There are several ways to send emails from YourVirtuoso. This “How To” document explains how to send an email to a large group of your families using the Marketing features of YourVirtuoso.
Sending emails to single families, or to a specific class can best be done using one of the following methods:
- From the Families list, click on the email link to the right of the family
- From the Family Account Info page, click on the Email Family link below the Primary Contact Information box
- From a Class Enrollment page click on the ✉ icon to the right of the students info.
- From a Class Enrollment page select the checkboxes to the left of some or all the students, and click on the Email button at the bottom of the page. Note that you can also send a confirmation email this way, by clicking the Confirm button.
To send to other groups of families or prospects use the steps below...
Creating a Marketing (Bulk) Email
To send an email to all, or a selected group of your families or prospects, use the Marketing Mailings feature of YourVirtuoso as follows:
- Click on Marketing in the main navigation bar, and then on Mailings below it.
- Click on Add a mailing
- Alternatively, If you want to re-send an old mailing, with some updates perhaps, you can just click clone to the right of that mailing.
Set the Mailing Date, Time etc.
Fill in the form starting with the Type: Email will generate emails for all the selected customers that have and email address; Postal will create address labels or an export mail merge file for families with a postal address; Email and Postal will create both, and also generates labels for just those without email addresses.
Give this mailing a Name that tells you what is is for, and a Subject that makes sense to your customers (and makes them want to open it!).
Set the Date and Time that you want YourVirtuoso to start sending the emails out.
Type the email Address that you want the email to be from. Replies to the mailing will come to this email account.
Type the Name that you want the email to come from.
Now you can use the Selectors at the bottom of the form to determine who should receive the email. Note that families and prospects who chose not to receive emails from your studio will not be included in these lists. This helps protect you against violating their wishes or the anti-spam laws.
Selecting the Recipients
After clicking on a selector, a window pops open to specify criteria for selecting families. For example the first selector (shown above) will let you use child information such as their teacher or curriculum to select emails for their families. You could use this to email all families taking curriculum "X", or taught by you etc.
- Click the radio button next to the criteria you need
- Select the values and
- Click OK
Review Your Selection
- The page will update showing you how many recipients you have chosen, and some or all of the selectors may become inactive (grayed out).
- If you need to, you can now refine the search by clicking another (active) selector to refine your selection.
If you do not need to refine the search, just click Next >
- Your query is summarized for you on the right side of the page, and if you use multiple selectors they can be set either so they All need to be true (meet selection 1 and selection 2 criteria), or that Any need to be true (selection 1 or selection 2)
- Note that you can also email selected Prospects (potential customers who have used your Contact Us form or your FREE Preview link, or who you have entered yourself in the Prospects section of Marketing) using the last selector on the page. To email ALL customers or ALL prospects, use the “Email everyone” selector.
- Click on the Next > button once you have selected the right set of customers for this email
Set the Content of your Mailing
If you selected a mailing type of email or email and postal, you now define the body of your email - its content.
There are four ways to do this, corresponding to the four buttons below the Preview Area.
- Write an email as if you were using a normal email program: Click Create Mailing Content
- Upload a text (.txt) or html (.htm or .html) format file from your computer: Click Choose a File and then upload a file to send
- Use a Template that you have set up under Marketing/Templates: Click Choose and select the template and then click Use a Template to send. Remember that these are templates you have created, not the built in ones, so the list will initially be empty. You may want to go to Marketing/Templates and create some, or customize one of the library templates if you find you are making the same changes every time you send a mailing.
- Select from the Template Library (pre-defined marketing and curriculum related emails): Click Search Template Library and select from the templates presented.
The chosen file or tempalte will then show in the preview area, and you will probably want to edit it a little, so click on the top button (1) which is now named Edit Mailing Content, and a window with an editor appears.
The HTML (Content) Editor
The editor lets you add and change the text and most images in the mailing content. The tools are similar to a standard word processor.
Here are some tips for editing:
- The Format selector sets paragraph format so you can quickly make the line your cursor is in into a heading
- To add a link, select the text you want to make into a link and click the link tool. A window pops up where you can type or paste the full address (URL). Optionally, you can also specify there a title, which is the text that pops up when a customer holds their mouse over the link; and a target, which specifies whether you want the link to open in a new window.
- If you have some HTML code you want to embed in your content (perhaps a Youtube video embed link), you can click the HTML mode tool to view the mailing as html code. You can then search for the place you want to put it (which may be tricky if you are not familiar with HTML) and paste the code in. Then click the HTML tool again to see the content normally with your embedded video etc.
- TIP: If the editing window is too small to see what you are doing, you can expand it to use the whole space available using the expand tool. You may need to click this tool again to see the OK button when you are done editing.
- To insert or change an image. Use the Image tool. TIP: Selecting an image can be tricky: try dragging it just a little - when you release it it should be selected and ready for you to click the image tool to change it. The Image pop up has links at the top right to find images in your libraries, or to upload images to your library (My Images). After uploading images, click on Find Library Images to select one using the green check-mark below it. You can set its sizing and positioning before you click OK to make the change.
You can personalize emails using variable names that will be replaced by specifics for the customer in each email.
Bear in mind that the email may look unprofessional if you include, for example, balance information but the customer has no balance, or a name in a mailing which has prospects who may not have names set.
For example, an email to selected customers with a balance greater than $0 could start as follows:
“Dear $(firstName), Thanks for choosing our studio. I just wanted to remind you that your account has an outstanding balance of $(balance), which you can pay online, or by calling us at... “
The following variables can be used in a marketing email:
- $(firstName) Customer’s first name
- $(lastName) Customer’s last name
- $(balance) Total family account balance
- $(due) Total of currently due payments (Current+30+60+90)
Confirming Your Mailing
Once you are finished editing, click OK in the editor and Next > to proceed to the confirmation page.
- If all the details seem correct, click Save to schedule your mailing
- If you see something that needs changing, click < Back
Details, Status and Address Labels
The mailing details page now shows you the mailing including its status and a link to show the email recipients.
- You can return to this page later by selecting the mailing from the list, and see the status change to In Progress and Completed. A list of successful and failed emails will also be available at that time.
- If you included postal mailing, you will see PDF and CSV links for All recipients (with postal addresses) and for Postal only, who do not have email (for a mixed email/postal mailing). The PDF files allow you to print mailing labels, and the CSV downloads a mail merge file for use in an external application such as Microsoft Word®.
- Click on Back to Main to see your new mailing in the list of other mailings.