Think outside the box with CiviCRM: Innovative idea #2 - Send welcome messages automatically by using scheduled reminders

Follow our series of creative tips for innovative ways to use CiviCRM to meet unique organizational needs!

Idea #1 (previously posted): Use the Membership module to manage sponsor/student relationships

Idea #2: Use CiviCRM’s Schedule Reminders feature to send welcome messages to your new or renewing members

If you manage memberships or events in CiviCRM, you may already be familiar with the Scheduled Reminders. This function of CiviCRM allows you to automatically send an email to your contacts when a system event is reached. For example, you can inform constituents that their membership is about to expire and that it is time to renew it (check our article about checksum tokens to direct your contact to a prefilled membership renewal form), or remind them that they are registered for an upcoming fundraiser happening soon.

Scheduled Reminders can be triggered by a variety of system events such as “15 days before start date of event Fundraising Gala” or “1 month before Benefactor membership end date.” Scheduled Reminders can also help manage activity status, payment completion or even a contact’s date of birth. Once you have chosen the trigger, you then define the email that will be sent to a contact that meets the trigger parameters.

Among the many trigger options, common selections include:

  • the date of a Membership Signup or
  • the date when Membership Renewal activity is completed

Case in Point:
One of our customers was spending a fair amount of volunteer time to send “welcome” emails to new members and “welcome back” emails to renewing members. These emails were typically sent 2 days after the members joined and would include a list of the perks for being a member of the organization. To save time, we suggested that they configure a scheduled reminder to automatically be sent 2 days after a Membership Signup or Membership Renewal was completed which would also allow them to personalize the email depending on whether the contact was a new member or a renewing member.

This was an easy configuration and it freed up numerous hours allowing the volunteers of the organization to spend more time on other tasks such as membership renewal campaigns.

It's always amazing to see how flexible CiviCRM is and how much can be done to meet the organization needs with just some clever configuration!