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HOWTO: Add and Manage a Newsletter

by Portal Web Editor last modified Jan 10, 2013 10:00 AM
This tutorial describes how to request a newsletter for your group, add subscribers to the newsletter, manage subscriber status, add and edit newsletters, send a newsletter, batch import subscribers, and use web-page editors like Adobe Dreamweaver to format your newsletters.

By: Harlow Pinson
Created on: 02/07/07
Last Revised: 02/02/07

 

Adding a PloneGazette Newsletter Management Tool

If you would like to send and manage a newsletter from the portal, you must request that a PloneGazette Newsletter Tool be set up for you by the Portal Managers . Make this request to the Portal Administrator (info@rmportal.net). Please provide the Portal Administrator with a valid return email address for newsletter email communication with your organization.

Once setup, the Portal Administrator will send you an email telling you where your PloneGazette Newslettertheme tool is located, usually in a group folder that you are a member of. Go to that folder, locate the PloneGazette Newsletter tool, and click its link to enter the tool.

 

Adding Subscribers

  1. The PloneGazette Newsletter tool lets you add, manage, and delete subscribers to your newsletter.

  2. To add a subscriber manually, navigate into your PloneGazette Newslettertheme tool, and click the add to folder dropdown menu and select subscriber. The Your Account screen appears.

  3. Enter the email address of the user you want subscribed to your newsletter. This must be a valid email address, or the person will not receive your newsletter.

  4. Leave the Format radio button set to HTML, which gives you more design flexibility. You may also choose Text which will format the newsletter as text-only that any email client software can read.

  5. Check the box under Account Activation. This activates the subscriber receiving your newsletter. If this box is not checked, the subscriber will not get the newsletter.

  6. Click Save. The subscriber is added.

  7. Repeat to add another subscriber.

 

Viewing Subscribers and Changing their Subscription Status

  1. To view and change the status of subscribers (unsubscribe), enter the PloneGazette Newslettertheme tool and click the Informations (sic) tab.

  2. The Informations tab lists subscribers, active, inactive and total. Each subscriber is listed, and an asterisk indicated if they are active subscribers or not. Only active subscribers receive newsletters.

  3. To unsubscribe a person, click on that persons email address. The Your subscriber account for <email address> screen appears.

  4. Click the Edit tab.

  5. Uncheck the Account Activation checkbox and click Save. The person is unsubscribe bit not deleted, and may be activated again later.

  6. To view subscription status, return to the Informations tab.

 

Add a Newsletter

  1. To add a newsletter, enter the PloneGazette Newslettertheme tool and click the add item dropdown menu and select newsletter. You are taken to the Edit Newsletter screen.

  2. Type a Name for your newsletter. This is the part that will show up as part of the web address. This should be short, descriptive and preferably not contain spaces, underscores or mixed case. An example would be: my_team_newsletter_january_2007

  3. Type a Title for your newsletter. This should be descriptive, and will show as the subject of the mail client of the recipients. Example: My Team Newsletter. Volume 1. January 2007.

  4. Type a Description of your newsletter. This text will not be included in the newsletter sent to your subscribers. It will show in the search results as a short summary of your newsletter. Please enter plain text (not HTML).

  5. In Newsletter content type the content of your newsletter using the embedded KUPU text editor to format your next. For more information on how to use the KUPU text editor, see the HOWTO. You can also use web page editors like Dreamweaver to format text and add graphics, but that is beyond the scope of this HOWTO

  6. You can set a Date emitted. Setting this date does not affect when you send the newsletter to subscribers. It is for reference only.

  7. When you are happy with the format and content of your newsletter, click the Save button. Your newsletter is ready to be sent to your subscribers.

  8. Your newsletter must be in a Public state for you to send it. To do this, click on the state dropdown menu and select visible. Click the state dropdown menu a second time and select publish (note that newsletter editors must have permission to publish within the newsletter theme tool).

  9. To return and edit your newsletter enter the PloneGazette Newslettertheme tool and locate your newsletter. Click to enter it.

  10. Click the Edit tab of your newsletter, and use the KUPU editor as above to make changes. Click Save when you are done.

 

Send a Newsletter

  1. Once you have created a newsletter, you can send it to your subscribers. To do so, enter your PloneGazette Newslettertheme. Click the newsletter you wish to send (you may have many) to enter that newsletter.

  2. To test, click the test tab. Click the link Click here to send this newsletter as plain text and HTML to <email address>. The newsletter will be sent to the return email address that you told the Portal Administrator to use when you requested the newsletter be setup. You should receive the newsletter within a few minutes. Review it for format, spelling, and content, and edit to make any changes.

  3. Once you are convinced that your newsletter is ready to be sent, return to the newsletter and click the send tab. Click the Send to subscribers button. Your newsletter will be sent. If your distribution list is long, this may take a while.

 

Advanced: Batch Import of Subscribers

  1. The PloneGazette Newslettertheme tool allows you to import and activate many subscribers at once.

  2. To do this, enter your PloneGazette Newslettertheme and click the import tab.

  3. Create and save your batch user import file in a text editor with the .csv extension. You can also export from Microsoft Excel in this format.

  4. You must have a .csv text file ready to import, in this exact format, with one line for each user:

    email,active,format
    jmondragon@unm.edu,1,html
    dbenson@unm.edu,1,html
    jdarby@unm.edu,0,html

  5. Note that the column headers are required, and that for active 0 = not and 1 = active.

  6. To import subscribers, Browse to the .csv file on your computer and click Import. A report will give you the final result.

 

Advanced: Formatting Your Newsletter

  1. More advanced newsletter editors will want to use a web page editor like Dreamweaver to format their newsletter. Microsoft Word is not recommended for formatting newsletters.

  2. To do this, build your newsletter as an html web page in Dreamweaver. Most HTML and CSS formatting is allowed.

  3. Once formatted, in Dreamweaver Code View, copy all HTML onto your clipboard.

  4. On the Portal , enter your PloneGazette Newslettertheme, and then enter the edit tab of your Newsletter.

  5. Change KUPU to HTML mode by clicking the HTML icon located in the KUPU toolbar.

  6. Paste your HTML into the KUPU HTML text entry field.

  7. Save your work, view, and reedit if you see problems.

  8. It is important that you test your newsletter by sending it to a test user before sending it to your full subscription list. HTML rendering is somewhat unpredictable in different end-user web browsers, so results may not always be what you expect.

Things to note:

  • All imagery and embedded media MUST be referenced with an Absolute URL and it MUST have a state of published or public draft . For example:

    http://www.rmportal.net/members/myfolder/pics/panamabay.jpg
    with a state of public draft.

    an HTML img tag would look like:
    <img source="http://www.rmportal.net/members/myfolder/pics/panamabay.jpg" width="320" height="240">

  • This is something you will have to manually alter in Dreamweaver or KUPU HTML mode.

  • If you do not know the difference between an Absolute URL and a Relative URL, consult an HTML reference text, or ask the Portal Manager for assistance.

  • The reason for this is when you send your newsletter, the person receiving it will view it in a web browser and any image or file reference must be available over the web, and located in a place that the web browser can find. Also, if your image is not in a published state, say it is private for instance, it will not be viewable by anyone except those on the portal with permission to view it. A public state allows anonymous access to the image or file.

 

 
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