Creating an email to target message template with editable regions
To get started, create your campaign as usual, then add a Target Block to your page setup. It is usually best to add such blocks to the second page of a campaign, which allows you to use the first page to collect all the required data about the supporter – such as Email address and Postcode, and other information such as more address details and opt-in status. Including the Postcode is essential if you are using a postcode mapped database.
Placing the Target Block on the second page allows the software to look up data about the contact(s), as well as providing some basic details about the supporter, which can then be used to customise the messages template before it is even edited by the supporter.
Once the Target Block has been placed on the page, hover over it until you see the Target Block menu:
Click on Edit to modify how the Target block is set up. For the Type, select Editable areas in the drop-down menu.
There are three basic types of Target blocks that can be created: Plain text, HTML and Editable areas. The Plain text target block is usually editable by the supporter in its entirety. The HTML type is not editable by the supporter but can contain images and so on. With the Editable areas type selected, a compromise can be found by defining multiple separate areas within the message template – some which are editable, and some which are not.
In addition to adding different areas to your template, you will also see two other elements which can be enabled. These are the Target address block and Sender address block. These represent the address of the Target (the intended recipient of the message) and the Sender (the supporter who is writing to the target). The Target data is extracted from the contact database or contact information, and the Sender data is collected from the supporter’s own input. For certain contacts it will be essential to ensure that the supporter’s contact details (including postcode) are included in the letter, as the recipient may want to ensure that they are receiving communication from a genuine constituent. The Sender address block provides a convient method to provide this information with minimal effort from the supporter.
The Target address block editor will only be visible and the address block included in the letter if the Target address block is ticked. You can choose whether it is visible on screen to the supporter as they take action by ticking the Display on page checkbox.
The placeholder variables in the above example can be inserted using the Insert Contact Data icon within the editor. Note that the field Organization in the contact data typically represents the constituency, council, company or area the contact represents. Once the supporter takes action, and provided that the Target block is on page 2 of the campaign, the placeholders will be translated and will contain actual values from your selected database(s), both in the Visual representation on page and in the email that is sent to the target.
There is a similar block to provide details about the sender. This can be found under Sender address block. Here you will be able to insert User data. Remember to collect and make mandatory at least the minimum of required fields you wish to include here. If you are targetting political representatives, make sure you include the supporters name and address, including postcode. The User data fields can be inserted with the icon.
Creating new areas
You can create new areas in your template by clicking on the button. The area will appear at the bottom of any areas already in place. By default the area will be editable by the supporter. This will be represented with an open padlock icon on the right hand side. If you wish to change the settings for the area, simply click on any text within the area and the right hand side will display a settings icon . The settings menu will be displayed:
If you wish to prevent supporters from editing any of the text you provide in this particular area, you can until This content is editable by supporters. If you leave the content editable, you can also choose to make it Mandatory so the supporter will not be able to submit without providing their own content. You can also designate an area to be invisible to the supporter as they view the template on screen. Add a label above the the content? allows you to provide a section headline for the area.
Once you have created multiple regions, you can re-organise them by dragging them up or down in the display. Click on the icon to move the block to the desired location in the block order. If you wish to remove a block from the template, you can use the delete icon.
For more information about working with the Target block in general, please have a look at this article, which also discusses the settings which can be applied to the Target block.