System Messages are built-in templates for a lot of common scenarios. A few of them are sent out automatically during the reservation process or when the guest does something:
- Booking - Send Confirmation To Guest (when a direct quote is reserved through OwnerRez OR for some channels if you enable the "send booking confirmation" option)
- Booking - Send Pending Cancellation Reminder to Guest (when a booking is pending cancellation and needs a payment -- either because it was a direct booking with an offline payment method (check is in the mail) or a channel booking where the card was declined on the first payment)
- Booking - Send Payment Reminder To Guest (when there's an amount due and a second payment isn't scheduled, usually for things like PayPal that don't have card on file)
- Booking - Send Security Deposit Reminder To Guest (when there's an secdep configured and a secdep isn't scheduled, usually for things like PayPal that don't have card on file)
- Lease - Send Archive Copy To Guest - Whenever a renter agreement is signed, whether through direct quote reservation or a signing link
- Payment - Send Receipt To Guest - When a payment is processed automatically
- Refund - Send Receipt To Guest - When a refund is processed automatically
- Security Deposit - Send Receipt To Guest - When a secdep is reserved automatically
- Security Deposit - Send Release To Guest - When a secdep is released automatically
These particular system messages are basically a built in form of trigger with a default email template. You can alter the email template or disable the system message if you want.
The rest of the system messages are tied to buttons throughout the interface, or can be composed at the point you do an action. For example, Send Renter Agreement Form to Guest is used when you click the "Request e-Signature" button on the booking Legal tab. Send Property Changed to Guest is used when you go change dates on a booking. If you run a payment manually, you'll see Payment - Send Receipt To Guest. etc.
At all of those times, because you're working with the system instead of the system running automatically based on guest interaction like the above automated ones, you'll see an option to compose the email and send it, send the email without looking at it, or don't send the email at all.
Triggers let you set up your own templates to go out on your own events and criteria. You can replace some of the built in System Messages with Triggers if you want -- for example, you could disable "Booking - Send Confirmation To Guest" and create your own trigger sent on the Booking Created event. Usually, though, they're used for adding additional messages, like pre-arrival welcome letters: https://www.ownerreservations.com/.../pre-arrival-email..., review requests, etc.
Some of the System Message automations don't have trigger events yet, like the payment receipts and reminders, so the only way to do those is via System Messages. We may add some additional events, but it's also a tradeoff -- with a System Message its easy to see that you need a payment receipt (for example) and can configure it easily. If we made it all user customizable via Triggers, I'm a bit worried people might miss that option and not be sending receipts at all.
There are also two built in system messages that can't currently be changed and don't show up in the list -- scheduled payment failure and scheduled security deposit failure. If a payment or secdep is scheduled and fails to process (credit card is declined), then the guest and you, the OwnerRez user will both get a failure email automatically. The guest's email has the payment link so they can update their card. Right now this is hardcoded for the same reason as above -- we don't want to get in a case where people accidentally remove those messages or remove the payment link on those templates and then the guest is not getting the messages they should, or doesn't have a link they can go to resolve the situation.