1. Find your audience
  2. Create and send your email blast
  3. Follow-up

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We know how important it is to send emails, and not just any emails, but really good ones. If you’re in charge of sending emails, you may face the need to increase your open rate, click-through rate, and/or conversion rate. NationBuilder allows you to really dig into data and send targeted emails to people in your nation. Taking the time to understand your audience and send them content they are interested in is key to getting your emails opened and acted upon.

Step 1: Find your audience

To start, you need to decide on the group of people you'd like to send your email to. Once you decide, you'll search your database for people that are the right audience for the content in your email.

For example, I have an upcoming event in LA that I need volunteers for. So, I'm going to find all my volunteers in the LA area, and am going to send them an email to solicit some help. 

First, navigate to the People section and click on the Filter button. 

  1. Click on Add criteria and find the criteria you'd like people to match. In the example above, I'm looking for people who have been tagged as volunteers, and live within 30 miles of Los Angeles, CA. 

2. Click Save Filter As...

3. Give your filter a name and click Save.

You'll be able to use this saved filter to send your email blast to these people later. 

Step 2: Create and send your email blast

Next, you're going to create and send/schedule your email blast.

There are two places to create a new email:

  • Click Communication to access your list of broadcasters. Click the New Email Blast on the righthand side.
  • Select the broadcaster you want to use to send the blast by going to Communication > [Select broadcaster]. Click on the Email tab and select New blast.

You'll be taken to the new blast page.

  1. 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.

2. 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.  

3. If you’d like to copy content from a drafted or sent mailing, you can use the Clone dropdown.

4. 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 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.

You may return to the Theme section at any time to select a different theme. When you create a new email blast, keep in mind that the most recently used theme for the specific broadcaster will automatically be selected.

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. You can upload image files by clicking + Add > Image.

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

4. Click Save and continue. 

Add recipients

Select recipients for your blast.

1. Select the Filter radio button.

2. Select the filter you saved earlier from the "filtered by" dropdown menu. 

3. Scroll to the bottom and click Save recipients or Save and review.

Review and schedule your email 

Under the Review and send tab you'll find a final preview of your email as well as the ability to send immediately or schedule the email to go out later.

You can send your email immediately by clicking Send email now to XX people or you can schedule your email by clicking the Schedule button.

If you 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

Step 3: Follow-up

Now that you've sent your email blast, you'd like to know how many people didn't open it, and follow up with those folks again. Email blast filters are the most useful way to find people who haven't opened or even clicked on your email blasts. The more data you collect allows you to further refine targets, for example, I can find all the people in my nation that haven't opened or clicked on an email blast in a month, six months, year, etc. 

1. Click on Add criteria and find the criteria "Opened email blast from" and change "has" to "has not."

2. Click Save Filter As... Give your filter a name

Using this filter, you can now follow the steps outlined in Step 2 to create and send another email blast specifically to these folks

You're well on your way to becoming an email blast champion! Remember, taking the time to understand your audience and send them content they are interested in will help raise your open rate and engage with your supporters in a meaningful way.

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