Send Emails and Texts to Your Congregation

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As an Admin or Moderator of your church’s main Faithlife Group, you can plan, schedule, and communicate information to your congregation via email or text. Open your main church group on Faithlife.com, scroll down to the Admin panel, and click Communications.

To gain unlimited access to all communication features, subscribe to Faithlife Equip. Learn more about Equip.

Note: Church communication is essential for developing a church community. Learn how to make your Faithlife.com church group a thriving online church community.

 

Create a New Communication

When you first open the Communications tab, you’ll see a list of the messages that have been drafted or sent. To find a specific message, use the search field at the top or filter your messages to display All, Draft, Sending, Sent, Error, or Archived. Click any column header to sort by that column (e.g., by email Campaign).

  • Click an existing draft’s Title to edit it.
  • To quickly send out a previously-created email, click the more options icon and select Clone.
  • To create a brand new Communication, click Add communication.

Note: Archiving a Communication hides it from the main table view.

You can target any subset of your congregation when sending emails or texts. Before drafting your Communication, select your recipient(s) and add some identifying information so you can easily spot the Communication later.

  • Title (Internal): The title is seen only by your admins and moderators and helps you identify the specific piece of communication.
  • To: Choose your target audience. Use a pre-filtered dynamic list (e.g., Visitors and Prospects), a custom saved list, or search for specific people. Below the To field, Faithlife indicates how many people you’ve selected. Additionally, indicators show how many of your recipients have an email and/or phone number in your database. If you do not have contact information for people, they will show as unreachable. Click any indicator to see more details about the identified people.
  • Campaign: You can group communications into Campaigns to stay organized.
  • Prefer: Communications can be delivered either by email or text. If a recipient has both an email and a phone number, choose which you want them to receive. By default, if someone has only one method of communication, Faithlife will use that method to send your communication (unless you’ve disabled it as shown below).

Communication relies on your People Records, so the more data you have available, the easier it will be to target your preferred audience. People Records provide a way for your church to keep track of your care for anyone connected to your church. Only group Admins or Moderators have access to view or modify People Records. Learn more.

Note: Currently, you cannot set emails to go out on a schedule (e.g., sending the same “new visitor” email each Sunday afternoon). You can, however, easily clone a previous Communication to send it out again to your list. Dynamic lists will automatically update, so each time you clone your “New Visitor” email, the Visitors will be dynamically pulled and added as recipients.

 

Add an Email to Your Communication

To enable email as an option for your Communication, ensure Email is toggled to Yes.

Next, provide three pieces of information:

  1. Subject: your email subject line.
  2. Body: your email body, created in the Standard, Graphical, or Plain Text editor.
  3. Reply email: the email address people can reply to upon receiving your Communication.

To see how your email will look, click Send test. A dialogue box will display with your email address pre-selected. Click Send to send the test to your email address (or change the address first if desired).

Note: You can dynamically insert the recipient's first name, full name, or add a link to view your email on the web. If Faithlife can’t find an individual’s first or full name, it will default to “friend.” You can provide your own default in the placeholder (inside the double curly brackets). It’s a good practice to send yourself a test email to ensure any placeholders are working as expected.

When creating communications, you can create emails with one of three different editors:

  • Standard Editor: a standard text area with optional text styling (bold, italics, links, etc.)
  • Graphical Editor: drag-and-drop editor with full styling options
  • Plain Text Editor: text editor with no styling options

The Standard and Plain Text editors provide a basic input field with limited options (the Standard editor displays a formatting ribbon with basic styling). The Graphical Editor requires more explanation.

Select the Graphical Editor to write your Communication with the Graphical Editor. Then click Launch editor.

Note: If you’ve begun writing with the Standard or Plain Text editor, click Switch to enable working with the Graphical Editor. If you switch away from one editor, you could lose any existing text, so it’s always best practice to copy any text you’ve already entered to your system clipboard before switching to another editor.

Graphical Editor Sections

The editor includes four important sections.

  1. Device Previews: switch the preview between desktop, tablet, and phone.
  2. Editor: drag and drop area where you build your communication
  3. Content options: show or hide the components or undo/redo changes
  4. Editor Options: view the style manager, layer manager, or block options.

Suggestions for Adding Content

  1. Add content blocks.

    While viewing the block options in the right panel, drag and drop the major sections of your communication into place.

    Note: Begin by adding structural blocks like columns, spacers, dividers, or wrappers. Then drop individual block items (e.g., text, image, button, hero images, etc.) into your structure.

  2. Provide custom content.

    Add your own custom content for each block. You can move, duplicate, or delete any block by selecting it and using the icons in the blue popup menu.

    • Text: click to replace the default wording.
      Pro tip: you can use the same placeholders available in the Standard editor, though you will need to manually type out the placeholders (e.g., ‌{{ Person.FirstName | Default: "Friend" }} to dynamically include a person’s first name or {{ "View this message on the web" | Link: Snippets.WebViewUrl }} to link to the web version of your email). As always, send yourself an example email to ensure they’re working properly.
    • Images: click the default image to replace it with an image from your file vault or from a stock image source.
    • Buttons: click the text to replace the button text; provide the link in the right-hand style manager panel (in the href field at the top of the panel).
    • Hero: change the text, images, or button as shown above.
  3. Provide styling for blocks.

    Click any block to show the style manager in the right panel. Provide color, padding, typography, and additional styling customizations.

Finalize and Save

When you’ve finished creating your communication, click Done to return to the communication setup area and finalize your communication.

 

Add a Text Message to Your Communication

To enable SMS as an option for your Communication, ensure Text/SMS is toggled to Yes.

Note: In order to send SMS, you will need a free number through Faithlife. If you don’t already have a number, when you toggle the SMS option to Yes, you’ll be directed to another page where you can quickly and easily select a phone number for your group. Learn more.

Provide a text message up to 150 plain text characters. You can dynamically insert the recipient's first name, full name, or add a link to view your text message on the web. If Faithlife can’t find an individual’s first or full name, it will default to “friend.” You can provide your own default in the placeholder (inside the double curly brackets). It’s a good practice to send yourself a test message to ensure any placeholders are working as expected.

To see how your text message will look, click Send test. A dialogue box will show with your phone number pre-selected. Click Send to send the test to your number (or change the number first if desired).

 

Send your Communication

Your settings above determine what kind of Communication (email or text) and which will be preferred (email or text). The Email and Text/SMS headers show how many people will receive that method of communication.

Once you’re ready, click Send to send the Communication.

Note: Click the indicators under the To input box at the top of the page to view the specific individuals for each contact method.

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