Getting Started

To access our Newsletters feature, log in to your your Admin Area and go to Marketing > Newsletters. Here, you can design newsletters to send to your list of subscribers. Your monthly hosting plan comes with a newsletter email limit. (The limit resets on the first day of each month, regardless of your billing cycle dates.) Here are the newsletter limits for each plan:

Personal: Newsletters not included
Professional: 200 emails a month
Business: 1000 emails a month
Prime: 2000 emails a month

A quick note about sending emails: if our system feels that an email account is sending spam, they may delete it with or without prior notice. Just be sure to only send emails to users who have signed up for them.

How to Create a Newsletter 

The way your newsletters look and what they contain is entirely up to you! You can use plain text, or you can use HTML to design elaborate presentations with product photos and more. To create a newsletter:

  1. Go to Marketing > Newsletters.

  2. Click Add.

Each email newsletter you create includes the following settings:

  • ID (a unique ID number automatically assigned to each newsletter you create).

  • Scheduled Send Date (The date you intend to send the newsletter to your subscribers. This field is also only for administrative reference; it doesn't control the send date.)

  • Email Template (a list of email templates used throughout your store. Choose Newsletter.asp from this list).

  • Send Test Email To (Before you can send a newsletter to your subscribers, you must test it by sending it to a valid email address. Enter the test recipient address here. Note that any address you enter must be listed at Customers > Accounts.)

  • Sent To (lets you choose which kinds of newsletter subscribers will receive the email).

  • Include people who Unsubscribed (sends the newsletter to all of your customers, including those who aren't subscribed to your mailing list).

  • Email Subject (the subject line for the email).

  • Email Body (the content of the email for recipients who can receive email in HTML format).

  • Email Body (Text) (the content of the email for recipients who can only receive email in plain text).

How to Test and Send a Newsletter

Once you've created a newsletter, you'll want to test it out. To do so, just follow these steps:

  1. Go to Marketing > Newsletters.

  2. Click the newsletter ID number.

  3. Click Preview and Send.

This will take you to the newsletter's test page.

Here, you can test the newsletter and view statistics for that billing cycle's newsletter activity. You'll find the following data:

  • The number of newsletters sent during the current billing cycle

  • The number of emails that recipients opened during the current billing cycle

  • The number of customers who unsubscribed from your mailing list

  • The number of customers who marked your newsletters as spam

This data can be instrumental in gauging the effectiveness of your newsletter campaigns.

How to Test Your Newsletter

To test your newsletter, just click Send Test Email.

The email address you use must be a valid email address and belong to a customer account at Customers > Accounts. Once the feature sends the test email, a Stop Here warning displays.

Head on over to your inbox and inspect the test newsletter carefully to make sure it looks OK. Once you're happy with the contents and design, return to the warning message and click Send.

How to Track Newsletter ROI

To determine if you've met your goals for a given newsletter, you can measure its effectiveness using statistics. Each newsletter you create is automatically assigned a tracking URL that you can manually insert into the body of your newsletter. The feature tracks the number of visits, clicks and total orders and purchase amounts generated by all recipients who visited your store using the URL in the newsletter. To view tracking information:

  1. Go to Marketing > Newsletters.

  2. Click the ID number of the newsletter you want to examine.

  3. On the newsletter's settings page, locate the ROI Tracking section.

  4. Click View ROI Tracking Reports.

You can use the information available here to evaluate the effectiveness of your email marketing campaigns!

Anonymous Customers

Please be aware that newsletters are never sent to anonymous customer accounts, even when they're marked as Email Subscriber in the Optional Fields section. If you want an anonymous subscriber to receive your newsletters, you must deselect the Customer Is Anonymous option and save.

Subscribers With Specific Interests

You can also fine-tune your audience by targeting customers with specific interests, thereby increasing your newsletter's effectiveness. Just use the following steps:

  1. At the bottom of the newsletter edit page, open the Send to Customers w/ the Following Interests Only section. Here, you'll find 20 different options. By default, each option is listed as Newsletter 1-20. These options represent topics of interest that correspond to subsets of your subscriber list.

  2. Click Edit next to the section heading to rename one or more of the labels in a more useful fashion, then click Save. The renamed values now appear as selectable special interest groups!

  3. When you create a newsletter, you can select one or more of these special interest group options to apply for that newsletter. If any special interest check boxes are selected, only subscribers with the corresponding check boxes selected in their customer accounts will receive the newsletter.

To assign special interest groups for a specific customer, go to Customers > Accounts and click to edit the customer's account. Expand the Newsletter Subscriptions & Interests section and select the applicable interest groups, then click Save.

❗ Heads up: When a customer's account is marked as belonging to a specific interest group, the customer will still receive any newsletters sent to that special interest group, even if they've unsubscribed from newsletters. For this reason, it's important to make sure that none of your non-subscribing customers' accounts are assigned to specific interest groups! You can remove a customer from a specific interest group by editing the Newsletter Subscriptions & Interests section of their customer account.

How to Edit the Subscription Option

By default, your store asks shoppers if they'd like to receive occasional newsletters from your store when they create a customer account at checkout. The text reads, "I wish to receive occasional newsletter emails from...", followed by the name of your store.

You can edit this text as you like using the following steps:

  1. Go to Design > Site Content.

  2. From the Article Group menu, select PageText.

  3. In the Category menu, select Checkout.

  4. Scroll to the bottom of the page and locate article ID number 694.

In this field, the variable {0} is a placeholder that's automatically filled in with your Company Name (Settings > Company).

Further Info About Subscription Options

A script on the checkout page scans for each visitor's browser language setting, and can recognize U.S. shoppers. The mailing list subscriber check box will be unchecked for visitors outside the United States. You can also set the default value of the check box to an unselected state for all shoppers by default.

If you want to use a third-party solution for managing newsletters, or if you don't want to use newsletters at all, you can remove the check box from your checkout page entirely by deleting all text from this field!

Adding a Newsletter Button

To add a newsletter or mailing list button to your navigation menu:

  1. Go to Marketing > Nav Menu Promotions. 

  2. Your store may already have a button you can use, so look in the Body column for HTML code that contains the following text: action="MailingList_subscribe.asp". If you find this text, you can turn on the button as-is, or edit it and then turn it on. To turn it on, clear the Hidden check box and save.

  3. To create a new button, click Add.

  4. From the Group menu, select Misc.

  5. To create a button, we recommend the HTML format below.

  6. Enter an appropriate value in the Display Order field to display the button in the position of your choice among your other nav menu promotions.

<form name="MailingList" method="post" action="MailingList_subscribe.asp">
 <input type="submit" name="Submit" value="Join our Mailing List"

Tips and Special Settings

Note on Unsolicited Email

Email can be a very powerful marketing tool, but some recipients consider email communications to be an annoyance or even an intrusion of privacy, especially if unsolicited. Unsolicited email is often known as "spam." Your store's email is hosted by Rackspace, which has a zero-tolerance policy toward spam (or UCE: Unsolicited Commercial Email). If Rackspace feels that an email account is engaging in spamming practices, they may delete it with or without prior notice.

Furthermore, note that Rackspace limits outgoing mail to 250 emails per hour per email account to comply with the CAN-SPAM Act of 2004. For additional information about spam, we encourage you to examine the details of the law.

Recipients Who Want to Unsubscribe

In order for your store to remain in compliance with the CAN-SPAM Act, your newsletter recipients must be able to unsubscribe from your mailing list. The Newsletters feature contains two built-in methods recipients can use. By default, all newsletters contain a Click Here to Unsubscribe link in the footer.

For subscribers with anonymous accounts, or for those who contact you and request to be removed from your mailing list, you can perform this action manually. To do so:

  1. Go to Customers > Accounts.

  2. Click Search.

  3. Type the recipient's address in the E-mail Address field.

  4. Click the blue Search button.

  5. On the search results page, click the account ID number.

  6. In the Optional Fields section, deselect the Email Subscriber check box and save.

Keep in mind that if a customer's account is marked as belonging to a specific interest group, the customer will still receive any newsletters sent to that special interest group. For this reason, you'll want to deselect any special interest groups applied to an unsubscribed customer's account. See Subscibers With Specific Interests above for details.

Newsletter Limits

Each of our monthly hosting plans comes with a predefined maximum number of newsletter emails you can send from your store each month. Newsletter sending limits refresh on the first day of each calendar month, rather than on the first day of your plan's billing cycle.

You can increase your newsletter limit on any plan by upgrading in your myVolusion account. Under the my Account heading, click Plans / Orders.

If you have more than one hosting plan, choose the one you'd like to upgrade from the Choose Order menu and then click Add next to your current limit in the Qtycolumn to review options.

Running Out of Newsletters

If you send a newsletter and then discover that you have more subscribers than your plan allows you to send to, you can upgrade and then resend the newsletter.

Note on First-Time Newsletter Use

When you send an email newsletter for the first time, you may have to send the email more than once. On the newsletter Preview & Send page, beneath the Send Test Email button, the following information displays:

X of Y total emails have been sent

X of Y certified emails have been sent

X of Y non-certified emails have been sent 

Certified emails are emails sent to addresses that have previously received at least one previous newsletter email from your store. Non-certified emails are emails sent to addresses that haven't previously received a newsletter email from you. They generally belong to newly-registered customers.

When sending newsletters to non-certified addresses, particularly to a large number of them, you should attempt to send the email up to three times within a 72 hour period. This will ensure that the newsletter is delivered to all intended recipients. Note, however, that you should never send a newsletter more than once in a 24-hour period.

How to Determine the Number of Subscribers

To view a list of current newsletter subscribers:

  1. Go to Customers > Accounts.

  2. Click the three-dot actions menu icon and select Customize Columns.

  3. Select the Email Subscriber check box.

  4. Click Apply Preferences.

Once these steps are complete, you'll see an Email Subscriber column on your list of customer accounts.

Point to the column heading and click Edit to reorder your customers based on the status of the check box.

Any account with a value of Y is configured to receive your newsletter emails.

How to Identify Whom You Have Sent Newsletters to

If you want to know which customers you've sent newsletters to, enter the following URL in your browser to show the Newsletters Sent table:

Be sure to replace "myvolusionstore" with your store's domain name.

You can use the search button to search for specific customers or list the recipients of a specific newsletter.

Did this answer your question?