In This Article:

    Creating and Sending an Email Blast

    In This Article:

      Overview

      When to use it

      Follow this seven-step process to send email:

      • To your entire supporter or
      • To segments of your supporter list

      How to get there

      Select the Email package from the right column menu.

      email_package.png

      To create a new email blast, select Create Blasts.

      create_blasts.png 

      To edit an existing email blast select List Blasts to see a list of all previous email blasts.  If the email has not yet been sent, you can click Edit (NOTE:  If the email has already been sent, you can only View -- not edit -- the content).

      edit_blast.png

      From this list of saved Salsa email blasts, you can also

      • Copy and recycle content (creating a cloned second copy of an existing email blast)
      • Remove (delete) an email blast (not recommended for blasts you have already sent)
      • Search your email blasts (using the search options at the top)
      • Filter your list of email blasts (using the Show rows where conditions at the top of the list)
      • Export a list of all of your email blasts (using the export options in the lower right)

      Create a Blast

      After you click Create Blasts to begin composing a new email, your workflow will only show one option. Follow these steps to expose the subsequent options of your email workflow:

      1. Give the email a reference name
      2. Select an email template
      3. Save your email blast updates

      Create_blast.png

       After you click the button, the rest of your email workflow will appear.

      blast_workflow.png

      Email Blast Content

      In the Content tab, write the actual email message that your supporters will see in their inboxes.

      From Name:  The name (and optionally, title) the email should appear to be from.

      From Email: A valid email address which the email should appear to be from.

      Reply-To email address: An email address where responses to the email will be directed.

      • We cannot control how mail clients or individual mail recipients will use the Reply-To field. Even if you specify a Reply-To address different from your From address, expect the From address to receive at least some replies.
      • Having the same email address in both the From and Reply-To fields may reduce spam filtering.

      Subject: The subject line of the email.  Both text and HTML versions of the email blast will use the same subject line.  Merge fields (see below) can be used to personalize the subject line.

      • Subject lines of less than 50 characters tend to perform better than longer ones;
      • Spam filters may be suspicious of an exclamation point, or all caps, or the word "FREE!," or any other typical spam red flags (e.g., "Viagra") in your subject line.

      HTML Content:  The HTML Content will be pre-populated with placeholder text and emails from your email template. Replace the placeholder text and images with your email blast content. 

      email_html_content.gif

      Helpful hints for your HTML content:

      Text Content:  As a best practice, you should never send an HTML email without a plain-text twin. To create text content:

      1. Click the Text Content tab to type or paste the plain text version of the email.
      2. Optionally, use the Auto-Generate Text from HTML button to generate the HTML content you've just written as text.
      3. After auto-generating the text content, review and clean up the formatting of the text version.

      text_email_content.png

      Send Options

      These options are rarely used; don't feel badly about skipping this step.  These boxes are all unchecked by default.

      email_send_options.png

      Do not track links:  By default, Salsa will track whether individual recipients click through links in the email blast, in order to generate click-through statistics -- you need do no special setup for such tracking to occur.  If you prefer to disable link tracking in this message, check this box. This will not disable link-tracking for any other email blasts.

      Do not track open rates:  By default, Salsa will track whether individual recipients open the email blast in order to generate open rate statistics -- you need do no special setup for such tracking to occur.  If you prefer to disable open rate tracking in this message, check this box. This will not disable link-tracking for any other email blasts.

      Add to web page:  If your organization is using Salsa's available Email Blast Archive page to allow browsing of past email newsletters, click this box to add this email blast to the public archive page.

      If Syndication Package is Installed the following Option will also be available

      Allow Syndicated Duplicates:  When you syndicate an email blast, you share a copy of the email blast with specified Chapters.  Since a supporter may exist in multiple chapters at once, this creates a situation where the supporter may receive multiple copies of the email blast. To prevent this, by default, Salsa will send only one version of a syndicated email to any given supporter--the first one that gets sent. The Allow Syndicated Duplicates checkbox turns this deduplication process off. If this box is checked, a supporter can receive syndicated copies of an email from all chapters that she/he is a part of.

      Targeting

      Use these tools to decide who will receive this email blast.  You have three options:

      1. Send the email to your entire list.
      2. Send the email to all supporters who meet the conditions of a saved query.
      3. Build a new query and send the email to all supporters who meet those conditions.

      Send to entire list

      Simply click the  button and proceed past this step.

      entire_list.png

      Send to saved query of supporters

      saved_query.png

      Be Advised: Any query that takes more than 60 seconds to complete will be canceled, so keep queries as simple as possible. You can create more complex queries in supporter management, add them to groups, and then run the email query on the group.

        

      Email Blast Step 6: Validation

      In the Validation step, Salsa automatically performs various tests on your email blast to help you avoid some common problem areas. Click any of the More Info links underneath the tests for additional information. 

      Validation.png

      A note about Spam Scores:  Salsa's Spam Scores are derived from the rules in a third party service - SpamAssassin. Use your own judgment, but any email with a Spam Score under 5.0 is generally OK to send. 

      ok_to_send.png

      Send test email

      These tests are great, but nothing beats a test email! Enter comma separated email addresses to test. 

      • Send separate messages testing text-only and HTML content: Remember the HTML and text-only versions of content you created on the content tab? Test them both by clicking this checkbox.
      • Insert test email disclaimer in content: When checked, adds text to the beginning of the test email blast indicating that it's a draft and not ready for deployment.

      We strongly recommend sending test messages of each email blast to multiple email domains, as email providers have varying standards for reading HTML. For example, consider sending the test message to a personal address at Yahoo or Google as well as your organization's email. 

      send_test_email.png

      A bit more about the tests

      Image path check:  Similar to the Link test, this just checks to see whether the code used to insert images into your email blast is formatted correctly. Also similar to the Link test, it won't tell you if your link actually works--again, look at your test email to make sure everything is right! 

      Size:  Checks to see if the size of your email blast is too large. This test will only trigger if you have more than 256K of code or text (which is quite a lot). If this test fails, something may be wrong with your template or the text you entered. 

      Spam checker: Performs a series of industry-standard tests on your email blast to see if it sets off any spam detections. Clicking more info will tell you more about the spam score of your email blast, and what things are contributing to that score. 

      Number of targets: Checks to see that you actually have some targets for the email blast. If your search query was wrong and produced zero targets, this test will warn you. 

      Subject Line:  Verifies that your email has a subject line

      From/reply-to:  Checks to make sure you have an e-mail address listed in the from and reply to fields. These don't have to be real addresses (e.g. it can be "noreply@youroffice.org") but emails sent without this information are frequently blocked as spam. 

      Unsubscribe link:  Checks to see that you have supplied an unsubscribe link in both the HTML and plaintext copies of your email. Again, not having this information in your email blasts increases the chance of them being marked as spam.  

      Microsoft check:  Checks to see if you have embedded code from Microsoft Word in your email blast. This code can ruin your email blast formatting or even block it as spam.

      Links:  Checks to see if links in your email blast are properly formatted. The most common error here will be entering a link as something like www.organization.org instead of http://www.organization.org. The WYSIWYG editor should fix this most times, but occasionally a mistake will slip through.  Note: The Link checking doesn't actually make sure your links are correct or functioning--it just makes sure they're formatted correctly.  Be sure to send yourself a test email and check the links by clicking on them.

      Summary

       At this last step, you'll get a summary of the email blast you've just built.

      email_summary.png

      Content Preview:  Click on the HTML preview and Text preview links to open & close email previews of your email blast's current HTML and Text content.

      Target Query Summary:  Opens a view of your current targeting logic.

      Target Count: This is the number of eligible recipients in your target segment -- that is, the number of emails Salsa will attempt to send.  Note that the number of email recipients identified in the target count may differ from a count of this same segment in the query or report tool.  In order for a supporter to be counted in the target count, two conditions must be met:

      1. Supporter matches the conditions in the query used to target the blast
      2. Supporter is actively subscribed to your list. If the supporter has a negative receive email value, he/she will not be counted.

      A/B Split Tests:  Creating test blasts will divide your blast 3 ways (an A/B test), so that you can test the performance of different subject lines and content.

      Schedule and Submit:  Everything ready to go? You have two options:

      1. Send the email right now, OR
      2. Scheduled it to be sent at a later time.

      To send the email right now, click the big, red  button without making any other adjustments.

      To schedule the email for a later send date:

      1. Click the blue Reschedule link
      2. Enter the date and time that you wish to send the blast by manually typing it into the box OR by clicking in the date box and selecting from the pop-up calendar
      3. Click Reschedule blast to save the new date
      4. Click button

      schedule_blast.gif
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      Comments

      9 comments
      • The "submit email blast now" button is very confusing when a scheduled send is set up. A message should pop up specifying that the send will happen at the requested time.

      • I agree ^

      • That is precisely why I looked this up -- Submit Email Blast Now sound like "now" and then the pop up says are you sure you want to send xxx emails now. Very confusing indeed.

      • I'm here the same way as Erica. I wasn't sure if the red button would send it in the future, or immediately.

        Also, needing to click the reschedule button is confusing.

        The date should just be set, and then the red button should read "Schedule to send email at [time]." and reflect the value in the date field.

        Then, clicking it should show an alert box that confirms, with the time specified, again.

        Also, the time needs to be checked so it's in the future - it should be at least 10 minutes into the future, or what's the point?

      • Hi everyone,

        Thank you for your collective feedback on the usability of the "Submit Email Blast  Now" button.  I've submitted a feature request to a development team which will be evaluated for inclusion in upcoming releases.

        We appreciate your ideas!

      • Is there a way to cancel an email blast delivery if you have scheduled it to happen in the future?

        For example, let's say that someone screwed up the targeting of an email blast, or for some other reason, someone decides to not send the email blast at that time.

        We don't want to actually delete the email because we may decide to send later or want to change the targeting.

        Thanks,

         John

      • Hi John,

        In this case, make a copy of the scheduled email blast, modify the copy, and then delete the original.  That should take care of it!

        Best,

        Rebecca

      • I notice that mailto: links are not tracked...obviously, as they wouldn't work if they were.

        Now that there is a universally recognized tel: link for telephone numbers, could you make it so those links don't get tracked as well? It would be nice for us to include clickable phone numbers in emails without having to disable all link tracking.

      • This is all so confusing, not user friendly.  

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