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List Builder
Solution No. 211

How to use the List Builder
Understanding how the List Builder works
Automatically Merged Fields
Portal Link
Opt-Out Link
Importing lists into List Builder
Video tutorial


List Builder is a way for you to:

  • Mass email customer or lead contacts for a marketing campaigns.
  • Create a batch of follow-up activities for your sales team, which may or may not be related to a campaign.
  • Mass email customers for overdue balances.
  • Send leads and customers a customized e-newsletter.

How to use the List Builder

  1. In Method CRM, click Campaigns > List Builder.
  2. If this is the first time you're creating a list in List Builder, you'll be automatically taken to Step 1: Fill your list.  Now you'll need to decide what type of list you'd like to create.
    • Fill with Lead Contacts / Customer Contacts - will fill the List Builder list with contacts based on the options that you've selected.  You can choose to have lead contacts, customers contacts or both included in your list.  By default, the list will only include active contacts and will not include contacts with empty email addresses or contacts who have opted out of marketing emails.  
    • Fill with Invoices - will fill the List Builder with invoices based on the the options you've selected.  You can choose to have invoices with a balance greater than the specified amount and within a specific date range.  By default, the list will not include contacts with empty email addresses or contacts who have opted out of billing emails.
  3. Click Fill list with Contacts OR Fill list with Invoices.  You will be automatically taken to Step 2: Edit your list.
  4. In Step 2 a list of contacts will be displayed based on the criteria from Step 1.  You can choose to remove or edit the details for each contact from this list.
  5. Click Step 3: Add an activity.  Here you can choose to add an activity and schedule a follow-up.  Adding an activity is beneficial since you'll have a recording of when this email was sent and allows you to add a proactive follow-up with your contact.  To add an activity:
    1. Click the Add Activity? checkbox.
    2. In the Comments box, type in comments relevant to the email you are sending.  Be sure to include any action items for the follow-up within your comments, usually as the last line.  For example:
      • "Sent email regarding July 2012 promotions and new products.  

        Follow-up to see if there is any potential business opportunities."
    3.  Modify any of the activity details.  By default, the signed in user and current date will be used to record the email being sent. 
    4. If you are scheduling a follow-up, click Schedule a Follow-up and modify any of the follow-up details.
  6.  Click Step 4: Send an email.  Here you can choose to send an email using an email template.  To send an email:
    1. Click the Send email? checkbox.
    2. For the Choose Template dropdown list, select an email template.  You can also add/edit/delete email templates by clicking the details button ( ... ).  The email template will be loaded onto the screen.  When the email is sent. the List Builder will use the values on this screen to send the email.  
  7. Click Step 5: Process your list.  By default, the checkbox for Only process checked rows will be selected.  You can uncheck this option and process all records in your list by clicking Process All.  

Understanding how the List Builder works

The List Builder has its own table in your Method account called ListBuilder and is used as a temporary holding location for lists you are building.  This means it is perfectly common to see no records in this table, especially after sending out a batch of emails.  Here is how the List Builder works:

  • The fields located in the ListBuilder table are not the same fields located in the Contacts or Invoice table but use the same names.
  • When you fill the the List Builder, Method copies the values from the specific table (Contacts or Invoice) and places these records as new records in the table called ListBuilder.  
  • As Method processes the list from the List Builder, these records are removed one at a time.  The final result is an empty list which means all records have been processed.    

Automatically Merged Fields

When sending an email using the List Builder, the Process Selected/Process All button will automatically replace mail merge fields for you in the body and subject based on specific tables.  The tables that are supported are:

  • Users
  • ListBuilder
  • Company

What does this mean?

When writing an email template, you'll want to make sure you personalize some of the details.  A great example of this is the first line of your email where you would typically say "Hi Danny".  By using one of the tables above and the built in merge ability, Method will replace the default text with the specific contacts details from those tables.  Here are the steps you'll need to make sure you take.

  1. Write your email template.
  2. For any field you wish to replace using one of the fields in the table, type in the exact table name, a period and the exact field name.  Example: I want to use the first name field from the List Builder table so my text would look like this - ListBuilder.FirstName.

Portal Link

When writing your email template, you may want to include a link to the contacts portal.  Why is this useful?  Imagine sending out a a mass email to contacts with overdue invoices.  Rather then having them type in the address for your portal to pay the invoice, you can supply them with a tiny URL to login and pay more quickly.  The List Builder will automatically create a unique URL for you provided that you have specific text written in your email.  The text you would need to include in your email is http://urlforportal. List Builder will replace this text with a miURL automatically and take the contact to the Recent Transactions tab link in your Contacts Portal.  

Opt-Out Link

If you are using Method to send out marketing emails, a contact may decide that they no longer want to receive marketing emails from your company.  Method already has a field called Opt Out of Marketing located in the Add/Edit Contact screen.  This allows you to manually adjust this setting however many customers are already accustom to opting out of emails themselves.  List Builder can automatically include a special URL that will provide contacts with an opt-out page for marketing emails.  To take advantage of this, you'll want to ensure that your email body contains the text http://urlforoptout/.  List Builder will replace this text with a special miURL which when clicked will direct them to an opt-out page and automatically update the related activity with the selected response and date stamp.

Importing lists into List Builder

In some cases you may want to build a list on other criteria besides the options that were provided.  While you can customize the screen, another option is to import a list using the Import/Export tool.  This way you have the option of building a list quickly using a grid and filter views and exporting the list to Excel.  Once it is in Excel, you can import this new list into the ListBuilder table and send your email and activity through the remaining screens in List Builder.  With the recent enhancement of the List Builder tool, you will now need to import another field named AssignedTo which should hold the value of your Method user name for each contact record you want to import. The reason for this is if there are multiple users in your Method Account utilizing the List Builder, you don't want to see their imported records and vice versa. If you do not import your user name in the AssignedTo field then you won't see the records that you've imported when you navigate to the List Builder screen.

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Video tutorial

If you'd like to learn more about list builder in video format, take a look at our videos on creating activities within list builder and exporting and importing into list builder!


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