SMART: Creating Communications

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In this video, we're going to demonstrate how to compose and send communications within SMART. We will also be demonstrating the inbuilt communication reporting feature that provides users with up-to-date information about any communications sent using SMART.

Video transcript

To begin composing a communication, you must first navigate to the Communicate page by clicking on the tab. You will initially be presented with the Overview page. This page provides you with an overall view of all of the communications that have been sent recently within SMART, as well as any communications that have been scheduled to send in the future.

To compose a new communication, click the Create tab. SMART allows for a variety of types of communications to be composed and sent. You may choose to compose an email, text message, fax or mailing to be sent individually, or alternatively, you may choose to send varying combinations of the four. Once you have selected a communication type, you must give your communication a name. It is strongly suggested that you adopt the three-part naming convention when selecting names for any elements in SMART.

For example, using a combination of your initials, an identifying term for the content, and a relevant date makes it easier to retrieve the communication at a later time should you need to use it again. An example of this convention might be CD underscore Managers' Meeting underscore Jan 2015. Once you have selected a name for your communication click the Next button.

You will be presented with the template selection page. Select the template you wish to use by selecting it from the dropdown list. Additional templates can be created at the user's request by contacting a member of the Syrenis team. Once you have made your selection, click the select button. There are two required fields on this page. The first is the Communication subject field, which will be displayed in the recipient's Subject field when the communication is sent. The second is the Communication from field, which is the name that will be displayed in the recipient's From field. Use the dropdown menu to select the email address that will display as the address the communication is being sent from. This is not the email address that replies will be sent to: this will be input at a later time in the process.

The test email field allows you to input an email address that can be used to send test versions of the created communication in order to verify the communication's layout and make sure that it doesn't contain any errors. It is always a good idea to test every communication before they are sent.

You are now ready to begin composing the content of your communication. SMART's inbuilt communication editor includes all the editing functions that you would expect from an editor. You can hover over any of the buttons on the communication editor's hotbar and it will give you a brief description of what the button does. You may select to maximise or minimise the communication editor window for ease of use by clicking the maximise button. If you click the button again it will minimise the communication window.

Any emails that are composed in SMART are done so using HTML. You can use the Source button to toggle between viewing the HTML source code and how the communication will look when it's sent. SMART includes replace fields which can be used to automatically retrieve particular values from the database. So, for example, you may begin your communication by using the following replace fields: dear replace field forename, replace field surname. SMART will replace these placeholders with the relevant stakeholder information that's saved in the database. This allows for communications to be personalised when they are sent to large lists of stakeholders.

Once you have entered the content of your communication and are satisfied, click the Save button. You can view your saved communication on the Saved page. From here, you can add an attachment to your communication by clicking on the icon in the attachments column.

Select the file you wish to attach using the Choose file button and click Upload file. The file will appear in the window at the bottom of the screen. You can preview the file by clicking on the preview icon or delete the file by clicking on the delete icon. Once you're satisfied, click on the Saved tab.

It's always a good idea to test your communication before setting it up to be sent. This can be done by clicking the test email icon. A message will appear saying that the test was sent to the email address that was input as test email when creating the communication. This allows you to view the communication as it will be laid out to the recipient stakeholders and make any amendments if necessary.

If you're satisfied with the content of the test email, you are now ready to set up the communication to be sent. Click on the Send tab. Sending a communication is a three step process. The first step involves selecting the communication to be sent. In the Step 1 section, use the radio buttons to select your created communication. You can view a preview of the communication content by clicking the preview icon.

The second step involves selecting the list of stakeholders the communication is to be to sent to. For more information on stakeholder lists, click here.

You can view the deliverability report for each list by clicking the graph icon under deliverability report. This illustrates the maximum deliverability percentage for the list, taking into account suppressions, bounces and invalid email addresses.

The final step involves selecting the transmission date and time. Use the dropdown lists to select the day, month, year and time for the communication to be sent. A response email address is required. Any replies to the communication will be sent to this address. You may also choose to input a notification email address to alert you when the communication has been sent. Once you're satisfied with your selections, click the Save button.

You can view your planned communications at any time by clicking on the Planned page. If you hover over the icon in the Status column, it will say which stage the communication is up to.

The pending icon means that the communication is ready to be sent and will send at the scheduled time. The processing icon means that the email is in the process of sending. The Needs authorisation icon means that the communication is on hold until authorisation is given from a super user. The stopped icon means that the email was stopped while sending. The emails were only partially sent and will still appear in the sent queue. The rejected icon means that the authorisation to send the communication was refused by a super user. The cancelled icon means that the email was stopped before sending and will not be sent.

Once the communication has been sent, it will be moved to the sent page. On the sent page, you can view up-to-date results of your communication by clicking on the icon in the report column. Doing so will open up a separate window containing the email report.

The overview section provides information with regards to the total number of emails sent, and how many reads and clicks were recorded, as well as information pertaining to reasons why the email may not have been read or sent, such as hard bounces and opt-outs.

Clicking on any of the results in the overview section will open a separate window listing all of the stakeholders who conform to that particular result. You then have the option of appending tags to these stakeholders for use at a later time.

Every chart on the email report can be printed or saved by clicking the icon as shown on the screen here. You can select to print the chart or save it in a variety of formats. The activity timeline provides a visual representation of the days on which the reads, clicks and bounces took place. There is also a separate chart below the line chart that illustrates the amount of reads, bounces and clicks [that] occured on specific days. You can zoom in on a particular day or time by highlighting the area of the line chart you wish to view.

You can choose to omit a particular record from the graph by clicking on the relevant option below the chart. Similarly, the clicks section also provides a visual representation of all of the clicks that took place after the communication was sent. As with the overview section, clicking any of the buttons opens a separate window which shows which stakeholders conformed with the parameters of the button as demonstrated here.

The table underneath lists all of the clickable URLs that were included in the communication, as well as how many unique clicks took place, the total number of clicks, the percentage of each of the URLs clicked against how many emails were sent, and finally, the percentage of each of the URLs clicked against how many of the emails were read. The bar graph to the right of the table helps give an overall visual representation of the percentage of clicks.

Clicking on any of the values in the total clicks column will alter the chart underneath the table to provide a graphical representation of the data. Once again, these refined results can be printed or saved by using the button provided.

The email clients section provides information with regards to what operating system the stakeholder was using when the email was read, as well as the type of physical device and which web browser they were using. As with the other sections, the buttons may be used to view the stakeholders which are attached to that particular criteria.

Finally, the bounces section provides information regarding the total number of bounces that occurred, as well as the quantity of each type of bounce.