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Mailings Tool

The Mailings tool is a feature of the probono.net platfrom used to send e-communications emails to filtered probono.net members.

The Mailings tool is in the lower left-hand navigation column in the Admin Tool Tray.

Selecting filters in any drop down box narrows the recipient list to those members who meet the selected criteria. If nothing is selected in a filter, then none of the categories in the box will narrow down your recipient list.

  • TIP: Hold down the CTRL key to select more than one item in any multi-item select box. To deselect an item, hold down the CTRL key and click on the highlighted item.

Step 1: Select Target Members

Use the Member Types list to restrict your recipient list to one or more member types from your practice area. If no member types are selected, then the mailing will be sent to all area members.

Step 2: Filter Recipients

Here you can further define the mailing's recipients based on the information in the core fields of the membership join form.

  • NOTE: The mailings tool filters based on the "OR" value. That is, if multiple filters are selected, the mailing will include members who meet at least one of the selected criteria. For example, if you select the Family Law, Bankruptcy and Housing checkboxes, the mailing will include all members who have checked either family law or bankruptcy or housing. It will not limit the mailing to only members who have selected all three.

Additional Recipients
If you wish to send this mailing to other members who fall outside the criteria you've selected, or individuals who are not registered members, enter their email addresses here. Email addresses MUST be separated with commas.

  • NOTE: You can use the Show Recipients feature at the bottom of the mailing form to preview the results of adding filters.

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Step 2b: Area Specific and Admin-only Questions

Here you can further define the mailing's target recipients based on the area specific questions of your practice area's membership join form, including admin-only viewable questions.

  • NOTE: Only checkbox and yes/no questions appear as mailing filters. Questions with text answers do not display in the Mailings tool.

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Step 3: Assemble the Message

Reply to

The mailing reply email address will default to the profile email name address of the person creating the mailing. Admins can also manually enter a different email name and address. Address formatted as johnsmith@probono.net will be sent from that email address and will display John Smith in the From field in the recipients email client. Alternatively, admins can enter just an email address such as johnsmith@probono.net in the Reply to field. In this case, the email address will also appears as the display name in the recipients email client.

The following options give you the ability to create a formatted HTML message or a plain text message with no formatting at all. If the Plain Text radio button is selected, any content in the HTML FCKEdit box will be delivered as an attachment to the Text Part. If the HTML Email radio button is selected, this content will be delivered as the body of the email.

  • NOTE: HTML emails may lose their formatting and images because many email clients do not support all HTML features. Click the View Notes link in this section for more information on HTML email.

Text Part
This is a plain text field. Compose your message directly in this box.

HTML Part
Compose your message directly in this box to make it a formatted HTML email. Add images, photos, links, bold, italics, etc. using the FCKEditor tool bar icons at the top.

  • TIP: See below for instructions on how to create short URL links for use when providing links back to the website in email to members.

See Appendix A for tips on getting the best results from FCKEditor.

  • NOTE: If you type or paste text into the HTML attachment box and then delete it, the HTML formatting code may get left behind. The result will be that the system thinks there's something in the attachment (even though it looks blank) and will send a blank attachment with your email. To ensure there's really nothing in the HTML attachment, click on the HTML tab at the bottom of the FCKEdit box. If you see code there, highlight it all and delete it, then click back on the Normal tab.
  • NOTE: If you are sending an HTML mail, you should include a plain text version of the content as well. The probono.net mailings tool sends messages as multi-part messages, which will display as plain-text for email clients that are set to discard HTML formatting. Including a plain text version helps ensure that recipients are able to read the substantive email content.

For more information on sending HTML newsletters, check out E-newsletter Etiquette.

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Step 4: Scheduling

Click the link indicated to reveal delivery options for your mailing. See screen shot below:

Send Date
Enter the date on which the system should send this mailing.

Repeat:
"Repeat this mailing on a regular interval" allows you to choose how often your mailing will go out, in an interval of X number of days from the Send Date above.

Delivery
  • Generate this mailing immediately
    By checking this box, you immediately place a copy of your mailing in your Admin Inbox under Awaiting Approval.
    If unchecked, your mailing definition will be saved but will not be sent or put in your Admin Inbox.
  • Send mailings immediately
    Checking this box sends the mailing to its recipients within 10 minutes of clicking the Send button at the bottom of the form.
    If this option is not checked and you click the Send button, the mailing will go to your Admin Inbox's Awaiting Approval if Generate this mailing immediately is also checked.
  • Do not delete unapproved or unsent mailings generated by this definition
    If this option is checked, any mailings with this same definition that are awaiting approval or delivery will NOT be overwritten by this one.
  • Send to recipients that chose to be excluded from all mailings
    Selecting this will override the "Exclude from all mailings" option on roster profiles/join forms.

TIP: If you'd like to save a draft of a mailing without sending, make sure Generate this mailing immediately and Send mailings immediately are not checked and press Send. This will save your progress as a mailing definition that can be opened later.

Send Button
If Send mailing immediately is checked, this button will mail out your message within 10 minutes. First it will appear in your Admin Inbox under Approved > Mailing items. Once it is sent, its Admin Inbox status will change to Sent.

  • NOTE: This gives you the chance to go to your Admin Inbox and make any last minute changes to it, or delete it altogether. But keep in mind that it goes out within 10 minutes, which could mean in the next couple of minutes or the next eight minutes. If you absolutely must review your mailing before sending it, uncheck Send Mailings Immediately.

If Send mailings immediately in not checked, clicking the Send button will place the mailing under Awaiting Approval>Mailing in your Admin Inbox.

Send to Myself
This is a good way to preview what it's like to receive your mailing. Clicking this button will send the mailing only to your email address. Meanwhile, the mailing screen remains open, with the mailing unsent to its recipients, so you may make any changes before you choose to send it. Unlike clicking Send, there is no time restriction with this option on making changes because you haven't told the system to send it out.

Show Recipients
Clicking this button will refresh the page with all the recipient's email addresses displayed at the top. You may continue to edit the mailing and send or send to yourself as you wish.

  • NOTE: Recipients do not see other recipients in the "To:" field when they get their message; they only see their own email address.

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Including links to your site in the Message box

A simple utility, Create Link Abbreviation, under the Utilities section of your Admin Inbox, allows you to include short links to your site content in this Message field. The utility transforms the longer urls probono.net content takes (such as a news article or library resource) to short urls which the Message box keeps active. Recipients just click these short links and they will be taken directly to the specified site content.

TIP: You can create short urls for:

  • calendar events
  • calendar views, such as Topic or Location or Date views
  • library resources
  • library views, such as Folders or Topic view
  • individual library Topic folders, e.g., an "Adoption" folder from the Topic view
  • library attachments such as DOCs, LINKs, etc.
  • news articles
  • new cases
  • new cases views, such as Topic or Location views
  • opps guide organizations or search results

How to use "Create Link Abbreviation"
Go to your Admin Inbox and click "Create Link Abbreviation" under "Other Utilities." Follow the instructions below:

  1. Open a second browser and go to whatever section of your site you wish to create links for this mailing.
  2. Copy the URL from any page of your site OR
  3. Right-click the title of any news article, new case, calendar event, tool view, library folder, or library attachment (DOC, LINK, etc. attached to library resources) and select "Copy shortcut."
  4. Go back to the window in which you have your Admin Inbox open. In the Utilities section, click on "Create Link Abbreviation."
  5. Paste the URL into the Long Link field (CTRL + V) and click "Create Short Link."
  6. The page will refresh displaying both the original "long link" and a "short link" that redirects to the original.
  7. Both links are "hot" and you should test off that page before using in an email (if you miscopy the original, the short link won't work either).
  8. After you test, copy and paste the short url into your Message box.

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