Creating a new communication template

Quick Tutorial Full Training

With iMIS, you can create reusable templates for your future communications to ensure list, messaging, and brand consistency. You can utilize your templates when emailing contacts directly, when emailing a list of contacts retrieved in a Query Menu content item, and when composing a new communication from Marketing > Communication templates.

To create a new communication template, do the following:

  1. Go to Marketing > Communication templates > New > Communication.
  2. (Header tab) Enter the following information:
    • From - Enter the email address that will send the communication.
      • (optional) To display a friendly name, enter the name before the email address. For example, “Your Organization Name <info@yourorganization.com>” will display to recipients as “Your Organization Name.”
      • Note: For advanced email, the maximum length of the From email address is 64 characters and the maximum length of the friendly name is 50 characters. Addresses and names exceeding the maximum length will be shortened when the email is sent.

    • To – This field automatically populates with {#party.Email}, which includes the primary email associated with each iMIS ID returned in the recipients query.
      • (optional) Enter additional addresses as needed. Each additional address will receive a new copy of the communication, and each new copy will have an entry in the communication log
      • (optional) Click the Cc or Bcc links to enter Cc or Bcc email recipients. These addresses will be included on each copy of the communication but will not receive their own copy or entry in the communication log.
    • Subject – Enter the subject line of the email.
      • The Subject line cannot contain the < > symbols.
      • After the communication is sent, the Subject line will contain the words iMIS Demonstration If you are using a Client key that is licensed to an iMIS demo or test system.
    • Type – Select a communication Type for the drop-down. This provides your members with classes of emails to opt in and out of.
  3. (Recipients tab) Select the contacts to whom you will send the communication.
    1. Select a query to use as the primary data source. This query retrieves the contacts to whom you will send the communication. The default primary data source is the SelectedContact query, which retrieves the contact you are signed in as or working on behalf of.
      • The query must have a column that identifies the contact’s ID.
      • If the query contains filters with required or optional prompts, it must have default values. See Creating a list of contacts to email for more information.
    2. Important! Any recipient query that is saved in a communication template is replaced by the selected query where the template is used. For example:

      • When using an Email button on a Query Menu content item, the recipient query stored in the template will be replaced by the query that is shown in the content item.
      • When using the Email action from an account page, the template will be sent to the selected contact and the recipient query stored in the template will not be used.
      • When issuing receipts (Receipting > Issue receipts), the recipient query stored in the template will be replaced by the query that is selected for issuing the receipts.

      For this reason, if additional properties about the recipient are needed in the body of the template, it is recommended to add an additional data source instead of inserting properties from the recipient source.

    3. (optional) If the query does not contain filters with required or optional prompts, deselect the names of any contacts you do not want to receive the email.
  4. (Data sources tab) Fields from the data sources can be inserted in the email message. The default query with an alias of party, which provides basic information about the recipients, is automatically added. To ensure that the email is received, do not remove the Default data source! To add a data source, do the following:
    1. Click Add data source and Select a query.
    2. (optional) Change the Alias of the data source. Fields from the data source will be prefixed by the Alias in the Insert field drop-down.
    3. Click OK, and then click OK again to add the data source. The data source is not added until you click OK.
    4. Click Save or Save As and save the changes to the communication. By default, the email template is saved in the $/Common/Communications folder in the Document system.
    5. (optional) If the new data source provides data about individual recipients, link the data source to the recipient query. Additionally, if you wish to insert fields that are not already available as party property fields, add an additional data source that is linked to the recipient query.
    6. Note: If ID is used as a filter in the additional data source, display columns from the additional data source that are inserted into the body of the template will remain available when the template is used in a context where the recipient query is replaced.

    7. Add a filter for an Id property to the new data source. Select Equal for the Comparison type and Required for the Prompt, then select the + button.
    8. Add a display column to the recipient query for an Id property.
  5. (Body tab) Compose the body of your communication template.
    • Use the Insert field drop-down to add fields from your data sources. Any fields that are not found from the defined data source will resolve as blank.
      • Use the {#party.FirstName} parameter to address all recipients by their first name.
      • Use the {#party.Email} parameter in the To field to send the communication to all contacts in your query.
      • Placeholders, specified using {} notation, denote areas of the communication that will resolve against the data sources. Edit the placeholders as needed.
      • Use the {foreach} placeholder to include repeating data in your communication. For more information, see Using the foreach placeholder.
    • To add a link to your communication, select one of the following from the Insert link drop-down:
    • To add an anchor link for recipients to jump to a specific location in the email, do the following:
      1. Highlight the word or sentence you want the link to jump to and open the Hyperlink Manager (Ctrl + K).
      2. Click the anchor tab.
      3. Generate an ID, enter a value for Name, and click OK.
      4. Go to the text you want to link, highlight it, and open the Hyperlink Manager (Ctrl + K).
      5. Select the appropriate anchor from the Existing Anchor drop-down and click OK.
    • To include a PDF or RDL (SSRS report) in your communication, select Add attachment and do the following:
      1. Navigate to the Document System folder where the file will be saved.
      2. Click New > Adobe PDF or Reporting Services Template.
      3. Select the file.
      4. Enter a file Description, then click Upload.
      5. Select the file, then click OK.
      6. If your report requires a parameter other than an ID, enable Pass query values to matching report parameters. For more information, see Creating a communication with an attached report.

        Note: Reports containing subreports will not display properly when included as PDF attachments. It is recommended that you do not send reports containing subreports as attachments.

    • To include a .doc, .docx, .gif, .ics, .jpg, .jpeg, .png, .ppt, .pptx, .txt, .xls, .xlsx, .webp file type, select Add attachment and do the following:

      1. Navigate to the Document System folder where the file is saved.
      2. Select the file, then click OK.
  6. Click Preview to view a preview of the email for each recipient.
    1. Ensure that any merge fields in the email appear correctly.
    2. Click Prev or Next to review the email for each recipient. The preview will stop showing after the 18th record.
  7. Click Save or Save As to save this email as a reusable template. The Document browser is displayed, allowing you to define a Name for this template. By default, the email template is saved in the $/Common/Communications folder in the Document system.
  8. (optional) Click Send Now to send the email to the recipients immediately. A confirmation notification is displayed indicating that the number of messages attempted matches the number of results selected. Errors are listed individually explaining why the email was not sent. To review the status of your communication, go to the Communication logs (Marketing > Communication logs). For more information, see Communication logs.