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Broadcasting an equipment list

Do you want to be able to send a list of your equipment to a group of dealers that you work with?

Do you want to send a list of equipment being liquidated or auctioned to a group of customers?

If you want to do either of these read on! First, make sure you have read or understand the article "Primer: How Do I Broadcast Fax or Email documents?". This article tells you how to prepare a list of customers who you want to send a document. Read and understand this article because you have to use this feature to describe which customers should be sent your equipment list.

You should understand that you could prepare a list of equipment in Microsoft Word and use the features described in that article to fax your Microsoft Word list to a group of customers. As an alternative, you could select an output type of "EMAIL LETTER" to generate an emails with your list. To do that you would have to put your typed equipment list in the text of the letter you send. (Remember the letter is entered on the "LETTER" tab of the "CUSTOMER REPORT SETUP"). By using the methods in that article, you could to finish your email.

Although this is effective and works well, you must generate (type or prepare with formatting) your equipment list each time. If you are sending out lists regularly, LocPlus MLS can generate the list automatically. LocPlus MLS will automatically merge it into your email document.



PROCEDURE:

To merge an equipment list into your letter, you must first use LocPlus MLS to define the equipment list. To define an equipment list from the menu bar select the option "REPORT / EQUIPMENT REPORTS". You many use an existing equipment list, but if you don't have one press the "NEW" button and follow these steps:

  1. Enter an appropriate "SHORT ID" and "DESCRIPTION" to help you describe and later identify the equipment list. (i.e. DEALERLIST, AUCTACME, "Equipment list to distribute to dealers", "Items included in Acme Liquidation") REMEMBER THE NAME YOU ASSIGN TO THE "SHORT ID"! (you will need it later) Press the "DEFINE" button.


  2. You can use the features under the "OWNERSHIP / STATUS", "EQUIPMENT CLASSIFICATIONS", "EQUIPMENT CODES", and "OTHER LIMITS" tabs to define the list of equipment. For this example, chose 5 pieces of equipment. Go to the "OTHER LIMITS" tab. There is a field on the left side of the window titled 'Inventory codes'. You can enter your five (5) machine reference codes here. When you finish you should see your list of reference codes. Double-click on an item if you want to remove a piece of equipment.


  3. Select the tab "OUTPUT TYPE". Chose "PRINT REPORT", so that you can first print a report to know what equipment you will be sending to your customers. For the field "REPORT OUTPUT ORDER" select "EQUIPMENT CLASSIFICATION". Other orders will work, but usually classification makes more sense. Finally, for the field "REPORT:" chose "Equipment Owner Report (RP_INV04)".


  4. Press the "DONE" button to finish defining your report. Then press "UPDATE" and then "RUN" buttons to save and run your equipment query. When you run this list, you will be notified how many machines were found and a report of those machines will be generated. Verify that it contains the correct list of equipment. If it doesn't, you should review your work and make sure you understand why this list of machines is being generated. It is important to understand how and why the machine are appearing on this list, because these are the machines that will be sent to the customers.


  5. You have defined what machines will be sent to your customers; now it is time to create the list of customers who will recieve your list. You should know how to do that. From the menu bar select "REPORT / CUSTOMER REPORTS". Press the "NEW" button and define a new list. Enter "EMAILTEST" in the "SHORT ID" field. Enter "Test Broadcast Email" in the "DESCRIPTION" field. Then press the "DEFINE" button. (If you have any questions on why you are doing this or the next few steps, read the article "Primer: How Do I Broadcast Fax or Email documents?"


  6. Go to the tab "CONTACT NAMES". Make sure the box "INCLUDE ALL CONTACT NAMES" is checked.


  7. Go to the tab "OTHER LIMITS". In the zip code fields in the lower left corner enter minimum and maximum zip codes that include your zip code. For example, if you are in zip code "48167", you could enter a minimum zip code of "41000" and a maximum of "41999". This range is intended to do the following:


    • Include you in the list. (So you can send yourself a sample!!!)
    • Include a reasonable number of other customers so you can see how selection works; without working with an excessive number of names. If you have hundreds of thousands of names in your customer database, you shouldn't make your range much larger than this example (1000 zip codes)


  8. Go to the tab labeled "OUTPUT TYPE". In the "OUTPUT TYPE" field, put chose "EMAIL LETTER". For the "REPORT OUTPUT ORDER" field, select "COMPANY NAME". In the field "EMAIL SUBJ", enter "Used Machinery Equipment List". Although you may send attachments with your email, don't chose that feature now.


  9. Go to the tab labeled "LETTER". In the "TEXT OF LETTER ..." field. Put the text of a simple letter to send to your customers. For example, use the following:


  10. ---------------------- Begin document --------------------------
    From: ~~SYS_CLIENT_NAME~~

    To:
    ~~CN_FIRST~~ ~~CN_LAST~~
    ~~CP_NAME~~

    Are you interested in used machinery? Then look at this list to see some of the equipment that we have available right now. If you are interested, call us at ~~SYS_CLIENT_PHONE~~ or email us at ~~SYS_CLIENT_EMAIL~~ or just visit our web site at http://~~SYS_CLIENT_WEBSITE~~.

    ~~EQUIPMENT_LIST~~

    If we can help with any of your other equipment needs, please call.

    John Doe
    ~~SYS_CLIENT_NAME~~
    ----------------------- End document ---------------------------


  11. Don't actually type the Begin and End document lines. Notice the use of substitution variables. If you don't understand these, or want a more complete list of fields you can use, see the article "WHAT IS A SUBSTITUTION FIELD?". The important new substitution field is "~~EQUIPMENT_LIST~~". Insert that where you want the list of machies inserted. The text "~~EQUIPMENT_LIST~~" should be the only thing on that line and it should start in the leftmost column (otherwise it will look unattractive). This example doesn't use any HTML, so make sure the box labeled "HTML" in the upper right corner of this tab area is NOT checked.


  12. Select the tab marked "MERGE LIST". There is a pull down labeled "Equipment List to send:". Select the equipment list that you entered (and remembered) in step #1.


  13. In the box labeled "TEXT FORMAT OF AN EQUIPMENT LINE" enter the following (Again, don't enter the Begin and end document lines):


  14. ---------------------- Begin document --------------------------
    Ref#: ~~AV_REFCODE~~
    ~~AV_MACLASS~~ ~~AV_DESCAD~~
    ----------------------- End document ---------------------------


  15. Make sure you leave one (and only one) blank line at the end..


  16. Press the "DONE" button. Save this setup work by pressing the "UPDATE" button. Then press the "RUN" button to begin compiling customers and merging the equipment list. You will be prompted several times on the procedures progress. Continue through these notices until you get to the "SELECT CUSTOMERS" window.


  17. A list of customer selected will be displayed. Resolve any questions you have regarding which customers are displayed. There are two checkboxes before each name. The first has the heading "SELECT" - the second "SENT". You may check the box of any names you want to recieve this email. Normally you would probably want all customers with email addresses to get the email. To quickly do this you would press the box in the upper-left hand corner labeled "W/VALID EMAIL ONLY". For our sample, just find and select your name. Hopefully, you will have an email address in the system for yourself. If not, you will have to exit this window and stop this lesson long enought to go and enter one!


  18. After you have checked your name, press the "SEND EMAIL" button at the bottom of the window. After working for a minute, the window should be redisplayed with the "SENT" box now also checked. Your emails have been sent! (If you have our new OUTBOX feature, you will have to release them from your outbox first...)


  19. NOW LOOK AT WHAT YOU HAVE DONE!!! Prety neat. You can get very fancy with setting up your letters. If you know (or can get someone else who does) HTML you can generate quite complex emails. You can make it as nice as your budget affords! If you want to see (or use) a good sample, and perhaps starting point for one of your emails, see the article "SAMPLE HTML EQUIPMENT EMAIL".