Scheduling emails (and cancelling them)

Mandrill Update - 6th November 2018

Mandrill, ChurchSuite's email handler, continues to experience a persistent issue with the release of scheduled emails from their mail queue, resulting in scheduled emails being delayed, sometimes for several hours. Note that this issue only affects scheduled emails, not "send now" emails. While Mandrill have never guaranteed a scheduled email delivery timeframe, our advice currently is that if you have a time-critical communication, to send it unscheduled. If you have a scheduled email that has not been delivered as expected, you can cancel it and send it manually as explained later in this article.

Sometimes, it can be really useful to schedule an email ahead of time. Here's how to use ChurchSuite to schedule emails.

Emails in ChurchSuite can be sent in one of two ways:

Through a contact profile in the Address Book (hover over "Communicate" and select "Send Email". This opens a "compose" window).

Through the "Communication" section within most modules. (When you click "Compose email", the same compose window opens as when you send an email through an Address Book contact profile).

This tutorial uses the second method. If you want to schedule an email using the first method, this tutorial will still help you, as email scheduling works in the same way once a compose window is open.

Bring up an email compose window

At the top of the communications page you're able to choose who you want to contact. These options vary slightly depending on which module you are using at the time, but in each you have the ability to send your message to every contact connected to that module. For example, the image below shows the “Address Book” > “Communication” page, and demonstrates how you are able to select an Address Book tag that you want to communicate with.

After making your selection, head to the bottom of the page to decide how to contact the selected contacts (i.e. by email, text, etc). In order to send a scheduled email, find the box marked “Email” and click “Compose Email” to bring up the email compose window.

Schedule your email

In the lower right hand corner of the compose window there's a section marked "Schedule Email". Click into the blank box to activate the "Date Picker" tool and select a date, then a time, for your email to be sent out.

Once this is done, and you’re happy with the content of your email and the date and time that you’ve selected, click “Send Email” to complete the scheduling process.

Important - scheduled times are approximate!

Mandrill (ChurchSuite's email handler) always gives priority to real time emails over scheduled emails. This means that in busy periods where considerable 'real time' emails are being processed, scheduled emails have been know to be anything from a few minutes to several hours before they are released from the queue. ChurchSuite is unable to guarantee the time scheduled emails are released from Mandrill's mail queue. If the timing of an email is mission critical we would always recommend sending the email in real time (not scheduling it).

How to cancel a scheduled email

If, after scheduling an email in ChurchSuite, you find that (for whatever reason) you no longer want the email to be sent, you can cancel it through the "Communication" report in the appropriate module...

  • for communications sent to "contacts" from within the Rotas, Small Groups, Calendar, Attendance, or Address Book modules, head to Address Book > Reports > Communication
  • for communications sent to "children" from within the Rotas, Small Groups, Calendar, Attendance, or Children modules, head to Children > Reports > Communication
  • for communications sent to "customers" from within the Bookings module,  from head to Bookings > Reports > Communication
  • for communications sent to "givers" from within the Giving module,  from head to Giving > Reports > Communication

Here's an example showing the the Communication report in the Address Book > Reports section...

Next, locate your scheduled email in the list of communications, perhaps filtering the report by date or method or user; and select "Cancel email" from the action cog for that email.

The "Cancel Scheduled Email" window opens. Click "Cancel Scheduled Email" to confirm...

A progress indicator will show progress during the cancellation process - It's important not to close the progress window until the process has completed!

Why can't I simply amend a scheduled email?

Having submitted a scheduled email that you need to amend, it's regrettably not possible to recall it for editing. Once an email is scheduled, it's immediately send from ChurchSuite and submitted to the scheduled mail queue with Mandrill (our email handler), ready to be released at the approximate scheduled time. For security and data protection reasons, email handlers do not allow messages to be altered once they have been submitted to their queue. However, as a workaround, why not go into the Address Book > Reports > Communications report, locate the message you scheduled; preview it and copy and paste the body content into a new email which you can then amend and re-submit on a new schedule. Don't forget to cancel the original scheduled email though (see above)!

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