This guide contains technical and procedural information that will prepare you to use Questline’s Welcome Series product to send emails to your customers. It discusses the required account setup steps, import file format standards, and contacts in case of questions or issues.
What is a Welcome Series?
A Welcome Series is a set of emails sent to new customers, or to customers added to a new service, product, or account. They can help introduce new customers to a brand or service. Questline’s Engage Welcome Series product uses Automated Campaigns as its infrastructure for sending emails without manual intervention.
What is an Automated Campaign?
An Engage Automated Campaign is a pre-defined set of automated actions or steps that can be triggered and performed on a particular subscriber. The actions are triggered simply by adding subscribers to the campaign. Possible action steps include sending emails, waiting a specified period of time, or updating subscriber attribute values. Automated Campaigns can be used for the most basic of tasks, such as triggering an email to a subscriber as well as more complex marketing automation tasks. In this guide, we will only discuss the basic functionality of Automated Campaigns necessary for Welcome Series.
Welcome Series Setup
The initial setup of the email content, email from/reply to name and address, and series frequency is handled by Questline based on your company’s need and product level. After all this is set up, you will be tasked with providing a flat file list of new customers on a regular basis for us to add to the Welcome Series.
Our systems will automatically look for and pick up the data file you provide, at a predetermined location, and at a predetermined frequency. You’ll be tasked with putting an updated copy of the subscriber list at the appropriate secure FTP site to match the import frequency. If the file matches the expected name, format, and structure, the subscribers within the file are added to the Welcome Series immediately. From there, the Engage Automated Campaign system automatically begins sending emails to the subscribers as your company has authorized.
During the initial setup of a Welcome Series, Questline will need to know what format you will be providing subscriber lists in, what data will be included, and what the file will be named.
Your company may be exporting a list of new Welcome Series subscribers from an existing system or list. The file for the import to Questline systems must be in one of the following formats to be accepted by the import process. The file format to be used must be set at the beginning of the Welcome Series before the Automated Campaign is started, and cannot be changed without stopping and restarting the Automated Campaign and the import.
- Text file, .txt extension – tab delimited
- Text file, .txt extension – pipe delimited
- Comma delimited file, .csv extension
- Excel Workbook, .xslx extension
- Excel 97-2003 Workbook, .xls extension
Data Columns and Mapping
While your company can include multiple columns of data and information to be stored for subscribers, Welcome Series emails are meant to be relatively simple and static. All that is needed in the subscriber import file is the list of email addresses, in a column of data.
Other columns can be included, but must be identified in the original data mapping set up at the beginning of the Welcome Series creation. If a list’s format or structure does not match the format and structure of the original example file, the subscriber import job will fail.
When your company provided an initial example file to Questline, we set up the import job to look for that same file format and structure each time. If the columns had a header row, the header names were mapped to internal attributes, and the data set to import to values for those attributes. If the columns did not have a header row, the column order is mapped to import the values to specific internal attributes or values.
But whatever the format initially provided, the files put in the FTP site must maintain that format and structure going forward for the regular Welcome Series imports to work.
Filename is Important
The automated job that picks up and imports files containing new subscribers must not only have a static known file format and data structure, but a static filename. During initial Welcome Series setup, a filename must be provided. The automated import job will look for a file with this name in the proper location each time it runs. If no file matching that name is found, the job will fail.
File Placement and Pickup
Once the file format, extension, and data standards are verified, all that’s left for you to do to keep the Welcome Series going out regularly to new subscribers is to publish the file to the correct FTP location at the established frequency.
Every day/week/month (as determined by your Welcome Series setup with Questline), our systems will look in a specific, pre-defined FTP folder. Questline provides all welcome series clients with a secure FTP site for this purpose.
At a frequency determined during setup of your company’s welcome series, the Engage system look for a file with the predetermined name on the secure FTP site. If found, the file will be examined for format and data structure. If these checks pass, then the subscribers will be imported to the Welcome Series.
Note that the system will also check to make sure that the file is indeed newer than the last file imported. This is to prevent the same file from being imported repeatedly.
FTP Site and Credentials
Questline provides all Welcome Series clients with a secure FTP location accessible by the Engage system. This is where all Welcome Series files should be uploaded on a regular basis.
Username/Password: Questline cannot provide credentials via email or in this document. Please contact your Questline Account Manager or Questline Support using the contact information below to receive a username and password via phone.
Account and Contact Information
If you encounter errors or issues with subscriber imports on your company’s Welcome Series, contact your Questline Account Manage or Questline Support.