Sending the Right Message: Tips for Email Notification Templates

  • August 20, 2019
It’s a common scenario: An institution reaches out to us because they are tired of managing their workflow through their email inbox and keeping track of application and review data among various shared drives.

The benefits of an online application management system are numerous, but a valid question is “How will we handle communication with applicants and reviewers?”

For administrators accustomed to sending personalized emails at each stage of the process, InfoReady™ allows them to customize email templates within the system. Crafting these during the competition creation stage saves valuable time later in the process and helps standardized the email content. The same content and language can even be standardized across multiple competitions and opportunities by saving the competition itself as a template. The administrator can then use the competition template or copy a past competition (in case you forgot to create a competition template) with the customized notifications ready to go for the next cycle.

Here are some tips we’ve gathered for five different email templates from institutions currently using InfoReady:

  • Review Request: This is often the first notification a reviewer receives from the system. Include an overview of the opportunity and what they will be evaluating, as well as instructions on what to do if they can’t complete the review(s) by the deadline.
  • Your Application Received: This notification is sent to applicants automatically when they submit their application. It is the perfect opportunity to share a timeline of the full process, when they can expect to get another update, and who to contact for questions. If there are specific components like pre-approvals or reference letters, you can remind applicants about those here as well.
  • Accept Application (optional): This is a notification administrators can send when an application is formally accepted into the review process. This message can promote transparency and alleviate the anxiety applicants may feel about the “black box” nature of some application processes. Some ideas to consider sharing are review or evaluation criteria, how reviewers were selected, how many will evaluate each application, decision timelines, or any other information that may be important to share at this stage in the process.
  • Reject Application (optional): Before you get worried, the default term shared with applicants is “Not Awarded”, not “Rejected”. Once final decisions are made, administrators usually send this notification to applicants whose entries were not selected. Include reviewer feedback if it will be constructive, as well as how to apply for other opportunities or when the next application cycle will open.
  • Award Application (optional): This is likely an administrator’s favorite notification to send. Include reviews, award amount (if applicable), any explanation on how potential financial transactions will occur, and even information about follow up requirements. Attach an official letter or any follow-up forms from the business office. Make sure to copy supervisors or other stakeholders to share the exciting news!

These templates are just a few of the dozens that administrators can customize for each opportunity they manage in InfoReady. Most of these messages can also be edited at the time of sending so that the base message is consistent to all recipients but specific details can be added.

The ability to customize email notifications sets administrators up for transparent and efficient processes across all opportunities they manage, saving them valuable time...and inbox space. 

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