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Scheduled sending for emails

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This past week, we released an exciting new feature that allows users to send schedule (or time) based emails to guests.  Instead of being tied to a specific event, you can now send emails based on a number of days before or after the arrival, departure or booked date.

Let's Take A Look

To create a scheduled email, go to the email templates area and click on Create Scheduled Template.

scheduled sending template overview

Scheduled emails rely on scheduled templates.  The template determines the kind of message that will be sent, who the recipients are and the point in time it will be sent.  After clicking the "Create Scheduled Template" button, you'll notice a normal template form open but with a new "Sending Schedule" section at the top.

scheduled sending template add new

In the "Name" box, put in something that will help remind you what the template is for.  On the "Send" line, select when you want the email to go out.  For instance, let's assume that we want to send the access code to the guest 10 days before arrival.  Our Name box might be "Send Access Code to Guest", the days would be "10" and we'd select "Before Arrival" from the drop-down.

scheduled sending template example

The other template fields are exactly what you've used before.  From, To, Subject, Body - fill them in however you want your message to look.  You can use the "Use Default" button at the bottom to pre-fill some of the message.

All templates are property agnostic.  In other words, you need to use field codes to distinguish between properties.  Do not create a new scheduled template for each of your properties, or your guests will receive multiple copies of the same message.  For instance, if you want your email to read "Access code for Acme Retreat" where Acme Retreat is the name of one of your properties, you need to set the subject to "Access code for {PDISPNAME}".  Click the button next to each input box to get a full list of field codes.

The Difference Between 'Scheduled Templates' and 'Scheduled Emails'

It's important to understand the difference between scheduled templates and the specific emails that are sent for each booking.

Each individual booking has a list of scheduled emails waiting to be sent.  You can see the scheduled emails for a specific booking by opening the booking and clicking on the Email tab.

scheduled sending email example

You can add, update or delete scheduled emails on the booking which only affects that specific booking.  If a booking does not have any scheduled emails listed, no scheduled emails will be sent for that booking regardless of the templates you have created.

Back on the template page, you'll notice an option called "Add to all current bookings" which is selected by default.

scheduled sending email add to all current bookings

This option allows you to control whether or not you want a scheduled email created for bookings already entered in the system.  In the example of sending the access code to guest, you would want to leave this checkbox selected so that already-created bookings get the email as well as new bookings you create in the future.

The system will never automatically create a scheduled email for any booking whose arrival date is in the past.  If the arrival date is in the past, the booking is skipped.  Blocked-off time and canceled bookings are skipped as well.

Most of the time, you'll want to leave the "Add to all current bookings" checkbox selected so that already-created bookings get the email.  If, however, you only want future-entered bookings to get the email, unselect the checkbox so that none of the current bookings are affected.

As new bookings are entered into the system, new scheduled emails are created based on your scheduled templates.  If you want to stop newly-created bookings from getting scheduled emails, use the Disable option on the template to turn it off.  Disabled templates do not automatically create scheduled emails, but you can still manually create scheduled emails based on disabled templates.

When editing a scheduled template, the option checkbox changes to read "Overwrite all current bookings to use these settings".

scheduled sending email overwrite all current bookings

This acts very similarly to "Add to all current bookings".  When saved, the system will loop through all current bookings (i.e. bookings with future arrival dates) and add a scheduled email based on the changes you saved.  If the booking already has a scheduled email for that template, it will attempt to reset the sending date to match your changes unless the scheduled email has already been sent.  Once sent, a scheduled email is never changed.

That's it for now!  Have fun sending templates and communicating with your guests!

Please let us know what you think.  What do you like or dislike?  What is simple or confusing?  What areas need to be expanded or reduced?  We have a list of potential changes and upgrades that we're mulling over.  The more feedback you give, the more we can help your workflow.

6 Comments (add yours)

Marina's Edge
Jul 8, 2013 8:08 PM
Joined Oct, 2012 206 posts

Awesome addition, guys!

A couple of ideas to make it even more powerful:
--Add the option of "After Quote Sent, not booked" This would give me an option of following up with an automatic email to people that received a quote but haven't already booked

--Date driven emails

Nice work!

Michelle J
Jul 9, 2013 8:10 AM
OR Team Member Joined Jan, 2011 582 posts

I like your first suggestion. That's a good one.

Can you be more specific on the date driven idea? You can, currently, set a specific date for scheduled emails at the booking level. Open a booking, click Email tab, add or update a scheduled email and you'll see a 'specific date' option.

It's not really possible to set specific dates at the template level because every booking varies on arrival/departure.

Or were you look for some kind of scheduled newsletter blast that is sent to everyone at a specific date? That could be interesting.

Medina Vacation
Jul 9, 2013 8:40 AM
Joined Jul, 2013 4 posts

An example might be an email blast or an email reminder to my pool guy to drain pool every year on October 15 or....

Marina's Edge
Jul 9, 2013 7:01 PM
Joined Oct, 2012 206 posts

I looked at the booking level date based scheduler. PERFECT. If we had the same scheduler for global it would suit my needs

Jul 18, 2013 5:14 PM
Joined Apr, 2012 395 posts

Hi, I am a little late to the game. I have been very busy lately.

If I have a property in PA and another one in SC, they both have different letters that go out, with different information. How can I make sure that it is different information that automatically goes out?


Devin B.
Jul 19, 2013 1:49 PM
OR Team Member Joined Feb, 2013 26 posts

Hi Claudia,

Great question! All you have to do is:

1.) Create a custom field at the property level

2.)Populate it with the property specific information

3.) Create the scheduled email template then refer to that custom field to pull in the property info

I can also walk you through this if you need me to!