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Tutorial

Mail Templates

Mail Templates are often an after thought when creating tools. Usually this is an area which is done quickly with only a little planning.

This may be because we are often inundated with email and the prospect of setting up rules to send email doesn't seem especially appealing.

With Infowise tools, there is an excellent opportunity to create dynamic email templates that can get the attention of users and stand out from ordinary emails.

Instructions

  • Email Templates will show in the Mail Templates section in drop-downs next to the email rules.
  • After the template has been created, an email rule can be paired with the template by select the corresponding template from the drop-down for Added, Modified, Deleted or date.
  • Although not always applicable, it is required to select the corresponding template for all 4 situations Added, Modified, Deleted and Date.
  • In most cases it is fine to use the same template selection for all for situations.
  • Select the Add or update mail template link to work with the mail templates.

  • An email template may be added or edited at any time independently from associated email rules which use the template.
  • Add an email template by entering all the information needed in the Name, Subject and Body fields and including configuration options as needed then clicking the OK button. (Note that this adds only the email template and not an email rule.
  • Edit an email template by clicking on the Edit Link next to the template name on the right. Click OKafter making changes. Note that all existing email rules paired with this template will be updated with no further changes needed.
  • Include updated columns and Highlight updated columns dynamically produce list record changes as an alternative to dynamically inserting content in the email template.
  • Attachments can be included if your list allows attachments to records.
  • Share template option can be enabled if other users need to access and modify the template.

Plan your email strategy

The content of the email template deserves some careful consideration. Before producing the content, consider the best strategy on what is being sent users. See the Email Best Practices section to consider and plan effective email content.

  • Give your template a Name that is easy to understand and reference later. If the template is specific to a particular tool, name your template with that tool name followed by the rule purpose. For example you could use "Project Tool - New Project".
  • Plan the subject carefully! The subject line should contain the central message of the email. A user should understand the purpose of the email without having to look at the body of the email at all.
  • A good example subject might look like this: (Project Tool) Project "[Project Name]" status changed to [Status] by [Last Modified]
  • Use the fields tool in the right column to select fields then click the Add to subject or Add to body links to insert the field code in your template.
  • Use the Visual Editor tool to provide HTML formatting in your email. Note that the visual editor tool will create the proper formatting codes for you or alternatively you may use the <> button to use the code view if you want to write your own HTML.
  • Highlight and Change the colors of your text to grab users' attention!
  • When listing out record information the table tool (shaped like grid) will help you to provide content in a nicely organized user friendly format.
  • Use the Link Tool (shaped like a chain) to insert hyperlinks to other tools and resources.

Summary

Take advantage of the special visual editor options to provide highlighting and to add extra polish to emails that might otherwise look bland as plain text.

Solicit feedback from users and continually tweak your email templates to better match the needs of your users and to get improved results.

Last modified: 9/12/2016 2:55 PM
13 comments [latest: 5/10/2017 7:04 PM]
Chris [12/15/2015 5:38 PM]
If we have html code within one of our columns in sharepoint, is there a way to render this in the mail template when it sends? We noticed it would send the code as text in the email alert instead of rendering the HTML tags.
Vladi Gubler [12/15/2015 5:55 PM]
It will render the HTML for columns that support HTML, such as multiple lines of text. In all the other column it will treat it as text.
Tim [3/7/2016 9:01 PM]
Is there a way to get conditional formatting tags and media queries to work properly in these alert emails? I've noticed that it seems to strip media query code altogether, and conditional formatting, such Outlook-specific style tags tend to get ignored.
Vladi Gubler [3/7/2016 9:07 PM]
Email clients, such as Outlook, use a reduced, simplified HTML rendering mechanism. Many of the newer HTML features, such as the ones you are trying to use, will be ignored or removed. There is no way of controlling this behaviour.
Tim [3/8/2016 1:58 AM]
@Vladi - It's not Outlook that's stripping the tags. The tags are specifically for Outlook. It's the Infowise email template editor that's stripping these tags. I'd like to know if there is a prescribed method for using them in Infowise or if there is further documentation on the matter. Thank you
Vladi Gubler [3/8/2016 4:12 PM]
Tim: we tried using advanced CSS settings with Outlook client. No matter what we sent and how we sent it (without using any rich-text editors), Outlook would always disregard these settings and display basic HTML only. For example, it ignore background colour set to DIV elements (but supports background colours for TABLE)
Toni Hart [11/13/2016 10:59 PM]
I need to do a redirect when using [$ItemURL|Item Link] in my mail template. How do I enter the URL in the link dialog to pick up the specific ID of the item? My URL works with the hard coded ID but I need it to be dynamic. https://mysharepoint.com/teams/Lists/SAMPLES/DispForm.aspx?ID=85&Source=https://mysharepoint.com/teams/Lists/MYLIST/AllItems.aspx Thanks,
Vladi Gubler [11/14/2016 3:07 PM]
Toni: the function will already return the source item of the alert. If you want to link to some other item, you can build the URL yourself in the Source window of the mail template.
Martin [4/4/2017 11:15 PM]
Is there a way to control the style of associated items? I can set the style of my tables/cells in the Template but not the associated items table. All my content look good in Outlook other than the associated items. Thanks!
Vladi Gubler [4/5/2017 2:49 PM]
Martin: did you try using CSS styles?
Colin Lane [5/10/2017 4:24 PM]
I've been unable to make the attachments work through alerts (Office365 version). The checkbox is marked, the list is enabled for attachments. I create an item, attach the file to the attachments column, the alert executes and sends the message - but no attachment comes through. The attachment I'm testing is a PDF about 200k in size, so issues there. Any ideas ?
Vladi Gubler [5/10/2017 7:04 PM]
Colin: on O365, you need to grant the app permissions to send emails through your Exchange Online. It is done by a Global Administrator in the Administration page accessible through the main Alert page.
 
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