Tips & Tricks

Ready, set, refresh! How to get your application site ready for a new cycle

Author photo
Anna Tkalitch

Your application and review  cycle is winding down, your funds or projects have all been awarded, and you’ve communicated decisions out to all your hopeful applicants. What comes next?

Closing out one cycle and preparing for the next can be intimidating. Here are our favorite tips and tricks to roll out your next application phase with ease.

Update your program dates

To get your site revamped for the new cycle, we recommend starting with your program open and close dates. Update your cycle to the new dates as soon as possible, so applicants accessing the site know when they can get started.

 

Refresh your workflow

Sometimes application requirements change. Keep up with the fast-paced cycle shifts by updating your workflow before your next cycle start date. This can range from adding new applicant tasks to refreshing the questions you ask them to complete. For more information on how to make safe changes to a live form, read this helpful article!

Tip from the experts: Track applicant feedback throughout the year using a SurveyMonkey survey, so you can use that data to improve the application experience for your upcoming cycle! 

 

Update your email templates

Chances are, you use email notifications to keep your applicants and reviewers in the know during your cycle. Keep your emails informative and up-to-date by adjusting any mention of application open and close dates, or reviewer deadlines, in your templates or email automations. Updating your templates and email automations in advance will save you time when you get closer to your application open date. 

 

This is also a great time to verify that your time-based automations are updated with the new cycle dates. To learn more about how to set up time-based automations, and how to change the dates of those time-based automations, check out our article here.

 

Managing the old and new

Over the years, your SurveyMonkey Apply site may collect more data than you know what to do with. To stay organized, we recommend leveraging the archiving tool. Archiving applications allows you to create a separate view of historical data while keeping new, incoming data at your fingertips. Archiving applications helps you preserve this data without it getting in the way of each new cycle.

Click here to learn more on archiving data!

Tip from the experts: We recommend archiving applications once per cycle, so that your displayed data reflects only new and relevant applications. If you have an ongoing application process with no defined end date, archive applications once they reach the final stages of your workflow and no longer have actionables.

 

Next steps

You’ve updated your dates and deadlines, archived last cycle’s data, and are all set to launch your new round of applications. There’s one more thing! 

Our experts recommend always running a test or two before opening the site for applicants and reviewers. Testing the workflow helps you see things from the applicant’s perspective and catch any details that may have been missed. Testing will also help you familiarize yourself with possible applicant and reviewer questions that may come up throughout the cycle.

Learn how to assume the role of users and conduct full testing here!

 

We can help!

Preparing for a new cycle can be stressful. Our team of Implementation Specialists are here to help! A dedicated Implementation Specialist can work with you to refresh your cycle and ensure your site is launch-ready. Please reach out to our Customer Success team to learn more.

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