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July 08, 2015

Send Engagement Letters from Salesforce

Managing your legal practice with Salesforce is a great way to keep your firm organized and operating efficiently.  Your firm most likely generates truckloads of documents and many of them are probably prepared by hand.

What if I told you that WebMerge could cut your document generation time down to minutes rather than hours.  Would you be interested in that?  I bet you would!  In this example, we’re going to show you how you can generate engagement letters with the click of a button and then automatically mail them (yes, mail them via US Postal Mail) with a service called Lob

To get started, let’s go ahead and setup our letter template.  We’re going to use a Word document as our template and we’ll upload that file to WebMerge when we’re done building the template.  To indicate where you want the client data to go (name, address, etc) in the letter, we’re going to use merge tags that look like {$ClientName}, {$Phone}, etc (no spaces or special characters).  These merge tags will be replaced with the data from Salesforce during the merge process.

Here’s what our engagement letter looks like:

Now that we have our template finished, let’s go ahead and upload it to WebMerge.  From the Documents page in WebMerge, click the New Document button and give it a name like “Engagement Letter” then click Next. 

On the next step you’re going to pick the Office Document type and then you’ll pick the file from your computer that you just created.  This will upload the file to WebMerge and setup the document.

After you upload the document, you’ll be taken to the Settings page.  There are many different settings that you can adjust on this page, but we’re only going to focus on the Output and the Filename.  For the Output we’re going to choose PDF (required by Lob) and then for the Filename we’re going to choose the {$ClientName} merge field from the dropdown.  This will help us identify the letters as they are sent.

Next, let’s jump over to the Deliver tab.  This is where we are going to setup the delivery to Lob so that they can print and mail our letter.  Go ahead and click the new Delivery tab and then enter your Lob API Key.  Once you have the API Key entered, we’re going to need to map the To / From address fields. 

For the To address, we’re going to use the merge fields in our letter (if you do not have a specific field in the letter, choose the << Other >> option then type in a new merge field like {$State} – this will add that as a merge field even though it isn’t in the actual document), so go ahead and pick those.

For the From address, we’re going to use our firm’s mailing address rather than merge fields.  To do this, select the << Other >> option from the dropdown then simply type in the value (ie “123 S Main” without the quotes).

Here’s what our Lob settings look like:

Great work!  We’re ready to move over to Salesforce and integrate this letter with our org.  If you haven’t already, install and setup the WebMerge managed package from the AppExchange.

We’re going to be setting up a new Mapping under the WebMerge Mappings tab.  Go ahead and click the New WebMerge Mapping button and you’ll be taken to a page where you can give the mapping a name (this is the name your users will see when merging documents) and pick the Salesforce Object you will be pulling data from.  For this example, we just going to use the Contact object, but you can use any custom object.  The last step is to pick your Engagement Letter document from the WebMerge Document dropdown.

Click the Save and Next button and you’ll be taken to a page that allows you to edit more details of the mapping.  You’ll see some of the same settings at the top, but the more important piece is going to be the Field Mapping section.  This is how you define which fields from Salesforce will populate the merge fields that are in your letter.

You’ll see your merge fields list on the left column of the field mapping table and next to each field there is a corresponding Salesforce field (dropdown) for you to pick.  Go ahead and map out all of those fields.

Once you have the field mapping complete, we’re all done!  Go ahead and click the Save and Activate button to make this mapping available for merging.  To test, go jump over to one of your contacts and then click the WebMerge button.  You’ll be taken to a page to pick the mapping and then we’ll generate the letter and send it over to Lob!

To make sure everything went correctly, login to Lob and you can view the document there.  We suggest you keep your Lob account in test mode until you are ready to actually send the letters.

Here’s what one of our letters looked like:

That’s pretty cool, right?  Think of all the time you are going to save by not having to manually generate those letters, printing, folding, stamping, … you get the idea.  You’ll be an office hero!  Can you think of any other ways you could utilize WebMerge to simplify your paperwork in Salesforce?

7 min read

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