Migrating from Mailchimp or Constant Contact

Activity Messenger is a full replacement to Mailchimp and Constant Contact for Sports & Leisure organizations. In addition to sending your newsletter by email, you can also send it by text message (SMS). Follow these steps to migrate your newsletter to Activity Messenger.

# Step 1 - Create a Subscribers form to collect contacts

In Activity Messenger, a Subscribers form allows you to collect emails and mobile phone numbers of contacts who want to receive emails or text messages from you. A form is a landing page you can customize to your brand. You can even embed the form directly on your website.

From the top menu Forms, choose Create a new form. Choose the sample Newsletter subscribers. Click on the Configuration tab to set up your form. By default, the form contains fields for collecting a contact's name, email address and mobile phone number.

You can modify the standard form fields. Expand the Standard form fields section and click Modify. Create a Custom field to segment contacts. For example based on interest.

# Test the form

Once your form is ready, it is time to test it. Click on Visit the form. You will be redirected to the landing page of your form. Fill it in with your real name, email address and mobile phone number.

Go back to Activity Messenger and click on the Subscribers tab. Click on the Refresh button (). You will appear in the table. Congratulations you just collected your first contact!

Check your email inbox. You will have received a confirmation email from Activity Messenger confirming reception of the form. If you have provided a mobile phone number, you will also have received a text message with the same message.

# Configure the confirmation email

To configure this message, click on the Configuration tab and expand the Communications section.

The confirmation message is a template. A template is a rich HTML message in Activity Messenger. Analogous to a campaign in Mailchimp. Click on Edit to modify the content of that message.

You can tell Activity Messenger whether to send the confirmation by email, by SMS or by both.

# Adding the form to your website

Once your form is set up, it is time to link it from your website. Click on the Share link and a popup will appear. The form has a unique URL that you can share. Anyone accessing that URL can subscribe to your newsletter.

Activity Messenger also allows you to embed the form as-is on your website. You can also embed a button on your website. Once clicked, a popup will appear with the form. This is the recommended option as your clients will never have to leave your site.

# Step 2 - Import contacts from your old system

If you have been using Mailchimp, Constant Contact or another system, you already have a list of contacts. You can import them in Activity Messenger. From your old system, export those contacts to an Excel or a CSV file. The column names are not important - Activity Messenger will allow you to choose them during import.

Click on Import to import them into the Subscribers list. A popup will allow you to choose the Excel/CSV file from your computer. You can drag and drop it there as well.

Activity Messenger will try to detect the columns name, email and mobile automatically. You can also use the pickers to choose the right columns. If you have exported a column for the Custom field, you can choose it as well. Activity Messenger will import it.

Once imported they will appear in the list of subscribers. If you are importing more than 1,000 contacts, Activity Messenger will process the job in the background. It may take a few seconds to finish. Click on the refresh button to update the list.

Activity Messenger does not import duplicates. Instead, it will try to merge contacts that have the same email address. It is therefore safe to re-import the same contacts multiple times.
Activity Messenger manages unsubscribes separately in a global list. You can import them as well. Read the Unsubscribes help page to learn more.

# Step 3 - Writing a Newsletter

It is now time to write your first Newsletter. You will be using a Template for that. From the Templates menu, click on Create a new template. Choose the Newsletter sample. It contains recommended sample blocks for a newsletter. You can also create a template from scratch.

A Template consists of vertical blocks optimized to be responsive on mobile devices. Some blocks can have two columns. On narrow screens, like a smartphone, the blocks will collapse vertically to ensure the text is wide enough to be visible.

You can edit a block by clicking on the crayon icon (). You can change the order of blocks with drag and drop.

You can also create a new block by clicking on the () button below the template, before the footer. There are different types of blocks: text, call to action (CTA) button, image, video and even a Zoom meeting block. You can even create your own design with Canva fully integrated in Activity Messenger. Checkout the Templates help page to learn about all available features.

# Step 4 - Sending your newsletter by email and/or text message

Once your newsletter is ready, click on the Send button (located top right). You will land on the New message page. Choose how you want to send your newsletter: by email, by text message or by both.

Click on Choose a list. In the dropdown, choose Forms and pick the Newsletter subscribers form you have created. You will be sending your message to all subscribers. If you like, you can segment the list on a specific custom field value.

You can send the message now. Alternatively, you can schedule the message to go out at a later date and time. Finally, Activity Messenger gives you open and click rate tracking. You can even resend unopened emails later.

Next topic: Connecting Amilia

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