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Marketing Emails – Creating Your First Newsletter

You’ve completed the marketing emails setup wizard, and you’re ready to create your first newsletter or email. On the email manager page, click the Add Template button. You have two choices, the use of a Visual Editor, or the Classic Editor. First, we will explain the Classic Editor.

Building Newsletter Emails with the Classic Editor

Creating emails is very similar to letters. However, you often will want to include more images in your emails than you typically would in your letters. As such, we want to make sure that you insert images in such a way that will prevent them from displaying too large on a donor’s screen. This is where Layouts come in handy. Let’s say we want to insert the logo at the top of the newsletter. We would select one of the layouts to constrain the size of the logo. In this case, we’ll use the 2 Column (1/4th + 3/4th) layout:

This will create a new table that you can insert the logo and header text into:

We’ll stick the logo on the left, and put “Monthly Newsletter” in larger text, centered, on the right:

Now we’ll skip below this table and add more content!

You can just see that below the first paragraph, we added another table to place an image to the right of the next paragraph.

Building a Newsletter Email Using the Visual Editor

When you create an email using the Visual Editor, it’s easier to divide content into columns and to use elements such as buttons and fancier heading styles. The visual editor looks like this when you start from scratch:

To start, you can drag elements from the right and configure them appropriately. You can also click the top blue area and choose which column layout to use:

As with the classic editor, the text areas can have merge fields with data from the user’s profile inserted:

As you build the email, you will find an option to preview what it looks like on mobile in the bottom left:

The visual editor will hopefully help you to make attractive layouts easily.

Configuring Other Settings

Once the template is set up, we’ll need to turn our attention to some of the other fields up above.

  • Email Template Name – This is for internal use, and is what you use to identify the various email templates.
  • Hidden? – If hidden, the template will not appear in any drop-downs. Useful to declutter and get old newsletters out of the way.
  • Email Subject – The subject line that will be used for the email. (NOTE: Do not insert any merge fields here, as they will not be filled in.)
  • Name Placeholder – If the donor’s profile does not contain a name, the system will insert this word in its place.
  • Email Type – You must choose what type of email this is.
  • Email Subtype – For marketing emails this dropdown contains the different email lists so you can choose which list this email falls under. If your campaign will target multiple lists, just select the one that is the primary list you’re targeting.
  • Email Preview – This is a short text that the user will see before they open the email that will hopefully entice them to open it. Two sentences at most, and ideally giving a call to action.

Testing Your Newsletter Email

Now that we’ve saved everything, we must test things out. Before you send the email to another donor, you must do a test send to yourself. On the Emails page, under the Templates tab, you’ll see the test option:

This will let you send this email template to the donor profile that has the same email address as the email you login with. ( Note: If you there is no profile in the system with your login email, you will have to create a profile first.) After a few minutes, the email should arrive in your inbox:

If you’re satisfied with the formatting of the email, you’re ready to send it to your donors! There are two main ways you can do this:

On the emails page, click the Email Campaigns tab. There you will find a button to create a new email campaign.

The email campaign editor greatly simplifies things. Simply name the campaign, write a few notes to yourself, choose a date and time to send, and select the targeted email lists.

The system will then immediately generate and queue up emails for everyone on the selected lists. Before the email is sent, you can see who is targeted. After the email is sent, you can see and review results:

Method Two: Using the “Add Draft Email” Button on the Emails Page

If your email lists have already been configured and you’ve added been consistently adding donors to your email lists as you add and edit them, there’s fast and easy way to create a new email for your donors. On the emails page, in the upper right, you will have the option to Add Draft Email as shown below:

Clicking this option will pop up a window where you will simply choose which email template you’re sending, and which email list will receive it:

That’s all there is to it! If your account has permission to access the Bulk Actions feature, you can undo the creation of these emails on that page. Otherwise, Jump down to the Scheduling Emails to be Sent section below for the last step.

Method Three: Using Bulk Actions with Reports

To send an email to a large number of donors, you can use a donor report. (NOTE: If you’ve not already added donors to an email list, we recommend that you first use bulk actions to add donors to an email list, and then filter by that list to create the draft email, as shown below.)

Once you’ve added donors to the list, utilize the Marketing Email Lists Include Any Of filter to select only the donors on the Monthly Newsletter list.

Once you’ve filtered by the list, use the Bulk Actions button to Add a Draft Email. Choose our new newsletter and click the Add Draft Email button.

Scheduling Newsletter Emails to be Sent

Now that you’ve drafted emails to your donors, you’ll want to schedule the date and time they should be sent. Go to the Emails page and click on the Unsent Emails tab. You’ll see all of the recipients of your newsletter queued up. Let’s filter by the Marketing email type, and choose the Monthly Newsletter subtype. Then we’ll click the Schedule All Shown to Be Sent button.

In the popup that displays, you’ll set your desired date and time for the newsletter to be emailed.

And now, our email is waiting to go!

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