Create a Custom Email

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Create a Custom Email
(Creating an e-Newsletter Using the Custom Email Option)

Custom Emails provide flexibility by allowing you to use multiple templates, reuse saved custom templates, reuse saved content, and let you bring in items from the online community to connect people to the site. Custom Emails can be sent on a one-time or recurring basis.

The Email Checklist/Wizard will guide you through creating your Email. Each step will receive a green check mark when the step is completed. Click Save and Continue to save changes on each step or Done to save changes and go back to the Email Homepage.

1. Choose One-Time Custom Email or Recurring Custom Email.

2. Email Details: Enter the necessary email details.

3. Click Save & Continue to save and move on.

4. Choose Template: For custom emails, you have the option to select a Layout and a Design Template or create a new template.

NOTE: Once you choose the template you will not be able to change it. To change the template, you would need to cancel the current email and start again with a new template.

5. Several Layouts and Design Templates are available to use. First, Select Layout (i.e., 2 Column, 3 Column with Header, etc.) and then Select Design Template (i.e., 2 Column with Header 50/50, 2 Column 30/70, etc.) from the thumbnails provided. Or, you have the option of creating your own Layouts and Templates.

NOTE: Once the Design Template is selected and the user moves forward, Select Template is indicated as checked, and is grayed out / inactivated so that it cannot be navigated to again. You must create a new email to change the Template.

6. Click Save & Continue to sav eand move on.

7. Build Content: Use the various modules to add content to your email.

8. Custom Content: Drag and drop the item from the left column under the Custom Content area over to the header section so you can place a banner image into your e-newsletter. Create custom content for your email using the content editor.  This content can be role-based to show different content for different audiences.

Content Version Name:  Enter a name for the content this audience will receive.  Only admins will see this name. (It may be helpful to reflect the Audience in the name).

NOTE:  The initial content version you create will be forced to an audience of "Everyone" by default.   The audience selection tool won’t be displayed.  The Version Name will be “Default for Everyone”.  It will be automatically placed at the end of the Display Priority and cannot be moved or deleted. 

Audience:  Select the audience who will receive this content.  (Everyone is selected by default for the initial version of content you create.)

  • Choose from the previously created list of roles in the dual list box and use the arrows to select.
    • Only members who fit the criteria for a certain role (i.e., Class of 1992, Alumni or Board Members) will be able to see this content.
    • Roles customizes what people see in a form. When you choose that role(s), you indicating that only those groups of people will be able to see/not see. It also lets you target a specific group in your system based on a value they have for a particular field.
  • Deny Access to the following:  You may also exclude certain groups from the Audience by using this checkbox.  Then, choose from the list of roles and use the arrows to select a group to exclude.        

Custom Content:  Enter the custom content for this audience into the content editor.

  • Images: To add an image, click the Image Manager .  Choose the image you want for the header and click Insert
  • Tokens:  You can also include tokens (data fields) to allow for personalization by using the Token List dropdown menu. Using the “FirstName” token will put a personalized greeting using the first name of the recipient on each email that is sent.  Below is a sample message with a token included.

Welcome, ##First Name##.  Enjoy the latest news!

  • Enter the body content of your email.

Click Save Version.  On the next step you can create another content version and also set the priority in which people will see the content.  Click here for more information on Role-based Content.

NOTE:  Recipients will see the content for the first role they meet.  Content for the audience of "Everyone" will be automatically placed at the end of the Content Version Display Priority and cannot be moved or deleted, so that people who meet the criteria for other roles will see the appropriate content.  Also, recipients must meet the criteria for the role the night before the email is sent in order to be placed in the role in nightly processing.

9. On the next screen, there are options for Saved Content.

  • Do not save Content for reuse
  • Save Content for reuse

Saved Content is a location where you can save your content to reuse it in the future. You can find Saved Content items in the following areas:

  • Saved Content Editable:  Users can make changes to Editable content after it is placed into a message. Examples: greeting or message body.
  • Saved Content NOT Editable:  Users cannot make changes to Not Editable content after it is placed into a message. Example: branded logos with special font and/or formatting.
NOTE: Saved Content is also available on the Email Marketing home page under Admin Tools.

10. Click Save Changes and Load Content.

11. Forward to a Friend - Allows your members to forward the message on to someone else. (Tokens will be removed from the forwarded message as well as the Forward to a Friend link and any role based content.)

12. RSS Feed: Drag and drop this optional content into the email if desired.

  • Enter the URL you want to pull into the RSS Feed Module. Make sure you have the URL ready to paste into the spot provided.
  • You can set a limit on the number of items to be pulled in.

13. Click Load Content.

14. Community Content: You are now ready to move Community Content into your e-Newsletter.

NOTE: Community Content consists of items from your Online Community. Some examples of Community Content are Events, Class Notes, News, Donations, and Message Boards. This content is dynamic; therefore, it will change with each recurrence of the message without you having to do anything.
  • Drag and drop Events into the e-Newsletter.
  • The options for displaying events are shown.
  • Make your selections, and click Next.
  • Continue dragging and dropping other pieces of Community Content into your e-Newsletter. You can add numerous content pieces in any content area.

15. Click Save & Continue to save and move on.

16. Choose Recipients - Create/add/upload your distribution list using one or a combination of methods.

Data Viewer – Create a query to retrieve the member information you need. Data Viewer allows you to create a list of people who are in your system (and have valid emails). You can also upload a list of Member IDs/Constituent IDs to create the recipient list. There is a limit of 250,000 addresses that can be added with this method using Data Viewer. (Please see the Data Viewer section for more information on using Data Viewer.) 
    • Upload Member ID csv/xls file (only available in the Email Marketing tool) See Data Viewer for more information on other options.
      • In the Choose Recipients step of the Email Checklist, select Data Viewer.
      • Select Upload Member ID csv/Excel file. (Files with the xlsx extension are not currently supported.)
      • Click Browse to find the file and upload it.
      • Click Next.
Custom Lists – Admins can create custom lists of recipients.  Custom lists allow you to create a list of both members and nonmembers that you email on a repeated basis (or to create a member list that you cannot recreate with a query).  There is limit of 50,000 addresses that can be added using this method.
    • You can create a new list by entering the email addresses in the text box provided or select from a list of previously created lists.
    • Email addresses can be typed in or copied and pasted from a text or Excel file.
    • Each email address must be on a separate line.
    • Only email addresses can be entered. First Name and Last Name cannot be entered using this option.
    • There is a limit of 50,000 email addresses that can be added using this method.
    • If editing a list of over 25,000 Email Addresses, please use Internet Explorer for best results.
Email Address File – This feature allows admins to upload a csv or Excel file of email addresses to create a recipient list. There is limit of 50,000 addresses that can be added using this method.
An Email Address File allows your to create a list of members and nonmembers. If you include first and last name data in your file, you can use First and Last Name tokens, which members as well as nonmembers would see. Nonmembers would not see these tokens in a Custom List, as their data would not be in the system.
    • The file must have the following column order: Email Address, First Name, Last Name.
    • The First Name and Last Name are optional.
    • A header row is not required.  
    •  Excel files with the xlsx extension are not currently supported.

See also Multiple Constituent Records with the Same Email Address

17. Click Save & Continue to save and move on.

18. Send Preview: Click Send Preview to send a Preview. Send Preview allows you to send a test copy of your email to yourself (at the email address on file for the account under which you are logged in), and / or to any other additional addresses. For example, if you have an AOL, Yahoo, Hotmail, MSN or other non-academic or work email account, you may want to test how the message will look when received by your members who subscribe to similar mass market email services.

  • Add recipients to receive the preview email and select the options whether to Customize email content based on Roles and/or Date.
  • Customize email content based on roles: Click this box to view the email with content specific to a particular Community role. For example, you might want to see what the email sent to Students will look like.
  • Customize email content based on date: Click this box to view the email with content specific to a particular date. For example, you might want to see what the email sent on a particular date will look like, as by that date certain News articles (or other dynamic site content) might have expired or become active.

19. Schedule Email: Set the Date, Time, recurrence schedule (if applicable) and Time Zone for sending the Email.  Emails will be sent every hour on the hour.  For example if you schedule the email for 3:30, it will be sent at 4:00.

Tip: Set your date into the future so your email doesn’t get sent earlier than you intended. You can go back later and change the date to send it out when you’re ready to go.

20. Click Save & Continue to save and move on.

21. Release Email: Verify the specifics of the email such as Email Name, From Name, From Email, Estimated number of recipients and the date for which the email is scheduled. Select Save & Continue or Done to send the email to the specified distribution list.

  • There is also an option to add the email to the Design Templates.
  • An email cannot be sent until all parts of the checklist have been completed.

22. The email will then be placed in the Released Email grid. You will have an opportunity to make changes to the email up until the time it is sent. To edit an email, select the name of the email, and choose Move to Drafts from the pop-up box. The checkmark by the Release Email step will be grayed out and you must send another Preview before the email can be released.

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