Archiving past newsletters on microsites
A microsite is a mini website that can be linked to your main website. Its simplest and most obvious use is as a place to display your newsletters and stories, allowing visitors to browse through your past published content.
A microsite, if used to its full potential, can also be a means of building your mailing list. By displaying past content to your main website’s visitors, you will increase the loyalty of your existing subscribers and move them closer towards a buying decision. You may even gain new subscribers.
New visitors will also be influenced by this display of content and may become subscribers and clients, since visitors to your microsite will be able to subscribe to your newsletters and RSS feeds.
A microsite can be multi-layered, with a complex menu structure. You need to think of it as more than just an archive of your past newsletters – it can be an addition for search engines, a marketing site for newsletter campaigns, or even a targeted site for brands, products and services.
GraphicMail allows you create a landing page and simple navigation menu for your archived newsletters. The microsite will be able to function as an online library. The online
archive will be hosted on your own unique URL. You can create a link to this archive from your main site, so that your readers can see your newsletters and stories.
Setting up a microsite
The first thing you need to do is give your microsite a name.
We automatically generate a location for your microsite when you create your GraphicMail account. Expand the [+] ‘General Set-up’ menu. Here, you will see the microsite’s name. It will look something like this: http://www.enewsarchive.com/12345. Click on
‘edit’ and you will be able to give your microsite its own unique URL extension. You can also create a title for the microsite. The title is the heading that will appear in a browser when the microsite is opened.
Please Note: If the name you want has already been chosen, you will be asked to enter another name.
Setting the microsite home page
Your microsite will need a home page. This is the first page that a client will see when they arrive at your microsite URL. Expand the [+] ‘Home page Set-up’ menu.
You need to select the home page for your microsite. There are a couple of templates, which you can choose from. You can select one here and then edit it to display your company logo and message, or you can get your web designer to create a home page. To save your home page, simply select the page you want to display from the drop-down menu and click ‘save’. If your web designer has created a home page, you will need to import it into your account before you can select it.
Building the microsite menu
Once you have set your home page, you need to create the menu structure for your microsite. The menu structure is the navigation system that visitors to your website will use to access newsletters on the microsite. Setting up your menu structure consists of three steps: setting a header, building the menu and selecting a skin (look and feel) for your menu. To begin this process, expand [+] ‘Menu set-up’.
The microsite header is just that – the header that will display above your menu. Your header and menu structure will appear on all the pages of your microsite. You can choose not to have a header, but this will mean that your menu is at the top of the browser page
– it’s better to have a visual break.
Select whether your header will be an image or HTML design
The menu builder allows you to add menu items, edit or rename them and move them to different locations within the menu. It also allows you to assign newsletters or web pages.
To create your first menu, click on ‘add top menu’. A menu system is a tree that consists of main menus and sub-menus. The main menu might be the year, if you are displaying your newsletters chronologically, or the subject, if you are displaying the newsletters by content. The sub-menus under the year would then be the month or newsletter issue. The sub-menus under a content heading may be the name or subject matter of the newsletter.
To add a menu entry, you first need to give it a description. This is the label that will appear on the menu – such as 2008, if your main menus are years. Then select the newsletter that corresponds to that menu.
Once you have made your first top menu entry, you will see it appear under ‘Menu Preview’. You can add an additional top menu, which will appear to the right of the one you have just created, or you can create a sub-menu, which will appear below the menu you just created.
To add another top menu, click on ‘add top menu’. To add a sub-menu, click on the green + icon to the right of the top menu you want to add a sub-menu to. Whenever you create a top or sub-menu, you need to give it a name and select the newsletter that you want to appear when someone clicks on the menu.
By selecting the icons, you can delete , edit or add a new sub-menu (a vertical drop-down entry is added below the main menu with this button ).
You can also add an additional main (horizontal) menu item by selecting ‘add top menu’. Besides sub menus, you can also create sub-sub menus – if required for navigation.
If at any point you want to preview your microsite, click on ‘view microsite’ or type in the URL location you have set for the microsite.
Choosing a skin for your microsite menu
GraphicMail offers you 18 different skins for your microsite menus. To change your menu skin, simply click on the radio button.