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1 Sphere Guide

2 8/4/2015 Sphere Sphere US 2015 Blackbaud, Inc. This publication, or any part thereof, may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, storage in an information retrieval system, or otherwise, without the prior permission of Blackbaud, Inc. The information in this manual has been carefully checked and is believed to be accurate. Blackbaud, Inc., assumes no responsibility for any inaccuracies, errors, or omissions in this manual. In no event will Blackbaud, Inc., be liable for direct, indirect, special, incidental, or consequential damages resulting from any defect or omission in this manual, even if advised of the possibility of damages. In the interest of continuing product development, Blackbaud, Inc., reserves the right to make improvements in this manual and the products it describes at any time, without notice or obligation. All Blackbaud product names appearing herein are trademarks or registered trademarks of Blackbaud, Inc. All other products and company names mentioned herein are trademarks of their respective holder

3 Contents OVERVIEW 1 Automatic 2 Confirmations 3 Simple Confirmations 3 Advanced Confirmations 4 Notifications 4 Viral Marketing 5 Friends Asking Friends s 5 Spread the Word 6 to a Friend s 7 Forward to a Friend s 7 Bulk 8 Overview 9 Sequential s Overview 9 enewsletter Overview 10 Campaign Manager s 11 Campaigns 11 Mailings 12 Receivers Overview 13 Understanding Receivers 13 Understanding Sequential Receivers 14 Understanding enewsletter Receivers 15 Understanding Campaign Manager Receivers 15 Content 15 Testing and Scheduling an Mailing 16 Testing an Before Distribution 16 Scheduling an for Distribution 16 Custom Schedule Privilege Groups 17 Funtional Accss Type: Send Test 17 Functional Access Type: Approve 18 How Sphere Sends s 20 Identify Receivers and Merge Content 21 Send to Addresses and Receive Status Updates 21 Success Codes 21 Soft and Hard Failure Codes 21 Hard Bounce Failures 22 Hard Bounce Unknown User 22 Hard Bounce Bad Domain 23 Hard Bounce Address Error 24 Hard Bounce Closed Account 25

4 Soft Bounce Failures 25 Soft Bounce Inactive/Disabled Account 26 Soft Bounce Mailbox Full 26 Soft Bounce Greylist 27 Block Failures 27 Block Spam Complaints 28 Block Blacklist 29 Block ISP Block 30 Block Content Block 31 Block URL Block 31 Block Excess Traffic 33 Block Security Violation/Virus 34 Block List Management 34 Block Authentication 35 Technical Failures 36 Too Busy 36 Data Format Error 36 Network Error 37 Other Error 37 Determine Whether to Resend to Addresses 37 Delivery 38 Suppression 38 Authentication 39 Whitelisting 40 Throttling 40 Opt-In 40 Suppression 40 Kintera Blacklist 41 Kintera Blacklist Address Query 44 Reviewing a Kintera Blacklist Address Query List 44 Opt-Out Forms 45 Opt-Out /eNewsletter Form 47 Opt-Out All s Form 48 Adding an Opt-Out Form to a Campaign 48 Reporting 49 Report Statistics 49 Powered by Blackbaud Logo in Bulk s 60 Activity Records Overview 62 Activity Record Field Table 63 Activity Name Tables 65 Historical Activity Records 65 Historical Activity Record Sequences 67 Current Activity Records 67 Current Activity Record Sequences 73 Campaigns, Campaign Manager, and Mailings 74

5 Campaign Manager versus Campaigns 74 Mailings versus Mailings 74 HOW-TO 75 Campaigns 75 Sequential Campaigns 101 enewsletter Campaigns 104 Event Template Campaigns 109 Suppressed Addresses 114 and enewsletter Reports 117 Options 119 Forms 132 FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS 151 Permission Marketing 151 List Management 152 System/Processing 153 Suppression 153 Reporting 154 Powered by Blackbaud logo FAQs 155 Opt-Out Forms FAQs 155 Activity Records 155

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7 chapter 1 Overview Automatic 2 Bulk 8 Campaigns, Campaign Manager, and Mailings 74 Unlike regular where you are limited by the number of messages you can send to your supporters because of your service provider s restrictions or regulations, Sphere is designed to handle the capacity or volume of s normally generated during fundraising. Additionally, it has automatic capabilities built-in that enable you to enrich your supporters experience, while giving them the tools that will help you to reach new supporters. Sphere enables you to communicate with your supporters, and allows your supporters to distribute your messages to potential supporters. addresses are added to your database when you import them, or when supporters submit them to your organization through an initiative. Sphere uses the addresses for confirmations and bulk s. When supporters distribute your messages to potential supporters, the addresses of their contacts are not added to your database. The following figure illustrates the ways addresses are added to Sphere and the types of s Sphere sends: With Sphere you can:

8 2 CHAPTER 1 Get your message to supporters faster and cheaper because you are not limited by the speed or capabilities of the regular postal system. Reach potential supporters and increase fundraising. Communicate with new and existing supporters. Track communications and responses to them Advertise services and programs to generate or maintain interest in your organization s mission. Retain your existing supporters and interact with new or potential supporters. Send confirmations to supporters when you receive information through a form and eliminate manual paper receipts. Automatic Sphere generates an automatic when a supporter performs an activity in an online initiative (event) that requires the system to acknowledge the activity. Automatic s include: Confirmations to supporters for donations and registrations Notifications to Sphere administrators when supporters submit information Viral Marketing when supporters send messages through Sphere to raise money for your organization, or to promote your cause Sending automatic s to supporters involves the following high level steps: Create the initiative. Enable the field on initiative forms. If necessary, create the advanced confirmation. If necessary, enable the notification checkbox. If necessary, enable the Spread the Word option. Sphere processes information for automatic s according to supporter actions. When a supporter submits information through a form, Sphere enters the information into the contact database and merges it into an E- mail message. The message is then sent to the address from the form. The form submission may also trigger a notification which is sent to an address you specify. When Sphere sends Friends Asking Friends and Spread the Word s it uses addresses supporters enter into a form, but does not store the addresses in your contact database.

9 OVERV IEW 3 Confirmations Confirmations are s Sphere sends when supporters submit information to your organization. If a supporter provides you with an address through a form, Sphere automatically sends the supporter a confirmation . The uses a default message unless you create a custom message for your initiative. We refer to default confirmations as simple confirmations, and custom confirmations as advanced confirmations. Simple Confirmations Simple confirmations are automatic s Sphere sends to supporters when they complete the field on a form and submit contact information. Simple confirmations are available for every online initiative in Sphere and you do not need to create them because they use templates which are stored in your account s Confirmations Library. For information about the Confirmations Library, see the Libraries and Templates section of the help file. The templates contain text and merge fields which are relevant to each type of Sphere form. You can disable confirmations through the initiative, but we do not recommend doing so because supporters expect to receive them. The figure below is an example of a simple confirmation.

10 4 CHAPTER 1 Advanced Confirmations Advanced confirmations are automatic s Sphere sends to supporters when they complete the field on a form and submit contact information. Advanced confirmations are available for most online initiatives in Sphere and are based on custom messages you create for the initiative. You use the Content Editor to create a template for the layout of the message and to insert merge fields. Sphere stores the template in the Confirmations Library. where you can review and update it.for information about the Confirmations Library, see the Libraries and Templates section of the help file. Enable an advanced confirmation through the initiative by clicking the Advanced Confirmation Setup link. If you do not enable advanced confirmations, Sphere sends simple confirmations. The figure below is an example of an advanced confirmation. Notifications notifications are automatic s Sphere sends to you when supporters submit contact information through a form. notifications are available for most online initiatives in Sphere and you do not need to create them because they use a standard template. Enable notifications when you create the initiative if you want to receive an each time a supporter submits information through a form. The following figure is an example of an notification.

11 OVERV IEW 5 Sphere enables you to create a custom notification by using an advanced confirmation for the initiative and then adding your address to the Send Copy of to field in the Content Editor. You receive the same the supporter receives which allows you to review new information without accessing Sphere. Consider using notifications when you need to take an action after a supporter provides information (for example, send a brochure, make a phone call, and so on). Do not use them as a substitute for running regular reports for an initiative because the s may not always reach you. Viral Marketing Viral marketing is when your supporters send messages to personal contacts to raise money for your organization or to promote your cause. Supporters access a form through a Web site and enter address information. Sphere then sends an to the specified address and also includes a link to the Web site where supporters access the form. Friends Asking Friends s A Friends Asking Friends is an automatic that your supporters can send to their friends, families, or others they choose. Friends Asking Friends s are available for online fundraising initiatives such as Thon and Gala. After supporters register for your event, they can log into the headquarters section of the Web site to access an center form and send messages to personal contacts. If you create templates while setting up an initiative and make them available in the center, registrants can personalize them, or create their own. Sphere automatically inserts a link to the supporter s fundraising Web site when it sends the . Sphere only saves a registrant s personal contact in the database if the contact submits information to you through a form. The figure below is an example of a Friends Asking Friends .

12 6 CHAPTER 1 Spread the Word A Spread the Word is an automatic Sphere sends when supporters access a Spread the Word form through a fundraising Web site and use the form to promote your cause by sending messages to personal contacts. Spread the Word forms are available when you create fundraising initiatives, and when you create Advocacy action items. The figure below is an example of a Spread the Word .

13 OVERV IEW 7 When you set up the initiative, you enter text for the s Sphere will send (for example, I think this is a great cause you should learn more about, and so on). After a supporter accesses the form and enters a personal contact s address, Sphere sends a message to the contact which contains your text and a link to the Web site where supporters access the form. Sphere only saves a supporter s personal contact in the database if the contact submits information to your organization through a form. to a Friend s An to a Friend is similar to a Spread the Word , except it is sent from a CMS Web site form instead of a form in an event Web site. Sphere automatically sends this when supporters access an to a Friend form through a Web site and use it to promote your cause by sending messages to personal contacts. The figure below is an example of an to a Friend . When you set up a CMS Web site you can add HTML code to the site s Kintera Template File (KTF) which adds a link to the form within the Web site layout. When you add the to a Friend form you can use the Sphere version or you can modify it by creating custom page content, confirmation content, and a wrapper. After a supporter accesses the form and enters a personal contact s address, Sphere sends a message to the contact which contains text and a link to the Web site. Sphere only saves a supporter s personal contact in the database if the contact submits information to your organization through a form. Forward to a Friend s A Forward to a Friend is an automatic that your supporters can send to their friends, families, or others they choose. Sphere sends Forward to a Friend s when supporters access a Forward to a Friend form through an mailing and use it to promote your cause by sending messages to personal contacts. You create Forward to a Friend forms via Communications > Mail Specific Features > Forward This Form and then create a hyperlink to the forms when you create content for mailings. The figure below is an example of a Forward to a Friend . When creating the form, you enter text for the s Sphere will send (for example, I think you might be interested in this , and so on). After a supporter receives the mailing, accesses the form, and enters a personal contact s address, Sphere sends a message to the contact. The message contains your text and a

14 8 CHAPTER 1 link to the Web page version of the content. Sphere only saves a supporter s personal contact in your database if the contact submits information to your organization through a form. Use Forward to a Friend to preserve content. Forwarding an directly from a receiver s provider can cause corruption in the content s HTML code and can alter the look and feel of the message. Bulk Bulk s are those you generate and send to your supporters by creating messages for groups of supporters who exist in your database. Using bulk is more effective than using your local service provider because Sphere s system is designed to send large numbers of s simultaneously and it conforms to sending standards for high volume senders. Sphere eliminates the need for you to manage changes in the industry so you can focus on your content and delivery strategies. You have a number of options for sending bulk including using: - when you need to search in your database to find individuals or organizations (referred to as receivers) to whom you will send bulk s enewsletter - when supporters are signed up as receivers Sequential s - when you want to send a series of s and filter the receivers for each mailing according to actions from previous s Campaign Manager when you are sending an appeal to a prospect list you associate with a Campaign Manager campaign. For information about Campaign Manager, see the Campaign Manager section of the help file. Custom events - when you are sending s to individuals associated with a custom event Sending bulk s to supporters involves the following high level steps: Create a campaign which is a folder for messages with related content. Create a mailing which is the method you choose to send a message through a campaign. Identify the receivers by searching for contacts in the database, reviewing an existing group of subscribers, or entering their information in the database if they are prospects. Define the by using Sphere s built in Content Editor to create or import the message you will send to supporters. Test and schedule the mailing by sending sample s to yourself or other designated contacts within your organization to preview mail content, and then indicating when to send the . Sphere finds the contacts in your database who are receivers and merges your content with their addresses. The system searches the list of receivers to find addresses it should remove and automatically suppresses them from the receivers. Sphere suppresses addresses when receivers unsubscribe, when addresses fail delivery attempts, and when receivers report messages as SPAM. The merge process creates files which Sphere sends to receiving mailing systems. During the sending process, receiving mail systems provide codes to indicate message delivery status. Sphere tracks the codes and provides them through reports available for each mailing. Sphere also tracks and reports actions supporters take when

15 OVERV IEW 9 they receive messages. You can use reports to measure the success of your mailings, and target contacts for future mailings. To ensure message delivery, use opt-in (a term used when you provide a supporter the option to receive bulk E- mail. The subscriber is choosing to be added to an list by accepting the organization s terms of service) methods when you build your contact database, and regularly review reports so you can remove contacts who continually do not open messages and who do not have valid addresses. Overview enables you to use Advanced Search to find receivers in the database, define content, and then schedule a time to send your message. For example, if you are hosting an event and need to provide information to registrants, you use to search for them. You also use when the receivers you need are not subscribers of the same enewsletter campaign. For example, if you need to send a message to subscribers who typically receive weekly updates as well as to subscribers who receive monthly updates, you could use to include both groups in one mailing. When you search for receivers, you can include any contact with an address from your contact database in the search criteria. Since you should only send messages to contacts who opt-in 1 to receive them, and recipients do not subscribe to receive messages, you should first consider which contacts have an interest in the message content. To understand your receivers interests, use trackable links in s and then review reports of the receivers who clicked the links. You can also search for receivers based on previous actions such as registrations and donations, or with source codes you attach to your marketing efforts. Using entails completing the following high level steps: Create or select an existing campaign Select a mailing type Create a receiver list with a query Define content Test and schedule the mailing View the report Sequential s Overview Sequential s enables you to send a series of s and filter the receivers for each mailing according to actions from previous s. For example, you can send an request for donations and have Sphere automatically remove supporters who make donations from subsequent messages. Select existing supporters in your database using Advanced Search, define content, and then schedule a time to send your message for the first mailing. Follow the same procedures to create subsequent mailings. However, before you select the receivers select the filter criteria. 1 A term used when you provide a supporter the option to receive bulk . The subscriber is choosing to be added to an list by accepting the organization s terms of service.

16 10 CHAPTER 1 When you search for receivers, you can include any contact with an address from your contact database in the search criteria. Since you should only send messages to contacts who opt in 1 to receive them, and Sequential s recipients do not subscribe to receive messages, you should consider which contacts have an interest in the message, and also use filtering options that exclude receivers who do not open messages or click links. Using Sequential s entails completing the following high level steps: Create or select an existing campaign Create an initial mailing Create a receiver list with a query for the initial mailing Define content for the initial mailing Test and schedule the initial mailing Create the second mailing Select filter criteria for the second mailing s receivers Define content for the second mailing s receivers Test and schedule the second mailing enewsletter Overview enewsletter enables you to define content and schedule a time to send your message to supporters who sign up as receivers. For example, you can offer to send periodic program updates to supporters who donate. To do this, you would create an enewsletter campaign, and then provide the option to sign up for it on the donation form. Supporters sign up to receive enewsletter messages through forms by selecting enewsletter campaign names. We refer to the process of signing up as subscribing and opting-in. You can create an enewsletter Subscription Form and add it to your Web site, or add enewsletters to forms when you create them. Sphere will automatically add supporters who sign up to the enewsletter receiver lists. When you provide the option for supporters to sign up for enewsletters, you should select double opt-in which requires them to click a confirmation link to complete their subscriptions. We require opt-in and highly recommend using double opt-in because many systems track and block senders who deliver which is reported by users as SPAM, and who send messages to invalid addresses. Using enewsletter entails completing the following high level steps: 1 A term used when you provide a supporter the option to receive bulk . The subscriber is choosing to be added to an list by accepting the organization s terms of service.

17 OV ERV IEW 11 Create or select an existing enewsletter campaign Add the enewsletter to a form and allow supporters to subscribe to it Select a mailing type Define enewsletter content Test and schedule the enewsletter mailing View the enewsletter report Campaign Manager s Campaign Manager enables you to use or Sequential s to create appeals and automatically identify receivers using a prospect list you associate with a Campaign Manager campaign. For example, if you are running a disaster relief campaign and targeting donors from previous disaster fundraising efforts as prospective donors for your current campaign, you could use through Campaign Manager to send messages to those supporters and associate their actions with the campaign. You only use Campaign Manager to send s when the s are for Campaign Manager campaigns. When you create an appeal in Campaign Manager, you also create an campaign or a Sequential s campaign. Using Campaign Manager to send s entails completing the following high level steps: Create or select an existing Campaign Manager campaign Add a prospect list to the Campaign Manager campaign Select an appeal category Create the appeal, and then depending on the type of appeal you select, follow the appropriate procedures For information about Campaign Manager, see the Campaign Manager section of the help file. Campaigns An campaign is a grouping of messages with related content. Depending on where you are in Sphere, an campaign has different names. In... An Campaign is referred to as... and Sequential s Campaign enewsletter enewsletter

18 12 CHAPTER 1 Campaign Manager Appeal Group related mailings into logical campaigns so supporters understand the types of messages they will receive. This is important because all Sphere campaign mailings contain a receiver opt-out link so supporters can unsubscribe from future messages in the campaign. For example, if you plan to send multiple messages for an event, create an campaign and then use it to send all the related mailings. This way, supporters who do not wish to receive more information about the event can unsubscribe from all of the messages. Note: A receiver opt-out link is also available if you want to provide the option for supporters to unsubscribe from all future mailings from your account. Consider supporters who opt-out from one campaign when you create another. If you create similar campaigns and use the same groups of mailing receivers for each, you send messages to supporters who do not wish to receive them. This frustrates supporters and causes them to unsubscribe from mailing content multiple times, to unsubscribe from all future mailings from your account, or to report your messages as SPAM to service providers. Mailings After creating an campaign, send messages to supporters using mailings. Choose any of the following mailing types depending on the content you want to send. Single mailing allows you to send a one time message to targeted recipients. You use this mailing type when you need to send one message to each receiver in a group you identify. For example, you can send event participants an announcement for an upcoming meeting. This mailing type is available when you use , enewsletter, and through Campaign Manager. Split mailing with random distribution allows you to send a one time message to a group of recipients that Sphere randomly splits into subgroups. You use this mailing type when you want to compare the effectiveness of more than one version of mailing content. For example, you can identify a group of receivers, create two versions of a donation request, and have Sphere randomly choose the receivers for each version so you can determine which one is the most effective. This mailing type is available when you use , enewsletter, and through Campaign Manager. Split mailing with custom distribution allows you to send a one time message to a group of recipients that you split into subgroups. You use this mailing type when you want to change sections of content for different groups within your list of receivers. For example, you can create regional subgroups for your receivers and provide a list of upcoming events in the mailing content specific to each area. This mailing type is available when you use , enewsletter, and through Campaign Manager. Recurring mailing allows you to automatically schedule messages you plan to send more than once. You use this mailing type when you need to send mailing content at regular intervals to a group of receivers you identify with one query. For example, you can create a mailing which searches daily for new donors and then sends them a welcome . This mailing type is available when you use , enewsletter, and through Campaign Manager. Sequential mailing allows you to send s based on criteria from previous mailing actions within a campaign s sequence. You use this mailing type when you want to send more than one mailing and filter the receivers for each mailing in the series. For example, you can send an request for donations

19 OV ERV IEW 13 and have Sphere automatically remove supporters who make donations from subsequent messages. This mailing type is available when you use Sequential s and Sequential s through Campaign Manager. enewsletter mailing allows you to send messages using single mailing, split mailing with random distribution, split mailing with custom distribution, or recurring mailing types when supporters subscribe to receive content from your organization. You use this mailing type when you are sending content related to an enewsletter campaign. For example, you can use the single mailing type to send enewsletter mailings to supporters who subscribe to receive periodic program updates. This mailing type is available when you use enewsletter. Receivers Overview A receiver is a contact you identify when completing the required steps to send an mailing, and ultimately the recipient of your message. A group of receivers can be referred to as a receiver list, and also as a receiver base. The way you generate receivers is based on whether you use , Sequential s, enewsletter, or Campaign Manager. When you build your contact database, consider how you plan to send bulk s to your supporters. s are most effective when you communicate with contacts who wish to receive your messages. When you add address information, make the contacts aware they will receive message content from your organization (also known as being opted-in) by allowing supporters to sign up as receivers of your organization s enewsletter campaigns when they complete forms on your Web site. You can also direct supporters to use your enewsletter Subscription Form. When supporters sign up for enewsletters, use double opt-in and require them to click a confirmation link to complete their subscriptions. We recommend opt-in because many systems track and block senders who deliver which is reported by users as SPAM 1 and who to deliver to invalid addresses. Understanding Receivers receivers are the contacts you select when completing the required steps to send an mailing. You create an receiver list with a query by searching the database using Advanced Search which contains the following folders: Contacts search for contacts using information associated with a contact record including profile data, financial transactions, segmentation, and constituencies Members search for contacts using membership contact information including membership type, start date, and membership expiration date Communities search for contacts associated with online Sphere initiatives including registrants, 1 Unsolicited on the Internet.

20 14 CHAPTER 1 donors, and team leaders Saved Queries search for contacts using previously saved criteria Communications search for contacts from previous mailings or subscriber bases Use Advanced Search to preview the list of contacts you are targeting. The preview lists the first 500 contacts that meet the search criteria, and includes a record count of the total number of records included in the receiver base. The actual mailing will only send s to the records which contain an address and are not suppressed by our suppression logic. Understanding Sequential Receivers Sequential s receivers are the contacts you select when completing the required steps to send Sequential s mailings. Create a Sequential s receiver list with a query for the first mailing in the campaign by searching the database using Advanced Search. Before you access Advanced Search for subsequent mailings, select filter criteria from previous mailing actions. For example, you can send an request for donations and have Sphere automatically remove supporters who make donations from subsequent messages. Advanced Search contains the following folders: Contacts search for contacts using information associated with a contact record including profile data, financial transactions, segmentation, and constituencies Members search for contacts using membership contact information including membership type, start date, and membership expiration date Communities search for contacts associated with online Sphere initiatives including registrants, donors, and team leaders Saved Queries search for contacts using previously saved criteria Communications search for contacts from previous mailings or subscriber bases Filter criteria contains the following groups: Based on initial mailing filter contacts using actions taken after receiving the first mailing in the series Based on previous mailing filter contacts using actions taken after receiving the most recent mailing in the series Use Advanced Search to preview the list of contacts you are targeting. The preview will filter based on the previous mailing actions you indicate, and then list the first 500 remaining contacts that meet the search criteria. The preview includes a count of the total number of records included in the receiver base, but the actual mailing will only send s to the records which contain an address and are not suppressed by our suppression logic.

21 OV ERV IEW 15 Understanding enewsletter Receivers enewsletter receivers (also known as subscribers) are the contacts who subscribe to receive enewsletter mailings. Create receiver lists by allowing supporters to sign up through forms when you add your enewsletter campaigns to them, or when you direct supporters to use your enewsletter Subscription Form. When you create enewsletter mailings, you can review the list of subscribers by clicking the Subscribers ( ) icon in the campaign mailing list Subscriber column. The list will display current subscribers, but the mailing will only send s to addresses not suppressed by our suppression logic. A subscriber can unsubscribe from an enewsletter by selecting one of the unsubscribe options contained in a mailing. You also have the option to remove a subscriber from an enewsletter by selecting Delete from the enewsletter campaign s Subscriber Base. Each method prohibits a contact from subscribing to the enewsletter again. Understanding Campaign Manager Receivers Campaign Manager receivers are the contacts you select when completing the required steps to create a Campaign Manager appeal mailing. Create a Campaign Manager receiver list by associating a prospect list with the campaign. The prospect list, which is generated from the Static List Library, is automatically inserted as a link for the query criteria in the Receivers column. If you do not use a prospect list, you can create a receiver list using Advanced Search. Advanced Search contains the following folders: Contacts search for contacts using information associated with a contact record including profile data, financial transactions, segmentation, and constituencies Members search for contacts using membership contact information including membership type, start date, and membership expiration date Communities search for contacts associated with online Sphere initiatives including registrants, donors, and team leaders Saved Queries search for contacts using previously saved criteria Communications search for contacts from previous mailings or subscriber bases Click the name of the prospect list to open the Advanced Search tool and preview the list of targeted contacts. The preview lists the first 500 contacts that meet the search criteria, and includes a record count of the total number of records included in the receiver base. The actual mailing will only send s to the records which contain an address and are not suppressed by our suppression logic. For information about Campaign Manager, see the Campaign Manager section of the help file. Content content is the header and body information you define when completing the required steps to send an mailing.

22 16 CHAPTER 1 The header consists of the Subject Line, From Name, From , and Reply To fields. You can customize these fields so that recipients can immediately see the mailing is from your organization. This is important because recipients who do not recognize senders are more likely to report to their service providers that messages are SPAM. For the body, you can create content in HTML and Text formats. If a recipient s provider accepts HTML formatted messages, the recipient will see the content in a Web page. If the provider accepts text formatted messages, the recipient will see a plain text file without HTML or images. Use the Content Editor to create content using one of the following methods: Define new content Load an existing template from the Template Library Load existing content from the Mail Content Library Import files from another HTML editor such as Adobe Dreamweaver or Microsoft FrontPage You can store content in your account by saving it to the Mail Content Library, or by creating a template within the Template Library. Testing and Scheduling an Mailing Testing and scheduling are the final steps before you send a bulk mailing. Testing an Before Distribution Send a test to yourself or other designated contacts within your organization from the Schedule Mail page to preview mail content before sending it to the entire receiver list. You may want to enter addresses for multiple providers to preview how the content will appear at each destination. For each test, an HTML and a text version is sent along with a SPAM score report. Note: If you use a merge field in the content, the test mailings will show the default value you select and not merged data from a contact record (for example, if the merge field is Last Name, you will see the field Last Name instead of the recipient's last name). If the test s show the default value, then you can be assured that the mail merge value is properly configured. Scheduling an for Distribution When you schedule a mailing, you designate a time for Sphere to begin merging the receivers with the content. When the merge process is complete, the data is sent to a queue where it waits to be distributed through Sphere's message transfer agent (MTA) 1. Many factors can affect the time it takes to send an including throttling 2, limitations for service providers, receiver list query complexity, and combined account volume. 1 A program which sends files from one system to another. 2 The process of restricting the number of concurrent connections Sphere makes with service providers when sending bulk messages.

23 OV ERV IEW 17 Custom Schedule Privilege Groups Create custom schedule privilege groups if more than one person is responsible for testing and approving messages. When you create a privilege group, you specify the functional access rights that will apply to all users you assign to the group. Funtional Accss Type: Send Test Configure , Sequential , and enewsletter functional access for users who will send test messages by providing full access rights to Send Test and restricting access rights for Approve. The following figure displays the Privilege Group page when you assign Send Test access to a privilege group: Users you assign to the test group will see the following on the Schedule Mail page:

24 18 CHAPTER 1 Functional Access Type: Approve For users who only approve and schedule final messages, configure , Sequential , and enewsletter functional access by providing full access rights to Approve and removing access to Send Test. The following figure shows the Privilege Group page when you assign Approve access to a privilege group:

25 Users you assign to the approval group will see the following on the Schedule Mail page: OV ERV IEW 19

26 20 CHAPTER 1 Note: Sphere does not display Preview Content for split mailings with custom distribution. Users with approval access can only click Next. How Sphere Sends s Sphere follows three main steps to send automatic and bulk s: Identify receivers and merge content with addresses Send messages to the addresses and receive notifications of the messages sent statuses Determine whether to resend messages

27 OV ERV IEW 21 Identify Receivers and Merge Content For automatic s, Sphere identifies receivers and merges content according to supporter actions. When a supporter submits information through a form, Sphere enters the information into the contact database and merges relevant fields (for example, first name, last name, amount received, and so on) into a confirmation message which is sent to the address specified on the form. The confirmation uses a default message unless you create a custom message for your initiative. The form submission may also trigger a notification which uses a standard template and is sent to an address you specify. When a supporter sends automatic viral marketing s, Sphere uses the addresses supporters enter into a Web site form to merge with content but does not store the addresses in your contact database. For example, if a registrant for a fundraising event sends a Friends Asking Friends to a family member, the family member s address is not stored in your database as a contact. You will not able to identify the family member as a receiver for bulk s unless the person makes a donation or registers. The viral marketing message to the contact contains standard or custom text and a link to the Web site where supporters access the form. For bulk s, Sphere finds the contacts in your database that you identify as mailing receivers, removes E- mail addresses that meet system criteria for suppression, and then merges your custom mailing content with the remaining addresses. Send to Addresses and Receive Status Updates The merge process for automatic and bulk s creates files which Sphere transfers to a message transfer agent (MTA) 1 which physically transfers the files to service providers using multiple IP addresses 2. Many factors determine the time it takes for a merged file to leave the Sphere system including throttling limitations for service providers, and combined volume for accounts sending . Sphere can send up to 500,000 E- mails per hour. During the sending process, receiving mail systems provide codes to indicate message delivery status and signal whether or not Sphere should try to send s to the addresses again. Sphere tracks the codes and provides them through reports available for each mailing. Sphere receives three types of codes success, soft failure, and hard failure. Success Codes Success codes inform our system when the service provider accepts the message. Large service providers often accept messages in bulk from senders they trust, and then determine if the addresses are valid. For example, if Sphere sends a large number of s to Hotmail at one time, Hotmail will accept all the messages and then send individual messages to inboxes (for example, For bulk E- mails, Sphere may initially receive a code indicating a successful delivery, but later the service provider could send a failure message. Soft and Hard Failure Codes If there is a problem with the intended address, the service provider will send Sphere a soft or hard failure code. For bulk s, Sphere places the codes into failure reason categories. Problems which are not permanent are assigned to soft failure reason categories (for example, mailbox is full, inactive account, network error, and so on), and problems that are permanent are assigned to hard failure reasons categories (for example, unknown user, address error, closed account, and so on). The actual codes Sphere receives are combinations of 1 A program which sends files from one system to another. 2 Identifiers for a computer which send information via the Internet

28 22 CHAPTER 1 numbers and text. The figure below shows an example failure code and the failure reason category to which it is added: Hard Bounce Failures The is permanently undeliverable due to address or domain errors or status. Possible Cause Hard Bounces occur for multiple reasons, such as address errors, bad domain names, unknown users and closed accounts. Examine the specific Failure Types to determine the likely causes. Suggested Actions Invalidate the records immediately and remove them from your list. Contact the recipient for replacement or corrected address. Note: We automatically place, after the first instance, all addresses which hard fail on the blacklist so they are suppressed from future mailings. Hard Bounce Unknown User The address is valid for the domain but nonexistent. Generally, this means the account has been closed for some time. Possible Cause Stale Data: Your list may contain a high number of undeliverable records if it has not been recently mailed to or too much time has elapsed between data capture and mailing. This is an important data point to review as it is one of the main reasons incoming messages are blocked by some of the major ISPs. Suggested Actions While mail frequency should be adjusted for customer preference and value, review all segments of your list on a regular basis to ensure brand visibility, continuity of communication and address deliverability. Set standards for the first communication after data capture (5 to 10 days). This action will also reduce the likelihood of complaint. If mailing to an "old" segment, do a test before full deployment. Deploy the mailing slowly to avoid spikes in Unknown User failures. Possible Cause Poor Data Capture: You may not be adequately validating addresses at the point of data capture. Suggested Actions Send a follow up to new customers to confirm opt-in permission and validate deliverability of address provided. If bounces for specific reasons that may indicate an invalid or inactive account, remove address and contact customer for new/corrected address.

29 OV ERV IEW 23 Require double entry of addresses to minimize typographical errors. Perform Address Correction (hygiene) to correct common misspellings on major domains before adding large quantities of new records to your list. Send confirmation on corrected records. Possible Cause Unreliable Data Source: You may be introducing undeliverable records to your list because of unreliable data sources (list rental, affiliate, etc.) A high incidence of tale, inaccurate or fictitious data suggests a problem. Suggested Actions Know your data sources. Investigate their data compilation and management practices. Confirm consent and deliverability before incorporating third party names into your list. Perform Address Correction (hygiene) to correct common misspellings on major domains before adding large quantities of new records to your list. Send confirmation on corrected records. Contact the recipient for replacement address. Hard Bounce Bad Domain The has a domain name that is invalid or no longer exists. Possible Cause Stale Data: Your list may contain a high number of undeliverable records if it has not been recently mailed or too much time has elapsed between data capture and mailing. This is an important data point to review as it is one of the main reasons incoming messages are blocked by some of the major ISPs. Suggested Actions While mail frequency should be adjusted for customer preference and value, review all segments of your list on a regular basis to ensure brand visibility, continuity of communication and address deliverability. If mailing to an "old" segment, do a test before full deployment. Deploy the mailing slowly to avoid spikes in Unknown User failures. Possible Cause Poor Data Capture: You may not be adequately validating addresses at the point of data capture. Suggested Actions Send a follow up to new customers to confirm opt-in permission and validate deliverability of address provided. If bounces for specific reasons that may indicate an invalid or inactive account, remove address and contact customer for new/corrected address.

30 24 CHAPTER 1 Require double entry of addresses to minimize typographical errors. Perform Address Correction (hygiene) to correct common misspellings on major domains before adding large quantities of new records to your list. Send confirmation on corrected records. Possible Cause Unreliable Data Source: You may be introducing undeliverable records to your list because of unreliable data sources (list rental, affiliate, etc.) A high incidence of stale, inaccurate or fictitious data suggests a problem. Suggested Actions Know your data sources. Investigate their data compilation and management practices. Confirm consent and deliverability before incorporating third party names into your list. Perform Address Correction (hygiene) to correct common misspellings on major domains before adding large quantities of new records to your list. Send confirmation on corrected records. Contact the recipient for replacement address. Hard Bounce Address Error The address has a format or syntax error (multiple or sign). Possible Cause Poor Data Capture: You may not be adequately validating addresses at the point of data capture. Suggested Actions Send a follow up to new customers to confirm opt-in permission and validate deliverability of address provided. If bounces for specific reasons that may indicate an invalid or inactive account, remove address and contact customer for new/corrected address. Require double entry of addresses to minimize typographical errors. Perform Address Correction (hygiene) to correct common misspellings on major domains before adding large quantities of new records to your list. Send confirmation on corrected records. Possible Cause Unreliable Data Source: You may be introducing undeliverable records to your list because of unreliable data sources (list rental, affiliate, etc.) A high incidence of tale, inaccurate or fictitious data suggests a problem. Suggested Actions Know your data sources. Investigate their data compilation and management practices. Confirm consent and deliverability before incorporating third party names into your list. Perform Address Correction (hygiene) to correct common misspellings on major domains before adding

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