To send out an email campaign using SugarCRM’s Campaigns module, first create one or more target lists to identify the recipients of your message. Then, within the Campaigns module, use either the wizard or classic create method to create a new Campaign. (The wizard will walk you step by step through the process, while classic create will allow you to move through the process at your own pace and order.)

When creating your campaign, use the type “Email” for a one-time campaign, or “Newsletter” for an ongoing campaign such as a monthly newsletter. You can track objectives and budget information to help you organize and analyze your campaigns. You will also need to link the Target List(s) you created to the Campaign.

Next, plan the content of your email message, if you have not already done so. Identify the hyperlinks that will be included in your message. Create a Tracker URL for each link, so that you will be able to track who clicks them once your message has been sent. The “name” you enter when creating your hyperlink will become the default hyperlink text when you insert it into your email, but it can be updated later as needed.

Then, create the email template for your message. Make sure that you create it from within the Campaigns module so that you have access to the full Campaigns functionality. Within your email template, you can insert fields from your database, so that you can personalize your message for each recipient. You can also insert images, such as your company logo, although they must be stored on your web server as you can only insert via URL. SugarCRM also supports HTML templates.

After creating your message, you will want to test it to make sure it looks like you planned. Create a test-type target list and add yourself to the list. Link the test list to the campaign, and then use the action button to “Send Test.” You may want to use several email addresses to check how your message displays in common email clients, such as Exchange, Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, et cetera, ensuring that your message displays consistently for all recipients. You can also check that the hyperlinks are tracking correctly by clicking one or more links in the test email(s). Your clicks should be shown in the results of the Campaign.

You can revise your message and resend your test as many times as necessary. When you are satisfied with your message, go to the results view of your campaign and clear the test results so that you can start fresh. Then, use the action button to send your email. Please note that the email messages may not be sent immediately; the timing depends on two factors. First, the messages will not be sent prior to the date and time that you selected when creating your marketing message. Once that time is passed, the messages will be sent by a Scheduler process, which may be set to run overnight. Your SugarCRM administrator can configure the Scheduler process, so check with him/her to verify that when the process will run.

Looking for more details on each of these steps? Our marketing training courses cover email campaigns in detail, plus much more!

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