OK, I just typed the same email for the 3rd time. Time to make a template! Making a template will not only save you time, it will also ensure that the message is consistent from everyone in the office (great for E & O) and create a professional look and feel to all correspondence (great for your brand). In this blog, I will give you the broad strokes on how to create templates and a few specific details that I’ve picked up. Remember, if you need help, HawkSoft support is just a phone call or chat away. I also recommend using the Help menu for finding detailed instructions.
IT’S ALL ABOUT THAT BASS (OR RATHER THE BASE TEMPLATE)
If you’ve never used templates, you need to start with the Base Template. Whatever you do in the Base Template will immediately pull into all new templates you create.
Go to the Gear icon in the upper right corner of HawkSoft->Corresponcence Templates->Base Templates.
Select Base Email Template, CMS Form Letters, or whatever other template you want to use and click the Edit button.
Think about how you want the formatting to be for letters vs. an email. I exclusively use email in my agency. But the concepts are the same for both letters and email. Make sure to insert merge fields for anything that could potentially change, even your agency information. If you insert merge fields for your agency name, address, email, phone, fax, you will never have to change the information on each template if you move, have an agency name change or change a phone number. You will simply update your Agency Information in the Gear icon and all templates are updated automatically.
To insert fields from HawkSoft, select Insert->Field. You can use the Filter Category to narrow the list instead of having to scroll through the entire list of merge fields. Also note at the bottom the Formatting drop down below the list of merge fields. This allows you to indicate if you want Proper, Upper, Lower case. Let’s say one of your carriers has been downloading your client names in all caps, but in a letter or email, you would prefer it to be in initial caps/Proper case. You can select the formatting of the merge field prior to clicking the Insert button.
Insert the date, the insured’s information, etc. In my system, I use the User_Notes field as the user’s job title (CSR/Agent/Account Manager). This field is located by going to the Gear icon->User List->double click on a specific user->select Information menu on the left->enter the job title in the Notes field.
Below is a sample of what my email base template looks like in CMS. I hired someone to make my nice header and footer. Then I inserted it as a image (all images in an email template have to have a URL).
NOW YOU MAKE YOUR TEMPLATES
Go to the Gear icon in HawkSoft->Correspondence Templates.
Select either Form Letters or Emails.
Select Add, enter a new template name and click OK.
Notice how it pulls in all the formatting, fields, text from your base template.
Type the content of this specific template (new policy delivery, certificate delivery, auto/no home, etc) and insert additional merge fields where needed.
COOL THINGS YOU CAN DO WITH YOUR TEMPLATES
- Insert attachments to email templates. If your email needs a specific form filled out each and every time you send it and it’s not client specific, add it to the template.
- Go to Insert menu->select Attach File->browse to find a file on your computer or network.
- Insert a merge field for something that is not in CMS. Let’s say, you want to inform your insured that if they change their deductible to X, they will save Y amount of dollars. There is no merge field for this in CMS. However, you can insert a user input field that will prompt you to fill in X and Y when you use the template.
- Go to Insert menu->select Field-> Select User Input and a Description will appear at the bottom of the screen.
- Enter the description of what the user should fill out (e.g. New Deductible Amount?) and click the Insert button.
- You can select this same field with a different description as many times as needed in any given template.
- Insert report data into a letter. Let’s say you want to send a list of drivers or vehicles for the insured to review.
- Go to Insert menu-> select Field-> in Filter Category, select Lists.
- Select a list from HawkSoft such as Driver List, Location List, Schedule Detail List, Vehicle List.
- Click the Insert button.
USING THE TEMPLATE LIBRARY
When you are starting out your agency, you have no templates. So it’s up to you to create the templates you need. I would certainly recommend that if you have to type something 3+ times, it deserves a template. Discuss with your staff what they are having to type over and over again. You should also be aware that HawkSoft User Group (HUG) has a library of templates that are FREE for HUG members. These are templates that have been submitted by other HawkSoft users. They have been reviewed for grammar and spelling; but not E & O. These templates are being used in actual agencies. You can copy these templates from the HUG template library and paste them individually into your system. Here is a brief video explaining how to use the HUG Template Library.
IF YOU MISSED THE WEBINAR
We had a webinar on March 31st where we covered all of this material in more detail. Some of it was very basic, some of it was more advanced. If you would like to watch the video of webinar, click here.
Thomas McKee Agency