Create an email blast using the classic editor

Sending bulk email is a powerful engagement tactic. It allows you to quickly and effectively message your subscribers with calls to action.

Updated over a week ago

📌 Note: A/B Testing availability differs per plan. For more information on plan types please see the add-ons page in your nation.

Table of Contents

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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 button on the right side of the page.

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 from previous blast" dropdown menu.

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

Our default themes all use our drag-and-drop email building experience. Choose the one that looks right for you, noting that you can edit colors in the email builder itself.

Note: If you prefer our classic email editor (which allows you to edit HTML directly), select one of the classic themes listed below the default options.

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:

Under the Communications tab choose your Broadcaster and click on the New Custom Theme button under the Custom themes tab

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

2. Click the Create Theme button.

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

4. 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 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 Email tab, select Custom themes.

2. Select the edit button 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.

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.

1. You can also add buttons to email blasts. You can do 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.

2. 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

2. When you save your content, the preview will refresh and update with your changes. Note that you can preview it in regular desktop email format, mobile device format and text format by clicking the corresponding button. 

Send yourself a test email before you send your blast. Click Send test email and enter the email address(es) in the text box. Press Send test email.

📌 Note: You cannot send a test message while in trial. Navigate to 'Contacts and billing' > Plan in the top right of your control panel to end trial mode.

When you're finished, click Save and continue.

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 Update recipients to save your selection and Save and continue 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 gray date/time button 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

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:

  • 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.

  • When you create a new blast on the bottom of the settings step, click the dropdown Clone from previous blast.

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

👉🏼 Next steps

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