This article walks you through how to create email templates you can use to send messages to your community members.
NOTE: You can only create these member-based templates if your organization licenses the optional Group Manager module. See Group Manager Overview to learn more.
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.
Create a custom template
To create a member-based email template:
- In the Admin Toolbar, click Admin.
- Navigate to Email > Email Management > Email Templates.
- Select Community Messages from the Category menu.
NOTE: Only templates created under the Community Messages category can be sent to community members using Group Manager. If your organization does not license Group Manager, your account will have only one template, Community Bulk Email, in the Community Messages category. See Group Manager Overview to learn more.
- Click Create at the top right.
- On the resulting page:
- Give your template a name.
- Leave the Category set to Community Messages.
- In the Community menu, you can limit this template's use to a specific community or make it available to all communities. Alternatively, leave this menu blank to make this template available only to Super Admins.
- Use the default Reply To email address or enter a new one.
- Enter the default Subject line for the template's messages.
- If you use Activity Sync, decide whether to create an activity in your AMS/CRM for everyone who receives these messages.
- Lastly, provide the template content for the HTML and/or Text versions of the message.
- Click Save at the bottom of the page to create your template.
NOTE: You must include the [CommunityAdminMessage] variable in all templates you create for them to function properly, as this variable is replaced with the admin's message when the email is sent. In addition, if you've enabled Group Manager's file attachments and/or meeting invitation features, you must also include the [CommunityAdminHyperlinks] variable for these options to be available.
These two variables are not selectable in the variable interface. You must copy them from the Community Bulk Email template (or other template containing them), and paste them in (or type them), as shown below.
Then, when creating an email, the message entered in the Community Admin Message field will replace the [CommunityAdminMessage] variable when the email is sent.
Use the templates you create
You can use custom templates by assigning them to Community Member Email Lists, which are created on the Admin > Users > List Builder page. These lists are simply segments of users meeting one or more criterion, and are used to target specific members within a community (e.g., only members who've joined a community in the past 30 days). There are dozens of criteria available, giving you the flexibility to target just about any group of users.
Once created, these lists are selectable in the To line when creating a community email:
To assign a custom template to a Community Member Email List:
- In the Admin Toolbar, click Admin.
- Navigate to Users > List Builder.
- Select Community Member Email List from the menu. All of the default best practice (denoted by BP) email lists are displayed, along with any custom ones that have been created. You can update any of these to use one of your custom templates.
- To create a new email list, click Create at the top right.
- On the resulting page, select which community(ies) can use the template and configure its criterion to control which community members it's sent to. To do so:
- Select the desired Community Type from the first menu to allow Community Admins of those communities to:
- Send the email template selected from the second menu (this will be one of your custom templates) to:
- The community members meeting the criterion you add from the third menu (you can add multiple criterion by repeating this step).
TIP: After clicking the drop-down, you can type in the search field at the top to quickly filter the criterion you're looking for.
- Lastly, give your email list a name. Make sure it's descriptive to help admins understand who the To line will target (e.g. "Community Members who joined in the last 30 days").
- Click Save when finished to create your email list.
EXAMPLE: You could create an email list like "Allow [Chapter] Community Admins to send the [Custom Email Template] email to their community members who [joined the specified community within the last specified number of days]"
Once created, Super Admins and Community Admins of Chapter (i.e., the Community Type) communities can select this email list in the To menu when emailing their community members. In this example, the email list is called Community Members who joined in the last 30 days:
Personalization using variables
Refer to the Use and Understand Variables section of this article to learn more personalizing aspects of an email template.