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, send re-marketing emails to those leads, increase sales, and maximize your social media presence.

The products and features we offer — including contests, landing pages, email automation, 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

When creating your campaign, you can either use a template from our Template Gallery, or you can create a campaign from scratch.

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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 and the Campaign Manager. (Note: You can always change the name later.)
  4. Click on Create Campaign.

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3. Editing Your Campaign

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Each of our templates is fully customizable. Templates are composed of widgets, which are the functions and features that form the building blocks of ShortStack campaigns. You can edit, add, remove, or rearrange any widget added to a campaign. For example, you would add a Video Widget to show a YouTube or Vimeo video; you would add a Form Widget to display a contest entry form.

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To edit a widget, open the Edit Widgets Panel by clicking the icon on the left side of the Campaign Builder, then click on the pencil icon associated with the widget. You can also hover over a widget in your Campaign Preview, 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, open the Add Widgets Panel by clicking the Add Widgets Panel icon, then click on the icon of the widget you wish to add. When you add a widget, the Edit Widget window automatically opens so you can start adding your text, videos, photos, etc to customize the widget. 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, then select the trashcan icon at the bottom of the Panel. Alternatively, you can hover over the widget in your campaign Preview, and select the Delete icon in the upper right corner. A popup will appear asking you to confirm the deletion.

Note: When a widget is deleted, it can be re-added to the campaign later. However, the settings from the deleted widget won't be saved. You will need to update the new widget you added to include the settings from the deleted widget

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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 both the Edit Widgets Panel and the Campaign Preview, 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 Design. This will open the Form Designer.
  2. Click on a field in the Add Fields section to add it to your form. Remove fields you don’t want by hovering over the field within the Form Preview and selecting the X.
  3. Change the label of the field by selecting the field in the Form Preview, 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 Campaign 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. Additional entry restriction options are also available.
  2. To receive email notifications for your entries: click on the Settings tab, and put your email address into the Email Alerts To field under Alert Settings. Feature only available on paid plans.

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Viewing list entries:

  1. You can see the entries within the Lists/Entries section of your account: http://www.shortstackapp.com/member/my_dbs. Just find the List that you want to see the entries for, then click the View Entries icon to on the right side.

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4. Styling Your Campaign

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Once you’ve created your campaign, you can use the Style Panel to customize the design. To open the Style Panel, click the Style Panel icon in the left side of the Campaign Builder.

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To use a Style Panel theme:

  1. Select Change under the current theme icon at the top of 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 themes are fully customizable within the Style Panel.

To change the design of your campaign without using a theme, click on a widget to open the corresponding widget 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.

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

  1. Click the Preview icon at the top of the Campaign Builder.
  2. Click the Limits icon to the “On” position to test that any restrictions you set up on your Form Widgets or Voting Widgets are functioning as desired. Click the icon to the “Off” position to submit entries without any restrictions. When the Limits setting is off,  restrictions will only be turned off in the Campaign Builder and will not affect your live campaign.
  3. To submit test entries, ensure that the Live Entries icon is in the “Off” position. Test entries will not display on the live campaign. If you wish to submit live entries via the Campaign Builder, then set the Live Entries option to the “On” position.
  4. If you have time-based visibility settings in place, you can use the Time Simulation dropdown to choose from a time from the list of options based on the time-based visibility setting you have set.

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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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*Tip: Our team is happy to review your campaign before it goes live; just send an email to theteam@shortstacklab.com.

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6. Send Emails with Marketing Automation

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Our Marketing Automation tool allows you to create automated emails to be sent to people as soon as they submit an entry to your ShortStack list, or scheduled emails that are sent immediately to an entire list, or scheduled for sending in the future.

There are two ways to access to the Email Builder – via the Emails link in in the main menu or via the Campaign Builder.

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To access the Email Builder via the Main Menu:

  1. Click Emails in the main menu/navigation bar at the top of your ShortStack account.
  2. Click New Email within the My Emails area.
  3. Choose between the Autoresponder and Schedule Email options.

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To access the Email Builder via the Campaign Builder:

  1. Open the Campaign Builder.
  2. Click the Email icon in the upper right corner of the Campaign Builder.
  3. Click the pencil icon beside one of your lists to set up an Autoresponder, or click Create Scheduled Email to create a Scheduled Email.

For a detailed look at how to set up a scheduled email, check out this doc.

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Creating Scheduled Emails:

A scheduled email allows you to send an email to a list of entries that you have collected via a ShortStack form. You can combine multiple lists and filter the entries within your lists at the time you create the email. When you have finished designing your email, you will be asked to schedule it. You can choose to send the email immediately, or schedule it to send at some point in the future.

For a detailed look at how to set up a scheduled email, check out this doc.

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Setting Up Autoresponder Emails:

An autoresponder email is sent to a participant immediately after they submit a form.

For detailed instructions for creating an autoresponder email, check out this doc.

 

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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 Publish to Facebook button below your Campaign URL. (Note: Publishing to Facebook is available on our Business Plan and higher plans.)

*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. Open the Publications Panel by clicking the icon on the left side of the Campaign Builder.
  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 for your purposes.)
  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. Not all campaigns require the same effort, but 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.

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We also regularly create and update help resources

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