This is a quick guide to get you started with composing and sending newsletters.
Composing using EmailPad
To apply Pirate Party Australia branding and maintain a consistent style, compose your newsletter (e-mail message) using EmailPad. The application will allow multiple users to collaborate in real time, and shows a live preview of the newsletter.
Pick a descriptive title (e.g. mailout-nsw-2019-01-19) and click "Load". If you have already started drafting an email in an existing pad, you can enter this into the text box instead. EmailPad uses MarkDown syntax to format the text - a cheatsheet is available on GitHub if you are unfamiliar with it. The "Example Email" button will load a sample newsletter to demonstrate EmailPad in operation for reference.
Once you have finished composing your newsletter, click the arrow on the "Export HTML" button and select "DaDa mailer content HTML" (see 2nd screenshot). This will open a new tab with generated HTML (see 3rd screenshot) that you can import directly into the mailing lists.
Accessing the mailing lists
To access the mailing lists:
- Go to https://lists.pirateparty.org.au/cgi-bin/dada/mail.cgi and scroll to the bottom of the page.
- Click on the "Administration" link
- Select your mailing list from the drop down box, enter your list password and click "Login".
Creating a new message
The "Send a Message" page should have automatically loaded after logging in, otherwise, it can be accessed via the navigation menu at the top of the page (Mass Mailing > Send a Message).
Change the e-mail subject to an appropriate title (see 1st screenshot, red highlight). Note: leave the <!-- tmpl_var list_settings.list_name --> tag intact. The software will automatically replace it with the mailing list name when your newsletter is sent.
Next, click the source button (see 1st screenshot, green highlight) and delete all of the contents of the text editor i.e. <html> ... </html>.
Copy and paste the HTML generated by EmailPad into the text editor window - your screen should look similar to the 2nd screenshot.
There is no need to compose a plain text version of your newsletter; Dada mail will generate this for you automatically. If you need to attach a file, please contact the IT Team first. There are usually more efficient methods for mass distribution of files than e-mail.
Sending a test message
It is a good idea to send a test message to check the newsletter is formatted correctly and that there are no typos. Better yet, have another person assist you to proofread it!
By default, Dada sends the test message to the list owner. You can change this to another address via the "Options" > "Testing" tabs.
Click the green "Send Test" button at the top of the page and check your e-mail inbox.
Sending a mass mailing
If you are satisfied with the composed newsletter, click the yellow/orange "Send Mass Mailing" button at the top of the page to send it to all the mailing list subscribers.
Note: once a mass mailing has started, it is generally not possible to cancel it due to the speed of the process.