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Step 2: Creating Mailing Lists

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Qtip: XM Directory is an improvement upon the old Target Audience, with user interface (UI) changes made to integrate more seamlessly with the XM platform. If you do not have XM Directory and would like to purchase access, contact your Account Executive.
Once your directory is set up, it’s time to create some mailing lists. Unlike the directory, mailing lists are individually owned, so creating a list in your account does not automatically mean another user in your brand will be able to use or edit that list. By adding contacts to mailing lists, you can send surveys and emails to large groups of people rather than sending distributions one by one. You can segment these mailing lists by different criteria – for example, you can create a mailing list that only contains contacts that live in the US. Then, you would be able to easily find and distribute to that list when sending out a US-specific survey or email campaign. Mailing lists are vital when it comes to distributions – distributions can only be sent to a list or to an individual. If you’ve created a mailing list in the past, you can always reuse it. Reusing existing lists is a good idea when you want to keep track of response rates and distribution history for the members in that specific list. If you are sending a distribution to an entirely new set of contacts, a subset of an existing list, or want to keep distribution history separate for certain distributions, then creating a new list is the best practice.

Creating Mailing Lists

Navigate to the Lists tab. To create a list, select Create List on the top-right and select Mailing List. Once you name your list and submit, you will be brought to your newly created list.

Creating a mailing list

Once inside your new contact list, you will be able to add contacts using the Add List Contacts button.

There are two options for adding contacts: Upload a File or Manual Input. Manual Input is used when typing contacts from hand or copying from an Excel sheet. It is not recommended for large numbers of contacts. The Upload a File option will prompt you to upload a file containing your contacts. It is recommended that you download and use the Example Document provided since mailing lists require a specific format to upload successfully.

Add list options

If a contact you are adding does not exist in the directory at the time of import, that contact will automatically be added to the directory. If the contact does exist in the directory, the contact will be updated in the directory. That means if another user has that contact in one of their individual mailing lists, that contact’s information will be updated in their mailing list.

Qtip: For more detailed steps and additional information, see the Creating Mailing Lists support page.

Creating Samples

Instead of creating additional mailing lists, you can create samples of already existing lists. To do this, select Sample under Create List. It is best to create samples when you want to pull from certain contacts in a list or create a randomized sample of an existing list.

Creating a sample

A common use case for samples is for follow-up surveys. For example, your brand might have sent out a survey to those who had visited your website and indicated that they had purchased something. You might want to survey those people in the future to ask how they felt about their purchase or if they have continued to buy from your website. You could create a sample from the original mailing list by using the criteria that they had purchased something from your website in the past.

Qtip: If you want to slightly edit your mailing list but do not need to specifically divide your list, it is not recommended to use a sample as these lists are created through randomization. Instead, it is recommended to just edit the mailing list itself per your judgment.

XM Directory will prompt you to name the Sample, choose the mailing list you are pulling from, and determine the maximum sample size. If you are sampling based on specific criteria, we recommend that you set that number equal to about how many contacts are in your list, so you can get as comprehensive of a list as possible. If you are not sampling based on specific criteria but want to pull from a random subset, then just make sure to set that number to smaller than your list.

Sample criteria

You can add Sampling Criteria based off of Contact Info, Embedded Data, Mailing List membership, and Statistics. There are also Advanced Sampling Criteria that can be used: Contact Activity, Survey, and Number of Lists.

Setting the example conditions

Qtip: For more on creating samples, see the Creating Mailing List Samples support page.

Shared Lists

Lists are automatically owned by individual users, and thus cannot be viewed or edited by other users. If you belong to a Group, however, you can create and view Shared Lists within that Group. In the Lists tab, click Shared with Me and select a Library (if any) in which you belong.

Shared lists folder

In that Library, you can click Create Shared List. Creating a shared list follows the same instructions of creating an individually owned mailing list.

Creating a shared list

Qtip: Read more about sharing mailing lists on the Sharing Lists support page.
Qtip: Brand Administrators can learn more about creating Group Libraries on the User Groups support page.

Message Triggers

If a contact opts out of a mailing list, you might not know right away. Additionally, if a contact has been added to a list, you might want to send them an email notifying them of their Mailing List Membership and that they might possibly be sent additional surveys. With Message Triggers, a recipient can be automatically notified via email if a contact has been added to or has been opted out of a mailing list.

To do this, click into a List and select List Options. Choose Manage Message Triggers.

Manage Message Triggers option

Here, you can decide what action must be done to send a message: a contact being added to the mailing list or opting out of the mailing list. Then select the recipient, which can either be the contact themselves or another email address. From here you will compose the message you want sent out and configure additional message options.

Setting Message Triggers

You can add additional criteria so that an email only goes out under certain conditions. For example, if you want to send an email to a contact notifying them of their mailing list membership and the possibility of future emails, you probably do not want to send them that email if they have already received emails from your brand. To set this up, click Add Additional Criteria when you are configuring the Trigger type. Choose Statistics and set the condition to “Total Emails is Equal To 0.” Contacts will only receive a message trigger in this case if they have not been contacted by your organization and have been newly added to the mailing list.

Criteria

You may also want to be notified if a contact opts out of your list, especially if this list contains internal employees and is used to send out important business-wide emails. You or another recipient then can be contacted if a user opts out of the list, so you can re-add them quickly and take the steps necessary to keep them in the list.