Deep Dive: Conga HTML Email – Part 1

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It’s a situation many of us are very familiar with.  You’re on the phone with one of your customers.  The conversation starts to wrap up.

You: “Sure thing, I’ll send you a usage report as soon as we get off the phone.”

Customer: “Great, do you mind including Heather, too?  Thank you.”

 

Goodbyes are exchanged and you hang up the phone.  You quickly jot down a note, open your filing cabinet and grab an envelope.  You print a copy of a spreadsheet, deftly fold it into three and begin stuffing it into the envelope…

Wait a second.  The whole story was believable until the last bit.  You’re actually going to physically mail a document to a customer?  Sure, right after you eject that floppy disk and finish the latest episode of Miami Vice!

Just kidding.  It’s not 1990, so your hypothetical self would almost certainly email this usage report to the customer.

We come across business cases like this every day at Conga.  Fortunately, creating and delivering files via email is a key part of Conga Composer’s functionality.  Composer’s ability to simultaneously merge data into both a document and the body of a well-formatted email helps organizations leverage their Salesforce data to accelerate processes and better serve their customers.  Best of all, it saves admins and users a whole lot of time and effort.

Today, I’m excited to introduce some of the most useful capabilities of Conga HTML Email templates.  There’s quite a few of them, so we’ll cover the first three here in Part 1.  Stay tuned for Part 2 next week!

 

1) Merging Data from Related Lists

Unless you’re handy with Visualforce, repeating detail data in a Salesforce email template is difficult.  With Conga HTML Email templates, it’s wickedly simple.  You can merge data from multiple related records into repeating table rows or as separate paragraphs within an HTML email.

Here’s an example of repeating table rows for Opportunity Products in an HTML Email template:

 

Table_Template

And here’s the resulting output:

 

Table_Output

Here’s an example of using repeating paragraphs in a template:

 

Paragraph_Template

And then the resulting output:

 

Paragraph_Output

Choosing your desired method of repeating detail data depends mostly on the use case.  For example, sending a customer an overview of their three most recent support cases in an email would be a great time to repeat detail data as paragraphs.  Why?  Because case fields, like subjects and descriptions, tend to have lengthier text values that can be constrained and become harder to read in a table.  In contrast, emailing a proposal with product line items is a great situation to repeat table rows.

 

2) TableHide for Conditional Content

When working with Word templates, the TableHide feature is a tried and true method of conditionally including or excluding output file content with Composer.  It works in a very similar way for HTML Email templates.

The TableHide feature allows you to use a Salesforce Report or SOQL Query as the determining factor for whether certain content is shown or hidden in your HTML email.  If a Report or Query returns zero records, the corresponding table and all of its content will be hidden.  If it returns any rows, the table will show.

For example, let’s say I’m sending a customer that usage report I mentioned earlier.  If this customer’s Contact record in Salesforce has related Cases opened within the last six months, I want to include an invitation in my email for them to participate in a customer service survey.  If I create a Salesforce Report that filters for these conditions, I can give this Report an alias and use it with TableHide.

Here are my Report filters:

 

Report_Filters

And here’s my HTML Email template:

 

TableHide_Template

The TableHide feature is highlighted in green.  A TableHide field can be positioned anywhere within the table that should be conditionally shown or hidden.

You could always create more than one email template to account for each scenario, but TableHide is a great way to consolidate resources and create a truly dynamic solution.

 

3) Dynamic Table Subtotals with =SUM(Above)

The =SUM(Above) feature allows you to calculate the sum of values in a table column in a Conga HTML Email template.  It’s a quick and easy way to perform simple, dynamic math without the need for a roll-up summary or aggregated query in Salesforce, and you can use it more than once in a template.

For example, here’s an email template for a quote where we’ve created a couple of tables for each product family:

SumABOVE_Template

The =SUM(Above) fields are highlighted in green.  When I merge this through Composer, we see dynamic subtotals for each table:

SumABOVE_Output

One thing to keep in mind when using =SUM(Above) is field formatting.  In this case, I used a picture switch to format the =SUM(Above) value as a currency.  As a general rule of thumb, you’ll want to format your =SUM(Above) field in the same manner as the field you’re calculating.

That’s it for Part 1 of this deep dive – be sure to check in next week when we cover the rest of the most useful features for Conga HTML Email templates in Part 2.  Easiest way not to miss it?  Subscribe to the Conga Blog via email.  Thanks for reading!

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