SPAM Button Trigger Finger

As churches start to really use the people scheduling and team features, more and more volunteers are getting emails that originate from WP. By the strictest definition of the word, these emails might be considered spam because they are often unsolicited. But 99.999% of all emails sent from WP are actually team leader/member initiated and pertain to the recipient’s church or team.

Nonetheless, the increase of emails can make recipients want to click the “Mark as Spam” button in their mail software. While doing so might stop the emails from showing up in their inboxes, it can have a negative effect that is much more widespread. In fact, a couple Internet service providers have blacklisted emails sent from WorshipPlanning.com because enough of their customers have marked messages sent from WP as spam (even though the emails were initiated by their team leaders/members). We have since been removed from those lists, but our fear is that this could be an increasing problem in the future.

So, to help deter recipients from flagging WP messages as spam, we are making a change to the subject line. We considered changing the subject to be “SPAM Check:Safe”, “Very Important Message”, “Message From The President”, or “Please, Please, Please Read This!”. But in the end, we decide the best thing is to simply add the name of the church to the front of the subject. So, updates to message boards will have a subject like: “-Grace Church- New WP Discussion Post”. Our hope is that recipients will be less inclined to flag something as spam if they easily see the message is related specifically to their church.

We plan on implementing this change the evening of August 2nd. If you have any feedback regarding this issue, feel free to leave a comment.

Improved Privacy, Creating a Series, and a New Home Page

Last night we rolled out three new updates that we want to tell you about.

Privacy Settings
Lately we have had several requests to give Helpers and Planners some options on restricting who can see their contact information. As of this morning, both Helpers and Planners can now set one of three levels of privacy for his/her contact info: 1) Visible to all Helpers (within church account) 2) Visible only to Helpers that are teammates 3) Not visible to any Helpers. This setting can be change by clicking on the “account settings” link in the upper right area of most pages in WP (and myWP). The default setting is “Visible to all Helpers” since that is the equivalent of what it has been in the past. Administrators can also adjust this setting when adding or editing Helpers and Planners. It is important to note that Planners can always view the contact information of fellow Planners and all Helpers.

Creating a Series
Updates to this page make it even easier to create a series of services. One really nice feature is the ability to skip weeks mid-series, if desired. We also added a 3 minute video tutorial right on the Create a Series page. Just look for the Video Tutorial icon on the far left side of the page.

New Home Page
We are really excited about this enhancement. Because it is still in the final testing phase, you have to click on a link at the bottom of the current Home page to see the new one. But we think you’ll be very happy with the improvements. There is even a pretty nifty calendar! If you have any feedback you’d like to give us on this page, feel free to let us know.

People/Team Scheduling Enhancements Officially Released

Early this morning, the Team Scheduling update graduated from “Beta”. This means they are now officially integrated into the site and ready for all churches to start using. The fastest way to learn about these features is to watch the video tutorial we have put together. There are actually two videos: one on how to set up and manage Teams in WP, and another on using the new People/Team Scheduling pages. Links to each tutorial are presented to you the first time you access the People/Team Scheduling pages. They can also be found on WP SupportĀ http://support.worshipplanning.com in the “People” section.

To access one of the new pages, click on the “Roles” tab next to the Worship Flow tab of a service, then click the “Roles Scheduling” link in the upper right corner of the Roles tab.

Over the next week or so, we will be adding a new feature to People Scheduling. It is called Auto Email Reminder, and can be used by team leaders to have WP automatically send an assignment email reminder before the date of service. Team Leaders can configure the “lead time”, the message content, and whether or not a reminder summary page is sent to him or her once the reminders have been sent.

We also have a little more work to do as far as updating our support documentation and video tutorials. We hope to create a few tutorial tracks for the different types of WP users. This will include a track for ministry leaders that are not necessarily worship planners.

Finally, we want to give big “Thank You!!!” to all the churches that took part in testing this feature. Your feedback was invaluable, and we hope to continue to hear from you with this and other new features.

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