First, open your Dashboard and head to Engage in the sidebar. If you don't have access to Engage yet, visit the “Engage” tab in your Dashboard and click the Request Access button for consideration. If your Engage page looks like the image below, you'll need to connect your email domain, add email senders, and get your custom branding set up before you can send an email.
Okay, I've configured my Engage settings! ✅
When Engage is set up and ready to use, click "New Message" in the top right, then select "Email Message".
Note: We have a separate guide on creating an SMS message in Engage!
The first screen you'll see is the list of Contacts you want the message to be sent to. (If you don't have Contacts in your account yet, you'll need to import these before you're able to proceed.)
Step 1: Filtering your Contacts 📙
By default, all your Contacts will be included. To narrow this down, create a new Filter to include a targeted group of Contacts.
You can create Filters to create targeted groups based on a variety of different criteria, such as:
Presets: A selection of preset options, including one-time donors
Campaigns: Donors who have given to a specific campaign
Contact: Donors who have given a certain amount, recurring donors, Contacts since a certain date, or by Tags
Team Member: Team Members on campaigns based on how much they've raised, the date they registered, or the number of supporters
Transactions: Donors who have a Transaction meeting the criteria set, ie. credited to a specific Team Member, over a certain amount, or by date
Tickets: Ticket holders of a specific Ticket Type, status (ie. checked in), or by number of tickets purchased
Recurring Plan: Donors with recurring plans by start date, amount, frequency (ie. monthly donors), or payment method
DonorSearch: Criteria set by DonorSearch such as rating or annual gift likelihood
These are cumulative Filters, so you can select multiple criteria. Tags are a great way to designate a specific group of Donors if you aren't sure how to get started!
You can also Filter Contacts by clicking the dropdown arrow to the right side of the Filter button. This will give you the options of Segments (saved Filter groups) and Presets.
Subscription status ❌
If a Contact has this red icon next to it, this Contact is unsubscribed:
Unsubscribed Contacts will not be sent a message, even if they are displayed in your filtered list of Contacts.
If there are just a few, there's no action required on your end, and you can proceed to the next step. If all of your Contacts are unsubscribed, you'll need to bulk subscribe your Contacts.
Step 2: Drafting your Engage message ✏️
After finishing up your Contact list, you'll head to the message composer! It's formatted a little like an email composer. In the top section, you'll see:
the number of Contacts it'll be sent to (and any excluded Contacts)
a field to choose an email sender
the Subject of the message
any file attachments you'd like to add
First, name your email - this will help keep you organized later on! You can do this by clicking the pencil icon next to the title, which will be a Draft number by default. (You can also do this after a message is sent.)
Choose your email sender. This will be the email address that displays as the "from" email when it's sent out. This is part of the setup process, so head here if you'd like to add email senders!
Add a subject for your message.
This is limited to 255 characters
You can then add attachments to your message.
Up to 5MB of attachments are supported
Up to 10 separate attachments
Images, PDFs, and MS Office files are supported
Head to the next section, where you'll see your brand color and logo pre-populated in the composer. If they aren't quite right, you can edit your outbound branding settings.
Click "Message..." to begin typing your message.
Read on to learn more about the icons included in the message composer, or skip ahead to sending a test email and see how it looks! 👀
Email composer icons and options
Add: Paragraph, Image, Quote, Line, Canva, YouTube
Maximum image width is 600 pixels and size is 5MB
Format: Normal (body text), a selection of Headings and list options
Bold, Italic, and Strikethrough options
Inline Format options
Customized contact variables (also known as dynamic variables)
Send a test Engage email
Once you're happy with your message, you can send a test by clicking "Send a test" in the upper right corner of the composer. You can send a test email to multiple people if you like.
Step 3: Scheduling and Preview 👀
Next, you'll need to decide when you want your Engage message to go out! The options are:
Schedule for later (set a date and time)
Note: The time zone shown for scheduled messages is based on the time zone selected in your Account settings. To change it, head to Account > About > Organization Profile > General Details.
Below the "Schedule" section, you'll see a Preview of your message. If you didn't send a test email to yourself, this is where you'll see a sample!
Click the "Send Email" or "Schedule Email" button in the bottom right when you're done.
Your message will now appear under the Sent or Scheduled tabs in Engage.
Once it's sent, a look at your outbound message statistics to see how many people have opened your message!
My Engage message is sending slowly, or has only been delivered to some of the Contacts I selected.
Engage emails will start sending immediately at the scheduled time, but it can take some time for it to reach everyone depending on how big the list is (ie. if you have hundreds of Contacts). This can also take a little longer if you have large attachments or images added to the email.
My message failed to send, or is displaying as Failed on the Contact List.
If your message failed to send, or you're seeing Failed statuses when you open up the Contact List for the message, there may be a typo in your email sender address. Head to Engage > Settings > Email Senders and double check that there are no typos or special characters (ie. a comma or apostrophe).