How to send an Email Newsletter

Once logged into mailchimp you will be presented with the mailchimp dashboard

At the top of the page is the navigation menu

You DO NOT need to import a list… we have already done that for you.  We configured all the “thank you” emails too.

You DO NOT need to setup your school template… we have already done that for you.

Pro Tip: Have your typed email newsletter already prepared.  It’s an easy copy and paste during the send process!

1. Click Campaigns

2. To send an email to parents, click Create Campaign

Every time you send a newsletter (email) you will need to create a new campaign.

3. On the next screen select Regular ole Campaign

4. Select which list you want to use… you should only have one list.  Make sue to click Next Step

 

5. Add in all the necessary information.  !! DO NOT change the email address !!

 

 

6. Select Template

7. Paste in (or type in your email to parents).  Include any links in the email.

8. On this screen make sure everything is OK and click send.

Your email will be sent to all list recipients!  Yay!

Advertisements

Add a Single Email Address

Sometimes parents will call the school and request that they be added to the newsletter subscription list.  In most cases you will direct them the school website where they can fill in their own details.

Sometimes its more practical to add them yourself.

To do this:

  1. Login to safe newsletters
  2. Click the Email and SMS menu link
  3. Select Add Single Address

Add Single Email Address

Fill in the fields:

  1. Parent first name
  2. Parent Last Name
  3. Email address
  4. Select the group (ie Parent)
  5. Optional.  Select the distribution lists if you have any
  6. Click Submit

Add Single Email Address2

After clicking submit, the parent email address will be inserted into your newsletter subscription list.  The parent will be automatically sent an email telling them that you have subscribed them to the list.

Using the New SMS Features

PLEASE NOTE: SMS must be enabled on your Safe Newsletters account.  Enabling SMS is optional.  Please notify us if you need SMS enabled.  Charges apply per SMS.

In this article:

  1. Notify all parents by SMS that your newsletter has been published and distributed by email
  2. Send a custom SMS message to all parents
  3. Send a custom SMS to a small group of parents

Notify all parents via SMS of your Newsletter publication

Once SMS is enabled on your account, parents also have the option to receive an SMS from the school.  Parents can add their mobile phone number and then select the SMS option.

Newsletters are sent in the usual way, except this time the parent will also receive a SMS notification as well.  This is all silently processed and sent in the background and there are no further steps required when uploading and sending your school newsletter.

SMS Broadcast to ALL Parents

SMS provides an extra layer of convenience, connectedness and provides parents with multiple modes of communication.

The new SMS broadcast feature will send and SMS to ALL parents, students and teachers who have subscribed to your newsletter.

Send SMS

Remember

A standard SMS is 160 characters which is billed at the cost of one SMS.  More than 160 characters means that the message will be billed as two messages.

SMS to small Groups of Parents

This is the real power of the Safe Newsletters SMS system… the ability to send SMS to small groups of parents.

Send SMS2

This method overcomes 2 problems.

  1. Data duplicity
  2. Workload and errors

In explaining this, I’m often asked questions like:

1. Can I add all students and phone numbers to the Safe Newsletters system to make it easier?

My answer?  You DO NOT want to do that because then 2 systems will need maintenance.  Your school system and then hypothetically the Safe Newsletters system.  (We could easily install a facility like this… but we deliberately avoided this)  In the end it won’t be easier… because 2 systems will be more work.  Data duplicity will be created and you will have data overload.  Avoid this at all costs.  Its always best to have one source of truth ie your school management system.

2. How do I bulk add phone numbers?

My answer?  For sending to small groups of parents, use your school system and export parent mobile phone numbers.  I call this disposable data or single use data.  Simply copy and paste them into the box for mobile phone numbers (see image above).  This will reduce workload and reduce the risk of data errors in duplicate data sets.

How to export phone numbers from your School Management System

EVERY school management system has export functions.  This is where data is exported into a spreadsheet for you to use.  You may not have done this before and it may seem complex but its not.  It doesn’t take long to learn how to do it… and when you have done it once… its actually very easy.  You will then wonder why you hadn’t learnt this sooner because there are many instances in a school where disposable data is very very handy.

Summary

  1. Ask to have SMS enabled.  Schools pay per each SMS sent.
  2. Ask parents to add their mobile phone number to Safe Newsletters
  3. SMS auto sent when newsletters are uploaded and sent.
  4. Target smaller groups of parents by using disposable data.

Ask your questions in the comment box below.

Adding Your Mobile Phone Number to Receive SMS Newsletters

Safe newsletters was initially set up for email.  As such, parents were not required to add a mobile phone number or a password.

We have added a new parent login section so that mobile phone numbers can be added.

So we need to give you a temporary password.

To get you temporary password, you need to click the “Manage My Preferences” link at the bottom of the newsletter EMAIL you receive from the school.

When you click this link, a new new temporary password will be emailed to you.

Newsletter footer links.

You new temporary password will be UGLY.  (see sample email below)

Using your mouse, highlight the ugly password, right click and copy it.

Sample of the temporary password email you will receive

Click the Login here link in the email.  This will take you to the Safe Newsletters login page

Login using your email address.

Then in the password field, paste in the ugly password you copied from the email.

Once logged in, you will be asked which  school newsletter subscription you would like to manage.  Some parents may have children in different schools and therefore have more than one newsletter subscription…

Next to the school newsletter subscription you want to update, click “Manage”.

You will be presented with your newsletter preferences…

newsletter subscription preferences page

  1. Add you mobile phone number.  Just add numbers without spaces, brackets etc….  Just add one big long phone number.
  2. Add a NEW password.
  3. Choose the SMS option you want.
  4. Click update

That’s it.

Once you have done this and your school has enabled SMS, you will receive a SMS once your school newsletter is ready for collection.

How to Add Subsription Links to a Web Page

Hyperlinks are the basis of the internet.  Its the fundamental building block of the world wide web.  Its the first thing that anyone building web pages learns first.  Without hyperlinks… you don’t have a website.

In the past few years CMS (content management systems) have become widely used.  It makes website maintenance very easy.

During the transition process to a CMS, those training people to use the CMS would often use the cliche;

If you can use a word processor… you can use a CMS

For the most part this is true.  But there are a few exceptions.

Hyperlinks in word processed documents in the past were rarely used.  There was simply no need for them.  As such, few people had experience adding hyperlinks.

Nowadays, hyperlinks are used extensively because your shiny new CMS depends on them.

Because CMS are taught as fancy word procesors, hyperlinks are sometime not well understood.

What is a hyperlink?

Put simply, a hyperlink points to another page on the internet.  When a user clicks on the link they are taken to that page.  They can even point to pages on your own website.

Using a CMS to add a Hyperlink.

First you need some text typed on the page you are editing for the link to attach itself to.  This is called anchor text.

Here’s an example:

Click here to subscribe to our newsletter

  1. Highlight the text using your mouse.
  2. In your editor tool bar you will see a small icon of a chain link or something similar.  Yours may look a little different…
  3. When this chain link is clicked a box will open up asking the address of the link.  (You MUST have your text highlighted first) In other words, where would you like to send the user when they click on your link.  In this case we want users (or in our case parents) to go to a newsletter subscription page.
  4. Rather than type in the hyperlink address, I like to copy the address using my mouse.  This way I’m not likely to make a typing mistake.
  5. I paste the hyperlink (or the Safe Newsletters Subscription page) into the URL field of the dialogue box that open after you click the chain link.Yo can find your subscription links when you log into Safe Newsletters and from the menu select “Parent Signup Form”
  6. Click “Add Link” which should be located toward the bottom of the box that opens up.
  7. Once this is done the Text you highlighted is turned blue and underlined to indicate that its a hyperlink.

Add a link manually

Here’s a great tutorial on adding HTML links manually.

http://w3schools.com/html/html_links.asp

Hope this helps.

Bulk Upload Email Addresses

If you already have a list of parent email addresses, there is no need to add them to Safe Newsletters one by one.

Safe Newsletters offers a smart bulk upload tool that allows you to add all your parent email addresses in one easy step.

NOTE: this works best using internet explorer (usually I do not recommend IE… but for this particular function IE seems to complete the import better than other browsers)

Your spreadsheet (or comma separated vales (CSV) file) should have 3 columns in the following order

  1. First name
  2. Last name
  3. Email address

Delete everything else apart from the 3 columns above.

Before you do anything… we need to organize your data.  In the data industry, this is known as “cleaning” your data.  Essentially this means we make sure all your data in the spreadsheet that we upload is readable by the server.  For instance, the server doesn’t like blank rows in a spreadsheet so these need to be deleted and then the spreadsheet re-saved.  Once “cleaned” we remove any risk that the server will have a “hissy fit” and fail to do the upload.

Accountants do that same thing.  They like your data (or Tax) in a particular way that makes it easier for them to complete your tax return.

The following process of “cleaning” appears complex.  But its not.  Don’t let the instruction list deceive you.

Before uploading your spreadsheet, please check the following:

  1. Delete the column headings from your spreadsheet.  Data should be names and email addresses only.
  2. Delete ALL blank rows from the spreadsheet.
  3. Make sure all email addresses have and @ sign in them.  I do this by changing the color of the cell that contains the @ sign.  This way its easy to spot when there is one missing.
  4. This is easy to do in excel.  From the editing section in the ribbon, click find and select.
  5. In the find what field type @In the replace with field type @Click the Format button
  6. Then choose a color.  All cells without the @ sign will appear white.
  7. Edit each email address and make sure all email addresses are correct.
  8. Next you need to do a find and replace which will delete all unwanted symbols.  To do this, click the find and select button again….In the find what field type in the greater than sign >
    Make sure the Replace with field is blank
    Click replace all.  This will delete all unwanted symbols
  9. Repeat this step for the following symbols
    <
    >
    !
    #
    $
    %
    &
    *
    ‘ (apostophe)
    ” (quotes)
  10. Save your data

After you have cleaned your data we need to copy the data and add it to the Safe Newsletters bulk upload tool.

First copy your parent names and email addresses.  Only copy the data you need.  DO NOT select ALL… because the server sees this as blank rows… and we don’t want blank rows

Notice how ONLY the data we need has been selected.

Copy the data.

Login to Safe Newsletters http://safenewsletters.com

From the Menu, select Add Bulk Email Addresses.

Paste all the data into the box provided.  It will look a little all over the place but that is normal.

Click “Add Email”

If you now click “Manage Email” from the menu, you will see all your parent email addresses have been bulk added for you.

If you find that the upload failed for any reason, please email the spreadsheet to us and we will do the bulk upload for you.

How to Get Started

To get started using Safe Newsletters, a key concept needs to be understood first.

The whole safe newsletters concept revolves around a self subscription model.  In other words parents can subscribe to your newsletter themselves.  This greatly reduces the administrative workload in the school itself.

For this to happen, there needs to be a subscription form or link on your school website.  So… the only link you need to remember is your own school website.  Therefore, when parents call you and ask to subscribe to your newsletter, you simply redirect the parent to your school website where they can find the newsletter subscription link.

To add a newsletter subscription link to your website, here is what to do.

IMPORTANT: You need to login to Safe Newsletters do this…

  1. Login to Safe Newsletters here https://safenewsletters.qnetau.com/Login/index.asp
  2. Once logged in, from the menu select Newsletter Tools >> Parent Signup Form
  3. On the “Collect your email addresses” page, there are 4 ways to add a subscription link (or form) to your website
  4. The easiest way is option 1.  All you need to do is copy the link (make sure you get the whole link including the numbers) and then paste it onto your web page.  Save it.  That’s it
  5. Option 2, 3 and 4 are for people who are familiar with HTML code.NOTE: Some (not all) Content Management Systems (CMS), particularly those from government organisations where security is managed from a central location (eg a head office) will NOT allow you to add code to the source of a web page.  In these cases, the only way in which you can add a subscription link is option 1.  It’s not as “pretty” but it will certainly give parents access to your newsletter subscription pages.If you are able to add code, then you need to add the code to the HTML or source code of your website.  If you are using a CMS, you need to look for a button or tab that says, source code, HTML, Text, code or something similar.  Add the code between the <body> tags in the position where you want to place your subscription form.Save the page.  This will automatically add a subscription form to your website.  This is the most professional

This will allow you to start collecting email addresses from your school website.

If you already have parent email addresses stored in a spreadsheet or MS Outlook, the next thing you will want to do is bulk upload them into Safe Newsletters.  Here is a short instruction list on how to bulk upload your email addresses and get started straight away.