OneSignal & Email

How to use OneSignal's newest changes to it's email product.

OneSignal's Customer Success Manager, Sasha Reagan, goes over recent changes OneSignal has made to its email product to help advance the messaging capabilities of our customers. The transcript of the webinar can be found below.



Okay, we are going to go ahead and get started. Give me a quick second to start presenting. Great.

Today's webinar topic is going to be the OneSignal Email Product. We are going to first talk about the different email providers that we, at OneSignal, partner with. A quick overview of how to set up that product, and then we are actually going to walk through setting up email in the platform itself. I'm going to leave about five minutes at the end for Q and A. But I definitely recommend sending questions as they come out throughout today's presentation. That way, you won't forget them and I can get to them as soon as I am done with some of the presenting.

First, I wanted to introduce myself. My name is Sasha and I am a Customer Success Manager here at OneSignal.

The email providers that we work with - our email messaging product requires the use of a third party email service. The ones that we work with currently are SendGrid, Mandrill, and Mailgun. What you're able to do is take advantage of all the great aspects of the OneSignal platform and all of that great information that we've collected on users, as well as a wonderful dynamic interface and work with ESP in the background.

If you don't see your provider here on this list, we are always looking to expand our capabilities. So, please write in and let us know what you're using, and that will help us determine some of the projects that we're taking on next. I know one thing that has been discussed is Amazon SES, but always helpful for you guys to raise your hands and let us know what would be of most interest to you.

Setting up Email with OneSignal

For setting up email with any of those providers I just listed, the first thing that you'll want to do is set up with the provider before you start setting up in OneSignal after you've created an account with those providers, and we actually do walk through to some degree how to do that in our own documentation. You can always look at that. But after you have an account with those providers, you would go to Settings in your OneSignal dashboard and then Platforms. You're going to scroll until you see email, and then select your provider. It should look like the image below here, where you get to select your provider from the dropdown, instead of the API key.

From there, you'll want to set a couple of delivery defaults. That way, this information will be filled in every time that you are creating a new email or creating a new template, the From Name of who you want the title of the email to be from, and then the From Email Address. You can override those defaults in individual messages, but it's helpful to have a default, especially if it's going to be something that you're sending a lot and you only want to really set up once to optimize your time.

We do also have identity verification, which we do highly recommend. So, that is going to be a form of email authorization that we take from your server. Then we're going to hash the email address. It's just another level of safety that we recommend.

How to use Email with OneSignal

Great. So I am going to start walking through the platform. Give me one second. Okay, great.

So now, we are in the platform and I wanted to start at the messaging page. How do you get into the email template builder? Anytime you see the new push button, which is either in the messages tab or it's in your central dashboard, as soon as you log in, you'll see this new push button. If you click on the arrow, you'll see the ability to create a new email. Once you create a new email, you're going to be brought into our email drag and drop provider. It's going to look something like this.

The first thing it's going to surface is the audience, which is who you want to send these messages to. I'm not going to go too far into a deep dive on segments. We've had webinars on segments in the past, but essentially, these are groups of users that you are able to create based on either attributes that OneSignal is collecting or data that you are sending us.

Some examples might be based on their activity, based on tags that you've added to the user's account. For emails, sometimes that might be people who are on different user lists, people have been active in whatever platform, whether that's mobile or web in the last X amount of time. There really are a lot of options there, but the first thing you're going to do is select the audience that you want that email to go to. You can also exclude a certain segment from receiving an email.


Next, we have the email details. This is mirroring some of the setup that you can set by default on the setup page that I had shown. You'll see the From Name, let's say that these are filled out automatically from the default that you set. You can override it if you want something to be from someone, from a different name or from a different From Email.

The subject, it's mandatory that you fill it out. Whatever you want that subject to be for the email that’s sent, you can fill that in here. And then the most exciting part, the template builder itself.

This is what it looks like out of the box. You are able to delete any of these pre-filled out pieces. But what you're able to do - let me actually go to the main screen - is this is a drag and drop builder. By that, we really just mean you are able to drag in the type of block you're looking for, wait till it says, "Drag it here." That's highlighted. And then drop. You are able to drop in different dynamic content. You can drop in a text, you can drop in an image, a button, a divider. You can also drag and drop your own custom HTML blocks of code. If there's some special created banner, some special feature that you guys have built into emails in the past, you can easily bring that over to any of your OneSignal emails.

So I'm going to go over some of the more commonly used ones. But I think you can probably guess as to how to fill out some of the rest of these. For text, if you click into the text block itself, you'll notice that this bar on the right-hand side is changed for all of these additional customization capabilities - texts, link colors.

Anytime you see a toggle, you're going to be able to toggle it on for additional customized capabilities. So this is padding for this specific block that you've highlighted. If you click on the block, you'll see that the content properties change. If you ever need to go back to the drag and drop, I just recommend hitting the top bar here. And then you're back to your builder and building the pieces itself.

One little tip I'd like to give is under the Settings section, you can set some of these things to be the default, which if you're making a bunch of different blocks and setting up, it will save you a little bit of time. For example, if you know all of your link colors are going to be this color, if you have a default font that you want every text block to be, I recommend going to Settings first. That way, you don't have to set this every template block that you are dragging and dropping.

For image, you are also able to just drop the file in, so actually dragging and dropping it right into the little space that you've created there. I'm going to drag in buttons as well. Those are pretty popular. And then click into the button and then you see, of course, your options on the right-hand side have changed, the options to link. Most of these are pretty self-explanatory. But of course, we have lots of documentation if there's something here that is confusing or surprising.

But the good news is, whatever changes you're making here, you could actually see it render in real-time on the left-hand side. So you can get a good idea of what... There we see that toggle. So you get an idea of what you're changing and what it looks like as well.

Great. I'm going to go back to the content blocks.

Some require a little bit of filling in. So if you have a... let's fill in a social block here. You're going to click here and you can actually click what you want, all those different collections to look like, but we do want you to fill in your custom links for all of the different social options that that user has.

Using HTML blocks in OneSignal’s Email Builder

HTML blocks, I'll share this quickly because this is pretty popular. You just click into the HTML block. You'll see the source code pop up here on the right-hand side, and you're able to start optimizing from there, start setting it up and testing to see what it looks like here. Great.

The next thing I want to talk about is rows. As you can tell, all the blocks that I've put here are just one single block stacked up underneath each other, but rows allow you to segment sections into different criteria. Let me actually do a quick example. Here you'll see, this is the block that I've been using this whole time. This is like this one solid block that takes up that entire group on the screen.

Let's go ahead and drag and drop this row of three. So now you'll see we have three equal sections that have been created. And then from those rows, let's say we wanted to do three little images. And now you see that you're able to further break down a single content block and enter whatever different types of content you want. Maybe you want to have two different button options. Maybe you want to have... If you have custom HTML blocks of two different things that you need to be side by side.


The only caveat I want to say is, when you set up a row, if you want to change back, you want to change the format because see if I have these three images here and I want to drop in text, you can only drop it in the format of the row that's been set above it. So let's say we want to return to our single block here. Just drag and drop when you're switching in between rows. But rows are a good way to break up and segment your different sections in an email.

So I wanted to quickly call attention to the Save Template and Select Template buttons up here. Save Template allows you to save the email you've created into a template that you can then use at a later time and select a template from there. I highly recommend doing this, especially if you're creating a template that can be reused. For example, if your transactional emails always have a certain format that has been previously set up, it's really easy to just save a template. And then when you select that template, everything will be set up from there and you can just swap out the content pieces of your choice. So then you wouldn't have even needed to start making this template.

If you had made it before, you could go to Select Template, select the template that follows the format that you're looking for. And then for the image, drag in a new one, whatever you're doing to update it, changing the subject, things like that. It's a great time-saver. It's a really good way to ensure that you aren't doing too much busy work or doing something that has already been done in the past. So I highly recommend doing that. Great.

The next is the ability to schedule when you are going to send an email. You can send an email immediately, but you can also send it at a particular time. If this is a Black Friday promotion, then you might want to, of course, schedule it for a specific time. Or if it's a reminder before it expires at a certain time, you do have the ability to get a little more granular, especially since you can schedule something, if that's sent out in the future, if you're sending something over a weekend and you don't want to log into the platform. Easy.

We do also have, you can confirm the message if this is what you're setting up, and this is what you're sending out to your user base. But you can also send a test message. A test email, you can send to yourself, you just type in your email address and you will see it shortly. Great.

Does anyone have any questions so far while I am in the platform? I do want to say we have a webinar coming up in a couple of weeks that discusses how to set up an automated email. Basically, that will be not exactly all the ways of creating a message, but how to set up so that a message is automatically triggered when an action happens. I'm not going to go into that as much today. But I highly recommend tuning in if that is a feature you are specifically interested in.

But this was just a high level, how to start setting up your emails, how to start setting up your templates. If there is one section or one feature you're really interested in looking into, just write it in the Q and A box on the Zoom call, and I'm going to take time in just a minute to start going through those questions to answer anything that you wanted to look at more specifically.

All you guys can start sending in your questions.

One thing I want to call out, a common mistake I see is, when you create a text box, the content properties are only a really small piece of what you can actually do with the text box. When you click into the text box in the email itself, then you'll see this banner come up. And that's where you have all of these abilities to link certain words, these abilities to change the font, similar to what you'd see in Microsoft word, any documents like that, where you are changing the text of a message.

All right. I am going to take a quick pause here and I am going to start waiting for any questions to be submitted


Just a reminder to some of you who are interested in submitting questions, there is a little Q and A button where you can type in that question so that it'll pop up on my screen and I can see it. We don't have any questions so far. I'm going to give it another minute. And then if we don't have any, I'm going to go ahead and end the webinar. Give you guys a couple of minutes back today.

Okay. It looks like we don't have any questions today. So I'm going to wrap up here. But anytime you do have questions, you'll see this little red button on the bottom right-hand side, that will link you to our technical support team. So any questions that are coming up as you're working in the platform, we are happy to help answer and walk you through.

Outside of that, we are so happy to have you as a customer, and thank you guys for joining today.