5. Responses & Placeholders


1. The Postbox Interface
2. Working with Messages
3. Topics & the Focus Pane
4. Composing & Sending
5. Responses & Placeholders
6. Signatures
7. Searching
8. Integrations


Responses & Placeholders

Responses are pre-canned message snippets that you can reuse over and over again. This can save you a lot of time if you send the same kind of responses frequently.

A response can be a small text snippet, cover letter, mini bio, or photo portfolio. They can include plain text, formatted text, images, tables... anything that can be composed in Postbox can be saved and used as a Response.

To create a new Response:

  1. navigate to Preferences on Mac or Options on Windows and go to Composition > Responses.

  2. Next, click the Add or + button to open the editor drop down.

  3. Create your response and use the formatting buttons to style your entry and get it just the way you like it. You can create additional responses by simply clicking the Add or + button again. To edit an existing response, select a response and click the Pencil button below the list.

Once you have your response created, there are two ways to use responses when composing a message:

  1. Use the Responses toolbar button to insert a response into the composition window, or

  2. Insert a Response Using the Quick Bar by typing command-L on Mac or ctrl-L  Windows, then typing and selecting the response you want to use.

In addition to just static text and images, responses can also use dynamic data fields called Placeholders. The placeholders allow you to insert data elements into your saved Responses as well as message templates.

For example, a Response could contain Placeholders for the senders first name, a set date and time, the email address of the account you are using, and much more.

Let’s dig into placeholders a little bit more. There are two types of Placeholders:

  1. Custom, and

  2. System.

Let’s take a look at custom placeholders first.

Custom Placeholders are those that you create and populate with your own data. A custom Placeholder can contain company names, people, products, events... anything at all!

When editing a Template or Response, position your cursor in the desired location, then click the {a} in the Formatting Toolbar and select Custom Placeholder. Enter a Placeholder name that is recognizable to you, such as {{company.name}} or {{product.name}}.

Then, when using a Template or Response, simply tab to move to the first Placeholder. The Placeholder will already be highlighted, so all you have to do is start typing to enter your custom value. Once complete, you can press the tab key again to move to the next Placeholder. The tab key will move from one custom Placeholder to the next until all Placeholder values have been entered. After that time the tab key functions normally.

Postbox will display a warning if you try to send a message with an unresolved custom Placeholder.

System Placeholders are different because they will automatically populate with message data. For example, if "Bobby Whiteshoe" emails you, your Response template could include the {{source.sender.firstName}} Placeholder. When you send, this Placeholder will automatically populate with "Bobby."

To insert a System Placeholder when editing a Template or Response, position your cursor in the desired location, then click the {a} in the Formatting Toolbar and then navigate to the Placeholder you wish to use.

Note that System Placeholders are non-editable, because they populate with values from the Postbox system.

There are three categories of System Placeholders:

1) My Selected Identity

This contains first, last, full name and email address of the selected identity. These elements are useful when using multiple identities.

For example, if someone at Postbow were to respond to a customer from our "Store" identity, we could include a signature at the end that looks like this:

... Thanks for being a loyal Postbox customer!

Yours,

{{this.fullName}} > resolves to "Postbox Store"

{{this.email}} > resolves to "postbox-store@postbox.com"

2) Source Message

The source message is the message being replied to. For example, if "Bess Truman" sends you a message, then your reply can reference data elements from the source message:

Dear {{source.sender.firstName}}, > resolves to "Bess"

Thanks for your note...

3) This Message

Pulls data from the message currently being composed. For example, if you address a message to: "Bess Truman," "Bobby Whiteshoe," and "Kitty Malone," then Postbox will use the data from this message:

Dear {{this.to.firstName}}, > resolves to: "Dear Bess, Bobby, and Kitty"

You do not have to remember these system placeholder names, as Postbox provides you with convenient ways to insert them into your Template or Response.

If you want to see what your placeholders will look like before sending the message, the Placeholder menu contains a "Fill Values" function that populates the values before sending as opposed to during sending. This allows you to preview the values, which is helpful when you are first learning the feature and/or testing out your Placeholder before they are put into use.

And if you need a little help getting started, Postbox offers you 70 professionally written email templates that cover a wide range of business needs, everything from making introductions to hiring to sales.

Open the Compose window and click on the "Responses" button in the toolbar. In the pop-up menu that displays, select Custom Responses…  

Next, you will see the responses panel with all of the custom responses.

Browse through the responses, then click the Add button and give your response a name.

Postbox supports nested menus, so if you wanted a top level menu of "Introductions" with three sub-entries, you could label them as:

  • Introductions::entry 1

  • Introductions::entry 2

  • Introductions::entry 3

To edit a response, click the Responses toolbar button, and then select "Edit..." from the popup menu.