A Guide to Fully Automated Newsletter Campaigns in SharePoint

What makes JungleMail, our newsletter tool for SharePoint and Office 365, special in comparison other mailing tools out there? Besides being the only email solution built for the SharePoint platform? Besides being the only one that allows you to reuse SharePoint content to populate your newsletters? It’s the fact that JungleMail lets you automate your campaigns. Let me explain:

You decide what type of content you want to be delivered to each recipient in your newsletter campaign, and JungleMail does all the mail merging and filtering necessary to build a personalized email message. You can even set this same campaign to run weekly and monthly, and JungleMail will always deliver new and fresh content without you even needing to edit anything. It all can be automatic.

It feels like magic, we know, so we are here today to uncover all the mystery behind JungleMail's dynamic content automation. This blog post will explore the possibilities to customize your newsletters with SharePoint metadata and to automate content generation.

 

Note: This tutorial can be used for both JungleMail for SharePoint and JungleMail for Office 365

 

Basic Customization: Recipient's Metadata

The most basic way to customize your JungleMail templates is by using your Recipients Source metadata as content. Why would you choose to do that? Because it’s important to personalize the message to its receiver. Studies show that a personalized email delivers 6x higher transaction rates.

For this tutorial, I am going to use a SharePoint List called "Contacts" as my recipient source (the process would be the same if you were using an Active Directory). In the list, notice the SharePoint columns "First Name" and "Subscription Topics". Those are the ones we will be using to customize our newsletter later on in this part.

SharePoint Contacts List

Step 1: Create New JungleMail Campaign

Open JungleMail. Start a new email campaign. Select the "Contacts" list as a recipient source and move to the Template step. Choose a blank Drag & Drop template. Clear the template content leaving just one empty section.

Step 2: Add Static Text

Drag a Text block to the empty section. Select this block and type in the static text you want to be in your message: the same text for every recipient's emails.

Template Static Text

Step 3: Add Dynamic Text

Now let's work on the dynamic text that will vary for each different recipient’s message. I want each email version to have the recipient’s First Name and their Subscription Topics mail merged, and I will use the 2 previously presented SharePoint columns from my "Contacts" list.

In the Text block settings, click on the button {Columns & Links}. A pop-up window will appear with a list of all the SharePoint columns from your Recipients Source (in my case the “Contacts” list). Find the 2 columns ("First Name" and "Subscription Topics") and insert them one at a time. Place them in the right position in the template and make them bold to highlight.

Template Dynamic Text

Step 4: Check Results

Now let's check the results of this first part of our work. Move to the Preview step. Click through a couple of the template versions from the numbering menu at the top of the screen. It represents each recipient's message. Notice how the First Name and Subscription Topics change according to the To Address.

Recipient Source Mail Merge Results

1st Level Automation: SharePoint Content

So far our JungleMail newsletter campaign is only connected to one list: a recipient's list. It's the base of all dynamic content generation. But we don't need to stop here. JungleMail allows us to include another level of automation: let's connect our campaign to a SharePoint content list.

I want to include a list of News topics or article categories in my newsletter. To do that, I will use a SharePoint list called "Topics". Notice from this list the SharePoint column "Subscription Topic". This is the one we will be using for this part.

SharePoint Topics List

Step 5: Connect to Content List

Drag a new empty section to the same template, below the already existing one from the previous step. Select it and look for the button called "Dynamic Section" in its settings. Turn it to "ON". A pop-up window will appear for you to browse the content list you want to use. We will be linking only this specific part of the template to the list. Find the "Topics" list. You can see this process worked if the section's outline is now blue.

Dynamic Section

Step 6: Add Static Elements

Drag a Text block to the empty section. Select this block and add a background color, change the font color and other desired settings.

Step 7: Add Dynamic Elements

In the Text block settings, click on the button {Columns & Links}. The pop-up window will appear now with a list of all the SharePoint columns from your recipient source and from the content source. Make sure you choose the right tab (Dynamic Section). Find and insert the SharePoint column called "Subscription Topic".

Content Dynamic Text

So far what we asked JungleMail to do was: connect to the "Topics" list and bring back ALL items from the list, using the metadata from the column "Subscription Topic". But let's say I only want to include the topics each recipient is interested in. Remember the recipient list "Contacts" and its column "Subscription Topics"? It brings the same data present in the "Topics" content list's column "Subscription Topic". We even named them similarly. So I will try to match them using a condition.

Select the section you previously made dynamic. In the Settings section, find the Condition Builder. The condition you will create is:

 

Column: Subscription Topic (the column from the content source - 1st level)

Operator: is in range of (used for columns with more than one element)

Value Type: column

Value: Subscription Topics (the column from the recipient source - base level)

 

Content Dynamic Text

Step 8: Check Results

Let's check the results of 1st level automation. Move to the Preview step and click through the different version of your template. Notice how the Subscription Topics title changes according to the recipient's subscription topic preferences. In essence, we've pulled content from a SharePoint list and then merged it with the recipient list metadata. You can include as many dynamic sections to your template as you want, each of them connecting to a different list. Imagine how complete you can get your results to be!

Content Source Mail Merge Results

2nd Level Automation: Dynamic Block Inside Dynamic Section

This is where things get really interesting. We connected our campaign to a recipient list (base level), a content list (1st level), and you can include another content list inside the previous one (2nd level automation). Why would you do that? To organize information! This is easier to understand by an example, so let's continue with our tutorial.

Let's say I want to include in my newsletter all the news articles I published on the same subject. To do that I will use a SharePoint list called "Pages" (from a Publishing Site). In the picture of this list below, notice the columns "Title", "Rollup Image", and "ArticleType". Those are the ones we will be using for this part.

SharePoint Article Pages List

Step 9: Connect to Content List

Drag a new text block to the same dynamic section from the previous step, below the already existing text block. The reason to place it here is that we are turning the block dynamic inside the dynamic section, allowing the 2nd level automation. Select the new block and click the button called "Dynamic Block" in its settings. Turn it to "ON". The pop-up window will appear for you to browse for the new content list you want to use. Find the "Pages" list. You can see this process worked if the block's outline is now blue.

Content Dynamic Block

Step 10: Add Dynamic Elements

This time we go straight to the dynamic elements. From the text block settings click once again on the button {Columns & Links}. The pop-up window will now appear with a list of all the SharePoint columns from your recipient source, the 1st-level content source ("Topics" list, dynamic section) and the 2nd-level content source ("Pages" list, dynamic block). Make sure you choose the right tab ("Dynamic Block"). Find and insert the SharePoint columns "ArticleType" and "Title". Change their style to highlight.

Content Dynamic Text

JungleMail also supports mail merging images, so let's include an image column in our text block. Click on the image button from the text editor top menu.Image Button The JungleMail image gallery will open. Select the image that contains the "Rollup Image" column. Then right-click the inserted image and access the image properties. Select image size and some other settings.

Image Properties

So far what we asked JungleMail to do was: connect to the Topics list and bring back the topics each recipient is interested in. Also, below each Topic JungleMail will connect to the Pages list and bring back all articles from the list. But I don't want ALL articles. I only want the ones related to the topic above. Remember the Topics content list column called "Subscription Topic"? It brings the same data as the Pages content list column called "ArticleType". So we will match them using a condition.

Select the block you made dynamic. In the block settings find the Condition Builder. The condition you will create is:

 

Column: ArticleTyle (the column from the Content Source - 2nd level)

Operator: is in range of (used for columns with more than one element)

Value Type: Parent column (because it's going to match criteria with the Dynamic Section, not the Recipient Source)

Value: Subscription Topic (the column from the Recipients Source - 1st level)

 

Dynamic Block Condition

Step 11: Check Results

Let's check our final results. Move to the Preview step. Notice how the Subscription Topics title changes in relation to the recipient's preferences, and how the corresponding news articles are presented below each article type.

Content Source Mail Merge Results

Importantly, if JungleMail can't find results that match a condition, that block or section will be empty, and it will not be displayed in the template.

If we were to visualize the concept of 2-level email automation, it would look something like this:

Graphic

So there you have it: fully automated email campaigns for SharePoint. If you have any questions on how to use JungleMail or JungleMail for SharePoint 365, feel free to contact us.


EnovaPoint Team by Felipe Zagonel
Customer Care
EnovaPoint

 

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