There are multiple ways to communicate with your supporters and prospects. Broadcasters, the official voices of your nation, can send email blasts, Facebook messages, tweets, and text blasts.
To begin an email blast, select the broadcaster who will send the message from within the Communication tab. Click on Email - you’ll see a list of drafted and sent emails, if any exist. Click on New blast.
First, you’ll need to enter a slug, which is a shorthand way of identifying the email. A slug cannot include spaces, but it can include underscores. You can also include a description of the email that provides more detail on its purpose. A description is optional and can include spaces between words.
The checkbox below your description provides you the option of having any clicked links in the email that go to your nation also load the recipient's basic profile details into a form. Checking off this option can increase the number of people who complete the action on your website, but it can lead to confusion if the blast is forwarded to a person other than the original recipient.
Click the "create and edit email blast" button to continue.
Next, you will be given the option of choosing the recipients of your email blast. You can send an email blast to either supporters or prospects, but not both at the same time. Supporters have opted into receiving communication from you, whereas prospects have not. Communication with each group should differ.
You can choose a subset of supporters or prospects who have a particular tag, match filter criteria, or are on a list. For example, we're sending an email to supporters of Abe for Prez on the "staff_supporters" list. Click the save recipients button once you have chosen your recipients. This will take you to the theme options for your message. If you click back to the Recipients tab, you’ll be able to see the number of people your message will be sent to. For example, there are 10 emailable people on this list, so on the right side it says "Will send to 10 of 10 people."
Choosing an email theme
Next you can choose a theme for the email blast. You may select one of our public themes, or you may create a custom theme. If you are using a public theme, once you click on your selected theme, you will be automatically taken to the Body tab to add content to your email. Remember that before the blast is sent, you can go back to the Theme tab and choose a different public theme for your email if you would like.
To create a custom theme:
1. Within the email blast editor, under the Theme tab click on “New custom theme."
2. Name your theme and click "Create Theme."
3. You will now be presented with the custom theme HTML editor, where you can make changes to your custom email theme. Once you've finished editing, you can save your changes.
4. Saving the theme as a draft will allow you to preview your custom theme at the Preview tab. For your changes to affect the finished blast you must click "Save and publish" to finalize your changes.
In the body of the email, you can change how the name of your broadcaster is seen by email recipients. There are two options that will convey that your message is coming from a person: use the sender's full name (e.g. CJ MinsterCheng) or use the sender's name and your organization's name (e.g. CJ, NationBuilder).
The email content editor is similar to the webpage content editor: if you'd like to add an image to your email, first save it under the files section. Then insert it using the image button.
Preview & schedule your blast
After setting up your email blast, you have three options when previewing your email: immediately send it to all recipients, schedule delivery for a day/time in the future, or send a test email to yourself or a colleague.
When you click on the Schedule button, a pop-up appears allowing you to select a day in the future. The delivery must be scheduled at least one hour in the future. Time can be indicated in twelve hour or twenty-four hour time (e.g. 3pm or 15:00). Click on the “Schedule Delivery” button to complete the scheduling process.
A system message will pop up letting you know the email has been scheduled. You can review all scheduled emails from Communication > [Broadcaster Name] > Email > Scheduled.
From here, you can edit the email, update the delivery date, or cancel the scheduling. If you cancel the scheduled delivery, your email blast will be saved as a draft that has not been scheduled. You can access it from Communication > [Broadcaster Name] > Email > Blasts.
Before you send your blast, you’ll want to check the Spam Score to see if there are any issues that may lead to a lower deliverability rate for your blast. The Spam Score tab will provide a line-by-line breakdown of issues contributing to your spam score, their type, and details contributing to the score. A spam score between 0 and 2 is ideal for a blast. A score between 2 and 4 is not disastrous but should raise cause for concern, while anything with a score over 4 needs to be fixed before sending out the blast. Note that the spam score checks the text content but does not evaluate the quality of your email recipients list.
A text-version of your blast is automatically created based on the content you provide and can be seen in the Preview tab. You can send a test email to a single person using the send test email button at the bottom of the preview screen. We recommend sending yourself a test email before sending the email. Once you are satisfied with the content of your email, you can click the "Send email now to X people" button on the left side of the preview screen to queue your email for delivery.
- Optimize your email deliverability
- How to set up email newsletters
- How to email an old list of supporters
- How to turn email prospects into fans
- What email stats mean
Intermediate Email Topics:
- What are spamtraps?
- Why to use NationBuilder as your email provider
- How to set up mailboxes
- How to view email using NationBuilder Mailboxes
Advanced Email Topics: