If you send emails to your members, you may find it easier to do so via Mail Chimp, which offers a free service up to 2000 subscribers and less than 12,000 emails per month.
Below is a step by step approach on how to do this, with a video at the bottom of the page.
In order to get this your local unit MailChimp account set up, you may require the assistance of the TRTA. You see, MailChimp does not like you to send email through them using your Gmail, Yahoo!, or other accounts. Not to worry, we can set up a TRTA account for you to send these emails through. Just send us a request with your local unit name, and we will get you set up with your new email account and a new Mail Chimp account to go with it. We will also populate your MailChimp account with your local members, so that you can begin sending right away.
Once you have received correspondence from the TRTA stating that your account has been set up, please proceed to mailchimp.com, and press the Log In button, which is located in the top right corner of the MailChimp page:
Next, enter the username and password that was in the TRTA email you received:
Next, it is time create and send an email. MailChimp likes to call the process of sending an email a "Campaign." It's rather confusing at first. We will send this email (Campaign) to ourselves so that we can get comfortable with Mail Chimp before we send out the real thing. Again, a Campaign is basically an email that you send to your users. Click on "Create a Campaign:"
Sending this Campaign is at first a cumbersome process, but once you get the Campaign just the way you want it, you can Replicate this Email (Campaign) and simply modify the already-created settings (the template and formatting, who you send it to) to send out all subsequent Emails (Campaigns). This will be discussed more later.
Sending your "Campaign" to a "List"
Upon clicking Create a Campaign, you would be prompted to choose a list to send your Campaign to, or create a new one. Typically you will have just one list - your Local Unit (or District) Member list, which will contain all of your local unit email addresses in it. But you also have the option of sending the email (Campaign) you are creating to yourself (and anyone else) before sending it out to the whole list by Clicking Preview and Test > Send a Test Email, which can be found in the main menu.
MailChimp is smart enough to know that, if you don't have any subscribers yet, you can send this email to yourself as a test.Below is an example of how this next screen would look if you were the Austin RTA technology contact, and you do not have your own list set up yet:
Next, you need to enter your "Campaign Info." Basically, this information describes the email you are about to send to yourself as a test. Enter "Quarterly Member Newsletter" or "Monthly Member News" as both the "Name your campaign" and Email subject. Enter the name of your local unit in the "From name" label, and the email address that you'd like replies to go to. You can use the email address created by TRTA for this, which forwards to the email address you provided as your contact.
Once done, click Next > at the bottom right corner of the screen.
Now, it is time to select your template. For testing purposes the simplest template is all the way at the bottom. Click Select and proceed to the next screen.
Now that you have selected your template, it is time to design your email. Click the X in the top right to begin:
As you type into each element, notice that what you type is displayed on the left, while the formatting is on the right.
You will notice that the toolbars resemble those of Mura CMS's and have similar features:
Once you are done, click next, and you are all set to send!!!
Please confirm that you received the email!
Now that you are a pro at sending newsletters, it is time to send to your list!
Sending your second email (Campaign) is far easier than your first. Simply Replicate the Campaign you just created, and edit the settings you want to change, keep the ones you don't, type the new content, and send!