Administrator Email - 6/2/2018 - Introduction
Version 8.0 - Part 2
This is Part 2 of our ClubExpress version 8.0 announcement.
to read Part 1 - 5/25/2018.
to read Part 3 - 8/1/2018.
With this email, we are announcing many new and enhanced features in ClubExpress, including a new interface for creating blast emailings, more Internationalization features, enabling photos and photo albums for clubs with chapters, and many smaller changes. Click the links on the left to read all about them.
Everything except the new interface for blast emailings has already been deployed. Since blast emailings are so important to so many organizations, we wanted to tell you about the changes, and show them to you as well
, before we deploy them.
We have scheduled another webinar for next Tuesday, June 12th, 2018 at 12:00 noon Eastern, 11:00 AM Central, 10:00 AM Mountain, and 9:00 AM Pacific., where we will demonstrate the new features. For more information, visit our Webinars page. And click here to RSVP for this webinar. Note that attendance is limited to the first 200 people; if you're late, you may not be able to connect. However, the webinar will be recorded and the edited recording will be available within 48 hours.
The manuals are being updated with these new features. The online help system will be updated in the next week. And we'll try to have a video tutorial on the new Emailing interface by the end of the month.
When we presented the Privacy webinar last week (see below for links to a recap) and announced the changes to ClubExpress to support GDPR, many of you asked for more time to notify members about the new screen they will see when they first log in. You also asked for the ability to customize the text around the "Marketing and Fund-raising" question, to explain to members why your organization shares information with partners.
I'm pleased to announce that we have listened to these requests. This morning (Tuesday, June 5th, 2018), we deployed an update to the Privacy Options screen. This update provides a text field where you can add your own text to this question.
We've also decided to delay launching the member and non-member Privacy screens until Wednesday of next week (June 13th
), to give you time to update privacy settings and notify members about the new screen they will see.
Read the Announcement Details
Watch the Webinar Video
Privacy Webinar - Slide Show
Privacy Webinar - Chat Transcript
Emailing Interface Changes
A number of customers told us that the current interface for creating blast emailings was too complex. They wanted something easier to use, perhaps closer to how the dedicated emailing programs such as Constant Contact®
worked. So we listened and redesigned the interface for creating and editing blast emailings.
This new functionality has been deployed and is now available for use. And the administrator manual has been updated.
Click here to watch the webinar
The way emails are initially created and saved has changed slightly. You will no longer select a template or blank layout and then configure basic information. Instead, we take you straight into the main editing screen. Two expandable panels at the top allow you to configure basic information and the distribution list; these parts of the interface have changed in appearance only. As each panel is completed, its status changes from red to green. When you define distribution information, you will now see a scaled graphic chart of emails to be sent vs those that are invalid, not functional, or where the member is declining to receive these emails.
The major changes start below, in the emailing designer. A "canvas" panel on the left holds email elements that you drag from a list on the right side. Here is what it will look like after a number of elements have been dragged over:
There are 14 elements on the right:
- 1 column, plain text
- 2 columns, plain text
- 3 columns, plain text
- 2 columns, text right of image
- 2 columns, image above text
- 2 columns, text left of image
- "Hero" section (image above text)
- Image Group
- Link or Button
- Social Media Links
You can drag one or more elements into the canvas for editing. It's also easy to reorder elements by dragging them up or down. Clicking an Edit icon displays an editor specifically for that type of panel. There is also a Copy icon to duplicate an element and a Delete icon to remove an element and its contents. Elements can be styled at any time as well, including borders, fonts, backgrounds, alignment, and line height. Images can be inserted from your photo library or the website graphics library; image properties can be modified at any time and large images will be resized automatically so that they appear at a reasonable size when the emailing is viewed.
The system still supports templates but the new drag-and-drop interface is used to create them. Templates can be dragged and inserted at any time and they will simply insert the template rows into the emailing. This powerful feature allows you to create your own panels or groups of panels that you use over and over again.
The Send Test function has also been improved to allow you to send test emails to multiple people.
When this updated interface is deployed, existing emailings and templates will be converted to the new model, with each emailing being saved to a single panel. If you copy an older emailing, it will be easy to rebuild it into separate sections using the appropriate element.
More Internationalization Changes
As part of the Internationalization project, many reports have been updated.
- Reports that show financial amounts now list the currency in the report header.
- Report dates and numbers are now formatted based on the user's preference, as specified in their browser.
- Invoices have been updated as well.
The Blogs module has been internationalized. It will now show date and time formats in the correct format, and will accept international characters in blog posts.
The new member notification email to the Member Director now includes Country.
Clubs and associations outside the US will no longer see the Bank Account Setup and Bank Account Activity options on the Control Panel - Money tab. Instead, they will see a new "ClubExpress Charges" option to list charges processed through their credit cards. Also for clubs and associations outside the US, the Bank Account field no longer appears on the Financial Account Add/Edit screen.
It is important to point out that the appearance of dates, times, and numbers for international users depends on how their browser
is configured and not on the operating system configuration.
SALES TAX / VAT / GST Support
Previously, ClubExpress only supported sales tax in the E-Commerce Storefront module, and then only based on the US model where sales tax is added to the purchase price.
Now, ClubExpress supports taxes in other parts of the system, including:
- Additional Charges
- E-Commerce Storefront (as before)
We also support different kinds of tax. The name is chosen automatically based on the country where your association is based, between Sales Tax, VAT, GST, etc. And outside the US, when VAT or GST is used, the tax is hidden but it is tracked separately from the purchase price. For example, if a 5% tax is applied to a sweatshirt purchase of $20, a user in the US would see a $20 line item and a separate $1 sales tax item. A user outside the US will see just the $20 line item, but behind the scenes, we record the purchase price as $20 and separately record a tax (whatever it's called) of $1. New reports are available (in the Member/User Transactions report group) to help clubs determine how much tax they have collected for accounting purposes and to make accurate payments to local taxing authorities.
There is a new Tax Rates manager on the Control Panel - Money tab - Setup section. It allows you to name and define any number of tax rates. You can then use these rates anywhere in the system where a tax might be applied. On the Money Options screen, clubs can now specify a default rate and whether taxes should be charged (and in the US, the option is to charge taxes to everyone or to residents of the home state only.)
For memberships, the tax rate is specified on the People Options screen, since it would apply to all member types. For Additional Charges, the tax rate is specified on each charge since it might be different for different types of charges.
As other parts of the platform are updated, this tax enhancement will be added where appropriate. For example, we're currently working on a major update to the Event Calendar and, when it's deployed later this month, it will have tax support as well.
New Subgroup Features
Photos and Photo Albums have now been fully subgroup enabled. Both photos and photo albums can be linked to a subgroup (chapter, district, region, etc.)
- Users can filter photo albums by subgroup on the Photo Albums screen.
- Administrators or module coordinators:
- Can view any photo in the Photos Manager, including filtering by any subgroup.
- Can optionally upload a photo into any subgroup.
- Can assign an already-uploaded photo to any subgroup provided that it has not already been assigned.
- Can view any photo album in the Photo Album Manager, including filtering by any subgroup.
- Can create a photo album for any subgroup but then can only select photos belonging to that subgroup or one lower in the hierarchy.
- When using the Member Manager to access photo albums belonging to a member, the same limitations apply as if the member had done it him/herself.
- When using the advanced content editor:
- When they select a photo to place on the page, the subgroup filter is available to limit the view just to photos belonging to a specific subgroup.
- The Insert Link function shows all photo albums.
- The Insert Slideshow Widget shows all photo albums.
- Subgroup administrators:
- In the Photos Manager, can only view photos belonging to a subgroup that they administer.
- Can upload photos but must assign them to a subgroup that they administer.
- In the Photo Album Manager, can only view photo albums belonging to a subgroup that they administer.
- When they create a photo album, they must assign it to a subgroup and they can only add photos belonging to that subgroup or one lower in the hierarchy.
- When using the Member Manager to access photo albums belonging to a subgroup member, the same limitations apply as if the member had done it him/herself.
- When using the advanced content editor:
- When they select a photo to place on the page, the subgroup filter is available but they will only see subgroups that they administer.
- The Insert Link function only shows photo albums over which they have admin rights.
- The Insert Slideshow Widget only shows photo albums over which they have admin rights.
- When they create an album and upload photos to it, they have the option to assign that album to a subgroup that they are a member of; the photos will then be assigned to that subgroup automatically. If they don't belong to a subgroup or if they don't choose a subgroup, the photos and albums are assigned to the member only.
We have also added a feature that allows clubs and associations with subgroups to set up a template sub-website, and then to copy this template for each subgroup as it's created. This feature makes it easy to set up a sub-website within the main site for each subgroup.
The template can include any number of custom web pages but it can also include links to the event calendar, member directory, business directory or photo album index modules, and the system will adjust these links automatically to show only events, members, businesses, or photo albums respectively, linked to that subgroup. It can also include replaceable parameters such as the subgroup name and number, the subgroup administrator's name and contact information, and an external website address. These will be replaced automatically with their actual values for that subgroup when a copy is made.
The copy process also assigns the specified template "landing" page to be the landing page in the Chapter Finder module for that subgroup, and assigns the subgroup administrator to be an administrator for any custom web pages in the copy.
When you enable this feature, you will configure the template category and destination category within Custom Web Pages, as well as the page within the template that serves as the Landing page. A new "Generate Custom Pages" link will appear as an option for each subgroup in the Organization Data Manager.
On the Non-Member Database screen, the system used to feature a "Non-Member Categories" button, allowing you to define categories into which non-members could be assigned. This button has been replaced by "Mailing List Categories", which apply to both members and non-members. Mailing List Categories are now specified on the Control Panel - Communications tab - Setup section. More importantly, you can now assign members to these categories manually (for example, someone could be a member but also a reporter assigned to a "Press" category.) And even more importantly, if you define a custom mailing list category on an event, donation fund, ad hoc form, storefront product, or resource, both members and non-members will be assigned to this category when they register for the event, donate into that fund, complete that form, purchase that product, or reserve that resource. The system includes a data export with a mailing list category filter, and an emailing distribution list to send emails to everyone in that category, member and non-member.
We have changed how browsers handle PDF files. When you click a PDF link, the file will now be displayed in the browser instead of being downloaded.
We have made some internal changes to improve email deliverability, especially to AOL and Comcast accounts that were having intermittent problems.
We also note that with recent updates to Gmail, users may see email from the club, sent by ClubExpress, posted into their Updates folder. We have no control over this but Google seems to consistently interpret such emails as "updates".
The following bugs were fixed in the past 3 months:
- With the new Date of Birth feature, the system was not properly synchronizing the display between a member's Contact Info and Directory screens. For a short time, there was also a problem where a Required Birthday was not being saved properly for new member signups.
- The "Print Invoice (PDF)" button on the Pending Payment page was not working correctly for non-admins. Also, the Printed Invoice was not correctly inserting the club's public name at the bottom of the invoice. Finally, on the Pending Payment page, we fixed a problem where a background color or watermark image would bleed through the page.
- The Display Sequence standard dialog was not scrolling automatically when an item was moved above or below the ones shown in the window.
- In the Volunteering module, there was an issue with the Hours Detail report.
- In the Resource Scheduling module, when an admin overrode a reservation, the system was adding 15 minutes to the reservation's duration.
- The Business Directory had the following problems:
- One of the directory reports was including Dropped Members.
- After an admin updated a member's info, clicking Save returned the admin to his or her Profile screen instead of the member's.
- There was an internationalization issue with the Country and State fields.
- Social Networking links, when deleted, were not actually deleted.
- The Contact Us page was not correctly displaying international characters.
- In the member signup and renewal wizards, on the Additional Charges page, if the amount of an adjustable charge was paid, then user moved to the Next wizard page, then Back to the Additional Charges page, the system was multiplying the amount by 100.
- The Event Calendar had the following problems:
- For multi-activity/item Events, the item quantity was not reflected in the "Attendee" list or the Registration Details popup.
- The "Members pay for their own charges" option was not being saved correctly.
- If a single activity or item in a multi-activity event cost more than $1000, the accordion controls to expand and collapse the list of activities/items did not work.
- When viewing the event calendar in the ClubExpress Mobile App, the clock icon was appearing for listed Holidays (which are not actual events.)
- Under Additional Member Data questions, when a member question was set up to be visible to the member, but editable only by the admin, we display it on the questions page disabled (read-only). The member can see it, but can't change it. The problem was, when we saved the questions, answers for read-only date, integer, and number questions were getting removed. This did not affect other question types. It occurred in the wizard, or when editing from the profile.
- Transaction confirmation emails were including a note amount Amex payments, even if Amex had ben disabled,
- In the Interests module, the count of members was showing more than just Active members. also, the Emailing function was sending emails to more than just Active members.
- In the E-Commerce Storefront module, after some other changes had been made, the product order popup was not displaying the item cost correctly. Also in the Storefront, if the specified Starting Page had not been enabled, the module would crash.
- In the Classified Ads and Jobs Board modules, there was a problem with paging.
- In the member Contact Info screen, where people join through their business/professional lives, and after a recent change, the "Home Phone" field was being displayed and it should not have been. Also the contents of this field were being saved in the wrong place.
- For clubs and associations where Trial members are not allowed to access the website, there was a problem when a new trial member signed up, the system was generating an error after they submitted the final button in the New Member Signup Wizard. Also, in some configurations, Trial members were able to log in and access content reserved for full members.
- For organizations that do not accept credit cards, we were showing the Credit Card option on a member's Profile screen.
- In the Discussion Forums module, there was a problem with listserver (email-based) forums where an admin tried to change the domain name that the forum uses for its email address.
- Also in Discussion Forums, moving a reply to a message to a new thread was flagging the user as "Unknown".
- In the Ad Hoc Forms module, there was a problem if non-members tried to jump to a form from an email-based link.
- Expiring a coordinator and moving him or her to the non-member database left them in the coordinator list and website security reports.
- On the Club Name and Description pages, after recent internationalization changes, there was a problem synchronizing between addresses.
- When a new member entered their address, or an existing member edited it, when the country and/or state are changed, the system automatically changes the timezone. The member can then change it if we get it wrong, but we always do the automatic change. However, when a club had a default state specified for new members, and the new member didn't change the state, the timezone was not getting set automatically.
- When a member signs up and has not yet paid, they have a status of Pending. If they log in, they can't do anything until payment is made. However, if the membership included secondary members, these members were able to login and go anywhere in the site.
- Canceling a pending renewal payment was not correctly adjusting the expiration dates for secondary and tertiary members attached to the membership.
Again, all of these problems have been fixed.