New Bulk Email Features

RocketFusion takes a big step forward in bulk emailing customers

If you're not already emailing your customers, you're missing out on a big piece of your company's potential: staying in touch, and communicating with people who want to be kept "in the loop", so to speak.

Consider this... if they came to your website and filled out your Contact Us form, they had to provide their email address. If they left no comments in the form, that means all they did was provide you with their email address, which means they want you to send them emails now and then.

In any event, email is good, and there's no time like now to start using this feature of your website.

How to get started

The first thing you should do, if you're not already using the emailing capabilities of your RocketFusion website, is to look at how many people you have in your list. After logging in to your website, from the admin toolbar go to Functions > Contacts.

This will bring you to the list of all your contacts. It will show you at the top how many you have. If you have a lot of them, and you haven't sent out any updates or news items... well, what are you waiting for?

Before you move on or leave this page you should scroll up and down, checking out the addresses to make sure you haven't missed any due to your anti-spam, or accidental deletion. You can mouse-over a line to get a glimpse of their phone number or street address if they provided it, and any comments they may have left. Ok, let's move on.

Look to the Blue Nav Bar

On this page are several blue navigation buttons, starting with Manage xxx Contacts, followed by List, Send Email, Saved Emails, Import, Export, Delete, and Control Panel. In this article we're going to concentrate on Send Emails. We will have another article soon on Saved Emails, and Lists.

Send Email -- new features!

This page will allow you to type up an email, pull in some graphics or images, and send it to either everyone, or to a List you have created.

You'll note at the top of the page form fields containing the address you'll send the email "From", the email's subject, and this is new: what day and time to send the email.

Yes, you can now schedule to send a bulk email later in the day or the week. Once the day and time has arrived, the new scheduler program will pull addresses out, 100 at a time, and send them off every two minutes.

Another new feature allows you to choose a header graphic to be added to all your emails. Click the blue Email Header button to choose something you may already have on your website, such as your existing website hearer image (if you have one). If you don't have one, you can make one. Or not. This is optional. If you do make one it will be resized to the width of your website's content area, which you can find at Admin > Control Panel > Width > width_Content_Area.

Once you have chosen an Email Header you can close that window to return to your email screen.

The Message Field

Type in your message, and PLEASE... keep it neat, with plenty of space between paragraphs. If you're copying and pasting from MS Word you will want to go to the end of each paragraph and hit the Enter or Return key to add some space. A full blank line between paragraphs is preferred.

And, don't forget to add a photo or two. Maybe a logo if you have one uploaded to your Page Graphics library.

Choose Your Recipients, any Attachments, and your Email Colors

If you have created any Lists you will see them listed here. Check whichever lists you want. If you don't have any lists, check the "everyone" checkbox. If you don't check at least one box in the list, the email will not send.

Keep in mind, if you have lists, you should use them. If you ignore your lists and keep sending to everyone, you will likely lose some people in your database, as they have chosen what topics to receive email for.

*** HERE'S A TIP: If you want to see what your email will look like you should create a new hidden list called "Test" and put yourself on it. Then send the email initially just to that list.

If you want to attach any files, you can do so here as well.

Lastly, choose what colors to use for the wrapper of the email, and the background. Looking at the email you are reading now you can see that we use blue for the wrapper, and white for the background.

Send Your Email !

Then hit the green SEND button.  That's it!

When the page reloads you will get a little report at the top showing the progress. It will either indicate it is scheduled to go, is currently going, or has already been sent (if you come back to look at it later using the "Saved Emails" link).

If you did a test email first, which you really should do every time you create a new email, go check for it and see what it looks like. If you want to make some changes, come back to the email on your website, make the changes, and send it again. You'll note that you will start building up a history of when this particular email was sent, for your records. Neat!

In the next installment we will talk about reusing emails you have already sent as a template of sorts.