How To: Periodic Emailing of New Member Profiles

The Member Profiles are automatically excluded from the weekly FUUSN News emails because we have set up the FUUSN News emails to ignore posts in the “Member Profiles” category (i.e., category stub “profiles”).

The new Member Profiles are published in a separate Mailchimp email “campaign” (which is what Mailchimp calls repeating emails) that is called “New FUUSN Members.” That campaign is typically kept paused, and only once or twice a year it is unpaused to email the new Member Profiles to everyone. Each time we run it, the campaign includes all new Member Profiles posts with WordPress publication dates that are after the date the campaign was last run.

Running the New FUUSN Members campaign requires that we temporarily allow the New Member Profile posts to appear in the RSS feed from the website that Mailchimp reads.  For security reasons, we want to keep that open for as short a time as possible.

Embedded Photos and Featured Image Photos:  Because we want photos to appear in the Mailchimp email campaign, the photos must be embedded in the Member Profiles posts while the email campaign is being run by Mailchimp.  These embedded photos are duplicates of the Featured Image photos for each of those posts (i.e., the photos that appear next to abstracts of posts in the website’s pages of multiple Member Profiles).  We need to delete the embedded photos from the posts after the Mailchimp campaign has run so that duplicate photos (embedded and Featured Image) are not shown in the posts on the website. 

Process for Periodic Emailing of New Member Profiles:  Here is the process for opening up security, running the New Member Profiles email campaign, and closing security again:

  • Beforehand:  Write and publish all new Member Profiles posts with both embedded and featured images.  (Both images will show on the website until the embedded images are removed at the end of this process.) Assign each of these posts to the Member Profiles category.
  • Opening Security Temporarily:  Allow the new Member Profiles posts to appear in the RSS feed by temporarily (and briefly) changing the “slug” of the Member Profile category from “profiles” to something something else, like maybe “not-profiles”
  • Optional Test Email:  If you wish, run a test email from the New FUUSN Members campaign by editing that campaign, going to the Design tab, and clicking the “Preview and Test” menu at the top-right, and choosing “Send a Test Email.”
  • Sending the Email:  When you’re ready to run the email campaign for real, un-pause the campaign by editing it, setting the day-of-week and time you want it to be sent, then going to the Confirm tab and clicking “Start RSS.”  That day of week and time should be in the very near future, so that you do not have the Member Profile posts included in the RSS feed for very long.
  • Closing Security Again:  Immediately after you know that the campaign has been sent successfully, remove the Member Profiles from the RSS feed by changing the “slug” for the Member Profiles category back to “profiles”
  • Put the Mailchimp Email Campaign Back to Paused:  Then pause the New FUUSN Members campaign so that it will not run until you next want to go through this process.
  • Remove Duplicate Photos:  Go back to the new Member Profiles posts and remove the embedded images so that the website shows only one image (the featured image) for each post.