Getting Started Guide - ShortStack

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1. Let’s Get Started

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Welcome to ShortStack! We’re here to help you build the kinds of Campaigns that will help you meet your goals – whatever they may be. With ShortStack, you can engage with existing and potential customers, collect leads, increase sales, and maximize your social media presence. The products and features we offer — including contests, landing pages, polls, quizzes, Action-Gating, data collection and analytics — will turn your website and Facebook Page into marketing powerhouses. And of course everything we offer is mobile ready.

If you get stuck, we’re here to help! Just email theteam@shortstacklab.com.

Ready to get to work?

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2. Creating Your Campaign

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To create a Campaign from a Template:

  1. Locate and click the New Campaign button in the Campaign Builder.
  2. When the “How would you like to start?” dialog pops up, select Start with a Template.
  3. You may preview a Template by hovering over the Template thumbnail, and clicking the eye icon. Select Learn More for additional Template instructions and examples. Template categories include Giveaways, Contests, Collect Information, Quizzes/Games, and more.
  4. When you have found the Template you would like to use, click the blue Use this Template button.

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To create a Campaign from scratch (not recommended for new users):

  1. Locate and click the New Campaign button in the Campaign Builder.
  2. When the “How would you like to start?” dialog pops up, select Start with a Blank Campaign
  3. Name your Campaign in the “Name your Campaign” field. The name you choose will be used to identify the Campaign within the Campaign Builder. (Note: You can always change the name later.)
  4. Click on Create Campaign.
  5. Name your Campaign in the “Name your Campaign” field. The name you choose will be used to identify the Campaign within the Campaign Builder. (Note: You can always change the name later.)
  6. Click on Create Campaign.

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3. Editing Your Campaign

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Each Template is fully customizable. Templates are comprised of Widgets, which are the functions and features that form the building blocks of Campaigns. You can edit, add, remove, or rearrange any Widget added to a Campaign. For example, you would use a Video Widget to show a YouTube or Vimeo video; you’d use the Form Widget to display a contest entry form.

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To edit a Widget, click on the pencil icon in the Edit Widgets Panel. You can also hover over a Widget in your Campaign, and select the Edit Widget icon in the upper left corner. Once you’re done changing content, click Save & Exit to apply your changes.

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To add a Widget to your Campaign, click on its icon in the Add Widgets Panel. When you do, the Edit Widget window automatically opens so you can start adding your text, videos, and photos. Once you’re done adding content, click Save & Exit to apply your changes.

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To remove a Widget, select the Widget in the Edit Widgets Panel. Alternatively, you can hover over the Widget in your Campaign, and select the Delete icon in the upper right corner. Then, at the bottom of the Panel, select the trash can icon. Then click the Delete button.

Note: When a Widget is deleted, it can be re-added to the Campaign. However, the settings from the deleted Widget won't be saved.

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To rearrange Widgets in your Campaign, click the Widget you want to move, drag it, and drop the Widget in place.

The Widgets included in your Campaign will appear in the Edit Widgets Panel, where you can edit, rearrange, and delete them.

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*Tip: Click here to learn more about each Widget’s capabilities.

 

Form Setup

How to set up a Form

To add a Form to your Campaign, select the Form Widget in the Add Widgets Panel.

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To edit a new or existing Form:

  1. Hover over the form, and select Edit Form. This will open the Form Designer.
  2. Click on a field to add it to your Form. Remove fields you don’t want by hovering over the field and selecting the X. 
  3. Change the label of the field by selecting the field, and putting your text in the Label field. If you don’t want a label to appear above or below a field, use the Placeholder text option instead.
  4. Select Save Changes to return to the Builder.

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Making additional Form changes:

  1. To set up entry restrictions (how many times a person can enter your form): select the Email field. Under Validation, set the entry allowance.
  2. To receive email notifications for your entries: click on the Form Settings tab, and put your email address into the Email Submissions To field under Email Notices.

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4. Designing Your Campaign

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Once you’ve created your Campaign, you can use the Style Panel to customize the design.

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To use a Style Panel theme:

  1. Select Change under the current theme icon in the Style Panel. This will open the Theme Selector.
  2. Click on a theme to apply it to your Campaign.
  3. When you are happy with the theme, select Save.

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All ShortStack themes are fully customizable.

To change the design of your Campaign without using a theme, click on a Widget to open the corresponding tab in the Style Panel. Each Widget has its own design settings, including background color, button style, typography, borders, and more.

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5. Testing Your Campaign

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Testing your Campaign before you publish can help ensure that the Campaign functions and appears as you expect it will. It’s also a great opportunity to address unexpected issues. Our team is happy to review your Campaign before it goes live; just send an email to theteam@shortstacklab.com.

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To test how a Campaign will function from within the Campaign Builder:

  1. Find the Preview Control Panel.
  2. Click the Test Mode icon to the “On” position.
  3. Click the Entry Restrictions icon to the “On” position to test that any restrictions you set up on your Forms or Voting Widgets are functioning as desired. Click the icon to the “Off” position to submit entries without any restrictions. These restrictions will only be set in the Builder and will not affect your live Campaign.
  4. Ensure that the Live Entry Mode icon is in the “Off” position. All of the entries you submit while Live Entry Mode is off are test entries. If you are using a Voting Widget to display entries, you will not be able to share test entries, and they won’t appear on the live Campaign. However, you can vote for test entries.

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*Tip: Click the arrows to expand the Preview Control Panel for more options. Click them again to collapse when needed.


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To test the appearance of the Campaign at various widths:

  1. Find the ruler above the preview in the Campaign Builder.
  2. Click the dimensions you would like to test within the ruler, or drag the ruler arrows to test a custom size. (Note: Adjusting the dimensions of the Campaign with the ruler does not permanently change the width of the Campaign itself.)

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6. Setting Up Email Autoresponders

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An autoresponder is an email that is automatically sent to a participant after they fill out and submit a form.

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To set up an autoresponder:

  1. Navigate to Forms/Entries. Select the form for which you want to enable an autoresponder. 
  2. Once the form is open in the Form Designer, select Edit Email Autoresponder in the top toolbar.
  3. This will open the autoresponder designer. Use the text editor to edit the placeholder text and image. You can also select an autoresponder template from the Choose Template section.
  4. Add merge fields by selecting one in the Add Merge Field(s) section. A merge field will automatically populate your autoresponder with that specific information (such as a participant’s name, or the name of your Campaign).
    Note: Only add merge fields for the fields that appear in your Campaign.
  5. When your autoresponder is ready, select the blue Send Test Email button to receive a test in your inbox. Add multiple email addresses by separating each one with a comma. 
  6. Select Save & Activate when you are ready for your autoresponder to go live.

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View this document if you need additional help setting up your autoresponder.

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7. Publishing Your Campaign

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To publish your Campaign, click on the big blue Publish Campaign button above your ruler.

Your Campaign is now published! Copy your Campaign URL, and post it anywhere. This is a responsive link, which means it detects how a visitor is viewing the Campaign (mobile, tablet, or desktop) and adjusts the display accordingly.

If you would like to publish to Facebook or further customize, you may do so by clicking the options below your link.

*Tip: See the “Promoting Your Campaign” section for suggestions after you are finished publishing.

 

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Embedding Campaigns

Do you want to display your Campaign directly on your website or blog? If so, you’re in luck. You can embed Campaigns to a website or blog, including (but not limited to) Shopify, Squarespace, WordPress, or Wix.

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After you Publish your Campaign, embed it by following these steps:

  1. Open the Campaign Builder for the Campaign that you want to embed.
  2. Click on the Publications Panel.
  3. To the right of the Campaign URL you will see several icons. Click on the Get Embed Code icon.
  4. Copy this embed code, and navigate to your website.
  5. Paste the embed code into your website.

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Visit this document if you need additional embedding help.

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Making changes to published Campaigns:

  1. Open the Campaign Builder for the Campaign that you want to edit.
  2. Make your edits.
  3. Click the blue Publish Changes button when you are finished.

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Note: If you do not see Publish Changes, it means that your Campaign has no unpublished changes.

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8. Promoting Your Campaign

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ShortStack provides you with a unique Campaign URL for every Campaign you publish. Using the URL we give you ensures your audience will automatically see the version of your Campaign that’s tailored to whatever device they’re using – mobile or desktop. Your URL is what you should use to promote your Campaign.

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To locate the Campaign URL:

  1. Open your Campaign in the Campaign Builder.
  2. Click on the bookmark icon to open the Publications Panel.
  3. Find the Campaign URL for the Campaign. The Campaign URL will begin with https:// (Note: Multiple Campaign URLs may be listed if your Campaign is published to both the web and Facebook. Be sure you choose the correct Campaign URL.)
  4. Click the blue Copy button to copy the URL to your clipboard.
  5. Paste the Campaign URL in Facebook Status Updates, in tweets or in your Instagram, Twitter, Google+, etc. profiles.

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The key to a successful Campaign is promoting it. Without promotion – including advertising – even the best Campaigns can see very little traffic. Here’s a great resource that will help you create a promotion plan:

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9. ShortStack Support

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If you need anything, our top-notch support team is always here to help 24/7. Get in touch by emailing theteam@shortstacklab.com.

Here are some additional resources to help you use ShortStack to the fullest:

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We also regularly create and update help resources

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