Enable your Prospective students to complete checklists on time with their applications and make your admission teams smile using Salesforce

If you are in Higher education and have application checklists and do not have a marketing automation tool like marketing cloud , my post provides you another alternate solution using the new scheduled Flows!! With the limitation of mass email limit and not able to trigger emails based on completion of tasks before, it was a huge challenge to send reminder emails. The saver was Scheduled batch flows which were released recently!!

So how do we make this happen? From the below screen shot, you can create a query based on an application status and task status which will query the list of students who meet the application status. The below is a screen shot of how the scheduled flow looks like.

The below screen shot is an example of the Get records task which queries the application object based on criteria. The second screen shot queries tasks which are incomplete and identifies the right applications which should get the reminder email.

Once the application is queries, the batch flow queries the next eligible task for the applicant. To prevent sending emails repeatedly , the magic formula field prevents applicants who have been sent an email before and are 3 days past due.

The below screen shots provides screen shots of formula fields which are used to identify the right task, populate description fields with pre populated values.

What happens if there are issues with the flow? Using the below screen shot of running an auto launched flow which would help you to debug the flow with the right data. You can also use show details of the flow which will print the variable names with values which would provide more insights to fix issues right away.

What are the advantages of using flows vs Journey builder? If you have marketing cloud and wondering you can use journeys, scheduled batch flows provide more flexibility. Here are a couple of points to consider.

  1. With Journey builder, you can only query contacts which are part of the journey data but it is hard to reference the application object which is the child record.
  2. In Flows, you can easily query the application object and get the related contact data using email alert action on the fly which is easier.

What are the gotchas to worry or consider for Scheduled batch flows?

  1. Be mindful of the governor limits.
  2. There is no analtyics of click through, opens on emails using flows.
  3. If there is run time errors, there is a possibility of flow breaking and records are not committed.

To summarize, here are the top 3 things which you need to consider.

  1. Use scheduled flows to send remainder emails
  2. Be mindful of governor limits, handling errors as you do it.
  3. Leverage auto launched flows for debugging flows.

As always feel free to post your comments or email me at buyan@eigenx.com for further questions.

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Doug Bennett

Author: Doug Bennett

Doug Bennett is a project-oriented & student-focused Salesforce Business Operations professional with 25+ years of higher education experience. He is passionate about engaging with cross-functional constituents to extend Salesforce functionality in higher education or non-profit setting. With 4 Salesforce Certifications, he is knowledgeable about current Salesforce technologies and the value-added application to education. His clients have enjoyed how he balances the adoption of high-level Salesforce best practices with creative hands-on user-centric problem-solving.

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