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Fixes, Fictures, Forecast PastorsLine

October 2018 Features, Fixes and Forecast

author: Jason Alexis

category: Fixes and Forecast

Time once again to give you an update about what the PastorsLine team has been doing and a peek into what’s upcoming.

First and foremost—we thank our client partners for their patience and their excellent feedback. Many of the things on our ‘To Do’ list were inspired by your requests. We’re totally pleased because our goal is to shape PastorsLine to reflect what YOU need, not what we think you need.

Here’s an overview of the highlights since last time…

Keywords

We added a new Multiple Keywords option
People make spelling mistakes, and autocorrect does, too—sometimes ‘helping’ with the wrong word. That’s why PastorsLine lets you specify multiple keywords for the same campaign. First-time guests can text “welcome / welcom / welkom / wellcome” etc. to trigger the same process.

Big feature: Smart Syncing

We noticed the following challenges with our two-way integrations:

There was an issue with duplicates in the account(s) of your external application(s)—for now, your CCB and/or PCO account(s).
Most external apps required a minimum of first and last name + a phone number. To solve that, we created a dummy name consisting of first name “There” and last name “Friend”. While this worked for most of you, it was not ideal. Assuming that the person continued with the campaign/data capture, their information was updated—all good. If they did not, this contact remained as “There Friend”.

We developed smart syncing to minimize these two challenges as much as possible.

PastorsLine adds a flag (clock icon) to all groups which have external integrations. This flag comes with three new tabs: Matched (0), Pending/Duplicates (0), Resolve Dupes and Sync (0).

Then, using the contacts phone numbers, first and last names, and email addresses, we identify probably duplicates. We send you emails about these occurrences, and you have the chance to manually match and sync contacts to resolve these issues.

Smart syncing is now in public beta testing.

Also, we’ve done a lot of extensive testing, but more is better. So, if you are actively using this feature, we would love it if you could test it in different conditions, and give us some feedback about how it is working...or not...with screenshots if at all possible.

Data Capture

(Digital Connect Texts) Improvements 

  • Data Capture works where the trigger begins with a keyword. It's a powerful way to capture the names, phone, email and birthdates of your audience. Before, this was the only option. Now, you can manually add people or groups into your Data Capture campaign and trigger the same workflows. 
  • Data capture is great...if people complete the process. So did they? Or are they stuck somewhere in the middle? We’ve made it easy to check who is at which stage. You can also send a text message or resend a data capture message to gently push those ‘in process’ towards completion.

Automated Message (AM) Campaigns

Manually add Contacts to your AM Campaigns
One option to create a group or contacts list is for those interested to text a keyword to your PastorsLine phone number. However, this does not work for all people or all campaigns. So, you now have the option to manually add contacts to campaigns.

View at which stage each person has reached in your AM Campaigns
So you created a campaign, and people opted in. Where are they in the campaign process? You are now able to find out whether the person has completed the campaign or is still active (in process). If active, you can see which next step they are due to receive and decide which action, if any, should be taken.

Clone your Campaigns
For many churches, most of the campaign settings remain the same from campaign to campaign. That means once you’ve taken the time to set up your first campaign, you can clone it to reduce your ‘new campaign setup time’.

And just done…Automated polls

Now, you can set up and schedule polls that will reach your contacts by email. Automated email polls give you a very natural option to integrate into one of your automated messages campaigns (AMCs). For example, think about using polls as part of your first-time guest follow-up process. You can ask your guests an unintrusive poll question such as “How was the service last weekend?” or “What was the thing which turned you off the most about our welcome process?” Remember, your polls can have 2-4 answers, so you have a lot of opportunities to get some important feedback.

Managing Contacts

Manually Process/Manage Duplicate Contacts

A typical example of duplicate contacts are families that share a phone number/email members. Of course, when you send a text message, you only want to send it once and to the relevant family member. Now you are able to see which of your contacts have duplicates, so you can set the default contact.

Mobile Apps

We have reported that we are 40% done with Phase 1.1 of our new revamped app. Phases will be released over the next few months, but we hope to give a better mobile app experience by December 2018. However, one thing we have allowed you to do now is to access the full website from your mobile browser. This isn’t the best experience, but what it does allow you to do is to access any aspect of our app from your phone, on the go—from campaigns to integrations. Before this, we restricted all access on mobile browsers to only the Inbox. 

Last but not least…Multicampus in beta.

More than multiple users with roles, multicampus gives you another organization level for your church. This option is for ministries such as: a pastor who has several different church plants; churches with a main church and several divisions or locations; churches who regularly partner with other churches; churches which are a group of churches under one umbrella; or any church that wants its divisions (let’s call them ‘campuses’) to be collective yet independent.

Each campus will have its own longcode (10-digit phone number), email and contacts. This means that billing is separate (more budgetary control); data is segmented (more precise analytics and reporting); the same keywords can be used over all campuses (for a more uniform, cohesive structure to your overall ministry ‘branding’); contact relationships are more personal (people will be funneled directly to the relevant campus-specific process queues); contact management will be more efficient (Inbox items are campus-specific means less sifting through irrelevant messages); and campus creativity/impact is enhanced (independence of thought and action means campuses can do the things which work best for their contact segments).

Multicampus means that each of your campuses has the freedom to do the same thing in different ways or even unique things which other campuses may not wish to do.

Coming up…

Our PastorsLine team is working on lots of things but here are the big 3.

MailChimp Integration

We know. This was supposed to be in place already. The thing is that some of our To-Do list got re-prioritized because we felt that our smart syncing feature was more pressing. But now, with our smart syncing core complete, this integration is now back on track.  \

System revamp

We are doing a complete revamp of the desktop and mobile apps. What if we created a better structure which would allow us to deploy any type of app? A structure which meant that PastorsLine could do more, more easily, such as building integrations more quickly?

So, while much of our ‘under the hood engine’ is functioning excellently, we’ve recognized that we have to change the way we do things. Underway is a full revamp of the entire system, not just the design and functionality. We have a front-end developer and a designer who are restructuring the way in which our technology is assembled within the most up-to-date framework which most companies are now using. SPOILER: It also includes an Inbox redo.

This really exciting revamp is being developed now and will be rolled out over the next few months.

Custom data capture

At the moment, our platform can capture name, phone number, email and birthday via a keyword trigger. (If you are not yet familiar with how this works, you can find out in this article, Digital Connect Texts.)

But what if you could capture any data you wanted? Yup, we thought so! Working on that now.

Finally, please keep your greatly appreciated comments and feedback coming.

PastorsLine is truly a joint effort in that with your help, we work hard to keep our platform relevant to what churches need to do God’s work.

Our full feature, free trial

If you have tried our product or plan on doing so, you can now extend your trial after 30 days to get an additional 14 days. Just enter the coupon code GRACE on the billing page when logged in and select a plan. You will pay only $1 and can cancel before the 14th day and not be charged. Additionally, we give you an additional 500 credits. So go ahead, do take advantage of this offer.

If you sign up today, however, we will give you a bonus 1000 credits. This invite code OCT2018 will expire October 31st, 2018. So act now.

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