Better, clearer organization of email templates
We'd like to improve the current workflow of creating and using email templates. In this thread we've collected all the comments we've found about email templates and merged related threads. Feel free to add more ideas.
Here are the most common wishes:
1. Sort templates into folders,
2. Full display of long filenames,
3. Sorting and search
4. Save without quiting
Becky Parsons commented
Every time I train a new volunteer Newsletter Editor they always describe our software as "clunky", and after a couple months they are ready to quit. In WA, designing a professional looking newsletter is a lot harder than designing a professional looking web page.
1. Please allow us to insert layouts into emails as we go, just as we can do in web page design. Your template layouts are so limiting. Picture layout is difficult at best.
2. Please create a caption space for picture layout in email blasts.
3. And yes, please allow folders for templates to be set up.
4. And yes, please allow paragraph spacing flexibility in emails so we don't have huge spaces between paragraphs.
I agree wholeheartedly with having the ability to sort templates in various ways, automatic thumbnails of templates, and using a list view to conserve scrolling time.
One additional thing that would make templates and emails much easier to work with would be the ability to have template blocks that can be added, deleted, and rearranged. For example, in a newsletter, we have numerous articles that are now created as one long block of text. I would love to be able to make each article a block that can be moved up or down so that it is easy to edit the flow of the newsletter.
Another issue I have noticed with email templates is that (usually when you have more than one person working on them) sometimes the code gets ridiculously long, repeating the style information over and over when it is unnecessary. Then, the email starts acting oddly or changes to the text will not work and I have to go into the HTML editor and clean up vast amounts of code. This is incredibly time-consuming!
I'm not sure if this information is helpful, but Constant Contact has these features. Their templates are light-years ahead of WA in terms of usability.
Kara Henrys commented
A folder system to organize our email templates would be great. We have so many that need to be updated and repeated each month/year (newsletters, event confirmations, etc.) that some sort of Word-like filing system would make them so much easier to track down as opposed to trying to remember what you named it.
Really need the ability to sort email templates into folders.
In my emailing so far (fairly new to WA) I've noticed two things:
1) Even the simplest of emails require multiple steps to send (maybe there is a way to send simple emails faster?)
2) I often start an email and realise I need to refer to something elsewhere in WA, and have to go back. I can't do this without the empty 'draft' email being left behind. Perhaps an option to cancel a new email would fix this. Even better would be a way to allow the new email to occur in a second window, so I could refer to other information from WA at the same time! This would be so helpful.
Simon van Lieshout commented
Email list forwarding via an alias per group/saved search (see wishlist item with title "email list forwarding"). This would offer a huge usability improvement for less technically able administrators and organisations with administrative functions distributed amongst multiple people. If security is a concern, sending emails from the app using a simplified interface and template would be a great alternative.
Simon van Lieshout commented
Email list forwarding from an alias should also be within the scope of this thread as a solution to improved usability. See https://forums.wildapricot.com/forums/308932-wishlist/suggestions/18585130-email-list-forwarding
I've been reading through this trail of emails, the most recent one being older than 1 year!
I still dont know how to group our created emails into subfolders on the email template page??
Please, this is an organisational necessity!!
If I have missed something on how to do that, please let me know!!
Sorting using the naming convention you describe Randall is the workaround I use in all parts of the system including the website for items not in menu. It's the only way I have found to "sort" and "file" pages and email templates in Wild Apricot.
Randall Rensch commented
> our Email area is a mess because we are unable to sort custom templates into folders. <
Same here. Adding to the frustration is that even when hovered, the full name of a template is truncated (unlike when viewing from the "Emails" screen), so we have to be very careful about the first 20 or so characters.
To "archive" old templates (either for possible resurrection or just to save evaluation time), I've resorted to renaming them so they'll appear at the end of the list, and add a prefix for to put things at top. For example:
- Dues Reminder 01
- Simple Email
- News (long)
But this is a silly workaround at best. Folders, full display of long filenames, and various sorts, please! A customizable pop-up stylesheet and user guide would be helpful, too, but that's a broader wish.
GOPS Webmaster commented
For newsletter templates, I'd like to see them in a folder and then an option to automatically save them upon sending them into a different folder (perhaps a sub folder) which can then be viewed by members or the general public. Past newsletters are a way of letting perspective new members see what our organization is all about, what we do, etc. Right now, I'm saving the received newsletter email to a .pdf file as a Newsletter on a Google Drive folder for public access. It's tacky.
Lisa Sansom commented
I'd like a macro or code that I can insert into a template that will automatically populate with the date that the email sends out. For example, I send out a weekly newsletter. Each week, I have to manually input the date that I'm sending it out. If I forget, it goes out with the default date (which right now, happens to be June 2012 for some reason). If I had a piece of code in there, then it would populate it with [today's date] or [sent date] or something like that. Thanks!
Mass-mailing is elaborate, multi-stage, and hence verbose. It would be lovely to have a shortcut to the no template, no preview emailing: a Simple Email option leads to the text editor with Contacts selection and a Send button. Emails/Simple Email/Type and Send.
Tricia Harding commented
Better and easier to use templates for emails. A way to manage email templates that we have developed, like folders...
Agree with other comments, our Email area is a mess because we are unable to sort custom templates into folders. Included in this is the inability to have an archive folder to clear out the old templates (do not want to delete these) away from the current templates.
It would also be useful to be able to sort Email templates into name / last used order
We would al
Could you, please, offer more than just one view of the email templates? Also, it would be helpful to have a search feature.
Stacey Zeitlin commented
Agree with others that it would be great to be able to sort template emails in folders for different themes/topics. Our template area is a MESS!
Would like to be able to format the email message when manually sending an invoice. The formatting is centered (once message is sent), and looks very unprofessional.
Dan Verrico commented
When scheduling an email for future delivery, we would like to designate the time day (approximate) that the email is queued. As it is now, the email is scheduled to be delivered at the same time of day as the start of the event. For example, if our event has an evening start time, say 6 pm, event emails can only be delivered at or near 6 PM (when scheduled in advance); it would be better to have these emails delivered during the work day or early morning so there is a better chance they will be read.
Also, I believe it is better to designate a date for delivery rather than "days ahead" as it is now - I recommend that you reverse the function to have the user input a date and have the site indicate how many days ahead that date actually is.
We've studied the ideas and comments in this thread and created a prototype to try some of them. If you have some time please check it out here - https://wildapricot.invisionapp.com/share/M2BQA98RT#/screens
Important to know: This is just a prototype, a promo, not a working solution, so be cautious there are only few actions available on the screen.
What exactly changed:
List view instead of tile
More actions on the list
Email templates are now created using email composing wizard
No more thumbnails for now
We have few questions for you:
Will this workflow be better for you?
Did we miss anything?
To leave your feedback please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or add your comments here.