Writing and sending emails
This section describes how to write an email, insert dynamic text, and create welcome ladders.
- Introduction to writing emails
- Drag and Drop
- Visual / HTML
- Automatic Welcome Email for your group
- Deliverability - making sure your email doesn't look like spam
- General Readability and Accessibility
- Avoiding formatting issues when copy and pasting content
- Optimal layout tips for phones
- Inserting images into your Action Network e-mail
Introduction to writing emails
If you don't have access to your email list yet click here
There are two ways to create an email on Action Network 'drag and drop' or 'Visual/HTML'.
If you want to write a quick email with just text, then leaving the default setting of 'Visual/HTML' and just start typing is the quickest way. But if you want to use logos, photos or 'call to action' buttons, then the drag and drop facility is recommended.
Change your default email sending style to drag and drop
- Click on your profile icon in the top right
- Edit your profile
- Scroll to the bottom of the page and switch the toggle to 'drag and drop' and then 'save changes'
Any problems or issues with this rebel toolkit page : Contact the Action Network Data Team.
Drag and Drop
First go to the right hand side menu and pick 'Email'
Drag and drop
1: First change the mode to drag and drop. Do this before you type any content. (you won't have to keep doing this if you change your default settings
2: This step should be automatically done already if you have a default template set up.(you'll know it's done because if you scroll down there will already be the start of an email laid out). But if not pick a template and click APPLY.
3: Complete the following... Subject - a simple 5ish word title, From - your group name e.g. XR Sheffield and Reply To - your public email for people to reply and ask questions.
3b. Also you should complete the Preview text with some extra words of encouragement. This can be about 10 words long and it will show up on some people's phones before they open the email. So think of it as some extra bit of information to tempt them in to opening it.
4: Then write your email. The safest way is to type straight in to here. If you copy and paste from a Word or Google doc, the formatting can also copy over which creates problems. Either copy from a plain text editor or paste without formatting. Help on how to do this
5: Adding extra content boxes. The most common things to add would be the items circled in the following image. You drag them over to your email layout and use them as you wish.
If you want to use and image - then you drag the image option over to your email. Choose an image and also it is recommended to type something descriptive like 'rebel holding banner reading climate emergency' in the alt text (this is for accessibility reasons - read more here)
Skip to 'Send and Target your email section.
Visual / HTML
Follow step 3 above. Then start typing. A good way to start your email is to type 'Dear' or 'Hello' and then choose 'First Name' from the 'Clips' and then type a comma....
In this mode you can view what you have written as HTML code.
Care must be taken in this mode when adding images - as it can create problems with layout, especially on phones. Images should be maximum of 700px wide.
Send and Target your email
First you can send yourself a test email. It is always good to check your email on a phone as well as on a computer to see what it looks like. Or test to different emails as the layout can vary. Or you could also send to a friend to proof read.
When you are happy with your email - click 'SAVE AND TARGET YOUR EMAIL'
You can now see the targetting page. You can just skip this and click SAVE, PREVIEW and SEND. If you want to know more about targetting - it's the same as when doing Reports
The next page shows a preview of your email. Scroll down to the bottom and you will see Action Network calculating how many 'activists' to send to.
When it's finished you'll see how many activists you are about to send the email to. You can now either schedule (note minus 5hrs due to this being EST) or just send immediately.
Automatic Welcome Email for your group
So, you’ve got your group up and running and people are signing up via the LGmap or the UK website page or your shortlink (joinxr.uk/localgroupname) or via your own tailor made sign up forms. Nice!
But how will they know when your meetings are and get introduced to your group? A welcome email when they have joined the group is a great way of making first contact, particularly for people who found out about your group through the website.
Below are two steps for setting up your auto-email and a third to explain how to view and edit it.
Step 1 - Set up a ladder
A ladder in Action Network allows you to set things in motion when something happens. For example, if someone joins a group, send them an email.You can create a ladder from the homepage of your group. Click on the ladder button.
Then start a new ladder...
Check that the current group (top right) is correct and enter a title and description. Now click the “ADD NEW RUNG” button. This brings up a new screen to Add a Rung & Trigger. The trigger is what sets the ladder in motion. For a welcome email, it is when an activist first subscribes to your group. Click the dropdown and choose "Subscribed To Email List".
Once you have that option selected, click "Save Rung & Trigger". This takes you back to the Ladder. You now want to add an action. Hover over the red plus and pick Action.
Then choose Send An Email.
Step 2 - Create your welcome email
Use the built in email wrapper or one that you have made (info on email wrappers coming soon), the subject could be “Welcome to XR Derby”, your name(s), the email they should reply to. Don’t worry about the preview text. In the email body you can give information about your local group, when and where you meet and how to get involved, links to a welcome Whatsapp chat etc.
Then make sure you save the email you've created AND then save the Ladder itself
If can be left in draft or published immediately.
Remember that once you have set this ladder in motion it will keep running until you stop it.Therefore, if any changes get made to your meeting time or any of the other details provided in your welcome email, you must change it there as well or new rebels will have the wrong info!
Step 3 - View and/or edit your auto-email
To find your welcome edit, you need to view the ladder. Click on 'people' in the top menu row.
Then click on the icon next to the work 'Ladders'
Then (if you are an admin of more than one list) double check you are looking at the right email list (this should be e.g. the name of your local group) and then click manage.
Here you can 'edit' and update your email (as well as viewing some stats)