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An introduction to customer email lists

The Customer Email Tool in Auctiva Commerce can help keep your customers informed and coming back to your store. This tutorial will explain what an email list is and how you can add an email list that customers can join. You will also learn how to send a simple message to your email list.

What is an Email List?

An email list is a list of customer email addresses that the Customer Email Tool uses to send mass emails to your customers. Once you've added your email list and assigned users to this list, you can send them an email message from your Auctiva Commerce store. We'll explain the Send Mail function in the Introduction to the Customer Email Tool tutorial.

How to add an email list

Email lists are different than users groups, although you will be adding users to the email lists you create. In this way, email lists are like a separate group of users.

Step 1. Add an email list.
  • Go to Marketing> Email Lists.
  • Find the Add Email List box in right side of the Email Lists page.
  • Name: Enter a name for this email list (e.g., "Weekly Specials"). The name you enter will display on the storefront if you also check the Public List. Otherwise, it will be hidden from your customers.
  • Public List: Check this box if you want the email list to display on the store to customers when they register for an account on your store. All customers who make an order have the option to register for an account and opt-in to a Public List enabled email list. When this box is unchecked, customers will not be able to opt-in to this email list.
  • Description: Enter a description for the email list. If the Public List option is enabled, the description will display on the storefront along with the email list name.
  • Sign up Rule: Choose which rule to apply to the email list. The "Opt-In with Verification" option will send an email to customers who opt-in that asks them to click on a link to verify their email address. Customers will not be added to the list until they fulfill this action. This option is a good method for keeping only willing participants in the email list. The "Opt-In with Confirmation" option simply emails a notification to the customer that they have been added to the email list. It does not require an additional action from the customer to join the email list.

Note: If you do choose the "Opt-In with Verification" option, you can edit the amount of days the customer has to respond to activate their subscription to the email list. The setting is in Marketing> Email> Settings. Locate the Subscription request expiration field and enter in a value.

  • Sign up Email: Choose which email template will be used as the sign up email for this email list. Use the Default Sign up Message unless you have a custom template.

Note: The email templates can be edited to add a personal message. Go to Marketing> Email> Templates and edit or copy templates as necessary. The default email templates in Auctiva Commerce are written in HTML code. Make sure you are careful when making edits to these templates. It's a good idea to copy an email template by clicking on the Copy icon and edit the copied version. This will allow you to make changes that won't destroy the original email templates.

  • Click on the Save button to finish.

This completes the task of creating an email list. Next, you can add users to an email list.

How to add users to an email list

Naturally, if the email list has been enabled as a Public list, customers will opt-in to the email list from the storefront. You can also manually add customers to an email list. It's up to you how you want to approach your customers using the Customer Email Tool. Some customers who have not done the opt-in for an email list may prefer not to receive unsolicited emails from your store. Others might enjoy hearing from your store. Either way, you can add users to any email list you choose. Note that if you violate CAN-SPAM rules regarding email you may be subject to penalties.

Note: This step assumes that your customers are already registered users. If you want to add customers that are not registered users on your store, you'll first need to create a new user for this customer. Read the "How to add a user as a store customer" section in the tutorial on Users and Users Groups for more information.

Step 1. Find the email list.
  • If you are not already at the Email list page, go to Marketing> Email> Email Lists.
  • Click on the Edit icon of the email list that will have users added to it. The Manage List page will load.
Step 2. Manage email list users.
  • On the right side of the page, click on the Manage Users button. The Manage Users page will load.
  • Search for Users in the Add User box at the bottom of the page. You can search for users by Email or by Last Name.
  • Check the box next to the users you wish to add. The users will be automatically added. They will display in the Users box above the Add User box. To remove users, uncheck the box. When you are finished, click on the Return to Email Lists link.

If this is a newly added email list, the Send Email icon will appear after at least one user has been added to the email list. Now you can use the Send Email icon to send email messages to this email list.

How to send an email to an email list

You can send an email message to your email list with just a few clicks. You should consider whether the frequency that you send out messages to your email list is appropriate for your customers. It's up to you how often and for what reasons you send email messages to your customers.

Step 1. Send message to email list.

If you are not already at the Email list page, go to Marketing> Email> Email Lists.

  • Click on the Send Email icon of the email list that will be used to send an email. The Select Template page will load.
  • Choose the Blank Message email template. All the other email templates are for automated Auctiva Commerce email responses for your store. If you've created your own email template, you can select it. Read the "Introduction to edit Email Templates" tutorial for more information about creating or editing email templates.
  • Click the Next button. The Customize Message page will load.
  • From Address: Select the from address you would like to use from the set of verified addresses for your store.
  • Reply To Address: Enter in the email address that recipients will use to reply to the email message.
  • Subject: Enter in the subject of the email message.
  • Message: Enter in your message to your customers. You can enter HTML code in this field, but make sure to enable the Send HTML option below the message box before sending the email message.
  • Only select the Send HTML checkbox if the message you've created is in HTML code. Leave the checkbox unselected for text-only messages.
  • Click the Preview button. The Preview and Send page will load. Look over the all the fields to make sure the email list, subject and message are correct. If you need to make any changes click the Back button, make changes, and click the Preview button again.
  • Click the Send button. A confirmation page will load. You can send another email or go back to the email lists by clicking the respective buttons.

This finishes the task of sending an email message to an email list.

Email List Tips

  • Make your email list messages personal and friendly.
  • Copy original email templates using the Copy icon before editing an original email template.
  • Make sure your recipients know why they are receiving the message. Was it an Opt-In email list they joined?
  • Be respectful with the frequency of email messages sent to email lists. You can see the latest send date for an email list in the Last Sent column of the Email Lists page (go to Marketing> Email> Email Lists).

IMPORTANT NOTE: Each email list is an independent list and has no relation to the other email lists in your store. This can be important especially if you remove a user from a list (Past Buyers for example) and then re-import that list. When the new list is created that user will not be opted out in the new list.

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