- Create site Members and specify their email addresses (in People > Members).
- Assign these members to a Group (in People > Groups).
- Create your newsletter (in Connect > Newsletters).
- Send a test newsletter to yourself or a colleague to test your newsletter.
- Publish the newsletter, selecting the appropriate Group. The newsletter will be sent to all members of this group.
Creating the newsletter
- Visit Connect > Newsletters.
- Click Add a New Newsletter.
- Complete the necessary fields:
- Newsletter Name: This is the backend title of the newsletter. It will not be seen by the public.
- Subject: This is what the public will see as the subject of the email.
- Send replies to: When recipients reply to the newsletter email, their reply will be sent to these email addresses.
- Content: Refer to Using the WYSIWYG editor for additional help adding content.
- Tip: you can use the merge tag, EMAIL_FIRSTNAME, to dynamically place the recipient's first name in the body of the email.
- Template: If you have multiple newsletter templates to choose from, select it here.
- Click Save.
Paragraphs and Headings
Paragraphs and headings may not display consistently across all email applications as they might on the web. For example, both Google's Gmail and Android email applications will ignore your site's default font styles (set in the main CSS stylesheet of your website), making the text display in black.
If an image you wish to use wasn't specifically sized for your newsletter template as specified by your designer, you may simply adjust the image size via the CMS. Select the image and click on the "Insert/edit image" button and specify the width and height of the image to avoid image size problems in your email. If an image is too wide for a particular column in your newsletter, the column will likely expand with it.
Text wrapping images
When using the align tools in the content editor, the image moves to either side and allows text wrapping for the following paragraphs. Some email clients unfortunately do not support this feature as would web pages. So, to position an image beside of a block of text in newsletters, it's best to create a simple table of two columns and insert the image in one side and the text in the other, like this.
- To choose a time when the newsletter will be sent, click Publish when editing the newsletter.
- Select "Send later".
- Specify the date and time you'd like the newsletters to be mailed.
- Select your recipients by selecting the appropriate Groups, or by selecting All Members.
When a newsletter is scheduled, a queue is created including a copy of the newsletter and all email addresses from the Group as are present at that time. Any changes to the newsletter, including changes to the content or subscription statuses of members, will be included in the next scheduled mailing, and not the currently scheduled mailing.
Subscribing and unsubscribing recipients
Site Administrators can choose which members are subscribed to a newsletter via Groups. First, the user must be added to a Group.
- Visit People > Groups.
- Click on the name of the Group you wish to use for the newsletter (or create a new Group).
- Click "Edit Group" at the top left.
- Use the "Add Members" field to add new members to the Group.
- The user will now be included in the Group for the next newsletter mailing.
By default, new members are automatically "subscribed" and will receive mailings sent to the Group. However, they can choose to unsubscribe via links automatically placed at the bottom of each newsletter email. If the member unsubscribes, the status "unsubscribed" is attached to their name in the Group list; they are not removed from the Group. This gives you the ability to keep members organized in Groups whether or not they choose to unsubscribe.
If a member is unsubscribed, a Site Administrator may re-subscribe the user to the Group like so:
- Visit People > Groups.
- Click the newsletter's Group that the member was subscribed in.
- Find the member(s) in question and check the selection box next to their name.
- Click Edit Selected Members at the top right of the page.
- In the Subscription dropdown, re-subscribe the user(s).
Schedule a Newsletter
Note: To avoid being flagged as spam, only a limited number of emails are sent per hour.
- Send Now: Will begin sending the newsletter immediately.
- Scheduled Send: Will begin sending at a later date. Listed time is adjusted to the time zone of the computer being used.
- Recipients: Send the newsletter to all members or just members of certain groups. Members who have unsubscribed will not be sent emails. If unsubscribed, a note will be added to the users record on the group's member list page.
Delivered: The number of emails that were successfully added to the recipient's inbox.
Opened: The number of times the email was opened by any recipient. One recipient may open the email multiple times. This is tracked with a hidden image embedded into the newsletter; when the image is loaded, one Open is logged. Users who do not allow image loading in their emails unfortunately cannot be tracked.
Clicks: The number of times any user clicks a link inside the email. All links inside your newsletter content are tracked.
Bounced: The number of emails that were rejected by the receiving mail server. Some common reasons for this include a full inbox, a misspelled email address, or a temporary issue on the recipient server.
If a newsletter is sent multiple times, the statistics of all sends are totaled together.
- Test your newsletter in multiple email applications.
- Which are most popular? See below for email client market share percentages.
- Let users know why they're receiving the email.
- A subscriber may have signed up by accident, or forgotten why they signed up. Explain in the newsletter how one would have signed up for the newsletter, and that an unsubscribe link is available when necessary.
- Use "absolute paths" for images (including your domain "http://www.site.com/" in the source URL).
- The CMS already takes care of this for you for images inserted via the WYSIWYG content editor. Make note of this tip when pasting in your code from another application.
- Offer links to let users 1) unsubscribe and 2) view the message as a web page.
- The CMS provides these links automatically. If you'd like to move them or change their appearance, contact your web designer.
- Creating your newsletter content as one large image.
- Not only may spam filters catch the message, but some email apps by default will not display images.
- Using embed codes (videos, forms, etc) in your newsletter.
- Embed codes containing scripts are not allowed in newsletters. It's best to provide a link for the user to view this kind of content on a webpage instead.
- Using overly complicated CSS styling.
- Using CSS for layout (positioning your elements) will produce inconsistent results within email apps. Tables are the current standard for email layout.