If you’re managing email marketing at group level then here are 4 new Sign-Up.to developments you should know about.
These new features enable administrators to control the availability and use of campaign templates within their managed accounts. They allow you to control which users have access to the specific templates they need and that design elements such as brand styling and any group level or pre-determined local content are always consistently applied.
They’re specifically designed for agencies, dealerships and franchise operators – in fact anyone who is managing multiple email marketing accounts at a central group level.
Here’s how it works – it’s a practical subject so we thought you’d appreciate a straightforward practical guide!
The starting point for multiple account management – the Control Panel
All multi-account solutions start with the creation of a Control Panel. This is used by the Group Administrator to add accounts and to manage their day to day operation. The Control Panel enables complete group level control over how accounts (for individual clients or local franchisees, dealers or outlets) are created and administered. This includes managing levels of access, the distribution of content and accounting. Typically, white-labelling is used to theme the look and feel of the Control Panel to the agency or group’s own branding. As a bespoke solution it’s also common to customise the visible features and mode of operation to specific requirements.
Template creation – control templates from a central administration
At the heart of the Sign-Up.to platform is the interactive email editor. Using simple drag and drop features it allows users to quickly create campaign layouts and to their add text and graphic content. Users can either start from a blank canvas or select a starting point from a variety of existing layouts.
The ability to create and save templates is a feature which is available to Account Administrators or others to whom administration rights have been given. It allows administrators to create and manage campaign templates that other sub-users can then access. Starting from a pre-set template significantly speeds the campaign creation process for account users, and for group or franchise operations ensures that new campaigns are always consistent in terms of layout and brand styling.
Creating a template is done in the normal way using the Sign-Up.to email editor. Select a starting layout and then use themes, components and images, to design and brand the template. Once finished the campaign can be saved as a template. Each section of a template has ‘unlocked’ and ‘locked’ options. This allows control over which aspects of the template users can modify. Locking sections can be used to ensure consistency of items like brand styling and legal requirements, while still allowing user control over local content.
Template distribution – manage template access to selected accounts
Once created, the Campaign Distribution tool allows the Group Administrator to distribute saved templates to user accounts. Templates can be made universally available (issued to all managed accounts) or selectively distributed as required. The selective distribution of 2 different templates is illustrated below.
The Control Panel provides full visibility to the Group Administrator of which templates have been distributed and are currently available for use.
Account level personalisation – dynamically pre-populate templates with local content
By definition, standard campaign templates deliver the same layout, design theming and initial content to each managed account that they are distributed to.
Account Level Personalisation allows the Group Administrator to pre-populate a standard template with information which is specific to an individual user account. An example could be to include the location and contact details of each dealership or franchise outlet. This is indicated below by the different blue, green, orange and pink content items for each managed account.
Account Level Personalisation is achieved by taking information which is stored in the Global Profile Fields of each account and using this to automatically include personalised content into the template, at the time of its distribution. The appropriate personalised content is included using the Dynamic Content tools within the Sign-Up.to platform. Once set up it’s a fully automated process.
The result is a pre-set template which, although it may be distributed to many accounts, now also includes content sections which are customised to individual accounts. As with other sections of distributed templates, pre-populated custom content can be locked so that it cannot be changed by the local account owner.
As in the illustration below, an example could be a general promotional template (in this case 2 different templates), designed at group level to be used by multiple dealerships or franchisees, but each of which is pre-populated with a customised footer containing information like the address or other special instructions of each individual outlet.
Again, the management and visibility of template and any dynamically included distributed content is managed by the Group Administrator via the main Control Panel.
Campaign authorisation – ensure consistency and quality with pre-delivery approval
Once distributed to group members, any aspect of a campaign template which is left unlocked can be freely edited by the individual account user. This allows the local account user to complete the campaign by including any additional text or images as required. The additional local content is illustrated here by the additional red and yellow content items for a particular user.
Users will find templates in the library of their local account from where they can be selected and edited using the Sign-Up.to email editor. The campaign can be saved and returned to as needed and can be previewed at any time for desktop and mobile device viewing.
Once complete, the Campaign Approval feature allows the Group Administrator to apply an approval step. This ensures that any additional content created locally still meets the brand and quality requirements of the group. The campaign is only released for delivery once the an Administrator has reviewed and signed-off the final content.
- The features described here are designed for anyone wishing to manage an extended Sign-Up.to solution over multiple clients, franchisees, dealerships or multi-site outlets.
- The central management of multiple accounts requires set-up within the Sign-Up.to Partner Program.
- The Partner Control Panel allows Group Administrators to manage the creation, deployment and accounting of local user accounts.
- Standardised content such as campaign templates can be created at group level and distributed to all or selected group account members. Template sections can be locked in order to preserve brand styling or ensure the inclusion of mandatory content.
- Account level personalisation allows distributed templates to dynamically include additional local content for each group member. This can be used to automatically include information such as the local outlet location or other individual member’s campaign details.
- Campaign Approval enables Group Administrators to retain a final approval and sign-off step before any member campaigns are delivered.
Example application – Group level campaign management for a Property Agency
This example below illustrates the process for a multi-site property agency. Promotional campaigns are conceived and created at group level but implemented locally by the individual agency operators.
Creating and saving the template
The campaign layout is created centrally by the Group Administrator. Components are added to create the desired campaign structure and the text and graphical elements which represent group level content and branding are included. Other mandatory items like the standard legal information and unsubscribe options are also included at this stage in the campaign footer.
Once complete these sections are locked in the finished template. The other sections are left unlocked allowing additional content to be completed by each local agency.
Template distribution and account level personalisation
The completed layout is added to the template library and distributed via the Control Panel to the local agencies that will be implementing the campaign. Placeholder images and content are included in order to maintain the required layout and styling.
Account level personalisation is used to pre-populate each distributed template with the contact details and frontage image for each local agency. Since this information is pre-populated with the correct information centrally at the time of distribution, this section is then locked from further editing by the local agency.
Local campaign customisation
Each local agency completes the campaign by opening the template in the email editor of their local Sign-Up.to account and adding the details specific to their own promotion. The illustration here shows the inclusion of the featured properties and more information about the local management team.
Once editing is complete the Group Administrator uses the Campaign Approval feature to verify and sign off each local campaign variation before delivery is initiated.
Multi-Account solutions are provided through the Sign-Up.to Partner Program. For further information on the Sign-Up.to Partner program and these features drop us a line – we’ll be happy to hear your plans.