Recent changes to update requests?

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stuartr
stuartr ✭✭✭✭✭
edited 01/17/23 in Smartsheet Basics

Hello. This ones a bit weird but have there been some recent changes to update requests?

I had some automations set up to send an update request to the email address in the email cell on my sheet. This has been working fine for months, but today I made a slight change to the body text in the email and sent a test. When the test email arrived, the first 2 lines of the email now read

Hello Stuart (my name) You have 1 update to complete.

This is then followed by the remainder (original) email intro which begins

Dear David (as David is the correct first name value merged into the email) etc..

So the "Hello Stuart, You have 1 update to complete" is now appearing on the first line of the email carrying my update requests, even though

1) I have made no changes to the original email template - this new line has come from nowhere.

2) the value of "Stuart" isnt a separate field on the sheet and neither is it a merge field in the email template

any ideas appreciated.

Best Answer

  • Genevieve P.
    Genevieve P. Employee Admin
    Answer ✓
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    Hi @stuartr

    My sincere apologies!

    After all this I double checked by testing myself and confirming with internal teams; this update is still new for me, too, and I had misunderstood our documentation.

    If the user you're sending to does not have a Smartsheet account, the email will simply say "Hello":

    Hello, you have 1 update.

    or

    Hello, Genevieve needs 1 update from you.

    If the user who sent the request does not have a name in their Smartsheet account, that's when it will present the email address:

    Hello, xxx@xxx.com needs 1 update from you.

    (For example, when you manually send updates from a row).


    This means that if you want to personalize the message {{with placeholders}} to add in the name they've filled in, it will be the only name associated with the email for users who don't have an account.

    Keep in mind some of your 700 users may have an account that you don't know about (e.g. if their company uses Smartsheet, too), in which case they would see their own name as well:

    Hello Genevieve, you have 1 update.

    or

    Hello Genevieve, Joe needs 1 update from you.


    I hope this is more in line with what you were looking for from the new release. 🙂

    Genevieve

Answers

  • stuartr
    stuartr ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited 01/19/23
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    Hi Genevieve

    Thank you for providing this link. Whilst I get that the format has changed/improved it doesn't answer my question.

    As part of the "improvements" smartsheet now defaults the following at the top of the email

    Hello Stuart You have 1 update to complete.

    1) Is there any way to turn this off or hide it (as "Hello Stuart You have 1 update to complete" does NOT appear in the email subject or body text, it seems to be stamped onto the top of the email and is in BOLD).

    2) Does this mean that any existing personalisations in my automation eg Dear {{first name}} now have to be deleted, otherwise the email would be addressing the recipient twice ie Hello Stuart You have 1 update to complete" followed by Dear Stuart on the next line.

    3) Finally where is smartsheets pulling the first name value from (I ask because "Stuart" doesn't exist in the sheet in the first name column. The automation is being sent to a contact column containing emails).

  • Genevieve P.
    Genevieve P. Employee Admin
    edited 01/19/23
    Options

    Hi @stuartr

    1) No, there currently isn't a way to customize the new email format header.

    2) This is up to you! But yes, it will address the direct person in the email at the top so you don't necessarily need to include their name again, unless you want to.

    3) The name value is pulled from the user's Smartsheet account, where the email is being sent to.

    For example, you might add a nickname to one of your contacts so instead of saying "Genevieve" in the contact cell it says "Gen". However my account name in Smartsheet is my full name, "Genevieve", so when I receive alerts or emails from Smartsheet automations it will address those emails to my account name, not the nickname that's placed in the cell, does that make sense?

    Note that in your test email, you were sending it to yourself. This means the email is being received by Stuart. However you sent a row assigned to someone else, which is why you saw a different name in {{these}}. When that email is sent to the actual contact in the cell (and not a test email to yourself) then it will have the correct name at the top as well, since that's where the email went.

    Please feel free to comment on the announcement post with any of your feedback around this feature! You can also send feedback to the Product team directly through the bullhorn icon in the App:

    Thanks,

    Genevieve

  • stuartr
    stuartr ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited 01/19/23
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    Hi Genevieve thanks for your response

    I am aware that I sent this to myself😀 (ie I used my own email in the email cell by design so the UR would be received by me) but before I sent I changed the first name and last name in the row to Peter Parker, expecting the UR to now arrive saying Hello Peter you have 1 update to complete.

    I also edited the contact name in the email cell to Peter Parker and edited the email itself to my gmail account) SS1 - again trying to determine if either of these values would appear in the Update Request.

    But despite the above changes, the email arrived with Hello Stuart. SS2 (this is why I asked where smartsheet is pulling the first name from as I don't have the value Stuart in any of the cells in the row)?

    You say that the name value that appears after Hello is pulled from the user's Smartsheet account, where the email is being sent to. All I want to do is for the email to arrive with Hello + first name of the contact (using the value in the first name cell) and send it to the email address in the email cell. (which is what I was doing before, but can no longer do since this change has been made). So in SS3 I would like the email to be sent to Annelieses hotmail address with the email saying Hello Annelise, but based on my testing above, it would still say hello Stuart. What am I missing. I'm happy to share the sheet if that helps.



  • Genevieve P.
    Genevieve P. Employee Admin
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    Hi @stuartr

    Yes exactly! 🙂 We're saying the same thing - the email pulls data from the Account in Smartsheet (Personal Settings > Profile), not the cell data with a nickname over top of the email address.

    Here's more information: Tips and best practices for using contacts

    Let me know if you'd prefer screen captures to help explain the different scenarios.

    Cheers,

    Genevieve

  • stuartr
    stuartr ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited 01/19/23
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    Screenshots please as this explanation still isn't clear.

    When I send an automation request to Anneliese how will smartsheet know to insert Hello Annelise and send to her email in the if you say its using the email in my Account (there is only my own email in person settings/profile).

  • Genevieve P.
    Genevieve P. Employee Admin
    edited 01/19/23
    Options

    Hi @stuartr

    No problem, I'm happy to show this with more examples. In this scenario I'm using a personal email address to test.

    In my current account (Genevieve's work account), the personal email as a Contact has a "nickname" of "Personal Email" in the Contact list. Here's the contact in the sheet:

    This means that Genevieve's work account sees that contact as named "Personal Email", but that's not the actual name for that email address. That name is something I've customized for myself, and anyone else who has my personal email would see the real, Account Name associated.

    Now if I log in as the Personal Email, I can check my Account Name by going to the Account icon in the bottom left and setting up a name in the Personal Settings > Profile section. To test this, I set up my name as Wendy Pan:

    This means that even though the Contact Cell has a nickname ("Personal Account"), the email will send to the Name of the account ("Wendy"):

    If you change your Account name to Peter Parker, then the test emails will go to "Peter", regardless of what the Contact name states in the cell of your sheet.

    Let me know if this helps!

    Cheers,

    Genevieve

  • stuartr
    stuartr ✭✭✭✭✭
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    I am concerned that when I send my automation out to 700 odd people all the emails will say Hello Stuart which would clearly be wrong for almost everyone (unless they are also called Stuart.)

    So here's a more straightforward question. Using the screenshot SS3 above if I trigger an automation to Anneliese that sends an update request to her hotmail address, what will the first line of the email say?

  • Genevieve P.
    Genevieve P. Employee Admin
    Options

    Hi @stuartr

    The name after the "hello" is dynamic and changes depending on the email address that receives the alert. This means that unless one of your 700 people is also called Stuart in their Smartsheet Account profile, they won't see Stuart at the top 🙂

    You can test this by changing your name in settings, like in my "Wendy" picture above. The next test will have that new name in the top.

    As per your screen shot SS3, Anneliese will see what is in her Smartsheet Account (there's no way to tell what this name is from your screen capture, as it can be different than a contact name). It is very possible that it's "Anneliese", if that's what she has in her Smartsheet Profile, but perhaps she prefers to go by "Ann" and set her Account Name to "Ann". In this instance it will say "Hello Ann".

    If she does not have a Smartsheet account, it will list her email address after "Hello".


    I would suggest testing this so you can see what I mean by sending an Update Request to someone else - either a colleague that can share a screen capture of what it looks like, or an email that you have access to that does not have the name "Stuart" associated with it.

    Cheers!

    Genevieve

  • stuartr
    stuartr ✭✭✭✭✭
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    OK I wondered why you kept referring to smartsheet accounts! To clarify the 700 rows on the sheet do NOT have smartsheet accounts (im not sure why you thought they did). Their details were captured via a smartsheet form published on a website that asks for first name, last name, and email address all in separate fields). This is how I was previously able to personalise each UR by using Dear {{first name}}.

    So with this recent change ie Hello XXXX you have 1 update are you saying that there is no way to make smartsheet use the value in the first name column after the Hello because it now uses the value in the email field instead?

    So if the UR was sent now it would say Hello annalise.surname@hotmail.co.uk you have 1 update.

    If I click and edit her email cell, it opens up and shows her name field as empty whilst her email is populated (as per SS4). If I then manually input Annaliese in the name field then save, then trigger the automation, will the UR then read as I want it to ie Hello Annaliese you have 1 update?

    And finally if the above is true, then is there a simple (and quick) way to update the blank name in the email field with the value that I already have in the first name column so I can finally recreate what I had in the first place. Thanks



  • Genevieve P.
    Genevieve P. Employee Admin
    Options

    Hi @stuartr

    Thanks for clarifying! The fact that you're sending this out to contacts that may or may not have Smartsheet accounts does make a difference.

    In this case, yes, exactly - if the contacts don't have a Smartsheet account it will dynamically adjust the words after "Hello" to show their email address instead.

    Hello Xxxx@hotmail.co.uk you have 1 update.

    The name is tied to their Account only, not to the value in the cell. This means that adjusting the name in the cell will not change the name value in the email.

    You can continue to use {{placeholders}} in the body of the text to surface the first name from your sheet if you'd like, but the new, top header of the Update Request is automatically generated based on that user's account/profile or email address and there currently isn't a way for you, as the sender of the alert, to customize the new header.

    Please continue to send your feedback to the Product team directly through the bullhorn icon in the App, as shown above.

    I'm glad I was able to help explain the new update automation format for you, and I hope you have a good evening!

    Genevieve

  • Genevieve P.
    Genevieve P. Employee Admin
    Answer ✓
    Options

    Hi @stuartr

    My sincere apologies!

    After all this I double checked by testing myself and confirming with internal teams; this update is still new for me, too, and I had misunderstood our documentation.

    If the user you're sending to does not have a Smartsheet account, the email will simply say "Hello":

    Hello, you have 1 update.

    or

    Hello, Genevieve needs 1 update from you.

    If the user who sent the request does not have a name in their Smartsheet account, that's when it will present the email address:

    Hello, xxx@xxx.com needs 1 update from you.

    (For example, when you manually send updates from a row).


    This means that if you want to personalize the message {{with placeholders}} to add in the name they've filled in, it will be the only name associated with the email for users who don't have an account.

    Keep in mind some of your 700 users may have an account that you don't know about (e.g. if their company uses Smartsheet, too), in which case they would see their own name as well:

    Hello Genevieve, you have 1 update.

    or

    Hello Genevieve, Joe needs 1 update from you.


    I hope this is more in line with what you were looking for from the new release. 🙂

    Genevieve

  • stuartr
    stuartr ✭✭✭✭✭
    Options

    Thanks for clarifying.