STC Email List Training
How to welcome new members (or send a news message to all members) and simultaneously invite members to join the list
These are the major steps to invite people to join the email list by clicking reply and send. The Single Sourcing SIG has used this method and has a very high subscription rate to the list. The Online, QPI, ID-IA, and ITC SIGs are now using this method, and subscriptions have increased by a large factor.
These steps can be used to send a welcome message to new members, or to send a news message to all members from the SIG manager. These steps assume you will be sending no other welcome to new members. Following these steps also provides a plain text "newsletter" for your SIG that invites members to join the list.
Please note, it is best to send the "newsletter" via the SIG's announcement list, except once a year when inviting everyone to join the discussion list again is a good idea.
CREATE THE LIST DOCUMENT(S)
If your list is already set up for the welcome and news update, you can skip this section.
- Log in to the list.
- Click List Admin > Documents.
- Click Create Document. In the Name field, enter SIGname_Confirm for a news message or SIGname_Confirm-first-of-month for the message to welcome new members to the SIG. Note: you will be performing these steps twice, to create two separate CONFIRM documents.
- In the Type field, select CONFIRM.
- In the Title field, type the subject line you want to use, for example, Welcome to SIG_Name; please reply.
- Enter the text. Examples are found at the end of these instructions. You will change the text for document named "Confirm" each time you send out news.
- Click Save and then Go to List Admin Menu.
- Click Create Document. In the Name field, enter SIGname_Hello for the document to be sent to new list subscribers after they click reply and accept the invitation to subscribe.
- In the Type field, select HELLO.
- In the Title field, type the subject line you want to use.
- Enter the text. An example is found at the end of these instructions.
- Click Save and then Go to List Admin Menu.
SET UP THE LIST TO SEND THE MESSAGES
If you list is already set up, you can skip this section.
- From the List Admin menu, select List Info.
- In the Documents section, set the Hello and Confirm messages to be the ones you created, by selecting the names of your documents. Note: You must change the CONFIRM document to "Confirm-first-of-month" to welcome new members, and "Confirm" to send a news message.
PREPARE THE LIST OF NAMES AND EMAIL ADDRESSES
- Open the text file of membership data sent by the Office in Excel, using File > Open.
- Follow the wizard to create a spreadsheet. The membership text file is comma-delimited.
- Copy the sheet to a second tab in the workbook.
- Using the copy, delete the columns except the First Name, Middle Name, Last Name, and Email. You don't have to delete columns to the right of Email.
- Select the rows and columns through Email for all the members you want to welcome or send news to, and invite to subscribe. This is everyone except those with a SIG code of 4 for the news update, and everyone with a SIG code of 1 or 2 for a message to welcome new members.
- Paste the Excel rows and columns into MS Word.
- On the Table menu, choose Select > Table. Then: Table > Convert > Table to Text. Select "Separate text with: Other" and type a space in the box. Click OK.
- Save the MS Word file.
- If you are sending a news message, obtain the email addresses of the members set to No mail on the list; send the news message to them and encourage them to visit the list to see the news message you are about to send.
SEND THE WELCOME OR NEWS MESSAGE
- Be sure you have the list set to send the document titled Confirm for a news message, or Confirm-first-of-month for the welcome message to new members.
- Open a new email message and put firstname.lastname@example.org in the To field.
- Delete your signature and any other characters.
- In the blank message, paste the following:
Type the name of your list over LISTNAME. The double set of angle brackets surround the list of users. Paste the names and email addresses in your MS Word file between the double angle brackets. Type your own password over YOUR_PASSWORD.
If you have only one new member, paste the following:
add LISTNAME sendconfirm User Name1 email@example.com
When you send this message to the list, SENDCONFIRM tells Lyris to send the CONFIRM message you selected in the Documents section of the List Info.
Lyris will send the CONFIRM message only the the people whose email addresses are not currently subscribed on the list.
After the new subscriber replies to the message and subscribes, the new subscriber automatically receives the HELLO message.
Be sure to post the news message on the list for current subscribers and remind members set to No mail to visit and view the message..
EXAMPLE OF WELCOME MESSAGE TO NEW MEMBERS
Subject: STC Online SIG: Welcome; please reply
Welcome to the STC Online SIG. Please click Reply and Send to join the
email list, so you will receive regular news and announcements from the
SIG. You can also can post questions and participate in discussions on the
list. If you do not reply to this message, you will not be subscribed to
the list, and you won't hear regularly from your SIG.
The Online SIG addresses all aspects of electronic delivery of
information. This includes online help, web design, wikis, blogs, content
management, and computer-mediated communication.
Our primary activity is publication of our website, www.stcsig.org/oi.
Please visit; the content is valuable and expanding. Our Online SIG web
experts are engaged in developing web services for STC, so we will
be able to collaborate on our SIG website very easily in the future. Your
contributions are welcome. For now, please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have questions or want to volunteer, please write to our SIG
manager, email@example.com. Thank you for joining.
John Wilcox, Membership Manager
EXAMPLE OF NEWS MESSAGE FROM THE SIG MANAGER
Note: Sending a news message of this kind provides the required and recommended items in the STC Newsletter Competition Guidelines to all members. Post the message on the list for current subscribers, and SENDCONFIRM to unsubscribed members. This is an outline.
Subject: STC SIG news: please reply
Please click Reply and Send, so you will receive regular news and announcements from the SIG. You will be joining the email list, where you can post questions and participate in discussions with other members. When you reply, a message will come to engage you in using the list. If you do not reply to this message, you will not receive regular communications from the SIG.
Recently the SIG has been SUMMARIZE NEWS HERE. Note the number of members in the SIG, subscribed to the list, and in STC, and provide any reports on SIG projects.
In the past two months we have the following articles on our website, http://www.stcsig.org/oi. HYPERLINKED LIST HERE.
STC has been: SUMMARIZE SIG-related news if any. STC news is available via an RSS feed located at http://www.stc.org/rss/newsfeedreader.asp.
EXAMPLE OF HELLO DOCUMENT TO WELCOME MEMBERS TO THE LIST
Thank you for subscribing to the email list of the STC Online SIG. Please
keep this message for reference.
Please introduce yourself to the list by sending a message to:
Please set this address up in your address book so that you will always
send plain text to it. HTML messages are rejected, as they make the list
unusable for readers of the digest. If you send an attachment to the list,
your message will be rejected and returned.
You can check or change your subscription settings, read archived
messages, and post messages, at the list website:
If you set yourself to receive "no mail" please visit the list website
frequently to read the messages. This is the only way you will receive
regular news and announcements from your SIG.
If you are going to be away, and you set an autoreply, please visit the
list website and set yourself to Digest. You can also do this by
sending a blank message to:
This prevents your autoreply from spamming other list members. If you do
not set yourself to Digest while you are away, the list
administrator may put you on Digest. When you return, you can visit the
list website and set yourself to receive messages as they are contributed
To contact a list administrator, send a message to
Thank you and welcome to the Online SIG of STC email list. We look forward
to getting to know you.
The Online SIG leadership team
This training was developed by Michele Marques, manager of the STC Single Sourcing SIG and long time list manager for that SIG. Significant additions were made by John Wilcox, list manager of the Online SIG.