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Emailing: Improve Adding Recipient Workflow

We are "Husky" development team at Wild Apricot named, responsible for emailing area of the product.

We’re putting finishing touches for our next release in Aug-Sep, which will include big improvements to our emailing workflow. These improvements are the first step to centralize emails management into one module and allow email scheduling and many other features in the future​.

But we need your help to make sure we’re on the right track.

There is one feature that we didn’t change but we would like to improve: “Adding Recipients”. Before we design improvements, we want to know a few things about how you currently send an email and any pain points that are specific to this particular step of choosing email recipients.

If you’re willing to help us, please answer the following questions.

1. What kind of newsletters/campaigns do you have?

2. How often do you send emails via Wild Apricot?

3. What is the starting point of creating a recipient list?

4. What parts/modules of the system do you usually send emails from??

5. What are the pros and cons of the current "add recipient" dialog?

The more detailed your response, the better.

You can answer right here, in this thread.

Thanks!
Best regards,

Lily, Husky Team at Wild Apricot
Emailing development crew

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    AdminTeam Husky (Email features, Wild Apricot) shared this idea  ·   ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

    26 comments

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      • Anne Schonauer commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I want to be able to easily email everyone in a group that I've created. I've created a small sub-group of members but that group does not show up when I go to email.

      • Sally Smith commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I send email blasts about 3 times a year to all our 100 members.
        I can't get the all members group to add to the email (grrr). So I can't send it. There is no next button in the add recipients box - no flow.
        I used to be ablet to do this. What has gone wrong?
        Please help.

      • Lee Anne commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        1. What kind of newsletters/campaigns do you have? Periodic newsletters to inform classmates of upcoming reunion events, deadlines, etc.

        2. How often do you send emails via Wild Apricot? Blasts -- once or twice per month. Groups -- once or twice a week. Individuals -- many times per week.

        3. What is the starting point of creating a recipient list? Member Summary or Member List. Occasionally a Saved Search

        4. What parts/modules of the system do you usually send emails from?? Email/Templates for blasts and groups. Member/Email settings and log/Send email for individuals

        5. What are the pros and cons of the current "add recipient" dialog? PROS - It DOES work, just clunky. CONS - anything I type in the search field is still present in the search field when I want to search and select the next person. I have to delete or backspace over the previous search. Really annoying.

      • Cindy Cooper commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        We send emails to most of our membership for events. However we would sometimes like to exclude a group (i.e., Past Presidents) from a mailing. We would like to be able to EXCLUDE a group from a mailing. Currently once a group is included in a mailing, there is no way to remove individuals or groups from it. With over 400 members, it is too time consuming and error prone to add each one individually to a mailing just to exclude 15 people.

      • HECA Admin commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I would also add that being able to select the membership level as well, would be a useful function instead of only the "all members" option!

      • Colby commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        It would be a HUGE help to be able to control the "From" person's name. Currently it only is from the Organization name. I know we can now add contacts to the send - GREAT, thank you. But it would be so helpful to have flexibility in designating the sender's name. It would be great to personalize so the recipient receive emails from different staff members in our Organization. We're a hospitality organization and this is just good relationship building for any organization's outreach. Thanks.

      • Melanie commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        1. Upcoming Events, Monthly Newsletters, Member Only Updates, Specific Group Email Updates, Invoice to individual, Individuals email.

        2. Two - Three a week on a good week. Minimum, weekly.

        3. ?

        4. From Templates, Finance, and Events. The automatic email with new memberships are great!

        5. NA

        Looking forward to Scheduled email!!! Thanks team Husky!

      • AdminApricot Kernel (Product Manager, Wild Apricot) commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        a) Name + Email is not enough. Please add also Membership level, Membership Status and Organization. These are important fields.

        b) in the list of contacts, it's not clear I can click on a name. What about using checkbox on the left? This will also solve another problem: when a contact is already added and appears on the left column, it's not clear from the main list that the contact is already selected. Checkbox will solve both problems: learnability (that I should click to select) and selected state (contact has been already selected)

        c) missing number of selected contacts and/or groups

        Wonder what other will say...

      • AdminTeam Husky (Email features, Wild Apricot) commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Please see our design solution in the following presentation:
        https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1KmcU9B9Kzj9G_5rO5CTv6ZAGXMaIlEt4DDwesqM9lWo/edit?usp=sharing

        Key changes:
        1. Removed modal dialog for adding recipients
        2. The ability to add multiple recipients
        3. The ability to navigate between saved searches, member groups, and contacts

        Excluded for now:
        1. The ability to manage recipients from saved searches

      • AdminTeam Husky (Email features, Wild Apricot) commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Please see our design solution in the following presentation:
        https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1KmcU9B9Kzj9G_5rO5CTv6ZAGXMaIlEt4DDwesqM9lWo/edit?usp=sharing

        Key changes:
        1. Removed modal dialog for adding recipients
        2. The ability to add multiple recipients
        3. The ability to navigate between saved searches, member groups, and contacts

        Excluded for now:
        1. The ability to manage recipients from saved searches

      • Liz commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        1. What kind of newsletters/campaigns do you have?
        Monthly newsletter, event announcement/reminder/thank you for attending, news and updates.

        2. How often do you send emails via Wild Apricot?
        We currently don’t send any emails via Wild Apricot (WA) because we still use Constant Contact (CC). Our goal is to eventually use WA, but I’m not looking forward to the eventual switchover. We send about 2-4 emails per month.

        3. What is the starting point of creating a recipient list?
        In CC, if we want to send to a subset, we typically have that list of emails in an Excel file. It’s easy to import those emails and add them to an Email List or to Tag them with an identifier. CC automatically looks for duplicates. We are then able to add individuals – or multiple individuals using searching and checkboxes next to records – to that Email List or Tag through CC’s interface.

        In WA, if we want to send to our “whole” list, I would select the custom Members Saved Search I created for “Email List.” This includes criteria for two custom fields and one WA system field: Newsletter Preference (set to any of: “Email and Mail” or “Email Only”), Do Not Email (set to none of: “Individual Requested” or “Bad Email” or “Organization Requested”), and Email preferences (set to none of: “Email delivery disabled”). Although I just realized that I can’t use this to then send to a subset who have attended an event, as I’ve set it up as a Members Saved Search and not a Contacts Saved Search...

        I would like to be able to send “Thank You for Attending” type emails to those who attended an event. Rather than email all event registrants, I would like to be able to email only those who checked in. I can’t find any way to do this in the system.

        See my answer to question #5 for more on recipient lists.

        4. What parts/modules of the system do you usually send emails from?
        We don’t currently send any of the WA automatic emails (which were a real pain to hunt down and turn off!). Our member self-service area is not fully prepared yet. Eventually we would like to send membership renewal notices and event reminders through the system. It would be nice to actually be able to fully customize these emails – not just the text, but the HTML too, like is possible for the email blasts. Until that becomes available, we’ll likely only use WA to send our 2-4 email blasts per month from the “Emails” section of Admin.

        5. What are the pros and cons of the current "add recipient" dialog?
        We need a way to add “recipients” plural at one time (how about some checkboxes next to records?). And we need a way to save custom lists that have had recipients added to or removed from them. This is important to store exceptions to a Saved Search. There’s currently no way to create a custom saved list that is not based purely on search criteria. This equates to adding/removing recipients every time you’re trying to target a particular group.

        Rather than just pulling from the Contact and Member Advanced Searches (although those can still be included as options), it would be nice to have “Email Lists” to keep this separate and organized. Members could be added to Email Lists on an individual basis, or by an Administrator adding all of those from a search to the Email List.

        If the Administrator allows it, the members from their profile could then opt to add or remove themselves from various interest lists. For example, an animal rescue organization may send out emails about cats and separate emails about dogs – the member could choose which email lists to be on: dogs, cats, both, or neither. Allowing each individual Email List to have the option “For Administrator Use Only” would still allow for Email Lists that the Admins don’t want the members to have control over.

        Right now, the only way to achieve this is to have a custom Contact Field called Mailing List that is a checkbox field, but even this isn’t a great solution, as the items can’t be shown/hidden on an individual basis. And then, in order to actually email those folks, a custom Saved Search has to be made for each selection on that checkbox list…not very user-friendly. Plus, the settings for the member to change their preferences would be under the member’s main profile tab, instead of the “Email subscriptions” tab…again, not user-friendly.

        Other
        Please allow better customization of the “Email subscriptions” tab of the member profile. Our organization doesn’t use forums and I don’t want members to be able to opt in/out of event reminders, just emails in general. I also wanted to change the text of the “email blasts” line (our members may not know what this means). I’ve accomplished these changes with CSS, but that’s not an ideal solution; if anything changes this gadget in an update, I’ll have to revisit and ensure everything is still hidden and altered appropriately.

        Thank you for your time and consideration on these matters!

      • Sacramento Valley-Bears commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        1. Monthly newsletter, weekly event email, volunteering campaigns, donations solicitations.
        2. see above.
        3. I use the all contacts, or all members options mostly. I also create specialized searches in the contact advanced search screen and use the in some emails.
        4. Usually from the email system.
        5. The main pro is that you can see saved searches, the main con is that when you compose an email, you cannot select "all contact" or "all members" unless you save the draft, exit out, then go back in to send it - then you can see those two options in the recipient dialog. That's weird to me.

      • AdminTeam Husky (Email features, Wild Apricot) commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        We are "Husky" development team at Wild Apricot named, responsible for emailing area of the product.

        We've already made big improvements to our emailing workflow which will be our next release. But to move further we need your help.

        If you’re willing to help us, please follow the link below and answer a few questions.

        https://forums.wildapricot.com/forums/308932/suggestions/15423798

        We're looking forward to reading your feedback.

        Lily, Husky Team at Wild Apricot
        Emailing development crew.

      • AdminTeam Husky (Email features, Wild Apricot) commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        We are "Husky" development team at Wild Apricot named, responsible for emailing area of the product.

        We've already made big improvements to our emailing workflow which will be our next release. But to move further we need your help.

        If you’re willing to help us, please follow the link below and answer a few questions.

        https://forums.wildapricot.com/forums/308932/suggestions/15423798

        We're looking forward to reading your feedback.

        Lily, Husky Team at Wild Apricot
        Emailing development crew.

      • Tabatha commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        1. At this point because of the limited email recipient selection function I do not send out many emails
        2. In the last 3 months I have sent 3 emails
        3. My members are are already divided using their group affiliation. The groups correspond to diferent chapters. When doing emails I need to email based of of the "group participation"
        4. I usually send emails from the email templates
        5. con i have to go through each member. need to be able to not just email all contacts or have to pick the contacts. need to be able to select a group to mail. Need to be able to send out event notifications/promotion but wish to exclude the members that are already enrolled.

      • Beardo commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Would find it very useful to have that above option and to have an email routing that allows to send an email to ONE email address (for example "groupname@mywebsite.com") that forwards the email to all email addresses in the group. That would help groups to update important information at an instant.

      • Chris Ogden commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Quite often I have the need to generate a mail list based on a search, but them remove / add a few members manually before I send. At the moment I can't do this.

        So, I might have 170 members who are not lapsed, but before I email them I want to add a few or remove a few.

        Hope this is clear.

        Chris Ogden

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