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Automatic Birthday Emails from the site

Forums: Suggestions and Feedback
Created on: 06/26/13 11:27 AM Views: 1549 Replies: 32
Wednesday, June 26, 2013 at 11:27 AM

Some time ago we discussed placing a feature that would allow the site to send automatic emails to classmates for their birthday. Was this feature shelved? I would certainly love it.

David
\\/eir]>ave (WeirDave)
http://www.weirdave.com
and many others...

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Wednesday, June 26, 2013 at 11:35 AM - Response #1

It is certainly an idea that has been discussed for a while. It still falls behind some of our major upgrades that we are currently working on, but a renewed display of interest could help the idea rise into our upcoming development tasks. Smile No promises on timelines.


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Wednesday, June 26, 2013 at 11:48 AM - Response #2

Add my name (again?) to those interested in such a feature.

Anniversary greetings as well.

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Wednesday, June 26, 2013 at 11:49 AM - Response #3

Many of us agreed that we didn't like the idea much. The reason is that automated emails are rather impersonal, and instead, sending an email person to person was more desirable. I know there are many differing opinions on this, but I would urge everyone to think this through before deciding whether you would prefer well-wishes from a website server, or from a human being who cares enough to send you a Happy Birthday. Our goal on our website is to promote communication and interaction among our classmates. Automated emails would defeat that purpose for us. This is just my opinion, and yours is, of course, equally valid and important.

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Edited 06/26/13 11:51 AM
Wednesday, June 26, 2013 at 12:09 PM - Response #4

Having contributed to this discussion awhile back, I still agree with Tim. The site provides the opportunity for classmates to be notified of birthdays and to send wishes if they choose.

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Wednesday, June 26, 2013 at 12:11 PM - Response #5

I too would not use an automated Happy Birthday feature. Too impersonal. I just had a birthday and enjoyed the personal emails from my CC buddies. Shocked Beverly

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Wednesday, June 26, 2013 at 12:30 PM - Response #6

I am for it!!!!!!
1. It should NOT replace the notifications to classmates of the honorees upcoming birthday.
2. It is one message a month - simply changing the text one time a year eliminates the redunant arguement.
3. Trying to do it manually for EVERY classmate is tedius and the possiblity of forgetting to "do your duty" for a day due to oldtimers, vacation, sickness, etc and NOT sending to a classmate is far worse than the alternative.
4. It gives yet another oppurtunity to remind the honoree to update their join the site or update their profile.
4. It certainly should have an on/off switch that it can be used or not used at the admin's descretion.

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Wednesday, June 26, 2013 at 12:34 PM - Response #7

All the things Charlie statedIdea

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Wednesday, June 26, 2013 at 12:44 PM - Response #8

Additional thought

A bounce back of the site generated birthday greeting would be a signal that an update to your classmate may require admin assitance or your FOUND classmate could become a lost one.

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Wednesday, June 26, 2013 at 12:51 PM - Response #9

Automatic birthday emails are far from being personal. I stated before, are we too busy, or too lazy. Should we not be sincere when sending our greetings. The personal touch is lost when sent automatically.
Everett

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Wednesday, June 26, 2013 at 12:58 PM - Response #10

Yes. See #3 in Charlie's comment above.

If a classmate hardly knows who you are and you don't really know them (common for larger classes), the "personal" greeting comes across as "fake".

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Wednesday, June 26, 2013 at 12:59 PM - Response #11

I see both sides of this. Yet, I like to add a bit of a personal touch to the email - beyond their first name. So here is my wish...

Yes - for an automatic birthday greeting option WITH the ability to edit each one and set a date the email sends.

I'm sure that is a tall order. Maybe I best go make a tall glass of tea instead. Wink

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Wednesday, June 26, 2013 at 1:47 PM - Response #12

Ditto what Gwen said... ability to make each one personal with a saved automatic date for sending, that way all are personal and none are missed due to busy schedules of the admins. Yes, probably a tall order for the programmers. CC you've spoiled us, and we just keep asking away. Thanks for all you do!

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Wednesday, June 26, 2013 at 1:50 PM - Response #13

I also agree with Tim above. I like and Enjoy sending a personal Birthday greeting. As long as it is optional, though, I would not object to others using it.

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Edited 06/26/13 1:50 PM
Wednesday, June 26, 2013 at 2:14 PM - Response #14

I am NOT creative enough to send 300-400 emails specifically customized for each classmate. As Jack pointed out - I do not know most of them well enough to even think about doing it. If YOU have the time do do personal emails to every classmate for every birthday - more power to you!! I work full time and do not have that kind of free time to make that commitment.

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Edited 06/26/13 2:15 PM
Wednesday, June 26, 2013 at 3:08 PM - Response #15

Never would I use automated Birthday wishes. Way too impersonal, and personal contact is what the site is all about.

If larger classes want it, then I would vote for Preference setting to Turn On or Off.

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Wednesday, June 26, 2013 at 8:31 PM - Response #16

we have a class of over 600 and it takes but a moment to send a personal email out wishing a happy birthday. the fact that i don't know all of the class makes no difference. most of the classmates will reply with well wishes of their own to me and thanks for thinking of them. i realize many admin. of these sites still work and i feel there could be an option for an automatic or a personal email. i, personally, would not want to receive an automatic one and so i would not go that route.......just my opinion........

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Wednesday, June 26, 2013 at 11:56 PM - Response #17

I think it's pretty clear this has to be an option.

Specifically, if I get a "personalized" birthday greeting from someone that I hardly know (only that they were in my class), how could it possibly be "personalized"?

I get lots of automatic greetings from my dentist to my insurance agents. Doesn't bug me one bit. I also get them for my petsWink

When I get one from my dentist (who I actually know very well) it reminds me to check my calendar for the next cleaning. Not a bad thing at all. Isn't that actually one of the goals here? It's not like we are asking them out for a dateCool

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Thursday, August 8, 2013 at 12:22 PM - Response #18

Tim Bowen wrote:

Many of us agreed that we didn't like the idea much. The reason is that automated emails are rather impersonal, and instead, sending an email person to person was more desirable. I know there are many differing opinions on this, but I would urge everyone to think this through before deciding whether you would prefer well-wishes from a website server, or from a human being who cares enough to send you a Happy Birthday. Our goal on our website is to promote communication and interaction among our classmates. Automated emails would defeat that purpose for us. This is just my opinion, and yours is, of course, equally valid and important.

Time is really important in my world and the ability to send along a nice message to say hey don't forget about the class website by saying Happy Birthday on someone's day is really what I am looking for. I haven't quite gotten to retirement yet and maintaining all the sites I do, family and a full time job lends itself to some sort of automation.

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Thursday, August 8, 2013 at 12:25 PM - Response #19

Jack Vermeulen wrote:

I think it's pretty clear this has to be an option.

Specifically, if I get a "personalized" birthday greeting from someone that I hardly know (only that they were in my class), how could it possibly be "personalized"?

I get lots of automatic greetings from my dentist to my insurance agents. Doesn't bug me one bit. I also get them for my petsWink

When I get one from my dentist (who I actually know very well) it reminds me to check my calendar for the next cleaning. Not a bad thing at all. Isn't that actually one of the goals here? It's not like we are asking them out for a dateCool

Not to mention the fact that it can be an OPTION like all the other ones listed. If you don't want to use it, then don't. Very Happy

Additionally I personally know that some folks barely get ANYONE to even acknowledge their existence at all online so an automated message written by me is at least someone saying hey, I care that it's your day.

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Thursday, August 8, 2013 at 12:27 PM - Response #20

Betty Duszynski wrote:

we have a class of over 600 and it takes but a moment to send a personal email out wishing a happy birthday. the fact that i don't know all of the class makes no difference. most of the classmates will reply with well wishes of their own to me and thanks for thinking of them. i realize many admin. of these sites still work and i feel there could be an option for an automatic or a personal email. i, personally, would not want to receive an automatic one and so i would not go that route.......just my opinion........

Well put! (up to the part of not wanting to get one) Wink

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Thursday, August 8, 2013 at 12:34 PM - Response #21

Again, I don't mind the automated Happy Birthday, and understand on very large Classes.

It HAS TO BE an option, however, as I would rather not receive any Happy Birthday, than a computer automated one. It is not difficult for my less than 100 classmates.

Actually, my classmates take care of this issue for me. Many of them send Happy Birthday wishes personally, so it is not an issue since each Birthday person gets at least a dozen well wishes.

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Thursday, August 8, 2013 at 1:02 PM - Response #22

... and that is why having an automated message we can edit works! The title may be editable as well. Consider this... Our graduation was June 5th. Happy 43 years graduate! Yes, that IS different but the point is to connect. Smile

Have a great day everyone!

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Thursday, August 29, 2013 at 12:23 PM - Response #23
Birthday Cake.jpg

I think an automated birthday greeting from the website representing our class is a great idea.
Yes, it should be a site option. Some sites will love and implement the idea, some won't.
Yes, it should include a greeting that be changed regularly, and perhaps an optional graphic or pictue (see attached).
No, it shouldn't replace the personal birthday greetings from those who know you.
And it could be tied to one of the existing (or a new) Notify Me choice to allow classmates to opt out.
But for those of us trying to revive classmate's interest four years after our 50th reunion, I don't think one Happy Birthday message a year reminding people that the web site is still there is a burden.

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Edited 08/29/13 12:42 PM
Wednesday, May 28, 2014 at 2:47 PM - Response #24

I had an email from an admin asking, "Can our site be setup to send an email wishing our classmates a happy birthday on their birthday? "

I will refer the admin to this thread but thought I'd ask the status on this.

Please see my responses above #11 & #22. Cool

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Sunday, August 24, 2014 at 7:50 AM - Response #25

I also have a fairly large class and so do some of my friends who administer other class sites but rely on me for advice and training on their site. We would like to see this capability installed. I am not sure of the progress tho since the original post was a while ago. Is it available? ('Shocked');

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Sunday, August 24, 2014 at 4:42 PM - Response #26

My thoughts a year ago (#23) are still valid. Did this actually make it to the infamous 'wish list', or did it get dropped because there were mixed opions?

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Monday, August 25, 2014 at 1:00 PM - Response #27

I think some sort of solution is desired, however it is tabled due to other projects.


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Monday, August 25, 2014 at 10:30 PM - Response #28

Email is such a can of worms in so many cases. Depends on the content and the receiving email provider and so forth, but "Happy Birthday" emails have notoriously been flagged as spam probably as much or more than any other email that leaves this system. In fact many times people actually turn these in as spam, causing us to have to respond in writing as to why the system is sending out spam email. Email has become so strict that anything manually turned in as spam forces a written response. I have a bad feeling an automated birthday email system would be like pouring fuel on a fire.

I suggest doing something on the What's New page to make it clear who has a Birthday and an easy way to post a custom birthday greeting on Profile. Thoughts?


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Monday, August 25, 2014 at 11:13 PM - Response #29

Don't title it Happy Birthday. Rather call it "Felicitations on the Annual Commemoration of Your Natal Day." That'll fool the filters.

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Monday, August 25, 2014 at 11:53 PM - Response #30

Hah. Smile Yea I guess it would. The current Birthday reminder notices go out as "Classmate Name was born on this day!" The word "birthday" seems to be a huge spam trigger. This helped to some extent. We've tried a variety of subjects there to get past spam filters as best we can.


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Tuesday, August 26, 2014 at 12:20 AM - Response #31

Hmmm.... We've been sending out a manually generated "Happy Birthday" email (with regularly updated content) for almost a year now, and haven't yet seen a bounce that wasn't legit. Tempted to try something like Mr Bock's suggestion though since I'd bet we have members who haven't whitelisted the CC 'noreply' sender address...

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Tuesday, August 26, 2014 at 9:47 AM - Response #32

Right... Manual emails through your own private provider (small volume) will be treated very differently than thousands of emails going out in one day from the same email provider with "happy birthday" in the subject line. Many of the bigger providers we're whitelisted with, but there's so many other providers plus algorithms often change. It's a constant battle. Every single day we have an internal link here to see all the emails that bounced and why. Providers determining legitimate emails are spam is the largest problem of all.


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