Finalsite is known for its easy-to-use integrated email tool that makes creating, sending, and analyzing emails easier than any other platform. Back in 2018, we launched Finalsite Messages — a new and improved version of our legacy email platform, eNotify. Our talented team of developers built Messages with the knowledge that the new features needed to meet the changing demands of the school industry. Messages couldn’t just be another email newsletter tool — it had to be something more.
The majority of Finalsite users have made the switch from eNotify to Messages because it has everything eNotify did — including social sharing buttons, stylish calls-to-action, personalization tokens, dynamic content, and drag-and-drop interface — but, there's also so much more to be discovered!
Messages features a whole suite of new features unavailable in eNotify — and many other school email newsletter platforms. We’ve outlined 10 key improvements and additions to Finalsite Messages that we know you’ll love and wonder "how did I ever create emails without Messages?"
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10 Cool Things You Can Do With Messages That You Couldn’t Do With eNotify
1. Easily navigate with an easy-to-use dashboard and interface
Messages features a clean, modern look. Email statistics are now easier to read than ever in Messages, and an all-new activity log adds even more detailed info per message. All of this important information is readily available to you whenever and wherever you need it.
2. Establish permissions on a per email template basis
Messages makes it easy for admins to create and set permissions on a per template basis. No longer will module admins have to worry about the possibility of an email sent out to a mailing list with the incorrect format. Instead, only those with permissions to use specific templates will have the ability to create emails, ensuring all messages sent follow your established communication guidelines.
3. Inclusion of built-in instructions for test emails
Most schools will send “test emails” to receive feedback or the all-clear before broadcasting out an email to a large mailing list, such as parents or faculty and staff. Messages includes an Instructions field so emails sent through Messages include instructions in plain text at the top of the test email, eliminating the need to send a separate follow-up email with instructions. Why send two emails when one can do the trick?
4. A wider selection of email preferences than ever before
Privacy standards, such as the GDPR regulations, are constantly evolving. But have no fear, Messages includes many granular options to give your users the ability to manage their own email preferences with extensive customization. Users can continue to manage their email addresses and subscriptions, and users can also choose how they prefer to be added to each mailing list. More email preferences gives your constituents greater control over your email than ever before.
5. Creation of Operational emails for need-to-know information
Most countries require that “marketing” emails contain an unsubscribe link to allow users to remove themself from a mailing list. However, some emails are too important to not send. These critical “operational” emails, such as grade notifications, school closings, and weather emergencies, should be seen by every person in your email system, particularly those that fulfill a contractual obligation, such as an enrollment contract with parents.
That’s the difference between marketing (non-vital emails such as fundraisers, newsletters, etc.) and operational emails. Messages allows admins to toggle between Marketing and Operational emails for times when important messages absolutely need to be sent and seen by every constituent in a group, regardless of whether that user has unsubscribed in the past.
Operational emails do not contain an unsubscribe link.
6. Inclusion of additional internal names, notes and tags
Messages includes the ability to create additional fields such as internal names, notes, and tags to help schools further improve internal organization. Schools often reuse the same subject lines over and over (such as Monthly Newsletters), which can make it hard to find specific past messages. These additional search fields making finding specific past messages easier than ever, saving you time and frustration.
7. New and improved Find Recipient feature with a timeline view
The Find Recipients feature in Messages presents a clean and simple to read timeline view for admins to search for and see how specific users have interacted with an email over time. The timeline shows when an email was sent, delivered, opened, if links within the email were clicked, and if the user has subscribed or unsubscribed. Simply search for each recipient by name or email address, and let the Find Recipients feature handle the rest.
8. Personalize subject lines to increase email opens
Messages includes the ability to customize and personalize your emails with first and last names in email subject lines, too! Personalized subject lines make your emails stand out, feel more authentic to the recipients, and has been proven proven to be more effective with up to a 50 percent increase in open rates.
And, as an added bonus, Messages also supports emojis in subject lines for that added bit of flair.
9. Make use of your resources library with Resources integration
Messages links directly to Resources, our multimedia and document management module, so schools and districts can access and use every resource that has been uploaded and stored online in Resources in their emails, including photos, videos, gifs, and documents. Use photos for email headers or as a visual way to break up text, embed gifs for added flair, and attach forms to download in your emails, all without leaving the Messages module.
10. Create drip Campaigns and automated workflows
Saving the biggest (and arguably most exciting and innovative!) improvement for last, Messages connects directly to our automated workflows module so you can set up workflows (drip campaigns) to automatically send a set of emails to recipients based on enrollment factors. Automated workflow emails continuously engage and nurture key recipients, such as prospective families, while granular controls at each step of the workflow provides complete control over the timing and complexity of each workflow you create.
Workflows inclusion in Messages comes with an additional charge.
Messages is a powerful, yet easy to use, communication tool that drastically simplifies and improves the way schools approach email marketing, giving each school the power to communicate in the way that works best for both the school and email recipient. Think of Messages as the latest Ferrari 488 Pista. Other school email newsletter platforms can get the job done, but sometimes you need that extra bit of style and horsepower to get the job done right. And who hasn’t wanted to drive a Ferrari?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
As Finalsite’s Product Marketing Specialist, Andrew writes blogs and creates videos to share information about all the latest and greatest Finalsite products. Andrew has more than 10 years of video production experience and a journalism education from the University of South Carolina. He is excited about bringing his experience and expertise to Finalsite.