Moving Connection From Virtual To Reality

Posted by Boyd Pelley on 9/1/20 10:15 AM

In Moving Assimilation From Virtual To Reality, we traced a couple's journey through a completely online process of identifying with a ministry designed to help people in distressed marriages.  We got them to the point of coming to a meeting the first time. 

They show up, a bit timid at first, but the friend who called them meets them, shows them around (unless meeting online) and introduces them to a few others.

In our business, we intentionally blur the line between sales and on-boarding.  For instance while doing a 30 day free trial (sales process), we will upload data, set up a text-to-church phone number, and make webinar training available (all on-boarding elements).  This gives prospective clients the opportunity to better experience our software enabling them to make a more confident choice. 

But once, they subscribe / commit to Churchteams, we are even more intentional about helping them on-board.  We'll upload the rest of their data including attendance and giving history.  We'll do custom one-on-one sessions to customize the software to the church's culture and structure.  We'll get online giving set up.  We'll encourage them to call or email for support.  And much more.  We do all this because we know that the first three to six months of using our software are critical for effectively realizing its potential.

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Tags: Automation, Communication

Moving Assimilation From Virtual To Reality

Posted by Boyd Pelley on 8/25/20 10:00 AM

A few weeks ago I introduced the idea of virtual outreach.  More specifically how to use inbound marketing tools to engage your community.  The goal, just like in business, is to get both contact and interest information.  The next step is to build a campaign to use this information to address the person's interest and move them toward Christ and the church - assimilation.  This is sales in business.

In our business, the sales process begins when someone signs up to learn more and stay in touch with us, does a live or automated webinar, and/or signs up for a 30 day free trial.  Each of these represent a different level of interest and response.  This weekly blog post goes to everyone as a way to stay in touch with us and learn about Church Management Innovation.  Both the webinars and the 30 day trials have automated follow up processes in place to make sure no one falls through the cracks.  These include emails, texts, videos, and personal phone calls.    

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Tags: Automation, Communication

New!  Auto-save.  No more lost email drafts.

Posted by Boyd Pelley on 8/11/20 10:30 AM

If you're reading this, you've been there.  In the middle of putting together a stellar email.  The layout was mostly done.  The content was clean and crisp.  Then you get a phone call. Without thinking you look up information in the database or look at a Churchteams registration on your website.  As soon as your done you try to go back to the email and it's gone.

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Tags: New Release, Communication

Moving Outreach From Virtual to Reality

Posted by Boyd Pelley on 8/4/20 4:55 PM

In my last blog I presented the BHAG of redefining engagement. Not just looking at it through a different lens, but seeing it through the power of technology - a Virtual Reality headset.  Online giving has done it for Stewardship.  Web integration & workflow automation can do the same for engagement.

I break engagement into three parts: Outreach, Follow-up and Connection.  I compare them to the business processes of Marketing, Sales and On-boarding.  Today we're talking about Outreach, the Marketing side of engagement.

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Tags: Automation, Communication

Moving Engagement From Virtual to Reality

Posted by Boyd Pelley on 7/28/20 10:00 AM

Several months ago, the XP of a large church in Florida mentioned to me that they no longer think of first time worship attenders as first time guests. They had discovered, even before the Coronavirus Pandemic, that all their first time attenders had watched the service online at least once before attending.  That conversation grabbed my imagination and has been a frequent conversation topic since.  How can we use today's technology to move church engagement from virtual to reality?

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Tags: Automation, Communication

New for Re-opening! Party of... Reservations

Posted by Boyd Pelley on 5/19/20 11:00 AM
After months of social-distancing and live-streaming-only worship, it is exciting to hear the conversations about safely re-opening.  Two weeks ago we started getting calls about using our registration system for reservations to help manage re-opening at 25% to start.
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Tags: New Release, Registration, Communication

Our DIFFERENT Take on Church Apps

Posted by Boyd Pelley on 5/12/20 10:30 AM

Apps are an important part of product offerings for some Church Management  Systems. They are the primary delivery system for other church related online services like payment processing, content delivery, and communication. 

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Tags: Communication

New!  Email Lists upgrade.  How to use lists well.

Posted by Boyd Pelley on 4/28/20 10:30 AM

Think about it.  Whenever you sign up for anything online, you are REQUIRED to provide an email address.  Often it becomes your username.  Email is as important to your Internet identity as your address is to your geographic identity. 

And email is an important part of church communication. The challenge is to effectively target the people with whom you want to communicate.  Our report filters allow you to select people based on group involvement (or not), any member attribute and even giving habits.  

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Tags: Communication

An introduction to email and email marketing.

Posted by Boyd Pelley on 4/21/20 10:30 AM

These weeks of churches not being able to physically meet due to Covid 19 are requiring us to review and upgrade our thoughts about communication.  It seems like a perfect time to start a series I've been thinking about on email and email marketing.

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Tags: Communication

Ask these six questions before sending a mass text.

Posted by Boyd Pelley on 3/24/20 12:15 PM

 

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Tags: Text-To-Church, Best Practices, Communication

Meet NED - Next generation EDitor

Posted by Boyd Pelley on 2/26/19 8:00 AM

NED gives you the power to communicate in a bold, fresh, new way.   He offers those of us who don't know how to code the ability to create incredible emails and email templates.  And we just released him into the Churchteams application.  NED is our Next generation EDitor. If you haven't met him already, let me introduce you

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Tags: New Release, Communication

New Release: Built-in Email Marketing.

Posted by Boyd Pelley on 6/6/16 10:44 AM

You'll love this!

Last week we released some significant email upgrades you are going to love.  Be sure to forward this email to everyone else on staff who uses email to get the word out.  You'll see quick access to these under the Communicate button.  This email gives you a short overview of these features followed by the details.


______________________________________________________
 
Overview:
  1. Delivery stats.  Opens, bad email addresses, etc..
  2. Add attachments to CT email.
  3. Create and save email templates.
  4. Schedule when emails are sent.
  5. Send a preview/test email.
  6. Customize lists with granular unsubscribe.
  7. Editor upgrades.
  8. Images: auto upload pasted images, thumb nail preview of images, inline editing.
  9. Advance pasting from MS Word.
______________________________________________________

 
Details:
 
1. Delivery stats.  (Released in April)  Click Communicate then Email History. You will see your reputation, # of emails sent and overall deliverability rate.  Put an individual email address or a subject line in the search box and a date range to see delivered, failed, and opened emails.  Rejected emails include: bad addresses (hard-bounce), bad connection and system will re-try (soft-bounce), rejected as spam.  The system will discontinue sending emails to anyone who marks Churchteams as spam.  You will need to contact support to reverse this.
 
 
2. Attachments.  The new email editor has a blue "Attach File" button listed below the text box.  Use this to attach PDF, microsoft office documents (word, excel, powerpoint), CSV, RTF, and TXT.  Other types are not allowed for security reasons.  Automatic virus scans are done on the files before sending.
 
 
3. Email Templates.  Under the email subject line is a drop down list of saved templates.  Two template formats are provided for you to build on and save, others can be found using the link to free templates.  When you've created a template you like, click the "Save as Template" button for future use.  There is an "Email Templates" link under the communicate button for quick access to review, create and edit templates
 
4. Schedule sending emails Want your email to go out at a future date/time?  Schedule that by using the schedule feature found just above the "Attach File" button.
5. Send a preview/test email.  Use this blue button located just above the green "Send" button to send yourself a preview of the email to make sure it looks correct.  The "To" field defaults to the email address in the "From" field but can be edited on the popup that appears after you click to preview.
 
 
6. Email Lists / Unsubscribe options.  We created/added a new custom member attribute to manage newsletter and/or email lists. The default is just a single response: "Newsletter".  Edit and add responses to fit your church under settings / members / custom attributes.  You can use the "Email request for updated information" report to allow people to choose their response.  Previously, people who unsubscribed were removed from receiving any email sent through reports.  This option allows the person to unsubscribe just to specific lists.  
 
 
These lists conveniently show up as options any time you are sending an email using the reporting system:
 
 
If someone clicks the "Unsubscribe" link on your email (whether you filtered by the "Email lists" attribute or not), they will be taken to a page to choose which list(s) from which they wish to unsubscribe.  Choosing to "Unsubscribe from all lists" is the same response as the old universal unsubscribe.
 
 
7. Editor upgrades.  The new email editor has an updated user interface and easier options for inserting images directly (without using a link reference).  The new editor is available on the primary email page but also other areas of the system where HTML is composed such as the section for customizing and designing your Contribution email receipt and a number of other locations in the application.
 
 
 
8. Images.  You can now directly paste an image from the clipboard into the email and the system will auto upload it and enter the correct reference/url for the image.  Previously you had to upload the image then copy the reference/url and paste into the email.
 
 
Image upload with thumb nail preview of all images.  When you click the image icon on the email editor a box appears allowing you to enter a URL for an image or, click the "Source" icon to go to the image management box.  You can choose any image already uploaded from the thumbnail list or quickly upload a new one.  Sorting and searching are also a feature in this dialog box.
 
 
 
In editor image editing.  When you choose an image, you automatically have in-editor editing options to rotate, crop, re-size, change color/brightness, and more.  Both the newly edited image and the original one are automatically saved.  
 
 
 

 
 
9. Advanced pasting from a Microsoft Word.  If you create your email in MS Word, highlight the section you want to use, then use keyboard shortcuts to copy (control c) and then paste (control v) the image directly into the email editor. It will be converted with most formatting intact (although not exactly due to formatting limitations with email in general).  It will also include images in the word document if they are pasted in.
 
 
Final note / limitation:  
 
We did not include a mail merge/personalization feature in this release.  This would use variables such as in the email to add in names or other personal/custom information.  We plan on rolling that into a related feature that will allow you to create then automate sending of a series of emails based on whatever criteria you choose.  No date has been set for working on or releasing this yet.
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Tags: New Release, Communication

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