Groups, Email, & SMS FAQ

Why is my school-defined group not displaying in the 'Find Groups' query?

The default 'Find Groups' query has a filter in place that only displays a group if it has more than 0 members.

If you are looking for a group that you recently created and likely doesn't have any members yet, remove this filter and 'Run Query' once more. Your group should display even if it has 0 members.

How do I prevent someone from receiving a welcome email?

Sometimes, a welcome email shouldn't be sent to someone for a variety of reasons. To prevent someone from receiving a welcome email, you should create a "Welcome Email Sent" individual event for that person by following the steps below.

The Events tab on a person record. Add a new event using the Add Record... button.

  1. Navigate to the relevent person record and click on the Events tab.
  2. Click the Add Record... button.
  3. In the Student Event column, ensure that the value is "SYS: VC Welcome Email Sent".
  4. Fill out the rest of the columns as you see fit and then click Update.

How can I control channel permissions?

Channel security comes with more granularity and nuance than other areas to reflect the varying workflows that your communication office may have. It is important to fully comprehend how security for channels work so you can best utilize this functionality.

The security roles selected in the View Content tab determine who can (at least) view all users' content in this channel. Users with one of the active security roles can also author content for this channel, but anything else is determined by permissions set in the Create Content tab.

In its simplest terms:

  • The Create Content tab determines how users can interact with their own content within the channel
  • The View Content tab determines if the permissions granted through the "Create Content" tab extend to other users' content within the channel. A user with an active security role can also select this channel from the dropdown menu in Composer, allowing them to create content in Composer to this channel. 

To understand this better, let's look at three different scenarios and how different combinations affect what they can do within the channel.

PermissionsWhat Can They Actually Do
  • has a selected security role in View Content tab
  • has "Author + Publish + Edit Channel" permissions on the Create Content tab
User can write new content and publish/edit any content (including others) in the channel.
  • does not have a selected security role in the View Content tab
  • has "Author + Publish + Edit Channel" permissions on the Create Content tab
User can write, publish, and edit their own content and send it through this channel, but cannot view other users' content in this channel.
  • has a selected security role in View Content tab
  • does not have "Author + Publish + Edit Channel" permissions on the Create Content tab
User can create their own content via Composer and save it to the channel, as well as view other users' content in the channel, but cannot edit or publish any content through the channel.

You may also find the following articles helpful:

If I run the "Send Welcome Emails" procedures, will this send a welcome email to users that have already received one?

If you need to send out multiple rounds of welcome emails, it's only natural to worry that you may be unintentionally spamming some unsuspecting parent's email inbox with multiple welcome emails. Well, fear not! Anyone that receives a welcome email through the "Send VC Welcome Email" procedure has a "VC Welcome Email Sent" event automatically added to their record.

The VC Welcome Email Sent event was added on 2/24/17. Sarah has not received a welcome email since this date!

 The Send Welcome Emails procedures ignore any individuals that already have this individual event on their record. If you opt to send welcome emails through Composer instead of using the procedures, you should manually create a "VC Welcome Email Sent" event for them — you can learn how to do this here.

When someone sends an email via a distribution list, where to the replies go?

When sending emails through a distribution list in Veracross, it is important to know exactly who will receive replies from members on the distribution list who wish to send a response email.

The Email Distribution List field pulled into a Groups query. CLicking on the distribution list link opens your default email client.

Clicking on a distribution link in a query result opens up your default email client; therefore the "reply-to" address is always the sender's email address.

You may also find these articles helpful:

Can I add my own custom group if there is a group that I need to have in the database that is not in the Find Groups query?

Yes! Schools can create their own, custom school-defined groups that live in the "School Defined" group category section of the Find Groups query. Each of these groups also has their own distribution lists created, so you can bulk email all members of this school-defined group.

A blank group record. This record appears when you create new groups from the System or Calendars homepage. 

To create your own group, perform the following steps:

  1. Begin from either the Calendars homepage or the System homepage.
  2. Hover over the "+ Add" button in the upper-right corner of the homepage and select "Add a Group" from the list below.
  3. Fill the fields to indicate what this group is for — the Description field and the School Year field are required.
  4. Populate the group with the various people you'd like in the group using the green "Add Record..." button.
  5. Click Add Group to create the group.

You may also find the following articles helpful:

How can I allow an email address not associated with a person in Veracross to use distribution lists (i.e., whitelist it)?

In cases where someone not listed in your school's database needs to be able to use distribution lists, you can grant them permission to use distribution lists through the email whitelist. Examples for when this could occur are:

  • A member from the community not directly tied to the school is interested in volunteering to do mailings
  • A general office account (e.g., needs to send to distribution lists but it is not associated with a particular person in the database.

Selecting "Email Whitelist" from the Add menu on the System homepage brings up this screen, allowing you to an an email to the whitelist. 

To add new people to the email whitelist, perform the following steps:

  • Begin from the System homepage, click into the +Add menu, and select the "Email Whitelist" option.
  • Fill in the email address of the person you want to whitelist and click "Add Email Whitelist".
  • When you want to give this person access to distribution lists, toggle the Enabled flag to YES and click Update.

You may also find the following articles helpful:

Which VC Welcome Email gets sent to Parents of Prospects?

The welcome email a person gets when you run the "Send VC Welcome Email" Action menu item is determined by that person's security role.  

In Veracross, there is an important distinction between a person role and a security role. Someone who has the person role of Parent of Prospect will automatically be assigned the corresponding security role of Parent of Applicant in the overnights. Knowing this, you can then review your school's Security Roles query on the System homepage to determine which VC Welcome Email template is configured to be sent to people with the security role of Parent of Applicant. You can update which template is associated with each Portal Role directly from this query.

How do I create a query showing all individuals who unsubscribed from emails?

The easiest way to find anyone who has opted out of receiving is to start from a query accessed from the blocked tab in any channel. From there, you should make some adjustments so you can view all channels and records. The process for doing this is as follows:

  1. From the Communications homepage, click on any channel, navigate to the Blocked tab, and open a new query using the "pop-out" button.
  2. On the query design screen, select the Channel field and make the following changes:
    • Check the "hide/view" box to enable the field to be viewed in results (this is hidden by default)
    • Click Select None in the filter criteria (the query will default to the specific channel you clicked into)
  3. With the Channel field still selected, click the Style tab in the right column and select None from the Column Options drop-down menu.
    •  Because the field is suppressed from view by default, you need to update it so you can view which channel a user unsubscribed from.

Once you make these updates, feel free to rearrange the fields and group them how you'd like for this report.

How do I add a non-parent to a class distribution list?

On the Related People tab for each student record, update the relationship for the people who should be added to these distribution lists to "Guardian" and enable the "Receive General Correspondence" flag if it is not already checked. This will add them to the distribution lists so they receive all correspondence along with the student's parents.

After you create your composer email, select the "Receive General Correspondence" category from the Select Contacts With... dropdown menu on the Recipients screen.

More information about Parent Distribution Lists can be found here:

What do the "550" and "554" email bounce errors mean?

The "550" and "504" errors are on the email recipient's email provider side and not a Veracross error and are the response Veracross receives from the email provider when attempting to send an email to the address on file.

Error 550 typically means that the recipient of the email could not be reached. This code can come up for many reasons, including an incorrect email address.

To resolve this, we recommend confirming their email address and making any necessary updates.

Error 554 usually means that the receiving server sees something in the From or To Headers of the message that it doesn't like.

This is typically caused by a spam filter so we recommend anyone who is having issues receiving emails whitelist the two domains that VC emails come from ( and to clarify with the email provider that these messages are not spam and should not be filtered.

You can find more information about email delivery statuses here:

Why can't I see all groups in an advanced report group list?

Since groups are not created if there are no members, the list of available groups only displays active groups or groups with at least one member.

Once you assign one or more records to the group from their person detail record and run the Refresh Group Membership process from the System homepage, you should see the group options available in your report.

Why did Google flag a message as potentially unsafe?

While we and our email service provider do our best to keep up with industry best practices in email management, it is not a perfect process, especially where spam and phishing prevention are concerned. Every email client has its own methods for identifying spam and phishing attempts, and those methods are constantly changing. Google, in particular, is known to be a fast-moving target. 

The message that you're seeing from Google indicates that the message is getting flagged because the "From" name matches a name in your organization but the message is coming from a domain that it doesn't recognize. If Google allows you to whitelist the following domains and/or IP addresses, we recommend doing so in order to ensure emails are delivered:

IP Addresses
In addition to whitelisting the above domains and IP addresses, it may also help if you add the following email addresses to your organization-wide contact list:

Why can't coaches send emails to distribution lists?

By default, distribution lists are only delivered if the sending email address is associated with a Person record in Veracross that has a role of "Staff" or "Faculty";  the "Coach" role is not permitted to use distribution lists by default.

To grant permission to send emails via distribution list, perform the following steps:

  1. Navigate to the person record of the person that you'd like to grant permission to use distribution lists.
  2. Add the "Allow Access to Distribution Lists" profile code to their person record via the Profile Codes tab.
  3. Click Update.

How do I prevent access to group distribution lists?

Add the "Deny Access to Distribution Lists" system profile code to any person record who should not be using them. This profile code prevents access to any distribution list including class and student-specific distribution lists typically used by faculty members. This is not something that is maintained by the system and you will need to be add and remove per record manually.

Does the "Do Not Mail" flag on the Person Record apply to E-mail?

No, the "Do Not Mail" flag does not apply to email; it refers to written (paper) communication only.

How is the banner/logo for system email templates updated?

It is possible to set your school banner/logo to appear on the top of all your system emails to establish your branding on all emails sent from your school. To do this, please submit a ticket through Veracross Support. When submitting a ticket, please keep the following things in mind:

  • we are able to add and edit the image as well as resize the image
  • the default width for logos is 640px.
  • you can either provide the new dimensions or work with support until the new preferred size is reached

Why does the "From Name" on a sent email display something different than what was sent by the school?

Sometimes, the sender of an email might display incorrectly when being displayed in a user's email program. This happens sometimes, especially with mobile devices and Apple Mail. If someone stores a contact with an email address that is used to send an email, the From Name will be displayed as the name stored in the contact record. It's also possible Apple will try to match the name with someone who previously sent the message. 

Because the issue has to do with the way that individual email programs handle sender display, it is not possible to address every contingency, but try these steps:

  • Update the contact record in the email program.
  • "Forget" the contact in the email program. 
  • Remove the contact from auto-fill contact list.

How do I make sure a someone does not receive an email?

Sometimes, schools run into situations where a parent or other constituent does not want to receive any emails. There are a few ways to prevent emails:

  1. Populating the Date of Death field: makes it so this person will never receive email communication from the school through distribution lists.
  2. Clearing the Email 1 Field: makes it so this person will not receive communication from the school through distribution lists. To store the email for reference, move it to the Email 2 field, which is never used for communications.
  3. Updating Preferred Communication Method to “Paper Mail”: removes the individual from group-based email distribution lists.
    •  However, “email parents of student” and other constructed distribution lists will still email the parent, regardless of how this preference is set. 
    • For people with “None Specified”, reports/groups treat this as a “do not mail” setting: they will not be included in Paper Mail or email lists.
  4. Adding the recipient to the Blocked tab on any channel: removes people from receiving email in blocked channels.

Why doesn't my school defined group have a distribution list generated?

If the school year on the school-defined group is not the current school year, the distribution list is not available. To update a school-defined group to the current school year, perform the following steps:

  1.  Select the Update Group School Year to Current School Year procedure from the action menu on the Group record.
    •  This procedure only works with school-defined groups (not Veracross-generated ones), and can be helpful if membership in a group extends beyond the current school year. 
  2. Once run, your distribution list is available for use.

Where can I find SMS cost information?

SMS cost information can be found in the Cost per Country query on the Communications: SMS homepage.

Cost per SMS message differs by country.

How can I track an email in Axiom that I send with my own email?

You can CC or BCC emails with a tracking email ( to record the email as an individual event in Axiom. To do this:

  1. Open your regular email program (not Axiom).
  2. Compose the email.
  3. The "from" email must match your Email_1 in Axiom (in other words, you cannot use your personal email).
  4. CC or BCC (replace "schoolshortname" with your school's short name as found in the URL of Axiom and portal pages). 

When you send the email, a copy of the email will get sent to Veracross and logged as an individual event that you can find on the "Events" tab of a person record. The event type is based on the sender's security role:

  • For Admissions_1 users, the email is logged as an individual event with the event category ADM:Email Sent.
  • For Development_1 users, the email is logged as an individual event with the event category DEV:Email Sent.
  • For users with other security roles, the email is logged as an individual event with the event category OTHER:Email Sent.

Which security roles can view and edit text templates?

Text templates can be organized within a classification. For example, the text template that determines the footer of the Admission Portal belongs to the Admissions Portal classification. The table below outlines which security roles can view and edit text templates.

Security RoleClassification
Admissions_1Admissions Portal, Application Checklist, HPU/Policies, Financial Aid, and Checkout
Financial_AidFinancial Aid
Online_Enrollment_ManagementOnline Re-Enrollment, HPU/Policies, Checkout
Other_ProgramsProgram Registration

If someone replies to an SMS message, what is the response sent to them?

Veracross supports standard SMS features of: HELP, INFO, STOP, END, QUIT, CANCEL, UNSUBSCRIBE, SUBSCRIBE, and START.

If someone replies with one of these responses to the SMS message they received from the school via Veracross, these are the hardcoded responses they will receive:

  • HELP; INFO: 'Veracross Text Messaging Service alerts. Msg&Data rates may apply. Reply STOP to cancel, or contact your school to manage subscriptions"
  • STOP; END; QUIT; CANCEL; UNSUBSCRIBE: 'You have been unsubscribed from SMS messages from Veracross. For help, respond HELP. To unsubscribe, respond SUBSCRIBE, or contact your school'
  • SUBSCRIBE; START: 'You will now receive text messages from Veracross. Msg&Data rates may apply. To manage your subscriptions, contact your school. For help, respond HELP.'

For more information on SMS and Text Messaging, please see this documentation.

What is the distance range of the Local Parents/Grandparents/etc system group?

The "Local Parents/Grandparents" system groups contain all people with that role within a set distance of the school. The local distance range of these system groups can be configured through the Local Distance system parameter (accessed through the System Parameters query on the System homepage).

The numeric value for this field is either in miles or kilometers, depending on the country the school is in.

How are Faculty/Staff added to Campus group membership records and distribution lists?

Faculty/Staff are added to Campus group membership records and distribution lists through the Campus assigned to a Person Record on their General tab.  If someone is a member of multiple campuses, you can create school-defined groups or use advanced reports.

If someone unsubscribes from SMS messages, do they get unsubscribed from only that particular communication channel?

If someone replies to an SMS message sent via a Veracross communication channel with UNSUBCRIBE, CANCEL, STOP, END, or QUIT, this unsubscribes them from ALL Veracross SMS messages for ALL channels. This does not unsubscribe them from emails — this functionality is SMS-specific.

Although your school is not notified if an individual unsubscribes from SMS messaging, you can build a query to regularly review who has opted out from SMS communication. To do this, perform the following steps:

  1. From Emails section of the Communications homepage, start with a “Find People” query (this query is bringing in a Person’s Communication Detail information).
  2. When in the query design screen, bring in the “SMS Opt Out” field and set the properties of this field to be “Is No”.
  3. Running this query provides you with a list of all people in your database who have opted out of SMS messaging.

Can we configure caller ID settings on SMS messaging so the school name is displayed instead of a number?

Veracross does not have the ability to control the From display information for SMS messaging as you can with email messaging, as this is largely controlled by the phone carrier of the recipient.

As with any mobile phone service, caller ID is provided by the carrier on a case-by-case basis — meaning some provide it free-of-charge while others provide it at a cost to their customers.

Can I copy an existing school-defined group and does this affect the original group?

If you copy a group, the original remains exactly the same and all members and configuration copies into the new group.

To do this, perform the following steps:

  1. Navigate to the group record to be copied using the Find Groups query on the System homepage.
  2. Select Copy Record... from the Organize menu —t his creates a new instance of the group, copying over all current members and other configurations.
  3. Change the name and any other information as needed and then click Add Group to save the group record.

What security roles allow users to create new school-defined groups?

School-defined groups are useful tools for both reporting and communication. These groups can be created by clicking the +Add button on the System homepage and selecting the "Add a Group" option.

Users with the following security roles are able to create school defined groups:

  • Admissions_1
  • Admissions_2
  • Athletic_Program
  • Business_1
  • Development_1
  • Development_2
  • Division_Head_1
  • Division_Head_2
  • Division_Head_3
  • Staff_1
  • SysAdmin_1

For more information about school-defined groups, please read our documentation on the subject.

How do I batch add records to a school-defined group?

To batch add records to a school-defined group, perform the following steps:

  1. Copy the Full Name from the query results as raw data (click here for more information on the copying process).
    Note: when using the query option, it is necessary to set the Record Restriction to 100 as the system can only manage data in groups of 100 or less.
  2. Once you create the school defined group to add the records to, click Add Record... and paste the data you just copied in the new row to populate the member list.
  3. Repeat steps 1 and 2 for the remaining pages in the query if results total more than 100. If all records have been added, skip to step 4.
  4. Enter the remaining details about the group and click Add Group to save your changes. Verify the number of records matches the query and additional records as needed.

Where can I view a list of all individuals who have unsubscribed from school communications?

It is important to occasionally review a list of who has unsubscribed or been blocked from channels in Veracross to ensure that important emails are reaching them. This query provides a list of all individuals who unsubscribed themselves or were added to a channel block list by your school.

Why isn’t someone included in the group membership list for a group created from an advanced report?

When someone isn't showing up in a group created from an advanced report and the report is constructed correctly, the reason is usually that the report hasn't been refreshed since the person became eligible for membership. Report Groups are automatically refreshed during the overnight scripts when the report is set to Auto Refresh = YES.

Alternatively, you can manually refresh the report membership by:

  • running the Refresh Group Membership process in the Action menu of the System homepage
  • navigating to the report record itself via the Find Reports query on the Reporting homepage and clicking Update

What does the mailbox response “No MX for [RecipientEmailDomainName]” mean?

The error reading "No MX for [RecipientEmailDomainName]" usually indicates an issue with the recipient’s domain. This can affect some or all recipients with the domain indicated in the mailbox response so we recommend checking with your IT department to see if they encountered any issues with your mail service provider the day the original message was sent.

Once you remove any individuals from the bounce/spam list you can use the Resend to Failed Recipients procedure (found in the Action menu of the sent email record) to resend the email to those who did not receive it initially.

How do I resend a Composer message to someone on the bounce list?

To resend a Composer message, navigate to the sent message and run the Resend to Failed Recipients process from the Action menu.

This option attempts delivery to the same address to which the email was originally sent. It will not fetch the person’s current email_1 value.

How does Preferred Communications Method function with Composer and Distribution Lists?

If a person with a Preferred Communication Method of “Paper Mail” is targeted to receive a Composer email from a query or from a group selected in Composer, then they will receive the email. If a child is targeted in the query and the "Parent/Guardian" option is selected in Composer, any parent/guardian with “Paper Mail” as their Preferred Communication Method will not receive the email. 

Parents with a Preferred Communication Method of “Paper Mail” will be excluded from group distribution list emails and group parent distribution list emails (except for certain targeted distribution lists such as “email parents of student”).

The Preferred Communication Method field selection will determine who shows in the Email Recipients tab on a Group record (preference of “Email” or “Both”), but not on the Recipients: Mail Merge tab (no automatic filtering is done there). 

For advanced reports with a report type based on Preferred Communication Method, person records with a preference of “Email” or “Both” will show under the Email tab and persons with a preference of “Paper Mail” or “both” will show under the Paper tabs.