Customizing, Sending, and Automating Announcements
Announcements are hands-down the most powerful and customizable way to connect with your attendees. From push notifications, email customizations, and open/click receipts, to automatic scheduling and tag/ticket filters to segment your outreach, there are countless ways to optimize your announcements. In this article, we discuss the setup, settings, and troubleshooting.
Creating an Announcement
Creating a simple announcement is ... well, simple! Visit Communications > Announcements in your dashboard, and click on the green Create button. You don't need to fill in anything more than the Title and Description fields. If you already know what you're doing, though, you can fill in the rest of the fields depending on your requirements. For the purposes of this guide, let's keep it simple.
Once you've created the basic announcement, you can proceed to configure a few more of the fields. Let's go over some of the important ones:
Visible - Select this option if your announcement is ready to be visible and is no longer in draft mode. Without an announcement being visible, the individual portal visibility settings will not take effect. Also, if you plan to send this announcement out instead of just displaying it, and you plan to send it out automatically, do not check this option. When the announcement is sent out automatically, the option will be automatically checked for you.
Sending Announcements On-Demand
You have two options when sending announcements out on-demand. You can send the announcement to a single individual, or you can send it out in bulk to the full list of eligible attendees. Sending announcements on demand is a very reasonable way to send out announcements when you want immediate control and feedback, want to send the same announcement multiple times, etc.
To send a single announcement, it is as simple as selecting the announcement in the Announcements section of your dashboard under the Communications module, and selecting Send Single Announcement via the blue Actions menu. Select an attendee from the list, and send the notification. Depending on whether the notification is push, email or both, it will be sent out accordingly.
To send an announcement out to all eligible attendees in bulk, select the announcement in the Announcements section of your dashboard under the Communications module, and select Send Bulk Announcement via the blue Actions menu. Depending on whether the notification is push, email or both, it will be sent out accordingly.
Sending Announcements Automatically
If you're more of the set-and-forget type, or you have too many announcements and not enough manpower to manage them all on-demand, then using the automatic sending feature for announcements is going to really help you out. This feature allows you to create announcements ahead of time, select a date and time, and let PheedLoop send the announcement out automatically for you. Ensure you have set the Timezone field correctly for your event under General > Details, as this will greatly influence when the announcement is released. The steps to ensure this is successful is as follows for the announcement you are planning to automate:
- Uncheck the Visible option
- Check the Send Notifications Automatically on Publish option
- Check one or both of Push Notifications Enabled or Email Notifications Enabled (not required if the automation is just to make the announcement visible in a portal)
- Set the Automatic Publish Date and Automatic Publish Time to the date and time you'd like the announcement to be released at
You can modify any of the other options depending on your particular needs, such as which portals (if any) the announcement will be visible in, whether you are including a call to action button, whether you'd like to include the recipient's login credentials, etc. Otherwise, there's nothing more to do. PheedLoop will begin sending out your announcement at the specified time (at the closest 5-minute mark on the clock after your specified time). Depending on the number of people the announcement is going out to, it may take several minutes for the announcement to be delivered fully, so we suggest setting the release time for the announcement to a few minutes ahead if the announcement is meant to inform the recipient of something time-sensitive.
Note that upon release, the announcement's Visible setting will be automatically checked, and the display date/time will be automatically set to the publish date/time.
Reviewing Announcement Deliveries
Opens and clicks for announcements sent as emails (not push notifications) are always tracked. To review the status of your collection of sent announcements, select the announcement in the Announcements section of your dashboard under the Communications module, and select Review Announcement Emails via the blue Actions menu.
Re-Sending Announcements to Unique Recipients
Sometimes you may create an announcement that you want to send over and over again, but you don't want to send it to the same people more than once. For example, if you've created an email announcement to invite attendees to your event, and only want to send it once to attendees as you continue to import them on a rolling basis as they register in a third-party system. To accomplish this, uncheck the option called Allow Multiple Deliveries in your announcement's settings. You can safely resend the announcement multiple times now, and rest assured that it will only go out once per attendee.
Segmenting and Restricting Announcement Recipients
A powerful feature in PheedLoop's announcements system is the ability to segment your attendee-base by tags and tickets. The latter is only applicable if you are using PheedLoop's built-in registration system. The former depends on tags you've configured via the Attendees > Tags module that you have assigned to attendees in a multitude of ways (outside the scope of this article). To segment announcement recipients based on tags and/or tickets, set the Targeted Tags and/or Targeted Tickets fields as needed. This will ensure anyone who has one of the targeted tags or tickets will receive the announcement.
Note that this does not segment who sees the announcement if you are showing the announcement in one of your portals. This is only applicable to the deliveries of the announcement as an email or push notification and is typically used by events only for communication, not display purposes.
Announcements are ordered by the Display Date and Display Time settings in any portals you select the announcement to visible in with the newest announcements showing at the top of the list. If you do not set a display date/time for an announcement or multiple announcements have the same display date/time, they will be ordered based on the manual order you have set for the announcements set by clicking on Actions (when you have no announcements selected in the table) > Re-Order.
Recall that if the announcement is being released automatically, the display date and time for the announcement will automatically be set to the publish date and time upon release.