Get Started With Sending Email

After you have contacts to send to and have designed emails you want to send, you can manually schedule deliveries using the Bronto platform, automate message sends using workflows and automated message rules, or send messages via the Bronto API.

Bronto uses a sender rating to determine your eligibility to send messages. Your sender rating is driven by the level of contact engagement (opens, clicks, conversions) your sent emails that were received, complaints your emails receive from ISP Feedback Loops, and internal measurements that we use to help you optimize your deliverability. If you have a lower sender rating, these tips can help you fix it.

Sending Rules and Best Practices

It is important that your deliveries comply with the CAN-SPAM Act and Bronto's sending rules. A contact's status indicates whether or not you can send marketing emails to a contact. Contacts with a transactional status can only be sent transactional messages. Examples of transactional emails include order confirmations, shipping notices, changes in account status, etc. If you have an email message that you would like to send as a transactional email, you need to request approval for that email message.

When sending to contacts with an onboarding status, the number of contacts you can include in an assessment is determined by your Sending Max. Initially, an account's Sending Max limits sending to a maximum of 100,000 contacts who have an onboarding status. As contacts are onboarded, the Sending Max is increased or decreased based on a combination of the success of the previous assessment and on your Sender Rating. For more information about how onboarding new contacts works, see Automated Onboarding. The Sending Max is designed to prevent a batch of new, "bad" contacts from tanking your sender rating, so these limits do not apply to the number of already active contacts you can send to.

Schedule Deliveries Manually

When a message is sent to contacts, it is called a delivery. When it comes time to schedule a delivery, you will need to set the parameters that define how, when, from whom, and to whom the email message will be sent. If your account always uses the same sender options for deliveries, you can set default sender options that will be automatically applied for every delivery. There are three types of deliveries you can manually schedule:

  • Regular Delivery sends the message to the contacts you select as recipients using the sending schedule you specify.
  • Test Send allows you to send a test message to a few contacts you specify to ensure it is ready before you send it to your contacts. Typically these "contacts" will be yourself or someone else in your company who tests emails. Before you send a test delivery you should set the test delivery options for your account.
  • A/B Split Tests sends different versions of a message to initial groups of contacts and the most popular message is sent to the remaining contacts. A/B split tests allow you to quickly compare multiple versions of a message in a way that lets your contacts choose the best performing option.

When you select contacts to send to, you can choose to send a message to specific lists or segments or to your Facebook or Twitter accounts. Therefore, you should set up your lists or segments before you start sending. Lists are static groups of contacts. You have to manually add or remove contacts from lists. This video demonstrates how you can create lists and add contacts to lists. Segments are dynamic groups of contacts. When you create a segment, you define criteria a contact must meet in order to be part of the segment. Bronto automatically adds contacts to the segment as they meet the segment criteria and removes them as they fall out of meeting the criteria. This video demonstrates how you can create segments.

An email message cannot be recalled or retracted once sent. Due to the way email works, no provider is able to recall email messages that have been sent out. You can cancel an email message that has been scheduled but hasn't been sent, or a message that is being sent but hasn't completed.

Automate Message Deliveries

Automation menu is where you can automate the sending of your messages using workflows and automated message rules. It's important to note that automated message rules predate workflows, so you can accomplish anything automated message rules offer with workflows and more.

Workflows allow you to set up complex rules that can be used to manage contacts and contact data and send messages. Every workflow starts with a single trigger node that represents an event that occurred in your account. Once a workflow is triggered, the filter nodes in the workflow define what additional criteria must be met. Finally, action nodes represent what a workflow does when the trigger and filter criteria that led to the action node are met. While workflows can only have a single trigger node, they can have dozens of filter and action nodes which allow you to branch a workflow based on if/then logic.

Any workflow you use to send an email needs to include the Send Email action node. A very basic example of how you might want to set up a workflow to send emails: Start a workflow with Segment Membership Change trigger node and set this node to trigger the workflow when a contact is added to a particular segment. Next, add a Send Email action node and connect it to the trigger node. Then, when contacts are added to a segment they are sent the message your identified for the Send Email action node. Bronto provides several workflow templates to help you get started with creating commonly used workflows. The Welcome Message and Welcome Series workflow templates are especially helpful as you set up your initial Bronto sending campaigns.

It's always helpful to sketch out a workflow on paper before you build it using the workflow builder in Bronto. It's also a best practice to test a workflow before you activate it for use.

Automated message rules are a set of criteria used for sending email on an on-going, or case-by-case basis. There are four different types of automated message rules:
  • Activity-Based Send messages when a contact performs an activity in response to a related message that you sent to them.
  • Date-Based Send messages when a chosen field for a contact matches a specified date or month.
  • Schedule Recurring Send messages on a periodic basis, such as monthly coupons.
  • API Triggered Send messages when a rule is called via the API.

API Message Deliveries

Bronto provides a robust API that can be used to accomplish many of the same tasks that can be done using the Bronto platform. Use the SOAP-based addDeliveries call to send messages via the API. There are two code-example-based tutorials on how to send messages via the API: Send Emails and Send Transactional Messages.