M5: Sending an eCard

You can send an eCard in the same way that you usually send a message via  Messenger. If you are new to the Messenger system, please take a look at our Quick Start guide to familiarise yourself with the basics first.

How do I send an eCard?

Basic Method:

  1. Select your recipient list as normal.
  2. Once you are happy with the recipient selection and sending options you can proceed to the 'Create Message' page.
  3. On the left hand side, in the 'Message Library', you will see 2 folders - "eCards Primary" and "eCards Secondary".
  4. Select whichever eCard suits your scenario.
  5. Click the email or letter tab.
    • This will show you an image of the eCard and will help you to choose which one to use. If you'd like to change your choice simply repeat step 4.
  6. When you are happy, proceed to the 'Send Message' screen as normal by pressing 'Next >' on the top right.
  7. You will need to specify any variables (Dynamic Tokens) used.
    • This can be done via the table shown in the lower portion of the send page.
    • Simply select 'Edit' next to each token.
    • Type in the value that you would like to use.
    • Select 'Update' to save that value.
    • Repeat for each token.
  8. If you do not specify the Dynamic tokens, you cannot send the eCard and will see a red warning.
    • Just repeat step 7 until all are saved.
  9. When you are happy simply 'Send Now >' or schedule for future sending.

Notes:

Message Frequency - as with all messages you have the option to select 'Once per Parent' or 'For each Student Parent combination'. When sending eCards, or in fact anything that is personalised to the student, you should choose 'For each Student Parent combination' so that each student gets their own card. If you choose 'Once per Parent' the system will detect any students that share a parental contact and only generate an eCard for the first student in a list.

Advanced Routing - this should not be used with eCards as it's possible that a parent will only get an SMS saying e.g. "$StudentForename$ has been awarded a certificate for $Achievement$ - we have sent it home!" But the actual eCard would not get sent home as the email or letter is not generated. This is due to the fact that Advanced Routing only sends a single message format, whereas selecting them individually allows multiple formats to be sent together.

Detailed Method:

Sending eCards is quite simple as you can see, but here is a method with a little more detail if you feel you need it or have any questions.

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Having selected your recipient list as normal, you should make sure that you select the appropriate sending options from above the recipient list.

  • Contact Method – Send To:
    • Decide to whom you want the eCard to go, this will largely depend on your circumstances;
      • For younger children an award certificate would most likely be sent home to the 'Primary Parental' contact
      • For older children you may send awards to the 'Student Direct' only or you may like to send it to the 'Primary Parental and Student Direct'.
  • Message Format – Send Via:
    • You have the choice of emailing eCards for printing/sharing at home or printing eCards in school to be handed out.
    • The most common scenarios being;
      • 'Email' ONLY will generate a personalised PDF of the eCard and some accompanying email text to be delivered to the inbox(es) of the contact method selected above.
      • 'Letter' ONLY will generate 1 PDF file containing all eCards for you to print in school and hand deliver.
    • However you have the option of combining formats;
      • 'Email' and 'Letter' will email a personalised PDF and accompanying email text to any contact with an email address and then generate a single PDF file for you to print at school containing the remainder of contacts that do not have email addresses.
      • SMS will send an SMS advising that the eCard has been sent home.
        • This option should not be used in isolation for eCards as the eCard itself can only be emailed or printed.
        • Tick this option along with email and/or letter if you want to alert parents to an impending eCard delivery.
      • Voice is not supported with eCards and should be left unticked when sending an eCard. Anyone who does not have an email or SMS number will get added to the printed copy list if 'Letter' is ticked
  • Message Frequency
    • As with all messages you have the option to select 'Once per Parent' or 'For each Student Parent combination'.
    • When sending eCards, or in fact anything that is personalised to the student, you should choose 'For each Student Parent combination' so that each student gets their own card.
    • If you choose 'Once per Parent' the system will detect any students that share a parental contact and only generate an eCard for the first student in a list.
  • Advanced Routing
    • Should not be used with eCards as its possible that a parent will only get an SMS saying e.g. "$StudentForename$ has been awarded a certificate for $Achievement$ - we have sent it home!" but the actual eCard would not get sent home as the email or letter is not generated. This is due to the fact that Advanced Routing only sends a single message format, whereas selecting them individually as detailed above allows multiple formats to be sent together.

Once you are happy with the recipient selection and sending options you can proceed to the 'Create Message' page.

On the left hand side, in the 'Message Library', you will see 2 folders - "eCards Primary" and "eCards Secondary".

  1. Select whichever eCard you like and that sounds like it suits your scenario most.
  2. Click the email or letter tab.
    • This will show you an image of the eCard and will help you to choose which one to use. If you'd like to change your choice simply repeat step 1 until you find the right one.
  3. You shouldn't need to edit the card at all in most cases.
    • Even if you think some of the words appear out of alignment with the background, please be assured they do line up on the eventual PDF card.
  4. You can view the email text by pressing the 'Show Message' button. We have added some text for you to accompany all the eCards, but you can change this if you like simply by editing the text you see in the email message window.
  5. When you are happy, proceed to the 'Send Message' screen as normal by pressing 'Next >' on the top right.
  6. You will need to specify any variables (Dynamic Tokens) used.
    • This can be done via the table in lower portion of the send page.
    • Simply select 'Edit' next to each token.
    • Type in the value that you would like to use.
      • Make sure it will make sense on the eCard.
      • e.g. $DontForgetText$ used on the Don't Forget eCards could be "your PE kit tomorrow" or "the money for the school trip" as opposed to just "PE kit" or "trip money" etc.
      • So that  the cards look nice some text areas will only work with a certain number of characters so try to be concise with what you write. Don't forget has lots of space though so you should be able to say most things you need to!!
    • Select 'Update' to save that value.
    • Repeat for each token.
    • Optionally select 'Remember these values' so that Messenger v5 will remember the tokens next time. This is particularly useful for $TeacherName$ so that your name will be saved for future eCards.
  7. If you do not specify the Dynamic tokens, you cannot send the eCard and will see a red warning.
    • Just repeat step 6 until all are saved.
  8. If you want to preview your card, you may do so using the option at the top of the screen to send yourself an email.
    • As with all previewed messages, please note that Student tokens ($StudentName$ etc) will not show a name on the email you receive as Messenger v5 does not know what the student name is at that point. This is not an error and on the real cards, real names will resolve.
    • Occasionally the email address you have sent to may think the message is spam. Messenger v5 has no control over this, so if you have not received your preview message, check the spam folder in your email system or contact your email administrator.
  9. When you are happy simply 'Send Now >' or schedule for future sending.
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Congratulations! You have sent an eCard!

In future we will tell you how you can customise the inbuilt ones and add your own eCards.