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Email templates

From LimeSurvey Manual

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Introduction

The email templates are used to quickly send personalized invitations, reminders, confirmations, and registrations emails to your respondents (from the survey participants table). You can also edit the standard basic (or detailed) admin notifications that are sent to the survey administrators.

To access it, go to the survey settings and click on the Email templates tab:


Location email templates.png


Help.png If you have the superadministrator permission (you have access to the global settings of your LimeSurvey installation), you can change the Default HTML editor mode forr all your LimeSurvey users. For further details, continue reading the following wiki subsection.


Important.png
Attention : If you wish to use the popup/inline HTML editor, do not forget to enable the HTML format for token emails! This is located in the Settings menu of your survey, under the Participant tokens tab.


Email templates panel

The email templates panel looks like this:


Email templates panel.png


As it can be observed in the screenshot, the "HTML source" editor mode is used. To change it, check your personal account settings.


Note 64x64 bubble lime.png To easily edit the text fields, access your account settings and choose the inline HTML editor mode.


As you can observe, six types of emails can be send to the users or admin(s):


Invitation

The invitation system is useful when you wish to send emails in bulk to all the respondents from your survey participants table who have not yet received an invitation to complete your survey.

From the email templates panel, you can edit the message that reaches out those survey participants. To check which email placeholders can be used, continue reading the following wiki subsection. You can also use the Expression Manager to enhance the customization of your invitation email template.


Reminder

The reminder system helps survey administrators remind their respondents from the survey participants table to answer to the survey.

You can edit the default format of the reminder email from the email templates panel. To check which email placeholders can be used, continue reading the following wiki subsection. The Expression Manager can help you better customize the text body of this email template.

Help.png Note: A reminder will be sent only to those participants where the "Completed" field is turned off (this means the respondent has either not taken or completed the survey) in the survey participants table.


Confirmation

If tokens are used and a participant fills out the survey, a confirmation email will be sent to his/her email address. You can deactivate this functionality from the Participant tokens panel.

Click on the Confirmation tab if you wish to edit the email template. Check the email placeholders to see which ones can be used in this type of email. You may also use the Expression Manager to enhance your email customization.


Registration

If the closed-access mode is enabled (there is a survey participants table, which means that only those participants who have an allocated entry and a unique token code associated to it can complete the respective survey. If you allow participants to publicly register to your survey, a new entry in your survey participants table will be created once the respondent has submitted his or her name and email address. A script that runs in the background will automatically send the respective respondent a registration email. It contains the URL with the token that needs to be accessed by the newly registered user.

Click on the registration tab to edit the format of this email. Don't forget to take a look first at which email placeholders can be used within the text body. The Expression Manager can provide further customization to the body text you wish to use.


Basic & detailed admin notifications

To get admin notifications, click on the Data management tab and type in an email address in the "Send basic admin notification email to" and another one (or the same) in the "Send detailed admin notification email to" field.

By default, the only difference between the two is related to the extra placeholder {ANSWERTABLE} that is included in the detailed admin notification email template. This allows the user who receives these kind of emails to also check the submitted answers without being needed to access the LimeSurvey installation.

However, by using the Expression Manager and the email placeholders you can customize these two email templates however you want.

Email templates fields

Each email template contains:

  • The subject of the email: The title of the email/batch of emails you want to send;
  • The email body: It is a text box that contains the text message you wish to send to the users. It may contain text, images, and email placeholders. Moreover, the Expression Manager can be used to further enhance the message you wish to deliver;
Help.png Note: You may have observed that another tab is displayed above the tab with the email templates tab if your survey uses additional languages. If you click on another language tab other than the default language one, the email templates will load the corresponding texts in the respective language. Now, access each email template in order to start editing them. Do not forget to click on the Save button located in the upper-right part of the screen to get all your changes saved.


  • Email actions: Two actions are available:
    • Reset this template: Once clicked, the HTML code gets reset. No text is deleted;
    • Validate expressions: It checks the logic of the email - whether the placeholders are correctly used or not. It is highly recommended to use it before sending a batch of emails. You can see in this way whether the placeholders are correctly defined or not. In the below example, a small typo exists - it is emphasized in the red colour:


Validate email - email templates.png


  • File actions: Different file-related actions can be performed here:
    • Add file: Once clicked, the following window will pop up asking you to choose which document from the files folder you wish to send via email:


Upload files - email templates.png


Attachments can be added at the bottom of the email template editing interface. Please note that email attachments are uploaded on a per survey basis.

You can also upload on the spot a file from the desktop to your LimeSurvey installation by clicking on the upload button and then selecting the file you wish to attach to the respective email template.

Once selected, double click on it and the file will be immediately displayed in the Files table, below the Add File button:


Files table - email templates.png


To have it permanently attached to the respective email template, do not forget to click on Save button located in the upper-right part of the window.

To decide if an attachment should be sent on an individual basis, it is possible to add a relevance equation to each attachment.

All functions supported by the Expression Manager can be used, as well as token attributes if the survey uses tokens.

In case of a notification or confirmation template it is also possible to use question codes used in the survey.

If you wish to delete a file, click on the red trash button located under the Action column and save the changes.

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Attention :
  • When a file can not be found on the file system, the email will be sent without attachment.
  • Exporting/importing a survey does not export/import the attached uploaded files. However, the settings for attachments will be maintained, as well as the relevance equations.


Email placeholders

Important.png
Attention : Please note that some email placeholders can be used only within certain email templates! Read below for further details.

As you can see in the default email templates, different email placeholders are used either in the body and/or the subject of the email. Their role is to connect the email you wish to send to each respondent entry from your survey participants list. The data from the survey participants table (e.g., email, first name, last name, token, etc.) is automatically taken and put into different unique emails before being sent to each respondent from your survey participants list.

You can find below the email placeholders that are allowed to be used within the body message of your invitation and reminder email templates. When sending out the emails, these email placeholders will be already replaced in the preview of your invitation/reminder email with data from your survey and survey participants table.

{ADMINEMAIL} Email of the Survey admin
{ADMINNAME} Name of Survey Admin
{SURVEYNAME} Title of your survey
{SURVEYDESCRIPTION} Description of your survey

The following placeholders are allowed in invitation/reminder email templates (subject and/or body fields) and they will be replaced while sending out the emails:

{EMAIL} Email of the recipient
{FIRSTNAME} First Name
{LASTNAME} Last Name
{SURVEYURL} The URL pointing to the survey start - if you are sending HTML emails, a full URL will be displayed to the survey participant
@@SURVEYURL@@ The URL pointing to the survey start - this is the barebone link. Use this if you want to integrate the link in your custom HTML elements somewhere (available in v1.90 and later)
{OPTOUTURL} The URL to deactivate sending of email for the respective survey - a full link will be displayed in the HTML version of the email template
{OPTINURL} If a user is blacklisted and he wants to participate in the respective survey, he has to click on the opt-in URL to receive again survey invitations/reminders.
{TOKEN} The token to access the survey
{ATTRIBUTE_1} Attribute 1
{ATTRIBUTE_2} Attribute 2 (...and so on for more attribute fields)

If your survey is not anonymous, the email placeholders can be used in order to add specific entry/participant data into the Survey texts panel (e.g., survey description, welcome message, end message).

{TOKEN:EMAIL} It displays the email of the respondent from the survey participants table
{TOKEN:FIRSTNAME} It displays the first name of the respondent from the survey participants table
{TOKEN:LASTNAME} It displays the last name of the respondent from the survey participants table
{TOKEN} It displays the token code of the respondent from the survey participants table
{TOKEN:ATTRIBUTE_1} It displays "Attribute 1" of the respondent from the survey participants table
{TOKEN:ATTRIBUTE_2} It displays "Attribute 2" of the respondent from the survey participants table (and so on for more attribute fields)

Note 64x64 bubble lime.png To find out more about attributes, read the following wiki section.

These email placeholders can also be used in the confirmation and admin notification email templates.

Certain placeholders can be used only within the the admin notification templates. Please note that one email per response will be sent to the email address of the administrator!

Some of the placeholders that can be used only in the admin notification panels are mentioned below:

{VIEWRESPONSEURL} Displays an URL that, once click, redirects you to the respondent's submitted answer.
{EDITRESPONSEURL} Displays an URL that, once click, redirects you to a LimeSurvey page from where you can edit the responses submitted by the respective survey participant
{STATISTICSURL} Click on this URL in order to access the statistics of the survey
{ANSWERTABLE} If you wish to display the submitted answers of the respondent in the admin notification email, use this email placeholder. In this way, you do not need anymore to access your LimeSurvey installation in order to check the submitted answers of the respective respondent (as the {VIEWRESPONSEURL} placeholder does).
Help.png Hints:
Before sending the emails, we highly recommend the validation of your email templates - click on the validate expressions button located under the email text body.


Participant opt-out

When you use the {OPTOUTURL} tag in your invitation/reminder email, your participants have the possibility to opt out of this particular survey by just clicking on the related URL in the email - so you don't harass them with reminder emails. A participant that opted out of your survey will have the email status 'OptOut' set in the survey participants list.

Using replacement function

Some specific keywords can be used within your email templates. For example, certain keywords can be used in order to replaces the token URL address.

The below example uses a plain link to the survey instead of a long url:

1) First, access the email templates panel and choose Invitation.

2) Write the text you want to appear as link to start the survey.

3) Then select that text.

Mark text to hyperlink.jpg

4) Add the placeholder for the plain link @@SURVEYURL@@ and choose other from the protocol-select-box.

Add link placeholder choose other.jpg

Now, when you send out your invitation emails, the link to start the survey will be something shorter and not a long url.