Getting Started with Broadcast News

Broadcast News feature to be discontinued.

In the past year, we've faced significant challenges from stricter email and text messaging regulations imposed by providers like Microsoft and Google. These changes have unfortunately disrupted how our services operate, despite our best efforts to resolve these issues. These challenges are part of broader efforts we've been undertaking to combat misuse and enhance security. All of that has diverted resources from improving the services we offer to users like you.

As a result, we've made the difficult decision to discontinue the Broadcast News email and text messaging features. This change will take effect as early as the end of this week. We understand this may be inconvenient, and we're here to assist you in transitioning smoothly.

Here’s What This Means for You:

Alternative Services: You'll need to transition to other email and text messaging providers. We recommend Mailchimp for email management and Text In Church for texting services. Both platforms offer comprehensive features that should meet your needs.

Data Export: We are improving our export features to allow you to more easily transfer your data to these new platforms. We'll keep you updated as we roll out these enhancements. If you need your contact list immediately, reference this help doc to export your member data.

Unused Text Credits: Any unused text credits will be refunded when the service is shut down. If you have any questions about your current credits, email us at

If you’d like to continue using either service until it ends, you are welcome to do so. Just bear in mind that deliverability cannot be guaranteed.

Looking Foward:

We remain dedicated to enhancing our directory services. The recent launch of our Premium version, which offers increased customization options, is just the beginning. These changes will allow us to focus on what truly matters—providing you with the best possible directory service to keep your church community connected.

Thank you for your understanding and continued support. We value your partnership and are eager to help you make the most of Instant Church Directory.

Katie Barratt, CEO

The Broadcast News feature is an easy way to communicate to your entire congregation or select groups via their email addresses using the email you've already entered into your Church Directory! 

Create and send email messages quickly and easily with this feature. In just a few, simple steps you’ll be able to create and deliver email information to your church community at no additional charge.

In this article:

Who can use Broadcast News?

The Account Owner (Admin) and any Editors who have been granted permission by the Account Owner can use the Broadcast News feature. Read How to Add or Remove Editors to learn how to grant Editors permission. 

We suggest that anyone who will be using Broadcast News to send Quick Email Messages review Know your Quick Message Reputation Score.  

Create and test your Quick Message.

  1. When you're ready to create and send your first quick message, click Broadcast News in the upper menu bar, and then click Send a Quick Message button.  
  2. Create your message by entering a subject line and message. And here's the best part ... it's FAST and EASY!

  • Enter a title in the Subject field—this creates the title of your email and will show in the existing message list once created.
  • Write your message in the text box.
  • Use the toolbar to format your message with bold, text alignment, colors, hyperlinks, etc.
  • TIP: If you want single-line spacing instead double-line spacing, at the point where you would hit "enter" you can "Shift"-"Enter" at the same time to single space after a return. 

  1. Send a test email (if you wish) by creating and using a test group. Learn how send a Test Message from Broadcast News.

Consider adding "Test" or a similar word at the beginning of the email subject. This helps you differentiate between test messages and actual ones. When you're ready to send the real message, you can simply remove the word "Test" from the title. 

  1. Now that you've created your email, you're ready to click Select Contacts and Publish button. This will take you through a few quick checks to select your publishing options and review your message. 
  • If you’re not ready to send your email, your email will be saved and will show in the ‘Drafts’ folder on the ‘Broadcast and Send News’ page. Your email can be edited and/or sent whenever you are ready. The subject title you entered when first creating your message will be the name of the email shown on the list.

    To edit an existing message, simply click on the title link of the email and make any necessary adjustments and you’re ready to send a test email or Select Contact and Publish.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Broadcast News does not provide the ability to include any type of attachments (e.g. documents or photos) with your emails. Adding an attachment will often cause your email to go into a "junk" folder.

If you'd like to send a file, you can upload it to your website or a cloud server (such as Google Drive) and then insert a link (URL) to the file within the body of your email.

Send your quick message

  1. Choose your Contact Lists. Click on All Contacts or Choose one or more groups. You can click on the magnifying glass icon to view the complete list of members in each list. 

Who are in your Contact Lists?

All Contacts include all of your Family Emails and any individual emails with "Send Email Message" enabled.

Group lists will include family and/or individual emails belonging to that group.

If you have a group selected for a family, all emails (family and individuals with "Send Email Message" checked) will receive the email. If you have a group selected for a single individual, only the email address for that individual will receive your message.

Note: Family Emails are automatically opted in to receive broadcast messages. If they want to "opt out" - you can remove the email address from the Family Email(s) field and move it to the individual where you can ensure "Receive Email Message" is NOT selected.

  1. Confirm your Email Details. Confirm your Subject, From Name, Reply-to and Your Address are as you expect. 
  • Subject - This is the title of your email.
  • From Name - This is the sender’s name that appears in email clients. 
  • Reply-to Email Address - This is where replies to your email will be sent.
  • Read your email - Give it one final check. If you would like to make edits, go back to Broadcast News and look under Drafts. Click on the email to edit. 
  • Your Address - To meet the requirements of anti-spam legislation, you must include a physical address as a part of your email content. Use the Update Address button to edit your address, and it will automatically be added to your email footer. You can change that address by clicking on the Update Address button.
  1. Select your Sending Option. You have two options here. You can send it "as soon as possible" or you can schedule the email to be sent later today or another day. 
  2. Select your Sending Option. You have two options here. You can send it "as soon as possible" or you can schedule the email to be sent later today or another day. 

    Send the email as soon as possible

    This option moves your email to the Scheduled tab where it is then uploaded to the email server and added to the queue for sending.  It can take up to 20 minutes to send, but it usually happens much sooner. Once it is sent, the email will move to your Sent folder.

    Schedule the email for later

    This option allows you to choose a future time or date to send your message. When the time arrives, your email will go through the same steps described above. 

    Once you hit Schedule and Send you will see your email move to the Scheduled folder. If you chose to send "as soon as possible" it can take up to 20 minutes for the email to send and move to the "Sent" folder.  

    All emails, once they have been sent, will show under the "Sent" folder.

Can I edit a scheduled email?

Sometimes - yes! 

If you chose "Send as soon as possible" - you will not be able to edit your message. It is likely that we are already prepping it to be sent and its too late. 

If you scheduled the email to be sent in the future, you can click on the name of the email and have the ability to edit the message. If it's close to the time you scheduled to send, click the "Refresh List" link first to be sure it hasn't already been sent and put in the Sent folder. 

Click below to watch a quick video on sending your Quick Message:

Managing Unsubscribes to your email messages

Your email recipients can choose to unsubscribe to your email list by clicking the unsubscribe link at the bottom of each Quick Message email that you send.

By clicking the unsubscribe link on the email they receive, they are choosing to be removed from receiving future Broadcast News emails from you. They may receive an additional email AFTER unsubscribing due to the timing of scheduled emails and the processing time for unsubscribing.

You will receive an email report of any undelivered emails and unsubscribe recipients within 48 hours of your sent email. After that time, those unsubscribed emails will be dropped from your contacts list and cannot be added back to your contacts again in order to meet compliance with the CAN-SPAM Act. 

Using the Re-Subscribe Feature

If you have a recipient who has unsubscribed in error, they can request the Admin to re-subscribe them. To re-subscribe, a member, go to Broadcast News and look for the "Manage Unsubscribe List" under Edit Contacts. This will allow the Admin to send an email to the unsubscribed member with a link for them to resubscribe to your emails. Please note, the member must click on the link and follow the steps for resubscribing to be removed from the unsubscribe list. They will drop from the unsubscribe list immediately after resubscribing and will receive any email you send from then on.

Also, we will not continue to attempt to deliver emails to the email addresses that are marked as bounced. You can determine if you wish to remove those bounced email addresses from your directory or leave them as is. These email addresses will show up in your unsubscribed list.

Deleting Email Addresses from the UnSubscribe List

If you have a malformed or bounced email address that appears on the Unsubscribe List, you can delete it from the list by deleting it from the directory.

There are 3 ways to delete an email from your directory.

  1. Delete the actual email address under an individual or a family.
  2. Delete the entire individual entry.
  3. Delete the entire family entry.

NOTE: If you do not see a "Manage your unsubscribed contacts" link under your Edit Contacts list, this means that no one is currently unsubscribed.

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