What are Merge Fields?
Merge fields allow you to include information specific to the recipient of the SMS, email or letter. In your communication template or draft you will see a generic merge field.
When previewing the communication and when sending it out, the merge field will be replaced with the information specific to the recipient.
You can also create merge fields using information from a Custom Report Writer custom report you have made. You can do this from any report regarding Students. This allows you to set a precise set of recipients (using the filters in CRW) and then complex columns (e.g. meal balance or % attendance this term).
Using a Custom Report to create Merge Fields
To create a Mail Merge, navigate to Custom Report Writer by going to School > Custom Report Writer.
Please note: This is only possible when groupings are NOT used in a report.
Create the Custom Report by choosing the specific filters you need to narrow down the group of students you wish to create a mail merge from. Then add the columns you wish to include in the Mail Merge.
Return to view the report and from the top, select the Send Mail Merge button and select whether you wish to create an SMS, Email or Letter Mail Merge from the Custom Report. Please note: this option is only available if you do not have groupings in the report.
You will now be redirected to the Mail Merge you have selected. Choose the recipients, you can either choose the send the Mail Merge to the students or the guardians.
When you want to insert a column from the custom report writer into the body of the communication, click Merge Fields and click on the arrow at the bottom of the drop-down menu until you reach the options that start with Report field:
Then click on the field you want to enter and this information from the report will be entered based on each individual recipients data in the report.
Example: Sending next year's Registration forms to Guardians
Once you've enrolled your applicants for next year into registration forms, you can let parents know what registration forms they will be in and their tutor.
To create the Custom Report, download the Reg Forms and Reg Tutors Next Year Report Template from this article and add it to your Custom Report Writer.
From the report, select the Send Mail Merge button and select whether you wish to create an SMS, Email or Letter Mail Merge from the Custom Report. Please note: this option is only available if you do not have groupings in the report.
You will then be redirected to the Mail Merge you have selected. Choose the recipients, you can either choose the send the Mail Merge to the students or the guardians.
We recommend choosing not to combine messages when using Merge fields. As the data is being taken from individual rows in a custom report, it can only pull in one data point at a time. Please select One per recipient, for each student.
In the body of the mail merge, you can insert the registration form data from the Custom Report.
Once you are happy with your message, click Proceed to view previews of the messages and send the message.
Example: Sending an SMS/Email to last year's Guardians
Go to School > Custom Report Writer and click Create new report.
Name your report and Select that your report is about students.
Set the date range to be covering the Previous academic Year and click Next, then scroll to the bottom of the page and click 'skip setup wizard'.
You can then add any filters here to determine whose guardians you would like to communicate with and add more columns if needed.
Filters are used to determine which data is included or excluded in your report. A report with no filters added would mean that all enrolled students will appear in the report. You can use the filter options to view or remove certain groups of students.
Example: To create a report concerning students in Years 1 & 2, select Year Group(s) > Add Filter.
The next box to slide over will allow you to enter the specifics for the filter condition. In this case you would select ‘Is one of…’ in the first box; ‘Year 1’ & ‘Year 2’ in the second box.
When happy with your report, click Save and view report.
When viewing your report, select all students by clicking the tickbox at the top left of the table
Choose the pencil next to this box which will give you the drop down options seen above. Select the appropriate communication, this will take you into the communication module where you can send to the guardians of these students who attended in the previous year.
You can link Communication templates to Custom Report data. Create a report in the Custom Report Writer, then go to School > Communications > Templates to create an Email, SMS or letter template using data from the report as a merge field. Perfect for following up with parents about low attendance marks!
Top Tip: If you want others to use your email/letter/SMS templates created from custom reports, you'll need to share your report with anyone who needs access to the template.
Click +Add, and choose to base your template off a Custom Report from the Custom Report Writer.