Editing Templates — Advanced Notice Customization and the Reminder Template

Within Electionbuddy, there are two opportunities for election administrators to completely customize the content of an email. The first opportunity is during election setup, with "Advanced Notice Customization", which allows the administrator to customize the text of their notice; without "Advanced Notice Customization" turned on, the text of the notice can only be supplemented. The second opportunity is during the live election, with the email reminder template. If you are unfamiliar with using tags to auto-populate content within a body of text, this article was meant for you.

If you used the regular notice templates in your election setup, and just want to learn more about the reminder template, please feel free to scroll down!

Please note: while the reminder template is only available for elections using email notices, "Advanced Notice Customization" is not specific to email notices, and the following tips and tricks are relevant to those administrators who want to customize the content of a non-email notice, as well. 


Advanced Notice Customization:

Regular Email Notice Template Advanced Notice Customization Email Notice Template

As mentioned above, the regular email notice template can only be supplemented, because you can only add text in a specific location. However, if you click anywhere in the body of the template when "Advanced Notice Customization" is turned on, you will be able to type until your heart's content. In both cases, the template saves automatically each time you click out of the template. 

The blue boxes that appear in the customization template are your available tags. The tags are important, because each email that goes to your voter is slightly different - each voter receives a unique ballot link, so each email has to be tailored toward that specific voter, and tags are how we accomplish that. Tags auto-populate information from other sources in your election setup, and displays that information instead of the tag when the email actually goes to be sent out. 

To use a tag, you can either type it out wherever you want the information to sit in your notice, or you can use the blue boxes:

  • Click on the tag that you want to use. You should see a little "Copied!" message.
  • Click, in your template, where you want that tag to appear. Clicking into your template will paste the tag in that location.

There are three tags that are required in your customization template. An error-checker will prevent you from saving the template if you try and create a template without these three tags:

  • {{ballot_link}}: without this tag, your email notifications would be completely useless! This tag will generate the unique ballot link for each voter, which they then use to access the ballot and vote. Alternatively, you can also set up your notice without the {{ballot_link}} tag, but with both {{access_link}} and {{access_key}} instead. This is because the access link and the access key are the two halves of a ballot link, so a voter can still vote if your email notice has those two tags.
  • {{organization_name}}: your voters need to know who the invitation to vote is coming from, or else they're just going to think it's spam/garbage. This tag does not have an alternative option.
  • {{election_name}}: your voters need to know what they're being asked to vote on! This tag also does not have an alternative option.

With advanced notice customization turned on, very basic formatting is possible. Formatting is not supported in the regular notice template. The formatting that is available currently within advanced notice customization includes:

  • Bolding
  • Italicizing

We are currently working to develop and implement a rich text editor, that will allow for more formatting and customization of your notices! Check back by the end of September for more updates!


The Reminder Template:

The reminder template carries a lot of similarities to "Advanced Notice Customization" of the notice templates:

  • The body of the template is completely customizable.
  • The template uses liquid tags, and inserting the tags follows the same process. 
  • The template automatically saves when you click outside of the editable area.
  • The supported formatting is also the same.

The reminder template also has some unique qualities to be extremely mindful of:

  • The subject line of the reminder template is taken from the subject line of your notice template, and is not editable because your original email notice template is not editable after your election has started.
  • The reminder template does not error-check for the presence of the same required tags above, so if you remove the {{ballot_link}} tag from your template, or do not include {{access_link}} and {{access_key}} in your template, your voters cannot use your reminder to vote. This is a pretty calamitous mistake that causes you unnecessary stress, creates confusion for your voters, and we cannot "un-send" your reminders, so if you do not feel comfortable with tags, that part of the reminder template is best left untouched. 

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