Getting Ready for a Reclaim Roundup

I am pretty stoked with how the preparations for Reclaim Hosting’s monthly newsletter “The Reclaim Roundup” have been coming along. Last Wednesday was a “deadline” for including anything new, and Pilot and I spent Thursday and Friday providing context to the various posts and getting a structure in a place.

Image of a wooden structure collapsing

After that, we tested the newsletter’s emailing feature built into Ghost (the self-hosted open source platform we are using for our newsletter) that integrates with Mailgun. We emailed a test of the issue to several folks at Reclaim and it worked perfectly—the images and media came through seamlessly and the messages were not getting flagged as spam or junk. That was a relief.

Next up was getting our list of almost school admins and contacts added to to the subscription list, which I was afraid was going to be a bear.

email name subscribed_to_emails Jim Groom TRUE Jim Groom FALSE

But turns out it is really simple, you just need a CSV file with three columns (though you can add more if you like) titled email, name, and subscribed_to_emails —as illustrated above.

Image of notification that an import of almost 400 recipients was successful.

Notification that an import of almost 400 recipients was successful.

Pretty simple, I was able to import 397 subscribers in a matter of seconds with no more personal info that a name and email. The fact that Ghost has become so geared towards newsletters has really made this easy. Along with the ability to unsubscribe from the newsletter baked-into at the bottom of the email.

What’s more, if you want to re-subscribe an email with a one-time link to access and manage your subscription is sent.

Image of a screenshot of an email with a One time email with link to access account and manage subscriptions

One time email with link to access account and manage subscriptions

Then you just access your account, which is quite sparse, and toggle the Email newsletter button:

Account pop-up in Ghost to unsubscribe or subscribe to emails

While we were testing Friday, Taylor noticed that the Ghost theme Digest talks about “paying for premium content” etc., which is not our game. So I went into the theme files changed some of the language in default.hbs so there is no mention of paying for anything.

Re-wording the subscribe portal in Ghost

Re-branding the message when folks are signed-in to get rid of premium content verbiage

I think the newsletter is just about ready to go out tomorrow, and I love it already, if for nothing else as a testament to how much we accomplished in January. Reclaim Roundup will tell the tale!

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