New Enhancements to Email Functionality in Builder Prime
New Email Template Variables
As you may be aware, you are able to use variables in email templates allowing you to customize and personalize emails depending on lead information, project information, meeting information, etc. For example, you can use a variable for a client’s name and depending on the client you are sending the email to, or about, the system will automatically populate that specific client’s name. (Reminder: You can access variables in email templates by typing ‘%’, which will show a list of the available variables. Select the variable you’d like to enter, and it will be populated with the correct information each time the email is sent.)
With this new update, this functionality just got much more powerful due to all of the new variables you can use in your email templates. Here are a few examples of the types of variables you can now make use of:
- Employee photo: Automatically insert the photo of your employee from their employee record in different sizes and shapes. You might want to use this to let your customers know what you look like before you arrive at their home or business.
- Employee Bio: You can now save a Bio for your employees in their employee record that you can automatically include in an email. This may be handy for introducing your sales reps to your customers before a meeting.
- Link/button to client or project: Automatically include a link or a button to access either a client record or project record in Builder Prime, making it easier for employee recipients to click a button and be taken directly to the pertinent location in the platform.
- Custom Fields: We will talk more about this below.
- Upcoming Meeting fields: We will talk more about this below.
- Company Email Signature: We will talk more about this below.
Custom Field Variables
You will notice in your Client- and Project- based emails that you now have up to 9 different custom field variables that you can include in your templates. This will allow you to include any of the custom fields that you specify on your client or project records in an email template. To make use of these variables, you just need to assign a variable name to your custom fields. Simply open the custom field definition in the Admin > Configure screen and choose the variable name to assign. Then if there is a value populated in one of those fields, it will be included wherever you specify for that variable to be inserted.
Upcoming Meeting Variables
You now have the ability to include variables about the next upcoming meeting in an email template with a Client context. This is a big deal because it now allows you to fully automate the sending of emails with upcoming meeting information. Previously, it took a couple of clicks to send an appointment confirmation after setting a meeting on the sales calendar. But now you don’t even need to remember to do this anymore because the email will look up the details for the next upcoming meeting rather than requiring you to manually send out an appointment confirmation.
Customize the Email Format
There are two new ways that you can customize the format of the emails sent out from the CRM. You can choose whether or not your logo is required at the top of the email, and you can also change the email format from HTML to Plain Text. A little more on what this means and why it matters…
Prior to this update, all emails sent from the CRM would include your logo at the top. Now, if you don’t want to include the logo at the top of the email, you don’t have to. You might choose not to include it for aesthetic reasons, but you may also choose not to include it for improved deliverability (i.e. less chance of going in the spam or Gmail’s Promotions folder). Different email service providers have different things they look for when determining whether to include an email in spam or in one of the less desirable category tabs in Gmail. One thing that many providers will look at is the images in the email. If the email has a lot of images, many providers may give it a lower importance score and make it less likely that the recipient sees and opens it. We don’t necessarily recommend removing the logo right away, but if you do notice issues with emails you send going to spam too often, this might be something you want to try to improve deliverability, at least on certain email templates.
We then take this one step further by giving you more control over the deliverability of your emails. One other thing that email service providers look at when determining the importance of an email with respect to spam is whether the email is HTML or Plain Text. HTML is a markup language that is used to design and build web pages and apps. It is also used to format email messages making them look more like a web page rather than just boring text. In Builder Prime, all emails have always been formatted using HTML up until now, but different email providers will sometimes think this means that the email is more likely to be related to marketing, advertising, or just plain old spam. We now give you the ability to send emails from the Builder Prime CRM using Plain Text instead. By sending an email in Plain Text, you will lose the beautiful formatting, any images, and any ability to track opens and link clicks from your recipients. The upside of this is that it should result in improved deliverability and help to keep those emails out of the spam folders. We don’t necessarily recommend changing the format for all of your emails, but if you do notice issues with important transactional emails going into spam folders, you might consider changing to Plain Text in those scenarios.
Improved CC (Carbon Copy) Functionality
In this update, we cleaned up a lot of the functionality to CC other email addresses besides just the main recipient. When sending an email to a client through Builder Prime, you will see any additional contacts or other clients that are part of the same account listed to optionally include as a CC recipient. Additionally, if you are sending the email from a project (e.g. contract or invoice), you will also see the Sales Person, Project Manager, or Foreman listed to optionally include. Finally, you will now have the ability to type in any additional email addresses to include in the CC line even if they are not associated with the client or project in any way.
Standard Company Email Signatures
If you head over to your Admin > My Company page, you will see a new place where you can set your standard company wide email signature. Builder Prime will automatically populate the information for whoever is the sender on the email. Furthermore, you will find a new variable available in your email templates to easily include the company email signature in any of your templates.
Toggle Between Invoice and Receipt Email Templates
When emailing an invoice to a client from the Billing tab of a project, you previously only had one choice of template to use. This template was intended for sending an invoice that has not been paid. In a lot of cases, it may also be handy to send the invoice after payment is received. But you would want to use different language when sending the invoice in this context, perhaps referring to it as a receipt rather than an invoice. Now, once a payment is recorded against an invoice, you will see a toggle on the button to send the invoice to the client. If you click the drop down arrow, you now have the option to email the receipt instead. This will bring up a separate email template that can be used for this scenario. You can customize the standard language of this template in the Email Templates section in Admin > Configure.
Improved Behavior of Email Builder / Formatter
In some cases, the behavior of the text box that you would use to create or modify your email templates would behave a bit inconsistently, particularly when it came to line breaks. We have made some improvements here to give you better control of creating the emails exactly as you want them, as well as making the behavior more predictable and consistent. This actually applies to everywhere you will find this text formatting functionality, and not just the email templates.