How To Activate Pre-Set Automated Emails

Zen Planner automations will send emails, kiosk alerts, staff tasks or text messages (US & Canada only) when certain member-related events occur. For instance, there’s an automation for sending welcome emails to people who just signed up for a membership. There’s another automation for sending a kiosk alert that blocks members from checking in if they are behind on their membership dues. To help you get started, Zen Planner offers a variety of preset automations with pre-populated message templates.

Every automation is built on one of the many Zen Planner reports, which means you can create automations related to all aspects of the member activity tracked in your database. The bills report, for example, displays a status of paid or unpaid. Using this field, you can create an automated kiosk alert to notify (and even block) a member from signing in until their bill status changes to paid. The fields shown in the automation setup screen are determined by the automation report type. If you need help finding a specific field, feel free to contact our Support Team.

Your saved automations can be active or inactive.

When you change an automation to active, it will look back two days for any triggering events as well as fire off for everything going forward.


Automation Setup

Open the automations page by going to Setup > Communication > Automations.

There are two ways you can create an automation:

  • Preset: click one of the automations in the Presets list on the lower part of the page.
  • Custom: use the drop-down menu at the top of the page to select the automation report type, then click Add.




Filling out the automation form

  1. Select the criteria that will trigger this automation
    In this section you can choose what conditions must be met to trigger the automation. A good principle here is that less is more: making selections in fewer boxes will increase the the chance of triggering the automation. Likewise, making selections in more boxes will reduce the chance of triggering the automation. If you leave a box blank, any item in the list can trigger the automation. You can choose two or more items in a list by clicking the multiple check box and then holding down the Command (Mac) or CTRL key (Windows) while clicking your selections.

    For an automation to trigger and send a message, ALL the criteria you have selected must qualify. That’s why it’s important to ensure you have made the correct selections when activating an automation.

  2. Choose when to send this automation
    This section indicates when the message will be sent in relation to a member-related event. You can send messages based on almost any date in the system. Keep in mind, the date fields available in this section will depend on the automation’s report type. If you don’t see the date you want, try an automation based on a different report type.

  3. Would you like to repeat this automation? (Optional)
    By default, Zen Planner will not repeat an automation and resend a message for the same set of criteria. However, you can choose to enable this option, and Zen Planner will automatically resend the message as long as the qualifying conditions are still met.

    If you enable this option, be aware–there’s a catch!  Zen Planner will not send an email or SMS message if the content is identical to a message sent to the same recipient within the last month. This constraint protects you from unintentionally sending mass duplicates within a short time. If you want an automation to resend the same message, you can enter the date tag in the message template and it won’t be flagged as a duplicate.

Example of a repeating automation: Let’s say you create an automation to email a member when they have an unpaid bill. Using the repeat feature, you can tell the automation to resend each day until the bill is paid. However, because of the duplicate constraint, Zen Planner will not be able to resend this message, not yet. To work around the constraint, you can edit the message template and add the date tag to the email body. Now the message can be resent daily with unique content.

  1. Choose a message template
    Use this section to select the message template this automation should use. Zen Planner offers various templates with pre-populated content. The type of templates available will depend on the automation report type.

    To select a message template, click on the template drop-down menu and select the name that looks right to you. If you don’t see a pre-made template that suits your need, select Create a Custom Template, and when you save the automation you will be taken directly to the template editor.

  2. Save automation Setup
    Name: provide a name to identify your automation.
    Category: assign a category to help organize your saved automations
    Activate: check the Activate box to enable the automation. Upon activation the automation will retrospectively process all activity from the last two days and then everything going forward.


Automations to Help You Get Started

Account Info Updated on Member Website
This preset automation is useful when you are switching from another system to Zen Planner and you want your members to re-enter their payment information through the website. When a member saves their payment information, this automation sends you a reminder to verify their information and activate AutoPay for their payment account.

Failed Payments
This  are several Preset automation that will alert you when a payment receives a decline or error from your payment gateway. You can use this automation to assign a task to a specific staff member when the automation is triggered. There are two different Presets for credit cards and EFT/ACH transactions, and we recommend activating both Presets if you accept both payment methods.

Class Reserved Reminder Email
This automation is useful for class reservations. It will send out an email the day before the scheduled class to remind the student when and where to show up. It also asks them to cancel their reservation if they won't be attending so someone on the waitlist can take their place.

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