Create a full-featured newsletter system
Email Newsletters are essential for communicating with different user segments within our organization.
I would request that WA spend some time developing a fully-function newsletter system that has:
- Unlimited newsletter/campaigns
- Automatically archive of newsletter for viewing by members
- Assign newsletter "managers" to specific newsletters
- Members can unsubscribe or subscribe using radio-buttons within their profile
- Ability to save a "draft"
- Ability to manually subscribe members to newsletter (csv or saved search/group)
- Track opens/bounces/unsubscribes
Robin Sapiro commented
@Rosemary, have you thought about the following as a way of using Mail Chimp without having to maintain a duplicate data base which most certainly will get out of sync over time.
Probably the best thing that WA did in the last few years was to deliver the function to access your WA data base from Integromat. Integromat also integrates with MailChimp and supports numerous operations. I am not at all familiar with MailChimp, so cannot comment on the interface as to if it would work.
But the concept is that while you probably still design your newsletter in MailChimp, you trigger the actual send of these through Integromat. In this way prior to sending - you sync any needed information from WA to MailChimp using Integromat. Then when that step is complete - initiate the send. Looks like you can also get statistics back from MailChimp and you could then use those to update custom fields in WA if you so desired.
You could also (with Integromat) capture any changes to the WA data base (including adds and deletes and propagate these in real time to MailChimp.
So - yes - you are keeping a copy of your WA data in MailChimp - but the replication is automatic and hence it is always in sync
Beyond that all that Alex says is absolutely correct
Alex Sirota commented
I have to be honest with you. MailChimp has had years on the Wild Apricot email system. Their whole company works on making email better. Email in Wild Apricot is one of many modules. So.... I would not expect the email system to get magically as good as MailChimp.
Same for the website editor. That’s why WordPress is a better system for the website.
But remember this: the biggest reason to use all Wild Apricot modules is because the database is integrated. This is reason enough not to use MailChimp.
If you want to see how to use the email editor better get in touch. I will show you how to make nice templates in wild apricot. Have a look here: https://www.newpathconsulting.com or email me firstname.lastname@example.org
Rosemary Hancock commented
We currently use MailChimp for our Newsletters as it has really great statistical reporting on clicks, opens etc. Also the templates are easier to use than WA.
When will Wild Apricot have reporting (and templates) that is as good please?
We would prefer to use WA for everything so we do not have to maintain a second database but the WA newsletter template is clunky as well as poor reporting.
Alex Sirota commented
There is a way to do this. Here's a cheat sheet and a short video on how to turn sent emails into archives.
We need to link to newsletters after they are sent.
Nettie R. commented
I agree with Carly. Being able to create a link on the website to the most recent newsletter would be most helpful.
Need a way for contacts to see past newsletters.
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Randy Rensch commented
I wholeheartedly vote in favor of this wish generally, although our organization's newsletter needs will differ from those of, say, a church group or credit union. Some elements that I would consider essential are:
1. Absolute simplicity in the creation process. A template does not provide the necessary ease unless the email is too simple to resemble most newsletters. I suggest providing an actual CMS, so that, once the newsletter is formatted, the editor merely has to "fill in the blanks." Tweaking the layout in current templates still has too steps and still requires some graphical ability to do well, especially given the quirks of WA formatting system and differences between email client displays.
2. Unlimited length. We're using a template that I've custom made based on a raw example that Support kindly provided. So our newsletter is no longer limited to three sections. In a CMS approach, if a field or section isn't filled in, no blank space occurs in the layout. Unfortunately, WA's HTML editor doesn't quite understand that.
3. Automatically adjust image files for this purpose. The images should be actually resized to whatever display size is specified. (It is dismaying but not surprising that some of our people still don't get that they can't drag a photo straight from the camera and "make it smaller" in WA.) And I'd want the process also to add specified white space around each image, as the CSS margin values are not respected by some email programs (e.g. Outlook 2010 et al).
4. Duplicate web page version automatically created by WA system.
5. Ability to format it using sound graphic arts principles. For some organizations this will be a simple look. For others it might look like your typical drug store circular. What right will depend on the organization and the nature and extent of the content.
5. Specific opt-in/out. The entire opt-out system needs enhancement. Currently we learn nothing from it, and for that matter neither does the user. They opt out of one type of email, yet still get the other type, and we get angry missives.
Randy Rensch commented
Some newsletters are a combination of news and promotion. For the promotion segment, it would be helpful to have an Event description field that is shorter than what might be on the website's detail page for the event. Events could then be inserted via macro. Newsletters are already time-consuming enough to compose.
Carly Anderson commented
I would definitely like to have some way to post a link to the newsletters I have made instead of having to copy, paste and save to PDF, then up load and attach file on page. This way any members just joining up after I have sent an email can view.
We would also like new newsletter templates that are easy to use and include responsive design for mobile devices.