Create & Send Emails
Emails, specifically Ad Hoc emails, are what you can send to groups of people who have accounts in your Tilma website and their personal subscription settings are set to receive communications from you.
In the main CMS side navigation, find and click on Emails.
When you open up the Emails tool, you will see three tabs:
- Ad Hoc
These are the emails that you create to send about on any subject or for any reason. For example, this could be a weekly email to the entire parish containing a link to download this weeks’ bulletin, or could be an email targeted only to parents of children participating in PREP.
Ad Hoc emails can be prepared and scheduled to be sent at any time.
The Welcome email is the automated email that is sent to individuals when a new Tilma account is created by a parish. This might be if a Tilma admin sets up an account on a parishioner’s behalf, or as a result of making many accounts as a result of importing a CSV of parishioner names, email addresses, and, optionally, giving envelope numbers. Go to Import CSV List for more about importing your list of parishioners.
The content in the body of this email can be modified to suit the needs of each parish.
In the Ad Hoc tab, there two sub-tabs:
In Drafts, you will see a list, or index, of all emails in the process of being drafted and not yet sent. You can click on an existing draft to open it up and continue editing so it can be queued up to be sent.
You can also create a new email by clicking the “ New email” button. This will open up a brand new email draft.
In Sent, you see all the emails that had previously been sent. You can click on the emails to view the settings and the content.
Each email in both Drafts and Sent has an ellipsis (...) menu. Hovering over this menu will activate the menu, which contains the “Duplicate email” item to create an exact duplicate of the email in its current state.
Create New or Edit Emails
Click the “New email” button to create a new email, or click on an existing draft to edit. You’re presented with two Panels:
The Settings panel is where you add all of the various settings for your email, and it’s divided into three sections.
Email Title – this is the name of the email you will see in the index of draft or sent emails. This is just for you to be able to identify each email and is not seen by the public.
To: Subscription List or Filter / Segment This List – this is the choice for the audience your email will go to.
To: Subscription List
The dropdown menu will let you select from the series of preset subscription lists that each parishioner has the choice to subscribe to in the personal profile.
Filter / Segment This List
The is where you can use search queries of People to send emails to people based on account information. This can be really useful for segmenting, or grouping, people based on personal data or other related info.
For example, if you’re sending an invite to married couples to take part in a weekend marriage retreat, you can find all the people in the parish who are married and send the email to them. Or you can find all the parents of PREP-aged children to let them know how to register for the next set of PREP classes with a link to the registration form on your Tilma website.
If the data is in a person’s profile, that can be used to create a query, meaning you can communicate directly to the right people at the right time. Go to Create & Edit People Queries to find out how to create or modify your own queries.
Schedule – Using the date picker, you can choose with day and time in the future to send the email.
Subject Line – this is the subject line that will display in a recipient’s inbox. Write something concise and catchy to guarantee this email will get opened. This article might help.
Preview Text – some email apps, especially on mobile devices -- which is where the vast majority of how emails are read -- will display some preview text. This is where you can give a sneak peak of what the recipient will gain by opening the email.
Custom Banner – this is the banner, or header image, for your email. You can use the default banner and transparent overlay as set in your Site Settings, or you can choose to override the defaults. You can choose to:
- Upload a new background image and keep the existing transparent overlay, or no overlay at all.
- Upload a new transparent overlay to appear over the default background.
- Upload a new a new background and transparent overlay
Send out tests of your email before sending to the chosen recipient list to make sure it looks okay and that links are working properly. You can add up to five email addresses for test recipients, each separated with a comma. Click the “Save & Send Test” button to send the email to the test recipients.
In the Editor panel is where you add your content for the email itself. Go to Intro to Content Editing for more information on how to use the live page editor.
In the body of the email, you can type or paste in your text, the same as any page or resource.
However, emails have some restrictions on what content can be included. The Quick Insert Tool will only allow you to add:
- Photos – Place images on page, including adding captions and alt text
- Bullet points – create new sets of bullets, both Unordered and Ordered (numbered)
- Horizontal lines – separate sections on a page with a full-width line
- Insert Content Block – insert links to other content in your site, such as Resources articles, in attractive cards
- Button insert – add "Call to Action" buttons in the body and customize the link
If you’re not ready to send your email, but want to save your draft for editing later, you can click the “Save Draft” link in the top-left corner. While your progress is constantly auto-saved at fairly regular intervals, clicking this link will save your work up to the second. After clicking, you will be directed back to the index of draft emails.
Clicking the Preview button in the top-right corner will display how the email should look and how links work in a recipient’s desktop email app.
Once you’re ready to send your email, click the “Ready to send” button, and that will queue your email to be sent at the day and time you set in the Settings panel.
If you hover your cursor over the little dropdown arrow on the button, you reveal more options:
- Delete – deletes your draft email
- Update & Send Test – saves your progress and sends a test to whatever email address is saved in the Test Email field in Settings.