Creating an email campaign
This article covers how to create an email campaign in Braze. Here, we’ll cover steps and best practices on how to compose your message, preview your content, and schedule your campaign.
Email messages are great for delivering content to your users on their terms. They are also excellent tools to re-engage users who may have even uninstalled your app. Sending customized and tailored email messages will enhance your users’ experience, and help your users get the most value out of your app.
To see examples of email campaigns, check out our Case Studies.
Step 1: Create a new campaign
On the Campaigns page, click Create Campaign and select Email as your messaging channel.
Step 2: Select your editing experience
From the campaign wizard, name your email and provide an optional description. You can also assign tags to keep track of engagement tactics.
Braze offers two editing experiences when creating an email campaign, our Drag & Drop editor or our standard HTML editor. Click on the appropriate tile to select which editing experience you’d prefer. Once selected, you must also select an existing HTML or Drag & Drop email template, upload a template from a file (HTML editor only), or use a blank template.
Once you selected your template, you will see an overview of your email where you can quickly jump to the full-screen editor to draft your email, change your sending info, and view warnings about deliverability or law compliance.
Step 2a: Add email headers
Email headers contain information about the email being sent. These key-value pairs typically have information about the sender, recipient, authentication protocols, and contain email routing information. Braze automatically adds the necessary header information required by the RFC for emails to be delivered to your inbox provider properly.
However, Braze does allow you the flexibility to add additional email headers as needed for advanced use cases. There are a few reserved fields that the Braze platform will overwrite during sending. Avoid using the following keys:
Step 2b: Preview and test your message
After you finish composing your perfect email, you need to test it before sending it out.
From the bottom of the overview screen, click Preview and Test. Here you can preview how your email will appear in a customer’s inbox. With Preview as User selected, you can preview your email as a random user, select a specific user, or create a custom user. This allows you to test that your Connected Content and personalization calls are working as they should.
You can also switch between desktop, mobile, and plaintext views to get a sense of how your message will appear in different contexts.
When you’re ready for a final check, select Test Send and send a test message to yourself or a group of content testers to ensure that your email displays properly on a variety of devices and email clients.
If you see any issues with your email, or want to make any changes, click Edit Email to return to the editor.
Email clients that support preview text always pull in enough characters to fill all available preview text space. However, this can leave you in situations where the preview text is incomplete or unoptimised.
To avoid this, you can create white space after your desired preview text so that email clients don’t pull other distracting text or characters into the envelope content. To do so, add a chain of zero-width non-joiners (
‌) and non-breaking spaces (
) after the preview text that you want displayed.
When added to the end of your preview text in the preheader section, the following piece of code will add the white space you’re looking for:
1 <div style="display: none; max-height: 0px; overflow: hidden;"> ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ </div>
Step 2c: Check for email errors
The editor will call out any problems it catches with your message before you send it. Here’s a list of errors that are accounted for in our editor:
- From Display Name and Header not specified together.
- Invalid From and Reply-To addresses.
- Duplicate Header keys.
- Liquid syntax problems.
- Email bodies larger than 400kb; bodies are highly recommended to be smaller than 102kb.
- Emails with a blank Body or Subject.
- Emails with no unsubscribe link.
- The email you are sending from is not whitelisted, thus sends will be highly limited to ensure deliverability.
Step 3: Schedule your messaging campaign
You can schedule your campaigns against three types of delivery:
- Scheduled (sending your campaign at a designated time)
- Action-Based (sending when your users perform specified actions)
- API-Triggered (sending according to an API request)
Scheduled Delivery allows you to specify the time at which you want the message to send, either immediately or at a future time (you can also consider local time in your scheduling). You can also use [Intelligent Timing] to send the message when the user is most likely to engage. Braze makes this calculation based on a statistical analysis of the user’s interactions with your app.
Messages can also be configured to recur daily, weekly (optionally on specific days), or monthly.
Unless you check Allow users to become re-eligible to receive campaign, each user will only receive the contents of a campaign once, and only new users that meet the criteria will receive the campaign on subsequent deliveries.
Action-Based Delivery allows you to specify the time a message will send after a user takes a particular action (selected from the New Trigger Action dropdown.)
When the trigger action is set to “Interact With Campaign”, selecting a “Receive” option as the interaction will cause your new campaign to trigger as soon as Braze marks the selected campaign as sent, even if that message bounces or fails to be delivered.
Check out our API-Triggered endpoints found in the API Guide for more information on API-Triggered Delivery.
Step 4: Choose conversion events
Braze allows you to track how often users perform specific actions after receiving a campaign, known as a conversion event. You can specify any of the following actions as a conversion event:
- Opens app
- Makes purchase (This can be a generic purchase or a specific item)
- Performs specific custom event
- Opens email
- Clicks email
You have the option of allowing up to a 30-day window during which a conversion will be counted if the user takes the specified action. While Braze automatically tracks opens and clicks for your campaign, you may wish to set the conversion event to be when a user opens or clicks on an email address to take advantage of Braze’s Intelligent Selection feature.
Step 5: Choose your target segment
Next, you need to choose the target segment from the dropdown menu. You’ll automatically be given a snapshot of what that segment population looks like right now, including how many users within that segment are reachable via email. Keep in mind that exact segment membership is always calculated just before the message is sent.
Optionally, you can also choose to limit delivery to a specified number of users within the segment, or allow users to receive the same message twice upon a recurrence of the campaign.
Multichannel campaigns with email and push
For multichannel campaigns targeting both email and push channels, you may want to limit your campaign so that only the users who are explicitly opted in will receive the message (excluding subscribed or unsubscribed users). For example, say you have three users of different opt-in status:
- User A is subscribed to email and is push enabled. This user doesn’t receive the email but will receive the push.
- User B is opted-in to email but is not push enabled. This user will receive the email but doesn’t receive the push.
- User C is opted-in to email and is push enabled. This user will receive both the email and the push.
To do so, under Audience Summary, select to send this campaign to “opted-in users only”. This option will ensure that only opted-in users will receive your email, and Braze will only send your push to users who are push enabled by default.
With this configuration, don’t include any filters in the Target Users step that limit the audience to a single channel (e.g.,
Push Enabled = True or
Email Subscription = Opted-In).
Step 6: Review and deploy
The final page will give you a summary of the campaign you’ve just designed. Confirm all the relevant details and click Launch Campaign to enable it for sending.
Now just wait for all the data to roll in!
Braze provides you with a detailed report of each of your email campaigns. Navigate to the Campaigns tab on your dashboard and select your desired campaign to open the Details page. This page is broken up into three tabs:
- Campaign Analytics
- Retention Report
- Funnel Report
On the Campaign Analytics page, you can comprehensively view and analyze the success of your campaign in an organized format.
Additionally, you can see how successful different links in a single email campaign are using heat maps. Under Email Performance, expand the Total Clicks dropdown and click View Heat Map to bring up a visual view of your email that shows the overall frequency and location of clicks within the lifespan of the campaign.
Date ranges are not taken into consideration for email heat maps.
When looking at clicks for your variant, the clicks will reflect unique clicks. When you expand each variation, the clicks for each link within the variation will reflect total clicks (not unique).
For detailed definitions of the metrics on this page, check out our Email Analytics Glossary.
Braze will de-duplicate sends by email address. However, opens are not de-duplicated to prevent the illusion that an email opened by a user with multiple User Profiles under a single email address would only be counted towards a single User Profile.
On the Retention Report page, you can run various reports to measure user retention for users who have performed a selected retention event in a specific campaign. Learn more.
On the Funnel Report page, you can analyze the journeys your customers take after receiving your campaign. If your campaign uses a control group or multiple variants, you will be able to understand how the different variants have impacted the conversion funnel at a more granular level, and optimize based on this data. Learn more.