Newsletter Template/Great Service
The newsletter templates are difficult to use as there are always issues with spacing, sizing of photos & type formatting. It would be great if you'd invest in making the newsletter templates easier to use. On a positive note, I was fortunate to talk with Chalini Vallepuram in your Service Dept., and she was incredibly helpful. She's a gem. Thank you for the great service!
Melody Williamson commented
The ability to create a decent newsletter is critical to our decision to switch to Wild Apricot. Love many of the other features, but the email/newsletter template is impossible. Unless I can figure this out, we will continue to use Constant Contact for the non-profits I work with.
The Newsletter templates on Wild Apricot are barely serviceable. I agree with many of the comments here. My biggest complaint is that the templates/email feature can only be accessed by Admins. So, if there are other, non-Admins, in your organization who need to send email Blasts to the membership, taking advantage of the wonderful member database, they need to do so OUTSIDE of Wild Apricot, which means we need to maintain TWO SEPARATE databases (e.g., one in Wild Apricot, another in, say, MailChimp)!
Adding my vote to this too! Mailchimp is so easy to use and looks great. You need to compete at this level to make the switch something we will be happy to do!
Joanna Straub commented
Agree 100%. I am looking at a workaround for our newsletters. I'm also concerned about emails going into spam filters for our members, giving me doubts about this system entirely. I will be exploring other options this year before renewing again.
Carla Bingaman commented
The newsletter templates are a joke. The ability to edit with accurate formatting or to insert a pre-designed option is pretty much non-existent. We need to be able to create a more personalized and professional look to our newsletters without having to spends ours messing with details (spacing, etc.) that shouldn't be an issue.
Worst editor I have ever used. Either it needs to be improved OR allow import from Word or other software OR integrate with Mail Chimp or Constant Contact. In it's present form, it is unusable.
We just signed up with WA and one of the reasons for the switch was getting an all-in-one system from which we can send our monthly newsletter. After having played around with the templates I am deeply disappointed at what's on offer. It looks like we'll have to continue with Vision 6 for our newsletters, which means I have to continue to upload the contact list from WA to Vision 6. What a pain! Please make better templates allowing customisation a priority.
It is also rather frustrating for people that know HTML to have to be forced into a 'box' layout for the HTML instead of building a stylized HTML newsletter template from scratch. One layout is forced on us and it makes it impossible to do anything but the most simplistic style which makes it look rather boring and cheap. Please work on improving your newsletter templates.
I will add to this request. I am just using the free version now and advocating that my organization select an AMS. I thought Wild Apricot would be a good first-time product with a low cost of entry, but easily doing a professional looking newsletter is one of the top 3 features I am looking for.
Ditto - in fact, I emailed support this morning to say I'd like a template more like Mail Chimp, because that's what I use each month after giving up on WA (adding any new members to the Mail Chimp list each month). The support response directed me to post a comment here. Other membership systems just have integration with systems like Mail Chimp or Constant Contact.
Becky Parsons commented
I agree with all these comments. Our newsletters look so primitive when they are received; the text runs right up to the photos, the layout is difficult at best. I'm trying to train a new person - it takes about 3 hours just for layout, font and text consistency, and photo insertion - in order to send out a newsletter. Hit the space bar wrong and the font style and spacing go away. Must send 3 or 4 test emails just to be able to check design and layout before it can be sent. I get complaints from our board all the time. Please give us a new newsletter editor format that has the same flexibility as creating a web page.
Randall Rensch commented
We rarely send out a newsletter, because it includes brief photo/text summaries of past events, promotional text and photo(s) of key coming events, and other sections. What with all that image optimization, layout idiosyncracies (e.g., Outlook 2010 doesn't respect image margins) and other details work, it takes all day. With Support's help, we finally gave up on a highly segmented template and now use one based on tables. But it's still a major project to produce. We need a Content Management System where we just fill out a form, specify image files, and it's all run into the layout, preferably with images actually resized and optimized by the WA system (not just HTML sizing), with 5px white margins optionally added.
In fact, I can't believe that WA doesn't already include a separate utility for optimizing images. I am unable to get across to some of our people why they shouldn't upload a 1 meg image (let alone one straight from the camera), or how to reduce its size and compress it without some graphics expertise and software.
Robert Goldstein commented
This is an ABSOLUTELY CRITICAL requirement. If we don't get this, we may have to find a new provider.
We pride ourselves on the professional appearance of our publications. We can do that now because I can go into the HTML and "fix" things. (See previous comment.) This is not an occasional problem. It occurs in almost everything we send out. I need to be able to transfer responsibility for this function to someone who does not know HTML at all, and there is no reason why she should have to. PLEASE GIVE US A MODERN EDITOR!!!