Mass Mailings & CiviMail

Mass Mailings & CiviMail

The Difference Between Sending an Email and a CiviMail Mailing

CiviCRM has two ways for you to contact your constituents via email: Send Mail to Contact and CiviMail. Though the end result is the same, they are created differently and offer different benefits.

Send Mail to Contacts

CiviMail

For more information on working with email and CiviMail, see http://en.flossmanuals.net/CiviCRM/WhatAreMailingAndMassMailing.

What are Tokens?

Tokens in CiviMail are placeholders for fields of data in your database that are replaced with their specific values when the mailing is sent. There are tokens for contact data as well as tokens for taking actions.

Handy tokens include:

For a complete list of contact data tokens, see:
CiviCRM.org: Mail-merge Tokens for Contact Data.

For a complete list of action tokens, see:
CiviMail Action Tokens.

Create and Send an Email

Sending an Email in CiviCRM is almost identical to sending an email through your traditional email client (Outlook, Yahoo, MAC Mail, etc.)

  1. In the Administration Menu across the top of your page, select Contacts → New Email.
  2. The Activities page for Send Email now appears.

  3. Select the correct From email address, if necessary.
  4. Begin typing the name of the contact.
  5. This field is a searchable field. As soon as you begin typing, CiviCRM will begin searching for a match.
    Once the match is found:

  6. Select the match.
  7. Repeat steps 3 and 4 for each contact.

  8. Click Add CC or Add BCC to enter additional recipients, if necessary.
  9. Enter the Subject of the email.
  10. NOTE: You can personalize your emails by adding mail-merge tokens to the Subject and HTML Format body.

  11. To add a token to the Subject line, click the Insert Token link to the right.
  12. Highlight the token you wish to use.
  13. Click the Done button.
  14. If you have a template for this mailing, select it from the >Use Template drop–down.
  15. If you don't have a template, create your email in the HTML Format text editor and format using the WYSIWYG editor.

  16. IMPORTANT!

    Messages MUST contain the {domain.address} and the {action.optOutUrl} tokens. CiviCRM “tokens” are placeholders that are replaced by the appropriate value when the mailing is sent. For more information on tokens, see What are Tokens?


    IMPORTANT!

    You can include images in your HTML emails. For instructions on adding images through Drupal and the GingerFeet File Upload page, follow instructions for Working with Two Windows or Tabs for Ease of Editing and Upload an Image and Add it to Content in the Drupal Getting Started User Guide.


  17. Click to expand the Plain-Text Format box.
  18. In the world of HTML emails it is best practice to include your copy in plain text for those users who have turned off HTML emails in their email clients.

  19. Click Attachment(s) to add attachments to this mailing.
  20. When you are satisfied with your email, click the Send Email button.

Create and Send a CiviMail Mailing

In the Administration Menu across the top of your page, select Mailings → New Mailing.

You now see the first of five screens for creating a new mailing.

Step 1. Select Recipients

This section allows you to define the recipients for your mailing.


IMPORTANT!

In order to include recipients on a mailing through CiviMail, they must be included in a group (either a regular group or a smart group) and the Group Type: Mailing List must be checked on the group's Settings page.


  1. Enter the name of the mailing in the Name Your Mailing field.
  2. To include or exclude groups or include or exclude recipients from previous mailings, select the group or mailing on the left and click the Add button.
  3. Likewise, to remove a group or mailing, select the group or mailing on the right and click the Remove button.
  4. Including and excluding groups and mailings allows you to create logic rules that insure you are not sending duplicate mailings to the same recipients.

    E.g. You sent a mailing to your Volunteers group two weeks ago about an upcoming event. New volunteers have signed up since the first mailing so you want to send them the same mailing but you don't want the first group of volunteers to receive the mailing again.

    To insure that the volunteers from the first mailing are not included in the second, you would INCLUDE GROUP: Volunteers and EXCLUDE MAILING: first mailing. By configuring your mailing this way, CiviMail will send the second mailing to the email addresses that were not a part of the first mailing ONLY.

  5. Click the Next button.

CiviMail will move to:

Step 2. Track and Respond

This section shows you the total number of recipients who will be receiving the email from your group and allows you to configure Tracking and Responding features for this mailing.

  1. If you want to track opens and click-throughs you must leave the tracking options selected.
  2. Select the appropriate response emails.
  3. Click the Next button.

CiviMail will move to:

Step 3. Mailing Content

This section is where you create the actual email. The From Email Address will default based on your FROM Email Address settings under Administer → Configure → FROM Email Addresses.

  1. Select the appropriate From Email Address from the drop–down.
  2. Enter a Mailing Subject.
  3. DO NOT check Override VERP address? The VERP address is used for tracking bounced email.
  4. If you have created your messages offline and wish to upload the files (.txt and .html) for the mailing:

    1. Select Upload Content.
    2. The WYSIWYG editor will be removed and you will now see upload fields for your plain text message and your HTML message.

    3. Click the Upload TEXT message Browse button.
    4. Locate and select the file on your local machine.
    5. Click the Open button.
    6. Click the Upload HTML message Browse button.
    7. Locate and select the file on your local machine.
    8. Click the Open button.

    If you want to create your mailing online:

  5. Leave Compose On-screen selected.
  6. If you have a template for this mailing, select it from the Use Template drop–down.
  7. If you don't have a template, create your email in the HTML Format text editor and format using the WYSIWYG editor.

  8. IMPORTANT!

    Your messages MUST contain the {domain.address} and the {action.optOutUrl} tokens. CiviCRM “tokens” are placeholders that are replaced by the appropriate value when the mailing is sent. For more information on tokens, see What are Tokens?


    IMPORTANT!

    You can include images in your HTML emails.


    For instructions on adding images through Drupal and the GingerFeet File Upload page, follow instructions for Working with Two Windows or Tabs for Ease of Editing and Upload an Image and Add it to Content in the Drupal Getting Started User Guide.

  9. Click to expand the Plain-Text Format box.
  10. In the world of HTML emails it is best practice to include your copy in plain text for those users who have turned off HTML emails in their email clients.

  11. If this is a mailing you will want to use again in the future, click Save As New Template.
  12. Enter the Template Title.
  13. Click Attachment(s) to add attachments to this mailing.
  14. If you have created a Mailing Header or Mailing Footer for this mailing, select it from the drop-down. Otherwise, leave the default.
  15. Click the Next button.

CiviMail will move to:

Step 4. Test

This section gives you the opportunity to send a test mailing.

If you have not done so, create a test mailing group comprised of yourself and a small group from your organization.

NOTE: The more varied the platforms (MAC or PC or Linux) and email clients (Outlook, Yahoo, Gmail, etc.) you can send a test to, the better. HTML emails do not always display the same in varied browsers on varied platforms.

  1. Select your test group in the Send to This Group drop–down.
  2. Click the Send a Test Mailing button to send the test email.
  3. When you are satisfied with your test emails, click the Next button.

CiviMail will move to:

Step 5. Schedule or Send

This section determines when the mailing will be sent.

To send immediately,

  1. Leave Send Immediately checked.
  2. Click the Submit Mailing button.

To schedule the mailing for future delivery,

  1. Click the calendar icon to open the calendar and select a date.
  2. Enter the Time.
  3. Click the Submit Mailing button to send the mailing.

View Mailing Report

  1. In the Administration Menu across the top of your page, select Mailings → Scheduled and Sent Mailings.
  2. Search for the mailing using Find Mailings, or scroll the list below.
  3. Click the Report link on the right under the Action column.
  4. You will now see the CiviMail: Report: YourMailing page.

  5. Click any link to review additional information such as who from your mailing click–through to your website, who opened the email, who forwarded the email (if you've included the {action.forward} token in your mailing).