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An overview of what to prepare before sending an email in iContact and how to use iContact.

Other Helpful Resources and How to Videos

Before Scheduling a Send in iContact

       1. Before scheduling an email send in iContact you will first need to build the email in the Sitecore Email Builder. The email should:

    • Follow email best practices.

    • Have a header at the top, basic contact information, and one main call to action.

    • Include teaser text.

       2. Gather your contact list. Your contact list should be in a CSV format and include the following information.

Contact List Example in a CSV Format:

Email Address

Custom Field

fname (optional)

lname (optional)

Value for segment



Value for segment



       3. Determine your sender properties and send information. You will need to have:

    • Sender Name

    • Sender Email Address* (Should always be an email address.)

    • Subject

    • Have teaser text added already in the Sitecore Email Builder

    • Determine your send date and time

* Campus communications requires the Wisconsin School of Business to use a marketing email address. A marketing email address is an email address. Requests for such an email address can be submitted to Information Technology Services.

How to Login to iContact

  1. To login to iContact go to and click on login.

    • With LastPass enabled, the unit's username and password should load automatically.

      iContact login screen and LastPass browser plugin

Sender Properties

Watch the iContact Video(s): Edit and Create a Sender Property

Please Note: If sender properties are hidden, the send reports and send information for emails sent from that sender property are also hidden. To view email send reports, the sender property for that email needs to be active.

To create a new sender property, go to Main Drop Down > Settings and Billing > Sender Properties. This is also where existing sender properties can be changed.

       1. Click on the Main Drop Down.

       2. Select Settings and Billing.

       3. Click on Sender Properties.

       4. Click on Create a New Sender Property.

All sender properties should have the following fields completed:

       5. Sender Property Name: The standard formatting of a sender property name is Unit-Type. For example AR-Event, or AR-News.

       6. Sender Property Description: Describes how the sender property is used.

       7. From Name: The sender's name.

       8. From Email Address: Should be an email address. This is also the reply-to email address.

       9. Company Name: Should always be University of Wisconsin-Madison

       10. CAN-SPAM Compliance Requirements: Check Use Mailing Address from my contact information.

       11. Under Subscription Management select Unsubscribe.

       12. Click save.

Screen shot of sender property set up steps 5-12

Contacts and Managing Lists

Watch the iContact Video(s): Add Contacts with Copy and Paste, Upload Contacts from a File, Create a SegmentGrow Your List with iContact

!! - Enhancements to contacts and list management in iContact released. Watch the video.

Before uploading your list into iContact, make sure you have the the list set up with the correct fields. For example: Email address, a custom field for segmentation, and first name (optional), last name (optional).

Review your custom fields and ensure you have a custom field setup that will support uploading your new list. If needed, create a new custom field, otherwise use an existing one and continue onto uploading contacts.

Creating a New Custom Field

Watch the iContact Video(s): Create a Custom Field (old version of iContact)

To enter a custom field go to the Main Drop Down > Settings and Billing > Custom Fields. This is also where you would edit existing custom fields.

       1. Click on the Main Drop Down.

       2. Select Settings and Billing.

       3. Click on Custom Fields.

       4. Click on Create Field.

All custom fields should have the following fields completed:

       5. Merge Field Name: Should be in all lowercase and use hyphens instead of spaces.

       6. Type: Text.

        7. Display As: Name: Enter a name in Sentence case.

       8. Always Show: Turn Off.

       9. Then click Save to save your custom field.

Creating a custom field in iContact steps 4-9

Uploading Contacts

Watch the iContact Video(s): Upload Contacts from a File

To upload a new list of contacts:

       1.Click on Contacts in the left column.

       2. Click on the Add/Update Contacts drop down and select Upload Contacts.

       3. Click browse your computer in the center of the screen, select the file you wish to upload, and click Open.

       4. Click Map Fields.

       5. Map any required fields. If necessary create custom fields.

       6. Click Choose Actions.

       7. Set What should we do with these contacts? to Add and Subscribe.

       8. Check the boxes for of the lists you wish to add the contacts to.

       9. Turn off Require Confirmation.

       10. Click Review and Confirm Upload.

       11. Turn on - Yes, allow me to review any errors before completing the upload.

       12. Click Confirm.

Uploading contacts into iContact steps 12-15

Creating a Segment

Watch the iContact Video(s): Create a Segment

To create a segment using contacts that have been uploaded with a custom field:

       1. Click on Contacts in the left column.

       2. Click on Segments in the Top Navigation.

       3. Click on Create Segment.

       4. Add a Name for your segment (a high level definition of the segment).

       5. Source: List

       6. Select the list you want to use..

       7. Add criteria to your segment to define how the contacts are selected

       8. Criteria Type: Contact Field.

       9. Field Name: Custom Field.

       10. Condition: Equals

       11. Value: The value you entered into your original spreadsheet.

       12. Click Save.

       13. Click View the Matching Contacts to ensure the correct contacts are selected.

       14. Click Save.

       15. The new segment should be created and be available for selection in your source list from the main Contacts screen.

Creating a segment in iContact

Unable to Send to Role Based Email Addresses

iContact does not support sending messages to roles based email addresses.  Therefore, any emails sent to email address like would not be released from iContact's email servers and sent to the intended recipients.  iContact's help document Unable to Send Messages to Role Email Addresses provides a more detailed description regrading what happens when a send is attempted to these types of email addresses and list of some of the email addresses they do not allow.

Create an Email and Schedule an Email Send

A high level overview of what you will need to do to create and schedule an email send.

       1. Sender Properties: Review your sender properties, add new sender properties as needed.

       2. Contacts: Manage your lists, upload contacts with the appropriate default and fields, and add a segment for the email send. Add custom fields as needed.

       3. Email: Create the email message including a sender property, subject, and email message name.

              1. Select your recipients and a send time.

              2. Send or schedule a send time.

       4. Dashboard and/or Email > Sent: Review your send reports as needed.

To create an email message and schedule an email send:

       1. Click on Email.

       2. Click on Create a New Message.

       3. In the left column, in the middle of the screen, click on More …

       4. Select <> Make and HTML Message.

steps for creating and sending an email 3-4

       5. Enter an Internal Message Name. 

       6. Select the correct Sender Property.

       7. Enter the Email Subject.

       8. Delete the code in the left column. Then copy and paste the html code for the email from the email builder. See the "Step by Step Creating an Email with Sitecore" page 20 for more details.

       9. In the right column you will see a preview of your email. You can preview your email by clicking the Preview button.

       10. Click on Tools > Send Test Message. Then, enter an email address and click Send Test to send yourself a test email message.

       11. Review the sender property, subject line, teaser text, copy. Check to make sure all images load and links work in the email. To save your progress hover over the iContact icon and click Save and Exit. 

Steps 5-10

iContact Save and Exit Step 11

       12. Click on Prepare to Send. If you need to make changes to your email click Edit Message, if you want to send at a different time you can click Cancel.

       13. Select the segments you wish to send the email to. Always include your unit staff and the WSB-ATW-Staff lists.

       14. Ensure google analytics is enabled by clicking on Advanced Options and checking Enable Google Analytics Tracking. iContact will supply a code for tracking, which is based off the list you are sending it to; customize the code if you want to track a specific campaign/newsletter. (e.g. For the Alumni Relations newsletter Business Casual, iContact creates the code AR-News and it has been customized to business-casual). NOTE: UTM codes are case sensitive, so be consistent with capitalization.

selecting segments steps 13-14

       15. Review the summary of your email.

       16. Select the send time for your email.

       17. Click Schedule Message or Send Message Immediately.

       18. Click Schedule My Send.

       19. Your email will be listed under Email > Scheduled until it is sent.

schedule the email send steps 16-17

Email Message States

       1. Draft email messages can be viewed under Email > Drafts.

       2. Scheduled email messages can be viewed under Email > Scheduled.

       3. Sent email messages and reports can be viewed in your Dashboard or under Email > Sent.

Email Send Reports

Sent email messages and reports can be viewed in your Dashboard or under Email > Sent.

Compare Email Send Reports

       1. Login to iContact.

       2. Click on Email (in the left hand navigation).

       3. Click on Sent (in the top left corner of the secondary navigation).

       4. Select the messages you would like to compare by checking the blue squares next to the message names.

       5. Click Compare Messages (in the new blue bar at the top of the screen. Note: The messages with the best open and click rates will be highlighted in green.

       6. The data can be downloaded by clicking Download Message Data.

Screen shot of the compare messages button and check boxes

See Also:

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