Before Training Starts...
Welcome to the Action Network training for Local Groups. This training is to show you the basics of how Action Network works and will help you through the process of sending an e-mail to your group e-mail list.
If your group is registering on Action Network for the first time, this document will help you go through the setting up process so that you can get the most out of the first training session.
If your group is already using Action Network, some of this will already have been done.
Who are your admins?
Once you’ve applied for training you need to confirm the email address you wish to use for your ‘admin’ access to Action Network and give us any other trusted rebel’s email addresses who also want to help administer your Local Group email list.
You must use a personal email address and not a shared email account.
Administrators will be able to send e-mails and view details of the subscribers to your Local Group mailing list. All admins will need to have signed the XR Volunteer Agreement, with the email addresses they will use as admins.
Contact email for your Local Group
You must also have a Local Group contact email address. Action Network is mostly about sending mail so you will still need an official address for people to reply to which should be listed on the Local Group Map, zoom in to where your pin is on the map and check that the information on there is correct. If the information isn't correct or your group isn't listed then email firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have lost access to your Local Group email or would like a new one setting up in the style email@example.com you can find about how to apply for a extinctionrebellion.uk email on this page
Note: There is currently a problem with using 'proton.me' email addresses with Action Network. It has been seen that if you use it for your 'reply-to' address you get a very bad delivery rate on the emails you send, so they are best avoided.
Your Existing Mailing List
If you have an existing mailing list outside of Action Network - then we need to transfer that into Action Network, preferably before training. If you have been using mailing list management software, like MailChimp or have a list of addresses stored on gmail - we can help you to migrate this in a GDPR compliant way, just let us know as early as possible that that's what you need. The easiest way to begin this process is to send out an e-mail to everyone on your existing list along the lines of:
We are moving to a new e-mail system which will help us communicate with supporters and activists in [local-group-name] and will no longer be sending out news and announcements from this system/address. To opt into this new mailing system just visit http://joinxr.uk/[your-group-area]* and enter your e-mail address (plus name / phone number / postcode if you wish). You will be able to opt out of this system at any time.
But probably make it friendlier.
*You need to make sure you have this shortlink set up and the URL correct. To test it type joinxr.uk/[local-group-name]. If it goes to a pale blue form with your group name then it is working. If it goes to a green box on the front page of the UK website, then it either hasn't been set up yet or you have the URL wrong and you should contact us.
For more detailed information on email list migration see here.
We need something to send
When we meet you online for your training session we will want to take you through the entire process of writing and sending an e-mail to your group. You will need to write your first email in advance on a word processor of some sort so that, during the the training, you can copy/paste it over to the Action Network e-mail editor.
You might want to check out this short page first: Avoiding formatting issues when copy and pasting content
Your e-mail should probably start with a paragraph like this:
This is a message to let you know that we have recently up-dated our mailing system. This will help us better keep in touch with you and let you know what's going on locally. It also means that, if you don't already, you will get occasional e-mails from our [whatever] region and from the Extinction Rebellion UK At the end of this e-mail you'll find links that let you opt out any of these lists
When you design your page, keep formatting simple. The email editor is capable of quite sophisticated layouts, but that's something you'll want to explore later if the need arises.
You can use text with the usual formatting options of bold and font size. You can also add images and they can really liven up an e-mail but you need to keep them to a maximum width of 700 pixels. Action Network includes a simple resizing tool for this which we can show you. Make sure that any images you want to use are easily available on your computer when we come to the training.
After that it's really up to you. Try and find a reason for the mail in addition to telling supporters about the new mailing system. If you have an event coming up, that's ideal, if not then you could find pictures from previous actions or outline more general future plans. If part of your group attended national or regional actions you'll probably find pictures of that on line to add.
You might also read the following short pages to help you.
Your local group welcome message
When someone joins your group via the map or the joinxr links, you should set up an automatic e-mail in response to new joiners. This can be pretty much anything you like and could be taylored to your particular region, interest group, whatever. You can set this up yourself by following these instuctions OR we can do this for you if you provide some text.
Is anybody out there?
Depending on your geographical situation, we may be able to identify supporters who have signed up to XR via the national page but not joined your local group; this depends on them having included a postcode. If you can give us the post code sectors (the 2/3 letters/numbers before the space in a postcode) we can seach on those for supporters who are not members of your list and add them to it. This is a useful map for identifying sectors.
You're all set
Once we have all the bits and pieces above done, and a few extra that we need to do along the way, we're ready to book a training session. The session is about an hour and by the end or it you will have created and sent out a mailing to your local group.