The CoachAccountable Blog

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Archive for Messaging

Group Activity Digests

One of the most powerful things about CoachAccountable Groups is they allow you to foster a real sense of community among your group members.  Among other ways, this happens via messages and comments posted by members of the group.

If you’ve got an active community wherein the conversation is lively among participants, it’s great to keep the conversation going by way of notifications: group members can opt to get emailed anytime there’s a new message posted.  This allows them not only to stay aware like in a group chat, but also the convenience of replying right from their email to comment back (and have that comment, in turn, go out to other group members).

But sometimes, sometimes, the group is too big and the conversation gets a little too lively.  You don’t want to overwhelm anyone’s email inbox, yet members outright unsubscribing from those notifications poses its own problems to participation.

Happily, there’s now a middle road that nicely accommodates this situation: Group Activity Digests.

» Continue reading “Group Activity Digests”

Custom Email Message Templates

CoachAccountable offers various ways to message your clients with ease.

Courses allow you to automate a sequence of messages.

Future scheduled messages can also be helpful.

And now, for those messages that you tend to send to clients often, you can create and save Custom Message Templates.
» Continue reading “Custom Email Message Templates”

Scheduled Messages to Clients

Here’s a neat little trick that can add an extra bit of supportive presence for your clients when you’re not around.

CoachAccountable has long allowed you to send out a quick email to your client, allowing you to keep a record of the correspondence as well as just plain being handy.

You can now send a message to your client in the exact same way BUT have it actually be sent out at whatever future date and time you like.  Compose now, schedule delivery for later.

Let’s see how it works!

» Continue reading “Scheduled Messages to Clients”

Client-Specific Notification Settings

One of the magical things that CoachAccountable enables is for you, as coach, to have a real time window in to how things are going with your clients during the days (or weeks) BETWEEN your regular sessions: when actions are getting done, when a due date has slipped, when an assignment was completed, and so on.

Part of this magic is CA’s ability to send you notifications the moment these things happen, either via email or text.  It’s a very fine-grained level of detail, so much so that with many clients (or just a few highly active ones) it can become overwhelming.  Thus CA naturally allows you to turn on or off the various types of notifications that it can send you (and your clients).

Sometimes, however, it would be nice to have different settings apply to different clients, both for your benefit and theirs.

As coach, you might have tiered clients, wherein some are merely doing your course or participating in your group coaching experience, while others may be working with you directly.  With the ability to tailor these settings per-client, you can opt for more notifications with your 1-on-1 clients, while comparatively muting the activity of the ones on lower tiers.

This is also nice to tailor to the tastes of your individual clients.  In the words of one coach:

Is it possible to turn off the email reminders about completing actions for individual clients? I have clients that will be annoyed by this – but others who might like it.

That sort of request is worth accommodating!  Your default settings might represent what you feel is the best practice for someone working with you (things like “yes, an alert should be sent to my client when one of their actions becomes late”), yet you can let your client know that you can turn certain notifications on or off for them as preferred.

All notification settings can be overrode as desired for a given client.  To do so, simply bring up their client manager (by clicking the gear icon as found for a given client in the My Clients listing) and navigate to Settings >> Notifications and you’ll be on your way.

When it comes to these settings, a picture is especially worth a 1000 words:

Use your default settings, or custom tailor them to the individual.


On Not Overwhelming Your Clients

I’m going to open this discussion with a quote:

With great power comes great responsibility.
– Voltaire (or maybe Spiderman, for some reason it’s not clear)

CoachAccountable gives you, as coach, great power to cause accountability, follow through, and ultimately results with the people you coach.  It can serve as a brilliant “auto nag” system that can gently guide your clients to act upon your coaching, doing so in a hands-off manner that takes the edge off any creepy feeling that you’re obsessing over what they’re doing (or not doing) in a given week.

» Continue reading “On Not Overwhelming Your Clients”

System Email Addresses

“I love having messages to my clients captured in CoachAccountable.  It would be nice if I could just send a regular email without having to log in, and have it show up in their file.”

– Like, a dozen coaches.

CoachAccountable messaging is nice, a quick way to fire off messages between coach and client, affording tidy, on-topic comment threads and becoming part of The Record of the coaching process.  But traditionally, messages sent via CA had to be send from within CA.  Wouldn’t it be lovely if you could post a message to your clients from right within your usual email?

» Continue reading “System Email Addresses”

Metric Progress Now Visible via Email

This is one I’m excited about.

One of the serious wins of Metrics is that they makes progress evident: they turn a set of numbers into a tangible experience of how things are going, with a satisfying visualization of results relative to a target.

One of the other serious wins of Metrics is that they make it dead simple for your clients to track that progress at regular intervals, thus eliminating much of the tendency to forget as well as keeping goals regularly within their awareness between coaching sessions.

Those two major wins have been combined: now when your client replies to a Metric reminder email with their number for the day, they’ll get back an email response which shows them their freshly-updated progress in graph form, like so:

Visual feedback comes right back to your client when they report progress via email.

Visual feedback comes right back to your client when they report progress via email.

It’s an effect that I’ve already enjoyed while testing, and one which I think many clients will benefit from.

Why?  Because it’s satisfying to get that feedback right away, and that satisfaction motivates further effort towards next data point.

Formatting Messages

There’s a new goodie for CoachAccountable client and group messaging today: the ability to add HTML formatting.

Previously messaging was constrained to just plain text.  This is generally sufficient and right in line with how most email messages are composed.  Starting today however coaches can opt to add rich text formatting to messages sent through the system:

Just on click turns a plain text area into...

Just one click turns a plain text area into…

...a WYSIWYG editor, ripe for making a formatted message.

…a WYSIWYG area, ripe for making a formatted message.

All told, this new ability applies to messaging a single client, bulk messaging some or all clients, group messages, and group private messages.

It’s nothing revolutionary, but kinda nice.

Bulk Messaging Your Clients

Hot of the heels of the release of in-system messaging within CoachAccountable, I’ve already had a number of requests that it be possible to send a message to some or all clients at once.

I never meant for CoachAccountable to serve as anything resembling a email broadcast platform, but when I see what a natural fit it is to build upon the in-system messaging (with all of it’s perks) I see this as a rather nice fit after all.

You can personalize your bulk message by inserting your client's name and a magic login link.

You can personalize your bulk message by inserting your client’s name and a magic login link.

Step Up From Email: CoachAccountable In-App Messaging

Every now and again I’m asked if CoachAccountable can be used to send messages between coach and coachee.  My thought process in responding usually goes like “Well, sort of: journal entries, session notes, action alerts, reminders, file sharing notifications… all kinds of messaging!”  But the real essence of the question is of course concerning more fundamental messaging, like an email.

Until now, my response has been to just use email.  Email is great, everyone gets it and is already set up to use it.  There’s no reason to reinvent that wheel within the context of coaching software, I figured.

It turns out there are a number of perks CoachAccountable can offer by way of a messaging system, perks that specifically support coaching relationships.

You can quickly contact your clients via in-app messaging OR via system email addresses.

Let’s look at how CoachAccountabe’s in-app messaging works.

» Continue reading “Step Up From Email: CoachAccountable In-App Messaging”