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How to set up email blasts in NationBuilder

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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.

Watch this video for a walk through of how to set up your first email blast or follow the instructions below. 

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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.

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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.


Email Settings

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.

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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. Once you click on a theme image, you will be taken to the body section to add content to your email. Before the blast is sent, you can go back to the Theme tab and choose a different public theme for your email.


Email body

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.


Spam Score

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.

Additional Information:

Intermediate Email Topics:

Advanced Email Topics:


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Showing 7 reactions

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  • commented 2014-06-18 08:28:24 -0700 · Flag
    A third bug with emails — the email index view has been broken for several weeks. The number of emails sent wraps on two lines, making it hard to read. The status column is cut off on the right. It is very confusing right now and difficult to use.
  • commented 2014-06-18 08:25:56 -0700 · Flag
    Another long standing problem with scheduling email blasts: if you clone an email, the subject does not come along. No idea why. You can then schedule the cloned email, and everything will look fine.

    The scheduled email will then fail to send because of the subject. This should be fixed so that:
    1) Cloned emails clone the subject as well as the body
    2) NB should alert you if your message won’t send when you schedule it. Not silently fail at the scheduled send time.

    I reported this to my point person about a year ago, but the behavior has continued.
  • commented 2014-06-18 08:24:26 -0700 · Flag
    When scheduling an email blast, the flash messages are broken. They leave off fields, like the time the blast is scheduled for. Been this way for about a year, I reported this to my point person but it has never been addressed.
  • commented 2014-04-07 14:39:14 -0700 · Flag
    How/where do you put a candidate disclaimer at the bottom of an email? Like “paid for by…”
  • commented 2013-11-23 18:51:56 -0800 · Flag
    At this time, advanced calendar functions are not available as Liquid or plug-and-play email customizations. If you’d like to do advanced email customizations, HTML is supported in the template and many of our Architects support custom templates (www.nationbuilder.com/architects)
  • commented 2013-11-23 18:30:40 -0800 · Flag
    Speaking of calendars, is there an easy way of adding some liquid to my email theme template so that a calendar with my orgs upcoming events (maybe with some options to limit the number to the first 5 upcoming events) automatically to the email when it goes out?

    I’m going to acknowledge my weak understanding of Liquid coding – I may need some hand holding.
  • commented 2013-11-18 11:55:43 -0800 · Flag
    We have created a calendar for events and I was wondering if you can show me how to send invitation via email so that people can forward and RSVP directly from the email instead of having to click on a link.