Beginner's Guide to CiviCRM

Hi Tim, how you doing?

-You getting my signal OK now audio and everything.

Yes, yes both work perfectly, yeah.

-Well, those are some really good words by Eric I I really is everything he said was very good. For several years I've always wanted to attend one of the conferences, but obviously they're so far away and there's so many things have going on in our own places that it's hard. To make it happen.

I didn't ask whereabouts you based.

-Pittsburgh, PA. OK, so. 7 hours West of New York City by car.

OK. We're not close.

-Up in the Woods lot of trees, but it's a small town. It's a town that made a lot of the steel for both Chicago and New York City.

Oh wow, fantastic.

-Yeah, there's a big University here, Carnegie Mellon University and medical centers that have provided a lot of great finds in in medicine in the past, so it's not that big of a city, but it's been kind of an important one over the years.

Punched above his weight, yeah?

-So our organization, it's basically actually it's based in Rome and we have residences all over the world. Catholic yes yeah.

So I'm you mentioned earlier so I'm just like as well and I was like I'd like to ask you but. Obviously, normally we don't really talk about it.

-No, that's fine. In Rome, and it was started in 1928. Each of the residences around the world, of which there were probably in about 150 countries. And each one of them operates on its own as far as its clientele and the people they deal with. But what's interesting US staff members we may be traveling from place to place on occasion, so we have about. I would say 50 residences in the United States. And I've lived in ones in Saint Louis and in New York City as I was really following what Eric was talking about. 'cause I lived in the Upper West Side and Midtown Manhattan, so I know what they're going through because our main headquarters in the United States is based in New York City, and they've really gone through it, and I can see what he means by it being really hard hit. With covid.

Yeah, it puts it into perspective, isn't it?

-Yeah, so as of 8:00 o'clock this morning, I didn't even know this. This gathering was going to take place. Right, OK? So I got the email and I responded right away and it's it's one idea is just. It's been a very useful tool and just at times being responded to by Lobo himself. Like when I've posted something and try to solve some little problem of mine, like within seconds, the guy would come up with an answer and it would be accurate, complete and I would still be lazy about putting into into effect, but it's it's been really such a useful tool we. Migrated from what was that there was a program called Paradox. I don't know if you've. Ever heard —No— But. It's basically something like Access for Microsoft where it would have an SQL database and it would have forms it would drive and find that information in the in the databases and then you could connect many computers to it, but it was more meant for a LAN system. But as the Internet grew, you don't want to be limited by a LAN system, as what I've found out. Yeah, yeah. Lot of people were very nervous about migrating from a LAN system or on someone's computer. And really the information is not super critical. For you know if you were. If I was to lose all my information, it would be phone numbers and addresses and that would email addresses that might be it. People do want to protect their data, but there's no information. Like credit cards or money or things like that —yeah— so I've basically wanted to find a good way to then communicate with people that we know and and make it possible for them to update things so that not one person has to be responsible for all that. Like Karen was saying to to make web forms that you could do a lot of things all at once. But that means you have. You have to have somebody who can multitask and do a lot of things at the same. I can do a lot of things at the same time, but some people are kind of. Have to focus their energies when they get to a form or they log into a certain part of the database and whatnot so.

I mean, let's see this thing as well is when you're talking about so, and you talk about people you know in some of the other residences.

-No, just our own residents with the people are in contact with us. So for instance, we might over the course of the year being contact with 500 people. But over the years I've got a I've got several 1000 records and some of them are inactive and I've already. I've encouraged other organisms, other centers that we have around the United States to use it, but it just it's it's to overcome a lot of difficulty at the very beginning, just the learning curve. Is quite steep on them building their own system and I think it doesn't. We don't have to build new systems all the time. Know exactly.

Am I right in thinking that the people that you are talking about said in terms of the Contacts, broadly speaking, that their their technical skills? Wide and varied, and you might have some who are really fun and capable, but you've probably got large numbers knowing the churches I do, there's probably large numbers of people who are not very technical. I'm not very yeah. So my brother and I, he was actually on the call. He was the one. So my brother was one who spoke up about Room 2, Matt.

Matty spoke up about, yeah, you spoke about Room 2 and explained what Louise would be talking about in route to the Volunteer City volunteer and about how could we should be better sort of thing, right?

So my brother and I have had long discussions about how we can use our skill set to better help churches because we know that churches are often. They're really good at the face to face stuff. They're really good at the pastoral stuff, but we live in an age now where everything is kind of online or some form of on digital and and actually just being able to support churches to be able to do that. And I know you're not technically a parish from what you said, but the sort of broader you know congregations in that way of. Being able to use the best of things like CiviCRM and and use it effectively within their organization and we're just about to start working with the community in the UK, 'cause they've realized that they they've been working off spreadsheets and you know, it's just it's kind of really difficult.

During COVID-19 they had somebody who was unable to work in the office, which meant that there's basically everything that was on her computer is totally on obtainable because that that's how they've got the system sensor. So we're like this is just this is crazy because this is so much easier to to. You know, if you have something like CiviCRM, it's totally possible to manage this and still doing it in a secure and safe way. Anne. You can with it with the database. There's other things that you can make things easier, so I don't know if you've ever used check some tokens. Most people use emails, most people are happy to do emails. I certainly older populations really older wouldn't do emails, but there are definitely wide numbers of the population who do use emails. You can send people an email with a check some token from the database, which takes them to even a web form. So like I said, the release of simplified interface where you've just got a simple web form or a profile. They both, so if they're simple enough that either will do. That's prefilled with information that you have on the database that they can then update and save. But they don't, they can. See what information you have if their if their address is changed with their phone numbers changed, then they can just change it and save it. And that means that your information is more up to date you you're able to use that communication that you may already have. You may already have sort of email communications and all you're doing is saying click on this link and just check your details. And hit save and that's you know it's really straightforward to do something like that. Yeah, well what I've done in the past. So for years that was using MailChimp and I would take my city database which is more accurate because I was obtaining the records I would export to a CSV file imported into Mail champ and then send out and I said you know, what with this with the capabilities of City CRM it doesn't have to lead people back to the database structure itself. But I can easily get emails out so I can do that when there are fewer than 50 people, but I haven't figured out exactly how to do that with larger groups of OK. So can I share my screen?

So I've still got the demos, I think. This COVID-19 although almost all of our people are email savvy, so that's not an issue and it was super easy to send information to people to give them details even with the tokens, I would just put in their first name and they would all look at it as if it were coming directly from. Me yeah exactly yeah. So this I've got I was talking about it just before you join the call actually, so I'll just have the database itself. If I go to the mailings function, so you have to. If you've not got that menu, you just have to make sure that that component is ticked. Problem is the list of components which is basically more or less corresponds to the menus that we've got across the top here. So if you if you don't see mailings as it as an actual dropdown itself, then enable it under the components. And now the new musical. Sorry than you mailing traditional if you've not got musical installed. That's at the top I. Think I did install Mosaico, but I haven't done much with it, yeah, I. Think I used it so well so they knew mailing traditional is the very that's almost identical to what you've already been using for a email in up to 50 people, right? Looks the same. It behaves the same way. You can use tokens and the only thing is when you send it. If you use it from here, when you send it to the recipients, instead of identifying the names, you just identify a group of Contacts. OK, these mailings are all done by groups and you can have any number in your group that can be at, you know, thousands. Anne, and then, because I've got my Seiko installed, I did warn you, it's quite slow, so I'll just have. A look that's. OK, because I've got my Seiko installed. I can the new mailing defaults to. The musical tool. So it opens up like this, which is more like something like MailChimp, right? If you have use MailChimp before, this is not a big leap. So on the page before actually just skipped it, I'll go back to it. In different templates and you could build your own. Templates, yeah exactly yeah I always say actually, the first time you use mosaico, give yourself at least an hour because I don't think I don't know if you've ever built a website, but you can spend ages just kind of tweaking this and tweaking that and changing this size here and. Moving to build a. Template and again to you basically get to the same screen but you go to music or templates which is. So you start your starting point and then the next. Then when he wants to use the template, then you go to new mailing, but you create it first order templates.

So yeah, it's just about thinking about even in templates you don't have to use a template, you can just do start from scratch each time and just do a very simple one. But if you're doing a template. Have something in mind? If you like that, you can use as a kind of. If I was doing that particular email. If I was doing that particular newsletter, what would it look like? What would be useful? How many columns? How many images? And so that you've got something that's useful as a starting point each time. Anne. Do you know your? Email domains that people have. There are a lot of businesses and corporations, and so I've tried to simplify by almost doing text only in these emails so as to not get them caught into spam folders. 'cause it seems like anytime. I've asked them if they got the Mail. I can see you know which one which people get, which emails in MailChimp. But it, but they're getting a lot more of them from CiviCRM. When I send just a text only email which I they appreciate otherwise they don't even get the information. Yeah, so you mentioned you siteground? Don't you? For hosting, so I when I'm first setting up a database. I don't think I've got it in here, but I usually set up a contact called test Mail tester.

'cause then I know who it is. So if you ever come across this particular website so this is. Maybe, but I've not used it. So I find this really useful, but I'm gonna. I'll just go through the process that I would go through.

So I'm just going to copy this email here.

It's not the quickest.

I think it's just 'cause I've got it on. I think this server basically realizes that I never log into this, so there's absolutely no server like server load. For this and it just sits there one and then when I try and use it guys who are not used to this. In his right, so I've created a test contact. And then I send. Send an email. Right? To this now. So obviously you want to send it from whatever you're done. I'm logged in so it's defaulted to my personal email, but I want to send it from whatever the normal from email would be, just to be sure that it complains if I don't use actual text. I'm just going to type some stuff in and so I'm gonna try and get a higher score as possible. I'm going to take that into the plain text as well, just meet this is going for a good score if possible.

The send email I've literally have done nothing to This site is a demo site, so I'm expecting to get fully pull score or even that it's not even received or they got 5. .8 OK this so Franklin A is kind of not great. It's not bad, but it's not great, but it tells you specifically what's missing. So there's no Deakin. So this is something that's worth spending a bit of time on.

Take it to. The West.

As it's giving me a -- 2 just 'cause it doesn't like the my text that I put in that it says it's not very. Original yeah.

They go look at saying now. So this gives you a lot of parameters and how it hit grades those parameters, yeah. Definitely so so. It is possible to get 10 out of 10. I have got 10 out of 10. I don't generally set a D mark record, but I nearly always make sure both SPF. Andy came a setup.

That's a given, so that's the first thing I check is if you need to play around with your DNS records, and this is really fluffy. I do find this something that's really kind of. You can be second guessing whether you've got it right half the time, but site ground should have some good info about this, 'cause it's fairly standard now that you would have to have both SPF and Deacon records in your DNS settings.

Once you've got that, you will get a better score. You will start getting good scores. But you can test this from your database and not just in the feedback. It just means it gives you something to go on so you can make sure that you're capturing some useful stuff. Right? And improve, and that's going to make a big difference.

And the other thing, just to bear in mind the Mail reports, so that's the equivalent of like in MailChimp. If you is that. If you send something through MailChimp it will tell you how many times people received it, how many times they clicked on it, how many times they've opened it. An any bounces any unsubscribes so the Mail reports on here will also give you that breakdown and if by default I don't know why this is something UN ticked. But under display settings this is UN ticked by default, but it's I quite like having night so I don't know why it's the only one that's UN. Ticked by different. Yeah yeah.

This just means. I don't think I've sent out any booking category, so it's what it is, so these are the tabs that you see on the contact records, but I'll go back to Mail tester.

And I think back in severe CRM 4.1 I had to set up Cron to try to send this out at a certain time and I could never get that to function. Properly OK, yeah phone of again Siteground should help, but any with any of this if you if you're sort of actually sat there trying to figure it out, just give me a buzz if you're stuck. Very mind different time zones, but you're not. You're at least on the right side of America, so when. Probably not too different. So yeah, this tab by default switched off, but I quite like having this tab switched on. So once you've started using this to send and you can see the column here for example, so you can see over. Now OK, so mine must be checked off and I have to. OK 'cause I don't see that tab that's. For sure, so once you started to send the bulk, this is only bulk emails, not individual emails, but bulk emails going from the database, it will tell you for one individual if how often are they opening it? How often are they taking on it so I can look at the Mail reports to see. Totals you know, out of 100 people, 99 was sent, one bounced, 10 people have clicked on this link. Five people have clicked on that link so I can see the kind of top level and I can drill down as well. From there you can have it. You can click on that. See which five people clicked on the link which five people clicked on that link. Well, I found this quite useful to look as an individual to see the pattern, you know that history of how engaged is this individual. And often it's also useful if there saying I don't get your newsletter. And then you come here and you say, but you've opened it at least twice. I get that quite frequently.

Not quite sure what you mean by you're not getting it, that's it. Membering that you opened it is what you mean to say. And so this is just it's again. It's just helping when you're troubleshooting. So if you are finding that people are giving, the feedback is not Italian with what you think is happening. It can exclude. And answer what's going on so I. Do what I do is I collect the names because like I'll grab a group and that might be 43 names and I'll select all the boxes and then I'll say send Mail send email less than 50 names. Yeah but beyond that. I do not know how to, if I were to send one to all 450, now that actually works. Both Misako and this one. Or allow you allow more than. 50 any number there's no upper limit. But if you do it as you just mentioned, if you go through the search menu and just send 'cause, it's just creating activity then which is on the email activity. So bulky Moen activity email or two separate things. So this these ones here are bulk emails and there's no limit on the upper number. But again, the other thing is just to double check with Siteground shouldn't have a problem with you sending out. I mean 450 would never problem at all sending out that number.

What was going to say so the. Other thing is you actually went down to a spot that's confused me in the past. All right, well, let's have a look at that 'cause the two things that's going to show you. But scheduled jobs is one of them. So scheduled Jobs says.

So. Let me go to the one save this one. I would always have this one set to always right, and generally Micron runs every 15 minutes. That's how I set up the Cron, so generally sets up the crumbs ago every 15 minutes and that means that this does every 15 minutes. But actually some hosting will say, but you're not allowed to send. Like if you've got 5000 in your group, you can't send 5000 emails in one girl in one. Like there we go, it's going. So you have to. Throttle it what they ask you to do some email throttling so they say you're allowed to spend send? So City hosting for example, do something like. I can't remember. How it works out with something like 900 per 15 minutes?

So. Dude, I think it's a 60 minute which is like 900. I'm not sure my maths but so the average. They're happy with an average of 900 emails per 15 minutes. So if microns going every 15 minutes then my throttle has to be no more no more than 900 emails go out in each batch. OK. But if I've got a batch of 3000, that means that that's gonna take about an hour and a half to send, 'cause it should end the 1st 900 and then it's going to send the next 900 and it'll keep going every 15 minutes. It will pick up the next 900 until all. Of them are gone, you have to select different groups of. People in exactly, that's why that's why the mailings use this language called scheduled. So all you do is schedule it. Do you stay here? You go? Here's my Mail and will schedule it. Send now or send in an hour. And then service and then City CRM takes over and says right OK, you scheduled we're gonna take this but you throttled it so we will send them in batches and as long as this is sent to say always in your Crown is going every 15 minutes then. That in. And yeah, it will just. It will take as long as it takes. You know it might take an hour and a half. It might take half and depends on your numbers and where does the syntax of that crime to. Send that particular scheduled mailing. OK, so the syntax for the. Four So what you want to do is set on.

So on Siteground is probably slightly each hosting providers, something different, so I'm going to sort of guess, so I'll give you City hosting, for example, and siteground will be similar. Ish yeah, So what happens is on the control panel I I create a Cron. And it says run every 15 minutes and then I create a file. On the private. In the private files, which is just one line that basically says. Run.

Anne.

He's the login details specific if you like, it's got login details. Hit for service Chrome and it has an account number. The exact command, but it's got like that's it. Like you said this syntax. It's one line that says run Cron so they control panel every 15 minutes. Runs that the file I've created that one line. Script that you've saved somewhere.

Control panel is just running that script and that will do and then what that will run is controlled by this page, so lots of them on here are disabled so you can see lots of smart group cache is disabled.

Lots of things are disabled. Yeah, Gate check is enabled. So you have to make sure that this. Is enabled, I can edit the. Scheduled mailing itself, but I don't have to hear. I don't have to edit anything. Can check the only thing I might change is how often it runs. Yeah. OK, so that's or yeah, the only time I've been any anything more sophisticated than just switch it on or off and how often is one I use called Mail reports and this one just come with slightly more instructions. Which basis so? I use this to send out something once a month on the 1st. So one of my site says they want to report on a specific report to go to trustees on the 1st of the month. So in other words, I scheduled around 8:00 for the 1st of July. And then to run monthly there onwards. Right, so stop. Macro for having knowing what all the syntax is for crownline. Yeah, and that's where you need, so it's it has certainly changed recently. I don't want to tell you something after my head 'cause it is. 'cause, but this API call that you have your job and Mail report that remains consistent like yeah. Exactly so that I don't change, yeah, I bet I can leave as is and all I need to do is make sure that civic Ron is working. There's two or three different ways to do it. Siteground so this definitely information on the.

If I go to the sys admin.

Oh yes, I've been there before.

With at least one scheduled job.

Now that's not easy. I think now this is the page I was hoping that would be more useful. This is the page I was going to. Even if I'm not using severe listing. Back to your hosting site. Yet so they've got quite useful. How to make a controversy OM. And they'll say this is how to do on City hosting, but they're also kind of go. But if you're not uncivilized in this is you can do it this way. Mother hosting. Yeah, it's the I think it's struggling 'cause I've got the video on as well, but it will look, but that's they're quite useful and I certainly would recommend having a look at their page for how to make civic rongel. So you've got the Cron job running in the background that just runs the script that one line of script every 15 minutes. Then you've got the scheduled jobs where you decide what happens when in those 15 minutes, how many things are switched on or off, right?

Yeah, so this is the one I tend to do is I? Make that a shell file, yeah? And that's just it. In the private area of the. Listing. And then this is your line. So if it's Drupal, Drupal 7. Also got on his see so maybe I'll find the same thing on Siteground. Yes, so similar to that if you, as long as you've got somewhere to save this and then you can point it. I've had friends of mine write Perl code to grab things from the SQL database that's generated by CiviCRM and it's so easy. It's like, for instance, you can find out everybody's birthday today or everybody's having a birthday the next week and I just get an email sent to me automatically at 3:00 o'clock in the morning it gives. Me all those details yeah. Now that's good. This under the docs there are a full list of things that you can create as a country as a scheduled job.

I think there's a handful that are not list that are not actually on. A possible but.

I've never had to do that. Basically all of the ones that you'll ever need are there. You just enable this table. OK, well it's getting very late for you so I appreciate all the time that. You had on this. Is 8 closed?

Yeah, and this one just last thing, I just wanted to say to you, but the throttling I was just going to point you at that and I just wanted. Yeah, it's understood email. And it's under. Maillist seconds not think it's that one.

That's not, must be another one.

Miller settings. Yeah, that's it. So this is where you decide how. Much if you're going to throttle. It and how much bias? I remember seeing this too. Yeah, so that's. Yeah, exactly, that's what you're trying to. You're trying to kind of balance that, so making sure thinking about how big your biggest ever mailing would be and then making sure that it's not that your hosting provider isn't going to water the limits that your hosting provider is recommending, so siteground will have recommendations about what they prefer you to set your. Mail us amend. That's where you would decide. That's where you sort it. Out, so let's say you wanted to send out 1000 right now, what would you set that to be? I said silly to begin with and again, because right email is so sensitive. As you said, people get it bounced all the time. So what I tend to do is is put it on a more conservative number, put it on like 500. So that your Mail server doesn't feel overloaded or being like that, you're being spammy and so once you once, it's decided you're probably a safe sender then. So you're you're kind of trying to build up trust with the Mail server first so that you don't look like spam, so I'm even if so, even the city hosting say you can send up to 900. Add an hour my quarter every 15 minutes and then I still go for 500 which we you can increase over time. There's nothing wrong with putting it up, but you start with kind of a safer amount.

I don't think I'll ever get to those numbers, but it's good. To know, yeah, I don't even. It's just something else happens. You know I started doing this for even larger clients or something. I think the other thing is is trying to do everything in your power to make sure that the emails that you do send get through. So does it in it in the sense of the amount is only really critical because what you're trying to do is make sure that they. You trying to make everything look as not. I'm not spam as possible.

That's precisely what happened with COVID-19. You had to suddenly tell. Let's say 250 guys that they can't come to the activities tomorrow and you just had to get that information out there and you could do it by MailChimp. But there were a lot of guys and I would look at the click rates and they were pretty low. So I mean I'd say 45% but you want that 100% like with? Yeah, you'll never get sent. Yeah, I know it depends on them too. I I just I attended a it's like a spam conference that we had in Pittsburgh in October and we had people from all over the world. Think of the name of it.

Yeah.

BE crime 2019 apwg OK antiphishing group yeah OK their goal was to try to find the bad guys out there, bad guys and bad girls who would. Not just spam, but they're they're really doing evil things. Yeah, it's getting worse, isn't it? Yeah exactly. There with probably 150 people. And what I've found there was a representative from MailChimp, two people, and they told me how difficult it's getting just within the last year. How much the spammers have learned to go behind the doors even at MailChimp, to get stuff to get information, to try to get another breach going. Things like that. So they give a lot of conference talks about breaches and losing information and mules and all kinds of incredible things that go on behind the scenes. And it's just getting worse. OK, Yep, Yep, so I think people think you're mad when you start to say Cousin in Europe. We know constantly get. Prompted every single time we open a website, now we get prompted to ask if you want save cookies or not. Same thing. Yeah, and I keep saying to people, the point this this is good because now you can say no like that's the point is that you're not just for us to say. OK, OK, OK, and just make it go away. The whole point is you've now got control. You can now tell them to stop tracking it like there are things that you can do because actually that information may be used against you or even just to influence you. You know that's and you may not want it. You've got the option to say I don't need influencing him. Maybe not to be influenced, thank you very much, right? So these are the people that at least they would I deal with are the people that want contact and so you want to be able to communicate with them. And that's all I'm trying to do with the city CRM, and it's really such a valuable tool. And then you can modify and adjust so many things and the forms and reports and it's super valuable. So I really appreciated all the work the guys have done on. That that's fine and like, say, when you if when, if and when you sit down to sort of put some of this into practice and start thinking about. You know, judge about your colleagues are earlier making potentially web forms and views. If you've just got any honestly any questions, some of the documentation. So the documentation for webforms is all about webforms. It's not about Sylvie and all their documentation facilities about severe, not Drupal, so it's it can be quite hard to find. Just tell me how to do, but that I want to do the bit that's in between that integration with I'm using a Drupal tool, but it's so big data. And how did how do I make it do this? So yeah, honestly any questions however. Yeah, just ask it is. Fun when I do appreciate it. Thank you very much for the extra time. That's why it's good. It's good speech is always useful, so I'm I'm glad that opportunity it's useful. Good, an excellent take care. Good evening and I'll shoot you a message now you said about. Matter Morse matters more animals. So much, most is. That if I get to that, so it's chat.com.org.

Yeah. Have you been on there? At all, no I have. Not OK, so this is a really good place to ask questions, so even if I'm not around, there's lots and lots of people who are around asking questions. An you can see it there, I'm just that's my hands on there is just at Rose. Anne and so. There's an attempt at an avatar that looks a bit like me.

So you'll kind of notice me 'cause it vaguely looks like the right avatar. Yeah, feel free to just ask. You can ask direct questions so this public channels you automatically. So I'm in town Square at the moment so you can ask anything in there. But you could also use a Drupal channel to ask some of the web form questions or views questions and then you can also send a direct message if you've got a specific question for somebody who you've seen this evening.

Ask us something specific. So I find it amazing. I mean it's open source and I'm thinking how do all these people make their salaries to take care of their families? That's that's something else about this whole project of Civi, CRM that is. This I mean there are people. There were definitely organisations in Syria who provides me serum who are. Making a good profit. But I would also say that actually there's a lot of people. Anne. He, just like Eric said, we're just here to try and make the world a better place, and as long as I've got, you know, I'm not going to ask for you. Know that for the clients that I work with, I'm not trying to ask a silly amount of money. I just want to make sure that we can pay our bills. My husband thinks I'm mad, 'cause it's like it's not the best business model.

Like you could if you do exactly the same job. You know, software development in the private sector. You know triple your earnings overnight. But sell your soul at the same time. I'd rather not so. You're right. I'm quite a paper. I'm really happy, yeah. Very good, thanks a lot for all your help. Alright, and we'll be in touch to the. Future, I'm sure, yeah, definitely. Alright, take care, thank you, bye.

Playback speed: 1
  • Presenter
    Rose Lanigan – Ruza Solutions – ruzasolutions.co.uk
  • Filmed in
    Bradford, UK
  • Filmed on
    25 June 2020
  • Length
    37:21 (mm:ss)
  • License
    CC-BY (Attribution)

This is a test project – the transcript was auto-generated with some human clean-up, so please ignore any typos.