We are implementing Poppulo, an email marketing system which will provide staff from across the College with a service for managing and sending internal College email newsletters to staff and students.
I am interesting in using Poppulo
We are offering Poppulo licences initially as part of a pilot project. For the pilot year, licences are provided free of charge. One licence (= one user log in) allows you to set up and send multiple newsletter campaigns (e.g. one for staff, one for students), with unlimited recipients. We have already allocated most of the licences available as part of the project, but please get in touch with Elizabeth Nixon, Internal Communications Manager, or Martha Nahar, Internal Communications Officer, if you are interested and we will see what we can do.
I already have a Poppulo licence and need some support
For general guidance on how to use the system and build your newsletter, please visit the Poppulo Knowledge Base, which has step-by-step guides and videos.
You can also sign up for series of 30 minute webinars run by Poppulo. We’d recommend you start with ‘Create and send an email’ and then do ‘Reports training’.
Existing Poppulo users can log in here and browse the existing templates.
- When pasting any text into the Poppulo editor, select the ‘remove formatting’ option. This will ensure the font is the correct one for the template you are using. Any links you’ve included won’t be removed. Otherwise, type directly into the text editor.
- Use the ‘preview text’ content type to compel your readers to open the newsletter. This text will appear in the preview line in some email programmes – use it for short, engaging text which will make readers want to open the email.
- When using the content types with two or three columns, keep the text short and a similar length for each column. If you have a long piece of content, consider linking to an existing webpage, or using the microsite feature – readers follow a link to a mini website (created by entering text in the Full Story field of the Poppulo editor) that opens in a new tab and allows you to publish more text.
- If adding a microsite or using links in your text body, ensure the link text is accessible by using unique descriptive link text that makes sense when read out of context. For example, avoid using ‘click here’ or ‘read more' as this is not accessible - make sure any calls to action are not repetitive. Read our accessibility guidance for more information.
- As a general rule, using anchors can be tricky in Poppulo. They are best placed at the beginning of text, however, they may cause changes to your layout. Do not use anchors if a problem with your layout occurs.
- Do not write emails out fully. Instead, hyperlink the email address text e.g. 'for more information, please email Martha Nahar'
There are two ways of adding images:
- You can add an image using the ‘image placeholder’ option (recommended):
2. Directly into the text editor using the insert image button:
Using the image placeholder option
- Consider image size and quality - the larger the size of your image, the larger the email size will be for your recipients.
- Resize your images to the dimensions below - this will ensure the image lines up to the edge and does not have white space around it.
- You can resize the image in the Poppulo editor using the resize button, or upload images in the correct dimensions (by using a program like Photoshop beforehand).
- If you are resizing in the Poppulo editor, select 'custom size' and also 'constrain proportions'. We advise against using the small, medium, large otions, as this may only resize the width, and the height may vary.
- The recommended image dimensions for 2 and 3 column content types is 600 x 400 pixels.
- The recommended image dimensions for the feature article and one column content type is 1000 x 600 pixels.
Using the insert image option
When using the 'insert image' button in the editor, the maximum image width sizes are:
- Three column articles - 183px width
- Two column articles - 287px width
- Remember to use alt text for all your images. Alt text is a short description of what the image depicts and helps to make your newsletter accessible for people with visual impairments. Similarly, don’t make your image captions too long – keep them concise, no more than two lines of text under the image. Consult the accessibility guidance document for further information.
- Do not include important information as text within an image. It is not accessible as the text will not be visible to those who may be visually impaired.
- We recommend that you only have one featured article per newsletter, and this should sit at the top of the newsletter. The featured article content type has the stripe graphic on the top and bottom of the article text. This striped graphic cannot be switched off or changed. (If you do not want the stripe graphic the alternative is to use the ‘one column article – image top’ content type).
- It is best to keep in place the default header with the Imperial logo in the top left. This makes it clear that your newsletter is an official college communication.
Consider the following when sending an email to a distribution list:
- In the ‘to’ field, select ‘distribution list’
- Search by the Outlook display name e.g. Imperial College Faculty of Natural Sciences, Undergraduates (not email@example.com)
- If you’re not sure what the display name is, paste your style list, for example firstname.lastname@example.org, into the ‘to’ box when writing a new email in Outlook and click ‘check names’ – it willchange to the relevant display name.
Sending a test email to yourself is very important, and should be done every time you send out an email to your recipients. This allows you to troubleshoot styling, formatting, and data rendering issues that might not have been realized up to that point. Consider checking the following when you send a test email:
- Has it been sent from the correct address?
- Do all the hyperlinks work and go to the right page?
- Do your images display correctly?
- Is the order of your items correct?
- Have you removed formatting and is the font and size consistent?
- Are there any typos or grammatical errors?