Advanced Notice Customization — Editing Notice, Reminder, and Results Templates

We have implemented a text editor that allows you to format text on your notices, reminders, and results when using Advanced Notice Customization. We've also changed the usability of variables and provided a "Preview" option so you can see what your template will look like. The goal of these changes is to decrease frustration around adding formatting to text, make variables more accessible to those who struggle to use them, and give you an exact picture of what the notice will look like so you don't send it out with errors.

We have also implemented consistency with the Advanced Notice Customization feature. The customizability of your reminder and results email/SMS templates will directly match the customization level of your notice. If you do not use Advanced Notice Customization on your notice, you will not have advanced customization of your reminders and results templates.

For those users who are not using email or SMS notices, the following only applies to you during your notice setup, as you cannot send reminders and results unless using those notice types.

This document will guide you through the three key components of Advanced Notice Customization:

  1. Variables
  2. The body of the template, which is now outfitted with our text editor
  3. Previewing your template

Variables

Variables are used to auto-populate information. They allow for you to create a general template that ends up being specific for each voter because the voter's specific information gets populated when ElectionBuddy is creating the notice for each voter.

Adding Variables to Your Notice Template

Variables can be typed out manually (ex. {{election_name}}), or inserted using the "Variables" box. To insert a variable:

  1. Click into the body of the template where you want the variable to go.
  2. Click the variable that you want to insert.
Tread Carefully!

If manually typing a variable, be careful not to make errors. Incorrectly formatted variables can cause the variable to show up as broken text in the notice, or worse — it can even result in your email notices not being sent out. If ElectionBuddy cannot map a value to a variable due to a formatting error, it can cause the email notice to fail, so it won't get rendered and sent out.

  • Do not fill out the content of the variable. For example, for the variable {{user_full_name}} you do not need to fill it out with your name (ex. {{John Doe}}). ElectionBuddy will be unable to find a variable that matches this, causing the notice template to fail to render, and your notices will not be sent out.
  • If you are translating your notice into another language, do not translate the words in the variable. For example, you do not need to change {{password}} to {{mot_de_passe}}. ElectionBuddy uses the variable to pull the information from other areas of your account, so if the information is translated in that other area, it will be translated in your notice.
  • Be careful to not miss a bracket or make a typo. For example, {organization_name}} or {{organisation_name}} will lead to ElectionBuddy being unable to render your notice and it will not be sent out.
  • Make sure you are using the right types of brackets. For example, ((election_name)) will not result in a variable — you must use {{election_name}} in order to generate the variable in your election. 

Removing Variables from Your Notice Template

You can also remove variables by simply deleting them from the body of the template. However, some variables cannot be removed because they are so essential, and you will not be able to continue if you do not have those variables in your notice. Those variables are:

  • {{ballot_link}} — generates a unique link to vote for each voter that contains their access key directly in the link, so one click logs you into the ballot.
  • {{organization_name}} — populates your organization's name. Voters need to know who is inviting them to vote.
  • {{election_name}} — populates your election's name. Voters need to know what election they are being asked to vote in.

Pulling Variables from Your Voter List

If you are uploading a CSV you can use the columns in your file to generate new variables! For example, if you upload a list with the headers "Member ID", "Name", "Email Address", "Favourite Colour", you can use the "Favourite Colour" column to generate a new variable for you to enter in your notices. See below, for an example of the above: 

The "Preview" button will then pull the data from the first line of your voter list to show you what this will look like to your voters. For more information on uploading your own variables please see: Importing Your CSV File and Creating Custom Variables to Use on Your Ballot and Notices Using Additional Columns in Your CSV File.

The Template Body

The text of a notice with Advanced Notice Customization is completely editable. Special characters are permitted. Emojis/emoticons are not permitted. 

When inserting a link into the notice, you must ensure that you include the "http://" or "https://" portion of the link for it to work successfully. For example, instead of just putting "electionbuddy.com" into the body of the notice to link back to ElectionBuddy, you would need to put the full URL, which is "https://electionbuddy.com".

Formatting is facilitated by the use of our text editor. Here is a quick rundown of all the functions of the editor:

Previewing Your Template

So, you've inserted your variables and customized your template: time to see what it looks like!

To preview, simply locate the "Preview" button:

  • On the notices, you will find it at the bottom of each template.
  • When scheduling a reminder or a results notification, you will find the button after you've scheduled it. 
  • If sending a reminder to a single voter, you will not be able to preview the message — sorry, there's a technical limitation with this one! 

Click the button to preview your template in its rendered form. Click on the "X" in the top right of the preview window that appears to close the preview.

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