Mailouts let you send mass emails to students and landlords.
If mailouts are enabled for your site, you can find them through Admin > Content > Mailouts.
Composing an email
You can compose your email in much the same way as you would edit a page in StudyStays. Basic formatting options like bold, italics, lists and links are supported.
To insert the recipient's name, use [name], e.g “Dear [name], ...”. When the email is sent, [name] will be replaced with each person’s actual name. You can test this by sending yourself a test email (see the instructions further down this page).
As with editing pages, we strongly recommend that you compose your email within StudyStays, as opposed to writing it in Microsoft Word and copying it into StudyStays. Microsoft Word adds a lot of hidden code when you copy text—at best this just makes your email slower to send but at worst it may cause your email to look completely broken when it's delivered.
You can save your email as a draft before you send it, to make sure you get the wording just right.
Choosing who to send the email to
You can choose whether to send the email to students, accommodation providers or both groups. Once you make a selection, you'll see the number of recipients that the email will be sent to. This number doesn't include people who have unsubscribed or have been blocked from the site.
Testing your email before you send it
It's a good idea to send yourself a test email before you send it. You can do this from the right-hand side of the Preview page. The preview page is shown after you create a new mailout. For draft emails, you can get to the preview page by clicking the mailout subject on the Mailouts page.
How emails are delivered
Mailout emails are delivered through Amazon Simple Email Service. This helps StudyStays send lots of emails quickly and reliably, and helps us capture feedback about which emails were delivered and which “bounced”.
When you're sending lots of emails at once, you need to some extra work to make sure the receiving email servers know your email is legit and don't treat it as spam. This includes doing things like digitally signing emails, throttling the rate at which emails are sent and sending from servers which aren't on any spam blacklists. Amazon SES handles most of this work.
How unsubscription works
Another thing that's really important when you're sending lots of similar emails at once is to allow people to unsubscribe easily. If you don't do this, people might get upset and mark your email as spam, which makes it much harder to get your next email through.
StudyStays follows the convention of providing an automatic “unsubscribe” link at the bottom of each email, which lets people unsubscribe with a single click, no questions asked.
Complaints are recorded when a mailout recipient marks your mailout as spam. It's normal to get a few people who get annoyed and hit the spam button without realising they can unsubscribe, especially if they registered a while ago and don't recognise where the email is from.
Too many complaints can give an email sender a bad reputation, and when that happens, email servers start rejecting messages from that sender. So to keep a good reputation, StudyStays automatically records the complaint and unsubscribes the person from future mailouts so they can't get annoyed and complain again.
Once you've sent a mailout, you can see how it performs. Clicking the mailout subject from the Admin > Content > Mailouts page shows you a report which includes things like deliveries, email opens, bounces, unsubscribes and complaints.
For an email to be recorded as opened, the recipient's email client must support HTML formatted email and the recipient must show images. So the actual number of opens might be slightly higher than what you see.
- The 24-hour opens chart shows an hourly breakdown of when emails were opened
- The “Opens by location“ map shows where people were when they opened your email