Randy Rensch

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  1. 1 vote
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    1 comment  ·  Wishlist » Events  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
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    Randy Rensch commented  · 

    Forgot to mention... When I tried to print in Firefox, Firefox didn't see the gray text of past events. Chrome saw the entire page okay, but printed the image-based pdf. As I noted, I'll experiment further, but in any case PDF files are often not a good source for copying text coherently.

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  2. 316 votes
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    70 comments  ·  Wishlist » Website / Content  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
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    Randy Rensch commented  · 

    Yes. I don't understand how having a easily created, customizable form is not considered a standard website feature. Yet, I run into the same obstinance at obstinance at some other hosting services, such as GoDaddy. I've used forms on my own websites (and not just for non-spammy email, although that is a key use) for two decades now. Why at WA does it need to be a third-party workaround?

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    Randy Rensch commented  · 

    Yes. Many websites aren't complete without forms of various types.

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  3. 23 votes
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    6 comments  ·  Wishlist » Emails  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
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    Randy Rensch commented  · 

    Thank you. Your response was so prompt that I apologize for my tone, but I don't feel too bad, considering that it was being used in too limited a sense in any case. Some professionals do use the term and thus would search for it, so I understand the need to keep it in some occurrences. I'll do the same as you in our own documentation.

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    Randy Rensch commented  · 

    Your Help system states:
    "You can use Wild Apricot to send manual emails or email blasts, to people in your contact database. You can use email blasts to broadcast announcements or send out newsletters. You can send an email blast immediately or schedule it ..."

    Do you realize how painful it is to read that? Please STOP USING THE TERM EMAIL BLASTS. I FIND IT INSULTING, AND IN ANY CASE, YOU USE IT INCORRECTLY. (Does all-caps look offensive? Yes. I see the word "blasts" the same way.)

    No email recipient wants to be "blasted." It's a terrible mindset if you want to encourage responsible email marketing (and otherwise, it appears you do). And you use it to refer only to manual emails in the WA system. The term "blast" refers to ANY mass email send, which would include automatic event announcements. So you're wrong in that, too. Please use the term "Manual" email, "Manually sent" email, "Special" email, or such.

    At the risk of promoting indirect competitors of yours and mine, please consider these views:

    https://blogs.constantcontact.com/email-blast-dirty-word/

    https://fulcrumtech.net/resources/not-an-email-blast/

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  4. 100 votes
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    66 comments  ·  Wishlist » Account administration  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
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    Randy Rensch commented  · 

    I will grant that setting up WebDAV to transfer files (resembling an FTP transfer) is not as scary as it first seems. Also, it has an advantage over downloading files via a browser, because it retains timestamps and file architecture.

    But backing up thoroughly on a regular schedule still involves a rabbit warren of tools and procedures.

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    Randy Rensch commented  · 

    To back up our website, our Contacts, images, and other data, Wild Apricot advises using a rabbit-warren of methods that includes special installation and understanding of third-party services. For our volunteer organization, where we change jobholders every year or two, that is just not practical and puts us at risk.

    WA itself backs up our entire system in case of a catastrophe, but it's not available to the WA customer (which is understandable). We need essentially the same capability to do this ourselves, routinely and without extraordinary effort. We'll figure out where to store the data. Given the overall WA service concept, your omission of this -- and all the rube goldberg workarounds -- is NOT understandandable.

    By the way, even with the various backup methods advised, none of them backs up Saved Searches and manual email Templates. What else in our system is at risk? We don't even know.

    There is another thread wishing for this. It has surprisingly few votes, even though it dates back to 2008. But that wish's headline mentions only "website." That's the least of our concerns. And, as everybody knows, backup is always a neglected user issue, even though it is among the most essential concerns. WA should provide this capability as a matter of professional service, not wait for customers to vote who never will.

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  5. 17 votes
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    1 comment  ·  Wishlist » Emails  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
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  6. 28 votes
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    5 comments  ·  Wishlist » Emails  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
    Randy Rensch supported this idea  · 
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    Randy Rensch commented  · 

    Agreed. This is an important part of marketing and Customer Relationships. And it's not just that we may want to follow up with people who have expressed interest by viewing an email. Sometimes following up with people who have NOT opened an email is even more important.

    For example, we just emailed all our members regarding a very important issue that they should all be made aware of. Those who did not view the email will need to be contacted by phone. But to give our volunteers a list of those 90 people with their phone numbers, we will have to go to each record and copy/paste the number(s) into a document manually. That just isn't sane.

    BTW, there are several wishes regarding the need to display or download manual email log data. Each has a few votes. This capability would have more votes, and perhaps get rolling, if you somehow consolidated them.

  7. 203 votes
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    70 comments  ·  Wishlist » Account administration  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
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    Randy Rensch commented  · 

    While we, too, want to provide certain Members with very restricted access (e.g., an Event Organizer gets access to data for only their event, possibly even read-only), here's a solution to one issue mentioned here:

    > to give the front desk person the ability to see if someone is a member

    Apparent solution: Create a web page that lists Members. The list is based on an Advanced Search that you create. Members' preferences can be selectively set up so that a Member's option to be hidden on that list (or to hide any particular profile data) is disabled.

  8. 1 vote
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    2 comments  ·  Wishlist  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
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    Randy Rensch commented  · 

    I've been informed by someone who set up our site that it is possible to exclude names from the list of "no access" options. So, in the immortal words of Emily Litella, "Never mind."

    Now the issue is how to explain to our few members who have hidden even their names that we do not find that acceptable. ;-) Hopefully they didn't intend for their privacy to go that far.

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  9. 3 votes
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    4 comments  ·  Wishlist » Events  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
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    Randy Rensch commented  · 

    PS: On re-reading TangentRW's original idea more carefully, I see that we're talking about two very different solutions. While, yes, it's okay to reveal a Member's address to other Members and not to non-Members, we wouldn't need to get that elaborate, and I'm not even sure what a "personal message system contact web page" is. We simply need to avoid broadcasting people's personal email addresses on the Internet, and it would be nice if we could do it all "in-house."

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    Randy Rensch commented  · 

    The workaround scenario I've outlined is not much of an imposition once you're used to it, but does have one major flaw: Setting up forwards at your domain registrar depends on your registrar supporting such forwarding of individual addresses, and in sufficient number. Also, each event requires the involvement of the webmaster or other trusted individual, as it would be unwise (and awkward) to give the Domain Registrar password to the dozens of people who set up events, along with having to train them in setting up forwards, hoping they don't mess up the forward or something else, and trusting they won't go exploring through the rest of your registrar account. But apparently there would be no way for WA to set up such forwards within the WA interface?

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    Randy Rensch commented  · 

    I totally agree. We have dozens of Organizers (actually, they're Reservationists, and some events are organized by yet another person, so we could used two fields). Their personal addresses would be emailed to nearly 1500 strangers and seen by anyone on the Web. That's NOT acceptable at all, so here's is our complicated workaround.

    1. For each event, create an email address for it at our domain. E.g. "BigParty@ourdomainname.com".
    2. At our domain registrar, set up a forward for that address. Typically more than one person would be included in each forward (e.g., the reservationist, the manager who oversees events, the organizer, etc.)
    3. Create a contact for the event's email address. Just put the address in First Name and in Email. No other fields need to be filled out, except maybe a Note reminding others not to delete it. (Step #5 is the reason for creating the contact.)
    4. Set that contact address's email preferences to no auto announcements, no manual emails, so that it won't get our promotional emails. (Our people already get those at their own personal addresses.)
    5. In the event's Emails section set Organizer as the Contact address you've set up for that event.
    6. Choose the event's Contact address as Reply-to for mass emails related that event (optional). (BTW, I am not pleased that the default reply-to is the email creator's personal address -- many times I have forgotten to change it!)
    7. Publish the event address instead of the person's private address.

    Unfortunately, once the Reservationist gets a Registration, they still have to reply from their personal address. But hiding that would probably get very complicated (making our workaround seem simple), and at that point they are divulging their personal address to one person at a time, and presumably that person is known to us, or at least a friend, not a fiend.

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  10. 1 vote
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    4 comments  ·  Wishlist » Emails  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
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    Randy Rensch commented  · 

    I don't know if this auto link creation is the case in all situations, but I've just tested with the Customize Event Reminder 2 event email template, and it is the case there. I found the template with the undesired link, clicked Edit, selected and edited the link, clicking "remove link," and the link was gone. I clicked Save, and it was back.

    Apparently we can include an image file when posting a wish, but not when posting a comment. I will email two screenshots to Support.

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    Randy Rensch commented  · 

    I understand what you mean about email clients making addresses links. But this was in the process of composing our footer -- ie, within Wild Apricot's editor. If I'm wrong, I apologize, but I'm certain it was within the WA edtor not viewing an email. The address would be okay, straight text, but when I saved it, the result was hot. When I come across it again, I'll report it.

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    Randy Rensch commented  · 

    For now, I've put a space on either side of the @. I suppose that will do. Far more important things on the Wishlist.

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  11. 4 votes
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    0 comments  ·  Wishlist » Photos / Files  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
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  12. 3 votes
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    1 comment  ·  Wishlist » Contacts  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
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    Randy Rensch commented  · 

    I forgot to mention -- although we came to WA to avoid spreadsheets, I realize that this need might be better served by exporting to a sortable spreadsheet. But the Events Registration data is not exportable from an Advanced Search.

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  13. 52 votes
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    15 comments  ·  Wishlist » Emails  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
    Randy Rensch supported this idea  · 
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    Randy Rensch commented  · 

    We rarely send out a newsletter, because it includes brief photo/text summaries of past events, promotional text and photo(s) of key coming events, and other sections. What with all that image optimization, layout idiosyncracies (e.g., Outlook 2010 doesn't respect image margins) and other details work, it takes all day. With Support's help, we finally gave up on a highly segmented template and now use one based on tables. But it's still a major project to produce. We need a Content Management System where we just fill out a form, specify image files, and it's all run into the layout, preferably with images actually resized and optimized by the WA system (not just HTML sizing), with 5px white margins optionally added.

    In fact, I can't believe that WA doesn't already include a separate utility for optimizing images. I am unable to get across to some of our people why they shouldn't upload a 1 meg image (let alone one straight from the camera), or how to reduce its size and compress it without some graphics expertise and software.

  14. 6 votes
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    2 comments  ·  Wishlist » Emails  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
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    Randy Rensch commented  · 

    Admin: Your comment is going on three years old. What's the status of this situation?

  15. 112 votes
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    11 comments  ·  Wishlist » Events  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
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    Randy Rensch commented  · 

    Absolutely this is needed! Can't really call ourselves marketers without it.

    I see WA has suggested that an Advanced Search can be used, but even allowing for the amount of time and coordination required (as opposed to an automatic email to unpaid registrants), it seems those instructions would send the email to ALL the event's registrants -- which totally misses the point of a targeted, persuasive plea.

    Worse, first I wasted time before realizing that the auto emails to registrants can't be targeted, and then realized the "not yet confirmed" email can't be scheduled (it goes out right after registering). I resorted to sending a "manual" email, which gets complicated because there are no macros for inserting the Event Page description the way Auto Announcements do.

    In case our message isn't clear, here's a template. It shouldn't take hours to send an email like this. It's Marketing 101.

    Eventname Early Bird Deadline:
    Minutes away!
    Dear {Registration_First_Name},

    A friendly reminder that you're registered for the Eventname and the Early Bird price deadline is midnight tonight (Thurs April 5). If you haven't already snail-mailed your payment, please pay online now to save. (And to save us time in planning.)

    We are looking forward to seeing you!

    To complete the registration, login at {Organization_URL} with your email ({Contact_Email}) and password and follow instructions on your profile.

    Don't know your password? Reset it here {Contact_Password_Reset_URL}
    Be Seeing You,
    OrganizationName

    [MEMO to WA: If they didn't use their regular email the login might be wrong, because it's not tied to the reservation. In order to select recipients, the only solution I see is to note them in the Event Registrants list and select each individually from our Contacts. For some events this itself would be a chore, and unless carefully planned might need working in two different browsers. The WA system sometimes gets confused if I work in two different Admin pages in one browser. This really needs to be in the Event auto-emails section instead.]

    To insert the event description copy/paste from the live website, not admin view, not from an email. TIP: This is another example of why we could use Event macros in manual emails, too.

    PS: While I understand the usual desirability of omitting registrants from Automatic Event Announcements, there are times it would be good to include them. For example, if the date or time or other details of the event change. We shouldn't have to set up yet another mailing to registrants only, and (worse) it's possible some of our inexperienced volunteer admins won't even realize the need for that.

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  16. 191 votes
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    72 comments  ·  Wishlist » Emails  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
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    Randy Rensch commented  · 

    Louise wrote:
    > our Email area is a mess because we are unable to sort custom templates into folders. <

    Same here. Adding to the frustration is that even when hovered, the full name of a template is truncated (unlike when viewing from the "Emails" screen), so we have to be very careful about the first 20 or so characters.

    To "archive" old templates (either for possible resurrection or just to save evaluation time), I've resorted to renaming them so they'll appear at the end of the list, and add a prefix for to put things at top. For example:

    TOP:
    - Dues Reminder 01
    - Simple Email
    - News (long)

    BOTTOM:
    zz-2010NewsltrTpl

    But this is a silly workaround at best. Folders, full display of long filenames, and various sorts, please! A customizable pop-up stylesheet and user guide would be helpful, too, but that's a broader wish.

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    Randy Rensch commented  · 

    I am no longer so embarrassed that I was not saving my template work more often, because now I see the reason why. Rather than just "saving" work, we have to save and quit the editor, then restart the editor, which (on the job I'm doing at least), takes the better part of a minute. Disrupting the user's thought process for frequent minute-long time-outs invites the user to put them off. We need a "save" button that saves in the background, while working continues.

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    Randy Rensch commented  · 

    Autosave templates that are being being worked on. You do this for emails that are being sent. Why not for the "original." I clicked on a link to check the link code, and instead of highlighting, the browser took me heaven knows where, trashing half my work. Yes, I know I should "Save Often," but I'm human. If nothing else, pop up a prompt reminder ever so often. WE ARE NOT ALL PROFESSIONAL PROGRAMMERS.

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    Randy Rensch commented  · 

    After just a few years, we have a hodgepodge of old emails, your templates, our emails to be reused as templates and some actual WA templates we custom built with your initial guidance. The template folder is a mess, and we can't tell one from another because the names are cut off and few have thumbnails. (1) Display full template names. (2) Automatically generate thumbnail image of template as it currently appears. (3) Create someplace for us to put inactive or old, unused (but someday maybe needed) templates and emails (currently we start their file names with "z"! (4) Distinguish between Templates and Emails in the list (Templates should usually be untouched, maybe even copy-only, like yours are, while emails created from the templates are stored i the same list!) and and (5) Let us sort the template list by name, date, etc. You might as well bring the automatic Announcement template system into the manual mail system, since to the user they are essentially the same and (an organization having a customary face) should be interchangeable. BTW, your Email Drafts list is pretty useless to us, as its full of old garbage (requiring time-wasting maitenance) and doesn't show us contents. Looks like IBM-DOS.

  17. 126 votes
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    43 comments  ·  Wishlist » Website / Content  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
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    Randy Rensch commented  · 

    Carla Houston commented June 20, 2017 02:53:

    >... I found some of the listed website which provides themes according to my criteria , I am sharing with you few of them.
    The top best free templates is:<

    I don't understand the point of listing those sites. All or some of the three appear to require hosting by their service, one is free only if you let them run ads, and one didn't even display its own home page (etc.) properly on my computer monitor.

  18. 13 votes
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    8 comments  ·  Wishlist » Events  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
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  19. 2 votes
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    1 comment  ·  Wishlist » Website / Content  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
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    Randy Rensch commented  · 

    If I'm understanding you correctly, you can determine this pretty easily. Scroll to the point where the target anchor is, and hover over it. You will probably see the anchor string in a little pop-up. Otherwise, check your browser's status line.

    Further tip: Internal links are case-sensitive, so to keep life simple, always type them in upper case or always in lower case, whichever you prefer.

  20. 2 votes
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    0 comments  ·  Wishlist » Emails  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
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