Sending an email blast

Get set up as a Broadcaster

To send an email blast, you'll need to set yourself up as a Broadcaster.  To do this, an admin has to go to Communication > + Add New Broadcaster (will open in new window).  Enter the name and email address as they should appear on the emails NationBuilder will be sending.  Note that it does not allow Yahoo, AOL, or Gmail addresses, and recommends against others like hotmail.

First, find your people

Everything in NationBuilder works with lists, so the first thing to do is to make a list of the people you want to email.

Go to the People tab in the top menu and you'll see everyone in our Nation (about 37000 people) so we need to filter that.  You can filter by various things - experiment by clicking on the little funnel icon and adding criteria - but the simple ones are:

  • People who signed a petition, did a survey, or similar: these people will be tagged with something depending on what the survey or petition settings said.  You can click Add Critera, select Tags, and add the list of tags you want your people to have
  • People in a particular ward: select Add Criteria, Voting Districts, Ward.  NationBuilder figures out people's wards from their addresses (if it has them).  Your ward may have multiple different definitions (e.g. East Chesterton seems to have "East Chesterton", "East Chesterton Ward", and separate entries for the three polling districts) so I'd just add them all.
  • Members: membership data only makes it to NationBuilder intermittently, but there'll be a tag called cam_member with YYMM in it - search for people with that in their Tags.

Once you've done one or more of these you can click Filter and it'll tell you a list of people and how many are in it.

Remove undesirables

But you need to make sure to remove people who don't want email from us.  Add a criterion under Email, "Emailable" and make sure it says "is emailable".  This will remove people who've opted out of our emails as well as those NationBuilder has decided it can't email for some reason.

Make a list!

Click Action and "Add all to list".  Then click "+ Create List" to make a new list and give it a name.  It's helpful to give it a name which includes at least your name or initials and some date information.  A little pop up box will appear at the top saying that the list is being created and then after a while it'll say "people were added to osd_wombatfanciers_201803" (or whatever).

Having a blast

A blast is NationBuilder-ese for sending an email to lots of folk.

Go to the Communications menu item and click on it.  It'll bring up a list of people in which you can find yourself.  Once you've found yourself, click on "New email blast".  Your new blast needs a slug (just a short identifier for it) and a description which will help you when you're looking at it in the future.  Click on "Create and edit email blast".

You want to send your email to Supporters, matching a List, and then you can select the list you created earlier in the "on list" box.

Save and select theme - choose Email basic.

Click on Content.  Now you get to write your email.

You can save your email before you send it, and you can also do a test email to yourself (button bottom right) before you send it to the world.

Then click Review and Send, and if all still seems OK, click "Send email now to x persons".  Or you can schedule the blast to go out at a particular time.