PPS Activity Templates allow you to create templates that you can use in various forms to send out pre-formed correspondence to clients. These can be used on an individual basis, for appointment confirmations and reminders, or as part of the PPS mail merge process.
Setting up your Activity Templates
a. To begin, navigate to Tools > Activity Templates. Here you will see a list of any pre-existing Activity Templates on your system. These are sorted by categories which you can use to filter the entries via the options to the left of the screen. You can assign the Category at the point of Adding or Modifying the template. It is important that the correct category is chosen so that the template is available for its intended use. Templates you wish to send automatically at the time of appointment booking, for example, must be assigned to the 'Appointment Booking Confirmation' category. Templates created for the purposes of Mail Merge must be assigned to 'Marketing / Mail Shot'. Templates that are for miscellaneous or ad-hoc use can be assigned to the 'Non-specific / General' category.
You also have the option to assign 'Types' to the templates which you can use for your own filtering and categorising of the templates. To add a new Type you need to add or modify a template and enter the name of the Activity Type you want to create into the Type field.
b. To create a new template choose Add at the bottom of the screen. To make changes to an existing template select it from the list and choose Modify.
c. At the top of the Activity Template screen you can assign a name to this template in order to identify it and assign the Category and Type mentioned above. Here you can also choose a Default Activity Category which is useful should you wish to report on types of activities sent from your system. Add new Activity Categories via Tools > Look Up Tables.
Below here you will see your template divided into five types: Letter, E-Mail, SMS, Telephone call, and Label. These are the different forms that PPS can send activities in and you can use as many of these as is necessary for this particular template. For automatic activities such as confirmations the different forms can be used alongside client contact preferences to ensure the correct correspondence is scheduled for each client.
The first of the options is Letter. The subject here is for your use only and will not be included when the letter is printed.
You can create a letter template by attaching a pre-made word document or by adding plain text to the box in the Letters Using PPS section of this screen. If you do not have a document pre-made but do not wish to use plain text then choose Create New Document and build the letter document without leaving PPS.
With either of these options you can use PPS Merge Fields to automatically populate relevant information such as client or appointment details. Merge fields are readily available via the Merge Field button.
At the bottom of the screen you have the option to trigger a printout of address labels at the time of using this template for a client. From here you can also set up follow-up options.
Send letters, or simply test your new template via Activities > Send a Letter.
Your next option is E-Mail. The initial field here is Subject, which allows you to add a subject just as you would with an email being sent from your regular e-mail program.
As with letters you have more than one input option here; plain text or HTML. If you'd like to use plain text then simply type the content of the email, including any merge fields in the Plain Text style E-Mail section.
Alternatively you can use a HTML style email. If you have built a HTML template outside of PPS then select the file here in order to use it for this template. Alternatively, you can use PPS's inbuilt HTML wizard which allows you to build and format simple HTML type e-mails. Press the HTML Wizard button in this section to access the Wizard.
Extra Information: Please note, if you are a PPS Local user you will need to ensure that the email client you're using allows for the sending of HTML emails. Most SMTP accounts can process these whereas some local installations such as Outlook cannot.
Please note, you can only use either a HTML or Plain text, not both. If you add a HTML template then this will override anything entered in the plain text field.
If you'd like to send an attachment to recipients of this e-mail then select the file via the Email Attachment section.
Send this template to a client, or to yourself as a test, via Activities > Send an E-Mail.
The third activity format available is SMS message. The subject field here is for your own use only and will not be seen by the client.
SMS Messages from PPS are sent by our third-party SMS provider - BOOM-SMS. You'll need to set up an account with them before sending SMS messages from PPS.
SMS templates can use merge fields in the same way as other formats but are limited to 160 characters. Beyond this limit, each instance of the message being sent will cost further credits. For example, an SMS message of 143 characters will cost 1 credit, whereas a message of 168 characters will cost 2.
Tip: Take into consideration how merge fields can alter the size of your message. When using <<TITLE>> <<SURNAME>> for example, sending a message to Mr. Lee will total fewer characters than sending to Mrs. Jefferson. The final character limit, and thus the cost, is calculated based on what actually sends, not by the limit before any merge fields are generated.
By default, messages costing more than one credit are disabled via your BOOM account so will not send. If you would like to enable these then log into your account at boom-sms.co.uk using the details found in PPS via Tools > System Set Up > SMS Message Account Settings. Once logged in to BOOM head to My Account > Edit Settings and tick Multipart Messages.
Send or schedule a new SMS via Activites > New SMS Text Message.
The next option is Telephone call. The text you enter here will be presented to whichever PPS user processes the activity and is due to make the telephone call to this client. Schedule a new Telephone Call via Activities > New Telephone Call.
Your final option is Label. Add text here that will be populated when printing the label. You can find out more about setting up labels in PPS here.
Once you're happy with the formats you've set up choose Save at the bottom of the screen. You can come back and alter the template at any time, adding or removing different formats as required.