Launch your first campaign

...with our Campaigns builder in the Lob dashboard

This guide below will walk you through how to launch a campaign from the Lob dashboard, using our Campaigns tool. Here is a preview of the 4-step process:

Before you get started

You'll need three things at the ready to create your Campaign:

  1. Campaign strategy (including send and delivery strategies)

  2. Audience file (.csv format)

  3. Design assets (front & back), as static PDFs or as HTML templates for dynamic creatives

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. Select One-time to start building your campaign. Any campaign you build in the Live environment will be saved into your Drafts until you place an order.

If you would like to set up and send individual mailpieces based on triggers from your customer data, learn more about Lob integrations here.

Step 1: Configure settings

Note: fields marked with * are required; all others are optional features.

  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. 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. 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. 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. Send options: ASAP or schedule a future date up to 180 days

  6. 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

  7. 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. Upload your target audience*: Select your segment via CSV

  2. Map required address variables*: Lob automatically maps and formats your address to meet USPS requirements, but you can review and adjust the mapping if necessary

  3. Map optional address variables: These fields will be added to your recipient address block if mapped

  4. Add recipient-level metadata tags: 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. Upload your creative assets* (Example, front and back of postcard)

    • Make sure you are following the design guidelines specific to your mail format

    • You can utilize PDF or HTML; learn more about Creative formatting here. (If using HTML, the template will first need to be loaded into the dashboard as a Live HTML Template.)

    • If sending a letter campaign, upload your add-on creative assets as well

    • When your creative is uploaded, you will be shown a basic preview; a true creative proof is available in later step

You can add a QR code to your mailpieces after you upload your creative.

  1. 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. 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. Campaign settings: Review the campaign send details

  2. Audience: Review the target audience list

  3. Creative: Preview a mailpiece to ensure the campaign will render correctly

  4. Cost: An estimated campaign cost based on cost per mailpiece (learn more about Estimated Campaign Cost)

Please review carefully before you Place Order. You can back up to previous steps to make changes as needed. Should you need to exit the UI, your Campaign will be saved as a Draft.

  1. 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.

You will receive confirmation, then be directed to the detail or status page for the Campaign.

Campaign status

After you place an order you will be directed to that campaign's status or details page. You can access this at any time by clicking on any individual (Live) Campaign from the Campaigns dashboard.

In the ellipsis menu on the right, you can export any undeliverable recipients; you can also find the Campaign ID here.

Cancel a campaign

Did you place your order and then suddenly realize there was a mistake or last-minute change? You can cancel a Campaign if you are within the cancellation window.

  1. After placing an order, you will be directed to that campaign's detail page. Alternatively, from the (Live) Campaigns view, click on any campaign to navigate to the campaign's detail page.

  2. If applicable, click the Cancel Campaign button.

  3. You will be asked to confirm; your Campaign will go back into Draft state.

  4. Your Campaign will be canceled; you can return the dashboard or edit the Campaign.

  5. You will also receive an email confirmation.

Campaign Analytics

After you place an order you will be directed to a detailed view of your campaign. You can return here at any time by clicking into any individual campaign from the Campaigns section in the dashboard.

In the Mail Analytics section of the dashboard you will find data for all mail you have sent with Lob across any number of campaigns within a time period. But you can click into any Live campaign to see laser-focused insights that are campaign-specific.

Our campaign analytics are designed to help you ensure that every campaign you run is more informed than the last.

Campaign summary: Get the birds-eye view of each campaign with stats including total orders, estimated cost, delivered and undeliverable mailers.

Tracking events for all mail pieces in the campaign provide full visibility as your mailpiece move through the mailstream.

QR code engagement: Understand how recipients interact with your Lob-generated QR codes, including frequency and timing of scans.

Delivery speed: Track how quickly your mail moves from being sent to marked as processed for delivery, pinpointing efficiency and flagging any delays. Reserved for Enterprise users only.

Delivery distribution: Analyze where your mail is going and how fast it gets there with a breakdown of mail pieces by state, helping you optimize your future send strategies. Reserved for Enterprise users only.

Failed mail pieces

After you place your order and it has fully processed, any number of mail pieces that failed rendering (and will not be sent to print) will be shown in red under View Failed Mail Pieces. Read more about rendering best practices and rendering errors.

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