Threadloom Newsletter is an end-to-end email service for forums. It delivers your community’s best content directly to your visitors' inboxes. In this article, we'll walk through how to set up Threadloom Newsletter and schedule your first issue.
- Curation Assistant
- Newsletter settings
- Sender info
- Sender authentication
- Admins and curators
- Turning on Newsletter
Before you dive in:
- Install the Threadloom plug-in. If you haven't done this yet, you can learn more here.
- Add your forum to your Threadloom Portal, and add Newsletter as a service.
- Prepare a 1200 by 300 pixel JPEG file of your forum logo. This will be your Newsletter banner image (example).
- Have your physical mailing address handy. This will go in your Newsletter footer.
This guide explains how to configure your settings in Threadloom Portal. Only the account owner can access these settings. However, many issue-specific settings (i.e., for a specific Newsletter delivery) are located in a separate tool, Curation Assistant. This lets you invite other team members to help you review each issue before delivery. You can read more about Curation Assistant here.
To set up Newsletter settings, log in to your Threadloom Portal and navigate to: Your forum > Newsletter > Settings.
Sender info lets your subscribers know who your Newsletter is from. Threadloom offers two options: You can send Newsletter issues from email@example.com, or you can use an email address on your own domain.
Here's how the two options compare:
|Send from||Custom from & reply emails||Custom from name||Setup time||Ramp time||DNS changes|
|Email address at your domain||Yes||Yes||Longer||Longer||Yes|
Tip: For most users, we recommend sending from the default option, firstname.lastname@example.org. It's easier to set up, and still lets you select a custom sender name. If you prefer to send from an address at your domain, you can learn more here.
Next, fill in a physical mailing address. Most countries require this in order to comply with anti-spam legislation.
If you choose to send Newsletter issues from email@example.com, you can skip this step. If you choose to send issues from an email address at your domain, we'll generate five CNAME records for you to update your DNS zone records with. These CNAMEs grant Threadloom permission to send Newsletter issues on your behalf and brand Newsletter links with your domain name.
It can take up to five minutes to generate your CNAME records. We'll email you when they're ready. They will be located in the "Mail delivery" section of your Newsletter settings. Read more about adding your CNAME records here.
Threadloom offers several options to customize your Newsletter to match the look and feel of your forum.
First, upload the 1200px by 300px JPEG you prepared earlier as your Newsletter banner image.
Next, customize your colors. Use the color picker or modify one of these examples.
Click Save whenever you want to see the Email preview update.
Tip: For "Post snippet", a darker color, such as black #080000, is usually more readable.
Admins and curators
Newsletter includes two roles:
- Curators: Curators help you score candidate forum posts suggested by Threadloom. These scores determine what winds up in each issue. Curators are optional.
- Admins: In addition to Curator permissions, Admins can edit an issue's schedule, cancel an issue, and approve issues. Admins can also edit intro and outro text, subject lines, and post titles and snippets. You must assign at least one Admin.
Tip: We recommend adding yourself as a Newsletter Admin so that you have access to Curation Assistant to view and manage your newsletters. Your Threadloom Portal credentials grant you access to Curation Assistant. For more information on Curator and Admin roles, view this article.
Choosing your recipients carefully is the most important thing you can do to ensure the success of your Newsletter. If you send to users that want your Newsletter and regularly engage with it, inbox providers will reward you by delivering your emails to subscribers' inboxes. If your recipients ignore your emails or mark them as spam, your Newsletter can get blocked or routed to spam.
Threadloom gives you several ways to target your recipients:
Threadloom syncs your forum's user groups so that you can select which groups will receive your Newsletter. You can also exclude specific groups and individuals – these users won't receive your Newsletter even if they're also a member of a group that you've included. You may either select existing user groups in your forum, or create a new user group just for Newsletter recipients.
Active users are more likely to engage with Newsletter. This will help you build a good sender reputation. Thresholds allow you to target users who have been active on your site. We recommend sending your newsletter to users who have been active within the past 720 days (2-year actives) or less.
You are responsible for following email-related laws, such as the Canadian Anti-Spam Law (CASL), the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and the US CAN-SPAM Act. To make it easier to comply with these regulations, you can exclude users from a particular country or region, or multiple countries or regions.
By default, Threadloom only sends Newsletter to users that have opted into site mailings on your forum. You may disable this, but we don't recommend it unless you've separately recorded user consent to receive email newsletters.
In addition to the configuration options above, Threadloom has a built-in ramp up schedule for new Newsletter customers. This helps you establish your sender reputation. Your first few issues may only send to a subset of the recipients you've selected as we gradually ramp your email volume. We start with your most active users to help you establish strong engagement in order to ensure high deliverability.
For more information, our partner SendGrid has a short video explaining the importance of warming up subscriber lists.
Select the forum nodes from which you want to include posts in Newsletter. For each Newsletter issue, Threadloom will source up to 50 total candidate posts from all selected nodes. If you've selected Co-pilot, Threadloom will incorporate Curator scores to determine the top 10 posts to include in each issue.
If you don't want posts from the same thread to appear in back-to-back issues, you can specify the number of weeks that should pass before a previously-published thread shows up again. By default, Threadloom won't exclude threads from past issues. Regardless of what you set this to, Threadloom won't show the same post in more than 1 issue unless you manually insert it.
Your Newsletter schedule determines:
- when Threadloom generates your Newsletter issues;
- when your Newsletter issue is available for Curators and Admins to score, review, and approve (all optional); and
- when Threadloom sends your Newsletter issues to your subscribers.
You can learn more about the Newsletter scoring, review, and approval process here.
Step 1: Choose a delivery time
Select your time zone, delivery days, and delivery time. The rest of your schedule will follow from these. If you want to send more than one issue per week, review the requirements here.
Step 2: Auto-pilot vs. Co-pilot
Once you've set when your subscribers will receive your Newsletter, you need to schedule when you want to review your Newsletter issues. Threadloom offers two options:
Option 1: Auto-pilot
Auto-pilot minimizes the amount of time required to send your Newsletter. This is a good option for admins who want to "set it and forget it", without reviewing issues. This also ensures that your issues incorporate the latest content.
Note: Admins and Curators will still receive notifications when your Newsletter candidates are available to score and when your issue is ready for review. However, if you select Auto-pilot, you won't be able to edit the scoring and review periods. You will have:
- 1 hour after your issue is generated to score or insert posts and make other edits;
- 1 hour after scoring closes to review and, if necessary, extend scoring; and
- 3 hours and 50 minutes after scoring closes to cancel an issue.
Auto-pilot does not require admin approval before delivery. If you want to manually review and approve your issues, we recommend using Co-pilot.
Option 2: Co-pilot
Co-pilot lets you to define your review periods and whether admin approval is required before delivery.
To configure Co-pilot:
- Choose the day and time you want scoring to open. Threadloom will generate a candidate issue and email Admins and Curators with a link to score candidate posts.
- Choose the day and time you want to review your issue. This will close the scoring period and lock your issue. Threadloom will email Admins with a link to review the issue. If any changes are required, admins may re-open scoring by editing the Newsletter schedule. Admins may also cancel an issue up to 10 minutes before the scheduled delivery time.
- If you want to approve issues before delivery, select the option to "Require approval before sending". If you prefer to send your issue automatically, leave this option deselected.
Threadloom also includes a visual overview of your schedule.
Turning on Newsletter
Once you've completed the preceding sections, you're ready to turn on Newsletter and schedule your first issue. Go to Your forum > Newsletter > Settings. Click the "Turn on Newsletter" button in the upper right.
Within a few minutes, Threadloom will schedule your first issue and a new link will appear to view your scheduled issue in Curation Assistant.
Once logged in to Curation Assistant, you'll be able to see your scheduled issues.
Congratulations! Your first Newsletter issue is scheduled. To get the most out of Threadloom Newsletter, we encourage you to check out:
If you have any questions, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'd be happy to help.