Customising your email templates is a fantasic way to improve your service to your students. There’s a number of improvement you can make, such as including links, or even creating the new email templates.

The best way to do this is start with the onCourse default template and customise them. That way, you can adopt some of the features in the exsiting templates.

Getting a handle on HTML

onCourse’s standard email templates are provided in both html and plain text. This provides clients with full access tot the html code to customise your automated emails.

A few people have come back to me to say it’s a bit overwhelming for those for those who’ve never worked with HTML before, and I was a bit surprised. I’ve never learned htlm, I’ve been using the same short cut tools for years.

Computer Langages usually have translators

If you’ve never work with html before, it can seem like to totally new langage. And it is. HTLM is a fairly recent langauge used for websites. A computer language. If you’ve never used it before, you might struggle to read the ‘words’ from the ‘code’.

My advise is not to try. Odd from a technology company, but if it’s not a skill you want to learn for youself then it’s not necssary to it to edit the email tempaltes. There’s much easier ways to do it.

A good way to start with html is to use an free, online, htlm editor like the ones I’ve listed below. While there a many different version, basically, they will allow you to add the html code to the one section, and edit it in the other.

You can add bold, italics, paragrpahs, change colours etc, in the ‘edit’ side, and it will create the html for you.

Once you’re done editing, you simply copy and paste the new code into the html section of the email template.

But what are the ${ } all about?

There are a lot of computer languages. Some a good from one thing but not others. html is good for making ‘visual’ on webpages and emails. It’s not so good a other things. For that, we use a different language. In onCourse, the language we use to pull infromation out of your database is called Groovy.

You’ll recognise it in the email tempaltes because it usually starts with ${

It can be a bit confusing if you’ve not created templates before, because you think they’re both the same, when they’re two different languages doing two different functions.