Classic Designer: Walkthrough of creating and sending an email campaign

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Choose one of our pre-designed email templates and we will customize it for your business! When the design is complete, you’ll be able to use the template as a starting point for any campaigns you create later on. This service uses our drag-and-drop email designer, making it easy for you to modify the template as needed.



With ActiveCampaign, you can create and send beautiful campaigns to your contacts. You can choose from one of many templates we provide or you can build your email using custom HTML code.

In this article, we'll show you the basics of creating an email in the Campaigns section of your account.

Create a campaign

Campaigns are created in the "Campaigns" section of your account. Each campaign you create starts from a template. 

Note that in order to create a campaign, you must first have a list of opted-in contacts to send to. Learn how to create a list and add contacts to it.

In order to send an email to a contact, they must have an email address.

To get started with creating a campaign:

1. Click "Campaigns" on the left menu.

2. Click the "Create a campaign" button.


3. The "Campaign Type" screen will open. On this page, you will need to:

  • Type the name of your campaign into the field provided. Note that this name is internal only and will not be seen by your contacts
  • Click the campaign type you would like to use. To learn more about the campaign types we offer, see this "Campaign types overview" help article
  • When finished, click the "Next" button

Choose a list and create a segment

On the next screen of the campaign creation process, you will need to select a list to send your email to. Note that you can select more than one list on this page. If the same contact appears on multiple lists, they'll only receive the email once.

To select a list(s), click the checkbox next to the list you wish to send the email to. The number of contacts to the right shows you how many active contacts are currently on that list.


Use a segment

When you select a list on this screen, a segment option will appear at the bottom of the page. To select a segment, click the dropdown then click the segment. To create a new segment, click the "Create New Segment" button then use the segment builder to create the segment.

Note that you can only send your email to one segment at a time.

When finished with selecting a list and segment, click the "Next" button.

Select a template for your campaign

Next you get to select a template type and template for your campaign. There are many types of templates you can choose from based on layouts or business goals. You can also select a pre-designed template to use, a past campaign, or create your own template from scratch.

To learn more about the types of templates ActiveCampaign offers, see this "Email template types overview" help article.

Click the template type you want to use then click "Continue." To choose a template for your campaign, hover your mouse over the template you wish to use then click the "Select" button. Click the "Next" button to move to the next screen.

Set "Sender Details"

A "Sender Details" modal will open. This modal shows you the name and email address that will be used in the "From" fields of the campaign. To change the sender's name and email address, click the appropriate fields and type the updated information into the fields provided.

Next, type the subject line into the field provided then click the "Continue" button.


Customize your campaign

Next you get to customize the design of your campaign and add content to it.

  • Drag and drop content blocks from the sidebar into your campaign. For example, you can add customized images from the Content Manager, buttons, text bocks, social links, and more
  • Provide updated text by typing it into the text content block
  • Use the "Options" feature to format any content block by adjusting line height, background color, padding, and more. To access these settings, click the block in your email that you wish to adjust
  • To update the subject line, Sender information, or to create preheader text, click the gear icon on the top right of your screen. A Campaign Settings modal window will appear where you can make your changes and send a test of your campaign
  • Click the "Next" button when finished

  Autosave in the Email Designer released in 2022, will save your work automatically.

In the Classic Designer, in order for autosave to save your work, you will need to click outside of the campaign block, within the browser tab, before closing out of the designer. If you are working in a block and immediately click outside of the browser tab, it will not save your work.

Review the "Campaign Summary" page and send your email

As a final step, you'll need to review the Campaign Summary page before you send or schedule your email. On this page, you can:

  • Check your subject line, preheader text, and sender information
  • Check the list you are sending to
  • Select additional metrics to track
  • Schedule a send for a future date (or send immediately)
  • Send a test email
  • Preview your campaign
  • View spam check results

With the Spam check, you will want to see the result of “Passed.” If you see an error instead, you will want to fix the issue in your campaign prior to sending it. Anything other than “Passed” indicates an issue that may keep your campaign from reaching your subscriber’s inbox.

Send your email

Once everything is reviewed and tested, you're ready to send the email. To do so, click the "Send Now" button. You will then be asked to confirm your send with an option to cancel.

If you wish to schedule the send instead, scroll down to the "Schedule" section of the "Campaign Summary" page. Click the toggle to set it to the "On" position. Then use the date and time dropdown fields to schedule your email. When finished, click the "Finish" button.

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