All templates are made up of the following content elements:
- Text modules
The Text Modules, Links and Images are each equipped with a valid date range, based on which the varying contents will become active. The point of reference is always the arrival date.
Once your email templates have been configured, you can use the Text Modules, Links and Image Setup options to change the respective text and edit the contents like any other document.
Thanks to the template preview options, the changes can immediately be checked.
Note: Use Firefox or Explorer for editing your template modules. Do not use Chrome, since Chrome causes problems when saving content.
Searching and Locating Items (Text Modules/Labels/Links/Images)
Using the Search in each of the setup options you can locate text modules, labels, links and images by text Code and Description. The search can be quite helpful when you work with several templates and have to manage a multitude of text modules or other items.
The Search function allows a regular search, where you enter the first letters or the complete information you are looking for and a partial search, where you locate messages based on entering part of the code or description and prefacing the character sequence with a percent sign %.
In the Search dialog on top, enter the first letter(s) or the complete code and/or description of the text module.
Next, click the Search icon or the Enter key.
Note: In any of the searches, you can hit the
Enter key to start a search (instead of clicking the Search icon) and the
Esc key to go back one step and clear the search parameters again (instead of clicking the Reset Search icon) again.
The system displays the results accordingly.
Searching by partial codes or descriptions anywhere in the field:
Sometimes it may be hard to remember exactly how a code begins or what kind of exact description you are looking for. For these cases, you can search for a pattern or character sequence.
You can search for any part of the code or description simply by entering a percent sign % followed by the combination of characters you are searching for. The system will find all entries matching this phrase/word anywhere in the searched field.
- In our example, we want to locate all introductory text modules, i.e. enter “%intro” in the Code search field
- Click Search or Enter.The system will search the complete database and return all text modules containing this letter sequence anywhere in the Code field.
If you want to search for a combination of patterns in a field, you need to add an extra percent sign % in the middle. Let us assume, for instance, that you are looking for all text modules for your confirmation templates containing promotions, i.e.
- Enter “%conf%promo” in the Code field.
The system will locate all emails containing this combination of phrases anywhere in the Code field and return all results.
This search option is available for Text Module Setup, Label Setup, Link Setup and Image Setup both for the Code as well as for the Description field.
Note for searching the description field: The description search will search all Description fields for items matching your search.
Please note that this search does NOT include content (which is also displayed in the Description/Content column (in italics)).
Using Valid Date Ranges to Create Dynamic Templates
Each text module, link and image is equipped with a valid date range based on which varying contents will become active automatically. The point of reference is always the arrival date. Hence, you can create your own dynamic templates based on different valid dates.
Example 1 ‒ seasonal hotel banners:
For instance, display the banner image of your hotel confirmation with a winter setting and summer setting based on the arrival date of the guest.
Summer: 1 May 2015 till 31 October Winter: 1 November till 31 April
Steps to take:
- Go to Images Setup.
- Search for the banner image used in your reservation confirmation.
If you are not sure about the right code, go to Test Templates, select the required template and then click Text Modules Preview. Here you see the name of the code and also the name of the link which you also possibly may want to change depending on the season.
- Back in Images Setup carry out the Search: Our example Modern-Banner is valid as of year 2014 and valid forever (the Valid To date is empty.) This ensures that one image will always be displayed. Now, we will add a summer version and a winter version to this. (nesting these events within the standard banner)
- Make two copies of this item by clicking the Copy icon twice.
- Click the Edit icon for the first copy, change the Description to “Modern-Banner-Summer” and adjust the Valid From/To date range to your summer season months.
- Upload your summer banner image (make sure it has the proper size) and once you have uploaded it successfully, click Save.
- Click the Edit icon for the remaining copy, change the Description to “Modern-Banner-Winter”, and adjust the Valid From/To date range to your winter season months.
- Upload your winter banner image (make sure it has the proper size) and once you have uploaded it successfully, click Save.
You now have a generic banner image, a winter and a summer image.
If the guests’ arrival dates fall within the summer months, they will receive the confirmation with the summer banner. If the arrival dates fall within the winter months, it will be the winter banner. If the arrival date is later than April 2016, the generic banner will display.
As you can see, the CODE stays the same and serves as the link to the template. Only the valid date ranges and the description are different.
If the link belonging to the banner displayed in the template should also differ based on the season, go to Link Setup, search for the banner link (“%modern-banner”).
Then copy and modify the descriptions and the valid dates in the same manner as described for the banner image above.
The additional difference here is that you will need to enter a link per available language, whereas images stay the same irrespective of language.
Example 2 ‒ different cancellation policies:
Another good example for using dynamic displays with nested and consecutive date ranges is the text module with the cancellation policy.
Let’s say you have one standard cancellation policy valid from now to forever (= empty Valid To date).
Nested within this standard policy you can create special cancellation policies for particular high season times or special events. For instance, the Serenata Example Hotel has a specific policy for each Octoberfest.
More details on the handling of valid dates:
The system will allow you to create nested text modules, links and labels with very few restrictions. As long as there are no overlapping dates, there are no issues to consider. However, you should take care not to have overlapping dates.
With overlapping dates, the system will have to make adjustments in order to keep up database consistency. Therefore, if you create overlapping dates, please remember the following rules:
- The system will not let you create a text module with exactly the same start and end valid dates. In this case, you receive an appropriate message.
- The system will always assume that the valid dates of the item you are about to create takes precedence over existing text modules and adjust the dates of existing text modules accordingly. In other words, if you create a new item whose dates overlap with existing items, the system will make room for the new item’s valid dates.