How to prepare and send a newsletter

For newsletters, we use the AcyMailing 5 tool, which you find under Components

To write a new newsletter

  • Select Newsletters -> Newsletters from the menu on the left and you get a list of all the previous newsletters (sent and Unsent)
  • Select +New from the top menu. The edit form for the newsletter opens
  • Before putting in any text, select Templates from the top menu. A new screen with different templates opens.
  • Select the first template called L'Arche Kenya. You will be directed back to the newsletter entry form which now contains the outline of the L'Arche newsletter with logo, donate button, contacts etc. The outline also includes some instructions.
  • Put your text where it says Insert text or tag
  • The main topic of your newsletter has a blue background, the following ones have a white background.
  • You can add new table rows by placing the cursor in a row cell and selecting add row above to add a row above the row your cursor is in right now or you can select add row below to add a row below the row where your cursor is in right now.

Adding tags

Tags are placeholder for entire articles. If you just want to highlight the best articles of the website (inviting people to visit the website), you can use tags to insert different parts of an article easily. The tag also contains a direct link to the article.

  • While in the newsletter entry form, move your cursor to a place where you want to insert a tag and select Tags from the top menu. A new window will open.
  • Select Joomla Content from the first row of tags (Website links   Share on .....). A series of options will appear.
  • Under Display select Intro only. This will show the title and intro text of the article in the newsletter, followed by a link that leads the reader to the full article.
  • Under Display select how you want to display intro text and its image.
  • For the rest of the options, you can leave as they are - or experiment and see what they do.
  • Then select the article you want to display in the newsletter from the list below.
  • Finally, click on the Insert button at the top of the window. You will then be directed back to the newsletter entry form where you can see some code for your tag.
  • Once you have placed all your tags (don't forget to save your newsletter every now and then),  select Replace Tags. The tags will then be filled in with the real text, and you can make final adjustments like image sizes, line breaks etc.

Sending a newsletter

  • When the newsletter seems ready to be sent, choose which distribution list to use by selecting Lists from the tabs to the right of the entry form.
  • A list with two entries will appear, select L'Arche Kenya Newsletter. 
  • At the same place, you can also attach a document to your newsletter.
  • select Preview/Send from the top menu.
  • On the new window, you see a preview on the bottom.
  • On the top, you can send yourself a test email. This is highly recommended as you can check how the email looks in your email app.
  • In case you want to change or correct something, select the Edit button in the top menu. You will be directed back to the newsletter entry form.
  • Once your newsletter is ready, select Send in the top menu.
  • You will have to confirm two more times that you really want to send the newsletter.

Note: The current setup of AcyMailing uses Gmail for sending the newsletter. Gmail has a maximum of 800 emails that are allowed to be sent from a specific account per day. This means that the sending out of your newsletter may take several days, depending on how big your distribution list is.

Once all the emails are sent you will receive some replies in the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. inbox. It is highly recommended to go through these emails and do the following:

  • if it is a genuine reply from a person, answer it
  • if it is an error message (recipient not found, no such address, user unknown etc) delete the user from the list. This can be done by selecting Users -> Users from the top menu, searching for the specific user, and then deleting him/her.
  • If it is an out of office message you can ignore the reply. The recipient will see the email once back in the office again.

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