Easily Standardize Project Communications Using Salesforce Email Templates

13 min read16th of September 2015

Maintaining your brand through your communications is even easier when you use Salesforce email templates. When you set up your email template, you can set your brand components, like logos and fonts. These templates can be set up for almost

Email templates are extremely useful in Salesforce and help you ensure that all communications to your clients look the same and have the correct logo and font. Salesforce email templates can be used for a wide variety of communications, including project status updates.

When your team sends an email from Salesforce, the contact is recorded and saved in Salesforce on the contact record. This means you can easily see exactly what has been sent out to whom, and when it was sent.

Types of Salesforce Email Templates

There are four different types of email template:

  • text
  • HTML with letterhead
  • Custom HTML
  • Visualforce

Text templates contain only text. A text template does not offer any special formatting; the text will simply be displayed as you see it in the text box. All users can create text templates.


HTML with letterhead templates give you additional formatting capabilities beyond a text template. The letterhead is the container for the email, and sets the logo, color, and text settings for the email. In this type of email template you can add formatting using the Formatting Controls, including bold, italics, and font colors. To create an HTML template users must have the “Edit HTML Templates permission”.


HTML with letterhead templates give you additional formatting capabilities beyond a text template. The letterhead is the container for the email, and sets the logo, color, and text settings for the email. In this type of email template you can add formatting using the Formatting Controls, including bold, italics, and font colors. To create an HTML template users must have the “Edit HTML Templates permission”.


Custom HTML email templates are built from raw HTML and style sheets to customize the email layout and formatting. To create Custom HTML templates users must have the Edit HTML Templates permission.


Visualforce templates allow you to have access to information from other records instead of just being limited to the information on the current record.

You can also specify a “Reply-to” address.  Only administrators and developers have access to create a Visualforce email template.  To create a Visualforce email template you will need HTML, CSS and Apex knowledge.


Including Record Details

All email templates can include text, merge fields, and attached files. You can also include images on your HTML and Visualforce templates.

The merge fields mean you can include data from fields on the object you are referencing. You can include things such as Status, Date, and other Project and Task fields.  This is useful when sending updates about projects or status updates for tasks.

Your users can also setup a signature that will be appended any emails they send out. Using email signatures makes emails sent from Salesforce look like an email sent from Outlook or Gmail.

Organizing Salesforce Email Templates

Templates in Salesforce are stored in folders. You can control access to the folders and templates thereby allowing only certain users to access and send out certain templates.  For example, you can set your permissions so that only the Marketing team has access the marketing templates.

Setting Up a Salesforce Email Template for a Cloud

In our example we will setup a template that users can select to send an update to a customer about their project.

The first step is to enter the Setup area of Salesforce. Click on the arrow beside your name at the top right. Then select either Setup, or My Settings.


From the left side of the page you then click on Email, then My Templates.


This will display all templates you currently have access to in the folder selected. The default folder is ‘Unfiled Public Email Templates’.  Click on New Template.


You must now select the type of email template you want to create; this can be either text, HTML with letterhead, Custom with letterhead, or Visualforce.  We will select a simple text template for this example.

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The next step is setting up your email.  Further down the page is where you enter the details about your template and write the actual email.

The details needed are:

  • Folder Name – This is where the template will be stored.  You can either store is publicly so all users can access it, or store it in your personal folder so only you have access to it. We are going to store this email in My Personal Email Templates folder
  • Available For Use – This is a checkbox. It is unchecked by default as you are drafting the email.  When the template is completed, you can check this box and it will be available to be used and sent.
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  • Email Template Name – Enter the name of the template in this text box. The name should be short yet descriptive so you know what the template is to be used for. My email template name is Project Status Update.The Template Unique Name will be auto populated for you based on the email template name.
  • Description – This is used for entering a more detailed description of your template, including why it was created and when it should be used.The description we have entered is ‘Use this template to send an update on the current project status.  Basic project details are included and there is room for personalized text.’
  • Subject – This is the email subject. Your clients will see what you type in this box so you should make this concise and informative. Our subject is ‘Cloud Coach| Project Status Update for {!project_cloud__Project__c.Name}‘.  We have included a merge field here so the recipient can see the name of the project before opening the email
  • Email Body – The body is where we will type up our email.In a template, we can include merge fields that will pull data from those fields into your email.  At the top of the page there are two pick lists and a text field.  The first pick list is where you select the object; this can be project, phases, tasks, accounts, etc.  The second pick list is where you select the field from that object.

    We will first select ‘Project Fields’ and then ‘Project Name’.  The text box now has a value in it. The value is the Salesforce API name for the field ‘Project Name’.  To enter the merge field, you’ll need to copy and paste the value from the text box into your email template. Be sure to copy all of the data in the field.


In the email body, we include several merge fields from the project including name, health, status, completion %, and the linked account. We could also include details such as budget, expenses, expected completion date, and many other fields if required. In this case, we keep the email quite simple. When a user uses this template, they can add extra details as needed.


Once you’re satisfied with your email template contents, save your template. After you click save, you have the option to add any attachments. Attachments could include a pricing sheet or marketing brochure for a sales email. We are not including an attachment in this example.


Using an Email Template

To send the email simply navigate to a current Cloud Coach Project and scroll down the page to the Activity History related list.  Click on the send email button.


At the top of the page click on Select Template then select the template you want to use from the list displayed.


Ensure you have selected a recipient; you can then type any additional information into the body of your email.  Click on send. You have now sent out an email template!


You can also send out a status update from a workflow. When you use a workflow to send an email, you will not have the option of editing the template or adding personal text.  Learn more about workflows.

Whether you are looking for project management, or professional services automation tools on the Salesforce platform, Cloud Coach has the tools for you. Request a demo today and learn how you can more quickly and efficiently manage your business, leveraging the Salesforce platform.

  • text
  • HTML with letterhead
  • Custom HTML
  • Visualforce

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