Engagement Made Easy with Automation Rules

By Heather McNair posted Jun 19, 2015 03:54 PM


If you've spent any time hanging around HUG, you've likely heard a lot about the automation rules module we rolled out in late 2014. When I first got the chance to demo these last fall, I realized they'd be one of the most significant advancements in our software since, well, maybe since the software came into existence. I saw the potential to automate things that I used to have to do with complex workflows in external systems or (gasp!) manually -- or that I thought would be really cool but never got around to doing because there just weren't enough hours in the day.

I mean, you can send welcome emails to new members, encourage people to complete their profiles, thank users for posting messages, add badges and ribbons to people's profiles for different achievements, create a campaign to build your pool of volunteers or mentors, send out information to attendees about an upcoming event, re-engage users who haven't logged into the site in a while, reach out to users who logged in but didn't accept your code of conduct to find out why, send out membership renewal notices, notify members about great discussion threads they may have missed out on, build member lists based on custom criteria...

Whew! Overwhelmed yet?

We thought you might be, so we recently stepped in to give everyone a running start with automation rules. A couple of weeks ago, we installed almost 50 "best practice" automation rules on every clients' site, along with the corresponding email templates and badge artwork where needed. Don't worry -- they are all in a disabled state, waiting for you to review them and decide which ones are right for your organization. You can customize the text of the email templates to suit the tone of your organization and the language your members use. You can alter the criteria of the rules themselves if necessary. And you can even upload different badge artwork to match your brand guidelines.

They're also a great reference. Peruse them to spark ideas for your own custom automation rules or check out how we constructed ours when building new rules.

You can find the rules in the Admin area under Tools > Automation Rules > List of rules. If you click on the All Groups drop-down menu, you'll see several group types that begin with "BP." These denote the best practice rules that we created for you. We've grouped them into categories like new to community, get engaged, stay engaged and gamification to make it easier to find the set of rules that will help you achieve specific goals.

If a rule is of the "Email" type, it will have a corresponding email template that is referenced in the rule:

Then go review the text of that email template. You can find them under the "Communities" menu in the admin area, then "Email templates." All of the emails for automation rules will be under the appropriately named "automation rules" category.  

It's not earth-shattering news to any of you that users who are more engaged with your organization are more loyal to your organization. Providing online communities was Higher Logic's first big step in delivering a venue in which you could engage your users every day at any time of day. Automation rules have now given you another incredibly powerful tool in the engagement arsenal. And we hope these new "out of the box" rules demystify these little wonders and make it even easier for you to start reaping their benefits. 

If you have any questions or need some help getting these rolling, please reach out to me directly or contact our support team at Happy automating!


1 comment



Aug 20, 2015 03:46 PM

The more I learn about automation rules, the more in awe I am by them. Like you mentioned, Heather, I used to have spreadsheet upon spreadsheet that I would use to try and increase engagement and follow up with my members. I was using a platform that didn't offer automation rules, so that process would have only become hairier and more time consuming as the community grew. I am excited to work with a platform that has not only created the ability to make your own automation rules, but has so many already built in to make it fool-proof!