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Templates

Templates are stock emails, letters, and to-dos that you plan to use on a regular basis. They keep you from having to write the same thing over and over again, and are really useful for mass mailings or for use in Communication Plans.

Variables

Email and letter templates both make use of variables. Variables let you automatically insert the prefixes, names, and titles of the people receiving or sending the email. Say you're sending out an email to 175 donors: using variables, each of those letters can be addressed to Mr. James Tenhouse or Dr. Penelope deRayoux instead of Generous Donor. In the template body they appear as a kind of code—{!RECIPIENT_PREFIX!}—which Populi swaps out for the recipient/sender information when you send the email or letter.

To use variables:

  1. While composing your email or letter template, click the Variables drop-down.
  2. Select the variable you want to include. Variables are focused on either the sender or recipient of the letter.
  3. Click Insert. You'll see the variable code—{!SENDER_FIRST_NAME!} or some such thing—appear in the body of the template.
  4. Punctuate as normal around a variable—so, make sure to include spaces before and after, etc.
  5. Make sure not to alter the variable! If you change it at all, it won't work—and you'll get an ugly bit of code splattered in the middle of your email or letter when you send it.

Email Templates

The email templates view shows you your templates in alphabetical order.

  • Click read more to see the entire template (this view also has an edit function.
  • Hover over a template and you'll see options to Send now and Edit.
  • Provided the template is not used in a communication plan, you can delete it by clicking .

To add an email template:

  1. Click Add Email Template.
  2. Give the template a name. The name is strictly for internal use, so it can be as jargon-y or technical or weird or upsetting or outlandish as you like.
  3. Enter reply-to email addresses, separating multiple addresses with a comma. You can change these addresses when you use the template.
  4. Enter a subject line. You can change this, too, when you use the template.
  5. Compose the email body in the text editor. Use variables and the text format options to your heart's content. And guess what? You can also change the email body when you use the template.
  6. When you're done, click Save.

Now that you've created the template, it's ready to use. There are a few ways you can do so:

  • Hover over the email template and click Send now. Doing it this way includes the reply-to address(es).
  • Include it in a communication plan (this includes the reply-to.
  • When composing an email, select the template from the drop-down above the text area. This does not include the reply-to address.
  • Go to a mailing list and click Send Email. Select the template in the email compose window and take it from there.

Letter Templates

The letter templates view shows you your templates in alphabetical order.

  • Click read more to see the entire template (this view also has an edit function.
  • Hover over a template and you'll see options to Send now and Edit.
  • Provided the template is not used in a communication plan, you can delete it by clicking .

To add a letter template:

  1. Click Add Letter Template.
  2. Give the template a name. The name is strictly for internal use...
  3. Select a layout. This is the standard page layout you use to print this letter (you can change it whenever you use the template).
  4. Compose the letter in the text editor. Use variables to your heart's content.
  5. When you're done, click Save.

Now that you've created the template, it's ready to use. There are a few ways you can do so:

  • Hover over the template and click Send now. Type names to include recipients—as long as they have a mailing address, you can send them the letter (if they don't, you'll need to remove them from the list).
  • Include it in a communication plan.
  • Go to a mailing list and click Compose Letter. Select the template and layout and then click Send.

To-do Templates

To-do templates are meant for inclusion in communication plans, which are then applied to individual contacts. Depending on how the communication plan is set up, the to-do is then assigned to a particular person (the plan recipient, the sender, or someone else).

To add a to-do template:

  1. Click the giant yellow fish-shaped button. No, wait—click Add a To-Do Template.
  2. Enter the name of the task and click Save.

Now that you've added the template, you can include it in a communication plan. Hover over it to edit it or, if it's not used in a plan, click to delete it.

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13 Comments

  • 0
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    Sherry Mahon

    Where do you put in the information about the person's title so it can be added to the email automatically?  I went to my profile and did that but when I resent the email template there still was not title.

  • 0
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    Brendan O'Donnell

    Sherry,

    You would need to use {!SENDER_TITLE!}...

  • 0
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    Joshua Chalmers

    How do I make my email template private? I want to be the only one that can see it, but currently everyone does.

  • 0
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    Brendan O'Donnell

    Joshua,

    The Templates in Communications are available to everyone with the Staff Role—there are no privacy settings at this time. However, please add this idea to our Feature Request Forum so we can consider it for development.

  • 0
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    Kurtis Habecker

    Is there any way to delete a letter template? I've been experimenting and need to delete what I've been working on.

  • 0
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    Brendan O'Donnell

    Kurtis,

    If you haven't yet used a Letter Template, you can delete it. Otherwise, you can't—especially if it's included in a Communications Plan or is in someone's Activity Feed. You could edit the letter template into something useful (which won't affect the history)...

  • 0
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    Kurtis Habecker

    How do I do indentation in a letter template? I've tried adding large numbers of spaces and they do get saved to the database but they only show up when I edit the template. In the actual output multiple spaces are replaced by a single space.

  • 0
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    Brendan O'Donnell

    There's no way to do indentation in a letter template right now. Indents are all but nonexistent in web-based text, and there isn't a simple way to implement it in our web-based text editor.

  • 0
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    Amy Kozlek

    Is there a way to include attachments/form from Word into the email templates?

  • 0
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    Brendan O'Donnell

    Amy,

    There isn't at this time, but here's an active Feature Request on the subject: https://support.populiweb.com/entries/436101-attach-files-to-e-mail-template

    Please throw in your two cents and vote for it!

  • 0
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    Steve Adamson

    How do I add our school logo image at the top of the email?

  • 0
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    Marissa Aust

    We are trying to add text to a receipt for a student using the custom page layout. Is there a way to do this? If not, there should be.

  • -1
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    Nora Keeling

    How do I insert our logo into an email template? I have tried but been unsuccessful thus far.

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