Trying to wean yourself off the Outlook distribution list model? Here's how you can import those lists and create audiences. The main steps are:
1. Set up your spreadsheet in Excel:
- The first row should include column headers, one column for each piece of information about that user (i.e., First Name, Last Name, Email...). Only Email is required, but you can also import names and addresses if you wish. First and Last Name must be in separate columns if you want to import them.
- Also create a column header for each individual category of that group. (For example, if you want a grants list for agriculture, another for energy, and yet another for education, create three columns, one for each category.)
- Enter email addresses and any other information one constituent per line.
- For each category you'd like to flag that constituent with, enter Yes in the corresponding column. If you want to flag a single constituent with multiple categories, you can put Yes in those additional columns as well. Hint: You can type Yes in one cell, click the bottom-right corner, and drag it downward to fill multiple cells.
- Go to File>Save As and give your file a name. Choose CSV from the file type dropdown, and save it somewhere on your hard drive where you'll be able to find it later.
2. Create a user field for Coalition, Grant, or Press category:
- Go to People>Fields.
- Click "New Field."
- Give the field a name (such as Grants, Coalition or Press - don't include any spaces).
- For "Field Type," select "Multi Select."
- For "Displayed Text," type in "I wish to be included in the following Coalition/Grant/press email lists:".
- At the bottom of this page, click "Add Another Response." Enter a response name. You have the option to associate an issue (category) with each response if you wish. Enter the actual response in "Response Displayed As..." The Response Name and Response Displayed As will probably be the same. If you need to edit a response, click the "Edit" button under the Actions column next to the specific response (the first button on the left).
- Click "Update."
- Repeat steps 6-7 for each category until you have one for each of the categories you created in your spreadsheet.
- Once you've entered all your responses, click "Save."
3. Create an audience for each of those categories:
- Go to People>Audiences.
- Click "New Audience."
- Give the audience a name (such as "Grants-USDA or "Coalition-Agriculture").
- Enter a description for your audience.
- In the Include section, select the "Choose a User Field" dropdown, and select the field that is relevant to the new audience (one of the ones you created in step 2).
- From the next dropdown, leave it as "Is Any Of."
- From the third dropdown, select the specific field response type that you want to include in the audience (with this example, USDA).
- Click "Save." The count will be zero because we haven't imported yet.
- Repeat steps 2-8 for each field from step 2.
4. Import your list:
- Go to People>Imports.
- Click "New Import."
- Click "Choose File," and find the CSV file on your hard drive.
- Click "Next."
- Use the dropdown lists to map each column from your Excel document to the corresponding data field in the Fireside system. For example, assign Email to Email Email (required). Assign each category column on to the corresponding field (These will be listed under MultiSelect Grants, MultiSelect Coalition, or MultiSelect Press).
- Click "Next."
- On step 3, click "Finish."
5. Create a sign up web page/survey (optional):
- Go to Web Site>Surveys.
- Click "New Survey."
- Give the survey a name.
- Click "Create."
- In the survey editor, there are four areas for edits:
- Header Text: Text will appear above your survey. You might write something like "Please fill in your information below to subscribe to my grants/coalition/press email lists."
- Body: The main area is where the questions for the survey are located. It will automatically be populated with the email address as a required field. As well as the OptIn question, which is automatically set up to answer "yes". This question is required and hidden, so by filling out the survey, constituents are automatically opting in to your newsletter. You can delete this by clicking the trash can next to the field.
- Footer Text: Text will appear below your survey. This is where you may tell people that by completing this form they are automatically opting in. You must include a disclaimer if you are automatically opting people in to the newsletter.
- Confirmation Text: This is a space for a thank you message. This will appear once the constituent presses submit on the survey.
Now, you will be back on the "Surveys" page. Click on the "Preview" link in the Form URL column to look at your survey before you publish it. You can click the blue survey name link to edit the survey.
Click the "Not Published" button to publish when you are ready for your survey to go live. Once the survey is live, click "View" in the Form URL column to get the live URL. Use this URL to embed a link on your homepage or in an email newsletter.