How to Import a List and Send an Email - Thread the Needle with Braze

Braze is known for its robust, marketer-friendly messaging capabilities across channels — including SMS, push, in-app, content cards, and (last but not least)... email! (That's not even the full list!)

While Braze can support complex, personalized, cross-channel campaigns, it also can easily support one of the most simple use cases for a customer engagement platform: sending an email to a list. In this episode of Braze The Bar, Ross Jordheim walks through how to import a list of email recipients and send them an email using Braze. This walkthrough includes:

  • How to set up your list CSV file
  • How to import the CSV file to Braze
  • How to set up a Segment in Braze based on list membership
  • How to use Braze Campaigns to build an email


      Today we're going to learn how to import a list of users to Braze and then send that list in an email. To get started, prepare your file. Braze provides a list of default fields that data will map directly through their import tool. To import data to Braze, include an external ID or a Braze ID, or a user alias name. An external ID is a unique identifier for your customer, while a Braze ID is a unique identifier pulled for existing Braze users. (If you want to append additional custom attributes about a user, a user alias name is a unique identifier for an anonymous user.) In this case,  use an external ID, as these are new users that do not currently exist in Braze. An example of when you may want to import a list of users to Braze is if you hosted an event and collected a list of attendees and now you want to send a thank you email or something along those lines to those users. As you can see in our example file, we've included an external ID for each user and then information about those users. So a first name, a last name, an email address, and then some other information, including whether or not we want to allow email open tracking, email click tracking, and their subscription status. In addition, I've included one custom attribute about our users so that I can go ahead and build a segment that targets these users. In this case, I've made that custom attribute list name and included a name for the list, which is Braze the Bar Import list, just so that I can find them easily. 

     Now that we have our file prepared, we're going to go ahead and download this file as a CSV.  Next, we're going to switch over to the Braze app and we're going to navigate to the User Import tab and hit the select CSV file button. We'll go ahead and select our file, and now we have to check our mappings to make sure that everything is mapped correctly. So as you can see, we have external IDs mapped to the proper field, and each of our default fields is mapped in properly. And finally, our custom attribute of list name is also mapped correctly. And finally, we can go ahead and give our import a name. And in this case, for simplicity, I've already loaded this list, so I'm just going to hit cancel. Otherwise, you would hit start import and the list would import for you. You can see here we have imported our list of 13 users and our status is complete. We can go ahead and use this list now to build a segment and send that segment an email. To do that, we navigate to the segment tab of Braze, and we're going to go ahead and create a new segment. We hit the create segment button, give our segment name, and then we're going to go ahead and start adding filters to our query builder to target the specific users that we want to email. In this case, we're going to use a custom attribute, but as you can see, several different filters can be used to target individual users. We select custom attributes. Then we select from the list of custom attributes available to us the attribute we want to use. In this case, again, list name, and then we select the operator we want to use. In this case, we're going to go with Equals. As you can see, you have a wide range of operators available to you to build out robust thorough queries. We're going to go ahead and target the Braze the Bar import list, and let it go ahead and calculate how many users will be included in our list. You can see we have 14 users that we're going to reach with this segment. Now that we're happy with our segment, go ahead and review it and hit save. 

     Now we've created the first segment that we're going to use to send this email. To send an email, we're going to navigate over to the campaigns tab and we're going to create a new campaign. In this case, we're going to send an email, but as you can see, multiple channels are available to you to send communication to a group of customers or a segment that you've created. We select email, once again give our campaign a name, and now we want to select our creative. We're going to use for this example a drag-and-drop editor template.  I went ahead and created a template earlier today that we'll use. We'll use this Braze the Bar import list template. And now we'll go ahead and preview our email. You can see Stitch is sending an email and in this email, I'm apologizing to my coworkers as I'm about to send them some email that's going to fill up their inbox to test and record this video, teaching you all how to use the import tool and send an email. Once we're happy with the way our emails look, we can either send a test send or we can verify users are included in this. We'll do a user that we just loaded and verify that this person does match what we're looking for to get this email and then we go ahead and hit done. Now that we're satisfied with the email we're going to be sending, we can move on to scheduling the delivery of our email. 

      When scheduling an email, you have a few different options you can choose from in Braze. The first is a scheduled delivery, so sending at a designated time. The second is an action-based delivery. Sending an email based on the actions that someone's performed, so events that you've collected about them. Then the third is an API-triggered delivery, which is where when an API request is made to Braze, you can go ahead and send that email. We're going to use scheduled delivery for this example. Instead of choosing a designated time, allow Braze to choose the time for you using intelligent timing, which is where Braze is actively learning when your customers are most likely to engage. We're going to go ahead and choose the simplest option, which is to send it as soon as the campaign is launched. Finally, we're going to leave our delivery controls alone in this case, but you could make someone eligible to receive this campaign if you choose to. Again, we're going to review our delivery options. Schedule delivery as soon as the campaign is launched and once we're satisfied, we're going to move on to our target audience.

      Just a few minutes ago, we went ahead and built a segment to go ahead and make targeting our users easier. We're going to select the segment that we just chose, so Braze the Bar import list, we're not going to include any additional segments and we're not going to filter any further, but if we wanted to, we could. Again, you have a wide range of custom data and user activity that you can choose from when creating an additional filter. But in this case, we don't need an additional filter because it's just a simple list of users that we're trying to target. We can look up users to see if they fit our criteria or not or make different decisions and then we can choose if we want to do any variant testing. In this case, we don't need to do that. We're going to get rid of our control group so that everyone receives the same variant of the email, because we only created one, in this case. You have some options to choose from, so obviously no optimization. Standard AB testing with the split that you choose, or you can use a winning variant where you send a small test email first, and then based on the winning variant from that, you go ahead and send that variant to the rest of the users. You can do personalized variants which are based on the engagement of the customer, they get sent a specific variant. Finally, if you choose, you can send a seed group, which is a small group of users that receive the email first. In this case, as I said, we're not going to do any variant testing or anything like that to keep it simple for this example.

        Once we're happy with the users that we've targeted, we go ahead and assign a conversion. So in this case, once again, we're going to keep it pretty simple and we're just going to select opens an email as our conversion event. You can choose from starting a session, making purchases, performing a custom event, upgrading, or clicking emails, and then we're going to set a conversion deadline. This campaign will remain active for three days, but you can obviously change that to fit the needs of your campaign, and then you can continue adding additional conversion events if they're relevant. But in this case, all we care about is somebody opening up the email. So once we're happy with all the selections we've made on assigning conversions, we go ahead and hit review summary, and we go ahead and make sure everything looks good. So we check our creative, we check our delivery status, so it's sent immediately. As you can see here, we verify our audience, so it's the Braze the Bar import list, our reachable users, and our variant distribution. So once we're happy with everything, looks good, we can go ahead and launch our campaign. Now that our campaign has launched, we can go ahead and watch as it processes and verify the results by asking my coworkers if they receive the email or not. If you have any questions, please reach out to Stitch. We're more than happy to help with any of your Braze needs. Thank you very much.

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