How to post to GCC lists

How to Post GCC Emails

I’ve moved our mailing lists from our old MailPress system into MailChimp. The old system was nice because it automatically sent emails of whatever was posted to groups associated with the post’s WordPress category (land use, transportation, etc.)  But that system stopped working, was always a little inscrutable, and made it impossible to post without emailing or vise versa. It was totally unsupported and undocumented so I lost patience with it.

MailChimp is a free service if you send less than 2000 emails each month. It allows us to set up groups and predefined “segments”. I’ve copied over all of the MailPress groups (GCC, land use, transportation, safety/health, outreach, and library park), and added another 75 names or so that were collected at the car show and celebrate North Seattle events.  We now have about 380 on our list.  I’ve added the committee chairs to the MailChimp account so you can send emails to your committees.  Rick and Chris, let me know if you want to be added as well.

Part 1: Sending an email to a group

Log into MailChimp. You should have gotten an email about how to log in.  When you log in each time they will send you a code via SMS to complete the login. You’ll start out at the “dashboard.”  Choose “Campaigns” from the menu. Campaigns is MailChimp’s way to describe sending an email.

On the campaign screen, in the top left of the screen, pull down the “create campaign” menu and choose “regular campaign.”

First you’ll be asked what group you want to email to.  In the example below, I’ve set MailChimp to send a new message to the Land Use list. You need to choose “send to a group or new segment”, pull down the “subscribers match” menu to select “all, pulled down the next menu to choose “What mailings do you want to receive?”, and then choose the group to send to.  There are 52 members on the land use list as I write this.

Then you’ll need to name the campaign (just so you can remember later) and insert the email subject line.

I should have said this earlier, but at each step you advance to the next step when complete by clicking on the word Next in the bottom right corner.

Finally, you need to select the GCC email template, which simply adds the new GCC banner at the top.  Click on “Saved Templates…
Then click on GCC email.

Now you’re ready to compose your message.  The screen is split in half, with a preview of the email to the left and a place to compose your message to the right. Initially you will see a variety of different formatting tools in the compose window. The preview window has sections you can select, one of which includes the title and content (shown below when the mouse hovers over it). If you click on that section, the compose window will show editing tools and a text input window. You can add formatting, photos and links using the formatting tools.

When you’re all done and satisfied with your email, click Next. (Save and Close will allow go back to the screen that lets you edit different elements of the email or add new ones.)  On the next page you should see a lot of green check marks (and probably a yellow caution) that says everything checks out.  Now you just need to send the message.

The next email will describe how to send a second, slightly altered email with the same content that posts to the website, and how to fine tune the post on the website once its there.

Please let me know if any of this is unclear or if you have questions.  I will also post this information in the Board Pages on the website in case you need to look it up later.

— Rob

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