Touchpoint Software Documentation | Creating Email Templates

Creating Email Templates

What Are Templates?

Templates

Templates are a means for a church to brand its emails by including items such as your church’s name, address, phone number, website URL, and a logo. We also encourage you to always include the {unsubscribe} link in the templates themselves, so each emailer does not have to remember to include it. You may also want to include the {track} and {tracklinks} codes directly in the templates.

Each ministry or special event can have it own template, especially if each has its own logo.

Email templates can be created or modified only by the system Admin or a user with Design role. This person should have a working knowledge of HTML. While templates can be created only by certain users, the purpose is for every user that sends emails to have access to the templates he needs.

Visibility of Templates

Unless you assign a specific role to a template, they are available to all users except My Data users. See below regarding roles for templates.

See also

Tracking Emails

Each database will have some templates to provide a starting point for creating your own templates.

Suggestion

Instead of modifying these templates, click the Source button in the header, copy the source code and paste it into a new template and modify that one.

Starter Templates

These are the templates that are included in every database.

Empty Template

This does not contain anything. You may choose to modify a copy of this one by inserting a footer with your church’s basic information and an {unsubscribe} link. That will insure that every email that is sent by your users contains that information.

Important

Do not delete the Empty Template. If someone accidentally deletes it your database will automatically create a Blank Template. However, that template does not have all the features that you need for your emails. This is a temporary measure.

You will need to replace the Empty Template. While we call it ‘Empty’ it does have some necessary code in it. But it appears empty to the person using the template. Click the link below to find the code and instructions.

Recreate Empty Template for your Database

Basic Template

Below is the basic template.

Notice that this has the reason the person is receiving the email, the unsubscribe link (we recommend including that in all emails to more than just a few people) and the track code in addition to the church information. Remember that the track code only works when there is an image.

Also, you see the Template is assigned a Name, but you could also assign a Title (Subject).

The default Role is Everyone. Obviously, for your church’s basic template, you certainly want everyone to be able to use it.

http://files.tpsdb.com/hope.1206262215.6-26-2012%2010-10-11%20PM.png

Basic Template

Newsletter Template

This is designed for you to use for your church’s newsletters. You can insert your logo and save the template for use with all of the newsletters that are sent for your church through TouchPoint. Or, you may want to save several newsletter templates - one for each ministry.

Here is the starter newsletter template.

http://files.tpsdb.com/hope.1206262216.6-26-2012%2010-08-18%20PM.png

Newsletter Template

Technical Knowledge about Templates

The person creating your templates should be familiar with HTML and CSS Styles. It is beyond the scope of our job to teach you how to do this, but there are tons of free materials online. Plus you can examine our templates to get some idea of how it is done.

Actually, email templates can be harder than a basic web page, because you have to consider how your recipients are going to be viewing the newsletter. Many will be using Outlook which is not a browser, but it does a fairly good job of displaying a Web page type of email, if you stick to the basics and use tables to lay things out.

Caution

You cannot reference external style sheets in your templates.

Basically, the magic for TouchPoint’s email templates is a div tag with the bvedit attribute. That allows the division/section to be editable so users can insert their own content. If you enter the exact text Click here to edit content in the editable body of the email of your template, when the sender clicks inside the body, that text will disappear, leaving a blank slate for him to enter his content.

Getting Started

Go to Administration > Setup > Special Content and s elect the Email Templates tab. This is where you can choose to either edit an existing template or to create a New Email Template.

The Basic Newsletter Template has the role ScheduleEmails associated with it. That means that only a user with that role or an Admin will be able to use that Template, unless you remove or change the role.

http://i.tpsdb.com/2016-10-20_23-00-10.png

Email Templates in Special Content

Email Templates and Roles

Each template can be assign a user role. The default is Everyone, but you may want to restrict certain templates by assigning a different user role.

Existing Roles
You can use existing user roles and assign those to certain templates. For example, you want only those with Finance role to use the template you create that has a footer with links to your online giving page, so you assign the role Finance to that template. Or you may create a template for Membership, for those staff members working in that ministry to use. You can also have templates that are open to most of your staff, but not lay leaders. So you could limit the template to those with Edit role.
Create New Roles

You can create roles to use just for locking down templates if you need to restrict the template more by the ministry rather than the standard user roles.

Be sure to create the role, assign it to those who need it, and then select that role for the template.

Use Case

You create a template for your Student Ministry containing their logo, links to their website, and the ministry’s phone number. In order for this template to display for only those in Student Ministry, create a role named Student Ministry and assign that role to only those users in your Student Ministry who you need to be able to send emails using that special template. Then assign that role to the template.

© 2018 TouchPoint Software, LLC.  All rights reserved.