What is it?
When ILLiad generates email messages, it uses email templates that are located in the illiad\Email\ folder on your ILLiad server. These are text files that you can customize, allowing you to communicate more effectively with your patrons. As an added tool, ILLiad allows you to include transaction and user data in your email templates.
How does it help?
Customizing your email templates allows you to communicate consistently with your users. By including frequently used information and ILLiad data, you can eliminate extra typing by your staff.
Editing your email templates
Email templates are .txt files located in your \illiad\Email\ directory. By default, ILLiad uses specific templates for certain processes. A complete list of such templates can be found in the ILLiad documentation:
You can include ILLiad transaction data in a template by inserting a field tag. Tags begin with <# and end with > (for example, <#PhotoJournalTitle> will insert the Journal Title into your email). You can use any field from the LocalInfo, Transaction, User, and Lender Addresses tables.
Tip: Finding field names
Want to insert a field tag into your email, but you can’t remember its exact name? The easiest way to find out is to pop open the Custom Request Search in the ILLiad Client. That will let you browse the Transaction, User, and Lender Addresses tables. For the LocalInfo table, just pull it up in the Customization Manager for easy access.
Set up cancellation processes that best fit your workflow
- Create a list of situations where you cancel requests. Look for common reasons and group requests.
- Suggest alternate actions beyond a simple cancellation that would be helpful for the customer. Here are some ideas to help get you started:
|Cancellation situation||Helpful action|
|Customer submitted a request for a foreign language item…||Use an email routing to contact customer and confirm they want an item in the particular language.|
|The requested item is available in one of the library’s subscription databases…||Use an email routing message to notify customer, include link to library’s database portal, and CC a reference librarian who can help the customer.|
|The request is a duplicate of another already submitted…||Use a custom cancellation reason to inform customer.|
If library staff explores a variety of alternate actions they should find there are few times when a request can only be cancelled without further assisting the customer. Take advantage of the linking possibilities and other service contacts in your library. Think of ILL requests not only as requests for items, but also as an opportunity to engage your customers.
Modify your ReasonsForCancellation table
Depending upon the level of customization you’d prefer, you may want to modify your ReasonsForCancellation table in the Customization Manager. This allows you to edit both the ReasonForCancellation and LastNote fields that appear in the Cancel.txt email template.
The table can be found under Borrowing | Cancellations | ReasonsForCancellation. Use the ReasonNumber to set the order in which they appear in the ILLiad Client. The Reason field is the same text displayed in the client.
Modify your Cancel.txt email template
The Cancel.txt email template is important because it is used by each cancellation reason. Like other templates, it can contain information from the LocalInfo, Transactions, and Users tables. It can also use values of the Reason and LastNote fields in the ReasonsForCancellation table.
Consider inserting helpful links in your Cancel.txt email to important research tools, such as LibGuides, or to your Reference department. You could even link out to other search tools, encouraging patrons to try their search again.
Download our sample template for ideas: http://goo.gl/b56SQ To edit the subject line of these emails, change the value of the Borrowing | Cancellations | CancellationEMailSubject key in the Customziation Manager.
Electronic Delivery Notification
This is a default email that tells users they can logon to ILLiad to pick up their article. However, you add value to these emails by inserting a link to conveniently download the article. For most sites, you can achieve this with the following:
Download the email template: http://goo.gl/YmJkM
One of the more convenient aspects of circulation systems is the due date reminder. Although this is not the default behavior of ILLiad, it can easily be configured to send out due date reminders to your users. By changing the timing and text of your first overdue notice, you can more easily prompt your users to submit renewal requests on their own for items coming due. This can decrease the number of renewals your staff must process manually and also decrease the number of overdue materials.
The first thing you need to do is change the value of the OverdueGraceDays key to a negative number. This tells ILLiad how many days prior to the due date to send out the overdue1.txt email. For instance, if you want the due date reminder to be sent out for items within one week of their due dates, set the value to -7. The OverdueGraceDays ket can be found in the Customization Manager under Borrowing|Overdues.
Next, you should also adjust the settings for the OverdueNoticeOneDays and OverdueNoticeTwoDays accordingly. OverdueNoticeOneDays now serves as the trigger for the first overdue notice. As such, you will likely want to set this value to 1 so that an overdue notice is sent for items 1 day overdue. Likewise, OverdueNoticeTwoDays will serve as the second and final overdue notice. Also, if you have the BlockOnThirdOverdue key active, this email should also notify the user that their account is blocked. It may be a good idea to make this value higher to allow more time before blocking the user’s account. For instance, consider making this value 14 to allow 2 weeks between the first overdue notice and the final overdue notice. However, this is entirely up to you.
Lastly, with version 8.3 and above you can now set ILLiad to send out overdue notices automatically as requests enter each overdue category. Simply change the OverdueNoticesActive key to “Yes” in the Customization Manager. By default ILLiad will send notices daily at 8:00 a.m. To customize this, change the OverdueNoticesRunTime key.
Summary of settings:
- OverdueGraceDays = -7
- OverdueNoticeOneDays = 1
- OverdueNoticeTwoDays = 14
- OverdueNoticesActive = Yes
Once you have configured ILLiad to send out the due date reminders, the final step is to update your email templates accordingly. The following examples provide users with direct links so that they can quickly and easily renew their items online.
- Download the Overdue1 template: http://goo.gl/DlHNB
- Download the Overdue2 template: http://goo.gl/5CeZZ
- Download the Overdue3 template: http://goo.gl/B4XNb
If you wish to change the subject lines of these emails, then change the following keys in the Customization Manager (found under Borrowing | Overdues):