Troubleshooting Deliver

Below are some frequent topics related to using the Deliver module in Slate.

Questions related to Email
Merge field is not available to use in an email
  • Check the query in the Recipient Lists. If you’re missing a merge field for your email, you’re missing an export in your Query!
Merge field is not working in an email
  • Drag the appropriate merge field to the email from the merge field selector in your email template. If you type the merge field on your own, you’ll leave room for error. 
  • Double-check that you’re including the proper merge field. Does this field export a value when you run a Query?   
Pre-flight Check Decision-Related Warning
  • Certain keywords in your email may trigger a message stating that you might be sending a decision-related email. If you’re getting this warning, it may be simply because your email contains words such as “admit,” “congratulations,” “decision,” and “enrolled.” It’s always good to double-check! 
Deliver Email Was Not Sent
  • It might sound silly—but make sure you have the email merge field included in the Recipient field of your email. It happens to the best of us!
  • Check your Query Run. Did you run your live query before sending the email? If so, you’ll want to delete the Query Run. If you don’t, those records will not be included when your query runs and email sends. Memo includes "deliver" if query was executed by Deliver.
  • The recipient field has a limit of 256 characters. If multiple email addresses are being entered or merged as the recipient, be sure to avoid a list that surpasses 256 characters.  
System Email Won’t Send
  • Make sure your system email is active, has an email merge field in the Recipient Field, and has a message in the body of the email.
  • Make sure that you have not typed in a custom merge field into the body of the System email. System emails are meant to be simple.
Error message when sending: Message contains one or more tracking links from another message
  • This error message will display if the message contents are copied/pasted from another message that had been sent already through Slate.
  • If you edit the message and double-click on the links, you'll see that they're pointing to tracking URLs (containing a host like mx.technolutions.net). You'll instead want to point them to the actual destination websites, since you don't want recipients on this mailing to be tracked on another mailing. 
Delivery Statistics Disappear?
  • Did the statistics from a mailing already sent seem to "disappear"? If a message has been stopped and the delivery end date is removed, Slate treats this as a mailing that is "not running," rather than a mailing which is "completed."
  • Simply enter the date you stopped the mailing (or a date in the past that is after the mailing was stopped) in the "stop date/time" field under "send mailing" and click "save settings." The previous delivery statistics are now returned.
  • A message that is "not running" is considered to be a message that is being built, ie, not yet sent, or, not previously sent. Therefore, the delivery statistics are treated as no longer relevant/applicable and they are hidden.
When should I use a Suppression List?
  • The ONLY time one should use a Suppression List in a Deliver mailing is when you need to exclude a population that cannot be identified with query filters. In other words, a random list of recipients needs to be excluded, and the only way to exclude them is to upload their email addresses in a spreadsheet. 
  • Example: The dean has personally emailed a handful of applicants to invite them to an event. The list of students is sent to you, but otherwise you have no way to identify these applicants and prevent them from receiving a second, generic invitation mailing. You would upload a spreadsheet with these names as a suppression list. 
  • It is not recommended to use a live query for a suppression list to exclude groups of people when creating an "ongoing" deliver campaign. Live queries set as suppression lists do not work in the same fashion as Include lists do in an ongoing mailing, therefore, they should not be used.
  • A simple way to avoid using the suppression list and exclude a group of people with a filter (that may not have an IN/NOT IN operator) is to add that filter in the Inclusion query, then click “Arrange Filters”, and then add a NOT operator. 
Why won’t my {{link}} merge field work? OR What is the <other> protocol used for when inserting a hyperlink?
  • When using a hyperlink destination determined by a merge field (e.g. {{link}}) you must select “<other>” as the protocol. 
  • The merge field already inserts a complete URL, including the “http” or “https” protocol. 
How can I send a link to a form in an email and have the form populate the student’s information?
  • By sending a "person" parameter with the unique identifier (oftentimes called a "Prospect ID" or "Person ID" in Slate---this is different than their Slate ID and is a 32-byte GUID), any system fields on the form will be prefilled for the registrant, and the submission of the form will update that specific record. 
  • If a form is embedded on the page http://myuniversity.edu/my-form.html, to prefill a form for a specific student you would link to the following address in your email message, provided that Prospect-ID is a merge field in your mailing:  http://myuniversity.edu/my-form.html?person={{Prospect-ID}}   If your webpage already includes a query string parameter, you will need to append this additional parameter with an ampersand (&) instead of a question mark. 
  • "form_EXPORT" - By sending a parameter like "form_sys:first" or "form_myOtherField", you can prefill a form field with a specific value.  This can be used on embedded forms with the new "invisible" flag set to prefill a program of interest, for example, where the form is embedded on that program's website. 
  • If you want to prefill a program of interest with an export label of sys:program and a value of "Chemistry": 
<div id="form_211afdcd-26ad-4084-8b41-349d8d55f09a">Loading...</div><script>/*<![CDATA[*/var script = document.createElement('script'); script.src = 'https://myuniversity.edu/register/?id=211afdcd-26ad-4084-8b41-349d8...&form_sys:program=Chemistry' + ((location.search.length > 1) ? '&' + location.search.substring(1) : ''); var s = document.getElementsByTagName('script')[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(script, s);/*]]>*/</script> 

The "form_EXPORT" query string parameters may also be used in a simple embed (if including them statically in the embed code), and both the "person" and "form_EXPORT" parameters may be used when linking to a form hosted directly in Slate. 

How does the Opt Out Tag Work?

The opt out Tag can be set in four ways: 

  1. The tag is manually set by an administrator in the student record. 
  2. The tag is manually set through a data upload.
  3. The tag is set by the student selecting to unsubscribe from "all future communications, including postal communications..." by following the unsubscribe link in the email footer. 
  4. A student receives a decision that has been set up as a decision that should "opt out" a student. EX: Final decisions such as Deny, where students should no longer receive communications. 
If a student opts out from a Message Group, will that opt them out of all communications?
  • If a student opts out from a message group, that will opt them out from receiving messages from that message group email. It will not set the Opt Out tag in the student record, because students can still receive messages from the Default Sender Email.
  • When a student selects the Unsubscribe option, they will be taken to an Unsubscribe window, which will allow them to confirm their intention to unsubscribe from  a message group or all future communications from your institution. 
How do I make my email mobile friendly?
  1. Click on the Source button in the HTML Editor of your Email.
  2. Add the following code between the <head> and </head> tags:
    <style>@media only screen and (max-width: 480px) { table, img { width: 100% !important; height: auto !important; }} </style>
  3. Click Save.
Why are my emails bouncing?
  • Check your deliver report to see if there are any trends. Is there a particular school or company that is blocking your emails? If so, it may be worth reaching out to them to see how your email can be added to their allow list.  
  • Is your Default Sender email correct? Most instances default to a Technolutions email address. Make sure your school email address is set as the Default Sender by going to Database > Configuration Keys. 
Using UTM codes in Deliver
  • UTM (Urchin Tracking Module) codes are basic codes that can be attached to custom URLs to track various marketing campaigns. They allow Google Analytics to tell you how a specific person or user landed on a particular page. Perhaps you have a Facebook ad or another type of online campaign you’re running—UTM codes will allow you to track the success of these. You may already be familiar with UTM codes if you’re using them within forms as hidden fields. For more information, visit the Troubleshooting Guide for the Form Builder.
  • Within Deliver, you have the ability to define these codes when configuring an email. While you have the ability to come up with these codes on your own, depending on how your institution is structured, this may be a good time to collaborate with your marketing department. There’s a good chance that they’re already using UTM codes and can likely tell you what to place in each of the parameters. 
  • Should you choose to set this up internally, or if your marketing department falls under the enrollment management umbrella at your institution, here is some information what each of the parameters relates to:
    • Source: Who is the referrer? Slate? Google? A different source?
    • Medium: How are users accessing this link? Typically this is "email".
    • Term: Do you have any paid search words associated with this campaign?
    • Content: How you’ll differentiate this ad – can be anything that makes it distinct.
    • Name: Specific name of this campaign.
Questions related to SMS / Text
What is the procedure for purchasing SMS credits?
  • Click on the Database Icon, and then click on Deliver Configuration where you can purchase credits and view the pricing options. 
By "provision a sender number in an area code of your choosing," do you mean that we will use an existing phone number from a cell in our office? Or that we can create a new, unique phone number to be used exclusively for slate texting?
  • You will select an area code, and the SMS provider will assign an number to you with that area code that will be used exclusively for Slate texting. 
Where do responses go?
  • All responses are sent to the SMS Inbox. 
Can multiple phone numbers be included in the Recipient field?
  • No, if multiple phone number merge fields are included in the Recipient field, Deliver will treat them like a string and will skip the numbers all together. 
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