Smart tags

In this article

What are smart tags?
Adding a smart tag
Adding conditions
Working with regular expressions
Summary of conditions in the Address Book
Summary of conditions in the Children module
Summary of conditions in the Giving module

What are smart tags?

Tags are a function of the Active section of ChurchSuite's "people" modules - the Address Book, Children and Giving modules - and enable you to organise people into custom groupings around something they share in common. For example, if you need to group together all the people who are 'members', or those who have opted in to be on your 'missions' subscriber mailing list. Tags are therefore ideal for targeted communications to just certain people groupings, but they're also powerful when used as filters in reports to narrow down the matching results to just those in a particular tag. Tags are an admin feature of your ChurchSuite modules only - tags are not surfaced in or visible within the member-facing My ChurchSuite platform. Tags can only be assigned to people in the Active section of a module - tags are unassigned when a person is archived or deleted from a module.

ChurchSuite has two types of Tag: Fixed Tags and Smart Tags. Fixed Tags are a fixed list of people that remains unchanged over time, unless the list is changed by a User. Smart Tags are a list of conditions with the tagged people reflecting a list of those who meet the tag's conditions. With Fixed Tags, people are manually added or removed from the Tag by a User. With Smart Tags the list of tagged people will constantly change and automatically update as your data changes in relation to the conditions of the smart tag.

People can be assigned to multiple Tags. For example, you could have a Tag for your "Senior Leadership Team", a Tag for everyone who has been "Baptised", or a Tag for the "Students" in your church, or a Tag in your Giving module for people who have an active pledge. How you use Fixed and Smart Tags to create bespoke groupings of contacts/givers is only limited by your own imagination!

With Smart Tags we've tried to reimagine the way organisations want to interrogate and ask questions of their data - to get the most up to date answers for just those who precisely meet the conditions of the tag. Smart Tags can also work across multiple modules, allowing you to build highly bespoke enquiries of people across multiple module in a very simple way.

For example, you're organising a men's event and you need a list of all the fathers aged between 30 and 45, who are not currently a member of any small group, but who all live in a certain geographic postcode area. It's simple with Smart Tags...

Want to strengthen student integration by seeing a list of students who are either not yet in a small group or not serving? Again, this is simple with Smart Tags! And once a student does begin to serve on a team, because they cease to satisfy the Tag conditions they'll no longer be returned in the Tag results.

When do smart tags update and how often?

Smart Tags are dynamically updated whenever the underlying data affecting any of the Tag conditions changes (e.g. a new Key Date added, a change in marital status, someone joins a small group, etc.), and again every night (to cater for changes in age). Smart tags are refreshed when a specific Smart Tag is viewed, and if the Tag conditions are edited and the page is saved. A smart tag should never be more than 60 seconds out of date!

Avoid creating infinite loops

ChurchSuite includes recursion detection to ensure you'll never find yourself in an infinite loop with Smart Tags. If a Smart Tag references another Smart Tag which references the original Smart Tag we'll display an error and the Tag will be created with no people showing in the results.

Smart tag dependencies

Be careful when deleting tags, key dates, flows, groups, and ministries that may be dependent conditions in your Smart Tags. Deleting a dependent condition will break the Smart Tag and may produce unexpected results - this is especially important when Smart Tags are used in module settings and integrations, perhaps to restrict visibility of certain features.

Free smart tag examples

We've provided several smart tag examples that you can select to install on your account. These may be a helpful starting place to help visualise how conditions and batches work.

Adding a smart tag

Smart Tags functionality exist in the Address Book, Children and Giving modules. The principles of creating Smart Tag are identical in all three modules. In this article we demonstrate within the Address Book.

Head into the Tags section of the module and click Add tag.

On the Add tag page, give the tag a suitable Name and optionally add a Description to help your Users understand the purpose of the tag. Optionally assign a Colour, perhaps to help categorise and distinguish between your different types of Tags e.g. engagement tags. You can optionally restrict the visibility of tags to particular User Groups or to just yourself - by default, tags are Visible to all users - see our related support article for further information about restricting the visibility of features like tags, notes, flows and key dates. Finally, select the tag Type - select Smart Tag.

You can now add the tag conditions, which we explain in further detail in the next sections.

Warning - before you delete a User Group!

Before deleting a User Group, consider whether any Notes, Key Dates, Tags or Flows have their visibility restricted to just that User Group. If you proceed with deleting the User Group, no users or administrators will be able to view those tags, notes or flows - they will be hidden from view. This is intentional in order to respect the original visibility restrictions that were intended to ensure privacy of those items.

Therefore, before deleting a User Group, update the visibility restrictions of your Notes, Tags and Flows - either to "All Users", "Just me", or to an alternative User Group; then proceed with the user group deletion. Once a User Group is deleted, only the ChurchSuite support team can restore the visibility of those hidden tags/notes/flows.

Adding conditions

Conditions are the building blocks of Smart Tags - they determine the people matched and returned in the tag results. You can add multiple conditions to a tag, and for each condition you'll select condition's Module, Option and Value.

For example, for tags created in the Address Book - which always returns Address Book contacts in the results - you can add conditions for the Address Book, and also for several other modules where contacts are referenced...

...whereas tags created in the Children module - which always returns children in the results - you can add conditions for the Children module, and also for several other modules where children are referenced...

...but for tags created in the Giving module - which always returns givers in the results - you can only add conditions for the Giving module...

For the Address Book, Children and Giving modules, each condition's Module has its own set of Options available. These Options are the various fields within that Module that you wish to query. For example, conditions for the Address Book Module have options for fields like sex, age, and postcode; but you can also query things like people's Tags and Key Dates and Custom Fields, and their communication options and privacy settings. A full list of supported tag Options and Values are provided at the end of this article.

The Option selected determines the Values that you can query. For example, for 'Sex', you can query values for Male, Female or Unknown; for 'Is Parent?' you can query values for Yes or No, and so on.

When adding multiple conditions, notice the option to Match 'any' or 'all' of the following - enabling you to select whether the tag results are to match people who meet any one of the conditions (a wide results list) or all of the conditions (a much narrower, specific list). In this next example, the tag conditions match contacts who are married AND have an 'Attended Marriage Course' key date dated within the last 24 months - so the tag matches all of the conditions rather than any one of the conditions, which would likely be a longer list.

You can also invert any condition to include people who do not meet the condition. Simply change the green tick to a red cross. Smart tags can contain combinations of inclusive and inverted conditions. For example, the following conditions match all married Address Book contacts AND anyone that does NOT have an 'Attended marriage course' key date.

In the previous example the tag matched based on two conditions grouped together into a single batch. However, it's also possible to add multiple condition batches to a tag and set whether the tag should return results including people who match any of the batches or all of the batches, a much more specific group. Click Add condition batch to begin a new batch. For example, the following 'engagement' smart tag looks for those who are serving, giving or in a small group and returns a list of people who meet any two of those three things. The first condition batch matches those who are in an active ministry in the Rotas module AND in an active small group. The second condition batch matches those who are in an active ministry in the Rotas module AND have given in the last 6 months. The third condition batch matches the final combination - those who have given in the last 6 months AND are in an active small group. Notice how you can specify the relationship between the batches - AND or OR. In this example we are matching based on those meeting the conditions of the first batch OR the second batch OR the third batch. Had we selected AND the resulting list of matching contacts would be a much more exclusive list i.e. those who match batch 1 AND batch 2 AND batch 3.

When working with condition batches, notice how you can re-order batches using the up and down arrows located in the top left corner of each batch, or you can delete a batch by clicking the X in the top right corner of a batch.

As always, remember to Save the tag before navigating away from the page. You can return to a tag's "View" page at any time. Notice that the Smart Tag Conditions are summarised visually on the right-hand side of the page. From the "View" page you can easily Communicate with the tagged people. The tag can be further filtered by other Tags and even Inverted. Those who meet the tag conditions are listed under the demographic tag statistics - switch the View between Grid and List as desired.

When working with groupings of people, like Tags, notice the Add options, to add the tagged people to a flow, group, key date or to a fixed tag.

Back in the Tags section of the module, you can Search and locate a particular tag within a long list of tags - as you type in the search the list automatically filters. And from the cog actions menu on the right-hand side of each tag in the list you can select to View, Duplicate, Edit or Delete a tag.

As you are hopefully beginning to appreciate, Smart Tags are incredibly powerful and flexible - enabling Users to drill down into the data in your ChurchSuite modules to identify highly specific lists of matching people, perhaps for targeted communications or report filtering.

Multi-site customers

For multi-site customers, a Site condition is available. Smart tags with site conditions are not visible unless the User has site permissions for all the sites referenced in the tag conditions and is viewing as All Sites or My Sites. For example, this tag has conditions to match Main Site and South Site people whose sex is male.

This tag cannot be used if the User is viewing as South Site only, because the tag will be unable to return Main Site people in the results. The tag will be hidden when the User is viewing tags for a single site. As long as the User has site permissions for Main Site and South Site, the tag will be visible to them when viewing as All Sites or My Sites.

Multi-site tags are distinguished by a Site icon in the Tags section of a module.

Working with regular expressions

Regular Expressions (RegEx) are a form of SQL syntax that many programmers and developers will already be familiar with. In its simplest form, using simple syntax expressions you can perform "wildcard" matches against the data in text fields in your data (including custom fields and postcode fields). We've provided four simple functions for text field Options - Is..., Contains..., Starts With..., and Ends With... For each of these functions you can enter a string value (not in quotes) that the tag condition matches.

Is... will match where the text in the field is exactly the same as the specified value, whereas the other three conditions match less specifically. For example, for a Postcode condition, 'Is...NG7' will match any contact whose postcode is exactly 'NG7', but will not match a person whose postcode is 'NG7 6JE'; but a condition 'Starts With...NG7' return that person in the match.

For the more advanced Users, we've also provided a fifth function, Regular Expression. The RegEx syntax should be added as plain text and not enclosed in quotes.

For organisations that are unfamiliar with RegEx, the ChurchSuite team are happy to provide guidance on the correct syntax required to match a particular search you are trying to achieve. Consider the following RegEx examples:

  • ^B[1-9]{1}[[:space:]] will match any postcode that starts with the letter B, followed by a single digit 0-9 and then the space character. For example: B1 1AA, B3 7BB and B9 9GG would all be matched, but B12 1BB would not.
  • ^B1[2-4]{1}[[:space:]] will match any postcode that starts with B1, followed by a single digit 2-4 and then the space character. For example: B12, B13 or B14.
  • ^B[0-9]{1,2} will match any postcode that starts with the letter B, followed by either 1 or 2 digits in the 0-9 range. For example: any postcode B1-B99.

Top Tip!

A great use of Regular Expressions is when you want to identify contacts that match a full postcode within a certain radius of a central point on a map. This is achievable, but requires a little more work to construct the Tag. Here's how...

Begin by using a tool like this one here, which enables you to define a central postcode point on a map and specify a radius around that point. The tool then builds a list of all matching full postcodes within that radius. Within the tool, copy and paste the comma-separated list of matching postcodes into a text editor like Microsoft Word. Using Word's "Find and Replace" feature, find and replace all commas with the "|" (pipe) character.

Next, back in ChurchSuite, click to add a new Smart Tag with a condition as follows: -

  • Module: Address Book
  • Option: Postcode
  • Value: Regular Expression

In the Regular Expression text box type the word "In", followed by a space, and then copy and paste the pipe-separated list of postcodes from your text editor.

Save the Tag and voila! - a Smart Tag that matches all contacts in your database who live within the specified radius of your specified central point using exact postcode matching.

Further third party tools can even help you create a list of all full postcodes within a parish boundary, which can then be used to construct a smart tag of those who reside within (or outside of) the parish.

Summary of Smart Tag Conditions

Address Book Smart Tags
Module Option Value
Address Book Date added All time
Fixed date range
Custom date range

Age (in years) Range (Min - Max)
Sex Male
Female
Unknown
Has Date of Birth Yes
No
Is Parent? No
Yes, any [linked relationship]
Yes, parent,
Yes, aunt/uncle,
Yes, grandparent,
Yes, guardian,
Yes, other
Marital Status Any
Single
Engaged
Married
Cohabiting
Separated
Divorced
Widowed
Has linked partner Yes
No
Address 1 Regular expressions (see above)
Postcode (Zip code) Regular expressions (see above)
Country Regular expressions (see above)
Email Regular expressions (see above)
Mobile Regular expressions (see above)
Telephone Regular expressions (see above)
Work Phone Regular expressions (see above)
Job Regular expressions (see above)
Employer Regular expressions (see above)
Site Any specified site from the list
Is Student? [i.e. has data in any student fields]
Yes
No
[Student] University Regular expressions (see above)
[Student] Course Regular expressions (see above)
[Student course] Start Year Year from/to e.g. 2016 to 2019
[Student course] End Year Year from/to e.g. 2016 to 2019
Receive general emails [enabled/opted in] Yes
No
Receive general SMS [enabled/opted in] Yes
No
Receive rota reminder emails [enabled/opted in] Yes
No
Receive rota reminder SMS [enabled/opted in] Yes
No
Receive phone calls [enabled/opted in] Yes
No
Receive post [enabled/opted in] Yes
No
Name is Visible [in My ChurchSuite - privacy setting] Yes
No
Address is Visible [in My ChurchSuite - privacy setting] Yes
No
Telephone is Visible [in My ChurchSuite - privacy setting] Yes
No
Mobile is Visible [in My ChurchSuite - privacy setting] Yes
No
Email is Visible [in My ChurchSuite - privacy setting] Yes
No
In [Address Book] tag Any tag
A specified tag from the list
Has key date Any key date
A specified key date from the list
In key date [Has key date in a range of dates] All time
Fixed date range
Custom date range
In [Address Book] flow [at any stage in the flow] Any flow
A specified flow from the list
Custom Fields 1-10 Regular expressions (see above)
Has [Allow] My ChurchSuite Login [enabled] Yes
No
Invited to My ChurchSuite [invite email sent] Yes
No
Last logged in (to My ChurchSuite) Never,
Fixed date range
Administrator User type is Any user type
Administrator
User
In User Group Any user group
A specified user group from the list
Children [Parent with a linked] Child age (in years) Range (Min - Max)
[Parent with a linked] Child sex Male
Female
Unknown
[Parent with a linked] Child in school A specified school from the list
[Parent with a linked] Child in school year A specified year from the list
[Parent with a linked] Child in gathering A specified gathering from the list
[Parent with a linked] Child in group A specified group from the list
[Parent with a linked] Child in [a Children module] flow Any flow
A specified flow from the list
[Parent with a linked] Child in [a Children module] tag Any tag
A specified tag from the list
Giving (Donated) In the last A specified date range and optional fund
Is a giver [i.e. has an active giver profile] Yes
No
In [a Giving module] flow Any flow
A specified flow from the list
In [a Giving module] tag Any tag
A specified tag from the list
Rotas In active ministry Any ministry
A specified ministry from the list
In archived ministry Any ministry
A specified ministry from the list
Is ministry overseer Any ministry
A specified ministry from the list
In [active] ministry role A specified role from the list
Small Groups In cluster Any cluster
A specified cluster from the list
Is cluster overseer Any cluster
A specified cluster from the list
In cluster [and] role Any cluster and group role
A specified cluster from the list and group role
In active group Any group
A specified group from the list
In future group Any group
A specified group from the list
In group [and] role Any group and group role
A specified group from the list and group role
In active role Any role
A specified role from the list
In archived role Any role
A specified role from the list
In future role Any role
A specified role from the list
[Small group] Custom fields 1-10 Regular expressions (see above)
In [group] tag A specified group tag from the list
In tag [and] role A specified group tag from the list and group role
Children module Smart Tags
Module Option Value
Children Date added All time
Fixed date range
Custom date range

Age (in years) Range (Min - Max)
Sex Male
Female
Unknown
[Child's] Email Regular expressions (see above)
Site Any specified site from the list
[Unlinked or Linked] Parent email Regular expressions (see above)
Additional email Regular expressions (see above)
Has linked parent [in Address Book] Yes
No
Has parent in [Address Book] flow Any flow
A specified flow from the list
Has parent in [Address Book] tag Any fixed tag
A specified fixed tag from the list
Photo/video consent - internal [enabled/opted in]
Yes
No
Photo/video consent - external [enabled/opted in] Yes
No
Receive general emails [enabled/opted in] Yes
No
Receive general SMS [enabled/opted in] Yes
No
Receive rota reminder emails [enabled/opted in] Yes
No
Receive rota reminder SMS [enabled/opted in] Yes
No
Receive phone calls [enabled/opted in] Yes
No
Receive post [enabled/opted in] Yes
No
In school A specified school from the list
In school year A specified year from the list
[Has registered and] Checked In [to any gathering] All time
Fixed date range
Custom date range
[Has] Registered [for any gathering] All time
Fixed date range
Custom date range
In gathering A specified gathering from list
In group A specified group from list
In [Children module] flow
Any flow
A specified flow from the list
In [Children module] tag Any tag
A specified tag from the list
Has key date Any key date
A specified key date from the list
In key date [Has key date in a range of dates] All time
Fixed date range
Custom date range
Custom fields 1-10 Regular expressions (see above)
Rotas In active ministry Any ministry
A specified ministry from the list
In archived ministry Any ministry
A specified ministry from the list
In [active] ministry role A specified role from the list
Small Groups In cluster Any cluster
A specified cluster from the list
In cluster [and] role Any cluster and group role
A specified cluster from the list and group role
In active group Any group
A specified group from the list
In future group Any group
A specified group from the list
In group [and] role Any group
A specified group from the list
In active role Any role
A specified role from the list
In archived role Any role
A specified role from the list
In future role Any role
A specified role from the list
[Small group] Custom fields 1-10 Regular expressions (see above)
In [group] Tag A specified group tag from the list
In [group] Tag [and] role A specified group tag from the list and group role
Giving module Smart Tags
Module Option Value
Giving Date [giver] added All time
Fixed date range
Custom date range

[Giver] Is couple? Yes
No
[Giver] Is linked to [an Address Book] contact? Yes
No
[Giver] Country Regular expressions (see above)
[Giver] Postcode (Zip code) Regular expressions (see above)
[Giver] Site Any specified site from the list
[Donated] An amount between Min. and Max. donation amount
Donated to fund Any fund
A specified fund from the list
Donation method Any method
A specified method from the list
[Donated] In the last X months
[Donated] Number of times Min. and Max. number of donation times
[Donation] Is tax deductible? (North America only) Yes
No
[Giver] Has active pledge Yes
No
[Giver] Pledged to fund Any fund
A specified fund from the list
[Giver] Has active Gift Aid declaration (UK only) Yes
No
[Giver] Has [Gift Aid] declaration for fund (UK only) Any fund
A specified fund from the list
[Giver] In [Giving module] Flow Any flow
A specified flow from the list
[Giver] In [Giving module] Tag Any fixed tag
A specified tag from the list
[Giver] In [Address Book] Contact Tag Any fixed tag
A specified tag from the list



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