Q1: I sent my message, but why haven't I received it yet?
When you send a Message, it goes into a queue with the status of "Ready to Send." A routine runs every 1 to 5 minutes to check if it has any new Messages to send and, if so, sends them out and changes the message status to "Sent" (assuming it was successful). Depending on the recipient's carrier, there could be a small delay in the email being delivered. In the end, it could take a few minutes for your email to be received by the intended recipient. If it takes longer than that, something might have gone wrong and you should notify your SPoC.

Q2: Can I change the font and size of the text in a message?
The New Message Tool assumes no font is set and no size is set, so for most systems that means that a 10-12pt font and a Sans Serif font is used. Right now the only way to override this is to dig into the html under the hood of the message. You can directly edit the html by using the HTML Source button and editing the direct html. See HTML Fields.

Q3: I just sent a message to someone I did not intend for it to go to.  What is the best way to stop a message once it is in the queue?
If you catch this before your server sends it (message status of "Ready to Send"), you can stop it from sending by going to Communications > Messages, selecting the erroneous Messages, and then choosing the Assign tool to update the selected records to have a status of "Draft."  If the Message already has a status of "Sent," it cannot be retracted.

Q4: How can I resend a previously sent message?
Copy the Message record (The Message, not the Recipient, and do not copy any sub-page data) and change the Status to Draft. From the Home page > My Messages tab > Draft view, open the Message. Search for and select the Recipients (or use the pick list) then click Send.
Q5: What is SendGrid?
SendGrid is a transactional email service that can be used to send your system's e-mail messages. We recommend using SendGrid. See SendGrid for more details.

Q6: I use Mandrill, but messages are not reaching recipients. Why?
Mandrill logs emails that have been delivered and rejected. Login to Mandrill and click on "Outbound" to check your email log. Then, click on "Dashboard." There you can see if all of your free sends have been used and, most importantly, if there are emails that are "backlogged." If so, your emails are not reaching their recipients.

Q7: When I paste from Word into the New Message Tool, the email sometimes looks different than in Word. Why is that?
When pasting from Word, the New Message Tool strips out any "MSO" formatting. This is to prevent recipients from receiving odd or blank messages if their email provider does not support MSO formatting. Instead of building your emails in the New Message Tool, try using the Template Editor Tool. And for all the nerdy HTML details, see HTML Templates

Q8: We created an email in MailChimp and then tried copying and pasting the HTML code into an MP message, but errors appear when we try to send.  What is happening?
The HTML that is being pasted into the MP message contains several "tokens" that cannot be resolved. Essentially, wherever MP sees brackets [ ] it is looking for something to replace, like [Nickname]. The HTML includes these brackets [ ] that don't make sense to the system. A prompt will appear to review these tokens. It is recommended to remove them but, if desired, "Send Anyway" is available. 

Q9: Why would an email stay in the "Draft" status?
If the email is sent from a step in a process, then user assigned to the "From" field on the message must have at least read rights to any merged fields in the email. If the user does not have read rights, the message cannot be sent and the message remains in "Draft" status.

Q10: Is it possible to have an email signature automatically included in the New Message Tool?
There is not an automatic signature feature in the New Message Tool. However, here are a couple ideas from other churches on how to include signatures (though not automatically, at least a little easier for users).

  • Save the signature as an image online, and then use the Insert Image button in the New Message Tool to add their personal signature URL so it appears at the bottom of their emails.
  • ​Create a generic signature snippet. To do so, go to Communications > Communication Snippets, and create a new snippet with a general signature so that a user just needs to select the snippet and type in their name/title.

Q11: What is the difference between the Messages page and the All Recipients page?
The Message page is the single message that you created and sent to one or more recipients. The Message page contains the Body of the message and details about how the message was sent. Note that any snippets contained in the Body appear as tokens (placeholders) because they include recipient unique merge fields. The All Recipients page displays information related to each individual message sent (one record per recipient). This page does not include rendered tokens for a specific individual for security.

Q12: Are automatic emails sent from the Portal logged on the Messages and All Recipients pages?
Emails automatically sent by the Portal (in response to making a Pledge, registering for an Event, etc.) are always sent to the end Users. However, only Messages (and thus Recipients) of Users who were logged in when completing the action are recorded on the Messages and All Recipient pages. Users who performed the action without logging in do not have a record of the email sent in MinistryPlatform.

Q13: What does it mean that a Message has been "Archived"?
The Platform archives Messages over 6 months old based on the Action Status Time (date/time). You can see your Archived Messages on the Home page > My Messages tab > Archived view.

Q14: What email sender do you recommend? 
It is important to use an email provider that is set up to handle bulk emails, such as Sendgrid.

Q15: Can I include videos in my messages?
Yes. For best results, insert a placeholder thumbnail image with a play button superimposed in the email and link it to the video site. Many email clients do not support playing embedded videos, so this method will ensure a smoother viewing process for recipients.

Q16: Can I send a message to participants of multiple groups at once?
Yes, the New Message Tool supports this. For more information, see Select Message Recipients page.

Q17: How to modify a Message that has been scheduled to send?

  • ​Go to Communications > Messages and open your scheduled Message.
  • Change the status to "Draft"
  • Open your Draft via your My Messages tab of your Home page.
  • You will need to re-select your Recipients.
  • Make any necessary changes to the content.
  • When ready click "Send"

Modifying the Message body alone on a Message already marked as Ready to Send will not then update the Recipient messages that have already been rendered. The status must be modified and then use the Tool to make any necessary changes.

Q18: How do I add additional Recipients to a selection of Group Participants?

At times you may need to add additional individuals to a selection of recipients. For example, you need to send an email to Participants in a Group, but also want to add a few additional Participants who are not in the Group. While a basic selection of recipients can be created in the Select Message Recipients, the Tool does not allow you to add additional records outside of the Page>Sub-page selection. Instead, create your selection first and then launch the New Message Tool:

  1. Open the Group
  2. Select the Participants in the Sub-page and transfer them to the Contacts or Participants page using the XFer button.
  3. Open the Contact or Participants page
  4. Select the records for the additional recipients
  5. Use the Transfer Selection Tool to add that selection to the selection you created using the XFer button
  6. Launch the New Message Tool
  7. In the Select Message Recipients window navigate to the Contacts or Participants page and choose the selection.

Q19: My Message sent, but some recipients' emails are truncated. They are missing part of the email body. What went wrong?
This can be the result of malformed markup in the html of the Body (for example, tags are not nested or closed properly). Html rendering agents are all different and will handle malformed html differently. Even if a message looks correct in a browser the email provider may not handle the malformed items the same way.

One way to correct the html is to paste the text into a plain text editor to remove any html markup, and recreate the html markup in the Message. Follow these steps for any text you need to recreate (this does not work well for headers, footers, or images):

  1. Cut the text from the email
  2. Paste into a plain text editor (not a word processor)
  3. Copy the text from the text editor
  4. Paste back into the Message.
  5. Add any formatting using the platform html editor

Q20: How can I see the Message content a recipient will receive? The Message Body only shows the merge field tokens.
Yes, this is by design for storage and security purposes. This change was made in the Platform Fall 2018 update. When looking at the Message record you will see the template or verbiage in the Body field. In the Subpage, you will see who and when the Message was sent. Because of security reasons of personal information, the "Subject" and "Body" are no longer visible in MinistryPlatform but it would have contained the merged data instead of the tokens.