Setting Up Sendible Groups, Contacts and Other Useful Features

24 November 2012
Setting Up Sendible Groups, Contacts and Other Useful Features

Sendible allows you to automate a multitude of tasks and functions for your business.  Some of these features are definitely ones you need to grasp right at the beginning as they’ll make your life a lot easier.

One of these functions is group set up and handling.  Instead of sending or assigning messages individually, you can designate a Sendible group to take care of an issue or task. And you don’t necessarily have to group people: You can create a group of email addresses or social media platforms.

You can also send SMS Text Messages – even from your mobile.

You can separate employees and contractors into groups of email addresses, if yours is a larger company.  For example, if you are a magazine publisher who makes use of social media or blogging, you can create a separate group for Production staff, one for Editorial staff and one for Distribution staff.

sample Sendible groups

So are you ready to set up your first Sendible group?

Step 1. Setting Up a Sendible Group

Nothing could be more simple than creating a new group.  While at your Message Box, just click on the “My Groups” tab.

my groups screen

A popup will immediately open, asking you to “Create a Group”.  Before you do, make sure you plan your groups first, rather than thinking them up on the spur of the moment.  (If you’re someone who thinks better in images rather than in words, use mind-mapping software such as Bubbl.us or MindMeister.)

When you are ready, enter your group name and click on the button.

create a new group

Once created, the group will immediately open up a Dashboard in your Message Box.  You’ll instantly see a variety of buttons, allowing you to perform functions such as:

  • Sharing
  • Renaming your group
  • Deleting your group
  • Creating a new group
  • Searching
  • Refreshing your group box
  • Adding Contacts/Services
  • New Contacts
  • Removing selected group members
  • Exporting data

group box

Once your group is created, you’ll find it in your Message Box services category.

One of the nicest features about groups is that each one you create will automatically generate and present you with its own email address, allowing you to post group messages to anyone, including external mail servers.

You can also post to as many types of groupings as you like – all in one post action.  You can post to groups of just about anything – a group of all the blogs you own, so that you update them all at once.  You can have all your email contacts in a group; all your Facebook Pages in a group.  Then access them all at once from your Message Box.

So setting up a group is easy… but then what?

Step 2. Troubleshooting Groups

The sad fact is that once your groups are set up, managing them is sometimes not as straightforward as Sendible would have you believe.  Parts of their User Manual seem to be out of date, and here and there the odd glitch seems to happen.

Unfortunately, these glitches seem to happen right in the most important areas.

Here are the answers to the most commonly-expressed handful of frustrations.

Q:  “Why aren’t my groups appearing in my Message inbox?”

A:  The only thing Sendible’s user manual has to say on the subject is that you should “favorite” the group by clicking on “the little yellow star” on your group listing’s right-hand side to make it appear.

Not only does the little yellow star sometimes not show up, but sometimes you can’t even see your group in your Groups box.  This latter is usually a classic case of newbie blindness, where people start looking for the complicated answer when it’s right in front of their noses.  If this happens to you, look for simple fixes, such as clicking the down arrow in your Groups field where it says “My Groups” within the Textarea box.  Your groups will drop down and you can select the one you want.)

groups drop down

When it comes to your groups not appearing in your Message inbox, here’s a more reliable solution:

    1. Click on your “Add Services” tab in your Message Box
    2. Click on the “Streams” tab
    3. Find the group you want in your “Streams” listings, and click the corresponding “Add” button over on the far, right-hand side

streams tab

Q:  “Why can’t I find and add my Facebook groups?” 

A:  If you can’t find your groups in “Add/Edit Services”,  direct add them through Facebook from this link.

You will be walked through the process of locating and easily adding your groups.

add groups from Facebook

Q: “Why doesn’t the link preview appear when I post to LinkedIn groups via Sendible?

A: The problem is with LinkedIn’s API.  There is nothing that can be done from Sendible’s end (though LinkedIn is in the process of making changes).

In spite of the occasional issue, Sendible Groups can provide a powerful tool to those concerned about maintaining a strong presence on social networks.

Step 3. Sending SMS Text Messages to Your Group

Not only can you email groups via Sendible, you can send text messages too.

When you are setting up a new Group, it’s easy to add individual Contacts, one by one; then ensure your main method of contact will be SMS text messaging.

contact

Once you’ve entered the basic profile information, select the “Contact Information” slug.

contact information

When the “Contact Information” slug opens up for you to populate it, simply mark “SMS” as your contact preference for that individual.

SMS option

(The Sendible blog also features detailed instructions on how to opt-in SMS keywords.)

Step 4. Creating Branded Posts

One of the most exciting factors about Sendible is its ability to help you brand your business.  In fact, you can easily create branded posts from right within your Dashboard and link them to your Facebook Pages.

Here’s how:

  1. Go to your “Add/Edit Services” tab and select it
  2. Select the “Add Ons” tab and choose the option you want – either add Facebook Pages or buy the ability to put your own branding in place of “via Sendible”.

branding

If you’ve added a Facebook Page and branded it, be sure to “Save Settings”.  You will see a notification that your Facebook  Page has been successfully added.  Click “Ok”.

Step 5. Preserving a Blog Format When Copying and Pasting

Those who use blogging as a way to increase web identity and presence will particularly appreciate this tip from the Sendible Community Help forum.

To make sure Sendible preserves your blog format after you copy and paste blog content into your Message Box:

  1. Select “My Profile”.
  2. Scroll down to the “Preferences” slug
  3. Open it up and set your “Messaging Preference” to “Blogging”
  4. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click “Save”.

preserve blogging format

Step 6.  Setting Your Clock and URL Shortening Preferences

While you’re still in “My Profile”, open up the “Time Settings” slug and select the clock preference option that works best for you – twelve hour or twenty-four hour.

setting clock preferences

Before you leave “My Profile”, set your “URl Shortening” preferences too.

URL shortening

And, of course, make sure you “Save”.

Step 7.  Getting Help

There are so many features available with Sendible that you will almost certainly need to ask for assistance occasionally.  Fortunately, there are several ways to find the help you need, besides clicking on the “Help” link at the extreme top-right of your page.

help link

  1. Get in the habit of watching for the green tip popups at the top of your Sendible screen.

tips This is where you’ll find notifications about upcoming webinars, new features, changes and just plain old tips!

  1. Use “Live Chat”.  This option is not always available (depending on the time of day in your Time Zone) but when it is, you’ll see a black pop-up in the bottom right corner of your screen.

Click on it to speak immediately to a live operator via the Olark platform.

  1. Use the “Support” vertical tab on the right-hand side of your screen (powered by Zendesk).

Simply type in your question and hit the “Next” button to see the closest and related answers from the Sendible database.

support

  1. Refer to your Sendible User Manual

user manual

  1. Get into the habit of using Sendible forums.  Browse their data or ask questions.

What you don’t find in the User Manual or “Help” section, you’ll most likely find here!

forums

Finally, experiment!  Start using Sendible – if you make a “mistake”, help is never more than a tip away.

It may seem obvious, but the real key to putting the power of Sendible’s features to work for you  lies in getting to know and use your Dashboard.

all tabs in Sendible

Do this and it won’t be long before you have streamlined Sendible into the powerful tool it was meant to be for you and your branded business.

 

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