What is an Automated File Campaign?

Automated File Campaigns are intended to work as a blend between Smart Send and Triggered Drip Campaigns and are available to Postalytics subscription account users. The set up is very similar to a Smart Send Campaign, however, you do need credits in queue to run the campaign, similar to a Triggered Drip Campaign. 

With an Automated File Campaign, you have the ability to upload contact lists at regular, or irregular, intervals into a single, on-going campaign. The sends can even be scheduled out into the future. This can be far more efficient than sending multiple Smart Send Campaigns.

Additionally, a more advanced feature allows for dropping files via FTP. See our help doc Automated File Campaign - FTP File Upload to learn more about this advanced feature.

Before You Start

Your contact mailing file, in either .xlsx or .CSV,  will need to have the required fields for standard address data, along with any other fields you wish to have in the file for personalization variables. Up to 35 variable fields are supported.

Note: You'll want to have at least one record in the initial file. Subsequent files uploaded to the campaign must have the identical header row that was mapped in during the campaign creation.

A sample data file can be downloaded from the Campaign builder as well. This will be outlined a little further down.

How do I Create an Automated File Campaign?

From the Postalytics homepage, select “Campaigns” and then “New Campaign”.

On the next page, select “Automated File” as your campaign type.

You’re now within the Postalytics Campaign Wizard for the Automated File Campaign. 

Basic Information

Enter the campaign name and the return address for the mailing, then click “Next” in the bottom right corner.

If at any time you want to save the campaign and return later to complete it, just click on “Save for Later” in the upper right corner. Your campaign will be saved in Draft Mode.

Save for Later/Draft Mode

If you previously saved the campaign, at any stage, and are now ready to finish it up, you’ll find it in the Campaign Library. Click on “Campaigns” and then “View Campaigns”. 

The Campaign will be listed with the status of “Draft Mode”. Click on the edit icon under “Status”, or the grayed out “Draft” box, to pick up where you left off.

Recipients

The Recipients page allows you to select the Country you are mailing to. At this time Postalytics mails in the United States and Canada.

Note: Mailings to different countries cannot be combined. All future lists uploaded to this campaign must be in the same mailing Country. If you would like to mail in another Country, then a separate campaign with that County selected will need to be created. 

Click “Next” to continue.

Note: from this screen, or any of the following screens, you can go back to the previous screen by clicking on the “Back” button in the lower left corner.

File Mapping

The File Mapping page is where you’ll upload your contact mailing file, but first, let’s review the sections above the file upload area.

  1. Mapping Tips

Click here if you’d like to learn some helpful tips for mapping your file within the Postalytics software.

  1. Prepare Your Data File

Click here to read our help documentation on how to prepare your data file for mailing best practices.

  1. Download Sample Data File

Selecting this will automatically download a sample data file, in .CSV format, showing you a header row with all of the required data fields, and some sample data. Feel free to use this file to build your mailing file, if you haven’t created one by this point.

Upload a List

Click within the box to locate a file on your drive, or drag and drop the file into the box.

Once your file has been moved over, click “Upload” or “Next” to move onto mapping the fields.

Mapping Fields into Postalytics

You will need to map your data field headers to the standard Postalytics headers, then each future file uploaded to the campaign will need to also have these newly mapped field headers. Use the drop downs in each area to select the header name to map. 

When the section is green, or turns green during mapping, it means that all of the required fields have been mapped properly to the standard Postalytics headers. If a section is red, those fields will still need to be mapped. 

Remember to also map any variable data that your data file may contain so that it can be used within the creative, where needed.

Click “Next” to continue. 

Delay

Next up is setting the delay, if desired. It is not a requirement to have a delay, however, if you’d like the file to be processed at a later date you’ll use this feature.

To add a delay, use the drop down under “No Delay”. 

If “No Delay” is the setting, then the campaign will process within minutes of the file upload each time. 

If a delay is set, the files will process in the number of days indicated on this screen.

Click “Next” to continue.

The delay can be added, removed, or changed at any time within the campaign settings, which will be shown in an upcoming section.

Choose Your Creative Template

Once the mapping and delay have been completed, you’ll move on to select your template from all of your proofed templates. Click on the template for this campaign, and then click “Next” to continue.

Note: Only templates that have been successfully “proofed” will be available here, so if the template you’d like to use isn’t an option on this screen, you’ll need to click “Save for Later” and complete the proofing process for the desired template. Learn more about Proofing Templates.


If the template for your campaign is a letter, you'll have the option to select a standard double window, or a custom single window outer envelope. Follow the same steps above. 

Click “Next” to continue.

Note: Your custom envelope order will need to be finalized before you can select it. Orders take 3-6 weeks to process, and made available to use in a campaign. Any pending orders will be listed in the bottom section of the envelope page. 

For more information on the Custom Envelope order process click here.


Set Up Your Tracking

The tracking page is where you’ll select the components for your pURL and/or QR Code.

If your template does not include a pURL or QR Code, then this step will be skipped.

Domain

You need to Choose Your Domain for tracking. You can use Postalytics shared Free Domain (p.ostal.us) or a Vanity Domain. Visit our Vanity Domains page for more information on purchasing one through the Postalytics Domain tool.

Smart Send Wizard Audience Tracking Choose Domain pURL

URL Style

You’ll then Pick A Style for the URL string. Postalytics offers two very different pURL formats – Random and Friendly URL Strings.


Random URL Strings will generate randomly selected letters, numbers or both for you. You choose the length of the character string. Use Random Strings when data privacy or fixed domain length are primary concerns.


Friendly URL Strings are chosen from the data fields in the contact list you’ve chosen for the campaign. In order to create uniqueness, you’ll need to choose two data fields. Most clients choose First Name/Last Name, in order to maximize the personalization of the creative. The length of the URL will vary based on the data in the contact list. The separator between first and last identifier is optional.  If you choose first name and last name as your identifiers, then your pURLs will have the following format:  FirstNameLastName.yourdomain.com


Finally, enter the URL end you wish to use in the URL end box.  For example, you might want to use the name of the promotion or the date as the URL end. Any combination of letters and numbers will work, just don’t use special characters or symbols in your URL name. Using a URL end will prevent you from creating duplicate pURLs if you plan to use your domain for multiple campaigns. A preview of your pURL format will be displayed to the right, in the blue box.


Note: If the domain selected has been used before and the ending URL is not unique, you’ll receive a system message asking you to change the structure before you’re able to move forward.

Click “Next” to continue.


Starting URL

A Starting URL is where you’d like your audience directed to when they enter their pURL or scan their QR code. This URL can be any site that has the Postalytics tracking code installed.


You may also choose to set an optional Goal URL. When a recipient reaches this goal URL it will indicate a conversion. Thank you page URLs are commonly used. The Postalytics tracking code will also need to be installed on this page.

The starting URL and Goal URL must have the complete URL address (e.g. https://postalytics.com).


Click “Next” to continue.

Postage

In the next step, you’ll select the postage type for this campaign. For U.S. mailings, choose either First Class or Standard. Canadian mailings only have First Class postage types.

Please note that the estimated delivery times in the U.S. are 5-7 business days for USPS First Class Mail and 14-21 business days for USPS Standard Mail delivery.

Canadian estimated delivery times are 5-7 business days.

Automated File Campaigns require Direct Mail Credits in order to process. When purchasing credits, be sure the postage type matches what has been selected here.


Confirmation Page

The final page is the Confirmation page, where you’ll be able to confirm all of the information that has been entered up to this point.

Review this section carefully and if you’d like to go back to any of the sections to make adjustments, click on either the edit pen next to the title in the setup section, or by clicking on the section in the header.


What’s Next?

Your Automated File Campaign will be in “Test Mode” by design, giving you the opportunity to ensure that everything is working properly before toggling it to “Live Mode.”

Learn More About Test Mode.

You may want to download a Sample File from your Campaign so that you have the proper headers for future files as well. Do that by clicking on “Download Sample File”.