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
- Select a theme
- Create or delete a custom theme
- Enter and preview content
- Add recipients
- Review and send your email
- Schedule your email
- Clone a blast
- Related HOWTOs
Create a blast
1. There are a couple of 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 Email tab and select New blast.
2. Enter a name (The slug will auto-populate based on the name, but you can change the slug if you like). 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 . You will be directed to the Theme section of your blast.
Note: If you create a new email blast from a clone you will actually land in the Content section.
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:
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 or 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 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 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.
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 next to the theme you want to remove and you'll be taken to the custom email Theme > Current custom theme > Settings.
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.
- 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.
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 recipients or Save and review to be moved to the Review and send section.
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 .
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: .
Enter a new date or time and click Schedule to save your changes.
Click 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.
Note: Scheduling an email blast will prevent you from editing the subject line of your email. You will need to unschedule the blast, edit the subject line, and then reschedule the blast.
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, 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, theme, and content have all been cloned.
It would be valuable to understand the results of your email blast.