Enabling advanced controls over the sending of automated emails

In the Spring '16 release of HandsOn Connect, new fields were made available that allow for finer control of the automated emails send to volunteers and Opportunity Coordinators.

Turning off the workflows that send volunteers confirmation, reminder and feedback email can be done globally, but that means no emails of that type will be sent.  In the control panel its possible to  turn off email notifications to Opportunity Coordinators.  However -- this meant turning off these emails system-wide.  

System administrators can choose to make it possible for internal staff and/or premium portal users to suppress the sending of these emails for a specific occurrence.

By adding new fields in HandsOn Connect to the occurrence page layout, it becomes possible to suppress any or all of the following

Emails sent to Volunteers:

  • Confirmation Email sent when signing up or expressing interest in an opportunity
  • Reminder Email
  • Post Opportunity (thank you and feedback) email.

Emails sent to Opportunity Coordinators

  • Notification of volunteer sign ups
  • Notification of volunteer removals
  • Notification of volunteer added to waitlist.

Click here to read how to use this new functionality once you have enabled it.

Why you might want to enable this functionality?  Who is it for?

Generally we recommend that these emails are sent automatically by the system.  They serve a purpose and insure clear communications to volunteers and Opportunity Coordinators.   But in some circumstances,

  • you may have a partner who has requested that they NOT get a notification every time a volunteer signs up for their occurrences.  
  • You might have a volunteer leader who doesn't want an automated Post Opportunity email sent, because they want to send a personal thank you email instead.
  • You might have an ongoing opportunity occurrence where you don't want a confirmation email sent out every time someone signs up.
  • If you want to send a custom email in place of the normal system email template - you can suppress the normal email for this occurrence, and then create a custom workflow that sends a different email template when connections are made for this specific occurrence.  This gives you the ability to tailor your email communications on an occurrence by occurrence basis without having to change the default workflow or trigger for all other occurrences / connections.

If you don't need this level of control over email communications, then there is no need to enable this functionality.  However, its been added to make this possible for advanced system administrators who wish finer control over emails sent by the system.

Who should have access to this functionality?

Our recommendation is that you limit access to this functionality to system admins and internal staff.  Your staff is trained and understands the ramifications of suppressing normal system emails, and can administratively suppress emails on behalf of your partners and volunteer leaders upon request.

You can choose to give access to these fields in the occurrence page layout for partner staff (and volunteer leaders), but if you choose to do so, you are giving them the power to potentially confuse their volunteers (who may not receive useful emails), or to opt to remain ignorant as to whether or not volunteers are signing up for their occurrences.

The choice is yours.  However, our recommendation is for you to enable this for internal use only initially, and later, if desired, roll it out to partners by using permission sets to control which partners and VLs can access these fields.

You enable this functionality by adding a new section and fields to the occurrence page layout

Go to setup / Objects / Occurrences / Page Layouts and click on 'edit' for Staff Occurrence Layout v3.   (For the purposes of this tutorial, we'll assume your system admin and staff are both using the latest occurrence page layout, which is Staff Occurrence Layout v3.)

If you've not edited a page layout before, see this chapter on modifying page layouts.

If you've added other "Advanced Options" to the occurrence page layout, the best place to add your new section is just below the 'Advanced Options" section.  However you can place this new section anywhere on the page you like.

  • Create a new, 2-column section called "Email Management for this Occurrence"
  • Add the six fields shown in the screenshot below to this section.   (You can also choose to only add some of these six fields)

Save the Page Layout

If you do decide to make this available in the partner or volunteer leader portal

Then also edit the occurrence page layout "Partner Staff Occurrence v3"

Check the partner and/or Volunteer Leader profile and make sure they have read/write access to these fields.   OR -- for finer control of which portal users can use this feature, remove Read / Edit access to these six fields in the staff and/or VL profile, and then create a permission set granting read/write access to these fields.  

See this article for more information on what each of these fields do.

Reference:  Here are the email templates you'll be suppressing using these fields:

Do Not Send Confirmation Email:

  • Opportunity Sign up Confirmation - Affilliate Managed (full sign up)
  • Opportunity Sign-up Confirmation - Partner calendar full sign up
  • Opportunity Sign up Confirmation - Affiliate Managed - Date and Time Specific - EI
  • Opportunity Sign up Confirmation - Affiliate Managed - To Be Scheduled
  • Opportunity Sign up Confirmatiion - Ongoing Opportunity — (partner managed)
  • Opportunity Sign up Confirmation - Partner Calendar email only (express interest)

Do not send Reminder Email

  • Opportunity Reminder - Affiliate Managed
  • Opportunity Reminder - Partner Managed

Do not send Post Opportunity Email

  • Post Opportunity - Affiliate Managed
  • Post Opportunity - Partner Managed

Do not send email of Vol. in Waitlist

  • Notification of Volunteer in Wait List

Do not send email of Volunteer Signups

  • Notification of Volunteer Signups

Do not send email of Volunteer Removals

  • Notification of Volunteer Removals

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