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Newsletters

Localist’s newsletter builder provides a simple and quick way to construct and send emails to your audience to remind them what’s important, popular or new in the community.

 

In this article you’ll find:

  • Adding and Testing a Newsletter
  • Newsletter Recipients
  • Newsletter Themes
  • Custom Newsletter Content
  • External Mail Systems
  • Newsletters FAQ
  • Related Articles

 

 

Adding and Testing a Newsletter

To add a Newsletter:

1. In your Admin Dashboard, navigate to Content > Newsletters

2. Select +Add Newsletter

3. Complete the Newsletter fields:

  • Active:  In order for your newsletter to send on the scheduled date and time, the newsletter must be checked as Active. After a newsletter is automatically sent it will need to be rechecked as Active.
    • For example, if a newsletter is scheduled for every Wednesday at 9 AM, then after that time and before the next Wednesday, the newsletter will need to be reactivated.
  • Name:  This will appear as the subject in the email.
  • From Name:  This will appear as the name of the sender. A common from name, is the organization’s name.
  • From Email:  This will appear as the sender email and will field any replies if allowed.
  • Send Every:  You have the choice of daily or once a week on a specific day. After each send you will have to recheck the newsletter as active. As for time, there are six options, but please note that they are Eastern Time and the times are approximate. 
  • Theme:  You can either use the default theme or select a custom theme that you have added on the newsletter landing page.
  • Automate Events:  If this is selected then your newsletter will pull events according to Localist’s trending algorithm. If you wish to manually select unrelated events then you will need to uncheck this field and select save changes. After saving, you will see a Content section appear on the right-hand side. Selecting +Add Content will take you to a custom form.

 

– Note –

If a featured event is pulled in then the newsletter will automatically be divided into three possible sections:  Featured Events, Trending Events, and Popular Places.

 

  • Number of Events:  You have several options between 1 event and 30 events.
  • Sort Events:  When automating events, you can choose to keep the list sorted by popularity or by date.
  • Event Type, Department, etc. (any filter you have set up will appear with a drop down):  If specified, then any event that is assigned this filter can be potentially pulled into the newsletter.
  • Group:  This list corresponds to the group landing pages you have set up.
  • Date Range:  You can specify to pull from a window of one day with options up to 6 months. However, the number of events you have specified to include can fall in a shorter date range than specified.
  • Automate Places:  If selected, Localist’s trending algorithm will include a list of popular places under the list of events in the newsletter. Like events, if you wish to manually select unrelated places then you will need to uncheck this field and select save changes. After saving, you will see a Content section appear on the right-hand side. Selecting +Add Content will take you to a custom form.
  • Number of Places:  You have several options between 1 event and 30 places.
  • Place Type:  You can pull in only those places that match a specific place type.

 

– Note –

The fields under events, such as event type or department are match any. If an event matches at least one of the specified filters then it can potentially be included in the newsletter.

 

4. If you’d like the newsletter to send on the next available day as specified, then CHECK ACTIVE! If the event is not checked as active then the newsletter will not send.

5. Save Changes

 

To test a Newsletter:

While in the newsletter’s edit form, you will see Email Preview and Browser Preview in the blue bar.

  • Email Preview:  This option will prompt you to enter an email address so that Localist can send you an email version of your completed newsletter.
  • Browser Preview:  This option will open the newsletter in another browser.

 

Newsletter Recipients

By default, Newsletters send to  all users who are registered in Localist. However, you can upload your own list of recipients to send newsletters to specific target audiences. Your custom Newsletter recipient list can have up to 4,000 emails included.

– Note –

If using a custom Newsletter list, there is a limit of 4,000 emails per Newsletter, and not per upload. This includes Listserv emails as one email address.

To add custom Newsletter recipients:

1. In your admin dashboard, navigate to Content > Newsletters

2. Select +Add Newsletter or select an existing newsletter.

3. If you are editing an existing newsletter then you will see a Recipients section to the right of the edit form. If you are creating a new newsletter then you will need to build your content and save changes before this will appear.

4. Select Change Recipients

5. To add recipients, you can either search by users in the system individually by entering a name in the search bar and selecting from the drop down or you can upload your own list by clicking +Add Recipients.

6. Overwrite List:  If the newsletter already has an existing list of custom recipients or if you are to modify the initial list in the future, checking Overwrite List will remove the existing email addresses and replace them with the emails you are adding. If you do not check Overwrite List then the new emails will just be added to the list of existing emails.

7. Add emails and Save Changes

  • Email Addresses:  You can enter email address, user name on each line or you can just list email addresses on their own line.
  • Upload CSV:  Your file should be structured with one email and one name per line. After building your spreadsheet you will need to export the file as a CSV.

 

Newsletter Themes

A custom newsletter theme allows you to modify the default newsletter theme to match your organization’s brand.

Default Theme:

Branded Theme Example:

 

Adding a Newsletter Theme:

1. In your admin dashboard, navigate to Content > Newsletters

2. On the Newsletters page you will see a section titled Themes.

3. Select +Add Newsletter Theme and Save Changes

  • Name:  Only used for identifying purposes for admins
  • Copy From:  you can copy the HTML code from the default theme to modify or you can select none, which will give you a blank start.

 

Basic Newsletters Customizations

If you copy your newsletter theme off of the default then you will see the following blocks of code where you can easily swap our color hex codes and font families:

{% assign link_color = ‘#00acc1’ %}
{% assign top_bar_color = ‘#00acc1’ %}
{% assign top_bar_text_color = ‘#fff’ %}

{% assign button_color = ‘#00acc1’ %}
{% assign button_text_color = ‘#ffffff’ %}

{% assign body_text_color = ‘#444’ %}

{% assign header_font_family = “Raleway, ‘Helvetica Neue’, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif” %}
{% assign main_font_family = “‘PT Sans’, ‘Helvetica Neue’, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif” %}
{% assign im_going_text = “I’m Interested” %}
{% assign follow_place_text = “Follow” %}

Assigning a Theme to a Newsletter

1. From the newsletter page (Content > Newsletters ) select an existing newsletter or +Add Newsletter.

2. You will see a field called Theme with a drop-down for you to select the desired theme.

 

Custom Newsletter Content

When building a newsletter, Localist can either automatically pull in content according to the filters, etc. you have specified or you can add custom content that allows you to pull in individual events.

 

Adding Custom Content

1. In your admin dashboard, navigate to Content > Newsletters

2. Select +Add Newsletter

3. Whether it is a new or previously created newsletter, you will need to uncheck automate events and automate places, which will hide the other event filters, etc. If the newsletter is new then uncheck automate events and select save changes. After saving you will see a Content section appear on the right-hand side. If you are editing a previously made newsletter then this section will already be displayed. Save Changes.

4. Select +New Content (top of the right column)

5. Custom Content Send Fields

  • Active:  Just like the main newsletter content, custom content must also be checked as active before each send.
  • Date:  You will have the option to include the content in tomorrow’s newsletter and up to 15 days in the future. The date must match the day specified in the main newsletter. For example, if the main newsletter is set to send on the next Wednesday, but the custom content is set to send on a Thursday’s date then it will not be included.

6. Featured, Events, and Places: These portions of the custom content form allow you to mimic the functionality of the default newsletter by manually assigning items to each section.

  • Title:  This is the main header for the section. (Below: Featured Events )
  • Subtitle:  This is displayed underneath the main header and can be used to add context for your audience. (Below:  “Here are some obscure events…”)

7. Select content for each section. After the Featured, Events, and Places fields for assigning a Title and Subtitle you should see another Events and Places section with fields to add items.

  • If you do not see this section then automate events is still checked. Navigate back to the main newsletter, uncheck automate events then save changes. After saving, click add content and you should see this section now.

8. To add an event, start typing the event’s title and select the event from the drop down. After selecting the event, it will be added to a list below. Clicking Add Feature will include the event in the Featured Events section.

  • Once two or more events are added then you can manually arrange the events in a custom order by selecting the grey down or up arrows to the left of the event titles.
  • If an event is not added to the Featured Events section then it will be added to the Events section.

9. To add a place, start typing a place’s name and select from the drop down. The places list order can also be rearranged by using the grey down or up arrows.

10. Body:  This space can be used to include non-event content to your newsletter.

11. Once you are finished adding your content confirm that the date selected matches the day the main newsletter will send. Once confirmed, CHECK ACTIVE and Save Changes.

12. After the custom content is saved as “active” then the custom content’s date will be listed under content on the main newsletter’s edit form.

13. Now that your custom content is saved, navigate back to the newsletter’s main edit form.

14. Check Active in the main edit form. Save Changes.

— Note —

Leave automate events or automate places unchecked if you have added custom content for each as this will override the custom content.

 

Testing Custom Content:

While in the custom content form, you will see Email Preview and Browser Preview in the grey bar.

  • Email Preview:  This option will prompt you to enter an email address so that Localist can send you an email version of your completed newsletter.
  • Browser Preview:  This option will open the newsletter in another browser.

 

External Mail Systems

Looking to use Localist with MailChimp or another external mail system? No problem! You can export content built using Localist’s newsletter tool. This will grant you access to more robust newsletter metrics while still allowing you to quickly and efficiently populate a newsletter with event-related content.

 

Building or Identifying Content to Use

There are two ways to accomplish this, via the Newsletter builder or the Widget builder.

Newsletters:

1. In your admin dashboard, navigate to Content > Newsletters

2. On the Newsletters page, select an existing newsletter or to create a new newsletter, click +Add Newsletter

3. While in the newsletter’s edit form, you will see Email Preview and Browser Preview above the content.

  • Email Preview:  This option will prompt you to enter an email address so that Localist can send you an email version of your completed newsletter.
  • Browser Preview:  This option will open the newsletter in another browser.

4. Select Browser Preview

5. While on the Browser Preview page, right click and view the page source.

6. Copy the resulting HTML and paste it into your external mail client.

 

Widgets:

1. Navigate via Content > Widget Builder

2. After specifying the widget parameters, select the Preview Widget button.

3. While on the Preview Widget page, right click and view the page source.

4. Copy the resulting HTML and paste it into your external mail client.

 

Exporting Localist User Data

If you would like to include Localist users in a newsletter being sent from an external service follow these steps:

1. In your admin dashboard, navigate to Users > All

2. Select Download User List

This will export a CSV of  all available user information.

— Note —

Only platform admins have access to the Users page.

FAQ: Newsletters

Q:  Can we use a Listserv?

A:  Yes! Just set the listserv address as a custom recipient.

 

Q:  Who can create Newsletters?

A:  Only users with Platform Admin privilege can access, create, and send newsletters from the admin dashboard.

 

Q:  Why can’t Event Admins create Newsletters?

A:  The newsletter builder is only accessible to platform admins for several reasons:

  • An overwhelming majority of our customers have requested that not only should event admins remain limited in their capabilities on the platform, but that the permission level should be even more restrictive.
  • Most importantly, since newsletters can be sent to all users, which for most platforms is thousands, then only the most trusted users should have access. Allowing newsletters to made made by more than just key managers also opens the risk of over saturating users’ inboxes with emails. This is the same reason why event admins cannot access the users list in admin.
  • In the same vein, sending newsletters goes beyond the scope of event management (adding & editing items), which is the primary function of an event admin, and crosses into communications and marketing. In our experience, the bottom line is that if a user can be trusted enough to create and send newsletters on the organization’s behalf then they can also be trusted to not change calendar settings. With that being said, nothing in Localist can be done anonymously.

 

Q:  Why are there pre-selected times to send Newsletters?

A:  7AM, 8AM, 9AM, 12PM, 2PM, and 4PM have been pre-selected for your choosing as they are the times that have shown the highest amount of traffic for newsletters.

 

Q:  How do Users subscribe to a particular Newsletter?

A:  It’s either all or nothing. The reason behind this is many newsletters can be added or removed at any time by editors, and custom recipients can be defined on a per-newsletter basis. Allowing the user to pick and choose which newsletters they see would require them to continually check their settings to see if new newsletters have been added, and if a Custom Recipients list is defined for a newsletter, they’d never get it, even if it were in their list.

 

Q:  Why does a Newsletter have to be rechecked as “Active” after each send? Can that be changed for our platform?

A:  Changing the activation on a newsletter is not a per-platform setting and it’s something we have to go with the consensus on, which is it deactivating after every send. This is pretty standard for any newsletter platforms out there, like MailChimp. This ensures that newsletters aren’t sent automatically when they are intended to not be sent.

 

Q:  How is Newsletter traffic separated from other traffic?

A:  In Google Analytics, Localist marks any traffic coming to the main site, such as newsletters and widgets. For specifics you’ll see traffic appearing as a different “utm_source.”

 

 

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