This tutorial shows the new mail merge features in SmartVault for Intuit Lacerte and ProSeries Tax.
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This tutorial will show you how to send tax returns out in bulk using the mail-merge feature in SmartVault. Let’s say you’ve got dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of clients. You may have seen other tutorials showing you how you can send files and tax returns out one by one from the SmartVault client portal, but if we’ve got a lot of clients we really need a more efficient way to do it, and that’s where this handy feature comes in.
00:24 Set Up a Custom email Template
Let’s go ahead to our dashboard and click on our Dunn & Company account in SmartVault, and click “View Dashboard.” The first thing I’m going to show you is how you can set up a custom email template to pick exactly what you want the email to look like that goes out to your client. We’ll click on the email templates in the dashboard. There are a number of templates you can edit, but we’re going to pick the tax return. So the tax return template will be used when you do a mail merge in SmartVault to send out tax returns in bulk. You can customize the text to put the instructions, change fonts, or do whatever you want to customize this. You’ll also notice that there are some handy placeholders; for example “% tax type” where it says your tax type return is complete. So if this is an individual, it’ll say your individual tax return is complete. If it’s a partner tax return, it’ll say your partnership tax return is complete. There are a number of placeholders you can use to fill specific details for each client. If you want to browse the placeholders that are available, you can click the icon in the top toolbar. You can even click to insert them anywhere in the text. You can experiment with those and try whatever you want.
If you mess anything up and want to get back to the default out-of-the-box template all you have to do is click the back arrow in the upper left-hand corner that says “revert to default,” and that will get you right back to the default settings. We’ve got placeholders in here that a client can click on to get right to government copies of their tax returns, their source documents folder, or any specific links you want to get to the client. Let’s say we’ve got the template set up and we’re ready to go. We can just click “save email template” and continue.
2:24 Sending Tax Returns to Specific Clients
Going back to the Dashboard, we’re going to click on “Client Engagements.” This shows us all the tax engagements for our clients. You may not want to look at all of your clients. You might want to set up a filter because you don’t want to send out tax returns to everybody, so we’re going to pick a subset of our clients to send out. I’m going to go ahead and click on the filter button, we’re just going to select clients where the government and the client tax returns have been printed out to SmartVault, but “Sent to Client” is no. We haven’t sent the client their tax return yet, so let’s apply those filter changes and it’ll give us a small subset of clients. We can click on all of these clients, or if you want to you can pick just one client.
3:15 Email Clients with Mail Merge Technology
Next we’ll click on the “email clients” button, which this will take all of the clients we selected and send out a custom email with this mail merge technology. Let’s go ahead and see what the result looks like. It’s sent as an email from you, and if you’ve custom-branded SmartVault, your custom-branded logo will be up at the top of the email. Let’s say we’re the clients and we want to click on our tax return, your client would just follow these instructions to click on the link, which takes them straight to the SmartVault client portal. They would login using their password, and it would take them right to their tax return in the client portal. As easy as we sent it to a few customers, you can just as easily send it to dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of customers if you’d like. Just select multiple customers, click the button, and it will automatically send the mail merge. Make sure you’ve got the email template done; you might want to check it with one sample user just to see exactly what it looks like and then you can be ready to go email out in batch. It’s a much more efficient way to send your tax returns out to clients using the safe, simple method of the SmartVault client portal.
- Previous video: Sending Files to Clients – using the Outlook Plug-In
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