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Main Menu - Account - Communicate

Used to design communication templates and send letters/e-mails.

A communication template is a generic document used to communicate account information. Communications may be in the form of an e-mail or a letter; you define the document's appearance. Documents are either written in RTF (Rich Text Format) or HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language). It is highly recommended to use RTF for letters and HTML for e-mails. RTF does not look very good in e-mail transmissions. On the other hand, HTML is truly "what you see is what you get" in e-mails.

Documents are created using ALMSys' word processor. This word processor creates and edits documents using an editor that will allow different fonts, boldface, underlines, italics, etc. Documents are stored in the ALMSysSQL\Documents folder using names that you provide.

Documents are encoded with ALMSys field names in order for the template to be used against multiple leases. For example, a salutation that reads "Dear {CustLesseeName}," would appear as "Dear John Q Doe," when previewed. The field names are provided to you when you edit the document.

Reserved Special Documents
ALMSys uses the following documents. You may change them to fit your needs, but please do not rename them.
  • DelinquencyLetters.rtf
  • Envelopes.rtf

    A Word About HTML
    The HTML preview and HTML editor were finicky beasts to program. The editor is written to translate your normal editing into HTML, without you knowing any HTML. This makes it much easier for you to create your e-mails. 

    It is quite possible for the HTML viewer to get "dumb" when trying to display your file. If the document does not display, press the HTML Refresh button . If that does not work, exit communications and re-enter. (In other words, go to another display, such as Contact History, and then back.) This should correct the problem. If not, please contact Support.

    If the HTML editor does not display, exit it and re-enter.

    The button is used to create a new template. You will be asked to provide a name for the document. It is recommended to keep all documents in the ALMSysSQL\Documents folder.

    The button is used to open an existing template. ALMSys will always look in the Documents folder first.

    The is used to edit the document. (See "How To Edit" below.)

    The is used to delete the currently opened document. Once deleted, it cannot be retrieved.

    The is used to set the margins for the document. Default margins may also be set with this.

    Once a document has been opened, an area for e-mail information and a document template preview window will appear.

    How To...
    The editor is entered via the button. 

    Documents are edited in the same fashion as your favorite word processor. Information that is to change from deal to deal is represented by "ALMSys data field" codes. These codes are inserted into your document (at the cursor position) when selected from the ALMSys Data Field button at the top of the screen. A data field code will appear in braces "{}", such as "{LesseeName}." These fields are replaced by the actual data when you print or e-mail the document.

    There are special fields for dates, lease balance calculations, and loan balance calculations. The date fields will all start with "Date," the lease balance fields will all start with "Calc," and the loan fields will all start with "Loan."

    When you are finished editing, select File - Save and Exit for RTF and File - Save followed by File - Exit for HTML. Your edits will be saved to disk. The preview window will be updated with your edits.

    Use the button to preview the document. The ALMSys data fields will be replaced with the current account's data. For RTF, select File - Print to print the document from within the preview window. For HTML, use the button at the very top of the screen.

    ALMSys uses its own internal e-mail send routines to send this type of e-mail. (You must provide information for SMTP Outgoing Mail Server, User I.D., and Your E-Mail Address in user Preferences.)

    You must specify a subject and an e-mail address before attempting to send. The E-Mail Address field is initialized with the e-mail address that have been specified for this account and deal. You may also manually enter a different address. (Email addresses are input on the Name & Address screen and on the General Deal screen.)

    Press the button to initiate the send. (For RTF, the preview window will display, first. Close the preview window to continue.) You will be asked if you wish to send this e-mail. Choose Yes to send it. You will receive confirmation when the e-mail has been sent.

    RTF e-mails will be sent as plain text. HTML e-mails will be sent as they look. Again, HTML is recommended for e-mails.

    Mass E-Mails
    To send the same document to multiple customers, ALMSys allows you to use a print queue entry in order to obtain a list of customers & leases to which to send the communications document. Here's how you do it:
  • Run a report or a query to get a list of the target customers/leases. It does not matter which report; it just has to have an account number and deal number.
  • Select the communications template that you wish to send.
  • Press the button.
  • Your list of print queue entries will be displayed. Choose the one for this e-mailing.
  • You will be given a choice of combining multiple deals for the same account so that the customer does not receive multiple emails. This is not recommended if you have merge fields in the document that are deal-specific.
  • The e-mails will be placed into the e-mail queue. This is found in the Reports - E-Mail Queue page. (E-Mail Queue help.)