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How to create an email blast

Email blasting is a powerful tool for any organization. It allows you to quickly and effectively communicate with your supporters to promote action. This HOWTO will teach you how to create a blast – add recipients, choose a theme, and enter content. You can preview your blast before sending it or schedule it for a later time.

Table of Contents

Create a blast

1. There are two places to create a new email:

  • Click the Communication tab to go to your list of broadcasters. Click the New Email Blast quick link beneath the name of the broadcaster.


  • Select the broadcaster you want to use to send the blast by going to Communication > [Select broadcaster]. Click the New Email Blast quick link beneath the Broadcaster name, or go to the Email tab and select New blast.



2. Enter a slug and description. A slug is the name of your email. Leave an optional short description or note in the “Description” text box.

3. If you are including links to your website in your blast, consider checking the provided checkbox. When checked, forms on your website will auto-populate with email information from the recipient’s profile. This could increase the number of people who complete the form, but could cause confusion if the email is forwarded to another recipient.

For example, you send an email blast with a link to your website's online petition. When Jane Doe opens your email and clicks on the link to sign the petition, the form will already have her email address field filled out. She only needs to type in her name and click "Sign petition" in order to take the action.  

4. If you’d like to copy content from a drafted or sent mailing, you can use the Clone dropdown.

5. Click Create and edit email blast Create and edit. You will be directed to the “Recipients” section of your blast.

Add recipients

Select recipients for your blast.

1. Decide whether you are sending this blast to supporters or prospects based on your recipients' support statuses. Take a moment to learn more about emailing prospects and how this might affect your email deliverability.

 2. Select recipients based on a list, tag, or saved filter. For example, you may add the subscribers of your weekly newsletter by adding all supporters with the tag “weekly newsletter.” Alternatively, you may choose “All” and select all supporters in your nation, or all prospects. Remember that it is good practice to segment your email list in order to increase your email deliverability.

3. Click Save and select themeSave and select theme button. This will direct you to the Theme section of your email blast.

Select a theme

Under Theme you may choose from a selection of available stock themes. Select a theme by hovering over the thumbnail image and click Use theme. This will save your selected theme and direct you to the “Body” section of your email.

Here are the stock email themes that are currently available:

eblast_aware.png Aware
eblast_basic_logo.png Basic with logo
eblast_busybiz.png BusyBiz
eblast_cityzen_blue.png CityZen Blue
eblast_cityzen_red.png CityZen Red
eblast_civitas.png Civitas
eblast_collective_blue.png Collective Blue
eblast_collective_green.png Collective Green
eblast_basic.png Email Basic
eblast_event.png Event
eblast_fundraiser.png Fundraiser
eblast_minimal.png Minimal
eblast_newsletter.png Newsletter
eblast_paper.png Paper
eblast_presence.png Present
eblast_resolve.png Resolve
eblast_verve.png Verve
eblast_victory_blue.png Victory Blue
eblast_victory_green.png Victory Green

You may return to the Theme section at any time to select a different theme. To create a custom theme, see details below. 

When you create a new email blast, keep in mind that the most recently used theme for the specific broadcaster will automatically be selected.

Create and delete a custom theme

If you do not want to use a stock theme, you may create your own custom theme.

To create a custom theme:

1. Under the Theme tab click on New custom theme.

2. Name your custom theme. Check the “Clone your current theme” checkbox to use your current stock theme as a base template.

3. Click the Create Theme Create theme button.

4. You will be directed to the HTML editor, where you can make changes to the template. Learn more about liquid in NationBuilder templates

5. Click Save and publish Save and publish to publish your new theme. Click Save draft to remove any changes you made. 

You can use your saved custom theme for future email blasts. When you create a new email, go to Theme > Custom themes


All previously created custom themes will be listed. To use one of your previously created themes, click on switch to next to the name of the theme you want.

Switch to themes

After selecting your theme, you will be taken to the “Body” section of your email blast.


To delete a custom theme:

1. Under the Theme tab, select Custom themes.

2. Select the pencil icon_edit.png icon next to the theme you want to remove and you'll be taken to the custom email Theme > Current custom theme > Settings.

3. Click the Delete theme button_delete_email_custom_theme.png button from the bottom right-hand corner to remove the custom theme. If you are trying to remove a custom theme that has already been used before, you will be unable to remove the theme.

Enter and preview content

To enter content and images for your email blast, click the Content tab of your blast.

1. The default sender of your blast is the name of your broadcaster. Change the sender by entering a new name in the “From” field. 

2. Enter a subject line for your email in the “Subject” field.

3. Enter content for the body of your email AKA your message to people.

4. You can upload image files by clicking on + Add > Image

Note: If you want to attach additional files, such as a .pdf, we recommend that you store these files on a cloud storage service, such as Dropbox or Google Drive, and link to these files within your blast. We do not support file attachments to an email blast as these file types tend to be larger, increasing your chances of triggering spam filters and preventing your blast from reaching your recipients.

5. You can also add buttons to email blasts. You can so so by clicking on + Add > Button. Buttons can be can be completely customized by you to determine size, color, call to action, link (to URL), etc.

6. Personalize your blast using smart fields. This allows you to pull in information from a person’s profile including:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Phone number
  • Donation information
  • Membership information
  • Point person
  • Public profile

7. When you save your content, the preview will refresh and update with your changes. See how your email will look by scrolling below the content area to the “Preview” section. Note that you can preview it in regular desktop email format, mobile device format and text format by clicking the corresponding button. 

8. Send yourself a test email before you send your blast. Enter the email of your choice in the text box. Click Send test email.

Clone a blast

Cloning an email blast allows you to create a new blast that is a copy of all the content from a sent or draft blast - including the settings, files, recipients, theme, and content.

You can clone a blast in two places:

  • When you create a new blast, click the menu to select a draft or sent mailing slug to clone.
    The mailing slugs are listed in reverse order of creation (newest first).
    If you have more than 30 email blasts, there is an option to type and search for the correct mailing slug.
  • To create a copy of a blast you are editing, click on the Settings tab. Then, click the Clone this email button and you will be redirected to the new mailing page with that mailing slug already selected.

Once you've created your new email blast, you'll see that the settings, files, recipients, theme, and content have all been cloned.

Note: You cannot clone A/B test emails at this time. Email A/B testing is only available to those on the Team plan or above.

Review and send your email

Before you send or schedule your email, you can review the details of your email blast - including how it looks, the recipient list and the content. If you need to make any changes, you can return to the relevant tab and make edits.

Click Send email now to XX people  to send your email blast immediately. This button will always display the number of recipients. If you do not see the option to send your email, check to see if you are still in your trial period. Email blasting is only available once your nation is out of trial. 

Once you have sent your email, view the results by going to the Recipients or Dashboard areas of your blast. 

Learn more about your email blast results.

Schedule your email 

If you want to schedule your email for a later time, click Schedule First schedule button.

A pop-up box will appear. Select a date and time. The delivery must be scheduled at least one hour in the future. Click Schedule to confirm.

Click on the blue link to adjust the scheduled time: Scheduled time.

Enter a new date or time and click Schedule to save your changes.

Click Unschedule Unschedule to cancel your blast. You will be asked via pop-up to confirm that you'd like to unschedule the email, click Yes. View all scheduled emails by going to [Broadcaster] > Email > Scheduled

 Next steps

It would be valuable to understand the results of your email blast

How to optimize email deliverability

Understanding email consent

How to maintain a healthy email list

Understanding spam

Custom logo for email blasts

Issues and suggestions on our radar

There are some issues related to creating an email blast that have come to our attention. We are monitoring their importance to the community on the product issues and suggestions page. You can follow each of the below issues to keep updated on their status.

Report of file types not uploading correctly to emails

Giving the option to view an email online

Simultaneously create blog post and email blast

If you’re unclear on how this feature works, please ask a question. If you would like to see changes to this feature, please submit a suggestion.