Hundreds of email or SMS templates can be created in CiiRUS using the template builder. Templates can be customized and personalized by using the tokens (smart tags) to send various types of messages to the guest, owners, and contacts. In addition to emails, SMS templates can also be configured here to text guests or owners. Emails can be manually sent from a booking, or automated by setting up automation rules.
This manual explains how to configure email templates, SMS templates, and Airbnb email templates using the available tokens and categories.
To build a new template, go to:
- Template Builder
The table displays the templates that have been configured.
The system comes with several default templates that can be used as a starting point or good example. These templates can be completely customized, or new templates can be created.
- The column headers display the Description, Email Subject Line, and the Category.
- Click "New Template," to create a new email or SMS template
- To create the default system templates, click "Create Default Templates"
- Use the icons to edit the template name, edit the template, or delete a template
Description: name of the template for internal reference
Email Subject Line: this is what the email recipient sees when the email is sent to their inbox
Category: determines which distribution list to send the email to
It is very important to specify the correct category, as this is what determines which distribution list to send the email to. For example, if a newsletter is created to send out to Staff Members only, apply "Staff" as the category so the system knows only to send this email to staff.
List of Categories
The Newsletter categories and their purpose are as follows:
- Home Owner: Assign this category to any emails that are to be sent to the Home Owner that are not attached to a reservation. For example, the "Owner Statement Cover Letter."
- Staff: Assign this category to any emails that are to be sent to Staff Members in the system. Everyone who is checked as a staff member under Management Company > Contacts will receive this email.
- Past Guest: Assign this category to any emails that are to be sent to all past guests in the system.
- Future Guest: Assign this category to any emails that are to be sent to all guests scheduled to arrive.
- Email Quote Template: Assign this category to any email that is to be sent directly from the "Total Quote Summary" after saving a quote in the system.
- Guest Booking Confirmation: Assign this category to any email that is to be sent directly to the guest from a confirmed reservation. These types of emails are sent on demand / manually from a specific booking.
- Owner Booking Confirmation: Assign this category to any email that is to be sent directly to the owner from a confirmed reservation. These types of emails are sent on demand / manually from a specific booking to the owner.
- Payment Reminder: Assign this category to any email that is to be sent to the guest if they have an outstanding balance and the payment reminder set in the Reservation Folio. This can be overridden by creating a CRM Balance Due Reminder email.
- CRM Template: Assign this category to any email that is to be sent automatically from the CRM Module. Using the CRM, email rules (Communications > Automation Rules) can be configured so the system knows when to send the email. This category could include marketing, promotional and transactional emails to the guest.
- eCiiGN: Guest Rental Agreement: Assign this category to any email that is to be sent to the guest where an electronic signature is required. The Rental Agreement should include the booking terms that the guest must agree to and electronically sign. The template will convert into a PDF and store against the booking in the system.
- eCiiGN- Power of Attorney: Assign this category to any email that is sent to the owner where an electronic signature is required. The Power of Attorney is written authorization to represent or act on the Owner's behalf regarding business, utilities payments, or some other legal matter. The template will convert into a PDF and store against the Owner’s Profile in the system.
- eCiiGN- Management Contract: Assign this category to any email that is sent to the owner where an electronic signature is required. The Management Contract is an agreement between the Management Company and the owner. The template will convert into a PDF and store against the Owner’s Profile in the system.
- eCiiGN- Rental Supplier Agreement: Assign this category to any email that is sent to any Booking Agent where an electronic signature is required. The Rental Supplier Agreement is between the Management Company and Booking Agent to establish terms and conditions between both parties.
- eCiiGN- CC Auth Form (Owner): Assign this category to any email that is sent to the owner where an electronic signature is required. A credit card authorization form is a document, signed by a cardholder, that grants the Management Company permission to charge the owner's credit card for a period of time as written in that document. The form is often used to give the Management Company the ongoing authority to charge the cardholder on a recurring basis – whether that’s monthly, quarterly, or more sporadically.
- eCiiGN- NDA (Non-Disclosure Agreement): Assign this category to any email that is sent to a Staff Member and/or Booking Agent where an electronic signature is required. A Non-Disclosure Agreement is a contract by which one or more parties agree not to disclose confidential information that they have shared with each other as a necessary part of doing business together.
- eCiiGN- Work Order Approval (Basic): Assign this category to any email that is sent the owner where an electronic signature is required. When creating a new Work Order (Operations > Maintenance), a form can be sent to the owner to approve and sign off on potential work to be conducted.
The "CRM" and "Guest Booking Confirmation" categories are the most popular for sending the transactional emails to the guest.
It is recommended to duplicate each email throughout the booking process - one with the "CRM" category and one with the "Guest Booking Confirmation" category. This means the email can be automated, but just in case it has to be resent, it can be sent again on demand from the booking.
Email templates can be created, stored and sent directly from CiiRUS. The templates are used to send personalized emails to selected guests, owners, staff and sales leads. The CRM would trigger the template to automatically send specific emails to a selected a group of individuals when certain conditions are met.
It is recommended to create the following six mailers to be sent to the guest throughout the booking process:
- Thank You for Quoting
- Guest Booking Confirmation
- Guest Portal Information
- Payment Reminder
- Arrival Instructions
- Thank You for Staying with Us
In addition to the above six mailers that can be sent throughout the booking process, there are endless ways to use the CRM to communicate with guests and within your organization. Some other examples of CRM Mailers include:
- Email blasts to owners or staff
- Happy Anniversary or Birthday emails to past or future guests
- Market a Cart Extra such as Insurance or equipment rentals
- Post-Departure Surveys or Reviews
- Owner Booking Notifications
- Cancelled Booking Notifications to Property Manager or Guest
- Notification to Reservation Team to deliver a “Welcome Pack” that the guest purchased online
Create a New Template
To create a new template, select "New Template" and specify the description, email subject and category:
To add content or edit the template, click the "three-dot" icon and select "Edit HTML Template."
The template editor will appear. The white window on the right is where the content will be added with the tokens. To the left, a list of available tokens will appear.
A token is essentially a smart-tag that will dynamically populate with the data once the email is sent. For example, the token [bookingid] will display the actual Booking ID for the applicable booking.
Depending on the selected category, the tokens differ slightly. Be sure to reference the correct tokens based on the template being created/edited.
The email is made up of static and dynamic content.
For example in the image below, the sentence "Thank you for booking with us!" is static and will remain the same in every email that is sent. Whenever a token is used, this information will be dynamic data where it will differ depending on the email being sent.
To apply a token, place the cursor where the token should populate, and then double-click on the applicable token from the list.
The tools at the top are similar to Microsoft Word where images, hyperlinks and tables can be inserted, and fonts and colors can be styled.
Hover over the icons to see a short description of what the icon does.
Once the content is populated, be sure to click the "Save" button.
Click on the "three-dot" icon in the first column of the table, to see the short-cut menu:
- Send the email to the distribution list (staff members, owners, past guests, etc.)
- Edit Template
- Edit Short Text Template (this is for creating an SMS template for the first text)
- Send a test email
- Assign Franchisees
To edit the description, email subject line, or the category, click the "Edit" icon. Or to delete the template, click the "Trash" icon:
Importing HTML into an Email Template
In addition to using the CiiRUS email template designer, templates can be created in the likes of MailChimp that offer pre-designed email templates that are fully customizable and mobile-responsive.
HTML code can be imported into the CiiRUS email template designer and saved with the tokens.
To import the code, follow these easy steps:
- Copy the entire HTML code/page for the applicable template
- Create a new template in CiiRUS following the steps above
- Click the "three-dot" icon and select "Edit Template"
- From the tools at the top, select the HTML icon
- Paste the code and then click on the HTML icon again to go back to the preview mode
- Click "Save"
For more information on how to create a template in MailChimp, please click here to read the full manual on MailChimp Email Templates.
In addition to automating emails to the guests, the CRM also allows the Property Manager to automate SMS text messages to the guest or a specific phone number.
A first contact message will be sent to the recipient when the number being messaged has not been contacted by the system in the past 365 days. If the recipient has been contacted within this time, the first contact message will not send again.
To add the first SMS text message,
- Click "New Template"
- Apply the “SMS First Guest Contact” category
- Press Save
Currently, the following tokens are supported for the SMS Template:
- Ensure that the “SMS First Guest Contact” has been applied to the template
- To add the content to the template, click on the “three-dot” icon
- Select “Edit Short Text Template”
- The designer will open to add the text to the template. Please note that the SMS Template only supports 160 characters and no HTML Code is permitted
Additional SMS Templates can be configured using the CRM Category. To add additional templates, follow the steps above, but use the “CRM” as the category.
To learn more about automating email templates and SMS text messages, please click here to read the full manual on the CRM Email & SMS rules.
Airbnb Email Templates
Email templates specific to Airbnb bookings can be created here. Since Airbnb does not support images, company information, or hyperlinks, a separate email must be created to automatically send to Airbnb bookings.
To create a template for Airbnb bookings, follow the steps above on how to create a new template.
The "CRM" category must be applied in order to automate the emails for Airbnb bookings.
Test an Email
As a reminder, the tokens will not populate until the email is sent out. A test email can be sent by setting up a rule in the CRM if it is a "CRM" category and set to send to the Property Manager's email address. Once tested, the CRM rule can be changed to send to the guest or owner.
If it is a "Guest Booking Confirmation" category, it can be tested by sending the email on demand from the booking.