How to set the recipient(s) of an automated e-mail or SMS message
Whenever you are setting up Glide to send an e-mail or SMS message, for example via a workflow action or alert, you will need to confirm how Glide should find the appropriate recipient(s) for the message. This will provide the e-mail addresses or phone numbers and will also provide the first and last names which is necessary where you wish to use the Recipient fields in your message templates.
You will generally be offered the options listed below. Two of the options are external, this means they will send messages to your clients/contacts and the other two options are internal meaning they will send messages to your users on Glide.
Option 1: [External] Basic search for a client address
This option is for sending e-mails/SMS externally to clients. It is the easiest and quickest method for setting up external sending but it is far less capable and flexible than option 2 below. We therefore thoroughly recommend option 2 below.
Each client message is sent in relation to a specific client on the Glide system and with this option selected the system shall find the e-mail address/Phone number via the following logic.
The system will look for an e-mail address in the E-mail 1 (though see note 1 below) field on the client record or for a phone number in the client field you choose when setting up the alert/action.
The limitations of this method are as follows:
- You can only send one e-mail/SMS per client to one e-mail address/phone number.
- You can not filter which clients you wish to receive/not receive this specific e-mail/SMS. You can only filter out clients by removing the e-mail address/Phone number which will effect all e-mails/SMS sent in this way. Though don't forget that if the message is being triggered by a workflow action you can manually filter by having two progress buttons, one that sends an e-mail and one that doesn't.
- You can only rely upon the Recipient fields containing a value (Full name, First name, Surname) where you are certain the message will only be sent to Individual clients. Organisation clients such as Limited Companies (and also including the Sole Trader client type) do not have a first and last name, therefore if you wish to use these fields in your templates you need to use Option 2 below.
Option 2: [External] Client contacts
This option is also for sending e-mails/SMS externally to clients. It is a far more comprehensive and flexible method that option 1 above and we thoroughly recommend using this option. The downside it that you shall need to associate your contacts with your clients and tag the links, though this is not too difficult and is discussed here, associating contact with clients and linking can be done individually or in bulk.
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. When choosing this option you will select one tag; however, you can send to more than one tag by setting up multiple alerts or workflow actions.
The benefits of this approach are as follows:
- All messages are sent to an individual (either a contact or an individual client) meaning that you can always use the Recipient fields in your templates (Full name, First name and Surname) without fear of the fields being blank.
- You can send each message to multiple contacts per client. So for example if you have 2 directors and a bookkeeper you can tag all 3 and a message will be sent to all 3 of them. Each e-mail will contain the correct first / surnames if you have used the recipient tags.
- You can filter out contacts/clients that you do not wish to receive this specific e-mail simply by not tagging them. You can have as many tags as you need to if you would like to filter differently for a different alert then just set up a second tag.
Option 3: [Internal] Specific Glide user
This option is for sending e-mails internally to users of the Glide system. It will send 1 x e-mail per client to the specific user and the message will be sent to the e-mail address they use to access the Glide system.
This is beneficial where there is only 1 person interested in receiving the message, for example if the practice manager wishes to be notified of a deadline being incomplete and due in 3 months. Of course you can e-mail multiple users by setting up multiple workflow actions or alerts.
If you wish to dynamically select the user based upon the fact that they occupy a job position then you should use option 4 below.
Option 4: [Internal] Glide user with job position
This option is also for sending e-mails internally to users of the Glide system. Here you can select any active job position or the current holder of the job. This option is only available where you are sending messages in relation to a job, so as a workflow action or an alert, it will not be available when sending general client messages not related to a job.
When generating the message the system will look to find the current occupant of the job position or the current job holder and send 1 x message to that users e-mail address, being the e-mail address they use to access the Glide system.
Regardless of whether you choose to e-mail a client using option 1 (Basic search for a client address) or a contact/individual via option 2 (Contact tagging) then you need to be aware of how the system finds the e-mail address or phone number.
For an e-mail address the system will find the client field that is tagged as Email. By default the field E-mail 1 is tagged as e-mail. To check this do the following:
- Firstly note you need to be a superuser to do this.
- Click on the Config menu.
- Click on Edit additional client fields.
- Scroll down to the field E-mail 1 though bear in mind this may have been renamed.
- Click on the pencil icon to drill into this field.
- Check that the Data store tag is set to Email.
If you are testing the e-mail system including use of the recipient fields please note that if you set up a client/contact with an e-mail address that is used by a user on the Glide system, the recipient tags will not work. To test this functionality please set yourself up as a client/contact using another e-mail address that you do not use to access the Glide system.