Once you have your communication type set up, you can now create a template.
Communication templates are the main body of your communication.
Templates control the individuality of your communication. It is common to have multiple communication templates for the same communication type.
For example, our First Notice Type can have a template for residential, high hazard, commercial, etc. In our example (see below), we will create a residential Irrigation 'First Notice' template.
To begin setting up your template: Navigate to the top of your communication page and select 'Create Template.'
A new window should open to create a new template.
The first step is to select a communication type. We will select our already created type "First Notice". Let's call our new first notice template “First Notice: Residential Irrigation”.
Note: A Unique Template Name is important in order for you to recognize which communication you are looking at and/or generating.
Our “First Notice Residential Irrigation” notice should only target residential and irrigation assemblies. Let's customize our settings to meet this goal:
Period: Your period is the time in relation to the compliance expiration date of an assembly. Let's set our period to 30 days before to ensure our notices go out 30 days before the assembly expiration date. You can choose dates before or after the assembly compliance expiration.
Date Format: The system allows you to choose the format of all of the dates that appear in your communication. Look through the dropdown and choose your preferred style.
Note: The date will default to YYYY/MM/DD if no date format is selected.
Targeting: This setting allows us to customize which specific criteria we want to focus on our notice. This field is optional. Please note that Templates with specified Targets will only apply to records that have the specified information as dictated in your Communications Template.
Our notice will focus on residential and Irrigation assemblies. Each target has a unique value depending on the selected targeting field. Once you have selected your targeting settings, press the green plus button to add the target to your notice.
Below is the targeting setting we choose to achieve our goal:
Targeted notices will always generate first. If you wish to send a notice to one targeted group, and a second notice to everyone else, you will need to create two notices; one with targeting, and one without.
The system sends the targeted notice first, then it sends the notice to everyone else. This way it avoids sending multiple letters at the same time to one location.
Targeting Values- Using Multiple Values
You can mix and match multiple targeting values.
For example, a communication can target all Commercial Locations that are also marked as High Hazards.
Note: If you select conflicting values, your communication may not generate correctly.
Targeting Values- Exclusions and Numeric Values
Excluding Values using "!"
Our targeting systems allow you to select specific criteria, however, you may also exclude fields from your communication.
To accomplish this, you can add "!" before the value. In our example below we wanted to exclude all commercial zoning fields. We selected the commercial value and added a "!" to exclude locations with this criteria.
Tip: Remember to use the complete word/value. Using "Hi" to target all high values will not work. "!" will match anything that is not equal to that value.
In addition- any fields that do not have anything selected will NOT be included in the targeting.
Using Numeric Values:
In addition to excluding criteria with an "!", numeric values such as ">" and "<" can be used to add more versatility to your communication style. Review the key below to help:
The less-than symbol "<" will match anything less than the value.
The greater than the symbol ">" will match anything greater than the value.
This is used for Numeric Values only, when it comes to Targeting.
Finally, let's set up our contact types and methods. For our notice, we have selected a few contact types and Letters for contact methods.
However, we could have added as many contact types and methods as we wanted by using the icon.
Here is an example:
Your available contact methods are Email, Letter, or Postcard. If more than one method is chosen then the system will send the communication by all selected methods to the specified contacts. However, if you choose the "Use only first available method" checkbox, the system will only send the first available method of communication.
For example: If your chosen contact methods are first "Email", and second "Letter", and you have checked the "Use only first available method" checkbox, the system will send an email to every contact with an email address on file. Any contacts without a listed email address with then receive a letter.
Email Contact Method:
If the chosen contact method is Email, the system will also populate areas to enter an email subject, email body, and additional contacts to be CC’d or BCC’d.
Lastly, when an email is chosen you have the option of including the PDF of your notice in your email. If you do not check "Include PDF in Email," the email will only send with the contents of the email body.
Postcard Contact Method:
If the chosen contact method is 'Postcard,' it cannot be combined with any other contact method. This is a stand-alone communication with unique features. Post Card communications will always come in two pages.
The first page will include all of your normal communication text you are free to edit. However, the second page cannot be edited and always contain your contact information as shown in the example below.
Note: if this is selected, multiple postcards will be sent; Locations with multiple assemblies will be sent a postcard for each and every assembly associated.
Editing Communication Text:
To add the actual text of the notice click the Edit Communication Text button and a word processing pop-up window will appear.
Fill out your notice text and select Save when finished. Our editor toolbox (see below) provides all the tools to customize your communications to your needs.
In our example notice below we have used MERGE FIELDS to pull up individualized information from the system.
Visit our knowledge base article here to learn more about the different MERGE FIELDS available for your communication.
Select the 'SAVE' button to save your communication text.