Channergy Email Notification System

by mark, September 12, 2016

Introduction

The new html email notification tool (find out why you need the HTML Email Tool here) allows you to set up email notifications in html that automatically send to your customers to let them know the status of their orders including back orders, shipping notifications, statement etc.   The tool comes with a set of pre-built templates that can be used for building other email notifications.

Note: Looking for help on the built in plain text email tool? Go to: http://www.channergy.com/help/using-channergy/email-notifications/

You can use the Email Tool to send newsletters to your customers, but we also recommend 3rd party applications like Mailchimp, Vertical Response, Constant Contact etc. as they measure click throughs and other analytics. The Email Tool is best suited for reminders to your customers based on their purchase history, demographics etc. (like recommended products, refills of consumables, invitations to blogs etc.).

Subscribe to or Purchase the HTML Email Tool…

 

Launching the Email Notification Tool

The installer creates an icon on the desktop called Channergy Email Management.  This is where  you will update the templates and settings.

The ChannergyEmail utility is installed in the Tools menu this is where you will send out emails that require user input such as a date range or order number.

Using the Email Notification Tool

The Toolbar

The toolbar contains a set of icons that will allow you to quickly access some of the features of the email notification system.

Most of the icons are self explanatory however there are some that may need some clarification

Data Folder Setup-Click this icon to change the Channergy data folder that the utility is linked to.

Screen Shot 08-09-16 at 10.28 AM Email Server Setup- Use this to set up the email server credentials and the default from email address information.

Screen Shot 08-09-16 at 10.58 AMEdit Default Template-Click on this icon to open up the default HTML email template that your notifications will use.

Screen Shot 08-09-16 at 12.31 PMPreview Email-Click this to preview a list of the emails that will be sent using the selected email notification.

 

Data Folder Set Up

When you install the tool, you will be prompted to select the data folder that it will be linked to.  However, if you wan to connect to a different Channergy data folder.

  1. Click on the  to update the folder.
  2. The Manage Channergy Connection window will open. 
  3. Click on the Update Data Folder button. 
  4. Select the data folder and click on OK

Email Server Set Up

When you first install the tool you will need to set up your email server that you will use for sending out your emails.

  1. Click on the email server settings icon Screen Shot 08-09-16 at 10.28 AM
  2. The Default Settings screen will open 
    1. Add/Update the server settings as follows.
      1. SMTP Server: This is the server that the application will be using to send out the emails.
      2. SMTP Login Name: This is the login name to that server.  Most of the time it is an email address.
      3. SMTP Password: This is the associated password for that login.
      4. SMTP Port: This is the port that the server will be listening to for emails.  You can contact your ISP if you are not certain about this one.
      5. Use SSL:  Check this box if you are connecting to the server using SSL (Secure Socket Layer).  You can contact your ISP if you are not certain about this one.
      6. The following settings will be used in the email header information as well as allow you to send emails to other members of your company
        1. From Email: This is what shows up on the from address of the email notifications
        2. From Name: This is what will show up in the company name of the emails.
        3. Reply To: This is what email address will be used if the person receives the email and wants to reply to it.
        4. CC: This is an optional email address that all of the emails will be sent to.
        5. BCC: This is an optional email address that all of the emails will be sent to but will not be visible to the recipient.
  3. Click on OK to save the settings.

Email Template Setup

The email notification application comes with a default template that you can customize for your business.  It allows you to add images and other information to all of the emails that you send out through this tool.  The template file opens up in a html editor that will allow you to add html to your emails including links numbered lists or bullets.

This is the default layout that all of the individual email notifications will be based off of.   The [Header],[Detail] and [Footer] will be replaced by data added in the HTML Code tabs below.

  1. Click on the Edit Email Template icon Screen Shot 08-09-16 at 10.58 AM
  2. This will open the Edit Master Template window. Screen Shot 08-09-16 at 11.38 AM
  3. From this window, you can change the layout and add images to your default template.  Note: Do not rename the [Header],[Detail] and [Footer] name as the software uses those to replace the email header, detail and footer information with data from the email notification scripts.
  4. Click on the Screen Shot 08-09-16 at 11.43 AM to save the template and close the window.

 

 

Email Details

This is the window that opens when you first start the application.  It allows you to select an email notification to edit and change the default senders email address, reply to email address etc.  This screen is also where you set up when the email notification is sent out, how frequently it is sent in addition to activating/deactivating automatically sending out the email notifications.

  • Email Name– This is the name of the email notification that you are currently editing.  Notice that is also shown up on the toolbar.
  • From Email– This is the email address that shows in the from address field of the recipient.  This is the default setting from the Default Settings window.
  • From Name– This is what will show up in the company name of the emails. This is the default setting from the Default Settings window.
  • Reply To-This is what email address will be used if the person receives the email and wants to reply to it. This is the default setting from the Default Settings window.
  • CC-This is an optional email address that all of the emails will be sent to.  This is the default setting from the Default Settings window.
  • BCC-This is an optional email address that all of the emails will be sent to but will not be visible to the recipient.  This is the default setting from the Default Settings window.
  • Update Contact Log-Checking this box will create an attachment in the customers profile containing the email that was sent out.
  • Email Frequency– This is the setting as to how often you want the emails to be sent out.  The options are
    • Daily
    • Weekly
    • Monthly
  • Send Emails On– You can use this setting to select a day of the week that emails are sent out on.
  • Delay Each Email for– This setting allows you to put a delay in between when each email is sent out.
  • Activate-Emails for this email name will only be sent out if this is checked.

SQL Tab

This is the tab where the SQL code is added for the specific email notification.  The application is installed with several default email notifications prebuilt.

  • SQL Window-This is the window that contains the SQL code that pulls the data from the Channergy database that will be used to generate the email notification.  If you want to build a new notification it is advisable that you write the SQL in the Database System Utility first to help check for syntax errors.
  • Email Field-This is the field that the system uses for the send to email address.  In most cases it is the Customer Email address.  If you click on the combo box, it will run the SQL an pull a list of fields for you to select from.   Screen Shot 08-09-16 at 02.44 PM
  • Group By-This is the field that you want the details grouped by.  For most order related email notifications it will be the OrderNo.  If you click on the combo box, it will run the SQL an pull a list of fields for you to select from.
  • Cust No– This the customer number field that you want the notification to use.  Note that this field is required if you have the Update Contact Log box checked in the Email Details tab.
  • Refresh Data-This button will rerun the SQL and reload the data fields.
  • Has Prompt-This option allows you to add a prompt to your email notification such as a date range or order number
  • Prompt 1-If the has prompt is checked, this field must be set up.
  • Data Type-There are three data types to choose from DATE, TEXT and INTEGER
  • Check SQL– This button will open up a new window that will allow you to verify your SQL.
    • If the email notification requires a prompt for the SQL to run, a dialog box will pop up asking for a valid range.
    • Clicking on the Check SQL button will run the SQL code that is in the main SQL window and display any errors.
  • Preview– If you click this button it will run the SQL query and display a list of records.  Screen Shot 08-09-16 at 02.51 PM

 

 

Design HTML Code

This tab is where you “build” out the template for the selected email notification.  It is divided into four tabs

  • Header
  • Detail
  • Footer
  • Preview

The first three tabs are the building blocks for the final product which is what the preview tab is for.  All three tabs have the Insert Field combo box which will allow you to add one of the fields to the template by simply selecting it from the combo box.

Header Tab

This is the first part of the email that the recipient will see.  It is where you will put the recipients name and some details about what the email is about.  It is also where you would place the header row for the detail records that are in the detail section of the email.  Note that the information in the square brackets are the Channergy field names that will be replaced by the data from the SQL query.

This is where you will also define the subject for your email notification.  There is an insert field combo box next to the subject line where you can add one of the data fields to the subject.

If you click on the Screen Shot 08-09-16 at 03.35 PMbutton at the bottom of the HTML edit window you will see the HTML source displayed Screen Shot 08-09-16 at 03.38 PM

Any edits made in this screen will be saved in the same manner as if you did the edits in the Design tab.

Detail Tab

The detail tab is what contains the items that are in the email notification.  Think of this as the items in an order.  There may be only one item in an order or multiple items.  If there are multiple items in the Detail section the template is simply replicated for each item.

Screen Shot 08-09-16 at 03.43 PM

Generally speaking the only items in the detail tab should be ones that are going to be repeated how ever many times as there are items in an order or in a purchase order.  The fields in the square brackets should match the header information in the Header tab. In the example in the screen shots the last piece of information in the header is:

Screen Shot 08-09-16 at 03.50 PM

Which matches the Channergy data fields in the details tab

Screen Shot 08-09-16 at 03.54 PM

Footer Tab

The footer tab will contain information relating to a summary of the email notification.  If it is an invoice it would typically include tax, shipping and total amounts and possibly shipping information.

Screen Shot 08-09-16 at 03.59 PM

Preview Layout Tab

This tab is what puts the Header,Detail and the Footer together in one screen so that you can look at how the pieces merge together.

Screen Shot 08-09-16 at 04.05 PM

Note that this is not an editable screen any changes you may make here will not be saved.  If you want to change something in the layout you need to do so in the appropriate tab.

 

Manually Sending Emails

The Email Notification Setup application has the ability to send individual email notifications.  This is primarily for testing purposes, but it is useful if you want to send an email out now as opposed to waiting for the scheduled time.  The system tracks what emails have been sent out so that the recipient will not get a duplicate email.

To access this feature click on the Preview Email (Screen Shot 08-09-16 at 12.31 PM) icon on the Tool Bar.  This will open a list of emails that can be sent out.

Screen Shot 08-09-16 at 04.15 PM

If you want to send one of the emails, click on one of the data fields in the grid and the email will load in the preview box below.

Screen Shot 08-09-16 at 04.18 PM

Click on the Send Email button and you will be notified if the email was successful.

If you selected the option to Update the Contact Log, the system will create a new attachment in the customers profile with the contents of the email attached.

Screen Shot 08-10-16 at 08.22 AM

 

Sending Emails with Prompts

Once the emails have been set up in the HtmlEmail utility, emails that require user prompts can be sent using the ChannergyEmail utility that can be launched from the Tools menu.

 

This utility will only list the email notifications that require user intervention before the email is sent.

When the email has been sent you will get a dialog box similar to this

 

 

Setting up for Automatic Email Delivery

This email notification system also has the ability to send out emails on a schedule.  The scheduling is defined by the settings on the Email Details tab

The automatic email notification system will not automatically send out an email notification if the activate box is not checked.

To set up the automatic emails, there is an application that is installed with the system that is designed to be set up using the Windows Task Scheduler.

 

Setting up the Windows Task Scheduler

The Windows Task Scheduler is installed with all versions of Windows.  The best way to locate it in your version of windows is to simply search for it in the search bar.

 

When you launch the Task Scheduler it will look something like this (depending on what version of Windows your Channergy database is installed on).

  1. Click on the Create Task… link in the Actions panel on the right.
    1. In the General tab give the task a Name and make sure that you click on the radio button next to Run whether user is logged on or not.
    2. In the Triggers tab click on the New… button. Set the following
      1. Set the task to be run on a Daily basis
      2. Set the time to be sometime after the close of business.
      3. Set it to recur every day
      4. Click on the Stop task if it runs longer than:  2 hours
      5. The New Trigger window should look similar to this.
    3. In the Actions tab click on the New… button. Set the following
      1. Action: Start a program
      2. Click on the Browse… button and navigate to your Client Server (if you are running Channergy with the client server option) or your data folder.
      3. Select the EmailService.exe application.
      4. Click Open.
      5. The New Action window will look similar to this.
    4. Close the Task Scheduler, when you close the Task Scheduler, it will prompt you for the username and password of the user that has permissions to run scheduled tasks.