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Creating And Sending Your Invitation Email To Participants

Summary

Learn how to create your invitation email and send the email to invite participants to download the app.

Delivering an event app to participants is now as simple as writing an email and sending it out to your participants. With Backstage, you’re able to create branded invitation email templates that pull in each participant's customized information and deliver the email to everyone in a few easy steps.

This tip sheet is a step-by-step guide to creating and delivering an invitation email to participants through Backstage.

Creating an Email Template

The first step to deliver an event app to participants is to create the email that you’ll send the details in.

Drafting an Email

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To create the email that you will be sending out to participants, open the Emailing module and navigate to the "Templates" tab. Click on the default "Download your SpotMe app" template.

Editing an Email Template

  • The HTML Editor

The HTML editor is available to anyone who would like to create their email templates that way. This is a powerful tool that allows for a much higher level of customization. However, it is also a tool that requires extensive knowledge on how to create an email template using the Markdown and HTML languages. Reach out via Backstage Support if you would like clarification from the SpotMe Support team on which editor you should use given your knowledge of the various design languages.

In order to access the source code of the template and directly edit it using HTML, click on the three-lined icon in the upper right corner of the template and select "Source Code".

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There are three options for what method you can create and edit email templates in the email template editor.

  • The Rich Text Editor

The rich text editor is the default editor when using the email template editor. This allows you to edit the email as it would appear to participants in their inbox. Using the rich text editor, you can add in and edit the text you would like to include in the email as well as format the text using the formatting tools located above the email content field.

Including Placeholder Fields in an Email

In addition to being able to edit the content of an email, you can also add in placeholder fields to the email that populates with the personalized information of the participant who is receiving the email. For example, if John Doe were reading an email where there was a placeholder field for the first name in the introduction, the email would read "Dear John," for him. Placeholder fields can also be used to include a variety of useful personalized information such as event passwords and post-event webapp URLs.

To include a placeholder field in the email, first, choose the field that you would like to include a placeholder for from the key located in the right-hand menu in the "Placeholder fields" column. Then, simply add in the value that is listed in the key to the corresponding place in the email content field. The field will always be surrounded by "{{" and "}}" to identify that is a placeholder field in the email template.

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Setting the From and Subject Fields

You can also include customized "From" and "Subject" fields in the email template as well. To set a custom subject line, enter the desired subject line into the "Subject" field.

There are two ways that you can customize the "From" field in the email template. The first option is to add a custom mask for who the email is coming from. In this situation, the email would still be coming from "[email protected]" but will have a different name in the "From" field when viewed in an email inbox. To change the mask of the sender email, simply replace the "SpotMe Support" name in the "From" field and leave the "<[email protected]>" email address after it.

The second option for customizing the "From" field in the email template is to add a completely custom email address in addition to the name. This is useful when you would like the participants to respond to a specific support inbox instead of "[email protected]". In this situation, you would change both the name and email address in the "From" field to the desired name and email address for each. However, in order for the email address change to be accepted, the backstage.spotme.com domain needs to be approved by the IT team who owns that email address so that Backstage is approved to send emails from that email address, which is commonly known as whitelisting.

In order to have a custom email address whitelisted, please reach out via Backstage Support so that the SpotMe Support team can connect with your IT team and properly whitelist the email address for use through Backstage.

Creating New Placeholder Fields Using Participant Metadata

Including placeholder fields in an email template is an easy way to customize an email so that it feels personalized. If you would like to include a participant characteristic in the email template but you do not see a value for it in the "Placeholder fields" column in the key in the right-hand menu, you will need to create that field in the metadata for the People module. For more information on how to create a new placeholder field using metadata, refer to the “Metadata Fields” section in the "Creating Targets in Backstage" page.

Saving an Email Template

Regardless of whether you are creating a new email template or editing an existing email template, always be sure to click the "Save this template" button any time you make changes to an email template so that your latest changes are saved. Email templates are differentiated based on the name used in the "Subject" field for each email, so make sure not to duplicate subject lines across multiple emails to avoid confusion.

Delivering an Email to the Participants

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Once you've created an email that is ready to be sent to participants, you can navigate back to the "Participant Finder" view in the People module. In the "Send an invitation email" section in the menu on the right-hand side, there are two dropdown menus. These dropdown menus can be used to specify the email template to be sent and the group who will be receiving the email.

To choose the email template that should be sent to the participants, click the first dropdown menu and select the template to be used. The templates are named by the "Subject" field, so be sure to select the correct email template before sending the email. Next, choose the group of participants that will receive the email. There are a few options for how you can choose who will receive the email.

Reminder Emails and Post-Event Emails

The most common use case for the emailing feature in Backstage is to deliver an invitation email to participants so that they can download the event app to their device. However, that is not the only situation where the emailing feature is useful. The emailing feature is frequently used to deliver follow-up emails to inactive participants a few days before the event as a reminder to download the app before arriving on-site. The emailing feature can also be used to send an email once the event has concluded with instructions for participants to access their unique post-event briefcase site. There is no limit to what you can use the emailing feature for with regards to connecting with your participants.

Sending an Email to One Participant

You can send an email to a single participant. The two main use cases for this feature are when you would like to send an email to yourself as a test or when a participant either did not receive or cannot find the original email and needs to have it resent to them.

In order to send an email to a single participant, open the "Participant Finder" tab in the People module and search for the participant that you would like to receive the email. Click into that person’s Participant View and click the "Send {{Participant Name}} an invitation mail" button. This will bring you back to the Participant Finder view. From there, navigate to the "Send an invitation email" section in the menu on the right-hand side, select the email template that you would like to send from the first dropdown menu, and select "to {{Participant Name}} (last viewed)" from the second dropdown menu. Once you have selected your choices for both dropdown menus, the button below those dropdown menus will become active and read "Send to 1 recipient". Click the button and approve the subsequent pop-up to deliver the email to the desired participant.

Sending an Email to Multiple Participants

You can also send an email to a group of participants based on a variety of groups. There are six different grouping methods that you can choose to receive the email. To send an email to a group of participants, navigate to the "Participant Finder" tab in the People module. In the "Send an invitation email" section in the menu on the right-hand side, select the email template that you would like to send from the first dropdown menu and select the group you would like to send the email to from the second dropdown menu. Once the email template and participant group have been selected in the dropdown menus, the button below those dropdown menus will become active and read "Send to {{Number}} recipients". Click the button and approve the subsequent pop-up to deliver the email to the desired participant group.

Sending an Email to Active Participants

Choosing the "to active participants" option in the second dropdown menu will send the email to all participants who have activated the app on their device. This group is commonly used when sending follow-up emails or post event emails after an event has concluded to reach all participants who attended and used the event app on-site.

Sending an Email to Every Participant

Choosing the "to every participant" option in the second dropdown menu will send the email to all participants who are listed in the "Participant Finder" tab in the People module regardless of whether they activated their user in the event app or not. This group is commonly used when sending emails to the entire participant list such as general event details and urgent notifications that should be read by everyone.

Sending an Email to Selected Participants

Choosing the "to selected participants" option in the second dropdown menu will send the email to any participant who has the checkbox next to their name selected in the "Participant Finder" tab in the People module. This group is commonly used when sending emails to a specific group of participants who do not share a common participant characteristic that could be narrowed down using targets.

Sending an Email to Targeted Participants

Choosing the "to targeted participants" option in the second dropdown menu will send the email to a group of participants who share a common participant characteristic. The characteristic that will determine which participants receive the email will be determined in subsequent pop-up boxes after you choose the "to targeted participants" option. The first pop-up box will ask you to specify the participant characteristic that you would like to use as a target, while the second pop-up box will ask you the value that you would like the participant characteristic to match in order for a participant to receive the email. This group is commonly used when sending emails to a specific group of participants who share common participant characteristics that can utilize the targeting feature to group them together. For more information on how to use targets to send an email to a targeted participants group, refer to the "Creating Targets in Backstage" page.

Sending an Email to Inactive Participants

Choosing the "to inactivate participants option in the second dropdown menu will send the email to any participant who has not yet used their activation code to activate the event app on their device yet. This group is commonly used when sending a follow-up email to participants who have not yet activated the app after the initial invitation email has been delivered.

Sending an Email to Uninvited Participants

Choosing the "to uninvited participants" option in the second dropdown menu will send the email to any participant who has not yet received the invitation email to download the event app. This group is commonly used when sending out the initial invitation email to participants so that everyone who has not yet tested or received the invitation to download the app can download the event app prior to the event.

When to Send the Invitation Email

As a best practice, we suggest sending out the invitation email at least a week before the start of the event. This will allow plenty of time for participants to download the app to their devices and troubleshoot any potential issues they might have with installing the app. This also allows enough time to send a reminder email before the start of the event as well.

Testing an Email Before Launching

Before you deliver an email to the participants of an event, it’s important that you test the email yourself to make sure that it is working properly and that everything appears as expected once it is in your inbox. It is highly suggested that you send the email template to yourself via your participant record in Backstage once you have finalized the email template and are preparing to send it to participants. Once you receive the email, be sure to click on any links included in the email and test the download link to ensure that it downloads the correct branded app for your event. Testing your emails by sending them to yourself before delivering them to all users ensures a problem-free experience for everyone when it comes time to download the event app.

Tracking Email Delivery and Usage Statistics

Once an email has been sent to participants, it's important to be able to report on who has received the email and the actions they've taken with that email since they've received it. The "Mail Queue" and "Mail Logs" tabs in the Emailing module allow you to track what emails are scheduled to be delivered and which users have utilized the emails since they received them.

Mail Queue

The "Mail Queue" tab in the Emailing module allows you to track who is scheduled to receive emails from Backstage based on their email address and which email template they will receive. This section is most useful when tracking the email delivery progress when sending an email to a large group of participants. The total number of participants who are scheduled to receive the email but have not yet is visible at the top of the queue in the "{{Number}} queued emails" field. You can refresh this number to the most up-to-date number by clicking on the "Refresh" button located in the menu on the right-hand side.

Mail Logs

The "Mail Logs" tab in the Emailing module contains a comprehensive list of all emails that have been delivered for the event across all email templates. The list view of the mail logs contains the email address, email template, and delivery timestamp for when the email went out to participants. 

 

 

 

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