Creating an Email Message

  • Updated

The Act-On Email Composer comes with a full suite of features that enable you to create messages with ease, send them with confidence, and measure their impact. Email messages can be used to link contacts to important forms, landing pages, webinars, documents, and much more. 

You can create dynamic content to personalize a single message for many different segments or even create a series of messages automatically sent as part of a drip or nurture program. This guide will help break down everything you need to know to create, send, and track email messages to get the most out of Act-On's powerful features if you're new to our Email Composer.

Need more information? Reference the Email Composer User Guide for deeper explanations of our features and terms.



Start a New Message

There are three different methods for creating and sending an email message to your contacts. You can start from scratch and create a new email campaign, create a template, or edit a draft of an existing email that you've used before. 

After deciding how to start, all you need to do is edit the content to your liking in the Email Composer.

Method 1: Create a New Email Message to Send

  1. Navigate to Outbound > New Message.
    • Alternatively, navigate to Home (Start) > Quick Start > Email Campaigns > (top right) New Message
  2. Select a message to start with: Blank Message, Draft Message, Template MessageSent Message, Upload Email Code, or Plain Text Message.

Next, you can begin customizing your email in the Email Composer.

Method 2: Create an Email Template to Reuse

Creating a template to use in the future can save lots of time and effort as well as consistent branding. You can share these with your Sales team. Give it a try when you want to create robust content that you can use repeatedly. 

  1. Navigate to Content > Email Templates.
  2. At the top right, click Create Template.
  3. Select either Blank Message, Draft Message, Template MessageSent Message, Upload Email Code, or Plain Text Message.

Next, you can begin customizing your email in the Email Composer.

Method 3: Recycle an Existing Email Message 

  1. Navigate to Outbound > Sent Messages > Sort.
    • Alternatively, navigate here from Start > Quick Start > Email Campaigns
  2. Sort by Date to see your most recently sent email messages.
  3. Click any subject line to go directly to the message analytics for that campaign.
  4. Click New Message to put a copy of your email into Draft mode. 
  5. You can now edit and save this template in the Email Composer.

Create and Send the Message

There are four stages to create an email with Act-On's Email Composer:

  • Address – Select the individuals or groups of people you are sending the message to
  • Design – Create the content of your message here
  • Review – Check your message through a validation process to make sure it is ready to send.
  • Send – Send your message immediately, or schedule a date and time in the future

Step 1: Enter Address information

See Message Address Overview for a more detailed explanation of the Address tab and its features.

  1. Click the Address tab on the blue bar.
  2. In the Message Title field, enter a descriptive name for your template.
  3. Provide an inviting Subject Line that contacts will see when opening their inbox.
  4. Include Preview Text to leave a positive first impression on your contacts.
  5. Select a Sender email address to send your email message from.
  6. Select a Reply-To email address to receive any responses to your email message.
  7. Select your Recipients from the following options:
    • Choose Lists or Segments allows you to send to one or more lists or groups of contacts
    • Choose Specific People will enable you to only send to specific contacts
  8. Specify any groups or contacts to Suppress Against so that they don't receive unwanted emails.
    • Act-On automatically suppresses all contacts in your Opt-Out, Hard Bounces, Spam Complaints, and Email Suppression Domains lists 
    • For more information, check out our article on Sending or Suppressing a List or Segment in an Email Message
    • If duplicate suppression is undesired, uncheck the Suppress Duplicates box
  9. If you have Subscription Management enabled for your Act-On Account, you can use the Subscription Category dropdown to choose a category.
  10. Click Save.

Step 2: Design your email

The Act-On Email Composer has an intuitive WYSIWYG editor so you can create an email message and see the design as you work.

  1. Go to the Design tab.
  2. On the right-hand side, expand Stationery:
    • Plain stationery is set as a default. Change the stationery any time by clicking the dropdown menu to view and select new stationery. To make your own custom Stationery, read more here.
    • Customize your options for Responsive DesignAlign LogoMessage WidthAlign MessageBackground, and Border
  3. In the Content section, drag and drop to add Blocks and Sections to your email message.
  4. In Message Styling, you can style your message body, header, and footer.
  5. Validate Clickthrough Links to make sure all your links are working (more info).
  6. Click Check Spelling.
  7. Click Save.
Check out our guide to Email Design Best Practices for some handy tips and tricks!


Step 3: Review and test your email 

  1. Go to the Review tab to preview your email message as it will appear in HTMLText, and Mobile
  2. Validate your message and make sure it meets all requirements.
  3. Click Check Spam Score > Check Spam Score to evaluate your message against SpamAssassin's spam filter (more info).
  4. Send yourself a test by clicking the Test button in the upper right corner.

Step 4: Send your email

You can send email messages immediately or schedule them to be sent sometime in the future. 

  1. Click the Send tab.
  2. Select from Send nowSend at the following timeSend in recipient's time zoneSend over time, or Use Adaptive Sending.
  3. Once you have chosen your send method and scheduled a time (if applicable), click Submit Launch Request.
Note: Some Act-On users must have their email launches approved by an administrator before they are sent.

Was this article helpful?

Have more questions? Submit a request