New and Improved Communication Tools – including text messaging
June 18, 2014
Today we’ve released a number of updates and new features that will help leagues communicate with their players in a timely and accurate manner. We’ve rebuilt the broadcast messaging (Compose a Message) tool from the ground up by adding more powerful filtering options. The LeagueApps platform now supports text messaging for admins to send messages to their players and a voice call in line for players to receive updates from the league. We know that communication with your participants is extremely important and can be time sensitive. These features where built with that in mind.
Broadcast Message Tool
We’ve totally reworked the way this feature works and added text messaging options. There are new filtering options that allow you to target specific groups of people based on a variety of search criteria. You are still able to filter recipients by sports, seasons, programs, and teams. We have added the ability to filter on the following criteria:
- Game Date/Time Range
- Game Location
- Game Type (regular season, playoff)
- Waiver Status
- Payment Status
You can also use these same filters to export your contacts. You can use this CSV export to integrate with other applications, such as MailChimp, Constant Contact or other eMarketing Platforms.
We also added a feature that allows you to “exclude” programs from your search criteria. For example if you wanted to email all the players from last seasons program to remind them that registration is open, without sending the note the the players that have already signed up – you can now do that with our “Exclude” filter.
Sometimes you might just need to message a single team. You have always been able to make that selection with our filtering options. But now if you are viewing a team record there is a shortcut link that will take you directly to the broadcast message tool with the appropriate filters automatically selected – so you can message that particular team directly. You can take this action from both the team listings view and the team details view.
Game Change Notification
When changing games information there is now an option to automatically notify players about the game change. The notification will be sent via email and will show the changes to the game in red for easy reading. The appropriate participants from the two teams playing will be notified.
Introducing the App Center
The App Center is a new section where you can browse and enable various “apps” to become available in your LeagueApps account. An “app” is a feature that provides additional capabilities which extend and complement the core features of the platform. Some apps are premium and have a small usage fee, while others are built-in and free.
Apps are currently built internally by the LeagueApps team, and we plan to eventually offer 3rd party built apps. Use of these apps is optional. It’s up to you to decide whether an app is of value to your organization or not. If you’re wondering, reach out to us and ask.
We used the concept of an app to build our two new communication features – the “Text Messaging” and “Voice Line” app. Because there are costs associated with delivering text messages and enabling phone lines, we must bundle this into a small usage fee.
Text Messaging App
Text messaging capabilities, if enabled, are built directly into the broadcast messaging tool. First you will select your recipients, then select the method of communication. You have the choice of sending an email only, a text message only, or both an email and text message. It is important that you respect the privacy of your participants. Text messages are a great way to communicate last minute game changes due to weather, but are not particularly useful or desirable for marketing. We have built in an opt-in process where your participants can choose to receive text messages from you. Check out the following blog post to learn more about how players can opt in to league texts.
Voice Line App
We’ve created a rain-out line built directly into the LeagueApps management platform. You can create a voice message that your participants can dial into to get updates on game status and any potential weather delays. Local numbers will be available for both the voice line app and text message app.
Console Design and Navigation
We continue to make the back-end of LeagueApps more user friendly and follow best practices for the web. These changes make navigating simple and even more intuitive. The biggest difference you’ll notice is in the Navigation dropdown. You will need to click on a particular menu item (e.g. Manage, Messaging, Reporting) in order for the dropdown menu to appear below it. The Nav dropdown now stays open until you explicitly click anywhere outside.
We’ve made a few tweaks to other parts of the system as well based on user feedback. Most notably we’ve increased the maximum hour limit on the strict payment enforcement option from 24 hours to 96 hours. Plus we’ve added the ability to export admin only custom profile fields.
We hope these new tools will provide value to your league and your players. As always feel free to let us know what you think and Play Forever.