SendFox Tutorial: Set up Your Email Marketing in 15 Minutes

In this tutorial, we’ll show you how to set-up SendFox in 15 minutes so you can get started with your email marketing ASAP.

Check out the video or follow the steps below:

First things first, let’s get an account. 

Go to sendfox.com and type in your email address.

Fill out your details.

Welcome to SendFox! Let’s get started by setting up your Account Settings.

1. Account Settings

You can find your account’s settings by clicking the three lines on the top right and selecting Settings.

In your account page, make sure to choose your time zone and fill out your physical address to comply with CAN-SPAM laws.

Before continuing, check the inbox of the email address you signed up with to verify your account and continue using SendFox. 

Once, you’ve verified your account, go back to your account page and type in your custom URL. This will be the URL of your primary landing page.

Click on the next tab Web Presence and insert the URLs of your blog, podcast and YouTube.

Next, go to the Domain tab. In this tab, you will be able to validate your domain to improve your deliverability and customize your sender email address. For more instructions on how to validate your domain, click here.

Now, that you’ve set up your most important settings, it’s time to upload your subscribers.

2.Lists

Go to the Lists page and click Create List.

Give your list a name and choose whether you would like to upload your contacts via a .CSV file or through the MailChimp Auto-Import (if you are moving over from MailChimp!).

If you are uploading via a .CSV file make sure you are following the format of this file.

3.Smart Pages/ Landing Pages

Let’s set up your landing page so that you can start collecting new subscribers NOW!

When you go to your Smart Pages page, you will notice that SendFox has already automatically created a landing page for you.

Click on the name of your landing page, to go into the Smart Page Editor. In the top half, you can modify the title and the content of your landing page.

In the second part of the landing page, you can select if you want your content to be displayed on your landing page. All you need to do is check on the box that says “Enable Feed Page” and add your feeds.

If you would like to check out what a landing page with the Feed page enabled looks like go here and click Let me read first.

In the Visual page, you can customize the formatting of your blog.

Last but not least, we have the form section. Here you can decide what information you would like to collect, which list you want your contacts to be pulled into, GDPR consent and more.

Once you’re done modifying your landing page, click Save on the top right. Then, click on the pop-up to view your landing page.

Need some inspiration for your landing page? Check out these landing pages:

If you need help with promoting your new landing page, go back to Smart Pages and click the Promote button next to your landing page for help.

Automations

Automations are a great way to engage your audience. One of the most popular and effective automations to create is a Welcome Series. We’ll show you how to create one.

Go to your Automations page and click Start with Template.

To get the most out of the template, fill in the details requested by the automation assistant.

Choose the option to create a Welcome Email Series.

Lastly, choose which list you would like to trigger the automation (this means that when a contact is added to that specific mailing list, they will receive the emails in your automation).

And voilà! SendFox has automatically created a Welcome Series Automation!

You can click on the Edit Email button on the top right to view and modify the content of your emails that SendFox has added for you.

4.Email Campaigns

Now it’s time to schedule your first email – go to the Emails page and click Create Email.

Psst…You probably noticed that there is already some emails created in the Emails page. This is because in part 1 (setting up your Account), we connected our Blog’s RSS feed. When you connect your blog’s RSS feed, SendFox will automatically create draft email campaigns for you. 

We’ll show you how easy SendFox makes it for you to create a weekly newsletter.

In the email editor, add your subject line and select the mailing list you would like to send to. After that, click the Templates button in the footer of your email.

In the templates page, you can select the most recent content from your connected RSS feed’s to generate a weekly newsletter. You can even add more RSS feeds in this page.

Click the content you would like to choose and then click Generate Email. When you’re happy with what your email looks like, all you need to do is Schedule and Save the email.

Here’s another example of what the template feature can also generate.

Awesome job reaching the end of this tutorial! You have now set up your SendFox account and email marketing in less than 15 minutes. 💪

For more email marketing advice, make sure to check out our blog.

Email Deliverability: How to Improve Email Open Rates

In 2018, we had an email deliverability problem.

We were emailing our full OkDork email list… but getting a low open rate. And lots of reports from subscribers that emails were going into their spam.

A look at poor results in Mailchimp email deliverability
Poor email results on Mailchimp.

We knew our emails were super helpful, and the content was good.

They passed all our quality checks… but the results were awful.

Frustrated, we tried a TON of different things.

Rewriting the copy, experimenting with subject lines, using less images.

Everything failed… until we stumbled upon one strategy that actually worked — active subscribers.

Immediately, the results changed:

  1. Open rates and click rates soared by 2-3x
  2. The reports of spam reduced to almost nothing
  3. Our domain and IP reputation in Google Postmaster Tools went back up

Today, campaign emails we send from all our brands are to active-only subscribers.

Active-only sends improves email deliverability a lot
An active-only send on the Dork list… the metrics are back to great.

In this post, we’ll show you how you can use active-only sending to improve your open and click rates, reduce spam complaints, and keep your email deliverability high.

What is Active-Only Sending?

Most email marketers send their campaign emails to all their subscribers.

But that puts your entire email marketing at risk.

Inbox providers — including Gmail — deactivate old email addresses and turn them into spam traps (source).

And if you’re emailing all your subscribers, that means you could hit spam traps. And the inbox providers will notice you don’t keep a cleaned list.

The typical inactivity period for inbox providers
Typical inactivity periods for old email addresses (source)

The way to prevent your reputation from getting damaged because of spam traps is to send to active subscribers.

These active subscribers are subscribers who have either:

  • Joined your list (to be extra-safe, we recommend joined after a double opt-in)
  • Opened an email
  • Clicked an email

Within a certain timeframe.

We recommend trying both 3 and 6 months active subscribers, and seeing what works best for you. We’ve used both timeframes at different times to optimize open and click rates.

How Do I Send to My Actives?

Most modern email tools allow you to segment your subscribers into active groups.

And you should ONLY email your active group segment regularly.

No more emailing everyone, which can damage your sender reputation and put your emails in spam.

Here’s how to email active subscribers in SendFox — the #1 place for content creators to grow their audience.

Step #1: Create a new email in your Emails dashboard

The email editor view inside of SendFox
The email view in SendFox

Click the “Create” button in your Emails dashboard in SendFox to get into the email editor.

Write your email — or copy and paste your email from a Google Doc, and SendFox will retain all formatting — and click save at the bottom of the screen after you’re done.

Step #2: Make sure “Send to active subscribers” is checked

The active subscribers checkbox inside of SendFox
Keep the box for active subscribers checked

Checked by default, to the right of the list field, is a checkbox for emailing active subscribers.

When this box is checked, SendFox will send your email to only 3-month active subscribers.

These subscribers have opened, clicked, or joined in the past 3 months for the list or lists you selected. This helps keep your deliverability high, and your emails away from spam traps.

Step #3: Test your email & schedule to send

The date and time selector inside of SendFox
Schedule your email only after you checked the box for active subscribers and tested

In your email editor view, you can send test emails.

Use mail-tester.com and isnotspam.com to make sure your email is configured properly, and not using any spam trigger words.

Keep editing and re-sending tests until it’s at least a 9 out of 10 in mail-tester, and it’s rated “ham” (aka not spam) in isnotspam.

And to optimize your open and click rates, follow the guide from our Sumo to schedule at the best time for your industry and subscribers.

After your email has been scheduled, wait about 72 hours after the send before you judge your results.

Especially if an email was sent during a holiday or over the weekend, sometimes subscribers are slow to check their inboxes.

After a few active-only sends, you should see see great changes:

  • Your open and click rates increase
  • Less reports of emails going into spam by your subscribers
  • Improved deliverability scores for your IP & domain in Google Postmaster Tools

What About My Full List of Other Subscribers?

We recommend you email active subscribers most of the time…

But it’s also valuable to do a re-engagement send to your entire list every once in a while.

For our OkDork list, we do a re-engagement email to our entire list every quarter. This includes all those old, inactive subscribers.

In our experience, a quarterly inactive re-engagement email doesn’t damage reputation or cause deliverability issues.

90%+ of our emails are sent to active subscribers, so inbox providers seem to provide us with a little leeway for the occasional “bad” send.

And done infrequently, the re-engagement send is a great way to re-engage old subscribers and increase your active list.

So we don’t forget the re-engagement email, we put it in our calendar.

A calendar with upcoming re-engagement to get more subscribers
The re-engagement email recorded in our calendar

To send the re-engagement email to your entire list inside of SendFox, deselect the checkbox for active sending. Then, schedule your email as you normally would.

Unchecking the active-only checkbox for inactive sends
Do a full list re-engagement send by unchecking to your actives

The stats for your full email list campaign will be lower, and that’s OK.

The purpose of a re-engagement quarterly is so you can bring back subscribers and grow your active audience.

Sending to active subscribers is what we do for all our brands, and it’s made a huge difference.

It’s increased our open and click rates, improved deliverability, and kept us out of the spam.

Here are the steps so you can do an active-only send:

  1. Segment your list to 3- or 6-month active subscribers (joined, opened, or clicked)
  2. Test your email with mail-tester.com, isnotspam.com, or other spam testing tools to make sure your email content and setup is correct
  3. Do a re-engagement to your full list send once a quarter

If you do those things, you’ll see better results than ever before from your email marketing.

Check out more email marketing tips on the SendFox blog.