected communications.
- The best practice for handling complaints that are surfaced through a complaint feedback loop is to unsubscribe those recipients who report the communication as spam or junk.
Before sending Advanced Email communications, review the following:
- The Advanced email checkbox is not displayed in the communication template if an account has not been created, and is disabled if the database has not been reactivated, for example, on a test database. See Advanced Email for more information.
- The email address in the From field must be a valid email with a domain that has previously been whitelabeled. See Configuring Advanced email for more information.
- Advanced Email does not support Order Confirmation communications.
- Advanced Email does not support the ability to include repeating data (using the foreach placeholder) in the email from an associated data source.
- When sending an email, the BCC and CC links, as well as the Attachment link, are not displayed.
- Advanced email communications cannot be sent with more than 20 custom fields (insert fields). For example, you are creating a mass email for five people and have one custom field in the subject line and four custom fields in the body. In this situation, you have used a total of five custom fields and have a remaining 15.
Note: This limit is reset about 24-hours after the last communication was sent.
Do the following to send an email using Advanced Email:
- Compose an email. For example, in the Staff site, you can go to Marketing > Communication templates > Templates > Samples, and open the Annual Conference Invitation template.
- Enable Advanced email before sending the communication. This option must be enabled in order to track and report the results of each Advanced Email communication.
- Click Send Now.
- To analyze Advanced Email statistics, go to Marketing > Advanced email.
You can use the Interaction Log content item to track your organization’s email communications with your contacts. Each communication will display the following:
- Owner of the communication
A recipient's interaction log will report how the communication was processed:
- Queued - The communication has been sent to the Advanced Email server.
- Delivered - The communication has been successfully delivered to the recipient.
- Dropped - The communication was not sent to the recipient because the email address is already known to be invalid, has repeated bounces, or multiple spam reports.
- Open - The communication was viewed by the recipient.
- Click - The recipient selected a link within the communication.
- Bounced - The communication was not successfully delivered and has been reported back to the sender, along with any errors or text returned from the recipient.
- Unsubscribe - The recipient has opted out of receiving this communication type. See Changing contact communication preferences for more information.
- Deferred - A transient communication problem with the recipient has occurred and is likely to self-correct. See Troubleshooting for more information.
- Reported as Spam - The recipient reported the communication as spam. See Tracking email interaction with contacts for more information.
Note: The Advanced Email service automatically drops emails in order to protect your sender reputation.
Note: The Details column will display the link that the recipient selected.
The Advanced Email dashboards are accessed on the Staff site by navigating to Marketing > Advanced email.
These sample dashboards are configured out-of-the-box using both the InteractionLog and InteractionLogEventSummary business objects to display the Advanced Email statistics, and can be tailored to your preference.
The Advanced Email dashboard displays the results of every Advanced Email communication sent in the past 12 months, unless otherwise indicated.
- The Emails sent is calculated by the number of total email requests that were sent as an Advanced Email.
- The percentage of Delivered emails reflect the total percent of requested emails that were successfully delivered to the recipient. This calculation does not include dropped, bounced, unsubscribed, or deferred emails.
- The Open rate reflects the number of recipients who have opened the email at least once (unique opens), divided by the total number of emails delivered. For example, if a recipient opens a communication multiple times, the unique opens will only calculate the first time the recipient opened the communication.
- The Click rate reflects the number of recipients who have clicked on any links within an email (unique clicks), divided by the number of emails that were opened. For example, if a recipient opens a communication and clicks on a link, the unique clicks will only calculate the first time the recipient clicked on a link within the communication.
- The Responses in the past 90 Days graph displays an accumulation of each type of Advanced Email interaction for each day over a specified month.
- The Last response per recipient displays an accumulation of the last action the recipient performed after receiving the Advanced Email.
- The By type chart displays the total number of communications for each defined communication type. See Adding a new communication type for more information.
- The Delivered by month chart displays the total number of communication types sent per month by communication type. See Adding a new communication type for more information.
- The Opens and Clicks columns include the sum of all opened or clicked totals for each individual Advanced Email. For example, if one recipient opens an email and clicks four different links in that specific email, the total number of Opens would be 1 and the total number of Clicks would be 4.
- The Open Rate and Click Rate columns indicate rates based on unique opens and clicks, thus multiple opens or clicks of the same email are totaled only once. The Open Rate reflects the number of recipients who have opened the email at least once, divided by the total number of emails that were successfully delivered. The Click Rate reflects the number of recipients who have clicked on any of the links within an email, divided by the number of emails that were opened.
When the communication subject is selected, the individual communication dashboard is displayed. The information on the individual dashboard is similar to the main dashboard. Some additional features include:
- The Sent chart reports all of the bounced, delivered, unsubscribed, and deferred emails. Unique deferred emails reflect only the single instance that the email was marked as deferred. See Troubleshooting for more information.
- Links clicked reports both the Total Clicks and Unique Clicks of each link that is contained in the Advanced Email.
- Delivery failures reports all of the bounced, marked-as-spam, deferred, and dropped emails. The reason for each failure (as reported from the recipient's side) is listed, along with the recipient's name and email address.
- If iMIS does not know how to process a reported event, an error message will be written to both the error log at C:\Asi.Scheduler\Asi.Scheduler.log and to the EventViewer.
- If there is a communication problem between the Advanced Email server and the iMIS application server, the Advanced Email server will mark the notification as deferred, and attempt to re-send the event notification for up to 24 hours. The maximum number of deferred items in this retry queue is 100,000 communications. When the communications exceed the maximum number of deferred items, the oldest request in the queue is removed.
- Email notifications that cannot be submitted within the maximum retry period, or events removed from the defer queue, will be lost.
To re-enable Advanced Email notifications in the Staff site, you can go to Settings > Advanced email and deselect Disable notifications 24 hours after you initiated the communication.
- (Service Pack M or later) When creating a new communication template or editing an out-of-the-box template, the Additional Data Sources will have a Default query with an Alias of party. Do not remove this data source! You may add additional data sources, but the Default data source should remain to ensure that the email is received.