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Creating exceptions for when to send the recurring expiry/fail email
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Description

@MBeat33 made the following comment on task: T269372

cid=603426 had two active recurring donations, and got the email when one failed.

We're also seeing some donors respond to the recurring fail message that they made a one-time donation after their recurring stopped but before they received our email, like cid=4462656.

I am not sure how the code works for this, but could we make it so that if the donor has made any donation since the recurring fail, we do not send the email?

From David:
We would need to create a few rules around when not to send these emails. Creating exceptions could generate more bugs or obscure bugs like the ones we saw last December. Also we have so many donors with varying level of complex recurring and one-time donations that even if we think the rules around exceptions are clear, we're going to have complex donor situations that require us to dig into why they did or did not get an email. The continuing iteration and troubleshooting could outweigh the DR cost savings on this.

My arguments for not implementing this:

  • Fr-tech and I feel that we should give notices to donors when big changes happen (like a TY email for a one-time donation and a failed recurring notice). If a donor has a complex donation setup they will get more emails.
  • This introduces the chance we will miss errors in the future and any troubleshooting will be complex and time consuming
  • I'd like to hear how much time this is taking from DR. My gut instinct is that the engineering time to implement and the time to manage and troubleshoot isn't worth the effort.

Event Timeline

Thank you for spinning this off, @DStrine. Between T269372: Civi: Recur fail message sent to donor w/non-failed donation and T260910: Civi: Recur fail message sent to active recurring donor I hear you on the engineering time and troubleshooting this feature has involved, and could still.

I would like to learn more about the complexity risk associated with a single rule like 'if we've received any donation since the final fail date, do not send the recurring fail email'. That rule would spare the DR team the cases where we have to apologize directly to donors for reaching out in spite of their recent donation. Donors don't perceive that the expiry/fail email is automated, as it looks like an email from a human being, and it's the donor-facing quality of these exceptions that we'd like to figure out how to mitigate. It makes donors feel like we don't appreciate their donations.

I'd like to hear how much time this is taking from DR. My gut instinct is that the engineering time to implement and the time to manage and troubleshoot isn't worth the effort.

We do not have a tag for this case yet in Zendesk, and the number of tickets so far is not large. We can begin to track these if it will help the use case in the short term. Even so, in my view the continuing goal of increasing recurring donations makes this case likely to increase, and so it's generally worthwhile to tune this feature if we can. It may be that you are right about the effort not being worth the time in the long run, but I would like to know more for now.

we should give notices to donors when big changes happen (like a TY email for a one-time donation and a failed recurring notice). If a donor has a complex donation setup they will get more emails.

I am not sure I understand this argument. Complex donors may anticipate more emails, but someone who switches to a larger one-time donation after their recurring donation stops ideally would not receive a 'please renew your recurring donation' ask from us.

Possible lower-impact mitigation strategy: change the content of email so that it says 'if you haven't renewed yet...' and remove the staff signature so that it looks a little more machine-generated.

The current email says:

Thank you for your continued support of the Wikimedia Foundation and free knowledge. In January, we were unable to process your monthly donation of $1.75 to Wikipedia.

Your support is very important to us. If you would like to renew your support for Wikipedia on a monthly basis, please take one minute to start a new recurring donation, and keep Wikipedia online and ad-free.

Wikipedia exists thanks to contributions from readers like you.

Thank you again for your support of this mission.

//https://donate.wikimedia.org//

Sincerely,
Michael Beattie

What if we modified it to say something like:

Thank you for your continued support of the Wikimedia Foundation and free knowledge. In January, we were unable to process your monthly donation of $1.75 to Wikipedia.

Your support is very important to us. If you would like to renew your support for Wikipedia on a monthly basis, please take a minute to start a new recurring donation here, and keep Wikipedia online and ad-free.

If you have already renewed your recurring donation, or opted to donate one-time instead, please disregard this auto-generated message.

Wikipedia exists thanks to contributions from readers like you. Thank you again for your support for providing knowledge freely to the world.

Sincerely,
Michael Beattie
Wikimedia Donor Relations

Acknowledging that the email is auto-generated may reduce the donor friction in the more complex cases.

I think that's a great idea, @MBeat33! I really like your copy. I spent a little time fiddling with the sentence order, looking at ways we could highlight the two actions we suggest ("renew" or "disregard")

Wonder what you think: copy doc

Is this translated? And if so, by who?

Adding for the record: Documentation for this email (the assoc Phab tickets are in the notes, below each slide).

Translations might already be in process/done for some languages but I'll check w. Camille where. Otherwise, we might need to roll any new copy into the next round ...

Hi @MBeat33 ! Hope all is well :)
Surfacing that we have the original translation done in 20+ languages (here is Japanese as an example of the copy, see page 1 ).

We were getting ready to create a phab task to get them into production. Would you prefer we hold on production and make these copy changes & retranslate? Or would you prefer speed of production and going with what we have? Please let me know (note that re-translating new copy will take several weeks at best & pending translation budget approval from Pats). Thank you!

  • Camille

Thank you Sam, Thea and Camille. Sam your revised copy looks great.

@CDenes_WMF thank you for asking. I think it's probably better to deploy the translations we already have, in terms of overall non-EN donor experience, than to wait for the the eventual newest batch of translations. I am flexible though so if waiting would fit better with your team's bandwidth/priorities, or if not wanting to do the same task twice is a factor, that's no big deal. The complaints we've received have all been EN so far, so it's not on fire or anything for lack of translations.

Long term I think just adding that 'please disregard this message' message will hopefully smooth this process out.

Hi Michael! If these copy edits are officially translation requests (I am assuming they are but please do confirm if so), then I would suggest waiting to finalize these translations/edits before deploying for production (as opposed to deploying and then editing). I believe this would save fr-tech a substantial amount of time having to edit the already deployed copy in the circa 20 languages.

If we'd like to move forward with these translations, please do share the final copy (I see a few options in the phab thread), and we can work on it in Q4. Thank you! :)

Kind regards,
Camille

Thank you, @CDenes_WMF - Yes, they are translation requests, and waiting to finalize before deployment is totally fine. I know how much volume translation requests entail, so I submit this as a not super-high-priority/time sensitive ask.

Regarding copy, I think the text in the doc @spatton provided works fine. The one change remaining would be to have the sender's name be Denise Andrews (a non-existent agent) to facilitate better ticket distribution in Zendesk. I checked with @krobinson on this - if anyone has any additional input please let me know.

I have one other question about this Civi email. I recently received it at a personal @yahoo address, and the complete text appears twice, once normally, and then again with visible tags, like:

<p>Wikipedia exists thanks to contributions from readers like you.</p>

<p>Thank you again for your support of this mission.</p>

<p>https://donate.wikimedia.org</p>

<p>Sincerely,<br>
Michael Beattie<br>
Wikimedia Foundation Fundraising Team</p>

Just curious, does anyone know if this is Yahoo being fussy, or something in the coding that we could change? My first inclination for formatting stuff is to assume email clients are being weird, but if not, and I can spin that off into a separate Task, please let me know.

Thank you Michael, we can get started on this. A few inputs please:

  • What languages do we need this in?
  • Formal or informal?
  • Any footers needed? (if so, please add to source text)
  • What is the subject line? (please add to source text)
  • Do you have specific translations on hand for "Wikimedia Donor Relations" that you would like to use? Or will we leave that to the linguist/reviewer best judgement

Once we have all these inputs, please do confirm if we may get started on this translation job. Thank you!

Michael is out this week, so I'm answering to keep this moving :)

What languages do we need this in? When we did this manually, we had this in Dutch, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Spanish & Swedish, and we regularrly interact with recurring donors in all of those languages, so those for sure. It might be good to see if we have many recurring donors in any other big markets and add those translations in too, I'm guessing the analytics team could pull those numbers? If we plan on doing monthly convert anywhere outside of those languages I think it would be good to add translations for those markets.

Formal or informal? We always use formal in our interactions, so I would vote to standardize to that, as if they come back our responses will be in formal.

Any footers needed? (if so, please add to source text) Copied from the English-language original. Not sure we need to add anything else.

What is the subject line? (please add to source text) SL "firstname, renew your monthly donation to Wikipedia", added to source text

Do you have specific translations on hand for "Wikimedia Donor Relations" that you would like to use? Or will we leave that to the linguist/reviewer best judgement I would say leave it to translators.

Thank you @CDenes_WMF! I think we are good to move ahead with this. Let me know if you have any questions or if you need anything else.

Thank you Kristie! Noted. We will translate in the following languages then:
ca
da
de
es419
es-es
frCA
fr-fr
he
hu
it
ja
lv
nb
nl
pl
ptBR
pt
ro
ru
sk
sv
uk

@TSkaff for vis. Not positive if this falls in TY email umbrella; but could you please confirm we are OK to proceed on this project from your end? In a nutshell, we are re-translating the auto recurring failure. TY!

Hi Everyone,

The new Auto recurring failure email is translated into all those languages. The translation files are below and the auto recurring failure email is on pages 1 and 2 of those documents.

  • In the fourth paragraph of the email where text is in blue and underlined ("start a new recurring donation here" in English) should be a link to our donation page: https://donate.wikimedia.org/
  • In the first paragraph in the footer after the signature where text is in blue and underlined should be a link to our unsubscribed page (unsubscribe_link)
  • The dynamic contents are indicated in %RED% colour

ca
da
de
es419
es-es
frCA
fr-fr
he
hu
it
ja
lv
nb
nl
pl
ptBR
pt
ro
ru
sk
sv
uk

Let me know if there's anything missing or need a double check,

Have a good day y'all!

@DStrine do we need to create a separate phab task for getting the new copy/translations shared above by Tomasz into production?

Actually I think I misread - I think the short answer is yes since there are a bunch more translations there

@CDenes_WMF I think we are going to talk about it tomorrow . The translations are up there but there is a last QA step to do - I chatted with @MBeat33 about it a while back & I think he didn't come away with the understanding I was expecting him to take over that last step - but it's actually a button click away per language - e.g I've changed the language for our 'sample user' to Roumanian & when you go to

https://civicrm.wikimedia.org/civicrm/smashpig/notification?type=recurringfailure&contribution_recur_id=129829&entity_id=129829

You see

image.png (372×1 px, 45 KB)

Great, thank you very much for the update Eileen :) I'll leave it to you and Michael then, on when to deploy.

@CDenes_WMF actually DO create a new phab - because some of the languages - eg. Russian - appear to be new

Hi @Eileenmcnaughton we're seeing that what's in production (atleast for PT) is still the old version of these emails. Can you please let us know when these new versions are coded up and on staging or production? The new version copy is linked both in Tomasz's comment on June 3rd and also linked in the separate phab task that was requested: https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/T285375. Once those are coded and on staging, then we can do the post-coded proofing via a Civi self-send