Getting started on a new toolset can be hard. That's why we've created this glossary of Action Network terms to make your migration process even easier!
Groups and people
Group - Groups are the basic organizing unit of Action Network. Your group holds your email and mobile list and sponsors your actions. Generally, each organization should have only one group. Multiple administrators can collaborate and create in one group.
Activist - Someone who is subscribed to your group's email or mobile list. They receive your group's emails, come to events, sign petitions, etc.
Activist Record - This is where you can search for an activist on your email list (email address works best). You can view and edit their basic information, email and mobile subscription status, email and mobile history, action history, donation history, recurring donations, tags, custom fields, source codes, and notes.
Account - Your individual account is what you use to log in with. Every administrator and organizer in your Action Network group should have their own account. Do not share login information. You can sign up or log in here. And be sure to set up 2-factor authentication for extra security!
Administrator - A person who manages your group. Administrators have the highest level of access to your group. They can create actions and access to your group's data. Each administrator can have different permissions. You can invite new organizers and administrators to join your group on the 'Administrators' tab.
Organizer - Organizers are the second-tier of administrators for your group. It's great for volunteers or interns. Organizers in your group can create actions sponsored by the group, but they cannot access the group's data. Organizers can participate in your group's discussion board, view your group's past actions, and see a list of the group's organizers and administrators. More on organizers vs administrators here.
Group manage page - Once you publish your group, you will be taken to the group manage page. This is where you can view your group’s statistics, actions, emails, mobile messages,invite new administrators, and more. The link will look like this: https://actionnetwork.org/groups/amys-test-group/manage
Networks - Groups can be linked together into a federated hierarchy called a network. Groups within a network share data according to their place in the hierarchy. Networks are perfect for federated organizations, organizations with local chapters, field campaigns, and similar structures. You can see more information on pricing for a Networks level partnership here.
Actions - Actions are different pages you create that you can send to your activists for them to sign. We offer many different types of actions — petitions, events, ticketed events, event campaigns, forms, letter campaigns, call campaigns, fundraisers, and a files storage tool.
Draft/Publish/Unpublished - Before an action is published, it's in draft mode. Anyone who is not an administrator in your group cannot access the action. When you publish an action, it just makes the link "live" so the public can access your action when they click the link. Unpublishing an action puts it back in draft mode.
Action manage page - An action manage page is created after you create an action. You'll see it when you save your draft or publish. This is where you can manage your action, including edit the content, unpublish or cancel the action, edit the auto-response email or social media sharing language, and more.
Sharing & Tracking - This tab on your action manage page allows you to customize our default social media sharing text, which appears on your manage page, our default thank you pages as well as in auto-response emails. It also allows you to install Facebook or Google pixel tracking, for tracking views and conversions on ads you run.
Responses - This tab allows you to enter custom redirects for the page, turn on and off thank you emails, customize the thank you email text, and set up notifications for your team when someone takes action.
Thank you page - After someone takes action, they are automatically taken to our thank you page. You can customize the thank you text or add/remove sharing options by editing your action. You can change the color of the thank you page with CSS.
Email wrapper - Paying partners have access to email wrappers, which allow you to add your own branding and from-line suffix to your emails. You can auto-generate an email wrapper using your organization's logo, or hard-code one with CSS.
Visual/HTML email builder - This is the classic email builder which allows you to build simple emails that look great. You can hard-code your email completely in HTML, or use our visual formatting toolbar. This allows you to format your text, change the alignment, insert bulleted/numbered lists, add tables, images, and more.
Drag and Drop email builder - This email builder lets you drag different 'blocks' to your email, creating complex templates with different columns — no coding required!
Email layouts - Email layouts allow you to create templates using our drag and drop email builder. You can apply these layouts to an email, so you can use the same styles over and over. You can see an example of a newsletter layout here.
Clips - Clips allow you to insert personalized information to your activists. For example, you can insert their first name, their city, their representative, a custom field value, and more.
Ladders - Ladders are an automated series of actions an activist goes through if they meet certain conditions, called triggers. With ladders you can design simple or complex automated paths for your activists to take. For example, you can automatically send activists a series of emails welcoming them to the list over the course of a week after they subscribe. (See here for more details on this example.) Or you can design a full campaign plan for your activists to move through, from signing a petition to writing a letter to donating to the campaign, all automatically, with different messages depending on what actions the activist personally takes. (See here for more details on this example.)
Mobile Messaging - This is our SMS tool, used to send broadcast text messages to your activist. This is a feature only available to our Mobile Messaging Partners. You can find out more about that partnership level here.
Mobile Messaging Inbox - This stores activists' replies to your mobile messages, if they meet certain criteria (explained here). You can view conversations and reply to activists here.
Twilio - Twilio powers your mobile messaging and call campaigns. They integrate with us to handle sending your mobile message and connecting calls, receiving replies from your activists, and purchasing and managing phone numbers.
Core fields - Core fields are Action Network's built-in fields for activists. They are first name, last name, street, email address, mobile number, city, state, zip/postal code, country, and language. Don’t make your own fields for this data, use ours (and make your life easier)! We already have questions built-in for the core fields too, so you should never create your own questions or custom fields for this data either (we’ll get to questions later on).
Custom fields - Use custom fields to keep track of other data you collect for an activist that will vary from person to person. For example, you could make custom fields for contact preference, accessibility concerns, volunteer shift, or employer.
Tags - Tags are applied to activists and are used to segment your list more broadly. You can easily target tags in reports and emails later on. For example, you could have a 'volunteer' tag for volunteers and tags like 'climate change' and 'health care' for different issues you work on.
Queries - Queries allow you to use our standard filters (such as email history or zip/postal code radius), but linked together with different AND and OR logic than is possible using our standard targeting interface. You can pre-build queries that you can use over and over again in emails and reports, or create them in the targeting process.
Reports - Reports allow you to see the data on your activists. It's a two-step process where you first select which targeting filters to apply (like zip/postal code radius, action history, tags, and more), then you select what data you want to download (street address, custom field values, and more). Select no targeting filters to get your whole list.
Need more clarification? Check out our help docs in each section or reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.