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Act-On Software

Email Composer Overview


The Act-On email composer offers a number of features to allow for targeted email delivery, automated personalization of messages, and a number of ways to import your specific email design.

Below you will find an overview of the design process, from composing to sending.

Compose Your Message

  • Blank Message – Begin composing a new message using the default layout with no pre-existing content
  • Draft Message – Import a draft message you have previously begun composing. Upon sending the draft, your message will move from Drafts to the Sent area.
  • Template Message – Templates are like drafts, except a template is saved in the Templates area and will not be moved into the Sent area when a copy of the template is used
  • Sent Message – Generate a copy of a previously-sent message, so that you can reuse its content
  • Upload Message Code – Import a pre-designed HTML file or a zip file of the HTML and images. Alternatively, raw HTML can also be copied and pasted into the block that this feature will embed into your message.
  • Plain Text Message – Generate a plain-text message with no images or hyperlinks. Plain-text images cannot be tracked for opens, but are necessary for some older or highly-restrictive email clients.

  • Message Title: Enter the title of your new message. Your title will be used for your own reference only.
  • Subject Line: Enter your email subject line here. For tips on effective subject lines, see the article Creating Effective Email Subject Lines.
  • Sender: Using the drop-down box, you can choose to send your message as either the logged in user, or you can send from your Personalize From Address.
  • Reply To: Choose which email address will receive email replies. Make sure somebody in your organization has access to this email address.
  • Recipients: Quickly choose list's or segments to send to, or choose to send to specific people. Choose from your Account Lists, Marketing Lists, Form Submissions, or Webinar Lists.
  • Suppress Against: Select lists and segments to suppress your message against. Any contacts present in both a sending list and a suppression list will not be sent to. Similarly, any duplicates found when you send to multiple lists at once will automatically receive just one message. See the article Defining a Segment for further information.
  • Subscription Category: When the subscription management feature is enabled and set up in your Act-On account, email recipients will be able to subscribe to specific email categories. This will promote more interaction (opens and clicks) with your emails. Clicking on the Subscription Category drop-down will allow you to assign the message to a specific Subscription Category so only users who have opted-in will receive the message. Note: the Subscription Management feature must be enabled for this option to appear.
  • Add to Act-On Campaign: The Act-On campaigns feature gives you the ability to group multiple email messages, forms, landing pages and media together into a single convenient reporting view. Using the drop-down menu, select the campaign you wish to add your message to.
  • Update CRM: Click the checkbox to attach a 'Sent' note to CRM Leads/Contacts. Note: You must have a CRM connected for this option to appear. View the article Connect your CRM to learn more.

To design your new message you will be utilizing an easy-to-use drag-and-drop blocks to build your structure. When landing on the design tab, you will see your message on the left and your design tools on the right.

See this page for more on designing email content.

A stationery is the “wrapper” to the content created within the message builder, form builder, or landing page builder. You can think of stationery as a theme that you can apply to your content to apply default layouts and styles.

  • Using the Stationery drop down you can choose from various per-designed stationery.
  • Responsive Design: Allows you to enable or disable the responsiveness of your message.
  • Message Width: The default width for all new messages within the message composer is 600px, however you can edit to any value between 300px and 1200px.
  • Align Message: Allows you to align your message to the left or center of the screen.
  • Background, Inner Background, Boarder Color, Thickness, and Corner Radius allow you to set the styling of your stationery to create a custom branded feel.

The default blocks you have to work with are:

  • Header: Your header can now be edited directly in the message. Email headers allow your email recipients to view the email in a browser window. Typically, email clients (like Outlook or Gmail) are not as capable as web browsers (like Chrome or Firefox) in rendering HTML, so this allows your recipients to view the email the way it was intended. Email headers also provide your recipients with a click-through link at the top of the email message, allowing Act-On to 'cookie' them sooner.
  • Logo: Your logo will populate from your default logo, however you can choose from any logos uploaded to your account.
  • Greeting: You can choose from 8 personalized greeting options, or you can choose to use a generic greeting if you are missing any data, e.g., Dear Customer.
  • Rich Text: The Rich Text Block is a WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) message editor that you will use to create the body of your email. Learn more about using the Rich Text Block in Email.
  • Signature: Your default signature will display, however you can choose from any signature you have created. Learn more about creating an email signature.
  • Footer: Your footer can now be edited directly in the message. The default footer will always include the profile organization's name and address that you have set up in your Act-On account as well as the Act-On opt-out link. All three components are required to make sure your email messages are CAN-SPAM compliant. If you decide to suppress the footer, ensure that the organization name, physical address of your organization, and the Act-On opt-out link are found somewhere within the body of your email message.

Additional Blocks

Add New Block: Using the drag-and-drop builder, designing your email has never been easier. Choose from 12 blocks to create your message:

  • Greeting
  • Rich Text
  • Signature
  • Media File Download
  • Form Link
  • Time & Place
  • Multiple Choice
  • Image
  • Business Card
  • Spacer
  • Dynamic Content
  • Custom Content

Using sections, you are able to quickly design unique message layouts and have more control over the placement of your content. You can choose 1, 2, or 3 column sections.

You can create more complex layouts with more columns by using a Rich Text block and inserting a table, but generally using more than three columns can create display issues on mobile devices.

  • Message: Allows you to control the font, font size and padding on your message content. Clicking Enable provides control over line spacing, text color, and link color.
  • Header: Allows you to control the padding on your message content. Clicking Enable provides control over font, font size, line spacing, text color, and link color.
  • Footer: Allows you to control the padding on your message content. Clicking Enable provides control over font, font size, line spacing, text color, and link color.
  • Edit Plain Text Version: Selecting Plain Text Version will generate a text version of your HTML email. Most people receive and view their email messages in an HTML format, and a great amount of time and effort is spent creating high-quality HTML messages as a result. However, there are still email clients and mail servers configured to accept only plain text content.
  • Validate Clickthrough Links: Select clickthrough links to view all links contained in your email, along with the associate anchor text. Choosing (Test) will allow you to test your clickthrough links to ensure they reach the correct URL.
  • Download Creatives: Download creatives allows you to download the HTML & CSS of your message that you may pass on to anyone (such as rental list owners or channel partners) who need to send this message from their own systems, note that you will not get any meaningful tracking or reporting in such cases.
  • Check Spelling: Message-wide spell check is available for all text blocks (headers, footers, etc).

After you design your message you will want to review for accuracy.

  • Preview Your Message: Email messages or templates to be previewed within your web browser to see what your message layout will look like for the recipient. When previewing your message you will have 3 different previews: HTML, Text, and Mobile.
  • Sample Preview: By enabling Sample Preview, you can check the personalization of the email to some of your target audience.
  • Validate Message: Checks your message for required components, such as a subject line, sender name, recipients, content and opt-out links.
  • Spam Score: Using Spam Assassin, Act-On will provide you a Spam Score based on your message.
  • Test with Litmus: Generate previews and test how your email's content will display in the most common email clients
  • Check Account Limits: Ensure your message will launch successfully, based on your account limits and current usage.
  • Check Full Personalization: Check for personalization errors that would cause a message to not be sent to one or more contacts.
  • Check Spelling: Message-wide spell check is available for all text blocks (headers, footers, etc).

Sending an email message is a quick and easy process.

Under the Send tab of the email composer, you will see four options to send your message:

  • Send now
  • Send at the following time
  • Time Zone Send
  • Send Over Time
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