Changes are coming to mail coding! Big changes! Clients have pointed out pain points when it comes to mail coding and we listened. Join us for this webinar as we go over the new features in our Public Media CRM that will be released in the next few weeks.
The staff that make decisions for your membership department are key attendees of this webinar as they are the folks that will need to plan ahead prior to release.
Good afternoon, everybody, and welcome to today’s Allegiance Group fundraising webinar. Today, we’ll be talking about our new feature, Contact Preferences, that will be available in our fundraising CRM coming up in about a month. My name is Sarah, I am the presenter today. I’m one of the senior services consultants in the Allegiance Group Technology Division.
Many of you know me from past webinars and my time in support. So welcome to today’s webinar, to old friends and new. All right. So today the agenda, we’re going to talk about why we’ve made some changes. I’m going to introduce you to Contact Preference Categories. There’s a table entry, some records that you’ll need to create and how it’s going to look and data entry.
Then we’ll see what it looks like on the web, both on donation forms and in the donor portal and the new reports that have come with the Contact Preferences. And then at the end, I’m sorry to say, you’re going to have some homework that you’re going to want to at least think about and start preparing for this release, which again is coming in about a month.
This all stemmed from a conversation that we had with a specific client regarding some pain points with mail coding. We found that our Allegiance users didn’t always understand that clicking one of those boxes to mail code a donor has some down the line consequences. It could seriously affect revenue. Sometimes the Allegiance users didn’t know what the function did, much less what it meant to suppress somebody from it.
And we do admit that our documentation on the topic was a little bit, okay, it was lacking. And what we did have was difficult to interpret. And sometimes it was frankly, just not as complete as it could be. And we heard you and we’ve made some changes. So this is what I’m talking about. You would click on the button that said functions on the donor’s account screen, and then you would see a checklist of all kinds of functions that you could suppress the donor from.
Sometimes you didn’t know what those were. And I’ve got a couple of examples on the next two slides. And then the other thing is these selections are all or nothing. So if you checked one of those boxes, that was it. You might be able to get them out in that function, but it would take a lot of extra work.
For example, not uncommon to find an account that’s coded all over the place. The ones that I’ve highlighted in green probably should never be checked. Now it depends on your organization, but customer service, it’s not real common for our clients to use customer service to pull out solicitations, not the big ones, like the expires, the add gifts, that kind of thing.
They might use it to pull out the people whose credit cards have gone bad, but if somebody is coded for that, then they’re not going to get pulled out. And then they might not find out that their credit card was bad until they get a rejoined letter in the mail or maybe their passport, they can’t get into it anymore.
I think what we’ve seen in the past is that it larger organizations. If you have folks whose job it is to talk to the donors on the phone, they see customer service, they check that box and then they start checking a bunch of other boxes at the same time. So again, customer service probably not being used the way they think it is.
Miscellaneous contact inquiry. Ideally we shouldn’t be using those to pull solicitations. We have functions that will pull those specific solicitations for you. I understand that many organizations do use them, but bear in mind that if you’re also using one of those two functions to pull data for analysis internally, you could be excluding, inadvertently a lot of donors from that, just because they’ve been mail coated.
The ones in orange. These are things that in this particular case, this donor that I grabbed the screenshot from, he never qualified for these things. He’s never been a major donor. I think the most on this account that had ever seen him qualify for was I think he hit a $240 pledge. Why he’s coded all over the place for major donor, I’m not sure.
The other thing to think about is a donor, one that’s actually given to your organization, can never be pulled into the prospect function again. Pointless to have coded him for that. And here’s the major donor 240 thing. This is the same donor, just, I’ve highlighted a couple of different things. The test database that we use here has never used the benefits function ever, and he’s coded for it.
So he’s now been coded to not receive something that he’s never had the opportunity to receive.
They also don’t use the mailing list exchange or telemarketing. Now I get that, I’m coded for that in Prairie Public’s data. That’s fine with me. But I can tell you right now that if they ever start using the benefit function, I want to be included in that even though I’m I, of course, obviously know what I would be getting, but this poor donor doesn’t.
The other thing is, he is coded for everything matching gift. That’s the stuff in orange on the screen, everything. He’s given matching gifts for years. The thing that really floored me is that he’s also coded for MB matching gift billings that’s to send a reminder to the company doing the match, not the donor.
So I think this is a prime example of the person that went through and coded this donor for all of these things, did not fully understand what each one of those things did, and why maybe they should not have coded a donor.
So we’ve made some changes. First thing I did is I wrote a tip in our knowledge base. It will be released soon, definitely by the time we release these Contact Preferences, and on that list, I listed out every function that I could find, where it was located, what it does, and then a brief couple of points as to why you might want to seriously consider whether or not you want to opt a donor out of that particular function when you’re under Contact Preferences.
I am hoping that for those of you at larger organizations, this will help you to explain to your staff, your other Allegiance users, what those functions and ticking those boxes means. What does it truly mean to opt somebody out of something? It is a living tip. We will keep updating it over time.
Do keep in mind when it is released, it is for all Allegiance users. There might be functions on that screen that don’t apply to your organization, but they do to the one down the road. And then we will make sure to continue to make our documentation clearer and keep it up to date.
All right, this is what it’s going to look like. There’s a little bit more to explain on this screen. This is also the first look that some of you are probably getting at the update that’s coming. It has a long official name. I’ve been affectionately referring to it as blue Allegiance. Not sure if I’m not supposed to or not, but to differentiate it between what you’re seeing currently and what we have coming, you can see that this is much better branded to the Allegiance Group brand right now.
This is an account record that was taken out of a database that we have pulled as a backup. So it is a copy of my actual account record in that database. And you can see that where the functions button used to be, it now will say Contact Preferences. And then when you click on it, you can see that a list will open.
So that list and the Contact Preferences feature is now going to allow you to group those functions so that it makes sense for everybody that uses Allegiance at your organization. So whether you have two people that run your whole membership department and talk to all the donors, or whether you have 14 people and some talk to donors and some don’t, we are hoping that you were able to set this up in a way that it makes sense to everybody.
You can also set the security permissions so that only security officers can make changes to the categories that you have created. That will allow you to decide to some extent which functions can be selected by staff so that they can allow donors to opt in or out of something.
Now opting out is still an all or nothing activity, depending on just exactly how you do it. So if you take a look at the example that I have here, I created a category called solicitations. I could on that line one where it says solicitations clicked opt out, and that would opt me out of everything that is in that category.
Add Gifts, Canceled, Expired Prospects, or Renewals. Or like I’ve done here, I can expand it and then opt out of specific things listed underneath it. Is that part, making sense? Any questions on what you’re seeing on the screen at this point? And I am going to dig in just a little bit deeper on how you create these categories.
I’m not seeing any questions come in again. I don’t necessarily like to wait until the end. So if you have a question now. So far making sense? So you can see that my next category, even though it’s not expanded, was Premiums. So under that, I just dumped everything that had premiums. And then I have one for Matching Gift Donors and one for Matching Gift Companies.
And I would hope that other users on this database would see the one for companies and know that would not be something that you would need to opt out of for an individual donor.
So the question, how do these preferences link to the function such as add gift, et cetera? They’re the same functions. They’re just categorized in a way that makes sense to your users and you will be building the categories, or the security officer, the membership manager, the database manager, whoever it is that your organization that’s in charge of table upkeep and maintenance, you will be the ones that are going to be creating these categories.
And again, because of the database that we pulled this copy from, you might be seeing functions here that you do not have in your data. So if you’re seeing like the matching gift things here, perhaps your organization does not have our Matching Gift Module. Kids Club doesn’t appear on here because this database doesn’t have Kid’s Club.
Current segmentation sets will not have to be recreated unless you determined that they do, but they should not have to be. So if somebody has opted out of renewals, you should not have to change your segmentation set. They’re still opted out of renewals. Oh, and any mail coding that you have in existence now will carry over through to the update.
So if I’m mail coded for these things at Prairie Public now, after the update in a month, I’m still mail coded.
Not seeing any other questions. And there will be some more discussion about some of these things as we go along, so you might have more answers coming.
All right. So the first thing I want to talk about is the Contact Preference Categories Table. You will find it after the update underneath the People tables, you click to open it.
Yours will be blank. You would then right click to create a new one, or if you prefer, you can go to the edit tab and select insert. It’s really up to you. But once you’re done creating things, yours might look like mine. It might not. It is completely up to you how you want to set it up.
In the background shot there, you can see that that is what a blank Contact Preference Category Record screen would look like. You have a two character code. It’s alphanumeric, you can enter whatever you like. I went with numbers. If you want to do letters, that’s fine. However you choose to do it. The Category name, I have major donors in this example, that’s 30 character alphanumeric. You cannot put any special characters in there. So, no dashes, no colons, nothing like that. It’s just straight up letters and numbers.
Once you have the code and the category name defined, then you’re going to click the Add Function button, which is pointed to by that orange arrow. And it will pop up in the screen that you see in the forward view on this slide.
And that is the same screen that you’re used to now, a listing of all the functions that you have in Allegiance at this time. And then you can choose which ones will go into that category. Once you’ve made your selections on the screen with the functions listed, you can hit save. you’d be returned to the screen behind where those functions will be listed. And then you would click Save Category. Any questions on creation?
Sarah’s got a good one and I believe that answer’s coming up on the next slide.
For my supervisor, Julie Bachman, we do have a question coming in that I’m going to let you mull over. Julie, I’m going to read it to you and then you can respond if you’d like. The question: Beyond the use, this contact preference update we’ll have for in-office users, has Allegiance taken into consideration and done the work to ensure that third party companies such as CDP will have proper API integration and access to this mail coding?
So I’ll let Julie respond to that. I will read her response once I get it, she might choose, Stanley, to respond to you offline. In which case, then that answer would be made available to everybody.
All right, I’m going to go ahead with the presentation while Julie mulls that over. And Sarah, here’s the answer to your question. Is it possible to have multiple functions in multiple categories? No. Each function can only be included in one of the category codes. If you try to put it into two, it will flash an error message and then you would have to remove it. Any functions that you did not include in a category code, default to a grouping called All Others.
And I’ve outlined that in orange on this screen. So you can see that I have a bunch of them there that are not included in any of the categories above, and they just got grouped into that All Others. And again, this particular database does not use Benefits, Comp Copy, EFT Prenotes, Matching Gift Billings, they don’t use any of these. So I just left them.
So Stanley, to your question, Julie says the backend has not changed at all. So what is sent to CDP is exactly the same as before.
And I’ll make sure that is noted somewhere in documentation, possibly with this slide deck when it reaches its final version. Any questions about the creation of categories and how they’ll be displayed?
Some of your categories may only have one function in it. For example, this one, Texting and Paper Program Guides, Email Contact, Call Center Contact, they each have one function listed in them.
The actual creation of the categories, this view on this screen, this slide, this is what it’s gonna look like when you pop it open from a donor account. So that’s data entry. Now the next two slides, they’re going to show what it will look like if a donor has accounts in multiple affiliations.
So in this example, the screen on the left, those were the Contact Preferences that I was changing in my Memorial Gift account. As soon as I attempted to save on that screen, the screen on the right popped up letting me know that as the primary person, there are differences between my account in Memorial Gifts and my account in Membership.
So you can see the screen on the right shows, the functions, then the change that I was making. The next column says, Affiliation 44 and then my account number Memorial Gifts. That’s the account that I was in when making the changes. And the column on the far right is my Membership account. So what it is telling me is that line 13 Electronic Contact and 36 Telemarketing are going to have two different settings between Memorial Gifts and my Membership account. It’s then going to offer me the three buttons on the bottom.
And the next slide is going to blow those up a little bit.
On the bottom, these are the three options. I can add the preferences in addition to existing. Meaning if I select that option, all the changes that I made in that Memorial Gift account will then be added to my Membership account. So it will change across the board. It will verify that’s really what you want to do, this little pop up message.
It could, if I select the middle button, replace existing contact preferences, overwrite everything. If I select this, all the changes that I made to my opt in and outs on the account that I’m working on, overwrite the selections across the board.
And the third one, I can opt to leave everything as it was. No changes made.
If that primary person on the account has an account in yet another affiliation, another screen will pop, allowing you to make determinations with that one. So in this particular test database, I had accounts in three affiliations. So I saw another screen comparing what I was changing in my Memorial Gifts, to what I had in my Cars account, and asking me if I wanted to make changes to everything across the board.
All right. We’re getting a lot very specific questions, some of which kind of outside of the scope of just the introduction to this. But I’m hoping that by the end of it you’ll feel like, oh, Hey, I think I can do it like this. If not, certainly let us know. And again, like I said, you have about a month before this is going to be released. So there’s some time to think about it. And certainly if you see something here that you think needs to be tweaked or explained a little bit better, please let us know. That’s why we’re doing this ahead of schedule.
So that’s what everything looked like in data entry. Now I want to show you the security settings. On the security records, if you expand the option under People Codes down at the very bottom and outlined in green, you can see an option for maintaining the categories and one for viewing the categories. If you select No to maintaining them, that will restrict the user from creating new categories or changing what you have.
They can expand and look at them, but they cannot make any changes. So in organizations where you have more people, that might be something you really want to consider, because you don’t want somebody going in there and making changes and not telling everybody. They might do it with all kinds of good intentions, but you might want to set some restrictions there.
The bottom one, to View Contact Preference Categories, if you select No, then that is going to restrict the user from even opening the table. Like they can see the option on the table list, but they just can’t even click it. It’s just greyed out. So that might be a little more harsh, but it’s up to you.
Then if you’d like to prevent specific Allegiance users from seeing that All Other section, underneath, okay, we’re still in the security manual, sorry. Underneath the second option, Data Entry Program – Edit Screen, there will be an option that says Maintain Contact Preference Full View. If you say Yes, it will look like it did a couple of slides ago where you can see the All Others.
If you say No, that whole section of All Others will not be visible, and that’s on the screenshot, that’s in the foreground on this slide. So All Others just isn’t there. By restricting that, then another Allegiance user can’t go in and opt out of Benefits and Fulfillment Billing and all of these other things, some of which wouldn’t make a difference because they aren’t used.
You can, again, you can pick and choose who can see what, who can change what.
Moving into the section on the web. As I said, it’s going to start with Question Records, which you can then place on donation forms. We’ll look a little bit at, I think I included what it looks like. Oh, maybe I didn’t include what it looks like in the transaction bin and after the import, I might’ve forgotten a couple of slides here, but I know I wrote it out in words, at least.
So Question Records, they will allow your donors to opt into or out of Contact Preference Categories or into, or out of different Subscription Lists.
Because we have these two new types of Question Records, we have created two new fields. 1150 for Contact Preference Category and 1151 for Subscription Lists. There’s also a new Format of Answers that’s going to be available on the Question Records. And that is going to be opt in and opt out. It is very important to note that that answer type will only work with fields 1150 and 1151.
So if you have a question where you’re asking donors, if you can thank them on air, that format of answer will not work for that. It has to go with these two fields. This next slide. This is a sample Question Record that I created using the Contact Preference Category. I’m going to break this down a little bit, but you can see outlined in green there, the format of answers is opt in or opt out.
And then I used the buttons outlined in orange. First I clicked on the Search button and that opens up the Segmentation Field screen. In this particular example, I used the box just underneath the field column header and started typing in the word contact and phone Contact Preference Category. Once I found it, I double clicked it to add.
Then I came back and you can’t quite tell because I covered it up, but you can see that just below that screen, you can see where it’s filled in Contact Preference Category. And then there’s the button for Fill in Code for Fields. I click that and this screen opened, and this is showing all of the Contact Preference Categories that I have.
And I selected paper program guides because the question was asking, do you want to receive a program guide in the mail each month? So this is going to go back to opting in or out of the paper program guides. So I ticked the select box next to it. Then I hit save at the top of that little screen. And here you can see at the bottom of the screen, it has been added to my Question Record.
When the donor sees this on the donation form, the next slide shows an example, it would look like that, the donor will see the option to opt in or out. You only see that single option on the previous screen, they will see both. I’d also like to point out that it says, there’s the question. Would you like to receive a paper copy of our program guide in the mail each month?
And then it says Paper Program Guides. That corresponds to what is in the green box at the bottom of the Question Record. You can change the text there if you’d like, I just let it default to the description or category name on my Table Record.
And then of course the donor chooses opt in or opt out.
So a couple of questions. Does something have to be done to apply these preferences to the donor’s record? No. The next section is going to be text heavy, but if you relax and let me just explain it to you, it’ll hopefully it will make sense. Any chance that we can make it so the members can see yes or no instead of opt in or opt out?
That is a good question. I do not have an answer for it at this time, but I can certainly ask about it. So stay tuned. That answer will have to be given later on. I don’t have an answer for it now. But back to Anita’s question, do we have to do something to apply these preferences to the donor record? If the donor clicked Opt In up above Allegiance is going to check and do the following, and it’s going to do this as you’re importing it. It’s going to go through all of the functions in that category and remove the suppression from anything that the donor has already opted out of.
This particular example only has one function in it. It has the Guide Function. So if they were previously opted out, but here they clicked Opt In, it would clear that suppression, it’ll clear that opt-out. If the donor wasn’t suppressed from it in the first place, it doesn’t make any changes at all. Does that make sense?
Now, bear in mind that if the category that you have attached to this Question Record has several things in it, they could be opting out of everything in that category. So again, when you’re building your categories, if you don’t want them to be opting out of certain things, don’t include them in that category.
Next one. If a donor were to opt out of a contact preference category, Allegiance is going to loop through, again, all of the functions in that category and mail code or suppress or opt the donor out of everything in that category. So if I had anything else in there with my Paper Program Guides and they hit opt out, they’re opted out of all of the functions listed in the category.
So it is still an all in or all out.
All right, I’m going to take a sec. I’m gonna read this question. Someone says they have a custom question asking if the donor wants a magazine via mail or email, they have a special interest code that attaches that answer, will this impact that setup? No, you can leave that one. There is another way that you could do it, and that’s going to come up in the next example of Question Records.
But if that methods working for you, you can keep using it. Any questions on this particular question record? Again, this is by categories, which is what we’ve been talking about pretty much up until this point.
The next Question Record is going to deal with subscription lists. And I will be the first to admit that I don’t know how widely used subscription lists are among our clients. I know that when Shinwar trains, he makes a point of training on this, but I can’t say that I’ve been as consistent about it when training is he has.
So if you are not using subscription lists now, but the idea is intriguing to you, I am working on getting some more information into our knowledge base about them. I know that in the past, it has been believed that subscription lists are only for use with either Constant Contact or MailChimp. And that is not the case.
They are not specific to emails. You can use them for direct mails. If you’d like. This would be a sample Question Record for a subscription list. And in this one, I’m simply asking if the donor would like us to text them when it is time to renew their donation. So again, in the green box, the format of answer says opt in or out.
And in the orange box, you can see on the next screen, I’m going to click the Search button so that I can go ahead and link it to the appropriate field number.
So here I’ve clicked that Search button. In the previous example, I searched for the word contact in the field box, here I’ve just searched it by the field number. You can do either or whatever you prefer, but it is field 1151 for subscription lists. I double click to add it. Then I clicked on the button that said Fill in Codes for Fields.
And it popped open this. I only have two subscription lists, one for an Electronic Guide and one for Text Renewals. So in this example, I’ve clicked okay to text renewals. Somebody just asked about a copy of an Electronic Guide versus a Paper Guide. This would be the other way that you could set it up if you’d like. If the SPIN codes are working for you, there’s no reason you need to change it.
You could set up a subscription list for Paper Guide versus Electronic Guide, and then segment by that. But you don’t have to. I’m a fan of you don’t need to rock the boat when you’re in it. If it’s working for you, stay with the SPIN codes.
All right. So tick the box you want hit, save on the screen, and then that will load the option at the bottom. Sorry, I didn’t outline the option at the bottom of the screen. I did also set this one up as a contingency question because I don’t want my sustainers to see this. I mostly did it for the sake of example.
So I selected all modes of payment, except for sustaining modes of payment. And then you can also see in the bottom portion of the screen, I did select the default opt in. So you can do that too, if you want. I mostly did it for the sake of example. And for those of you that didn’t notice, texting is now a function that will be listed on that screen when you’re choosing what functions go into what category.
I don’t remember if it’s available in the database as is right now. I guess I haven’t looked. But, the ability is coming. The other thing that I will give you a sneak peek about, we’ve had several people in this contingency area ask for a tab for pledge amount and that’s coming too, very soon.
Okay. Julie says that the texting function is available in the current database. I thought it was. When I start talking, sometimes I don’t always have the answer. I just couldn’t remember. This Question Record looked like this on my donation form. Remember I had it set to opt in automatically. Set as a default.
Now, similar to that screen that I had with all kinds of text that said what happened when people opted in and out of the Contact Preference Categories, here comes that same screen, but for subscription lists. This one’s a little longer. If a donor ops into a list, Allegiance is going to check to see if the donor is not currently subscribed to the list.
If they are not, they will add them to the subscription list and add the date that the question was answered as the Subscribed Date. You’ve probably never even noticed this on the back end, but there is a date that is indicating what day that they subscribed to a particular list. If that donor is currently unsubscribed from that particular list, Allegiance resubscribes them.
And again, tags them with that date. If the donor is already subscribed to that list, Allegiance leaves them as subscribed and just updates the date. So it’ll always show the date that they last answered the question.
If they opt out of a subscription list, Allegiance is going to first check, are they currently on this list? And if they are, they unsubscribe them and tag it with an Unsubscribed Date, therefore they are now unsubscribed as of the date they answered that question. If they’re already unsubscribed, it will update their Unsubscribed Date to the date that they answered the question on the form so that you have the most up to date.
And if the donor is not already subscribed, meaning they want to unsubscribe from something they’re not already subscribed to, first Allegiance subscribes them and then adds an Unsubscribed Date so that you have a record that they don’t want to be subscribed to this list in the first place.
Hopefully that last one makes sense. It makes sense in my head.
So they’re basically saying I don’t want to be on this list that they were never on to begin with. So it subscribes them and unsubscribes them with the date.
So this way, allegiance is tracking every time they opt in or out of a Contact Preference or a Subscription List. Any questions on this at this time?
Let’s move on. In the donor portal, which is still labeled as OPI in the software. You can use those same two Question Records, or same two kinds of question records. Obviously, you can have as many as you need. We have created a Contact Preferences tab. You’ll find it in Online Donor Setup.
There’s a change made in Script Options and in Quick Links and you can use it to create Trigger Options. We did have to rename the Preferences tab to Donor Preferences so that you can tell the difference between the two. And I’m actually going to start with that. Cause that’s the easiest. However, you shouldn’t have to redo any of your Scripts or your Quicklink.
So let’s start with this easy one first. Again, the top image, that’s what it looks like now. And you have a tab that says Preferences. we created Contact Preference Categories, so we had to rename this. So it will now be called Donor Preferences.
Then we’ll start with Script Options. If you expand your Script Options under Donor Preferences, you can see that all of those headers and sub-headers have changed to say Donor Preferences. The text that you have entered there will just move along into that category. You should not need to update any of the text for those scripts.
The Quick Link option will now show under the Key column Donor Preferences. You should not have to change the text in Menu Text or Hover unless you want to. Any questions on that? Again, you should not have to change it. It’s just a change to the label, essentially.
We have added the tab for Contact Preferences. You’ll use the dropdown to select the Question Records that are linked to either the Contact Preference Category or the Subscription List.
So in this case, you can see that I’ve added the Paper Guide opt-out in the background. And then in the dropdown, I’m going back to add the Okay to Text Renewals,
Because this is a brand new tab, you will need to add text to the Script Options and the Quicklink Options. So once this is released and you have the Contact Preference Categories ready to go, then you’ll want to go into your portal setup and add the text for the Quick link Options, you would look for Contact Preferences, and then just add Menu Text and Hover Text. Here, you can see when I logged in, that’s what it looked like. Called the Contact Preferences. And then manage how you would like us to contact you in certain instances. What I added for the Hover. Because this is a brand new tab, there will be no Script Options there. And I know how panicky I can get when I see a whole bunch of blank Script Options.
So I’m not going to lie. I cheated. What I did was this, I opened Online Donor Set Up twice and in the lower window, you can see, I have my Donor Preferences, Script Options open. I literally just copied them and pasted them into the corresponding section under Contact Preferences, made a couple of changes here and there to make it make sense.
But for the most part, I just copied and pasted. And for those of you that have done trainings with me, you’ve heard me make the joke. You remember in elementary school and you weren’t supposed to copy anything, I’m giving you full permission. Open it up twice and just copy it, paste it, copy it, paste it, and then make the updates as you need to.
And again, as always, when you’re updating something in the portal, I always recommend log yourself into your portal account, get to the screen where you’re making the changes. And after you’ve made the changes on the Allegiance end and saved everything, refresh the screen on your browser so that you can see those changes immediately.
I also want to point out, remember when you are updating your Script Options, that the Save Master Options button up at the top does not work on this screen. You have to hit the Save All button or the Save buttons down the side of those Script Options, either, or. I’m sorry, because we started late, I am going to run over a little bit, but we’re not terribly far from the end. The next one is Trigger Options. These are those messages when a donor logs into their portal account, these are the messages that they have to qualify to see. So I use, a message saying your credit card’s about to expire, or we had to change you to a Bill Me cause your credit card went bad.
These are again, messages that the donor has to qualify to even see. In this example, I’ve created a trigger option, alerting donors that they have not reviewed or made any changes to their contact preference in X number of months. And frankly, this is one of the cooler things in this whole Contact Preferences feature. When I saw this, I’m like, no way. So I’m going to get you to the end now that I’ve teased you a little bit. In this example, I’ve used a comparator indicator of greater than or equal to, and then set it to 12 months. So the trigger key is Contact Preferences greater than or equal to 12 months. So it will pull in donors that haven’t looked at their Contact Preferences or change them in 12 months or more.
And then I’ve linked the words below, click here will be linked, so that will open up their Contact Preferences. And I will have more detailed directions on how to do this in the user guide and the tips that will come. But when they click, and it’ll look like this, so when Shinwar would have logged in, it says, Click here to verify your contact preference was with us. It’s been a year or more since changes have been made. So he clicks there and then this screen opens. He can click to change his information or not. It’s up to him.
And this is the part that I thought was so screaming cool. All he had to do was look at that little screen in the bottom where he can change his information or not, and it did this, in the bottom of the screen I’ve outlined in orange, he viewed his Contact Preferences on that day, at that time. That now resets the counter on that trigger option. He won’t see that message again for 12 months. Because it created a journal record that said, he’s looked at this. Now, if he does go into Contact Preferences and make some changes inside of that 12 months, it will then reset it again, based on the date he does that. So you can actually remind people to go in and check, is this still what you want?
And you can determine how many months you want to wait between the time that they check these things. Maybe you want them to look at it every six months, maybe every 18 months. It’s up to you.
Aaron has asked, can you cover how these changes will affect how we run reports with functions suppressed or not suppressed? If we’re talking about just the Contact Preference Categories, it shouldn’t change anything. If you are pulling a solicitation list in Add Gifts and they’ve opted out of Add Gifts, they won’t be on that list.
If you’re running everything out of Miscellaneous Contact and adding segmentation to suppress those who don’t want Add Gifts, that’s not going to change, you still have to remember in Miscellaneous Contact to have a line of segmentation that suppresses donors that have opted out of that particular category.
Now, if we’re talking about specifically reports, there are two new reports. They’re both under Miscellaneous Management, one for Contact Preference, one for Subscription Lists, and you can restrict access to these through the security menu, the Contact Preference Activity Report, you pop it open, and you set the date range. It will default to six months. I reset it so that I didn’t have quite as long of a date range to look at.
And then I hit Run. And this is what I came up with. Now, bearing in mind that I was using some test data. So you can also see that I’m doing a lot of different things to my account there, but you can see the donor’s account and affiliation, their name, the transaction date, which is the date that they would have answered it had they answered the question in the portal or on the web. Then you can see my username then opt in or out, and then what code they opted into or out of. And then that system column, that tells you exactly where they did the opting in and out of. So online management update is the portal web pledge import would mean.
They answered a question on a donation form and then .net data entry means that somebody went into their account in data entry and made the changes there. And then the system date is the date that it came into the system. Because sometimes if somebody fills out the donation form, like on a Friday night or answers the question in the portal on a Friday night, you’re not going to necessarily see it until Monday morning, so it tracks both dates.
So this way you could see, are we seeing a rash of people opting out of a particular contact category after we’ve sent a mailing that included this and this. I always think of the month of December where for PBS stations, you have a drive. We have a calendar year-end appeal. We have Giving Tuesday, and then that’s immediately followed by January where you’re sending them a tax receipt, which likely has an Add Gift included with it.
Maybe you’re going to see a spike in activity in January after all of this has started, or after all of these things have been sent. So you could look at this report to analyze trends like that.
Then there is also a Subscription List Activity Report. Very similar to the last one. Again, a date range will default to 6 months. There’s also a field where you can narrow it by a specific subscription list, if you want. I did not do that on my sample because I had just invented some subscription lists for this particular database and started opting people in and out of them. Much of the same information. Here you see subscribe or unsubscribed, and then the specific list is listed in the report output.
Then if you’d like to restrict the security settings for those two reports, if you expand your Allegiance users security record under the report section, and this is a long one. That’s why there’s a break in the middle of the screen. It did not fit on this slide. So I had to weed out a section of it in the middle. Scroll all the way to the bottom.
A No setting for either of these reports prevents the user from opening it on the menu. They can see that it’s there. They just can’t open it and run it.
Someone says we don’t currently have access to the security menu. Will we be granted access with the coming update or is that something we need to contact support to adjust? That’s something you need to talk to whoever your database administrator is.
If you don’t have access to the security menu at this time, it’s likely because the security admin officer has restricted your access. If you don’t know who that might be, you can certainly contact support. We can probably send you in the right direction. If the person that has that admin access is no longer with your organization, definitely reach out to support and we can hopefully get something changed for you.
All right. I’m not seeing any questions coming in regarding the two reports. So here comes your homework.
Just what you wanted to hear. I need you to start thinking about those Contact Preference Categories. You don’t have to make anything hard and fast right now. You have a month before this is released but start thinking about it. How are you going to group those functions that you used to see on the mail coding list?
How are you going to group them into categories to make it easier for everyone at your organization? Then, are you going to allow all of your Allegiance users to have access across the board so that they can create categories and modify the ones that are there?
Will you allow all of your users to be able to see that All Other section. Remember that any function that’s not included in a category just drops into an All Other section.
Are you using subscription lists now? If not, maybe you want to start. Now’s a great time. If you’re not using them and you’ve been functioning just fine without them, that’s okay too.
Somebody asked a moment ago, what is this going to look like when Allegiance users log in and before the categories are created? It’s going to look like this.
So you’ll still see that Contact Preferences button. And if they click that, they’ll see a listing of all of the functions there alphabetically in that All Others category, because that’s all Allegiance knows to do. You don’t have other categories, so it’s just going to drop them into All Others. So obviously as soon as the update happens, we recognize that you’re not going to be able to go in there instantly and start creating all of these things before the workday starts and the phones start ringing.
So just maybe warn folks that it’s going to look like this until you get the groups created, and then they can still opt people in and out. And then once the categories are created, it will move the screen into the categories, like it should. Move might not be the right word. But after this, if I were to reload this after the categories were created, it would be all nicely laid out the way it’s supposed to be.
And all of her opt in and outs would have stayed the same.
Okay. Couple of good questions. Will you be providing an in-depth definition list of these Mail Codes so we know what they are before we create categories? Yes, we are working on a tip to do just that. One of the things that we need to do on our end is to make sure that we have every possible function included in that tip.
Again, it’s going to be quite long because obviously, the more modules that you have added on to your Fundraising CRM, the more functions there could be. But we are working on that. My goal is to have that out middle to end of next week. How long do we have to set up categories or have to set up categories and do we have to set up categories?
No, I don’t think it’s required. We knew that this was a pain point for many clients, and we wanted to try to make it a little bit easier. Again, this could largely depend on how many people you have working with your membership department. If there’s only two of you, you might look at this and go, we’re fine, we don’t need this. Because not only are you talking to the donors on the phone, you’re also running all the functions. So you know exactly what each thing means and what it does. But I think of the station in Atlanta WABE, and I’ve had the pleasure of working with them for a while. And they have a crew of ladies that their job is to take donor calls.
They’ve never run a function. They have a vague idea of what they do, but they don’t necessarily know what opting somebody out of one of these does down the line. So again, think about how big of an organization you have, how much specialization is there, that kind of thing. Julie wants to point out, if you decide not to categorize these, it just won’t be as user-friendly as it could be. And it won’t be quite as easy to have donors opt in and out of things on donation forms and in the donor portal. And maybe you don’t want to allow them to do that. That’s completely up to you.
All right. So I put together some things that I think you should consider as you are looking to build the categories. And again, what I just mentioned. Do you have a smaller staff? Everybody knows what a function is and what it does, therefore they know what opting somebody out of something might do. That it could have an effect on revenue. Maybe you don’t need really specific categories. Larger staff, more specialized roles, maybe you do. Maybe you want to talk to the folks that are talking to your donors and ask them, how can I help make this easier? I have this tool now. Make those categories specific to help your coworkers.
Then look at that list. And somebody mentioned this earlier, that listing of all of the functions that you might see, do you use every one of those functions? For example, do you use EFT Prenotes, benefits, fulfillments? If the answer to any one of those three is no, or I don’t even know what that does, then consider how you categorize them.
Maybe you create a category of Do Not Use, and then everybody just knows you don’t have to bother checking anything in there. I have to ask every now and again, what do EFT Prenotes does and who uses it? Because, out of all the databases that I’ve worked with and all the clients I’ve worked with, I can think of two that would use that.
It’s a very specific need, but if it’s your need, then you need to be aware of it. If it’s not, again, maybe a category of Do Not Use or Doesn’t Apply to Us. Fulfillments, personally, I don’t think anybody should ever be excluded from that. But if you don’t know what it does.
I already said that if you have a Do Not Use category, then all of your Allegiance users would know they don’t need to bother with anything in there.
Add Gifts, Renewals, Reminders, Expired, Canceled Pledges and Prospects. All of these are designed to generate mailing lists for solicitations. But if you overdo it, you could have some negative impact on your revenue. So remember a couple of things. If you don’t want your sustainers to get Renewals, don’t opt them out of Renewals, use the segmentation you have to prevent them from getting one. And here’s the reason why. And I cannot tell you how many phone calls I’ve taken in the last couple of years, where a donor was a sustainer, and then they decided not to be a sustainer anymore because they wanted to give once a year out of a donor-advised fund. If they were coded for renewals, they wouldn’t receive one reminding them, hey, I’ve got to reach out to my account holder and have them cut that check to the station.
Another thing, if you’re talking to a current or expired donor, like I said earlier, they can’t be pulled into prospects. They’re already a donor. That’s just what that function does. It only pulls in prospective donors.
And now to leave the example of Add Gifts, Renewals, Reminders, Expired, Canceled Pledges and Prospects, this is another one of my favorites. I can’t tell you how many accounts I’ve looked at, a donor has never paid by credit card, yet they’re opted out of every single credit card function on the list.
They’ve never paid by credit card. The odds are not good that they’re going to start.
So in addition to creating categories, you’re also going to be doing maybe a little bit of retraining to folks that have done this in the past. And just point out, if you have a question, just ask or leave it and let you know, one of us decide it
Again, if you opt somebody out of Renewals, it opts them out of all Renewals. If you have a donor that thinks they’re getting too many renewals, you could create a Subscription List for limited renewals. And I think somebody asked about this just a little bit ago, and then add that list to the Question Record and ask donors, if you would only like to receive a renewal notice of, say two months prior to your expiration, then you create a Subscription List specifically for that. Then you would want to adjust your segmentation to respect the donors that have opted into that list.
Right now, because we haven’t really used subscription lists a lot, and the several databases I’ve been working in, we’ve been managing that with an Activity Code. And it works, but you could use a Subscription List to do it too.
That is actually the end of the slide deck.
So questions. I do have a couple to look at. If you have donors who don’t want the program guide and have also have donors who want to opt out of all mail, how would you set program guides and categories? I put the program guides in its own separate category, cause I couldn’t really think of anything else that was like the program guide.
It was really the only thing that I could think of that belonged in that category. And then I just made it an opt in or opt out, for those of you that want to offer the option of a paper guide versus an electronic guide. We did have somebody on this webinar that has done that through a Special Interest Code.
And that’s great. That works. You could also set it up as a Subscription List, one for paper guide, one for electronic guide, and then it would just be an adjustment to your segmentation to pull them into the right segment. Like I said, same thing with renewals on that previous slide, you could have a Subscription List for only wants one renewal.
And then you set it up so that they get the second renewal hit. So the month before they expire.
Any other questions?
If you think of questions as the day goes on, you can certainly send those in. Support can direct them to me. You could send it to [email protected]
And we can certainly try to answer some of your questions that way.
I’ll go ahead and wrap it up for the day. Again, if you have questions, you can email [email protected] You can also email support and they will route them to us. For those of you that had a question that I was not able to answer during the webinar, we will get in touch with you offline.
Thank you so much for joining us today. This feature will be available in approximately a month. So the middle of May, 2022. I look forward to seeing you on future webinars and I hope you have a wonderful day. Thanks for joining us.