1. Decide which rules you want to implement, and in which order.
We designed the out-of-the-box automation rule templates to appear as
if they're coming from the community manager him-or-herself.
However: if you implement them all at once, you can accidentally send
certain members a barrage of emails! We recommend coming up with
a staggered plan for deployment. Decide which rules are most simpatico
with your goals, and start with those. With our community management clients, we usually assess
their organizational strategy and recommend an automation rule
implementation plan based on their long-term plans, but it can be as as
simple as saying, "we really want more people to upload profile photos,
so let's start with that." If you're feeling extra-cautious and just want to dip your toes in the water, here are some ideas for where to start
2. Review the associated email templates, making changes as needed.
The email templates that are sent via the rules live in your Admin area
under Communities>Email Templates rather than in the Automation
Rules tool area. Go and check a few out now. Some of you might like the
templates as-is, while others may want to tweak the language in order to
better appeal to your demographic. Go for it! Just note that the
templates utilize mail merge variables; some of these must be set in the
configuration area (see #3 below). We cannot recommend enough using the "Send
to Me" button next to each template to check your work before going live
with a rule. It's easy: just click the lovely turquoise button to the
right of each template.
3. Double-check the Automation Rule configurations.
sure to set these before sending any messages out. Here is where you set
the community manager from whom the emails are sent, as well as how
frequently the system sends the emails, a link to an "Introduce Yourself
Here" thread, etc. Access the configuration area in
Admin>Tools>Automation Rules>Configuration. It's simple and
should only take a few minutes. Important: Your email rules will not send until you do this.
4. Implement the rules selected in #1 and their associated conversions.
will see that alongside our selection of prefab email automation rules,
there are "conversion" rules. These are fantastic, because they will
help you to see whether or not that automation rule inviting your
members to perform a specific action has been effective. We have special
reporting tools just for this, and they are great! It gives you the
opportunity to get tons of useful data on which rules and which rule
templates work for your members and which don't. So just remember--when
enabling an email rule, enable it as part of a pair. This is done in the
Tools>Automation Rules menu in the Admin area. All you have to do
look for the "Edit" button next to each rule and select "Enable" or
"Disable" from the dropdown as needed.
5. Do It Now--or don't.
In addition to saving a rule and having it run automatically according to the time period set in your configuration area (there's #3 again), we have a "Do It Now" feature. However, "Do It Now" is limited by how much data our server can handle. Too much to do can make it time out. A handy guideline--if a rule is going to go out to more than a hundred people, use "Save" instead of "Do It Now.