In this Article
- Prepare to send your message
- Create internal message name
- Customize message details
- Include other channels
- Update and test send
- Attach a Page Pop
- Send or schedule send
Prepare to send your message
A lot happens behind the scenes before you actually start preparing your message to be sent out. Consider and complete each of these steps before moving on to creating your first message.
- Create a Messages folder system to keep organized.
- Create Lists and add recipients.
- Decide if your message will be Promotional or an Important Announcement.
- Create a template or choose from an existing one.
- Choose which channels you can also send to (Mobile Apps, SMS, and/or Voice) if you are a Messages XR subscriber.
- Set up a reply-to address.
Create internal message name
Once you are ready, click on the Messages tab of the Messages module. First, select a folder to keep organized. Otherwise, the message will be considered Uncategorized. Then, click on the green Create Message button at the upper right of the screen.
The window that pops up will ask you to create an internal name for your message.
Click Next to continue to the Message Details screen to select the settings for your message.
Customize message details
The Message Details screen has all the settings you need to personalize, test, and schedule your message for sending.
Decide whether this is a general message meant to promote your organization, or a vital part of fulfilling your contract with the recipient of the message. Refer to the article, Promotional Messages vs Important Announcements, to learn how these types of messages differ.
Note: Use the Important Announcement with caution as these will override and ignore any recipient consent preferences and should be reserved for important, time-sensitive messages, such as school closures and admission deadlines. Sending promotional or fundraising messages to unsubscribed addresses may be illegal.
Promotional Messages respect recipients’ unsubscribe settings and skip users who have elected to not receive bulk messages. Use the dropdown to choose a list or lists you will be sending this message to.
Important Announcement messages should only include information that is necessary for recipients to interact with the school (such as information about weather delays, critical announcements, and so on.) Sending non-essential information as an Important Announcement message (that is, ignoring users’ contact request settings for non-critical purposes) may open your school up to legal liability. Next to Message To, a dropdown will allow you to Select Groups that exist in Group Manager along with an additional dropdown where it's possible to Select Constituents.
This is the subject line of your email. Use the First Name and Last Name buttons below to Add Personalization to your subject line with your constituents' names. Names can either come from from a Constituent Manager profile or uploaded using a datasheet.
Complete the From Label field to indicate who this message will appear to be sent from. Without a From Label, the default address "email@example.com" will be displayed. Entering a From Label increases visibility and readability as the Inbox Preview will display a title, such as "Finalsite Academy Communications" or "Office of Admissions."
Use the dropdown menu to select which email address will be targeted when a recipient replies to your message. You can select your own address (the default), or any Reply-To addresses that you have permission to use, based on the controls in the Settings section.
Click the Edit Message button next to the message thumbnail to open up the editor to make adjustments to your message in the editor.
Select to Save as Template. Choose a new unique name that doesn't already exist to save this message as a new template.
Note: If the Edit Message button is not showing, this is because editing a message cannot take place while a message is scheduled for send. Remove the scheduled date and time to edit a message that has been scheduled.
You can see a mock-up of how an email will look before it is opened, including the From Label (if included), message Subject, and preview snippet. This information updates dynamically as you change the message settings.
Merge tags will not be populated in this view. To preview merge tags in your subject line, as well as the rest of your message, click on Preview Message above, then search for a constituent in the Preview As field.
The Internal Use Only fields at the very bottom help you keep your messages organized and easy to find again. Enter some notes to describe the message for other Messages admins. Add tags to quickly categorize the message and search for it in Messages, or to display in the Messages element.
From the Message Details screen, click into the Template box.
- When choosing Advanced templates, you will be given the option to Select a template from a dropdown. Only templates that you have permissions for will appear on this dropdown menu. To start from scratch, select Blank template.
- Simple templates are used when you would like to Send a simple email with Messages.
Click Save to proceed to the message editor.
Note: Once you choose a template, it cannot be undone.
Use the tools in the message editor to compose and design your email message. Click Update in the bottom-right corner to save your progress.
When you are ready to continue, click Message Details to return to that screen.
Include other channels
It's easy to send your message out to other channels. If you don't see these tabs in your Messages module, reach out to your Client Success Manager or email firstname.lastname@example.org and learn more about Messages XR.
If you’re using our Mobile App and plan to use this message for push notifications, activate the Mobile App Details toggle on the Mobile Apps tab to add the message. Complete the Title and Body fields to customize the Mobile App message. These messages must be plain-text only, and it’s a best practice to keep them under 160 characters. Use the counter in the upper-right corner of the Body section to keep track of the length of the message.
By default, users will be able to tap on the notification and open the message in their browser. Turn off the Action toggle if you don’t want this to occur. Refer to Push notifications in the Mobile App for more details about this option.
Select the SMS tab and toggle on next to SMS Details to send this message out via SMS, too. Read Send SMS text messages in Messages XR for more details.
Click the Voice tab to include this channel in the sending of your message. Read Send voice messages in Messages XR for instructions and more details.
Update and test send
Click Update at the lower-right of the Message Details screen to confirm the message options.
Before you send a message, it's always a good idea to do a test send to yourself or others. Click the Test Send button in the bottom right of the screen to do so. See Create a Test Send of a message to learn more about this process.
Note: A message cannot be sent without setting a Reply-To email address or selecting a mailing list. If either of these conditions is not met, a warning icon will appear on the Email tab, as well as next to the required setting(s).
When a message is sent or fails to send, a notification email will be sent to the admin who created the email, as well as the admin who sent the email (if applicable) and the reply-to address. Under Notification Email Recipients, you may also send the notification to up to 10 additional email addresses.
Attach a Page Pop
Why not display your message as a Page Pop to further increase visibility of your message? Read Attach a Page Pop to a message for steps on how to do this.
Send or schedule send
Once you are happy with your message, you can Schedule Send with the button in the bottom-right menu. You may choose Send Now to send the message immediately, or Send Later to schedule it for a later date and time. For Send Later, a window will open allowing you to select a future date and time to send the message. It conveniently allows you to confirm and add Notification Email Recipient(s) here, as well. You will be asked to confirm your choice before clicking Send.
When a message is scheduled, the bottom toolbar will display Message Scheduled for (date/time) and, also, the button in the bottom right corner allows you to Update Schedule in case you need to change the date or time of the send.
Note: Editing a message is not available while a message is scheduled for send. Remove the scheduled date and time to edit a message that has been scheduled.
If the message failed to send, you will need to resend the message.