Newsletter Overview

Any type of e-mail campaign can be handled by the Newsletter feature that is already pre-built into your web site.  Your resident web developer (ie, Shaun) has to first set up a template for you, but otherwise you can create/edit/send newsletters once your e-mail template has been created.  Note:  Please do not click “Manage Templates” to change a template – just let me make changes to your template, unless you have advanced knowledge of HTML.

Further information on the newsletter module, including design guidelines, can be found at http://www.mojoportal.com/usingthenewsletter.aspx.

 

Sending Out An Evite That Your Web Developer Has Already Created For You

  1. Log into your site as an admin using your eID.
  2. Go to the administration menu (click the “Key” icon or “Administration” link on your page)
  3. Click “Newsletter Administration”
  4. Next, click “View/Edit Drafts” next to the name of your newsletter in the list.
  5. Next click the name of the letter that was created for you.
  6. After you have reviewed the newsletter, enter your e-mail address and click the “Send Preview” button to send an e-mail to yourself. It’s always best to send a preview to yourself first just to make sure nothing is amiss within your chosen e-mail client (eg, Outlook).  Thereafter, you can either forward the e-mail or use the same text box to enter the e-mail address(es) of your chosen recipients before clicking “Send Preview” again.  If you are planning to send the e-mail to numerous recipients, your resident web developer can load a subscriber list into the site for you.

 

Linking To A Newsletter

If you’ve already created a newsletter but want to link to it from your site (or provide a “View In Browser” link within your e-letter itself), here’s how:

  1. Navigate to your previously-created newsletter from the admin menu (Newsletter Administration –> View/Edit Drafts –> Your Newsletter Name)
  2. Copy the url of that page.  It should look something like http://YOURDOMAIN/LetterEdit.aspx?l=4003f4cc-8be9-4cc8-ac46-1006287cdb30&letter=XXX
  3. Next follow the process outlined at page-links to create a new link.
  4. When pasting your link into the editor, be sure to change LetterEdit.aspx to LetterView.aspx, leaving everything else unchanged.  Eg, an example url might look like http://www.studentaffairs.colostate.edu/eletter/LetterView.aspx?l=4003f4cc-8be9-4cc8-ac46-1006287cdb30&letter=079b73ab-adf3-49c7-adb5-1b63b9b32cc1:Link to Newsletter

 

Creating a Newsletter

Assuming you already have an e-mail campaign template (again, contact Shaun to have this created for you), you can take the following steps to create your newsletter:

  1. Log in to your site as an admin using your eID.
  2. Go to the administration menu (click the “Key” icon on your page)
  3. Click “Newsletter Administration”
  4. If there is nothing on the ensuing page, then Shaun has to first create a template for you.  Otherwise, click “View/Edit Drafts” to create or view your e-mail campaign.  Usually we’ll create a template for you called “Mailings” “Newsletter” or something to that effect.  Just click the “View/Edit Drafts” link next to whatever title we gave your newsletter.
  5. Click “New Letter” to create a new letter.
  6. Enter a Subject for your letter and click “Save”
  7. Next to “HTML Templates”, select the template we created.  It’s usually called by the same name as your department.  Eg, “vets” for Veteran Services.
  8. Click “Load HTML Template”
  9. Edit your newsletter as desired, then click “Save” again.  Note: If the dimensions of the editor are too small to see the full-size of your newsletter, then simply click the “Maximize the Editor Size” button within your Editor’s top panel to go full-screen view:  Maximize Editor
  10. If your newsletter has an issue/volume #, be sure to update it.
  11. If your newsletter has a “View In Browser” link that people can click to see the newsletter in their browser, be sure to update this link in every e-letter you send out.
  12. When you are finished with the newsletter, click the “Send Preview” button to send an e-mail to the Marketing office for proofing (if you’re a lucky individual you will be able to enter your own e-mail address to be able to send yourself a proof ).  We will then forward you a proofed copy as soon as possible, which you can send to whomever you’d like!  If you are proofing the e-letter yourself, always be sure to look carefully at the newsletter’s appearance in Outlook and Gmail, as well as the functionality of the links contained in the letter, before forwarding it to your distribution list.

 

Editing a Newsletter

Editing an existing newsletter is very similar to creating a new one:

  1. Follow Steps 1-4 in the above section entitled, “Creating a Newsletter”
  2. Click the title of your mailing to go into edit mode.
  3. Change whatever you desire, then click the “Save” button in order to save your changes.
  4. Follow Step 10 in the above section in order to send the Marketing office a preview of your newsletter, which we will then proof/forward to you so that you can forward it on to your distribution list.

 

Sending a Newsletter

There are 2 ways you can choose to send out your newsletter; either using your content management system’s built in “Send to Subscribers” button, or you can use the ACNS list-serv.

Note that the ACNS list-serv will strip out any HTML so that your newsletters become plain text.  If you use your CMS to send out the newsletter, subscribers can receive HTML (ie, “pretty”) newsletters.  The only downside to using the built-in system is that you will need to have your resident web developer (eg, Shaun or Steve) load your subscriber list into the CMS.

Loading Subscriber List From ACNS to your CMS

For us to be able to load your subscriber list, we will need you to do the following:

  1. Visit http://www.acns.colostate.edu/?page=listserv and click “See who is on a list”
  2. Fill out the form to receive an e-mail with all your subscribers
  3. Copy/extract out all the e-mail addresses (eg, into Excel) from that e-mail and send to us (or just forward the e-mail).  We can then add them to the system for you.
  4. Alternatively, you could just send out an e-mail to all of your subscribers instructing them to sign-up to receive your newsletter via the subscription form on your site (see below for directions on how to add this sign-up form)

Using the Built-In Newsletter System

  1. First create your newsletter using the steps denoted above.
  2. Next we need to provide subscribe/unsubscribe functionality to your users.  To handle subscriptions, create a newsletter page on your site (if it doesn’t already exist) and then add the module “Newsletter Sign-Up Form” to the page.  Now your users will see your newsletter(s) and will be able to subscribe to the newsletter(s) they choose.  Eg:Newsletter Sign Up Form

    Note: When users enter their e-mail address and click Subscribe, they will receive one confirmation e-mail with a link they will need to click in order to be added to your CMS’s subscriber list.  This is a necessary step to prevent spam and to ensure that users truly do want to opt-in to receive your newsletters.

  3. To handle the unsubscribe piece, you or your resident web dev will need to add the following tag somewhere to your newsletter (ideally in the template so you don’t have to keep adding it back to new letters): #unsubscribe#.  The system won’t let you click “Send to Subscribers” until that token exists on both the HTML/plain text versions of your newsletter.
  4. Voila.  Now when you create new letters, all you have to do is click “Send to Subscribers” and your new letter will be sent out.  Users who have subscribed to your list will receive the letter and will also see an unsubscribe link on the letter that, once clicked, will remove them from the list

Using ACNS

To send out a newsletter using ACNS, all you need to do is simply paste a link to your newsletter:

  1. Visit the administration page on your site where you created your newsletter (eg, Newsletter Administration –> View/Edit Drafts –> My Newsletter)
  2. Copy the url of that page.  It should look something like http://YOURDOMAIN/LetterEdit.aspx?l=4003f4cc-8be9-4cc8-ac46-1006287cdb30&letter=XXX
  3. Paste the url into a new browser window, but change LetterEdit.aspx to LetterView.aspx, leaving everything else unchanged.  Eg, an example url might look like http://www.studentaffairs.colostate.edu/eletter/LetterView.aspx?l=4003f4cc-8be9-4cc8-ac46-1006287cdb30&letter=079b73ab-adf3-49c7-adb5-1b63b9b32cc1
  4. That url should be the address for your newsletter.  If the newsletter looks good to you, reference that url when communicating with your subscribers.

 

 

Creating a Newsletter Template

Newsletter templates should be created with care, given that they must work across all major e-mail clients (and given that they are an extension of your office/site’s brand, and may be reaching a large audience).  If you have been given approval to use a set design for your templates, and already have the HTML for your template, you can create one given the following steps:

  1. Log into your site as an admin using your eID
  2. Go to the administration menu (click the “Key” icon on your page)
  3. Click “Newsletter Administration”
  4. Click “Manage Templates”
  5. Click “Add New Template”
  6. Give the template a title and click Save
  7. Click Source View
  8. Paste in your template’s code
  9. Click Source Code again to view what your template looks like.  Click Save again to save your work.
  10. If you’d like to send a preview to yourself, enter your e-mail address and click “Send Preview”