Email me when I have a new member

I currently have this implemented via Zapier integration and it’s fine. However, it won’t scale well cost-wise.

I currently set up 2 Zapier tasks per new member (one is to email me, and the other is to send a welcome email to the member, which Ghost could also do in the future). Zapier’s free plan gives you 100 tasks/month. So if I got more than 50 new members/month (which I’m not close to, but it’s not that high of a number), I would have to pay Zapier about $20/month to do these. Which is almost +70% of the cost of Ghost(Pro). So it would just feel painful to increase my costs by that much, just to send out a few notifications which it would make sense for Ghost to handle in the first place.

BONUS: In that new subscriber email, tell me if the new subscriber is free or paid. Also, email me when an existing subscriber upgrades to a paid plan. (Stripe doesn’t have this kind of email notification either. You can get an email for every payment, but it will include all the recurring monthly payments, so it doesn’t map to new subscribers.)

I would love to see an open-source version of Zapier. But I’m not sure Ghost should care about all the automation use-cases.

Indeed, Ghost shouldn’t implement all automation use cases, but these ones make a lot of sense (to get a notification when you have a new subscriber and the basic welcome/onboarding email). You can do this with an external tool, but you need to send the subscriber info there (I will test this out with HubSpot, if it can capture the subscription form - doesn’t seem so, but will keep testing).

I would like to say sure np! But then …

  • Can we just have notifications when someone unsubscribe
  • Can we just have notifications when someone paid
  • Can we just have notifications when someone stop to pay
  • etc.

@pascalandy don’t exaggerate. :slight_smile:

The payment notifications will come from Stripe, as it should be (they offer the payment services). But all email services have these basic notifications for sub, unsub, ideally also auto-response to registration. I know the Members feature is still beta, but I think it should have these options when it will come out of beta.

I agree that it is not Ghost’s job to implement all possible automation use cases. However, if Ghost users are expected to use Ghost’s Membership management, then ideally that should accommodate common workflows and usage without using a separate service or having to do custom coding, at least once it hits 1.0. My opinion at least :slight_smile:

Some thoughts on what you could do now with no Ghost changes:

If you’re using a separate email service provider (ESP) like MailChimp or ConvertKit to manage members, you could have a Zap that adds new members to your ESP, then have an automation in the ESP that automatically sends new members a welcome email + emails you. That would get you from 2 Zaps per new member to 1. You could probably pass in some flags from Zapier to the ESP that indicates whether the new subscriber is free or paid.

Note that ESPs are generally going to start charging you once you have a certain number of subscribers (e.g. 2000 for MailChimp).

If Zapier is too expensive and you don’t mind doing some coding, when a new member subscribes you could send a message to a simple AWS Lambda that again, creates a new member with your ESP via its API. This takes some upfront work, but cost wise, the lambda will almost assuredly be < $1/month. You could play with something like: GitHub - aws/chalice: Python Serverless Microframework for AWS

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If anyone has built interesting automations / workflows around Ghost, I’d be keen to hear about them :slight_smile:

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The point at which you have too many new members for the free zapier account to work is likely to be the point at which it’s no longer useful to receive email notifications about every single member who joins. Generally scaling involves different problems as you grow, and you’ll find that reporting needs change too.

There are several open source alternatives to Zapier though, two of the most prominent are:

https://nodered.org/

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John -

I have been the sole admin of TheChocolateLife since January 2008. From day one through the time I moved off Ning to Jamroom in 2015, I personally reviewed every single request for membership - over 8000 of them. On Jamroom, I relaxed this practice but still received notifications - by email - every time a new member signed up. Well over 12,000 in all. So I disagree with your basic assertion that getting an email notification of new signups is a burden.

One reason why I performed the review is that it I was quickly able to recognize email domains used by spammers. This was much more useful to me than Akismet – which from my experience with Maven, can cause more admin problems than it solved. Maven did not send me new signup notifications – I had to manually review them from a modal admin interface that was deeply nested.

Another challenge here is that every single external tool I need to add to the Ghost stack adds unnecessary management and cognitive burden. Right now in addition to Ghost I have Cove Chat for comments (happy to bail on Disqus because Cove is integrated into the Ghost member db), Mailgun, Snipcart, GA (but thinking of moving to Fathom because it’s less invasive from a tracking perspective). I can see the value of n8n but it’s asking a lot to solve what shouldn’t be a problem in the first place.

One great attraction of Ghost is its simplicity. I have to say I find the writing/editing interface is superior to those on Ning, Jamroom, Maven, and WP. WP is an example of feature creep where every plugin clutters the base UI and degrades the admin UX. One reason I specifically chose Ghost over WP is because of that simplicity. But batch actions are sorely missed.

So, how about a compromise?

Instead of sending an email, how about displaying a notification in the admin UI/UX to indicate a new member? Then add support for same so that themes can display a notification icon somewhere in the top nav (visible only to admins/owners).

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I use Integromat instead of Zapier - it’s very easy to connect with Ghost and offers better free plan - https://www.integromat.com/

@JanOnesork - Thanks for the recco.

In many respects, Integromat looks a bit like the n8n and nodeRED cloud offerings John mentioned – and I do like the much better pricing model of Integromat over Zapier.

It still does not address the “ever-expanding Ghost stack” issue I raised – it’s another dependency to maintain … for what I contend should rightly be a basic feature of the platform.

Keep in mind, there could be a “Don’t send me new member sign-up emails” toggle if the number ever became overwhelming. But a little (‘n’) to the right of Members in the admin UI could signal a new signup today – the number is shown in the member dashboard.

@JanOnesork

I may be missing the obvious but I am looking to configure the Ghost module connection and the docs tell me to go to the module configuration panel but for the life of me I cannot find it!

I’d start with some of the templates to make the first configuration easier and adjust accordingly: Ghost Integrations | Integromat

I have it configured as a webhook in Integromat and custom integration (webhook) in Ghost admin.

I started from the template and have been following the doc you linked to and have started the connection.

Now I am being asked for a target URL for which no explanation is offered.

Also - the implication is that each Integromat connection requires a new integration and webhook?

And finally, though I have a valid SSL certificate, I am getting an “unable to verify the first certificate” error when trying to save the connection.

Target URL will be the webhook URL from Ghost Admin (custom integrations) I guess.

Perhaps, but I cannot get past the “unable to verify the first certificate” error.

The “first certificate” issue was resolved by addressing a misconfiguration of the SSL cert. Once that’s one, Integromat generates the webhook URL.