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A first pass at email templates and rich-text email messages

For the past month, we've been working on our next big update to OwnerRez: templates and rich-text editing.  On Tuesday evening, we released an update so that users can now begin using both.  This is our first attempt at templates and rich-text, so if you don't like it in some way (or need a feature that isn't there) don't worry.  More is coming soon.

Rich-text editing, everywhere you send email

Everywhere there is an email form in OwnerRez, you'll now notice that the body field has a toolbar packed with buttons to help you customize your message.

rich-text editor for email forms

There are buttons for emphasis (bold, italics, underline), font styles (color, type, size), bullets and links.  If you understand how to read/write HTML, you can even update the raw formatting yourself.  In the future, we'll be adding advanced functionality for things like tables and images.


The Email menu now contains a new 'Template' option which, when clicked, will show six types of email templates that you can begin creating.

email templates overview

Click the "Create Template" button and an editor page will open so you can get right to work.  The page should be fairly intuitive as it resembles a standard email message layout with header fields and a body.

email template editor

Quick tip: click the "Use Default" button at the bottom of the editor to prefill the template with the default settings for that type of message.  This is a great way to get started, especially if you only want to tweak the normal message that is sent.

email grid removed email address and changed names

I'll be blogging more about the templates editor over the next week, pointing out all the functionality and how to use it.  The field codes are a pivotal part of the templates system, so we'll be discussing how fields work in more detail.

What's with that new design?

As you click around the templates area, it's hard to miss the new design.  The navigation bar, logo and general color palette are all significantly different than the rest of the application.

new design

Our vision of OwnerRez, both what it is now and what it will become in the future, has dictated that we prepare better controls, a more modern layout and a color palette that is easier on the eyes.  The current design is clean and efficient but not built for features that will be coming in the future.  It also looks dated.

However, instead of spending lots of time overhauling the entire application at once (which would take months), we decided to introduce the new design in parallel with ongoing development.  That allows users to get functional updates immediately instead of waiting for the new design to be finished.

Providing flexible, clean, easy-to-use email features remains a big goal of the OwnerRez team.  We understand how important communication is with your guests, and how professional and detailed you need to be.  Please let us know what you like or dislike about rich-text and templates as we continue to improve on them in upcoming months.

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8 Comments (add yours)

Sep 19, 12
10:37 am
cp9293 says:

Hi Sam,

I look forward to looking at these new features in the future. I have been extremely busy with my mother these last couple of weeks. She was in the hospital and is now home, but requires a lot of assistance. Once things settle down and I get to look at this you will probably be getting many emails. :)


Sep 20, 12
9:53 am
cp9293 says:

<<There are buttons for emphasis (bold, italics, underline), font styles (color, type, size), bullets and links. If you understand how to read/write HTML, you can even update the raw formatting yourself. In the future, we'll be adding advanced functionality for things like tables and images.>>

For the last line, do you mean where it auto fills the .... inquirers name, dates requested, base amount and total amounts after taxes?


Sep 20, 12
10:25 am
Michelle J says:

Hi Claudia,

If you're referring to the quote table that shows the charges, there is already a field for that in the fields list. Look for "{QHCTAB}" in the fields list.

If you click the "Use Default" button at the bottom of the template editor, it will prefill the body with the message and fields that are used by default. That will show you what fields are normally used.

Sep 20, 12
4:48 pm
oakisland says:

Can Images be added to the templates to brand the emails?

Sep 20, 12
5:05 pm
Michelle J says:

Images, tables and other advanced functionality are coming soon. We'll be adding that to the toolbar.

You can go ahead and add images right now if you know how to edit the raw HTML formatting of the message (click the little "HTML" button on the toolbar). If you don't understand HTML, you can send an email with the images you want added to support@ownerreservations.com and we'll show you how to do it.

Sep 20, 12
5:32 pm
oakisland says:

No Problem, I'll add the code manually.

Oct 3, 12
5:45 pm
cp9293 says:

Can we have separate templates for different properties? My response letter for my hilton head house is different than for my pocono house.


Oct 4, 12
7:38 am
Michelle J says:

Hi Claudia,

That is something we're planning on doing, but it hasn't been scheduled for development yet.


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What is OwnerRez?

We are an online booking service for vacation rental property that helps managers and owners save time, create quotes and bookings faster, look professional and keep detailed records without needing an accountant or staff.