You can send emails directly from Beacon, based on templates that let you merge fields from records into your email content.
Creating an email template
First, you'll need to create a template for your email. You can find your email templates in the Email templates section under Settings.
A template has two parts: Template settings and Email content.
Template settings have three values:
Name - The name of your template
Record type - The record type from which you would like to send your email
Recipient email field - The field that contains the recipient's email address
So, if you wanted to set up a template to send a 'thank you' email when a person has made a cash donation you would chose Payment as the record type and Person > Email as the email address. This is because you want to send the email to whichever email address is stored on the person record that the payment points to.
These are the standard fields that you would expect to find in an email application. You can include any Cc's or Bcc's that you want all of your emails to be sent to. You must also choose a subject for your email.
The body of your email can contain variables that map to the fields on the record from which the email will be sent, or any record that it points to. These will be populated when you're ready to send an email. Access the field references by click the <> button on the right of 'Email body' section.
In this example we add in the amount that has been donated and the donor's name. The donor's name comes from the person record that this payment points to.
Tip: "Can I format my email templates?" we hear you ask. Take a look here!
To send an email from a record, click the email icon in the top right when viewing a record:
You can then choose the template you'd like to use and a preview of your email will display in the dialog.
Tip: Don't see a template in the drop-down list? It's likely that the template's record type is different to the record you're currently viewing.
You can edit the email text before sending it so you can add some personalisation to your message.
If any of the fields that the template uses are blank then the email will contain empty space where they should be and you'll be prompted to check the content carefully to make sure you haven't made a mistake.
When you are ready click send and your email will be sent right away.
Sending emails from Person records without a template
If you are on a person record you have the option to create a blank email rather than using a template.
You can send this email to an email address on the person record you're looking at or on a record that the person points to.
You can type any text that you like but you can't add any variables here. If you want to add variables then you should use an email template.
A record of the email being sent will be logged to the timeline of the recipient. Note that this activity log will only be present on Person timelines.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I format my emails?
Yes! You can apply what's known as Markdown syntax to your templates to apply some formatting.
You can use the following to bold, italicise, or even hyperlink your text:
*Italics* - An asterisk either side of your text will covert your text into italics
**Bold** - Two asterisks either side of your text will convert it into bold
[Link text](Link) - Pop your text inside of some square brackets and your link in some round brackets immediately after to create a hyperlink!
Can I customise other parts of the appearance or style of the email?
No. You can only use our default email style and the formatting options above.
Can I send emails in bulk from Beacon?
No. If you want to send email to large numbers of people you should use our Mailchimp, Dotdigital or Sendgrid integrations.
Can I send attachments?
No. You can only send basic text emails from Beacon.
What permissions do I need to send an email?
If the roles and permissions element has been purchased, admin users can restrict access to features, records, and fields. In order to send emails, a standard user will need at least the following permissions:
Feature - Send emails - Edit permission
Feature - Email templates - Read permission (if sending using a template)
Read permission for all fields used in the template (if sending using a template)