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You can easily send out email invitations for people to join your platform. This can be done directly through the admin interface via the 'Invitations' tab.

However, in some cases you might not have email addresses of your target audience. Let's say you'd like to only invite people who live in a particular street or neighborhood to participate in a project. Or you want to allow people who are present at an offline event to register on the platform and participate in a specific project. In those cases, you can provide them with a unique invitation code.

One way you can do this is by sending them a physical invitation in the mail, including a unique invitation code.

What is the benefit of the unique invitation code?

Most importantly, you can specify that someone signing up with a particular code is automatically added to a manual group upon registration. Manual groups give you more fine grained control over who can view and participate in your projects and how. For instance, you can customize the mode of engagement or make some projects only visible to people in certain groups. You can also use your platform to send emails only to people who belong to a manual group.

How do you create unique invitation codes?

Unique invitation codes, which you can add to your external communications, can be generated directly from your platform.

  1. Create a Manual Group for your target audience. You can do this in the "Users" tab of the Admin interface.

  2. To generate the unique invitation codes, use the template available in the "Invitations" tab.

  3. Fill out the template by entering the exact name of the Manual Group (from Step 1) into the column labeled "groups." Create one row per invitation that you'd like to generate. In the example below, there are six rows with a Manual Group name specified, so this would generate six invitation codes.

    If you would include invitee's e-mail addresses, make sure to remove any spaces after the email address (find-replace of ' '). Check that all email addresses and other fields are valid or empty if they don't have a value. Also, make sure there aren't any existing registered users in your invite list.

  4. Once you've filled out the template, upload it into the platform, again in the 'Invitations' tab.

  5. To make sure the people who accept their invite are added to a specific group or receive certain rights on the platform, configure the invitations by filling in the different options under part 3.

  6. Finally, go to the "All invitations" sub-tab and export the invitation list. This will download a new Excel spreadsheet that has all of the invitation codes (in the column named "token"). You can use mail merge or another tool to add the invitation codes to your communication.

  7. How will people be prompted to enter the code? In your letter or communication material, be sure to ask people to register via the web link (URL) that has been set up for invitations. This URL is your domain followed by /invite (e.g., participate.mycity.com/invite). People using this link will automatically be asked to input their invitation code upon registering.

    Don't forget this step! If someone registers via your regular platform URL, they will not be asked to enter their invitation code in the first registration step.

Any further questions or in need of support? Please get in touch via support@citizenlab.co!

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