Release Notes: What's new on Action Network
Action Network is in constant development, with new features, fixes, and updates released every few weeks, if not more often. Notes on these updates are available below, newest first.
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March 4, 2017
This release adds group referrer codes, collections, and a few miscellaneous improvements.
Group Referrer Codes
- Groups now have referrer codes!
- Referrer codes can now be selected on manage and thank you pages, instead of automatically being applied. This allows you to use a referrer code for any groups you're an administrator of or use your personal referrer code as before.
- If you use a group referrer code, that group will get a copy of the data activists enter when they take action using that link, just like personal referrer codes.
- If you are in a network, you can now make collections of child groups.
- Collections are ad-hoc lists of groups that you can name and edit. For example, you could make a collection for all your western affiliates, so you don't need to pick them out one by one every time.
- Collections can be added to various places where you pick lists of child groups. For example, you can target everyone in a collection when targeting reports or email, rather than picking every group one by one.
- 2-factor authentication is now available for all (non-social media login) Action Network accounts, for increased security. Enroll by editing your profile in the menu in the upper right when you're logged in.
- Improved reliability of downloading big reports.
nowrapper=trueargument to the URL to remove page wrappers and view the page using our default wrapper.
- Referrer codes now work like source codes when using embeds, allowing you to use them in parent URLs.
- Swapped in Mapbox maps. Thanks for supporting us, Mapbox!
- Allowed organizers in groups to access a group's questions on the form builder.
- Updated our support email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Added info about ActionSites integration.
- Added info about Mobile Commons integration.
- Added a new partition to the
email_activitiestable on February 15, 2017.
- Moved to a new custom fields data format.
- Added new custom fields data format documentation for the SQL mirror.
- Added a warning if you left an Action Network ID in links in your email.
November 4, 2016
This release adds a few miscellaneous improvements.
- You can now add tags to emails. This won't then add tags to users who receive the email, but they will show up in the group manage emails list, allowing you to more easily categorize and search through your emails.
- Activists outside of the US have their US counties removed if they had them in the first place.
- Counties are now available to download on reports.
- You can schedule recurring reports to start on a certain date, instead of starting the next period from when you set up the recurring report. This allows you to set reports to run, say, on the 1st of the month without having to remember to set it up on the 1st from the start.
- Fixed a situation where linking to files with certain characters in their file names was impossible.
- Updated the visual editor from Redactor source with improved functionality like better pasting from Google Docs.
- Emails will no longer send to people who unsubscribed after you targeted the email.
- Added another partition to the email activities table on October 31, 2016.
October 7, 2016
This release adds a few miscellaneous improvements.
- Added the event URL to event campaign event reports.
- Letter campaigns now support filling custom forms, such as regulatory agencies! Contact us for details on how to set it up.
- Administrators with contribution permissions will now get notification emails when recurring donations are canceled.
- If there is a problem with your WePay account, you will be emailed a notification telling you so.
- Updated widget embed code to simplify and future-proof.
September 2, 2016
This release adds a few miscellaneous improvements.
- The API has been upgraded for much greater speed, particularly around pulling the people collection. See the API documentation for information on what's changed.
- Counties have been added on every activist who lives in the US (or will be, once the script to do so is finished). You can now target emails and reports by counties, as well as download counties as a report field and view counties for a specific activist on their record.
- If an activist updates their email address to an address that's already in use and the two activist records can be merged automatically (ie. they have no conflicting fields such as first name or address) then the merge will indeed happen automatically instead of generating an email to admins to perform the merge. For conflicts the email to admins will still happen, as it always has.
- We are now keeping a record of merges in the SQL mirror, so you can see what activist has been merged with what other activist for your historical records. See the mirror documentation for more.
August 22, 2016
This release adds language support, a new subscription system, event campaign and custom target upgrades, and a few miscellaneous improvements.
- All actions can now be created in one of four different languages: English (the default), French, Portuguese, and Spanish. The selector to choose a language is available when creating an action, in the top right.
- Actions can have one and only one selected language. If you want to make the same action in more than one language, you'd make two different copies of the action, one in each language.
- Actions (and widgets) will display built-in text (calls to action or other bits of text that aren't editable directly) in the language specified.
- Activists now also have a language field, which stores their language preference.
- When an activist takes action, their language preference is updated to be the preference of the language of the action they just took.
- Other non-action front-facing pages and text in emails (such as unsubscribe language and unsubscribe pages) will display to activists in their chosen language.
- The administrative interface remains English-only.
- An activist's language can be viewed when viewing their activist record, pulled as a report field, or over the API, and updated by editing their record, uploading new data, or changing over the API.
- You can filter your list for email and report targeting by language, to target different language segments on your list.
- If you'd like to add support for a language besides these four, contact us about making that happen!
New Subscription System
- We've completely refactored our subscription and custom field system! It's now faster, with less bugs! However, since this is a completely under-the-hood change, you won't notice any differences. That said, our database structure has changed, so if you use our SQL mirror, check out the table definitions for updates. And we've made some small API functionality changes, which are available in the API docs.
- Event campaign reports now include event end times.
- The email sent to hosts who publish events in an event campaign now contains the event campaign's host instructions.
- You can now control many more fields such as sharing options and end times when uploading events to an event campaign. See our help document for a list of all available fields.
- Event campaign clips in emails now only pull events that are in the future and will ignore events that have already taken place.
- You can now upload custom targets without zip codes. Targets without zip codes will be matched to all activists who fill out a letter campaign with that target included.
- We will also now match multiple custom targets to activists if the targets share the same location. So targets with the same zip code (or more than one target with no zip code) will be shown to activists when they fill out letter campaigns.
- This means you no longer have to comma separate multiple emails to email multiple targets, and targets will get personalized emails!
- Added OCDID to letter target report downloads.
- Fixed email escaping so strings like "200+" are allowed in email and not stripped.
- Group fundraising reports now pull transactions from all child groups if the group is in a network.
- If you have an account, you can now update your address and city by editing your profile.
- Zip code is now available in the form values filter.
- The custom field clip now works reliably in autoresponse emails, so a newly entered custom field value can be echoed out on the autoresponse email as expected.
- The API now has an
action_network:hiddenfield on action resources that lets you know whether that action is hidden in our UI.
- Duplicating an action with custom sharing options now attempts to update the URLs in those options to the new action's URL where possible.
June 7, 2016
This release adds duplicate and exclude email testing buttons, additional functionality for managing subscriptions in networks for individual activists, and a few miscellaneous improvements.
- You can choose to duplicate emails with automatic excludes from the email's manage page.
- If you duplicate with exclude, the new email will exclude the first email and remove any random limit that was set on the original.
- This is useful for email testing -- it essentially "picks the winner" and sets up the winning email with the options necessary to send it to the rest of the universe you're targeting.
- Additional fine-tuning of targeting may still be necessary, such as excluding other tests.
- Duplicate with exclude is also now an option when you pick a subject test in the Subjects tab on an email's manage page. This will duplicate the email with the picked subject, excluding the subject test, and removing the random limit.
Network Activist Record Subscriptions
- If your group is part of a network, you can now subscribe or unsubscribe an activist from each individual child group when viewing the activist's record on a parent group by clicking the edit icon next to each group's subscription.
- You can also subscribe or unsubscribe the activist from all groups (the current group plus children) by clicking the appropriate buttons in the activist's record.
- Fixed a bug where recognized user parameters could overwrite logged in user parameters.
- Made the start organizing menu a bit less apt to open when the mouse gets too close.
- Made green success notifications stay onscreen less long.
- Add a note when no random limit is set.
- Updated mirror documentation for the new
email_activitiestable and partitioning scheme.
- Fixed a bug where some group invitations could not be cancelled.
May 17, 2016
This release adds a few miscellaneous improvements.
- You can now hide questions (including questions syndicated to you in a network) instead of simply deleting them.
- Admin, internal-only titles can now be set on the top of create/edit pages when creating or editing actions, emails, and the like.
- Fixed bugs where third party notifications were sent even when certain donations or ticket purchases failed.
- Fixed a bug in the visual editor where new lines weren't being added correctly.
April 29, 2016
This release adds integrations with VAN and Catalist, administrator search for networks, and a few miscellaneous improvements.
- You can now send RSVPs to Action Network events over to events in VAN using VAN's OSDI-compliant API.
- Set up your VAN API key and default roles, statuses, and a custom field to use as a phone number when sending RSVPs to VAN on the API & Sync page.
- Add VAN IDs to events in the VAN tab on event manage pages or upload VAN IDs with event campaign uploads to match events in Action Network with corresponding events in VAN.
- When an RSVP happens on a connected event in Action Network, that RSVP will be sent to VAN as a signup, with data on the person such as name, email address, and phone number if you've chosen a custom field. The default role and status chosen when setting up the VAN integration will be used, as well as the first available shift and location for the VAN event.
- You can match activists in Action Network to Catalist and store DWID (Catalist's universal identifier) as a custom field.
- Set up your Catalist API key and choose a custom field used to store DWID on the API & Sync page.
- After that, activists will be matched once they have at least first name, last name, email, and zip code on their record. Catalist matching will occur whenever an activist takes an action, such as signs a petition, is part of an upload, etc...
- You can search for administrators by email address in child groups in your network from the Network tab.
- Enter an email address and click "Search" to find an administrator. Groups the administrator is an admin of will be listed as results.
- Added an array randomizer filter to liquid templating for emails. Add
| randomizeto an array to randomize the order!
- Added an action's title to the group manage page's actions list if an admin title is being used.
- Added a state abbreviation field that can be added to reports and is automatically included in pre-built CSV downloads, so reports can have NY instead of New York.
- Removing tags via report results is now more fault tolerant.
- Removed the
total_itemsfield from /lists API endpoints, as they were slow.
- Added a section highlighting our integrations in on the Toolset and API & Sync pages.
- A new permission is available on groups, giving access to advanced upload options like overwriting data or unsubscribing activists.
- Subscription detail is available when hovering over subscription status when viewing an activist's record.
April 4, 2016
This release adds new activity filters for email opens and clicks and a few miscellaneous improvements.
Email Open And Click Activity Filters
- Email opens and clicks now have activity filters, just like actions.
- You can target email to activists who've opened 3 emails in the last 60 days, for example.
- Tabs such as statistics and report downloads are no longer disabled when actions are unpublished.
- When targeting emails or reports, you now have the option to move on to the next step without re-saving and re-calculating targeting, to save time and resources. Warnings will pop up if you attempt to re-save targeting without changing anything in the filters.
- Reversed the order of custom targets so newest are on top, like other similar pages.
- Group manage email stats now load asynchronously, making group manage pages load much faster.
- Fixed a bug on the API where
/tagswouldn't respect the
per_pageargument and would always return all results.
- Fixed a few visual editor bugs, including better pasting from Microsoft Word and fixing extra
March 26, 2016
This release changes how donations work, adds a ticketed event action type, updates our visual editor, adds phone number data and variants for letter campaign targets, adds non-authenticated, featured image, and autoresponse trigger API options, and adds a few miscellaneous improvements.
- Recurring donations no longer use WePay's subscriptions. Rather, donations are stored in Action Network and cards charged at the correct time automatically using WePay's normal charging procedures.
- Activists can update their cards or cancel recurring donations on an update page on Action Network instead of going to WePay. The page is linked in receipts and notifications activists automatically receive each time their card is charged.
- Groups can customize emails that are sent to donors when charges succeed or fail on a group's manage page, settings tab.
- Groups can also choose whether activists can cancel their own recurring donations or have to contact the group so a group administrator can cancel for them.
- Recurring donations that fail are retried the next day, then wait until the next period (say, next month) to try again. After three failing periods they are cancelled.
- Recurring donations are now listed in an activist's record, showing details about each recurring donation as well as a button for administrators to update cards or cancel recurring donations.
- Administrators can convert a one-time charge into a recurring charge by setting a period (weekly, monthly, etc...) and a start date in the activist's record.
- Administrators can also issue refunds from the donations list in the activist's record. Refunded charges will be listed as $0.00 on reports and in the activist's record, as well as having a refunded status on reports.
- If a charge eventually fails due to fraud detection at WePay, that charge is listed as $0.00 in reports and on the activist's record, as well as having a failed status on reports.
- Fundraising reports now include net and fee columns, so you can see the amount charged to an activist's card, plus processing fees and your final net amount.
- Administrators can now create a new action type, ticketed events.
- Ticketed events are in many ways a mashup between events and fundraisers. They can have dates and locations and time, but they also charge activists money to purchase tickets.
- Administrators can choose what ticket types are available (ex: General Admission and VIP), the amount per ticket for each type, and the total number of each ticket type available.
- Activists can purchase any number of tickets they like (up to the ticket limit for that ticket type) and pay via credit card. They are emailed their tickets as their receipt after purchase.
- Administrators can send complimentary, or "comp" tickets to activists without requiring a purchase by entering activist information into the ticketed event manage page. Activists will receive free tickets in their receipt email after the administrator enters their data.
- The number of each ticket type sold can be tracked on the ticketed event's manage page.
- Like events, ticketed events have a discussion board (that can be turned on and off), a 24 hour reminder email (that can be turned on and off and customized), and can be created with start and end times and with or without a location.
- Like fundraisers, administrators can choose a group to receive the funds (which will go to that group's WePay account), can save activist credit cards, and provide reports on each transaction.
- Like all of our other action types, ticketed events can be embedded, have customizable thank you and autoresponse options, can be used with source and referrer codes, and have other common action features.
Updated Visual Editor
- We have updated our visual editor to a newer version.
- This version is cleaner, faster, and solves some persistant bugs.
- Some functionality has been eliminated, such as dragging to resize images.
Phone Numbers And Variants For Letter Campaigns
- Phone number data has been added to built-in letter campaign targets. (ex: Governors and Members of Congress)
- Phone numbers can also optionally be uploaded with custom targets.
- A phone number ask clip has been added to emails, allowing you to output a sentence asking the activist to call matching targets in an email. (ex: Call Representative John Doe at (123) 456-7890 and Senator Jane Smith at (987) 654-3210.)
- A compact phone number clip has also been added, which outputs the raw phone numbers of the matching targets, comma separated, allowing you to construct your own sentence with call information.
- Each letter version you create can have multiple variants, which are typically small variations on the same message you'd like activists to send to targets. Activists will be presented with one random variant when they write their letters, introducing variation into the default text you ask activists to use.
API Unauthenticated POST, Autoresponse Trigger, jQuery Plugin, and Featured Image API
- API action helper endpoints (such as the record signatures helper) can be POSTed to without an API key -- an unauthenticated or "blind" POST -- returning success or failure but no other data.
- You can also optionally add an autoresponse trigger to your helper POSTs, which will trigger an autoresponse email based on the settings of the page you're POSTing to.
- For example, if you're POSTing to a petition that has the autoresponse email turned on and you include the autoresponse trigger, the activist will get an autoresponse email as normal, thanking them for taking action. If you're POSTing to a page with the autoresponse turned off, they won't get that email. This only works for actions created with our user interface, as they're the only ones with response option settings.
- To go along with this, OSDI has released a jQuery plugin, allowing you to easily use unauthenticated POST and triggers in-browser. Check it out here.
- Action API endpoints also return a URL to the featured banner image, if the action has one.
- Added a current subject clip to output the current subject line during a subject test in the email body.
- Added an administrator report for groups in networks, which downloads a list of all administrators and organizers in that group or child groups.
- If your email has an admin title, the subject line of the email will also be shown in the "Emails & Reports" tab on your group's manage page.
- We've added four new IP addresses to our system for sending email. Please update your whitelisting if necessary. A list of all IPs we use is here.
- Dropdown menus and instant search boxes now have more liberal search behavior, allowing you to match options across intervening text, out of order, and the like, making searching a lot easier. For example, searching the Legislative District filter dropdown menu for "Alabama 100 district house" would match "Alabama State House district 100".
- Fixed a bug where blank addresses would shift columns for CSV exports. Now they show up as blank cells as expected.
- Added classes to widgets to identify the action type and the layout type.
- Search has been installed for API documentation.
- You can pass the URL parameter
<div>instead of our automatically generated one. This is useful if you want to embed more than one copy of the same action on a page.
- On the API, removed the non-working
osdi:signaturesendpoint from the
fundraising_pagesendpoint and added the correct
attendancesin addition to the incorrect
osdi:people, which will be removed in the next API version upgrade.
- Fixed a bug where uploads in child groups wouldn't be labeled correctly on parent groups. Will apply going forward to new uploads.
- Implemented a warning when resubscribing bounced or spam complaint activists from their activist record, rather than greying out the button entirely and forcing an upload.
December 23, 2015
This release adds functionality to events and a few miscellaneous improvements.
- Events can now have optional end times, to let your activists know how long events are scheduled to last.
- Events can now be published without physical locations, suitable for webinars and the like.
- Event discussion boards can now be turned off by administrators.
- Event 24-hour reminder emails can be customized by administrators.
- And administrators can allow attendees to invite gusts to events and optionally enter a number when they RSVP to indicate they're bringing a certain amount of guests.
- Added a current subject clip to output the current subject line during a subject test in the email body.
- Action Network emails are now emoji-ready. 😊
- Fixed a bug where the wrong embed code was showing up over the API for certain actions.
December 8, 2015
This release adds a new API version, improvements to uploads, and other miscellaneous updates.
API Version 2
- Our API has been updated to version 2.
- This version adds lots of new features, such as support for letter campaigns (called advocacy campaigns on the API), subscription status, the person signup helper, and more. It also updates the API to OSDI version 1.1.0.
- Version 1 of the API is now depreciated. It will continue to work but will no longer receive updates.
- You can read more about the new version and the API in general here.
- Uploads no longer skip unsubscribed activists, meaning you can add custom field data or tag activists who are unsubscribed via uploads.
- Uploads now validate email addresses, skipping emails that are obviously not emails. (ex:
- Uploads now do not count as actions for the purpose of the "Actions taken in the last week" counts as well as the Activity filter when targeting emails or reports.
- Fixed a bug where action goal counters weren't reset when they were duplicated.
- Added the new, instant-search dropdown menu style to action forms and widgets.
- Going forward, dropdown menus you add as custom questions on actions are now searchable, making it easier to find the item you're looking for in a long list of possible items.
November 23, 2015
This release adds link click tracking and miscellaneous improvements.
Link Click Tracking
- You are now able to track the clicks on individual links in emails.
- Tracking statistics are listed in the "Clicks" tab when managing an email.
- Links are listed as they appear in your email's HTML, top to bottom, including links in your email wrapper.
- If a person clicks on a link, it will be tracked. If the person clicks on the same link twice, the unique value will stay the same but the raw value will increase.
- Event campaign search results now show the date and time of the event.
- A bug where groups in a network weren't displayed in sponsor dropdowns if you were an organizer has been fixed.
November 10, 2015
This release adds a SQL mirror, group searching, recurring reports, and miscellaneous improvements.
- A SQL mirror is now available for any group (and its children, if in a network) by request.
- The SQL mirror is a read-only copy of all data from that group (and children), including activists, action history, email history, etc..., absolutely everything we have. It's useful chiefly for analytics, though may also be useful to move data from Action Network into another system.
- The mirror is updated continuously, though the amount of time each update takes depends on the size of the group.
- An extra cost is associated with your SQL mirror, as you must pay for the database server that will host the mirror.
- Click here for more details about how the SQL mirror works, and click here to contact us to request your mirror.
- All dropdown menus where you select a group are now searchable, making it easier to find the group you're looking for in a long list of possible groups.
- Reports can now be set to recalculate on a set interval.
- You can set a report to be recalculated daily, weekly, or monthly and have the new targeted count sent to email addresses of your choice.
- A date picker can now be used when setting date-based targeting. Numbers may continue to be used as well.
- The subscription update time is available when viewing an activist's record, when hovering over the activist's subscription status.
- You can no longer subscribe bouncing or spam complainted activists when viewing their record (because it involves us clearing the block at the SendGrid level as well, so contact us if you want someone off the list). This can still be done via report results.
- You will now be warned if you create an action not sponsored by a group, as most of the time, you'll want a group sponsor set.
- Added ad-hoc groups to the options for subscribing or unsubscribing activists from report manage pages.
September 25, 2015
This release adds a URL argument for subject lines.
Subject Line URL Argument
- A URL argument will be added to links sent through the mass mailer, identifying the subject line for the email.
- The URL argument will look like
&email_subject=[subject_line], where [subject_line] is an alphanumeric permalink representation of your subject. (ex: My Subject becomes my_subject)
September 16, 2015
This release adds the ability to show or hide custom fields and pre-filling fields via URL argument, plus some miscellaneous improvements.
Show/Hide Custom Fields
- The Questions section has been renamed Questions & Custom Fields, and shows a list of all custom fields for that group at the bottom.
- Custom fields can be hidden by clicking the hide button. Hidden custom fields do not delete data (and can still receive data from forms) but do not show up in the administrative interface.
- Fields may be unhidden to restore them to the administrative interface without data loss.
- You can use URL arguments to pre-fill form inputs. Any url arguments that match input names on the page or widget will have their value set to the url parameter value.
- Be careful with this -- you can fill hidden inputs and inputs we use to make pages work. Make sure you understand how inputs work on pages (both with recognized and non-recognized users) and your names don't collide with ones we use accidentally.
- Group order in dropdown menus is now based on group admin title rather than public title.
September 11, 2015
This release adds custom submit button text for events, petitions, and forms, plus miscellaneous improvements.
Custom Submit Button Text
- You can now add your own submit button text for petitions, events, and forms. (Other actions use the submit button in specialized ways and are still not customizable.)
- The email report from the group manage page now includes admin title and all subjects.
September 9, 2015
This release adds a new upload option to clear field data, a new service for determining districts for letter campaigns, editable thank you pages on all actions, and some miscellaneous improvements.
Clear Field Data On Upload
- A new checkbox is available allowing you to clear matching fields if your spreadsheet file contains blank values.
- This allows you to mass delete custom field data that you mistakenly uploaded, for example.
New Service For Districts
- Our new service for determining district has been fully integrated into letter campaigns, meaning basically any address should bring up representative information.
Editable Thank You Pages
- All action types now have editable thank you pages.
- You can turn sharing options on and off, and add additional text/code to thank you pages.
- All "core" fields (first name, last name, email, address, city, state, zip code, and country) are now available on reports downloaded from action manage pages.
- Event campaign uploads for full events have been improved to add more fields (like sponsor or administrative title) and better deduplicate (we now deduplicate based on exact location/date/time).
- The network tab on group manage pages is now searchable, and levels can be opened/closed.
August 26, 2015
This release adds a new, faster filter system, updated letter campaign features, clips in email wrappers and other fields, CSS inlining for email, better permalinks on duplication, and a few miscellaneous improvements.
New Filter System
- We've implemented a new, faster filter system for targeting emails and reports and searching for activists individually.
- You shouldn't notice any changes -- the system will continue to work as it did, it will just be faster when doing these operations, especially for large lists.
Updated Letter Campaign Features
- An updated form filling core provides more reliable deliveries for legislative contact form targets.
- State level legislators are split up into two groups, upper and lower houses, as well as the current combined group, just like Congress.
- Non-voting members of Congress are now available.
- Washington, DC local legislators are now available. The DC mayor is in the governors group and the DC city council are listed as state legislators.
Clips In Email Wrappers And Other Fields
- You can now use email personalization clips to output things like an activists's first name in more places.
- Clips are available for use in email subject lines, from lines, and email wrapper header and footers.
CSS Inlining For Email
- CSS styles in style tags are now automatically inlined when you send email.
- This change will allow you to do more complex email styling and have those styles picked up by more email clients, as most email clients do not render CSS in style tags, only when inlined.
- You still should not use remote stylesheets (linking) -- only style tags will be inlined.
- Note that this may change how some of your email CSS works, especially when working with media queries/mobile responsive designs and pseudo selectors like :hover. Read more about the details and learn how you can tell the inliner to ignore those styles here.
Better Permalinks On Duplication
- Previously, when you duplicated actions, the system would make a permalink based on the original action. Now, permalinks on duplicated actions aren't set until they are published, just like on normal actions, allowing you to change the title of the duplicate and get a new, matching permalink.
- Moved the default group/homepage selector to the main start organizing menu for better visibility.
- Added color coding to queries, so you can tell the difference between ANDs and ORs easily.
- Added substitution when using @gmail.com, @yahoo.com, @hotmail.com, @outlook.com, or @aol.com emails as the reply-to email to make email@example.com the from email, improving deliverability.
- Added link in email sent notifications to email statistics, email body, and email targets separately.
- Added the wrapper name to the "View Email" tab on the email manage page, so you can see what wrapper was used on the email.
- Implemented validation for custom field names on upload and on activist add/edit, ensuring custom fields with the same name as core fields can't be created.
- Made it so you can't edit form values or save and continue when targeting filters before the filter list is loaded, making it harder to lose filter options when moving between screens quickly.
July 31, 2015
You can be notified when a group or its children send email, and events in event campaigns are now editable by event campaign administrators, plus some miscellaneous improvements.
Group Sending Notifications
- In a group's settings tab, you can enter one or more email addresses to be notified when that group or a child group sends an email through the mass email system.
- The notification contains information about the email that was sent, including subject line, size, and a link to the email's manage page.
Editing Events in Event Campaigns
- Previously, events could only be removed from event campaigns, not edited. Now, event campaign administrators can edit any events in their event campaign, allowing you to correct issues easily.
- The bug where sibling groups couldn't be selected as part of dropdown menus in certain situations in a network has been fixed.
July 28, 2015
A few small updates.
- A network report is available for those using networks from your top-level group, in the Networks tab at the bottom. It provides a list of all groups in your network, their subscribed list size, and a cumulative count of the number of emails they have sent in the past 30 days, including child groups at each level.
- OCDID is available as a column in reports for download, allowing you to get a report of the internal identifiers we use for legislative districts.
- Moved to geocod.io for some legislative district geocoding work, more to come.
- You can now use the URL parameters
subscription_referrer=falseto uncheck by default the subscription checkboxes for the sponsoring group, action creator, and referrer respectively, both on our pages and on pages you embed widgets on.
- Fixed a bug in the visual editor regarding editing multiple links.
- Fixed a bug in targeting and queries regarding items with quotes or other non-standard characters in their titles.
- Fixed a bug where file permissions weren't being inherited properly in networked groups.
- Moved the change homepage option in the user menu in the upper right to a modal, for better browser compatibility.
- The last login date for organizers and administrators if available by hovering over their name in the organizers tab on group manage pages.
July 15, 2015
A minor update.
- An email's raw HTML is now available on the "View Email" tab when managing an email, including after it has been sent.
- Group applications are now off by default. If you want to allow activists to apply to join your group, enable it in your group's settings.
July 9, 2015
Our files system is now suitable for direct hotlinking, and malformed email addresses are now being bounced.
- The link button next to any files you upload now gives you a link to your file that's appropriate for hotlinking.
Malformed Email Addresses
- Email addresses that are malformed and previously returned SendGrid errors instead of being sent and bounces will now be bounced immediately, before hitting SendGrid.
- These activists will be marked as bouncing as expected, and will have a bounced reason of "Malformed Email Address," allowing you to find them when you pull a bounce report.
- Uploads will now correctly respect subscription status all the way up the network.
July 7, 2015
A few minor updates all around.
- Added note to URL modal in the visual editor, reminding people to use http:// before their links.
- Added sent date to email filters on email and report targeting and queries.
- Made multiselect inputs stay open after the first click, for easier multiple selection.
- Revamped targeting and queries pages to use more frontend efficient multiselects.
- We can now mark specific email wrappers so they don't output unsubscribe links, useful in certain limited situations. Contact us to request this feature be added to one of your wrappers.
July 1, 2015
Added an easy way to set your Action Network homepage and fixed a few issues.
Easily Switch Your Action Network Homepage
- You can now easily switch your Action Network homepage, which sets the default group used when making new emails, actions, or accessing pages such as queries or activist search, in addition to the homepage you go to when you log in or click on the Action Network logo.
- To switch your homepage, use the menu in the upper right, under your name. There you will find a list of your groups, choose a new one to change your homepage, or pick "Your Dashboard" to set it back to no homepage.
- Fixed permission issues with the download all fundraising transactions report button. Now it should show up more reliably.
- Reset group manage page counts to be more accurate.
- Fixed Salesforce unsubscribe sync.
June 29, 2015
Added a subscription date filter for emails, reports, and queries, and made a few other small updates.
Subscription Date Filter
- Added a filter to emails, reports, and queries allowing targeting by subscription date.
- You can target by how many days ago an activist subscribed (or resubscribed) to your email list.
- If you've set a default group, all of the menu options such as tags, uploads, and queries will point to that group by default, saving you a step.
- Sped up searching for users if you're searching by email. Queries with an @ symbol in them will be assumed to be queries for email address.
June 24, 2015
Just a few small fixes.
Bug Fixes and Miscellaneous Improvements
- Changed the activist view to show the email sent date as opposed to the created date.
- Changed how email and report filters queue to more efficiently use resources and take into account multiple saves.
June 15, 2015
This release adds the ability to add address and city fields to petitions, events, and forms, a group fundraising report, other fundraising improvements, and fixes a few bugs and improves a few other things.
Add Address and City Fields to Actions
- You can now add address and city fields to actions that don't have them already, such as petitions, events, and forms.
- These two new fields will show up at the top of the prebuilt questions list when editing custom form fields on an action sponsored by a group. Drag them into your custom form to use them, just like any other prebuilt question.
- Data entered with these fields will be stored in our core address and city columns, along with the zip code (and implied state) data we already collect. Activists entering data this way will receive geocoding and district location as normal as well.
Group Fundraising Report
- A group fundraising report is now available on group manage pages, in the statistics tab at the bottom, under the fundraising graphs.
- Click "Download Fundraising Transactions" to be emailed a report with every transaction your group has processed, including what page it was processed on, who donated, the amounts, custom fields, and the like.
- If activists donate without an email address (if you've enabled that option on your page), we will now send the randomly generated email we make for that activist to WePay, so you can search our system and WePay with the same email address to compare transactions.
- Relatedly, you no longer have to enter an email for your organization when you enable no-email fundraising, since we send our generated email to WePay now instead of that email you entered, which is what we used to send.
- We also now store WePay's transaction IDs and display them in the donor report and the group fundraising report, allowing you to correlate transactions between systems.
Bug Fixes and Miscellaneous Improvements
- Fixed issues having to do with adding, viewing, and querying new activists when using your individual email list.
- Fixed issues with processing long lines of HTML in emails in Outlook.
- Fixed petition embed endpoints on the API.
- Fixed overcounting of bounces from SendGrid.
- Changed display of event campaign full layout widget on mobile to put zip code search directly below the title, instead of below the map and description.
June 8, 2015
This release changes the way recurring donations are handled, plus a few small miscellaneous updates.
New Handling for Recurring Donations
- Due to some issues with WePay, recurring donations are now handled differently.
- When a recurring donation is processed, we will now issue a one-time charge via WePay for the amount of the recurring donation. If that charge is successful (indicating the card used is valid), we will then set up the recurring donation (subscription) in WePay and delay the "first" charge on that subscription by the recurring donation period (1 week, 1 month, etc...).
- If the one-time charge is unsuccessful, the activist trying to donate will see an error and be allowed to try again as normal.
- If the one-time charge is successful but setting up the subscription is unsuccessful (a rare occurrence, but possible), the activist will be shown the donation thank you page indicating they only were charged a one-time charge and not a recurring charge.
- If everything was successful, after that delay passes, the user's card will be charged as normal going forward using WePay's subscription service. Note however that looking up subscription history will show one fewer charges than were actually charged, due to the first charge being a one-time charge.
- Before the first charge their subscription will be listed in WePay as in "Trial" as opposed to "Active".
- The look of reports we generate for fundraising activity is unchanged.
- Added a warning to the placeholder for letter campaign default letters, indicating that many legislators have character limits on their messages and subjects and so these should be kept as short as possible.
- Fixed a bug where additional legislative districts could be targeted than intended when reloading targeting edit pages.
- Added a warning when revoking and regenerating API keys.
- Groups that can syndicate to other groups who are not children will see those other groups as include and exclude options when targeting.
- Updated placeholders for instant search to indicate what attributes you can search by.
- Fixed a bug causing errors when unsubscribing from the all subscriptions page.
May 29, 2015
This release adds core field searching, additional clips, and fundraising language updates.
Core Field Searching
- Core fields such as first name, last name, email address, address, and city are now available for searching as part of the form answers filter when targeting emails, reports, and queries.
- Regular expressions and wildcard searching can be used, just like any other form field.
Additional Personalization Clips
- Three additional clips are now available for personalizing email and autoresponders on actions.
- The email clip will output the activist's email address.
- The address clip will output the activist's address.
- The can_id clip will output the can_id for the activist, allowing you to construct URLs that recognize activists, just like links in our mass emails.
Fundraising Language Updates
- We've updated fundraising pages to use the more neutral "contribution" instead of "donate," which is more applicable to a broader range of situations. You'll still see donate used on administrative pages, but activists will see contribute instead.
March 24, 2015
This release adds recurring donation data integration, notification emails, default sponsor functionality, improved action data export, and network terms and conditions.
Recurring Donation Data Integration
- Recurring donations are now monitored over their lifespan, including whether they are active, failing, or canceled, how many donations have been made, and the like.
- Each time a donor is charged while their recurring donation is active, a new entry will be added to the donor data export on fundraising pages and the activist view, and graphs and charts showing donation amounts on fundraising and group pages will be incremented.
- If a recurring donation goes into failing status (for example, if a donor's card expires), that will be marked in the activist view and on donor data exports.
- If a recurring donation is cancelled, that will be marked in the activist view and on donor data exports, as well as decrementing recurring donation and recurring projection counts.
- Two new filters have been added to report, email, and query targeting, allowing you to target activists with failing or cancelled recurring donations.
- You can choose to have notification emails sent to one or more email addresses whenever someone takes a specific action. For example, you could email yourself every time someone donates on your fundraising page.
- Notification emails contain the information about the activist such as name and email address, plus any action-specific information collected, such as custom field values, source codes, donation amounts, etc...
- If you have set an Action Network group as your homepage, by default any actions you create will have that group set as a sponsor. You can always change this when creating or editing actions.
Improved Action Data Export
- All action page types, including events, have the ability to export data on all action takers from their manage pages.
- All exports now include standard fields such as first name, last name, email address, zip/postal code, country, timestamp, source, and referrer, as well as action-specific data such as donation amount where applicable.
Network Terms and Conditions
- If you administer a network, you can request that we add custom terms and conditions to your network. Administrators must agree to these terms and conditions when they first access the network, as well as enter in information about themselves that you designate.
March 9, 2015
This release adds built-in subject line testing, navigation improvements, and easier administrator invitations for groups.
Subject Line Testing
- Subject line testing is now built in to the mass mailer tool.
- You can add as many subject lines as you want to any email. These subjects will be randomly distributed between targets of your email.
- Statistics for each subject line are tracked separately, allowing you to compare performance side-by-side and pick a winner.
- Many more navigational breadcrumbs are now present on most pages, allowing you to return to action and group manage pages easily.
- All group selection dropdown menus correctly respect hidden groups and show network groups.
- If you invite an administrator to your group that does not have an Action Network account yet, you will be able to set their permissions immediately instead of having to wait for them to make an account.
- Administrators added to network groups automatically receive partner features.
March 4, 2015
This release adds the syndication action, the ability to show or hide actions, emails, and groups, updates how goal counters work, and other miscellaneous improvements.
- If your group is part of a network, you can create a syndication package, which is a package of an email and/or an action that you share as a template with other groups in your network.
- Syndication package creators can set package titles, set which email and/or action they want to send as a template, which groups they want to share with, and a message to go along with the share.
- Groups receiving a syndication package receive an email notification and the package appears in the group's manage page in the new syndication tab.
- Groups receiving a syndication package can publish or edit the emails and/or actions they received with one click.
- Administrators can track how well their syndication package is doing by viewing which groups have published actions/emails and viewing individual and aggregate statistics about performance.
- A new clip has been added which will fill in the URL of a syndicated action in the corresponding email if they are part of the same package.
Show and Hide Items
- Groups, actions, emails, reports, and uploads can be hidden from their main lists, either on the Dashboard, group manage pages, or upload lists.
- Once hidden, these items will not be present in lists or available for email, report, or query targeting. All data is retained.
- Users can view a list of hidden items for themselves or for groups and unhide items they would like to put back into the main lists.
- Goal counters are now optionally available on event and event campaign actions.
- Goal counters can also now be removed from petitions.
- Goal counters are generally standardized across actions, with similar look and behavior both on manage pages and on action pages.
- Fundraising widgets have been updated to better work on websites such as those built with Wix.
- Networks have been removed from the data sharing card section of action pages. Only the sponsoring group is shown, though data still flows up the network.
- Letter version controls when editing letters have been de-emphasized visually to prevent confusion.
- Fundraising and email list charts and graphs have been moved to their own tab on group manage pages, and tab ordering has been changed.
- Edit and manage buttons have been standardized on group manage pages. If an action is published, you will see a manage button. If it is in draft, you will see an edit button.
- Email a friend has been moved above embed code on manage and thank you pages.
February 12, 2015
This release adds the ability to perform mass operations on report results.
- You can subscribe or unsubscribe activists targeted by a report to any list or group of lists you are an administrator of.
- You can add or remove tags from activists targeted by a report.
February 9, 2015
This release adds the ability to create pre-built questions, puts the form builder on every action type, allows for accessing of pre-built questions and custom fields in the form builder, uploads, and add/edit activists, as well as locks down custom field permissions in networks. We've also fixed a donation bug where users weren't being set.
- You can create pre-built questions for your group, such as text boxes, radio buttons, and dropdown menus, to use and reuse on your forms.
- These pre-built questions can be used in our form builder, which is now on all action pages, as well as access when uploading activists or adding or editing individual records.
- Questions can be shared with child groups if you are in a network.
- Networks can optionally have their questions and custom fields locked down, removing the ability to create new questions or custom fields from everyone without the custom field permission given out by requesting it from Action Network.
- Fixed a bug where users weren't being set after donation, causing missing amounts on thank you pages, inaccurate thank you log in options, and other issues.
January 28, 2015
This release updates our upload and unsubscribe process, including the ability to upload users without postal codes and change your email address instead of unsubscribing.
- You can now upload activists without postal codes. Not recommended, but you can do it. We'll attempt to get the activist's postal code next time they take action.
- Activists previously stored in your database with "null" or other similar non-postal codes have been set to no postal code status.
- All fields are now true "insert if blank" but otherwise will not overwrite data unless you check the overwrite box.
- Uploads now count how many users are new to your list as well as how many total were uploaded.
- Uploads can be targeted either by every activist in the file or by just activists who are new in the file, allowing for welcome email targeting.
- Upload counts are live updating, no need to refresh the page!
- CSV files are validated before they are uploaded, alerting you to errors immediately.
- After file validation, you are now able to match columns in your CSV file to fields in our database (or create new custom fields on the fly). It's no longer necessary to match our file format exactly.
- We will now send you an email when your upload has completed.
- Uploads that you add with the unsubscribe or unsubscribe and delete checkboxes active will stay in your upload list and be marked as such.
- Uploads now have a delete button, which will resubmit your file with the upload and delete checkbox checked, useful for fixing mistakes.
- Unsubscribe pages now use our very lightly branded wrapper.
- Unsubscribe confirmations happen on their own page, not the log in page.
- Activists can now update their email address instead of unsubscribing.
- If there is a conflict and the activist's new desired email address already exists, we will email an administrator of that group and ask them to perform a merge to make the change for the activist.
January 19, 2015
This release moves email delivery to Sendgrid, adds bounce and spam complaint reporting, and adds administrative titles. And cats.
Sendgrid For Email Deliverability
- We now use Sendgrid for email deliverability.
- Open, click, bounce, and spam complaint stats are now essentially real time.
Bounce & Spam Complaint Tracking
- We now show bounce statistics on emails, along with your normal open, click, and spam complaint stats.
- Bouncing and spam complainted emails are unsubscribed from your list automatically.
- You can pull reports on bouncing or spam complainted email and view bounce reasons.
- Viewing an activist's record will show whether they are bouncing or spam complainted, as well as subscribed or unsubscribed.
- You can add administrative, internal-only titles to actions, emails, and groups.
- If an administrative title is present, we will use that for internal pages (dashboard, action list, targeting, etc...) instead of the public title.
- Activists will only be shown the public title.
Cats (and dogs)
- We've added pictures of our cats and dogs to our error pages, because why not.
January 7, 2015
This adds activist search and add functionality as well as queries.
Search & Add Activists
- Search lists for individuals by email, name, or address, or browse report results.
- View a full activist record, including email, action, and donation history, subscription information, tags, source codes, and custom fields.
- Add private notes on an activist's record for yourself or fellow administrators.
- Edit and merge activists to keep lists organized.
- Create queries for lists and save them for later.
- Add standard targeting filters in complex AND and OR logic to build intricate query patterns easily.
- Add queries when targeting mass email and reports, and combine with other filters.
December 20, 2014
This release changes how fundraising logout links work and adds email address to form, donor, and petition reports.
- Logout and edit your information links now fully log out the activist and clear all fields.
Form, Donor, and Petition Reports
- The form, donor, and petition reports available on the action manage pages now include email address.
December 17, 2014
This release removes the tip jar for partners, adds our renewable energy statement, plus other small bug fixes and performance improvements.
- If you are an Action Network partner, your fundraising pages and widgets will not have a tip jar.
Renewable Energy Statement
- Our renewable energy statement has been posted and linked in our footer.
December 9, 2014
- Partners can now create multiple email wrappers for each email list they control, including adding new wrappers, deleting them, and setting one as a default.
- Email wrappers now have names and can be autogenerated from a logo image, and further customized with HTML.
- The email wrapper you want to use can be set when previewing your mass email or in the "Response Options" tab of your action's manage page for autoresponse emails.
- Partners can now create multiple page wrappers for each account or group they control, including adding new wrappers, deleting them, and setting one as a default.
- Page wrappers have names and can be autogenerated from an image and a few colors, and further customized with HTML.
- The page wrapper you want to use can be set on an action's manage page.
- When viewing an action page with a custom page wrapper, the custom head and foot HTML will be used, with a layout-only, full layout widget for that action in the middle to complete the page display.
November 21, 2014
This release adds a max event size option and an automated reminder option to events, and allows access to canceled events. It also validates country codes.
- Event organizers can set a maximum size for their events. After that number of RSVPs is reached, no further RSVPs are allowed.
- Event organizers can choose to turn off our automatic event reminders 24 hours before the event occurs, as well as event detail change notifications in the "Response Options" tab.
- Event organizers can now access the manage page of canceled events.
- Country codes are now validated upon upload via our uploads page, event campaign locations and hosted events, and via the API. If a valid two-digit country code is not recognized, we default to US.
- Report country column results now return two digit country codes as well, instead of full country names.
November 14, 2014
- Organizers and groups can create letter campaigns to enable their activists to send letters to their elected officials or custom targets.
- Letter campaigns can be targeted to the U.S. Congress (House and Senate separately or together), U.S. Governors, and U.S. State Legislators (upper and lower houses together), as well as custom zip/postal code geocoded lists of targets (to enable messages to corporate targets, for example).
- Activists using a letter campaign enter their personal details and address to find the targets that match their location. They can then send them an electronic message (email if we have it, but we'll fill out elected officials' contact forms if we don't).
- Organizers can set up different letter versions to different sub-sections of the available targets, with different default messages (editable or non-editable), allowing organizers to send one message to one group of targets and another to a second (or third) all from the same page.
- If targets are not found for an activist, organizers have the option of redirecting them to another page.
- Organizers can test their letter campaigns without sending messages with test mode.
- Organizers can see how many letters were sent to each target and download the letter contents, who they were sent from, who they were sent to, and when as a spreadsheet.
- Organizers can target reports and email to activists by legislative district.
- Organizers can target reports and email to activists by whether they would find targets to write to on a specific letter campaign (ie: if they live in the correct area).
- Organizers can use clips in email to output target titles, names, and singular/plural and gendered pronouns and other words, to compose personalized email messages to activists. (ex: Tell Senator John Doe he should vote yes!)
- As with all of our actions, letter campaigns come with widgets, save action history, and work with networks.
- Groups can create and manage tags that they can add to pages they sponsor.
- Activists who take action on pages with tags will have the tags added to their record.
- Organizers can target email and reports by tags, using new filters.
- Networked groups can send tags to child groups, to keep data organized and in sync.
Unsubscribes and Data Preservation
- When a user unsubscribes, their data is now preserved. While they cannot be targeted via email, you can view and interact with their data via new targeting options on reports.
- Added an unsubscribe and delete option to uploads, to allow you to delete action history data if you want to.
Fundraising Without Activist Email Address
- You can now create fundraising pages that don't require an email address from an activist to donate. (You can make them for your groups only if you are an admin of a group with the settings permission.)
- If you do so, you'll enter a default email address for donations, which we will send to our payment processor instead of the activist's email address.
- When donating, an activist will not be required to enter an email address. If they don't provide one, we will create a dummy one for them so their action history will be stored in your database, though they will be unsubscribed so no emails will be delivered to a fake email address.
- Fixed a bug where users who selected a country outside the US and switched back couldn't enter their state.
September 30, 2014
This release sets the maximum resources per page on the API to 25. Calls looking for more resources per page will return errors.
August 22, 2014
This release fixes a bug where accurate country information for events and people was not being returned using the API.
August 12, 2014
This release adds the release notes section to the website, as well as adds networks, group invites, permissions, and settings, and kiosk mode.
- Release Notes section created on the website to announce newly added features.
Group Invites, Permissions, and Settings
- The term "members" to describe the lower level of group membership has been changed to "organizers".
- Organizers can be invited to join a group by an administrator via email address instead of apply to join. Organizers will be asked to make an Action Network account through this process if they don't have one yet.
- Administrators of groups can have three permission levels, allowing them to manage group settings/invites/membership, launch emails, or download data depending on what permissions are chosen.
- Administrators of groups can with the correct permissions can set group settings, such as default from lines and reply-to email addresses as well as whether a group can accept applications to join (to use this setting, ask us for access).
- Applications to the group can now be declined.
- The "Campaigns & Actions" tab has been renamed "Actions" and has been cleaned up. Campaign pages are now part of the main actions list.
- Duplicate buttons have been added to the "Actions" tab.
- Groups can be set as your Action Network homepage, replacing the Dashboard as the page you see after you log in. Administrators will be asked if they'd like to set a group as their new homepage the first time they visit the group manage page. After that, the setting can be changed by editing your profile.
- Added button to "Emails & Reports" tab that allows administrators to download full historical open/click/action data on all of their emails as a spreadsheet. (Also added to individual "All Emails" page.)
- Networks can be created, allowing for complex hierarchies and data sharing between groups. To get access to networks, please ask us.
- Groups can be linked together into the network, with data from a child group flowing up to its parent and on up to the top of the network. You can set or change a group's parent by editing the group.
- New targeting options are available to target actions created by children groups, as well as the entire child group list itself.
- Administrators are granted inherited permissions on child groups, allowing them to manage child groups as well as their parent group with the same level of access. Inherited permissions can be overridden by adding the administrator directly to a child group and changing their permissions.
- Groups in a network can see their place in the network and quickly access child groups from the "Network" tab on the group manage page.
- The data sharing card now informs activists that they will be added to the email lists of groups in a network if appropriate.
- Kiosk mode can be activated on any action or embed by adding the
kiosk=trueURL argument to any action page or embedding page.
- When kiosk mode is activated on a device, instead of taking activists to a thank you page after they take action, the signing page will reload with a thank you message.
- When kiosk mode is activated, users will not be recognized, allowing for easy repeat filling of a form.
- To turn kiosk mode off for a device, add the URL argument
kiosk=falseto any action page or embedding page.
- Unchecking the subscription checkbox when taking action will now not unsubscribe activists from your list (but will continue to not subscribe new users as per their preference).
- Fixed a bug where an error was thrown if a draft action was saved without a creator or a sponsor.
- Fixed a bug where the PDF download for physical delivery of petition signatures was creating broken PDFs.
- Fixed a bug where extra spaces were added to links created in mass emails due to text wrapping.
- Fixed a bug where the auth_hash field was available as a custom field.
- Report downloads will now force a file download instead of showing the CSV as a text file in a browser.
- Improved character rejection for other donation amounts to enforce only numbers for that input.
More details about these new features are available in the help section.