Integrating Email Center Pro

This post is about integrating Email Center Pro with your pre-existing administration system. You will learn how to create a URL that, when visited, creates a new email in Email Center Pro with a specific recipient, subject, template, and filled-in Input Fields.

I’ll warn you ahead of time, this post was written for programmers. If you’re an Email Center Pro end user, you probably don’t need to look at this. If you’ve never written a line of code in your life, you’re probably better off just skipping this article or handing it off to someone else.

If you’re the brave sort, keep reading.

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Here is a screenshot from inside of our Email Center Pro backend. From time to time we may need to contact the person who holds the account for whatever reason- billing issues, to follow up with a phone call, or sometimes just to say “hi”. In its current form, it takes a few clicks to get there. Every time we want to contact an account owner we have to go through the long and arduous task of click, drag, copy, change tab, compose, click “To” field, paste.  Let’s get this down to one click.

All you need to do to is output a link that looks like this:

<a href="http://paloalto.emailcenterpro.com/Client#mailto:emailcenterpro@paloalto.com" target="_blank">emailcenterpro@paloalto.com</a>

(I’ve bolded the parts you’ll need to change.) By adding the #mailto:emailcenterpro@paloalto.com to the link, we tell Email Center Pro that we want to create a new email addressed to emailcenterpro@paloalto.com. We can add a link to this address, dynamically populating the URL part, so that we get something like this:

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Clicking that link leads us here:

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Wow! One click, and we’re ready to compose an email. We’re already saving time! Not a lot, but every second counts.

Without much more work, you can do some very powerful things. Sometimes we get calls from people who signed up for Email Center Pro but they’ve lost the email they got when they signed up, and they can’t remember the URL or user name that they signed up for/with. We send this sort of email fairly often, so we have a template for it in Email Center Pro. The template explains what URL to go to, tells them the user name they signed up for, and gives them information on how to change their password.

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We can look the account up using the user’s email address or company name, but then to actually get the information to the account owner, we have to: copy the email address, change tab, compose, paste the email address, type a subject, load a template, change a few words in the template (username and URL), and finally send. That’s a lot of mouse clicks and keystrokes. How could we speed this up?

First, let’s pick a subject to use. “Your account information” sounds pretty good. To add this to our link, we’ll just add it as a parameter to our URL:

http://paloalto.emailcenterpro.com/Client#mailto:emailcenterpro@paloalto.com?subject=Your account information

I’ve bolded the new part. To be totally correct, we should escape those spaces, but most modern browsers will do this automatically. Plus, it reads better without %20 everywhere.

Now, we’re going to find the ID of the template we use. To do this, open the template for editing, and look in your address bar.

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You’ll see something like this:

http://paloalto.emailcenterpro.com/Client#templateId=afd17f09-e615-3e92-48eb-534bc28ca27c

The bolded part is what we’re interested in. It’s the templateId, a globally unique identifier (GUID) that identifies this template. We’ll add this to our URL also:

http://paloalto.emailcenterpro.com/Client#mailto:emailcenterpro@paloalto.com?subject=Your account information&templateId=afd17f09-e615-3e92-48eb-534bc28ca27c

Great! We’re almost there. We don’t have to type the subject or select the template anymore, but we still have to copy and paste the user’s information into the email. This is where our newest feature, Input Fields, come in handy.

Remember what our template looked like?

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The rows of underscores are the cue to replace part of the template. We updated the template to use Input Fields, now it looks like this:

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See the Input Fields? They look like normal words, but they’re surrounded by {curly braces}. We don’t need to configure these anywhere, just add them in as needed. You can fill these out in the interface, or you can pass in values from the URL like this:

http://paloalto.emailcenterpro.com/Client#mailto:emailcenterpro@paloalto.com?subject=Your account information&templateId=afd17f09-e615-3e92-48eb-534bc28ca27c&name=Evan&subdomain=paloalto&username=admin

Clicking this link will automatically fill in the Input Fields.

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Now we can just click “Send” and we’ve managed to shrink a long, multi-step process into just a few clicks. We can easily add this link into our admin panel, automatically pulling the details from our database.

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5 Comments on this post »

[…] Integrating Email Center Pro — Get Email Center Pro working with your current admin system […]

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