This article is written for G Suite Administrators.

When new employees join the company, we'd like to send a warm personalized welcome email to their new account to help them onboard smoothly. Aside from a generic "welcome to xxx organization" greeting, you can also inform new users of organization policies, service enabled for the users' organizational unit (OU), disclaimer notices, or further materials to read etc.

In this article, I'm going to show you how Foresight can automate sending tailored welcome emails to your new members. It will save you tons of time. If you have yet to install Foresight, check out this quick start.

Video Demo

Suppose 3 employees are hired. As subject matter experts from different fields, they will be assigned under 3 OUs.

New EmployeeOrganizational Unit
Deborah WorleyMarketing > Digital Marketing
Marsha LuperCustomer Support > Customer Service
Michael SinclairR&D > Engineering

The goal here is when they login into their domain primary email, they expect a personalized welcome email from G Suite administrator. This video tutorial demonstrates how Foresight automation can self-navigate the emails once setup.

Instructions to your domain

The bird's-eye view

First of all, figure out how many welcome email templates do you need and how would you segment the users to receive those emails. In Foresight, for this article's use case, an automation rule includes a User Created Trigger, a Wait action and an Email Action. It basically means when a user is created in the G Suite domain, wait for 60 seconds and send 1 or more emails to this user and/or other people.

The Trigger has a condition builder so that you can segment user accounts to receive different emails. The Wait action is literally asking the rule to delay certain time before executing next action (you may wonder why to add a Wait action?). The Email action is nothing but a Gmail draft like interface with extra features.

Once automation rules are created, you only need to create users in Admin Console and the welcome email part will be done by Foresight. No more wasting time to compose and send welcome emails manually over and over again.

Build an automation rule

  1. In the Rules page, click new rule button to create a new rule.
  2. Select the User created trigger.
    The User created trigger
  3. Edit the User created trigger.
    User created trigger with condition
    1. Grant Request Access Permission. The trigger needs you to permit access your domain user and OU information.
      Note: In addition to grant access permissions, you also have to set Admin API enabled in Admin Console. Otherwise, this rule will fail by the time it runs.
    2. (Optional) Add a condition. By default, there is no filtering. The trigger will entail actions on all new users. For example, send a universal welcome email for any new employee.
      Otherwise, specify a condition to further segment the user accounts. A common segmentation is by OU. A new employee in Marketing should receive a different welcome email from an employee in Engineering.
      1. Select a field. Here Org Unit Path. It's a representation of the OU structure in a forward-slash / way.
      2. The operator is.
      3. Select the Org Unit Path from the drop down list, e.g. /Marketing/Digital Marketing. To clarify, any user account in this Org Unit Path or in sub OUs is included in this condition.
  4. Click Next.
  5. Select a Wait action.
    Select the Wait action in Foresight
  6. Configure the Wait action. In the Wait time field, input 60 seconds. Then click ADD NEXT ACTION.
    Configure the Wait action in Foresight
  7. Select Email action.
    Select Email Action
  8. Edit the Email action.
    Email Action in Foresight
    1. Grant the permission. Foresight will send the personalized welcome email on behalf of you.
    2. Add the To recipient. Here type {{ and select {{ primaryEmail_xxxxxx }} from the drop down menu. It's a variable, meaning it will be generated and replaced when the rule executes, you don't know it yet now. It stands for the primary email of user you created in the Admin Console later.
    3. (Optional) Add extra recipients to CC or BCC. Perhaps yourself or some manager in that OU.
    4. Add Subject.
    5. Add your personalized email body. Note that by typing {{ you will see variables in a popover menu again. Use it to insert the user's information, say their first name {{ firstName_xxxxxx }}.
    6. (Optional) Add extra emails or other actions. Apart from the welcome email, you can also send extra emails sharing group policies, resources etc. or add the user to a group or share a team calendar etc. (more actions will come with product updates).
      Note that Google imposes a daily quota of sending 1,500 emails.
  9. Click Review.
  10. Give the rule a name. It's for yourself to identify what rule does later.
  11. Click Create.
  12. The rule is set and enabled. The visual graph hints you what's included in the rule.
    Digital marketing welcome email rule
  13. Now any new users created under the conditions in Step 3 (in this example, users assigned under /Marketing/Digital Marketing OUs or sub-OUs) will receive your delicate personalized welcome email.

Create rules for user segments

Now repeat steps of building an automation rule for other user segments, /Sales OU, or /Operations OU, or less commonly, all users with the first name as "Michael" etc.

Add users in your Admin Console

I will skip the details of adding user part. Please refer to Google's doc how to add users in Admin Console. Note that you need to fill in the OU in the Add new user dialog when you first create the user. Any changes made on this user afterwards is regarded as a different trigger (will be in another article).
Organization Unit in Add new user

Harvest

It's the harvest time. Check out the return on your investment on Foresight automation.

  • Foresight frees you up from hours of repetitive welcome emailing tasks every month. The more actions you added in the rule, the more time you saved for your future.
  • Foresight also supports sending those emails when you bulk add new users via CSV.
  • Receive notifications. At each time a rule is executed, you will receive a notification in the app telling you how has happened to your rules and whether rules ran successfully or not.
    Receive notifications
  • See an email record in your Sent folder. Those personalized welcome emails will be in your Sent folder as well as in Google Vault if you enabled Gmail message retention.
  • Your email will be the first official welcome message in their inbox.

FAQ

Q: How does the conditions in User created trigger work?

The conditions in the User created trigger filter and segment new users. Multiple conditions are implicitly joined by an AND logic. In another words, a new user event has to match all conditions in a trigger to pass through the actions.

Q: Does it work with bulk user creation?

Yes.

Q: What are the variables?

Variables are undetermined placeholders representing certain information until the rule runs. For the User created trigger event, variables include but not limited to, due to product updates, the first name, last name of the user, the OU path and the primary email of user.

Q: What is the use of Wait action in this automation?

The Wait action is a workaround for a caveat of delaaaaaaaaayed welcome emails as reported by our customers. The original automation of User created => Email => End causes an inconsistent 5-30 minutes delay showing up in the new user's Gmail inbox.

Regarding this issue, Google sheds some lights,

It takes up to 24 hours to propagate new services (Gmail), so it's normal for messages to get delayed when it comes to new users.

If you do not experience the delay or doesn't worry about the delay, that's great, keep the Wait time 60 seconds. Otherwise, extend the Wait time to 120 seconds or more to see if the issue goes away.

What's more?

It's fun to connect different components in Admin Console as well as G Suite apps to make work more efficient. You could connect rules in this article with rules in Create G Suite users by schedule, so new user accounts planned to be added in a future date will automatically receive an welcome email. I'll also share more actions in the following articles. Automate sharing a calendar / team drive to the new user, or assign the new user to a group conditionally. Stay tuned!

Feel free to leave your comments below.

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