We're excited to share our latest release Signal 1.3! This release is focused on streamlining mail processing, so you'll notice there are fewer clicks, more grouping and selecting options, and new efficiency features like macros and shortcut keys. As always, we've been listening to your feedback, so we've included quite a few requested features, as well. Overall, we think you'll find that our latest release has made Signal an even more powerful tool for managing constituent communication.
- More viewer options:
- In the Mail module, the new standard view is a streamlined view of the mail that provides the most basic information for those whose primary role does not include sorting mail. It displays received date, contact, and message.
- In the Letters module, the standard view provides pertinent information such as name, modified by, and times used, as well as a few quick access icons for frequently performed actions like copying and viewing a letter.
- The custom view for both the Mail and Letters modules is very similar to the current view with a new easier-to-use editor for selecting and rearranging your columns.
- No pop-up windows for assigning and editing activities:
Assigning and editing activities all take place in the right-hand panel as you select records. If you select a single activity, you will have the ability to view the incoming message and edit the record. If you select multiple activities, the right-hand panel changes dynamically to the assign window. The end result is fewer clicks and an uninterrupted view of your mail.
NOTE: The Activity Details window is still available if needed by clicking on the Activity ID number in the right-hand panel.
- Multi-level grouping and breadcrumb navigation:
Grouping records is handled differently in both the Mail and Letters module. Instead of dragging and dropping columns, select the column from the dropdown menu. You can drill down into the group by clicking the arrow that appears to the right of the row and group again until you find the desired records. There will be a breadcrumb trail of your groupings above the list of mail. You can easily ungroup by one or all levels by clicking on the desired option in the breadcrumbs.
- Saved grouping for folders and searches:
You may find that you group your records differently in different areas of the Mail module. For instance, you might group by "Assigned to" in "All Mail," but you might group by "Group Code" in your own "My Mail" folder. These unique groupings will save automatically so if you leave a folder and return later, it will still be set up the way you left it. Unique groupings also automatically save within your filtered folders and saved searches.
- Quick selection of groups:
You'll notice that when you group records together, they display collapsed with a check box on the left. Selecting the check box will automatically select all of the records in that group. You are able to select multiple groups up to 1,000 records at a time. There is also a new "Clear All Selections" option that will appear above your mail when you select records. Just click to clear all selections.
NOTE: If you select one or just a few records within a group, you will notice that the check box is shaded blue to indicate some records are selected.
- Keyboard Shortcuts:
New shortcuts allow you to perform common actions much more quickly. Each module has its own unique key combinations. To view the list for that module, click the ? icon in the top right corner, and select Keyboard Shortcuts.
- Personalized Macros:
You can create your own macros for quick assigning in the Mail module. This will help you manage campaigns much more quickly. Fill out the assign window with the values you'd like to assign, and then click Save. You can name your macro and then it will be available in the Macro drop down menu for future use. You also have the option of assigning your own shortcut key combination to the macro to make assigning even faster.
- More intuitive letter editing process:
When editing a letter in the Mail or Letters modules, the buttons and edit letter screen will change dynamically as you work with the record. The button labels have also been updated to be more intuitive to new users.
NOTE: Casework activities do not reflect these changes.
- When you finish editing a letter, you no longer have to click "Check-In"; instead, you select "Update Letter."
- If a letter is currently being edited by another staff member, the option to "Undo check-out" now reads "Cancel Edit Letter."
- If a form letter is assigned to an activity, you will see the option to "View Letter" rather than "Edit Letter."
- Additional casework merge field options:
If you write casework letters, you'll notice that there is an additional field within the casework activity details screen for "Related Contact." This field is to accommodate a new set of automatic merge fields for related contacts, which will allow you to set up a letter addressed to one contact that includes the contact information for another contact that has been added to the case. A scenario for these merge fields might be that you'd like to send a letter to the constituent that automatically includes the agency contact's name, phone number, and email address.
- Higher level of integration between Signal CRM and the Gateway eNewsletter:
- Subscription status and email interactions that occur within the Gateway will automatically update the contact's record within Signal if that contact already has a record within Signal's database.
- Subscription status and email record updates to the contact's record in Signal will automatically update the Gateway.
- Additional email interaction tracking:
Within the email address editing window, you will notice additional tracking such as the date the email address was last validated, when and who made changes to the email status, and when an email may have bounced.
- New Workflow report:
This report provides stats on each user in a workflow so you get an idea of how many workflows a user initiates or approves, as well as an average number of days it takes to approve a workflow.
Even more features are on the way!
- Dedicated Phone Call utility:
A dedicated utility easily accessible from Mail, Services, and Contacts modules for logging phone calls that includes new features such as its own set of personalized macros, phone scripting, and on-the-fly contact editing.
- Mailings Module to send e-newsletters natively from within Signal:
The mailings module will allow you to create a newsletter in its entirety within Signal CRM and send to saved lists and default system lists from the Gateway.
For additional information and more in depth instructions, see the new section of our Help Center Q & A for Signal 1.3.