Sending a Newsletter through your NationBuilder Website
NationBuilder has developed a newsletter template tool that makes it easy to set up, arrange, and preview your content. This tutorial will walk you through the steps to create a newsletter for your club using the e-blast capabilities and the newsletter template tool together.
We first recommend gathering all content for your newsletter, including any links and photos, and compiling it in a Microsoft Word or similar document. You will not be able to save a working copy of your newsletter content in NationBuilder’s newsletter tool, so this first step will ensure that a complete version of your work is backed up. If you already have URLs for yours photos, keep those in your draft as well for reference as you build your template in NationBuilder. If you do not already have URLs for your photos, refer to the instructions in the “Create a new newsletter” section below.
Step 1: Create a new newsletter
Hover over the Communications tab of your dashboard and select your broadcaster. Your broadcaster is the email address that will be the ‘sender’ of your club’s emails.
Click Email > New Blast
You will be directed to select a slug (a name) for your newsletter. Choose anything that helps you identify it – the slug will only be for your reference and will not appear in the email. Next, click the yellow button labeled Create and edit email blast.
Step 2: Choose Recipients
Clicking the create and edit email blast button will direct you to choose recipients. To choose recipients for your newsletter, you have a few options.
- Everyone in the database – check Supporters and matching All.
- Select group of people – check Supporters and matching List
- Group of people matching certain criteria, such as current members or Penn Alumni – check Supporters and matching Filter (choose filter based on your criteria)
- Everyone with a tag, such as "Joseph Wharton Dinner 2014 Attendee" – check Supporters and matching Tags and choose based on your criteria
Step 3: Choose Custom Theme
Once you are satisfied with your recipient choice, click the yellow button labeled Save and select theme. On the Theme tab, select Custom Themes rather than Public Themes. From the custom themes area, select the Wharton Leader Newsletter Email theme by clicking ‘switch to.’
Clicking this link will lead you to the Body tab where you can input text into the body of your newsletter – please disregard this area for now, as we will revisit it later on in the tutorial after building the newsletter content.
Step 4: Upload files and to obtain URLs (Optional)
Part of building your newsletter content is obtaining URLs for any photos you would like to include. You cannot upload them directly into the newsletter content builder, so you will need to have the URLs ahead of time. To get a URL for photos you would like to include, move to the Files tab. From there, click the yellow button marked Select files to upload and choose the photos you would like include from your computer. You can obtain the URL for these photos by clicking the link that appears once they are uploaded. Copy and paste those links from the top of your browser to your newsletter draft for reference as your build your newsletter in the next step.
Step 5: Access the NationBuilder newsletter template tool
Now that your e-blast is set up with a theme and recipients, we will use the newsletter template tool provided by NationBuilder to plot out the content that will eventually go in the body of your e-blast.
To access the newsletter template tool, go to [your site URL]/newsletter_template_builder (for example, http://www.whartonnjclub.com/newsletter_template_builder)
Step 6: Add content to the NationBuilder newsletter template tool
The template builder is designed to add each section of your newsletter at a time. If the section you are working on includes a photo, you can begin by adding that photo’s URL to the Image URL box. Once you add the image URL, your photo will appear.
Next, you have the opportunity to add text content to the section. Your Heading should be the call out text for the section. It will appear in more prominent style. Below Heading you can add more content in the Text area.
You can also add custom links to your newsletter section. This is useful for example when highlighting a blog post or event. Edit Mobile Button with text such as Read More or Register. Below the Mobile Button section, add the URL you would like to link to in the Mobile Button Link section.
Keep in mind, if you don’t have a link, photo, or extra text you can always skip boxes. For any field that is required, simply add a blank space before moving to the next field.
Once you are finished with a section, begin your next section by clicking Add New Card at the bottom of the screen. If you ever want to remove a section, click the red Remove box at the top right corner of the section.
Step 7: Validate and obtain code
When you are satisfied with the setup, click Validate to review all links and text. Once you are done customizing the newsletter builder, click Code and you will be presented a string of code. Copy this code and return to your newly created e-blast in NationBuilder. We advise that you leave the newsletter builder window with code open, just in case you wish to make any changes later on.
Step 8: Transfer code to your newsletter e-blast
In the Body section of the e-blast you created, click on the HTML button, then paste the code you generated from the newsletter builder tool into the window that appears.
Step 9: Review and Send
Click Update to return to the e-blast draft. Make sure you add a Subject line as well. From there, you can Save and Preview, then send your e-blast.