Communication Triggers allow automatic communication with your Contacts, students, Event Personnel and other audiences when predefined criteria have been met. For example, you may choose to automatically send a welcome email or SMS to a student upon their registration for an Event.
Caution: Communication Triggers send out automatic communications to your Contacts. Please set your triggers to manual at first and we recommend you send them manually until you are comfortable with their automation.
In your intended recipient’s Contact, please make sure that fields Mobile and Email1 are filled out for sending to be performed for SMS and Email, respectively.
This is a general documentation page for the overall Communication Triggers function:
- Getting Started with Communication Triggers
- Manually Send a Communication
- iCalendar Attachments
- How to set up a Communication Trigger for your Sales Opportunities
- Troubleshooting / FAQ
In the Control Panel, the Communication Triggers are separated into:
- Sending Addresses: the email address from which your communications will appear from, e.g. training@your_company.com - these have to be validated before being able to be used.
- Templates: define your email content here - these templates are also used for other areas of the system, such as Event/Session changes notifications.
- Triggers: define the situation and criteria to send your communications.
There are three simple steps to setting up a Communication Trigger:
- Set up an Email or SMS Sending Address *
- Create your messages in Templates
- Using the above, create a Trigger for them.
* Step 1 may be omitted if you already have the desired email address validated and do not require another one set up.
Please note that you can’t combine Email and SMS functions. Each Sending Address, Template and Trigger can only serve either one.
There are a few scenarios in which you’d want to send a communication manually: it may not have been sent successfully for whatever reason or you may have set your Trigger to Manual, wishing to see the results before you set it to send automatically.
There are few ways to send communications manually:
- From the Personnel section on the Event’s screen
- From the Student section on the Event’s screen
- From the Trigger Logs
If you are satisfied after manually sending a few instances of the Trigger and you wish to automate it, then change the Trigger Status to Automatic.
There is a current known bug impacting users of Microsoft Outlook, where events occurring in time zones outside of Europe/London may not take daylight savings time into account.
Any communication for an Event which has yet to start can include an ‘iCal’ attachment with further information about the Event. The attachment will take the time zone from the Event’s Company. Your students and Event Personnel will see the correct time regardless of where they’re based in the world.
Why have Communication Triggers for Sales Opportunities?
Communications that are automatically triggered as sales progress is an extremely flexible and powerful feature. Customers use this feature to solve a number of different problems, including:
- Keeping internal teams up to date on how specific opportunities are progressing.
- Notifying the prospect itself of advancement in the process (useful for students who have submitted applications, for example).
- External integrations with other systems that might need to fire out communications as students move through the sales or application process.
There are plenty of other use cases, and just as the Sales Opportunities workflow is completely configurable along with the fields and requirements of each step, communications can also be configured.
How to set up a Communication Trigger for your Sales Opportunities
1. First, configure your Sales Opportunity Workflow, including the Transitions you want, by going to the Control Panel, then Opportunities Workflow.
2. Build a Communication Template that contains the audience you’d like to mail and the content you’d like to send. This can be done from the Templates section in the Control Panel.
3. Set up a Communication Trigger that uses the Sales Opportunity Transition you've just defined as a trigger point. We recommend you set this to manual at first to test things out. Triggers can be created from the Triggers section in the Control Panel.
4. You should see your now-configured Communication Trigger appear on the Opportunity Transitions configuration screen: go to the Opportunities Workflow section in the Control Panel, select the Transitions tab and click on the transition you've set as the trigger point. The communications for that transition will show at the bottom of that window.
Here are a few FAQs about Communication Triggers:
- When are communications sent?
- Why don’t my emails appear to be sent by the Sending Address I specified?
- What are Next Priority Run and Next Full Run?
- Can I print out my communications?
- Why are my SMS Triggers displaying as "ERROR" with a feedback message that includes "is not currently reachable using the 'From' phone number"?
- Does my trigger email need to have a 'To Address'?
Please also see What are Next Priority Run and Next Full Run?
|Trigger Set To||Sent|
|Registration||(aka Priority Run) Within 5 minutes of the student being added to the Event|
|Days Before||At 00:00 UTC on the nth day prior to the event starting or ending, or upon registration if the nth day has passed if the event began less than 30 days ago|
|Days After||At 00:00 UTC on the nth day after the event starting or ending, or upon registration if the nth day has passed if the event began less than 30 days ago|
Consider the following example: there’s an Event which starts 10 days from today and there’s a trigger set up for 5 days before the Event starts. If a student is added now, they will receive the email as expected 5 days before the event starts. However, if a student is added the day the event starts, they’ll still receive the email at the point of registration.
We use a third party provider called SendGrid to send emails on behalf of clients. This can be a common reason why - for example - emails end up in clients’ spam or junk folders.
To ensure that Administrate can reliably send emails ‘from’ your email address there are a few domain settings (CNAME records) which need to be configured from your end. First, submit a ticket to the Administrate support desk asking to ‘set up domain authentication’ for your emails. The support team will then provide you with a few CNAME records that will need to be provided to your web domain administrator. When your domain administrator had added the CNAME records, have him/her notify Administrate support. Administrate support will then perform a validation to ensure that emails going forward will appear to come direct from your configured sending address.
You may notice these timers counting down on pages like the Student’s section on the Event Screen. These apply to both email and SMS.
- Next Priority Run : sends On Registration Triggers every 5 minutes on the hour, e.g. 12:05, 12:10, 12:15, etc.
- Next Full Run : sends every Trigger not set to On Registration on the 37th minute every hour, e.g. 12:37, 13:37, 14:37, etc.
Why are my SMS Triggers displaying as "ERROR" with a feedback message that includes "is not currently reachable using the 'From' phone number"?
Every country has different SMS sending rules and guidelines that may prevent successful sending of SMS. This can be anything from using alphanumeric sending names, to laws pertinent to the destination country. There is no universal resolution to these as each country's laws and regulations are different. Please check our SMS supplier, Twilio, for more information on best practices.
- Search Twilio for your destination country
- See Twilio's International Support for Alphanumeric Sender IDs
If you have followed the best practices section for your destination country from the Twilio site, please contact Administrate Support with the changes you've made to accommodate the country's best practices.
Every trigger email requires a 'To Address' for it to be sent out from Administrate, if it doesn't then the trigger status will be marked as "Invalid" with a notice such as There is no valid address for that contact. This usually occurs when the intended recipient doesn't have an email address on their Contact record.
In the screenshot example, this email will not send even when it has a CC'd email address. An administrator will need to add a valid email address in the 'To Address' field then send that trigger email again. This does mean it's not possible to send a trigger email out to CC'd addressees without at least one valid email address in the 'To Address' field.