A Postalytics FTP Batch Drip Campaign allows you to set up a Campaign that receives FTP files, either from you or a 3rd party on your behalf, any time of day.
With some upfront file configuration and few extra steps behind the scenes, FTP files can be pulled into your Postalytics Campaign, and we’ll process the data and send the mailpieces out in the same way a Smart Send Campaign or Triggered Drip Campaign is sent, all without manually uploading lists or using the Postalytics Direct Mail API.
The Postalytics polling mechanism searches for FTP files routinely throughout each day. When a file(s) is retrieved and processed, you’ll receive an email with the pertinent information about the file, such as the file name and number of records. The records are then processed in the same manner as any other Postalytics Campaign.
Table of contents
How To Set Up FTP Batch Drip Campaigns
There are five steps in the process to get set up and mailing a FTP Batch Drip Campaign.
Step 1: FTP Setup
Your FTP server needs to be added to the Postalytics polling mechanism. To do this we’ll need the following information:
- FTP Host
- FTP Port
- FTP Type
- Initial directory
- File sample including the naming convention
Step 2: Upload a Shell List Into Postalytics for Mapping
We’ll need to know what fields in your data file will match to the fields in our database so one manual list upload will be necessary.
Upload a list that has the exact headers that the FTP file will contain. This file does not need to contain any actual data, just the column headers are necessary for mapping purposes.
Once your file is configured with the correct headers, select the option to upload a .CSV or Excel data file.
Drag and drop, or select the zero contact list you created.
You will see a preview of the data, but it will be empty. Click ‘Looks Good Start Mapping’.
Next, map your fields and confirm the mapping.
You’ll now see the mapped fields. Verify them and click ‘Import Now’.
Step 3: Create Your Campaign
This step is similar to creating a Postalytics Smart Send campaign.
Select the Smart Send Campaign option.
Next, enter the Campaign name and the return address information.
Select the shell list that you previously uploaded and mapped.
Select the template intended for this Campaign that has been proofed.
If your template is a postcard template, the Campaign Wizard will bypass ‘Envelope’.
If your template is a letter, you’ll need to choose between the standard plain double window, or a custom single window outer envelope – if you have pre-ordered them. For more information on the Custom Envelope order process click here.
Note: Your custom envelope order will need to be finalized before you can select it. Orders take 2-3 weeks to process, and made available to use in a campaign. Any pending orders will be listed in the bottom section of the envelope page.
Click Next to continue.
Now, you’ll set up your pURLs for tracking. If you aren’t using pURLs or QR Codes, you’ll skip the next two steps and go to ‘Schedule’.
Choose your Domain for tracking. You can use Postalytics shared Free Domain (p.ostal.us), a Vanity Domain, or your own External Domain – this will need to be configured on your end and set up through your Postalytics account.
Then, Pick A Style for the URL string. We offer Random and Friendly URL Strings.
Finally, enter a URL end in the URL end box. A URL end prevents duplicate pURLs if you plan to use your domain for multiple campaigns. Any combination of letters and numbers will work, just no special characters or symbols.
NOTE: If the domain selected has been used before and the ending URL is not unique, you’ll receive a system message asking you to change the structure before you’re able to move forward.
The URLs page is where you’ll enter your landing page URL that has the Postalytics Tracking Code Installed.
You’ll also have the option to enter a goal URL. Be sure that page includes the Postalytics Tracking Code as well.
Schedule – For this type of campaign, keep the date as the current date, even if you won’t be sending records that day.
Confirm that the choices made during within the previous steps in the Campaign Wizard are correct.
Payment – In order to run a Campaign receiving FTP files, Direct Mail Credits are needed. You can purchase these on the Campaign payment page, or purchase them ahead of time by selecting Direct Mail Credits under your account username in the upper righthand corner.
The Campaign will now be in “Scheduled for Delivery” status.
Shortly thereafter, the Campaign will move to “Sent” status. This is OK, as there were no records in the data file, so there weren’t any mailpieces created or sent. This step in the process is needed before proceeding.
Click the Dashboard icon. From the Campaign Dashboard page add ‘show-mode’ at the end of the URL to expose the ‘test mode’ toggle and toggle the Campaign to ‘live mode’ as shown below:
Step 4: FTP File Naming Convention
The naming convention for your files sent through FTP will need to be formatted in a specific way so that our polling mechanism can locate them and connect them with the proper Postalytics Campaign.
From the Postalytics Campaign Dashboard you’ll need the Campaign ID and Drop ID. You can find this in the URL of the dashboard.
You’ll also need the API Key (removing the dashes), found in your Account Profile Page at the bottom:
These three pieces will make up the file name.
The pound signs are optional identifiers that can be used for dates, sequences, etc.
An example file name is: ABCD1821309E4FEFAE8F219FC7679E33_12345_98765.csv
Step 5: Send Files to the Campaign via FTP
Once the campaign shell is created and is in live mode, and you’ve formatted your file naming convention, you can start dropping files into the FTP for processing.
Note: Use the same column structure and field names that you used in the shell file uploaded and mapped for the campaign.
The polling mechanism will check your directory every 10-15 minutes randomly. If a file is found, it will process and then move it to a subdirectory called ‘processed’. Please be sure this directory is created on your server.
FTP files can be saved to the server in two ways:
Single Directory – In this setup, each file in the directory is coded with at least three things. The FTP key, campaignid and dropid. The files will look something like this:
Optionally, there can be ending identifiers to indicate a date, serial number, etc.
Multiple Directories – In this setup instead of the files indicating the authentication and campaign to push to, the folder does that. This allows you to push any named csv file to the appropriate directory and it will be picked up. The folder and files in this case would look like:
Process Confirmation Email
You’ll know when we’ve retrieved and processed a file by the system generated confirmation email you’ll receive each time a file is processed. This email will contain the details of the file processed, such as how many pieces were imported, how many were successfully sent, and how many failed.
Learn More About Postalytics
We love talking with clients, partners and marketers of all types about how Postalytics can be used to solve problems and build great campaigns. If you’d like to talk with us about our pricing or any other part of Postalytics – please reach out!