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PensionPro 2.0 - Using Blast Email for Data Collection

One key function of the Blast Email tool is to efficiently manage the annual data collection process. A Blast Email is used to communicate to plan sponsors that they have annual data collection to complete and submit, as well as follow-up with those plan sponsors that have not provided the necessary information. This article will walk users through the process of sending a Blast Email for Census Requests and for Census Reminders.

Tier Availability: Essential, Premium, Business

Add-On Availability: PlanSponsorLink

Security Rights Required: Blast Email

 

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For more information regarding Blast Email in general, please review Blast Email Overview.

For more information regarding Annual Administration Data Collection, please review Viewing and Maintaining Data Collection in PensionPro.

 

Creating a Blast Email for Census Requests

  1. Click Communications > Blast Email from the Navigation Panel.
  2. Double-click the Census Request Email Template. PensionPro comes loaded with a Sample Census Request Blast Email Template that can also be used or modified.
  3. The Information screen of the Blast Email will open. Please review/complete the following fields:
    • Use HTML: if this field is set to yes then all edits to the Blast Email Subject and Body will be done in our HTML editor, if it is set to no then all edits will be done in the general Blast Email editor.
    • Mailing Type: Verify that Mailing Type is Census Requests. This will provide a list of all Plan Contacts that have a Data Collection launched but the first step (Census Request Sent) not completed. Sending the Blast Email to these recipients will complete this step and activate the next step in the Data Collection.
    • From Type: Select from whom the email is to be sent.
      • If Employee Plan Role is selected, then select a role below. The Blast Email will be sent from the employee who is assigned to the role for the plan.
      • If Static Email Address is selected, then type the email address in the From Address field. For the static address, the Blast Email will be sent from the static email address entered.
    • Include All Plan CCs: If this box is checked, then this field will show as Yes and the Blast Email will be sent to all the Plan Contacts that have been marked to be CC’d.
    • Send to CC Option: Select from the dropdown the Plan Contact Roles that should be CC'd on this email.
    • Blast Email Category: Select the category of the Blast Email from the dropdown, or select N/A.
    • Document Specification Selection: Select the Document Specification from the dropdown. 
  4. Click the Subject & Body menu and click the Edit icon to edit the information displayed. Please review the Blast Email carefully and verify that the information is displayed correctly. Fields to note:
    • Subject: This is a text box which cannot contain HTML but it can contain merge fields.
    • Body: This is the content of the email. If Use HTML was not selected on the Blast Email Information grid, the textbox will use standard text and merge fields. However, if the Use HTML box was selected on the Blast Email Information screen, the user can add effects such as bold, italics, size, colors, etc. to the text of the Blast Email.
    • Merge Fields: On the right-hand side of the Message Body are merge fields. To add these to the Subject or Body, either click the arrow icon next to the textbox or double-click the Merge Field and the field will be added to the current position.
  5. Once the editing of the Blast Email is complete, then click the Attachments menu. Here a file can be uploaded to include with the census request. The file should be generic, as it will go to everyone receiving the Blast Email.
  6. After the attachment has been uploaded, click the Filters menu. Here, users can add any applicable filters to limit the data returned on the Recipients menu. If minimal filters are applied, this may result in a very large data set. It is required that at least one filter is selected.
  7. After any filters have been added, click the Recipients menu. By selecting Census Request Mailing Type, the system will provide the user with a complete list of the plans and the associated contacts that need a census request. 
  8.  After recipients have been selected. Click the Review menu. Here, users can view a high level overview of the Blast Email to be sent. The Review menu includes the Template Name, Mailing Type, number of Recipients, number of Attachments, Sender, and whether or not All Plan CCs are included. 
  9. After reviewing the Blast Email and verifying everything is correct, the user can send the email:
    • Send Test Email: The purpose of this option is to send a sample email to any email address that is entered. This is to allow the user to verify that the email looks correct and is ready to be sent to the contacts. When the pop-up menu opens, the Send Test Email Address field will be populated with the email tied to the users’ account, but this can be changed. If the email is a success, the window will display the number of emails that were sent successfully. If any emails failed, the window will indicate the number of emails that were not sent successfully.
    • Send Blast Email: Once the email is completed and has been tested, click the Send the Blast Email. A Send Confirmation box will appear asking to continue. The progress bar below the buttons will show the progress of the emails as they are being sent. Once the emails have been sent a Success Message will display. If there were any errors while sending, that information will be displayed.

Creating a Blast Email for Census Reminders

  1. Click Communications > Blast Email from the Navigation Panel.
  2. Double click the Census Reminder Email Template. PensionPro comes loaded with a Sample Census Reminder Blast Email Template that can also be used or modified.
  3. The Information screen of the Blast Email will open. Please review/complete the following fields:
    • Use HTML: If this field is set to yes then all edits to the Blast Email Subject and Body will be done in our HTML editor, if it is set to no then all edits will be done in the general Blast Email editor.
    • Mailing Type: Verify that Mailing Type is Census Reminders. This will provide a list of Plan Contacts that have Data Collection linked to them that have the first step completed (Census Request Sent) but the rest of the steps in the Data Collection are not complete.
    • From Type: Select from whom the email is to be sent.
      • If Employee Plan Role is selected, then select a role below. The Blast Email will be sent from the employee who is assigned to the role for the plan.
      • If Static Email Address is selected, then type the email address in the From Address field. For the static address, the Blast Email will be sent from the static email address entered.
    • Include All Plan CCs: If this box is checked then this field will show as yes and the Blast Email will be sent to all the Plan Contacts that have been marked to be CC’d.
    • Send to CC Option: From the dropdown, select the Plan Contact Roles that should be CC'd on this email.
    • Blast Email Category: Select the category of the Blast Email from the dropdown, or select N/A.
    • Document Specification Selection: Select the Document Specification from the dropdown if applicable. 
    • Click the Subject & Body menu and click the Edit icon to edit the displayed information. Please review the Blast Email carefully and verify that the information is displayed correctly. Fields to note:
      • Subject: This is a text box which cannot contain HTML but it can contain merge fields.
      • Body: This is the content of the email. If the Use HTML was not selected on the Blast Email Information grid, the textbox will use standard text and merge fields. However, if the Use HTML box was selected on the Blast Email Information screen, the user can add effects such as bold, italics, size, colors, etc. to the text to make the Blast Email look distinct.
      • Merge Fields: On the right-hand side of the Message Body are merge fields. To add these to the Subject or Body, either click the Arrow button next to the textbox or double-click the Merge Field and the field will be added to the current position.
    • Once the editing of the Blast Email is complete, click the Attachments menu. Here a file can be uploaded to include with the census reminder. The file should be generic, as it will go to everyone receiving the Blast Email.
    • After the attachment has been uploaded, click the Filters menu. Here, users can add any applicable filters to limit the data returned on the Recipients menu. If minimal filters are applied, this may result in a very large data set. It is required that at least one filter is selected.
    • After any filters have been added, click the Recipients menu. By selecting the Census Reminders Mailing Type, the system will provide the user with a complete list of the plans and the associated contacts that need a census reminder. 
    • After recipients have been selected, click the Review menu. Here, users can view a high level overview of the Blast Email to be sent. The Review menu includes the Template Name, Mailing Type, number of Recipients, number of Attachments, Sender, and whether or not All Plan CCs are included. 
    • After selecting the contacts to be included in the Blast Email, the user can send the email. There are two options, Send a Test Email and Send the Blast Email.
      • Send Test Email: The purpose of this option is to send a sample email to any email address that is entered. This is to allow the user to verify that the email looks correct and is ready to be sent to the contacts. When the slider menu opens, the To Address will be populated with the email tied to the users’ account, but this can be changed. If the email is a success, the window will display the number of emails that were sent successfully. If any emails failed, the window will indicate the number of emails that were not sent successfully.
      • Send the Blast Email: Once the email is completed and has been tested, click the Send the Blast Email. A Send Confirmation box will appear asking to continue. The progress bar below the buttons will show the progress of the emails as they are being sent. Once the emails have been sent a Success Message will display. If there were any errors while sending, that information will be displayed.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • I've sent a Census Request Blast Email to contact on a plan, but I need to resend the same Blast Email to another contact. How do I send the Census Request Blast Email to the new contact since the census request process for the Data Collection has already been completed? Users have the ability to copy the original Census Request Blast Email to a new Blast Email template. The user can then change the Mailing Type to Plan Contacts and send the Blast Email to the new contact. Here's how:
    1. Click Communications > Blast Email from the Navigation Panel.
    2. Click once on the Census Request Blast Email Template to highlight it. Click the More icon in the upper right corner of the grid and select Copy.
    3. Change the Name and Description of the Blast Email Title so it is easily recognizable and different than the main Census Request Blast Email sent.
    4. Click Save and Open.
    5. Click the Edit icon on the Information menu.
    6. Change the Mailing Type to Plan Contacts.
    7. Click the Filters menu and add any filters to help find the contact(s) the Blast Email should be sent to.
    8. Click the Review menu and review the Blast Email details.
    9. Click the Send Blast Email button.
  • I am trying to send a Census Reminder Blast Email, but when I filter by Projects Task Name, the only item that pulls back is the Census Request Sent task of the Data Collection Project. Is there something I am doing wrong? *For Essential, Premium and Business users: If a user wants to send out a census reminder to plan contacts and filter further by other Project Tasks that have or have not been completed, the user can change the Mailing Type of the Blast Email template to Plan Contacts. When the user returns to the Blast Email Filters menu, the user can filter on other Project Task names. Please note that other filters may need to be added to display only the current Data Collection Projects.

 

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