Creating and sending automated messages

In this Article

This article assumes that the main site admin has followed all of the steps in the Configuring automated messages process before any admin users will access this article to help them prepare, preview, and activate the send of their automated attendance messages.

The Messages module in Finalsite now offers the additional advantage of automatically sending attendance notifications. Write your attendance message, choose when and how often you want it to go out, and the messages will flow out to your community.

Automated Messages is in the early adopter phase as a Messages XR add-on product. Contact your Client Success Manager or email to learn more about how to get started. 

Step 1: Prepare your automated message

1. Navigate to Automated Messages

Open the Messages module from the module menu. Next, select Automated Messages in the left navigation of Messages.

new automated messages area in the comms module.png

2. Choose your folder

Folder structure throughout the Messages module helps with organization and provides the ability to grant access to different user types. Speak with your district or school site admin to ensure you understand how your particular folder structure is set up in the Automated Messages area. Learn more by reading “Organize with folders in Messages.

folder structure in automated messages.png

3. Enter your attendance category codes

Below the message title, attendance category codes need to be entered as defined originally in your data integration. Contact your site administrator to gain access to a key of the exact codes to enter into each individual automated message.

  • Not set means codes have not been entered. Category codes entered need to match those defined in the integration phase.

Category codes not set.png

  • Edit means the codes have been added and can be edited, as needed.

attendance codes all set.png

4. Write a description next to each code

The description that is entered into the Attendance Category Code window will display in the automated message in the spot where the merge tag %attendancedescription% is placed.

It is very important to write a Description for each code that makes sense in the context of the sentence in the Message Content box where the description connected to each code will auto-populate. For more tips, check out our article, "Customize automated attendance alerts with merge tags."

attendance category codes set.png

5. Select recipients

Click the Select Locations button. The recipients for each message are tied to specific Locations. Check the box next to the recipient location(s) where this particular attendance message will be directed.

select locations .png

6. Set schedule

Consider when you’d like your message to start sending out on an automated schedule.  

which days and which time do you want automated message to go out.png

7. Enter Email Details
  • Subject Line: Enter the text that will be the Subject of the email.
  • Add Personalization: Click the Location Name button to auto-populate the name(s) of the campuses or "locations" receiving this attendance message into the above Subject Line.
  • From Label: Click the Location Name button to automatically populate your message with the name of the corresponding campus.
  • Reply-To: Select a Reply-To address. Your site admin can assist you with Setting reply-to addresses that aren't already showing up in the dropdown below.
  • Message Content: Write the message that will be sent with your attendance email. Use Merge Tags to further personalize and reach your target audience. Open up your Attendance Category Code table to make sure that the Description wording fits into your Message Content in a logical way. Read more about this in our article, "Customize automated attendance alerts with merge tags."
  • Languages: After first entering the English version of your Message Content, choose the languages this email will be translated into. Learn more about how to Translate automated attendance alerts.

Note: The English version of the Message Content must be finalized before any translations can be selected or previewed.

8. Enter SMS Details

Send your message via SMS at the same time as your automated Email alerts by selecting the SMS Details tab where you can configure your SMS message.

sms details screen.png

  1. SMS Details: Click the toggle next to SMS Details.
  2. SMS Message: Type your content into the SMS Message box. 
  3. Merge Tag: Click the Merge Tag button to auto populate the provided merge tags into your SMS Message.
  4. Character Limit: A single SMS message has a limit of 160 characters, so your SMS message will need to be shortened from your Email Message.

Important Note

Each merge tag counts as 25 characters.

  1. Languages: Click the + next to a language to translate your message into that language. When the green checkmark shows next to a language, select the language to preview the SMS Message in that language.
  2. Update: Click the Update button in the bottom right corner to save your SMS Message.
9. Enter Voice Details

Add a Voice message onto your automated attendance alert! Select the Voice tab where you can configure your Voice message.

Voice message screen.png
  1. Voice: Click the toggle next to Voice
  2. Text-to-Speech: Enter your text in the Text-to-Speech Message box. 
  3. Merge Tag: As you enter text, click on the Merge Tag button to personalize your message with merge tags. (link to article again)
  4. Character Limit: Keep your message content below 2000 characters
  5. Update: Click the Update button in the bottom right corner anytime to save changes.
  6. Languages: Select the + next to languages in the dropdown you would like to apply to this Voice message.
  7. Languages: Select the languages from the same dropdown to preview the message in different languages.

Text-to-Speech is currently the only way to send an automated Voice message.

Important Note

Cloning a message is a great best practice, but the following information MUST be reconfigured:

  • attendance code
  • the setup of the location.

Step 2: Preview your message

Click the Preview Message eye button beneath your Message Content to see what your message will look like before sending. In Preview Mode, select different recipients and locations to confirm the set-up and wording. In the bottom right corner, click the mobile icon to see how your message will appear on different device sizes. Click Message Details in the bottom right corner of Preview Mode to return to your message details.

preview message screen in automated messages.png

Step 3: Set your message to “Active”

Once your message is ready to send, toggle the Active button in the top right corner. This message will now be sent out at the frequency you have set. Toggling off will deactivate your message, and it will no longer be sent out until activated again. Again, there is a 15-minute window before the sending period where any toggling off or on will not affect the process. 

set to active.png

Send times warnings

  • Prepare and activate before the cut-off deadline at 10:00 pm EST / 3:00 am UTC the day before the message is scheduled to send.
  • Details of a message may be edited up until 15 minutes before the scheduled send time.
  • Do NOT adjust the send time or Active toggle within the 15-minute window. This would result in the message being held until the following day.
  • Deactivate to cancel a message send but only up until 15 minutes before the scheduled send time. Doing this within the 15-minute window will not apply, and the message will send as scheduled.

Step 4: View reporting

Messages Reports confirm receipt and deliverability of your automated attendance messages.

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