How to automatically send an E-mail or SMS via an alert
Once you have created some message templates you may wish to automate the sending of the messages. This can be done via a workflow action or an alert, here we discuss the alert.
Alerts are triggered a certain number of days before, on or after key dates. You can choose between the job date, any statutory deadline and also the actual or target date from any stage. Alerts are added to and are specific to a workflow route.
To set up an alert follow these steps:
- Firstly note you need to be a superuser to configure workflows.
- Click on the Config menu.
- Click on Edit workflow systems.
- Drill into the appropriate workflow system by clicking on the pencil icon to the right of the name.
- Click on the Routes tab.
- Choose the route that you wish to add the alert to in the Select workflow route dropdown. Remember that each workflow system can have multiple route variations and you will need to add alerts separately to each route.
- Scroll down into the detailed editor until you see Alert message triggers.
- Click on the Add new message alert button.
- In the Linked to setting choose either job date, deadline, target date or actual date depending upon what date you would like the alert to be linked to.
- If you choose Deadline then you will next need to select the specific Deadline. If you choose actual or target date then you will need to choose a stage.
- Select a release filter. Detailed notes on what each option does are available here.
- If you choose a stage order based release filter then enter the order value. The above link also contains notes to help you understand how to choose the correct stage order value.
- In offset enter the number of days before (-'ve number) or after (+'ve number) the job date/deadline/actual date/target date that you would like the message to send. For example -10 would send the alert 10 days ahead of the reference date you chose, 0 would send the message on the exact same day and 5 would send it 5 days later.
- In Message template choose the template that you would like the message to use. You will need to have created a template specific to this workflow system, you can read how to do this here.
- In Delivery target select who the message should be sent to, your options with a brief explanation are listed below or in more detail in this article.
- [External] Basic search for a client address -> This will send 1 x message per client to the e-mail address on that client record. This is generally held in the E-mail 1 field.
- [External] Client contacts -> Here you choose a contact tag and the system will send 1 x message to any contacts associated with the client that are tagged with the contact tag you have selected.
- [Internal] Specific Glide user -> Here you can choose a specific Glide user to send a message internally. The system will send 1 x message to this user, using the e-mail address that they use to access the Glide system.
- [Internal] Glide user with job position -> Here you can select an active job position or the current holder of the job, the system will send 1 x message to the current occupant of the position or the current holder of the job.
- In Delivery method choose e-mail or SMS as required. Remember that SMS messages incur a cost of 5p per message.
- Click Save to save the alert which will immediately be active.
Here are some other tips for sending messages via alerts:
- Remember than an alert can only send if the job exists! Don't set up an alert to send 30 days before your year end if you have job creation set at 15 days pre year end.
- The message will either be queued or sent immediately (the system sends these messages every 5 minutes) depending upon your default setting and also any specific setting for the template you have chosen.
- If your template includes reference to actual or target dates, check that you are not sending the messages before these dates are likely to exist. Of course the best way to ensure the job is at a certain stage, and this to ensure that actual dates exist, would be to use a release filter. You can follow the same logic with target dates that are generated mid way through the workflow and of course there is no risk of a target not existing where it is generated on job creation. Of course you can very safely refer to the job date and all deadlines as all these dates exist from the point of job creation.