This update is a lot about email functions. Because Mailchimp charges (and a lot) for transaction emails, I spent time researching a better service provider and ended up with Elastic email. I spent time trying to implement their API more completely, but some functions just seemed too buggy so I have switched to using their simple endpoints. This is working perfectly. Eventually I would like to streamline this code, using one function to send messages and passing data from other smaller functions for each type of email. But for the sake of speed, I simply altered the current functions for each email.
- Because we had no students sign up for the first concert of the year, the faculty decided to create a paper signup for THE ENTIRE SEMESTER! Talk about overkill. So we had 2 systems of signups in place for about 2 weeks with many overlaps and no way to see who had really signed up for what. I spent about 3 hours one night manually adding bookings to the database for students who have registered (This is not a simple task), then multiple times over those 2 weeks attempting to get the last students to register so I could manually enter their signups. Finally we only have about 6 students who have not registered.
- We had our first postings to the gig board! We had a community member call about hiring students. They were directed to our new website gigboard, which they must register as a community member to post. Over the past 2 weeks they have posted 2 gigs and many students have responded!
- Anyone who registers gets a confirmation email and if it needs approval, I get a notice.
- Anyone who needs approval of their registration gets an email after it is approved.
- When a student signs up for recital hour, their teacher and the staff accompanist receive email notices reminding them to approve.
- When a prospective student registers, every faculty member who might be involved receives a notice email.
- When a student’s registration is about to expire, they get an email inviting them to join the email list. Yes! A way to capture students who graduate.
- When a student’s registration has expired, they get another email inviting them to join the email list.
- When someone clicks any sort of message-sending function on the website, the email is sent to the appropriate faculty or staff. This includes generic messages, messages about interest in playing in an ensemble, etc.
- When you click the “invite a prospective student” button, an invitation email is sent to the student.
- When you send a message through the message center, those emails are sent through Elastic Email, our provider for advertising campaigns, not through our own email system. This allows you to send to larger groups of people without causing any sort of spam-flagging issues. We get 150,000 emails a month before we have to start paying. Think that’s enough?
- All Advertising campaigns are sent on the scheduled date to the subscriber list.
UPDATE 1810: I think now the only emails NOT being sent through Elastic email are the emails sent to the music admin (“Contact the music office”) and incoming faculty emails (“Contact a Faculty Member”). Again, when I have time to visit this system again I hope to streamline and better organize all email functions.