As your members engage across your communities and your admins manage their operation, the system automatically sends email messages, based on these various activities. For example, when a member is added to the community, that new member is notified via email. When an automation rule has completed processing, an alert email is sent to the Super Admin who scheduled it. These system-generated messages are based on a set of pre-configured, default templates.
While the pre-populated content in these templates is generally sufficient, Super Admins can modify them (for example, update the language or customize the formatting). These templates can be formatted in HTML and plain text, though the plain text version is often not necessary because most email clients automatically display HTML content as plain text.
ACCESSIBILITY: Any time you're designing webpage or email-based content, it's more important than ever to keep modern accessibility principles in mind. Because this article touches on content design, we recommend referring to Best Practices - Accessibility and its associated resources.
Access your system templates
To access your templates:
- In the Admin Toolbar, click Admin.
- Navigate to Email > Email Management > Email Templates.
NOTE: Refer to Appendix A - Email template categories for descriptions of the types of email templates in each category.
Manage system templates
NOTE: Some templates have an Edit option only. These are system email templates that cannot be deleted or copied because they are tied to actions/behaviors in the system.
- Click the Category dropdown and select a category to view its templates.
- Click a template's Edit button.
On the edit-template page, you can make changes like enabling/disabling the template and controlling which Community Admins can use the template. More than likely, though, you'll just want to update text in the HTML and Text versions of the email.
- After making your changes, click Save at the bottom of the page.
WARNING: While Super Admins can modify the default community-based email templates, we recommend keeping edits to a minimum—specifically, the links should not be altered. These defaults are system wide, and have evolved over time to both provide the information sought by new members and to answer their questions. These links (e.g., the links to accept or reject community invitations) are critical to the function of your communities.
Create and edit email templates
In addition to the pre-loaded system email templates, you can create your own. You can also edit the system templates and any custom templates that have been created in your account.
See the articles listed below to learn how to create, edit, and manage Community Member- and Event-specific email templates.
Use and understand variables
When editing or creating a template, you can use variables to provide individualized and community-specific content and links to each recipient. These variables are replaced with the appropriate information when the email is sent, allowing you to easily include information that's automatically personalized for each recipient (e.g., automatically inserting each user's first name). Variables allow you to greet recipients by name and include other member-specific links and text.
The default templates for community invitations and join messages use variables which are then replaced with community-specific links when a message is sent. The variables make these templates applicable to all communities because each community's unique information gets automatically inserted. If you create templates to serve single communities, be sure to use specific links to any applicable community pages and Microsite pages.
You can only add variables in the HTML editor.
IMPORTANT: When mail merge variables are used in a message, they must exactly match how they appear in each template. Note the capitalization and absence of spaces and punctuation. If the syntax or structure of a variable is changed, the variable will not populate a value in the message.
To add variables:
- Place your cursor where you want to insert the variable and click the Mail merge variable selector button.
- Expand the categories to access the variables.
- When you locate the variable that you want to insert, click it to add it to your message.
TIP: Variables do function in the Text version, and you can paste them there.
There are four categories of variables:
- Community Member
The Contact and Community categories offer the best options for admins; the other two include numerous variables that Community and Super Admins might never use.
The most commonly used variables are listed below. The bold text in the examples represents the contact- and community-specific information that replaced the variable.
(use to personalize email messages)
|CompanyName||Verify their contributions: “We are happy to have representation of Company XYZ through you!”|
|FirstName||Begin the message with a formal greeting: “Dear, David.”|
|InformalName||Begin the message with a friendly greeting: “Dear, Dave.”|
|LinkToProfile||Recommend that they complete their profile and include a link: “Click complete my profile so others can get to know you!”|
(especially useful for templates used by multiple communities)
|CommunityName||Verify the name of your Higher Logic site (not a specific community within your site): “Thanks for joining the XYZ Working Group!”
NOTE: This variable is associated to the "Update your profile" email template, as it's intended for users all across your site and not for specific communities--this is why a specific variable isn't available for the community title. If you'd like to reflect community titles, you'll have to type out the community title in the email template, and make sure that the Automation Rule is sent out to users specifically in that community.
|Description||Verify the community's purpose using the information provided on the Community Description page: “Thanks for helping us address the mission of the Nominations community: Recommending new board members.”|
|LinkToCommunity||Link to the community's landing page: “View great community content and connect with members!”|
|LinkToCommunityCalendar||Promote upcoming events: “Please plan on attending the upcoming Chapter Meetings, which are listed on our online calendar.”|
|LinkToEgroup||Encourage participation in the community's Discussion forum: “See what others are saying and express your own thoughts!”|
|LinkToLibrary||Promote online content: “Community members have contributed over 75 documents.”|
|LinkToWebsite||Link to the community microsite/website: “Our community website has never had more great content. Don't miss out!”|
Appendix A - Email template categories
The following table describes the types of email templates in each category.
|Category||Templates for messages...|
|Account Request||Sent to community members regarding account activity.|
|Automation Rules||That correspond with our pre-configured best practice Automation Rules (Admin > Automation > Automation Rules > Rule Type = Email), which are designed for use by Community Managers and Super Admins to encourage community members to take actions (complete their profile; upload a photo; participate in discussions).|
|Comment Notification||Sent to community members who get @mentioned and those whose posts received a comment.|
|Community Messages||Sent to community members as the result of an admin action.|
|Data Privacy||Sent to community members to notify them of updates to the Settings page or that they have been impersonated.|
|Decline Message||Sent to community members to notify them that their moderated content has been rejected.|
|Discussion Notifications||Sent to community members who subscribed/have been subscribed to a community group.|
|eGroup Mail||Category for server-test messages.|
|Events||Sent to community members and event registrants (confirmations; reminders; cancellations; invoices; receipts).|
|Following Notifications||Sent to community members when someone comments on or updates their post.|
|Friend Referrals||There are no pre-configured templates in this category.|
|Friend Requests||Sent to community members when they receive contact requests.|
|Inbound Mail Notifications||Sent to community members who have sent a message via the system and that message was flagged for some reason (requires moderation; empty subject line; contained attachments).|
|Mailbox Messages||Sent to community members when they are sent a private community message that is not connected to a thread.|
|Membership||Sent to community members to inform them of membership activity, such as membership confirmation and renewal notifications.|
|Mentoring||Sent to community members who are in a mentor or mentee role in the community.|
|Redemption||Sent to community members who have earned/redeemed points.|
|Resource Library Document Updates||That alert community members to the discovery of malware in files|
|Volunteer||That notify community members about volunteering (upcoming opportunities; volunteer acceptance; volunteer withdrawal; thank you).|