Sending Platform Announcements to Users
If you are needing to message users about anything specific, announcements can be sent to users in the platform at any time. For example, these messages can contain important information about a Course a Student is currently enrolled in, or a change in policy for the platform--you have full control over what they say and can include whatever information you need. They can also serve as an advertisement, alerting users to upcoming new Courses and possibly including a coupon code. The announcement feature is a clear and simple way to communicate with your users directly, and you can use it any way that best suits your needs. You are able to choose what users will receive the announcement as well.
In this article, we will be going over how to create an Announcement, and what the user experience is. We'll also link out to the guide on configuring the Announcement emails, if you would like users to also get an email alerting them to a new announcement in their account.
In this article
Creating an Announcement
To create a new announcement, follow these steps:
- From the Admin Dashboard, select Settings, then Announcement
- This will show you a list of prior announcements, and you can create a new one as well. To edit an existing announcement, click the three-dot action menu to the right and opt to Edit
- To create a new announcement, click Create Announcement
- Choose a heading. This will be displayed as a subject line for your users who view it.
- Now, enter your Content. You can add any message you wish to the Content section. This includes rich media like images and embedded videos, which can be added through the HTML editor.
- Active Until: Set the date for when you would like the announcement to expire. After that date, users will lose access to view it.
- Then, choose who to sent this to by selecting your audience in the Send To section. You can choose to send the announcement to all your users, a specific list of users, or all the users currently enrolled in a specific course.
- Click Save Announcement when you're done
User Experience of Announcements
Users who are sent an announcement will be alerted of it in two ways: inside the platform, and by an automated email. They'll also be able to view all announcements via their Student Dashboard.
For more information on enabling the automated Announcement email, please review our guide: Other Automated Emails
If the automated email is enabled, every user included in the audience of an announcement will be sent an automated email notification. This will make sure they see your message, even if they haven't logged in to the platform lately. To set up that email, follow these steps:
- From the Admin Dashboard, select Settings, then Email
- Choose "Others" from the email template categories across the top
- Toggle the Enable button to on
- Enter in the details for the Announcement template, such as the Subject and Header, as well as the content or body of the message
- Note that you can use shortcodes and add these to the content/subject of the message. Shortcodes are variables that are used to inject personal information into an email template.When an automated email is sent, the shortcodes will be replaced with the corresponding information regarding that specific item.
With that in mind, you can add shortcodes like [announcement_header], [announcement_content] or [announcement_url] to this announcement email--for example, if you wanted the entire announcement to be in the email itself, you can add the [announcement_content] shortcode to the template. The shortcodes can be found underneath the template.
- Once you're done, send a test email to see what it will look like and then save your changes
The automated email will look like this by default, but this entire message can be customized as mentioned above.
Inside the platform, users will be alerted to announcements through a bell icon in the top right corner of every page. The red dot will let them know that a new announcement is available.
When opened, the announcement icon will display the sender, date, and heading of the newest announcement.
A user can access all of their available announcements through their Student Dashboard by choosing Announcements. The Announcements page will contain all available announcements. These will be kept in this location for reviewing until they expire and are removed from the page. Opening an announcement will allow the reader to view the entire message.