Canned emails are meant to be used from client to client. So what happens when you need that template to be customized with the client's details or information about their project? You could always manually edit your email before you send it and type in the client's name, but there is an easier way!
What are Smart Fields?
A smart field is a text placeholder you can use in your email and form templates that will autofill once added to a project. Dubsado smart fields can be identified by their double curly braces:
The example above will autofill with the client's first name. If you put this smart field in a canned email and then send it through a project, the smart field placeholder will be replaced by the client's first name. Pretty cool, huh?
Here's the canned email template:
And here's the canned email being sent through a project!
Examples of What You Can Autofill on a Form with Smart Fields
- Client contact information
- Your business contact information
- Links to forms, invoices, etc.
- Today's date
For a full list of every smart field available, check out our Smart Field Reference Guide. Note that not all smart fields on the list are intended for use in canned emails.
How to Insert a Smart Field in a Canned Email
It's easy to insert a smart field while writing your canned email. Here's how:
- Click on the area in the text where you would like to insert the smart field.
- Select a smart field from the dropdown menu in the toolbar.
While editing your template, the smart field will not autofill with any information. This is because the email does not know which information to display until you send it from a project.
Smart Fields Display Existing Information
For a smart field to autofill with a client's name or an invoice total, that information must already exist within the project where you're sending the form. Otherwise, the smart field has no data to pull from and will appear blank 😱.
This means that the order of the steps in your process is very important! For example, if you want to include a smart field for the invoice total in your contract template, you need to create the invoice and add line items before you send out the contract.
Pay close attention to the sequence of sending your forms and emails to ensure that any smart field being used will have information already entered in to recall.
TIP: One exception to this is when you are using package smart fields while building a proposal template. In that case, the package information is being pulled into the proposal and is not dependent on a project, so the smart fields already know how to autofill.
Avoiding Smart Field Errors
When a smart field has not been inserted correctly, it may be invalid. An invalid/broken smart field in an email may cause errors. To avoid this:
- ALWAYS insert a smart field by using the smart field menu in the text editor toolbar.
- NEVER attempt to edit a smart field or type it from scratch.
- Avoid using underline formatting on smart fields. If you do, be sure to underline the entire smart field, including both sets of curly braces.
Copying and pasting a smart field will work in certain situations (like adding a smart field to a canned email subject line), but as a rule of thumb, always insert from the smart field menu!
Can I add a smart field to the subject line of a canned email?
Yes! This is one instance where it is ok to copy and paste the smart field text. Just add the smart field you would like to use to the body of your email, then copy and paste it into the subject line. You can delete the smart field from the email body when you're finished.