To get started with sending out letters via Automation, you'll need to create your letter content. You can do this from the Letters on Demand page in Virtuous Marketing.

To access Virtuous Marketing, look for the three dots in the upper-right corner of the screen, and click to switch from Virtuous CRM to Virtuous Marketing.

Then, look for the Letters on Demand icon in the menu on the left.

On the Letters on Demand page, you'll see a list of all the letter templates for your organization. To create a new one, look for the Actions menu in the upper right, click, and then select "Create Letter."

This will launch the Mail Wizard, which has five main steps.

Setup

On the setup screen, give your letter a unique name. You can also select a Campaign Segment to help track the success of your outreach.

Below, you'll see a toggle option to include a reply device. Toggle this on, and you'll need to specify which page should include the reply device.

Whichever page includes the reply device will be perforated 3.625 inches from the bottom of the page.

Once you have made a selection, click next in the bottom right to move to the Template step.

Template

The easiest way to create a letter is to use an existing template. The template selections displayed will vary depending on the reply device option selected. For example, selecting just a basic letter, without a reply device, will display one set of template options:

While opting for a multi-page letter with a reply device offers some different choices:

We strongly recommend starting with an existing template and then editing the content to customize it for your organization. If you would rather generate your own HTML content from scratch, then click on the "No thanks, I'll create my own HTML" link below the displayed templates.

Selecting a template or clicking on the "No thanks" link will advance to the Build step.

Build

In the builder, you will see your starting template, or a blank screen. The editor is a visual editor that generates HTML content in order to create each letter.

Use the tools available in the toolbar at the top of the screen to edit your letter, including adding images, customizing fonts and styling, and even inserting tables or special characters. Hover over any toolbar icon to see the name of each tool.

Use the Merge Tags option to customize your letter with merge fields, including Contact Name, giving statistics, and Segment Codes for reply devices.

Use the "Source" button to view the HTML for your letter and make changes, if necessary. You can change the colors of elements, like banners and fonts, by editing the HTML directly.

If you already have HTML content that you'd like to use in generating your letter, you can paste that directly in to the source. Make sure your HTML is formatted for a print document, and not an email, however. If you have a letter that you have created in Microsoft Word, for example, you can save it as an HTML file, then view the source code and then paste it to create your letter. You will then likely need to use the editor to fine-tune your letter before it is ready to use.

It is recommended that you periodically save to avoid losing any work. Just click on the Actions menu in the upper right and click on "Save." Click "Save and Preview" to see a rendering of what your actual letter will look like, with address blocks inserted for mailing.

Review

Once you have created and saved your letter, click on "Save & Review" in the lower right to move to the Review step. You will see a preview of your letter, which you can also download and print. Make sure the design of your letter looks correct - this is your chance to make sure that your letter will look exactly the way you'd like when it is sent to your recipients.

Your preview will include your return address block and recipient address block, and all of the elements present on your actual letters.

If the changes need to be made, click on the "Prev" option in the lower left to go back to the editor and modify your design.

If your letter is ready for prime time, click "Next" in the lower right to continue.

Publish

The final step will ask you to confirm that you are ready to publish your letter.

Click on "Save & Publish" if you are ready to go!

A Note on Publishing

Only published versions of letters will be sent via Automation. If you would like to make changes to a letter that is being used in an active workflow, you can edit and save and even preview those changes as often as you like. Once you've made all of the changes, you will need to publish your letter again in order to have your changes take effect and begin sending your updated version.

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