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October 19, 2015

Automatically Generate and Send Customer Communications with A+ Letter

Sending personalized letters to your customer can be an important (if not required) method of communication that produces valuable results.  Whether you’re sending direct mail campaigns to advertise new offerings or sending periodic notifications, generating the letters can be a time consuming task.

On top of that, if you are generating multiple versions of your letters or you are merging large quantities, the normal mail merge won’t work for you.  You’ll need a tool like WebMerge which allows you to automatically generate letters with the click of a button.  Plus, you can send those files directly to a printer to be mailed.

In this example, we’re going to show you how to generate customized letters that are sent to customers in different states using A+ Letter printing/mailing service.  Each state will have their own version of the letter so that our customers receive personalized information.  To send the letters, we’ll upload a CSV (spreadsheet) with information for 10,000 customers and the letters will be automatically merged.

To get started, we’re going to setup our letter templates using Word.  We can add our logo, address, and any other information we want in the letter.  For the customer information, we’re going to put merge fields that look like {$FirstName}, {$LastName}, etc.  These are just text tags like any other text in our letter.

Here’s what our letter looks like:

Once we have our letter finished, it’s time to upload the template to WebMerge.  From the Documents page in WebMerge, click the New Document button then type in a name.  On the next step, pick the letter file from your computer.

After you upload your letter, you’ll be taken to the Settings tab.  Here you can modify different settings like the name of the file and the type of file that is produced.  For this example, we’re going to generate a PDF file and include the name of our customer in the file name.

Once you’ve saved the settings, we’re going to setup our document delivery.  On the Deliver tab, click the New Delivery button.  We’re going to send our files directly to A+ Letter using the SFTP option.  Go ahead and click SFTP then enter your SFTP settings for A+ Letter.

After you’ve finished setting up the delivery of the letters, repeat these steps for the other states/letters.  You can upload as many templates as you need.  We’re going to setup the logic on the next step to choose which letter to send.

To setup the logic to pick which template to use for a specific customer, we’re going to use the Data Route feature.

From the Data Routing page in WebMerge, click the New Data Route button then enter a name.  On the next step you’re going to be taken to the Rules tab.  Here is where you’re going to add all the logic for your letters.

For each of your letters, add a new rule.  Then, add a condition and use the merge field for state and then enter the value you are looking for (IE.  CA or AZ).  Here’s what our Data Route rules look like:

That’s the last step in the setup process!  Now it’s time to upload our CSV and merge our letters.  Go to the Merge tab for your Data Route and then click the Upload Data option.  The CSV that you upload will need to have a column for each merge field that you are using and the first row should be the merge field name.  Go ahead and upload your CSV from your computer

Once you’ve uploaded your CSV you’ll be taken to a page where you need to map the columns in your CSV to the merge fields you used in your letters.  Make sure all of your fields are mapped properly.

If you want to save all of your letters to a single PDF, you can check that option under the Advanced Options at the bottom of the page.  Note: if you create a single PDF, you’ll need to setup an SFTP delivery on the Data Route level (under the Deliver tab for your data route).

Once you’re all set, go ahead and click the Merge button!  This will process your letters and deliver them to A+ Letter!

Here’s what one of our letters looked like:

Congrats!  You can now automate all of your customer communication with the click of a button.  Can you think of other ways to use WebMerge to simplify and automate your document generation?

7 min read

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