Listbox Composer 101: an overview

To send a new message from the Listbox Message Composer, click

Start New Draft

on the main page of the Messages section or Account section.  This takes you to the Message Dashboard.

The Message Dashboard

The dashboard shows you the status of your draft as you work through it.  At any point during message creation, you can save your message and return to the dashboard.

Sections you have already completed are shown in blue.  The next section that requires your action is shown in green.  Sections that you cannot access yet are shown in grey.  You can always return to a section marked in blue, but you must complete the section marked in green before the sections marked in grey will become available.

On the dashboard, you can perform 4 actions:

  • Name your draft (at the top of the page)  Naming your draft helps you differentiate between different drafts you may be working on at the same time
  • Share your draft (in the left column, under your list of existing drafts)  By default, drafts are private -- they are only visible to you.  If you would like other administrators and listowners on your list to be able to view and edit your draft, mark it a "shared draft".
  • Clone a draft/message (under Step 4)  If you would like to send another message, using an existing draft or sent message as the starting point, you can clone that draft.  A new draft will be made, named "Copy of <the first draft's name>"
  • Delete a draft (under Clone this draft)  Please use this option carefully! Deleted drafts cannot be retrieved.  Drafts will remain in your Existing Drafts list until they have been sent or deleted, though, so you may wish to delete drafts you are not planning to use.

Step 1: Select Message Template

In step 1, you can:

  • Name your draft, in case you did not do it on the Dashboard.  We strongly recommend naming your drafts!
  • Select one of the following template types:
    • A public template, one of the templates Listbox provides for all accounts
    • A private template, created for you through Custom Design Services
    • Send Web Page, which takes a URL you provide, and turns it into an email
    • Blank, an unformatted option which allows you to enter text and styling yourself.

Note: You can switch your template after you start entering text, but not all templates include the same number of sections.  Switch templates carefully if you choose to do so.

Step 2: Write Your Message

Step 2 is where you'll set up and write your message.

If you've selected a public or private template, you'll be shown the template, which you will edit by section.  To choose the section you want to start editing, simply roll your mouse over the section, and click on the yellow "Click To Edit" box that appears.

If you've selected "Blank", your entire message is one section.  Click in the box to begin writing.

This will open up an editor in the center of the page.

Note:  Changes are saved when you click "OK" in the editor window.  If you are composing your message directly, or making a lot of changes, please make sure to click OK from time to time, so your changes can be saved.

If you've selected "Send Web Page", you'll be prompted to enter the URL of the page you want to use.

All these options edit the HTML version of the message, which is the one that can include images, colors, text styles and more.  We automatically generate a "plain text" version of your message for you, which is included for email programs that cannot display HTML.  If you wish to edit the plain text version, or make the plain text version just include a link to the HTML version, please click the Change/Edit link for Plaintext Content on the dashboard.

Step 3: Pick List & Test

Step 3 lets you set up your draft as an email message.  Here, you'll provide:

  • The list your message should go to
  • The addresses that should get the test copy
  • the From: address the message will display
  • the Subject: line
  • the To: address (we recommend always choosing "The Receiving Member")
  • the Reply-to: address
  • the message footer (including unsubscribe links)

Note: if making sure that the message looks right in, say, Gmail or Outlook or any other email program is very important to you, make sure that you send a test copy to that email program.

Step 4: Send To Your List

This is your final review step.  We show you the email address that test messages were sent to, so you can go check those mailboxes for your test message.

There is a summary of what we're going to send, and how many people will be getting it. Check this number carefully! If you think it should be 10 people, and it says 10,000, now is the time to catch it, not after it is sent.

If you are sure that everything looks correct, schedule the message for delivery.  Want the message to go out right away?  Select "Immediately".  Want to specify a time and date in the future?  Click "Pick Time", and click in the box underneath to select the date and time.

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