Tools for Mission Groups

Tools for Mission Groups

Tags are the solution that most conferences have used in eAdventist to keep track of members that are involved in “mission groups” – small groups, house churches or church planting core groups. Today, we’ve added some powerful new features to help you deal with the vitality and fluid nature of these groups even better.

Now you can designate a “mother church” for each mission group. The new “Mission groups” tab show all of the groups that are sponsored by the church.

EditGroup

ViewGroup

ViewChurch The next step is to set the “Mission group” for each of the people who are part of the group.

EditPerson

ViewPerson

Now that your “Mission groups” are set up, you will be able to use them for creating lists, mailing labels, messaging lists and more.

PersonSearchPersonLabels

If you are currently using Tags for your mission groups, we can migrate them to the new “Mission group” field. Let us know if you would like our help with this.

The eAdventist team

Email Lists 2.0

Email Lists 2.0

We’ve just made some big updates to Email Lists!

New name

They’ve been “Mailing Lists” until now because they included an option to create postal labels for people without email addresses. However, everybody has switched to a better option that’s available in Person Labels, so we removed the “postal” option and updated the name. Not only does this make Email Lists easier to use, it also makes them significantly faster!

audience_ready

Followers

Visitors and members of other churches can now join your list when you add them as Followers. Later this year, we’ll add an option that will allow them to add themselves from your church’s web page.

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More file options

You’ve been able to send a variety of file types as attachments in messages but mail provides – like Gmail – block many of them as security risks. To ensure that your messages and files reach your audience, we now save the files on eAdventist and insert links to them in your message. Now you can send file types that are often blocked (e.g. Word, Excel, PowerPoint), knowing that all of your audience will receive them.

Updated editor & layout

The updated toolbar makes it easier to personalize your messages. Click the new “Merge fields” button to insert a placeholder for “First name” or “Last  name”. The layout and fonts have been updated to ensure that your messages look their best in any mail software and any device.

Add photos and images to your message and resize them, if necessary. To ensure that your message is not blocked, each image file is stored on eAdventist and your message contains a link to it.

edit_message

Here are some articles to help you get started:

Starting an Email List

Creating a Message

Look what else you got!

Look what else you got!

We added a bunch of new things to eAdventist in December but wanted to keep them wrapped until we were sure they were “keepers”. They all are, so you can go ahead and open them now!

1. Duplicate alert

You’ve always had the Duplicate Search, but now eAdventist checks for other families with the same address every time you open a Person’s record. Any duplicates are displayed as an alert, so you can decide whether they need fixing or not.

duplicate_alert

2. Grab a nonmember

eAdventist has made transfers so easy that it feels inconvenient having to ask other clerks for nonmember children to be moved. Now you’ll see a “grab” icon that lets you move them yourself. Easy peasy!

grab_nonmember

3. Transfers – icons & help

The Transfers page packs a lot of information, so we’ve introduced some new icons.

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When you hover over an icon, your cursor will change to a “?”. That means you can click on the icon for help.

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4. Email address warning

If eAdventist sends an email message to you that “bounces”, it won’t send any further messages until the problem is fixed. If this happens to your account, eAdventist will show a warning when you sign in.

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To see the error message, click on “more information”.

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5. Multi-select for Occupations

Need to let your medical professionals know about a mission trip? Or let your construction pros know about a service opportunity? The “Occupation” field in Person Labels now lets you select multiple occupations. It also searches the list as you type.

occupations_multiselectoccupations_multiselect_2

6. Include images in Mailing List messages

Add photos, graphs or banners to the messages you send with Mailing Lists. An article with more information on this coming soon.

7. Hi-res photos for Organizations

When you add a photo of your church or school, eAdventist now saves it in 2 sizes – “original” (up to 1024×768) and “thumbnail” (160×120).

8. Community forum

Ever wanted to ask other clerks or pastors a question? Or share a great idea with them? Now you can in the new Community forum – community.eadventist.net. It’s connected to your eAdventist account, so you use the same email and password to sign in. You can download the Discourse app from the App Store or Google Play Store to access the Community from your phone or tablet. More information about the Community coming soon.

discourse_community

Happy New Year from our team!

Transfer Comments

Transfer Comments

eAdventist makes most membership transfers easy by connecting church clerks and eliminating “snail” mail. However, some transfers aren’t “business as usual” and require a conversation:

  • “Did you mean Maxwell Sr or Maxwell Jr?”
  • “Sorry, Ayeisha transferred to Rock Solid Church last year”
  • “Any update on the status of this transfer?”

“Online” clerks have always been able to contact each other by email, but Transfer Comments make these conversations even easier to start and follow.

addcomment

As soon as you click “Save”, eAdventist will email the comment to each of the “online” clerks involved in the transfer. For any “offline” church, the email will go to the conference clerk. The “Email” tab lets you check the delivery status of these messages.

Transfers that have comments are easy to spot on the Transfers page. Just look for the “comment” icon.

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PRO TIPS

  • Sort all transfers that have Comments to the top by clicking on the “comment” column heading.

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  • Sort all transfers that have green “lights” to the top by clicking on the “lights” column heading.

sortlights

 

Attach a File

Attach a File

eAdventist’s Mailing Lists are a powerful way to stay in touch with members in your church or conference. Now you can include file attachments in your messages – the agenda for your next board meeting, PDF announcing an upcoming event, registration forms, reports, photo images, and more. Just be sure that any file you want to send is under 9MB.

Here’s how it works. Create your message, then click on the “paperclip” icon and choose a file to attach. That’s it!

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Here’s what it looks like in action!

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Oh, and one more thing. If you’d like to see what you’re about to send to your entire list, you can now send a test message to yourself before clicking “Send” to everybody.

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Extra power and insurance for your Mailing List.

Mailing Lists

NOTE: Updated June 23, 2015. Add people to your Mailing List quicker — “invite” has been changed to “add”.

Is your church ready to use email for keeping in touch with members? Are you already using ConstantContact, MailChimp or Listbox but finding it challenging to manage the list as members come and go? eAdventist’s new Mailing Lists combine your membership data and Mandrill (MailChimp’s email engine) to give you high “deliverability” and easy list management.

Still need postal mail to stay in touch with members that don’t use email? Mailing Lists lets you create mailing labels for them without maintaining separate lists.

Try it out

If you have an eAdventist account with the “church clerk” or “pastor” role, you can try Mailing Lists. You’ll find “mailing lists” in the Reports menu section. Click the “New list” button. Fill in the “name”, “description”, “from name” and “from email” and use the defaults values for the other settings.

Save the new List and you’re ready to add some Subscribers.

Add your church and “Add subscribers” will show you the number of members (and nonmembers) that currently have email addresses.

For testing, let’s click on the “Add subscribers” link and add a few select people (e.g. yourself, your pastor) to the list.

Now you’ve got email subscribers and it’s time to create your first message. Let’s send it to the “entire list”.

New_Message

In case you haven’t run into this before, it’s important to create 2 versions of your message — “HTML” and “plain-text”. You can make the “HTML” version look spiffy by use bold, italics, links, colors, font sizes, bullet lists, images, etc. Be sure to try out the “Merge fields” that let you personalize the message for each recipient.

 

 

 

Edit_Message

The “plain-text” version looks like you wrote it on a typewriter. Why bother? Some of your subscribers may have chosen to reduce the risk of email attacks (e.g. phishing) by refusing HTML email. Your message will “bounce” and never reach them unless you include a “plain-text” version. You can use the “Merge fields”  in it, too.

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That’s it! Save the message and you’re ready to send.

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eAdventist has already established a good reputation (very important for mass email), so you message will usually be on it’s way in minutes. The Mandrill service that we use helps to ensure that it will be delivered as “mail” rather than blocked as “spam”. Check back on your message in a day or two to see if any of the email addresses had problems (e.g. bad address, rejected) and how many have already been opened.

Messages

Recipients

There’s more

Send a message to just a segment of your list using tags – great way to communicate with “growth groups”. You can also include photos in messages if they are hosted in a public location (e.g. Flickr). In the near future, you will be able to host them in eAdventist.

Conferences can also use Mailing Lists to stay in touch with their members, pastors or church officers. Contact our team if you would like more information about using Mailing Lists.

New mail/phone/email options for Officers

We’ve just updated Officers to provide more options for church officers, conference and school workers who prefer to have a different address, phone or email for their “office” than their home address, phone or email. Choose the options on the Officer screen.

Edit Officer screen

These settings are used everywhere that the officer’s information is displayed — the Officer Info popup, Officer LabelsConference Directory, the “Contact” tab of the Organization screen and the “Offices” tab of the Person screen.

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person_offices

New “Conference Clerk” office title

We have added “Conference clerk” as an office title. Strangely, it hasn’t really been needed until now. This new office is used on the “Contact” tab of each conference’s Organization page. It will also be used to send email announcements specifically for conference clerks.

Merry Christmas from our team.