civiMail - Everett Labs

April 25th 2011 Agenda
What is CiviMail?
How to navigate?
How to plan for utilizing CiviMail?
Beginning of CiviMail Configuration
What is CiviMail
• Helps you maintain relationships with contacts through
• Two ways to send email in CiviCRM:
o The "send mail to contacts" actions
o Civil Mail (CiviCRM's "mass mailer")
The first is quick and easy
The second is more complicated but has better capabilities
for reporting later.
We will be covering how to do both, as well as report results
of emailing
• Lets you share a single address book across all the staff in
your organization, which is less work to maintain than
leaving the responsibility to an individual staff person. (odds
of more accurate emailing)
Each sent email is stored in the activity history of each of the
recipients. For example, you can see if they made donations
after the email.
Everyone in the org. can see what email was sent and
received, even if staff person who sent or received it has left
the organization.
You can use templates to ensure that your Org's visual
identity and branding are consistently applied to all you email
• You can use "canned emails" for your most common emails
(welcome emails, invitations to events, directions to your
office, membership information, call for actions, etc.)
Send personalized mass emails using tokens.
Bounced emails are handled automatically.
Recipients can manage their own subscription emails
Statistics are available on who is reading your emails and
what links they are clicking on.
Creation of an Autofile mailbox allows all email sent to this
mailbox to automatically convert it into an activity and add it
to the correct contact
Three options for Sending Mail
1.Regular Mail Client
2.CiviCRM's "send mail to contacts" fuctionality
Personalization of Emails
• Email from a personal, organization, or other person's email
address (a person within the organization)
• Using Tokens
• Display name and email greetings tokens are very useful as
o With more customization you can add details such as the
recipients most recent donation or when her or his
membership expires
You can provide a link to the person's contact dashboard so
that they can review their registration detains for themselves
after logging in.
• Allows you to create generic structure that can be reused
when sending emails
• You might want to have specific headers and footers for
mass mailings (newsletter, internal bulletin, Press Release),
and a few templates for regular emails.
Talk to those who would be using CiviMail regularly and see
what they may need.
o Use their guidelines to create more templates.
• CiviMail can track links that have been clicked, providing
useful info to help you understand the areas your recipients
are interested in.
How many recipients opened the email and which links in the
email were popular.
Therefore, you will likely have more readers than reported by
30% opening rate is good --> according to CiviCRM
Don't use absolute data. Rather, compare different mailings
you sent
Privacy issues
Auto-Filing Outbound Email
Use the BCC field (which no one who recieves the email will
see) to enter an email address that will be read by the
database and converted into an activity.
This activity gets filed into the record of the contact that
matches the email address. If that email address does not
exist in your database a new contact will be created
Emailing an Individual
• Search Contacts
• Either type in a contacts name or hit search
o you can do an advanced search with even more specificity
• From here, either select the link on the name. or click the
check box and hit actions.
• if you clicked the link, press actions and if an email address
is available you will be able to "send email"
• if you checked a box or boxes and hit the actions drop down
you should see "send email to contacts"
Configuring Domain Info
Administer CiviCRM/Configure/Domain Information
This is where you would put your email information given
to you from lithium hosting. (cpanel)
Configuring Groups
CiviCRM uses groups to manage subscriptions to mailing lists
To create a group go to contacts/new group
Make sure to "check mailing list" so that it is available as a
Mailing list.
You can also create a smart group:
Using the Advanced search you can create a Smart group of
contacts who have active memberships, or a Smart Group of
contacts in a given city. You can then use the Smart group to
send mailings without having to first update the contacts in
that group
Creating a Smart Group
Go to any of the search forms and run a search query based on
the criteria for your group
on the search results page, click the radio button that selects all
the records
click on "actions" select new smart group and the click go
The next screen provides a review of the criteria chosen for the
smart group. Give the smart group a name and a description,
and make the smart group a mailing list.
System Configuration
Outbound Email Config
admin/configure/global settings/outbound email
here you can choose the following
o mail(): this is the default option
o SMTP: if you have a dedicated external mail server,
specify its details here.
o sendmail: This option is kept for compatibility with older
CiviCRM versions
o Disable outbound email: does what is says
If you get an error you must set up domain info at: Administer
CiviCRM/Configure/Domain Information
Mailing List Subscription Page
April 27th 2011 Agenda
CiviMail Continued...
Setting up Mail
Wizard and set up an email
this is the process that worked for me
administer/global settings/outgoing mail
we were inputting the wrong information last time
This is available in the template design section of civimail
Creating Templates
• Administer/CiviMail/Message Templates
• Message templates can be used for an email message's
subject and body.
o Can be used for routine mailings such as "canned"
response, daily tasks, and reminder messages
 A canned message is a predefined message. During a
chat session, an admin can pick a canned message
and send it to your constituent, which can increase
efficiency in communicating with your said constituent.
Creating a Message
Plain text and html input field
For simple text just use the plain text (you can turn this into a
Use HTML for more detailed and custom document create.
While HTML email is a bit more strict you can create
content in a text editor if you wish and copy and paste the
code to the window in CiviCRM
If you are merely writing someone an email and feel as if it
could be a template for future emails, click the check box at
the bottom of the screen.
Tips for Creating Templates
HTML email is not regular HTML!
It has restrictions, including the need to use tables and inline
CSS and not to include a background image.
We will delve into some tips for creating templates with HTML
that will look good in all mail clients.
Template Creation w/ HTML
Table Border - the HTML <table> element includes an optional
border attribute. The default value is 0 and doesn't appear
unless you choose to use it. Adding it (or editing it if it is
available and setting it to 1 (e.g. <table border: 1px>) allows
you to see the edges of your table and helps indentify
potential places to fix problems.
HTML email templates usually have multiple tables and
nested tables (tables inside tables. Make changes one at a
time and switch to the HTML view to see the results.
A table usually has more than one parameter, so make sure
to place spaces between parameters.
Table cellpadding and cellspace - these table parameters are
every useful when trying to improve readability of your email. Play
will these settings in different tables and see what works.
Width - do not send an email that is wider than 600 pixels,to ensure
maximum compatibility across email client. Make sure your
outermost table does not exceed 600 pixels. Do the same for any
other tables inside your main table. Also make sure that the total
width of each image does not exceed 600 pixels. Images have a
width parameter, but they can also have a horizontal padding
parameter that, if set, can increase the width of the image.
Images - these need to be online and accessible in order for you to
use them. First edit your image so that its width and height is
appropriate for your email template. Next save it so that its file size
is as small as possible. If you do not have image editing software,
or do not know how to use it, there are free online resources that
can help you resize the image
More Template Creating Tips
Sitepoint Reference:
Dropbox w/ MailChimp Demos
Header and Footer
After headers and footers are configured, staff who prepare a
new mailing will be able to select them from available
headers and footers. This helps staff create more
standardized mailing with elements that help your readers
identify the content of the mailings or find info.
Creating Headers and Footers
The mail header is the area at the top of the email, which should
include elements that you want to be always displayed before the
main content body, such as the logo of your organization and the
title of the newsletter.
The default footer, which is always the last night in the email, often
includes the tokens required by law in some countries
(unsubscription links and domain information)
Administer/CiviMail/Headers,Footers and Automated Messages
Style them to present a coherent visual identity across all your
messages. One or more headers can be created with different
images and titles that can be used for different campaigns or

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