Communication between your organization and your community is consolidated around broadcasters. When you attach an email address to a broadcaster, you can send email blasts to your community. By taking a few extra steps in setting up your broadcaster, you can also accept incoming email for a broadcaster. This will allow recipients to reply to your bulk email. You'll be able to initiate one-to-one email directly from your control panel and keep track of email correspondence in your people database.
Table of Contents
- Use custom domain email addresses
- Create a new broadcaster
- Basic broadcaster settings
- Broadcaster email settings
- Related HOWTOs
Use a custom domain email addresses
When configuring a broadcaster, it is important to always use a custom domain email address. We recommend purchasing a domain and using a third-party email provider, like Google Apps. This will allow you to access email on your mobile device and will provide robust spam filtering. It will also allow you to receive and send rich-format email on a one-to-one basis. It is possible to use NationBuilder as your email provider, but the service is more limited than what is offered elsewhere. Additionally, it is not possible to set up a private mailbox in NationBuilder - all of your correspondence will be visible to anyone who has access to the people in your database. These limitations may lead you to connect only a few, official addresses to your nation (e.g. firstname.lastname@example.org).
It is important to attach the domain to your nation before following these directions.
If you're just starting out and don't own a custom domain, you can use your nation's email address (email@example.com) as your broadcaster's email address. It is better to purchase your own domain, rather than using an emailnb address. Email deliverability depends on many factors, including domain reputation. With your own domain, you have more control over reaching recipient inboxes.
These instructions will help you configure your broadcaster regardless of which email option you choose.
To curb spam and phishing, several free email providers do not allow email to be sent from third-party applications. Therefore, you cannot attach an AOL, Yahoo, or Gmail address to a broadcaster. We strongly recommend you avoid attaching any other free email address to a broadcaster. Email blasts sent using a free email address are more likely to end up in quarantine (not accessible at all) or in a recipient's spam folder.
Step One: Create a new broadcaster from Communication > +Add a new broadcaster
Option One: firstname.lastname@example.org, your nation's email address
If you do not have a custom domain, you can create an email address using the format email@example.com For example, our Pershing Forest site demonstrates how NationBuilder can be used by a local government and is therefore part of our nbgov nation. So I could create an email address firstname.lastname@example.org where "cminstercheng" is my username and "nbgov" is the nation slug. You can create any username you want using this format.
Option Two: Custom domain with NationBuilder as your email provider
If you have a custom domain and are using NationBuilder as your email provider, entering a new email address here is the first step in creating the email address. This is what I've done in the above screenshot.
Option Three: Custom domain with a third-party email provider
If another company manages email for your custom domain, you'll want to create the email address before adding it to a broadcaster.
Step Two: Basic broadcaster settings
Once you create a broadcaster, you'll be taken to Settings > Basics:
There are several things you can adjust in this window.
- Name: this is the name that will appear in the "from" line of your email
- Only this person can send messages: select a control panel user and they will be the only person who can send email, tweet, or post to Facebook from the broadcaster's accounts.
- Whom to notify when sending or receiving text messages: select a control panel user and they'll receive notifications when text messages are sent or received.
- Who can view this broadcaster? The history of correspondence with a particular broadcaster is always viewable to admins. You can also share the broadcaster with another permission set.
Once you've made your selections, click the Save broadcaster button to save your changes.
Step Three: Email settings
Once you save the broadcaster, click on Settings > Email.
Receive incoming email for this address: If you check the box next to "Receive incoming email for this address," additional options will be displayed. If you want incoming email messages to log in your broadcaster’s dashboard, or if NationBuilder is your email provider, you must check the box next to “Receive incoming email for this address.” If NationBuilder is your email provider, this step will create the email address. If you use a 3rd party provider (e.g. Google Apps), here's how to forward emails to NationBuilder.
Mark new people as prospects, not supporters: Checking this box ensures that people have to actively indicate their interest in receiving bulk mail from your organization. Supporters are people who have opted into receiving communication from your organization and some groups send email blasts to their entire supporter list. More information on the differences between supporters and prospects is available.
Automatically assign a point person to people who send email: You can choose a control panel user to be the point person. If the emailer already has a point person, she will not be re-assigned.
Tag people who send email with these tags: You can tag people who email the broadcaster with one or more comma separated tags. In our own use of these features, we've found automatically tagging people who email a broadcaster is not as useful as adding them to a path step and assigning a point person.
Add people who email to a path step: We recommend checking this box to create a workflow for incoming email.
bcc [your email address] on all outgoing emails (but not blasts): If you have a third-party email provider, we strongly recommend checking this box. This will make sure you keep a full copy of correspondence both within your nation's control panel and your email inbox.
Click Save broadcaster to have your changes saved. Once you click Save broadcaster, you'll see a message on the right side of the screen. Your set up is complete if you are using your nation's email address or NationBuilder is your email provider.
If you're using your nation's email address (an emailnb.com address), you'll see a message like this:
If you're using NationBuilder as your email provider, you'll see a message like this:
If you're using a third-party email provider, you'll see a message like this:
Please note that the above message is not an error message. You are receiving this message because you checked the “Receive incoming email for this address” checkbox and use a 3rd party email provider.
When using a 3rd party provider (such as Google apps, NameCheap, GoDaddy, etc.) you must set up forwarding to your broadcaster to have incoming mail log in your nation. This does not affect outgoing mail.