Launch your first campaign

This guide below will walk you through how to launch your first campaign from the Lob dashboard. Here is a preview of the 4-step process:

Before you get started

You'll need two things at the ready to create your Campaign: an Audience and Creative.

Send campaigns in the dashboard

First, head over to the Campaigns tab in your dashboard, and click the Create Campaign button at the top right to start building your campaigns.

Step 1: Configure settings

Note: fields marked with * are required; all others are optional features.
  1. 1.
    Add campaign name: To begin, give your campaign a unique name and description to reference in the future. Give it a name that is distinguishable and easily identified when you have numerous campaigns in your dashboard.
  2. 2.
    Add billing group: Certain Lob customers can optionally choose a specific billing group to allocate their campaign to on their invoice. You can learn more about this functionality here.
  3. 3.
    Select campaign type: Select what use case will your campaign have: are you sending out a marketing campaign or using this for operational (non-promotional) purposes?
  4. 4.
    Select mail type & settings: Select what mail type and size you’ll be sending. Currently, you can choose from high-quality postcards, self-mailers, or letters sealed inside envelopes.
    • Postcards and self-mailers will show available size options
    • Letters will show optional add-ons, such as cards, envelopes, and buckslips
  5. 5.
    Postage preferences:
    • Add the return address you’d like to appear on the mailpiece
    • Select the postage and mailing class that you’d like to apply to your campaign; note this will have pricing implications
    • Select an amount of time for your campaign cancellation window, which is the amount of time you are allowed to quickly edit and QA your mailings after submission, but before they are sent to print production
  6. 6.
    Add campaign-level tags: Add any custom metadata tags you'd like to apply to your campaign. Tags enable you to easily filter and sort your campaigns for future reporting.

Step 2: Add audience

  1. 1.
    Upload your target audience: Select your segment via CSV
  2. 2.
    Review address fields: Lob automatically maps and formats your address to meet USPS requirements, but you can review and adjust the mapping if necessary
  3. 3.
    Add recipient-level metadata: Add any custom metadata tags you'd like to apply to your campaign-specific recipients. Tags enable you to easily filter and sort your campaigns for future reporting

Step 3: Choose creative

  1. 1.
    Upload your creative assets
    • Read more about formatting your creative, including PDF or HTML
    • See design guidelines specific to your mail format
    • Browse professionally designed templates here
    • If sending a letter campaign, upload your add-on creative assets as well
    • You will be shown a basic preview; a true proof is available in later steps
  2. 2.
    (Optional) Add QR code
QR codes are available only for postcards and self-mailers; support for letters will be available in Q3.
  1. 3.
    Connect your creative to your audience
  • Select your merge variable strictness: Choose whether you'd like your mailpieces to be sent even if it contains missing values in your merge variable fields
  • Map merge variables in your creative: If using an HTML template to build a dynamic creative, if you've named your csv column headers exactly to match the merge variable names in the HTML template, then Lob should automatically map these. For example, if a merge variable in a template is {{promo_code}} and there is a CSV column header titled “promo_code” then Lob auto-maps this for the user.
Please note auto-mapping is case sensitive.
  1. 4.
    Creative proof: The Creative proof includes merge variables, address block, Lob carbon-neutral logo, and indicia, plus return address and QR codes if included. You can View Mail Proof to see (or share) the PDF, or you can Delete Proof and go back.

Step 4: Review campaign

  1. 1.
    Campaign settings: Review the campaign send details
  2. 2.
    Target audience: Review the audience list
  3. 3.
    Creative proof: Preview a mailpiece to ensure the campaign will render correctly
Please review carefully prior to submitting. You can back to previous steps to make changes as needed. (Should you need to exit the UI, your Campaign will be saved as a Draft.)
  1. 4.
    Place order! Once your campaign is submitted it will be sent to the printer in the submission window selected before being dropped to USPS for delivery.

Failed mail pieces

After you place your order, will be notified of any mail pieces that failed rendering (and will not be sent to print).

Oops!? Cancel an order (revert to Draft)

Did you place your order and then suddenly realize there is a mistake or last-minute change?
After placing an order, the status of Live Campaigns will be displayed. You can cancel a Campaign in "Ordered" or "Scheduled" if you are within the cancellation window.
  1. 1.
    From the Live Campaigns view, click the > to see the detail for the Campaign.
  2. 2.
    Select Cancel Campaign.
  1. 3.
    You will be asked to confirm; your Campaign will go back into Drafts.
  2. 4.
    Your Campaign will be canceled; you can return the dashboard or edit the Campaign.
  1. 5.
    You will also receive an email confirmation.
Read more about cancellation windows here.

Tracking the progress of your Campaign

You can track the progress of your campaign in your Campaigns dashboard, or in the Mail Analytics tab if you are an Enterprise edition customer.