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Email blast

Continuing the discussion from A Forum to Request New Scoutbook Features:

I would suggest that email blast be added to scoutbook. This is the number one feature that both my Cub Scout Pack and Troop uses for participation.

I would also suggest a money tracking system. I don’t think most websites have actual transactions capabilities but to have at least numerical tracking this would be helpfUl.

What do you mean by an email blast? You can email your unit any time you want within Scoutbook, and you can set meeting reminders.

Have you checked out the payment log features?
https://help.scoutbook.com/knowledge-base/what-kind-of-financial-recording-does-scoutbook-provide/

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What do you mean by an email blast? You can email your unit any time you want within Scoutbook, and you can set meeting reminders

Like @jacobfetzer said, you can email your unit any time now. Could you elaborate more on what you mean by “email blast.” My council sends out an eblast to a mailing list you opt-in to, but what sets it apart from the emails I would send out to my unit via Scoutbook is the nice HTML formatting. Is better formatting options for messaging in Scoutbook what you are asking for?

Scoutbook messaging handles most of the basic HTML formatting needed for emails via BBCodes. I can’t imagine a routine email to the unit parents that would require much more than what’s already supported (though I would like them to add the BBCode for sorted and unsorted lists).

An email blast is an automatic calendar email of the events upcoming. I understand you can send out an email to the whole unit ever time. This relies on a person being super disciplined and getting the emails out in time. In the three other packs/troops I have been in they have a website account that you sign up for and then mark which level of events you are in (tiger, wolf, …). Most had a format of the next weeks events in a larger part of the email blast and then one section of events that need to be signed up for. The last little section would be events 2-4 weeks out. This reminder is all I hear about in my pack parents. This would be very helpful for scoutbook. Both my pack/troop thought about switching over but not having this function was a non starter.
The second thing that was talked about in my troop was a money account tracker. This is another tool that could be very beneficial for scoutbook.

It’s not automatic, but if you use Scoutbook’s “Send Message” feature, you can “Insert Upcoming Events” up to 12 months out. As another option, some units like to use the “Manage Reminders” feature in calendar events.

Scoutbook has a basic money tracker called the “Payment Log”. The Feature Assistant Extension for Scoutbook has some additional features that you might find helpful.

You can also configure events in Scoutbook to broadcast email reminders at user-defined intervals.

Steve and Jennifer those solitons sound interesting but when it each of 100 user has to remember to setup the frequency of the emails to be sent out those who need it most will probably forget it. Especially when a new kid signs up to try ouT scouts and then misses an event because they weee suppose to something else on the website. I wonder why it isn’t automatic for scoutbook if you can almost make it automatic?
Jennifer I will check out that feature assist expansion. It is weird though this feature doesn’t have money or transactions in the title.

Hopefully this thread will be noticed by scoutbook programmers and the feature automatic email blast will be added in the future.

Hi, @BrianPreston,

The email reminders for events are set by the adult leadership who are creating the events, not by the parents/scouts themselves. Here’s a screenshot from the Scoutbook event module that shows where you would set the reminders:

You can select a variety of reminder “dates” in relation to the date/start time of the event.

ETA: Apparently I found the keyboard shortcut for posting instead of hitting Ctrl-V to paste the snapshot. So much for my mad keyboard skills…

Ok. That is nice. Charley but that isn’t much of a solution for my pack. The picture you are showing me is a one time reminder. A email blast would be a most likely weekly reminder. They could get 4 reminders before an event happens and if the person that sets up the event makes a mistake and clicks on 1 day reminders this would not be work for busy parents. Most other website programs try to eliminate the user possible error.

I am wondering am I in the right section to suggest a new feature?

This is the right area, it’s just that the idea of weekly reminders of every upcoming event, to me at least, seems like more email than I would ever want to send my unit families. I think folks are looking to make sure you’re aware of the capabilities already implemented, either in the base software or in the user-developed Feature Assistant extension, to see if those can meet your immediate needs. The lead-time for new feature implementation in Scoutbook is very long if it’s not on the BSA’s critical path.

The differing deadlines to sign-up for an event would likely render a weekly bulk-reminder like that useless for my unit at least. I generally see requests for fewer emails (e.g. the ability to set a sign-up deadline and then only send reminders to people who have RSVP’d in the affirmative), rather than more automated emails. That’s part of what motivates my response. That doesn’t mean that no units would have utility for it, it just leaves me wondering how many units would find this useful. The breadth of demand often (but not always) plays into the question of where the BSA prioritizes a proposed change.

In the example I posted, I actually had two reminders configured, but only one had gone out so far. I could have configured a reminder 1 month prior, 1 week prior, 1 day prior and 1 hour prior to the event, although I didn’t. I haven’t yet encountered a limit on how many reminders you can configure for a particular event.

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@BrianPreston - the repeated emails puts in the spam catagory for email hosts and likely people. I tend to not pester folks but will place reminders on critical points in event registration.

Charley that seems to make sense for your troop. For the 5 packs/troops that I have been in for the 2 family moves they have all had email blasts. For the troop we get 4 emails a month plus what ever deadline signups each month (camping and some long term event) so about 8 a month. That is nice to have multiple reminder. Also, in our weekly email blast it has my account balance which is nice. I don’t have to go looking for anything. The email blast is nice since it has whole next month in a nice format so I don’t have to have all of the individual emails.
For my pack, I usually get a little but less since there is no monthly camping. Again my focus is the nice format of the next months events weekly as a reminder.

Stephen I get emails from this system on a weekly basis and none of them go to spam. Four emails a month would not be spam especially if you are getting a couple from the same site for other reasons, like deadlines.

The developers are constantly working against spam filters. Whether you’ve experienced it or not, many users have. So, that always needs to be a consideration.

That said, such a feature would need to be configurable. While the weekly blast works for you, others may prefer monthly, and we’d certainly need an option to turn it off. What other options would need to be considered?

Most of the details need to be worked out before we can even put it on the list. My questions don’t imply I know when or if it would ever happen.

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Formatting could definitely be better, here’s a current topic on the subject:
wysiwyg messages

We’re another weekly eblast unit here. That is the one thing that has kept us from dropping SOAR/mypack with so much else being pushed over to Scoutbook. I add events to the calendar throughout the week, put any relevant announcements in, then once a week a single email goes out to all the families with anything new, updated, or coming right up. They know to look for it on Mondays. It’s not perfect, but I’m sure that having a bunch of separate emails coming at random times throughout the week would have an even lower rate of being read.

We send something out every few weeks, but it contains everything in it. If we could have an e-blast that would include their den (only) and pack info automatically, that would be huge.

Jon the eblast that I use and christy uses has that feature. Try Soar/mypack. That is why I like it so much with cub scouts. We select our den and then the pack is automatically selected. So every week I get a den specific email concerning upcoming events. In my pack we also have a committee option to select for leaders.

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