Using “Date Match” to set up a schedule in Campaign Manager
Campaign Manager can now allow you to set up a campaign that will go at a specific time either daily, weekly or monthly, this type of campaign is called a schedule. You can create a schedule which searches your database each day for contacts with a date field matching today’s date to send a message to. This could be for a birthday, anniversary or customer journey message.
To set up this type of schedule you must do several things:
- Add a column to your data file to include the date in a simple format (e.g. dd/mm/yyyy)
- Update your existing data or import new data with this field
- Set up a campaign schedule
The field in your data file must use the same date format throughout. If you want to send a birthday or anniversary message each year, then use the format dd/mm so that the date is recurring. If you only want the message to go once then use the format dd/mm/yyyy, this will mean the message only goes on that unique date.
If you want to send messages to all your current customers on their birthdays then you can export all your data from Campaign Manager (by using the Search function) and reimport it with the additional column added. Alternatively if you want to import new data to send to, then simply include the column on the file.
To set up a Schedule, you need to start campaign set up as usual. On the Contact Search page you need to use the “Date Match” operator. So choose the column that contains the date from the first drop down, select “Date Match” from the operator list, and type your date format (e.g. dd/mm) in the value box. This will tell Campaign Manager that it needs to search the column you have specified for a date matching the format you have specified.
N.B. if at this stage Campaign Manager cannot find any contacts that match your search, you will still be able to continue, a campaign will not deploy to 0 contacts.
The next few steps of campaign set up are as normal; name your campaign, choose your response options and type your message body. When you come to the Other Campaign Options page, unless you want to send seeds for the message you can ignore most of this page.
The next page is Schedule Options, this is where you well tell Campaign Manager how frequently you want to send your message (and as such, how frequently you want it to search for a date match). If you choose daily, you can select a time, and Campaign Manager will search the column you have specified for a date in the specified format that matches today. This is the option you would choose for birthdays and anniversaries.
Continue and complete your campaign set up, and when you come to the final page you will see that the “Deploy” button is not visible, instead there is a “Save Schedule” button. Click this button and your campaign is ready to deploy. It will deploy according to the Schedule Options every time it finds contacts that match today’s date.
You can continue to import data with the specified date field populated and Campaign Manager will pick them up when today is equal to their date.