Workflows with Email Actions

Email Actions

Workflow Template Actions are where you define the content of your communications, a very important part of the Workflow Template build. An Email Action is designed to send out an email or SMS to recipients when the Workflow is triggered.

There are a few areas you'll need to fill out before you can send out an Email Action. We'll go through these below.

Settings

Action Label
This is the name of your Email Action. We recommend sticking to a standard naming convention for your Workflow Template actions, as this makes them much easier to identify. An example of a naming convention would be:

'Name of recipient(s) - Subject of the Communication'

'Delegates & Managers - Course has been cancelled' or 'Administrator - Course has not met minimum places'

Action Name
This is where you select the type of action that will trigger; an SMS or an Email. If you are unable to choose SMS at this point, you will need to contact your CSM in order to have this activated on accessplanit.

Parameters

Action Date
The first setting Action Date is where you define when the Action will trigger.

You have a few options to choose from with the Action Date:

  • Field
    The field option allows you to trigger your email based on a date field from your Workflow Template's module.
  • Constant
    The constant option allows to specify the date and time that this Workflow Template action will trigger. 



  • Function
    The function option is the most commonly used action date option. It's similar to the constant field, but allows you to trigger your Workflow Template based on the date field, rather than restricting you to that date only.
    This option is used for all communications which send x days before or after a course, including course date reminders and follow up emails. This option is also used for Workflow Template actions which should trigger immediately (such as an invoice being fully paid), but a 5 minute delay is added so that any accidental updates can be rectified before the email sends.



  • Advanced
    The Advanced option allows you to enter your own trigger date requirements. This should only be used when you are confident with Workflow Actions.


Send On Action Date Only
This option allows you to prevent your Workflow from generating if the action date has already passed, such as preventing a 7 day course reminder email from sending to people booked onto a course 5 days before the course.

This option is currently only available for Email Workflow Actions.

To Address
This is where you will select the recipient(s) of your Workflow Template action

You have a few options to choose from when defining the recipients of your Workflow Template action:


  • Field
    The field option is the most commonly used To Address. Here, you can select a series of recipients for your email from your Workflow Template's module
  • Constant
    The constant option allows to define one or more specific email addresses to receive the communication.


  • Advanced
    The advanced option allows you to enter your own recipient information. This should on be used when you are confident with Workflow Actions.


Content

Once you have added the above information into your Workflow Template action, you can start adding the content of your communication.

There are three ways that you can add the content of your communication into your Workflow Template Actions. At accessplanit, we recommend that you use Email Templates as your standard method, however there are pros and cons to using each method, and you can mix and match across different Workflows depending on your requirements.

Method
Description
Pros
Cons

Using Email Templates

Useful for standard Workflows, particularly those that you may wish to resend.

When building a Workflow action, you would select which Email Template to use from a drop down box.

Email Templates are typically created before the Workflow, but they can be created during the Workflow action process.

Workflows are for automatic communications, whereas Email Templates can also be manually send out throughout accessplanit, so you if you have a corresponding Email Template, you can reissue the exact same content as your Workflow later if a user needs it re-sending.

You can quickly make changes to your email content in the future without having to access the entire Workflow.

There is a lower risk of human error as the list of Email Templates is significantly shorter than Text Templates.

The Workflow Template creation process can be more time consuming as you need to build up the content of your communication in a separate area of the platform first.

This method cannot be used for SMS Workflows.

Using Text Templates

Useful for Workflows where content is shared throughout. For example emails to different recipients about the same topic: i.e. Did Not Attend emails to the Delegate, their manager, their employer and an administrator could all share the same Text Template subject.

When building a Workflow action, you would select which Text Templates to use from a series of drop down boxes, you need to select a Text Template for:

  • Subject
  • Body
  • Signature

Text Templates are typically created before the Workflow, but they can be created during the Workflow action process.

Text Templates can be selected for use in multiple Workflow Templates, so if you have any Workflow Templates which will share the same Subject or Body this approach could save you time. It also means that if you even need to update this content you'll only need to change it in one place (the Text Template).


The Workflow Template creation process can be more time consuming as you need to build up the content of your communication in a separate area of the platform.

If Text Templates are not labelled well, it can make selecting them for a Workflow Template action very difficult if you have a lot to search through. This leads to a higher risk of human error as it can be easy to select the wrong Text Template.

Per Workflow action you need to select a subject Text Template, a body Text Template and a signature Text Template so this method is the most time consuming.


Entering content directly into your Workflow

Useful for ad-hoc Workflows, or those which will not require reissuing at any point.

When building a Workflow action, you would enter the subject and body directly into the page.

You would need to select a Text Template as your signature.

Lowest risk of human error as the information is input directly into the page, not selected from the drop down box.

The creation process for Workflow Templates is quicker as everything about the Workflow Template action is managed in one page.

As the content is directly input into the Workflow Template action, you cannot share that content with other Workflow Templates or email templates.

You are unable to ‘preview’ your content using an example from the platform.

When adding the content of your action's Subject, it is not possible to select from available merge fields such as the name of the course.

If you are creating an SMS Workflow, don't forget to limit the content to 160 characters so it will fit in a text this includes the HTML in code view. You can still create this content through the Text Template, or you can insert it directly into the Workflow action. You may need to speak with the Helpdesk or your CSM to activate SMS communications.

Using Email Templates
To build your Workflow action using Email Templates, select the relevant Email Template from the Email Template drop-down box. 

If you would like to learn more about Email Templates, please click here.


Using Text Templates
To build your Workflow Action using Text Templates, ensure that the Email Template drop down box reads 'Custom', and the Subject/Body drop-down box is set to ‘Template’, then select the relevant Text Template in the next field.

If you would like to learn more about Text Templates, please click here.


Entering content directly into your Workflow
To build your Workflow action without Email or Text Templates, ensure that the Email Template drop down box reads 'Custom', and the Subject/Body drop-down box is set to ‘Constant’, then enter your content directly into the next field.

Attachments
It is possible to attach both Document Templates and static files to your Workflow actions. You can attach either File Store Documents, or Document Templates to your Workflow.

Please note, Document Templates will only populate correctly if you have the right model selected for your Workflow:

  • Documents which display information about one Delegate per page (e.g. Certificates) will only populate when a UserCourseDate model is used.
  • Documents which display information about multiple delegates per page (e.g. Sign in Sheets)will only populate when the CourseDate model is used and the Document Template is assigned to the Course Template within either the Register or Sign In Sheet field.

Invoices can now also be sent as PDFs via Workflows. 

In the Actions at the bottom of the email, make sure the 'attached email as PDF' is selected.

Signature
If you are not using Email Templates, the final aspect to complete on your Workflow Template is to select the Signature to be used. Signatures must be created as Text Templates first, then selected for use within your Workflow Template action. Signature Text Templates must be created using the User module - these can then be used on any Workflow with any module.